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Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Friday, June 28, 2013

Flashback Friday - Disneyland 1978


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 Tomorrowland from April 1978.  The shot itself is a bit blurry, but it's of Sam the Eagle, host of America Sings, an all-audio animatronics show celebrating America's music, which originally opened in 1974 in honor of America's upcoming Bicentennial in 1976.  The show occupied the space originally designed and built for the Carousel of Progress which opened at Disneyland in 1967, and closed in 1973 to be shipped east to Walt Disney World.  Just as COP did, the audience revolved around a series of stages, with each section celebrating a different era in American music, with the eagle and owl seen here popping up in each sequence to tell the story of the various musical styles.  Never meant to be a long-term attraction, since the Bicentennial celebration was only meant to last from 1975 - 1977, the show closed permanently in 1988.  (I was in the last performance as the carousel spun around for it's final performance).  Prior to the closing in 1988, a few geese were stripped of their skin and found a new home in the all-new Disneyland classic Star Tours, when it opened in early 1987.  When the show was dismantled, many of the audio animatronics found new life in the Disneyland classic, Splash Mountain over in the all-new Critter Country (replacing Bear Country) in 1988 as a cost-savings measure.  Thanks the smashing success of both Star Tours and Splash Mountain at Disneyland, a whole slew of new animatronics in the same style had to be created when both Star Tours opened at Walt Disney World's Disney-MGM Studios in 1989 and Splash Mountain was added to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Walt Disney Passes Away

December 15, 1966 – Burbank, CA

Walter Elias Disney passes away at St. Joseph's Hospital of acute circulatory collapse, as a result of lung cancer, just ten days after his 65th birthday.  The flags on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland are flown at half-staff, as the park opens at Lillian Disney's request to honor her belief that Walt would have wanted the show to go on.  Walt's 74-year old brother Roy determines to postpone his retirement in order to pursue Walt's last dream, the recently announced construction of Walt Disney World in Florida.

December 15, 1973 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction officially opens in Adventureland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Housed in a golden Spanish fort called Castillo Del Morro, it is located in the all-new Caribbean Plaza expansion area of Adventureland.  It is based on the original attraction of the same name which opened 6 years earlier at Disneyland and features 125 Audio-Anamatronics (comprised of 65 pirates & villagers and 60 animals).  Guests ride in batueax through flumes filled with 155,000 gallons of water, and unlike the Disneyland original go down one 14-foot drop instead of two drops, which is due to the higher water table in Florida than Southern California.

December 15, 1989 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Star Tours officially opens at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World. It is the first attraction to open in the park's new Backlot Annex area.  Based on the successful Star Wars franchise of movies, it is Disney's 3rd version of the attraction, having first opened at Disneyland in 1986 and Tokyo Disneyland in July 1989.