Disney Magazine: Pages of Disney History

It will be fun to have a look back at the way Disney was through the pages of the Disney Magazine. This post features an issue with both key articles and vintage advertising for the Disney company and it’s affiliates.

Let’s have a look at the cover for this Fall 1993 issue:

Disney Magazine Cover

This magazine began in December of 1965 as the Disney News and was only 16 pages long. It was initially a free benefit for members of the Magic Kingdom Club, but later started charging a cover price (as above) with a discount for members.

The name was changed to Disney Magazine in January of 1994 to highlight it’s bigger size and expanded content. The Magic Kingdom Club ended in January of 2001 with the magazine continuing until the summer of 2005 when it finally folded.

What killed it? Apparently failing readership and the Internet.

Here is what could be found inside the Fall 1993 issue:

Disney Magazine Contents

But while each issue did give us some excellent Disney content, this first post of the series will focus mainly on advertisements. Such as:

Disney Magazine Subscription AdDisney Magazine Gold Card Ad

Buy Us First!

Very early in the magazine we are offered a subscription and a Disney Gold Card membership. With that out of the way, Disney moved on to offering products:

Disney Magazine Crystal Dumbo Ad

Arribas Brothers Crystal Dumbo

Disney Magazine Disney Dollar Ad

65th Anniversary Disney Dollar

Disney no doubt relied on it’s affiliates and partners to fill out the remaining advertising pages. Here are just a few of the companies that took full advantage of a captive Disney audience:

Disney Magazine Delta AdDisney Magazine National Ad

Delta and National

Disney Magazine Kodak AdDisney Magazine Red Boat Ad

Kodak and The Big Red Boat

Yes, before The Disney Cruise Line sailed into existence, there was an official cruise line to the Mouse: The Big Red Boat. I wonder how many have fond memories of time spent at see with this line?

Premier Cruise Line was a cruise line that was headquartered in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was licensed as the official cruise line for Disney starting in 1985 and used the trademark “The Big Red Boat” based on the color scheme of some of its ships. Premier was licensed to provide Disney characters on its ships, until the relationship ended in 1993.

We’ll end with a few articles from the magazine that I thought were interesting:

Disney Magazine Mighty Ducks

The Mighty Ducks Hockey Team

Still looking forward to their first season in 1993, this article gives some history of the franchise. Of course, we know now that Disney did not stand behind the team for long and quickly sold them off.

Disney Magazine Santa Fe

Walt and Steam

The two were inseparable back in the day and so I thought this was a nice nod to the Master! It was interesting to see the link between trains and Mickey Mouse, too.

And that concludes our look back through the pages of Disney history!

Minnie Mouse is Bosom Buddies w/Fannie Flagg

It was all just one big happy (dysfunctional) family on the Match Game during the 1970’s. Game shows were all the rage and many stars were eager to gain the exposer they could provide. One such star was the American actress, comedian and author, Fannie Flagg.

COOL FACT: Flagg wrote the original book and did the Academy-Nominated screenplay for the movie adaption of Fried Green Tomatoes.

I’ve seen her on the show dozens of times, but this time I noticed something a little different:

Fannie Flagg Match Game Set

Match Game Set w/Stars

This game featured Gary Burghoff from M.A.S.H. (upper right) and of course, the man who would later host The Family Feud, Richard Dawson (lower center).

But take a look at Fannie Flagg in the anchor position (bottom right). She is sporting a Minnie Mouse sweater! I guess they must be bosom buddies.

Fannie Flagg Pic TwoFannie Flagg Pic One

She Got a Match!

At the beginning of the show, there was some discussion as to whether her sweater had Mickey or Minnie on it. But all agreed it was indeed Minnie.

You can watch vintage game shows like Match Game and the Family Feud on the Buzzer channel.

House Industries: A Type of Learning REVIEW

Once again The Henry Ford Museum has delivered a fun and entertaining exhibit, this time presented by House Industries. And who is House Industries, and what is the purpose of this exhibit?

Well, Inspiration is everywhere, especially when you are obsessively curious. The artists of House Industries have followed their curiosity to earn international acclaim for a diverse body of work that ranges from fonts and fashion to ceramics and space travel. What has been created here is a multisensory exhibition that will inform, teach and, most important, empower people of all ages to follow their interests and never stop learning from what they like.

House Industries Logo

House Industries is known throughout the world for its eclectic fonts and far-reaching creative exploits.

A Type of Learning beautifully celebrates House’s method of design-thinking and encourages guests to think about their own curiosity, leaving them with an intoxicating sense of endless possibility. Such as:

House Industries Robot 2House Industries Robot 1

Crow T. Robot & Tom Servo (MST3K)

House Industries Evel Jumpsuit

Snake River Canyon Jumpsuit

I thoroughly enjoyed this eclectic exhibit! I hope to revisit it often during its run from May 27th to September 4th, 2017.

COOL RATING: 5/5 STARS

Few of the cool nouns I review on this site get a full 5 stars but this is deserved exception for sure. Truly something for everyone!

House Industries Bicycles

Velo (French for ‘Bicycle’) is a House Industries font

Inspiration really can come from anywhere!

Mickey Mouse Comic Book by Gladstone

As a teenager, I collected hundreds of comic books, most from the Marvel comics company (now owned by Disney). Although I dabbled a little in DC titles I never did pick up any Disney or other cartoon comics. So the Gladstone company is a new name in comic books to me.

The Mickey Mouse comic book I am featuring here is from 1989 and contains reprinted stories by Floyd Gottfredson. The main story is from 1941 and is entitled The Land of Long Ago:

Gladstone Cover

Front Cover

Monetarily valueless but rich in content these reprints are a wonderful way to see and read old strips that are out of print and too expensive to buy in original editions.

This issue has some interesting features:

Gladstone Letters

Letters Page

I always used to love the letters page of a comic book. Reading what other readers had to say about the characters and the stories made me feel more a part of the comic book community. The above edition contains a complaint against Carl Barks (of Donald Duck fame) for being anti-German. Yikes!

Gladstone Advertising

Subscribe or Buy an Album

An integral part of any comic book are the advertisements for more comic books! The original up-sell.

Gladstone More Advertising

More Stories by Floyd Gottfredson & Carl Barks

Now let’s start our story:

Gladstone First Page

The Land of Long Ago: Chapter 3

Suffice to say that Mickey, Goofy, and a professor have landed in a world of cavemen and have been captured. It’s up to Mickey to free everyone, which he does!

I found Mickey to be a bit more aggressive and callous than he is today, which wasn’t uncommon in Mickey’s earlier days.

Gladstone Page Spread

The Goof in a Loincloth

And how did Mickey get his loincloth? He rigged up a trap and stripped it off a passing caveman, leaving him naked behind a bush! You see, I told you Mickey was a bit more aggressive back in the 1940’s.

This reprinted edition also had a two-page strip with Mickey and Minnie and this one-page strip starring Pluto:

Gladstone Pluto Strip

Foiled Again!

The advertising doesn’t stop with the inner ads, but continues on the back cover:

Gladstone Back Cover

Bonus Donald Duck Strip

I hope you enjoyed viewing this great old comic book!

Gladstone Publishing was an American company that published Disney comics from 1986 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. Reprints of classic Donald Duck stories by Carl Barks and Mickey Mouse stories by Floyd Gottfredson were the foundation of their output. Although Gladstone is no longer an active publisher, it continues to offer its back issues through its website.

Magical Blogograil: What to do on Non-Park Days – Waterways

What’s more relaxing than enjoying the waterways of Walt Disney World? Many take a resort day to escape the crowds, but we like to board one of the many water craft, available at no cost, and chart a course!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are sharing fun things to do at Disney on non-Park days.


Hi Ho and it’s a pirate’s life for me! Well, not actually a pirate’s life, more like a passenger’s life!

Come aboard this post and enjoy the views of Walt Disney World from a different perspective:

Waterways On Board

Here we are aboard one of the many Water Taxis that take passengers from one resort to the next on the Seven Seas Lagoon. You can visit Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (pictured above), Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. And of course, ending up at The Magic Kingdom.

Waterways Craft

While on route, you can enjoy beautiful vistas and view your favorite attractions from unique angles, such as Space Mountain, above. Also above you can see one of the smaller water craft that you can rent for personal tours of the lake.

Waterways Contemporary View

Seeing structures like the Contemporary from the water side is a rare treat, complete with a monorail sighting if you time things just right!

Waterways Docking

Above is a view of one of the Water Taxis arriving at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.

Waterways Shoreline

Sometimes you can see older attractions, or what’s left of them, such as this landing from the old River Country water park. The above picture was taken in 2008 so I wonder how much of this scene is left now.

Waterways Arrival at Magic Kingdom

Ferryboats run from the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the entrance of The Magic Kingdom. You could take the monorail, but that wouldn’t be as wet!

Waterways Ferryboat

Empty Ferryboat on Training Run

Other vessels also ply the waterways:

Waterways Misc Boat

No matter which option you choose, the fun is the same! As hinted at earlier, you can also rent jet skis, paddle boats, canoes, and other water craft for solo or group adventures.

Waterways Sailing

Sailboats Too!

Waterways Sunset

And when the day is done, you will be treated to some of the most breathtaking images you can imagine!

So who’s with me? Will you take to the waters on your next non-Park day?

For more ways to spend non-park days at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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ILLUSION OF LIFE Plugged on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life is a book by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney Legends of animation counted among the famous group of Walt Disney’s  Nine Old Men. The book topped the list of “best animation books of all time” in a poll at AWN, and is still used as a reference for inspiration on character animation.

Illusion of Life Cover

I have this book and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants to better understand the animation process. After reading it, my own drawing skills improved noticeably!

In 1980, they appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to plug the book and chat about animation. Here they are on stage:

Illusion of Life On Stage

During the interview, Carson mentions that they are almost unknown, despite the fact that they had worked on some of the most famous animated films of all time. They replied that they liked it that way!

Illusion of Life Frank

Frank Thomas

They mentioned that when they would sit in a theatre to watch their films with children, they would almost die. Why? Because children could be so cruel! No wonder they preferred to hide back in the studio.

Illusion of Life Ollie

Ollie Johnston

Carson asked about the rumors that Walt Disney was a cold man and hard to work for, among other things. Both men answered that he was all of those things. However, they clarified that it was also a great pleasure to work for Walt because he was so inspiring, albeit awfully tough! Perfection was expected at all times.

Carson next marvels at how animators are able to give life to even inanimate objects, so Frank and Ollie pulled out the following drawings to illustrate the point:

Illusion of Life Sad SackIllusion of Life Happy SackIllusion of Life Nosey SackIllusion of Life Tickled Sack

And last but not least:

Illusion of Life Tired Sack

Who Wouldn’t Be?

It was great to see these Disney Legends chat about their passion for animation. But it almost wasn’t to be! Frank wanted to be a landscape artist and Ollie was heading towards a career in magazine illustration. But Disney put out a casting call and both answered, arriving at the studio to become lowly In-betweeners before rising in the ranks to full-fledged animators.

Illusion of Life Wrap Up

The Interview Ends

Look to the left in the above picture and you’ll notice another Disney Alumni, Suzanne Pleshette (January 31, 1937 – January 19, 2008). You may remember her for her roles in The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and The Shaggy D.A.

Also, if you look to the far right in the above picture, you can see Carson holding up the book in question (blurry though it is).

For the full interview (5:54), please take a listen. It’s well worth it:

Frank and Ollie on Carson

Magical Blogorail: Best Live Entertainment – Epcot

Disney has always plussed the guest experience with a wonderful variety of live entertainment around the parks. Epcot is perhaps unique in that it offers colorful selections from around the real world around the World Showcase!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing some of the best live entertainment at the Disney Parks.


I’d like to share some of the live entertainment acts that I have seen around Epcot over the years. Just like the other attractions in the parks, these acts have come and gone in an ever-changing line-up of talent.

Live Entertainment Morocco

MO’ROCKIN

This was a 6-person Moroccan musical act that played in the Morocco Pavilion. The group was often accompanied by a belly dancer. Unfortunately, Disney decided to discontinue this act and it played for the last time on September 27th, 2014.

Live Entertainment Extra

Sometimes this version of Mo’Rockin would be playing in the Morocco Pavilion.

Live Entertainment Off Kilter

Off Kilter

Off Kilter is a high-energy Celtic rock band founded by Jamie Holton, bagpiper, in 1996. The band is a unique blend of traditional Celtic tunes and songs with a rock twist, popular covers arranged with a Celtic rock feel, and original songs. Instruments consist of bagpipes, Irish whistles, electric guitar, bass, fiddle, drums and vocals. The band played for 18 years as one of the most popular bands at Walt Disney World in Florida (Canadian Pavilion, Epcot), and currently tours the country performing at many different venues.

Live Entertainment Quartet

Quartet

I wish I could remember which country these four entertainers represented! They were quite good.

So, I’ve shared acts that aren’t in Epcot anymore. I include them to show the variety of acts that have been offered over the years.

The official lineup now is as follows:

  • British Revolution (English groups cover band)
  • JAMMitors (Percussion group)
  • Jeweled Dragon Acrobats (Chinese acrobatics)

Live Entertainment Acrobats

  • Mariachi Cobre (Mexican band)
  • Matsuriza (Japanese drumming)
  • Rose & Crown Pub Musician (Piano)
  • Voices of Liberty (American vocal group)
  • Wies N Buam (German Oomph band)

This is by no means an exhaustive list. You can check out this official Disney site for show times and other entertainment offered.

I hope this whets your appetite for live entertainment at Epcot!

For more must see live entertainment at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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‘Walt Disney’s Disneyland’ Book Review

Walt Disney was a master of promotion. His Disneyland television show was basically a weekly commercial advertising his upcoming theme park. And in that theme park, he continued this self-promotion with the release, each year, of souvenir booklets, pamphlets, and hardcover books, all designed to keep guests dreaming about Disneyland long after the visit was over!

This post is a review of one such publication:

Walt Disney Book Cover

This 70-page book has no ISBN number and no publisher but does reference Walt Disney Productions. It was printed in the U.S.A. possibly in February of 1971. However, the copyright date is 1969.

Walt Disney Book Introduction

This book was first published in 1964 and was re-released every year afterwards. For how long, I don’t know. Slight changes to this publication likely would have been made as new attractions were added to the park and others removed.

Walt Disney Book Jungle Cruise

The book is filled with beautiful two-page spreads of popular attractions. The Jungle Cruise, above,  is a personal favorite!

Walt Disney Book Skyway

One of the best reasons for purchasing such an old book is because of the history it contains. Attractions like The Skyway, now gone (but rumored to be returning to Walt Disney World), are fun to see again!

Walt Disney Book Collage

Young and Old Enjoy Disneyland

Walt Disney Book Panorama

A panoramic shot like this one shows both the Columbia and the Mark Twain. Would you like to be sitting on one of those benches right now?

Walt Disney Book Riverboat

Beautiful!

Walt Disney Book Small World

The book covers many of the classic attractions with colorful pictures and informative text.

The book actually starts with a brief history of the construction of Disneyland. It then covers each of the cardinal lands in turn: Fantasyland; Adventureland; Frontierland; Tomorrowland; and of course, Main Street U.S.A.

Next it covers the first and second decades of the park in their own sections. New Orleans Square and the updated Tomorrowland are also featured. The book ends with a ‘what is to come’ page featuring the soon-to-be opened Walt Disney World.

COOL FACTOR: 4.5/5

For the casual Disney fan, this book would be a fun read. For the diehard fan, it is an essential read of the history of Disneyland!

I would have given it a higher rating if not for the fact that it is merely a reprint of earlier, essentially the same, publications. But even so, I highly recommend it!

I picked it up at a thrift store for just $5.00 CAN.

Magical Blogorail: Disney Ride Secrets – Big Thunder Mountain

Every ride has a ‘sweet spot’ where everyone wants to sit. Especially roller coasters! Where should you sit on Big Thunder Mountain? And what other secrets does this attraction hold?

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing some of the secrets you’ll find while enjoying Disney attractions.


So what isn’t a secret about this iconic Walt Disney World attraction? The official site says: “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a speedy rollercoaster-type attraction designed with your entire family in mind. However, some parts of this attraction are bumpy and, in some instances, take place in the dark.”

Obviously, this isn’t the fastest or wildest ride in the Magic Kingdom. But what it lacks in thrills it more than makes up for in fun and theming. However, if you want the biggest possible thrill on the Big Thunder Mountain railway, here is how to get it:

Big Thunder Train Cab

TIP: Don’t Sit Up Front

When I rode this attraction for the first time, I assumed that the best place to ride would be directly behind the ‘engine’. But when I asked the loading Cast Member if we could ride up front, he told me that if I wanted to really feel the drops, I needed to ride in the back. He directed us there and… he was right!

Why? On the main drop, the coaster train slows, and the front starts down the drop before the cars are released. So the first two cars don’t experience the full length of the drop. But the last car, still slightly behind the crest of the hill when the drop begins, gets the full effect!

So whereby with other coasters the front cars are the best, with Big Thunder Mountain, it’s the rear that gives the best ride!

But there is one more tip I can share to help you get the most out of this attraction. As mentioned earlier, Big Thunder Mountain is heavily themed, so you will want to see everything. But how can you do that whilst whizzing around the track? You can’t. Therefore…

Big Thunder Mountain Vista

TIP: Ride Other Attractions

The picture above was taken from the Liberty Belle Riverboat while plying the Rivers of America. This allows you a leisurely look at the majestic spires of the mountain.

Big Thunder Ride Vehicle

You can also watch the ride vehicles go by and listen to the screams of the riders.

You can also see the mountain from the other side if you take a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad:

Big Thunder SceneryBig Thunder Store

You will have less time to see things from this perspective as the train moves a little faster than its lake-going counterpart. But most of the small details are on this side, so be sure to sit of the right side of the train cars for the best views and photo opportunities.

I’ll let you discover the rest of the secrets on your own when you ride Big Thunder Mountain for yourself!

For more Disney ride secrets,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Pinocchio Cookie Jar by Treasure Craft

It’s back to the Dixieland Flea Market to have a look at a cookie jar that we broke down and bought. Pinocchio just captured our hearts!

But let’s have a look at our beautiful cookie jar by Treasure Craft featuring Pinocchio:

Pinocchio Full Front

Just look at that smile!

Pinocchio Full R SidePinocchio Full L Side

From the sides

Pinocchio Full Back

From the back

This cookie jar is unique in that the receptacle for holding the cookies is separate from the ceramic figure. Instead of having a head that lifts off to access the contents, there is a glass jar that can be removed and passed around:

Pinocchio BowlPinocchio Lid

This makes it easier to clean and less likely to damage the main figure. Cleo the fish is perched up top to form the handle for the lid, but she is hard to grasp hold of, so we lift the whole lid with two hands.

Pinocchio Seperate

Shouldn’t Cleo be inside the bowl?

The effect here is to have Cleo floating on top of the water at the top of her fish bowl. Clever!

Pinocchio Front Body

Hug, anyone?

This detachable feature is what sold us on this particular cookie jar. It’s such a unique idea!

Pinocchio Bottom

It’s hard to see, but the words ‘Disney’ and ‘Treasure Craft’ are carved into the base of the main figure. The bowl would have had a sticker with another name on it, but ours has been washed away.

Pinocchio Full

Candy, anyone?

We won’t be using Pinocchio for cookies as we find that they go stale if left in such a vessel, so it has become our candy jar instead. I don’t think anyone will complain.