‘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.

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!

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.

Teapots & Piggy Banks at Dixieland Flea Market

We return to the Dixieland Flea Market to check out some more great ceramic collectibles. This time we are featuring teapots and piggy banks, all in the shapes of our favorite Disney characters.

Let’s get right to it:

Teapots Selection

Selection

Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella all have their own unique teapot. I like how each has a complementary character perched on top of the lids! And look, Cinderella even brought a snow globe to display!

Teapots Pooh

Modern Winnie the Pooh

Perhaps my favorite example! Of course, you would have to have your tea with a smackeral of hunny to use this teapot.

Teapots Classic Pooh

Classic Pooh and Piglet

This is actually a piggy bank. Although I grew up on the Disney-style Winnie the Pooh (with red sweater) I’ve always loved the look of the classic style!

Teapots Tigger

He’s not the only one!

On the left is a cookie jar (it photo-bombed my shot) but on the right is another piggy bank. Or perhaps a tiggy bank?

All of the above examples were priced between $20.00 and $30.00 US but were on sale for 50% off. This sale continues until all stock is gone, likely sometime this summer.

To conclude, we have a Limited Edition figure that is neither a teapot nor a piggy bank, but simply a display figurine:

Teapots Roger Rabbit

Va Va Vrooooom!

Roger and Jessica Rabbit are out for a ride in this great piece selling for a whopping $200.00 US (but with 50% off, the whop is lessened).

So if you need teapots or piggy banks, be sure to drive over to The Dixieland Flea Market at 2045 Dixie Hwy. in Waterford, MI. Tell them I sent you and they’ll charge you double!

For more Dixieland offerings, check out my post featuring lots and lots of cookie jars featuring not only Disney characters, but also other cartoon and cultural icons!

Cookie Jars Aplenty at Dixieland Flea Market

The Dixieland Flea Market can be found in Waterford, MI. at 2045 on the Dixie Hwy. There we found a great collection of cookie jars which I would like to share with you now:

Cookie Jars Dilbert

Dilbert

I’ve had bosses like the one in this iconic comic strip so Dilbert is like a brother to me. Keep those arms crossed in defiance, my friend!

Cookie Jars DL Castle

Disneyland Castle

This was released for the 40th Anniversary of Disneyland (1995), and apart from the strange coloring, is a nice piece.

Cookie Jars 101 Pup

101 Puppy

One of the few cookie jars that actually chose a ‘cookie’ theme. Weird. And… he’s sitting in my cookies!

Cookie Jars Pluto

Pluto

Mickey’s pup is ready for some fine dining, but I’m hoping there are more than bones in that jar!

Cookie Jars Beauty & Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Not surprisingly, this cookie jar was among the highest priced at $200.00 US. You pay for popularity!

Cookie Jars Chicken Run

Chicken Run

One of Aardman’s best movies, this chicken from Tweedy Farms is about ready to hatch a batch of cookies!

Cookie Jars Dwarfs

The Seven Dwarfs

Finally let out of Snow White’s sight, the Dwarfs spend the free time guarding, not just their gems, but cookies too!

Cookie Jars Sprout

Sprout

This one is a little strange. How can a heathy vegetable character be holding a yummy batch of cookies for us? Contradiction, anyone?

Cookie Jars Dorothy

Dorothy and Toto

Most ceramic collectibles don’t quite get the facial features of real persons right, but this cookie jar got Judy Garland spot on! Not sure about Toto.

Cookie Jars Dagwood

Dagwood Bumstead

Blondie’s husband is known for his eating so it is no surprise he would show up as a cookie jar. I wonder if it holds sandwiches…

Cookie Jars Monsters Inc

Monsters Inc.

Choices, choices. I think I like the Mike jar the best. With a smug look on his face like that, he must have the best cookies!

Cookie Jars Jetsons

The Jetsons

Now that’s one crowded spaceship! The little version is a salt and pepper shaker.

Cookie Jars Alice

Alice

This depicts one of my favorite scenes from the animated classic. But would there be much room for cookies in that house?

Cookie Jars Donald

Donald Duck

I guess I’d be upset if everyone kept taking my hat off to steal my cookies!

Cookie Jars Red Queen

The Red Queen

Maybe taking cookies from this old gal wouldn’t be a good idea! “Off with their heads!”

Cookie Jars Buzz

Buzz Lightyear

“To snack time, and beyond!” Buzz can adapt his catchphrase for any situation.

Cookie Jars Coach

Cinderella Coach

If you eat cookies from an enchanted coach, they don’t have calories.

Now most of these cookie jars were priced between $50.00 and $60.00 US but were on sale for 50% off. The lady is closing her booth soon and is liquidating her stock.

We’ll end this post with the King of all cookie jars:

Cookie Jars Kong

KONG

So if you’re in the Michigan area and need a new place to keep your cookies, be sure to stop into the Dixieland Flea Market and visit this booth!

Review: American Time and Timepieces at The Henry Ford

We always find something new to see and experience at The Henry Ford Museum (of American Innovation, if we use the new, fuller name). On our last trip, we found this permanent timepieces exhibit:

Timepieces Sign

Personally, I feel we have become slaves of time. I hope for a day when we can enjoy a slower pace without the heightened sense of urgency that almost everything has these days.

But I digress. On to the timepieces in this exhibit:

Timepieces Wall Clocks

No. They don’t play Dixieland music.

One of the first truly American clock designs coming from the early 1800’s.

Timepieces Eagle

Gallery Clock: 1800-1805

This brass clock would have been displayed in a church or public building, as most common people of the day would not have had personal timepieces. It features 8-day weight-powered movement. And… it has an eagle!

Timepieces History 1

The railroad was one of the major reasons people needed a more exact way to tell time. If you were late, the train would leave without you! We got the time zone system because of the need for standardizing time between cities, and to avoid disastrous collisions due to time discrepancies.

Timepieces History 2

Enlarge and read the many reasons why New England became a major clockmaking center.

Timepieces Pendulum

Pendulum swing like a pendulum do!

Someone should put that line to music. Did you know that Galileo helped to develop the pendulum? The test above is designed to show that no matter where you start the swing of the pendulum, it will take about the same time to swing back and forth. I tried it and it’s true!

COOL FACT: Christian Huygens was the first to use pendulums to regulate clocks in 1657.

Timepieces Mechanism

Inside that Grandfather Clock

This featured an 8-day weight-powered movement and was used in a variety of tall clocks. It also had an hour strike and a quarter chime. The example pictured was manufactured between 1682 and 1709.

Timepieces Hourglass

Telling time old-school

This one only lasted 5 seconds (I guessed 6 seconds).

COOL FACT: Signage for this item also mentioned that our inner sense of time is not as accurate as many animals.

Timepieces Info 2Timepieces Info 1

More Cool Facts

This exhibit also covered sundials and many other traditional forms of timepieces. Even one digital alarm clock that many of us may still punch every morning. Love that snooze feature!

I hope you enjoyed this brief visit to The Henry Ford Museum. It can be found at 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, Michigan.

Please enjoy these other posts featuring THF exhibits such as American Style and Modern Glass.

Walt’s Gate at Disney’s Birthplace, Chicago

Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago was a beautiful little home with a welcoming front porch, just beyond the gate. No one was home when I arrived, so I decided to wait:

Walt's Gate

Was this fence and gate there when a young Walt returned home each day oh those many years ago?

It was fun to stand where he would have walked and played!

Be sure to check out my full attraction review of Walt’s Birthplace by clicking the link.

Memorabilia from the 1964/65 World’s Fair

I have always wished that I could have attended the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair. This was a special fair for Disney fans as Walt Disney, along with his Imagineers, created many of the most memorable attractions! Today, I share some memorabilia I found from this fair.

Memorabilia World's Fair

From the Collection of The Henry Ford Museum

While visiting The Henry Ford recently I noticed these great souvenirs from the 64/65 New York World’s Fair.

Memorabilia Attraction Book

Magic Skyway for FORD

So it’s not surprising to find a booklet remembering the Magic Skyway in The Henry Ford Museum due to the obvious Ford car tie-in!

Memorabilia Glass

Drinking Glass

This is the first time I’ve seen one of these! Obviously there must have been countless of them sold during the fair, but one wonders how many would have survived to today unbroken.

Memorabilia Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. with Children

This was fun to see. Many famous people visited the fair and rode the various Disney attractions.

Memorabilia Brochure

GM Promotional Pamphlet – Futurama II

This pavilion depicted life 60 years into the future. It was one of the fair’s most popular exhibits and attracted some 26 million people. So Disney wasn’t the only designer who could put on a good show!

Memorabilia Tires

Ferris Wheel Ticket

This huge attraction was installed by the U.S. Rubber Company. Now I’m not normally a big Ferris Wheel fan but I would have loved a spin on this one! Interestingly, it was installed along the I-94 near The Henry Ford Museum in 1966. How cool is that?

These items are why I love memorabilia so much and do all I can to add new pieces to my own collection. But in this case, it seems The Henry Ford has beaten me to some really special pieces of history!

For another piece of memorabilia from this fair (that I got to first!) check out my earlier post entitled Official Guide – New York World’s Fair. And also I have a book review of Design – Just for Fun by Imagineer Bob Gurr, who worked on many of the exhibits for the fair.

Soda Jerk Goofy at Disney’s Soda Fountain

While Goofy may not be a ‘jerk’ per se, I think we can all agree that he would make the perfect Soda Jerk!

While visiting the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store in Hollywood, California, I enjoyed looking at pictures of celebrities on the walls. The one below caught my eye:

Soda Jerk Goofy

“Will that be one scoop or two? A-hyuk!”

Just what is a Soda Jerk? It is a person who serves and sells soft drinks and ice cream at a soda fountain. They don’t necessarily have to be an actual jerk. Which is a good thing for sales!

FUN FACT: ‘Hyuk’ is Goofy’s famous laugh, or a South Korean singer and actor born in 1995. Yup, you can Google it!

Can’t get enough of Goofy? Than you may want to check out this great piece of Goofy Folk Art or Learn How to Draw Goofy here!

Tomorrowland Speedway Car from Walt Disney World

The Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite attractions! I just love choking on the gas fumes as I bump around the track listening to the motors of dozens of (basically) little go-carts. And that wasn’t sarcasm, I really do love this attraction for just those reasons!

So when I started to find these great toys on eBay and elsewhere, I started building my fleet:

Speedway Profile

 Mickey Mouse Driving No. 45

I purchased this model recently even though I already have one. And I have two red ones and a blue one. And I’ll add dozens more if I can find them!

Speedway Front

Nice bumper. NO BUMPING!

Eventually I am going to build a large Walt Disney World layout in my basement with a monorail set-up and, of course, a Tomorrowland Speedway track. That’s why I need a fleet. See, it makes perfect sense, my buying dozens of these things.

Speedway Rear

No brake lights. Maybe that’s why people bump!

Now my wife stared at me in disbelief when I told her I had just purchased something that I already had. More than one of. And wanted dozens more of. What is it with women???

Speedway Undercarriage

Oh, Mickey flipped it again!

So maybe the guide rails on the track are a good idea after all.

I paid $10.00 CAN for this particular example. They sold for $12.00 US back in the day:

Speedway Price Tag

Isn’t everything?

These toy cars use a pullback motor. Pulling the car backward (hence the name) winds up an internal coil spring. When released, the car is propelled forward by the spring. When the spring has unwound and the car is moving, the motor is disengaged by a clutch or ratchet and the car then rolls freely onward. Winding must be completed in one pass.

To see my collection of Disneyland Autopia toy cars, just click the link! It is from the days of Chevron sponsorship.