Page 1 of 3

July 16, 2017

Dayton Disneyana 2017

Gary Cruise banner

What is it that motivates a couple of normal, rational Canadian Disney fans to drive 656 miles to Dayton Ohio for a one-and-a-half day stay, then drive 656 miles home again? The answer is Dayton Disneyana.

Dayton Disneyana 2017

It's a gathering of Disney fans from across the continent who meet in Dayton once a year to buy and sell Disneyana collectibles, trade Disney pins, attend interesting seminars presented by well-known Disney personalities and hang out with people who share our Disney obsession. If we can find any spare time we have also been known to sit around, over adult beverages, swapping Disney stories and tips.

Dayton Disneyana 2017

This was our fifth trip to Dayton in as many years. As usual, our son Rob came along; like Carol, he's a hoarder a pack rat an avid Disney collector. I'm not a collector; it's the seminars that I enjoy!

On Friday June 9th we were on the road bright and early and arrived at the Thousand Islands border crossing, about 25 miles from our home, just after dawn. There wasn't a single car ahead of us.

Thousand Island Bridge

The US Border Patrol Officer spotted the two big boxes full of acrylic globes in the back of the vehicle and asked what they were. When I told him they were Mickey Mouse lamp posts he raised an arched eyebrow, then waved us on through. I'm not sure if he was amused or bewildered!

Our journey took us from Ontario through New York, Pennsylvania and finally to Ohio.

Pennsylvania

Ohio

The weather was good, traffic was light and we made great time. We made one fuel stop and took one rest area break before pulling off the highway in Erie, Pennsylvania, for a bite. We don't have Chik-Fil-A restaurants in Canada and it was the unanimous choice for lunch!

We were back on the road in no time and carried on westbound across the southern shores of the Great Lakes. At Cleveland we turned south and passed through Columbus on our way to Dayton.

Our route to Dayton

We pulled into the Holiday Inn, Fairborn Ohio at 4:30 and, after sitting in the car all day, enjoyed a few minutes of stretching as we settled into our rooms.

We didn't have long to rest though; I quickly assembled the Mickey Mouse lamp post we were donating for the charity raffle and we tracked down the event organizer, Anita Schaengold, to deliver it. She was busy in the grand ballroom where 29 vendors were setting up a whopping 74 tables full of Disney collectibles. Carol was vibrating with anticipation as we walked past the closed doors of the ballroom.

The first official function was a 6:00 p.m. dinner, held in a meeting room near the grand ballroom, and this was our first opportunity to meet Disney artists and animators Mike and Patty Peraza who were featured guests for the weekend.

2017 Dayton Poster

After we enjoyed a nice dinner, the emcee for the evening, Disney historian Jim Hill, introduced the husband and wife animation team to the audience of 100 to 120 people. It was a small crowd and there was plenty of interaction between the speakers and those of us in the audience.

Patty Mike and Jim

Each of them gave us a brief description of their life-long careers with Disney and briefly mentioned a few of the films and features they worked on. The Fox and the Hound, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Black Cauldron, Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, The Great Mouse Detective, TRON, The Little Mermaid, Return to OZ, Ducktales, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast are a few of the projects they talked about.

Both Patty and Mike are graduates of the prestigious California Institute for the Arts, a university that Walt Disney himself established. Mike entertained us with a few unusual stories from his days at "CalArts" when his roommate was Tim Burton. I think it's a given that any story that includes Tim Burton has to be a bit unusual.

Patty put a different spin on her CalArts story. She was a Graphic Design major at University of Delaware when the dean approached her to recommend the Disney Animation program at CalArts. She knew that CalArts was a bit beyond her family's financial means so she respectfully declined. Just a few weeks later the dean returned, this time with the offer of a full scholarship. Patty quickly applied and was accepted.

She was the first female graduate from CalArts hired by the Disney Corporation and during her long career with the company she picked up some pretty strong "vibes" about her scholarship. She was never able to confirm it, but she is pretty sure that it funded by Walt Disney's wife Lillian.

Mike and Patty kept our interest for a full hour and left us all wanting to hear more. I was looking forward to their seminar the next afternoon.

Anita

The last performance of the evening featured Anita and Randy as they drew some fabulous, one-of-a-kind door prizes.

Randy

Randy claimed to be Vanna White's younger brother and he did a wonderful job presenting, modeling and demonstrating each of the prizes!

After the official events wrapped up a few of adjourned to the bar beside the hotel lobby for a comforting adult beverage. Rob and I joined in the imbibing crowd while Carol dashed back to the room, gathered up her bag of pins and headed off to the training tables.

By 10:00 that evening my long day behind the wheel had caught up to me; I headed back to the room. Carol was tired, too; she was back by 11:00 p.m.

Saturday Jun 10, 2017

We were up bright and early. Carol and Rob were two of the 75 people who paid $30 each to be "early-birds". Early-birds are allowed to enter the ballroom and shop for 90 minutes before the doors open for everyone else. They are also eligible to win door prizes provided by each of the vendors and they get a goody bag full of interesting Disney "stuff"! Carol assures me that she get's more than her money's worth... but I think she'd pay the Early-Bird fee even if she didn't get the goody bag or the chance at the door prizes. She'd be happy just to get the extra shopping time!

The early-birds

Just after 8 a.m. Carol and Rob joined the line of eager early-birds in the hall outside the ballroom.

I snuck into the ballroom to get a few pictures before those avid shoppers arrived!

Vendors

I think the vendors enjoy Dayton Disneyana as much as the collectors do; many of them travel long distances to get there. This year there were four vendors from Florida and one from Southern California.

I’m pretty sure the vendors were just as excited as the crowd waiting in the hall for those doors to swing open!

Thingamabobs
You want thingamabobs? I got twenty!

Gary and Gary

Gary and Gary from Ozark Missouri had several tables full of wonderful Disney items, including this great Scrooge McDuck figurine!

Merchandise

Merchandise

Merchandise

Merchandise

There were popcorn buckets, figurines, snow globes, watches, glasses, mugs, plates, movie posters, magazines, telephones, pins, Vinylmations, and so much more. No matter what you collect, you are sure to find it at Dayton Disneyana.

Merchandise

Merchandise

Merchandise
Need a talking alarm clock? Two to choose from!

Dayton_Disneyana_2017_0054.jpg
How about a Goofy phone? There were two of them as well!

Dayton_Disneyana_2017_0063.jpg
A Mickey Mouse corn popper. The first one I've seen!

This year Dayton Disneyana had a bit of International flavour... and it was not just because of the four car-loads of avid Canadian shoppers who made the long drive! The first Canadian vendor was there; our friend Cheryl from the Toronto area. Her hand-crafted Mouse Ears and EPCOT Passports have been selling like hotcakes through her "LetsMakeSomeMagic" ETSY store so she brought some along to Dayton.

Cheryl

Cheryl's Minnie Ears
One of Cheryl's unique creations!

If you have a favourite Disney character, a princess or a villain, Cheryl can customize some ears just for you!

Passports

The passports are a great activity for kids. Children can have them stamped at all of the KidCot activity stations. Most of the cast members will also add a personal greeting in their native language. It's a fun way for kids to learn about foreign cultures and customs!

KidCot

KidCot

The passports can be personalized with your children's names, the date of your trip, etc.

There are even honeymoon passports so newlyweds can collect some unique wedding wishes in a variety of languages!

What a great idea!

Dayton_Disneyana_2017_0090.jpg
Some unique figurines!

Band Concert Phone
I wonder what the ringtone sounds like on this phone?

Merchandise

Merchandise

By 8:15 the vendors were all set and there were plenty of early-birds waiting impatiently in the hall. Anita decided to let the shoppers in early... there was a round of cheering in the hall as she made the announcement!

In come the early-birds

Carol's goody bag

Carol was about 20th in line this year. She paused for just a brief second to show me her bag of free early-bird goodies, then scurried off to shop!

Happy shoppers

The happiest shopper

Carries Kermit Phone

Our friend Carrie couldn't wait to get back to her room and make a call on her brand new Kermit phone. Isn't it a beauty?!

Mike and Rob
Mike Peraza with Rob

By 10:00 both Carol and Rob had been around the ballroom a couple of times and they had picked up about half of what they would purchase over the weekend.

Carol Eric and Trisha

Carol with friends Eric and Trisha from Ohio. She sees them every year at the annual Epcot pin event. This was their first time at Dayton Disneyana.

The rest of the crowd enters

At 10 a.m. the doors opened for the rest of the shoppers. In less than a minute the crowd in the ballroom doubled as everyone rushed in to join the early-birds.

More shoppers

Merchandise

Merchandise

Fortunately there was plenty of merchandise to go around!

Before long Carol and Rob dropped their new-found treasures off in their rooms and adjourned to the pin trading room.

Pin Trading room

There were plenty of traders who had pin books, pin binders, Disney buttons, boxes full of Vinylmations, Sorcerer Cards, Transportation Cards, all sorts of Disney collectibles to trade!

Traders

Traders of all ages joined in the fun!

Carol would pop back into the ballroom once in a while to do a quick lap... when things on the tables sell the vendors reach into boxes stacked under the tables and pull out more merchandise.

She found a few unique treasures because she kept going back to the ballroom for another look!

Pingo

There were several different games organized in the trading room throughout the day. That happy crowd in picture above are playing Pingo. It's similar to Bingo, but the entry fee is a pin and the prizes are pins!

I picked up some fast food for lunch and we enjoyed it in the trading room before Rob and I headed off to the seminars and Carol continued trading.

Seminar room

The seminars were held in a meeting room directly across from the ballroom.

Before the speakers began their presentation Anita introduced us to Joe Cox, the president of Pirate Packs, a local charity which provides food for needy children in the area.

Anita and Joe Cox

All of the money raised over the course of the weekend was donated to Pirate Packs.

There are school programs which give hungry children access to three meals a day, but for some children there is no food in the home on days when they don't go to school.

That's where Pirate Packs comes in!

When those kids go home for the weekend they take a backpack that contains three meals a day for each day they'll be away.

Pirate Packs

It's a great program and the assembled Disney fans were happy to support it. Over the course of the event there were silent auctions, live auctions and a bicycle raffle. The 402 Disney fans in attendance helped Dayton Disneyana raise almost $3,000.00 for Pirate Packs! Well done folks!

At 1 p.m. Jim Hill introduced the featured speakers, Mike and Patty Peraza. They kept us spellbound for an hour and a half. They used audio-video images and clips to describe their Disney careers and told us some very interesting "inside stories" about the many movies, cartoons, park attractions and other projects they worked on.

Mike and Patty

They worked on The Muppet Movie

I think every Disney fan gets a special kind of chill, or goose bumps, when they are part of a very small audience and share a room with people like Mike and Patty who have worked directly with Walt Disney, Jim Henson, the Nine Old Men, even Lillian Disney. Our 90 minutes passed in a flash, none of us wanted it to end.

Mike and Patty

Words cannot describe how much I enjoy the seminars, you'll just have to come to Dayton and experience them for yourself!

The second seminar of the afternoon featured well-known Disney Historian Jim Hill. Jim is not a cast member, he never has been, but he has a wide network of contacts in the organization and an encyclopedic repertoire of the history and lore of the organization.

Jim Hill

He talked about the original design of the Disneyland Paris park and the new challenges the Imagineers faced with their first foray into an international location. Imagine that as you stand in line at an attraction the people standing near you could speak as many as five different languages and none of them speak English or French.

You can't put five languages on a sign; it was interesting to hear some of the innovative solutions those talented Imagineers came up with!

Immediately after the second seminar it was time for the costume contest. Naturally Disney costumes dominated.

Costumes

Costumes

After the judging was done all the competitors paraded through the ballroom so the vendors could share in some of the fun too!

Saturday evening there was a sort of "impromptu" dinner. It wasn't part of the original schedule, all the planning was done late Friday afternoon. There were only 33 seats available in the small dining room we shared with Mike and Patty Peraza and Jim Hill. The hotel donated the space and all the hors d'oeuvres we ate! Each of us paid $30.00 to attend and it all went to Pirate Packs!

Jim Hill

After we enjoyed a bite to eat Jim Hill introduced Mike and Patty who shared some more stories and experiences with us. Each of them showed a few of their favourite creations on the large TV screen.

Mike Peraza

Dumbo

Kermit and Jim Henson.jpg

One of Mike's favourite pieces. He created this painting of Kermit holding a Jim Henson puppet just after Mr. Henson's death. It now hangs in the Henson home.

Villainy

Chatting with the artists

We were seated at the table right next to the Disney artists and were able to chat one-on-one with them throughout dinner. After their presentation was finished we resumed the chatter while we waited for the charity auction to begin!

Terence and Sarah

Our friend Sarah was the successful bidder for a Minnie Mouse sketch Patty Peraza donated for the auction. Patty spent a few minutes personalizing the sketch for Sarah, and while Patty was doing that her husband Mike created a matching sketch of Mickey. Wasn't that a nice gesture?

Nice things like that happen quite often at Dayton Disneyana!

The Mickey Lamp

The final auction item was the Mickey Mouse lamp post I donated. The lamp was surprisingly popular and the bidding was intense. It sold for $220 and all of the money went to Pirate Packs!

After dinner a few of us gathered in the bar for some refreshments. Rob and I joined the saloon crowd while Carol did some more pin trading!

Sunday Jun 11, 2017

We had a more leisurely start on Sunday. The ballroom full of vendors didn't open until 10:00 a.m. Naturally Carol, Rob and I were there when the doors opened.

Merchandise

Dayton_Disneyana_2017_0302.jpg

I chatted with a few friends and took some more pictures while they scoured the vendor's tables one last time.

Bob and Latosha

Merchandise

Jay and Chantal

All too soon it was time to think about that long drive home. I always regret missing the Sunday afternoon seminars, but with a 10-hour drive in store we always try to pull away by noon.

We said our goodbyes and thanked the organizers, Anita and her committee, for another wonderful event. We began our northeastward trip home at 11:30 a.m.

Traffic flowed well, there were no accidents or other tie-ups and we arrived home safe and sound at 10:30 p.m.

You might think that our 656 mile drive to Dayton was the furthest that anyone traveled... but it wasn't.

JoAnn and Abby

Joann flew from Hartford, Connecticut, to Ohio and met friend Abby from Norton, Ohio, for the trip to Dayton. That's about 775 miles! There sure are some dedicated Disney fans around!

I didn't buy anything all weekend, but I came home with some wonderful memories and a few new Disney stories that I picked up from the speakers.

You're probably wondering what Carol and Rob brought home after their many hours of determined shopping. Here are a few pictures of the booty they collected.

Free Stuff
Raffle prizes and early entry gifts - all this stuff was free!

Rob's Treasures
Rob's new treasures.

Rob's favourites
I asked Rob to select his favourite - he couldn't decide between these two.

Rob's Fan Page
Rob's fan page - signed by Kathryn Beaumont who was
the voice actor in the 1951 Alice in Wonderland movie.

Carol's treasures
Carol's new treasures.

Carol's plates
Carol's new plates.

Carol's favourite
Carol's favourite.

Carol's pins
Pins Carol found in Dayton.

In 2018 Dayton Disneyana will be held at the Hope Hotel and the adjoining Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center on June 8th, 9th and 10th. They are located at 10823 Chidlaw Road, less than two miles from the site of the 2017 event.

The new venue will provide much more room for vendors and that has Carol very excited!
I don't care about the vendors... I'm already wondering who the speakers will be!

We hope to see you there!

Follow for more details on Dayton Disneyana 2018 on their Web Site HERE or on their Facebook page HERE





July 13, 2017

The Mousy Mindboggler

Riddle

THE MOUSY MINDBOGGLER

As you know if you subscribe to the AllEars® Weekly Newsletter, each month our friend James Dezern (known as "dzneynut" around several Disney discussion forums) supplies us with a puzzle of his own design.

Every month, James also Shares the Magic in another way -- by posting an all-new puzzle here in this AllEars.Net Guest Blog.

This month, James writes:

Here is the solution to the last crossword puzzle.

http://allears.net/ae/mb061917-key.pdf

We received 39 correct responses. All of you knew that the opening narration for the film, “The Shaggy Dog” was none other than Paul Frees. Paul and his distinctive voice could, of course, be heard in the many Haunted Mansions around the world as the “Ghost Host,” as well as other attraction voices, and also the lovable Ludwig von Drake.

The winner of a Figment pin, randomly drawn from the correct responses, was Seth K. from Robbinsville, NJ.

If you missed it last month, that's OK, because here’s another chance.

http://allears.net/ae/mb071317.pdf

This month we are continuing our look at the extensive library of Disney’s live-action films. This month’s film, “Darby O’Gill and the Little People," was the debut of two actors who would go on to star in two different types of movies! Sean Connery would go on to star as the definitive “Bond, James Bond!” Janet Monro would go on to star in several Disney live-action films, such as “Swiss Family Robinson,” “Third Man on the Mountain,” and “The Horsemasters."

The object of this puzzle is, as always, to have fun, but if you'd like a chance to win a Disney collectible pin, send me the answer IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF AN EMAIL addressed to dzneynut.puzzle@gmail.com.

Send your entries no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 5, 2017. All correct answers will be entered into a random drawing, and the winner will be awarded a Disney pin. The answers and drawing winner will be posted in this Guest Blog sometime in August.

Please note, for this puzzle ALL of the clues are used.

As always, any feedback on the puzzle format or topics would be appreciated! Drop me a line at dzneynut.puzzle@gmail.com.

Thanks for playing, everyone!





July 10, 2017

Disney's participation at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair was a pivotal moment for the company

chuck-schmidt.jpg

wfair6.jpg
The endearing dolls in the it's a small world attraction at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. [Chuck Schmidt collection]

Before there was Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland or Shanghai Disneyland, there was just little, ol' Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Although Walt Disney detested doing sequels to his movies, he wasn't averse to creating a second Disneyland. In the years following the opening The Happiest Place on Earth in 1955, there was some talk, both from within the company and from outside sources, that building a sequel might not be a bad idea.

It's still hard to imagine, given the success of Disney's theme parks worldwide today, but Walt and many of his top lieutenants had some doubts about building a second Disneyland east of the Mississippi River. Specifically, it was thought by many that Disneyland was a West Coast phenomenon and Disney's brand just wouldn't be very successful on the East Coast.

In 1960, a group of businessmen from St. Louis approached Disney about building a second Disneyland in the city known, ironically, as The Gateway to the West. Disney looked at the possibility long and hard, but after months of haggling, "Some key person backed out," according to Disney Legend John Hench, and the idea of a St. Louis Disneyland faded.

Still, Walt couldn't get the idea of heading East out of his mind. He needed something to convince himself that making a bold move East would be viable. So when the opportunity arose to participate in the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, Walt jumped at the idea.

Walt Disney's ties to international expositions go all the way back to the 1893, when his father, Elias Disney, worked as a carpenter at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

And at the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, Disney characters Mickey, Minnie and Pluto starred in a five-minute Technicolor cartoon named Mickey's Surprise Party.

bruss.jpg
A poster promoting the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, which featured the Disney attraction "America the Beautiful."

In 1958, Disney decided to test the waters on an international scale, setting up a show at the World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium. According to Disney Legend Bob Gurr, "Walt was always thinking ahead of things. He sent a lot of guys over there [to Brussels] to sort of case the joint, to see what was involved."

At the Brussels World's Fair, Disney's then-innovative 360-degree Circarama film America the Beautiful played to packed houses. It was the first Disneyland-style attraction to be shown outside the United States.

Then, in 1962, "Walt sent a bunch of us to the Seattle World's Fair for the same reason," Gurr said. By "casing the joint," Walt was able to get a good idea of what would work and what wouldn't work at a World's Fair ... setting the stage for one of the biggest gambles of his life: The Walt Disney Company's participation at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

When Robert Moses and the folks at the New York World's Fair came calling, the wheels began turning in Walt's head. By participating in the Fair, Walt figured, he could resolve, once and for all, the question of whether his style of entertainment would be popular with East Coast audiences. And if Mickey and Friends were a hit in New York City, maybe ... just maybe ... Disney could make the move East on a permanent basis.

"The New York World's Fair was critical, because Walt used it as a proving ground for Walt Disney Imagineering to develop bigger and better shows and to advance animatronics beyond the [Enchanted] Tiki Room," said Tony Baxter, Imagineering's former senior vice president of Creative Development.

"I consider the Fair to be the first golden era of Imagineering attractions. New ride systems and sophisticated Audio-Animatronics were developed for the Fair. It was a giant leap forward in what could be done [in Disney's theme parks]."

But over and above that, Walt wanted to see first-hand the reactions of Easterners to those attractions. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if Disney could make it in New York, it could make it anywhere. As it turned out, that anywhere became a huge tract of land south of the then-sleepy town of Orlando, Fla. When the Fair opened on April 22, 1964, Walt was already secretly scooping up property in central Florida.

In a stroke of pure business genius, Walt enlisted corporate sponsors pay for each of Disney's four Fair attractions. Moreover, according to former Imagineering leader Marty Sklar, when the Fair closed, those same companies paid for the attractions to be shipped back to Disneyland, where they took up residence in whole or in part [it's a small world and some of the dinosaurs from Ford's Magic Skyway can still be seen in the Happiest Place on Earth].

wfair4.jpg
The exterior of the Illinois state pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

Sklar traces Disney's participation in the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair back to 1957. "It started, I guess, with Abraham Lincoln," he said. "That show had been written - not the single Lincoln, but the entire Hall of Presidents show - in 1957." The problem was, technology hadn't yet caught up with Walt's wildly creative imagination.

But when Moses, the president of the Fair, saw mock ups of the Hall of Presidents show during a tour of the Disney Studios, he was insistent that Disney bring it to the Fair. "But Walt said, 'We haven't done one figure yet," Sklar said. "Ultimately, Moses put Disney and the state of Illinois together," which resulted in the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln presentation at the Illinois state pavilion.

The Lincoln show was ground-breaking on so many different levels. To begin with, Disney's creative team had to make their recreation of Honest Abe look like an honest to goodness Abraham Lincoln. Anyone with a penny or a five-dollar bill in their pocket could easily compare the facial features on the currency with the Audio-Animatronics figure on stage. Abe had to be spot-on ... and he was, thanks to the work of sculptor Blaine Gibson.

And then there were the movements of the robotic figure positioned in the center of the stage. No one had ever tried, much less succeeded, in having a life-size animated figure move with the fluidity of a human being. The system used hydraulic and pneumatic valves to achieve that realism.

"It was a marvel the machine worked as well as it did from the get-go," said Disney Legend Bob Gurr, who was the main man behind the development of Audio-Animatronics. "It combined the sculpting, the skin, the detailed facial animation, animated hands, plus the body, plus getting him up out of the chair and all the electronics to do with that ... it was a big effort by so many people working on that machine."

The show began with the Lincoln figure seated at center stage. Then, to the amazement of those in the audience, Lincoln would rise up from the chair, stand and begin to recite lines from some of his most famous speeches. Gurr called Lincoln's rise from the chair "that trick thing."

The success of the development of the Lincoln figure in the years prior to the Fair's opening allowed Gurr to devise a system where Audio-Animatronics figures could be mass-produced.

lincoln.jpg
A closeup of the Abraham Lincoln figure at the New York World's Fair, created by famed Disney artist Blaine Gibson. [The Walt Disney Company]

"Within a year, we found with the basic concept of Lincoln we could actually engineer what we would call production parts," Gurr said. "In other words, instead of making a part one at a time, we could make a whole group of parts. By investing in the tooling to make parts, we could manufacture humans and animals out of all these standardized parts. All of this started with the basic configuration of Abraham Lincoln."

Gurr and the rest of the creative team used this philosophy to build Audio-Animatronics figures for Disney's three other World's Fair shows: Ford's Magic Skyway, General Electric's Carousel of Progress and Pepsi-Cola's it's a small world.

The Magic Skyway show took guests, seated in authentic Ford Motor Company cars [sans engines and transmissions and all convertibles, so guests wouldn't hit their heads] on a journey through time, from the dawn of the ages to prehistoric times and then into the future [a subtle hint at Walt's desire to build a city of the future]. In addition to contributing to the development of the massive dinosaur figures seen during the ride, Gurr was the chief designer for the actual ride system which carried the cars on their voyage through time.

Borrowing from the booster brake system he and Arrow Development employed on Disneyland's Matterhorn Mountain attraction, Gurr positioned small one-horsepower gear motors with rotating 16-inch wheels several feet apart along the ride's two tracks. The wheels [there were a total of 714 of these motors embedded in the two tracks] would come in contact with metal plates attached to the underbellies of the cars, allowing them to move at a slow, but steady pace. [A similar technology is used in the WEDway PeopleMover attraction in Walt Disney World. It is often mistaken for the Omnimover system, where ride vehicles can pivot and traverse up and down inclines.]

wfair2.jpg
Guests come face to face with a family of dinosaurs during the Ford's Magic Skyway attraction. [Associated Press]

Between the 1964 and 1965 seasons, Ford CEO Henry Ford II asked Walt Disney to record the narration for the attraction. Although "Walt had a terrible cough and kept blowing the lines," said Marty Sklar, "and it took a long time, we finally got a great take." It seems Walt also had problems pronouncing the names of many of the dinosaurs on display during the ride.

GE's Carousel of Progress showcased the advancement in electricity from the early 1900s through "modern times" ... or at the least, the mid-1960s. There even was a demonstration of nuclear fusion inside the pavilion.

In addition to the 32 Audio-Animatronics figures used in the four-part presentation, Disney employed a carousel-type system to present the show. There were four fixed stages representing different eras in the advancement of electricity and the audience revolved around each different set, with the song "There's a Great, Big Beautiful Tomorrow" playing every time the audience rotated to a different scene.

wfair5.jpg
The exterior of General Electric's Progressland, which featured the Disney-created Carousel of Progress, between the Fair's 1964 and 1965 seasons. [Associated Press]

The Carousel of Progress remains a popular attraction; it's located in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

The it's a small world attraction is a mainstay at every Disney park worldwide, primarily because of its message of international peace and harmony, particularly among young people.

Although not as complex, Audio-Animatronics technology was used on the dozens and dozens of dolls on display during The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed. Gurr, although tied up with the Audio-Animatronics and ride systems on the other three Disney Fair attractions, made contributions to it's a small world, specifically working with Arrow Development to come up with the system that gently pushed the boats through the narrow canals.

Of course, the most memorable aspect of it's a small world is its theme song, written by Dick and Bob Sherman. According to Marty Sklar, it's a small world is his all-time favorite Disney attraction. "The line in that song ... There's just one moon and one golden sun and a smile means friendship to everyone ... what a wonderful world this would be if we could follow those feelings."

In the end, Disney's participation in the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair proved to be a huge success, proving once and for all that the Disney brand of entertainment would be a big hit just about anywhere in the world.

July 2, 2017

Mickey and Friends Gardening

Gary Cruise banner

A few weeks ago a package arrived in the mail from Disney Movie Club. Carol opened it up and much to my surprise pulled out a packet of Disney themed garden seeds.

Bambi Daisies
Click on the image to see a larger copy

Bambi is apparently a big fan of the Gloriosa Daisy.

I said, “I’ve never seen Disney seeds before!”

Carol immediately led me to her Disney Room and pulled a package down from one of the shelves. It was a Disney planting kit in a blister pack. The kit contains a packet of Pluto’s Pumpkin Seeds and a row marker for your garden.

Pluto Seed Kit

Carol found it a few years ago in a local thrift store.

I was doubly surprised because the Pluto Pumpkin Seed kit was produced by McKenzie Seeds, a Canadian company headquartered in Brandon Manitoba. We’re not used to seeing Canadian-made Disney products!

I did a bit of research online and found that McKenzie began producing licensed Disney seed kits aimed at young gardeners in 1996.

They produced Disney’s Mickey & Friends Deluxe Gardening Kits, Pocahontas Sunflower Growing Kits, Mickey & Friends Single Variety Packs and Pocahontas Flit Hummingbird Garden Kits. All were designed to teach children aged five years and older to respect the environment and love nature.

Some of the kits included things like growing medium, a watering can, garden trowel and fork, a gardening guide, seeds, and Disney character row markers.

Our son Rob stopped by for a visit just a few days after the Movie Club seeds arrived, and gave Carol a new Disney treasure he had picked up for her in another thrift store the previous day.

You guessed it – seeds!

Daisy Daisies
Click on each seed packet to see a larger image

Goofy Sunflowers

Minnie Marigolds

Mickey Peas

There were six different varieties of seeds offered and Carol has five of them. She's now on the lookout for some Donald Duck Carrot Seeds!

The kit that Rob picked up was still in the original box but the package was ripped, torn, faded and discoloured. It was beyond repair. There was also a small plastic pot to plant the seeds in and a tiny plastic trowel. Just what an ittsy-bittsy gardener needs!

The best part, of course, was the seed packets and also the cute set of row markers for the garden.

Row Markers
Click to see a larger image

Aren’t they special?

And how about the fold-out Mickey & Friends Gardening Story Guide.

Gardening Guide

The 4¼” X 4½” pamphlet folds out to display six cartoon style panels of gardening tips for tiny green thumbs.

Fold out pamphlet
Click to see a larger image

How cool is that?

I have no idea how long the Disney licensed seeds were distributed in Canada, but they are no longer available. So Rob’s latest Disney gifts for his mother will be prized additions to her Disney Room.

I imagine that one of the big seed companies in the USA had a similar licensing arrangement.

Here's a question for all of my fellow AllEars.net readers:

Do you have similar seed packets and gardening kits in your Disney collections?





June 26, 2017

When a 'hard freeze' hit Walt Disney World in 1989, cast members turned to faux plants along Jungle Cruise

chuck-schmidt.jpg

jung.jpg
During the hard freeze of 1989 in Florida, most of the vegetation along the Jungle Cruise died, forcing Disney to bring in plastic stand-ins. [AllEars.Net]


The term "hard freeze" sends shivers up and down the spines of anyone in Florida associated with plant life. When the temperature dips below 32 degrees and stays that way for several hours, the affects can be devastating to vegetation.

In 1989, central Florida experienced a particularly tough hard freeze which lasted for several days. And Walt Disney World wasn't immune.

At Epcot, "the vegetation was virtually wiped out in that freeze," said Dennis Higbie, who went on to become Animal Kingdom's general curator of botanical programs. "We learned a lot in how to replace [plants] in record time."

At the Magic Kingdom, the Jungle Cruise was hit particular hard, especially when you consider the fact that there is so much natural vegetation growing all along the shorelines of the attraction.

According to Ted Kellogg, who was the supervisor of watercraft when Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and who was working in a more behind-the-scenes capacity during the time of the freeze, the water was drained from the Jungle Cruise to protect the submerged Audio-Animatronics figures.

ted2.jpg
Ted Kellogg enjoyed a long career with Disney, starting at Disneyland. He was the supervisor of watercraft when Walt Disney World opened, then transferred to behind-the-scenes work, helping to rehab a number of attractions and hotels. [Theme Park Press]

"But without water in the waterways," Ted added, "every tropical plant in the attraction literally froze to death."

Since it wasn't growing season, "there were no tropical plants available to replace them," Ted said. "So we bought every artificial plant we could find within 3,000 miles and brought them in by the truckload.

"We had an army of people getting rid of the dead plants and replacing them with all the artificial plants." It took about a week, but when the Jungle Cruise finally reopened, faux plants were the order of the day until the real things eventually returned with warmer weather. The thing is, nobody could tell the difference between the real and the fake plants.

But the Jungle Cruise's problems were the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

On the first morning following the hard freeze, "I got to work at 7 in the morning before the park was open and was walking through Cinderella Castle," Ted said. "When I got to the other side of the castle, I noticed that the water in the fountain in Fantasyland was frozen solid. At about 10 o'clock, sprinkler heads that were frozen began to thaw and crack."

It set off a chain reaction as water started leaking throughout the park.

"We had to bring in the Reedy Creek Fire Department to shut down every sprinkler system in the park. Eventually, we had to order tons of valves, repaint them and have them installed."

poly.jpg
Ted Kellogg supervised a rehab to the lobby of the Polynesian Village Resort in the mid-1990s. His innovative ideas saved the lobby from being closed during the work. [disneypix.com]

Ted Kellogg is a man of many stories, from Walt Disney World, to Disneyland, to his days as a fishing boat captain, to his once-in-a-lifetime trip with two buddies from southern California to South America by car, bus and dugout canoe.

He started by working part-time at Disneyland, often piloting either the Mark Twain riverboat or the top-heavy keel boats.

He came down to Florida with his new bride as part of the first wave of Disney cast members tasked with setting up opening the Magic Kingdom. After several years supervising the boats, Ted transferred to construction, supervising the rehabilitation of a variety of park attractions and on-property hotels.

He was the guy in charge when the California Grill was refurbished in the 1990s. Also in the 1990s at the Polynesian Village, his creative plan helped rehab the main lobby without having to close it, which would have been a major inconvenience for Poly guests.

Ted has written a book about all of his experiences, which I had the honor of contributing to. It will be available soon.





June 22, 2017

The Mousy Mindboggler

Riddle

THE MOUSY MINDBOGGLER

As you know if you subscribe to the AllEars® Weekly Newsletter, each month our friend James Dezern (known as "dzneynut" around several Disney discussion forums) supplies us with a puzzle of his own design.

Every month, James also Shares the Magic in another way -- by posting an all-new puzzle here in this AllEars.Net Guest Blog.

This month, James writes:

Here is the solution to the last crossword puzzle.

http://allears.net/ae/mb051617-key.pdf

We received 53 correct responses. All of you knew that the name of the sequel to "Old Yeller" was 1963's "Savage Sam," named after Old Yeller's son. At least the sequel didn't pull on your heartstrings, like the first one did!

The winner of a Pluto pin, randomly drawn from the correct responses, was Jodi A. of Madisonville, Lousiana.

If you missed it last month, that's OK, because here’s another chance.

http://allears.net/ae/mb061917.pdf

This month we are continuing our look at the huge library of Disney's live-action films. This month’s film, "The Shaggy Dog," was Disney’s first foray into the arena of live-action comedy. It was also a launching point for actors who would become mainstays in Disney live-action films to come, Fred MacMurray, Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran.

The object of this puzzle is, as always, to have fun, but if you'd like a chance to win a Disney collectible pin, send me the answer IN THE SUBJECT LINE OF AN EMAIL addressed to dzneynut.puzzle@gmail.com.

Send your entries no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on July 8, 2017. All correct answers will be entered into a random drawing, and the winner will be awarded a Disney pin. The answers and drawing winner will be posted in this Guest Blog sometime in July.

As always, any feedback on the puzzle format or topics would be appreciated! Drop me a line at dzneynut.puzzle@gmail.com.

Thanks for playing, everyone!





June 18, 2017

The Architecture at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Gary Cruise banner

I’m a big fan of Disney’s talented corps of Imagineers!

When they design the theme parks we all enjoy so completely they do a masterful job. Every aspect of the product they create is realistic and immersive.

The Hollywood Studios park is a prime example. When they began laying out the concepts for the new destination, led by Marty Sklar, they had one overriding goal, to create something that showed “tinsel-town” in its glory days.

Rod Serling says it well in his introduction at the Hollywood Tower of Terror: “Hollywood, 1939. Amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling, young movie town at the height of its golden age . . . “. That was what the Imagineers were striving to build in Florida . . . a way for us to experience exactly how Hollywood felt during that “golden age”.

They began by scouring modern day Hollywood for iconic examples of architecture and began planning the streetscapes around some of their favourites. An article in the Spring 2005 issue of Disney Magazine focuses on five of the buildings they incorporated in their final design. In the words of Imagineer Eric Jacobson, “Ninety percent of what you see on Hollywood Boulevard is inspired by, a modification of, or a copy of a real building in Los Angeles.”

The first building the article describes is Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, located on Hollywood Boulevard beside the Dolby Theatre and across from Disney’s El Capitan Theatre.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

The Florida reproduction of that famous Hollywood building houses The Great Movie Ride.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre 2006

Compare the picture from the article with a picture of the original building I snapped during a 2006 trip to Hollywood.

Have you noticed the building shaped like a camera on Hollywood Boulevard? It’s on your right as you walk toward Grauman’s Theatre. The picture in the magazine article shows the original building, on Wilshire Boulevard, as it appeared in 1938 and compares it to the reproduction that appears in the theme park.

The Darkroom

Here’s a picture of that same Los Angeles building as it appears today. I captured the image on Google Earth, check it out, it’s at 5370 Wilshire. These days the building houses a restaurant, but that unique camera façade will be with us for a very long time; it’s protected by the Los Angeles Conservancy!

The Darkroom today

Next on the list is the Max Factor Building on North Highland Avenue. Once again the illustration in the article compares the original building to the reproduction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s a remarkable likeness! Check it out when you visit the park; it’s across the street from The Darkroom.

Max Factor

Thanks to Google Earth and their Street View function I was able to get a picture of the building as it looks today. It looks like Max Factor has gone and this building is also now home to a restaurant.

Max Factor today

That building just inside the Hollywood Studios gate, the one with Mickey on top of the tower, it is a reproduction of another Hollywood icon, the Crossroads of the World building on Sunset Boulevard.

Crossroads of the World

Here’s what it looks like today!

Crossroads ot the World today

The last buildings the article looks at are the two stone building on either side of the entrance to The Hollywood Tower of Terror. In the theme park version the tall tower houses restrooms and the shorter building opposite it used to be home for the FastPass dispensers. They are modelled after The Hollywoodland Gates which in 1923 were at the end of Beachwood Drive. Hollywoodland was a new real estate development being built in the 1920’s and there was a huge sign erected up in the hills behind the gate. The “land” portion of the sign fell down, leaving the iconic Hollywood sign we all recognize today.

Hollywoodland Gates

Of course Hollywoodland is fully developed these days, but those old stone gates remain. You can find them near the corner of North Beachwood Drive and Belden Drive.

Hollywoodland Gates today

One last structure I’d like to look at is the entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That magnificent structure that first greets you, built in the Streamline Moderne style.

Hollywood Studios Entrance

It is also based on a Los Angeles building, The Pan Pacific Auditorium at 7600 West Beverly Boulevard.

Pan Pacific Auditorium

Once again the Imagineers created a remarkable likeness!

1600 Beverly Blvd today

Unfortunately, the auditorium no longer exists, it was consumed in a fire in 1989. Today the property is home to a sports field!

If you want to read more, the entire article from 2005 is included below. Click on each of the three images to read many fascinating details about each of the five buildings.

Disney Magazine Spring 2005 page 63

Disney Magazine Spring 2005 page 64

Disney Magazine Spring 2005 page 65

The Hollywood Studios park is currently transforming in a big way with the addition of new areas based on the Star Wars movies and the Toy Story movies.

While I’m very much looking forward to enjoying each of these new lands, I hope that we never lose that feeling of “glitz and glitter” the Imagineers created along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. When some of the talented “streetmosphere” performers appear among those classic buildings it makes me want to sing "Hooray for Hollywood".

I really enjoy the “golden age of Hollywood” feeling I get when I visit the park!





June 14, 2017

REVIEW: Cars 3

by Jeremiah Good
AllEars® Guest Blogger

Cars358c186cd67129.jpg

In 2006 after meeting Buzz, Woody, Nemo, and a bunch of Monsters a movie that really appealed to the little kid in me was released by Disney*Pixar, Cars. Being the first summer release Cars went on to be a critical and financial hit spawning a popular shorts series in the Cars Toons and now 2 major motion picture sequels. I personally felt the original Cars film still stands out as one of the best, start to finish, stories Disney*Pixar has done to date going through all the emotions and really getting to know and love the characters...yes even Mater, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. Cars 2 well that is a different story, I like to think of that just as a VERY LONG Cars Toons but Cars 3 recaptures the Lightning in the bottle.

Set in the natural progression of time from the first film we find Lighting McQueen, again voiced by Owen Wilson, still racing and having fun leading the pack with some of the other cars he has been racing over the years...that is till rookie Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer, shows up and starts winning.

If you have seen any of the trailers for this film you have seen how the story goes, Lightning has to pull a Rocky 3 and get back out there and train to be better, stronger, and faster with the help of the new car on the block Cruz Ramirez, Cristela Alonzo. Along the way we meet a handful of new Cars and really get back in touch with the heart and humor of the original story between mentor and student.


To be as spoiler free as possible this film follows the age old plot of and student/teacher film, that being said this does it perfectly! After Cars 2 I, along with most fans, had given up and just resided ourselves to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure was where we could go to relive the magic of the first film but Cars 3 is a fitting sequel to the original.

One of my biggest gripes with Cars 2 was the lack of remembrance of Paul Newman's Doc Hudson. Doc was not only a great character but was one of the last things Paul Newman did before his passing in 2008 and I felt needed more than a passing mention, especially since it was him that put Lightning back on the track to being a multiple time Piston Cup champion. Thankfully Cars 3 not only addresses Doc's legacy and passing they even were able to find unused recordings of Paul Newman to have him reprise his role in a few flashbacks. It really is learning about where his mentor came from that helps set the course for Lighting along with providing some classic moments that will be added to animated montages for years to come.

This film is, as one critic said "Nothing Short of Groundbreaking" from start to finish the richness of the backgrounds often times made me question if they were real or not and the sound makes you feel like you are on the raceway and of course the voice talents all fit perfect. It is hard to fit such a large cast, as the Cars franchise has become, into one film without feeling someone gets lots in the shuffle but from returning cast all the way to the new members we get a good feel for the story of how they are or what they have been up to since the last film.

If I had one negative to say about the film is the lack of catchy music or iconic score, the original used "Route 66" to tie the story and "Life is a Highway" has become synonymous with not only Cars but with any road trip thanks in part to its use in the original film, yet after walking out of Cars 3 I would be hard pressed to remember any song or even bits of the score used.

Overall I give Cars 3 a three and a half Piston Cups out of four, if I had walked out wanting to buy the soundtrack along with all the new cars I will be picking up it would have been perfect. It is a must see for the entire family and I will be going back to see it again!


RELATED LINKS:

Where to find Cars Characters
Press Event

June 5, 2017

Pandora reaffirms Animal Kingdom's commitment to animals, great, small and mythical

chuck-schmidt.jpg

ak7.jpg
The head of a Na'vi was on display near the Windtraders souvenir shop inside Pandora: The World of Avatar. [Cavrel Silvera]


With the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar, all eyes are on Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. And well they should be. The new land is everything it was hyped to be ... and so much more.

After walking through the totally immersive land recently ... after seeing the magnificent floating mountains; experiencing the frenetic, almost free-falling excitement of Avatar Flight of Passage, as well as the serene, colorful and mystical Na'vi River Journey ... Disney's creative staff has finally fulfilled the promise it made more than 20 years ago when the park was first conceived.

It has given us a land devoted to the world of mythical creatures ... while reaffirming its commitment to all animals great and small, as well as the environment.

I remember the first time I learned about Animal Kingdom. It was during a break between shows on The Disney Channel. The year was 1995 and the announcer told us about a fourth Disney park in Florida that was due to open in 1998. At the time, they called it Wild Animal Kingdom. This new park would tell us the story, as only Disney can, of the intriguing world of animals ... be they living, extinct or mythical.

Little did I know then that Disney's creative team had been exploring the concept of this new park for more than five years. Little did I know how much work, how much research, how much thought was going into the planning of what would become perhaps the most unique theme park on the planet. It would be zoo-like, but definitly nah-ta-zuh.

Beginning in 1990, a small team of Disney Imagineers, headed up by the incomparable Joe Rohde, traveled the world on a number of expeditions in an all-out effort to craft a park that was real, that was unique and that was authentic. The team included landscape architect Paul Comstock; concept show writer Kevin Brown; designer Zofia Kostyrko; associate producer Patsy Tillisch; concept architect Tom Sze; show designer John Shields and show producers Kelley Forde and Ann Malmlund.

kili.jpg
Giraffe and zebra roam freely on the savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom right after the park's opening in 1998. Zebras have since been moved to another section of the park. [Walt Disney World]

Comstock, Animal Kingdom's principal landscape architect, visited 37 states in America and 28 foreign countries in his quest to bring back rare seeds and plants, foliage that would create lush forests and a stunning savannah, as well as feed and nourish the permanent residents of the park. In total, Rohde and his small band visited Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar in 1990; Thailand and Nepal in 1993; Bali, India and Bhutan in 1994; Mexico in 1995, and East Africa in 1996.

The backbone of Disney's Animal Kingdom was and always will be, animals. But dealing with live animals is an arduous task, one that's labor-intensive and requires a complete and total level of commitment. When your average theme park closes at the end of the day, the lights are turned off, the gates are locked and everyone goes home. The hundreds of animals living at Animal Kingdom need care and attention 24/7, 365 days a year. Where other theme parks employs street sweepers and technical personnel overnight, Animal Kingdom has that, plus veterinarians and animal caretakers tending to everything from hippos to elephants to crocodiles.

From the beginning, Disney was committed to doing this new park the right way. An advisory board of renowned animal experts and zoologists was formed, giving Disney's creative team a decided edge when it came to attaining that goal.

"A lot of people out there tried to stick a knife and make a hole in [the park], trying to point a finger at the Mouse," Comstock said about those early days during the park's development. "We had to be clean and above board on everything."

They also had to learn a lot about animals, plants and the environment. For instance, some plants can be toxic to some animals. "There was a tree that grew naturally on the Animal Kingdom property that could kill a black rhino, even if he ate just a few leaves," Comstock said. Needless to say, those trees were removed.

About a year before Animal Kingdom opened, it began acquiring animals from accredited zoos around the country. They were brought to the property to familiarize them with their new surroundings. During that time, just about every species was taught to respond to certain sounds, which means when an animal hears his or her sound, they dutifully return to their specific backstage area.

ak1.jpg
A giraffe "splays" its legs as it drops down to get a drink of water. [Dorene Splitstone]

Once there, they receive food, care and, if needed, all-important medical attention.

Dr. Scott Terrell, who is director of Animal and Scientific Operations for Disney, has been on staff at Animal Kingdom since 1997. He's an expert on every animal on property; talking to him is educational and reveals an incredible level of commitment shown by the park's behind-the-scenes staff. We had the pleasure of chatting with him in Harambe Village during the recent Pandora press event. He possesses an encyclopedia knowledge of the animals, as well as a compassion and commitment to their well being.

"Zebras require a lot of attention, especially their hoofs," he said. "They’re basically horses, so we have to make sure their hoofs are really pristine, so they get a lot of attention. In order to work with them, we have to anesthetize them. They take a lot of work, as do our rhinos. Rhinos are so critically endangered, especially our black rhinos.

"We’re not in a breeding situation right now, but we pay a lot of attention to our female rhino, particularly if she were to breed someday. There are so few left, maybe 5,000 black rhinos and 20,000 white rhinos remaining in the world. The poachers have almost decimated their populations, all for the horns. A typical horn cost about $80,000 U.S., on the black market, so that’s several years’ income for a lot of people. There was a tragedy in Paris several months ago where several criminals broke into a zoo and took the rhino. There have been incidents where people have broken into museums and stolen the horn. We have pretty good security here, though."

Indeed, Animal Kingdom, all 500-plus acres, is the ultimate gated community. "The entire park is fenced in," Dr. Terrell said, "in large part to keep out predators, both animal and human. We also have cameras on all the fences."

ak6.jpg
There are 23 crocodiles on property at Disney's Animal Kingdom ... all boys, according to Dr. Scott Terrell. [Chuck Schmidt]

Staffers who work with the permanent residents of Animal Kingdom have to be on their toes at all times. "There’s always something new going on. We have a little social issue with our crocs going on right now," Dr. Terrell said. "They’re all boys. We have 23 boys, and boys will be boys. They’re always fighting. They actually have features so they can be self-identified. When they came to us they were all about four feet long, now they measure up to 11 feet long and weigh about 750 pounds. They’re trained to shift backstage as well and we have an area that they voluntarily go in to so we can treat them. We have a CAT scan that’s big enough that they can fit in it. They get as good care as we get, sometimes better."

As we talked with Dr. Terrell, several birds flew overhead. "Those are our macaws. They’re free flight and occasionally, they go on 'vacation,' but most of the time they do come back and they get a reward when they return. That’s really the way zoos should be going, where animals display natural behaviors."

Breeding is a welcomed byproduct of caring for the animals in the park.

"Tigers can be very difficult to breed," Dr. Terrell said. "If a male and a female don’t get along, they’ve been known to fight with one another, sometimes to the death. Fortunately, our male and female tigers are on pretty good terms.

"We recently had a baby elephant born here. Stella is up to 600 pounds, but she can’t quite feed herself yet. She actually won’t feed herself for about two years because she’s practicing using her trunk. She’ll be on mom’s milk until she’s about 5, but she’s always practicing how to use her trunk. She was about 240 pounds when she was born on Dec. 14. She’s been a pistol.

"And we just had 40 baby otters born on Discovery Island. Their big thing is to learn how to swim. The moms love water, but the dads don’t, so every time the moms put the babies in the water, the dads pull them out. Otters don’t know how to swim, they have to be taught by their parents."

ogden.jpg
The real Dr. Jackie Ogden, who recently retired as vice president of Animal Sciences at Animal Kingdom. [Walt Disney World]

Dr. Terrell let us in on a little secret about the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction in Pandora.

In the queue, "you'll see a scientist whose name is Dr. Jackie Ogden. That’s actually an homage to the woman who was vice president of Animal Sciences here for many years who recently retired. When they took Jackie to Flight of Passage and walked her through the queue and she heard her name, she actually broke down and cried."


May 26, 2017

REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirate of the Caribbean

by

Jeff Marshall
AllEars.Net Guest Blogger

Yesterday, Walt Disney Studios released its fifth entry into the evergreen "Pirates of the Caribbean" series with "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" is a movie that reminds us why we liked the Pirates franchise in the first place. Action, adventure, and romance are what make up some of the best points to any Pirates movie and this one does not lack in any of those departments.

The story follows our two main characters Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and Carina Smith (Kaya Scodelario) as they set out on quests to learn more about their families. They both realize their paths must inevitably cross with the “legendary” Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he races death itself at the hands of Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem).

This is a must-see for any fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, providing a well-told finale to the stories of Captain Jack and Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). I do hope to see more of these films, but if this is the end it's a fitting one for the crew of the Black Pearl.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" is in theaters now and will surely bring fans of all ages to go on an epic journey on the high seas.

In case you haven't seen it yet, here's the movie's thrilling trailer!

Page 1 of 3

Return to Blog Central

Categories