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  1. #31

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by localdisnyfan View Post
    I've been watching the new Secrets of Disneyland DVD set for the past week, and I liked Tony Baxter's comment regarding how if they took something out, their goal was to replace it with something better. It's really hard to see how they are going to do that in this situation. The gallery was one of my favorite places to hang out. Now it's gone, remodeled so that a select few can enjoy it instead. As for the staircase, I really felt that it added to the look of the front of the building. How they can justify ripping it out is beyond me. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Maybe they'll surprise us with something that looks better.

    In the mean time, I think the whole idea sucks.
    Agreed.

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  2. #32

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    Opus, great post! I never knew about the INA suite. I always thought that Walt's suite remained unfinished. From that article, I was clearly mistaken. Do you have any additional pictures of the INA suite? I would love to see how the rest of the suite looked. Oh, and 4,200 square feet? I'm not great at math, but that sounds much larger than the gallery and its patio seemed.
    Yep. The popular public perception (often helped along by incorrect or incomplete information dished out by Disneyland Tour Guides and others) is that the Suite was "never finished." They were indeed finished. They were just never used by the Disney family as originally intended. But they were used by INA for many, many years.

    As far as the square footage of the Suite goes...I have no idea. But I do know there are additional rooms (and one bathroom with shower) down a long hallway via a door off the outside patio (back in the corner...you often see Cast Members entering that way), that were never opened to the public as part of the Disney Gallery. So it could be that space was counted in the newsletter article.

    I do have some more photos of the 21 Royal apartments somewhere...but they might take years find. The Opus Archives are vast, but totally unorganized.

    Here's one photo though...from another earlier thread on this same subject...that shows the apartment after INA left and Disneyland International claimed squatters rights and took over the space as their Tokyo Disneyland office:

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy



    I think that photo was taken in 1981 (and check out those ashtrays...Walt would have felt right at home!).

    It was always kind of strange to go up there after having seen it as the INA apartment/VIP suite...and see those beautiful rooms now with clunky tables and standard office furniture where once beautiful antique furniture cushioned the bums of the VIP's. It was such a weird sight...the industrial office furniture mixed with the opulent lux apartment!

    But the Tokyo team needed space, and that was available...so they moved in! I think I heard Jim Cora once use the term "commandeered" in reference to their occupying the space.

    I also have a vague memory of first meeting a very young (heck, she's still young!) Stacia Martin (for those of you that know her or of her) up there when it was Tokyo's office. I think she was working on the attraction's operational manuals.

    Yep. 21 Royal has had a long and varied past. And it sounds like it's going to have yet another change in use, soon.

  3. #33

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    If they are removing the riverfront stairways, my guess would be that they are restoring the space to its original 21 Royal Suite appearance as it appeared in "Walt's Time" (yes, I know Walt never got to see the finished Suite).

    The original "Front Door" was always tucked back in the 21 Royal Courtyard. At the bottom of the white wooden stairway (still there), there used to be a Club 33-like Speakeasy intercom. You buzzed that and that was how you entered the Suite...up the wooden stairs and through the entry foyer/hall (what later became the Disney Gallery's "back door" when the riverfront stairs were built for the Gallery's opening). This is what is mentioned as the "entry hall" in the first sentence of an old article in the Disneyland Line Cast Newsletter I have in the Opus Archives:



    So if the riverside stairways are coming down and restoring the building to its original appearance...I would suspect either the new elevator or the old original "front entrance" in the 21 Royal Courtyard...would be how they introduce lucky overnighters to the Suite.

    From a purely Disney geek point-of-view...I would prefer to enter how Walt did (even though he only lived long enough to be able to enter a mostly unfinished space up there)...and that's via the 21 Royal Courtyard and stairs.

    Great post, Opus.

    My main problem with removing the stairs is that it removes the only remaining portion of the Disney Gallery - it signifies the end of an era.

    Two decades of entertaining anybody and everybody in the park who wished to see it - now the space will only host a select few throughout the next year.

    The problem is not that this is turning into a DreamSuite - if the Disney Gallery had never existed, I'm sure all of us here would be pretty excited about the new DreamSuite and the idea of winning a night there. But what's there to be excited about now when, for 20 years, we could go up there and hang out for as long as we liked while checking out some pretty amazing art in the process?

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  4. #34

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    The Disney Gallery was a special privilege. I think that was the closest a normal park guest could get to feeling like you were in a place that really belonged to Walt - and it felt intimate and special because few guests went up there. And of course, it was always worth making a stop there to view fanciful artwork of new films, characters, and the park itself. Just days before it closed, my sister and I watched the Mardi Gras performance from the balcony, and that was very special.


  5. #35

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Two decades of entertaining anybody and everybody in the park who wished to see it - now the space will only host a select few throughout the next year.

    The problem is not that this is turning into a DreamSuite - if the Disney Gallery had never existed, I'm sure all of us here would be pretty excited about the new DreamSuite and the idea of winning a night there. But what's there to be excited about now when, for 20 years, we could go up there and hang out for as long as we liked while checking out some pretty amazing art in the process?
    Yep. I pretty much wrote the same thing in another thread on this subject. I'm gonna miss the Disney Gallery as well.

    But another part of me sort of likes the return of 21 Royal to its "private" roots and use as a real apartment/suite. I mean...for 21 years...21 Royal was a place the General Public could not visit. Then...for 20 years...we all had access. Now it goes back to private (for who knows how long?).

    Also... immediately after Walt died and the Disney family indicated they had no wish to occupy the space...but before INA occupied it...there was its second intended use as published way back in 1967:



    And someday this too may finally come to pass.


  6. #36

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    And someday this too may finally come to pass.
    Hasn't it already to some degree? I seem to recall MC'ers talking about Club 33 taking over part or whole rooms of the Gallery.


  7. #37

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    The Royal Suite's formal dining room/The Disney Gallery's blue room was chopped nearly in half for Club 33 kitchen storage space earlier this year.

    peoplemover1 posted photos when it happened.

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  8. #38

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by 2DieFR View Post
    Hasn't it already to some degree? I seem to recall MC'ers talking about Club 33 taking over part or whole rooms of the Gallery.
    Indeed it has. One wall of Club 33's kitchen was recently extended into part of the space of the 21 Royal apartment's "Dining Room"...to give Club 33 some much needed kitchen and storage expansion. This occurred shortly before the Disney Gallery was closed.

    But that was the only "take-over" by Club 33. So far.

    Oops...MasterGracey and I were posting at the same time. Sorry about the repeat.

  9. #39

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    Oops...MasterGracey and I were posting at the same time. Sorry about the repeat.
    Naah, that's good. If I read it twice, I am twice more likely to remember it.


  10. #40

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    When the gallery first opened, I was so excited to go up and look around. And it was a marvelous experience. I paid great attention to the architectural details and the craftsmanship of the parquet flooring and marblework. Twenty years ago the gallery sold extremely expensive original oil paintings, and they also sold original Disney movie cells, thousands of them, in great big bins that you could flip through just like at a record store in the old days. They were so inexpensive and plentiful, I had no idea what I was passing up. I gave them a cursory look through, paying more attention to the paintings, some of which were well over $10,000.

    Learning for the first time today from Opus's thread that the suites were actually completed and used (which blows me away quite frankly,) I'm less sadened by the Gallery's closing, since it will be a suite again. No, most of us won't be able to go there, but it won't be purely for VIP's either. All visitors will have a chance to get picked to go. I can't wait to see pictures of it when it's done.

  11. #41

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustymuscle View Post
    Wow. That's insane.

    But at least the oxidized scorch marks left by overzealous plasma cutters are still there to view like the scars of a botched surgery. That's good show.
    Well, it appears that they quickly painted over the "scars" with some primer. It still looks bad, but its marginally better than the open wounds.

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  12. #42

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    If their going to only make this suite rewardable for a year then why the hell would they do it! And if they're taking out the stairs than... ugh!! what the freak!! that is the thing that mainly ticks me off. They could just put a barrier(sp) at the stairs! they add a lot to the pirates building and if these come down it will be a shame because that's the main difference between us and Tokyo's pirates looking building...

  13. #43

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    I went today and noticed the stairs with no railing. My first thought was that they were going to remove the stairs. But then I thought if they were going to do that they would have a wall up around the stairs in order to block the construction. Instead the line for POTC went directly underneath them.

    So I hope they are at least putting in a new railing. But if the gallery is not returning I think the building would look a lot nicer with no stairs at all.

  14. #44

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    So I hope they are at least putting in a new railing. But if the gallery is not returning I think the building would look a lot nicer with no stairs at all.
    I tend to agree. Those riverside stairs were built to be very visible in order to get the most traffic upstairs to the Disney Gallery. Without the Gallery, I too would like to see these stairways go away to return the Pirates building closer to its original design and appearance, and truer to the more accurate architectural style.



    While I always understood the need for the riverside stairs leading to the Gallery, and thought they did a nice job with them...I always thought they looked odd and somewhat unnatural to the architectural styles of French Quarter buildings.

    I understand that many might like to see them stay as a reminder of the old Disney Gallery. But if they've decided never to use that space publicly again...might as well chop them off.

    But I'm not totally convinced Disneyland will be removing those stairs. We can only wait and see, or wait and hear.

  15. #45

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    Re: Latest Disney Gallery / Dream Suite News

    I love that old photo, Opus. So interesting to see POTC without the stairs on either side. I'm so used to seeing the way it's been for 20 years, I'd forgotten that it once looked that way!

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