Remembering Disney Legends – Ward Kimball

Ward Kimball and Walt Disney. Image courtesy Manicmation.

Ward Kimball and Walt Disney. Image courtesy Manicmation.

Hello everyone!  Two weeks ago I introduced you to my new mini-series about remembering the Disney Legends.  Our first legend that we featured was Marc Davis — today, I’ve got a special treat, as we take a look at another of Walt’s Nine Old Men, Ward Kimball!

Ward Kimball was born on March 4, 1914, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 1932, though, after he graduated from high school, he moved to California to attend classes at the Santa Barbara School of the Arts, where he had a scholarship.  Two years later, in 1934, he was convinced by an instructor to apply for a job at Disney — after one look at his portfolio, Ward Kimball was offered a job on the spot!

Kimball has so many accomplishments in the Disney Arena that it is hard to list them all!  Some of his most important contributions, though, are things that you may not have known, listed here:

  • Ward Kimball was the creator of the character Jiminy Cricket for the movie Pinocchio!  It’s been said that Jiminy resembled Ward Kimball in both looks and mannerisms, so the next time you watch Pinocchio, and look at Jiminy Cricket, you’ll be seeing a glimpse of Ward Kimball as well!
  • In addition to being an animator, Kimball was also a jazz trombonist.  In fact, he was a founding member of the Disney band the Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland Jazz Band!  The band became well known in Disney, playing to many different venues.  The members of the band were all Disney Studio employees, and were featured on television shows, in movies, later played live at Disneyland, and even recorded a string of albums.  In fact, at one time the Firehouse Five Plus Two was even outselling Dizzy Gillespie on the Jazz Charts!  But perhaps most importantly, the band was even caricatured in the Goofy short cartoon How To Dance!  A YouTube video of the short appears at the bottom of this post for your enjoyment.
  • However, the real reason I am writing about Ward Kimball isn’t anything to do with his movie roles, the characters he created, or even the Firehouse Five Plus Two.  When I think of Ward Kimball, what I really think of is his and Walt Disney’s love of trains!

Ward Kimball had a train layout in his backyard called the Grizzly Flats Railroad.  He, along with Ollie Johnston, were avid train guys, as was Walt Disney, of course, and it was Kimball that helped Walt Disney build the Carolwood Pacific line he had in his backyard.  Additionally, Kimball was part of the reason that the Disneyland Railroad was built around Disneyland!  I wonder whether or not the Walt Disney World Railroad would have existed if Ward Kimball hadn’t been around to help with the Disneyland Railroad…what do you think?

Ward Kimball officially retired from Disney in 1972, but was also involved in Disney projects long after his retirement.  In fact, Ward Kimball is even the Creator/Designer for the EPCOT attraction World of Motion!

Like all of the Nine Old Men, Ward Kimball was made a Disney Legend in 1989.

Ward Kimball passed away in 2002, and was married to his wife Betty for over 65 years.  Three years after his passing, the 5th locomotive to the Disneyland Railroad was added — and named the Ward Kimball in honor of him.  Here is a great picture of the locomotive, courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog.  Click on over to read more about the locomotive and learn what may be one of the coolest Disney stories ever!

Image ©Disney

Image ©Disney

If you didn’t know, one of the Disneyland Railroad engineers is none other than Nate Lord.  Who is Nate Lord, you ask?  Well, he just happens to be the grandson of Ward Kimball — and he can often be found guiding the Ward Kimball locomotive at Disneyland!  How incredibly cool is that, I ask you?!

Thank you for joining me on our look back at Disney Legend Ward Kimball.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy Goofy’s short, How To Dance!  After that, check out the video of Walt Disney and his friends working on the Carolwood Pacific Railroad!

 

Walt Disney and the Carolwood Pacific Railroad

4 Days til Disneyland – Peter Pan’s Flight!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Peter Pan’s Flight — a classic Disney attraction that we absolutely love to ride at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom!  As a result, we have selected Peter Pan’s Flight as our choice for day 4 in our countdown to Disneyland! This attraction is, like the one at Walt Disney World, located in Fantasyland, but when I look at the site page for it at the Disneyland website, it looks like there are some differences between the two versions of the ride.  Is this true?

Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the opening day attractions that existed at Disneyland when it opened on July 17, 1955.  In addition to Peter Pan’s Flight, here are the other attractions that were open on opening day that are still open today:

Of the opening day attractions, what is your favorite?  Also, of the ones that have been added since opening day, what is your favorite?  Think about it, and let me know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page, and thanks for stopping by!

13 Days til Disneyland – Disneyland Railroad!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

The Disneyland Railroad, much like it’s counterpart the Walt Disney World Railroad over at the Magic Kingdom, is a tribute to one of the great passions of Walt Disney — trains.

Did you know…about the Disneyland Railroad

Did you know that the Disneyland Railroad was originally name the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad? Step on board the Disneyland Railroad at any of the four stops along it’s journey — Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, or Tomorrowland, and revel in this classic mode of transportation that takes us back to the turn of the 20th Century. There are five different trains to ride on.  They are the C.K. Holliday, the E.P. Ripley, the Ernest S. Marsh, the Fred Gurley, and the Ward Kimball.

  • The C.K. Holliday train is named after the founder of the Atchison & Topeka Railroad, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday.  This train was introduced on Opening Day of Disneyland, July 17, 1955.
  • The E.P. Ripley train is named after the first president of the Atchison & Topeka Railroad, Edward Payson Ripley.  This train was also introduced on Opening Day of Disneyland.
  • The Fred Gurley train is not one of the original Disneyland trains, but it has the distinction of being the oldest train at Disneyland!  This train was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1894 — before Walt Disney was even born!  This train will celebrate its 120th year of service next year!  It was introduced at Disneyland on March 28, 1958, and is named after the president of the Santa Fe Railroad, Fred G. Gurley, who was president from 1944 – 1957.
  • The Ernest S. Marsh train is named after the man who was the president of the Santa Fe Railroad when this train was introduced at Disneyland on July 25th, 1959.
  • The Ward Kimball train is named in honor of one of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men and Disney Legend, Ward Kimball, who, along with fellow Nine Old Men member and Disney Legend Ollie Johnston, were huge train enthusiasts, just like Walt.

The last piece in the puzzle that is the Disneyland Railroad is the Lilly Belle Presidential train car, which is, of course, named after Walt Disney’s wife Lilly.  Make sure you check it out for an incredible step back in Disney history!

Today’s the last day to enter to win the TimeStream Software Apps!

Disneyland Mobile Guide - Splash - Castle

Today is the final day to enter to win the TimeStream Software series of apps that we are giving away for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch!  Have you entered the contest yet?  Well, if you have, great, you can always share the contest today for extra entries!  However, if you haven’t, and you are a Disney fan with an iOS device, then why haven’t you?  You can’t win if you don’t enter! The contest is up at 11:59 PM tonight, so don’t delay!

Over the past week, I’ve shared some of the incredible photography that you can experience in the apps, starting with the Photography of the Disneyland Mobile Guide, continuing on with more imagery from the app, and finishing up with a look at the incredible photography in the Walt Disney World apps.

So here’s your final chance to win these apps.  Remember, there are three prizes here.  They are:

  • The Grand Prize winner will win codes to get all of these TimeStream Software apps:
  • The Second place winner will win codes to get these TimeStream Software apps:
    • The Walt Disney World Secrets Gold!
    • Disneyland Secrets Gold!
    • WDW Hidden Mickeys
    • Disney World Mobile Guide
  • The Third place winner will win codes to get these TimeStream Software apps:
    • The Walt Disney World Secrets Gold!
    • Disneyland Secrets Gold!

To enter, you need to fulfill the requirements listed in the Rafflecopter form below.  There are plenty of opportunities for you to enter, so have fun, and remember, today is the last day!  Good luck everyone, and thanks for all of you that have participated so far!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Product Review: TimeStream Software’s iOS apps Disneyland Secrets! Gold and Disneyland Mobile Guide

Disneyland Mobile Guide - Splash - Castle

 

My friends at TimeStream Software have released some incredible updates to their awesome apps, and I want to tell you all about them!  I am going to focus on two apps specifically because of our travel plans for the summer (shh…it’s a secret so don’t tell Sophie!) — and they are the Disneyland Secrets Gold! app and the Disneyland Mobile Guide app (cover picture shown above) for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

The TimeStream folks have been hard at work in improving the engine behind their apps, and I reached out to Mike at TimeStream Software to see what options they have available for Disneyland at this time.  Mike graciously agreed to let me review their apps for Disneyland because of our upcoming trip, and I have not been disappointed!  I thought I was excited to visit Disneyland already, but after playing with his apps for a few days, and taking a look at some of the stunning photography, I’m even more excited then ever!

Disneyland Secrets Gold!

The Disneyland Secrets Gold! app is worth it’s weight in gold (pun intended — please don’t stop reading!)  The TimeStream Software guys have laid out the app such that you can start at the beginning and follow their “tour” to discover the hidden secrets of Disneyland that so many people pass by on their way to the different attractions.  After you finish a section, their are links that take you to the next part of your journey.

Along my journey of the app, I have discovered some great things that I want to try when I get to Disneyland, so I thought I would share a couple of them with you to whet your whistle:

  • Did you know that you could ride the Disneyland Railroad from the tender seat — located right behind the engine?  I don’t remember Walt Disney World having this special vantage point, so this is something that I have got to witness!
  • Also on the Disneyland Railroad — did you know that you could request to ride on the prestigious Lilly Belle car?  If you don’t know, the Lilly Belle car is named after Walt Disney’s wife Lillian, and it was a special car that holds 14 people that was used to transport special dignitaries — even Presidents — around the Disneyland Railroad!  I would love to ride on this special car!
  • One of the things that I miss about Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World is that the Main Street Cinema isn’t a cinema anymore — unless I’ve been completely “Goofy” about that!  However, the Main Street Cinema at Disneyland still plays “Plane Crazy” and “Steamboat Willie” in the Cinema!  Stop and visit for a while as you enjoy these classic Disney shorts that got everything started!

The Disneyland Secrets Gold! app is available from the iTunes Store for the incredibly low price of $1.99!

Disneyland Mobile Guide

The Disneyland Mobile Guide is a self-contained app — so no wifi or cellular network is required!  At this time, the Disneyland Mobile Guide only covers Disneyland — not Disney’s California Adventure — but TimeStream Software is considering adding that into the app in a future release!

The Mobile Guide has sections devoted to several things that you would want to know about when you are at the Park, including these:

  • Attractions
  • Shows & Parades
  • Find Characters
  • Must Do’s
  • Phone Numbers
  • Tips
  • Tours
  • Vacation Planning Tips
  • and much more!

With all of these categories and more, the level of information you will find in the Disneyland Mobile Guide is absolutely incredible!  Available at the iTunes Store for a measly 99 cents, the app is an absolute steal!

Who wants to win the TimeStream Software Disney apps?

Although the apps are extremely well priced, TimeStream and My Dreams of Disney have teamed up to have a contest to give away copies of their apps!  Here are the details:

  • The contest will run from Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 12:00AM – Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 11:59PM.
  • The Grand Prize winner will win codes to get all of these TimeStream Software apps:
    • Walt Disney World Secrets Gold!
    • Disney World Mobile Guide
    • Disney World Hidden Mickeys
    • Disneyland Secrets Gold!
    • Disneyland Mobile Guide
  • The Second place winner will win codes to get these TimeStream Software apps:
    • The Walt Disney World Secrets Gold!
    • Disneyland Secrets Gold!
    • WDW Hidden Mickeys
    • Disney World Mobile Guide
  • The Third place winner will win codes to get these TimeStream Software apps:
    • The Walt Disney World Secrets Gold!
    • Disneyland Secrets Gold!

So, three winners of these great apps!  For the Disney Geeks like me, these apps are great ways to both enhance your Disney trips and help plan them, so I imagine some winners are going to be happy they won!

To enter, you need to fulfill the requirements listed in the Rafflecopter form below.  There are plenty of opportunities for you to enter, so have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!