P.L. Travers Recorded Discussing "Feed the Birds"

By Keith Mahne

Almost from the day the Mary Poppins character appeared on the cover of a book in 1934, she was destined to gain additional fame through some form of the entertainment medium. Walt Disney first became aware of Mary Poppins around 1949, when one of his daughters introduced him to the magical nanny. The events that followed lead to one of the most beloved Disney movies of all time. Getting to that point, however, was no easy feat for Walt and his team as the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, wasn’t as charming as the flying nanny she created. Join me today as we take a listen to a wonderful, rare recording of P.L. Travers discussing “Feed the Birds” with the Sherman brothers during the making of this classic film…

Diane’s and Sharon’s (Walt’s daughters) enthusiasm for the Mary Poppins books prompted his reading them and he, too, saw their potential as material for a motion picture. Upon learning that the film rights were unobtainable, he temporarily abandoned the idea. When Disney tried to acquire the movie rights, he learned they were not for sale. In the meantime, other producers, in turn, considered the Poppins stories perfect material for a Broadway musical, a television special and a motion picture, but their offers too were rejected. Around 1961, the paths of Disney and Miss Travers happened to cross in London. Walt told her of his interest in Mary Poppins and inquired again about the movie rights. They discussed the possibility of his bringing Mary Poppins to the screen and Travers agreed to relinquish the film rights if his approach to the stories met with her approval.

On Walt Disney’s return to the studio, the project was set in motion and several months later, Mrs. Travers was invited to Burbank for story conferences. Contracts were drawn and signed, and the beloved nanny and her amazing adventures were on their way to becoming immortalized on celluloid. One can understand why she thoroughly tore apart the completed works. Mary Poppins was her baby and she wasn’t going to let Hollywood destroy it. During one of the conferences, a Disney writer inquired if Mary Poppins was considered ageless. “Not at all,” Miss Travers answered. “She is precisely twenty-seven.” Coincidentally, this was precisely the age of Julie Andrews during production. By the time filming began, Walt Disney had set aside over six million dollars on the budget, with an additional one million for promotion and publicity. People would continually ask the author if the famous English nanny was modeled from a living person. “No, she wasn’t,” Miss Travers was always quick to answer. “I didn’t even think her up. She just brushed past me and said, ‘You take it down.'”

The P.L. Travers recording below features the author discussing the Mary Poppins song “Feed the Birds” with Richard and Robert Sherman in 1961. During the discussion, Richard Sherman plays the song and Travers even sings along. Unlike the Saving Mr. Banks movie, the true story reveals that “Feed the Birds” was actually the song that won her over.

(Please pause the Disney Avenue Music Player above prior to playing the audio below if you are on a desktop computer.)

 
 
 


********
 

 

 
 
 
Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four. Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true everyday.
 
 





(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Florida Before Mickey: Disney’s Impact on Orlando

By Keith Mahne

Prior to the arrival of Mickey, Orlando and the rest of Central Florida may not have been as well-known to the rest of the country as sun-tanned Miami or sea-storied Key West. Yet here, in the middle of the peninsula, was an eden. All you had to do was find your way there. And 52 years ago, on a typical fall day in Central Florida, one very important man did. Walt Disney changed the entire history and economy of Central Florida with one, swift decision. A decision to build his latest and greatest dream with the blessing of size. But what did the local community think of this change? Let’s find out in today’s new article titled Florida Before Mickey: Disney’s Impact on Orlando

Walt walks on WDW property

Before Walt Disney World, south of Orlando, in Osceola County, Kissimmee had about 12,000 residents and two main economic mainstays – citrus packing and ranching. The area’s few two-lane hardtop roads and grass fields of cattle land and citrus groves were testament to the openness of the country and the scarcity of its human inhabitants.

Like any eden, Central Florida was beautiful to the eye, even in fall and winter, and it was a sportsman’s paradise because of this. Besides the Air Force base southeast of Orlando, where civilian jets were just starting to take off and land under a civilian-military partnership, or the citrus groves and cattle land surrounding the city and all the smaller towns throughout the immediate region, there was little of what an out-of-town traveler at the time might view as a must-see attraction worth driving to.

Roy O. Disney and Disney executives inspect WDW property

Disney executives inspect WDW property

Today, you can go down south of Orlando and you’ll see shopping malls, themed attractions and fast-food restaurants that cater to visitors who come here to see the sights and to experience the thrills. Time-share complexes and water parks compete for attention, as do endless retail businesses and storefront after storefront of T-shirt shops and neon-lighted souvenir stands. Arising above it all is the unceasing hum of traffic on the two main highways that crisscross the region six miles or so south of downtown Orlando. It’s the sight of progress and of a booming tourist economy. But what did the local residents of the area think of all this shortly after the Cinderella Castle spires rose out of the pines and swamps of Central Florida?

To answer this question we need to travel back to June 18th, 1972. On this date, 60 Minutes and reporter Mike Wallace aired a segment showcasing what changes were occurring in Orange County now that Disney had moved into the neighborhood.

At 11 minutes in length, this brief and fantastic 60 Minutes clip gives us a nice glimpse of what life was like in Orange County before the “Disney Boom.” Take a look at this great footage to really understand what was going on in the area at that time…

(Please click here to watch video below if you are on a mobile device.)

http://www.cbsnews.com/common/video/cbsnews_video.swf

 



******

Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.
 
 
 
Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.
 
 

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Motion Monday: Golden Horseshoe Revue

By Keith Mahne

Welcome to another Motion Monday article here on Disney Avenue where we take a look at some special moving GIFs of Disney’s past. This time around, let’s travel to The Golden Horseshoe Saloon which opened in 1955 with several other original attractions at Disneyland. Over the years the venue has housed multiple stage shows, but none as special as the original Golden Horseshoe Revue that was the longest running show at the saloon, playing from July 17, 1955 until October 12, 1986. Today, we’ll see some scenes from the show, along with a personal introduction by Walt Disney. Continue after the page break and have a look…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
*****
 
 
 
 


Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Disney Documentary Hour – People and Places: Disneyland, U.S.A.

By Keith Mahne

In 1956, Walt Disney Productions released a featurette called Disneyland, U.S.A. in movie theaters, as part of People And Places, a series of films about geographic places. It’s essentially a 42-minute commercial for Disneyland. Now, a half century later, it’s a fascinating look at what Disneyland was like in 1956. Every single moment in this film is astonishing. The colors pull your eyes in. Seeing everyone dressed up for a day at Disneyland feels comforting. Let’s travel back to Disneyland of 1956 in this edition of Disney Avenue’s Disney Documentary Hour as we watch People and Places: Disneyland, U.S.A

Before we begin our feature presentation, take a look at this wonderful advertisement for the 1956 People and Places: Disneyland, U.S.A. These sheets were created for theater owners as it talks about how to get the trailer for the film and suggestions on placing ads. Check it out…

People and Places: Disneyland, U.S.A. was only Walt’s third CinemaScope movie. Because this film was originally created to look spectacular on a 50-foot-wide movie screen, it still remains astonishing on today’s widescreen HD televisions and computer screens.

Without further delay, Disney Avenue is proud to present People and Places: Disneyland, U.S.A. Enjoy friends…

(Please pause the Disney Avenue Music Player above if you are on a desktop computer prior to watching the video below.)

If you’d like to own your own personal copy of today’s film, make sure to grab the Walt Disney Treasures – Disneyland: Secrets, Stories & Magic DVD set…

Aside from all the other wonderful features on this DVD set, there are three audio options for Disneyland, U.S.A.

The first is the original theatrical soundtrack, enhanced to provide 5.1 surround sound. Winston Hibler is the narrator; his voice is familiar from Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures nature film series. The musical score by Oliver Wallace is wonderful.

The second option is an audio commentary by Leonard Maltin and Tony Baxter. Don’t miss this commentary (after you’ve first viewed the film with the original soundtrack). Tony Baxter recounts all sorts of stories that he learned over his long (and still active) career with Walt Disney Imagineering.

The third option is music-only. It’s a way to enjoy the widescreen visuals and the 5.1 surround-sound Oliver Wallace score—without anyone talking over that score.

The set can be a bit pricey, but for anyone who cares about the history and development of Disneyland, don’t miss this one. You can grab your own personal copy in the Amazon link below…

 
******
 
 
 

 

 


Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

The Day Walt’s Dream Became A Reality: Celebrating 60 Years of Disneyland

By Keith Mahne

60 years ago today, Walt Disney’s dream that started “from a daddy with two daughters wondering where he could take them where he could have a little fun with them, too” became a reality. Disneyland is a place like no other. Walt once said, “Disneyland would be a world of past and present, seen through the eyes of my imagination – a place of warmth and nostalgia, of illusion and color and delight.” As we all know, anything created from Walt’s “imagination” is, without a doubt, going to be very special. And so, as we celebrate 60 years of magic, join me as we take a look at the creation and opening of Disneyland and the man who made it all possible…

In 1954, construction starts in Anaheim, which often continues 24 hours a day to get the park ready in time. Hollywood studios and amusement park owners couldn’t understand Walt’s concept of a “theme park,” and figured it would fail within months of opening. Burbank was the desired location, but the city rejected the project fearing the “carnie” type atmosphere and increased crime that was associated with amusement parks of the day.

Disneyland, in fact, was based much less on the traditional amusement park and much more on the world’s fair, Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens, Greenfield Village and the “garden city” concept, which also became the model for most of America’s suburbs developed during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s (most of Disneyland’s patrons came from those suburbs, and it’s a small wonder they found it so appealing). ABC, the smallest of the three networks, begins airing the Disneyland television show, which eventually becomes the Wonderful World of Disney. The show is the first time a major Hollywood movie studio has partnered with television, and puts ABC at the top of the rankings. The hour-long show’s programming is divided into four guiding themes,  Fantasyland (Disney animated shorts),  Frontierland (the amazingly successful Davy Crocket),  Adventureland (True-Life Adventures series – the first such films to capture animals in the wild) and  Tomorrowland (original programming such as Man In Space).

(Please pause the Disney Avenue Music Player above prior to watching the videos below if you are on a desktop computer.)

Not only was the show a great way to remind audiences of Disney favorites of the past, but it also was the first time future movies were promoted using television, a practice that is now commonplace. In addition, Walt used the show to show the public plans for his theme park concept and becomes the first publicly recognizable studio head in Hollywood history.

It took a lot of work to create the happiest place on earth. See for yourself…

Join legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter on the creation of Disneyland in this wonderful video below…

Walt wanted his Park to be perfect. He wouldn’t stand for anything less and was involved in every little detail, a true testament to what Disneyland meant to him personally. This amazing video below gives you a good idea of what I mean…

Disneyland finally opens to the world on Sunday, July 17, 1955 with 18 attractions, at a cost of $17.5 million. A special ‘International Press Preview’ event was held, which was only open to invited guests. Six thousand invitations to the Grand Opening had been mailed to studio workers, construction workers, the press and officials of company sponsors.

 

 

The five original lands are Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, USA. Opening day ceremonies are overseen by Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter and Robert Cummings. All three will return for Disneyland’s 35th in 1990, and Art Linkletter will be present for Disneyland’s 50th in 2005. Park crowds swell to 30,000 as more than double the invited number of guests enter as people climb fences and walls around the park to get in. Most attractions break down within the first few hours and many women lose the heels of their shoes as the asphalt paving on Main Street, USA had just been poured hours earlier and was still soft. Disneyland is deemed a disaster in Anaheim, although the televised grand opening attracted the largest TV audience in history to that date – over 90 million viewers, which in 1955, was almost everyone that had the ability to view a television.

There is a great story by Wally Boag, who played the Pecos Bill/Traveling Salesman character in the Golden Horseshoe Revue, about the live, opening day broadcast…

As one of Disneyland’s Opening Day attractions, the show was to be part of the Dateline: Disneyland television program, the live broadcast seen by ninety million viewers—but in one of the many glitches that plagued the televised proceedings, Wally Boag wrote in his 2009 memoir, “our Horseshoe show didn’t get on. They were supposed to switch to the Horseshoe just as the dancers were beginning the can-can number, and they were going to shoot the reflection in the mirror that hung behind the bar.  But they were late in switching to the Horseshoe, so they only got a few seconds of the show’s closing and us taking bows.  But that was all right, because the next day, we opened up to the public and began what would eventually become the longest-running live stage show in the history of show business.”

Have a look at these absolutely breathtaking, color photos of Disneyland on opening day…

 
 
 
 
Imagine for a second the amount of stress and pressure a normal person would have if they were to create something as extravagant as Disneyland. Walt put up everything he owned to make it happen! His home, his life insurance policy, anything he owned to draw up enough funds to have Disneyland be created properly. On top of that, nearly everyone thought it would fail. What if it did? What would have happened to Walt and his dreams? What about the studio or even his family? We will never have to answer those questions because we know what happened. History was made. A dream came true. Magic became a real thing. Although I can’t help but to assume all of this was in the back of Walt’s mind, I honestly don’t believe he ever felt it would fail. And that my friends is exactly why it didn’t! He had so much faith in what he was doing that it couldn’t fail. That is what was so special about Walt.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Take for instance when Walt welcomed the very first children to enter Disneyland. Does this look like a worried man…
 
 
 
 



…not at all. Walt’s gift was knowing what people wanted and how to give it to them. Wouldn’t you have loved to be one of these lucky kids?!

One of my favorite Walt stories about him around the opening of Disneyland took place during a special pre-opening presentation of the Golden Horseshoe Revue’s first official performance. The show was staged in honor of Walt and Lillian Disney’s 30th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, July 13, 1955, four days before Disneyland would open it’s doors to the world. An invitation went out to 300 people for this “Tempus Fugit Celebration.” Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller explains…

“It began,” recalled Diane, “on the Mark Twain Riverboat with mint juleps and then moved over to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon for dinner and the ‘revue.’ Suddenly Dad appeared in one of the balcony boxes on the side of the stage.  At this point in the show, Wally Boag, as Pecos Bill, was firing blanks—Dad returned fire with his thumb and forefinger, then began to climb down to the stage.  I think that everyone got a bit worried—I know I did.  When he got to the stage he stood there beaming at everyone.  He was so happy.”

When Lillian Disney reluctantly joined her husband on the Golden Horseshoe stage, Walt started dancing with his bride of 30 years. Lillian didn’t know it, but Walt had taken some dancing lessons, because he knew how happy it would make her and soon everyone was dancing. Look at the photo above from that night. Walt’s Park was about to open to the entire world and, as Diane Disney mentioned, he truly was beaming.

As we celebrate 60 years of Disneyland, we celebrate not just a park, but a man with a passion. A man who was never afraid to dream. A man who loved people, knew how to make them happy, and did so no matter the cost. Disneyland is so special to so many people because it was special to Walt. He didn’t create it to make money, he created it to make people happy. He didn’t create it just to please children, nor did he do so for adults. He did so for EVERYONE! He kept the admission prices low so that every class of people could experience the magic together. And, most importantly, he did it out of love, out of a dream, out of his heart. That is why we are here celebrating 60 years, because of you Walt. We thank you for bringing so much joy to this weary world, for creating a place we can all escape to and leave our worries behind, a place…where a daddy… with two daughters… wondering where he could take them… where he could have a little fun with them, too. Thank you Walt and we sure do miss you! Here’s to 60 more magical years of your dream coming true…

 
******
 
 
 
 
 
 
Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

 
 
 



(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Vintage Disneyland Park Pictures

By Keith Mahne

Don’t you just love looking at vintage photos of when Walt’s park was brand new? Although it has grown into something truly amazing today, it’s always fun to travel back in time and enjoy what once was. As Disneyland’s 60th anniversary approaches, let’s take a look at some truly spectacular vintage pictures of Walt Disney’s greatest creation…

 

 

 

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Disney Avenue’s tribute to Disneyland and 60 years of magic!

******
 
 
 
 


Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Disneyland During Walt’s Time

By Keith Mahne

 Have you ever wondered what Disneyland was like during Walt’s time? I recently set out to try and answer that question, to really get a good idea of what Disneyland was like during the years Walt was still calling the shots. I wanted to know how many people were employed, attendance figures, highlights and even what the payroll may have been. After a bit of research, I now have those answers and would like to share them here with you. Continue after the page break as we take a look at Disneyland during the years of Walt…

When Disneyland opened in 1955, employees considered their jobs to be temporary as the park was expected to fail. Musicians, actors and entertainers where given only two week contracts.

Another thing to consider when Disneyland opened in 1955 is that Anaheim had only five hotels, two motels and 34 restaurants total in the city.

The thing that was so great about Disneyland during Walt’s years was that Walt’s main concern was always for the guest and that all available money, after paying the bills of course, was to be spent on the show where the guest could see it. When an expensive administration building was proposed, Walt rejected it and stated “There isn’t going to be any administration building. The public isn’t coming here to see an administration building.” Dick Nunis told Disney historian Jim Korkis a story that Walt didn’t want to put air conditioning in the Main Street Town Hall offices because he was fearful that his supervisors would hang out inside instead of circulating throughout the park and helping with the guests.

 
 
 

Walt once rejected the design for a building with the comment: “I think the fellow is attempting a monument to himself rather than designing something that is for people.”

Below is a list of what Disneyland was like during Walt’s time:



1955

  • Attendance: 1.2 million (remember this begins from mid-July)
  • Employment: 1,280
  • Payroll: $6,350,000

Highlights:

  • Disneyland opens July 17
  • Eighteen major attractions along with three “free” non ticketed ones
  • Disneyland welcomes its 1 millionth visitor


1956
  • Attendance: 3.8 million
  • Employment: 2,190
  • Payroll: $7.8 million
Highlights:
  • Thirteen new attractions added including Tom Sawyer Island, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Skyway Journey, Astro-Jets, Junior Autopia and Rainbow Cavern Mine Train
  • “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks display debuts
  • Disneyland welcomes its 5 millionth visitor

 
 
 



1957
  • Attendance: 4.3 million
  • Employment: 2,960
  • Payroll: $10 million
Highlights:
  • Eight new attractions added including House of the Future, Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Thru and Midget Autopia

     


    1958
    • Attendance: 4.4 million
    • Employment: 3,450
    • Payroll: $10.5 million
    Highlights:
    • Additions include Main Street Fire Trucks, Sailing Ship Columbia, Alice in Wonderland, Grand Canyon Diorama

       



      1959
      • Attendance: 5 million
      • Employment: 3,650
      • Payroll: $12 million
      Highlights:
      • Submarine Voyage, Disneyland-Alweg Monorail, Matterhorn Mountain and Bobsleds, Motor Boat Cruise added
      • Tradition of Rose Bowl teams visiting Disneyland begins with the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin
      • Premier Krushchev of Russia denied Disneyland visit

       
       
       
      1960
      • Attendance: 4.9 million
      • Employment: 3,693
      • Payroll: $12.2 million
      Highlights
      • Nature’s Wonderland, America the Beautiful and Art of Animation
      • Total number of park attractions: 45
      • Disneyland hosted its first Private Party for outside groups on May 13th when 5,042 Knight of Columbus enjoyed exclusive use of Disneyland 

       



      1961
      • Attendance: 4.7 million
      • Employment: 3,819
      • Payroll: $12.5 million
      Highlights:
      • Disneyland-Alweg Monorail system expands to connect with Disneyland Hotel
      • New and popular attraction: Flying Saucers
      • First all-night Grad Nite Party held in June
      • Tinker Bell begins summer flights from peak of Matterhorn to set off “Fantasy In the Sky” fireworks

       


      1962
      • Attendance: 5.1 million
      • Employment: 3,880
      • Payroll: $13 million
      Highlights:
      • Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Safari Game Shoot, Plaza Pavilion Restaurant, Tahitian Terrace and new scenes on Jungle Cruise

       
      1963
      • Attendance: 5.6 million
      • Employment: 4,106
      • Payroll: $13.8 million
      Highlights:
      • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
      • First cultural exhibit: “Salute to Mexico”

       
       

      1964
      • Attendance: 5.9 million
      • Employment: 4,190
      • Payroll: $15 million
      Highlights:
      • Below deck sailing quarters on Columbia Sailing Ship and Trapped Safari/African Veldt added to Jungle Cruise
      • “Fantasy On Parade” Christmas parade debuts

       


      1965
      • Attendance: 6.4 million
      • Employment: 4,590
      • Payroll: $15,500,000
      Highlights:
      • Celebration of Disneyland Tencennial
      • Very first Disneyland Ambassador: Julie Reihm




      1966
      • Attendance: 6.7 million
      • Employment: 4,580
      • Payroll: $18,800,000
      Highlights:
      • “it’s a small world,” Primeval World addition, New Orleans Square

       
       
       
       
      During the year after Walt passed in 1967, Disneyland celebrated the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean and the New Tomorrowland with the Peoplemover, Carousel of Progress, a re-designed Flight to the Moon and Rocket Jets. Also in 1967, attendance jumped to almost 8 million and in 1968 to just over 9 million and then stayed at roughly 10 million people a year every year up until 1979. In 1968, employment jumped to 5,510 and at the end of 1979 it was up to 7,609 while payroll in 1968 was $25.4 million and by 1979, $66.4 million.

      

      Walt once said, “Disneyland is not just another amusement park. It’s unique, and I want it kept that way. Besides, you don’t work for a dollar—you work to create and have fun.” Thanks Walt!
      Thanks to Jim Korkis for sharing these Disneyland statistics with us.

       

      ******
      


      Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.



      Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.    

      (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

      Disney Avenue Podcast – Show #15 – Keep Moving Forward Documentary

      Welcome friends to another episode of the Disney Avenue Podcast. As you all know, the Disney community is unlike any other. It’s filled with amazing people who love to help each other out and enjoy reveling in the magic together. Although we are all different, we all share and have experienced that feeling you get when you walk into a Disney Park. We all know that feeling of safety and escape it provides us. Someone who really appreciates that comfort is a wonderful man named Guy Spagnoli, a Vietnam veteran and subject of a documentary in production called Keep Moving Forward. Please continue after the page break to hear directly from Guy and the producers of this very important project in the works that you might like to be apart of…

      Guy Spagnoli is a Vietnam veteran, and just like all of our service men and women, is a hero in my opinion. Guy is currently the subject of a documentary in production called Keep Moving Forward about his struggles with PTSD and how he uses Disney to self-medicate. I think it’s an important story to be told and one we can all relate to which is why I’ve invited Guy and the producers of this heartfelt documentary, Brent and Emily on the show so that you can hear from them personally and understand why this project is so important. It is with great honor and respect to welcome Guy Spangnoli and the producers of the documentary Keep Moving Forward, Brent Bandemer and Emily Strong to the Disney Avenue Podcast….Enjoy!

      //html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3672455/height/360/width/640/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

      Friends, I come to you today with a very important request. The filmmakers need your help and support in order to finish this documentary and raise awareness for Veterans suffering from PTSD. I’m sure many of us can relate with Guy and his wife Laura. You may have someone you know that suffers from this condition. I ask that you please take a moment to share this campaign with a friend or, even better, consider donating to the Keep Moving Forward Kickstarter campaign so that we can see this thing through. As I said in the beginning of this article, the Disney community is filled with amazing people who love to help each other out and I truly believe that. We need those people now. We need you! Please consider helping make this project into a reality…even if it’s a dollar….every bit counts. I appreciate your help and hopefully, in a few short months, we’ll be watching this heartfelt documentary knowing that we really did help our veterans to “keep moving forward”.

       
       
       
       
       

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

      
      (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

      The Date Nite at Disneyland Experience

      By Keith Mahne

      In the ’50s and ’60s, Disneyland promoted special “Date Nites” which ran on Friday and Saturday evenings, featured live music, dancing, and even tickets to “romantic rides.” As many of you know, music plays a huge part of DisneyAvenue.com. With that in mind, today I’ve created a Date Nite at Disneyland experience just for you. You’ll see and hear photos and music of past Date Nites at Disneyland which will really transport you to a time when Walt Disney himself was walking the parks and enjoying the festivities. Friends, Disney Avenue is excited to present the Date Nite at Disneyland Experience

      (Before we begin, I highly suggest putting on a pair of headphones and pausing the Disney Avenue Music Player in the top left-hand corner if you are on a desktop computer.)

      Above is your ticket book to our Date Nite at Disneyland Experience. As you can see, $6.50 was the price of admission for two. Today, that’d be equivalent to about $50 or $60. Don’t worry though, this experience is free.

      Date Nite kicked off after the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 9 pm, and ran until midnight. Let’s join the rest of the gang and follow the music up Main Street and have a little fun…

      I hope you’re ready to dance the night away because I hear The Elliott Brothers playing right now over at Plaza Gardens. Can you hear it…

       
      (Please click play below to start the show.)

       
       
       
       
      The theme song for Date Nite was “Let’s Dance at Disneyland” and was performed by The Elliott Brothers Orchestra. The live music you’re hearing was also by the Elliott Bros. and recorded at Disneyland. 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      As you listen to the magical music of Date Nite, let’s take a look around the park at all the love birds…
       
       
       

       

       
       
       
       
      You never know who you might see at Date Nite dancing and having a grand ol’ time…
       
       
       
       
      Annette Funicello dances at Disneyland
       
       
       
      
       Even Walt couldn’t resist joining in the fun…
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      If you’ve been cutting a rug a little to long and need a break, there is a wonderful little spot right over here…
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      The time flies by when you’re having fun. Date Nite is almost over and it’s time to start heading to the front gate…
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      This looks like the perfect place to wait for our ride under the starlight of Disneyland…
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Spending a magical Friday or Saturday night under the stars at Disneyland with your love was really special. I can’t think of a more magical place I’d rather be with mine. I love seeing how people use to dress. It was an innocent time and one I wish I could travel back to. Until that technology becomes available, we’ll just have to settle on this wonderful music by Lloyd and Bill Elliott, and of course, the Disneyland “Date-Niters”…
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      This Date Nite at Disneyland Experience has now been added to the Disney Avenue Music Player above. Feel free to enjoy it by clicking the playlist button at the top right whenever you’d like and enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars at Disneyland with your love.
       
       
       
      
      
       ******
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four. Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.
       
      

      (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

      Making of: Expedition Everest

      By Keith Mahne


      Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is a steel roller coaster built by Vekoma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The attraction is themed around the Yeti hiding in Mount Everest. It is listed in the 2011 book of Guinness World Records as the most expensive roller coaster in the world. Including sets and extras, its total cost was reported to be US $100 million, following 6 years of planning and construction. It is the tallest of the artificial mountains at Walt Disney World. Join us today as we take a look at the Making of Disney’s 18th mountain-themed attraction, Expedition Everest …

       
       
       
       
      The attraction first was announced publicly on April 22, 2003, during an event to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It took three years and more than 38 miles of rebar, 5,000 tons of structural steel, and 10,000 tons of concrete to build the mountain.
       
       
       
       
      Bob Iger at the opening ceremonies of Expedition Everest
       
       
       
       
      Expedition Everest first opened for previews on January 26, 2006, and had its grand opening on April 7, 2006, in ceremonies led by Disney CEO Bob Iger and, then Chairman of Parks and Resorts, Jay Rasulo.
       
       
       
       
      
       
       
       
       
      The attraction features a stand-by and a single rider line. The queue starts at the office of the fictional “Himalayan Escapes” travel agency, progressing to a replica temple with little holy figures. Visitors next enter a tea garden, followed by a room with equipment from a successful expedition, and then the “Yeti Museum”, which contains information on the Yeti and a molding of a Yeti footprint. There are also about 8,000 artifacts brought from the Nepal trip in the museum. The single rider line skips all of these exhibits.
       
       
       
       
      
      Concept Art

      The riders board the roller coaster in the model village of Serka Zong, to begin a speedy route through the Himalayas to the base of Mount Everest. The train departs the station to the right and climbs a small lift leading to a short drop, then circles around to a 112ft lift hill carrying guests into the 200ft mountain.

      Concept Art
       
       
       
       
      

      On the way up, guests pass through a ransacked temple with murals of the yeti, warning the riders that the mountain is his territory. At the top of the mountain the train curves around the main peak and goes through a cave. When it emerges, the ride draws to a halt in front of track that has been torn apart, presumably by the yeti.

      Before the train begins to roll backwards, a series of rubber tires and an automatic switch rotates the piece of track directly behind the train.

      The train then rolls backwards along a new route that spirals down through the mountain, coming to a halt in a large cave, where riders see the yeti’s shadow on the wall as he tears up more track.

      This effect distracts riders from noticing another automatic track switch being thrown in front of them. As the shadow moves away, the train rolls forward out of the mountain and down the main 80ft drop. It enters a 360° helix and speeds back up through another cave in the mountain, where the roars of the yeti are heard once more. The train exits from the rear of the mountain and enters a large helix before being lifted back into the mountain a final time. The train drops through a cave, where “originally” a large yeti would reach down towards you.

      Shortly after opening, the yeti was shut off and a strobe light placed in the scene to give riders the illusion that it was moving. Sources have said that the yeti’s enormous size and weight was actually compromising the foundation of the attraction…more on that later. Upon reaching the bottom of this drop, riders return to the unloading dock and depart into a gift shop. One ride takes about 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

      Expedition Everest advertisement

      

      Concept Art
       
       
       
       

      Expedition Everest has six steam-like trains, each with six cars that together provide 17 rows seating two together, for a total of 34 riders per train. The trains are themed as the “Anandapur Rail Service” and are made to look old and rusty. Riders must be at least 44 inches tall and are secured by a lap bar. Up to five trains usually operate at once, but fewer can be used if guest demand is low. To create the illusion of a “steam powered” train, Imagineers placed vents under the station. When a train comes into the station, steam comes up through the vents and enters the loading platform.

       
       
       

       
       

      The steel track is 4,424 feet long and the lift is approximately 112 feet high. Expedition Everest is the first ride to use Vekoma’s newest track system, in which the rails are on the outside of the ties rather than on the inside. This was the first large-scale installation of such a system.

      Although moderate in height and length by contemporary standards, Expedition Everest was the first ride for Disney to have its trains travel both forward and backward. This is accomplished through two sets of track switches, one before the rear segment and one after. This was the second Disney roller coaster to run backwards, the first being Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril: Backwards! at Disneyland Resort Paris (2000–2004). Expedition Everest, however, was the first Disney roller coaster to switch between forward and backward sections during a single ride.

      The mountain façade, the Yeti audio-animatronic, and the roller coaster are three independent structures. Each structure reaches the ground-level and does not touch the other two structures. This was achieved via 4-D scheduling software that told builders how to construct the attraction.

      Expedition Everest is often compared to the 1959 Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster at Disneyland, which also features a snowy mountain setting and an “abominable snowman” figure throughout the ride. Expedition Everest’s mountain is made from 1,800 tons of steel and painted with 2,000 gallons of paint. It is the tallest artificial mountain in Florida, but not, as occasionally cited, the tallest point in Florida. It is Disney’s 18th mountain-themed attraction. As of 2015, there are 21 mountain-themed attractions.

      The artificial mountain is a model, not of Mount Everest, but of the fictional “forbidden mountain” guarded by the yeti in the story created by Walt Disney Imagineering for the attraction. Everest is represented by the barren background peak on the far right, which is made to seem far in the distance (an example of forced perspective).

      The yeti is the largest and most complex audio-animatronic figure ever built by Walt Disney Imagineering. It is 25 feet tall. Its “skin” measures 1,000 square feet, and is held in place by 1,000 snaps and 250 zippers. Its movement is controlled by 19 actuators. It can move 5 feet horizontally and 18 inches vertically when functioning in properly.

      Yeti Concept Art

      The yeti has not been in full operational mode since a few months after the ride’s opening, when its framing split, causing significant risk of catastrophic malfunction if it were operated. It currently only operates in a alternative mode, which is limited to a strobe-light effect designed to give the appearance of movement, earning it the nickname “Disco Yeti”.

      The problem was caused by damage to the yeti’s concrete base structure, which is unlikely to be repaired until a major refurbishment in the distant future, because the design limits access to the yeti without major disassembly of the superstructure. The problem with the concrete is rumored to have occurred due to a glitch in the 4-D scheduling software that prevented adequate curing of a portion of the Yeti’s foundation prior to the overlapping fabrication of mountain elements and roller coaster track.

      Yeti Concept Art by Joe Rohde

      Joe Rohde, the Imagineer in charge of building the attraction and Animal Kingdom, was asked at the 2013 D23 Expo about the disco yeti. His response was “You have to understand, it’s a giant complicated machine sitting on top of, like, a 46 foot tall tower in the middle of a finished building. So, it’s really hard to fix, but we are working on it. And we continue to work on it. We have tried several “things”, none of them quite get to the key, turning of the 40 foot tower inside of a finished building, but we are working on it….. I will fix the Yeti someday, I swear.”

      Yeti Concept Art by Joe Rohde

      Expedition Everest won the 2006 Theme Park Insider Award for the “World’s Best New Theme Park Attraction”. It has also been ranked in the Golden Ticket Awards and the Best Roller Coaster Poll. It was ranked 2nd for “Best New Ride For 2006” in the Golden Ticket Awards. It continues to be Animal Kingdom’s top attraction and fits right at home with Disney’s other spectacular, magic mountains.

       
       
       
       
      

      In 2005, Disney, Discovery Networks and Conservation International conducted expeditions to Nepal as part of the promotion for Expedition Everest. The purpose was to conduct scientific and cultural research in remote areas of the Himalayas, the location of the yeti legend. Participants included Imagineer Joe Rohde and scientists from Conservation International and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And so, for the grand finale, here now is Building A Thrill Ride: Expedition Everest, that aired on April 10, 2005 and detailed the planning and construction of the attraction, along with some of the ideas that made it possible:

       
       
       
       
       
      *****
       
       
       
       
      
       
       
      Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

      Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

      

      (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);