Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book: Mouse Tracks - The Story of Walt Disney Records by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar

This is the book, "Mouse Tracks- The Story of Walt Disney Records" by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar. It's an interesting book with pictures about exactly what the title says. Featured in the book are such famous Disney recording stars as Mary Martin, Sterling Holloway, The MelloMen, Jimmie Dodd, Annette Funicello and Cliff Edwards. This book discusses many of the Disney recorded musical works over the years, including right up to the publishing date in 2006. It's a must-have for fans of Disney music!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Disney Pixar Toy Story Mania Sign at Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida

This is the big outdoor advertisement for the new attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, "Toy Story Mania". This billboard was too cool to pass up photographing. The ride is based on characters from Disney/Pixar's hit movie franchise,
"Toy Story". This ride is also at Disney's California Adventure Theme Park at the Disneyland Resort.

Although I live in Los Angeles (very close to Disneyland), I actually rode the Toy Story Mania ride in Florida first. It is a very popular ride- all the Fastpasses will be gone around 10:30AM, so unless you are getting up real early to get one, you can plan on being in line for this one a minimum of 40 minutes, and probably at least one hour. It's worth the wait, though- this is a fun attraction- much more fun than the "Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin" from a few years ago. For one, the technology is way better. It's cool that you earn points by doing different things in each of the rooms that the cars bring you into. In one room, you are throwing baseballs to break plates. In another room, you are tossing darts to break balloons. This ride makes you want to go on it over and over again- it's more fun than real midway games, in my opinion, anyway. I'll bet your kids will agree with me!

Autographed "Designing Disney" Book by John Hench with Peggy Van Pelt

This is the book, "Designing Disney" by Walt Disney Imagineer John Hench, with Imagineer Peggy Van Pelt.

This features some very cool artwork, upon which the design of many Disney shows and attractions were based and built from. In the book, John talks about what Imagineering is, and what an Imagineer does. John worked at Disney as an animator in the beginning of his career at Disney. His artisitic ability and curiosity led him to become one of the premier Imagineers at WED Enterprises, which, years later, became known as Walt Disney Imagineering. John was also the master painter of Mickey Mouse for the Walt Disney Company, and since his death, he has not been replaced as such (although there will soon be a replacement for him).

Walt Disney Imagineering is the master concept, design, and building organization created by Walt Disney himself. It was originally created to design and build Disneyland. Since then, it has designed and built all of Disney's theme parks, resorts and hotels all over the world, including at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Paris Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, and Tokyo Disneyland Resort. In all, it has built 11 theme parks and the Disney Cruise Line. Wow.

I got this book a few years ago at an NFFC Convention Show and Sale in Garden Grove, California. I got to the Convention a little late, and I saw the table where John was supposed to be, signing his book. I asked the lady sitting there, co-author Peggy Van Pelt, where John was, and she said that he had to leave. He had left her a few signed copies of his book, but she told me that she had run out of those, but she sold me a book and signed it book in front of me. I was a little disappointed, because I knew about John and I wanted to meet him and get his autograph in the book.

About a month or so after that Convention, I read it in the news that John had passed away. I was sad about this, not only for the loss of a legendary Imagineer, but because I had never got the opportunity to meet him or to have my book signed.

After hearing the news of his passing, I decided to pick up my book for the first time and really look at it. I stared at the beginning, and thumbed through the pages. Lo and behold, after turning a few pages, there was John's autograph, right in the book! I couldn't believe it! I don't know if Peggy knew that it was autographed or not when she gave it to me, but I tell you this, I believe in miracles! This book is so good and enjoyable to read and look at- I can spend an hour looking at it and reading it, and never get tired!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Book- A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes - My Story- by Annette Funicello with Patricia Romanowski

This is the book, "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes- My Story" by Annette Funicello with Patricia Romanowski. When I look back at the original "Mickey Mouse Club", I know this: I loved every single one of those Mouseketeers, and I know that Walt Disney did, too. However, there is one that stood out above them all: Annette Funicello. She was pretty, that was true- but she had this sweetness, innocence and inner beauty that was so special, it's not surprising that she was Walt's favorite- nor surprising that she got more fan mail than all the other Mouseketeers. This book chronicles her life, right up to the time when she was diagnosed with multiple schlerosis. I wish her the best- she's still my favorite, and I listen to her music all the time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Adding To My Collection: Platinum Edition Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty DVD

I have recently purchased (from "Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty" Platinum Edition on DVD. Although I already have "Sleeping Beauty" on DVD (the Special Edition from a few years ago), this new version has things on it that were not on the previous release. Also, the aspect ration is different: the image on the screen is larger, so you can see more movie. The one feature that I really want to get is the walkthrough of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, which was recreated just for this DVD release. Walt Disney Home Video worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to create this "virtual walkthrough", using Eyvind Earle's original artwork created for the attraction at Disneyland, along with a few new surprises.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Napkin from Disneyland's Club 33

This is a napkin from Disneyland's Club 33. Club 33 is an exclusive, private club for members and their guests. It was conceived by Walt Disney as a place where members could enterain their guests in the only place inside Disneyland Park that serves alcohol (California Adventure, by contrast, serves alcohol all over that park). Club 33 members pay an annual membership fee (I've heard that it's about $10,000 per year to be a member). Members also pay a fee for their guest to have dinner at Club 33 (which is by reservation), which includes admission to Disneyland. I have been to Club 33 twice- the first time was for a special "Breakfast with Imagineers" a few years ago, where I met a lot of very cool Imagineers who used to work with Walt Disney. Most people don't know that this place exists. It seems that everybody that goes there steals a napkin (maybe out of fear that they'll never get to go again?)

Enchanted Tiki Room 45th Anniversary Pin featuring Stitch

This is a pin celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland Resort. This pin features Stitch doing the hula, in hula gear, and a parrot.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition 2008

This is "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Special Edition 2008", recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray. This holiday classic has all your favorite characters from the Tim Burton classic film, including Jack Skellington, Sally, Lock, Shock, Barrel, Oogie Boogie and, of course, Zero, the ghost dog reindeer! This version of the classic Halloween/Christmas movie also features a special ride-through of Disneyland's "Haunted Mansion Holiday" attraction.

The Imagineering Field Guide to EPCOT at Walt Disney World By The Imagineers

This is "The Imagineering Field Guide to EPCOT at Walt Disney World" by The Imagineers. This paperback book is published by Disney Editions, and is sold at the Disney theme parks at Walt Disney World. This particular book provides all kinds of information and photos of EPCOT, and tells the story of the theme park from the very beginning. It has all kinds of facts and figures about the park, and tells its story up to its 26th birthday (which was 4 days ago). At a cost of $9.95, this book is a real treasure and a steal for fans of EPCOT, Disney theme parks, and Imagineering in particular.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Adventure Thru Inner Space Virtual Ride Thru DVD

This is the "Adventure Thru Inner Space Virtual Ride Thru DVD", which depicts the former ride at Disneyland's Tomorrowland. This ride, which was called "Adventure Thru Inner Space", was sponsored by Monsanto. This DVD is a re-creation of the former attraction at Disneyland- and is animated in great detail. The DVD even walks you through the queue where guests walked. I remember this ride very well- I used to call it the "Snowflake Ride" because you get into a vehicle called an "atom mobile" and you watch as you shrink down to the size of a snowflake- and then you continue to get smaller and smaller. Eventually you get down to the size of atoms- and you can see water- H20- as you have never seen it before. Eventually you get even smaller than an atom- so much so, that you can see the nucleus of the oxygen atom. This was a fun ride, very stylized, and educational. It also seemed real- especially to kids, who have great imaginations! After running for years, this attraction, which, in my opinion, was never outdated but was also never maintained, was removed to make way for "Star Tours". This DVD is really amazing, and it's worth checking out. It was not made by Disney; however, I'm sure that Disney knows about this DVD, and I'm sure that it contributed to the idea that Disney has now embraced: to make virtual ride-thrus of their current and former attractions- as evidenced by the newly released DVD versions of "Sleeping Beauty" and "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas". To see more about the DVD featured here, please check out

Thursday, October 2, 2008

1995 The Disney Store Commemorative Lithograph - The Lion King

This is The Disney Store's 1995 Commemorative Lithograph for the Disney classic film, "The Lion King". In this scene, adult Simba is discussing going back to Pride Rock with Rafiki. This lithograph was one of your "free" gifts when you pre-purchased the VHS video of "The Lion King" from The Disney Store. I actually bought a few copies of the video, so I actually have a few of these lithographs. If you want to buy one for $25 (includes shipping and handling to the US), just let me know.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pictures from the EPCOT's 2008 International Food and Wine Festival

Here are a few photos from the EPCOT 2008 International Food and Wine Festival. The theme was "Cities in Wonderland", and the background music in Future World was the Alice in Wonderland music soundtrack from the movie.

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2008 Pin

This is a limited release pin celebrating the 2008 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, which began this past Friday, September 26, 2008. I extended my stay at Walt Disney World by one day so that I could partake in this fun event. There are booths set up all over the World Showcase at EPCOT during the festival. You can sample food and wine from different countries from all over the world- even countries that don't have pavillions at EPCOT. The event is hosted by Vanity Fair this year.

This is a nice pin, featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the festival. This is the only pin that I bought during my 9-day visit to Walt Disney World.