Thursday, April 29, 2010
WALT: No. I never thought about it in this way...It was one of those things...you just went ahead and one thing led to another.
Interesting Fact: JFK Airport was originally known as Idlewild Airport.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
(2) Rooney will be fighting fit for Finals
(3) I'm not even allowed in Mexico.
(4) Altidore apologizes for head butt
(5) New Age of Empires on the way?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Roy E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, was sometimes dismissed within the company as a dilettante. But he successfully fought a series of battles over the management of the entertainment company that bore his family name.
Mr. Disney, who died Wednesday at age 79, served at various times as a board member and an executive of the Walt Disney Co. Though he was often regarded as someone who relied on the family name for advancement, he helped engineer a company turnaround. And he flexed his muscle as a board member and heir to force the company to replace chief executives who he felt were not honoring his family's legacy.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
(2) Inside Walt Disney's World by Ann Landi (WSJ)
(3) The Art Of Epic Mickey/ Epic Mickey
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
(2) Dick Cook's ouster signals shift in direction for Disney
(3) Chrysler Eliminates the Paper Owners’ Manual
(4) Chris Ware’s Floyd Farland: Citizen of the Future
Saturday, August 08, 2009
(2) This goal by Landon Donovan comes at the expense of my New England Revolution but it's a beauty. I wish he saved it for El Tri.
(3) R2-Q5 on YouTube and Woookieepedia. You can purchase a remote-controlled version of R2-Q5 at Amazon.
(4) A very cool distressed version of V.I.N.CENT from Disney's The Black Hole sold at the San Diego Comic Con. The art toy was created by MINDstyle.
(5) Information about the upcoming D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center (September 10–13, 2009). D23 is the first official community for Disney fans.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
- Brian Fies, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow
Jeff Pepper from 2719 HYPERION reviews Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow in Ad Astra Per Aspera. Jeff bottles the ephemeral in his closing sentence...
If Disney's original EPCOT film gave you goosebumps, or if you ever emerged excited and energized after riding Spaceship Earth or Horizons at EPCOT Center, you will no doubt be similarly thrilled and motivated by Brian Fies amazing journey across the 20th century.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days revolves around Roxas, the “other” hero from KINGDOM HEARTS II. Players follow Roxas through his days among Organization XIII’s ranks, unraveling the events that took place during the year that Sora was asleep, and ultimately revealing one of the KINGDOM HEARTS saga’s most shocking secrets.Related
Kingdom Hearts (Wikipedia)
IGN: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Square Enix North America (Press Release)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
(2) Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair - This is a must have for Disney Stereo Hi-Fi Phonatics. The packaging is brilliant and the booklet includes artwork from Mary Blair.
(3) MTA OKs Fare Hikes, Service Cuts
(4) The Venture Bros. Album on Vinyl by J.G. Thirlwell (Includes "Assclamp!")
(5) The Complete Airport (begins Saturday on AMC)
(6) Adventureland: The Official Movie Site
Acorn Canvassers (Organizing For America)
Friday, March 13, 2009
A Weathered Apple
Disney's Wonderful World of Color
Kasey Keller back home in Seattle to finish career
Revs train in Austin
Coca Cola Robots
The History of Vans (Sneaker Freaker Magazine)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
(1) Top 10 Disney LEGO Sets We'd Like to See (Wired.com) - My list would include the Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts.
(2) My Year in Hell (Kiplinger.com)
(3) And what exactly are your demands?
(4) My photo expose of the Playmobil Crusades continues here and here. I took these using a Canon PowerShot SD790 IS.
From the IKEA LINNARP bookshelf...
"Among the more lavish items accumulated by Hermann Goering during his profitable career of indiscriminate looting and exploitation of state and private coffers was his personal yaht, the Carin II. During the 1930s, he regularly sailed her along inland waterways from Berlin to the Elbe and down through the canals to the Rhine to the applause of Germans lining the banks. Dressed in a white uniform and languidly sprawled in a deck chair, he would beam as the boat's loudspeakers blared out gaudy popular songs such as "Blame It on Napoleon" or Wagner operas. Once, he sailed her up to Copenhagen to see a performance at Elsinore Castle of Hamlet and purchased some of his beloved Danish pastries. During the war she was moored on the Oder, but that February she had been removed from her moorings to save her from the Russians and brought to Molln. Here she now lay, a desolate symbol and reminder of a venal and corrupt regime in its final death throes."
- Endgame, 1945 by David Stafford
Thursday, January 01, 2009
(b) Extinct Attractions - Preserving theme park history through
documentaries, audio recordings, books, podcasts and the stories told by the Disney legends themeselves.
(c) SuperComputer™ gets a major overhaul. A new motherboard and some Thermaltake equipment.
(d) Empire: Total War
(e) Everything Maddux wasn't - First of all, he wasn't greedy enough. He signed for only $75,000 after the Chicago Cubs selected him with the 31st pick of the 1984 amateur draft. No messy holdouts. No nothing. And get this: He actually reported to Pikeville of the Appalachian League that season. For $175 a week. Loser.
(f) 2009 Predictions: Why 2009 Will be Worse than 2008 and Bursting Obama's Balloons
(g) Staying Local: City: Urbanism and Its End
(h) Spore DRM Controversy Spawns Protest Creatures
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
A Tale Of Two Main Streets; The towns that inspired Disney are searching for a little magic of their own. (10.15.98)
America Loves to Hate the Mouse; Behind the Fantasy Walt Disney Built Looms a Dark Reality. On His 100th Anniversary, It Can Now Be Revealed. (12.5.01)
The future catches up to theme park of tomorrow (4.14.94)
An Icon Falls On Hard Times; In India, the Ambassador Car Fights to Survive Competition (3.4.99)
C.S. Lewis a writer for all times, but his faith puts some people off by Cal Thomas
Media rarely objective about homosexuality by Cal Thomas
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
(1) The wonderful world of Miroslav Sasek.
(2) 2719 HYPERION reviews Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends by Jeff Kurtti.
(3) A colourful journal for colourful travels - the iconic stickers mark that one great restaurant, shop, or hotel so you'll never forget.
Friday, August 22, 2008
KB Toys could be a division of BnL. It's mostly a dollar store at this point with cheap toys from China.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I read the SHOWBILL® program cover to cover because it was full of information about the original score by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. The Sherman brothers were Disney stalwarts who wrote "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" for the Carousel of Progress.
My favorite act was "Feed the Birds".
All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can't see it,
You know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares
Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she's calling to you
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag"
I also liked "Brimstone and Treacle".
The SHOWBILL® program also included an article on P.L. Travers who wrote the original book. She was a unique woman and Disney recognized, just like he did with Mary Blair, how the product of her imagination and creativity could benefit the studio.
Some funny notes...
This was on the last page of the SHOWBILL® program.
Writer Paul Volpe takes a satirical look at audience conduct
I shall spare you the lengthy rant about the obvious blight of ringing cell phones or the agony of later arrivals stepping on our toes or that awkward moment when you find your orchestra seats being warmed by sheepish looking third balcony hopefuls. That said, let's review the more obscure yet heinous crimes that might send us fleeing back to our home surround-sound and plasma-screen systems, and far from live performances that require us to be part of a civilized communal experience.
Fanny packs are never acceptable "Performing Arts" accoutrement, save it for the mall.
Never leave a performance before intermission, unless you are injured and bleeding profusely. While you may be "bloody bored," those around you are not.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Source: Disney Leading Hollywood to the Videogame Grail (Wired)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I love the infrastructure in and around New York. The LIRR operates a spur line with a terminus at Belmont. I tried to find a photograph on Flickr but only found this. Next time I will remember to bring my camera.
On the way home Dad pointed to the property where the Freedomland U.S.A. amusement park used to be. The park opened in 1960 but filed for bankruptcy just a couple of years later. The park is connected to Walt Disney. According to Wikipedia:
I remember Wood's name from the Gabler book and checked it this evening to see if there was anything specific about Freedomland. Sure enough on page 539 there is an asterisk with the following note:
Freedomland was conceived by Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood (1922-1992), a young Texan, who had previously worked in the planning, construction and management of Disneyland. Hired by Walt Disney in 1953, Wood was the person who selected the orange grove site in Anaheim, California where Disneyland was eventually built.
Wood became very close to Disney during the next two years, but eventually the two men had a falling out. Reasons for this are unclear, but three theories exist: Wood was embezzling money from the park; Wood was taking too much public credit for Disneyland or Wood betrayed Disney by planning his own amusement parks, effectively stealing Disney's original concept.
By January 1956, Wood had been fired from Disneyland. To this day, The Walt Disney Company refuses to acknowledge any role played by him in the creation of the Magic Kingdom.
This was not the last confrontation between Walt and C.V. Wood. Not long after leaving, Wood began luring away Disneyland employees for a new amusement park project called Magic Mountain in Golden, Colorado. When that failed to materialize, Wood, calling himself the "Designer-Builder of Disneyland," resurfaced at the head of another amusement park venture, this one in New York called Freedomland. Walt, furious at the presumptuousness, decided to sue him.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Video: Is "Wall-E" green propaganda?
The Reality of Wall-E
LILEKS (James) the Bleat
The Hypocrisy of WALL-E
SDCC 07 - Pixar’s WALL•E Promo Postcards
Wall-E doesn't say anything - Los Angeles Times
The Environmentalism of Wall-E - Wired
Friday, July 04, 2008
I love the 4th. Mickey Mouse, 7-Eleven and
†The New England Revolution are in Los Angeles this evening to take on the Galaxy!
New England Revolution 2 - Los Angeles Galaxy 0 (Halftime)
Revs rejoice, hold off Beckham, Galaxy
Thursday, June 19, 2008
"CalArts was Walt Disney's brainchild; he had started the planning of the school in the late 1950s and provided generously for it in his will. Walt and his brother Roy formed it in 1961 through a merger of two struggling Los Angeles institutions, the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and the Chouinard Art Institute. The doors opened at the school's consolidated campus in Valencia in 1971, five years after Walt's death.
The school had nearly been finished off before Lasseter got there. The Valencia campus opened at a time when hippiedom was near its peak. The Disney family, although forward thinking in many ways, was uncomfortable with the protest movements and flower-child culture that inevitably seeped into the school. The final straw came during a meeting if the school's campus affairs committee, when a member of the photography faculty showed up in the nude to protest an edict against skinny-dipping in the swimming pool."
Radda radda radda!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
- David A. Price, The Pixar Touch
The Pixar Touch by David A. Price is something akin to middleware. It is somewhere between Levy's Hackers and Gabler's Walt Disney. Price begins his epic tale looking through the eyes of Lasseter (and to a lesser degree Banks and Bluth) to describe the threadbare and rudderless conditions of the Walt Disney Studios in the years after Walt's death. He also introduces a motley cast of hardcore technologists like Edwin Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith who would move PIXAR from a garage at the New York Institute of Technology to Lucasfilm Ltd. and eventually to Pixar, Inc. c/o Steve Jobs. The story of Lasseter (and Banks) ultimately intersects with Catmull and Smith and the evolution of the company becomes a fascinating tale (and case study).
And while the evolution of PIXAR from a hardware company to a full-fledged animation studio is an interesting story, all the fireworks and drama in this book involve Steve Jobs and Michael Eisner. Following the tragic death of Frank Wells and the departure of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Eisner's leadership is no better than the caretakers who followed Disney. I had forgotten how pathetic the studio(s) releases were post Katzenberg and Wells. What were Chicken Little and the Emperor's New Groove?
It's Roy Disney, Walt's nephew, who starts the first coup to remove then chief executive Ron Miller. Miller is eventually replaced with Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. Ironically, it's a second coup led by Roy a decade or so later to extract Eisner from the company after his [Eisner's] lackluster performance and histrionics. Roy succeeds and Bob Iger is named CEO. Iger has the humility to recognize the "edge of his competency" and reaches out to PIXAR (almost immediately) to repair relations with a jilted Steve Jobs. Hollywood (and the MSM) has done a great job of portraying CEO(s) as soulless bastards but Hollywood is an egalitarian cohort without the open- mindedness to contemplate the skill required to become a CEO. And while some CEO(s) have lent credibility to the characterization/stereotype, the truth/fact remains that it's a pretty lonely job. I love Bob Iger in this book though. His interview with Eisner on CNBC is befitting of a CEO:
"And I felt - one of the things that I learned from you and [Capital Cities/ABC chairman and CEO] Tom Murphy and others is to know the edge of your own competency. And I felt that we had talent in animation. But we also needed great leadership. I didn't think I could provide that leadership in animation. And I believed strongly that the people at Pixar could. Plus they also had tremendous talent."The history of PIXAR, like any great Disney animated feature, also involves a great cast of heroes and villains. It also has an angel or two in the form of Hayao Miyazaki and Frank Thomas AND some filthy hippies. In the second part of this post I will look at some of the heroes and villains and the elements that make this book such a great case study.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
This image is from the long overdue (and still unpublished) Limestone Roof FAQ. The FAQ is on a short-list of projects to be completed before August. I also have an army of bloody backs that I still need to photograph. The good news is that my intern should be here in early June and just in time for WALL•E (the robot extravaganza of the year).
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
If he [Walt Disney] had lost interest in developing Smoke Tree, he hadn't lost his fervor for creating some kind of bowling-recreation complex under the Disney aegis, and he invested in a sports center outside Denver that included not only eighty bowling lanes but a swimming pool and restaurant- a model for a new kind of Disney franchise. Once again, though, the project dragged on, and by the time Celebrity Lanes opened in September 1960, Walt had resigned from the board. Walt Disney Productions filled the breach, purchasing a $277,000 stock interest and floating a $650,000 loan within the year to take control of the center. Walt and Lillian attended the center's second anniversary, and the company kept it operating even as it drained money. Roy later admitted the entire project had been ill-conceived. "We wasted a million dollars there by putting in a deluxe dining room and a swimming pool," he told one interviewer. "We had 80 lanes, of the biggest bowling alleys in the country...But who want to bowl in a wet bathing suit and what bowler wears the kind of clothes that are necessary for a deluxe dining room?"
- Neal Gabler, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Johnston had planned on becoming a magazine illustrator but fell in love with animation.
"I wanted to paint pictures full of emotion that would make people want to read the stories," he once said. "But I found that here (in animation) was something that was full of life and movement and action, and it showed all those feelings."
Johnston was honored with a Disney Legends Award in 1989 and, in 2005, he was the first animator honored with the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony.
He was also a major train enthusiast. The backyard of his Flintridge home boasted a hand-built miniature railroad, and Johnston restored and ran a full-size antique locomotive at a former vacation home in Julian, Calif.
The Blackwing Diaries has some great posts and images. Here is a link to Ollie's official biography (via Disney Legends).
I cribbed this quote from 2719 Hyperion:
"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."
- Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
Monday, October 29, 2007
"For characters in World Showcase, the Entertainment division remembered the oversized doll costumes that Bob Jani had created for the Bicentennial's America on Parade. Although the 8-foot-tall characters looked intimidating marching down a scaled-down Main Street, they would be more in proportion along the huge promenades of EPCOT, with the sky as their backdrop. So they created some new dolls [People of the World] and replaced the old characters' colonial outfits with everything from kimonos to cowboy duds."
Here's the money quote and my clever Halloween tie-in.
"...Children did not find them suitable substitutes for Mickey and the gang. 'The dolls did not go over that well,' remembered Bill Hoelscher. 'Children were frightened of them. They thought they were monsters. You can understand a kid thinking, 'I like Mickey Mouse. He's a little bit bigger than I am, but-my God!-what is this thing coming here?' That was probably their demise; they scared the kids.' The characters did not last long."
Thursday, October 25, 2007
ANAHEIM, Calif. (WSJ.com) - Since its 2001 debut, the Walt Disney Co. theme park Disney's California Adventure has floundered in the shadow of its legendary neighbor, Disneyland. To fix it, Disney is now planning a $1.1 billion overhaul -- the most extensive makeover the company has ever given to a theme park.Limestone Commentary
Jay Rasulo, who inherited California Adventure when he became president of the parks in 2002, says the park has had some success in extending the time visitors spend at the resort as a whole and does have some popular rides. But he concedes: "Guests have told us that when they stand in California Adventure, they don't have an emotional connection to it." Mr. Rasulo declined to comment on the investment Disney is making.
Even so, California Adventure has had special problems. On a recent afternoon at the Disneyland Resort, 18-year-old season-pass holder Megan White made a standard complaint: "Disneyland is a magical place, but California Adventure is just a theme park you can get anywhere." Ms. White, of Valencia, Calif., adds she spends most of her visits at Disneyland, only entering California Adventure for one or two rides because it has "no imagination."
Michael Eisner chose the wrong executive to oversee the initial $1.4 billion project. Paul Pressler, then Disneyland chief, who would later be named president and CEO of Gap, Inc. was selected by Eisner to manage the project.
Is there anything more generic than the Gap? There was a Seinfeld episode in which the Gap was featured prominently as part of the punch line:
Elaine: "I don't think we should be talking about this."
Darryl: "So, what are you?"
Elaine: "I'm white."
Darryl: "So, we're just a couple of white people?"
Elaine: "I guess."
Elaine: "Yeah. So do you want to go to the Gap?"
Darryl, leaving with Elaine: "Sure."
Pressler is one of the reasons cheap plush from China is available in every square inch of the park.
Before Disney settled on California Adventure, the property was going to be developed as Westcot (a West Coast version of Epcot in Walt Disney World). If you're interested in a description of this $3 billion project I highly recommend The Disneylands That Never Were by Shaun Finnie.
According to Finnie: "As Michael himself said, 'There were forty unused acres next to Disneyland planted with strawberries'. He offered this fruit field up to the Imagineers for development. In commissioning these plans his brief was simple: 'Amaze me'."
The Imagineers got the message but the brass deemed the plans too ambitious and it was shelved.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
My weekend productivity is only at 17.33%; it's the second week of October and it's still eighty degrees.
My posts were a little unruly this weekend. I have a stack of stuff on my desk that require updates. I found some old photographs from Walt Disney World that need to be scanned and posted. The old Canon Snappy emblazoned with logos from the 1984 Olympics is sitting on a shelf waiting for a carefully written back story to be posted. I have photographs of my perfect apartment (proximity, proximity, proximity) that also need to be posted. Finally, I have some other photographs from the archives I want to post as well as a Limestone Roof FAQ.
I finished Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World by David Koenig and need to post some comments. David does a superb job providing insight into the company after Walt's death. While tomes as large as Eisner's ego have been written about that reign, Koenig gives a very personal account of Walt's most immediate successors. Men like Dick Nunis, Card Walker and Donn Tatum, while not sorcerers like Walt and Roy, are heroes in their own right.
There's a certain sadness attached to every line of prose, and Koenig ends his work with a thought that haunts many of us in love with Disney. He writes, "Maybe one day another innovator will come along who can pull of a real, live Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Sadly, this world doesn't produce a whole lot of Walt Disneys." I think I'd go one step further. The world may produce another Disney but he would be savaged by our highly politized, ideological, and politically-correct culture.
Friday, October 05, 2007
- Imagineer Tony Baxter, Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World.
There are several good books about the Walt Disney Company during the Eisner Era. I'm not sure the company would have survived without Eisner (and Wells), although changes made during his reign (see quote below) certainly diminished the uniqueness of the Disney experience. Was the cost of survival worth it?
Previous management intentionally kept prices affordable to draw from the largest possible pool of guests, who in turn would think fondly of Disney for giving them such good value. Immediately [under Eisner/Wells], prices began rising on food, merchandise, parking and particularly admission. During the eleven years of A through E ticket books, previous management had never increased the price of individual ride tickets, instead once a year nominally raising the park's admission prices about every four months, so their cost doubles within four years.Walt Disney - Green before Green.
Old Disney probably would have ignored Sheinberg's bleating. They let their products speak for themselves. Eisner, however, held an inflated view not of the Disney name, but of himself. In reviving The Wonderful World of Disney TV series, he cast himself as host, reprising Walt's role as fatherly emcee. Hourly cast members liken many of Eisner's theme park visits to the arrival of royalty. He might demand that the entire staff of Disney World hotel line up for his entrance. Or, rather than slip in through a back door, he might evacuate a new attraction, queue and all, so he and his party could enjoy the entire experience, without consideration for guests' wait times. In comparison, Walt tried to disappear into the crown at Disneyland, so he could experience the park exactly as a guest would.
Ironically, Walt was an unabashed nature lover long before anyone dreamed of an animal right movement. His True-Life Adventure films int he 1950s did more to endear wildlife to wide audiences than a thousand protests could ever hope to.*
In his own words in 1957 (foreword from "Secrets of Life")
What curious kinds of life may inhabit Mars and other planets? Do weird trees and flowers grow out there? Do people-or whatever you would call them-possess fantastic bodies and mysterious powers?
These are haunting thoughts, for man wants to know the unknown. But until trips to Mars become feasible, we must be content to explore the mysterious worlds that exist right here on Earth.
In truth, landscapes of great wonder and beauty lie under our feet and all around us. They are discovered in tunnels in the ground, the hearts of flowers, the hollows of trees, fresh-water ponds, seaweed jungles between tides, and even drops of water. Life in these hidden worlds is more startling in reality than anything we can imagine on other planets. Some of Earth's own inhabitants are almost to startling for belief. They are graceful and gently; they are horrible monsters; they are giants- or dwarfs. They communicate with each other by devices that are far beyond the reach of our senses.
Modern science helps us to explore these hiding places of nature and to study the activities of their inhabitants- playing and fighting, eating and mating, taking care of their babies- living life in full swing. And among those who make these explorations, none is a more understanding or more eloquent than our present author.
As we read his accounts, we cannot but ask ourselves: How could this earth of ours, which is only a speck in the heavens, have so much variety of life, so many curious and exciting creatures?
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Passport to Dreams Old & New is a great Disney blog with a unique thesis. It is devoted to the serious documentation, study and discussion of facets of the unique methodology of themed "space" as practiced by the Walt Disney company.
A close friend recently expressed his concern for my obsession and asked whether or not I visit WDW and just ride It's A Small World for 5 days in a continuous loop. There are others who wonder whether or not my home is full of those cheap trinkets from the Disney Store that are made in China. The answer to both is no. I enjoy the details that Passport to Dreams Old & New is chronicling and the attractions and trinkets are just a small part of the overall spatial experience.
What I also like about the author of Passport to Dreams Old & New is his candor (sheer honesty) regarding his role as blogger, writer and scholar. The content is rich and his entry called the "The Anti Food Court" offers great insight into why some of us obsess about the parks.
My dad game me this article on Mother Teresa from the WSJ. It has applications beyond the simple religiosity maybe ascribed to it by those with narrow-minds.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Story - Story is the fundamental building block of everything WDI does. Imagineers are, above all, storytellers. The time, place, characters, and plot points that give our work meaning start with a story, which is also the framework that guides all design decisions.
- The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom
Monday, July 30, 2007
2. Each monorail is 203 feet long.
3. Each monorail has 6 cars.
4. Monorails have been running continuously at Walt Disney World since 1971.
5. In 1990, the monorails were modernized with upgraded safety features and more capacity.
6. Each monorail can carry up to 365 passengers
7. The monorail system features two main sections for passenger transporation. The original section links the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Ticket & Transporation Center, Polynesian Resort and Grand Floridian Resort and circles the Seven Seas Lagoon. The second section opened in 1982 and links Epcot with the Ticket & Transporation Center.
8. Monorails travel on rubber tires.
9. The monorail track beam is just 26″ wide.
10. Monorails carry approximately 150,000 passengers each day.
11. There are 12 monorails in the fleet identified by a uniquely colored stripe.
Friday, July 27, 2007
For almost twenty-five years Epcot has entertained and inspired guests from around the world. The history of the park's development is equally entertaining, as Epcot's original plan was far different than what became a reality. It's no secret to those who know the park's acronym E.P.C.O.T, or Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, that the theme park was originally not to be a theme park at all but an actual city.
An "old school" site on GEOCITIES about monorails.
I'm having very serious flashbacks. There was a web (series of tubes) before blogs? Actually the concept behind GEOCITIES was neat (yeah, I used the word neat). In its very early incarnations (pre-YAHOO) you moved into a vacant lot in neighborhood(s) based on you area(er) of interest. I'll never forget how exciting it was to select my lot...I felt like a homesteader in the land-rush (1800s), choosing my virtual property.
I'm very fascinated by articles and papers about virtual economies. It's amazing to me that someone can accumulate virtual property and possessions and then sell them on EBAY. I'm dumbfounded by the amount of hours people play WOW.
The web is a lonely place and for every positive I can find three or four negatives. On the positive side it is a very efficient marketplace. It also allows people who share similar interests and hobbies to find each other. On the flip side, so many like-minded people commingling creates giant echo chambers (Daily KOS and DU) and this has certainly contributed to the vitriol poisoning national debate on ALL subjects.
NOTHING will ever replace human contact, and while I state the obvious there are thousands of shut-ins trolling the "internets" right now who are probably starving to break their electronic tethers.
And I'm not going Luddite here, just acknowledging what some studies have already shown (link between internet usage and depression). Ironically I was listening to a podcast last night and found a group of Disney enthusiasts/fanatics who actually meet every year.
Speaking of which...
(1) The WDW Radio Show Disney Podcast is great. I've learned dozens of new things since subscribing via iTunes.
(2) Best WDW desktop wallpaper ever? I found this on 2719 Hyperion. The author provides his own EPCOT retrospective.
I've found a very serious design flaw in the new Playmobil® airplane. Before I reveal the design flaw I need to comment on this **NEW** toy.
This plane is ginormous. It's three of four metric tons of plastic. In this photograph my son is trying to demonstrate its flight capabilities. As you can see the girth of this behemoth obscures his head.
The inside is plush. It comes with one captain but no flight attendants. How about the design flaw? The loo/toilet/bathroom/restroom has a glass door?
As the photograph shows the glass door doesn't obstruct wandering eyes. I'm not sure I want to be sipping champagne and eating strawberries while the passenger in coach is dropping a deuce. I also couldn't imagine "doing my business" under such circumstances either.
Design flaw aside, this is a very cool (and very well made) toy. The product development team at Playmobil® has introduced some innovative sets over the last 5+ years and this most recent entry is maybe their finest yet.
Some other notes...
Do yourself a favor and spend ninety-nine cents in iTunes for Spider Pig by Hans Zimmer. It's from the new Simpsons Movie.
Here's a picture of Matthew at the slot car track. I posted a video here. Matthew is becoming a skilled driver. Unfortunately we arrived at the track too early, resulting in a dearth of competition to test his mad skillz®!
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Congress found and declared that 'improving the quality of urban life is the most critical domestic problem facing the United States.' The Republican Disney and the Democratic Congress and Administration appeared to be on an unusual, common course as the company consulting firm Economics Research Associates (ERA), prepared a presentation outline seeking financial assistance for EPCOT from the newly established HUD.Weekend #2
Disney discussed the philosophy behind the EPCOT concept during his final filmed appearance in 1966. The following points summarize the core philosophy: showcase the development, utilize and test new materials and ideas from American industry, find solutions to urban problems, EPCOT would be in a state of becoming, focus on the needs and happiness of residents, and generate demand for new technologies. Disney's faith in technological progress based on the free enterprise system was never more evident.
EPCOT would be in a constant state of becoming. as Disney's generation had seen the pace of technological change accelerate...With its 20,000 residents, EPCOT would be faced with a new problem: how to achieve the goals of an ordered, experimental community while maintaining something he was passionate about- the rights of the individual.
Prepare to go micro with the 2008 Toyota Aygo
Toyota is developing a two-seat microcar for the U.S. market and thanks to our sources in Europe we have the first exclusive sketches. Expected to be called the 2008 Toyota Aygo, the B-Class city car will provide direct competition for the upcoming 2008 Smart Fortwo two-seater.
What and where am I (this question is ridiculously easy)? How about a bonus question and a riddle requiring action?
What takes place every day at 5:00 p.m. in Town Square?
a.) A Parade
b.) Mickey and Minnie come out to sign autographs
c.) A flag ceremony
d.) The barbershop quartet comes out
Town Square @ 10:30 PM EST on June 3, 2007. I will be by the flag and cannon!
The US MNT is undefeated in 2007. They just throttled the People's Republic of China 4-1. The US is preparing for the Gold Cup (the regional championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean) which begins on June 7th with their match against Guatemala at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The U.S. team is the defending Gold Cup champion.
Found on Stumble!
Monday, May 28, 2007
I may have one of the following names:
I'm the logo/badge for which Future World attration in EPCOT? For additional credit name my first and current sponsor?
I'm a small island in Bay Lake once known as Raz Island, Idle Bay Isle, Blackbeard's Island, Treasure Island, and Riles Island. I closed to visitors in 1999.
The book is well-written (and in large print?) in a prose that is simple and direct. It's a fantastic compilation of facts, myths and interviews that has heretofore only been available in a multitude of sources to very serious Disney aficionados.
The image on the left is from Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real and is described by Shaun Finnie thusly:
Marc Davis was one of Walt Disney's original Nine Old Men, and is a Disney Legend. As an artist he was single handedly responsible for the design of so many of the iconic female Disney characters.Having finished The Disneylands That Never Were in about a fortnight, I've started Mannheim's Walt Disney and the Quest for Community.
But one of Marc's most beautiful designs never came to fruition. The Enchanted Snow Palace would have taken guests out of the Californian sun and into a world of magic and wonder, an oasis of cool and calm in the middle of the heat and excitement of Disneyland. Set in a building that looked like it had been carved out of a natural glacier, a river of melting ice would have taken guests on a boat ride past all manner of natural creatures in a frozen wilderness.
The boat would then pass underneath a display of the magical Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, and out of the 'real' world. Travellers would enter the realm of the Snow Queen...After being welcomed by the Queen's handmaidens the boat would eventually enter the throne room of the Snow Queen herself. She was to acknowledge the visitors with a wave of her beautiful pale hand, and as a parting gift she would cause snow to drift down upon them.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The icon on the left is from which defunct attraction?
Hint: It opened on October 1, 1983 - exactly one year to the day after EPCOT Center opened - as part of "Phase II" of the park's development. Although the ride promised, "If we can dream it, we can do it," it closed permanently in 1999. The attraction was believed to be unprofitable after it lost its corporate sponsor in 1993. Sadly, the attraction building was demolished to make room for a completely new ride.
This is concept art for which attraction in Tomorrowland?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
If you have any doubts about anything in the world – the purposes of money, the transience of joy, the point of it all, frankly – it is swept away the second you watch your daughter running barefoot through the grass in the dusk to see the fireworks burst over the lagoon.I took a very similar picture of the train station. My picture is B&W with the same dimensions. I also waited until the station was empty.
You’d make many new urbanists bust a cerebral artery if you suggested that communities should resemble Disneyland – but it’s everything many theorists want. Few cars, central shopping accessed by walking or electric carts, circular feeder busses and a planned economy that set aside one-third of the land for preservation.
The music! The architecture! The trains! From the very first moment, it’s like a live wire jammed into your Disney Lobe, a part of your brain that’s been rewiring since you were very small, just so it could release endorphins at this very moment.