Tower of Terror

21 Days: Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is our choice for #Day21 of our #DisneyWorldCountdown!

Hello everyone, and welcome to #Day21 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  Today we are taking a look at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which, I will admit, is a ride that I have absolutely no love for!  There are some things that I think are really great about this ride, but the part I dread the most — the “elevator ride” — is something that I truly do not look forward to, and I rarely take in this attraction anymore!

Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is not my favorite ride!

The backstory behind the Tower of Terror is, in my opinion, one of the very best at Disney.  From incorporating Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone into the tale, and the way that they have decorated the queue line, it all builds up to a great backstory.

Tower of Terror

We met new friends who were just married when we were in line to ride it back in 2008!

The first time we rode this attraction, way back in 2008, we met this happy couple who had just been married!  We congratulated them, they wished Sophie a Happy Birthday, and we chatted while we were in line.  Our time in line turned into a pen-pal writing relationship between Sophie and them, and we are friends to this day!  Fortunately, they did not become ghosts, like our next picture suggests…

Tower of Terror

The ghosts stare at you as you approach the elevator to your “room”!

The Imagineers do a great job of building up the tension as you approach the elevator.  You’ve got the Twilight Zone story, and the ghosts, and the darkness when you don’t know what is going on, and then, a terrifying drop!

Tower of Terror

I will admit, though, that the building is great, especially at night!

I will admit, though, that the building is neat when you look at it at night!  However, this YouTube video may just dissuade me from ever riding the attraction again…

What about you, though? Do you like the attraction, or are you like me and can’t stand the “elevator ride”? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!

What if Walt was satisfied with Disneyland?

This aerial shot from 1955 shows Disneyland when it just opened.

This aerial shot from 1955 shows Disneyland when it just opened.

July 18, 1955.  Disneyland opens to the general public, and the crowd goes wild over the creation of Walt Disney — an interactive theme park where children and parents can both enjoy rides together.  A park where parents don’t just wait for their kid to get off the ride — a park where they can get on the ride too!  Disneyland is born.

We all know that Disneyland in that day was restricted in space because the capital that Walt had to invest in the project was a lot less — so he wasn’t able to buy up so much property in Southern California as he was able to for the Florida Project.  As a result, it wasn’t long before hotels, restaurants, and other travel and entertainment establishments started encroaching on the doorstep of Disneyland — which took away from some of the Magic that Walt was keen on his guests experiencing.

This look back at Disneyland comes with a twist — almost like a Twilight Zone sort of effect — in which I ask the following question:

What if Walt Disney was satisfied with Disneyland?

Hypothetically, what if Walt had enough money to buy the equivalent of 39 square miles of land for Disneyland?  What if the outside hotels, restaurants, traffic, I-5, and all of that did not encroach on the Guests experience at Disneyland?  What if, as the story goes, Walt hadn’t seen a family leaving around 4-5PM, asked them why they were leaving, and found out that the reason they were leaving was because of the traffic on I-5?  If none of that had happened, would Walt have moved on with the Florida Project and built Walt Disney World?

I think I know the answer that some of you will say — of course Walt would still have built Disney World — corporate greed would have led him to do so!  Others may say — well, if Walt thought Disneyland was exactly what he wanted it to be, he wouldn’t need to spend his money on Disney World.  I have a different reason — I think Walt would still have moved on and built Disney World — but for a different reason than corporate greed.

It is my belief that Walt would have still built Disney World, not because of greed, and not because of a need to plant a legacy, but rather, for the children of the nation and the world.

It is my belief that Walt knew that there were hundreds of thousands of children and families that were unable to make it to Southern California to visit Disneyland, and he wanted to make a park where some of those kids would be able to get out and enjoy themselves just like the ones could at Disneyland.  From that thought, I believe that Disney World was conceived.

Of course, we will never know — all we have is speculation.  However, it is my belief that Walt’s lasting legacy is, of course, in the parks, but not the parks themselves. Rather, the impact that those parks have had on millions — check that, billions — of people throughout the world.  That’s what truly makes Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and all of the rest of the Disney parks such a treasure that spans the globe.

What do you all think?  Is my reasoning sound, or does it have as many holes as Swiss Cheese?  Think about it, and please let me know in the comments!  Thanks for visiting, now go out and make today and every day a great Disney Day!

Sterling Holloway Visits the Twilight Zone

Disney-influences-Television

Many Disney celebs have starred or been featured in a Twilight Zone episode. But when Sterling Holloway showed up, I was a bit surprised he was playing a not-so nice character! Here is the title card:

SH in TZ 006

Originally aired on March 13, 1964 it tells the tale of a man (played by William Demarest who also played Uncle Charlie on My Three Sons with Disney alumna Fred MacMurray) who sees his secrets revealed on a newly repaired television set. Apparently he wants to murder his wife but tries hard not to once he sees it on the screen. But if you know the Twilight Zone, things don’t end well for him!

For it appears the television repairman has other ideas:

SH in TZ 001

Things may have gone better if our protagonist hadn’t accused Mr. Holloway of being a cheat!

SH in TZ 003

But he did, so Mr. Holloway returns after the wife is dead to do a little gloating! And not only does he pull our protagonist’s chain, but he gives us a knowing look to end the episode:

SH in TZ 005

Not the Sterling Holloway we know, eh? Although he only appears in about 2 minutes of the episode, I think he makes a lasting impression!

Do you think we will see more Sterling Holloway tie ins on different shows?  First Andy Griffith, and now the Twilight Zone.  Let me know what you think in the comments, and thanks!

Ed Wynn Visits The Twilight Zone

Disney-influences-Television

Submitted for your approval, or at least your consideration, a very funny man in a not-so funny dramatic role. Long-time star of stage and screen, including many Disney live-action and animated programs, is one Ed Wynn. Mr. Wynn is about to step over from whimsy into… The Twilight Zone!

Twilight Zone Ed Wynn 1

Season Five (also the final season)

Twilight Zone Ed Wynn 3

How can you not smile at this dear older gentleman?

Whether you enjoyed him as Mary Poppins’ floating uncle or his madcap antics as The Mad Hatter, Ed Wynn has certainly left an impression upon every Disney fan! Mr. Wynn appeared in at least one other episode of The Twilight Zone (Season One’s One for the Angels).

Twilight Zone Ed Wynn 2

Sorry, I just had to include this priceless expression!

I noticed how frail Mr. Wynn was looking in this episode, and with a little research, learned that he was 77 at the time this was filmed in 1963. This was just three years before his death on June 19th, 1966. And don’t forget that you’ve seen his son, Keenan Wynn in many Disney live-action films as well, and the Season One episode of the Twilight Zone called A World of His Own.

Let’s put it to a vote as to which role was most memorable:

  • Uncle Albert from Mary Poppins
  • The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
  • The Toy Maker from Babes in Toyland
  • Rufus from the Gnome-Mobile
  • or something else?

Cast your vote with your reason in the comments below and share your thoughts about this Disney Legend (inducted August 10th, 2013).

Mickey Visits the Partridge Family

{Editor’s Note:  Today we introduce a great friend of mine, Lee, who is from North of the Border and is one that I used to write with at Chip & Company.  In doing so, we are also delving into the realm of Television, and looking at different shows that have had a Disney influence on them!  We hope you enjoy, please give Lee a warm welcome!}

My wife and I love to watch old TV shows. We find the 70’s and 80’s, while they delivered horrible fashion and car design, at least gave us great sitcoms! Recently I was able to pick up the complete series of The Partridge Family on DVD for only $30 at Wal-Mart and we are making our way through the first season.

Imagine our surprise when a famous mouse appeared in the episode entitled My Son, The Feminist (episode 12). See if you can spot Mickey in this picture:

Partridge Family Mickey 1

Time’s a wastin’, found him yet?

If you said the vintage Mickey Alarm Clock over Shirley Jones’ left shoulder, you have a good eye! But just so you can see it a bit better, here is a bigger image:

Partridge Family Mickey 2

Not very clear, but a definite confirmation of a Mickey sighting!

Please check back from time to time as I will be sharing other Disney celebrity sightings from The Partridge Family as well as The Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show, and others.

Say, have you ever spotted a Disney Celeb hiding out in your favorite sitcom? If so, let us know in the comments below!