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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- Dateline Disneyland

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened. To celebrate this amazing event, the biggest and most complex live broadcast at the time was orchastrated by ABC. The event was entitled Dateline Disneyland and was hosted by Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings, and Ronald Reagan.

The day lived in infamy as "Black Sunday". It was over 100°F that day, and the newly layed asphalt was still soft, steeling many high heels off of the female visitors. There was a plumber's strike during construction, so Walt choose to have runnig toliets instead of water fountains. There were gas leaks and blackouts all over the place that day. Venders ran out of food. Thousands of uninvited vistiors came into the park via counterfite tickets or hopping over the berm. Critics everywhere blasted Walt and his park, saying it would close shortly.

The next day, crowds started showing up at 2:00 AM, and the first visitors were awarded lifetime passes to Disneyland. And just 6 weeks later, Disneyland welcomed it's one-millionth guest.

Tha park was a hit. And it was still growing...

^The scale model of Disneyland on opening day that was on display in Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- Building the Happiest Place on Earth

This time lapse video has been spreading around the web like wildfire. I'd thought it would be great to include in the History of Disneyland.

This footage is truly remarkable to watch, and I think I'll let Tony Baxter, Ed Hobleman, and Walter Magnuson take it from here.

Absolutely fascinating. It's amazing at how quickly everything was done. And opening day was just around the corner...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Disneyland Story

Television was a brand new medium. Unlike movies, by using television, Walt Disney could make contact with people in the comfort of thier own home. The TV show, known as Disneyland debuted on ABC on October 27th 1954. The show would help finance the construction of Disneyland, and could also be a new medium to showcase new Disney movies and cartoons. The very first show, the Disneyland Story, showcased designs for the new theme park that Walt was building, as well as the shorts "The Pointer" and "lonesome Ghosts". Here it is, just as the viewers saw it in 1954.

Disneyland was a weekly show, and each week, a new show would be produced. This led up to the July 17 Episode "Dateline Disneyland" in which people all across the country witnessed the unvieling of Walt Disney's Disneyland.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dineyland: One Man's Dream- From Orange Grove to Fantasyland

Land is very valuable, and has been since the dawn of time. Walt Disney knew this and when his ideas for a Mickey Mouse Park near his studio became too big for that land, he needed to scout out new land. Concept art kept getting bigger and bigger.

In 1952, walt established WED Enterprises, where his architects, designers, engineers, and artists, newly dubbed "imagineers" began designing the park.

One year later, Walt's brother, Roy, was heading to New York to pitch the idea to the bankers. To do this, he needed something to show the bankers. Without anything, a big fat "NO" was eminant. So during one wwekend in September of that year, Walt and Herb Ryman spent the entire weekend designing what was know named "Disneyland". This concept art would become famous, as it can be instantly recognizable as Disneyland, though it still was far from what we know today.

Walt hired Harrison Price, a consultant from the Stanford Research Institute, to scout out land. With Price's help, Disney bought 160 acres of Orange Groves and Walnut trees in Anaheim, California. Anaheim was a small area in Orange County and was southeast of LA. It seemed to be in a great location, without much around it.

Near the Orange Groves, constuction on Interstate 5 (then US Route 101) was starting and would be complete before Disneyland was finished. In preperation for the increase of traffic of people wanting to visit Disneyland, 2 more lanes were added.

Trees from the Orange Grove would have to be removed. However, Walt wanted as many trees as possible to stay, so he labeled them with different colored bands to represent which trees "stayed". which ones were to be "moved", and which ones would be "removed". Regretably, many trees were removed because the bulldozer operator was colorblined. Throughout construction of Disneyland, it appeared fate was against Walt. Either that or it was testing him.

Disneyland construction finally began on July 18, 1954. Just 364 days later, the park would be opening it's gates for the first time. Sounds crazy, right? And how would Walt finance the $17 million needed to build the park?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Mickey Mouse Park

It's no surprise that Walt Disney loved his studio in Burbank, California. That's one reason Walt Began pondering building an 8-acre amusement park across the street from his studio.
As you can see below, the park featured a few rides and a boat ride with a train circling the park. These few design features were a constant in the evolution of Disneyland. Especially the train.

Walt loved trains. He had an entire backyard railroad built as a way to relax. He frequently brought people over to his house and gave them rides around his yard on the train.

Unfortunately for Walt, his ideas started growing and growing. He wanted more types of enviornments, not just the western theme that is showcased in early concept art. He wanted to transport people back to a turn of the century American town. He wanted to show people places around the world. And of course, he wanted to take people into the beloved movies.
So, this 8-acre patch of land became to small. And as his ideas about an amusement park turned into ideas about a themed park, he needed a lot of land- cheap!

*Note: All pictures in this post are Copyright Disney. No copyright infringement intended.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Emmaculate Conception

It's no surprise that Walt Disney wanted to take a huge risk by building a theme park. The man frequently did this in movies and cartoons. But still, an amusement park was quite out of the ordinary.

Most of the amuzement parks in Southern California were dirty places filled with shifty people working them. Most rides were for the kids, with little for the adults to do.

Walt took his 2 daughters out once a week to different places, and most times he took them to amuzement parks. One day, Walt was sitting on a bench eating peanuts while his daughters rode the merry-go-round. Then it hit him that there should be some sort of entertainment enterprise "in which the parents and the kids can have fun together. And that's how it all got started."

There was another aspect that helped spark the idea of Disneyland. Walt Disney's father, Elias Disney, worked on building the grounds for the World's Columbian Excahnge in Chicago. Each area in that park showcased a different "country" and this idea might have led Disney to develop each of the famous themed lands.

But there was also something else: many people were so captivated by the various Disney movies that they kept writing to Disney to visit his studio. Walt was intigued by the idea, but saw that there was no way for a studio to function properly with it full of people. So the idea sat with him for years, growing inside him as time went on. But the idea was far from dorment.

During this time, Walt toured amusement parks all over the world. He found them enjoyable, but wanted to top them and let the kids and parents have fun together.

And so began the creation of the "Mickey Mouse Park" which would lead to the most famous theme park in history...

V- At Comic Con

V is based on a mini-series that was on during the 80s. The world awakens to find spaceships hovering over all major cities. Though the aliens claim to come in peace, some do not believe them. Homeland Security agent Erica Evans discovers that the aliens have plans to infiltrate our governments and businesses in a plot to take over the planet. Erica joins the resistance movement, which includes Ryan, an alien who wants to save humanity. However, the aliens have recruited earth's youth, including Erica's son, to serve unknowingly as spies.

V will premiere midseason on ABC, although the exact date of the premiere has yet to be revealed.

However, for those of you wondering about Elizabeth Mitchell's role as Juliette on Lost: she will appear in the next season. Considering I don't like Juliette, that's bad for me. More on that tomorrow...

Lost Panel at Comic-Con 2009

The final season is just 5 months away, and I, ans well as many of you, I'm sure, are anxiously awaiting Lost's return it all it's glory. Well, before I post some Comic-Con info, I have something to show you.

ABC has revealed a new ARG, entitled "Lost University". First, you must sign up for email updates, Then, on September 22, enrollment begins, exactly 5 years after Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the Island. Finally, classes, such as "Heiroglyphics 101" and "The Physics of Time Travel", will begin on December 8, the same day Lost Season 5 comes out on DVD/Blu-ray. For more info, go to

Now, for the videos. Please note that filming was not allowed during the special segments, but other people did film the Lost theme song contest winner as well as the Lost fan-made videos. Not to mention there are also some commercials made by the producers, seeming as though a reset is indeed possible.

Finally, at the end of the panel, this official poster was revealed for Season 6. It features everyone who has ever starred on Lost, regardless of whether they died. Also, Richard Alpert has been confirmed to be put on a starring basis, up from recurring, so he is featured in the poster.