"Bring Back Weird Epcot" and other unofficial retro Disney World tees

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Foxxfur, proprietress of the outstanding Passport to Dreams Old and New Disney themepark design critique blog (previously) has opened a t-shirt store featuring designs celebrating the lost, lamented design-flourishes that lurked in the corners of early Walt Disney World: the crowning glory of the store is this Bring Back Weird Epcot tee that really tells it like it is. Read the rest

FAA okays use of semi-autonomous drones for Disneyland and Disney World fireworks displays

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John Frost writes, "I know Boing Boing has covered Disney's patent to use flying drones in the parks. Here's the latest update, the FAA recently approved the use of drones in the parks at night. It's only a four-year permit and Disney isn't waiting around. The Mouse House just posted a teaser video for a new holiday show at Disney Springs, the dining and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World, that will begin later this month." Read the rest

Preserving endangered dark rides with VR

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Crystal writes, "'Dark rides' like the Spookarama at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, those single-cart rides that take you through a haunted house full of ghosts and scares. They're prime for teenage making out, have been around for 100 years -- and they're disappearing. Joel Zika, a 36-year-old art and design university professor in Melbourne, Australia, has been fascinated with the dark rides for years, reveling their connection to early horror effects in movies. So he decided to document them in the only way that would truly do them justice: virtual reality." Read the rest

How haunters remember their own among 2016's deaths

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Dan Howland from the dearly departed Journal of Ride Theory snapped these all-the-feels tombstones at this year's Davis Graveyard (previously) haunt. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom

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Documentary maker James H. Carter II is seeking about $4,000 to complete work on "Foolish Mortals," a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom that includes a detailed 3D model of the Disneyland Mansion for you to VR in (or whatever!). Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Oct 15 panel on the creation of the Haunted Mansion

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The storied Walt Disney Family Museum hosts Imagineer Kim Irvine, former Disney lead Twitter writer Ed Squair, and Winchester Mystery House manager Walter Magnuson in a panel on Oct 15, discussing the origins of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, a subject near and dear to my heart. Read the rest

Original tombstones return to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

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John Frost writes, "With the return of this year's Haunted Mansion Holiday, Disneyland has also returned recreations of the original tombstones the rides original Imagineers left as tributes to themselves. I'm very happy because one of the 13 'family plots' includes the long-missing tribute to my grandfather - Vic Greene." Read the rest

Haunted Mansion tiki mugs!

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They're on sale at Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel for $30, limit 2 per customer. (Excited about this, but Trader Sam's needed another reason for crazy, badly managed queues like it needed a hole in its draught beer pressure system). (Thanks, Cecil!) Read the rest

The incredible true story of the Epcot Horizons superfans who ruled the ride

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In 1995, after a year-long closure, Disney re-opened Horizons, the GE-sponsored original Epcot ride devoted to showcasing different ideas about the future, a kind of heir to the Futurama at the 1939 New York World's Fair; fearing the ride was likely to be shuttered soon, two Epcot superfans began covertly exploring and documenting the ride, figuring out its ways and means until they learned how to penetrate it and hide from Disney employees while sneaking in their friends and having little celebrations. Read the rest

What's inside a Tiki Bird?

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Kevin Kidney owns a couple of audio-animatronic birds from the Enchanted Tiki Room, the first Disney showcase for robotic animals, still running and glorious today -- he's decided to make them good as new, and is documenting his process. Read the rest

The story of the story of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

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The LA Times investigates the many, fragmentary, much-revised storyline of the Haunted Mansion, the greatest ride that Disney ever built (though Walt himself had to die before the constraints he imposed on the ride could be set aside and the ride finished). Read the rest

Teen comes out to her family on Disneyland's Splash Mountain

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Gina is 16 and gay, something she was sure her folks would be cool with, so she told them in the best way possible: by holding up a sign at a strategic moment on the family's plunge down Disneyland's Splash Mountain. She's hoping others will do the same. Read the rest

Lego's doing a 4,080-piece, $350 Cinderella's castle

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No release date as yet! (Thanks, Sal!) Read the rest

Grandad builds miniature backyard Disneyland

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Steve Dobbs grew up near the present-day site of Disneyland and was profoundly influenced by watching the park get built while he zipped by on his bike; today the reitred aerospace engineer has built a charming miniature Disney-inspired theme-park in his backyard in Fullerton, CA. Read the rest

Disneyland's Tower of Terror is turning into a Guardians of the Galaxy ride

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The beloved Tower of Terror ride at Disneyland California Adventure features some of the most elaborate themeing and set-dressing of any of Disney's built environments, consisting of a series of staged scenes that are reminiscent of interactive theater troupe Punchdrunk's sets, followed by a spectacular thrill-ride -- it rarely has less than a 30 minute wait. Read the rest

POV video from Shanghai Disneyland's Tron lightcycle ride

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Ricky from Inside the Magic writes, "This weekend Shanghai Disneyland began soft openings and that means the world has now had the pleasure of finally seeing a TRON ride come to life - and it's brilliant. The Tron Lightcycle Power Run is a roller coaster that lets guests hop on the film series' signature vehicles and race around the track to Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy tunes, surrounded by special effects. The Grid is live and is very real." Read the rest

Zombie company Atari wants exclusive right to make haunted house games

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Atari was once a giant of video game innovation, but now it's a troll -- a company that produces nothing except legal threats -- and its latest project is to get the US Patent and Trademark Office to give it the right to decide who can make haunted house games, and charge the lucky few for the privilege. Read the rest

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