Friday, December 7, 2018
I'm back with another week of things I liked and didn't like from this week in Disney news. In this week's list, there are more that I liked than didn't and I'm pretty sure it's because it's the holiday season. There isn't much not like about the holiday season (speaking for myself here), and I'm always in a more joyful mood during this time of the year. Hope you enjoy the list and let me know in the comments what are somethings you liked, or didn't, this week. Cheers!
Friday, November 30, 2018
So, let's jump right into it and hope you enjoy:
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Country Bear Jamboree was removed from Disneyland in 2001, but for years after that the bears had a presence on Main Street, U.S.A. Inside the lobby of the Opera House (home to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), there was a model of the Five Bear Rugs that was used during the pre-production of the attraction. Unfortunately a few years ago this model (along with one of Big Al that was also on display) were removed and sent back to the Disney Archives. These maquettes were sculpted by Imagineer, Ken O'brien. Be sure to click on the picture and zoom in to get a good look at them. They are highly detailed and look fantastic.
Speaking of Country Bear Jamboree, some great artifacts from Disneyland's version of the show were on display at D23 Expo 2015. Included in that display were many props from my personal favorite CBJ variation (and one of my all time favorite Disney attractions), Country Bear Jamboree Vacation Hoedown.
The bears are greatly missed by many Disneyland fans. These days Country Bear Jamboree in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is looking pretty rough, not to mention the butchering that happened a few years ago that removed half the show. Tokyo Disneyland still rotates the original, Vacation, and Christmas shows and I'm happy to say the attraction looks as good as the day it was installed.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Once a week until the end of 2015, for no reason in particular, I am uploading a "Let's Play" video of classic Disney video games of the 8, 16, and 32-bit eras. What is a Let's Play video? It's a video where someone plays a video games and talks over it. Yes I'm serious, that's all it is. There's been some real turds in the Disney video game library but there have also been a handful of genuinely great titles. I'm four weeks in to this, so here I'll show you what I have done so far:
Week 1: Disney's Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES)
This is one of my most beloved games from my childhood. Running around in a virtual Magic Kingdom/Disneyland hybrid and riding levels based on my favorite rides was intoxicating to my young Disney-obsessed brain. Unfortunately the game doesn't hold up well, and maybe it was never even that good to begin with. I can't rip on this game too much because it still has some fun parts and there was nothing like this back in 1990.
Week 2: Disney's Aladdin (Sega Genesis)
Unlike Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, Aladdin holds up extremely well. It's still a lot of fun to play and its colorful and detailed graphics are a joy to look at. This was actually my first Sega Genesis game I ever received, and I still have my original copy my grandma gave me for Christmas in 1993.
Week 3: Beauty and the Beast (SNES)
For week 3 I decided to change it up and play a Disney game that I had never even played before. Maybe this wasn't a good idea because Beauty and the Beast was brutally hard and I couldn't even make it out of the first level. This game's bad controls, hard difficulty, and muddy graphics make me think this will end up being one of the worst games I play during this series of videos.
Week 4: Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (NES)
After Beauty and the Beast I needed to get back on track and play a good Disney game. I picked Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers because I remember enjoy it as a kid. I was worried that it would be an Adventures in the Magic Kingdom situation where it was better in my memories but I'm happy to say that Rescue Rangers is still a very enjoyable game. In all these videos I give the disclaimer that I am not actually good at retro video games, even though I've been playing them my whole life. As previous videos in this series showed, I die over and over, but I'm happy to say in this one I was able to get pretty far in to that game.
There's what I have so far, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel or keep an eye on this website to see any future videos.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
When news of Port Disney first broke in 1991 I was excited. I'm talking can't-stand-still-jumping-up-and-down level of excited. The thought of a Disney theme park in my home town was too much for my 8 year old brain to comprehend. Sure, it was a short 20 minute drive to Disneyland from Long Beach, and I still went to the park almost every week, but this one was going to be ours. It was huge news in Long Beach. Our local paper, Long Beach Press Telegram, covered it frequently. To make a long story short, the project fell apart after a few years. Heartbreaking. It still hurts. Michael Crawford has the go-to article about Port Disney. Jim Hill also has a couple of posts about it. I still live in the area and recently I was the purposed site of Port Disney, which brings us to today's Disney Vlog:
Monday, July 13, 2015
Back in January of 2014 I posted 5 random Disney postcards that I picked up from a shop near a place where Rolly Crump was doing a signing of the Seekers of the Weird comic book. Fast forward to June of 2015 and I was at the same comic shop (Beach Ball Comics) for a signing of the Big Thunder and Figment comic books. This time it was another Disney Legend's turn to sign, Tony Baxter! Besides the singing of the comic, I took the opportunity to visit the same local shop to pick up another group of $1 post cards.
Postcards are pretty much the perfect collectible for Disney ephemera hunters like me. They're cheap, easy to display, easy to store, and they're usually pretty. I again limited myself to only 5 cards, somehow.
Postcard #1 - Tomorrowland 1998
I'm starting to see less and less Tomorrowland '98 items show up on collector shows and on Ebay. Not that any of it is valuable or limited, but that so much of it is plentiful and low in cost that I suspect people have stopped trying to sell it. The reason I bought this card was because I thought it would be strange to have a piece of Tomorrowland '98 merchandise signed by Tony Baxter. This will make a great conversation piece to no one.
Postcard #2 - Used Disneyland Paris Postcard
This may look like a standard boring old postcard from Disneyland Paris but the real reason I got this was because it was actually used by random strangers that I do not know to send to their friends back home.
Henry and Brenda were eager to tell their friends that they were having "lots of fun" and it was "very cold here." Fascinating stuff. I doubt Henry and Brenda would appreciate the card that they took time out of their busy vacation to send their friends back home ended up in the hands of a disgusting Disney blogger, but that's the risk you take when sending a postcard.
Postcard #3 - Disney's California Adventure Opening Year Postcard
Here we go, this postcard is more in the flavor of this blog. This card is from the opening year of Disney's California Adventure, and it TOTALLY looks like it. Oy! Major bonus points for the postcard including a limousine Superstar Limo.
Postcard #4 - Disney's Animal Kingdom
This card is undated but I have to assume it's from either the early years of Animal Kingdom, or maybe even pre-opening. This card gets bonus points for having one extinct attraction (Discovery River Boats), and a renamed attraction (Countdown to Extinction). The back of the card says "A New Species of Theme Park." I really like the artwork featured on this card and I was surprised that I've never seen it used anywhere else.
Postcard #5 - Mid 90s Disneyland Hotel
There's a lot to love about this postcard but my favorite has to be the appearance from Earforce One. That balloon had a mythical status when I was a kid. I would constantly see it in Disney commercials and print advertisements but never in real life. I wonder what ever happened to that thing.
Bonus Postcard - tffrd and Bianca at New York Deli at DisneySea
I didn't obtain this postcard at the same shop as the others but it's too good not to share. Here we see Bianca and Bernard looking into the window at New York Deli in DisneySea. Those mice are hardcore fiending over those cured meats in the window and I don't blame them one bit.
Speaking of Bernard, I met him at DisneySea last month! That's all the postcards for this time. I'll pick up some more next time I'm in the area. Maybe it won't be a year and a half this time.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
I'm back from a trip to Tokyo which included 5 days at Tokyo Disney Resort. Unfortunately I do not have time to write up a lengthy trip report like I did back in October, but I did want to write some quick bullet points and share my pictures.
- We visited Tokyo Disneyland at an interesting time of the year, it was as the Easter celebration was coming to an end, and the summer celebration was still about a month off. A small 2-week promotion called "Tanabata Days" started about halfway through our trip. Tanabata is a wishing festival in Japan. As usual, Wikipedia explains it much better than I ever will.
- Speaking of Easter, TDR really goes all out with their Easter stuff. They had a great parade, not just some little cavalcade, but a major parade with huge floats and tons of dancers. There was also a ton of special food and merchandise as well as other seasonal shows.
- This trip was our last chance to see Tokyo Disneyland before it starts a major expansion later this year, which includes closing, moving, and reopening their version of 'it's a small world,' the closure of the Star Jets, as well as many other changes to their Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Our friends at TDR Explorer have more information on the expansion. This expansion should modernize TDL's Fantasyland and give it a much larger footprint, kind of like the Magic Kingdom's new Fantasyland, but bigger.
- DisneySea is still just as grand and spectacular as it was during our first trip. Besides the rides, it's an easy park to just hang out and relax in. I'd kill to have that be my local park.
- Also at DisneySea, StormRider will close soon to make way for a new Finding Nemo attraction. I'm not a fan of StormRider, or Port Discovery in general, but I made it a point to ride it several times. I grew to appreciate Port Discovery, and especially Aquatopia, more but I still can't get with StormRider. It falls flat with me in so many ways, including it not being very much fun, a theme I don't care about, and overall it's just not interesting. I'm not saying the Nemo ride (which will basically be an overlay that uses the same building, ride vehicle, etc) will fix any of that, but at least it'll be new. You can't see it, but I'm shrugging right now.
- The kindness of our friends in Tokyo that we finally got to meet in person was wonderful and I'll never forget how nice they were. My friends and I met up with several people, and others would stop us just to say hello. Thank you to all of you!
- The response from my friends on social media was also overwhelming. It was a pleasure having everyone follow along and I appreciate every comment, like, favorite, and retweet!
You can see all of my 2015 Tokyo Disney trip on my Flickr page
I also uploaded a video of my Tokyo Disney Resort merchandise hail: