Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Greatest Dream of Walt Disney's Life

"The construction of Walt Disney World presents an immense challenge. However, under a policy of prudent management and orderly development, I am convinced that we can bring to reality the greatest dream of Walt Disney's life."

So said Roy Disney on April 30, 1969.

On that day, officials from the Walt Disney Company unveiled their most detailed plans to date for what would become the Vacation Kingdom of the World. Roy Disney, with Donn Tatum and Card Walker, revealed what was then considered to be "Phase One" of Walt Disney World, much of which would be realized by opening day on October 1, 1971.

Press materials released that day noted:

2,500 acres, including some 450 acres of waterways and beaches, have been master planned for resort and recreation, with the first facilities scheduled to open to the public on October, 1971. Planned for construction before and during the first five years of operation will be a new "Magic Kingdom" amusement theme park similar to California's Disneyland, five related resort hotels and an entrance complex. Varying in size from 500 to 700 rooms, the resort hotels will be themed along Contemporary, Polynesian, Asian, Venetian and Persian motifs.

Showcased especially were the concepts and designs for the Magic Kingdom:

Inside, visitors will literally bridge time and theme when they step into seven realms -- Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Liberty Square and Holidayland.

The architectural styling of Main Street in Florida will be "Eastern Seashore Resort Victorian," a decorative and flamboyant turn-of-the-century decor making extensive use of glass and wrought iron.

Throughout the theme park, visitors will discover many new concepts in amusement attractions which are now under development at WED Enterprises, Inc., the Disney architectural, design and engineering subsidiary in Glendale, California. Among them will be a series of shows "brought to life" by the patented Disney "Audio-Animatronics" process of three-dimensional entertainment.

On stage in Frontierland, the Country Bear Band will present a foot stompin' country and western hoe-down starring the zaniest group of bears ever assembled. These "Audio-Animatronics" animals will sing and swing and strum in the finest tradition of wild western musicals.

Nearby will be found Thunder Mesa, a spectacular panorama, where the old west will live again through a series of exciting adventures. Designed to resemble a "table-top mountain," typical of those on southwestern deserts, it will offer a pueblo-style village and other attractions, including the Western River Expedition, a frontier fantasy on the grand scale of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" in California's Disneyland.

The colonial shops and stores of Liberty Square, an entirely new land created for Walt Disney World's "Magic Kingdom," will depict America's past at the time of our nation's founding. Highlight of the area will be a replica of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, which will house One Nation Under God, an inspiring dramatization about the American Constitution and the 37 Presidents who have led our nation. In the finale, through the wonder of three-dimensional "Audio-Animatronics," the chief executives will appear together in the "Hall of Presidents" roll call presentation.

In Fantasyland, visitors may stroll through Pinocchio Street or attend the all-new Mickey Mouse Musical Revue, a spectacular "Audio-Animatronics" visit with 60 of the famous characters from Walt Disney films down through the years. Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Three Caballeros and all the gang will appear "on stage" to sing the songs and play the music, all the way from "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" (The Three Little Pigs) to "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" (Song of the South).

Towering over Tomorrowland will be the Space Mountain, twenty stories tall. This huge structure will house a number of adventures and attractions themed to the world of the future. Among these will be four high-speed "rocket sled" tracks, which will climb the outside of the mountain, then plunge inside for a dark ride, simulating a trip through outer space. Track engineering was so complex that it had to be worked out by computer. Also in Tomorrowland will be found the RCA System Communication Center, as well as a major exhibit sponsored by the Monsanto Company, and other attractions to be sponsored by American industry.

Holidayland, Pinocchio Street, the RCA System Communication Center and Thunder Mesa and the Western River Expedition would all enter the ranks of Lost Imagineering as those early conceptualizations evolved and changed. Card Walker spoke to other such concepts that day that suffered similar fates:

"Because of its size and scope, the master plan for the project will take many years to complete. Future plans call for the addition of an 'airport of the future,' offering service to private and executive aircraft, as well as commercial charters; an industrial park designed to showcase American industry at work; and the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adventurers Almanac: Manner Minders

From Adventurers Almanac Volume No. 54, Issue No. 1, Club President Pamelia Perkins provides a bit of fashion-related advice for the more dapper and manner-conscious thrill seekers:


The Club motto states, "Always dress for the hunt!" I am continuously looking for ways to combine the heart-thumping excitement of adventure with the toe-tingling rush of a well designed pump. This issue I share with you, my beloved readers (and supporters in the next election), a few tips on wearing fashionable skirts in the wild, while participating in seated tribal rituals. In layman's terms: "How to squat down into a sits, without showing your private bits." Learn this simple technique and you'll never have to sacrifice modesty or appearance!

Step 1: Tuck skirt between knees
Step 2: Cross legs securely
Step 3: Rotate one full circle
Step 4: Point up and scream, "What is that large pointed object pummeling through the clouds?"
Step 5: When the tribe is distracted, drop quickly and assume a relaxed pose

Most importantly, be sure to avoid sandy areas where burrowing chiggers may be as adventurous as you are. Don't let pain become your fashion statement.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Toontown Field Guide: The Simple Things

A simple homage to the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Simple Things can be found just inside the front door of Mickey's house in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland. In that particular cartoon, Mickey heads to the beach with faithful pal Pluto, but also takes along a fashionable hat and fishing rod, both of which are represented in the entrance foyer of his home.

The Simple Things, released in 1953, represented Mickey's initial retirement from animated short subjects. It just recently celebrated its 55th Anniversary on April 18. Check out our earlier post that details the significance and simple pleasures of this often overlooked cartoon.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Desktop Tea Time

Tea time everyone!

Nick Nitsch brings us another of his fun and expertly designed desktops to conclude our celebration this week of Disney's Animal Kingdom's 10th Anniversary. Embedded in the design elements of Expedition Everest are references to the Royal Anandapur Tea Company, and Nick has extended that concept into this desktop.

(800 x 600)

(640 x 480)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Snapshot! - Please Make Use of this Facility

Public showers in Walt Disney World? Who da thought?

Continuing our celebration this week of the ten year anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom, we showcase this set piece from the African village of Harambe. After a long and dusty day on the Kilimanjaro Safaris, guests of the Hotel Burudika can freshen up at the nearby Kuoga Showers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Space Mountain by Greg Maletic

A year ago we happily featured the amazing faux attraction posters created by artist and graphic designer Greg Maletic that paid tribute to both 1970s era Disney World attractions and the famous Magic Kingdom entryway posters that promoted them. Greg has done it again with a stunning design that pays tribute to Space Mountain and its early NASA-esque theming.

Check out Greg's blog for details on how you can download and print a copy of the poster. Greg's amazing talent is exceeded only by his generosity--this and his earlier posters are available free of charge. Thanks, Greg.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Animal Kingdom Anniversary Desktop

Honoring ten years of Disney's Animal Kingdom, Nick Nitsch brings us another in his series of stunning Disney desktops. Celebrate a decade of exploration and a future of discovery with this beautiful design. Thanks, Nick!

(800 x 600)

(640 x 480)

A Decade of Exploration and Discovery

When the Walt Disney Company announced their intentions in the mid-1990s to build a zoological-based theme park as its fourth gate at Walt Disney World, I must admit I was sufficiently underwhelmed. It wasn't exactly an original idea. Busch Gardens Dark Continent was just a hop, skip and a jump down I-4. But I kept a good thought nonetheless.

When I first visited the newly opened Disney's Animal Kingdom in the fall of 1998, my disappointment was tangible. While lushly landscaped and exquisitely themed, it remained sadly insubstantial in many ways. The Asia area was still months away from completion and the Beastly Kingdom had fallen tragically under the budget ax of a very short sighted Michael Eisner.

Years passed, and like the denizens it represents, Disney's Animal Kingdom has evolved and grown into now what I consider to be one of the shining gems of Disney theme parks. Some of my initial problems with DAK were my own decidedly misguided perceptions and expectations. It is truly a very non-traditional park that is ill served by the high speed touring plans and the uber stimulation that guests typically associate with Disney theme park experiences. E-Tickets like Expedition Everest and Dinosaur not withstanding, the central tenants of DAK are exploration and discovery. It is a place that requires a slower, more deliberate pace, for so many of its treasures are subtle in both their designs and execution. Faux-history and story permeate nearly every corner of the park, from the history and culture of Harambe, to the more light-hearted yet equally entertaining backstory of Dinoland USA.

Nearly a decade ago I found myself rushing quickly from Kilimanjaro Safaris to Countdown to Extinction to Festival of the Lion King, with little heed of the many less celebrated but still equally worthwhile features of the park. Typically by mid afternoon, my family and I were on our way to adventures in EPCOT, the Studios or the Magic Kingdom. Today I linger in places like the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek. I relish rather than dread a thirty minute wait for Expedition Everest so to better enjoy a true masterpiece of queue area design. I walk the Cretaceous Trail and then later note the antics of the Dino Institute interns within the walls of Restaurantosaurus. Even the much maligned Chester and Hester and their Dino-Rama tell a story both humorous and fascinating. Every visit can be an amazing journey requiring only a gentler pace and a more eager eye.

Its been a wonderful ten years of exploration. I personally look forward to a future filled with more adventure and discovery. Jambo!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Toontown Field Guide: Toby Tortoise

In films, Toby Tortoise was a long distance runner and a boxer; in Disneyland's Toontown, he is a private investigator and a proprietor of soup products.

Toby was one of the early stars of Walt Disney's Silly Symphony series of cartoons. He was introduced along with co-star Max Hare in 1935 short The Tortoise in the Hare, a retelling of the Aesop Fable. The pair returned a year later in the sequel Toby Tortoise Returns, this time squaring off against each other in a boxing match.

Toby made a cameo of sorts in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In an alley in Toontown, a poster lining a brick wall advertises Toby's Turtle Soup. Imagineers reproduced that set piece for the queue area of Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland.

Nearby in Mickey's Toontown, a window advertises the services of the Toby Tortoise Detective Agency with its motto, "Slow & Steady Solves the Case."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sky Crown Part 3

A quick weekend treat for all you desktop collectors. Nick Nitsch serves up the third and final design in his series of desktops inspired by Disney's Sky Crown and Mineral King. Nick will be returning again soon with more Disney-themed desktop designs so stay tuned. Thanks, Nick!

(800 x 600)

(640 x 480)

Friday, April 18, 2008

From the Mailroom: Mickey's Nephews

The past weeks have been especially busy for me, primarily due to trips to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Content has been a bit lighter here and I have certainly been neglecting the mailroom. More articles are on the way (look for new entries in both Disney's Hollywood and Roadside Disney series soon), and for today we'll at least take a look at one email inquiry.

One of our favorite 2719 Hyperion readers, David Caffey, recently posed this question:

While browsing around the web this afternoon I checked in at Jessica’s If We Can Dream It… blog. The most recent post featured photos from Fulton’s General Store at Port Orleans Riverside and among the characters hard at work in the store displays are Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse. Who in the world are Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse and why do they look so much like the boss?

Unlike Huey, Dewey and Louie, Donald Duck's long famous nephews, Morty and Ferdy have not experienced the fame and notoriety of their waterfowl counterparts. While the younger ducks' collective resume lists many appearances across numerous media, Morty and Ferdy have largely been confined to the four color world--the comics medium, from which they emerged in 1932.

Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson introduced the pair in the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip Mickey Nephews that appeared on Sunday, September 18, 1932. They are the children of Mrs. Fieldmouse. Gottfredson very likely drew inspiration for the characters from the Mickey Mouse cartoon Mickey's Nightmare, which had been released to theaters a little over a month before. The comic strip incarnations are identical to the dream sequence offspring portrayed in the short.

A similar brood of toddler Mickeys were featured in the 1933 short Giantland. Mickey is identified as their uncle when he tells them a story that is a variation of Jack in the Beanstalk.

One year later, two toddler Mickeys appeared in the cartoon Mickey's Steamroller where their mischievous antics produced calamitous consequences for their famous uncle. They are not identified by name but numerous Disney texts consider this to be the one and only screen appearance of Morty and Ferdy. It is a convenient and easy connection to make, though it is likely the cartoon's creators never considered such an identification and were merely carrying over the toddler Mickey models from the prior shorts. The same character model would be used again in Mickey Plays Papa, Orphans Picnic and both the 1934 and 1941 versions of Orphans Benefit. Four decades later, a similar model would form the basis of the Tiny Tim character in Mickey's Christmas Carol. Twenty years after that, similar characters would make a brief cameo in an episode of Mickey's Mouse Works that would lated be recycled into the House of Mouse program.

The comic book incarnations of Morty and Ferdy in subsequent years grew more distinct and defined and eventually became fodder for both merchandising and theme park appearances.

The Official Encyclopedia Disney A to Z lists "Ferdy" as the official spelling, although it frequently appears as Ferdie as well.

Images © Walt Disney Company

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Snapshot! - Blue Dreams

The one overriding characteristic of the Year of a Million Dreams is that it is blue. Everything from promotional material to the Dream Squad, from Dream Fastpasses to the Dream Along with Mickey castle forecourt show. In this snapshot, it appears that Princess Aurora never received the "blue"memo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Snapshot: Disneyland! - Extra! Extra!

How do monsters get their daily news in Monstropolis? They can choose between two different newspapers, as demonstrated by these paper machines located in the queue area of Mike and Sully to the Rescue at Disney's California Adventure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Club 33 Desktop

Our newest resident desktop designer Nick Nitsch returns with an exclusive design inspired by a very exclusive place. I was very fortunate to have dined at Club 33 on my recent trip to Disneyland; an altogether amazing and exciting time. Nick's elegant desktop vision is a happy reminder of that wonderful experience.

(800 x 600)

(640 x 480)

Monday, April 14, 2008

"That's the Way to Do It. That's Old School."

"Yeah. No school like the old school."

Ollie Johnston 1912 - 2008

"Most of our work has been in only one small part of the vast field of animation. There are so many areas to be explored, drawings to be tried, emotions to captured, effects to be created, new wonders to be seen. It is an exciting prospect. With electronic aids being perfected and new tools and materials being used, who can possibly foresee what lies ahead? It will probably not be another Walt Disney who will lead the way, but someone or some group of artists will surely discover new dimensions to delight and entertain the world."

--from Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston

Congratulations Amanda, Victoria, Emily and Valentina!

I want to send out heartfelt congratulations to four individuals who I have yet to meet personally but are still very special to me nonetheless. Amanda Chin, Victoria Gatarz, Emily Jarosiewicz, and Valentina Pannullo have reason to celebrate and be proud today as their team project has been awarded first place in the southern regional competition of New Jersey History Day. The competition is part of the larger National History Day initiative.

Amanda, Victoria, Emily and Valentina, students at Applegarth Middle School in Monroe Township, NJ and under the guidance of their teacher Christy Viszoki, contacted me a few months ago to request assistance in the research they were doing for their competition project. The theme for this year's competition was Conflict and Compromise in History. Students who participated were required to choose a topic and make a presentation in one of four different ways: an exhibit, a documentary film, a paper or a performance. For their topic, the girls chose to focus on the controversy that surrounded Disney's America, the unrealized theme park that had been conceptualized for an area in northern Virginia just outside of the nation's capital. Their project, an exhibit entitled "Disney's America Exposed," earned top honors at the competition held this past Saturday.

I was very flattered when the girls contacted me and asked me to share my knowledge and insights of the Disney's America project. And it was a real thrill when Christy contacted me over the weekend with the very exciting news. She noted, " The girls always go above and beyond in their work. They are amazing students, although even more significantly, exceptional human beings. I am very proud of and happy for them."

The girls now move on to the New Jersey state competition on May 3rd, and if successful there, will continue on to the final National History Day competition at the University of Maryland in mid-June.

Join me in extending Amanda, Victoria, Emily and Valentina congratulations and in wishing them the best of luck in the state competition.

Pictured above: Emily Jarosiewicz, Amanda Chin.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Toontown Field Guide: Chinny, Chin, Chin Construction Co.

It is certainly not difficult to trace the roots of the Chinny, Chin, Chin Construction Co., the latest identification from our Toontown Field Guide. This window is featured on one of the buildings in Mickey's Tootown in Disneyland. The Silly Symphony The Three Little Pigs was released in 1933 and has long been considered a high water mark in the history of Disney animation. Central to the story was of course the building of houses, thus the casting of the three heroes as Toontown construction contractors.

Even more fun is that if you travel cross country to Walt Disney World in Florida, you will find Practical Pig and his brothers similarly referenced in Mickey's Toontown Fair at the Magic Kingdom. There, the Chinny, Chin, Chin Construction Co. has been contracted to do remodeling work on the kitchen in Mickey's country house. This is evidenced by blueprints that can be found on Mickey's kitchen table.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Small World Reflections

I have sound, and what I consider well-thought opinions concerning the controversy that has emerged surrounding proposed changes coming to the Disneyland incarnation of it's a small world. But I will not share them in this venue. Call me coward if you will, but vultures circle on both sides of the argument and even a rational, polite and well-intentioned discourse on the subject would likely not be immune from the often uncivil and contentious dialogs that have become the hallmark of this particular debate.

But I would like to make a number of observations about the debate/discussion itself--

  • When was Disney history rewritten to reflect that Mary Blair was the single creative force behind it's a small world? She has become the poster child for this anti-revisionist argument. While I have nothing but admiration and respect for Blair's artistic contributions to Disney entertainment, making her the centerpiece of this debate overstates her contributions to it's a small world and serves to diminish the efforts of the numerous other individuals also responsible for the creation and execution of the attraction. It is also important to note that Mary Blair did not conceive of the overall theme of the attraction--world unification via the spirit and voices of children--but simply the designs and visual dynamic. It can certainly be argued that character placement would run counter to the theme of the attraction, but that is an argument that doesn't really require the component of Mary Blair and her designs. Victimizing Blair and her artistry really only served to sensationalize the story.

  • Creating a contemporary social and political relevance to the rain forest scene to support the anti-revisionist stance is baffling to me. There was no inherent message of conservation intended when the scene was introduced with the attraction in 1964. "Save the Rainforest" is really disingenuous. Saying it should be preserved because of its current political and social relevance, and then in the same breath saying an America scene should not be included because of its political and social dynamic, is a bit absurd.

  • It's not about selling merchandise. That notion is becoming an overstated and worn out battle cry of the anti-revisionist soldiers. I'm not sure what kind of viable merchandise could be conceived from small world-themed renditions of Alice in Wonderland or Aladdin. Most children would probably reject that type of non-traditional representation of their favorite characters. As for the notion that seeing characters presented in the attraction will somehow then subliminally entice both parents and children into wanting more character-based souvenirs, well it's a pretty ludicrous supposition at best. I can't quite imagine a preschooler, after navigating through Disneyland all the way back to the small world location at the rear of the park, passing visual stimuli of characters at almost every turn, suddenly being compelled to desire plush by a blink-or-you'll-miss-it representation of Stitch or Cinderella. And let's face it, Disney doesn't discriminate when it comes to theme park merchandise. It exploits non-character based attractions every bit as much as those populated by the Disney canon. There has been small world merchandise since 1964. Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and Cinderella are not exactly brands characteristic of high profile theme park souvenir revenue streams.

  • I recently heard the argument made that characters of "fantasy" should not be included in it's a small world because it would present a thematic contradiction. Yet the attraction is located in Fantasyland in every Magic Kingdom in which it has been presented. it's a small world became a thematic contradiction the very moment it was relocated to Disneyland. But one that has been unanimously forgiven in the years since. At its heart, it is still true to its pedigree; it is a World's Fair attraction. Ironic to the argument at hand, inclusion of characters would create a link to the geography that surrounds it. Realize that that is not a personal endorsement on my part. I'm only pointing out that Disney parks have a history of thematic contradictions that date all the way back to 1955. It's a convenient card to play in this discussion but it comes with a bit of baggage.

  • The proposed changes were conceived by professional artists and designers. Regardless of what your opinion is of their ideas and conceptions, they deserve, as does everyone, to be treated with courtesy and respect. Language such as idiotic, insane, crazy and even stronger euphemisms that I wish not to repeat here should not play a part in the discussion. Opinions are subjective. Provocation and name-calling only undermine the suppositions being presented and diminish the fan community as a whole.

  • More than anything, I am simply dumbfounded at the treatment given to both Marty Sklar and Dave Smith, who have attempted to diplomatically address fan concerns via statements that discuss the philosophy and reasoning behind changes to Disney theme park entertainment. Again, people have allowed their passions to overcome the very simple tenants of courtesy and respect. I have seen comments directed at these two individuals that are nothing but shameful in both their tone and language.

All this being said, does it mean that the argument against changes to it's a small world is wrong and invalid? Of course not. In the end, it is a simple matter of taste and opinion. Very subjective views on a subject worthy of discussion and debate. No doubt many will perceive from these statements that I am pro-change and pro-character, a perception some will likely spin against me in comments both here and elsewhere. But please take note--I have not at any point discounted the very basic view of alterations to it's a small world being in fact problematic. At its core, it is a valid and worthy subject for debate. But I do object very strongly and passionately to the merit-less rhetoric and mean spirited and often malicious punditry that has emerged to support it.

When we as Disney fans express our dissatisfaction in such impolite and provocative ways, it only serves to diminish the very message we are attempting to communicate. When individuals such as Mary Sklar and Dave Smith unnecessarily become the objects of sarcasm and scorn, our voices of concern will be quickly dismissed despite whatever merits our views possess.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Return to Sky Crown

Even though we are well into spring, we haven't quite given up the ghosts of winter as Nick Nitsch serves us up another terrific desktop inspired by Disney's unrealized Mineral King ski resort. Nick revisits the Sky Crown designs created by an uncredited 1960s-era studio artist and takes us back to a bright and shiny "what might have been." Much thanks again to Nick for all his efforts.

(800 x 600)

(640 x 480)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Snapshot! - Lady and the Tramp Go Green

The horticultural representations of various Disney characters are among the real treats of Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival. Lady and the Tramp are featured in World Showcase. Lady is clearly having a bad "ear" day and seems notably self conscious about it. Unfortunately, Tramp has taken notice.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Sky Crown Desktop

Prompted by our virtual souvenir of the Sky Crown license plate, 2719 Hyperion reader Nick Nitsch generously provided his own interpretation of early 1960s logo drafts of the Mineral King project. Inspired by those designs, Nick created this retro-themed desktop that pays homage to the ski resort that never came to be. Thanks, Nick!



Monday, April 07, 2008

Disney's Hollywood: Crossroads of the World

It is a dynamic visual and architectural centerpiece and likely the first sight most visitors see upon entering Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. With Mickey Mouse perched atop the spinning globe that crowns its tall spire, the Crossroads of the World is almost as much an icon of the Studios park as the backlot water tower or the Fantasia Sorcerer's Hat.

Extending the Streamline Moderne design found at the parks entrance gates, the combination information kiosk and souvenir stand is based on the centerpiece building of the famous Crossroads of the World retail-office complex located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Designed by Robert V. Derrah, the building was inspired by early 20th century ocean liners and included features such as decks, railings and portholes. The Disney park version reproduced that building's street-facing circular storefront space, complete with spire and crowning globe.
The Crossroads of the World debuted in 1936. It was especially unique at the time for being a collection of retail shops in a small plaza setting and is frequently noted as being an early precursor of outdoor shopping malls and centers. Though the complex still exists and has physically changed little in the last seven decades, it is currently used as office space and is void of the shops and restaurants that were its hallmark during the golden age of Hollywood. The location has been used in a number of motion pictures, most notably in the 1992 film L.A. Confidential, where it served in helping to portray a slightly grittier noir version of post-war Hollywood.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Souvenirs: A Star Wars-Disney Shuffle

Some of the most creative and fun Disney theme park merchandise of late has been the Star Tours line featuring Disney character incarnations of popular Star Wars figures. While most of the attention has been focused on the large scale "big figs," other products have been quietly appearing.

This particular item is in my opinion, an instant classic. This dual deck set of playing cards features a Sith deck and a Jedi deck. The casting of Chip and Dale as Ewoks is simply ingenious.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Snapshot! - Sand and Sun

Fun in the Sun is one of the prominent themes of the 2008 International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. In that vein, Future World plays host to this elaborate and very detailed sand sculpture.

Snapshot! - The Evil Queen of Candy

In contrast to yesterday's happy and colorful look at Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, today's Snapshot! presents the darker side of that fairy tale in the form of the Evil Queen. This striking set piece can be found at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. It resides at the Candy Cauldron on the West Side.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Snapshot! - Snow White and the Floral Dwarfs

Another great vignette from Epcot's 2008 International Flower and Garden Festival. Bordering the World Showcase Lagoon near the Germany pavilion is this flower garden that features beautiful horticultural incarnations of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.