Sunday, July 31, 2011

Who’s Castle is This Anyhow!?

Who’s Castle is This Anyhow!?

Snow White and Sleeping Beauty both have claim to Disneyland’s Castle.

A look at the statues around Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle
By PansTinkerBell
Pictures by TinksPeter & PansTinkerBell
Sleeping Beauty's Castle
When Walt Disney originally designed the castle at the center of Disneyland it was intended to be Snow White’s home. Then he had the idea to change it to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to promote the not yet released movie, Sleeping Beauty. The park opened 4 years before the movies release. Walt did not change the design of the castle when he changed who lived in it. All he did was add the Sleeping Beauty Walk Through.
Castle Bunny
Castle Squirril Water Spout

Castle Bunny
On the walls of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle you will see some of Snow White’s furry squirrel friends as water spouts. Around the moat there are several identical statues of a little rabbit, once again one of Snow White’s little friends and not one of Aurora’s forest pals. These rabbits were added later.
Snow White's Grotto
On the east side the caste is Snow White’s Grotto. It is a beautiful area to find a bit of quiet with a fantastic view of the castle. Listen for Snow White singing as she wishes for her prince to come. This is the original sound track from the 1938 movie, Snow White.
Snow White and her forest friends
Snow White's forest friends
Sleepy & Bashful
In 1960 Walt received an anonymous gift from Italy. It was set of beautiful marble statues of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. There was one small problem with the exquisite statues; they are all approximately same size! How can Snow White show her royal stature when she is roughly the same size as Dopey!
Despite the mistake Walt wanted these superb statues displayed at Disneyland for all to see. He assigned Disney designer, John Hench the task of creating an appropriate display. John Hench was quite perplexed as to how to show the statues and correct the problem of incorrect proportions. His solution is elegant and simple. Hench used the simple stage technique of Forced Perspective. He created a diorama that placed Snow White high above her dwarf friends making her look larger than the others and bringing everything into correct proportions. Snow White’s grotto was dedicated April 9th, 1961.
Added to the set of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs are some of her forest friends. A deer stands beside her, a rabbit and squirrel are on a log just below her and 5 frogs create a fun and fanciful fountain in the water below as they “spit” water at each other.
Snow White's Water Fountain Frogs
One of my favorite features of this area is the Wishing Well. You hear Snow White singing out, “I’m wishing”and the echo comes from the Wishing Well, “I’m wishing”. Any money tossed into the Wishing Well, and any other water at the park is collected and donated to various charities by Disney. It helps make sick and needy children’s wishes come true. The same is true at all Disney Parks. Inscribed on the wishing well is, “Your wishes will help children everywhere.”
Snow White's Wshing Well
Wishing well Bunny
These statues are so loved that they have been reproduced exactly as they are, error in proportion and all and placed in 3 other Disney Parks.

So the next time you are rushing by the castle on the way to Fantasyland at Disneyland stop and say hi to Snow White and maybe drop in a little change to help a wish come true.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Central Hub Statues at Disneyland

The Central Hub Statues at Disneyland

At the end of Main Street in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle is a park like setting called the Central Hub. This is the central place in Disneyland and acts like the center of a wheel where the spokes go out into all the other lands of the park. Many people stop here to get their pictures taken with the castle behind them or just rest for a few minutes on one of the park benches. In the center of this area are nine bronze statues.

In the middle is the larger than life Partners Statue. This is a statue of Walt Disney walking hand in hand with Mickey Mouse. This statue was designed by Blaine Gibson. Blaine Gibson came out of retirement to create the Partners Statue and the eight character statues that surround it.

Speaking about the sculpture, Blaine comments that Walt is gesturing out into the park and saying to Mickey Mouse, “Look what we created”. The statue was commissioned and dedicated for the 65th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, November 18, 1993. It was rededicated on what would have been Walt’s 100thbirthday in 2001.

The rededication was a bit of a letdown to many long time Disney fans who are annual passholders at Disneyland. It went almost unnoticed with very little fan fare and very few people showed up. In fact very little was actually planned for that day at Disneyland. Disneyland’s sister park WDW had all the fan fare even though Walt Disney did not live to see that park built. Many Disneyland enthusiasts believed Disneyland deserved more because it was truly Walt’s Park where he played and enjoyed spending time with family, friends and the guests.

Walt Disney and Mickey

Partners Statue

There is usually a PhotoPass Cast Member at the Partners Statue to take your picture. They take the picture with you standing or sitting in front of the statue with the castle showing behind. It is one of the most photographed places in the park. It is also one of the most beautiful views and will touch the hearts of most Disney fans.

Around the Partners Statue are 8 other much smaller statues on pedestals acting as guardians or perhaps welcoming friends at the walkways leading off the center of the hub to the different lands in the park.

Minnie Mouse



Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket

Dumbo and Timothy Mouse

The White Rabbit

Chip & Dale

Donald Duck

Friday, July 29, 2011


It’s Film Strip Friday!
Release Date February 23rd, 1940
Lonely toymaker Geppetto has his wishes answered when the Blue Fairy arrives to bring his wooden puppet Pinocchio to life. Before becoming a real boy, however, Pinocchio must prove he's worthy as he sets off on an adventure with his whistling sidekick and conscience, Jiminy Cricket. From Stromboli's circus to Pleasure Island, Pinocchio is tested by many temptations, but slowly learns how to navigate right from wrong. With a few mishaps along the way, Geppetto's "little woodenhead" finally gets it right, proving that when you wish upon a star dreams really can come true!
       Production started in 1937 as work on Snow White was completed.       It is the 2nd feature length animated movie Disney made.
       Originally Pinocchio was to be made after Bambi. Disney found that it was harder than anticipated to design and animate Bambi so he moved Pinocchio up.
       In early drafts the movie used many characters and plot points from the original story. Walt Disney decided that there needed to be a major reworked for it to work. Production was stopped and characters and plot reworked.
       In the original story Pinocchio is a wise cracking puppet/boy, rambunctious and always looking for trouble. The original design for Pinocchio was done in the same way. He looked more like a puppet than a little boy with wooden hands and a pointed nose. Disney felt people would not connect with him and fell for his plight. Pinocchio was redesigned so he looked more like a little boy and given gloves. His personality was changed to make him a character that would invoke more sympathy that people would root for.
Designer and lead animator Milt Kahl had to redesign the puppet as much as possible. Eventually, they revised the puppet to make him look more like a real boy, with, among other things, a button nose, a child's Tyrolean hat, and standard cartoon character 4-fingered (or 3 and a thumb) hands with Mickey Mouse-type gloves on them. Milt quoted, "I do not think of him as a puppet, I think of him as a little boy". The only parts of him that still looked more or less like a puppet were his arms and legs. In this film, he is still led astray by deceiving characters, but gradually learns bit by bit and is depicted as innocent, naive, somewhat coy and exhibits a good heart. For example when he is offered to go to Pleasure Island he inquires he needs to go home several times, before Honest John and Gideon pick him up themselves and carry him away.
       During the reworking of the plot and characters Jiminy Cricket character became a central part of the story. Before this Jiminy was a minor character. When Jiminy’s part was expanded, he was depicted as an actual (that is, less anthropomorphized) cricket with toothed legs and waving antennae. Walt once again wanted a more likable character. He assigned Ward Kimball the job and a reward for his hard work on Snow White that did not make it into that film. Ward was about to quit until Walt gave him Jiminy as an assignment. Ward redesigned him as a little man with an egg shaped head and no ears. The only reason we know him as a cricket is he is call one.
       Pinocchio was the first movie to use famous celebrities as voice actors. Pinocchio was voiced by child actor Dickie Jones who had recently been in Mr Smith Goes to Washington.Cliff Edwards, a popular singer of the time was chosen to be the voice of Jiminy. He was already known for introducing the song “Singing In The Rain”. He also worked on Broadway and in Movies. Foulfellow the Fox was voiced by Shakespearean actor Walter Catlett. Christian Rub played Geppetto and the design of the character was even a caricature of rub. Other actors include Charles Judels, Evelyn Venable and Frankie Darro.
       Mel Blanc was hired to do the voice of Gideon the Cat, Foulfellow the Fox’s sidekick. It was later decided to make Gideon mute like Dopey. All of his recorded dialogue was deleted. That is all except one solitary hiccup. The hiccup was three times in the film.
       While work was being done on Pinocchio the Model Department was set up. The Model Department makes Maquettes, clay models of the characters to give the animators a three dimensional model to look at when drawing. Besides Maquettes of the characters them made working models of Geppetto’s cuckoo clocks as well as Stromboli’s Gypsy wagon and the Coachman’s carriage. It is difficult to animate a realistic moving vehicle. So the wagons were filmed on a miniature set using stop motion animation. After the carriages were filmed Photostats (pictures of every frame of the animation) were made, then ink and paint the Photostats onto animation cels and overlay the cels with those of the characters on the rostrum camera.
       Pinocchio used many special effects, it was ground breaking in its achievements. Anything that is not characters or background is animated by Effects Animators. They are responsible for, smoke from fires and cigars, shadows, magic effects, and water, no matter where or what the water is. From rain, waves and splashes from the ocean none of it  had been attempted at this level of realism before Pinocchio. Pinocchio is still the standard film for effects animation.
       Pinocchio was a success in the United States alone. International box office results were poor due to the film’s release in Europe and Asia was delayed because of World War II and the aftermath of the war. The budget for the film was $2,289 million and Disney recouped only $1,423 million of the film’s cost.
       Overall good reviews were given for the movie. Archer Winsten, who had criticized Snow White wrote: “The faults that were in Snow White no longe exist. In writing of Pinocchio you are limited only by your own power of expressing enthusiasm.” Jiminy Cricket’s snog, “When You Wish Upon a Star”, became a major hit and is still identified with the fim, and later as a fanfare for The Walt Disney Company itself. Today the first nine notes of the song are used as the signature fog horn for all the Disney Cruise Line Ships. Pinocchio also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Score, making it the first Disney film to win not only either Oscar, but also both at the same time. Mary Poppins was the next to win both in 1964 and The Little Mermaid won them in 1989. Pinocchio was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Funny Disney Plusing Hobby

My Funny Disney Plusing Hobby

I love to look up the original stories that Disney movies are based on. Then I see how Disney changed and/or adapted the movie for film. Did Disney hold true to the story or just keep the name. Did they try to share the same moral as the original? What happens if they make it into a ride or stage play? Will they change the moral value or did they change it again. Did they do a good job retelling the story in the different mediums? What would I do if I took a Disney movie and turned it into a ride? What parts would I leave out that they kept or put in that they left out? I have found most of the time they do a gentler version of the story, be it movie or ride. They tend to leave out the darker parts.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.
The original Peter Pan story is much darker than the Disney version. It is harsher and the danger from the pirates and mermaids more intense. There is an entire segment of the story that takes place in Skull Rock that is totally left out of the movie due to the dark nature of the segment. Still it is a story about holding onto childhood and keeping the joy all through life.

Peter Pan is a wonderful movie about childhood joy and the decisions we make as we grow up. It is about the childhood Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust (whimsy) that we need to hold onto as adults so we can keep a joyful, youthful heart. Holding onto the childlike faith helps us deal with the problems of life without losing joy.
Peter Pan the ride is a quick run through the story. It does not linger on any one part and gives a quick over view of the story. It shows the Darling kids leaving their home and flying off to Neverland. It gives glimpses of the fun spots of Neverland and then rushes through the cruelty of Captain Hook as he ties up Tiger Lilly and then battles Peter. This is a victory of childhood joyfulness over evil that wants to take away joy.
What would I change about the movie and ride? I’d add more of the darker elements taking it back closer to the original story. For the ride I’d make it longer and spend more time with Tinker Bell, got to love the Queen of Pranking Pixies. They totally leave out Tink’s being tricked by Hook. I’d enjoy seeing more of the fight between the desire to stay a child and growing up.
Little Mermaid Princess Ariel fish friends

Little Mermaid is an example where Disney used the name of a story but kept very little of the original story and nothing of the moral that was taught by the original story.
The original story of Little Mermaid is the story of a young mermaid who is quickly reaching the age where she can go to the service of the water to look around. When she does she falls in love with a prince that is sailing by. She knows mermaids have no soul and live for three hundred years in exchange a life with no soul. Humans have a short life but have an eternal soul and have emotional ties with each other and a higher power, God. She wants a soul and is willing to give up her long life for a soul, love and relationship with God. In the end she gives up both her chance for a soul and love to save the life of the prince she has fallen in love with. In the end she was granted a soul as a reward for her sacrificial love for the prince. There is no happy ever after with her going on with the Prince.
In the Disney movie version they gloss over that and it becomes a story of a young girl proving herself to her father. It is a classic struggle of a teenager to find herself and to prove she is ready for the challenges of life on her own.
The new Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride focuses on the action and does not develop the characters. It depends on the riders knowledge of the story to fill in the gaps it leaves in the story. It totally skips over the final battle between Ursula and Ariel along with her Father. If I could redo the ride I’d take it closer to the movie. I’d work on how to add in that final battle. I can see it would be hard but I’d try.

All of this is what Walt Disney called plusing. When you think you are done doing something look at it again and have others look at it. Can it be improved or plused? Even today when making a movie or designing a ride the animators and/or imaginers are still asked when they turn in what they call finished work, “can you plus that?”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Disney Legend Marc Davis

Disney Legend and One of Walt’s Nine Old Men

º ~ Marc Davis ~ º

March 30th, 1913 ~ January 12th, 2000

Worked for Disney

1935 ~ 1978

 collage1.JPG (26181 bytes)

       Marc Davis was born in Bakersfield California. His family moved often due to his father’s work in the Oilfield Development Industry. He went to twenty different schools across the country before graduation High School. He then attended Kansas City Art Institute, followed by the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. While attending art school he would spend hours at the zoo sketching animals.

In 1935 Marc Davis was hired as an apprentice animator at the Disney Studio. He started by working on Snow White. After Snow White he moved onto story sketch and character design for Bambi and Victory Through Air Power.

In 1961 Marc moved over to what is now called Walt Disney Imagineering. He was one of the original Disney Imagineers. He contributed whimsical story concept and character design for rides at Disneyland. His work can still be seen in rides such as such Disneyland attractions as the Enchanted Tiki Room, It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and The Jungle Cruise.

After 43 years with the Studio, Marc retired in 1978, but continued to lend his expertise to the development of EPCOT and Tokyo Disneyland. He and his wife, Alice, who designed costumes for Audio-Animatronics characters featured in Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World, have been long-time supporters of California Institute of the Arts, which was founded by Walt Disney.

He died in Glendale January, 12, 2000.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fireworks/Parade and Show Viewing at the Disneyland Resort

Fireworks/Parade and Show Viewing at the Disneyland Resort

       Today I’m going to share my opinion on how to get the best seats for Fireworks/Parade and Shows at the Disneyland Resort.
       Fireworks are a special treat at Disneyland. Not only do you have the show in the sky there is a show on Sleeping Beauties Castle. There are special lighting effects and fireworks on and shot off the castle. The fireworks are designed to frame the castle.

       You can choose to see the fireworks from anywhere in the park. The problem is you will not see the castle if you don’t sit in front of the castle. During the summer months there are special treats such as Tinker Bell and Dumbo flying during the fireworks. These can only be clearly seen from the front of the castle.

       If you wish to see the fireworks from in front of the castle plan on getting there early to claim your spot. I suggest at least two to three hours early. If you get there early enough you can claim a bench in front of the VIP section. Getting there early is even more important for special holiday fireworks shows. For the Fourth of July we sat for nine and a half hours to insure we got the best view. At Halloween we picked our spot around three. Christmas time there are more special nights showing the fireworks so you still need to get there early but not as early as Halloween.

       Parades at Disneyland run twice a day. You can usually got a nice spot on the curb around an hour before the parade. The first time it runs from Small World down the parade route toward Main Street ending at the Town Square end of Main Street. It goes back up Main Street to Small World.

       At Disneyland there are lots of little shows. One of my favorite is Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. This fun show in the Golden Horseshoe Review. Get there at least forty-five minutes early and grab something to eat and drink while you wait for the show. This is a great place to cool down on a hot day while you wait for a fun show.

       Fantasmic is a long running and wonderful show full of Disney magic and wonder. Watch Mickey battle evil and show how happiness, joy and kindness can win. This show is played out on the Rivers of America. You can see the show from anyplace on the river but in my opinion the best place to see the show is right across from the landing on Tom Sawyer’s Island. This is where Mickey will do most of his fighting. Get on the level right next to the water. Sit in front of the main lighting stands. You can sit right up against the fence or sit in the back of the area. If you have people in wheelchairs this spot is much better than the handicapped areas they provide. This is not an easy spot to get so once again get there early but don’t worry too much because people are required to sit during the show so people can see no matter how tall they are.

       Now let’s move over to Disney’s California Adventure. There are two wonderful shows at California Adventure, they are Aladdin the Musical and World of Color.

       Aladdin is a forty-five minute long live stage play that is good enough to be on any Broadway stage. I suggest you get to the Hyperion Theater at least forty-five minutes early.

       In my opinion I think the best spot to view Aladdin from is the first or second row of the upper section of the orchestra level. This is the first or second row above the large walkway that cuts the orchestra level in half. I like this spot because you can see the “parade” that goes through the audience as well as all that is happening on stage. The front rows are nice as well but it is harder to see what is going on in and above the audience. I don’t like the balcony levels because they show too much of the “stage tricks” for my taste.
       World of Color is California Adventure’s version of water works instead of fireworks. You must have a fastpass to see this show and there are three ways to get them. I like the “Yellow” section toward the middle. You get a good view of the water fountains and the lower water level. IMHO this is a must see!

       Here is how to get a ticket to see World of Color:

1.        As soon as the park opens go to the fastpass ticket machines next to Grizzly Rapids and get your tickets. Make sure you get all the tickets you need at the same time from the same machine. If you get them at different times or from different machines you may end up going to different shows and/or sitting in different areas.

2.   Pay for one of two sit down dining options costing about $40 per person. You get a great meal and your ticket to the show. You can call Disney Dining to book this in advance or hope they have an available table for walkup.

3.    There is a Picnic Meal option available online. These are cold gourmet meals. They come with a drink, tote bag and a ticket to the show. These cost about $16 per person. You can order these as far out as sixty days or the day before. These guarantee you a seat at the first showing of the day. There are a few walkup Picnic Meals available on the day but those get you a seat at the second show.

Here is a link to the World of Color tickets:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Planning and Booking a Disney Cruise

Planning and Booking a Disney Cruise
       We all know that money is tight and finding extra cash for a trip like a Disney Cruise is not easy. Most people need at least a year if not three or four to save up for a big trip like this! Problem is Disney only adds a future years schedule/rates in the fall two years before. For example as of today you can only book to the end of 2012. Nothing is available for 2013 or beyond right now. In the fall of 2011 they will start booking 2013. Sometime in mid-late 2012 they will release information on 2014.
       So I can’t afford a trip before December 2012 but I still wish to book and start paying for a trip so I have a way to insure money intended for my Disney Cruise goes for the cruise. How can I book what is not available? Simple, book the furthest date out you can find. It takes $200-$250 per person to book a Disney Cruise. You can then start making payments assured that your money is going directly to what you want it to, your Disney cruise.
       When new sail dates come out you can cancel your cruise and transfer the money you have already paid toward a cruise that is either the date you wish or at least closer to the date if the dates you wish are still not available. There is no charge for canceling and changing dates as long as you do it before the date your final payment is due (Seventy-Five days before sail date in most cases). I know people who start booking like this three to four years in advance. You can also watch for deals to come up, such as kids sail free or a discount for people from your state. DCL often has Kids under seventeen Sail Free deals in the off seasons out of ports other than Florida. They also have discounts for Florida residents sailing out of Port Canaveral and now I see they have a discount for California residents sailing out of Los Angeles. You can change your dates to take advantage of these deals.
       Seventy-Five days from your sail date is the last day to cancel your cruise without penalty. You can cancel your cruise past that date but you will lose money. How much of a penalty you pay changes the closer you get to your sail date.
       Once you have booked the date you want and paid for your cruise check with Disney Cruise to see how early you can start booking Shipboard and Port Adventures. Usually this is about Seventy-Five days out for first time cruisers but as you do more cruises you get to book further out.
       I highly suggest if you wish an adult only restaurant meal you book the Palo’s and Remy’s as soon as they become available for you to book them either online or by phone. (Usually Seventy-Five to Ninety days before you sail.) They are usually fully booked before the ship sails. The same goes for Spa and Salon time and Port Adventures. If the Port Adventure you wish is a popular one really consider booking it ahead. You can cancel them as late as four days before your sail date without being charged. If you cancel less than four days before you sail you will still have to pay for the Adventure you booked no matter if you go or not. You can wait until you get on the ship to book your Port and Shipboard Adventures but you may find the adventure you wish is filled.
       If you don’t plan on getting off the ship while in port this may be the best time for a visit to the Spa or Salon. There are discounts in the spa and salon while the ship is in port. You can book these discounted adventures anytime after the ship sails.
       I also recommend making things easier for yourself by signing up at (If you already have a Disney account for any park you can log in with that information.) Take advantage of the online check end to make things easier at the terminal. Using this also makes it easier to book adventures online. If you have already been on a Disney Cruise make sure you put in your Castaway Club ID number and take advantage of the Castaway Club area of the site.
       If you have family and friends going with you and they are in different cabins make sure you inform Disney when you book your cruise so they can “link” the reservations together. This does not make you financially linked. It just links information so you get booked in the same restaurant at the same table. Also tell them of any special events you are celebrating such as birthdays and anniversaries. They will give you a special treat at dinner one night on the cruise. If you have several special events to celebrate in your family/group they will schedule them and let you know what days you will be doing a little extra celebrating. Being linked with others in your group will also help make sure that special celebrations aren’t scheduled at the same time unless you wish it.
For more information and a free planning DVD kit just go to this link.
       I highly recommend ordering this DVD if you are planning on going on a Disney Cruise or if you just enjoy finding out information about what is offered. It is mailed to your home for free. You can also see most of what is on the DVD online in the planning center of

Sunday, July 24, 2011

There are too many people sucking up the Disney Magic!

There are too many people sucking up the Disney Magic!

How to deal with the crowds!

Disney parks do get crowded. The busiest seasons are the summer months and the Holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are both popular times to go. Summer is busy because many children are out on summer break and families go on vacation. The Holidays are a magical time so many people come to celebrate the holidays at Disney parks. I will focus on Disneyland because that is the park I know the best.

Disneyland is fifty-three magical acres. Disneyland can have as many as ninety-thousand people in the park. When park attendance reaches ninety-thousand they stop allowing people into the park. This happens a few days each year, sometimes in the summer months and usually one or more days during the holidays. When the park reaches capacity the lines can be three-four hours long and Fastpasses can be issued for the entire day by 11 am.

So how do you deal with the crowds?

1.        Be realistic about how many rides and shows you will get to see when you go. Don’t expect to see everything if you choose to go in the busy seasons. Mentally prepare for long lines for everything including the restroom.

2.   Pick the off season to come if you can. January to April and from the end of September to early November are calmer times to go.

3.    Go during the week and if you must go on the weekend consider going on Sunday as Saturday is the busier day.

4.     Decide before going to the park each day what rides or shows are important for you to see that day. Pick one or two rides per family member or a totally of five to six must do things. If it is the fireworks be prepared to sit down early if you wish to get a particular seat, especially if that includes a bench. Take turns holding the spot.

5.    If parades are not your thing go ride the rides during the parades. Pick which land you wish to be in before the parade starts and stay in that area until the parade is over. If the area you are in has a train depot you can use that to leave the area quicker.

6.    Eat meals at off times. Stay away from the restaurants and food carts between 11 am and 1 pm and 4 pm and 6 pm. Eat before or after these times.

7.    Learn all you can about the Fastpass system and use it.

a.        You may have up to two Fastpasses at a time.

b.       If you do not return to the ride during the given time don’t worry. As long as you return to the ride after the start time it is good for the rest of the day.

c.       As soon as the time for your Fastpass return comes round you can get another Fastpass. So if you have a FP for 11 am and a second FP for 1 pm at 11:05 am you can go and get a third pass.  This is a way to get around the two FP only rule.

d.      If there is a big ticket ride that you know you will what to ride more than once go there first. If that ride has a Fastpass use the following strategy. If the line is short line early in the morning when you walk into the park get a Fastpass for the ride for a later time and ride the ride right away without using the Fastpass. Come back after the return time to ride the ride a second time.

e.       Be aware that Fastpasses can be given out for the entire day as early as 11 am.

8.    There are quiet spots, or at least quieter spots around the park. Take advantage of them and take a break if the crowds get too much for you. There are several spots around the Rivers of America that are calm and give a pleasant view to look at. New Orleans has some quiet spots hidden on the side streets.

9.     If you have members of your party that are disabled or have diagnosed medical issues such as ADHD, Panic Attacks, Anger Management issues or OCD go into City Hall or Guest Relations and try to get a Guest Assistance Card that will help you get through the lines a little faster by acting as a Fastpass. PLEASE do not ask for this unless you truly need it as they have and will continue to make it difficult on the people who truly need this if it is abused much more. I know many people who truly need this have and have been denied due to others abuse.

10.                       If you plan on staying late go on the big ticket rides during the fireworks (if you don’t wish to see them) or after the fireworks. Families with young children will most likely leave making lines around the park shorter.

11.      Ride all the rides and see all the shops in New Orleans and Critter Country at least one hour before the first Fantasmic show. Those areas are almost impossible to walk around from one hour before the first Fantasmic and stay crowded until about fifteen minutes after the last Fantasmic show of the day.

12.If there is more than one Fantasmic show stay out of Adventureland between the two. That area gets so full nobody moves during the Firework show that is between the Fantasmic shows.

13.  Take the train around if you wish to leave New Orleans after the crowds tie up the area for Fantasmic.

14.   This is a mindset my husband uses to deal with crowds. He has a major problem with crowds and use to not go to amusement parks because of them. If the person next to you is not touching you they do not exist. Ignore them unless they engage you in friendly conversation and then just focus on them. If you are having problems getting into this mind set because all you see are people find a direction to look that has fewer people. It can help to look at the flowers in the flowerbeds.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Silly Symphony Shorts

Silly Symphonies
In 1929 Walt Disney and Carl Stalling came up with the idea of a series of shorts that combined music and animation. The music became central to the story. Between 1929 and 1939 75 Silly Symphonies were made. They were a spring board to the development of feature length animated films. Disney used them to ready the studio for making his first full length film, Snow White.

The Silly Symphonies did not depend on reoccurring or already established characters or themes as Oswald and Mickey Mouse cartoons did. The animators found the Silly Symphony series a pleasant change from working with the same character all the time. It was a challenge they relished.

These became a testing and training ground. They were used as a training ground in work on improving animation techniques in drawing specific effects and or character styles. For example they were used to experiment and stretch the ability to draw fire and water effects as well as a realistic human character. There were used to work on developing characters with personality and practice rhythm and timing. Many of these techniques and technologies were used for years and some are still used today.

The Silly Symphonies were used to try out new technology such as the Multi-Plane Camera. The Multi-Plane Camera was used to give the flat animation depth. The first film to use the Multi-Plane Camera was the Silly Symphony, The Old Mill in 1937. The Multi-Plane Camera was created by Disney animator Ub Iwerks. The last Disney film to use this process was The Little Mermaid in 1989. They were also the first animated film to use color.

These shorts were so well received they received 7 Academy Awards for Short Subject.

Here is a listing of the Silly Symphonies by year:


The Skeleton Dance

El Terrible Toreador


Hell’s Bells

The Merry Dwarfs




Cannibal Capers


Frolicking Fish

Arctic Antics

Midnight in a Toyshop

Monkey Melodies


Playful Pan


Birds of a Feather

Mother Goose Melodies

The China Plate

The Busy Beavers

The Cat’s Out

Egyptian Melodies

The Clock Store

The Spider and the Fly

The Fox Hunt

The Ugly Duckling


The Bird Store

The Bears and the Bees

Just Dogs

Flowers and Trees

King Neptune

Bugs in Love

Babes in the Woods

Santa’s Wrokshop


Birds in the Spring

Father Noah’s Ark

The Three Little Pigs

Old King Cole

Lullaby Land

The Pied Piper

The Night Before Christmas


The China Shop

The Grasshopper and the Ants

Funny Little Bunnies

The Big Bad Wolf

The Wise Little Hen

The Flying Mouse

Peculiar Penguins

The Goddess of Spring


The Tortoise and the Hare

The Golden Touch

The Robber Kitten

Water Babies

The Cookie Carnival

Who Killed Cock Robin?

Music Land

Three Orphan Kittens

Cock o’ the Walk

Broken Toys


Elmer Elephant

Three Little Wolves

Toby Tortoise Returns

Three Blind Mousketeers

The Country Cousin

Mother Pluto

More Kittens


Woodland Café

Little Hiawatha

The Old Mill


The Moth and the Flame

Wynken, Blynken and Nod

Farmyard Symphony


Mother Goose Goes Hollywood.


The Practical Pig

The Ugly Duckling