Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Brush With Disney by Herbert Dickens Ryman


This book, "A Brush With Disney", is a collection of the words and artwork of famed Disney artist and legend, Herbert Dickens Ryman (AKA Herb Ryman).  The book was edited by Disney Imagineers Bruce Gordon and David Mumford, and was researched by Irene Naoum.

I remember ordering this book from The Disney Gallery at Disneyland, when the primary purpose of the book was to fund a then-new organization called "Ryman Arts".  The new organization was to provide free training in drawing and painting to budding  artists ages 13 and up, who were in middle school or high school, who demonstrated a interest in learning to master these arts.

This book was actually a gift to those who participated in an event that was to be sponsored by The Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square that year.  It was called "Breakfast With The Imagineers", and was to be held at Club 33, adjacent to The Disney Gallery.  Club 33 was (and still is) an exclusive, Members-Only (and Members' guests only) restaurant and club.  Although it was a private club,  that event was open to anyone who wanted to pay.  I don't remember the price, but it was well-worth it for a few reasons.

First, we actually got to have a GREAT breakfast at Club 33.   I don't remember all of the particulars of the breakfast, except that it was good.  I do remember that it was buffet style! I also remember a waiter coming and waiting on us- I believe that was for the coffee and orange juice.

During our nice meal at Club 33, I remember that Cynthia Harriss, the then-President of Disneyland, came by to greet all of us.  I remember thinking how thoughtful that was of her.  I had met her before at a Disney Stores event when she was the President of Disney Stores and I was a Cast Member for Disney Stores, and I remember that she told me that I should come work at Disneyland!  It was a nice surprise to see her.

After the breakfast, we were broken up into 3 groups, and each group was taken to visit with a different Imagineer.  The first Imagineer that I met was Sam McKim.

I had always admired Sam McKim's work, even before I knew that it was his work.   I finally got to know his name when I saw him being credit for several prints of his planning drawings for Disneyland, which hung at the Disneyland Hotel at the time.  I had first met Sam McKim at The Disney Gallery at an event that featured Sam and another Disney artist, legend,  and Imagineer:  Ken Anderson.

Seeing Sam McKim first was great- I already had met him before, and he relayed some stories to us about working for Walt Disney as we stood in front of the Rivers of America.  I got to take a picture with Sam after his presentation.

Next up was Rolly Crump!  We were led to Fantasyland, just beside the Alice in Wonderland Attraction, where Rolly told us about making the Tiki's for the pre-show of The Enchanted Tiki Room.  Rolly was so full of energy and enthusiasm!   I also took a picture with Rolly.

Finally we were led down Main Street to the last Imagineer, Marty Sklar, who was then still the President of Walt Disney Imagineering.   I was in awe of Marty, for he actually ran this organization that was responsible for building Disney's parks worldwide!  I got a picture with Marty, too!

(*When I can, I will find and then scan the photos of me with Sam, Rolly and Marty!)

When the day was over, we were led back to Club 33 and advised that the book, "A Brush With Disney", was not ready yet for us because they were going to include a special plate.  When the book finally was delivered to me in the mail,  they apologized for the lateness of the book.  However, to make it up, the book was autographed by every single Imagineer at Disney!  How about that?

The book that I am showing here is an extra copy of "A Brush With Disney" that I bought for actual reading- I want to preserve the signed copy!

This book is excellent!  It's all about the life and experiences of Herb Ryman, whose inspirational  drawings for the Disney parks look so amazingly like the finished products!  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be an Imagineer, or just a great artist.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Disneyland Annual Passport from 1984


Back in 1984 when I was 19 years old,  I felt like an odd duck.  I loved Disney and I really wanted to work at Disney, although I was kind of frustrated that I would have to wait a few years until I graduated from college. During my Sophomore year at UCLA,  while I was at Ackerman Union playing Ms. PacMan and Dig Dug in the arcade room, I ran into someone who had lived on my floor in the dorms (Kevin W.), who had been working at Disneyland for over a year.  He told me about the Disneyland Annual Passport, which was only available to people who were members of the Magic Kingdom Club (available through many employers).  I had a membership through my Grandmother's job, so I took my card down to Disneyland an inquired about it at Guest Relations.  Well, it turned out that the Annual Passport was only $65, and included one full year of admission, plus parking.  Sold!  they took me into the Guest Relations office outside the gate, took my picture, and I just waited for them to make my Passport and laminate it.   

On one of my first days enjoying my Passport (and skipping an Economics class), I remember thinking about how empty Disneyland seemed to me. I felt like I was in one of the best places that a person could be in, and that there was tremendous treasures there that could potentially appeal to more people, and yet, "nobody knows about it", I thought.   

Well, two months and 5 days later, Disney hired Michael Eisner and Frank Wells, and they proceeded to mine the Disney gold all over the then-named Walt Disney Productions.   Disneyland would soon be open every day.  Prices at Disneyland would also go up in the not-too-distant future. All that unknown treasure that I was thinking about and more as I walked down Main Street would soon be discovered by Eisner and Wells, and carefully rolled out and introduced to the masses.    Disneyland Annual Passports remained mostly a secret for at least 2 more years, before they started to radically advertise them, and they dropped the Magic Kingdom Club membership requirement (they eventually also dropped the Magic Kingdom Club).  




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Disney Complimentary One Day Passport



This is a complementary One Day Passport for the U.S. Disney Parks, which was commonly given to Cast Members and, up til about 1990, Disney Stockholders who attended the Annual Shareholders Meetings either in Anaheim or Orlando.   I went to 2 Shareholder Meetings where these were given out- one for the shareholder and one for each guest- when I first went you could have 3 guests.  At the very last meeting when these were given to shareholders, they only gave it to the shareholder and one guest.

These special passports were also given to Disney Cast Members, usually twice per year, so that the Cast Members could give them out to whomever they wanted as gifts.

The great thing about this particular Passport is that they never expire - they are good until you use them once.    When used, they scan the barcode, stamp the date on the reverse side, and tear one corner, so that nobody tries to use it again.  This Passport says "Complementary" on the reverse, so it was not intended to be sold.

Another great thing about this Passport is that it is a Park Hopper.  That is, you can go between Disney Parks all in the same day.  So, if you're at Disneyland Park, you can also visit Disney's California Adventure the same day.    If you're  at Walt Disney World Resort, you could alternate between the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Disney Studios and Epcot.

Note from the logos on the Passport that only 4 theme park logos are represented.  That is because back in the late 80's when this Passport was produced, only those 4 Disney theme parks were in operation in America - Disney's  Animal Kingdom Theme Park did not exist, nor did Disney's California Adventure Theme Park.

Although I could give this Passport to someone to be my Guest at any of today's Disney theme parks, I hold onto this without using it because of the beauty and design of the ticket.  Sometimes you want to own things just for that reason alone- for the beauty of it.  It looks great,  don't you agree?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Disneyland Guide- Fall-Winter 1972-73

I love this Disneyland Guide from Fall-Winter of 1972-73, featuring the Country Bear Jamboree. I used to keep these guides and use them to plan the order of riding the rides for my future trips to Disneyland. It lists all the attractions, restaurants, and services. I liked these books, and I have collected a few of them (they don't make them anymore- instead they have a folded informational map now).

Back in those days, I thought that Disneyland was the coolest invention ever. I still do.

Stock Certificate for The Walt Disney Company


This is a stock certificate for The Walt Disney Company. It's very colorful, isn't it?

Disney is well-known for its beautiful certificate. In fact, there are at least 2 companies that have a business of selling people just one share of Disney, with the certificate in a frame.

Disney has a long history of having owners of only one share. A few years ago, if you only owned one share of stock, you and everyone in your party could attend the Shareholder's meetings, and receive a free Theme Park ticket (to Disneyland or Walt Disney World). Disney began to limit the number of free tickets that they gave out at those meetings, and eventually they eliminated them (because, they argued at the time, that the price of a share of stock was less than the price of a share of Disney. Never mind that you took time off work and traveled all that way to spend a few hours with the Disney Executives! Well, don't get me started!)

Over the years, I have always managed to at least own one share of Disney- thanks to keeping this Disney Stock Certificate on-hand.

Beautiful Maleficent Watch by Marc Davis

This watch featuring Maleficent and her pet raven Diablo was part of a series of watches called the "Marc Davis Signature Series". The other watches in the series were Tinker Bell and Cruella de Vil. All of these characters were designed by Marc Davis, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men" (Walt's name for his top animators who had been working for him for years).

This watch is quite stunning, and immediately draws attention to the wearer. It is also numbered, and came in a wooden box that has Marc Davis' signature etched on it. Happy are those who find this watch!

Disneyland Forever Music CD

This is a Disneyland Forever CD that I made at Disneyland a few years ago- 1998 to be exact. When I discovered that Disneyland had a machine where you could choose music and audio tracks for many (then) current rides and attractions, I immediately became excited! I made and bought 10 CD's, right there on the spot (each CD cost $20 to make and buy, and you got to choose the tracks and the order, so that each CD was potentially unique. You even got to name who the CD was "by". I made mine say "by David Ransom", or "by Mickey", for example. Anyway, I still have all the CD's except one (which was stolen a few years back, when a neighborhood crackhead broke into my car and stole a bunch of CD's). Oh, well- you should never become so attached to things that if you lose them that you lose your happiness! That CD was mostly of Pirates of the Caribbean music, and I have most (if not all) of that on another CD that Disneyland released later, so it's all good!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Disney Store 2004 Challenge Watch


This is The Disney Store's 2004 Challenge Watch, given only to the Cast Members of Store #471 in Baldwin Hills, California in 2004. I was one of the winning Cast Members. Our store recorded more sales over goal for the Disney video, "The Return of Jafar" (the sequel to "Aladdin"), than any other Disney Store! How did we do it? Teamwork, hard work and heavy promotion! We saw our goals, and they looked do-able, so we doubled them, and then doubled them again. The result? We were 424% over the goal that the Company set for us by the time the 6 weeks were over! We also won a jacket that matched the design on the watch, and a party at the now-defunct Ed Debevick's in Restaurant Row in Beverly Hills (a fifties -style diner). Believe me, our little "Disney Store in the Hood" was very proud of our accomplishments, and the Company took notice. Sadly, the economic downturn has claimed that Disney Store- just as the Store was going to close to open an even larger Disney Store in Baldwin Hills, Disney decided to not open the new store! Store #471 is now gone, and it is missed! There is a new, nice little Disney Store now at the Fox Hills Mall, which is really cute (I went there a couple of days ago- really nice), but I wish that Baldwin Hills could have its own Disney Store again! Oh, well!

This watch is really cool. I have not worn it much- it is still as new as the day I got it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sleeping Beauty Castle in Miniature by Olszewski


Look at the Sleeping Beauty Castle in this photo. Looks nice, right? Well, it's not the one at Disneyland- not exactly, anyway. It's a miniature replica from master miniaturist Robert Olszewski. I bought one of these as soon as I saw it- it's a no-brainer. It lights up, too- and even shows a great night-time treatment of the castle, like at Disneyland!

Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies- A Companion To The Classic Cartoon Series by Russell Merritt and J.B. Kaufman


This is the book, "Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies - A Companion To The Classic Cartoon Series" by Russell Merritt and J.B. Kaufman. This book was printed in limited supply a few years ago. I managed to buy this at the Disneyana Fan Club's July Convention about 2 years ago. This is an invaluable book, and discusses all of Walt Disney's "Silly Symphonies" Cartoons. This book has great photos.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Disneyland Park Guide for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary in 2005



Here is the Disneyland Park Guide which was given to guests who visited Disneyland on its 50th Anniversary, on July 17, 2005. I actually worked at Disneyland that day, only I was working backstage, but I still was able to visit on that day when I got off work.

Shown here is the outside cover of the foldout guide, as well as part of the inside. They really made the inside retro- it was a reproduction of the information that 1955 visitors to Disneyland. I really enjoy looking at historical Disneyland memorabilia.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Disney Store Trivia Competition Pin


This is one of my four Disney Store Trivia Competition Pins that I won while I worked at The Disney Store #471 in the Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills Shopping Center in Los Angeles, CA, from 1993-1997. I won the pins by winning the in-store trivia competition each year at my store location. I got to compete in the Regional Disney Store Trivia Competition for the Los Angeles area 4 years in a row. In one of those years, I came in first place for our region. However, I failed to place in the top 10 contestants around the U.S. and Canada, and therefore I didn't get to compete in the finals at Disneyland.

There's a new trivia competition coming up for Disney's Official Fan Club, D23. I might enter that contest, although if it is anything like the Disney Store's trivia competition, it will require an unreal, crazy amount of study in order to win. I don't know if I'm up for that right now!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Disneyland Passport circa 1980


This is a Disneyland Passport (which is what they used to call the unlimited use tickets back in the days when Disneyland still sold ticket books). This was the best ticket that you could get at the time, because you could ride all the rides without tearing tickets out of your ticket book. This Passport is not to be confused with an Annual Pass, which became popular later on. This Passport was available for purchase by members of Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom Club (which was a benefit that some employers offered to their employees).

I love the look of the old Disneyland tickets- they were works of art, all by themselves.

Walt Disney's It's A Small World CD


This is a Compact Disc of Walt Disney's "It's A Small World". This CD is from Disneyland Records, and was originally released as an LP Record back in 1964. This soundtrack features music directly from the attraction, which made its debut at the New York World's Fair in 1964 before being moved to Disneyland permanently in 1966.

On this CD, the narrator tells you what you are seeing as you sail along. Then you hear a sampling of the music of the area that you are passing on this imaginary boat ride.

I bought this CD at Disneyland, when they had a machine that allowed you to choose which CD you wanted, and then they would custom-burn your CD while you waited. They really should bring that back!

The Evil Queen at Disneyland


This is a photo of The Evil Queen (from Snow White) in Fantasyland at Disneyland. I took this picture about 2 years ago, and I just ran across it and I think it's a great photo. Here the Evil Queen is really in character (aren't the characters at Disneyland great?), and nobody does evil better than this woman!