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Weekend Update

Disney World Update; Disney Studios Tour; Vintage Disneyland Post Cards; La Coruna

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 07-29-2011 at 08:05 PM

Welcome to the Weekend Update!

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt has another Walt Disney World update for us. Never content to stick around Central Florida, Denise also shares her visit to Disney's Vero Beach. She also sent us a video report on the new beverage dispensers at All Star Sports. Can you believe that your refills will be controlled and limited by an RFID chip embedded in your cup?

MiceChatter Chris Geraci reports on a trip of a lifetime to Disney Studios. The photos are fun and the narrative is well worth reading. We also have some vintage post card images from Ken Eslick over at

Richard Williams and Ian Parkinson end their Oceana cruise with photos from La Coruna, Spain. I can't wait to see where their next adventure will take them!

I am pleased to report that MiceChat/MiceAge will again have a booth at the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 19th - 21st. (By the way, the term "booth" doesn't really do justice to our space at the show, but you will have to stop by to find out what I am talking about!) I'll be spending most of the weekend meeting and greeting all of our great members and readers. Be sure to stop by and say hi!

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt shares a Walt Disney World update

We've had a busy couple of weeks! I've taken thousands of photos of resorts like Vero Beach and the Hilton/Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek, along with the parks.

A few Magic Kingdom pictures I took nearly 2 weeks ago:

The monorail heading to the Grand Floridian:

We toured the Hilton and Waldorf Astoria at Bonnet Creek last week, they are amazing hotels that are just steps off of Walt Disney World property! (near Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort) I put up a report on my site, though the Vero Beach photos probably won't go up there until Sunday.

The pool at the Hilton is incredible, with a lazy river that looked very relaxing:

The Hilton's upscale Italian restaurant La Luce by Donna Scala has original chalk artwork that changes every so often:

The coffee shop Muse has these cute cupcakes that look too nice to eat:

Over at the Waldorf, I was quite taken by the broken glass art that is behind the front desk:

We went to Disney's Vero Beach as the guests of a friend for two nights. What a treat!

Our cottage:

Pool and slide:

Here is a tour of the Grand Villa cottage:

And the pool:

The beach:

The living room of our cottage:

There are still a few Disney resorts that I haven't stayed at in my life, but not too many - I figured out that I've stayed well over 200 room nights over the last 35 years of going to Walt Disney World. I thought Disney's Vero Beach Resort was very relaxing!

Back at Walt Disney World, a wall went up at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort as a new project starts - rumored and likely to be DVC Villas:

View from the main building:

And at Disney's All Star Sports Resort, the new refillable mug test finally started - and not only mugs, but cups as well. If you buy a drink in a standard cup, you get 4 fills total in an hour, and then the cup is expired.

New levers and monitors on the machines:

The drink was expired after 3 refills:

We shot and narrated a video about the new system:

And at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, much more color has been added to the main building and Finding Nemo buildings:


Don't forget to check Denise's regular WDW updates on her website:


MiceChatter Chris Geraci takes a dream trip to Disney Studios

My name is Chris Geraci, and I am a Disney Fanatic! There is no other way to describe it; I stopped trying to cover it up a long time ago. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Portland, before moving to Vancouver, WA in 1993. My brother and I grew up watching The Wonderful World of Disney, Disneyland the television series (in reruns), whatever Disney movie was playing at the time, and we dreamt, and dreamt and dreamt about Disneyland. Sadly, our parents never took us. Until November 1993, and that was a day that changed my life.

Up to that point I had been marginally obsessed with Disney. Growing up my friends Ann and Mary, we would take Disney books and make them into “plays” in which we sang and danced in our infamous “Summer Shows.” We spent most of our youth doing just that every year. When my son was born in 1991, I Disney-fied his room, Mickey Mouse everywhere. So began a journey into Disney through my child’s eyes, every book, song every movie, he knew it and loved it like I did.

It wasn’t until 1993 that my brother suggested we take a family trip to Disneyland. It was then that my entire family embarked on our first Disney Family Vacation! I use to think I had been robbed by not going to Disneyland as a child, but that changed when I walked under the train trestle for the first time. As an adult I appreciated the vast real estate that is Disneyland and each identifiable detail, right down to every budding flower (changed out nightly). It’s a symphony of sounds that surrounds you; it tantalizes all your senses and transports you to a different time. Suddenly, I forget I am an adult, I forget that I have a house payment, a job, or any other adult responsibility, ahead of me is one thing…FUN. And each time it is fun, no matter what. I loved the fist time in 1993 and the 31st time in 2010.

I took my son for his first visit to Disneyland when he was three; he’s been every year since. I was there when my nephew’s Dylan and Trevor stepped foot on Main Street their first time, and last year I was there when my niece, Princess Payton walked into Disneyland holding my hand for her first visit. I have a head full of wonderful memories from both Disneyland and Disney World with my amazing family and dearest friends. Each vacation has one thing in common, MAGIC! So yes, I am a Disney fanatic and am proud to be one. I think Uncle Walt would approve.

Enough about me, in 2009 I had the most amazing luck when I reconnected with a dear high school friend, through Facebook of course. We had developed something new in common, a passion for Disney. However, my friend did one better, she worked for Disney for many years. And although she has since quit and moved back to Portland, she still has connections at the Disney Studios. She used those connections to organize a tour of the studios with Robert Hughes, a show producer for Phineas & Ferb.

To walk along the streets that Walt and Roy did was moving to me. I saw Walt’s original bungalow office that they keep on the new property and his last office on the lot before he died. This office, you can just see the corner window from the street, it’s been closed up since the day Walt died. Disney Archives, Animation Courtyard, Multi-plane camera, Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive; it felt like a surreal experience. There’s an energy, a magic if you will, being produced by this army of geniuses and contained within these wrought iron gates. If I had a bucket list it would be number two, only after meeting Walt Disney, which would be number one. It was an experience that moved me and I will never forget it. Thanks Julie!

It’s such a large place: there was a sound stage where they were filming the second Tron movie while we were there. There is a section near the water tower that was a replica of Manhattan, looks a lot like New York Street in Hollywood Studios. The animation building is gigantic and the walls are covered in original sketches, some by Disney himself, as well as original ink and paint cells. We were able to eat in the commissary, which had the best food I’ve ever eaten in a cafeteria; maybe they sprinkle the food with pixie dust.

Each building has a collection of Dinseyanna, introduced by a picture of Walt Disney. For example, Hats Off, a collection of hats, was my favorite. Framed by various hats was a picture of Walt in a fedora in his beloved convertible. All the famous hats were contained here; Jack Sparrow, Barbosa, Darlene’s original mouse ears, Fess Parker’s coonskin cap, Glen Close’s Cruella’s veiled hat, Tim Allen’s hat from the Santa Clause, the original hat Jeff Bridge’s worn in Tron #1 (those black stripes are electrical tape), of course Mary Poppin’s hat with cherry’s on it, and many, man hat’s once worn by Walt Disney.

There’s something interesting about the Disney Studios, it’s hard to explain, but I think it’s a vibe. The only way I can explain it is, it’s a group of people like us, passionate about Disney, but have the good fortune of working for the Walt Disney Company (number three on the bucket list). All the Cast Member’s seem to be walking with a spring in their step, happy to be part of this elite team. It’s really amazing; I’ve never been surrounded by so many happy people in a work place environment. It makes me wonder…what if?

The gates, this is what normally keeps us non-Disney Cast Members out. Not today!

Walt’s original bungalow office now on the studio lot. It was moved to the new Disney studios, rather than demolishing it, and still stands today. On this day, it appeared to be catering a special lunch for some of the executive Cast Members.

The inspiration for the Earful Tower in Walt Disney World.

Our Phineas and Ferb tour guide explaining how he has fun at work EVERY DAY!

Yes, it’s coming, the Multiplane Camera!

The Multiplane Camera. It was explained to us how the animators utilized their painted cells to give Pinocchio a three-dimensional look so long ago (don’t tell, but we already knew). There were still cells inside that camera that you could look down through to see how this was a very tech sophisticated system for them back then.

The door to the Disney Archives.

Inside the archives. I could spend several months here. The black books with the white labels, about mid photo, are all the Disney family photo albums (a video of the albums can be seen on the D23 website). This room had an amazing vibe, just knowing that many of these items were from Walt, Roy, and Roy O.

A letter where Walt actually made a notation on, I believe it was in regards to Mary Poppins. Next to it is Walt's Passport.

The top left corner is Walt’s office.

No introduction needed.

The Disney Theater, I believe Fantasia was premiered here.

In between, Dopey Drive and Mickey Avenue.

Mickey Avenue, points the way to the animation and the amazing cafeteria!

Hats Off!

We're back again with more wonderful images from Ken Eslick's This series takes us back in time to a period between 1956 and 1966, and focuses on Fantasyland.

Produced by H. S. Crocker of San Bruno, California and distributed by Mike Roberts Color Products of Berkeley, California, these cards are copyrighted Walt Disney Productions.

There are 56 cards in this series, not counting the variations, and measure 3-1/2" by 5-1/2".
We hope you'll drop by Ken's world-class site, where besides seeing over 2,000 other cards, you can read the flip side descriptions of the partial set you see here. We can practically guarantee that once you settle in, hours will pass by before you realize it.

All images © Walt Disney Productions.

Ian and Richard end their adventure in La Coruna

Tourism in La Coruna has increased in recent years to the point of receiving 62 cruiseships a year. One of the drivers of this tourism is the promenade that skirts the entire city, the longest in Europe. It measures 10 kilometers. There is also a tram and a bike path that runs through most of the journey. Also, there is a cultural tour, passing several museums such as The House of Man and La Casa de los Peces (Aquarium Finisterrae) and it also visits the Castle of San Antón, which contains the archaeological museum, or the Tower of Hercules.

The two main beaches of La Coruna are located in the heart of the city and are bordered by the promenade above. This location makes them a great attraction for tourists, being also a meeting point for surfers much of the year. Moreover, the city has other beaches like Bens Creek, Las Lapas, Adormideras, San Amaro beach or Oza.

We'd like to introduce you to a new MiceChat blog dedicated to Movie and DVD reviews. Please take a few moments to click over to the movie review blog of Brad Chowen.

You'll find Brad's new blog HERE

Might we also suggest that you visit these fine MiceAge/MiceChat attractions:

  • MiceTube - Introducing MiceChat's new channel on YouTube. Kevin Yee and MiceChat Sarah have been uploading entertaining videos weekly, along with many other of your MiceAge and MiceChat favorites.
  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • Orlando Parkhopper featuring news and photos from Disney World and Orlando area theme parks.
  • In The Parks offers news, updates and tips from Disneyland and other Southern California offerings.
  • SAMLAND - Your weekly look at some interesting tales from Disney history.
  • MiceDeals - You won't want to miss out on these great deals for Orlando and Anaheim!
  • Brad Chowen Movie Reviews - A fun look at movies old and new.

And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and gossips:

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt (
SummerInFL (
sir clinksalot
Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams
Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom
Ken Eslick (

Your Editor - Rixter

Our thanks to our special contributor this week Chris Geraci.

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Updated 07-30-2011 at 10:08 AM by Dustysage



  1. dougeebear's Avatar
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    Oh, dear. Looks like one of Cinderella's Castle downspouts has broken off (2nd photo). Wonder how long it has been like that, and how long it'll be until they replace it?
  2. Original Epcot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougeebear
    Oh, dear. Looks like one of Cinderella's Castle downspouts has broken off (2nd photo). Wonder how long it has been like that, and how long it'll be until they replace it?
    I have a 2008 photo with this deffect already visible :-)

    I have a few corrections for the Studios article.

    "This room had an amazing vibe, just knowing that Walt, Roy, and Roy O. actually stood in this room and handled the stuff inside."

    > This building was built after Walt and Roy's time. The archives were founded after Walt's death.

    "The top left corner is Walt’s new office. It has remained sealed up since the day he died."

    > The office was emptied in the 80's and the Burbank office has been used by other people since then.
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Fabulous update and beautiful pictures. One thing really jumped out at me as being a completely un-Disney action for the parks to take.

    I think it is such a shame Disney is treating its customers like criminals with the soda machines at the All Star Resort. Soda costs Disney next to nothing. Clamping down on free refills is a non-issue that they are spending too much effort on. This is a prime example of what happens when you let bean counters run a resort instead of magic makers.

    Disney's guests are overpaying for everything from food, merchandise, park tickets and hotel rooms. Disney charges a premium on EVERYTHING. If they want free refills, GIVE IT TO THEM! It is the one thing that makes people feel like they are getting a bargain (even though they are far overpaying for the cups to begin with).

    It's pretty easy to see that WDW management doesn't care at all about guest experience any more. They only care about squeezing every last dime out of every last customer. So very sad and unmagical.
    Updated 07-30-2011 at 10:10 AM by Dustysage
  4. Fishbulb's Avatar
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    The limited free refills is ridiculous. BUT this was a fun update. I love the photography from WDW. Nbodyhome has such an eye for composition and lighting. Nice job
  5. DisWedWay's Avatar
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    Really an Eyefull Update! Love the Nautilus like room with all the posters and related documents. Some great nautical sculptures at La Coruna, and wonder who the artist was?? On the Disneyland Postcards, the Skyway is so in place, and know there is quite a fan base who would like "Them" to put it back. Wish John Hench had lived to see his sleeping Willie the Giant installed at the base of the castle in Casey Jr. The train would have passed through his snoring open mouth as in his sketch back in the WED days. As they are building a new Captain Hook's pirate ship for Paris Disneyland, maybe they could build a second one for Disneyland's Fantasyland to replace the original "They" removed. There is a perfect spot for it now. Miss those Tuna Burgers Smitty used to make with cheese on them. I also miss the refrigerated water fountains you could find at all the attractions, speaking of free refills. I used to fill my Davy Crockett canteen with them several times throughout the day as well as give your catfish a cooldown from fishing with Huck "Tom" Finn. PD
  6. Hayley B's Avatar
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    Wow, to the refill update. I was about to say sheeh to the 3 refills. But when I read for an hour. I thought that is alright then. I kept thinking for the whole time your there.

    Nice Postcards. I like the ones with Casey Jr. in them.
  7. PragmaticIdealist's Avatar
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    The soft-drink dispensers are hilarious. I nominate them to become the official symbol of the new Disney, which is "milking the visitor's pocketbook" (to borrow a phrase from Walt Disney) like never before.
  8. LittleImagineer's Avatar
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    I think it's costing Disney more to get those fancy soda machines and chips on the cup then actually giving somebody a billion refills. People don't refill that often anyways, at least I don't. Seriously, why waste money on something as dumb as that? I've heard that companies pretty much pay nothing for the soda coming out of the machine, it's the cup that costs the money. I could be wrong though. But really, how ridiculous. This is what the world is coming to. Greed to the max. We already pay an arm and a leg!
  9. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    an OK update, I don't like the new soda machines though.

  10. MickeyMaxx's Avatar
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    Thanks to Original Epcot for clarifications to the Studios article!
  11. Original Epcot's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments MickeyMaxx.

    Just some additional comments on Walt's office.

    Walt Disney did have 3 offices, all located in Burbank's Walt Disney Studios:

    - one "real" formal office (to receive guests, vips for meeting etc....)

    - one "real" working office (to work personally)

    - one carbon copy "fake" of the formal office done in a studio environnment for all disneyland tv show introductions.

    The formal office was once visible at Disneyland Opera House. The working office is on display at Walt Disney World Holywood Studios

    Walt Disney's office (in its current condition / use) can been seen there in this great D23 Armchair Archivists segment: ‪Disney D23's Armchair Archivists

    Walt Disney's office furnitures in Walt Disney World can be seen here:
    ‪Armchair Archivist - A Look Into "One Man's Dream"‬‏ - YouTube

    Thanks again for this great column !