View RSS Feed

Dateline Disneyland

D23 at the Walt Disney Studios, DCA progress, Jack hits the road, Cosmic Waves, +MORE

Rate this Entry
by , 06-28-2009 at 09:12 PM
Welcome to the June 29th edition of Dateline Disneyland! This week we'll be taking you along with us on our tour of the Walt Disney Studios and Archives which D23 hosted this weekend in Burbank, California. But don't worry, we'll check in at Disneyland as well as the former Cosmic Waves reopens as a new shaded seating area. We'll also update you on the construction over at Disney's California Adventure, as more and more earth is moved around in the upcoming World of Color viewing area, and big, green dinosaur hits the road to Yesterland.

Of course, all of the Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure construction projects are tagged with Project Tracker watermarks. Clicking on these watermarked images will link you up with the Project Tracker threads on MiceChat, where you can get the latest information and discussion on these and any other projects going on around the Resort.

We'll hit up the Walt Disney Studios first. Let's get to it!

The fine folks over at D23, the official community for Disney fans, went above and beyond to add even more tour opportunities for their members this weekend after massive demand caused tours to fill up in mere seconds last week. The tours this weekend were comprised of small groups and knowledgeable guides who went through the charming Disney Studios campus, getting behind-the-scenes walking tours through the studio lot, sound stages, the Disney Legends Plaza, and more.

Clicking on the Studio Tour photos will take you to the photo's Flickr page, where high-res downloads can be found, for a closer look or for personal desktop wallpaper.

Our tour began at the Frank G. Wells building, where we met up with Walt Disney Archives Founder and Director Dave Smith.

Dave talked about his job with the Company and how the Archives were started. Dave truly seems to be living his dream job, and really appeared delighted to show us some extremely rare and very unique items from Disney history. This Mickey Mouse notepad was one of Mickey's first forays into consumer products.

Truly, a monumental piece of Disney history: the original script of "Steamboat Willie"

And an original background of "Podunk Landing" from "Steamboat Willie"

Another background, this time from Mickey's first cartoon, "Plane Crazy"

Walt always said that "it all started with a mouse," but Mickey might never have happened without Oswald. Here, Dave shares one of the few Oswald the Lucky Rabbit consumer products released while Walt was still in control of the rights -- a stencil set.

A hand-drawn sketch of Mickey Mouse, by Walt Disney.

Of course, Disneyland is also a massive part of Disney history, and Dave knew what we locals wanted to see. Below, he shares with us a July 17, 1955 Press Invitation

A July 17th "Disneyland Premiere" parking pass

An A-C Disneyland ticket book.

But where would Disneyland be without Audio Animatronics figures? Dave told us about this little bird cage, complete with a mechanical bird that sings and chirps with an animated mouth and how, after being discovered by Walt, was the spark that helped launch the development of Audio Animatronics, bringing us attractions like "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," Pirates of the Caribbean, and bringing the birds full-circle, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room.

One of Walt's Academy Awards:

Outside of the Archives, in the Frank G. Wells building, the original Multiplane Camera was on display.

Display cases showed off some costumes from recent Disney live action films

Another display case had "Hats off to Disney," showcasing important hats in Disney history, including this original Mouseketeer hat.

After the Archives and the Frank G. Wells building lobby, we began our walking tour of the Studio Lot.

We got an inside look at Stage 3, where the giant squid scenes from 20,000 Leages Under the Sea were filmed.

The Animation building had floors featuring Steamboat Willie

The imposing Team Disney Burbank was our final stop on the tour.

Here, the D23 folks gave us a little gift to commemorate our tour, a patch that Disney Lot security wears.

The Disney Legends Plaza lies before the entrance to Team Disney Burbank.

On the way out, our tour stopped off at Pluto's Corner, where the famous Studio street sign stands.

I'd like to sum up by saying that D23 really put together a great little tour for its members. While we certainly didn't get to see everything (heck, did we even really dent it?) the tour guides were informative, friendly, and approachable making the tour a truly enjoyable and unique experience. The parting gift was a great touch, and a wonderful little extra bonus for D23 members who were already being treated to some of the first real "public" tours of the Walt Disney Studio. Thanks to Steven Clark and the D23 team for putting together an excellent, memorable experience and for going the extra mile to squeeze in extra tours without affecting the overall experience.

Are you 23? If you live in California, and are available to attend the great D23 events like this, you probably should be!

A short drive south of the Walt Disney Studios, Disneyland is running at top speed, in full summer mode.

The Celebrate! A Street Party not-a-parade has added two new small units, bookending the procession.

Pluto, Chip, and Dale round out the end of the parade

Celebrate you, but not this parade.

The former Cosmic Waves fountain area in Tomorrowland has reopened with its new planters and seating area encircling the remaining water marble.

The water sphere is as popular as ever, especially in the hot summer months. And the new trees provide some nice shade in an area of Tomorrowland that was previously a big heat trap.


The tacky Dinosaur Jack's Sunglass Shack is now officially part of Yesterland and is now completely removed.

The Golden Zephyr gives a good view of area construction and demolition:

See ya later, Jack!

A look at World of Color construction from the Golden Zephyr:

And viewing area construction from the Paradise Pier bridge:

The new Disney Studio 365 has opened in Downtown Disney, taking over the former Club Libby Lu location:

For more information, or to make reservations click here.

Last week, we told you that the Main Street Magic Shop would soon be closing. Well, plans have changed, and the store will remain open, selling whatever remaining stock of magic toys and souvenirs it has until a replacement product supplier can be found. Let's hope it's soon so that the store doesn't have to rely on glow necklaces and light up Sorcerer Mickey hats to fill its shelves for too long.

The souvenir cart in Fantasyland has been replaced with a themed version:

And Plaza Pavilion looks like its getting some work done inside as it prepares to become the full-time Annual Passport Center after the Bank of Main Street closes later this summer to become the new home of The Disney Gallery.

Town Square has new red, white, and blue flowers for the Independence Day holiday

And to finish up our photo section this week, some shots from around the park. These are clickable! -- Click to be taken to their Flickr photo page where you can download high-resolution copies for your computer desktop, etc.

For a complete listing of theme park hours, please visit the Theme Park Calendar
Disneyland Park
Monday - Sunday: 8 am - 12 midnight

Disney's California Adventure Park
Monday - Friday 10 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 9 pm
Disneyland Park
  • Magical - Fireworks Spectacular: Show dark July 2 - 5 for Fourth of July fireworks shows.
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures: Closed through July 3
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey: Closed July 20 through August 14.
  • The Enchanted Cottage: Closed July 29 through November 17.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: Closed August 31 through November 20.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: Closed August 31 through November 20.
  • Remember... Dreams Come True - A Fireworks Spectacular: On hiatus. Returns fall 2009.
  • Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years/Main Street Opera House: Closed. Reopens as The Disneyland Story: Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln December 17, 2009.

Disney's California Adventure Park
  • Cocina Cucomonga: Food service location closed June 18, when new location opened. Original location reopens with new Asian-style menu September 14.
  • Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar: Closed to change exhibits July 10 - 15.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Golden Dreams theater is scheduled for demolition to make way for new attraction.
  • Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
  • Orange Stinger: Closes July 27 to be rethemed as Silly Symphony Swings. Reopens April 28, 2010.
  • Paradise Bay: Drained for construction of upcoming Disney's World of Color show.
  • Disney's World of Color Nighttime Spectacular: New show under construction. Debuts Spring 2010.
  • Golden State Park and Amphitheater: Closed. New, larger amphitheater for Disney's World of Color viewing under construction in same location. The new amphitheater will open December 2009.

MiceChat needs YOU to nominate your favorite Anaheim Resort Area hotel for its Best of Anaheim Awards. What's your favorite place to stay when you visit Disneyland? Let us know and be part of MiceChat's Best of Anaheim Awards

MiceChat's "Best of Anaheim" Awards - Hotels

The Orange County Register has a really cool info-graphic on the inner workings of Disneyland's iconic Matterhorn mountain.

GRAPHIC: An exclusive look inside the Matterhorn
As any member of the media who covers Disneyland knows, the public relations folks there are vehement in their refusal to allow backstage photos.

But, many times, you can explain more with an artistís rendering anyway. Videographer Mark Eades, Photographer Joshua Sudock and I took a trip into the bowels of the Matterhorn last week for a story in celebration of that rideís 50th anniversary.

We came out with not only a lot of good details about how the ride functions and its history, but with some sketches and visual notes that we handed over to our crack graphic artist Scott Brown.

These, coupled with his own research, allowed him to turn out a detailed schematic showing the guts of one of the most famous landmarks in Orange County ó producing an image more detailed than any Iíve found on the Web.
For the complete info graphic, check out the Orange County Register's Around Disney blog: GRAPHIC: An exclusive look inside the Matterhorn

D23 has a great article by Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar about Disney's huge 1959 line-up, both inside and outside of Disneyland:

[ . . . ] The spectacular opening of "Disneyland '59" included Music Man composer-conductor Meredith Willson, leading 76 trombones playing his signature song on Main Street, USA, and vice-president Richard Nixon and his family joining Walt to cut the ribbon starting the Monorail's journeys. Media coverage almost universally sounded this enthusiastic note from The Bakersfield Californian: "At Disneyland's opening four years ago, Walt Disney said his Magic Kingdom would never be completed, that there would always be something new and different for visitors to enjoy. The latest chapters in this continuing growth have now been unveiled ó in "Disneyland '59." Six spectacular new attractions, built at a cost of $6 million, are now in full operation at Walt Disney's wonderland, encompassing the greatest enlargement of the park since its opening on July 13, 1955."

Walt was especially proud of his Disneyland expansion. He enjoyed pointing out that the new submarine fleet (now Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage) was the eighth-largest "submersible" armada in the world. And when King Baudouin of Belgium visited Disneyland and asked Walt why his Matterhorn had holes in it (for passage through by the Skyway), Walt replied, "Because it's a Swiss mountain."

And oh yes: 1959 also saw the debut, in Disneyland's ticket books of the day, of the quintessential "E" Ticket. Years later, long after it had earned its place as an American slang phrase, Astronaut Sally Ride immortalized the phrase when she called her first journey into space "a real 'E Ticket' ride!" [ . . . ]
For the full article, check out D23: DATELINE DISNEY: 1959

Alrighty, that wraps up this week's Dateline Disneyland. Thank you for reading and be sure to discuss this week's update in the comments section below.

As always, many thanks to those who have donated to Dateline Disneyland. Your donations keep these updates coming, and without you they couldn't happen. We all know times are tough, so any amount of support helps. If you can donate to Dateline Disneyland please consider doing so via a safe and quick PayPal donation. To donate, click here.

And don't forget - Dateline Disneyland is also on Twitter! If you still haven't checked us out on Twitter, head over there today and see why over 3,300 other Disneyland fans have already started following Dateline Disneyland! The Dateline Disneyland Twitter is updated throughout the week with links to breaking news, mini updates, photos, and links to newsworthy MiceChat discussions. Head over to, or check out the widget to the right to follow us!

See you here again soon!
- Andy

Are you a weekly reader of Dateline Disneyland?
Does Dateline Disneyland help provide your weekly Disneyland fix? If so, consider donating to Dateline Disneyland so the updates can keep coming. You can donate any amount through a quick and safe PayPal donation. Thanks for your support! CLICK HERE TO DONATE

| | |

Submit "D23 at the Walt Disney Studios, DCA progress, Jack hits the road, Cosmic Waves, +MORE" to Digg Submit "D23 at the Walt Disney Studios, DCA progress, Jack hits the road, Cosmic Waves, +MORE" to Submit "D23 at the Walt Disney Studios, DCA progress, Jack hits the road, Cosmic Waves, +MORE" to StumbleUpon Submit "D23 at the Walt Disney Studios, DCA progress, Jack hits the road, Cosmic Waves, +MORE" to Google


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1. Melonballer's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    great report.
  2. Original Epcot's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great report indeed.
    Can you give us a more precise timeline of the visit and on your progression on the lot ?
    Did you get into some buildings ?
    Did you see Walt's office ?
    How many people were in your group ?
    Was the Disney Store open :-) ?

    Thanks you so much in advance,
  3. JerrodDRagon's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update!!!! Cant wait til next weeks!!!
  4. orbitalpunk's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thank you thank for the Studio Tour report.

    Tonight I heard slightly different info regarding the Magic Shop
  5. 2DieFR's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks for putting DD together as always, Andy. Mondays just aren't complete without that little +MORE in 'em.
  6. anaheimrocker's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    great i always look forward to these
  7. pussnboots's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Wow, the Animation building is very stylish, isn't it.
  8. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update!
  9. WheresMickey's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great report!
  10. sjdimon's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    I noticed in the picture of the Mouse ears that they referred to "The Big Mooseketeer", and they also mentioned Jimmie Dodd. I don't believe that Jimmie Dodd was the "Big Mooseketeer" - that was Roy Williams. Jimmie was the singer/MC of the original Mickey Mouse Club (or MMC) - but he was not "The Big Moosketeer".
  11. gadzuux's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    So I've been seeing this listed for months now ...

    >> The Enchanted Cottage: Closed July 29 through November 17. <<

    What's "The Enchanted Cottage"? An attraction? I've never heard of it.
  12. vraquel's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Thanks so much for the studio pics. I was given a tour back in 1997 when I was an intern for Disney Adventures Magazine. What my tour missed, however, was the one pic that gave me chills--the multiplane camera. Still beautiful after all this time. As much as I love the art of Disney, it's the technology behind it that's always fascinated me more. Thanks again!
  13. D.E.1955's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    WOW!!! the matterhron thing is neat! =D
  14. disneyanabuff's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Another fantastic update! Thanks so much for posting these each and every week. They really complete my Mondays!

    Oh, and thanks for the wonderful Studio pics. They truly are amazing...From the east coast, I wish I could be there!
  15. duanesm's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    So fun to see the stuff inside the studios. I got to take a tour of the studios with Dave (he actually led us everywhere) back in 1999 when I was one of the last Disney Store Cast Members to participate in the National Disney Trivia Competition.

    Dave is such an amazing man and his love of every piece of Disney history shows on his face. I remember when he took us through the prop and costume stage and allowed us to try on some really iconic pieces--I had a photo taken with The Rocketeer's helmet on, sitting in the sleigh from "The Santa Clause." I also have a photo of me holding Walt's Oscar from "The Living Desert."

    Your pictures and updates are always so wonderful to enjoy, and the pictures of the studio remind me of a highlight of my life.
  16. fcanfield's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink

    I'm glad you think the folks at D23 are fine, I am of the opposite opinion. I joined D23 on the first day and have received several mailings but have not been able to register on-line for a single event. I think these are a scam only reserved for their "Friends" much like another Disney Organization I used to belong to.

    I tried to go to UP at the El Capitan - Sorry this sold out yesterday was the response I got.

    On June 15th, will out of town on a trip I paid $12. to get on the Internet during lunch for the Disney tour that you were invited on and got - Sorry all sold out!

    Today I tried at 11 am P"S"T (10am PDT) but no response. at 11:02am PDT I got through and entered all the requested registration and got a message back that there were technical problems and to call 866 229 2386. I did this and they didn't know anything about the event and put me on hold. When he got back to me all he said was that is was sold out!

    I have also tried the Lion King in Las Vegas which again is sold out.

    As a first day member are there going to any benefits we can partake in besides the EXPO
  17. richqrp's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    i did the very same thing this morning. however i did not get through until 11:04 and then just got the message, "sold out" the thing i do not understand is, how were others using this link when i could not even get through?
  18. Rocker's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great pics, and great shot from around the Disney Studios!
  19. MickeyMousePal's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    Great Update, Andy.
  20. wdwnut4life's Avatar
    • |
    • permalink
    great pics lucky u to go there
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast