‘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!

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!

Epcot: Jumping Water Fountain at Night

It’s always fun to watch the jumping water fountain at Epcot in Walt Disney World. But at night, it adds a special dimension:

fountain leaping water

From one pot to another

The shot is a bit grainy but I still like the colors and of course the water in mid leap.

If you look closely, you can also see Spaceship Earth in the background with the Epcot wand still installed.

This picture was taken in 2007.

Big Dig Clock from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

With the invention of the SmartPhone, who uses clocks or watches anymore? Well, I do, for one! And if they come molded into a piece of sculpture, and are called Big Dig Clock, well, it’s even better:

ctf-exhibitors-027

Mickey’s uncovered a timepiece

This is a wonderful little figurine that comes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World, Florida.

ctf-exhibitors-028ctf-exhibitors-029ctf-exhibitors-030

A good view from all sides!

I have another example of this clock-in-sculpture style of merchandise in the post entitled Waiting With Mickey Mouse. It comes from Disneyland Paris. Be sure to check it out!

ctf-exhibitors-032     ctf-exhibitors-033

Timepiece is removable

I recently rescued this from a lonely shelf at an Antique Market in Michigan, so obviously the timepiece needs a battery.

ctf-exhibitors-031

 “Big Dig in the Boneyard”

You can visit this area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom yourself. It’s an open air play space designed to look like a dinosaur dig site where kids can explore and have fun. Smack in the middle of DinoLand U.S.A., you just can’t miss it. After all, even the bones the dinosaurs left behind are BIG!

I wonder if dinosaurs could tell time?

Greenfield Village: Relaxation on a Bench in Summertime

Into every vacation a little relaxation must fall. When visiting a theme park it’s easy to get into the rush of racing from one attraction to the next! But as one gets older, the scene below starts to have a certain appeal:

greenfield-village-bench

Greenfield Village – 2016

Again, I don’t pretend to be a professional photographer, so I try to focus on subject and contrast rather than technical tricks. In this shot, I liked how the building in the background was in shadow as it made the illuminated picket fence pop even more. The curved border and paved walkway added interest through variety of shape.

And yes, I sat on the bench after taking the shot!

Disneyland Dedication Plaque: Welcome to This Happy Place

dedication-plaque

DISNEYLAND – JULY 17, 1955

“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?

Epcot Pavilions as Seen from World Showcase Lagoon

Have you ever looked at something in a different way and come to a whole new appreciation of it? I did so back in 2008 when I boarded a Friendship Taxi to circle the World Showcase Lagoon and saw the Pavilions from a whole different angle.

You can see some of these perspectives by viewing an earlier post entitled Scenes Around World Showcase. But I’d like to display more Pavilions from the vantage point of the water for you again:

epcot-pavilions-1

epcot-pavilions-2

epcot-pavilions-3

epcot-pavilions-4

epcot-pavilions-5

epcot-pavilions-6

epcot-pavilions-7

How many times have you taken a Friendship Taxi to get around the World Showcase, viewing it only as a form of transportation from point A to point B? No matter where I am or what am I doing, I always look for opportunities for another photographic essay!

Have you ever taken to the World Showcase Lagoon to get a better angle or the perfect shot?

Sights Around Greenfield Village from 2016

When I’m not reporting on all-things Disney I can be found out and about searching for interesting things to photograph. One of my favorite spots to visit is Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI.

Before I show my latest selection of shots I should remind everyone that I am by no means a professional photographer. Many if not most are more competent with f-stops and apertures than I’ll ever be! So what I try to focus on is subject and composition to create interesting pictures.

Please let me know if I’ve succeeded:

greenfield-village-1

greenfield-village-2

greenfield-village-4

greenfield-village-3

greenfield-village-5

greenfield-village-6

greenfield-village-8

greenfield-village-7

greenfield-village-9

Notice that I used framing, juxtaposition, and repetition to create interest. If you liked today’s post from 2016 you may enjoy a look back at Greenfield Village in 2007.

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:

luigis-flying-tires-hat-007

luigis-flying-tires-hat-008

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!

Magical Blogorail: Imagineer for a Day

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!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Imagineer for a Day Loop: