As the first in our In-Depth Retrospective series, we’re going to dive headfirst into the tale of this long-lost attraction, discussing the history and lore that surround it. As time marches on, fewer and fewer guests can actually recall what Alien Encounter was like, so we’ll walk you through the harrowing experience from the entrance doors to the exit and then discuss what brought about its demise. Could Alien Encounter have found a new home at Disneyland Resort? What of the original attraction remains today? Let’s look back together.[more inside]
The Messy Business of Reinventing Happiness. The story behind FastPass+ at DisneyWorld. [more inside]
Tomorrowland: how Walt Disney’s strange utopia shaped the world of tomorrow - cryogenically frozen head not included.
A long-form essay from The Toast (of which you may have read) about life and grieving and gentleness and joy and ... look, just read it: No Matter How Your Heart Is Grieving: Disney for the Sad
The Disney Food Blog offers in-depth news, reviews, and information about food and restaurants in Disney’s parks, resorts, and cruise ships, along with reviews and photographs of and about anything food-related in Disney parks, resorts, movies, and events. Disney food FAQs. Disney food news.
"I mean, seriously we're adorable. How could we have a blog that didn't feature us up front and center? ;)" Meet Adam and Andrew. They blog about the aesthetics of Disney. Those little details that are found in all aspects of Disney parks (and related materials): bathroom signs, murals (bathrooms again), vintage Dumbo book illustrations, Epcot's UK (part of their Shake to Randomize series), Theming At Animal Kingdom's Serka Zong Bazaar, and Six Things I DON'T Hate About The Italy Pavilion At Epcot. (In fact The whole month of June 2012 is a treasure.) There's also a podcast.
The Complex City Guide has a bit of information on 15 possible headquarters for the Illuminati, but it's a slideshow with limited information, and there's a lot of information out there, so let's get into it. [more inside]
You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race
The bands are even uniquely colored and monogrammed with your family members’ names so that they won’t get switched up. Why? Because they don’t want their database to get confused and think that you, a 45-year-old man, rode the teacups instead of your little son Timmy. This is one of the first examples I’ve seen of physical design (e.g., monogramming and coloring) for the sake of digital data purity.
If ever there was a testimony to the importance big data has achieved in business it’s this: We will now shape our physical world to create better streams of digital information.
Following a media report (and subsequent investigation) last May that wealthy guests of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World resort were abusing the Guest Assistance Card system, Disney announced this week that it will replace the card with a new Disability Access Service Card, beginning October 9th. [more inside]
If you ever happen to be in Florida and some challenges you to climb the tallest peak, believing they have you beat because they think Disney World's Expedition Everest is the tallest "mountain" in the state, don't worry! There are more than 50 points that are taller than the summit of Expedition Everest, with it's peak less than 200 feet above sea level. A Summit Post member chronicled their adventures to the four tallest "mountains" in Florida, and included a note about Spook Hill (YouTube; Wikipedia). [more inside]
Plenty of people collect Disneyana, the toys, books, animation cels, and theme-park souvenirs. Then there are those fans who collect information and details on the Disney parks themselves, collecting official park maps or drawing up their own ride blueprints, assembling the design history behind the attractions, and even collecting vintage tickets and ticket books. Yesterland (previously: 1, 2, 3) is an ever-growing collection of Disneyland history, and has an updated collection of links to similar fan sites and Imagineering blogs, which is a whole collection of rabbit holes of nostalgia and behind-the-scense information. So grab a riding crop and pretend like it's the 60s all over again!
An unfinished Donald Duck comic story, designed and roughed out with story complete, by Don Rosa! Written to promote the grand opening of Disney's MGM theme park, for one reason or another they dropped it before it could be completed. It's interesting because, in the comic book universe, Donald Duck isn't a movie star, but Mickey Mouse is -- so the duck seeks out his autograph. It even makes an explicit reference to a certain other duck....
The Muppets at Walt Disney World is a television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This was the last Muppets project that Jim Henson worked on before his death. parts: intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 [more inside]
"SeaWorld bespeaks the essence of Orlando, a place whose specialty is detaching experience from context, extracting form from substance, and then selling tickets to it."
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
The Reedy Creek Improvement District's goal "is to provide effective and efficient services to the public and our taxpayers." The taxpayer is Disney, and the taxes are used to provide services for Disney by contracting the services to Disney. The RCID is a county-like entity in Florida, composed of the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, which are also controlled by Disney. The government of the RCID is elected by the landowners - Disney executives who own five-acre plots, the only non-corporate and non-government landowners. The governments of the cities are elected by the residents - about 40 Disney employees split between Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista. The Rotten Library (SFW article on a NSFW site) discusses the district, which is administered from a SimCity 2000 construction site.
Tigger arrested on molestation charges. Why couldn't it have been Eeyore? or Piglet?
Walt Disney World's recent designation as a no-fly zone has had an additional consequence: Christian extremists can no longer harass gay tourists from above.
"A placid boat ride past sets of harmonizing, doe-eyed dolls just doesn't cut it for kids raised on Quake and MTV." Epcot's new Mission: Space to feature intense g-force and weightlessness simulation. How is this possible and still be Disney-safe? Even though that caught my attention, the article is really about how Disney's creative engineers are having trouble staying a few steps ahead of the tech-savvy kiddies.
Hostage situation prompts Disney hotel evacuation: "A police SWAT team was dispatched to a hotel at Walt Disney World today after a guest informed the desk he was armed and holding a food service worker and a 4-year-old child hostage"
Disneyworld... has lowered it's adult age prices, so now if you happen to be 10 or older, you're paying full price, which if memory serves me correctly is about $40 bucks. (it rarely does.)