It's a Great Big Beautiful World! Let's Discover it Together

Showing posts with label Details Matter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Details Matter. Show all posts

Friday, July 26, 2013

Flashback Friday - Disneyland 1993


Time to go back in time thanks to fun old family photos of days gone by.  Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was a popular destination for our family.  Sometimes we were there just the four of us, other times with extended family members.  Oftentimes my brother and I would get to go for school or church incentives, or as awards for a successful sports season with the teams we played on.  Trips with friends, or friends families were often the case as well, and as we became teenagers, the park was a popular destination to hang out.
Here's a look at The Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square in 1993.  At that time the Pet Cemetery was brand-new, having recently been added to the queue area in front of the Mansion.  For years Cast Members had enjoyed the sight of this little creative touch in a back-stage area of the park not readily visible to guests - though sharp, eagle-eyed guests could spot it if turning their heads to the left immediately upon exiting the attraction, but finally the Imagineers decided to relocate it for all guests to be able to see and enjoy it.  Similar to the Disneyland version, a Pet Cemetery later appeared at the Walt Disney World version of the famed attraction in the '90s.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Ariel's Entryway...East & West

The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure recently opened as a brand-new attraction within the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as part of the New Fantasyland 2012 renovations and expansion; but it first opened in June 2011 at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.  
Both parks have given their version of this identical, omni-mover, dark-ride attraction its own unique theming and feel to the entrance queue and overall surrounding aesthetics given the attraction's location within the parks.  

In Florida, the attraction is located between the new Storybook Circus area and the assorted Beauty & the Beast based attractions and restaurants inside the new Fantasy Forest in Fantasyland, and has a very richly themed entry, including Prince Eric's castle, and caves and grottos to explore.  

In California, it's located within the Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure, thus it has a more seaside pavilion flair, reminiscent of boardwalk structures of the 1930's and '40s, and features bas relief images of Ariel's sisters, and a bronze statue of her father, King Triton on the apex of the curved dome structure. The actual queue entryway takes guests through the recreation of San Francisco's famed Palace of Fine Arts, from the 1910 World's Fair.  

Personally I love both queues for very different reasons.  They each appeal to my individual tastes, and are richly appointed, just in different ways.  For a more-immersive feel, Florida wins, hands-down.  I know my daughter can't wait to be able to experience the new queue in Florida, and see some of the fun new interactive features that were not included in the California queue. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Details Matter

Attention to detail is one of the things that Disney is often cited for as one of the "Disney Differences" - not just in its' theme parks and resorts division, but also onboard its' ships of the Disney Cruise Line.  Check out this hallway from the Disney Wonder, found in the Route 66 area on Deck 3, an entertainment zone which houses 3 different lounges (WaveBands, Cadillac Lounge and Diversions), which offer various family-friendly activities during the day, but transforms to an adults-only zone after 9 pm each day.  

Not only are the walls painted to resemble the sky, and the various wall decorations resemble road side signs (which by the way are recreations of actual roadside signs that once graced the famed Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles), but the carpeting plays a big, important role as well.  You can literally travel from Chicago to L.A. by way of the floor!  The entire route and various surrounding communities is shown in the carpeting, ending at the Pacific Ocean.  So even onboard the Disney Wonder, you can essentially get your kicks, on Route 66! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Morocco Pavilion Debuts

September 7, 1984 – Walt Disney World

Morocco debuts as the first new international pavilion to be added to Epcot’s World Showcase since the park opened in October 1982. The pavilion is situated between Japan and France, and is the first pavilion to be sponsored by a national government instead of a corporation.  The King of Morocco sent royal craftsmen to do all of the carvings, paintings and hand lay all of the tile work through the pavilion, which recreates the architectural styling and atmosphere of Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - Disneyland's Design

From the very first steps inside the turnstiles, the guest is transported inside this living, 3D "film" playing out before them. The red concrete between the turnstiles and the Mickey floral planter in front of them, leading to the left or right and the tunnels going under the railroad tracks are the "lobby" of this theatre. The tunnels are the entrance portals into the story playing out within the "theatre" that is the park itself. 

Once inside, the enjoyment truly begins as the stories begin to unfold all around the guests. An earthen berm was built around the park, to shield it from the intrusions of the outside world. The original design of the park included five "scenes" or magical lands to explore and enjoy...

  • Scene One unfolds all around the guests through the wonders of turn-of the-century Americana known as MAIN STREET, U.S.A... American at a crossroads, where the gas lamp is being replaced by electric lamps, and the horseless carriages are overtaking the horse-drawn carriages.
  • Scene Two, based on the then-popular "True-Life Adventure" films of the 1940's and '50's took guests into an exoctic locale known as ADVENTURELAND, celebrating the remote jungles of Africa and Asia.
  • Scene Three recreated the pioneering days of Davy Crockett and the great American frontier - FRONTIERLAND. Walt was extremely proud of, and enamored by those men and women of vision and courage to move across the great central plains of America to help settle the west, he once wrote, "Here you can return to frontier America, from the Revolutionary War era to the final taming of the great Southwest; our adventures are designed to gie you the feeling of having lived, even for a short while, during our country's pioneer days." In the early days of Frontierland guests could ride in a stage coach, or take a ride on pack mules just as those early settlers might have done.
  • Scene Four brought Walt's beloved animated characters to life in a charming array of storybook based attractions in FANTASYLAND. Stepping across the drawbridge and in to Sleeping Beauty Castle and the castle's courtyard, guests are tranported into a charming world where elephants can fly, Peter Pan flys once again to Neverland, the Mad Hatter hosts a dizzying tea party and many other charming fairytales come to life.
  • Scene Five was an opportunity for guests to imagine what the future might hold as America was just beginning to experience the technical marvels of the "Space Age" in TOMORROWLAND. As Walt said, "Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future." (That future, as imagined for opening day was then then-distant 1986... certainly a lot has come and gone since then!)

Each land was designed to fully immerse the guests within that particular theme. Movie-making tricks that had been around for decades were employed to set the scenes and get the story moving. Architecture and aesthetics were key. Attention to detail critical. All done to enhance the show, and give the guests an incredible experience like none they'd ever experienced before. As Walt Disney said, "I don't want the public to see the world they live in while they're in Disneyland. I want them to feel they're in another world."

Walt's inspired design concept has been successfully repeated in four other Magic Kingdoms around the globe:  Orlando, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, and will soon play out yet again in Shanghai.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Disney's Wilderness Lodge®  first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on May 28, 1994.  Themed to invoke the Pacific Northwest, and inspired by the great National Park lodges from the turn of the 20th century, the “Lodge”  is an architectural masterpiece honoring American craftsmanship and artistry, and celebrating the majesty of the unspoiled wilderness. It was designed by famed architect Peter Dominick (who also designed Walt Disney World® Resort’s other great lodge - Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge®; as well as Disneyland® Resort’s awe-inspiring Disney’s Grand Californian® Hotel & Spa); and pays homage to ancient Native American cultures and the American pioneering spirit through authentic décor and genuine artifacts on display throughout the lodge. 

Awed and impressed are the feelings you’ll have from your first steps inside the Lodge’s stunning 7-story lobby, with its 82 foot tall fireplace representing the various layers of rock strata of the Grand Canyon, to the hand-carved multi-story totem poles. 

Disney's Wilderness Lodge® features 727 guest rooms, offering wildlife, nature and Native American themes.  Honeymoon suites feature marble whirlpool tubs;  many rooms feature bunk-beds for families with small children.  Larger 1 and 2 bedroom suites are also available.
Outside be sure to look for the bubbling spring flowing from the lobby, and tumbling over a sparkling waterfall towards the swimming pool, and continuing on into Bay Lake.  Nearby you’ll find Fire Rock Geyser, designed with Yellowstone National Park’s “Old Faithful” in mind, sending plumes of water up to 120 feet in the air every hour. 

Disney's Wilderness Lodge® features 2 table service restaurants:  Whispering Canyon Café and Artist Point; and includes one quick-service restaurant: Roaring Fork; as well as 2 lounge/bar locations: Territory Lounge and Trout Pass. 

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge® is a deluxe level resort located in the Magic Kingdom area.  Convenient boat transportation will take guests directly to Magic Kingdom Park®, as well as bus transportation to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - Aulani

Aulani is situated on 21 acres of oceanfront property, on the leeward coast of the island of Oahu.  Imagineers used landscaping designed to replicate the traditional Hawaiian ahupua'a, or land divisions that allowed the inhabitants of the area to partake in all they needed to sustain themselves from the forests of the uplands to the fish and plants at sea level.  Throughout the resort, astute visitors will notice that the landscaping foliage goes from dry land varieties to more wet and lush plantings as you move from the Makaala to the ocean.  Referencing traditional Polynesian structures, or hale, two 15-story towers flank the main lobby building, called Makaala, which means "the beginning of a path." 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Today in Disney Parks & Resorts History - Disneyland's New Tomorrowland - 1967

July 2, 1967 - Disneyland

Disneyland's New Tomorrowland debuts.  The Peoplemover, Rocket Jets, General Electric's Carousel of Progress, and the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant all open in the newly updated Tomorrowland.  The Peoplemover, an all-new family friendly attraction, offers a leisurely ride over Tomorrowland in all-electric vehicles utilizing linear induction motors.  Sitting high above the Peoplemover's station, the Rocket Jets, a 12 two-person spinning rocket attraction, thrusts guests high into the sky as they spin round and round above the central Tomorrowland plaza.  

Thanks to overwhelming success at the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York, Walt Disney had the imagineers bring the Carousel of Progress attraction west to Disneyland where it is still sponsored by General Electric - the World's Fair sponsor who Walt convinced to help build the attraction in the first place. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, the Tomorrowland Terrace features a stage for live entertainment, which hydraulic rises from underground when in use, and then lowers once again when dormant.  The Tomorrowland Terrace includes an all-new out of this world lunch and dinner menu. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - Disneyland Horticulture

A big part of the "living backdrop" for the stories being told throughout each of the Disney Parks around the globe - horticulture, or landscaping - plays a tremendous role in the various stories that come to life in such places as AdventurelandFantasyland and Frontierland.  When Disneyland was under construction in 1954, as Walt's dream was slowly rising from former orange groves in sleepy Anaheim, CA and becoming a reality - landscape architects began filling in the initial tropical jungles and pine forests of the themed lands.  They also had to dress Gay Nineties America with formal floral gardens, medieval countrysides and futuristic landscapes as well.  But the surrounding nurseries and landscape companies simply couldn't provide enough of what was needed, and as Hedda Hopper, noted Hollywood columnist of the day wrote, "Walt Disney depleted our nurseries from Santa Barbara to San Diego."  Not only did the Disney team procure needed plant items from the nurseries, but trees along the then-under construction I-5 freeway route were relocated to the Disneyland job-site as well.  Once in place, the Disney horticulturalists then had the task of providing massive doses of "TLC" in making the plant life look as if it had always been there.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Ariel's Undersea Adventure

June 2, 2011 - Disney California Adventure Park

The Disneyland Resort celebrates the opening of the all-new adventure in the Paradise Pier area of Disney California Adventure,  The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure with a special ceremony featuring Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel, as she performs "Part of Your World," from the film’s Academy Award-winning score. (Both Jodi Benson and  Pat Carroll - the actress who voiced Ursula, the sea witch - had taken the first ride on the attraction the day before).

This attraction is currently being replicated at Walt Disney World as part of the "New Fantasyland" expansion, and is slated to open sometime in the fall of 2012, ideally prior to the Christmas season.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

Disneyland opened an all-new adventure in 1962, the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, in honor of the 1961 live-action film, "Swiss Family Robinson."  The tree stood over 80 feet high, and was created with over 6 tons of reinforced steel, over 100 cubic yards of concrete, and covered with over 300,000 handmade vinyl leaves and blossoms.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Boardwalk Inn

Disney's Boardwalk Inn® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on July 1, 1996, opening the same days as its’ sister resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Villas® – which together make up the more commonly called Disney’s Boardwalk Resort®.  The resort is themed after the famed boardwalks of Atlantic City and Ocean City in New Jersey of the 1920’s – 1940’s.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn® features 372 guest rooms.  All rooms can accommodate up to 5 guests plus 1 child under 3 in a crib; featuring either 2 queen-size beds plus a day bed, or two double-size beds plus a day bed, or a king-size bed plus a day bed.  A limited number of rooms offer a semi-private balcony.

The resort includes 1 feature pool: Luna Park Pool, with its’ roller coaster inspired waterslide, the “Keister Coaster”; plus 2 quiet pools;  a children’s pool and water play area; fishing; tennis; fitness center;  an arcade and other assorted recreational activities including Disney movies in the evenings.

The resort features 4 table service restaurants:  Flying Fish Café, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Kouzzina by Cat Cora® and ESPN Club. It also features 1 quick-service restaurant: Boardwalk Bakery; as well as Seasshore Sweets, which serves ice cream and other sweets; plus there are poolside /bars and room service.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn® is a deluxe level resort located on the shores of Crescent Lake near the International Gateway entrance to Epcot®, and just a short walk or boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Legislation Creating Reedy Creek

May 12, 1967 – Orlando, Florida

Signing legislation, Florida's Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr., officially enables Walt Disney Productions to build and operate Disney World (later renamed Walt Disney World by Roy O. Disney, in honor of his brother Walt, whom Roy wanted everyone to remember who’s dream it was the company was building in Central Florida).  With the legislation signing, the Reedy Creek Improvement District is created as well as the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, and Florida taxpayers will not have to spend public money on Disney construction – and the Disney organization will not have to rely on state agencies for approval of anything built.  

Because Disney has so many plans for the theme park, the company decides to build it in phases.  Phase One will consist of a theme park, two resort hotels (called the "Tempo Bay Resort Hotel" and the "Polynesian Village Resort") and a campground.  The theme park will be a modeled after and built as a larger version of the company’s original theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, CA.  The park and the two hotels will be situated around a large, man-made lagoon, and near the existing, natural Bay Lake – located at the northwestern edge of the vast 43 square mile property acquired by the company between 1966 and 1967. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort® & Spa first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on June 28, 1988 and provides the ultimate in luxurious accommodations at Walt Disney World® Resort, as the only AAA-Four Diamond resort hotel on-site.

The resort is themed to invoke the golden era of Florida’s coastal destinations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, taking design inspiration from notable resort destinations such as Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire , Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California, and the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel in Belleview, Florida.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort® & Spa features 867 guest rooms.  All rooms can accommodate up to 5 guests plus 1 child under 3 in a crib; featuring either 2 queen-size beds plus a day bed or a king-size bed plus a day bed.

The resort includes 1 feature pool with waterslide and 1 quiet pool;  a children’s pool; white sand beach for sunbathing;  marina for watercraft rentals; fishing; sand volleyball; fitness center;  an arcade and other assorted recreational activities including Disney movies in the evenings. A full service spa offering massages, therapies and other treatments is on-site, available on a reservation and fee basis.

The resort features 5 table service restaurants:  Victoria & Albert’s, Citricos, Narcoossee’s, Grand Floridian Café and 1900 Park Fare – and 1900 Park Fare features a breakfast Character Dining experience daily, and a separately themed dinner Character Dining experience featuring different Disney characters.  It also features 1 quick-service restaurant: Gasparilla Grill & Games; as well as a lounge/bar location: Citrico's Lounge and Mizner's Lounge

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort® & Spa is deluxe level resort located on the shores of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon, across the water from Magic Kingdom® Park, just a short monorail or boat ride away. Additionally, nearby is the Transportation & Ticket Center, where guests can easily transfer to the Epcot® Monorail line. Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square opened at Disneyland in July 1966 as the park's first new "land" since opening day in July 1955.  The grand opening dedication was given by Walt Disney, with New Orleans Mayor Victor Schiro accompanying him.  This three-acre land cost approximately $18 Million to build - $1 Million more than the park's original construction cost!  This land authentically captures the winding streets, iron-laced balconies, and the intimate shops and courtyards of the city of more than a century ago.  It was the first time Disney Imagineers used one single location - and one real city - as inspiration for the land, instead of using an amalgam of design concepts to create the overall feeling of time and place such as is found in Main Street, USA, Adventureland, Frontierland or Fantasyland - each drawing their inspiration from multiple sources.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Magical Mondays - New Royal Guest Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Resort

The Royal Guest Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort have officially opened their doors to guests this past  Friday. There are 512 of these new storybook rooms available at the resort, joining the 384 pirate-themed rooms at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, with prices starting at $189 per night.  

Like other parks and resorts at Walt Disney World there is a "back-story" that has been created for these new storybook rooms, which says that the Disney princesses have visited Princess Tiana at the resort and left special gifts behind for Tiana and Naveen.  Gifts such as the Genie's (from Aladdin) magic lamp-inspired bathroom hardware and a Magic Carpet-inspired design in the floor coverings, to artwork of the Disney princesses and their princes visiting the resort. Inside the rooms you'll also find special headboards which include inlaid fiber optic fireworks, similar to those currently available at the Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in California.  Click on the link below for a preview of what the rooms look like. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - Pirates of the Caribbean

Did you know that Pirates of the Caribbean first opened at Disneyland in 1967, and is home to not just swashbuckling pirates, but also a host of creatures from the animal world? Throughout the excursion you'll find fireflies, alligators, crabs, a seagull, cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, a donkey, a goat and parrots?  Did you also know that along your journey, there are 14 boats (not including the attraction vehicles) that are either sunken or afloat?