Top Five Things Disney Wouldn’t Do Today Due to Accountability

Things were much different in the 1950’s and even in the 1970’s when it came to acceptable practices. Construction projects were rushed to completion with minimal thought to safety. And nothing was off-limits for entertainment if it put a smile on the face of a paying customer!

We can’t judge Disney too harshly for any of the questionable things on this list as they were common practice in the past. But now in a world ruled by the PC Police and environmental concerns, there is no longer any room for the Top 5 things Disney wouldn’t do today:

NO-NO NUMBER FIVE

Radical Terraforming

Orange groves? We don’t need no stinking orange groves! Cut them down. Bulldoze the landscape. We have a theme park to build! This is very close to the mentality of the builders of Disneyland back in the 1950’s. It was better in the 1970’s when Walt Disney World was built, but things were still done that wouldn’t fly under today’s environmental rules and regulations.

Of course, all things were done within the current understandings of those days. It is good to see that Disney is in the forefront of modern environmental practices today!

NO-NO NUMBER FOUR

Paying Women Less

This could easily be Number One. But back in the early days of animation, no one was making a good living, and this lasted longer than you might think. Just read this informative post by Floyd Norman called There’s No Money in Animation for confirmation of that.

But if the average guy was having a hard time making ends meet, the average gal was practically working for charity! And women, or girls as they were called, were not allowed to be animators. Ink and Paint was the highest rung of the ladder for the ladies!

Times have changed with more female animators and Imagineers, but I think we still have a way to go.

NO-NO NUMBER THREE

Fast-tracking Attractions

Disneyland was built in just over a year. A single year! The entire park.  No wonder most of the rides were broken down at the end of Disneyland’s first day! It can take up to five years just to build a single attraction today.

Would you have wanted to trust your life to an opening-day attraction in Disneyland? Again, it’s good to see that Disney has slowed down and made safety and longevity the keys to every building project today.

NO-NO NUMBER TWO

Releasing Balloons

Doesn’t that look beautiful? How many balloons do you think are in the sky in the above picture? Now, how many birds do you think died because of choking on these same balloons when they finally deflated and landed on the ground?

For an eye-opening education into this problem, check out balloonsblow.org to have your mind blown and your view of such beautiful spectacles changed.

NO-NO NUMBER ONE

Foreign Waters in Small World Ride

What could possibly be wrong with doing this: Bringing actual untested water samples from some of the dirtiest rivers of the world and dumping them into a clean water source in the United States? This is just another example of money being able to do whatever it wants in the 1960’s.

Fortunately the samples were dumped into a closed water system that was likely highly chlorinated or otherwise treated. But still! Any number of foreign and dangerous parasites could have been released into the greater water sources of the park, and thusly, the US!

Being as you can’t take an apple across international borders today, I’m guessing that untested water samples would probably get you detained in Customs.

CONCLUSION

So what do you think of my list? Are you glad things are different today?

Book Review: The Walt Disney Song Book

Perhaps even more than the story or the characters it’s the music we remember the most from our favorite Disney movies. From the iconic Some Day My Prince Will Come from Snow White to fun tunes like Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah from Song of the South, we love to sing along. Even our favorite theme park attractions have signature songs, like It’s a Small World, which we just can’t get out of our heads!

Well, now you can not only sing along, but actually play the tunes yourself, thanks to this Golden Book:

This was published by the Western Publishing Company as a fourth printing in 1976. My goal is to have only mint condition first editions in my Disney book collection, but with the extensive title library available, I’ll have to settle for some later editions in questionable conditions, like this one.

I picked this copy up at a local flea market for $6.00 CAN which was still too much to pay, even though it was on for half price. The condition makes it all-but worthless monetarily, but I thought it still had some value for interest sake.

Let’s have a look at the inside:

Nice collage from the inside leaf, front and back

Walt Disney Song Book 004

Title Page

Contents Page

Each movie or Disney property featured starts with a brief introductory blurb. This gives you some basic information about what the songs were meant to achieve in the story.

Let’s begin our review of the songs in this book by visiting the animated film that started it all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:

As you can see, the artwork, although well done, is not ‘on model’. That is, the characters are more stylized than what we may normally see in promotional artwork for the same characters.

Here are some more pages and songs I picked out:

From Dumbo

Casey Junior is one of my favorite Disney characters! It is amazing how many trains made it into Disney films, although not surprising when one considers Walt obsession with steam locomotives!

From Song of the South

One of my all-time favorite Disney live-action/animated blends! And although the song above may not be the signature song from the film, it has definitely been an inspiration for me. Because I don’t want you to miss any of the fun lyrics, here is the concluding page:

Everyone finished laughing? Then let’s move on:

Walt Disney Song Book 010

From Rascal

OK, when I came across this song from a movie I had never heard of. I’ve never seen this song on any Disney compilation CD either, so why it was included in this volume is beyond me. The live-action film was released in 1969 and was a based on the book Rascal by Sterling North about a young man and his pet raccoon set in Wisconsin.

The movie is a dramatization of Sterling North’s 1963 “memoir of a better era.” The movie relates a year in the life of young Sterling North which featured, of all things, a raccoon.

The film features the forgotten song “Summer Sweet” and starred Bill Mumy of Lost in Space fame.

From Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Not one of Disney’s best live-action/animation blends, it was made to capitalize on the popularity of Mary Poppins. It starred Angela Lansbury (who later became Mrs. Potts) and featured the return of Mr. Banks actor David Tomlinson. Although not a singer per se, he is featured prominently in this song along with Ms. Lansbury.

I had heard and enjoyed this song long before I knew where it came from. I think most Disney fans may have been in the same predicament, as the 1971 film doesn’t rate very high on most people’s ‘Best of Disney’ lists. Although the film received mostly positive reviews from critics and has scored 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now let’s branch away from movies to a theme park entry:

Walt Disney Song Book 012

It’s a Small World

Written by the Sherman Brothers for the UNICEF attraction at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, this song just. Will. Not. Die. It’s been playing continuously, or at least it feels that way, since 1966 at Disneyland. And I guess we wouldn’t have it any other way!

From TV’s Davy Crockett series

With only five television episodes Disney managed to whip the world into a frenzy with this ballad turned anthem. The episodes were released as two feature-length motion pictures to even greater reception. If only I had a penny for every coonskin cap sold!

From TV’s The Mickey Mouse Club show

Fittingly, the song book ends with this merry march, singing the virtues of everyone’s favorite ‘leader of the club’, Mickey Mouse.

Walt Disney Song Book 002

Back Cover

I would give this book a 5 out of 5 Stars as it is useful to those who wish to play their favorite songs on the piano while singing along. The inclusion of complete lyrics is a plus. The artwork, although stylized, is very good.

If you would like a copy, Amazon has several available. Used copies start from $19.99 US with new hardcover copies starting at a much higher $135.88 US as of April 2, 2016.

Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide – “it’s a small world”

"it's a small world"

Today in our Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide series, we are taking a look at one of my favorite attractions in Fantasyland: “it’s a small world”.  This attraction is a favorite of mine for several reasons, but first, here are the details:

Attraction Name: “it’s a small world”
Attraction Type: Slow Rides
Height Requirements: Any Height
Location: Fantasyland
Hours of OperationAll Day.
FastPass+: Available

As I was saying, there are several reasons why I like this attraction.  For starters, I love the song!  I know that many people can only take the song for just so long, but for me, the song is perfect.  It is catchy, it is something that can stick with you for quite a while, it was written by the Sherman Brothers, and the whole purpose of the attraction is to show us just how much we have in common with one another, despite our geographic, ethnic, and language differences.  In addition, every time I think of “it’s a small world” I remember the times I would visit with my Grandparents and we would have a snack in Pinocchio Village Haus and watch the boats take off below.

Do you have any memories or a special affinity for “it’s a small world”?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide – Enchanted Tales with Belle

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Next up in our Magic Kingdom Attraction Guide series is the Fantasyland attraction Enchanted Tales with Belle.  Here are the details of this attraction:

Attraction Name: Enchanted Tales with Belle
Attraction Type: Interactive Story
Height Requirements: Any Height
Location: Fantasyland
Hours of OperationAll Day.
FastPass+: Available

With Enchanted Tales with Belle, you and your children can be transported to the Beast’s library from Beauty and the Beast, and listen to a special story told to you by Belle herself.  Better yet, your child may even be invited to help out with the story!  While my daughter is now to old to be interested in this, I know many Princesses that are mesmerized by Belle, and if your Princess is one of them, they will likely love this attraction.  To make it even easier to experience this, FastPass+ service is available.  Have you and your children experienced Enchanted Tales with Belle?  What did you think of it?  Please let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

Magical Blogorail – Magic Kingdom Attractions for Rainy Days!

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Blue. Enjoy the ride as we share Tips for Rainy Disney Days.

When it rains, here are five attractions at the Magic Kingdom to enjoy!

When it rains, here are five attractions at the Magic Kingdom to enjoy!

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us today!  In this edition of the Magical Blogorail, we are taking a look at some tips for enjoying Disney even when it is raining.  Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean that the fun has to end!  In fact, it is often during periods of rain that the parks clear out, leaving a lot of great attractions just waiting to be enjoyed with much smaller lines!  But for this post, I’m taking a look at five Magic Kingdom attractions that are good for enjoying during a shower because they are long enough that you often can enjoy the ride/show/attraction, and when it is over, the rain has passed!

Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree is a great show, rain or shine!

Country Bear Jamboree is a great show, rain or shine!

This show is a favorite of mine — and is a Walt Disney World/Magic Kingdom original from October 1, 1971!  It’s kind of homey, kind of country, but it’s a lot of fun for this writer!  The show is 15 minutes, 55 seconds long, and has a generous lobby to wait in, so if it’s raining, it’s a great place to avoid the storm!

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

The Carousel of Progress is located in Tomorrowland, and is a great show to enjoy at any time!

The Carousel of Progress is located in Tomorrowland, and is a great show to enjoy at any time!

Another great attraction during the rain is the Carousel of Progress.  This show is an all time favorite of mine, but what makes this attraction great for rainy days is that the overhang is great for staying out of the rain, and the show is long enough to see you through a lot of Florida showers!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean has many unique features to beat the rain!

Pirates of the Caribbean has many unique features to beat the rain!

When it comes to queue lines at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be hard pressed to find an attraction with as great of a queue as Pirates of the Caribbean, especially for rainy days.  If it’s raining, and you want to get out of the rain, head into Pirates and you’ll be able to meander through hundreds of feet of covered areas to reach the attraction, and then, the attraction itself is long enough that you might just forget that it’s raining!  Lastly, if you have gotten wet in the rain, if you happen to get splashed on the ride, it won’t be nearly as annoying!  Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mickey's PhilharMagic is a great show to see when it rains!

Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a great show to see when it rains!

If you want a great show, incredible scenes from some of your favorite Disney movies, and great music that lasts for a while, then have a look at Mickey’s PhilharMagic.  This show is great to beat the rain with, and when the show is over, if it’s still raining, go wander through the gift shop for a while and get some souvenirs taken care of!

it’s a small world

it's a small world is a slow enough ride that you can use it to beat the rain!

it’s a small world is a slow enough ride that you can use it to beat the rain!

I know what you’re going to say — don’t ride it’s a small world because of the song!  You don’t want that stuck in your head all day, rain or no rain!  Of course, I love the song, so I don’t mind getting it stuck in my head, but it’s a great way to escape the rain, with it’s long covered queue line and long, slow moving boat ride!

You know, sometimes the rain doesn’t go away very quickly, and you have to endure the ponchos and umbrellas and all of that mess.  However, when the rain does stay for a while, it can often lead to a lot of people deciding to leave the park for the day.  When that happens, like it did for us back in 2010, it leads to photos like this one, during a very low capacity extra magic hours.  Mickey and Minnie were riding Dumbo after midnight that night!

Sometimes the rain doesn't go away very quickly...

Sometimes the rain doesn’t go away very quickly…

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Frontierland Station.

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – My Dreams of Disney – Magic Kingdom Rainy Day Attractions
2nd Stop – Frontierland Station – Don’t Let The Weather Rain On Your Disney Parade
3rd Stop – Ashley Aspires – Rainy Day Resort Hopping
4th Stop – Saving Up for Disney – 10 Tips for Surviving a Disneyland Rainy Day
Final Stop – Magical Mickey Tips- Top Tips for Rainy Day Options at Walt Disney World

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