‘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


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.


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.

If Florida is more your destination, why not check out my review of the book Disney’s Adventure Guide to Florida. It’s got pictures, too!

Bell-shaped Disney Salt & Pepper Shakers

I love collecting. And Disney Salt & Pepper Shakers are an easy and inexpensive way to grow your collection. These bell-shaped sets are a good example as they are readily available at charity shops and online.

I have two sets (unpacked, more in storage!) to show today:

Bell-Shaped TinkBell-Shaped Tink Back

Tinker Bell / Disneyland Castle

First we have this Disneyland set by Walt Disney Productions featuring both Tinker Bell and a very nice representation of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

This set has a six-hole pattern in the back instead of the more common two holes for salt and three holes for pepper, but each can have more, although the proportion of bigger and more holes for salt is almost always observed.

Next is another set from Disneyland:

Bell-Shaped CastlesBell-Shaped Castles Back

Castle / Carrousel

Here we have stylized representations of Sleeping Beauty Castle and King Arthur Carrousel (now called Prince Charming Regal Carrousel). They are reminiscent of Mary Blair designs.

This set has six holes for salt but only five holes for pepper.

I just couldn’t resist lining them up for a group shot:

Bell-Shaped Together

Group Shot. Say: “Ding-a-Ling-a-Ling”

In the shot above you can clearly see the similar shapes of the ‘bells’ but note the thicker gold banding on the base of the set on the left. And the diameter of the gold rings just under the handles are slightly different.

Bell-Shaped Comparison

Disneyland Logo x 2

You can also see that the handles themselves are also different, not in shape, but in thickness. This makes it easy to know if a Seller has mixed-and-matched a bell-shaped ‘set’ for resale. This does happen! Also, the stoppers can also be missing, as with the Tinker Bell / Castle set in this post.

These bell-shaped salt & pepper shakers can sell from $5.00 to $10.00 US on Internet selling sites.

For a more complete look at my Disney Salt & Pepper Shaker collection, click the link, or click Huey Dewey Louie Shakers for another set of spicy little collectibles!

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!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red  | Disney Ride Secrets Loop:

Twilight Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland

My wife and I have only been to Disneyland once, but it was certainly a memorable trip! From our hotel room (the Howard Johnson across the street) we could see the Matterhorn mountain.

Matterhorn Mountain

We loved watching the monorail glide past it as we stood on our balcony. It was also visible from the Casey Jr. train and the Storybook Canal boats:

Matterhorn Mountain 2

No matter where you are in Disneyland, you can see this iconic mountain!

For more photographs in and around Disneyland, including one more of the Matterhorn, check out Vertical Disneyland.

Disneyland Dedication Plaque: Welcome to This Happy Place



“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome! Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past… and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

What more can you say?

Luigi's Flying Tires HAT

Ah, Theme Park history! Is there anything better than looking back and remembering those great old attractions of the past? If they are good attractions, no. But if they are attractions like the one featured in this post, then the answer may be ‘yes’.

Flying Saucers was a unsuccessful ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California from 1961 to 1966. The ride was manufactured by Arrow Development and National Research Associates, Inc. One guest rode on a personal flying saucer on a cushion of air, similar to an air hockey game. It was also much like bumper cars with guests ramming each other with their saucers.

The Disney History Institute posted this video of the attraction as it operated in 1961:


Luigi’s Flying Tires opened on June 15, 2012, with similar technology to the original attraction. It was located in Cars Land inside Disneyland’s sister park, Disney California Adventure. This version of the ride was themed to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires shop from the Disney·Pixar film Cars. This version held two or three passengers per ride vehicle instead of one.

Disneyland Live posted this ride video on YouTube:


On February 17, 2015 the attraction closed. Not even the addition of beach balls could save it! But it did not go away before giving us some rather unusual, and yet still fun, merchandise:



And just what is that?

I know, I know. You know because you read the title of this post! It’s a hat. And what does one look like while wearing such a hat?

luigis-flying-tires-hat-004          luigis-flying-tires-hat-003

Thanks to my reluctant model!

I picked this up at a local Disney Store that is approved to sell discounted Disneyland merchandise. This had a regular price of $24.95 US but the signs said that all DL merchandise was at least 50% off. Well, this hat was for sale at a much deeper discount as I got it for just $4.95 US.

luigis-flying-tires-hat-005     luigis-flying-tires-hat-009

And why was this hat on sale for such a low price? Because the ride it promotes was replaced by Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters which opened in March 2016, still themed to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, but featuring new vehicles and a new ride system.

Inside the Magic posted this full ride POV video on YouTube:


Seems very familiar doesn’t it? It has much the same feel as Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, which is unfortunate, as it would have been nice to have something very different since they are side-by-side in Cars Land. But I guess expediency was the driving force (wink, wink) behind the decision to get something open in the space.

I never got to ride Disneyland’s original Flying Saucers. I also never got to ride Luigi’s Flying Tires. Maybe I’ll get to ride Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters before it too is replaced!

Women's Disneyland T-shirt: Cinderella's Coach

It’s been a long time since I posted an item of Disney-themed clothing. Most of our Disney t-shirts are getting pretty old and ragged and are being discarded one by one. So I guess it’s time to add a few new ones!

And that’s just what we did today. This one goes into my wife’s wardrobe:


Cinderella theme with a Hidden Mickey backdrop

There are four main design features. The collar has a very nice ‘necklace’. Cinderella’s coach is the primary ‘character’. There are Hidden Mickeys galore. And the design tapers in at the waist.



And some floral accents too

We picked this up at The Disney Store in the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Michigan.


The benefit of this location is that they are authorized to sell Disneyland park merchandise at 50% off or more!


So this t-shirt, regularly sold in Disneyland for $29.95 US, only cost us $$14.97 US on sale.

Magical Blogorail: How We Know We've Arrived at Disney

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing How We Know We’ve Arrived at Disney.


Check In 1

Nothing says “You have arrived!” like seeing a giant sign with the name of a Disney resort on it. This is where you will be staying and from where all the Disney magic you experience will start from. From parking the car to checking in to finding your room, don’t rush the process!

I’m going to show you how you can make the check-in at your resort a truly magical way to start your Disney vacation. If you follow my suggestions, you will truly know that you have arrived at Disney! I will be using Disney’s Art of Animation Resort as our model, with one picture from Pop Century thrown in for good measure.

FIRST: Approach the Check-in Desk.

Check In 2

Here you will meet your first friendly Cast Member. Enjoy the smiles and get ready to see more of them! These wonderful people are there to make your stay a memorable one.

SECOND: Get Your Bearings.

Check In 3

These maps are handy to find your building but also to familiarize yourself with the entire property. You’ll want to find the pools, restaurants and food service locations, the bus stop, and the resort retail store.

THIRD: Find Your Home-Away-From-Home.

Check In 4          Check In 5

Check In 6          Check In 7

Check In Room

Squaring away your things before you set out to explore is always a good idea. You can also use the time to relax and freshen up after your long journey to Disney. Once you have put everything away, it’s time to…

FOUR: Explore Your Resort.

Check In 8     Check In 9

This is a great way to get your first taste of Disney magic and to take those vacation photos that everyone back home will be waiting to see. So take lots of shots and pose with everything in sight!

FIVE: Visit the Resort Store.

Check In 10

You will visit many retail locations during your visit. Some of these you will visit voluntarily while others will be thrust upon you. For example, after most big attractions you will exit into retail spaces and be jostled by some rabid shoppers and many others who just want to get out of there and hit the next ride! Visiting your resorts retail location will give you a chance to browse the merchandise at an unhurried pace.

In conclusion, the basic idea here is that checking into your on-site resort will whet your appetite for everything to come. Usually most of us arrive at the resort later in the day and after an exhausting drive or harried plane flight. Try to resist the urge to rush right off to a park. Instead, relax and enjoy your check-in  experience, for it truly is how you will know that you have arrived at Disney!

For more ways we know we’ve “arrived” at Disney, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | How We Know We’ve “Arrived” at Disney Loop:

Disneyland 1968 Pictorial Souvenir & Guide

Once again we travel back in time and visit a Disney park as it was, this time in 1968. Disneyland had only been open for 13 short years, but had already undergone some significant changes from opening day.

Let’s do away with the further ado and get right to the 1968 Pictorial Souvenir and Guide:

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 1

This cover image was likely a publicity shot or a still from one of Walt Disney’s television appearances. Not long after Disneyland opened Walt stopped signing autographs in the park because he would get bogged down and be unable to move efficiently. So he would give out a business card and ask the autograph hound to write the studio to receive his signature.

So it is very unlikely that Walt would be sitting in a fire truck on Main Street signing autographs unless it was set up for promotion.

Each guide-book usually had a map near the front of the publication:

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 2

Can you find all three monorails?

The guide-book then covers each land in turn. Here are some highlights from 1968:

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 3

Adventureland once employed José the Barker Bird outside the Enchanted Tiki Room. His job was to entice guests into the attraction but he was fired after a while. Two theories as to why exist. One: Being audioanimatronic he required too much repair due to being out in the elements. Two: He was so good at capturing the attention of passers-by that great crowds would just stop and stare thus blocking the pathways to other attractions. Let’s hope no other Cast Members got fired for doing their job too well!

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 4

Wonderful aerial view of the Rivers of America

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 5

Love the retro Donald Duck hat!

I have a picture of me at Walt Disney World with the Winnie the Pooh character pictured above. Do you remember when Pooh had a hunny pot on his head in the parks?

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 6

Ahh, the ‘Bucket Ride’

The Disneyland Skyway attraction ran from 1956 to 1994. I remember riding the Walt Disney World version in the early 1970’s but wish I could have experienced the Disneyland version!

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 7

Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage opened in 1959 as part of Tomorrowland’s expansion and closed in 1998. It reopened in 2007 as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The grey subs were basically just painted yellow and changed from a more military look to a research theme.

I was able to ride the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction at Walt Disney World in the early 1970’s but never got to ride Disneyland’s subs until 2013. The Finding Nemo storyline is fun!

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 8

Original People Mover. Nuff said.

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 9

Disneyland After Dark

The guide-book concludes with a look at the park after the sun goes down. Many forms of entertainment were available, but please look to the top left corner of the picture above. Yes, that’s The Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland Jazz band made up of Disney animation employees! Ward Kimball lead the band in the 1950’s and on into the early 1970’s. I have many of their original albums. You can read a little more about them in my previous post entitled Top Five Forgotten Disney Things.

The band received an homage in the ending of the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog, with the jazz-playing alligator Louis now belonging to a group called “The Firefly Five Plus Lou”.

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 10

Cross Promotion

The last page of the guide-book is basically an advertisement for the Disneyland Hotel, which was the only on-site lodging available in 1968.

Disneyland 1968 Souvenir Guide 11

Back Cover

These old guide-books are gems of nostalgia! I have many examples from both Disneyland and Walt Disney World including the Walt Disney World 1983 Pictorial Souvenir book I covered earlier this month.

I hope you enjoyed taking this pictorial trip down memory lane with me!

Muppet Vision 3D in Disney's California Adventure

My wife and I have only visited Disneyland once and that was back in 2013. We’d love to go again but that probably won’t happen until we make a few more pilgrimages to Walt Disney World. It’s much closer to where we live now.

Today, I’d like to share an example of one of the duplicated attractions from Disney’s California Adventure:

MV3D 1

This attraction is also found at Walt Disney World in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But I found the theming to be much more elaborate at the DCA location with a longer queue area. Here are some of the highlights:

MV3D 2

Dowsed, splatted with pie, poked and punched

First we come across Beaker in his new job as a test dummy, not unlike his role as a lab rat to Dr. Honeydew’s mad experiments. But you have to admit this machine looks far worse than anything the good doctor did to everyone’s favorite victim!

MV3D 3

Kermit is currently on a break

MV3D 4          MV3D 5

After surviving one of Gonzo’s less successful acts, we had to pass through security. No one was there so we simply pressed on:

MV3D 6

Someone hit their head. Karen was in no danger!

Once inside, we passed many doors that led to all sorts of strange places:

MV3D 7          MV3D 8

MV3D 9                 MV3D 10


Naturally we came across many jokes along the way, including:

MV3D 13

See what they did there?

Just before we got to the attraction itself, or at least the outer lobby, we looked up only to see what the Muppets do to people when their jokes don’t go over too well, or ‘bomb’:

MV3D 11

See what I did there?

The walk in to this attraction was very entertaining and contained many more funny ‘bits of business’ as they say in the business. But I won’t show you everything so you can be surprised when you go yourself.

Tip: Watch out for the stunt plane being flown by eggs. I’m just kidding! Or… am I?