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Kirk Douglas Has Passed At 103

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Kirk Douglas was a great actor that shall be surely missed. He was born 15 years after Walt Disney on December 9, 1916. He passed away today at the age of 103 on February 5, 2020.

The photo on the bottom right is of Kirk and his family on a visit to Walt’s home in 1956. You can see a 12-year-old Michael Douglas sitting in the back of Walt’s train, the Carolwood Pacific. Walt had used the footage on one of his Disneyland TV episodes. This upset Kirk causing him to write a letter to Walt about exploiting his children and to never show the film footage again. Walt sent an apology letter back. Two months later, the tv studio aired a rerun and showed the footage again without Walt’s knowledge. Kirk attempted to sue Walt but failed. This is why Kirk never appeared in any more Disney films after 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954).

Kirk Douglas and Walt Disney posing for a promo picture.

Image result for 20 000 leagues under the sea

Kirk Douglas and Walt Disney on the Disney lot.

Walt Disney on the set of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea with Kirk Douglas.

Kik Douglas and his family (with 12-year-old Michael Douglas) at Walt’s home in early 1956 riding the Carolwood Pacific.

You know his son Michael Douglas from the MCU as Hank Pym in the Ant-Man movies.

Image result for hank pym mcu

Check out Kirk singing “A Whale of a Tale” from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

Here is a Disney special when Walt discusses the making of the film. (pardon the subtitles)

As a side note, Kirk served in the US Navy during World War II from 1941-1944.
Rest in peace Kirk. Thank you for your service.
Image result for kirk douglas navyImage result for kirk douglas navyIf you enjoyed this article, check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts about Disneyland and Disney Movies in it.
www.DisneyGuy.org

Finally! 6 Original Disney Films Coming To Theaters This Year

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It’s time for everyone to put their money where their mouth is. People keep complaining about all the remakes and sequels Disney is doing. They keep saying they want new ideas. Well, here you have it. Disney has six new movies coming out in 2020 that aren’t remakes, sequels, prequels, or reimaginings.

I’ll start you off with some terminology, so we are on the same page.

REMAKE: When a studio decides to remake one of their previously existing works. Like when Disney remade The Lion King (2019) which had the same storyline as The Lion King (1994). Or 101 Dalmatians (1996) was a live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians (1961).

Another good example of a remake would be the Freaky Friday films. The first one came out in 1976 and starred Jodie Foster, the second one came out in 1995 and starred Shelley Long, the third and most popular one came out in 2003 and starred Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. Most people don’t know about Disney’s fourth iteration of the story in 2018, which turned the film into a musical, based on the Broadway musical of the same name. All the movies had the same premise of the daughter not getting along with their mother and something magical happens causing them to switch places.

Disney’s first remake was The Jungle Book (1994) starring Jason Scott Lee, who would later voice David in Lilo & Stitch (2002). This was actually Jason’s first live-action remake for Disney. His second will be as the villain Bori Khan in the upcoming live-action reimagining (see below) of Mulan (2020).

REBOOT: This is different than a remake. This takes a story that was previously told and tells it a different way, with a different storyline, different characters, etc. This term has to do with a movie that is a part of a series of movies. Sony created a three-part Spider-Man series with Toby Maguire (2002-2007). The main villain was Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and then Venom with Sandman.

They rebooted the series by recasting the main actor, Andrew Garfield, and called the two-movie series The Amazing Spider-Man (2012-2014). The rebooted series had the same origin story but had The Lizard as the main villain and Gwen Stacy as his love interest rather than Mary Jane like it was in the first series. The second one had Electro as the main villain with Green Goblin starting to appear. They also killed off his love interest in this installment, an action they didn’t perform in the first series. The planned third installment never happened. Spider-Man is now on its second reboot in the hands of the MCU with Tom Holland as the web-slinger. So far, he has been in three Avengers films, two stand-alone Spider-Man films, and another stand-alone coming out in 2021.

Another example of a reboot would be the new Haunted Mansion film coming out in the near future, a project that has been in the works for almost 10 years now. It will totally discount the characters and storyline of The Haunted Mansion (2003) with Eddie Murphy.

Remember when Hulk (2003) was a thing? It was going to kickstart sequel films, but Universal didn’t make the sequel fast enough and the rights returned to Marvel. Marvel rebooted the story and made The Incredible Hulk (2008) which ended up being the second film in the MCU.

REIMAGINING: This is when they remake a movie but tell the story differently. Mulan (2020) is a great example of that. It’s the story of Mulan like their animated film from 1998, but there is no Mushu, singing, or Shang. This tells the story, but completely different. The difference between this and a reboot is that this isn’t part of a series. Disney is using the term “reimagining” for its live-action version of The Little Mermaid (2021?). It explains their new direction of changing the race of characters from their already established story from The Little Mermaid (1989). The story could be completely different too, we don’t know yet.

Some of Disney’s extremely popular reimaginings would be the two Maleficent (2015-2019) films which tells the story of Aurora but from Maleficent’s point of view.

Another one would be Pete’s Dragon (2016). A completely different story from Pete’s Dragon (1977) with the only same elements being Elliot the dragon and Pete.

PREQUEL: This would be a movie that has a setting that takes place before the events of another film. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008) is the third movie in the series but takes place before the events of The Little Mermaid (1989) as we see that Ariel is still a young mermaid in Atlantica.

The upcoming movie Cruella (2021) is said to take place when Cruella and Anita are in school together before the events of her kidnapping all the puppies from Pongo and Perdita.

SEQUEL: This is about a film that takes place in sequence after the previous film. All 23 movies in the MCU are great examples of that. A smaller example would be The Rescuers Down Under (1990) in which the storyline follows the events of The Rescuers (1977). This was actually Disney’s first theatrically released sequel to a previous animated film.

Son of Flubber (1963) is a sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961). Flubber (1997) with Robin Williams is a remake of The Absent-Minded Professor.

Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland (2010) is a sequel to Disney’s animated Alice In Wonderland (1951). The events in the film take place after the events of the animated film.

SPIN-OFF: This movie has to do with characters or elements of a movie and gives them their own movie not a part of the series. A good example of that would be all the Star Wars films but then the stand-alone Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), which does also serve as a prequel for the Han Solo character. A stand-alone is one that can be viewed by itself and doesn’t have to be viewed with the other movies in the series.

 

Remember the Jim Carrey film Bruce Almighty (2003)? It had a spin-off film following the character of Evan Baxter in Evan Almighty (2007).

With all the remakes and sequels that Disney has been making and announcing, people are tired of it all. They want something new. Did the fans even want a reimagining of Lady and the Tramp (2019)? I didn’t ask for one. Is it a reimagining or a remake? Jock isn’t in it. But Jackie is. There is no beaver to remove Lady’s muzzle, but there is a beaver statue. The Siamese cats are gone, but a non-specific breed is there. The ever so popular We Are Siamese cat song? Gone, and replaced. It’s a reimagining.

Are people looking forward to seeing some live-action dogs running around on screen telling a story based on the short story from the Cosmopolitan magazine in 1945? Sure, they are, but they didn’t ask for it. All the people have wanted was to see new things. In 2020, Disney is giving us just that, new things.

Yes, Mulan is going to be hitting theaters next summer, but that is a reimagining and doesn’t count. What does count are the following six films;

Onward – March 6

This new film from Pixar follows two elf brothers in a present-day setting as they go on a quest to prove that magic still exists. This movie stars Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures, The Help), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (A Bug’s Life, Seinfeld), and of course John Ratzenberger.

Artemis Fowl – May 29

This film is based on the first book of the eight-book series written by Eoin Colfer. The books were published between 2001-2012 and also have a graphic novelization. The story is about a 12-year-old rich boy genius who has a huge bodyguard named Butler who is trained in hand to hand combat, firearms, and covert operations. Artemis sets out to capture a real fairy to prove their existence. This film will be kickstarting the careers of Ferdia Shaw (Artemis) and Tamara Smart (Juliet, Butler’s little sister) and have stars like Josh Gad (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast), Judi Dench (Casino Royale, Home on the Range), and Nonso Anozie (Cinderella, Pan, Game of Thrones).

Soul – June 19

This is the second Pixar film to be released in 2020. It is about a musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself. (IMDB description) This movie stars Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Annie, Ray), Tina Fey (Muppets Most Wanted, Ponyo), and John Ratzenberger again.

Jungle Cruise – July 24

This action film is based on the attraction of the same name in Disneyland. You basically take The Mummy, Indiana Jones, and The African Queen and squish them together to get this movie.  The movie is set during the early 20th century, a riverboat captain named Frank takes a scientist and her brother on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life which is believed to possess healing powers. All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition. (Wikipedia description). The movie stars Dwayne Johnson (The Game Plan, Race To Witch Mountain, Moana), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns, The Muppets, Gnomeo & Juliet, Into The Woods), and Paul Giamatti (Saving Mr. Banks, San Andreas). This film has been long-awaited. I first mentioned this film in my book’s first edition in 2010 with a 2013 release date. The script has gone through many changes including the removal of Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. I again mentioned it in the publication on my second edition in July 2017. In 2015, it was announced that Disney had cast Dwayne Johnson in the film. It wasn’t until March 2018 that they cast Emily Blunt and then Paul Giamatti in May 2018. They began filming as soon as Paul joined the cast.

The One and Only Ivan – August 14

A gorilla named Ivan lives in a cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade with an aging elephant named Stella and a dog named Bob with no recollection of how they got there. They are owned by Mack, the owner of the Big Top Mall. When an abused baby elephant named Ruby shows up and is taken under Stella’s trunk, Ivan starts to care for her as well and along with the janitor’s daughter Julia, they help to turn things around at the mall. (Wikipedia description). This movie is based on the children’s book of the same name that was released in 2012. The film stars Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, and Helen Mirren.

Raya and the Last Dragon – November 24

This is the next animated film from the Walt Disney Animation Studio following Frozen II. It will be the studios 59 cannon film. In a realm known as Lumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon. (IMDB description)

This is it, everyone. The new original six films coming out in 2020 from Disney. No remakes, reboots, or reimaginings among them. Show up to the theaters to show your support. I know I am excited to see some new content from the studio and I will be sitting in my theater seat with a tub of popcorn waiting for the films to start. And of course, I will be at the theater to see Mulan too.

If you enjoyed this article, check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts about Disneyland and Disney Movies in it.
www.DisneyGuy.org

It’s The 14th Anniversary Of Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley To The Rescue!

Wow! Fourteen years since Mike and Sulley made it to the parks. On January 22, 2006, we were introduced to Monsters, Inc.  Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! in Hollywood Pictures Backlot in California Adventure. The space that houses the Monsters, Inc. (2001) inspired attraction sat vacant for 4 years while Disney tried to fill its void with a “wanted” attraction. You see, the space once housed Superstar Limo, a very mediocre and boring attraction. Guests would ride in a limo through the streets of Hollywood and see celebrities like Joan Rivers, Regis Philbin, Cher, Antonio Banderas, Cindy Crawford, Tim Allen, Jackie Chan, Drew Carey, Melanie Griffith, and Whoopi Goldberg. That attraction was there on California Adventure’s opening day February 8, 2001, and closed only eleven months later on January 11, 2002.

Lets’ jump back in time and go on Superstar Limo as it was in 2001.

At this point, California Adventure’s attendance had been dropping drastically. This was the first Pixar attraction to be added to the park since the addition of A Bug’s Land. The following year started the five year, $1.1 billion makeover of DCA that would bring in more Pixar attractions and theming. The park wouldn’t see another Pixar attraction until Toy Story Midway Mania opened over 2 years later.

Nowadays, the attraction sits kind of lonely in the back corner of the now named Hollywood Land. It isn’t exactly in a high traffic area. It is still a very cute attraction though, and everyone should experience it. There really isn’t a lot of history or information about this attraction because it was just thrown in there. It’s not like we are talking about a classic attraction from the past, but I will do my best.

The ride basically makes you experience the part of the movie when the monster world found out about Boo. The voice cast either returned to record some new audio tracks for the ride, or some were reused from the movie, like the recordings of Mary Gibbs as Boo singing in the locker room.

The monster taxis you are boarding were once the Superstar Limo ride vehicles. They were painted and rethemed to match the new attraction.

The Superstar Limo vs Monster Taxi.

When you first enter Harryhausen’s Restaurant, you can smell ginger and soy sauce. A Smellitzer was used to create the faux odors. The Smellitzer was invented by Imagineer Bob McCarthy in the 1980s for the Spaceship Earth attraction in Epcot to simulate the smell of smoke. The technical name is “Scent Emitting System” and the US patent for it is 4603030. The nickname given to it is the Smellitzer. It is used elsewhere around the parks, like on Soarin’ Around the World, or Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, to make you smell fresh grass or animal crackers. It is also said that they are used to make Haunted Mansion ballroom scene smell like gingerbread at Christmas with the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. When Disneyland first opened, they just had fans to blow out the smell of fresh-baked cookies to lure in tourists. The name came from the Howitzer Cannon which was used to shoot projectiles, much like how the Smellitzer shoots puffs of scents.

This is the blueprint for the Smellitzer.

The restaurant Harryhausen’s, was named as such to pay homage to the late stop-motion special effects animator Ray Harryhausen. He worked on films such as Clash of the Titans (1981), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Mighty Joe Young (1949). The sushi chef only has six tentacles. This is in reference to the film It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955). It was a low budget film, and to save money Ray Harryhausen put six tentacles on the octopus rather than eight.

He only has 6 arms.

At Celia’s feet before exiting you can see a Chinese food box. This is the same Chinese takeout box seen in Incredibles 2, Inside Out, A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille, and in Toy Story 2.

Chinese takeout box used in Pixar films.

What is interesting about the Chinese takeout box that Sulley has Boo in is that it doesn’t match the one in the movie. The one in Monsters, Inc. was actually different than the boxes in the other Pixar films. The one on the attraction actually matches the other movies.

Chinese takeout box movie version vs ride version.

Before disembarking, you have to pay close attention to Roz. She is interactive and will have witty things to say to you or others in your car. Here are some clips of her.

Everyone likes looking for the Hidden Mickeys on Disneyland attractions. This attraction has quite a few of them.

  1. When you are watching the video, a monster taxi appears with multiple lights on the front. Three of them form a Hidden Mickey. It is the taxi logo, and it is located all around the queue area.

    Hidden Mickey on the cab headlights.
  2. In the queue area, there is a giant poster of the taxi with the three headlights that form a Hidden Mickey.

    Hidden Mickey on the taxi headlight.
  3. Right as you board the ride, look at the cityscape for a silhouette of the Earful Tower, the water tower with Mickey ears from Hollywood Studios in Disney World. This is a difficult one to see.

    The Earful Tower in Disney World
  4. When crashing through Harryhausen’s, look for a full-side shot of Mickey’s silhouette in the window to the left of the sushi chef.

    Hidden Mickey in the window in Harryhausen’s.
  5. Sully has a purple spot on his fur in the shape of a Mickey when he is hanging from the door holding Boo.

    Hidden Mickey on Sulley.
  6. Color-changing Randall has a purple Mickey head spot on his green skin when Boo is beating him with the baseball bat.

    Hidden Mickey on Randall.
  7. The control panel on the Monstropolis news van has a Mickey made out of the dials.

    Hidden Mickey on the news van.
  8. Not a Hidden Mickey, but a hidden Marlin. The clownfish Marlin is painted on the wall behind the sushi chef. This was placed here to copy the movie. It was a reference to what would be the next Pixar film, Finding Nemo (2003).

    Hidden Marlin on the wall in Harryhausen’s.

I hope I did this ride justice on its anniversary. Did you enjoy reading its history? Here is a full ride through video.

If you liked the fun facts in this article, you should get a copy of my book that has over 3,700 fun facts about Disneyland and Disney Movies in it www.DisneyGuy.org

All The Easter Eggs In Frozen II

These are all the Easter Eggs I could find in Frozen II (2019). Some of them reference the first Frozen film. If you know of any others please comment and I will add them. There are spoilers ahead. So, if for some odd reason that you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may not want to read these.

  1. In the opening scene, Elsa is making little snow figures for Anna to play with. One of them is Baymax, the elephant is Dumbo, supposedly Totoro from the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is there, and so is Tinker Bell (possibly) seen on the back of a unicorn. The first character she makes is a snowman that looks a lot like Marshmallow from the first Frozen. I have yet to find Totoro, but this is who he is. He also made a guest appearance in Toy Story 3. If you haven’t seen My Neighbor Totoro, see it.
  2. While playing charades, Olaf mimics Mickey Mouse with his coal buttons for ears.
  3. Olaf also mimics the Cinderella Castle from the Magic Kingdom during their charades game.
  4. When Elsa is singing “Into the Unknown,” she stomps her foot to create a Hidden Mickey Mouse ears hat.
  5. When Elsa sees the memory of Hans, she blasts him to pieces, just like Baymax did in Big Hero 6 (2014) with the statue of Hans that he blasts apart during his training.
  6. After Elsa and Anna set off on their journey, after leaving their people behind, look to the far background to see Elsa’s ice castle from the first movie.
  7. When Gale, and the leaves, whip around Olaf, he poses like Marilyn Monroe over the steam grate in The Seven Year Itch (1955). He also has the same pose on his official Frozen II Olaf poster.
  8. The style for the musical number with Kristoff singing “Lost in the Woods,” was inspired by the music video for the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen in 1975.
  9. Young prince Agnarr says “he’s reading a book by some new Danish author.” This is a reference to Hans Christian Andersen, the author of The Snow Queen, the story that the first film was extremely loosely based on.
  10. When Elsa and Anna are looking down at the ship wreckage, you can see what looks to be a Mickey Head shaped hole on the left side of the ship.
  11. Olaf says in the film “This is fine” when everything is not fine. This is a reference to the webcomic of a dog whose house is on fire but he is stating “This is fine.” It was popularized in 2014.
  12. This one is a bit of a stretch, but Bruni’s design is similar to the design of Newt. Newt was a canceled Pixar film. It had a similar plot to the movie Rio (2011) so the project was canceled. Some believe that Bruni was designed in a way as a nod to the canceled Newt project. Newts and salamanders are different amphibians, but they look similar.
  13. In the credits scene, Olaf explains to Marshmallow, and a bunch of little armless snowmen called snowgies, how they are alive. These little guys made their debut in Frozen Fever (2015) and were created by Elsa sneezing. Technically these guys shouldn’t exist. After Elsa died, Olaf died because her magic faded away. That would mean all the others would have gone away too. Elsa would have had to search out the piles of snow left behind by Marshmallow and the snowgies and reanimate them. Maybe she did.

If you enjoyed these fun facts, you should check out my book about Disneyland, California Adventure, and Disney Movies that has over 3,700 fun facts in it.

www.DisneyGuy.org

Why Adults Love Disneyland

Why do adults like to go to Disneyland?” I have been asked this question numerous times now. For me, the word “like” is an understatement, whereas, the word “love” seems better suited. People would not spend their time on a day off from work to travel hundreds of miles just to experience something they simply “like.” You have to love something to give it that much dedication.

In the past, I have responded with, “Because they just do.” But now, after having experienced World of Color in California Adventure, I have a better answer for them. The scene, in which I had my mini-epiphany, was between Mufasa and Scar from The Lion King. In conjunction with the video clips on the enormous screen, there is real fire that bursts into the air while loud, exciting music plays. Then a deep gravelly voice says, “Long live the King!” Simba shouts “Nooooooo…” as Mufasa falls backward and the screen dramatically goes black. “Daaaad? Dad?” is played in the darkness, and then silence. The soft piece “So Close from Enchanted” begins to slowly play, while giving us clips of love scenes from other animated films.

Noticing the huge lump in my throat, it was then that I realized why I had such a huge attraction to a “place for children.” I was only a child when I first saw The Lion King. It was at a time when I had no control over my emotions and simple things could work their way into my heart. That moment during World of Color made me access my childhood emotions.

That part of the brain, where those memories lie, is what brings me back to Disneyland, again and again. I walk through the gates, turn off my phone to disconnect myself from the outside world, breathe in deeply, and just explore the park. Everything connects to my childhood. Seeing Tinker Bell fly across the castle during the fireworks narrated by Mary Poppins, riding through the dark rides in Fantasyland, seeing Pinocchio dance or Peter Pan fly, hearing the group of Pirates sing “yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me,” feeling the chills as a disembodied ghost welcomes you into the Haunted Mansion. All this just hits home, straight to memories of a happier, less stressful time in life, when all you had to worry about was playing outside with your friends, watching cartoons, and making sure your room was clean. Who wouldn’t want to have this feeling? Who wouldn’t want to get rid of all the stresses of adult life, if not just for a few days?

Furthermore, I don’t find it weird to see an adult running up to Mickey Mouse to give him a big hug and pose for a picture. I don’t think it’s odd for an adult to stand in line for 20 minutes just to get a Dole Whip to enjoy while watching the audio-animatronic birds sing, that I happen to know all the lyrics to.

It is interesting how one can go decades without seeing a Disney movie, but as soon as part of a song is played, or part of a movie is quoted, we instantly sing-along, most of us knowing all the words. For example, when I hear “That’s not a flower,” I picture a fluffy gray bunny rolling around on the ground, laughing, “No, no, no, that’s not a flower.” A skunk replies, “Oh that’s all right. He can call me a flower if he wants to.” My brain doesn’t do that with recent movies. Movies are generally a more important part of our lives as children than they are now. As adults, we watch movies while thinking of our other obligations: when we have to go to work next, if we have to stop at the bank on the way home, if we need to pick up milk, etc. Kids don’t think that way; they are not distracted by adult problems. They are completely submersed in a movie and relate to it so much that they become one with the characters. Kids want to be Peter Pan and fly over Neverland or have a mermaid fin just like Ariel and swim through the ocean with a yellow fish sidekick. These thoughts don’t usually cross an adult’s mind because we view it as impossible.

Being a parent and taking your child to Disneyland is a whole other ballgame. Just watching your daughter experience what it is like to visit with Princess Merida after she has been obsessing over the movie, watching it dozens of times, is just a sight to behold! Handing your son a Mickey ice cream bar just to see him get it all over his face while watching all the characters dancing down Main Street, U.S.A. in sync with the music. Showing them what a pirate’s life used to be like, “Yeaaaar.” Best of all is seeing the glow of the multicolored bursts of light on their faces as fireworks explode in the sky. All of this is worth going time after time.

Think about when you were a kid. Like 30 years ago, there were only a total of 154 movies that had been made by Disney. Up until 1980 when Disney released Pete’s Dragon on VHS, the only way to get a Disney “fix” was to wait for a movie to show up on TV or to rent one of the few movies that were available on VHS. Today our children have access to 374 movies. Nearly all of them are available on DVD or digital download. They can watch them on Disney+ with their smartphones, tablets, in the car, on the television, anywhere. Just about every room nowadays has a DVD player or smart tv features so they can experience the magic anytime they want. I can only imagine what it will be like for them when they grow up. There is so much more magic at their fingertips.

Now think about the park crowds. In 1980, there were 11.5 million visitors to the park. In 2018, there were nearly 18.66 million. I can guarantee you that number will only multiply over the next 20 years. The draw to the park will become stronger and stronger with the more children that are introduced to it. I know numerous adults that had never even gone as a child, but have recently gone as adults and are now season pass holders; they can’t get enough of it. It’s the timeless magic, the freedom we feel, and the relaxing atmosphere that first draws us in. But, most important are the ties to our childhood from everything we see, hear, and taste around the park that keeps us adults coming back for more.

People don’t realize how much of an impact their childhood experiences will have on them after they grow up. Children are like little sponges, soaking up everything, and those memories stay with us; we just don’t access them daily. Simply thinking about Disneyland (or anything Disney related, for that matter) triggers that part of the brain that is about happy experiences. This is why I still LOVE going to Disneyland. What about you?

(my wife Ashley and I in Disneyland in 2016)

If you enjoyed reading this, you should check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts in it about Disneyland, California Adventure, and Disney Movies.

www.DisneyGuy.org

Why Aren’t All Of Them Disney Princesses?

Disney Princesses is a Walt Disney Company franchise, based on fictional characters that have been featured as part of the Disney character line-up. When Disney started the Princess Collection in 2001, these were the already-existing eight princesses that are still in the collection today:

Snow WhiteCinderellaAuroraArielBelleJasminePocahontas, and Mulan. They weren’t the only ones in the original collection though. In the beginning, Tinker Bell, Esmeralda, Megara, Alice, and Jane Porter were all in the collection but were later removed as the guidelines for the princess requirements were refined. Tinker Bell left to start the Disney Fairies franchise.

So, who is considered a Disney Princess in the eyes of Disney? This list is taken straight from Disney’s website www.Princess.Disney.com

The official list consists only of these 12 princesses;

  1. Snow White        2.Cinderella       3.Aurora
  2. Ariel                   5.Belle              6. Jasmine
  3. Pocahontas         8. Mulan            9. Tiana
  4. Rapunzel            11.Merida         12.  Moana

To add in new princesses since the inception of the Princess Collection in 2000 Disney has had a coronation ceremony for each them welcoming them into the Princess family.

To coincide with the release of The Princess and the Frog (2009) DVD and Blu-Ray release, Disney held a special coronation ceremony for Tiana in the historic New York Palace in Manhattan on March 14, 2010. Tina then became the 9th princess in the collection.

On October 3, 2011, Disney held a special coronation at Kensington Palace in London, England, to add Rapunzel from the computer-animated film Tangled (2010) as the 10th princess in the collection. There wasn’t a very big turnout for the event. There were a horse and carriage procession preceding the ceremony. Each princess had their own carriage as they traveled to the palace. Mulan and Pocahontas had to share a carriage because one of the carriages broke down right before it all started and since they had the smallest dresses they were made to share.

In the Magic Kingdom in Florida on May 11, 2013, Merida from Brave (2012) was added to the collection with her own special coronation ceremony making her the 11th princess in the collection. Merida is the first Pixar princess added to the Collection, and the first princess that came from an original story and not a film adaptation of a previously-designed character or based on real life.

From 2016 until March 21, 2019, Moana wasn’t in the princess collection. She was a part of the Moana merchandise. I am guessing that merchandise sales dropped so she was included in the Princess Collection merch. She didn’t receive a special ceremony, she just started appearing with the others and became the 12th princess.

Image result for moana gif"

There are guidelines that the characters must follow to be considered for the Disney Princess Collection.

  1. She must be a primary character in the movie.
  2. She must be born a princess, marry a prince, or perform an act of great heroism. This last requirement was added in so Mulan could be included.
  3. Queens and Spirits don’t count.
  4. She must be a human or turn human. This was specified for Ariel.
  5. She must be an original Disney property. Disney can’t have bought a company and turned their character into a princess, like Anastasia when Disney bought Fox or Jessie after Disney bought Pixar. Merida counts because she was created after Disney owned Pixar.
  6. She must star in a movie that made lots of money in the Box Office. This rules out Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron (1985) and Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) for example.
  7. She must make an appearance in the first movie, sequels don’t count. This excludes Melody from The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea (2000).
  8. She must be an animated character, no real-life actresses. Like Amy Adams as Giselle from Enchanted (2007).
  9. Their movie can’t do too well at the box office, otherwise, they will become a franchise of their own, like Anna and Elsa from Frozen (2013).

People like to argue about who and why other princesses or characters weren’t included in the official line-up. There is a reason why none of the 42 females on the following list weren’t added and I list the reasons. I got all these characters from reading “who is a princess” debates online. Ahead of time, I am going to apologize that you might see your favorite character and learn the reasons why she isn’t a Disney Princess.

  • Elsa and Anna from Frozen (2013) and Frozen 2 (2019) – The movie Frozen is the top-grossing animated film of all time, and the fifteenth top-grossing film of all time with an intake of almost $1.3 billion. Frozen 2 (2019) made $1.2 billion (so far). Disney is making way too much money on the Frozen franchise to add them into the Princess Collection. Besides, Anna is a queen and Elsa is a spirit.Image result for elsa anna gif"
  • Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) – she stepped down from being a princess when she became the president of her candy-covered video game world of Sugar Rush. In the sequel, she says that she is a princess to fit in with the other princesses, but her qualifications aren’t fulfilled to be considered one anymore. She was a princess only in title because of her character’s backstory in her game, Sugar Rush. Since Sugar Rush is no more and she stays in Slaughter Race, she foregoes her title. Image result for vanellope von schweetz gif"
  • Sofia from Sofia the First (2012) – she is considered too young to be in the collection and she is from a television series and not from a movie.Image result for sofia the first gif"
  • Elena from Elena of Avalor (2016-present) – she is from a television series and not from a theatrically released movie. She was in the made-for-television movie Elena and the Secret of Avalor (2016), which was a crossover film with Sofia the First and served as the pilot episode for Elena’s show.Image result for Elena from Elena of Avalor gif"
  • Princess Isabel from Elena of Avalor (2016-present) – she is from a television series and is the younger sister to Elena and is a supporting character.Image result for Elena from Elena of Avalor gif"
  • Princess Rebecca, Princess Amber, Princess Valentina, and Princess Marisa from Elena of Avalor (2016-present) – they are all supporting characters in a television series and aren’t main characters from a movie.

  • Tinker Bell from Peter Pan (1953) – Tink was originally in the Collection for a few years until she got her own spin-off collection, Disney Fairies, for which she is the main character. She also didn’t marry a prince or perform an act of heroism.Image result for tinker bell gif"Image result for tinker bell gif"
  • Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – she becomes the queen in the sequel Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003). Although technically, the 2nd movie was a collection of episodes from the ill-fated television series. She isn’t included because Atlantis was considered a flop in theaters even though it made almost $70 million over the budget.Image result for Kida from Atlantis gif"
  • Megara from Hercules (1997) – she was in a few items when the Princess Collection started out but was removed due to lack of popularity, per Disney. The same goes for Alice from Alice in Wonderland (1950), Esmeralda from Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and Jane Porter from Tarzan (1999), although technically Jane did end up with the “King of the Jungle,” which would make her a queen if anything. Alice did appear as one of “The Princesses of Heart” in the video game Kingdom Hearts.Image result for Megara from Hercules gif"Image result for alice in wonderland gif"Image result for Esmeralda gif"Image result for jane porter gif"
  • Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron (1985) is not included in the official line-up because of the poor reception of the film. She is sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten Disney Princess.” If she was to be added to the line-up, she would be the youngest one at the age of 12 years, closely followed by Snow White who is 14 years old.Image result for Princess Eilonwy gif"
  • Minnie MouseDaisy DuckFaline (Bambi), Nala (The Lion King), Kiara (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride), Princess Atta & Princess Dot (A Bug’s Life), Jessie (Toy Story 2), Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas), and Maid Marian (Robin Hood) – are all anthropomorphic. That means they are animals or something non-human that were given human characteristics, like walking, talking or human emotions. Because of this, none of them are considered. However, Nala was on a few princess items in the beginning. Daisy and Minnie are both queens in the Kingdom Hearts video games. Minnie is also a princess in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004). Technically, if Sally married “The Pumpkin King” (Jack Skellington), then she would be a queen. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) was also a movie released by Touchstone Pictures, a subsidiary of Disney and not created by it.

  • Melody from Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea (2000) – one of the few princesses who was actually born to a queen and king, both by blood, to not be included. At the age of 12, she is said to be too young for the line-up, this only putting her two years behind Snow White.  And, she was in a sequel that was straight-to-DVD and not a theatrically released one. Her popularity is also very low.Image result for melody mermaid gif"
  • Wendy Darling from Peter Pan (1953) is in no way royalty or with someone of royalty. In the sequel, Return to Neverland (2002), Wendy is married to a regular man.Image result for Wendy Darling gif"
  • Giselle from Enchanted (2007) – due to Giselle being in human form for most of the movie, she isn’t considered for the line-up. Rumor has it that Disney would have to pay Amy Adams royalties because of her likeness with the animated Giselle. Plus, in her human form kids know what she looks like, so there can be no meet-and-greets in the parks. Unlike the animated princesses who can be open to live actress interpretation. Giselle also ended up with Robert at the end of the film and not Prince Edward.Image result for Giselle gif"Image result for Giselle gif"
  • Nancy Tremaine from Enchanted (2007) – her character started out as a live-action and was later an animated character who married Prince Edward, which makes her a princess. She was played by Idina Menzel in the real world and was then voiced by her when she was animated. For one, she was also a live person, and second, the movie wasn’t about her.Image result for Nancy Tremaine gif"
  • Ting-TingSu, and Mei from Mulan 2 (2004) – they had too small of a part in a straight-to-DVD movie to be considered, and it was a sequel.Image result for Ting-Ting, Su, and Mei gif"
  • Princess Calla from Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985–1991) isn’t considered because she was a supporting character in a television series, and not in a movie.
  • Princess Tiger Lily from Peter Pan (1953) had too small of a part as a supporting character to be considered.Image result for Princess Tiger Lily from Peter Pan gif"
  • Kilala Reno is from the manga book series Kilala Princess. This book series isn’t made by Disney, but the producers had permission to use the characters of Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Aurora in the animations.
  • Kairi from the Kingdom Hearts (2002) video game is a “Princess of Heart,” but because she is only in a video game, she isn’t considered.Image result for Kairi from the Kingdom Hearts gif"
  • Princess Leia from the Star Wars Franchise (1977-2019) – although people petitioned to have Disney add Leia to the Collection after Carrie Fisher’s death, they won’t because Leia is from live-action and not animation. She isn’t from an original Disney property and they would also have to pay out royalties for using Carrie Fisher’s likeness. She also ended the movie franchise with her character as General Leia Organa.Image result for Princess Leia gif"
  • Gwyn from Princess of Thieves (2001) – in this movie, Kiera Knightly plays the daughter of Robin Hood, the King of Thieves, and Maid Marian, not to be confused with her role of Guinevere in Disney’s King Arthur (2004) which was released under their Touchstone Pictures Banner. In this film, she is a live person, much like Princess Leia and Giselle, and for the same reasons, isn’t in the collection.
  • Princess Mia from Princess Diaries (2001) and Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) – she is better known as Mia Thermopolis the Princess of Genovia. Because Anne Hathaway is a live actress her character isn’t in the collection, just like Princess Leia and Giselle.Image result for princess mia gif"
  • Anastasia from Anastasia (1997) – with the buyout of Twentieth Century Fox, people want Anastasia added to the collection. For years people have mistaken this film for a Disney film anyway. It is a Don Bluth film. Although Don once worked for Disney, this film doesn’t count.Image result for Anastasia gif"
  • Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) – this one is easy, he’s a boy. People have jokingly said he is a princess because of his entitlement and fabulousness.

Image result for Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove gif"

There you have it. An explanation as to who is and isn’t in the Disney Princess Collection and why. Even if they aren’t in the collection and you still want to call them a Disney Princess, you can. I hope you enjoyed this article as most of it was taken from my upcoming book’s Disney Princess section.

If you know of any that were missed, contact me so I can add them to the list.

If you enjoyed reading this, you should check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts in it about Disneyland, California Adventure, and Disney Movies.

www.DisneyGuy.org

Disneyland’s Tinker Bell Meets Elvis

Gina Rock flew as Tinker Bell in Disneyland from 1983-2005 and is the longest flying Tinker Bell in Disneyland history.

Sometimes the Cast Members of Tinker Bell’s team would surprise her by dressing up at the receiving end of her flight. On this particular night, they were dressed as Elvis. This was her favorite of their costumed appearances. In the background, you can see the mattress used for Tinker Bell to crash into.

If you would like to learn more about Gina or get an autographed Tinker Bell photo or an autographed Tinker Bell Trading Pin, please visit her website www.FlyingTinkerBell.org all the money from her sales this month will go to USO.

15 Fun Facts: The Last Moments Surrounding Walt Disney’s Death

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Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the death of one of the greatest men of our time, Walt Disney. He lost a battle with lung cancer from his chain-smoking on December 15, 1966, at 9:35 am.
Here is some information you may not have known about Walt’s last days.
1. The last time Walt was seen on TV was for the opening dedication of New Orleans Square on July 24, 1966.
2. The final productions in which Disney had an active role were the animated feature The Jungle Book and the live-action musical comedy The Happiest Millionaire, both released in 1967.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction Walt personally worked on, besides concepts, which went on with the company decades into the future.
4. EXAMPLE: Imagineer Herb Ryman was working on concept sketches for the park in 1954 and came up with a land called True Life Land, which was named for Disney’s True Life Adventures (1948-1960) series. It was going to be modeled after New Orleans with a pirate theme. There was to be a shipwreck with overflowing treasure chests, a store/restaurant called Pieces of Eight, and a store/restaurant called Blue Beards Den. This was to all be added onto Frontierland. This concept all predates Disneyland but shows that Walt had an interest in adding pirates to his park. Walt’s dream of a completely themed pirates land wouldn’t be realized until the construction of Treasure Cove in Shanghai Disney, which opened June 16, 2016.

5. The only scene Walt saw completed from Pirates was the auctioneer scene. The Imagineers had set up the whole scene in the Burbank studio and put a wooden bench on wheels to push Walt through the scene at the proper pace.

6. They told Walt the studio was pushing them for a December opening. Walt asked if they would have it done by then and they said they didn’t think it would be perfect by then. Walt then told them not to approve the opening until everything was perfect, even if it took longer to complete.

7. It is said that Walt’s last visit to his “Magic Kingdom” was on October 14, 1966. He hosted a special event that awarded heroic soldiers with The Congressional Medal Of Honor.

8. On Walt’s last visit to the studio to check out the Pirates project, he visited Marc Davis and looked over the concept art for The Country Bear Jamboree. Marc said that Walt stayed as long as he kept showing him his artwork. He could tell there was something wrong with Walt. The last thing Walt said to Marc was “goodbye,” which was odd because he always said “see you later” or “keep up the good work.” (Marc is on the left)
9. On November 2nd, Walt had an x-ray done revealing a tumor in his left lung. The doctor gave him six months to two years to live. He had a two-week stay in the hospital and was able to return home for Thanksgiving.

10. Walt didn’t want people to know he was sick, so he blamed his doctor visits on an old polo injury.

11. He was admitted to the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center across the street from the Disney Studio on November 30th after he collapsed in his home.
12. He could see the Disney Studio across the street. Roy had ordered that the lights in the facility remained on so Walt could see it.

13. A long-standing urban legend maintains that Walt was cryogenically frozen, and his frozen corpse was stored underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland. However, this was discredited due to the fact that Disney was cremated, and the first known instance of cryogenic freezing of a corpse (of Dr. James Bedford) occurred a month later, in January 1967.

14. The last photo of Walt in the park was taken on October 14, 1966, for promotional purposes. This would be his last trip to his “Magic Kingdom.”

15. The Last Thing Walt Wrote – It is said that on Walt’s deathbed he wrote down Kurt Russell’s name. Kurt was a recently acquired commodity of the studio as they had just signed him on with a 10-year contract. He would eventually be one of the greatest actors of the past 50 years, and more to come. He would eventually star in 21 films, or serials, for the Disney Company from 1966 through today. Walt did indeed write down “Kirt (sic) Russell” before he passed. The issue is that the paper he wrote on was at his desk at the studio. He hadn’t been to the studio in weeks because of his failing health. The paper with Kurt’s name was among other papers on the desk. There was something written below Kurt’s name, “CIA-Mobley.” It was for another young actor, Roger Mobley, who also starred in several Disney films. He had also written “2 Way Down Cellar,” referring to a two-part serial that he possibly wanted one of the boys to be a part of. We will never know the reasoning behind Walt’s note. Kurt himself confirmed that Walt did write his name down before he passed away, but didn’t know why. Ron Miller had taken him up to Walt’s office while he was on set filming Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972) to show it to him. The conclusion is that Walt more than likely wrote other things down since his last visit to his office, not to mention that Roger’s name was written after Kurt’s.

On Thursday, December 15, 1966, at 9:35 am, Walt Disney passed away due to his lung cancer from his lifelong habit of smoking.

Disney’s remains were cremated two days later, and his ashes interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Check out my book with over 3,700 fun facts and trivia centered around Disneyland and Disney Movies www.DisneyGuy.org.

Turkey Day Disney Fun Facts

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Want to know about Disney turkeys? Well, here you go.

Starting in November 2005, Big Thunder Ranch housed the yearly Thanksgiving turkey that was pardoned by the president of the United States. They quit taking them in after the Ranch was closed down to make way for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

(Trump’s turkeys from 2016, 2017, and 2018, went to Gobblers Rest at Virginia Tech.)


The turkey legs in Disneyland are made from male turkeys. Rumors have been circulating that the legs are emu legs, but this isn’t true. An emu can be 5′-6′ tall when fully grown. The leg would be huge. Male turkey legs are significantly larger than female legs.

Image result for emu next to human

Zachary Levi was on the Conan show and started the rumor in 2017.


John Candy had provided a large amount of voice work for a character named “Redfeather”, a turkey, and Pocahontas’s sidekick in Pocahontas (1995). However, after Candy’s death in 1994, and a decision from the animators that three sidekicks for Pocahontas would be “three’s a crowed,” the concept was scrapped. At first, the animators cut the cuddly raccoon “Meeko”, leaving behind “Flit” and “Redfeather.” Then they decided to bring back “Meeko” and cut “Redfeather,” partially due to John Candy’s passing. They also decided to make the sidekicks without dialogue to make it seem more realistic and less “cartoony.” This was all explained in the video in the Animation Academy by Chris Sanders, the animator, and the voice of Stitch.

Here is some pencil sketch animation. It was a stand-in voice, not John.


Don Knotts’ last theatrically-released film was Chicken Little (2006) as the voice of Mayor Turkey Lurkey. He passed away three months after it was released in theaters. He returned to Disney films after a 26-year break. Previously, he was in The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), No Deposit, No Return (1976), Gus (1976), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978), and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979). He was also in two episodes of 101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997-1998).

Related imageThe story model of Chicken Little has been around for thousands of years, but the first time it was in print was in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm. Disney first animated this story in 1943 as an animated short propaganda film for WWII. The storyline was different from this film in that there was a fox, Foxy Loxy, invading the chicken coop. It marks the only time a villain won at the end of the film. In this case, Foxy Loxy ate all the chickens and Chicken Little.Image result for chicken little 1943Image result for chicken little 1943

I hope you enjoyed these fun facts. If you did, then check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts in it about Disneyland and Disney Movies. www.DisneyGuy.org

5 Reasons Why The Oogie Boogie Bash Is The Best Halloween Event

Transformation central! Halloween time at Disney Parks has become a favorite for many, my family included! Every year in October, we plan a week-long vacation to Disneyland. This vacation has always included the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. That is until this year! When Oogie Boogie Bash took over at Disney’s California Adventure park and there is no going back. This special ticket event took all the fun and multiplied it by 10, making for an even more incredible experience. While I could go on forever about how awesome this event is, I have narrowed it down to the top 5 reasons it is the best.

#1. Immersive Treat Trails

This was by far the best change made to the Disney Halloween party and my favorite part. There were five different trails lead by some of Disney’s best villains: Dr. Facilier, The Mad Hatter, Maleficent, The Queen from Snow White, and of course Oogie Boogie. The Disney Imagineers went all out on these treat trails. From the music to the lights, the projections and decorations, these trails will make you feel completely transported.

Each trail begins with cast members handing out either candy or healthier treats. As you make your way along the trail, you will come to a stage where your villain awaits. Here is where you have the opportunity for personal interactions with each character. This made for an extra special memory for my son as he was stopped by The Mad Hatter and got to have a rather long conversation about his costume. This change to the Halloween party made for a much more special experience.

Oogie Boogie Shadowman

#2. Villainous!

The shows! As we all know Disney goes all out with their shows and parades. However, the new Wonderful World of Color: Villainous, surpassed all expectations and was absolutely breathtaking. We arrived a little late and ended up standing in the “splash zone” which turned out to be an ideal place to view the show. Each and almost every Disney villain gets their own special part in this show with unique dialogue, music, and colors to suit each character.  It is an unforgettable experience that I really hope they continue in the future.

#3. Villains Grove

Villains Grove is a walkthrough experience like no other. Located in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, this hauntingly beautiful experience for the senses is not one you will soon forget. As you follow the trail, stunning lights, striking projections, and a symphony of sound lead you through this interactive villain experience. This experience offers a look into The Queen of Hearts rose garden, the elephant graveyard full of hyenas, the voodoo magic of Dr. Falcilier, and so many more. Don’t let the long line drive you away from this incredible experience, you will not be disappointed.

#4. Unique Character Experiences

These characters don’t come around often! Oogie Boogie Bash was full of unique characters and villains to bring out the kid in all of us. Located right behind Grizzly River Run, we found a meet and greet with Donald and Goofy dressed as characters from the video game Kingdom Heart. Also located in the Grizzly River Run area near the Pelton Wheel, was another meet and greet area full of nostalgia. There we saw King John from Robinhood and Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. To see such unique characters from some of the movies I watched as a kid was a real treat. I have also heard that the villains from Mulan, Tailspin, and Alice in Wonderland have made appearances in the same location.

#5. Limited Merchandise and Food

Okay, so limited merchandise for special events at Disney isn’t exactly “unique”, but the merch put out for this event was awesome! I had my eye on the Oogie Boogie Bash Minnie ears since I first saw them posted by Disney online and I was lucky enough to snag a pair at a small cart tucked away from the crowd. (Most of the larger shops were sold out). At the same cart, I was able to get several of the adorable pins and a shirt for both my son and me.

Although the food is not just limited to the Oogie Boogie bash can I just take a minute to say how on point the Halloween food was this year! Oogie Boogie Funnel Cake Fries complete with green whipped cream and gummy worms, Pair of Dice an adult beverage inspired by Oogie of course, Bugs and Bugs a kid-friendly frozen lemonade with gummy worms, and a churro with green icing and of course more gummy worms.

 

There you have it. The changes Disney has made to the Halloween event and why it is so much better than before. We had such a blast and really hope Oogie Boogie continues to take over Halloween!

For anyone interested in seeing some of the fun check out our video