Archive for the ‘Imagineering Field Guide’ Category

Theme Park Headlines – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Turns 20

April 29, 2009


Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates 20 years of showbiz enchantment on May 1.

By Blake

Originally posted April 28, 2009.

WDWCelebrations has done it again. For the third time, the fan-based Disney website http://www.wdwcelebrations.com/ set up an unofficial event to commemorate a special Disney park anniversary. Also for the third time, Disney indirectly set up some official events of their own to accommodate the many fans attending the unofficial WDWCelebrations event. This first happened for Epcot’s 25th anniversary in October, 2007 and then again for the 10th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in April, 2008.

Now it’s happening again for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as WDWCelebrations’ “Studio 20” event takes place at the park on Friday, May 1, 2009 and Saturday, May 2, 2009.

The day caps off an eventful few weeks for Hollywood Studios, as several other activities surrounding the park began on April 17 when Grad Nites began. A special event exclusive to high school seniors, Grad Nites took place at Hollywood Studios this year after years of occurring at the Magic Kingdom. Grad Nites took place four select nights April 17 – 25.

The Hollywood Studios birthday fun continued today (Tuesday, April 28) when The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios by the Imagineers was released into bookstores. However, even though the book was supposed to be released on the 28th, the bookstore that I visited to buy it didn’t have a copy available. When I went to go ask if the bookstore could order it, they said that for some reason the book hadn’t printed yet, so they couldn’t order it. I do not know at this time if the book was indeed released today, or if it was delayed. If anyone else has any news about the book’s release status, please let me know.

The new book The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios was supposed to be released April 28, though some stores may not have it yet.

The next DHS-related event will occur on Thursday, April 30, when characters from the popular Disney Internet game Club Penguin will begin making appearances at Hollywood Studios near the Backlot Tour. It should be exciting to see how the characters look, as well as if Disney decides to put anymore of their Internet characters (such as those from Toontown Online or Pirates of the Caribbean Online) into the parks.

Characters from the Club Penguin online game are scheduled to begin greeting Hollywood Studios guests starting April 30.

Lastly, Disney is planning some official events to take place on Friday, May 1, in addition to the unofficial Studio 20 activities. When the park opens at 8:00am, a special ceremony will take place. Later on at two different times throughout the morning, a special Imagineering presentation will take place in the Premiere Theater, which should definitely be an insightful experience for those who attend. Imagineers Tom Fitzgerald, Eric Jacobson, and Bob Weis are all scheduled to speak at the presentations. Any park guest can view both the ceremony and the Imagineering presentations (you don’t have to participate in Studio 20 to see them).

With The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios being released, the Club Penguin character meet & greet beginning, Studio 20 taking place, and the special ceremony and Imagineering presentations going on, it’s sure to be an exciting 20th anniversary celebration for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

*Update from May 2, 2009.* You can check out coverage of Hollywood Studios’ 20th anniversary (which featured a speech by the park’s vice president Rilous Carter and a special exhibit) on StudiosCentral.com, LaughingPlace.com, and AttractionsMagazine.com.

*Update from May 16, 2009* The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now scheduled for a July 2010 tentative release.

Related BlakeOnline articles:
By Blake; posted April 28, 2009; updated May 2, 2009 and May 15, 2009. All images (C) Disney.
Advertisements

Disney Talk – Read Your Way Through Imagineering’s Secrets

April 6, 2009

Several exciting book releases are in the works from Walt Disney Imagineering.

By Blake

Originally posted April 6, 2009.

In the past, Walt Disney Imagineering – the team of the Walt Disney Company that creates the attractions guests experience in the Disney theme parks – have been the subject of several fascinating books that have given fans a glimpse into what goes into creating some of Disney’s most beloved rides and shows.

There have been looks into Disney’s “mountains,” advice on how to think like an Imagineer, sneak peeks into the making of movies based on some of Imagineering’s attractions, and more. Looking ahead into the rest of 2009, there are several more very exciting books coming from Disney Editions that pertain to Imagineering.

The first is The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The fifth book in the Imagineering Field Guide series by Alex Wright, it will give a look into the creation of Walt Disney World’s third theme park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The book will be released on April 28, 2009*, just three days before the parks’ 20th birthday. Like the other Imagineering Field Guides, this one is expected to include a run-down of the development of the park’s rides and attractions, as well as little details that can be found throughout the park. It will be especially fascinating to see what went into creating Toy Story Mania!, the Tower of Terror, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and Muppet Vision 3-D. The book will sell for $9.95.

*Update from May 15, 2009: The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now scheduled for a July 2010 tentative release.

The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is coming soon.
Another Imagineering release is scheduled to be published on November 3, 2009. Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real by the Imagineers will be a sequel to a highly popular Imagineering book that was published in 1996. If the new installment is anything like its original, it’s sure to be magnificent. The book’s list price of $60.00 is a bit much, though hopefully a less-expensive paperback edition will be offered like it was for the book’s predecessor.

The next title, set to be published on December 15, 2009, is The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World–Updated!. The first version of this book was the book to kick off the Imagineering Field Guide series, and was published in 2005. Since that time, the Magic Kingdom’s major changes have included the addition of the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and the refurbishments of Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Additionally, at the time the book will be published, the Hall of Presidents and Space Mountain are both expected to have finished their refurbishments. I would think that these changes will be covered in the new edition of the book, though nothing has been confirmed. Selling for $9.95, the value of the book is most likely worth whatever changes may be made to its contents.

It should be noted that all release dates are tentative. Books tend to get their release dates moved around sometimes, and the dates listed here are when these books are expected to be released, and should not necessarily be viewed as their definite release dates.

I’m very excited to see what the Imagineers have in store to tell readers once these titles are published. The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real, and The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World–Updated! seem to be like fascinating treats into backstage Disney magic.

By Blake; posted April 6, 2009. All images (C) Disney.

Book Review – The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland

November 30, 2008

The latest behind-the-scenes pocket-sized sneak peek into Walt Disney Imagineering is another treat for all Disney fans.

By Blake

Originally posted November 30, 2008.

I’m really liking Disney Book Group lately, particularly Disney Editions. Not only have they continued to release their successful Disney-related novels, but recently I’ve begun to see a very steady increase in their backstage books for fans that give them a look behind the Disney magic. Out of this wonderful crop of Disney fan books include the amazing Imagineering Field Guide series. The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland follows behind the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom as the fourth volume in a very satisfying book series that began in fall 2005.

Each installment if filled with eye-pleasing art, little-known secrets, and many, many tidbits of trivia facts. Although I thought that the Disneyland volume might be a bit similar to the Magic Kingdom book (since the two parks contain many of the same attractions), it thankfully wasn’t. The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland is its own book in its own right and, although at times a few stories and facts are repeated, it’s mostly not a twin at all.

Some of the very interesting trivia pieces we learn this time around include:
15 attractions that were open on opening day – July 17, 1955 – are still open today.

  • The Opera House on Main Street has held 5 different attractions, making it the most-recycled building in the park.
  • Walt Disney insisted that the windows on Main Street be ground level so that children could easily see inside them.
  • Orange trees in Adventureland were removed and then planted upside-down when the park first opened in 1955 (the park was a mass of orange groves prior to its opening).
  • For the second Indiana Jones film, Steven Spielberg had crew members come to Disneyland to record sounds from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to use in the movie!
  • Thurl Ravenscroft (a.k.a. Tony the Tiger and the singer of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”) voices many different Disneyland attraction characters, including Fritz in The Enchanted Tiki Room, a singing tombstone in The Haunted Mansion, a singing pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean, and many others.
  • Several “credit” windows stray from Main Street, including one for Fess Parker (the actor who played Davy Crockett in the Disneyland television series) in Frontierland and a fictional one for the Three Little Pigs in Toontown.
  • Voice actor Paul Frees lends his voice to both the Auctioneer in Pirates of the Caribbean and the Ghost Host in The Haunted Mansion.
  • Pirate sails seen over a rooftop of a building in New Orleans Square actually don’t belong to a ship at all – they’re built in to the roof, but you can’t tell from the ground! This was done to add more theming to the land, but the construction of an entire new ship wasn’t needed in this case.
  • Christopher Robin was discreetly not included in Disneyland’s version of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction because of the ride’s location in Critter Country.
  • The Imagineers felt that any characters other than “critters” would take away from the proper theming of the land.
  • The Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction was originally going to have guests ride in flying pink elephants (from the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence of the film) rather than on Dumbo himself.

These and MANY other wonderful little-known secrets are filled all throughout The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland. Together with short making-of stories for each attraction of how it came from conception to reality, as well as great art pieces, the book is quite marvelous indeed. Although it’s credited to be written by “The Imagineers,” its actual author is Imagineer Alex Wright, who also wrote the preceding three volumes in the series. Any Disney fan will find this and all other three Imagineering Field Guide books amazing. Even though I’ve never visited Disneyland, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I highly recommend it for any Disneyphile. It’s just pure fun.

How do I rank The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland? (Bolded is my choice.)
  • Utterly repulsive
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

The Imagineering Field Guide will most likely please: Disney Fans – Young Adults – Adults

By Blake; originally posted November 30, 2008. All images (C) Disney.