Thursday, January 30, 2014
Mike Peraza will be at Disneyland for Steampunk Days!
Mike Peraza is a Disney art director and concept artist who has worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Television Animation, Disney Comics, Disney Interactive, WED and Disney Fine Art Galleries.
Some of his past work for Disney includes designing multiplane shots for “The Fox and the Hound”, design and layout work on “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”, “The Great Mouse Detective”, “The Black Cauldron”, “Tron”, “Something Wicked this way Comes”, “Return to OZ”, “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast” for feature films. For Disney TV he worked on “DuckTales”, “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers”, “TaleSpin”, “Goof Troop” and “Darkwing Duck”.
Now that I’ve told you about Mike Peraza let me explain Steampunk if you have never heard of it before. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery. This is often sent in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or the American Wild West. Shows like Wild Wild West fit into the Steampunk genre as do the works of Jules Vern, H. G. Wells, Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfield, Stephen Hunt and China Mievill. Steampunk is often a hybrid genre blending Victorian-era faction, art nouveau design and films from the mid-20th century.
On February 22nd, 2014 Mike will be at Disneyland to autograph prints of his original Disney themed Steampunk work. He will be at the Disney Art Gallery on Main Street USA.
Here are links to Mike’s webpages and to the wiki page on Steampunk if you’re interested!
Mike Peraza Portfolio
Mike Peraza Disney Ink & Paint Club Blog
Steampunk Wiki Page
Sunday, January 26, 2014
This is my response to a Fox and Friends story on there being a Christian message in Frozen. I was appalled to hear a Prof at a Baptist University say there are no messages of faith in Disney movies.
Posted by Pranking Pixie at 11:00 PM
Happy Birthday Disney Dream Cruise Ship!!
Today is the birthday of the Disney Dream! The Disney Dream set sail on her maiden voyage January 26th, 2011! The Dream is the 3rd ship in the Disney in the Disney fleet.
The Disney Dream sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida on 3 and 4 day Bahamian cruises with stops at Disney’s privet island, Castaway Cay.
Dream has many firsts for the Disney Cruise Line. It is the first of the second set of ships commissioned for the Disney Cruise Line. It was the first of the fleet to have a non-toxic hull paint that increases fuel efficiency. First water coaster at sea or on land (AquaDuck). Magical Portholes that make even the inside cabins seem like ocenview. An updated Animators Palate Restaurant. Goofy’s 9 Hole Mini-Golf course and sports zone. There is also Enchanted Artwork throughout the ship that comes to life while guests are looking at it.
Jennifer Hudson is the Disney Dream’s Godmother. Jennifer Hudson started her career as an entertainer on the Disney Wonder.
Like the older Disney Ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) there are 3 pools that give separate space for kids, families and adults. There are other areas that are designed for specific groups of people.
Rotational Dining is the standard on all the Disney Ships. You rotate each night between the 3 main dining rooms. Your serving staff follows your rotation and you have the same team each night. This adds continuity to the service and your staff learns quickly what you like. They also watch out for things like food allergies. There are 2 adult only restaurants that you can have brunch or dinner at. Palo is on all the Disney Ships and Remy’s is only on the two newer ships. Your servers do not follow you to Palo or Remy’s and both of them cause extra.
There is lots to do on the Disney Ships from kids clubs for the younger cruisers to tours, spa/salon treatments, shows, dancing, and ale or wine tasting for adults.
So Happy Birthday Disney Dream!!! Fair seas and a following wind be with you!
Broadway caliber stage shows, first run and classic movies or a deck party with fireworks end your days on the ship. There are
Thursday, January 23, 2014
For Immediate Release
Disney Legend and first President of Disneyland Mr. Jack Lindquist is appearing at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn
Los Angeles, CA, January 23, 2014 : Mr. Jack Lindquist, Disney Legend and first President of Disneyland, will be making an appearance at Walt Disney’s Barn located in Griffith Park, CA on February 16th from 1pm – 3pm. Mr. Lindquist will be signing copies of his memoir “In Service to the Mouse” which will be available for purchase at the barn the day of the event.
Mr. Lindquist began his career with Disney in 1955 when Walt Disney himself hired Mr. Lindquist to be the first Marketing Manager at Disneyland. Mr. Lindquist quickly rose through he ranks becoming Director of Marketing, then vice-president of Marketing for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, followed by executive vice-president of marketing and entertainment for Disney’s outdoor recreation activities. Mr. Lindquist took his final climb to the top of the ladder when he became the first president of Disneyland in 1990. Mr. Lindquist retired from the Walt Disney Company in 1993 and was honored later that year with a window on Main Street at Disneyland. In 1994, Mr. Lindquist was inducted into the Disney Legends with Roy E Disney presenting him his award. Bill Barbe, Carolwood Foundation President stated, “We are very excited and looking forward to hosting Jack at Walt Disney's Barn and I know our guests look forward to meeting him and hearing some inside stories about his tenure with the Walt Disney Company and Disneyland."
Walt Disney’s Barn is operated on behalf of the Walt Disney Family Foundation by the non-profit Carolwood Foundation, 501 (c) 3 charity. The foundations purpose is to preserve Walt Disney’s legacy and his love of trains for future generations. Walt Disney’s Barn is located at the Los Angeles Live Steamers property in Griffith Park, CA and is open the third Sunday of every month. Admission is free. For more information on the Carolwood Foundation and Walt Disney’s Barn please visit www.carolwood.org. Mr. Lindquist is available for media interviews the day of his visit – at the barn – to schedule an interview, please email Cathy Bluem at email@example.com or 818.689.6555.
The Joy of Being a Disneyland Annual Passholder
Disneyland often does extra little things for the Annual Passholders. This month in celebration of Sleeping Beauty’s 50th anniversary Disneyland is having a special event for Annual Passholders only.
There will be screening of Sleeping Beauty in the Main Street Opera House. These will be at various times during the day.
After the park closes those who got to see the movie in the Opera House will be allowed to stay and play in Fantasyland for an extra two hours! Because the Opera House is so small this means a very limited number of people will be in Fantasyland that night!
During the extra 2 hours for Annual Passholders only there will also be special character meet and greets available! Maleficent, Aurora, Philip, Flora, Fauna and Meriwether may be found wondering around Fantasyland!
At this time it is only Fantasyland that will be open the extra 2 hours. The rest of the park will be closed at the regularly scheduled time.
Currently Scheduled Fantasyland After Hours Attractions are:
· Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
· Peter Pan’s Flight
· Snow White’s Scary Adventures
· Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
· Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
· King Arthur Carrousel
· Dumbo the Flying Elephant
This list may change and rides listed could be closed and rides not scheduled to be open may be open.
Select restaurants and shops will be open during this extra 2 hours. There will be limited food and shopping choices.
This is one of the wonderful little extras that Disneyland gives to its Annual Passholders. For those of us with Premium APs it helps us feel like we are getting our money’s worth. Not quite enough but it does help.
Check out the link for further information:
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Holiday Magic Lighting
January 6th was the last day for the holiday decorations and shows at the Disneyland Resort. This means that last weekend was the last weekend for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to be lit up.
Often little kids can’t stay awake late enough to see the fireworks. During the holiday season Disney does a special holiday castle lighting with snow early in the evening. There are actually 2 lighting displays before the evening fireworks each night. They are at 7:30 and 8:30 before the evening fireworks.
Here is my video of the evening castle show done on January 5th, 2014.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Meryl Streep Calls Walt Disney Racist and Sexist
As you can most likely tell by my past blog posts I read a lot about Disney History. Not only about the Disney Company but Walt the man. I see Walt as an Uncle figure in my life even though I never got to meet him. The knowledge I have is from reading what those that knew him have said and listening to them speak about him.
Walt Disney was no saint. He could be mean, nasty and an unforgiving boss. He demanded perfection from those that worked with him and expected it. Now this is not to say he was always ranting and raving but he could. He also knew how to drive his employees to greater accomplishments with equal amounts of praise and critique. He was so demanding he caused one of his top animators to have a heart attack! Everybody wanted please Walt. They wanted to please him because it was fun to make the impossible happen for him. They also did not want him to see them fail.
That said Meryl Streep taking the time she had to praise a fellow actress to deliver a speech saying a man over 40 years dead was a bigot, sexist and anti-Semite was ridiculous and insulting to Emma Thompson, who Streep was there to present an award too.
Read it for yourself here:
Let’s start off with the comment Bigot. Walt did pay his black employees less for the same job. That was the norm back in the 1950’s! According to Floyd Norman, first black animator hired by the Disney Studio in the 1950’s the Disney Studio and Walt Disney did not care about race or religion. They cared about what you could do! Could you do the job you were hired to do. Floyd Norman said, “I can attest to the fact that Walt Disney was not racist or anti-Semitic!”
Here Floyd Norman’s reply to the question, “Was Walt and/or the company racist.”
Some use the movie “Song of the South” to say Walt and the Disney Studio were racist. I will disagree! Uncle Remus was the most intelligent, gentle, kind and caring person in the movie! He focused on the children’s safety and moral direction when others were not paying attention to them. Uncle Remus was played by James Baskett. Baskett was nominated for an Academy Award and received an Honorary Academy Award in 1948 for his performance as Uncle Remus. James Baskett died a few months after receiving the Academy Award. According to James’ widow Walt personally checked in on them before he died offering help when he found out James was ill. After he died Walt continued to assist the family. Walt said that Baskett was the best actor he had ever seen. He did not say best black actor, it was best actor period.
Was Walt anti-Semitic? Marty Sklar told a story at D23 when asked that question. Marty is Jewish by birth and practices his faith. On one Saturday Walt called one of his assistance and asked him to get Marty to come into do some work. The assistant told Walt it was a Jewish High Holy Day and Marty was at Temple with his family. The assistant asked Walt if he still wanted him to call Marty. Walt responded without hesitation according to Marty, “No! He is exactly where he should be, at temple with his family. It can wait until Monday.”
Marty Sklar also said, “If anybody had a reason to be anti-Semitic it was Walt. Most of the other studio heads were Jews. It was a Jew that stole Oswald from Walt in 1927. Jewish heads of other studios often grouped together and did not treat Walt fairly.”
I suggest you read Marty’s book “Dream It! Do It!” for further incite and/or check out my blog post from D23 “Working With Walt”. Get the information straight from people that knew and worked with Walt.
Now to tackle the Sexist comment. What about Mary Blare, Alice Davis and Harriet Burns and others that worked side by side with men to make the movies and magic at the parks. These women were leaders in the Disney Studios and some of the first employees of Disney Imagineering back in the 1950’s when many women were still at home being wives and mothers.
Sure blacks and women did not get paid the same amount as the “white” employees but that was what it was like at that time! It was a time when things were changing, I know because I was grew up in the 60’s. I saw the changes in society happen. I saw the fight it took to make the changes and even though I’m white I stood up for others and demanded fairness.
Walt Disney had hundreds if not thousands of employees at a time. He did not know the pay of each and every one of them. He did not babysit his payroll department and make sure they paid equal pay for equal jobs. That was unheard of back then. When it was brought to his attention I heard he set policy in place to stop the practice and make things fair.
An example of Walt not knowing what his employees were paid or if the salary offered was what was paid is Rolly Crump. Rolly is white but it shows Walt was unaware of payroll. In his book, “It’s Kind of a Cute Story” Rolly talks about how he was promised one salary and when he took the job he was told it was actually substantially less. A long time later Walt was talking to Rolly and the subject of salary came up and Walt was made aware of the pay cut. Walt corrected the pay from that day forward.
So when thinking about calling Walt a bigot, racist, sexist or anti-Semitic consider the source of your information. Is it coming from someone who knew him or second hand? Is it coming from your or someone else's view of the movies? Well, many movies (Disney and non-Disney) made in the 1920s-1950’s had gags, characters or scenes that we would now consider racist, sexist and inappropriate, truly politically incorrect. Look at what was social acceptable at the time the movies were made. What was in other movies, animated and live action at that time? What was the point of the movie? Was the, now thought of as inappropriate sequence pivotal to the story or just a gag to get a laugh? Is "Gone with the Wind" any less a classic if you consider the racist, sexist overtones in it? I think not! It is and will always be a classic. It is the same with Disney.
Back in the early days of the Disney Studio separate but equal was beginning to be the norm in American society. Walt still haired by ability not race or religion. Listen again to Floyd Norman. He was told that Disney did not hire Jew’s or Blacks and yet when he was hired he found plenty of Latino and Jewish animators already working there. Floyd was the first black animator hired at the studio and was treated like everybody else!
Walt is dead and gone. He cannot be hurt by this silly talk. Those that should be and are most likely offended by Meryl’s tirade are, Emma Thompson, the Disney Family and those that personally knew Walt and called him friend. I hope Meryl Streep will reconsider her words and think twice before speaking again. While I think Meryl is a wonderful actor I think she needs to do so research before speaking.
Tinder Rides at the Disneyland Resort!
What is a Tinder Ride, you ask? Tinder Ride is a ride on the “Tinder Car” of the train. The Tinder Car is the car directly behind the engine that carries water and fuel.
When Walt Disney designed his original two engines (both built by WED Engineering aka Disney Imagineering) Walt had seats put on the Tinder Cars so he could have his friends and VIP guests ride up there while he drove the trains. Walt loved to show off his trains!
There are still plenty of train enthusiasts that love sitting behind the engineers and watching them drive the powerful locomotive around Disneyland. Disneyland has continued to share Walt’s love of trains with guests by allowing them to ride on the Tinder Cars when it is safe to do so. There are no Tinder Rides when they are refueling, doing a blowdown or during a shift change.
Up until last year only the original trains built by WED had seats on the Tinder Car. You could only ride the Tinder on the #1 C. K. Holiday and the #2 E. P. Ripley locomotives. In 2013 Disneyland altered the Tinder Car on the #4 Earnest S. Marsh locomotive to add one more locomotive for giving Tinder Rides. The #3 Fred Greely and the #5 Ward Kimball still do not have seats on their Tinder Cars and it may not be possible to accommodate seats on them do to the Engine/Tinder car configuration. There is just not enough room between the Engine and Tinder to allow it.
For our anniversary this year we took a Tinder Ride and were excited that the train we got to ride on was the #4 Earnest S. Marsh! We have already ridden on the Tinder Cars of the other 2 trains.
The Tinder on the Earnest S. Marsh is much closer to the engineer than on the Holiday and Ripley. This offers you the chance to have more of a conversation with the engineers as you ride. It is truly an enjoyable experience!
So how do you get a Tinder Ride? Ask! Just go up to the first Conductor you see at the Main Street Train Station and ask if they are doing Tinder Rides that day. The Conductor will check and find out if they are doing them and about how long it will be before you can ride. You may have to sit around the Main Street Station for a couple of hours before you get on. It all depends the needs of the locomotive and engineers. If they need to do a blowdown (let off steam to clear out hard gunky water) you cannot ride for safety reason. If they are refueling you cannot be on the Tinder because of safety concerns. If there is going to be a shift change you can’t ride because they want you to have the continuity of one engineer being your guide. So you may need to wait for the train to go around a couple of times before you get on. Each trip around the park is about 20 minutes. Only two people (or two adults and a small child) can ride the Tinder at a time.
On the Tinder Ride you will hear the history of Disneyland from the view point of the trains circling the park. You will hear why there is a train, how it has changed and how it being there has affected the design of attractions at the edge of the park near the tracks. The engineer will share history and interesting facts about the park and trains. You can also learn about the workings of a steam engine and how it shaped the country. What you hear depends on the questions you ask and the engineer driving the train. It is never exactly the same twice. The Tinder Ride last about 20 minutes or one complete circle of the park. On our last Tinder Ride we asked a lot about the workings of a steam engine and how to drive a locomotive.
Here is our video of our Tinder Ride on the #4 Earnest S. Marsh:
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Disney “Retires” the Billys a Piece of Disney Magic Lost
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies has been entertain guests at the Disneyland Park for over 20 years. There unique blend of bluegrass, rock and even classical music with comedy brought smiles to tens of thousands of people to the park over the years.
The humor of the Billys is not for everybody, and those that don’t like it can easily avoid it. Their humor is clean with just enough “adult” content to keep the adults in the audience interested without leaving mom and dad explaining things to the young uns. Kids love the physical slapstick humor and the music captures their minds. This is the type of classic entertainment Walt Disney wanted in his park. It fits in the Golden Horseshoe of Disneyland’s Frontierland perfectly! The Golden Horseshoe was designed with this type of show in mind.
On November 6th, 2013, in the Disney Parks Blog, Disney announced they were going to “Retire” the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show on January 6th, 2014. Fans of the Billies reacted quickly and decisively. Petitions were set up on line, calls and visits to Disneyland’s Guests relations were made. As of today Disneyland management has not listened to the guests. It is obvious to those of us that have been around the Billys and watch their Facebook page that the boys do not want to retire and love being at Disneyland. The Billys never said anything against Disney’s decision but it is clear they would rather stay.
I’ll not go into details here as I’ve shared the story before. Just let me say the Billys hold a special spot in my heart as they helped me keep my daddy alive for an extra 9 years by giving him something other than the daily pain and disappointment to think about. The Billys gave dad a reason to get out of bed and live. Thank God for the Billys! God Bless them!
Yesterday was the final show of the Billies at Disneyland. The crowds packed out the Big Thunder Ranch stage area and tears were shed as the Billies gave their last performance at Disneyland. Nobody was disappointed at this amazing bands final show.
So what is next for the Billies?? Kirk Wall, one of the founding members of the Billies and other members of the Billies played New Year’s Eve at Knott’s Berry Farm! People flocked to the park to see them. Many people that usually go to Disneyland headed to Knotts to see the Billies perform as Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. It is possible the Hillbillies will perform at Knotts instead of Disneyland in the future.
There is still a chance that Disneyland will change their opinion. The amazing show of support by the fans yesterday may make Disneyland Management rethink retiring such an Guest pleasing show! The only way Disney will change their mind is if the fans keep the pressure on. Keep calling and going into City Hall and telling Guest Relations you want the Billys back!
I want Disney to keep the Billys but I want the Billys to be respected! Disney’s first mistake was taking the show from being a free flowing show where the Billys could adapt the show to the guests reactions to a tightly scripted repeating event. It is not as much fun to go see the Billys now that they are forced to sing the same songs in the same order with the same patter.
The second mistake was to put them in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree Stage. Yes, there is room for more people to see them but fewer and less comfortable seats. There is little shade and constant distractions from the show. At all times there are characters walking around during the show. Kids see Mickey, Minnie or one of the other characters walking about and they go screaming with joy (as they should). This is ok but distracting to those that came to enjoy the Billys music and humor. Besides the characters there are games and crafts going on. The Disneyland Railroad runs just the other side of a hedge and blows its whistle as it goes past, it does not matter if the show is going on. The train must blow its whistle there for safety purposes.
During the holidays things get even worse. There is the Conjure a Villain Tent behind the audience during Halloween. Every 25-30 minutes there is a great BOOM from the Villain Tent, even during the middle of a show. There is a pumpkin carver and again more games and crafts. Christmas brings Santa along with even more games and crafts!
I say that all the distractions and the poor seating is disrespectful to the guests and the Billys! I believe if Disney will let the Billys go back to the quality show they were doing 3-4 years ago and return them to the Golden Horseshoe where they belong it is a win win for fans, the Billys and Disneyland. If they will not respect the guests and the Billys by allowing the Billys to do what they do best then God bless the Hillbillies wherever they perform! Hopefully Knotts will hire them.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Best Friends FOREVER ~ Romantic NEVER!
Magical Things Happen at Disneyland
Best Friends FOREVER ~ Romantic NEVER! That was our mantra! A friend set us up. From the start we refused to think of each other in a romantic way. We were just very good friends for one crazy year. I helped him study for collage and we had fun hanging out together with friends.
After a year of friendship and helping my best pal graduated collage I decided to take him to Disneyland to celebrate his amazing achievement. We enjoyed a day of fun together. Two friends, no handholding, no googly eyes and absolutely NO kissing! Just, Best Friends!
Dinner time came around and we decided to enjoy a meal at the French Market Café in New Orleans Square overlooking the Rivers of America. Time to sit and enjoy good food, a good friend and some great jazz! As we sat and talked the Royal Street Bachelors played on. After a short time the band started to play love songs and they dedicated them to US!! After the first song we laughed and told them we were just friends and not in love. They smiled and kept on playing the love songs for us! We told them Best Friends FOREVER ~ Romantic NEVER and they told us they had the Disney Magic and knew we were in LOVE. WE RAN!!!
A week after our Best Friends day at Disneyland we were officially dating. 6 months later we were married! This weekend we celebrate our 34th anniversary! I guess we could blame it on the Mouse!
To make things even more fun last year we were talking to a member of a band that plays at Disney California Adventure. We told him our Disney love story and told us he was a member of the Royal Street Bachelors at that time! It is quite possible that Ralf of the Ellis Island Boys (aka Reynolds Brothers Rhythm Rascals) was the one that told us we were in love! We do believe it he is to blame!
There is a new post in Pixie's Faith!
Mary Poppins ~ A Call to Love
Posted by Pranking Pixie at 6:53 AM
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Frozen 3D or Regular!
How would you watch this movie?
If you are like me you don’t always jump at seeing movies in 3D. Why spend the extra money and put on funny glasses to watch a movie when you can enjoy it just as well viewing it traditionally projected? For some movies I believe it makes them too overwhelming. This is especially of concern if you have a family member with Autism Spectrum or a similar issue. With Frozen I think the extra is well worth it! It is not overwhelming but it does add to the depth of the movie.
Don’t get me wrong I like 3D and think it has its uses. Some movies are designed just for 3D and are best viewed that way. Frozen can be viewed and is beautiful in the traditional flat projection. But the 3D adds a depth that is amazing! For some filmmakers 3D is just an excuse to use stupid gags that truly do not add to the story or enjoyment of the film. That is not the case with Frozen!
I saw Mickey Mouse – Get a Horse in 3D at the 2013 D23 Expo in August. This classic Mickey Mouse short accompanies Frozen. I thought the short was AMAZING!! The 3D effects really made the entire short unbelievable. To go from “flat” black and white hand drawn animation to CGI full color 3D was something that blew my mind! I was sad my husband did not get to see this in 3D at the D23 Expo with me. (He was covering another event for me.) I believe this short is a MUST SEE in 3D!!! I was excited to take him to see Frozen and Mickey – Get a Horse. I was disappointed that we saw it first in traditional projection.
Opening day of Frozen (actually the night before) we went to see it and because my husband usually does not like 3D (they usually bother his eyes) we chose to see it traditionally projected. He was blown away by Mickey – Get a Horse! He thought the effects were fantastic. I knew they were nothing compared to the 3D! I decided we HAD to go see it in 3D! We finally did yesterday. Let me say my husband was not disappointed and neither was I! There is an amazing difference!!
The smoothness of the 3D of Mickey – Get a Horse and Frozen is amazing. Many 3D films cheat at being 3D. If you were to take your glasses off during most close up sequences of 3D movies you would see that it is not in 3D at that moment. In fact much of a “3D” movie is not in 3D. Only the scenes requiring the use of 3D to add depth to visual effect or a scene using a sight gag of something flying out of the screen at the audience have the 3D.
During my viewing of Frozen in 3D I lifted my 3D glasses at random times to see if the scene was 3D. Many times I lifted them were close ups of the type that usually are cheated and 3D not used in most films. The main focus, head shots of characters talking were clear but the background was clearly in 3D. When I put the glasses back on the added depth was startling and beautiful. In traditional the same scene is as beautiful but flat and not as “deep” and amazing.
In my opinion Frozen is a movie well worth spending the extra to see in 3D. In fact I told my husband I want to save up for a 3D TV so in the future I can watch this wonderful movie at home in 3D. This is the first time I’ve ever felt 3D was worth bringing into my home.
Here are links to my past posts about Frozen and Mickey – Get a Horse:
Frozen – No Spoiler Review
Mickey – Get a Horse
I also did a post on Frozen in my faith based blog Pixie’s Faith.
If you wish to see a Biblical application of Frozen you can check it out here: