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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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: Imagineer for a Day – Rock’n’Roller Coaster

Mayor for a Day. Firefighter for a Day. Astronaut for a Day. All good choices, but for the Disney fan, it has to be Imagineer for a Day! Join me and my fellow Blogorailers as we exploit our opportunities to change whatever we want about the attractions and/or shows in the Disney parks!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. I’ve chosen to reimagine:


RocknRoller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

rock-n-roller-coaster

Currently, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an enclosed launched steel roller coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort and at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris. As the attraction’s name suggests, the coaster features Aerosmith members, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, and Brad Whitford.

attraction-bling

Remember them? Many young people today don’t, and this is one reason I feel it’s time for a rethink! Even if the queue area is awesome.

The Florida attraction opened on July 29, 1999 and is located at the end of Sunset Boulevard. The coaster accelerates from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds and that is something I would not change! Because riders experience 4.5 G as they enter the first inversion, more than an astronaut does on a space shuttle launch. Yeah. It’s that wicked!

But outdated. So what would I do to reinvigorate this attraction if I were an Imagineer?

F I R S T

Introduce a new theme

Out with Aerosmith and the music angle. Rather than mess with the beyond-awesome Twilight Zone Tower of Terror I would introduce a Marvel theme to this attraction instead. Universal Studios has made an art form out of fusing Marvel characters with cutting edge roller coaster technology and as a result has arguably kicked Disney’s butt in the thrill ride sector!

Adding to the obvious symmetry of this product placement is that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a movie-themed park. Marvel Comics movies are killing at the box office now and will likely continue to do so for many years to come. So a superhero overlay only makes sense.

S E C O N D

Reinvent the queue area

Out with the tacky video message. There are so many better and higher tech ways to engage an audience than a flat screen video presentation. The concept artwork for the Guardians of the Galaxy queue area planned for TOT would work here.

Or we could use Avengers Mansion as a template. Or Stark Industries. Or Dr. Strange’s Inner Sanctum. The list of available options are numerous and could be swapped out to freshen up the attraction as new Marvel movies are released. This would also give Disney the opportunity to promote new properties.

T H I R D

Add additional Photo Ops

One action shot is not enough! I love ride photos and this roller coaster has so many scream-inducing moves that more cameras to capture these moments would be cool.

Beyond that, we have the opportunity to create a Marvel hero meet-and-greet beyond anything we have seen in a Disney park to date! Face characters could interact with guests during times of peak capacity. More face characters could be waiting for guests after the ride, near the obligatory gift shop, to pose for pictures.

ride-vehicle

And that my friends is what I would do to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster if I were an Imagineer for a day! Of course, it would take slightly longer than a day to pull off such changes, but with a little faith and some pixie dust… it would still take longer than a day.

But I’m a patient man and would stick with it until it was done! Am I hired?

For more about Disney attractions we would like to see improved, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Top Five Indications You Are a Hopeless Disney Fan

Well, I wouldn’t call myself hopeless. But others would! Since my first visit to Walt Disney World as an adult in 2006 I have been hooked on The Mouse. I don’t take it overboard (no, really) but I do enjoy the wholesome and oft-times folksy charm of the Disney brand.

But maybe you’re wondering if you are a hopeless Disney fan? If so, I think I can help you to answer that question. Here is my Top Five List of indications that you are indeed a hopeless Disney fan:

INDICATION FIVE

Your favorite movie is a Disney animated classic

movie-poster

From the Golden era to the modern renaissance to today’s instant classics everyone has a favorite Disney animated movie. But you: Your favorite movie of all time is a Disney animated movie! Citizen Kane? The Bodyguard? James Bond? Garbage compared to Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, and Big Hero 6 as far as you’re concerned!

INDICATION FOUR

Your house looks like a Disney Store

disney-store

You say you just collect a few things here and there, but your house guests get a different impression when they enter room after room of Disney merchandise. To steal a bit from Jeff Foxworthy: When The Disney Store calls you when they run low on stock… you may be a hopeless Disney fan!

INDICATION THREE

You visit a Disney Park at least yearly

disneyland

Walt Disney World. Disneyland. Disney’s California Adventure. If it’s in North America, you’ve been there! And if you’ve been to a Disney park abroad? Man, you really are a hopeless Disney fan!

INDICATION TWO

You have a Disney Blog

disney-nouns

Oh my goodness! I just realized… I really am a hopeless Disney fan! Yes, in my case, it all started with a blog called Disleelandia back in 2009. I then wrote for other sites like Chip & Company, Disney Dose, the original Theme Park Press site, as well as numerous guest posts on other sites like My Dreams of Disney. I have contributed to The Magical Blogorail in addition to writing my own blog called Disney Nouns and lastly Cool Nouns. I now contribute to various blogs.

Hello. My name is Lee. I have a blogging problem.

INDICATION ONE

You read about being a hopeless Disney fan

a-disney-fan

Admit it: If you could have this ceiling fan in your house, you would! Admit it: You see Hidden Mickeys everywhere! Admit it: You know more about Walt Disney than you’re own grandfather! Admit it: You have more Disney t-shirts than plain ones! Admit it: You have worn Mickey Ears outside a Disney park! Admit it: If Disney became illegal, you’d buy it on the street! Just admit it: You are a hopeless Disney fan!

Magical Blogorail: Discover Future World – Universe of Energy

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking a closer look at the fun you can find in Future World at Epcot.


UNIVERSE OF ENERGY

Universe of Energy 1

Ellen. The Science Guy. A Game Show. Dinosaurs. And Air-conditioning. How could you not like this attraction?

Unlike many of the rides in Future World this one has a very large capacity which means you will experience one of the shortest wait times in Disney theme park history. So if you see a low wait time on the board for this attraction, please don’t think it’s because it isn’t good!

Universe of Energy 4     Universe of Energy 3     Universe of Energy 5

And it’s in a pretty building

The pavilion is located in the eastern half of Future World at Epcot. It contains just the one attraction, its second since its 1982 opening. The current attraction, entitled Ellen’s Energy Adventure, stars Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye. It features a combination of four separate large-format film presentations and a slow-moving dark ride.

You begin by standing in an outer theater while you watch Ellen in an eight-minute film in which she falls asleep and dreams that she is in an energy-themed version of Jeopardy!, playing against an old rival Judy Peterson (portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Albert Einstein. After round one, Ellen is losing badly. Enter Bill Nye to save the day with science information! Next you enter the main show area and take a seat in large ride vehicles. Another screen is used to show a four-minute film which sets Ellen up for the adventure about energy. She is taken back into the distance past. Then you are on the move into a dinosaur diorama:

Univers of Energy 7

Next is a 12-minute film giving an in-depth look at various current and future energy resources across the United States. Last is a final two-minute film presenting the end of Ellen’s dream in which she uses her new knowledge about energy in Round 2 to unseat Judy as Jeopardy! champion.

This is also one of the longest rides in Future World so sit back and relax and rest your tired feet in air-conditioned comfort! Some find the content a bit dated but the information is still relevant today.

When you exit, be sure to check out the views:

Universe of Energy 6          Universe of Energy 2

Sometimes the oldest attractions can be the best, and while this energy adventure may not necessarily be the best, it certainly is worth the time! Did I mention it’s air-conditioned?

For more about Future World, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

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Magical Blogorail: Visiting Four Parks in Just One Day!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are looking at strategies to tackle all four Walt Disney World parks in just one day!


SET   REALISTIC   GOALS

Can you visit every attraction and see every show in all four Walt Disney World parks in just one day? Um, no. Could you do it in a week? Still no. Could you do it in a month? OK, yes, probably in a month. But who can spend that much time at Disney at one go!

So let’s go back to the unrealistic premise of visiting all four parks in just one day and see what realistic goals we could set to achieve this:

GOAL   NUMBER   ONE

Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours

Check the park schedules to see which park is opening early and which park is opening late. Compare these times to the regular operating hours of the other parks on your day of choice to maximize your chances of visiting all four parks.

Four Parks

You may need to start a little earlier and be willing to put in a grueling day, and probably stay out past your usual bedtime. But you’re on vacation so… who needs sleep?

GOAL   NUMBER   TWO

Reduce traveling times

If possible, in line with Goal Number One, try to move from park to park in a circular pattern. If you start with The Magic Kingdom, then travel clockwise on the Resort Monorail line to the Transportation and Ticket Center, switch to the Epcot Monorail line and ride it to Epcot. Your next park will then be Disney’s Hollywood Studios which you can reach by boat from Epcot. Lastly, you will have to take a bus to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Of course, if you have a car, it may be quicker to drive between the parks. But keep in mind that traffic, far-away parking spaces, and tram delays could reduce your time in the parks.

WDW Map

Of course, you may need to go counter-clockwise if park times dictate that, but obviously you will want to avoid randomly bouncing from park to park like a ball in a pinball machine as this will eat away at your goal of visiting all four parks in just one day!

GOAL   NUMBER   THREE

Choose in advance what you will do in each park

Vacation Proverb: He who looks at everything experiences nothing. The Moral? Keep your head down and get’er done!

Eyes Eyes Eyes

Assuming you can start your day at 9 am and have to end your day at 10 pm (possibly later) that would mean you will have approximately just three hours in each park with one hour (at least) being eaten up by travel.

So advance planning is a must! Ask yourself – What is the best thing about each park? Here are my suggestions:

The Magic Kingdom – Children’s Attractions/Shopping

Epcot – World Showcase

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Thrill Rides

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Kilimanjaro Safaris and Maharajah Jungle Trek

Your tastes may be different, so check out the attractions in each park and see what each park does best, in your opinion, and focus on only that during your visit to the park in question.

GOAL   NUMBER   FOUR

Don’t rush!

As mentioned in Goal Number Three, you will have only about three hours in each park. But to see what you want you can vary the amount of time spent in each park. This way, you won’t have to be like the White Rabbit, rushing from ride to attraction to park!

Rushing

For example, following my suggestions in Goal Number Three, you may want to spend four hours in The Magic Kingdom (especially if you have children), the full three-hour allotment in Epcot, only two hours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (as there are really only three main thrill rides available) and again the full three-hour allotment for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Leaving DAK until last is also wise for if you are running out of time, as there is arguably less to see and do in this park.

GOAL   NUMBER   FIVE

Blow off the next day!

Relax! Don’t plan anything for the morning of the next day. Get up a little later, sleep-in…

Beautiful Sleeper

… and then have a nice brunch. Chill at the Resort and hit the pool in the early afternoon. Plan a nice dinner at a themed restaurant (maybe a character affair) to make up for the rushed food options you had to endure during your park marathon.

I think if you follow these five realistic goals, you will be able to visit all four parks in just one day, and survive to tell about it! Of course, I use the term ‘survive’ loosely.

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For more strategies to tackle four parks in just one day, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Magical Blogorail: Lands of The Magic Kingdom – Liberty Square

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking a tour of the Lands at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park.


You have arrived at Walt Disney World! Now, where do you start? Most will recommend that you begin your visit at The Magic Kingdom. If you’ve followed this loop in order, you will know that there are many Lands in this particular park. I hope to show you why the smallest of them is still worth your time!

I am concluding the tour of the Lands of The Magic Kingdom with:

LIBERTY SQUARE

Views 12

View from the Liberty Belle riverboat

“From this Gateway stirs a new nation waiting to be born. Thirteen separate colonies have banded together to declare their independence from the bonds of tyranny. It is a time when silversmiths put away their tools and march to the drums of a revolution, a time for gentlemen planters to leave their farms and become generals, a time when tradesmen leave the safety of home to become heroes. Welcome to Liberty Square!
―Entrance Plaque

This Land was adapted from a Disneyland concept called Liberty Street, which would have extended from Main Street USA. Themed after colonial America, replicas of both the Liberty Bell and the Liberty Tree can be seen here. Two very popular attractions are also found here, namely The Haunted Mansion and The Hall of Presidents. You can also find the beautiful Liberty Belle steamboat.

Many beautiful sights can be enjoyed from her deck:

Liberty Belle

The following thumbnails will attest to this fact:

Views 12     Views 1     Views 2

Views 3     Views 5     Views 6

Views 7     Views 8     Views 10

Below you can see The Liberty Belle coming and going:

Rivers of America     Liberty Belle sailing

You can even find references to old live-action movies, like Wilson’s Cave Inn from the Davy Crockett adventures where he met Mike Fink. Mike Fink’s Keel Boats ran on the same waters as the Liberty Belle from 1971 to 1997.

Views 9

And some good-natured fun can be had in the stockades! Although, I doubt prisoners found them much fun back in the day!

Fun

Here are some Fun Facts about Liberty Square:

  • Find the replica of the House of Burgesses and look upstairs in the window to find Paul Revere’s lanterns signifying “Two if by sea”.
  • The Liberty Tree is an actual 100-year-old oak found on the property and transplanted, with a younger oak grafted into the base.
  • The Liberty Bell replica was cast from the mold of the actual Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. It is the only bell ever cast from these molds.
  • The Liberty Bell was placed in Liberty Square in 1987 to commemorate the U.S. Constitution’s bicentennial.
  • There are architectural representations of each of the original Thirteen Colonies.
  • The state flags of each of the original 13 states, as well as the American flag, fly in a plaza in the center of Liberty Square.

There are three restaurants to choose from: Columbia Harbour House, Sleepy Hollow, and the Liberty Tree Tavern. Shopping opportunities are slim!

So if you like history and want a smattering of it during your next vacation, be sure to take in the atmosphere and edutainment of Liberty Square!

For more tours of the lands of the Magic Kingdom, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Magical Blogorail: Secret Disney Obsessions – Transportation

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing some of our secret Disney obsessions.


So what is it with men and transportation? If it has wheels and moves, we’re all over it! I never miss a chance to ride the Tomorrowland Speedway/Autopia cars, even though I can’t breathe while doing so.

Me and Autopia

DL Hotel: I’ll even drive indoors!

I use snuggling with my wife as an excuse to ride the PeopleMover, although technically it doesn’t have wheels, but it does move! For more on my obsession with this form of Disney transportation, and many other Disney ride vehicles, just click the link.

I also love the vintage vehicles on Main Street.

Disneyland Vehicles

DL: Up or down?

I even prefer to drive to Walt Disney World instead of flying! Let’s face it, I’m hooked on Disney transportation!

But I think I come by this obsession honestly as I share it, not only with every other man on the planet, but also with Walt Disney himself. After all, who do you think put all of those wheeled wonders in the parks?

Disneyland Tram

DL: I even love riding the trams!

But my top two transportation-related Disney obsessions are the trains and monorails, both at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Train at Frontierland Station

WDW: Frontierland Station, as seen from Splash Mountain queue

Casey Jr.

DL: Casey Jr. chugging around the track

There’s nothing like the sound of a real steam locomotive! And when it travels along a scenic route such as in a Disney park, one can’t help but love the trip.

In contrast, there is also nothing quite like gliding silently along the cement beam of the monorial!

WDW Monorial Purple

WDW: Monorail Purple in Epcot

Disneyland Monorail Red

DL: Monorail Red traveling over Finding Nemo subs

Maybe it’s the extreme difference in technologies between the steam engine and the monorail that makes riding these forms of transportation so special for me. Leave it to Walt Disney to include the nostalgic right alongside the modern!

Before I conclude this post, I should confess one final transportation-related obsession:

Disney bus

WDW: I even like riding the buses!

For more secret Disney obsessions, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Top Five Disney Misconceptions That ‘Everyone’ Believes

We know everything about Disney, right? With so many books written and so many more websites sharing insights and information, the ‘truth’ is out there, right? Not really.

Sometimes urban legend and rumor can overshadow simple fact. So here is my list of the Top Five misconceptions about Walt Disney, his company, and his characters:

NUMBER FIVE

DISNEY PARKS ARE ‘DYING BY DEGREES’

Disney Park Maintenance

This is true-ish, but mostly false, for all intents and purposes. Many Internet sites point out every burned-out light bulb, notice every piece of blowing garbage, and pick away at the overall cleanliness of the parks. I admit these things are present, but no more-so, and probably less-so, than at any other competing theme park.

Are Disneyland and Walt Disney World less maintained than when they first opened? Yes. Are there less new rides being added year after year? Yes. Are there less extra offerings than in past times? Yes. Hmm, It seems I’m discrediting my own case!

But is it really that bad? Park attendance is at an all-time high with the off-season all but gone. Disney parks still have a rabid following. Internet sites about the parks are growing in number and readership. What are we to conclude from this?

That a Disney park is still better than any other theme park… period. But admittedly, that could change. Universal Studios has had enormous success with the Harry Potter franchise and many other parks have better roller coasters and thrill rides. As the demographics of theme park attendees grows younger, this could cause a change from wholesome entertainment (Disney) to more vibrant and exciting offerings (the competition).

For now though, Disney parks are not dying, by degrees or otherwise!

NUMBER FOUR

TOM HANKS IS WALT DISNEY’S LOVE CHILD

Question Man

What, am I the only one who’s heard this rumor? To sum it up: It’s not true.

NUMBER THREE

DISNEY IS JUST ABOUT THE MONEY

Walt Disney Dollar Bill

OK, at times, The Walt Disney Company can seem a little money-hungry. OK, maybe a lot money-hungry! Many criticize the company as having lost the focus of its founder, Walt Disney, for he himself famously said:

“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.” “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” “Money doesn’t excite me, my ideas excite me.” “Disneyland is a work of love. We did not go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”

This orgy of evidence seems to damn the billion-dollar corporation that is Disney today. But there is something people are missing, and it’s exposed in this last quote about money from Walt Disney: “I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life… it’s money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true.” (italics mine)

So with that in mind, what way do we want it? Do we want The Walt Disney Company to cut profits and make less money for its shareholders so as to appear to be more Walt-like, or do we want the magic to continue? Times have changed and things aren’t financed on a shoe-string and a handshake, like in Walt’s day. Now there are Unions demanding higher salaries, contractors with higher running expenses, skyrocketing costs of goods, and many more building codes and hoops to jump through than in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Could Disney pay their front-line Cast Members more? Yes. Does Disney need to charge so much for admission tickets? No. Could the company learn more from its founder? Yes. Are any of these things going to happen? Not likely.

But dreams cost money. Even Walt admitted that. So yes, The Walt Disney Company is about the money, because it has to be to survive in these modern times.

NUMBER TWO

IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE

Mickey vs Oswald

Not quite. Oswald, whose hand you see holding the sign on the t-shirt above, would have something to say about that! But even Oswald has to take second place to Alice from the Alice Comedies, the little live-action girl who played in a cartoon world.

But even before these two competitors, Walt was working on Laugh-O-Grams, re-making old fairy tales into modern stories. Oh yeah, and he did advertising before that. So Mickey wasn’t first in the chronological sense.

But… he did ‘start’ the ascension of Walt Disney as the premier genius of animation. With Mickey Mouse came a whole new era of character and innovation that set the rest of the animation studios scrambling to keep up! And without Mickey Mouse, there wouldn’t have been a Snow White feature-length film. Without that, there wouldn’t have been a Disneyland.

So Mickey Mouse did start a lot, but he just wasn’t the very first something that Walt Disney created.

NUMBER ONE

WALT DISNEY IS CRYOGENICALLY FROZEN

Cryo Tanks

Picture by David Kadlubowski

This urban legend needs to die. Seriously. I heard a speaker state this as an absolute fact during a lecture once, which caused me to doubt his authority in anything else he had to say!

It is true that Walt Disney loved technology and perhaps he researched this possibility at one point, but there doesn’t seem to be any conclusive evidence to support this. I’ve read many books by people who were close to him during his last days and none mentioned cryogenic freezing as Walt’s final resting place.

His family state that he was interned, and that’s good enough for me!

So why do rumors like this get started? Perhaps it’s because people like to believe the incredible, especially if it involves a negative or strange thing about a celebrity. Walt-bashers like to use this to show how weird Walt was and as an excuse to mock him. Although Walt wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t given to unrealistic fancies. The technology he used had to be tested and true, and then perfected, before it was used anywhere in his empire. Therefore, it is very unlikely that he would have placed his very life in the hands of such an uncertain technology.

So what do you think of my list? Would you add anything? Or do you disagree with anything I’ve included? After all, I could be wrong about Tom Hanks. If so, let us know in the comment section below.