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January 1, 2013

Disney California Adventure Part Six of Six

Jack Spence Masthead


Yesterday I discussed Disney California Adventure's (DCA) newest addition, Cars Land. Today I'll be closing this series of articles with a description of Paradise Pier. Paradise Pier is based on Victorian boardwalks that were once found along the coast of California. It features "Coney Island" style rides and a midway. But before I go into detail about this land, I'd like to address some criticism that this section of the park often receives. Some people claim that Walt would never have built a "carnival" or offered midway games.

First off, I don't like to speculate about what Walt would do. We have no idea what Walt would think today. He was always changing with the times. In fact, I wrote an entire article around this fact. But I'd like to offer my opinion as to what Walt was thinking back in the early 1950's when he was planning Disneyland.

We've all heard the story of how Walt was watching his two daughters ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park when he thought to himself, there should be someplace where the entire family could go and enjoy themselves.

At that time in history, there was an amusement area and pier in Long Beach called The Pike. This spot offered your typical carnival rides like roller coasters, bumper cars, Ferris wheels, and midway games. It was about an hour's drive from Walt's home in Holmby Hills and I have no doubt that he visited The Pike on several occasions while planning Disneyland.

Walt knew he could do better than The Pike. He knew he could offer superior rides and a more pleasant environment. But his real complaint wasn't about the attractions and the midway, but the people who worked at and frequented The Pike.

Many of The Pike's employees were crusty old men who had experienced the seedier side of life. Coarse language and a gruff attitude were common among a number of the workers.

The Pike was located close to the naval shipyards of Long Beach. Because of this, sailors haunted the area in search of alcohol and loose women - both of which were plentiful.

The Pike also had a number of privately owned food stands and midway games, all doing their own thing. Many of the games of chance were dubious in their legitimacy and the food was of questionable quality. The Pike was typical of the amusement parks of the era and Walt knew this.

Don't get me wrong. The Pike had many fine, honest establishments and abundant opportunities for a good time. But in Walt's eyes, this was definitely not a place for a family with young children. Not to mention, he wanted total control over every aspect of his park. This was something that the carnivals and boardwalks of the day did not offer.


The Pike


In the first paragraph I mentioned that some people believe that Walt never would have built a "carnival" park with a midway. But is that true? Let's take a look at Disneyland in 1955. Dumbo was a simple spinning ride. The only difference between this attraction and a similar carnival ride was the passenger seating area. Walt simply spruced it up with an imaginative flair.

Take a look at the next picture of the original Disneyland Dumbo ride. This is not the elaborate attraction we're used to today. This was a simple carnival ride.


Dumbo


The Tea Cups are another good example of Walt taking existing carnival technology and theming it to one of his movies.


Tea Cups


One of the most beloved of all Fantasyland attractions, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, was simply an amusement park fun house ride that Walt dressed up with his own characters. Even today, this attraction uses two-dimensional figures throughout the ride - not elaborate AudioAnimatronics.


Mr. Toad's Wild Ride


As for midway games, Disneyland had two for many years. There were shootin' galleries in both Adventureland and Frontierland - the Frontierland gallery exists even today.


Adventureland Shootin' Gallery


I don't believe Walt would have a problem with a period-piece, well-themed boardwalk/carnival in one of his parks today - just as long as it was clean, well run, and free from a rowdy environment. Paradise Pier meets all of those criteria.

Despite its name, Paradise Pier does not sit on a pier. It's arranged boardwalk-style and circles Paradise Bay. Although it can be entered from two locations, only one entrance is labeled with a sign.


Paradise Pier Entrance

Paradise Pier Entrance


The first structure we come to is Ariel's Grotto. This restaurant offers character dining with the princesses and serves American cuisine. Ariel's Grotto sits on the water and offers spectacular views of much of Paradise Pier. Its interior theming is "under the sea."


Ariel's Grotto

Ariel's Grotto


When DCA first opened, this restaurant offered first-class seafood and was run by Wolfgang Puck. It was named Avalon Cove after the city on Catalina Island.


Avalon Cove


The Imagineers knew that much of Epcot's attendance was derived from guests seeking out the many fine eating establishments the park offered. So they reasoned that the throngs of guests who would be visiting DCA would also be thrilled to dine at an upscale eatery run by such a well-known celebrity chef. But the throngs of guests never materialized. DCA was projected to draw an average of 19,000 people a day. Eight months after opening, it was drawing a mere 4,500 people a day. Avalon Cove suffered severely with these small crowds and Wolfgang Puck withdrew from the restaurant in October of 2001. Avalon Cove didn't even last a year.

There is a small shop located across the walkway from Ariel's Grotto which sells the typical DCA souvenirs.


Shop


From the shop, the boardwalk curves downward to the main thoroughfare. Along the way, several period billboards advertise DCA attractions and present-day products.


Billboards

Billboards

Billboards


This area of the boardwalk is also a good spot to watch the rollercoaster, California Screamin', launch its guests on a raucous ride.


California Screamin'


In a previous article, I mentioned that Soarin' Over California was one of the parks few, hit attractions. California Screamin' was the other runaway sensation.

Designed to resemble an early 20th century wooden coaster, California Screamin' is actually a steel coaster. It is the eighth longest roller coaster in the world at 6,072 feet. It was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and was built by Intamin, a company known around the world for creating thrill rides and roller coasters. The coaster uses a linear induction motor to launch its trains up the first hill. Guests accelerate from zero to 55 miles an hour in four seconds. Like Space Mountain at Disneyland, the cars are equipped with speakers and jammin' music is piped to each seat during the ride. California Screamin' is an integral part of the boardwalk and winds its way above and around many of the buildings here.


California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'


Here's a picture of me, accelerating to 55 miles an hour in four seconds.


Jack on California Screamin'


California Screamin' has one inversion loop. Before the recent DCA refurbishment, the loop was highlighted by a giant silhouette of Mickey Mouse. But this was changed recently and now a massive sun emphasizes the inversion. More on this later.


Inversion Loop

Inversion Loop


Near the entrance to California Screamin' is King Triton's Carousel of the Sea. Rather than riding on horses, this simple merry-go-round features colorful flying fish, sea horses, dolphins, whales and other ocean creatures.


King Triton's Carousel of the Sea

King Triton's Carousel of the Sea

King Triton's Carousel of the Sea


Displayed around the carousel's canopy are the names of a number of the former and present day piers and boardwalks found up and down the California coast.


Pier Names


One of the first attractions added to DCA as part of the parks $1.1 billion refurbishment was Toy Story Midway Mania. It opened on June 17, 2008 and was an immediate success. In addition, the attraction's theming fit perfectly along a boardwalk that also featured real midway games.


Toy Story Midway Mania


The basic attraction is almost identical to its cousin at Disney's Hollywood Studios. However, the queue and loading areas are entirely different. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, a large portion of the line is indoors and features a number of oversized nostalgic games. At DCA, much of the line is covered, but it is still open to the outdoors and not air-conditioned. In addition, no games are displayed.

At DCA, Mr. Potato Head is in clear view of the boardwalk. Here, he acts as a barker, drawing attention to himself, the guests, and Toy Story Midway Mania.


Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head


The loading zone is also open-air and does not feature the games of Andy's room. Instead, this area continues the boardwalk theme with brightly colored graphics and a multitude of overhead light bulbs.


Toy Story Loading Area

Toy Story Loading Area


Appropriately, real midway games can be found just a little further down the boardwalk from Toy Story Midway Mania. And unlike the midway games found at Dinoland U.S.A at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the stuffed animal prizes you can win at DCA are Disney themed.


Midway Games

Midway Games

Midway Games


Further along the boardwalk we find shops and other places of interest. Don't worry. They're not real tattoos. They're the temporary type.


Midway

Midway

Midway

Midway


Also lining the boardwalk are a number of concession stands offering popcorn, hotdogs, sodas, and other traditional amusement park fare.


Concession Stands


When DCA first opened, its giant Ferris wheel was called the Sun Wheel. It appropriately featured a giant sun at its center.


Sun Wheel


One of the major complaints guests had about DCA was its lack of a Disney identity. So as part of the recent makeover, Mickey's rather undistinguished silhouette was removed from California Screamin' (see above) and a more familiar and personal image of his countenance was added to the Sun Wheel. In addition, the attraction was renamed Mickey's Fun Wheel.


Mickey's Fun Wheel


In a further effort to Disneyfy Mickey's Sun Wheel, each of the gondolas was given a new persona. Gone are the old "Paradise Pier" logos to be replaced with the faces of Disney characters.


Sun Wheel Gondola

Fun Wheel Gondola


Mickey's Fun Wheel is 160 feet tall. Its design was inspired by the 1920 Wonder Wheel found at Coney Island. These two Ferris wheels differ from most others in that a number of their gondolas ride along oblong shaped tracks within the wheel. This causes the gondolas to slide inward and outwards as the wheel rotates. Mickey's Fun Wheel offers 24 gondolas of which 16 swing. Guests may choose to ride in a sliding or fixed gondola. Each gondola can hold up to six people. The swinging gondolas offer the most thrill and can be nerve-racking for the faint of heart.


Mickey's Fun Wheel


The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel are spectacular and offer some good photo opportunities. However, for safety reasons, the gondolas are completely caged in and you must look out through wire mesh.


The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel

The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel

The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel


Not all attractions received a makeover during DCA's renovation. In the case of the Maliboomer, it was removed completely. The Maliboomer was a thrill ride that launched guests straight up a 180 foot tall pylon at a speed of 40 miles an hour and generating g-forces of 3.5.

Disney's official reason for removing Maliboomer was that Paradise Pier is supposed to represent of Boardwalk of the 1920's and this type of attraction had not been invented yet. However, Goofy's Fly School also doesn't meet this criteria and it survived (see below).


Maliboomer

Maliboomer

Maliboomer


One Paradise Pier attraction received a major identity reassignment. The original Orange Stinger was an off-the-shelf "wave swinger" ride. Guests sat in swing chairs and were lifted upwards and spun while the overhead canopy undulated. This undulating motion added an up and down, or wave motion which increased the thrill factor of the ride. The orange design paid tribute to the orange groves that once populated the land Disneyland now sits on.


Orange Stinger

Orange Stinger


Like the Sun Wheel, the Imagineers wanted to give the Orange Stinger a Disney identity. So the orange was removed and the attraction was rethemed after one of Mickey's famous cartoons, "The Band Concert." Renamed "Silly Symphony Swings," this revamped ride now reenacts the tornado that played havoc on Mickey's orchestra. To the music of William Tell Overture, the center column rises, exposing more and more of the band members as the storm whips them around.


Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings


A nice byproduct of this refurbishment was the creation of a lovely and mostly forgotten seating area. This is a wonderful spot to sit waterside and take a breather.


Silly Symphony Swings Seating Area


Another section of Paradise Pier also received a major makeover. In the early years, there was a food court here that featured two counter service restaurants. These were Pizza Oom Mow Mow and Burger Invasion. The theme was that of freestanding beachside food stands. Although the concept was carried out well, it still felt cheap and cheesy. In addition, most of the seating was exposed to the elements with just a few umbrellas to shield you from the sun.


Old Food Court

Old Food Court

Old Food Court


This area was replaced by a beautiful Victorian pavilion. It's difficult to express what a wonderful transformation took place here. This food court is stunning and in my opinion, the most elegant counter service area of any Disney park. It is truly splendid. The offerings here are Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill.


Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion


As we continue our trip around the boardwalk we come to Goofy's Sky School. This is an off-the-shelf "wild mouse roller coaster" (similar to Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom - but with no spinning). The ride is based on Disney's animated short "Goofy's Glider".


Goofy's Sky School

Goofy's Sky School

Goofy's Sky School


As with other attractions, Goofy's Sky School is the result of reworking an older attraction and giving it a Disney persona. In the beginning, the ride was called Mulholland Madness and was supposed to represent the famous Mulholland Drive, a twisting and turning roadway that snakes its way through the Santa Monica Mountains.


Mulholland Madness


This attraction is a perfect example of why DCA had a reputation of being a cheap, off-the-shelf park. Many couldn't believe that after Disney had built such wonderful coasters as the Matterhorn and Thunder Mountain that they would allow such a cheap ride within one of their parks. Disney would counter that Mulholland Madness fit the theme of a boardwalk amusement park.

The retheming of this attraction from Mulholland Madness to Goofy's Sky School was minimal. There just isn't that much anyone can do to spruce up such a ride. Luckily, most of the track is hidden from public view and doesn't intrude onto the boardwalk.

Next to Mulholland Madness there was a large, sunglass-wearing dinosaur. He also was a victim of the refurbishment and was eliminated as he reeked California beach rather than Victorian boardwalk.


Dinosaur


Across from Goofy's Sky School is Jumpin' Jellyfish. This is a parachute jump-style ride that has been given a marine-life theme. Unlike Maliboomer which was a true thrill ride, Jumpin' Jellyfish is much tamer and offers a gentle ascent and decent. This ride remained virtually unchanged during the makeover.


Jumpin' Jellyfish


Next door we find Golden Zephyr, another ride that was left as-is during the refurbishment. This attraction features six Buck Rogers-style rocket ships suspended from a rotating tower. When the tower spins, the centrifugal force propels the rockets outward over the land and water.

This is a pretty tame ride. Unless you have a fear of heights, you should be okay.


Golden Zephyr

Golden Zephyr

Golden Zephyr


The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure is also a part of Paradise Pier. However, I have already discussed this attraction in Part Four of this series.

Disney learned long ago that fireworks and shows like Fantasmic encouraged guests to linger at Disneyland longer than they might have otherwise without such nighttime entertainment. They also learned that the longer guests stay in the park, the more money they spend on food and souvenirs.

When trying to turn around DCA, the Disney executives new they needed to create some super fantastic nighttime entertainment if they wanted guests to remain in their struggling park after sundown. And since Disneyland already had fireworks, they had to find something else. Thus was born World of Color.

World of Color is a nighttime spectacular that takes place one to two times each evening on Paradise Bay. A combination of water jets, lasers, mist, fire, Disney animation, and Disney music combine to create a magnificent production that never fails to woo audiences. It officially opened on June 11, 2010.


World of Color

World of Color

World of Color

World of Color

World of Color


Opening Song of The World of Color:



Aladdin Sequence World of Color:



It's estimated that Disney spent $75 million to design and build World of Color. The show uses more than 1,000 fountains that can shoot water up to 200 feet into the air.
The fire nozzles can project flames 50 feet skyward. And the fans of mist act as projection screens for animation.

Although the show can be seen from anywhere around Paradise Pier, it is definitely directional and best viewed from Paradise Park. This terraced garden/park can accommodate 4,000 spectators. FastPass is available as are prime viewing locations when combined with a dinner package at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. Disney even sells special Mouse Ears that receive radio transmissions and the ears blink and change color with the show.


Paradise Park

Paradise Park


This concludes my series of articles about Disney California Adventure. I know it's hard to believe after six long columns, but I've only scratched the surface. DCA has many details that I haven't begun to mention.

As we know, DCA got off to a rocky start. But Disney has done the right thing and corrected many of the mistakes that were made here. There is still room for improvement, but this will come in time. In the meantime, DCA is worth your consideration. It makes an excellent companion park to Disneyland and the entire resort is magical. If you haven't already visited the "new" DCA, I hope you make plans to do so soon.

I would like to thank my friend Jason (Disney Geek) for providing me with pictures my own Disney library was missing.



January 7, 2013

Is it the Disneyland Resort or WDW? -- A Quiz - Questions

Jack Spence Masthead

Today's quiz will test your knowledge of the two American Disney resorts. The game is really quite simple. I will show you a picture and you will have to determine if it was taken at the Disneyland Resort or at Walt Disney World. That's all there is to it.

Since you have a 50-50 chance on each question, I expect you to get at least half of them correct. But try to do better than that. Try to figure out "why" the subject matter belongs to one resort and not the other.

Like all of my quizzes, no winner will be announced and no prizes awarded. The answers will appear in tomorrow's column.

Good luck!


1. Let's start with this picture of Schweitzer Falls. Is it located at Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom?


Schweitzer Falls


2. While riding Thunder Mountain we see the remains of a dinosaur. At which park is this petrified monster located?


Thunder Mountain Dinosaur


3. While we're on the subject of dinosaurs, where can these fellows be found, Disneyland or Epcot?


Dinosaurs


4. Here we have Mr. Potato Head. What do you think, Disney's Hollywood Studios or Disney California Adventure?


Mr. Potato Head


5. Where do you think Lightning McQueen was touring about on this fine day?


Lightning McQueen


6. Who do you think this judge is sentencing for grievous wrongdoings?


Judge


7. Prince Eric lives bicoastal. Where can we find this home of his?


Prince Eric Castle


8. The Rivers of America plays home to both the Mark Twain and the Liberty Belle. Which do we have here?


Riverboat


9. While circling the Rivers of America, we come across a tribe of Native Americans. Do the people in the next picture call Anaheim or Orlando home?


Native Americans


10. Which park do we find this sign advertising the Hollywood Tower Hotel?


Tower of Terror Sign


11. Here we have the Cozy Cone Motel located in Radiator Springs. But which Radiator Springs?


Cozy Cone Motel


12. Where is this restaurant that is bathed in perpetual nightfall?


Cozy Cone Motel


13. Where can these lovely hula dancers be found?


Hula Dancer


14. Here we have a picture of me ready to blast off on Space Mountain. At what park was I taking this journey?


Space Mountain


15. Here we see me riding Splash Mountain. Once again, at what park am I taking this journey?


Splash Mountain


16. This is a back alley I'd rather not find myself in after dark. So which resort offers this less than friendly venue?


Back Alley


17. At what pet cemetery can we find this dearly departed pig?


Rosie


18. Obviously, this next picture was taken on "it's a small world." This picture offers a blatant clue as to which park it is located in, Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom. Which is it?


it's a small world


19. Where can you play this carnival game?


Carnival Game


20. Where can we find this vehicle?


Tractor



January 8, 2013

Is it the Disneyland Resort or WDW? -- A Quiz - Answers

Jack Spence Masthead


Yesterday I asked you to determine whether a picture was taken at the Disneyland Resort or at Walt Disney World. But besides picking the resort, I asked you to determine "why" it belongs in one park and not another. Here are the answers. I hope you scored 100%. .

Like all of my quizzes, no winner will be announced and no prizes awarded.


1. Let's start with this picture of Schweitzer Falls. Is it located at Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom?


Schweitzer Falls


Disneyland is the answer. As you can see, Schweitzer Falls at Disneyland produces significantly less water than its counterpart at the Magic Kingdom.


Schweitzer Falls


2. While riding Thunder Mountain we see the remains of a dinosaur. At which park is this petrified monster located?


Dinosaur.jpg


Disneyland is the correct answer. You can tell because the dinosaur at Disneyland faces left while his counterpart at the Magic Kingdom faces right. This is because the track configurations of the two attractions are mirror images of one another.


Dinosaur


3. While we're on the subject of dinosaurs, where can these fellows be found, Disneyland or Epcot?


Triceratopses


This question was easy. The answer is Disneyland's Primeval World. There are no triceratopses on Ellen's Energy Adventure in Epcot.

4. Here we have Mr. Potato Head. What do you think, Disney's Hollywood Studios or Disney California Adventure?


Mr. Potato Head


The answer is Disney California Adventure. At DCA, Mr. Potato Head is located outside. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, he can be found inside. The backdrop for the two barkers is also quite different.


Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head


5. Where do you think Lightning McQueen was touring about on this fine day?


Lightning McQueen


If you look closely at the above picture, you can see the buildings of New York Street decorated with Christmas lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Below we see Lightning touring Radiator Springs at Disney California Adventure.


Lightning McQueen


6. Who do you think this judge is sentencing for grievous wrongdoings?


Judge


This judge can be found in the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride attraction at Disneyland. At one time, he also handed down verdicts at the Magic Kingdom at WDW, but his court here was permanently adjourned in 1998.

The first picture below was taken at the Magic Kingdom, the second at Disneyland.


Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride


7. Prince Eric lives bicoastal. Where can we find this home of his?


Prince Eric Castle


The above home of Prince Eric is a miniature and can be found at Disneyland's Storybook Land Canal Boats. His home in Florida's Magic Kingdom is much larger.


Prince Eric Castle

Storybook Land Canal Boats

Prince Eric Castle


8. The Rivers of America plays home to both the Mark Twain and the Liberty Belle. Which do we have here?


Riverboat


The Liberty Belle only has one smoke stack and calls the Magic Kingdom home. The Mark Twain of Disneyland has two smoke stacks.


Riverboat


9. While circling the Rivers of America, we come across a tribe of Native Americans. Do the people in the next picture call Anaheim or Orlando home?


Native Americans


At Disneyland (above) we find a storyteller passing on the beliefs of his people to others in his tribe. No such scene exists in the Magic Kingdom (below).


Native Americans


10. Which park do we find this sign advertising the Hollywood Tower Hotel?


Tower of Terror Sign


This marquee can be found at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It features a somewhat gothic look. At Disney California Adventure, the sign takes on a more Spanish motif to match the surrounding West Coast architecture.


Tower of Terror Sign


11. Here we have the Cozy Cone Motel located in Radiator Springs. But which Radiator Springs?


Cozy Cone Motel


The above picture was taken in the "Cars" section of the Art of Animation Resort. This should have been easy for you to figure out as you can see the hotel in the background.

Below we have another version of this "motor" lodge. This one is located in the Cars Land section of Disney California Adventure. As you can see, the lobby of the California version is substantially smaller than its Art of Animation counterpart.


Cozy Cone Motel


12. Where is this restaurant that is bathed in perpetual nightfall?


Nighttime Restaurant


The above picture was taken of the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. You can tell by the Chinese lanterns hanging overhead and the plantation in the background.

Below is the San Angel Inn Restaurant found in the Mexico Pavilion of Epcot. They look similar to one another when viewed from the ride, but are really quite different when studied up close.


Nighttime Restaurant


13. Where can these lovely hula dancers be found?


Hula Dancer


This was actually a trick question. Although the above picture was taken at Disneyland, it can no longer be seen there today. There once was a restaurant in Adventureland known as the Tahitian Terrace. It operated from 1962 until 1993 and featured Polynesian cuisine accompanied by hula dancers and fire eaters.

However, you should have known that the picture was not taken at the Spirit of Aloha show at the Polynesian Resort. The background in the above picture features an open-air, plant-filled backdrop while the show in Florida features a more elaborate stage with a solid backdrop.


Spirit of Aloha Stage


14. Here we have a picture of me ready to blast off on Space Mountain. At what park was I taking this journey?


Space Mountain


I was in a Magic Kingdom space vehicle. You can tell because I was sitting solo, single file with the other riders. At Disneyland, the space craft is wider and guest sit side-by-side.


Space Mountain


15. Here we see me riding Splash Mountain. Once again, at what park am I taking this journey?


Splash Mountain


Here things are reversed. At Disneyland, guests ride single-file in hollowed out logs. At the Magic Kingdom, guests sit side-by-side.


Splash Mountain


16. This is a back alley I'd rather not find myself in after dark. So which resort offers this less than friendly venue?


Back Alley


This alley can be found at Disney's Hollywood Studios. To my knowledge, the Disneyland Resort has no comparable scene.


17. At what pet cemetery can we find this dearly departed pig?


Rosie


Rosie can be seen outside of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion. Here, the pet cemetery is located adjacent to the queue. At the Magic Kingdom, the pet cemetery is located on a hill, making the angle of the picture taken of Rosie impossible - not to mention, Rosie isn't one of the pets buried at the MK.


Disneyland Cemetery

WDW Cemetery


18. Obviously, this next picture was taken on "it's a small world." This picture offers a blatant clue as to which park it is located in, Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom. Which is it?


it's a small world


This picture of "it's a small world" was taken in the Magic Kingdom. We know this because the water comes up to and surrounds the dolls and props on each side of the waterway. At Disneyland, the boats ride in a canal. No water is present near the various dolls and scenery.


it's a small world

it's a small world


19. Where can you play this carnival game?


Carnival Game


"Bullseye Stallion Stampede" can be found in the Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure. Although Walt Disney World offers two areas that feature such games (Dinoland at the Animal Kingdom and the Boardwalk Resort), only Paradise Pier offers "Bullseye Stallion Stampede."

Below we see "Watergun Fun" at the Boardwalk and "Mammoth Marathon" at the Animal Kingdom.


Carnival Game

Carnival Game


20. Where can we find this vehicle?


Tractor


This modern-looking vehicle is the tram tractor at the Disneyland Resort. Although the cars guest ride in are very similar to those found at the WDW parks, the power that pulls them are quite different. Below is the WDW version.


Tractor



January 14, 2013

IBM - THINK

Jack Spence Masthead


IBM opened an exhibit in Innoventions West on January 9, 2013. This new interactive display celebrates IBM's 100th anniversary by discussing and promoting the necessary tools needed for invention and progress. The display also examines how science has changed our lives for the better. When you think of it, that was Walt's original idea for Tomorrowland at Disneyland when it opened in 1955.


THINK Exterior

THINK Exterior

THINK Exterior


As you can see in the pictures above, THINK is the catchphrase for this exhibit. For without thought, there would be no innovation. I felt there was a similarity between IBM's "computer" graphics and those found in the new Test Track.

When first entering the display area, you will see a small theater and a countdown clock. Here, a nine minute movie is shown that beautifully displays the essence of the exhibit. The editing of this film is wonderful.


THINK Theater

THINK Theater

THINK Theater


In my opinion, you should skip the film until AFTER you've looked around the exhibit and tried some of the hands on displays. If you see the movie without the proper background you will be totally lost. That's what happened to me. When I arrived, the next showing was in 23 seconds so I thought, "I better see this NOW." Although I enjoyed the presentation, the message was a little cloudy without the proper set up. After touring the exhibits, I saw the film again and everything made a lot more sense.

The THINK exhibit promotes the concept that all progress comes from five basic components, Seeing, Mapping, Understanding, Believing, and Acting.


THINK Components


SEEING: Capturing the world's data with increasingly precise tools - from clocks and scales to microscopes, telescopes, and FRID chips.

MAPPING: Organizing this data to show patterns - through geographic maps, calendars, charts, and data-visualization tools.

UNDERSTANDING: Explaining complex systems - like weather forecasting and airplane testing - and predicting their behavior.

BELIEVING: Gaining confidence to drive progress and persuading others that change is possible.

ACTING: Designing and building systems to make the world work better.

To help guests better understand these components of progress, a number of large monitor-monoliths have been placed around the room. Each of these giant screens tackles a different component and helps the guests understand the part it plays in developing positive change.


Monitors

Monitors


By swiping the screens in the same manner as you operate your smart phone, guests can access an array of information. I played with one interactive monitor that showcased many of the great inventions that took place over the centuries and helped us live better lives.

In the next pictures, you can see how I selected the topic of Earthquakes. I then discovered that the first seismograph was invented in China in 132AD.


Monitor Information

Monitor Information

Monitor Information

Monitor Information


To honor IBM's 100th anniversary, a "ribbon" circles the room and presents "Icons of Progress." These represent milestones and breakthroughs that have changed the way we work and live. For more information on this topic, guests are encouraged to go to ibm.com/think.


Icons of Progress

Icons of Progress


Another wall features a bank of monitors. This is the area of the exhibit best suited for children as these screens offer an entertaining game. I won't go into detail as to how the game is played, but at the conclusion of each session, the winner is given one of ten possible buttons as determined by the outcome. Of course, it's IBM's hope that true Disney fans will want the entire collection of pins, enticing them to play the game multiple times - and thus, learn more about IBM.


Game

Buttons


At the end of the game, guests have the option of having their picture taken and sending an electronic postcard to two of their friends. Note, you will not be put on any mailing list and you will not receive any ads from IBM if you opt to send a postcard. Also, this database is purged of all email addresses every six months.


Postcard

Postcard


For those guests and educators who want to learn more about the THINK project, they can download an app for their iPad and Android tablets. A QR code is displayed on one of the walls to help with this process.


QR code


Across the walkway from the main exhibit is a super computer. Unfortunately, it is behind smoked glass so a good picture of it is difficult to obtain.


Super Computer


IBM maintains the World Community Grid. This grid is made up of super computers like this one and a half million personal home computers whose idle time is being donated by their owners. This computer power is "loaned" free-of-charge to organizations conducting humanitarian-type research, but who may not have the means necessary to utilize such a powerful computing machine. Some of the work being conducted on this network includes finding better AIDS drugs, analyzing complex traffic patterns, solar energy cell research, and more effective cancer treatments.

The THINK exhibit is manned by both IBM employees and Disney cast members. I would like to thank Andrew (who works for IBM) for taking the time to help me understand this newest addition to Innoventions.


Andrew

Andrew


So what did I think of this new exhibit.

Like most of Innoventions, I believe these exhibits are best put off until your second day of touring Epcot. There is no way THINK can compare to Soarin', Test Track, or Mission: Space. But once the urgency of these super-attractions is out of the way, Innoventions has a lot to offer.

I believe that THINK is heavy on information and light on entertainment. Although the monolith monitors are fun to maneuver, there is nothing groundbreaking in their function. As I mentioned earlier, anyone with a smart phone already is familiar with this information delivery system.

Kids will be totally bored at THINK. Yes, there is a game for them to play, but that's about it. All of the displays are very adult in nature and not alluring to anyone under 16.

For trivia buffs, there is a lot of great information to be garnered here. This would be a wonderful place to practice before auditioning for Jeopardy.

Like everything in life, the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. THINK definitely falls into this category. In order to get anything out of it, you will need to invest some time.



January 21, 2013

Flame Tree Barbecue

Jack Spence Masthead


I have eaten at every Disney restaurant at Walt Disney World multiple times. And I will continue to rotate where I dine when visiting the parks and hotels. I do this not only because I like variety, but it also helps me keep current on changes and updates that are constantly occurring around property. However, I still have my favorite eateries that I return to again and again. At the Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbecue is one of the spots that I visit often.


Flame Tree Barbecue


Flame Tree Barbecue is an outdoor restaurant that is located on the east side of Discovery Island, near the entrance to Dinoland U.S.A. The front of the building is bathed in shades of orange and turquoise with other festive colors thrown in for good measure. A number of whimsical animals adorn the exterior.


Exterior Animals

Exterior Animals

Exterior Animals

Exterior Animals

Exterior Animals


On slow days, guests can simply walk up to any of the several registers and order their meals. On busier days, a single-line arrangement will be implemented to help speed up the queue and alleviate that inevitable "picking the wrong line" situation.


Single Line


The register to the far left is designated for use by those traveling in wheelchairs (but anyone can use it). There is even a special window on the side of the building to facilitate easier food pick-up.


Special Window


Like all Disney counter service restaurants, Flame Tree Barbecue features large, overhead menus and each register handles two lines.


Menus and Registers


Don't arrive at Flame Tree Barbecue expecting the traditional flavors you might encounter at chain BBQ restaurants. The meat smoking process and the seasonings are unique and offer a different experience than can be had at many other establishments. In fact, at one time, Disney posted a sign informing guests that their meat smoking process caused the meat to have a pinkish color, but not to worry, it was thoroughly cooked.

The big draw here is the BBQed ribs and chicken. These can be ordered separately or as a combo meal. These selections are accompanied with sides of baked beans and coleslaw.


Ribs

Combo Plate


The side dishes have changed various times over the years. When I first started eating here, Disney offered a half cob of corn. I really liked this selection, but alas, it was discontinued. Disney claimed that they were not able to maintain quality and the corn was often served soggy. I never experienced this problem, but I guess others did.

Although I don't have a picture of it, the pulled-pork sandwich served here is also quite tasty.

For an additional charge you can order a side of French fries or onion rings. I highly recommend the onion rings. They are wonderful - unhealthy for you - but wonderful.


Onion Rings


But for those of you who wish to eat healthy, Flame Tree Barbecue offers several options. The Smoked Turkey Breast sandwich is a good bet. Its generous portion of meat is topped with a cranberry mayonnaise and served with a fresh fruit side.


Turkey Sandwich


The Barbecued Chicken Salad is also a nice choice. This bowl of mixed greens is full of slivers of barbecued chicken - a bite of meat on every fork. The dressing is light and the BBQ flavor doesn't overpower. This is a refreshing choice on a hot day.


Barbecued Chicken Salad


But for me, the best healthy option is the Fruit Plate. This selection features slices and chunks of seasonal fruit served with honey yogurt. It's natural and it's good. To my knowledge, no other counter-service restaurant at WDW serves anything comparable to this attractive and tasty plate.


Fruit Plate


Flame Tree Barbecue is open for lunch and dinner. To see the complete menu, click here.

Once you have your food, it's time to find a table. At Flame Tree Barbecue, the seating area has been divided into a number of small sections. Many of these are beneath colorful pavilions, each surrounded by lush foliage.


Pavilion

Pavilion

Pavilion


Each pavilion has a condiment stand where you can pick up napkins, tableware, BBQ sauce and other necessities. This arrangement is nice as it allows you to first find a table, then return for those extras needed for your meal.


Condiment Stand


One of the most popular pavilions sits waterside and offers a spectacular view of Expedition: Everest. With every bite, you can hear the screams of delight as intrepid explorers careen down the mountain.


Waterside Pavilion

View of Everest


Flame Tree Barbecue also offers one of the most serene and tranquil seating options in all of WDW. Here, tables surround a reflection pool that is filled with animal sculptures and a few real creatures as well. I can't begin to describe how wonderful this spot is. When dining here, you feel miles away from the hubbub and the masses.


Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool

Reflecting Pool


Oh. I forgot to mention. When you receive your meal, you will find a small card on your tray asking you to refrain from feeding the animals.


Do Not Feed the Animals


As any of my regular readers know, I become annoyed when I hear people say that the Animal Kingdom is a half-day park. Anyone eating near the reflecting pond at Flame Tree Barbecue should be inclined to spend at least a half hour here consuming their meal, maybe more. This area is extremely beautiful and peaceful and should be savored, not quickly scanned as you devour your food.

Now it's time to discuss the overall theming of Flame Tree Barbecue. The sign out front should give you a clue. Can you figure it out by examining the next picture?


Flame Tree Sign


Above you see a gator catching his lunch. Well, that's the theme of Flame Tree Barbecue - Predator and Prey.

Each of the pavilions reveals this theme in a lighthearted fashion. Although done in a way that won't put off young children or those who are skittish about nature, the message is obvious once you notice it. Let's take a look at the pavilions, one by one, to see what I'm talking about.

In this first pavilion we find owls hungrily surveying a colony of rabbits on the building's support posts. On the nearby windsocks we see a rabbit scurrying into its hole as the owl swoops in for the kill. Even the lampposts that illuminate the entire dining area feature owls and bunnies.


Owls and Bunnies

Owls and Bunnies

Owls and Bunnies


Next we have spiders searching for butterflies.


Spiders and Butterflies

Spiders and Butterflies

Spiders and Butterflies


At another pavilion we have eagles looking for everyone's favorite creature, the snake.


Eagles and Snakes

Eagles and Snakes

Eagles and Snakes


This next pavilion demonstrates that with the exception of those at the top of the food chain, all creatures can be both predator and prey. Here we find snakes in control as they pursue mice.


Snakes and Mice

Snakes and Mice

Snakes and Mice

Snakes and Mice


At our waterside pavilion we have crocks munching on fish.


Crocks and Fish

Crocks and Fish


Next we find an anteater using his sticky tongue to gobble up a nest of ants.


Anteater and Ants

Anteater and Ants

Anteater and Ants


I'm not sure what this next creature is - maybe an eel. At any rate, she seems to have a penchant for crab. Don't worry; Sebastian is nowhere to be seen. On second thought, maybe we should worry - Sebastian is nowhere to be seen.


Eel and Crabs

Eel and Crabs

Eel and Crabs


Even the tables and chairs continue this Predator and Prey theme.


Table

Chair


I find it interesting that at a restaurant that specializes in pork products features a statue of a cat-like creature capturing a pig. I enjoy the irony.


Cat & Pig


Personally, I think the Predator and Prey theming of Flame Tree Barbecue offers parents a wonderful opportunity to teach young children about nature. The depictions here are cartoonish so should not be threatening to little ones. After all, unless you've ordered the Fruit Plate, by eating here, you are demonstrating that humans are at the top of the food chain.

I like Flame Tree Barbecue a lot. I enjoy the food and I appreciate the atmosphere. However, this restaurant offers no indoor seating. If it's really cold or really hot outside, you might want to try another of my favorite Animal Kingdom restaurants, Pizzafari. But if the weather is nice, this is a wonderful spot for good food and a pleasant atmosphere.



January 28, 2013

Walt Disney World Guide Maps

Jack Spence Masthead


I suspect that I could take a great many of you, blindfold you, drop you into one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks, and you would be able to identify which park and which land you had been deposited in. I suspect you could do this because you would use your other senses. You would use your ears to listen to the themed music and the sound effects of the area and you would use your nose to detect telltale odors in the air.


Donald on Main Street


But you could only perform this feat of clairvoyance because you were already thoroughly familiar with the parks. You have visited so many times over the years that you know all of the thoroughfares, large and small. You know all of the nooks and crannies. You know the short cuts to get from point "A" to point "B" on busy days. You know where every restroom is located. And you subconsciously (or consciously) know all the nonvisual cues that identify each environ of the parks.

But what about first-time visitors? If we were to drop one of these newbies into the middle of a park, they'd probably have a panic attack. They'd walk around in circles trying to get their bearings. And once they stopped circling, they'd have a difficult time trying to determine what is what.

Take a look at these next three pictures taken at the France Pavilion in Epcot.


Impressions de France

Souvenirs de France

Boulangerie Patisserie


Most of us immediately recognize the structures. We know that the first picture is of an attraction, Impressions de France. The second picture depicts a shop, Souvenirs de France. And the last picture reveals everyone's favorite spot for a snack, Boulangerie Patisserie (recently relocated). But how do we know this. The buildings themselves only give minimal clues. We know these things because we have visited the France Pavilion many times.

But how would first time visitors know what was behind each of these doorways? They wouldn't. To find out, they might use the trial-and-error method. They'd have to stick their head into every building in an effort to discover what lies beyond each portal. Although there is a lot of fun to be had by non-structured exploration and discovery, this isn't always the best method. Take for instance Impressions de France. Walking into this building reveals very little of interest. It's simply a waiting room for the movie. But not knowing this, some guests might take a quick look around, see nothing compelling, and leave. What a shame this would be.


Impressions de France Waiting Room


That's where guide maps come into play. These handy pieces of paper are chockfull of useful information. They don't answer every question, but they're a great beginning.

Guide maps for the four WDW parks are available just past the turnstiles. They are offered in the following languages: German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and English.


Guide Map Stand


Guide maps are also readily available at all of the shops within a park. And at Guest Relations, guide maps for all of the Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney can be obtained.

Let's take a look at these guide maps in detail. First, there is the cover. More often than not, the front page will reveal something new or recently upgraded in a given park. Disney is always looking for ways to promote their latest-and-greatest. The biggest thing to happen at WDW in quite a while is the expansion of Fantasyland. So of course, this is what graces the Magic Kingdom guide map cover.


Magic Kingdom Guide Map Cover

Magic Kingdom Guide Map Cover


Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney is currently promoting Star Tours. This attraction underwent a major refurbishment back in May of 2011. Although this was over a year and a half ago, it still represents the most recent change to the Studio and marketing wants to capitalize on this upgraded attraction for as long as possible.


Studio Guide Map Cover


Interestingly enough, at the time of this article's writing (January 16, 2013), the Epcot guide map was not touting its most recent change, the re-Imagineering of Test Track. Instead, Soarin' is displayed on the front cover.


Epcot Guide Map Cover


Nothing of any significance has happened at the Animal Kingdom for a while, so Disney is currently advertising the park's most popular attraction, Expedition: Everest.


Animal Kingdom Guide Map Cover


Special events are also taken into consideration when selecting a front page picture. For example, during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and the Flower & Garden Show, the front cover of the guide map will reflect these annual events.

The front of the guide map also reveals other bits of information. For example, the resort's latest motto "Let the Memories Begin" is seen on the front of each brochure. Also, each park's map invites you to enter with a special catchphrase. These are:

Magic Kingdom: Fantasy Reigns
Epcot: Discover the Wonder
Disney's Hollywood Studios: Where Action Takes Center Stage
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Adventure Awaits

For many years, the front of the guide maps also displayed a small plug for Kodak, the company that sponsored these useful handouts. On the back of the guide maps, a full page advertisement for Kodak could be found.


Kodak Ad

Kodak Ad


Unfortunately, the Great Recession and Kodak's slow entry into the digital world hurt the company badly and they were forced into bankruptcy. As part of their cost-cutting measures, Kodak ended sponsorship of all Disney attractions, guide maps, Photo Spots, and park stores on December 31, 2012. Along with Coca-Cola and Carnation (Nestle), Kodak was one of the remaining original sponsors that ushered in Disneyland in July of 1955. However, their sponsorship was not continuous and there were gaps in their presence in the parks over the years.

As we unfold the current guide maps one page, we begin to discover some useful information.


Inside the Guide Map


Let's take a look at this material piece by piece.

I know it's hard to believe, but there are people who do not know about Disney's FASTPASS Service. Granted, the vast majority of these people are first-time visitors, so this section of the guide map provides abbreviated instructions about how to use this time saving system.


FastPass Information


Just in case you're one of the handful of people who are unfamiliar with FASTPASS, here's how it works.

Find an attraction that offers FASTPASS. This can be determined by locating the following symbol next to the attraction's description on the map portion of the guide.


FastPass Symbol


At the attraction's FASTPASS kiosks, a return time will be display. This will be your "appointment" time.


FastPass Return Time


To secure a FASTPASS, simply insert your admission ticket into one of the machines. It does not matter what way the ticket faces.


FastPass Machine


This is what a FASTPASS looks like. It has your one-hour return time clearly marked. It also tells you when you will be eligible to secure another FASTPASS. As the rules regarding another FASTPASS can be convoluted, just read what the ticket tells you.


FastPass


At one time, Disney allowed guests to return any time after the stated end time posted on the FASTPASS. For example, on the above ticket, guests could return well after the 11:50 end time. Guests were not restricted to the one hour window. However, last year, Disney clamped down on this. Although guests may be given a couple of minutes leeway if they arrive late, FASTPASS no longer provides them with an open-ended ticket.

Next on the guide are instructions for Disney's PhotoPass Service. This perk isn't as widely understood as FASTPASS, although it's just as easy to use.


PhotoPass


Guests simply find a PhotoPass photographer. They're located just about anywhere characters and a good background can be found.


PhotoPass Photographer


Have your picture taken. The photographer will give you a PhotoPass card. Keep this card with you and present it to other PhotoPass photographers as you tour the parks. Each time you have your picture taken, they will add the information to your card.


PhotoPass Front

PhotoPass Back


To view and order your photos, just stop by one of the PhotoPass Centers. In the four theme parks, the centers are all located near the entrance, on the left side as you exit the park. You can also view and order prints via the internet.

So why should you use PhotoPass?

One of the best reasons is to get everyone into the picture. No longer will one member of your party be missing from all the shots.

The PhotoPass cast members know the proper lighting and camera settings for their given location. You're sure the picture will turn out.

The cast members know just how to pose you to get the best shot.

The PhotoPass service can digitally add Disney characters into the picture.

There is absolutely no obligation or pressure to buy any photo you have had taken.

Below the PhotoPass section of the guide map you'll find the "Rules & Regulations" section of the handout. Here Disney asks you to supervise your children, show common courtesy to others, wear a shirt and shoes at all times, and follow all written, verbal, and audio instructions. I doubt that any of you have ever read this section of the guide map before.


Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations


Before Kodak ceased sponsorship at Disney parks, another advertisement for this film giant appeared below the "Rules & Regulations."


Kodak Ad


On the most recent guide maps, the space once occupied by Kodak has been filled with an advertisement for an app called My Disney Experience. This app provides estimated attraction wait times, GPS-enabled maps, and the ability to make dining reservations.


App Ad


Another page of the guide map is called "TIPS & Information." This section provides information on the following topics:

Wheelchair & ECV Rentals
Kennels
Readmission Policy
Area Closings
Transportation
Travel Tips
Payment Options
Shopping Tips
Guest Relations

And let's not forget the advertisement for Disney Vacation Club.

Also on this page, in very small print, you'll find the following disclaimer:

Entertainment and attraction availability subject to change without notice.

This is Disney's very polite way of saying, "Don't ask for a refund because you didn't get to ride Space Mountain or see Mickey Mouse."


Tips & Information


Okay, now for the best part - the real reason we pick up these handouts when entering a park - the MAP.


Guide Map


The current map page actually offers four different segments. The first is the map itself. This gives us a graphic illustration as to where everything is located - the pathways, buildings, and the names of each land. This is also the most fun segment to peruse as it brings the magic to your eyes in bright colors and familiar shapes.


Magic Kingdom Map


Of course, no map is worth its salt without a legend. The Disney guide maps have two. The first briefly describes all of the attractions, counter service and table service restaurants. Quick service food stands and shops are not listed. Attractions on the map are indicated by numbers, restaurants by letters.


Guide Map Legend


Besides a brief description of the attraction or restaurant, additional information is provided with the help of small icons. This is where the second legend comes into play. Located on the right side of the page, this legend is divided into four sections, Guest Amenities, Attraction Info, Devices Available at Guest Relations, and Dining. It's once you start studying this legend that you realize how much information is packed into these guide maps and how many services Disney offers to their guests.


Guest Amenities

Attraction Info

Devices Available at Guest Relations

Dining


The last segment of the map is a relatively new addition. Disney now "advertises" their parades and shows on the guide maps with large colorful inserts scattered around the page. Note, the times for these events are not given. More on this later.


Inserts


Guides have change a lot over the years. The first in my collection represents the Magic Kingdom in 1983. If you notice, its overall shape was a little different than later iterations. Rather than a long and skinny handout, this one is more "book" shaped.

In fact, in the early years, they were referred to as guide "books," not guide "maps." This particular guide book contains 24 pages.


1983 MK Guide Book


If you study the above picture carefully, you might notice that Polaroid was the handout's sponsor, not Kodak. Inside the guide book, Polaroid presented a two-page spread discussing how to take the perfect picture. For those of you old enough to remember Polaroid, you'll notice the familiar border surrounding the pictures found on this page.


Polaroid Ad

Each land was given a two-page spread in this 1983 handout. In addition, shops were also discussed, something not done today.


Two-Page Spread


Next let's take a look at a guide book from 1988. It now has the long, slender look we're familiar with today. It also uses a glossy paper where earlier versions used a less expensive stock. However, this guide book still retained a book-like appearance when its 12 pages were opened.


1988 Guide Map

1988 Guide Map

1988 Guide Map


Older guide books also provided a lot more narrative when describing the parks. Let's take a look at several attractions and compare today's description to that of 1988.

Space Mountain

Today: Indoor Roller Coaster
1988: Experience a winding, soaring, race through space on a roller coaster-type ride.

"it's a small world"

Today: Musical Indoor Voyage
1988: Join hundreds of singing, dancing international dolls on the happiest cruise that ever sailed.

Liberty Belle Riverboat

Today: No description provided - only the name of the attraction.
1988: Cruise down the Rivers of America aboard an authentic steam-powered stern-wheeler.

Besides discussing the Magic Kingdom, the 1988 guide book also presented information about other aspects of WDW, like EPCOT Center, the dinner shows, golf, the WDW Shopping Village, and coming attractions.


1988 Guide Book


I couldn't find a date on this next guide map, but I suspect it was in circulation sometime around 1994 as "Legend of the Lion King" graced the front cover and as we know, Disney always promotes their latest attractions.


1994 Guide Book


This guide discarded the book-like structure and used a "fold-out" approach.
When initially opened up, this guide map was five panels across. When opened completely, it featured a ten panel map measuring 17"x20". It was easy to read, but difficult to handle when walking about. This new design was an obvious attempt by Disney to try and cut down on the amount of paper used in order to curb costs, but still retain a maximum amount of information.


5 Panels

10 Panels


A year later, the Magic Kingdom cover design was changed again. In addition, the guide map change from a 5/10 panel configuration to a 4/8 panel configuration to create a more convenient size.


1989 Guide Map


Here is the guide map issued on October 1, 1996, WDW's 25th anniversary. Notice the Birthday Cake (Pepto-Bismol pink) castle. This guide map also used the 4/8 panel configuration.


25th Anniversary Guide Map


For many years, guide maps also included park hours, parade times, and other ever-changing information. This meant that the guide maps would only be good for a week or two before requiring a revision (see the dates on the above handout). This created a lot of waste. To remedy this, Disney stopped including park hours and show times on the guide and started printing a separate Times Guide. The Times Guide was printed on a single sheet of paper, roughly the same dimensions as the guide map. In addition, the Times Guide paper was a lower grade stock from that used on the guide map. This change allowed the guide maps to have a much longer shelf life and cut down on waste.


Time Guide


Another companion piece to the guide map was recently introduced to the Animal Kingdom. This Animal Guide lists all of the animals on exhibit in each of the park's lands. This will help guest realize and find all the amazing creatures that can be found here.


Animal Guide


Guide maps make great souvenirs. They're free and they give you something to scrutinize between vacations. Here is a frame picture I created using these wonderful handouts. It contains guide maps from all eleven Disney parks. Among these are Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, WDW's 25th Anniversary, Hong Kong Disneyland's opening day guide map, and a guide map entitled Euro Disneyland, not Disneyland Paris.


Framed Guide Maps


Alas, this picture will be out-of-date in a few years when Shanghai Disneyland opens. I guess I'll just have to get it reframed.

Guide maps also are a wonderful way of tracking Disney history. When viewing the maps over the years, you can see how attractions have come and gone. One of the most recent transformations is currently taking place at the Magic Kingdom. Take a look at these next three pictures. In the first, we can see Mickey's Toontown Fair has been removed. In the second picture, we can see that a portion of Storybook Circus has replaced this former land. And on the third map, we can see that Storybook Circus has been completed and a large portion of the New Fantasyland has opened. Also notice how Disney uses "greenery" to disguise the construction areas.


Fantasyland Under Construction

Fantasyland Under Construction

Fantasyland Under Construction


Guide maps are great fun. As I mentioned earlier, they are free and they can offer hours of dreams between Disney visits. So even if you know the parks like the back of your hand, you should still pick up one of these handy manuals on each and every visit. If you haven't already started your own collection, do so soon.

RELATED LINKS:

**Animal Kingdom's Animal Guide in Depth

**
1976 Magic Kingdom Guide Book


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About January 2013

This page contains all entries posted to The β€œWorld” According to Jack in January 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2012 is the previous archive.

February 2013 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.