Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fantasyland Secrets & History

Here we go! Fantasyland time!

Secrets:


1. Every few minutes, the Evil Queen (Queen Grimhilde, Snow White's Stepmother) peers through the curtains and glares ominously out her window. She can be found above the Snow White attraction in Fantasyland, easily seen from the Peter Pan queue across the courtyard.


2. Leonardo da Vinci's famed Mona Lisa appears in the pile of loot on Pleasure Island on Pinocchio's Daring Journey.


3. Keep an eye out for Shelock Holmes' silhouette hidden in one of the windows on Mr. Toads Wild Ride.


Fun Facts/ trivia:


1. The drawbridge was only closed and then open twice. The first time was opening day. The second time was when the 1983 fantasyland renovation finished.


2. The four castle dark rides (Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio, and Mr. Toad) were all open on opening day. Their original outer design were more like carnivals as in they were tents. In 1983, they change the outer facade to look more like castles.


3. The Matterhorn was originally going to be called candy mountain as it would be a mountain ride through candy. Walt Disney thought that was too 'cheesy' and didn't want it. He decided to make the Mattehorn once he saw the actual mountain while filming Third Man on the Mountain.


History:


1. An old attraction that no longer exists is the skyway. It would go in between fantasyland and tomorrowland. Few remnants remain if this attraction however. One is the garden in the back of Mr. Toads Wild Rode. That used to be a tower for the ride. Another one is the old building that the skyway would go into. It can be seen in between Village Haus and Casey Jr. On the north side, there is a food vendor in front of it but you can still see the pathway and part of the building.


2. Dumbo was originally going to have an entire land within Fantasyland (like Flik's fun fair in Bugsland). There was going to be a dark ride, the dumbo ride, a show and one other thing. It was later scrapped and it only became the one ride.


3. This is a bit of history and fun fact. The castle was originally going to be the other way. They had a small model of the castle and some imagineers were playing around with the pieces. They heard Walt coming so quickly out it back together. However they put it together backwards. Walt liked it better like this so it stayed like that and put it in the park. Imagine standing in fantasyland looking to the castle. That was originally going to be the front.

Winnie the Pooh has been on enough adventures

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is located in Critter Country and is never ridden on anymore by about 90% of people. It's really only ridden by people who have never been on it or people who want to see the bear country jamboree secret. Winnie the Pooh first opened in 2003 replacing Bear Country Jamboree (BCJ). It was a big problem for many people that BCJ was closing to become a Winnie the Pooh ride. Many were nervous that this wasn't going to be a good change and a lack lustre ride. Well they were right. Winnie the Pooh hardly ever has a line up longer than 30 seconds. It says five minutes but it isn't true. The queue is from you walking through the queue. Something needs to be done with this ride.

What I would do is take it out and put in a new ride. No doubt about it. I wouldn't even suggest a new update. Just remove it. Since it is in Critter Country you can use that to your advantage making a ride about the cubs from Brave, or make a ride about the Lion King. I would personally suggest the Lion King as it is the most popular movie they have made (grossing wise). It could be made as a musical show theatre like the way it is in Disneyworld and redo the building to be a theatre like it formerly was. The advantage with doing it as a show is that all the songs in the Lion King are known by everyone. The show would also be beneficial as California Adventures has Aladdin but Disneyland has no real show throughout the park.

The other suggestion would be to create it as a ride like it is with Winnie the Pooh now. The ride vehicles could be different animals throughout the movie like Zebras or Rhinos, etc. it would be easy to resell the story from all the movies, just the first or create a new story about what happens after the film and what we don't see in the movie. Either way, the ride would still be great and a hit as there is no ride nor reference to the Lion King throughout the entire Disneyland Resort.

Either way, I suggest making a Lion King ride to replace The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I will be back later today with the Secrets & History post.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Toontown Secrets & History

Mickeys ToonTown time! I thought I'd do Toontown as I did the post yesterday about the same thing. Here is it all!

Secrets:
1. In the Toontown Fire Department there is a doorbell and when you press it you here barking and stuff. If you look at the Fire Department there is a dog barking out the window which appears to be one of the 101 Dalmatians!


2. Baby Herman's dressing room is located along the Rodger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin queue. Peer through the glass to catch a glimpse of Baby Herman smoking a cigar and scanning the papers for a lead on a horse.





3. Several Disney inspired vanity plates have been posted on the loading zone walls, inside Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. Example: CAP 10 HOOK( Captain Hook), L MERM8 (little mermaid), FAN T C (fantasy).


Trivia/ fun facts: 
1. Mickey can be seen at his house for more than 90% of the day. The line on the other hand can be longer than line for rides. Minnie Mouse can also be seen in her house most of the day.


2. Some of the trees on the Toon Town "hills" are real. They are raised up behind everything else.


3. The reason that ToonTown closes before the fireworks is because the Disney building right behind it has the supplies. The fireworks are launched off the rook. The people aren't allowed to leave the building during this time either for safety.


History:
1. You know the Jolley Trolley that can be seen at the station? There used to be 2-3 of them and they would go up and down ToonTown. ToonTown became too busy and they had to stop moving the trolley for safety. 


2. Goofy's playhouse used to be Goofy's Bouncehouse. It was later change because adults weren't even allowed into the building, only able to watch through the windows. It was later deemed that having children bounce around mostly unsupervised is unsafe and everything that was bouncy (literally everything) became non-bouncy.


3. Chip and Dale's treehouse change a lot since ToonTown opening 21 years ago. The way it used to be was you'd go up the spiral staircase IN the tree and then go down a slide into am acorn crawl (a ball pit of acorns). The acorn crawl was taken out for "sanitary reasons" while nobody knows why the slide was taken out.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Toontown has been around for long enough

Toontown has now been open for more than 2 decades and has had many updates. Most of them have been awful. The first bad update is when they no longer allowed the Jolley Trolley to go through Toontown. The Jolley Trolley went from the beginning of the area ( Roger Rabbits cartoon spin) to the back of the area (Chip and Dales treehouse). The Jolley Trolley had to stop moving as too many people were 'in the way' and it became a safety concern. It has never winced moved again.

The second bad update was the Chip and Dale Tree house. You used to be able to go up to the top of the tree and then slide down and walk over to an 'Acorn Crawl' (a ball pit). The ball pit was removed as kids should throw up and they have to constantly close it down for maintenance. Nobody is quite sure why the slide was taken out however as there were no real injures sustained.

The third and last bad update that makes me mad was the Goofy's bounce house. Goofy's house was originally a bounce that only kids under a certain height could go in and everything in the house was bouncy. Afterwards, it was updated so that it was a 'playhouse' and you could go in and relax or play in his garden.

So all in all, all updates in toon town have sucked. I would suggest one of two things to be done in the toon town area. The firs thing would be to update the buildings. I'd first update Roger Rabbits cartoon spin. It needs an update. There is so much new technology to make the ride a whole lot better. Another update would be needed for the houses. Mickeys house just needs some touch up throughout the barn and the house in general. In my opinion, they should just close Toontown for a few months to do general touch ups throughout the entire area.

The second suggestion, the one I'd pick, would be to close Toontown all together. I'd choose this choice as then they could do the same thing that they did at Disney World. If they closed Toontown they could open rides like the seven dwarfs mine train or other rides that would be considered fantasy. The advantage with this is that even thought they close a place that some kids enjoy but then can open rides with new and better technology bringing more and more guests making them receive more money.

All in all I suggest removing Toomtown to bring in more Fantasyland rides. To me, it seems like a money saver technique and maybe even will make them more money as they will get more guests to come and visit for a period of time as they are intrigued by the new rides.

That is all for now, don't forget to look for a new post tomorrow!  

Schedule update

My deepest apologies all. I have been very busy lately and haven't posted. You will get a special bonus of posts all this week. Expect a post later tonight, tomorrow you will get a Secrets and History post, on Saturday will be another regular post and on Sunday it will be the typical secrets and history post.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Frontierland Secrets & History

1. While walking along the Big Thunder Trail you can see a small lagoon with a tunnel right across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This is remnants from the ride that used to be where Big Thunder is now, Mine Train Through Natures Wonderland. This isn't the only place you can see remnants but my favourite place to!


2. Along the same trail you can see a large pile of something that may seem strange to you. These are actually horseshoes! They were put in as a symbol of good luck and have been there since the opening of the ranch.





3. At Christmas time, the big thunder ranch turns into a Christmas experience. Many times throughout the day you can see Goofy there dressed up as Santa. Also there will be Santa's reindeer and the reindeer roundup. Most people don't go back there as it's deemed too far out of the way and often quite and ignored.


Trivia/ Fun Facts:
1. Outside the Golden Horseshoe there is a large dead tree trunk. That is actually petrified wood that has been there since opening day. For their wedding anniversary, Walt bought the tree for his wife. She however, decided that it would look better at their park then at home.


2. The buildings seen at the end of Big Thunder Mountain have been there since the Mine Train was there as it was included in the Mine Train ride. It was left in to represent the hustle and bustle of a mine town.


3. There used to be 'special guests' that appear on top of the Golden Horseshoe throughout the years. The most famous and common one of them all was Zorro. Zorro was constantly showing up and would appear sometime throughout the year.




History
1. The Golden Horseshoe was built for opening day at the park and has stayed there looking great ever since. Very few changes have even happened to it besides changes in technology and a few paint jobs.


2. When Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was being designed, lead imagineer, Tony Baxter actually designed a whole exhibition that would be put in including five or six rides. Only Big Thunder and the ranch were put in at the end.


3. On the Rivers of America you can see different remnants from rides that used to exist in Frontierland. One is kneel boats and it is an actual one. The kneel boats used to go around until someone fell of and they never went around again. The other remnant you can see is track and a former train from Mine Train through Natures Wonderland.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Captain EO needs to go

I apologize about now post yesterday. This week I am going to discuss Captain EO. It is a classic short film that can be seen in the theatre in Tomorrowland under Space Mountain.

First some history. The area the theatre is in now was originally Flying Saucers. It was then closed due to the technology wasn't there at the time and had too many errors (was fixed and is the exact thing that Luigi's Tires are). It was reopened as the Tomorrowland stage in 1967. It was open for a little less than 10 years before closing to make it a closed theatre that would stay underneath Space Mountain that was opening in 1977. It then became the Magic Eye theatre showing Captain EO for about 11 years before becoming Honey, I shrunk the Audience to promote the movie. Once Michael Jackson died, they brought back Captain EO as a tribute to him.

Before I go any further I have to say I love the show! One of my favourite things, it just doesn't fit in Disneyland. There are many things that can be done. But I'd do one of three main things. not including the idea of something completely different with what I suggest.

The first thing I would suggest is to bring back Honey I shrunk the Audience. This is my least favourite idea of the three as it is the easiest which means it can be messed up and it may not be as good as it should. Honey I shrunk the Audience was a great show that I did like (not as much as Captain EO though), the only problem was the theatre was never full. Ever. The problem with the show is the lack of creativeness. I know 12 year olds who could write better scripts. If they were to bring the show back they would need to re-write the script.

My second suggestion would be to put in a different show of some sorts. Maybe a Marvel show or a Star Wars one, or some sort of Space travel show. This one is a little more complicated than the first idea but I still like the concept behind it. Since they have recently acquired businesses such as Star Wars and Marvel, they can expand the uses of this throughout the parks. While I wouldn't suggest doing a Star Wars show as they have Star Tours and Jedi Training Academy. The idea that I would suggest is to do a Marvel show and an idea like the Avengers as it is a huge hit currently.

My final suggestion is remove the theatre and add in a ride. Now I know what you are thinking, how can we fit a ride in there? Easily. You'd have to remove Redd's Rockett Pizza Port  sadly. Luckily with the Tomorrowland Terrace right across the way it would not be too bad to remove it. The way you would do it is to have the queue set up throughout Redd's Rockett and they set up a tunnel going underneath the Space Mountain queue going into the theatre where they could have a ride similar to mission to MARS in Disney World. The advantage is the theatre is so large that they could probably fit 4 theatres in there. This would be a new, updated ride as well as being a better ride alternative than the theatre that is there now.

It is just a suggestion however, like the rest of them but that is just what I suggest. This is just a few ideas, knowing Disney it could be removed and something completely different is replaced in there. Or nothing is replaced at all. I am actually really surprised that they aren't changing it for the 60th anniversary. However they may shut it down for a renovation and change it to whatever. I guess we may never know what will happen until it happens. Until next time, have a great time!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Adventureland Secrets & History



Secrets
1. Jabba the Hut in Adventureland?!?!?!? Yes! When they were transforming it from Swiss Family Robison Tree to Tarzans Treehouse the imagineers had a little fun redesigning the tree. It is slightly distorted but it can be seen.




2. Where Indiana Jones was built used to be eeyores cast member parking lot. As a tribute to the former lot you can actually still see the sign. When you are in the projector room go towards the screen and look back at the projector. You will probably have to ask a caste member to use their flashlight as it can be hard to see.


3. While on the jungle cruise you can see a hint of a Classic Disney film. On a shield resting on the hut behind the tribe members you can see the lion king musical logo. It can be hard to see depending on what side of the boat you are on.


Trivia/ fun facts:
1. There is a tree right beside the fastpass distribution for Indiana Jones that really stands out if you are paying attention. This tree is the oldest tree in the park if you don't include the petrified wood tree (oh, you don't know about that? You will by next week!). I will talk about this more in History as here is some really neat things about this tree.


2. When Indiana Jones first opened, everyone who went received a decoder sponsored by AT&T. The decoders were used to decode the Maraglyphics that were everywhere through the ride queue. An example would be using the decoder to realise that the tombstones in the projector room say the three chamber choices (if anyone has one of these decoders... I'd love one!).


3. There is a place called Aladdin's oasis at the end/beginning of Adventureland. This place used to have a dinner show that would go along with the Tiki Room. Then it became a dinner show for Aladdin once it became unpopular it was never replaced with anything else. Now the characters occasionally show up but it's a great place to sit and eat in the shade.


History
1. The tree is called the Dominguez tree. When Disney was buying the land for Disneyland he had to meet with the Dominguez family. They would sell him their land IF he kept the tree there. Being Disney he kept it there to follow the deal and they actually had to build the roof of the Jungle Cruise around it as they had to leave the tree.


2. The Jungle Cruise was one of the first rides to be completed as the trees and plant life needed time to grow so it looked like an actual jungle. In some places they actually took old dead trees and planted them upside down so the roots where up adding different details throughout the ride.


3. The Jungle cruise was originally going to be like Kilimanjaro Safaris and have real animals. The idea just wasn't well thought out so Disney was worried the animals wouldn't cooperate and you wouldn't be able to see most. To fix that they decided to put in Audio-animatronics. Personally I don't mind the animatronics as then they have the jokes ready because they know what to expect.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Innoventions needs a reboot

Let's make a checklist of what I have done so far in tomorrowland. Peoplemover, buzz, the subs. That everything right? NO! There is one last thing that needs to be dealt with. Innoventions. Innoventions used to be my favourite thing to do as I loved the outer part that would spin with the quiz show and everything, then the outer part no longer spun. Then the outer part was no longer used. Then the dream home became outdated (house of the future anyone?) and so on and so forth. Then they tried to save it with updating the upstairs to have ASIMO, Marvel characters (Thor, Iron Man and now Captain America) as well as technology updates with the xbox's and technology used in the spaceship earth ride in EPCOT. It is still a long way from being good. 

Let's share some history. The building was first opened as an attraction called America Sings. It was the same idea as bear country jamboree except for a wider range of animals and about America. It originally had a Sam the Eagle but it looked nothing like the one we know today. The ride started to loose appeal and was eventually shut down. Don't worry though! If you want to see the animatronics go on Splash Mountain. Most of the animatronics used for that ride came from America Sings. After America Sings shut down they thought of an idea showcasing a mix of inventions that were innovations, hence the name Innoventions. 

First thing I would do is get rid of the dream home or at least update it. Nobody is real fond of it and if they are going into Innoventions they are going for ASIMO (awesome show by the way! I recommend it!) or a Marvel character. The problem they are facing with the dream home is he same problem they faced with the House of the Future. The House of the Future had two refurbishments done to try to make it advanced but technology caught up too fast. What they need to do is remove he dream home and add in a different thing. Whether make it all Marcel, or make it a different theme like robotics. 

The second possibility they could do(although I would hate to see this happen), would be to tear down Innoventions and build something new there. While I love new updates constantly, I'd hate to see Innoventions go. I love the history and I love the view from the top floor. This is still quite a possibility because it is an old building( If you look on the outside mural at one point you can see a hockey player wearing a mighty ducks jersey), and it is a bit of an eye sore. I'd really hate to see this happen as for them to tear it down they would probably have to remove the People Mover track which would be a real shame as there is so much potential. 

Another possibility, while highly unlikely. Would be to do a throwback idea to the Carousel of Progress. Have the bottom floor with different decades or generations with the top being a rebuilt version of he famed progress city. For those of you who don't know, progress city was a City Walt designed based on what he thought the future would look like. There was no pin point and since it doesn't look like that now it could easily be put in there still and it still loos very futuristic. I highly doubt it will happen as they just went through the work putting in Captain America and why do that just as you are about to change the entire building. It is highly unlikely but very possible with Disney. Even though they pay attention to detail a few times they do some weird things that don't seem thought out. 

Overall, I'd say Innoventions needs a big makeover. Is say it needs a bigger one than Nemo does. And I think I made it pretty clear how I feel about those Subs last week. Next week I am going to do Captain EO. I am telling you that as I am almost done already and I may post it early but don't expect that! If not, see you Sunday!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

New Orleans Square Secrets & History

Time for New Orleans Square!

Secrets:
1. If you look at the top of the buildings of New Orleans Square, you can see the top of a pirate ship. It is like the Columbia Ship on the Rivers of America.These sails were designed by Park Decorating to conceal the lights used during Fantasmic. If you stand between River Belle Terrace and the River, and look up at the roof over the Gallery, you can see the sails and the searchlights behind them.


2. Walt & Roy Disney's initials are hidden within the decorative balcony railing found above the Pirates of the Caribbean directly above the Royal Street Verandah - gumbo & chowder shop.



3. In the New Orleans Train Station you can hear a tap tap sound. That is actually Walt Disney's opening day Disneyland speech! Many people don't know this but if you stop and listen it sounds mesmerising!


Trivia / fun facts:
1. It is believed that the skull and crossbones above the pirate lying in the bed in Pirates of the Caribbean are real! It was believed that Walt received it as a gift and decided to put them in the ride.


2. In the ballroom scene the entire roof has a mirror at 45°. At the end if the ballroom scene the is a small spider in a spider web on this mirror. This is because someone shot a small pellet at it leaving a spider web like crack. This was a much cheaper fix as it is one long mirror so they'd have to take the roof off the building to fix it.


3. There was a plan for a restraint that would be called the world of weird. It was them scrapped and partially put in the Haunted Mansion with different concepts being put in.


History:
1. Before New Orleans Square existed, there was a land called holidayland. Holidayland was basically a picnic area located there. It was shut down as many believed it wasn't Disney enough then being replaced by New Orleans Square.


2. A huge basement was dug, after guests enjoyed dinning and shopping they could go downstairs through a Pirate Wax Museum located down there. After the world fair they realised that they needed a larger space than the basement. This was the first time a ride was built outside the berm.


3. This area was Disneyland's first land expansion/creation sixpence the park opened (tomorrowland one a few years earlier doesn't count as tomorrowland existed already). It was also the last one Walt Disney was personally involved with.