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Saturday, July 22, 2017
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Sam Gennawey

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Sam Gennawey is an urban planner who has collaborated with communities throughout California over the course of more than 100 projects to create a great, big, beautiful tomorrow. Sam is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Regional Planning History Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving municipal, county, and private sector planning documents from throughout Los Angeles County. Sam is the author of Walt and the Promise of Progress City which you can find on Amazon.
When working on a new book, sometimes you find some really interesting stories that just don't quite seem to fit. However, the stories are too good not to pass along. Welcome to the cutting room floor. ALL ABOARD! Ever notice the...
I realize that the D23 Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit has been running at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for some time now. In fact, the show is due to close on April 30, so if you...
Motion pictures can be an intoxicating and addictive drug for some people. Like a moth to a light, they are drawn into an all consuming passion that can never really be completely satisfied. Carl Laemmle, an immigrant from Bavaria,...
The Disney parks are at their best is when they become the stage where you can live out your cinematic fantasies. Family friendly of course. Disneyland is one of the first examples of virtual reality. In fact, Imagineer Tony...
So what was the most magical year at Disneyland? If you could go back and visit, which year would you choose? Would it be 1959 with a bunch of new attractions? Or 1963? Some would argue that the mid-1980s...
A major milestone in the history of Walt Disney Productions (WDP) occured on April 30, 1969, when the company announced details for “The Vacation Kingdom of the World” in Central Florida. The announcement came from Messer. Roy O. Disney,...
As a historian, it is always nice to review original documents. I recently examined all of Al Lutz's old columns for a book project. One thing that stood out were all of the breakfast suggestions he makes before diving...
It's a Samland double feature today. First up is the story of how Palm Beach almost became home to Disneyland East. Then we find out more about the legendary science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, and his relationship with the...
Looking through my files the other day, I came across an early 1970s Cast Member training manual for Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. In this case, Main Street was describe as the area that included the parking lot, the Main...
As the battles between Disney and the other theme park operators is notched up another level with the introduction of the My Disney Experience program (MyMagic+), it is instructive to see how two of the biggest players are going...
Sam returns with a wonderful grab bag of Disney delights. Some fun and perhaps even surprising facts about Disneyland are shared below. DISNEYLANDERS In 1958, the Disneyland public relations department produced an annual report describing the benefits of Disneyland to the...
Time to step into the Wayback Machine and take a look at how the Walt Disney World public relations team tried to portray the Magic Kingdom just prior to opening. Back in April 1969, it was announced that Disney’s “Vacation...
Sam returns after a week of heavy reading to let us know which books are worth adding to your shelves. Find out what Sam thinks of IT’S KIND OF A CUTE STORY,  EPCOT: THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS,  UNIVERSAL ORLANDO...
Time to return to the right coast (WDW and Universal) and work out my Demons of Happiness that author Ray Bradbury once spoke of. I bring to this challenge my bias as a native Southern Californian and longtime Disneylander....
Like many dedicated Disneylanders, every now and again I must visit that other Mecca of theme parks... Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. So bear with me as I travel through six theme parks in eight days and toss...
When we discover a space that has a higher degree of life, how do we explain how it got there to others? What language do we use? That is the problem that Christopher Alexander tried to solve with the...
I'll admit that I just love Mickey’s Toontown. It is one of my most favorite immersive environments at Disneyland. This is not to be confused with the Toontown Fair out in Florida. I do not shed a tear about...
When you peel back the layers at Disneyland, you find a lot of very interesting stuff that is hidden right in front of your eyes. This week, I am going to take a look at two such treasures, Disneyland’s...
We have spent 4 weeks discovering the history behind the never built Disney's America theme park in Virginia. Michael Eisner was determined to keep his dream alive through a barrage of hurdles, but a brush with death and...
Last week, we took a look at the details and concept art for Disney's America theme park in Virginia. That was how the park would have looked, and it was a long and winding road to get to...