Saturday, December 30, 2006

Celebration The Season Castle Show

Pictures and video of the Celebration The Season Castle Show. I've never had the chance to see this before, so this is certainly something new to me.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers To Spice Up Disney Rides

For a limited time, two rides at the Disneyland Resorts will be accompanied by musical soundtracks by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Very much like the Aerosmith tune accompanying Rock 'N Rollercoaster at Disney/MGM Studios, the tunes will be played during the ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland, and California Screaming at Disney's California Adventure. These are part of the Year of a Million Dreams celebration, and so they aren't permanent additions to the rides (at least that's what they claim).


A Jab At Eisner?

One may just be reading too much into this, but it is still fun to speculate. Thanks to bhb007 at Laughing Place who brought my attention to this picture trip report from Hong Kong Disneyland. Somewhere about halfway down the list of pictures is what some people thought was a small jab towards Michael Eisner. If you split the windows separately and not read the words across both of them as they were intended, you'll get the idea.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pictures From The Deluxe Resorts

Laughing Place has a collection of wonderful pictures of Christmas decorations from WDW's Deluxe Resorts. Check them out if you haven't been to all of them during the holiday season.


Disney's Worldwide Boxoffice Tops $3 Billion

Disney's worldwide movie box office take tops $3 billion. Not a bad chuck of change here. This, of course, was led by Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest, which became only the 3rd movie in history to top the $1 billion mark worldwide.

Not bad for the movie division was was bleeding money a year ago.


Record Crowds Continues at WDW Parks

For the 2nd straight day, WDW parks continue to pull in record crowds, forcing The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom to be shut down for a period of time. Just like yesterday, the parking lot at Disney/MGM Studios were filled up.

If this continues, they might just top the record attendance they had last year. I can't imagine how crowded it will be on New Year's Eve. This is not the best time to go to WDW if you're making your very first trip, because you will spend most of your time standing in line for rides, food, merchandise, etc...


You Need A Tripod at WDW

Needless to say, if you have a camera and wish to take low light/night shots, or a camcorder and wish to take a video of a parade or fireworks, you need a tripod. But who wants to lug around a bulky item all over WDW?

When I decided to buy a tripod, I had all of those concerns and more. I wanted something small enough that can fit into my backpack, and it cannot be too heavy that it will weigh me down (preferably around 2 lbs or less). I also had extra requirements. I want something that will expand high enough so that I don't have to crouch down to look at the display while I'm recording a video or taking a shot (I'm 5' 10" tall). It must also be sturdy enough to hold up at least 5 lbs, which is roughly the weight of my camcorder.

So I had quite a list of criteria for a tripod that I would carry with me on my Disney trips. And I found one.

I would highly recommend Velbon Ultra Maxi. There are many different models in the ultra Maxi series, but this was, I think, the original one (and I'm not sure if it is still in production since I can't find it listed on Velbon's website - the other ultra maxi models are listed). I have had this tripod for a couple of years, and it fits everything that I need in a tripod. Most people could not believe that something barely a 13 inches long can actually expand up to 61 inches. And as a bonus, it comes with pan and tilt head with a quick release, something that is very useful that you don't have to buy extra.

I don't work or have any connection with Velbon, and this is an unsolicited recommendation.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Packed Disney World

Wow! Be glad that you're not at WDW today. It seems that this is the first time that they had to close the parking lot of 3 different theme parks in a day. From all reports, all the 4 parks were packed today.


Walt Disney Family Museum

The Disney Family has announced the Walt Disney museum at the Presidio in San Francisco. Walt's daughter, Diane Disney Miller, answers some questions regarding the museum.

I would say that it is about time there is a Museum on Walt and his family. However, I'm a bit puzzled with the location. There's nothing wrong with the Presidio, but shouldn't it somewhere close to where Walt actually made an impact? I can understand having it near the Walt Disney Studios, or even in Anaheim, but San Francisco? One can even understand having it in Chicago (where Walt was born) or even in Marceline, where he grew up.

So this is a puzzling choice of location.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Walt Disney Rises

A look at the financial health of the Walt Disney Company in 2006. Needless to say, it has been a very rosy year. One would hope that the company is smart enough to put in some "reserves" during the good times in anticipation of any possible bad times down the road. But so far, things are certainly firing on all cylinders for the company.

And as been mentioned before, one can only hope they share the wealth with the Cast Members who, for all practical purposes, ARE the ones responsible for the Magic at the parks.


Disney Keeps Osborne Lights Burning Bright

This is an interview with John Phelan, the director of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney/MGM Studios. If you haven't seen this amazing light display (especially the one this year with the addition of the dancing lights), I seriously recommend making plans to see it. It is truly spectacular!


Monday, December 25, 2006

Jump In Early

The Disney Channel is using similar strategies to promote the upcoming original TV movie Jump In. They are giving potential viewers (read "Tweens") download the music from the movie early. The same strategy that got viewers hooked onto the music and then the movie for their preview hits is being used here again.

So if history is any indication, this could be another monster hit for the Disney Channel.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

To everyone who celebrates the holidays, may you have a Magical Christmas!


Disney Dreams for Early 2007

All the things to look forward to at WDW in early 2007 as part of their Year of a Million Dreams celebration. I'm dying to hear the news of the first family to get to spend the night in Cinderella's castle. That would be a hoot!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Disney Stores Turnaround

The Disney Stores are turning into a profit-making center, and Disney is beginning to reap the benefits from them even when they no longer own them.

For most of us who do not get to go to the Disney theme parks that often, the Disney Stores and the Disney Online shopping are the few places we get to "relive" the Disney experience. While I don't buy a lot of stuff online and at the Disney Stores, I do walk in there whenever I pass one. The one here in Chicago on Michigan Ave. is not bad, and they do run a lot of sales during the holidays. It isn't the parks, but it does feel like Disney whenever I walk in there.


Disney's 2007 Movie Lineup

Here is the 2007 Disney's movie lineup and sneak peak. Pay attention to the 4 big ones, which would be March 30 for Meet The Robinsons, May 25 for Pirates, June 29 for Ratatouille, and later in Fall for the sequel to National Treasures.

So Disney could have at least 4 major box-office hits this coming year.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Walt Disney: Once Upon a Time

Hey, if you're in Canada, you'll get to see this French documentary on Walt Disney. It is scheduled to be shown at 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve on CBC Newsworld.

It sounds like they're tracing the European origin of the early Disney hits, which, in reality, isn't really a news, is it?


Tinker Bell is Delayed

The release on DVD of the Tinker Bell movie will be delayed, as has been rumored already all over the web. Looks like the top executives were not happy with the story line and will delay releasing it, even though this DVD was planned to be the central piece in a whole line of characters, movies, and merchandise on Disney Fairies.

I'd say good for them! The story is everything, and it is only from that can one get memorable characters that become part of Disney history.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas from Walt Disney World

This is the ABC Radio presentation of "Merry Christmas from Walt Disney World - Hosted by Teri Hatcher".


A Disney Family Christmas

This is a rather informative and entertaining article on the Disney Family and Christmas. I found it astounding that the month of December has a huge significance for the Disney family:

Walt was born December 5, 1901. His older brother Herb was born December 8, 1888. His older brother Ray was born December 30, 1890. His younger sister Ruth was born December 6, 1903. Walt's daughter Diane was born December 18, 1933. His other daughter Sharon was born December 31, 1935. Diane's first child, Christopher, was born December 10, 1954.

However, Walt passed away December 15, 1966 and his other older brother, Roy, passed away December 20, 1971.

That's amazing!


Reviews of New Disney DVD's

As reported earlier, a number of significant Disney DVDs were released this week, including Disney Treasures release of the Complete Pluto Vol. 2. This is a very extensive review of the DVDs, as is usually the case when it come from Laughing Place.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Disney Tops Season's Best-Sellers

It seems that in terms of business, the Walt Disney Company can do no wrong. Their product line is also selling like nobody's business, frequently topping the sales charts.

If there is ever any strong proof that the company depends on content to generate a chain reaction of products and attractions down the line, this would be it. I hope they remember this always.


Disney Lamp Has A Meltdown

This could have been a major catastrophe. A little girl's Disney Princess Disco Lamp overheated and started to melt. Luckily, it was unplugged before it could do any damage.

Even for a Disney-branded product, you have to keep an eye out on these things.


Monday, December 18, 2006

A Swedish Disney Holiday

Wow! I didn't realize that Disney is THAT big in Sweden.

This is a personal account of Disney during the holidays in Sweden. The one that made me chuckle was this one:

As important as the meal was, there was a mighty powerful deadline by which I needed to clean my plate. Every year since the late 1960s, the Disney Christmas special has started on Swedish TV by 3 p.m. If you're not watching it, you might as well be Norwegian. The opening of presents has to wait until after Donald Duck.

Now that's dedication for you! :)

The rest of the article is nothing new, describing the performance of the company since Iger took over.


Nick is Still First, But Disney is Closing In

Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel are fighting it out for the children audience. With Nick's audience numbers being flat, while Disney's audience increasing quite a bit, the next couple of years will be very interesting.


Disney Classics on DVD

Plenty of classic Disney to be released on DVD tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 19). I will get the Pluto collection, since we already have the first volume.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Main Street, USA

I was scanning throught my Disney picture and came across this that I didn't remember that I had. It is of course a picture down Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom. This particular one was taken during the "Trolley Song" performance. It suddenly became one of my most favorite pictures. I hope you like it as much as I do.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Florida Governor-Elect Visits WDW

Florida governor-elect Charlie Crist visits WDW as part of his inaugural tour. I wonder if all Florida governors are "required" to visit WDW as part of their inaugural? After all, we all know where they big money source for Florida comes from, don't we?



WDW Update

Latest pictures from WDW, including signs for the new Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.


New Western Way Development?

As reported here earlier, the rumor of Disney developing the area by the new Western Way entrance into WDW seems to be getting a bit more concrete. Disney has filed paperwork to clear and excavate a 330-acre area right at the place in question.

It would be interesting if they actually will build the rumored development, and see how it fits into the whole scheme of things.


Friday, December 15, 2006

More on the Unofficial "Santa"

Here is a slightly different version of the story on the man who looked like Santa Clause that got booted off Disney theme park. It appears that the man was also wearing an outfit that "might" make him look even more like the Jolly Old man.

This actually is getting a little bit hilarious. :)


Lessons Learned from High School Musical

The jauggernaut that is the High School Musical has given Disney not only a monster hit on their hands, but also a few lessons to be learned, not only by Disney, but many other media companies. The most important one being that giving things away for free can only stimulate more interest in your product.


A Santa Look-a-like Got Booted off WDW

This is rather unfortunate!

A man that looked like Santa Clause was visiting WDW yesterday (didn't say which park). A group of kids suddenly thought he was Santa and started to gravitate around him. I suppose he played along with that, but that got him into trouble because he isn't one of the "approved" characters. This resulted him being booted off the park!

I guess Disney did not want the guests to think that this person was one of their characters and cannot control or monitor his behavior (heave forbid that this person might start molesting people). Still, its is unfortunate that due to how he looks, and through no fault of himself, he was unable to stay at the park.


Walt Disney Died on This Day.

On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died in Los Angeles at age 65. However, for most of us Disney Fanatics, he continues to live through his dreams and legacy that he left behind. This is never more apparent during the 50th Anniversary of celebration of Disneyland. The rededication ceremony of the opening of Disneyland was one of the most moving experience of the whole celebration.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Disney is 2006 Top Media Company

SeekingAlpha has selected The Walt Disney Company as the top media company of 2006. Hardly suprising in light of the record profits the company has reported this year. It also seems well-placed for keeping this torrid pace for next year.


Hong Kong Disneyland Adding New Attractions

One of the biggest complaint towards Hong Kong Disneyland is that the park does not have enough attractions. Things may change rather soon as it has been announced that 3 new attractions will be open by the early part of 2008. It includes the popular It's A Small World attraction.

Hopefully, they'll expand further to at least eliminate this part of the problem.


iTunes To Sell HD Disney Movies?

I find this hard to believe, but this is one of the "predictions" for 2007, that Apple will start selling Disney high definition movies on iTunes. I know broadband is fast, but how many hours would it takes to download something like that! And until we have HD-writable format, what do you store that on, your hard drive?


One Lucky Family

This family got three different prizes while at WDW during the Year of a Million Dreams. Not Fair! :(

Still, I'm very happy for them. I definetely know that I would have been awfully happy to get even just one lousy lanyard.


Q&A With Disneyland President

A Q&A with Disneyland President Ed Grier. He's not revealing much about future attractions at Disneyland, but at least it is good to know that he is very approachable. I wish more Disney higher-up listen to the cast members. They are at the front end of the organization as far as dealing with their customers.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Royal Dwelling in Cinderella's Castle

As one of the "prizes" during this Year of a Million Dreams, someone will get selected each day to spend the night in Cinderella's Castle. Disney Insider has a preview of what to expect for the lucky people selected for this sought-after prize.

It sounds really grand, and the treatment is fit for a king or queen.


Pirates DVD Sold 10.5 Million in Week 1

This isn't really a big surprise, but it is still impressive. As expected, the DVD of Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest got big numbers. 10.5 million sold during its first week of release, after posting 5 million sold just on the first day alone.

It is on track to be the biggest selling DVD of the year, and possible even the biggest selling DVD of all time.


Illuminations's Peace On Earth Finale

For those of us who can't be at WDW during the holidays, we can only live through all those generous souls who put up videos of various events. This is the Finale to Illuminations called Peace On Earth that is shown after the end of the regular Illuminations at Epcot.

If you want to see the full Illuminations - Reflections of Earth video itself, check out my uploaded video collection.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Another Wish Granted

Another well-deserved Make-A-Wish Foundation receipient will spend the holidays at Walt Disney World.

I will try to highlight as many of these as I can. We take our health and our easy, frequent trips to WDW for granted. Yet, there are many, especially kids, who do not have either. To know that with all of their struggles, being at WDW as one of their wishes, certainly puts everything in perspective.


Little Mermaid "You're A Slut!"

I'm sorry, I shouldn't, but I was laughing when I read this. For some odd reason, I found this rather funny.

Thanks to John Frost at The Disney Blog for pointing this out. A mother reported that an Ariel doll has a fouled mouth if you hit her button just .... wrong. It seems that if you hit her talking button too quickly to skip over her various phrases, she'll eventually will tell you "You're a slut!"


If this is true, I want to buy this doll! :) :) :)

Maybe I'll check this out myself if I ever find myself at Target or some place like that over the holidays. I hope no one will look at me funny - an adult playing with an Ariel doll at a toys aisle and trying to make her speak.


Monday, December 11, 2006

A Very Narrow Target Group

Read this advertisement carefully for a popular crocks footwear with tie-ins to Disney, and see if you spot something not quite kosher:

The Disney by CROCS line, which is targeted towards children and adults, will debut with special-edition Mickey Mouse die-cut models. for spring 07. These styles will be available in a broad range of two-toned colour options including Mickey’s signature black and red. Other models include an array of unique designs emphasizing the distinctive personalities of Disney’s characters including Mickey and Friends, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean and Disney*Pixar’s Toy Story and Cars. The launch will be international to include Europe, Asia and the USA.

I'm sorry, but it is "... targeted towards children and adults..."? Isn't that like ..... EVERYBODY??!!! :)

Really now!


Shanghai Disney Theme Park May Be In Doubt

It seems that Disney may be shopping around for another location for their next theme park in China. Recent political scandal involving Shanghai head of the communist party may throw a wrench in such a plan.

Why do I have a feeling that Disney is over-diluting itself with a second park in China? Am I the only one who feels this way?


Disney Channel Glorious November

Disney channel broke all kinds of records for itself during this past November. Those folks over there just can't seem to do anything wrong lately. They certainly have a commanding attention to the kids and tweens crowd.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

EuroDisney Takeover Bid Under Investigation

This story just won't end. The people at Center-Tainment are being investigated. You recall that those clowns announced a hostile takeover bid of EuroDisney few weeks ago that never materialized. During that time, EuroDisney stock went up. After nothing happened, it went back down, while Center-Tainment stocks took a huge nose-dive.

Now, the company is under investigation for possible stock manipulation for this takeover bid debacle. They could do us a favor by making sure these clowns don't get hired in any important positions of a company.


Disney Park Confusion Even in "Respectable" Textbook

One would think that if one plans on using a specific example to illustrate a principle or to put in a textbook question, one would use an example that one is extremely familiar with. It doesn't appear to be the case with this probability textbook author.

It actually is rather amusing, and a bit sad. People still confuses "Disneyland" and "Walt Disney World", and they also think Walt Disney World is "The Magic Kingdom". One of these days, someone will intend to go to WDW, but will accidentally end up in California.


Disney Stops Production of Narnia Sequel in New Zealand

Disney seems to have changed its mind on the production of the sequel to Narnia in New Zealand. It has opted to do most of the production at the Pinewood Studios. It appears that this is highlighting the competition for film production among several countries trying to lure big budget movies.


It's Mylando, ya hear?

I got a chuckle out of reading this. I think little Drew has the right idea. You go, big guy!


Disney Holiday Survival Guide

Debs at has written a "survival" guide for anyone planning on being at a Disney theme park during the peak of the holiday crowds (are you nuts?!! :) ). So if you are planning on doing this, you may want to read these helpful hits to preserve your sanity.

She mentioned something about the chocolate carousel at Disney's Beach Club. Here is a picture of that carousel taken during the first week of January of this year (2006).


The Disney-Apple Connection

So we all know that Steve Jobs is in the board of Directors of Disney, and Disney has had movies and content on iTunes. But is the connection going to be even closer between these two companies? The rumors floating around seems to indicate so (and don't we all love spreading all these rumors?). The recent patent filed by Disney seems to indicate that Disney might still continue to get into providing content and delivery format for mobile phones. Of course, with the current rumors of Apple getting into the mobile phone business with the "iPhone", tongues are wagging that Disney might provide content for Apple's phone.

Hey, stranger things have happened! :)


Finding Nemo Musical

More review of the Finding Nemo musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom. While it isn't officially opened yet, all the previews of this show have produced glowing reviews and amazing word-of-mouth. As I've said earlier, I wouldn't be surprised if Disney eventually consider a full-blown Broadway show, especially if Tarzan continues to disappoint and closes.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Walt Disney's House For Sale on eBay

The house that Walt was born in in Chicago is up for sale on ebay. So if you have the money, you could buy a property that is a major historical site for Disney fanatics. Starting bid is $280,000.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Seven Lessons of Walt Disney

A terrific article from Forbes about what one can learn out of Neil Gabler's Disney biography. How many CEO's do you think have that kind of mentality anymore nowadays in the world of quick profit and pressures from fund managers?


More Puzzling Analysis on the EuroDisney Takeover Bid

I pointed out earlier on those clowns at Center-Tainment attempt at a hostile takeover big of EuroDisney. The latest news is an overview of this bid that never happened.

It appears as if they're just making it up as they go along. As a result, after missing the deadline for making such a bid, the company's stock has taken a nose-dive.

What were they thinking?


Disney Christmas, Without Park Tickets

This is a rather interesting article. It describes how you can have almost as much fun with the Christmas holiday but without going into any of the theme parks. The writer visited the various Disney hotels for the holiday themed decorations.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Disney Workers to Protest Outsourcing of Jobs

More labor unhappiness with Disney. Members of the Service Trades Council Union is planning on a rally to protest Disney's plan to outsource a number of jobs.

It is sad that, with Disney wallowing in record profit, that one still sees labor disatisfaction that one would expect from, let's say, an airline company filing bankruptcy. At least with the latter, it is understandable. What is the excuse with Disney? So that they can make even more money?


Disney Accused of Violating Labor Practice

WDW is accused of violating labor agreement when it displaced some 185 hotel custodial employees.

I'm just surprised they don't get complaints like this more often.


Dreaming of a Walt Christmas?

This Boston Herald critic certainly did. It's a fun piece of their vacation at WDW during the holiday season.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pirates Sold 5 Million on First Day

OK, so we know it was going to be big, and it was. Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest DVD sold 5 million copies on the first day of its release.

At this rate, Disney could have the top 3 selling DVD of the year, which would be pretty impressive.


Robert Iger is CEO of the Year has named Robert Iger as CEO of the year. I'm sure he doesn't need any congratulations from me, but this is certainly well-deserved. Financially, Disney hasn't been better. However, I still wish he looks after his front-line cast members a little bit better, especially now that there's plenty of money.


Holiday Jumbo Pins

OK, having seen almost all of the holiday pins that have been released or about to be released, this jumbo pin appears to be my most favorite.

They could have made it better had they included all of the Fab 5 in it.


US Looks at Disney To Change Image

This is a no-brainer. Since Sept. 11, tourism from international visitor has dropped significantly. With the poor image of the US among many, this simply adds to the drop. The process of applying for a visa, and the non-welcoming atmosphere at various airports simply are scaring many visitors away from the US.

This report indicates the effort being done by the Homeland Security and the Dept. of State in changing that by consulting with Disney and other theme park operators. However, as far as I can tell, it certainly hasn't amounted to anything substantial. Until this is implimented across the board, and immigration officials treat visitors with more respect, the impression will remain. And the strange thing is that having these officials simply smile or being friendly while they do their jobs isn't THAT difficult either! That is certainly a simple FIRST STEP in all of this and could easily make an impact to these visitors.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Disney Shares Highest in Almost 6 Years

Disney shares closes today at its highest level in 5 1/2 years. It was trading up about 2% by closing time today.

So if you want to buy Disney shares, you have to fork out a very nice chunk of change right now.


EuroDisney Takeover Bid Update

It appears that the clowns at Center-Tainment, who are attempting a hostile takeover of EuroDisney, have missed the deadline set by France's Financial Markets Authority. They now have to wait 6 months before filing in their next bid.

If they did not intend to file before this past deadline, why did they hastily arranged for that press conference announcing the takeover bid in the first place? So far, everything appears to be done haphazzardly, and I hate to think that this is how they might run Disneyland Paris IF they ever get to control EuroDisney.

Like I said, a bunch of CLOWNS!


Disney Day

Happy 105th Birthday, Mr. Walt Disney. Thank you for your dreams and your legacy.


Disney's True-Life Adventure DVD - Vol. 1

The reviews are out! The first series released on DVD of the long-awaited Disney's True-Life Adventure is released today. DVD Talk gave it its highest rating, and from all indication, it is a spectacular DVD in all aspects, from the content to the extras all the way to the packaging.


Disney Job Fair

If you're in Orlando and looking to make some money over the holidays (or even longer), Disney is holding a Job Fair this week!

I just wish they also put more incentive to keep the current cast members and not have such high turnovers.


How To Install Your Home Theater

We have more definite news regarding Disney's effort to producing cartoon shorts. It seems that the first film to be produced will be Goofy's attempt at instructing the viewers on how to install a home theater system.

This should be hilarious, and I can't wait. So far, the list of the upcoming shorts sounds promising.


Orange County Up-And-Down Taxes on Disney

While I thought that the recent attempt to takeover EuroDisney was done by a bunch of clowns, it appears that those running the Orange County taxes dept is run by a bunch of Goofys.

I don't need to explain why. You can read it for yourself.

And speaking of that takeover bid for EuroDisney, it seems that there is STILL no official bid for the company filed in France by Center-Tainment as they claim they would. All they have done so far is have a not-so-promising press conference.

Like I said, a bunch of clowns!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Pirates DVD

Not all DVD special offers are the same. Read this news info and figure out which of the specials that accompany the release of Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest DVD strikes your fancy.


My Disney Tree

For the holidays, we have two trees - one in the sitting room, and the other in the TV room. The latter is our Disney tree and decorated only with Disney ornaments. Here are a few pictures from different angles of the tree.


MouseFest 2006

MouseFest2006 meets this week!!

Every year this unofficial fan festival gets larger and larger. It would be neat to attend one of these things one of these days. I just have put in the list of priorities of things to do and figure out where this belongs.


Walt's 106th Birthday

Tomorrow, Dec. 5 marks Walt Disney's 106's birthday. As often on this day, Disney will release a commemorative pin, and this is a good one.

Coincidentally, Dec. 5 is also the date for the release of Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD here in the US, which is the largest grossing Disney movie ever. Only fitting to celebrate the occassion.


The Monorail

I thoroughly enjoy riding the Monorail at the Walt Disney World, especially when they're not that packed like sardines. The last time we were there, we managed to ride in the front car - TWICE. It was so much fun. The monorail pilot even gave us this neat card that is a Monorail "drivers" license.

Anyway, I've seen plenty of Disney videos online, but I don't think I've seen one dedicated to just the Monorail. So I made one. Did a few editing here and there of all the monorail video footage that we had and voila, this is the end product:

WDW Monorail

Play it as LOUD as you can without the neighbors calling the police. :)

If you haven't see the rest of my Disney video collection, check out the whole list either in my Disney links or directly here.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Disney Going Back To Cartoon Shorts

Wow! This is terrific news! Moviegoers might start getting to see Disney cartoon shorts at the movie theater some time soon! I love this!

I hope this is part of the revitalization of the animations division. It has been a long time coming.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Decorating Tips From Disney Pro

So, have you done all your holiday decorations yet? If you haven't (and why haven't you already?), then you may want to get a few tips from someone who does this for a living for Disney.

I like the LED lights suggestion, which I have already incorporated. It will certainly reduce our electricity bill for the holidays.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Disney Cutting Animation Jobs

Disney had announced a 20% reduction in workforce at its Animation division.

This is certainly strange in light of the recent push back into animation, especially the hand-drawn animation. However, considering that Pixar is taking over the digital animation task, and the cutting back on the number of movies being released by the Disney studios, this cut-back is not unexpected. Just hope they don't cut too much and are left with nothing.


WDW Virgin

No, this is not a revelation about a cast member working there! :)

Read the report from a first time visitor to the Walt Disney World. Having taken one of those to WDW myself, I'd say that it is one of the most fun moments that I've ever had. Seeing WDW through the eyes of someone who has never been there is very exciting. It is as if you get to live through the amazement of seeing things for the first time all over again.

It is the duty of all Disney fanatics to bring at least ONE person who has never been to a Disney theme park during their lifetime. Re-read the contract that you signed when you became a Disney fanatic.



Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is EuroDisney Takeover Done By A Bunch of Clowns?

After reading more about the company that is attempting to do a hostile takeover big of EuroDisney, it now doesn't look to be the best move for the company or Disneyland Paris. During the press conference announcing the bid, the "executives" of the company sound utterly clueless on what to do and what the local governence are. It's as if they're going to make things up as they go along!

Oy vey!


A Disney Star is Born

Time magazine looks at Disney's star-making machine that made the lead role in Hannah Montana a star.

While I'm not a fan of this type of product out of Disney, I must admit that they have been very successful lately with their original production aimed at pre-teens. They are riding on a string of huge hits, and it seems to be coming continuously.


EuroDisney Receives Takeover Bid

It's official! As reported earlier as a possible rumor, EuroDisney has now received a takeover bid from a Swiss company that specializes in running family amusement parks.

Interestingly enough, due to the nature of the company and its bylaws, and the fact that Disney owns a substantial share in the company, a hostile takeover such as this may not be that easy. The Disney Blog has a brief analysis of this takeover bid.


Disney Wants YouTube to do More on Piracy

Disney's Anne Sweeney is hinting that they may do more if YouTube does not crack down on illegal upload of their programming.

I'm actually surprised that they have this much patience with it. I expected them to pursue this much earlier. So if you have uploaded Disney's program online, either from the ABC network show or any of the Disney channels, watch out!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Disney's True-Life Adventures

For those old enough to remember, the complete Disney's True-Life Adventure series is finally being released on DVD after meticulous restoration. Thanks to Roy E. Disney, the series of wild-life documentary that had won several Academy Awards will finally be seen by a generation that did not even know it existed.

The DVD will be released on Dec. 5 (the same day at Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest).


Animal Kingdom Lodge Increased Funds for Conservation

The castmembers at the Zawadi Marketplace at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge have managed to raise over $100,000 this past year for the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. Well done!!

What is wonderful about this fund is that 100% of the donation goes into the cause, with Disney picking up all the overhead and administrative costs. So it is certainly a very worthy cause to support.


35 Magical Years - Mystery Tin Set

OK, this is bad.

I had a friend who went to WDW last week with his family, and they were gracious enough to get me a bunch of pins that I had wanted. One of them was this 35 Magical Years Mystery Tin Set. They bought 9 of these tins for me. Unfortunately, even with all these 9 tins, I didn't get a complete set. I'm missing the Dumbo pin, and the Railroad pin. What I got was multiple pin of everything else except the Barnstormer pin.

So, if you have either the Dumbo pin or the Railroad pin (or maybe even both), and would like to trade with any of the other pins that I have (except for the Barnstormer), please leave a comment on here or e-mail me direct (my e-mail is in my profile).


Euro Disney Ripe for a Takeover?

Rumors are going around that Euro Disney, the company that runs Disneyland Paris, might face a hostile takeover, even though the company is reporting that it hasn't been approached.

Considering the tumultuous history of this theme park, I'm not so sure if this takeover is good or bad. They certainly need to do something to make it profitable.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Disney Raises Dividends by 15%

Disney boosts its dividends to the shareholders by 15%, the largest increase in 8 years. This comes on the heel of a 4th quarter profit that doubled from last year.

Now let's see if they can keep it up next year. However, if they keep outsourcing various jobs that their guests come in contact with, then who knows what will happen especially to their theme park experience.


Disney Has Tough Sell For Gibson Movie

Needless to say, the upcoming Mel Gibson movie will be very difficult to sell for Disney due to 2 separate reasons. The first of course was his racial tirade from a few months ago. The other is the very nature of the movie itself, which is full of unknowns (really not that big of a factor nowadays), of a difficult subject, and not in english (having subtitles).

I have already seen billboards around the expressways advertizing this movie. It remains to be seen if people might be turned off from this movie due to Gibson himself, or the nature of the movie, or both.


Army Science?

This has nothing to do with Disney directly, but I too find it rather ... er ... a bit strange that one would have a conference on the future of armed combat near the Happiest Place on Earth.

But then again, considering that Orlando is a major convention center for many organization, why not?


Monday, November 27, 2006

Pirates Fastest Sellling Disney DVD in the UK

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest became the fastest selling Disney DVD in the UK.

I didn't realize this DVD has already been released there. The DVD isn't supposed to be out yet here in the US till Dec. 5th. How much do you want to bet that this DVD will do as well, if not better, when it is finally out?


Toddlers at Disney

Not that I'll ever be in such a situation, but this is a terrific article on how to survive when you bring a 1-year old, 2-year olds, and a 4-year old to Walt Disney World. I can certainly imaging going on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride 4 times in a row! :)


A House in the Phillippines Goes Disney

Even in the Phillippines you can get a house decorated for Christmas with Disney theme. Too bad they didn't include any pictures.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

JC Penny Snowglobes

I mentioned about the JC Penny's Disney snowglobes earlier. Here are the pictures. The first picture shows the snowglobes we collected from 2002 and 2003. The second one are the snowglobes from 2004 and 2005. The last one is the one we just got barely a few days ago.

Does anyone know how far back JC Penny has released these snowglobes?


Swiming with the Big Fish

A look at the creative force behind Finding Nemo - The Musical scheduled to open at Disney's Animal Kingdom. So far the reviews of this show has been fantastic. This will certainly something I will try to see on our next trip in June. I also wouldn't be surprise if this eventually becomes a full-blown Broadway musical.


Hollywood Holly-Day Parade

Pictures and video of the holiday parade at Disney-MGM Studios. This parade may not be around next year, though. This is the holiday version of the regular Disney Stars and Motor Cars on parade, which is rumored to be changed next year into something else.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Glitch With Disney Online Shopping

Both Walmart and Disney Online shopping had a glitch during Black Friday shopping rush. The high traffic to both sites (and even to Amazon) caused a temporary problem which seems to have been resolved.


Friday, November 24, 2006

JC Penney's Disney Snowglobes

OK, so anyone else got up at 5 am in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving to go grab one of these snowglobes?

JC Penney (it's a department store, for those outside N. America and don't know what it is) has been giving out these Disney snowglobes for the past several years to their early customers on Black Friday (the big shopping day after Thanksgiving). We have been collecting them for the past 5 years. We got them again today after driving out to a shopping mall and picking up our free snowglobes. By the time we were done with our shopping through the rest of the mall (and at Penney's also), it was 7:00 am and they have ran out of those snowglobes.

So we're happy. We got the snowglobes, and got some terrific bargains before the huge crowds descend on the mall. Another good day.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Parade

Pictures and video of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party parade. This certainly looks like a very special parade during a very special occassion. Hopefully, we'll get to actually do this in a couple of years.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

To everyone who celebrates it in North America, have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving. May you have plenty to be thankful for.


Disney's Toys for Tots

If you are in the Anaheim/LA are, or going to Disneyland this weekend, you could get a commemorative pin for bringing in a toy for donation this Sunday. Even if you don't get the pin, this is a worthwhile cause. As a disneyphille, we are all unoffically given the responsibility to spread the "magic" of Disney, and nothing is more magical than toys and the smile of a child.


Holiday Decorations Around Disneyland

Laughing Place has a terrific set of pictures of the holiday decorations around Disneyland. It certainly looks like a magical place to be around this time of the year. Wouldn't it be wonderful to spend a week a at the Disneyland Resort, and then fly off to Orlando and spend another week there during the holidays? We almost did that, except it was this past June.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Expedition Everest Wins THEA Award

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom wins the Outstanding Attraction award from the Theme Entertainment Association.

Disney fans right now are going "Well, duh!"



Monday, November 20, 2006

Visiting US Among the Worst Process

Considering how much places such as WDW depends on international tourists, it is difficult to know why this remains such a tedious process, even years after Sept. 11. A survey of international visitors indicated that the process of getting into the US was one of the worst experience, including rude and arrogant officials. That is hard to comprehend. While it is difficult to change the process itself, that last part on the attitude of US visa and immigration officials, either at the various US consulates and at entry points, should be corrected immediately.

It is interesting to note that once these visitors got past their bad introduction, their experience improved considerably. It's too bad that many simply would not even attempt to apply for a visit simply because of the hassle of the process.


Topiary Contest

Who would have thought? I certainly didn't!

I frequently enter a picture in a weekly contest at one of the Disney fan website ( Usually, my picture doesn't even come close to all the other amazing pictures that many Disney fan took. I'm continually astounded at some of the quality of the pictures. So obviously, my pictures often do not even make it to the final round of voting - I consider it an accomplishment if I even get that far.

So far, I think only one of my pictures ever made it into the winners list, coming in tied for 2nd with two other pictures in a Fantasyland contest. I entered the contest from 2 weeks ago on topiaries around WDW with this picture. I thought "it's interesting, but I'd be lucky if this thing made it to the final voting". Well, it made it to the final round of voting, coming in not 1st, not 2nd, but 3rd in that group during the initial voting. So the prospect looked bleak going into the final round of voting since pictures from the other group looked very strong too.

Well lo and behold, I woke up one morning to find that I was tied for 1st place in the final vote! How did THAT happen? Of course, I'm pretty pleased with the result, my first win, even though it was a tie for 1st Place. All with a picture that I didn't think would make it very far.

Can never predict how one of these things will go.....

The picture, btw, is a topiary they put up in front of the China pavilion at Epcot several years ago (I think it was in 2003) during the annual Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival. They haven't put this up again since.


Monsters Inc. Comedy Club

If you happen to be at the Magic Kingdom, keep an eye out in Tomorrowland around the old Timekeeper theater. They might just let people in unannounced for a preview of this new attraction.

Also in that news article is the report on Southwest Airlines surpassing American Airlines for the first time as the carrier with the largest number of airline passengers. It is interesting to note that Southwest is also the largest carrier at Orlando International airport.


Hong Kong Disneyland's Bumpy Ride

A more recent recap of the problems (and successes) of Hong Kong Disneyland. Let's hope that the report at the end of their 2nd year isn't as bad. The stream of bad news and bad publicity seems to have dwindle down recently, so no news is good news I suppose.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Country Bears Jamboree

I have uploaded a video of Country Bears Jamboree, taped at The Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. It was videotaped in Sept. 2005.

This is actually the 2nd Country Bears Jamboree in my uploaded video collection. The first one was taped a while back. The new one has a better video quality, is in widescreen, and you get to see a bit more, especially the sides.



Saturday, November 18, 2006

Update on the Injured Acrobat

Good news on the injured acrobat reported earlier during a Disney On Ice show. He is expected to make a full recovery, but will sit out the rest of the performance run.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Target Tries to Mess With the Mouse

Target tried to stare down at the Walt Disney Company, and it blinked first. Disney threatened to not ship Pirates of the Caribban - Dead Man's Chest, and Target knew better than that.

People never listen. Don't mess with The Mouse!



Disney Outsourcing More Jobs

Disney is planning on outsourcing bell, valet, and baggage handlers at the WDW resorts! Unbelievable! And this is after posting record profits for the 4th quarter.

I find it highly ming-boggling that major corporations would put people who actually come in contact with their paying customers with such low pay or even people who are not actually working for them directly! Just think about it. It's not just the Disney company that does this. You have your customers, who are actually paying money that your company depends on, and who do you put to interact with them? People that you pay very little or people you have outsourced from another company that have no vested interest in your company. I don't get it!

And they wonder why they can't retain the good employees....


Holiday Wishes

More pictures and video of the holiday festivities at WDW. This time, it is the video and pictures of Holiday Wishes at The Magic Kingdom.

I don't mean to brag, but this is where a wide-angle, widescreen camcorder would have been useful. One can see that a lot of the fireworks on either side were missed, and a few of the high shots. Compare this with the regular Wishes fireworks that I videotaped and uploaded earlier.

I also think that replacing the live sound with the actual music makes it a better viewing. True, you do not get the sound of the explosions, but I'd rather not have that and have a clear, clean sound of the music rather than all those background noise.

Oh well, maybe one of these days, we'll make it there during this time of the year, and I can put my money where my mouth is and videotape this thing to my satisfaction. Till then, enjoy the pictures and video.


Zagat Survey on WDW Experience

Zagat Survey is conducting a survey on Walt Disney World. If you are a subscriber or a registered users (free to register), you can participate in the survey.

I'm looking forward to reading the outcome of the survey. This should be very interesting.


Mary Poppins on Broadway

A thorough review of Disney's Mary Poppins on Broadway, still under previews. Sounds like this will be a very difficult show to get tickets for.


Accident During Disney Show

A performer fell and crashed head first during a performance of Disney on Ice at the Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY, stunning the crowd of families attending the show.

The report said that the injuries are non-life threatening. We all hope for the best!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

For those of us who won't make it this holiday season to Walt Disney World, we can only sit back and look at what we're missing with the new Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. It looks truly spectacular, and this is simply from a hand-held camcorder and pictures that, I'm sure, do not do it justice.

I just hope it is even more spectacular next year and we plan on going back for the 2007-2008 holiday season.


Where in Walt Disney World?

Where in Walt Disney World can you find this?


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hong Kong Disneyland Uses Biometric ID

Hong Kong Disneyland has started to use the same technology introduced at the Walt Disney World theme parks this year. The single-finger biometric identification will be implimented for the Hong Kong Disneyland passholder (it is done for all guests at WDW).


High School Musical a Big Hit in Asia

There are no cultural boundaries here. Disney's High School Musical, which was the big unexpected hit for Disney in North America, is repeating its unbelievable success in Asia, especially in Asia-Pacific region.

Original programming on the Disney Channel has been doing extremely well. You have High School Musical, which is showing a lot of legs and stamina as a hit. You have The Cheetah Girls being a big hit over the summer. And now you have Hannah Montana, with the soundtrack reaching #1 on the Billboard charts. Someone over there at the Disney Channel is definitely doing something right to attract the right crowd.


Future Stay Package at WDW

Disney is trying a new vacation package. This time, you can "lock in" a very low rate to a future WDW holiday. It does sounds very enticing, and the rate is very low indeed. Too bad they're limiting it to only the Value resorts (not that there's anything wrong with that).

So far it is only a trial program. Maybe they'll expand this even more if it attracts enough people.


Top 500 Supercomputers

This website lists the Top 500 Supercomputer sites around the world (thanks Chuckie!). It's a very impressive list. And no, you have not found yourself in the wrong Blog. It is still the Disney blog. Why? Because look who is at #197! The Walt Disney Feature Animation!


Disney Holidays

The Disney Insider talks turkey and all about the holiday festivities at Walt Disney World this year.


I'll Trade For These Pins

These are the pins that I'm looking for to trade. They are mostly pins that I need to complete the various sets that I'm collecting. All of them are from various cast lanyard series. So if you have any of these and are willing to trade, please contact me. I can list for you the pins that I have to trade.


Chip 'N' Dale: Rescue Rangers Vol. 2

IGN has a review of the Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers Vol. 2 DVD. I thought it was right on, especially the comment towards the end:

A sad sign that Disney's focus is on a new market of kids and not those of us who've been with it the whole time.

I'm surprised that Disney still doesn't get this. Are they forgetting all those adults that grew up with Walt Disney, the Disney TV shows, and being there at the opening of Disneyland?


Celebrating Mickey's Birthday

A terrific article (if accurate) about how Disney celebrates Mickey's Birthdays throughout the years. It includes an essay attributed to Walt on what Mickey meant to him.

At least we now have an idea on what Disney considers as Mickey's official birthdate.


Braving Disney's College Internship Program

This is a news report of a college student who took up the Disney college internship program and enjoying herself.

I've hear from several college students who took up this program, and so far all of them thought that it was the most fun and valuable experience that they've ever had during their undergraduate years. I guess it's a win-win situation. The students get "real life" experience of work, Disney gets cheap labor!



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Building A Better Mouse

The Hollywood Reporter has a rather careful look at Robert Iger's first year as the Disney Co. CEO, including a number of bold moves. In the end, Iger has positioned the company on a more secure ground for a very properious future.

I am most excited by the Animation division that has been given a new life, and a new lease on creativity. One can hope the current trend at keeping both the CGI Pixar-type animation and the 2D hand-drawn animation continues. There's room for both certainly.


A Night In Cinderella's Castle

This is of course one of the prizes that is being given to some lucky guests during the Year of a Million Dreams. As far as I know, no one has been awarded this yet, and it has become one of the most highly anticipated prizes. Orlando Sentinel has an article on what it could be to spend a night of magic in here.


Shooting Begins on New Pirates Movie

Jerry Bruckheimer has started shooting on the next Pirates movie. I think that parts of this new movie were also shot earlier during the filming of Dead Man's Chest. In any case, I can't wait for this one. Dead Man's Chest was the "Empire Strikes Back" of the series that left fans hanging.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Spaceship Earth and the Monorail

One of my most favorite shot that I took at WDW. This was during the Epcot Flower and Garden festival a few years ago.


Disney Gone Bananas?

This report, from London-based Financial Times, seems to indicate that Disney is branching (no pun intended) into licensing fresh fruit in European supermarkets! Really now!

It looks like that have licensed other food products before. Have they done something similar within the US? If they have, I certainly haven't seen it other than the occassional cookies and candies at my local supermarket. What is being reported here appears to be regular, day-to-day items.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

5 Teacheriffic Awards

Disney awarded 5 teachers with its annual Teacherrific Awards. Way to go, Teachers! And a hats off to Disney for continuing to support such worthwhile causes.


Cars Sold 5 Million in 2 Days?

It has been reported that since its release on DVD this past week, Cars has sold 5 millions in just 2 days. This is astounding if true.

It is amazing that some people are categorizing Cars as a disappointment or even (horrors) a failure. Any studio would give up an executive to get Cars' numbers.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Il Etait Une Fois Walt Disney

Or "Once Upon A Time — Walt Disney". With that, Disney has landed in the high-art palace of Paris, the Grand Palais, near the Champs-Élysées.

Any Parisian here? Have you made your way to the exhibition?


Friday, November 10, 2006

Disney the First Star on Walk of Stars

Walt Disney received the first star on the newly-created Aneheim/Orange County Walk of Star. Obviously, this is a no-brainer selection.


10-Year Celebration

Celebration, the town that Disney created, is celebrating its 10-year Anniversary.

I had always wanted to visit this place whenever we're in WDW, but somehow never got around to it. As a Disney fanatic, having a home here would almost be a dream come true. Of course, real life is different than what we fantasize, as one can read from the Orlando Sentinel article. Still, I would love to live there.


Half a Million Sold

Disney announced that 500,000 Disney movies have sold on iTunes. Not bad for an initial launch. Wait till Dead Man's Chest appears in the next few weeks.

For me, I don't get the attraction in viewing a movie on an iPod, at least not until the screen size becomes larger, and in widescreen.


Disney Stock Falls After Record Profit?

Sometime the stock market appears to be more of a voodoo science than anything rational.

A day after reporting record profits for the fiscal 4th quarter, Disney stocks fall! People are worried that the company cannot maintain the growth.

Yowzah! If you report below what they expect, even when you are making a profit, the stock falls. If you report ABOVE what they expect, your stocks also fall because they don't know if you can repeat it.

Oh well, if the Disney stocks drop even more, maybe its time for me to buy more Disney stocks!


Finding Nemo - The Musical

John Frost has a very detailed review of the Finding Nemo musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom, now in preview. So far, all the reviews on this new musical have been rather impressive. Looks like this will be a must-see show when it officially opens early next year.


Buzz Boost Attendence at Disneyland Paris

The opening of Buzz Lightyear attraction seems to have boosted the attendence at Disneyland Paris. It is certainly one of the few good news at that theme park that still needs to make money.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Disney Doubled Fourth Quarter Profit

As expected, the Walt Disney Co. announced a healthy 4th quarter profit. The doubling of the profit when compared to a year ago is attributed to the very strong performance of the movie division (duh!).

Now, can we finally get some relief on the high prices we have to pay at the parks, Mr. Iger? What about better pay and benefits to the hard-working cast members that are the ones responsible for the Magic?


Three Reasons To Get On A Disney Cruise

Three? Just three?

Well, as if *I* need any extra incentive or excuse to want to go on a Disney cruise, here are three reasons to go for those of you who are not convinced!



Governor, You Had Just Won An Election, What Are You Doing Next?

"Why, I'm going to Disney World!"

If athletes can do that, why not politicians? The governor of Oklahoma is wraping up his election business after winning his re-election bid. And then, he's heading to Walt Disney World!


Disney's World

This is a bit of a trivial gossip. I suppose it doesn't suck to be a Disney, especially not when you can afford a 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom sprawl on the West Side of Manhattan for $11 million.

Of course, I probably contribute to that wealth since I can't stop myself from coming back each year, and from buying all of those irresistable Disney merchandise! :)


Disney's Fourth Quarter Profit May Soar

Disney's Fourth Quarter financial report is due today, and by most account, the profit is predicted to soar due to the amazing sucess of Pirates of the Caribbean sequel and Cars.


Walt Disney Legacy Collection

The Walt Disney Co. has announced the lauch of a new series of DVD of films that had Walt Disney's personal involvement. Each volume will have an introduction from Roy E. Disney.

I'm excited to hear this because I've never seen a lot of the old films that are no longer available anywhere. I'm just surprised that it is taking them this long to issue such a compilation.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pre-Illuminations Music

If you have seen this spectacular nighttime show at Epcot, you would have heard the music they play about half an hour before the show starts. It is a combination of many different types of world music, and many people have asked if Disney has the CD of those music - it doesn't!

Instead, what we have is a list of the titles and artists being played during that pre-show. This list was obtained by scouring the internet, so it isn't something I came up myself (thanks to whoever compiled this). There are two lists. One was for the pre-Illuminations music before, I think, 2004, while the other is the current one since then. You can probably find the individual music on CDs from Amazon.

Old Pre-Illumination music

1. “They Were Dancing Barefoot” by Yehuda Poliker (from the CD “For Your Blue Eyes”, NMC Music 20835-2, 1992)

2. “Superwasp/Along The Coast Of Norway/Neckbuster” by Seelyhoo (from the CD “The First Caul”, Greentrax CDTRAX 102, 1996)

3. “Native Funk” by Burning Sky (from the CD “Blood of the Land”, Canyon Records CR-7026, 1995)

4. “Flute Battle” by Cusco (from the CD “Apurimac”, Higher Octave, 1988)

5. “The Concertina Set” by Bùrach (from the CD “The Weird Set”, Greentrax CDTRAX 093, 1995)

6. “Imeland” by Groupa (from the CD “Imeland”, Amigo Music AMCD 730, 1995, reissued on the US compilation “Fifteen Years”, Northside Records, 1998)

7. “Montezuma” by Cusco (from the CD “Apurimac, Vol. 2: Return To Ancient America”, Higher Octave, 1994)

8. “30-års Jiggen (Thirty-Year Jig)” by Väsen (from the CD “Whirled”, Northside Records NSD-6006, 1997 - U.S. release of the original Swedish CD “Världens Väsen”, Xource XOUCD 118, 1997)

9. “Inca Dance” by Cusco (from the CD “Apurimac”, Higher Octave, 1988)

10. “Appalachian Morning” by John Williams & The Boston Pops (from the CD “The Green Album”, Sony Classical SK 48224, 1992)

New Pre-Illuminations music

1. Jalan Kopo - Artist: Jalan Kopo from Indonesia

2. Falling Through a Cloud - Artist: East Wind Uttara-Kuru from Japan

3. Busindre Reel - Artist: Hevia from Spain

4. Gaviotes - Artist: Hevia

5. Tula - Artist: Cusco from South America

6. Our Life - Artist: East Wind Uttara-Kuru from Japan

7. The Bear - Artist: Nordic Roots from Scandinavia

8. Red Skies - Artist: Omar Faruk Tetbilek

9. Texas - Artist: Nordic Roots from Scandinavia


EuroDisney Posted Full Year Net Loss

Euro Disney posted a full year net loss for 2005-2006. Still, it appears that the theme park revenue and attendance are up. This troubled theme park may make it after all if the trend continues.

Now let's see Hong Kong Disneyland can do the same. The least they could do is stop the constant stream of bad publicity that has plague that park since before opening.


Another Downtown Disney?

Kevin Yee at MiceAge has a scoop on Disney's new plan right by the new Western Way entrance to WDW. This sounds HUGE if it turns out this way.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dave Smith on Disney Insider

Dave Smith, the official Disney Archivist, is interviwed for the current issue of Disney Insider.


Projected Disney's Fourth Quarter Earnings

The Walt Disney Co. reports on its Fourth Quarter earnings on Thursday. So far, analysts are expecting solid numbers in all sectors of the company, especially the movie division.


Chocolate Carousel

They had this chocolate carousel at Disney's Beach Club resort last year during the holidays. I'm guessing that they'll have it again this year, unless someone ate all the chocolate!

I just wish they let us know when they take down one of these things and if we can gobble them up!


Disney to Produce Nintendo Games

Disney will be producing game content for the Nintendo consoles.

Looks like Disney is going into the gaming business big time, with its recent acquisition and start-up companies. I just can see games such as Disney Auto Theft or Chip 'N Dale Brothers coming out soon! :)


Dates Set for Upcoming Disney Movies

The dates for several upcoming Disney movies have been set.

National Treasures 2 - Dec. 21 2007
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - May 16, 2008
The new mysterious Pixar movie Wall-E - June 2008.


Cars and Dead Man's Chest Available on iTunes

The two biggest hits of the year are coming to iTunes. Cars is available on iTunes starting Nov. 7 while Pirates of the Caribbean will be available starting Dec. 5.


Monday, November 06, 2006

More Dreams Coming True

The Disney Dream Squad has strike again, and this time it was at Disneyland!

This Year of a Million Dreams is promising to be a wonderful promotion and, not to mention, a terrific public relations.


Meet The Robinsons

Rotten Tomatoes already has info and a trailer of the next Disney CGI animation movie Meet The Robinsons. It is scheduled to be released March 2007. I can't wait!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Illuminations - Reflections of Earth

I reported earlier that when we taped Illuminations during our last Sept. trip to WDW, the last part of the show was about 1 second longer (not 3 seconds). However, this was enough to throw out the timing of our video because I like to replace the live sound with the actual music. While it worked in the earlier version that I taped and uploaded (it had no inferno barge since that was under repairs), this slightly longer version will of course throw off the timing right at the very end.

We've now spent some time adding the missing 1 second to the music and make it flow smoothly. We now have a new version of Illuminations with the correct length of music. This is a very difficult show to videotape with a fixed view because things occur low to the ground with the globe, and very high up in the air with the fireworks. While I'm not 100% happy with it, it is the best one we currently have. I intend to videotape this with two different camcorders next time, one with a tight shot of the globe, while the other the more higher, panoramic view of the fireworks.

Till then, enjoy this one.


Disney's Wonderful World of Pixar

An account of the situation after the marriage between Disney and Pixar. While Cars was released after the merger, it was actually developed before the Disney buyout and was meant as the last film under the Disney distribution agreement. Ratatouille, to be released next year, would be the first movie under the current Disney-Pixar empire.


Anaheim and Disney

The city of Anaheim and Disney are at odds over the city's plan to develop a 25 acre land just beyond Disney's California Adventure into a condo/low-income housing. This disagreement highlights the city's relationship with its Number 1 source of revenue.

Most Disneyphilles look at that parcel of land as the last chance for Disney to expand the Disneyland Resort and build the 3rd theme park. If this land is gone, there's almost no chance of expanding the Disneyland Resort from its current configuration.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The first of the videos for this year's Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights are online. They look awesome! I just wish this guy learns to not have the autofocus on his camcorder on when shooting stuff like this.

For those of you, like me, who won't be going to WDW this year, this is the closest we'll get at seeing this spectacle. Oh well, here's looking to the 2007/2008 holiday season.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Where In WDW?

Where in Walt Disney World can you find this?


Walt Disney and World War II

This is a rather fascinating article on how the US Govt. recruited the Walt Disney Co. during World War II. There are some terrific illustrations that I haven't seen before.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Disney DVDs Going Back Into The Vault

Time is running out if you plan on buying any of these Disney DVDs. They will be no longer for sale after January 31, 2007.

* Bambi Special Edition
* Lady and The Tramp: 50th Anniversary Edition
* Lady and The Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure
* Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (4 Disc Edition)

So get them now if you want them. There's no telling when Disney will put them back out for sale.


Epcot's Wand Coming Down?

Rumors like this seem to make their appearences every so often. However, it seems that this one seems to be picking up steam. It has been reported in a few places (such as Laughing Place) that enginners have been instructed to find ways for the removal of the Epcot want in 2007.

I know many Disney fans who are not very fond of the want. I frankly don't mind it, and don't know what the big deal is with the wand being there. I'm sure I'll be sorry to see it go.


Disney's Halloween Treats

The latest edition of Disney Insider offers a history of Disney's Halloween Treats, all originating from the main himself, Walt Disney.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Midway Madness?

The latest juicy rumor surrounding the possible new attraction at Disney-MGM Studios. Supposedly, it is going to occupy a huge area, including the old Who Wants To Be A Millionaire building.

I'd say anything is better than what was there before. Disney-MGM Studios is in dire need of a major E-ticket attraction beyond Tower of Terror and Rock 'N Roller Coaster. Maybe this might not be it, but sounds like it might be something that would attract a lot of traffic to that part of the park.


Halloween Celebration in Disneyland Paris

I posted a link earlier on the Halloween Celebration in Tokyo Disneyland. It appears that the one in Disneyland Paris is equally astounding. This blog, while not in English, has a wealth of pictures from the Halloween decorations at the Paris theme park.


Tokyo Disneyland's 400,000th Visitor

While we are on Tokyo Disneyland, it received its 400,000th visitor on Wednesday (it is already almost the end of Wednesday over there even though this blog is posted early Wednesday in the US).

Tokyo Disneyland continues to be the most successful and popular Disney theme park outside of the US.


Halloween Celebration in Japan

A news report on the Halloween celebration in Japan, something that was not known about 2 decades ago. This introduction of this celebration is "credited" to Tokyo Disneyland.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Man Fell Off Walt DisneyWorld Tram

I was going to write a lengthy comment about how people who don't pay attention to safety warnings at WDW sometime deserves to get hurt, but John Frost already made a comment that reflected my sentiments, so I'm going to link his article directly.

Luckily, it appears that he didn't get hurt seriously, but it could have been a nasty incident just to retrive an item.


Disney and Your Finger Scans

Another report (and concerns) regarding the biometric scan of your fingers as identification to gain entry into Disney theme parks.

Personally, I don't see this as an issue. Disney would be out of their minds if they give even a hint of an impression that our privacy will be violated due to what they're doing. This is the surest way to make people stay away. However, the lack of displayed information at the gates to what they do, and the alternative to having a biometric scan needs to change. They should at least inform their guests of their policy.


The Man and the Mouse

Another take from the upcoming biography of Walt. This time, author Neil Gabler thinks that Walt would have been disappointed with how Epcot turns out.

I kinda agree that Epcot feels rather "strange" and inconsistent, especially with the presence of the World Showcase. However, you tend to like (or maybe tolerate) something that you have become familiar to, and that is how I feel about Epcot nowadays. It has gotten very familiar, and so I enjoy it more. Besides, Illuminations is my most favorite night time show.

So Epcot may not have been what Walt had a in mind, but I'm willing to accept what it is today.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Excerpt from Walt's Biography

Kansas City Star has an excerpt from the upcoming Walt biography. This excerpt highlights the Missouri years.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

An Animated American

Can Disney resurrect the live action + animation movie? They certainly broke new grounds with the huge hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Now they are going to try again with the new movie Animated American.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Sleeping Beauty Castle

A snapshot of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, CA, taken in May 2006. This was from our "Mini Grand Tour" trip, where we started at Disneyland, and then flew directly to Orlando to finish the rest of our vacation at Walt Disney World. It was a memorable trip, to say the least.

It was my first ever trip to Disneyland, and I was glad that I could do it while they still had their Golden Anniversary celebration. We hope to go back to Disneyland again in a couple of years.


Mary Poppins Flying Again

After having force to stop on Wednesday the stage production of Mary Poppins both in London and on Broadway, both shows went off without a glitch on Thursday.

Let's hope it stays that way.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

New WDW Trivia

Take this Walt Disney World Trivia and see how well you scored (hint: if you score less than 50%, what are you doing reading this Blog?) :)


#1 Cable Network

Guess what is the most watched cable network last week? One would think "ESPN", especially now that Monday Night Football is on that network. Well, you would be wrong. The non-commercial supported Disney Network scored a major coup as basic cable most watched network.

This is fine with the Walt Disney Company since they own both of them!


New Disney Postage Stamps for 2007

The new Disney postage stamps as part of the Art of Disney series scheduled for 2007 have been announced.

The art of magic stamps featuring Disney characters Dumbo and Timothy Mouse, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and Aladdin and Genie.

I can't wait.


Mary Poppins Stopped In Her Tracks!

Wow! A lot of news on Mary Poppins stage shows this week. Both stage shows - the currently-running production in London, and the previews on Broadway - had to be cancelled on Wednesday evening due to technical glitches. What a weird coincidence!

I hope they get this straigten out by the time the show opens officially on Broadway. Too many people have such high expectation and anticipation for this one.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Disney Theater Fans Stretch Too Thin?

Just after I posted that news regarding Mary Poppins on Broadway and asking how many Disney theater productions currently running on Broadway, along comes a news article from Variety that essentially asks the same question.


Thunder Mountain Railroad

One of my most favorite attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Don't miss my videos of this attraction from the Magic Kingdom, and the one at Disneyland!