August 31, 2009

GDP Special Report: Marvel Purchased By Disney

Ok today was the announcement of the Marvel Purchase by Disney that was going to be happening. As i was at school, I wasnt able to really get a full grasp on it unil i got home. Then i got home read all that I could and finally came up with MY OPINION of this.

Im not gonna be giving you the "summary" of purchase, you can easily find that on the net and GOOGLE it or just look on Twitter, as #Disney and #Marvel are in the top 10 Trending Topics... So here goes MY OPINION.
Ever since i read this earlier today i didnt know really how to react. I was a bit confused and sort of had a WHAT?!? moment. I was also a bit confused. And like many other people i immediately thought of the Universal Parks and such. But then i read more up on it and found out that Universal IoA will still have the Superhero Island- thingy (sorry dont know name b/c im a Disney fan not Universal). Then I thought from the stand point of a HUGE Disney Park Fan, will they be bringing in the Superheros into the park??? I thought to myself i hope not, becasue when i think of Disney i dont think of superheros (other than the Incredilbles). So overall i wasnt that happy, i figured that they could take this MARVEL thing and run with it one of two ways in the parks: 1) Take it and smack it on EVERYTHING, like Pixar and making a WHOLE land (most likely in DHS) OR 2) Take it and use it sparingly like the Muppets/ Jim Hension franchises. So i was still confused. Then i read more and heard on the news that the purchase of Marvel was more for BOYS and to counterpart the GIRLS "franchise" of Hannah Montana. ANd after hearing/reading it i was a little bit better feeling thinking it was mostly just for the TV stations, becasue Disney launched DisneyXD in Feburary and has been gradually getting stronger and stronger. So for the TV market i think it is a good idea, because ive only seen the DisneyXD station several times, and it really doesnt have THAT many shows as opposed to Disney Channel which as Wizards, The Suite Life, Sonny, and of course Hannah Montana. Overall, I still have mixed feelings for this purchase of Marvel, but if they go the way I THINK they will go (TV instead of Parks) i would feel better than if they smacked them in the parks like Pixar the past couple of years.
So now with this purchase of Marvel.. Do you all think that it is TOO late to have a D23 Expo booth for Marvel as a "Disney Franchise"?
I really want to know what you all think of this... Email me gdpinvestigator(at), Tweet me @gdpinvestigator or Facebook me, or comment on this post...
Marvel Pic from DisneyByJoe Blog and SpiderMan pic found on Facebook

Haunted Stories: A Phantom in the Manor

While planning Euro Disneyland, Tony Baxter decided that certain staple Disney attractions would have to be modified for the new park. The Haunted Mansion was amongst these attractions. Jeff Burke was assigned the role of executive producer for the construction of the park's version of Frontierland and with help from Imagineer Bob Baranick and show writer Craig Fleming, it was decided that the story related to Phantom Manor would have to be congruent with that of Frontierland's fictional town of Thunder Mesa. A major influence for the story of the ride was Gaston Leroux's novel, The Phantom of the Opera, which was altered to be set in a Western setting. The architectural style is Second Empire. Like the other Haunted Mansion rides, only the first scene takes place in the mansion structure itself — the remainder of the ride takes place in a building hidden from the view of park guests.The Imagineers made a "real" story around this attraction, unlike the "fan fiction" surrounding the Mansions in the States and Asia. It was inspired by the never built Western River Expedition. Henry Ravenswood was a Western settler that struck gold in Big Thunder Mountain and founded the Thunder Mesa Mining Company, thus creating the city of Thunder Mesa, now Frontierland. Ravenswood became rich and built himself a Victorian manor high on a hill overlooking Big Thunder Mountain where he raised a family and had a daughter, Melanie Ravenswood. Time went by and the gold in Thunder Mesa ran out and Melanie grew from a young girl into a beautiful young woman, and the time came for her to get married. She chose an intelligent train engineer who planned to take her far away from Thunder Mesa, much to the dismay of Henry. Henry did everything he could to stop the wedding but his useless attempts were put to a stop when a terrible earthquake killed him and his wife Martha, and the familiy was never heard from again. After several years, the story of what really happened came out from underneath the rubble. On Melanie's wedding day, a mysterious phantom unknown to anyone in the house appeared in the manor. While the bride was preparing in her room the phantom lured her suitor up to the attic where he hung him by the neck from the rafters. In the ballroom the bride sat alone. Hours went by with no sign of the groom. The guests slowly filed away, leaving the bride alone in the house with the staff of maids and butlers. "Some day", she told herself, "he will come". And so, having never taken off her wedding dress or dropped her bouquet in preparation of her loved one's return, she wandered the house aimlessly, singing melancholy songs of lost love. The phantom was still in the house, laughing at her humanly devotion to her intended husband. One by one he invited his dead, demonic friends from the afterlife to fill the house in an eternal party. The shape of the house was slowly transformed surreality by the evil forces. Years passed. Inside and outside, the house was decaying. Dusty cobwebs cover every inch, the disheartened staff caring not, for it was rumored that the young bride had lost her mind. She wandered the house for years and years, singing softly to her groom while all around her demons and ghosts reveled and danced. Everywhere she went she was reminded of the wedding. The phantom's eternal laughter still carried through the walls of the house. Outside, the once beautiful grounds were falling apart and crumbling. The gilded staircase and structure was dotted with mold and trees and every plant on the grounds died. As if sensing the evil inherent in the house, nothing living tread there. The bride ever so kept her hope in waiting for her loves return, singing songs of melancholy and lost love, and never figured why he had left.The earthquake that killed her parents cut a huge gouge in the west half of the property and the crumbling ghost town of the old Thunder Mesa. The deserted buildings were rumored to be called Phantom Canyon, the supernatural version of the town, and anybody who entered the ghastly old town at night never came back. Today, nobody knows if Melanie Ravenswood is still alive in that old house on the hill. If she is, then she's well over 100 years old. Her beautiful voice still carries over the town at night, though the walls, and night air. And sometimes, people still see lights in the house. Some nights, when the moon is full and the sky is clear of clouds, you can still hear the lonely mourning of the bride, the maniacal laughter of the phantom, and the faint tinkle of glass and laughter of party guests. Whether she's alive or not, what is well known is that poor Melanie never really left the crumbling mansion. She waits for her groom 'till judgment day. There is heavy speculation on who or what the phantom is. Many fans of the ride believe he may be Melanie's father, seeking vengeance from beyond the grave. Others say it is the pure spirit of evil, and a curse was apon the young girl.Like the other Mansions around the world, guests wander through the queue outside, but instead of gravesites and such, they wander through the "front" yard of the manor, and through its overgrown flora and such. And pass by a gazebo with a music box playing. Phantom Manor is teh only Haunted Mansion attraction where guests actually enter through the front door. Once inside the Manor you begin your "journey" like all the others, entering a small foyer then into the Stretching Room.Guests then file into an octagonal room with four portraits of a young Melanie. In one, she picks flowers; in the second, she holds a parasol; in the third, she steps through a stream; and in the final portrait, she is having a picnic with her fiancĂ©. The Ghost Host explains that the tour has begun, and asks if we have noticed that the walls are stretching. The room actually appears to stretch, and the portraits grow taller — revealing some haunting situations the young girl is in:
Melanie picks flowers...above a gravestone...where a skeleton emerges from the ground,Melanie holds a parasol...while in a boat...above a vertical waterfall, Melanie steps through a stream...and, reaching for her foot is a hand...connected to a water monster, and Melanie is having a picnic with her fiancé ants raid their food...and a snake, scorpion, spider and beetle approach.
The lights go out, lightning and thunder effects fill the space and the ceiling turns invisible showing us the attic and The Phantom hanging the groom from the rafters with a noose. The ceiling above is a piece of fabric called a scrim, which conceals the attic scene until it is lit from above. The stretching room's light slowly come back on and a hidden door opens, revealing a hallway lined with portraits. As the guests walk down this hallway, they see that one portrait is that of a knight and his horse on a cliff. There is another of a young woman in a temple; a third of a ship sailing across the sea; and a fourth of a woman reclining on a sofa. The portraits morph into more macabre versions: The knight becomes a ghost; the woman in the temple became the horrible Medusa; the ship becomes a ghost ship sailing through a storm; and the reclining woman becomes a were-panther. At the end of the corridor is a large portrait of the character Melanie Ravenswood, wearing a bridal gown.Guests then turn a corner and enter a large hall with a grand staircase leading to the floor above. Old furniture lines the walls. Sitting on a shelf is a bust of a stern-looking woman who appears to turn and face the guests as they pass. An unbroken train of black Omnimover vehicles known as Doom Buggies moves through the centre of the room, alongside a moving platform to enable easy loading. Guests board the Doom Buggies, each buggy accommodating two persons, and the carriages move upwards into a dark space past an audio-animatronic of young Melanie who is bowing to passing guests while holding a candelabra.A twitching suit of armour then comes into view, although this effect is not obvious and can be missed in the semi-darkness. Beside the armour is a seemingly endless hallway, with the vision of Melanie appearing and disappearing in the distance while the candelabra that she is holding remains in view. On the left side of the corridor is a conservatory containing a piano appears. At first glance it seems to be playing by itself, achieved with a projection of a phantom pianist's shadow that falls on the carpet, together with mechanically-moving keys. A large, red-eyed raven sits on a music stand next to the piano and squawks angrily. The Doom Buggies then pass through a corridor lined with doors. As guests pass each door, they hear pounding, knocking, or shouting behind it. When the last door is reached, guests see two skeletal hands clutching at the top. The vehicles pass a small hall containing a demonic grandfather clock. A large "13" is on its face and its hands spin backward as it chimes.The buggies enter a round space where a crystal ball sits on a central table. In it, wrapped in a mist, is the disembodied head of Madame Leota. As guests watch, she summons ghosts and dark creatures to a mysterious ball in both English and French "Goblins and ghoulies, creatures of fright! We summon you now, to dance through the night...Spirits and phantoms on your proud stallions, escort the beautiful bride into the night... Warlocks and witches, answer this call, your presence is wanted at this ghostly ball... As twelve strokes of midnight sound from the bells, we will waltz through the night, gruesome debutante... Join now the spirits in nuptial doom, a ravishing bride, a vanishing groom..." Guests leave the seance room and move along a balcony, looking down into a ballroom, where a ghostly wedding party takes place. Melanie stands on a staircase, singing and looking up at the Phantom who stands in an open window, laughing menacingly. Ghostly guests sit around the dining table - fading in and out of view, where a moldy wedding cake sits. A pile of unopened wedding presents sit in the background. Elegantly-dressed pairs of ghostly dancers twirl around the ballroom. A spirit organist sits at a massive organ, playing a haunting waltz on it as wraiths fly out of its pipes.The vehicles enter the Bride's Boudoir. Guests see, a now elderly, Melanie sits weeping in front of a mirror filled with the shape of an enormous skull, while a music box plays.The Doom Buggies fly out of the upstairs window and swoop down into a vast graveyard, past the Phantom standing before an open grave. Beside him growls an undead dog. The DoomBuggies then travel underground, into some catacombs, and see a series of coffins being opened by their skeletal residents. Four white marble busts then come into view, bearing the expressive faces of four phantoms singing Grim Grinning Ghosts.Through a hole, the buggies then enter Phantom Canyon, which is a twisted, supernatural version of Thunder Mesa. Rifts in the earth surrounding the buggies suggest that there is an earthquake happening, which reenacts Thunder Mesa's turning point from a prosperous community to a ghost town. An eerie-looking figure stands before a ramshackle train station, offering to sell train tickets to the underworld. Guests see a ruined town hall where a mayor figure stands, inviting guests to be the manor's 1000th ghost. As he tips his hat, his head comes with it. A gun battle scene follows between a bandit, fleeing a bank on a mule, and a cowardly sheriff with Big Thunder Mountain in the background. Guests see a Pharmacy where a green-faced Pharmacist figure drinks a deadly-looking Medicine, followed by a saloon whose front wall has caved in. Inside it there is a dancing showgirl, a bartender, and a man playing a honky-tonk piano. Four invisible gambler figures play poker nearby.Another figure of the Phantom leads guests into an open grave. As they see the silhouette of the Manor ahead, they enter a dark passage and see Melanie's corpse pointing to the way out. The vehicles enter a subterranean chamber lined with large, gilt-framed mirrors in which a ghostly image of a spirit can be seen above the Doom Buggies along with a reflection of the guests themselves. Guests travel through a wine cellar where Cast Members await to help them disembark their Doom Buggies, and they walk toward the exit. As guests travel up toward ground level, a tiny figure, Little Leota, stands to the side of the passageway behind bars, telling guests to "hurry back" and to "bring their death certificates". Finally, guests exit into Boot Hill, a cemetery filled with humorous gravestones.

Pics and Info from,, and

August 29, 2009

Weekly (Pin) News

Welcome one and all to this weeks WPN, your central GDP source for the weeks pins and parks news...

Today we will start with the pin news...

--Disney announced this week that Disney will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Pin Trading with a PTN on Thursday October 1, 2009 at Disney's Contemporary Resort from 6pm to 9pm, check out for more info.--Also in WDW Pin News, the Whats HapPINing blog posted previews of the Gingerbread Pins coming out this year for Christmas... These go with the DCL ones we showed you last Saturday

**The normal pieces that are from Epcot's American Adventure and the Beach Club Resort**The Contemorary one is a Mary Blair esque house of "its a small world"**The normal Grand Floridian and Boardwalk pieces--Moving to DLR, several Pin of the Month pins scheduled for release on September 1 has been pushed back to September 8th release due to production... Check out for more info.--Finally, we turn to the New York City World of Disney store, and rumor has it (confirmed by several WoD Cast Memembers) that the store will be closing at the end of the year... With this we have 2 new pins coming out September 5, during the Pin Trading Morning which will be from 10am to 12pm. They are LE 500 and $11.95 each.
Moving from Pins to Parks, lots of happenings have been happening in the Disney Theme Park world within the last week.
--First off, the new tequila bar has opened in the Mexico pavilion in time for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, to learn more about La Cava del Tequila, check out for more information on the bar and the Food and Wine Festival.

--WDW has more Food related news then i can handle so to learn more info about the Food News at the parks, check out

--One final piece of food news is the Wishes Dessert Party has been extended from August 28th (original closing date) till October 31st,. 2009. I guess it proved successful enough to extend it. (When i went in July all 5 nights i was there were sold out)

--Also in WDW news, the parks have begun decorating for Halloween, many people are suprised. I am not, becasue the Halloween Parties start on September 4th, so this is late in my opinion.

--Moving to the West Coast, "Murphy" the new Maly Dragon for Disneyland's Fantasmic was tested during the day (why? i really dont know) the other day. And was the first to come with the pic of it... Check out more info about Murphy at There are many rumors (most likely fact) swirling around the internet that "Murphificant" (as the WDWNT crew and @WEDway named it) will make her offical debut on Monday. And that there has been an additional show added tonight through Thursday (making two per night), and then starting next Friday (the beginning of Labor Day weekend) through Monday there will be three showing of Fantasmic! per night.

Ending with the park news, today we take a sneak peak at upcoming Vinylmations... (courtesy of

--The first piece of Vinyl news is the new Cast Member one coming out in Late October 2009 (pictured below)--These next "previews" im sure have been seen before, but here they are just incase you havent

**This first set is the upcoming Holiday #1 set, coming out September 2009**This "girly" Vinylmation set is Cutesters, coming out October 2009**This final Vinylmation preview takes a look at the Vinylmation Park Series #3, coming out November 2009

That is it for today with the W(P)N... Thanks to,, and for pics and information...


The series PinSpective: A Personal Pin Trading History is coming back. I have more personal stories so stay tuned... If you would like to send me your PinSpective please send to

August 28, 2009

Pics and Pins of Tombstones and Gravesites

As with what we talked about the other day in the Master Gracey Pics and Pins, the tombstones were made to give credit to the Imagineers who worked on the attraction. The main cemetary is in the queue of the attraction.

Here are some of the tombstones that are throughout the queue...In 2001, a team of Imagineers, Eric Jacobson, Patrick Brennan, Doug Griffith, and Jason Surrell began looking for ways to use small scale animation to enhand the guest experience thoughout the park, especially in queues and areas where there was less to see. One result, which debuted in 2002, was a new tombstone on the family plot that is outside the mansion entrance doors. This features and is dedicated to Madame Leota, and is a reference and tribute to Leota Toombs, the engravement reads:

Dear Sweet Leota
Beloved by All
In Regions Beyond Now
But Having a Ball

Not entirely resting at peace, the sculpture frequently opens her eyes slowly, and then closes them. Imagineers thought that this subtle addition improves the story with Madame Letoa.

Not many tombstone pins were made, this Master Gracey one is really the only one that features the whole engravement that is on the actual stone...Many of the other tombstone pins featur RIP or just is empty..This is of "George", you may ask who is George, well he is the husband of the streching room's old lady on gravesite. ALso another key clue is the axe/hatchet on the stone, like on the portrait.This one is not actually in the queue, he is more in the Graveyard scene of the attraction.The Pet Cemetary is one of the most themed areas in a Disney Park, and it is seldom seen. The original location was on the right side, near what is now Splash Mountain, in Disneyland. It was created in teh early 1980s by Kim Irvine--daugher of Leota Toombs--who bought pieces of statuary from local nurseries and turned to show writer, Chris Goosman to compse humorous epitaphs for the lost pets. This hidden gem proved to be such a hit that Imagineers made it offical, creating a permanent pet cemetary along the attractions queue in 1993. Since then the Pet Cemetary's have been added to all other incarnations of the attraction.So being a fan favorite means, many pins are made... Like this boxed set released for teh O--Pin House event at Disneyland this summer...Or this set of individual pins...And this recently released Hidden Mickey Cast Lanyard set of the "gravestones" for the animals...

Pics from and