Let’s do something a little bit different today. Let’s just step in the time machine and look at OLD photos. I’m going to bring you a a photo essay of the construction of Expedition Everest, beginning in 2004.
There’s no hidden agenda or implied commentary with these pictures. For once, I’m really just looking at them and enjoying the historical view. We’ll start at the beginning and work our way forward.
January 3, 2004:
March 9, 2004:
May 19, 2004:
July 10, 2004:
August 28, 2004:
September 15, 2004:
October 23, 2004:
November 20, 2004:
December 19, 2004:
January 2, 2005:
January 20, 2005:
February 5, 2005:
February 27, 2005:
March 19, 2005:
April 15, 2005:
May 1, 2005:
May 15, 2005:
June 18, 2005:
July 2, 2005:
August 5, 2005:
September 30, 2005:
October 22, 2005:
November 12, 2005:
December 24, 2005:
The ride opened on January 26, 2006 for previews. Thanks for coming along for our time capsule photo essay!
Free Online Class: Fairy Tales
Some of you know that my “day job” is in Higher Education. Among the classes I teach is one on Fairy Tales, with focus on Disney, Grimms, and Perrault. This college class is now available to the general public, and it’s completely free! There’s not even a book to buy for the class!
The class is a massive open online course (MOOC) and is administered through canvas.net - it’s free to sign up and take the class! It’s a four-week course starting on August 5.
Here’s the schedule:
Week 1 – Cinderella
Week 2 – Snow White and Sleeping Beauty
Week 3 – Rapunzel and the Frog Princess
Week 4 – Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast
The class was built to expect about two hours of engagement/interaction (“work”) per week, so it’s not meant to overload the participants with chores and duties. In that sense, it’s less rigorous than my regular college classes. The class doesn’t have any required (synchronous) meetings; you do the work whenever you want within the week.
This course does not have a completion certificate – you’d be taking it just for the fun of it. There aren’t any papers or projects. While the class does offer quizzes and discussion boards, there isn’t really a rigorous process to “pass” the course since there isn’t a certificate offered anyway.
The class is, however, experimental in a different sense: it’s got game elements in it. We added badges and group competition, as well as Easter eggs, throughout the class. Each group is named after one of Walt’s seven dwarfs–it works a lot like the Harry Potter “house” competition, where individuals can earn badges for the whole group. This should be fun!
Please feel free to sign up and spread the word. I can’t wait to share with you what these fairy tales used to mean and how they’ve been changed for modern audiences!! Sign up here: https://www.canvas.net/courses/fairy-tales-origins-and-evolution-of-princess-stories#enroll_form
The Original Grimms
Do you love the Disney movies? Then you’re going to love finding out where those stories came from and how they evolved… and it will surprise you greatly! I’ve got a new book out this year, and it’s something I’ve been working on for ten years. It’s a collection of the Grimms fairy tales, but it’s guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever read before. This is the first-ever translation in English of the Grimms fairy tales as they appeared in the Grimms’ working manuscript. These were the stories as told to the Grimms directly; these are the tales, in other words, that truly capture the spirit and intended messages of these peasant stories.
The version of Grimms fairy tales that you’ve read before (if you’ve read them at all) is actually a translation of the seventh edition published by the Grimms. They changed the stories constantly, and it’s a revelation to view them in their original, unexpurged state.
Ever wonder why Cinderella’s prince can’t just recognize his dancing partner by face? You’ll learn the answer by reading the original and comparing it to the final version in Grimms. The Disney movie was not based on Grimms so much as another fairy tale author named Perrault, but our comparison of the Grimms versions reveals the underlying moral message which explains the princes actions in all versions, including the Disney movie.
To give you just a taste of what this book holds, consider the case of Snow White. You may think of this at the moment as a story about true love, probably due to the influence of the Disney movie. The fairy tale in the published Grimms collection is gruesome by comparison, with the evil stepmother punished for her sins with torture and death. But this was not the original Grimms story. My book will let you see the story as it appeared in the manuscript, which is different still. Gone is the stepmother, and gone is the prince as rescuer. Serving those same functions in the original story are the girl’s mother and father. If you consider that for a moment, you’ll recognize that this changes the story dramatically. It’s now a family drama, and the queen is jealous of her own daughter’s beauty. The implication is that she is worried about losing her man to the more beautiful girl. Yes, there’s a minor implication of incest in the original story, made stronger by the fact that the father does rescue the girl at the end and puts his own wife to death. Squeamish about all of these messages, the Grimms hastily replace the mother with a stepmother, and the father with a prince from the outside.
That’s not all. The Grimms kept tinkering with the story. When it was first published in the 1812 edition, the father is absent from the story, and a prince rescues Little Snow White. However, in this early version, the girl is not jolted awake when taken from the dwarfs. Rather, her coffin is carted about the prince’s castle so he can look upon her whenever he wished, and abusive servants, irritated that they had to shoulder her weight constantly, smacked her corpse in anger and accidentally dislodged the magical bit of apple.
Now that you know the true origins of Snow White, won’t it be hard to view the story the same way in the future?
This book will hopefully have an effect on readers just like that for all the stories discussed. It looks at the original and final versions of several popular tales, including Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, and the Frog King, which was the source material for Disney’s movie the Princess and the Frog.
An essay accompanies each translation to put the different versions into context, provide some cultural analysis, and also compare both text versions to more popular modern retellings, including Disney animated features, if there is one for that tale. We even look at other Disney fairy tale movies, even if they don’t originate from the Grimms. Accordingly, you’ll find a discussion of Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, and the Little Mermaid. The little mermaid interpretation in particular may surprise and even shock readers.
The book is 114 pages long and can be purchased at Amazon.com and several international Amazon websites. It retails for $6.99. You will also find the book available as an e-book for Kindle devices, or the free Kindle-for-PC software. The Kindle version costs $5.99.
More information and updates
Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History. Readers are invited to connect with him online and face to face at the following locations:
- UltimateOrlando.com – Kevin’s personal blog for daily WDW updates
- Public Facebook page – or friend his personal Facebook account
- Twitter feed (user UltOrlando)
- Google+ account (user cafeorleans)
- Email at [email protected]
- Weekly Walt Disney World, a Facebook group of regulars who visit Disney World each weekend. Visitors from out of town are encouraged to come and say hello when in Orlando! Join the FB group to learn when/where the next meet is.
- Kevin’s books on Amazon