Happy Halloween from Disney Avenue

By Keith Mahne

From all of us here at Disney Avenue, we want to wish you and yours a happy and safe Halloween! Here is a wonderful collection of Halloween time photos from around the parks and even a video of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for you to enjoy from us. Continue after the page break for a picture-packed Halloween tribute…Happy Halloween everyone…

 

 

If you didn’t get an opportunity to enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party fear not, we have a run down of all the highlights from opening night and the full 2014 Boo To You Parade!

 
 
And now, the full Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2014 Boo To You Parade:
 
 

 

 
 
And for the grand finale, if you haven’t had a chance to do so, make sure to check out the latest Disney Avenue Podcast. It’s our Halloween Edition show and it features guest psychic medium Michael J. Kouri who talks about his interactions with Walt Disney’s spirit and other paranormal events that have happened around Disneyland. It’s the perfect Halloween show and I assure you, it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before! Happy Halloween!!!
 
 


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A Walk in the Park: Walt Disney World Edition

By Krista Joy
Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has to be one of the most gorgeous theme parks on the planet, wouldn’t you agree? It’s beautiful topography and landscaping truly makes you feel like you have been whisked away to a wild and exotic continent. At times it may even feel like you have gone back in time to be in the presence of dinosaurs! As extraordinary as Animal Kingdom is in the day time – the grounds are absolutely off the charts mystical and magical as night falls. Continue after the page break and have a look…


As the sun goes down, ladybug lamps begin to glow.



Zebra standing on their hind legs on the rooftop almost like they are hoping to get a peek at the beautiful sunset before it is gone.

 

 


Festival of the Lion King already had its last performance today, and Harambe Theater has closed doors for the evening.


It looks like the innkeepers at Hoteli Burudika have left the porch lights on for any weary adventurers who may need a place to stay tonight.

Hopefully guests leaving the park are taking notice of all this breathtaking beauty as they go.
 

 
 
The Yeti is winding down too! He is scaring the last few visitors and getting ready for bed, deep inside Expedition Everest.


 
 
 
Last call for a Dole Whip with coconut rum from Tamu Tamu Refreshments!
 
 

 
 
 

The Mombasa Marketplace will be one of the last things to close inside the park tonight.

 
 
Guests are enjoying a nightcap at Dawa Bar.
 
 

 
 
 

The lights shining on all the signs are interesting to see. Normally it is still daylight when the park closes.

 

 
 
Let’s head over to Dinoland and see the carnival at night!
 
 

 
 
Before we know it, we will have Pandora, and Animal Kingdom will be open at night much more often. But until next time, goodnight Animal Kingdom!
 
 
 
 

 Time to turn out the lights…

 

 

 
 
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Krista Joy is a former Disney cast member, current head author at Disneyways.com and a co-host for the Disney Parks Podcast. She was born, raised, and has never lived anywhere else but in the heart of Orlando Florida. Not knowing what it’s like to be away from Walt Disney World for very long – the magic has truly become a part of who she is. Krista’s Disney dream is to bring magic and fun to the everyday lives of her fellow Disney fans – while sharing some laughs along the way. She is very grateful to Keith Mahne and the team at DisneyAvenue.com for helping her to make this dream a reality! You can read more about Krista at http://disneyways.com/connect/



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Disney’s Headless, Horseless Horseman

By Keith Mahne

One of the most popular portions of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is the ride of the Headless Horseman. A couple of years ago, a video came out that shows why horse shoes and wet bricks just don’t mix. The cell phone video captures the horse and rider falling while passing through Liberty Square on a slick street. Continue after the page break and let us examine this from a few angles…

The first video shows the actual fall:

Up next are three videos that are only a few seconds a part and shows us what happened where the last video ended:

Thankfully, the horse and rider walked away unharmed. Disney confirmed that the duo completed their route through the Magic Kingdom, but they did not participate in the evening’s second parade because they were undergoing evaluations.

Early indications were that the incident was not weather-related. It had rained the day of the fall, but it had stopped several hours earlier, a Disney spokeswoman stated. Because of the incident, the horse now only walks and trots down the parade route.

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Marvelous to Mediocre: Beautiful Theatre to Huge Hat

By Keith Mahne

There are times in life when a hat comes in handy… blocking the sun, keeping the sweat out of your eyes, a day at the horse races, even to cover a bad hair day. When a hat is used to literally block a beautiful theatre it becomes just downright unacceptable! Continue after the page break for what entering MGM Studios use to be like before a huge fiberglass hat fell from the sky and what we hope it will return to with the recent news that it will be relocated…

The Great Movie Ride located inside a recreation of the famous Hollywood landmark Grauman’s Chinese Theatre once lured park guests up Hollywood Boulevard. However, the beautiful façade was almost completely blocked from view in 2001 when a giant replica of The Sorcerer’s Hat was built directly in front of the building. Sadly, the hat has served as the park’s symbol ever since. Disney’s idealized street put guests into “the Hollywood that never was and always will be” and was designed to be more intimate than it’s Main Street counterpart. The Chinese Theatre at the end of the street was exotic, yet familiar, and completely appropriate to the period and theme of the park. Imagineers couldn’t have picked and designed a more beautiful symbol for a park based off of Hollywood’s golden years. Given the real Chinese Theatre’s long history of Hollywood premieres and exclusive first runs of many of the biggest Hollywood movies, it was a perfect match.



View down Hollywood Blvd before the Sorcerer’s Hat

On September 28, 2001 Disney built a 122-foot-tall Sorcerer Mickey hat between Hollywood Boulevard and the Great Movie Ride. Inspired by the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” section of Fantasia, the tacky jumbo icon was out-of-place in the richly detailed Hollywood street scape. Instead of leading up to a detailed replica of the famous movie palace, Disney’s Hollywood Boulevard now led up to something that looked like a very large blue plastic cone. Yes, the Chinese Theatre and The Great Movie Ride were still there, but guests wouldn’t know it from the view up Hollywood Boulevard unless they brought a pair of X-Ray glasses with them and God only knows how hard that would be to get through airport security.



View down Hollywood Blvd after the Sorcerer’s Hat


Many people began to wonder why in the world Disney would want to block their park’s symbol. A story began circulating on the Internet that Disney had to block the direct view of the Chinese Theatre in 2001 due to legal reasons. The story goes something like this… After the Mann’s Theatres chain, which included the Chinese Theatre, was sold in 2000 to a partnership of Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, Disney could no longer use the theater façade as a symbol for Disney-MGM Studios. They had to block the direct view. In one version of the story, Disney lost the rights to use the Chinese Theatre façade, but somehow didn’t have to remove it if they put something in front of it. In another version, Disney had to pay a royalty to the owners of the Chinese Theatre every time it was photographed, so Disney did something to limit the ability of guests to take photos. It’s a classic Internet rumor that gets repeated over and over, until a lot of people assume it to be correct.

The real story makes a lot more sense…  just as Cinderella Castle was horrendously done up in pink birthday cake decorations for Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary celebration and Spaceship Earth at Epcot grew a Sorcerer Mickey hand and magic wand for the Millennium Celebration, so Disney-MGM Studios would wear an oversized Sorcerer Mickey hat for the “100 Years of Magic” marketing campaign. This “celebration” officially commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Walt Disney on December 5, 1901, although that wasn’t always clear to the casual guest. That still raises the question why any Imagineer would do something that would so intensely weaken the authenticity and “story” of this idealized Hollywood neighborhood. The answer is that Imagineers ultimately are not the people who make such decisions. Think of the hat as a non-creative Disney executive’s “brilliant” idea to infuse Disney-MGM Studios with more “Disney Magic.”


Lets take a look at some places we have seen the Sorcerer’s Hat before. The first major Sorcerer Mickey hat appeared in 1995 as part of the new Walt Disney Feature Animation building across the street from the Disney movie lot. The hat serves as the entrance and was originally the office for Roy E. Disney higher up in the cone. Robert A.M. Stern was the architect responsible for the new building as well as Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas.

Walt Disney Feature Animation Sorcerer’s Hat


When Walt Disney Studios Paris theme park opened in 2002, another giant Sorcerer Mickey hat graced the Art of Disney Animation building. Although the rest of the building did not look like the building in Burbank, the hat was an appropriate nod to the Animation Studios in Burbank, as well as to the great animation of Fantasia.



Walt Disney Studios Paris Art of Disney Animation Sorcerer’s Hat

The Disneyland Hotel has served Disneyland guests since October 1955. Beyond its name, some use of Disney characters on printed material, a now-defunct miniature golf course, and some of the merchandise in its gift shop, there really wasn’t much that was “Disney” about the hotel. The Walt Disney Company didn’t even own the hotel until 1988. When the Disneyland Hotel’s original buildings were torn down in 1999 to make way for Downtown Disney, the remaining buildings got a Disney makeover. The entrance to the hotel grounds from Downtown Disney was marked with a giant Sorcerer Mickey hat and gold stars.




Disneyland Hotel Sorcerer’s Hat

When “100 Years of Magic” ended, the hat unfortunately stayed put. There is hope however, over at Epcot, another oversized Sorcerer Mickey structure—a giant arm, glove, and wand—dwarfed the elegant Spaceship Earth sphere for eight years. It seemed to be a permanent “temporary” structure as well. In 2007, as part of the redo of Spaceship Earth for new sponsor Siemens, Epcot’s Icon Tower was finally removed. Thankfully, Disney must have heard the cries of its fans to remove the structure as the company announced to its cast members recently that it will be removed and possibly relocated to the entrance area of the park. I can’t wait for the day when I walk down Disney’s Hollywood Blvd and see that gorgeous Chinese Theatre staring me in the face… without X-Ray glasses on that is!

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A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition

By Daisy Sparks



Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to welcome Daisy Sparks, our new contributing writer for the second edition of Disney Avenue’s A Walk in the Park segments. Last week we ventured to Walt Disney World and today we’ll take a walk in Disneyland to enjoy some of the Halloween décor. I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Daisy and I’m certain all of you will enjoy these new weekly segments here on Disney Avenue. Enjoy your Walk in the Park!

Keith Mahne

Continue after the page break for Disney Avenue’s spectacular new segment, A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition


The Disney Resort Enhancement Team really goes all out during the Halloween season. From the large Disney Character pumpkin heads that greet you at the entrance to the seasonal bunting that adorn Main Street, U.S.A., the decorations let you know that Halloween has arrived at the Disneyland Resort.

Several years ago, The Disney Parks Blog featured the Disney Resort Enhancement team hard at work carving pumpkins in this video:
 

The Main Street jack-o-lanterns demonstrate the typical Disney flair for detail. The jack-o-lanterns that are placed inside the window displays coordinate with the theme of the location. For example, at The China Closet, there is a pumpkin carved in the shape of Mrs. Potts (from Beauty & the Beast) that smiles through the window. Over by the Main Street Opera House, you will find a jack-o-lantern complete with a top hot next to the Abe Lincoln bust. My favorite are the pumpkins that are decorated as a tribute to the Dapper Dans.

The Main Street jack-o-lanterns typically go away right after Halloween to make room for Christmas decorations. So there is a limited time if you want to see them in person. If you can’t get to Disneyland, I’ve created a gallery of some of the best jack-o-lanterns in their night time setting right here at Disney Avenue for you…


Located in the windows outside the exit of Mr. Lincoln – Main Street Opera House

These jack-o-lanterns sit on top of the Carnation Garden area.
 

Found on top of the Disney Clothiers, Ltd.
 

Found in the windows next to the Main Street Opera House.
 

This jack-o-lantern sits inside the Elias Disney window.
 

These cute jack-o-lanterns decorate some of the windows alongside the Emporium. Love that they compliment to the theme of each window.

 
 

Two of the jack-o-lanterns that are located in the windows above the Emporium side entrance.
 

The jack-o-lanterns located on the Mad Hatter sign are decorated with an assortment of themed hats.
 

These are the ginormous character jack-o-lanterns that greet the guest as they enter through the Disneyland turnstiles.

The Main Street lamps are all decorated with this Mickey Mouse pumpkin head complete with Halloween foliage, sign and bunting.

This is the jack-o-lantern that is located inside the window of the China Closet.

These jack-o-lanterns are located outside the 20th Century Music Company.
 

Look up and above all the stores on Main Street and you will see a variety of jack-o-lanterns.

Partners statue is surrounded by many jack-o-lanterns with Disney character carvings.

Several of the Disney character pumpkin carvings that surround the Partners statue during Halloween Time at Disneyland.
 

You can read more about Daisy’s Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .
 

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Dapper Day: Disney’s Ultimate Throwback

By Lindsey Allmon
On my last vacation to Disney World I wore the exact same thing every single day: Shorts, a Disney tank top, sneakers and sunglasses. The rest of my family wore a similar uniform, as did ninety nine percent of the rest of the population of Disney at the time. And why not? A summer in Florida is broiling hot and a day at Disney requires miles of walking. It only makes sense that you would be comfortable. However, when the designers of Disney initially imagined the attendees of the parks, shorts and tanks were simply not up to par with their expectations. Now one group is trying to bring style back to the Disney parks. Continue after the page break to learn more about the event that has everyone dressed to the nines: Dapper Day…

These sketches were the initial artist renderings of what Disneyland would look like, and may I just say those park goers look like they just stepped out of a magazine cover shoot.
 

The initial thought was that a day at Disney was going to be a high end experience. Yes, there was loads of fun to be had, but you were going to look your best while doing it. When Disneyland first opened in 1955 that certainly was the case.

As you can see, the initial patrons of Disney did not mess around when it came to dress. The mostly had to do with the era in which Disneyland opened its gates. In the 1950’s there really was no such thing as lounge-wear, especially not in public. If you were going to be seen you needed to look your best, including children. Now, casual wear is perfectly acceptable to wear out and about and honestly it is preferred by most people. In 2011 however, a group of people decided that it was time that we bring back high end style to the parks, and with that, Dapper Day was born.
 

Dapper Day is held twice a year, once in the spring (late February or early March) and in the fall (September) and occurs at Disneyland, Disney World, and Euro Disney (only in the fall for the Paris location). The event celebrates how people wore their “Sunday Best” in the 50’s and 60’s and everyone is encouraged to dress as best as possible. While many people choose to go vintage for the event, there isn’t a requirement to do a throwback look. The idea of Dapper Day is just to look your best, whether that is vintage or contemporary style. And it’s not just for adults, either. Kids also can join in the fun.

Dapper Day is not directly affiliated with Disney, so there is no special ticket to buy. A standard park ticket and your own fashion sense will let you be a part of the Dapper Day celebration. If you really want to get into the spirit however, there are conventions set up nearby to show off your style and be a part of the true Dapper Day festivities. There are also meet ups inside the park so you can meet your fellow fashion folk and drink in the experience of Disney, giving you a taste of what it felt like when Walt himself roamed the park.

 

Want more info on Dapper Day? Visit www.dapperday.com to join in the fun.
 
 

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Motion Mondays: Walt Disney Moments

By Keith Mahne

Today’s Motion Mondays article is all about classic Walt Disney moments. Continue after the page break and have a look…

 
 

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Disney Avenue Podcast – Show #6 – Halloween Edition

On this special Halloween edition of the Disney Avenue Podcast, host Keith Michael Mahne interviews famous psychic medium to the stars Michael J. Kouri. Michael has some very interesting stories to share with us and you’ll particularly enjoy the ones about his claimed interactions with Walt Disney. Continue after the page break for more…

It’s the perfect Halloween episode and it’s going to be like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Michael was a pleasure to speak with and aside from being a medium, he is a huge Disneyland fan and frequent visitor of the parks. He has a very intriguing new book about to come out on Halloween day called, The Ghost of Walt Disney and Me, and you can purchase that directly from his website icghosts.com. So keep an open mind, dim the lights down low and enjoy this special Halloween edition of the Disney Avenue Podcast with psychic medium Michael J. Kouri…Enjoy!

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The Disney Avenue Podcast would like to thank Geren Piltz and Brian Vermillion for their contributions to this show!
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