disneyland of walt's imagination

Disneyland Paris Castle Concept” Tim Delaney, 1990

During the development of the Disneyland Paris park, one of the biggest concerns was the park’s centerpiece castle. After all, France was chock full of its own fantasy-like castles, so whatever the Imagineers built needed to be even more impressive than their previous feats. Many concepts and ideas were presented, but one of the most dramatic departures from the formula was from Imagineer Tim Delaney. Shown here, Delaney envisioned an art nouveau-esque observation tower inspired by European visionaries H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Guests would have been able to take ornate elevators to the observation decks for full views of this new Disney land. While this aesthetic was not a fit for the park’s castle, it was incorporated into the park’s Discoveryland and into future Disney parks.

Art ©️ Disney


One of my favorite hidden details about the Country Bear Jamboree, is that all of the bears actually have official backstories given by the Imagineers. Most likely written by show writers Al Bertino and Marc Davis, these mini bios were published around the time of the opening of the attraction at Walt Disney World.

“Jungle Cruise” Marc Davis

This fantastic concept for the entrance to Jungle Cruise by Disney Legend Marc Davis wonderfully sets the stage for one of Disney’s most classic theme park attractions. Inspired by The African Queen and a True-Life Adventure documentary, Jungle Cruise takes guests down various rivers of the world via steamer boats, past wildlife, exotic flora, and, of course, the “Backside of Water.” Whether it’s the cringeworthy skippers with unlimited puns, or the atmosphere of intrigue and adventure, this opening-day attraction continues to delight guests to this day.

Art ©️Disney


Iterations of Haunted Mansion exterior concepts through the years: a Louisiana plantation home for Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, a neo-Gothic New England manor for Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, and even an early concept developed which would have been located along Disneyland’s Main Street (top), which resembles the Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris today. 

Disney Patent ‘Alters Rides’ Based on Passenger Emotions

OBJ reports: A new Disney patent, titled “Sensing and Managing Vehicle Behavior Based on Occupant Awareness” looks at a way to read riders’ emotions or pre-determined interests to customize ride experiences. For example, the patent states that via a camera on the vehicle or a wearable ID device — say Disney’s MagicBands — a ride system could read rider facial expressions such as being excited or bored, and then alter the course of the attraction to increase/decrease speed, spin more or less often, change the tone of display scenery and/or more to improve the ride for guests.

“The technology would allow rides to adjust show content appropriate for pre-teens, teenagers or adults; or for thrill-seeking and non thrill-seeking passengers. The control system may also operate the vehicle to address (e.g. even solve in some cases) motion sickness issues for passengers such as by adjusting speed or movement patterns of a vehicle. [Through RFID or some other identifying system] access one or more ride experience goals (or expectations) for the occupant.

For example, the occupant may simply desire transportation while in the automated trackless vehicle and, hence, will not be wanting to interact with to be entertained by external display systems. In other cases, though, the occupant may have provided goals/expectations (e.g. by completing a questionnaire on a website or the like) that indicate they want to be educated during the ride, be entertained in a particular manner during the ride, be informed of sales on services or merchandise during the ride, and so on. In the same or other cases, the goals/expectations may indicate whether the ride experience” should be thrilling, as smooth as possible, or something in between, said the patent.  

The technology may add more speed changes, spins and sharp corners for riders who seem bored or have provided prior information that they enjoy thrill rides. In addition, the patent states it may be able to sense passenger comfort levels such as temperature and alter the air-conditioning of the ride to make it more pleasant.

“Pirates of the Caribbean” Tim Delaney

Long before Shanghai Disneyland’s incredible Treasure Cove area debuted in 2016, the original arrival of Pirates in China was to be in a planned “Pirates Cove” at Hong Kong Disneyland. The headliner attraction, of course, would have been a modern take on the classic Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Shown here in a concept by Tim Delaney, the flume ride would’ve featured a massive splashdown from the fiery peak of a skull-encrusted mountain into a shipwreck lagoon. This project, originally envisioned as Part Four of the expansion plan that included Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land, was shelved and later expanded upon for Shanghai.

Art ©️ Disney

April Book Review: Walt Disney: An American Original

Walt Disney: An American Original

By: Bob Thomas

Release Date: 1976


Walt Disney is an American hero–the creator of Mickey Mouse, and a man who changed the face of American culture. After years of research, with the full cooperation of the Disney family and access to private papers and letters, Bob Thomas produced the definitive biography of the man behind the legend–the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who went bankrupt on his first movie venture but became the genius who produced unmatched works of animation. Complete with a rare collection of photographs, Bob Thomas’ biography is a fascinating and inspirational work that captures the spirit of Walt Disney.

My Thoughts:

Originally posted by an-unconventional-lady

Although I’ve always considered myself a Disney fan, I’ve never really had more than a general knowledge of the man behind it all.  Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas changed that.

Walter Elias Disney was a man unlike any other.  His love for animation and entertainment began young, and it never faltered. Growing up, Walt didn’t always have much, but he always had a positive attitude and the determination to get things done.  This book provides an excellent look at the good, the bad, and the hard times in Walt’s life, cheering his achievements and never glossing over the bumps in the road.

It begins with a look at Walt’s early life, focusing on his strong bond with his brother, Roy, and discussing his service in World War I and the struggles of establishing himself as a cartoonist.  Walt would flit from job to job, always searching for new ways to advance his animation skills or for opportunities to do his own work.  Although they were able to establish their own little studio, Walt and Roy were constantly in debt, often unable to pay their employees, and Walt himself even slept in the office and subsisted on cans of chili to cut costs. Walt was willing to make the sacrifices, though, as long as it meant he got to do what he loved, a theme that came up often as he worked his way to the top.

Unfortunately, Walt had as many downs as ups over his first few years as an animator.  His first successful character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was technically owned by Universal, and Walt ended up losing the plucky little rabbit, along with many of his animators.  Soon after, Ub Iwerks, one of Walt’s closest friends and his main animator, left the studio as well, leaving Walt and Roy to struggle once again to make ends meet.  But Walt couldn’t be kept down for long—he knew what he wanted to do, and he did what he needed to get it.  He worked harder, played smarter, and relied on Roy to help them succeed, and eventually his restless pursuit paid off in the form of everyone’s favorite mouse.

Originally posted by zoomine

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A Brief Intro to Imagineer Blaine Gibson

Blaine Gibson joined the Disney Studio in 1939 as an animator. Over the next fifteen years, he worked as an animator on most of the studio’s most famous projects, including FantasiaBambiSong of the SouthAlice in WonderlandPeter PanSleeping Beauty, and 101 Dalmatians.

In 1954, Walt Disney was putting together a team of artists that would help him create the Disneyland park. Walt remembered a small art exhibit he’d attended that featured some animal sculptures Gibson had created during his off hours, and immediately asked Gibson to join his team of ‘Imagineers.’

In 1961, Gibson became the head of the Imagineering sculpture department. Gibson’s sculpture work in Imagineering is the stuff of legend. He sculpted the head of the original Abe Lincoln animatronic (and most of the presidents since), the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean, many of the spooks in The Haunted Mansion and the original Partners statue that stands in the hub of Disneyland.

Blaine Gibson died in July of 2015. A great artist, he will be missed. Thankfully, much of his work still stands at the various Disney parks throughout the world. A lasting tribute to a remarkable man.

“Beauty and the Beast Expansion”

As Disney’s live-action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast continues to hold global audiences captive, Tokyo Disneyland’s Beauty and the Beast-centric Fantasyland expansion breaks ground. We’ve previously covered this area, which will feature new eateries, shops, an exciting new trackless E-ticket dark ride, and a new live show venue. This new piece gives us an overview of what it will feel like to walk down the streets of Belle’s Village, with the peaks of the Beast’s Castle looming above us beyond the trees. Based on the art, by the time this project opens in Summer 2020, we can expect this area to be a larger, more lush version of Magic Kingdom’s Beauty and the Beast area.

Art ©️ Disney


TPA wishes a very splendid opening weekend for three exciting new destinations welcoming eager guests for the very first time this weekend!

In Orlando, Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort has pulled the curtain back on its stunning Pandora: The World of Avatar expansion. Up the street, Universal Orlando has plunged into the Pacific with the South Seas-themed Volcano Bay Water Park. Finally, Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim debuts its rocking new Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! drop tower attraction.

Happy opening to all!

Art ©️ Disney & Universal Creative

The zodiac signs as touristy disney parks merch

Aries: a glass snowglobe

Taurus: a pin of your favorite character

Gemini: a shirt with your favorite ride on it

Cancer: a plush of your favorite character, but they don’t have your favorite character so you’ll settle for a mickey plush (for now…)

Leo: popcorn bucket

Virgo: a balloon

Libra: a pin trading starter pack

Scorpio: any piece of Frozen merch you can find

Sagittarius: shirt with the current year on it

Capricorn: plain black mickey ears with your name embroidered on the back written in the “fun” font

Aquarius: a piece of confetti you found on the ground of Main Street after a parade

Pisces: antenna ball topper