"The Stab": a forgotten nearly-was Haunted Mansion changing portrait

The queue area at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland features a row of changing portraits wherein paintings everyday scenes are revealed as sinister and haunted (originally the effect was done with crossfading slide-projectors; now it's done with an amazing, crisp electroluminiscent effect). Read the rest

SHAG designed Enchanted Tiki Room mouse ears for Disneyland

Swoon...!

Look what SHAG whipped up (that's a reference to the Dole Whip, btw) for Disneyland: Enchanted Tiki Room mouse ears. Since early July, Disney has been releasing a series of Mickey Mouse ear hats and Minnie Mouse ear headbands designed by notable celebrities, designers, and artists. Photos of the other designs and their release dates can be found on the Disney Parks Blog.

He writes:

I’ll be signing these and other exclusive Disney products at D23 on Saturday, August 24 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm at Talent Central in the Anaheim Convention Center. These limited edition Enchanted Tiki Room Mouse Ears are part of Disney’s Designer Collection, featuring ear hats by Betsey Johnson, Vera Wang, Heidi Klum and other celebrity artists and designers. Mine are debuting at D23 and will be available at Disneyland and Disney World on August 28.

Skip through the images to see the back of the ears:

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I’ll be signing these and other exclusive Disney products at D23 on Saturday, August 24 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm at Talent Central in the Anaheim Convention Center. These limited edition Enchanted Tiki Room Mouse Ears are part of Disney’s Designer Collection, featuring ear hats by Betsey Johnson, Vera Wang, Heidi Klum and other celebrity artists and designers. Mine are debuting at D23 and will be available at Disneyland and Disney World on August 28. @disneyd23 #enchantedtikiears #enchantedtikiroomears #enchantedtikiroom #waltdisneysenchantedtikiroom

A post shared by Josh Agle (@theartistshag) on Aug 20, 2019 at 5:22pm PDT

As you're probably aware, this is just one of the many groovy products he's designed for them over the years. Read the rest

Recently unearthed home movie of Disneyland from 1956

In 1955, Disneyland opened. In early 1956, Sherman W. Carter, Jr. took his family to the park and shot this home movie. The video was just uploaded to YouTube on July 1 by a family friend.

Disney Parks Blog:

The first part takes place in Frontierland, one of areas of Disneyland that has changed the most over the years. And yet there are many familiar sights as well. The park looks almost unrecognizable with so many of the trees and foliage still essentially saplings. Today it’s a veritable forest in the middle of Anaheim.

Be sure to pause the video at 0:21 where you can see three Jungle Cruise boats docked in Fowler’s Harbor, currently home to the Harbour Galley restaurant. I knew the water systems for the Rivers of America and Jungle Cruise were connected, but were you ever able to sail from one to the other in the past? We later see The Jungle Cruise with no water in the moat, so this likely just temporary storage.

Some other fun highlights to keep an eye out for; watch at 1:05 for a glimpse of the old gun fight skit atop the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Then right after that, the Jungle Cruise with no water in the moat. Just a few wonderful shots of Tomorrowland right at the end too.

Read the rest

Children's Fairyland, the mid-century storybook theme park that inspired Walt Disney and where Frank Oz got his start

Oakland, California is home to a real gem of a storybook theme park. Located next to Lake Merritt, Children's Fairyland has been delighting families of young children since 1950. As the story goes, Walt Disney himself visited Fairyland in 1955 and soon after built Disneyland, incorporating ideas he learned at the park. He also hired Fairyland's first director, as well as one of its puppeteers, to work at his new amusement park in Anaheim.

While Disney's parks went the commercial route, Fairyland turned into a nonprofit after many years of being managed by the city. It remains the charming, lakeside mid-century park where no adult is allowed in the park without a child** and no child is allowed without an adult.

How do I know all of this? Well, I'm excited to share that I've started working with Fairyland. When I first moved to the Bay Area in the mid-1990s, I lived across the street from Lake Merritt and, as a childless young person, I often wondered what was going behind the giant (Old Lady in the) shoe. I remember devising ways to get in, eventually waiting until I had a baby to pass through its gates for the first time. When my daughter (who's now a teenager) was little, she and I visited many times together. Believe me when I say that it's a great thrill for me to be on the "inside" of this Bay Area institution.

Bert, Fairyland Master Puppeteer Lewis Mahlmann, and Frank Oz in August of 1970. Read the rest

Ahead of new Star Wars land, Disneyland raises pass prices by up to 25%

For years, Disneyland annual passes, parking fees and single-day-tickets have seen above-inflation price-hikes, but this year's will take the cost of the no-blackout-day "Premier Pass" (good for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, in Florida) to $1,949, up 23.4% from last year, a firm push away from the idea of Disneyland as a "locals park" for casual visits and into the kind of place that most local families could only visit on very special occasions. Read the rest

Deadly Disneyland Legionnaire's outbreak blamed on this weird source

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed one person and sickened 22 near Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California last year may have been caused by an unexpected source. Read the rest

Disneyland's laundry used "gamification" as an "electronic whip," leading to worker stress and injuries

A non-negotiable feature of Disneyland's 2008 contract with Unite Local 11 -- which represents the laundry workers who clean linens from the resort's hotels and restaurants -- was a new "work-tracking" system that used "gamification" to display realtime signals about each worker's productivity on public leaderboards, colorcoded with the slowest workers' names in red, as well as color-coding indicators on individual machines to indicate whether they were underperforming. Read the rest

Disney theme parks have a serious problem with cremain-scattering

If you ever hear an announcement on a Disneyland or Walt Disney World PA calling for a "HEPA cleanup" it means that someone has just dumped a dead person's ashes in a ride. Again. Read the rest

The stories behind the names on the Haunted Mansion's tombstones

The tombstones at the Haunted Mansions in Disney's themeparks are a kind of credit reel that pay tribute to the Imagineers who made the Mansion possible; in this short Disney video, you get some potted biographies of the honorees, from Claude Coats to Marc Davis to Harriet Burns to the incredible and weird Rolly Crump. Read the rest

Kurt Russell and The Osmonds go behind the scenes at Disney's Haunted Mansion

Enjoy this delightful clip from Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color "Disneyland Showtime" that aired on March 22, 1970. From the IMDB page:

The Osmond Brothers, accompanied by Kurt Russell and E.J. Peaker, come to Disneyland to perform at a show being held there. But Donny and Jay Osmond go off to explore the park. Worried that they will miss the performance, the rest of the cast go to try and retrieve them before it is too late. They also visit the then-newest Disneyland attraction at the time, the Haunted Mansion.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

Read the rest

A Haunted Mansion "Tightrope Girl" dress

Just in time for Halloween, this cosplay-adjacent dress inspired by the Haunted Mansion's Tightrope Girl (AKA "Ballerina and Alligator, AKA Parasol Girl, AKA Ally Gal, Sally Slater, Daisy De La Cruz, Lillian O'Malley), sold with matching cape and ribbon. It's part of the fabulous renaissance in Haunted Mansion merch, including this Haunted Mansion Ballroom dress. (via Welcome Foolish Mortals) Read the rest

Toddlers connected in clever 'Slinky Dog' costume

A Toy Story-lovin' dad connected two toddlers, his son Hamm and his niece Audrey, to make this cute and clever Slinky Dog costume.

Tucker Bohman, aka @ToyStoryDad, enlisted the help of his wife to get the babies' costume together for Disneyland's Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

He writes:

When we decided to go to Mickey’s Halloween Party at @Disneyland as Toy Story characters I knew immediately that I wanted the babies to be Slinky Dog! It took several months of brainstorming and planning to bring my vision to life. Thanks to all of the family who helped us figure out how to pull it off! 🙌🏻

(Popsugar) Read the rest

Guy recreates Disneyland's Fantasyland in his basement

John Frost writes, "Travis, a railroad engineer, recreated iconic buildings from Disneyland's Fantasyland in his spare time. The result is an incredibly detailed and faithful recreation of facades to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White's Scary Adventures and more." Read the rest

Photos: Hong Kong Disneyland in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut

All of Hong Kong was devastated by the violence of Super Typhoon Mangkhut this week, but there's something really striking about the damage to Hong King Disneyland -- a perfect little jewel of a themepark. It's in the contrast of the very carefully maintained surface veneer of the park and the damage from the storm. Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Sneaking Pot into Disneyland with Shel Silverstein

Mort Gerberg shares this memory of his encounter with John and Shel Silverstein outside the gates of Disneyland in 1966. From John Wilcock, New York Years.

Superstar Limo: The story of Disney's "worst attraction ever"

We can all take some comfort that even Disney, with all its money and creative resources, can fail.

Take for instance, Disney's epic failure, a long-gone ride called Superstar Limo. The dark ride, that was once in California Adventure's Hollywood Pictures Backlot area, took guests in a sparkly purple limousine through a distorted version of Hollywood and Los Angeles. It was open just under a year and was later (and as you'll see in the video, hilariously) repurposed as the Monsters, Inc. ride.

Kevin Perjurer of the YouTube channel Defunctland describes it as their "worst attraction ever" and offers this critical history of it. His video is 20 minutes long but worth a watch, as his research goes deep and this "Superstar Limo" truly has to be seen to be believed. Be sure to stay to the end to see the reactions of the cast of The Drew Carey Show and Rosie O'Donnell when they all took a whirl in it together.

Also, in case you're curious, here's a look at the ride without commentary:

Read the rest

Disney has unveiled rainbow mouse ears in time for Pride

June is Pride month and Disney has already rolled out rainbow mouse ears, with a depiction of Mickey's gloves in a hand-heart, in their U.S. parks. I spotted this pair, which is officially called the "Mickey Mouse Rainbow Love" hat, in Disneyland a couple of weeks ago for $17.99.

I bet these ears, along with the rainbow products like trading pins and lanyard pulls, will be a big hit come early October for Gay Days.

photo by me Read the rest

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