May 31, 2010

Origins of Electricity

This week we will be revisiting our Main Street Electrical Parade series we did in the very beginning of the GDP, to celebrate the debut of the Main Street Electrical Parade back in Magic Kingdom for Summer Nightastic!


This parade was a regularly- scheduled parade, created by Bob Jani. MSEP ran through most summers between 1972-1974, 1977-1982, and 1985-1996. This parade features floats and live performers covered in thousands of electronically controlled lights and a synchronized soundtrack triggered by radio control along the parade route... The Main Street Electrical Parade was spun up around the world in various of the theme parks, mostly Magic Kingdom- Style Theme Parks. With various names this parade has been to both American resorts, the European resort, and the Japanese resort. When in Disneyland and Magic Kingdom the parade was named Main Street Electrical Parade. When in Tokyo Disneyland, it was named Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade and then updated as Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights, and in Disney's California Adventure it is just simply called Disney's Electrical Parade.

The predecessor to the Main Street Electrical Parade is Electrical Water Pageant, a show made up of seven 25-foot tall screens with electrical lights placed on them. They travel around the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom starting at around 9pm in front of Disney's Polynesian Resort and ending up in front of Magic Kingdom as the fireworks end and the guests start to pour out.. This water pageant is still playing today. Debuting on October 26, 1971, just weeks after WDW opened.


Debuting on June 17, 1972, Main Street Electrical Parade has been the longest running parade in Disney History, with it various incarnations. With its recognizable beginning and song, every Disney fan, or even some visitors know what is coming when they here:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, Disneyland proudly presents our
spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of
sparkling lights and electro-sythe-magnetic musical sounds. The Main Street
Electrical Parade!" Then the iconic "Baroque Hoedown" begins and the parade

In 1972, the engineers who helped create the parade also created the first show control program. This allowed the 2,000 foot long parade route to contain multiple radio-activated "trigger zones". Using the radio activated triggers as each float entered a zone, the audience would hear float specific music thought the audio system. Each zone between 70-100 feet long and the zoned system meant that every person watching the parade would experience the same show, no matter where they stood on the parade route. Until 1977, almost all of the floats were 2D and had to be pulled or pushed along the parade route. The Blue Fairy float was the only 3D float, and ran until closing. A 3D Chinese Dragon float was added later on.

Running most summers between 1972 and 1996 this parade became the most viewed and longest running parade at Disneyland. With the stints in 1972-1974, 1977-1982, and 1985-1996. The parade was put on hold so two other parades could be shown. America on Parade was show from 1975 through 1976, and Flights of Fantasy Parade was shown from 1983 through 1984.


After closing in 1996, ending the 24-year run. The replacement show, Light Magic, opening in 1997 and was an immediate failure. Disney quickly cancelled Light Magic but held off bringing back the popular parade. After ending its run in Magic Kingdom on April 1, 2001 the floats were sent back to California for a return to Disneyland. Once seeing the poor attendance figures of Disney's California Adventure, Team Disney Anaheim changed the plans and on April 25, 2001 Disney announced that the popular parade would be coming to Disney's California Adventure on July 2, 2001 because they feared the park would not beadle to attract large crowds. The name of the show changed from Main Street Electrical Parade to Disney's Electrical Parade. Most of the 1996 floats returned, except for the Pinocchio Pleasure Island section and Snow White diamond mine float, which was at Disneyland Paris in 1997. The parade has been offered during summer periods and select weekends since then. Finishing a nine month hiatus during the 2005 off season at Disneyland Resort, which allowed a replacement of lights and changing the opening drum adding the words presented by Sylvania. During the 2008 Walt Disney World Christmas Parade, they previewed the addition of the Tinker Bell float being added to the parade, replacing the Blue Fairy float in the Summer 2009 season. In April 2009, Disney's press conference for the Summer season previewed the concept of the float and also they announced the return of the classic floats of Snow White and the Pinocchio Pleasure Island. Also, updating the floats to LED lights. In February 2010, it was announced that Disney’s Electrical Parade would be moving back to the East Coast for Walt Disney World’s version of Summer Nightastic, for the Summer 2010 season.

May 29, 2010

Weekly (Pin) News

Beginning this week’s WPN we have some Disney Parks News. (No don’t worry, we WON’T be featuring Harry Potter Land information on this blog, unless it somehow inadvertently relates to Disney Theme Parks) To start off, lets see a World of Color TV advertisement that will run in the California area, beginning on Monday May 31st. (from Disney Parks Blog)

Also in the video was the new Disney California Adventure logo, yes you read right Disney, without the apostrophe ‘S’. Overall, the new logo seems to evoke a sense of the whole park with an ‘animated’/cartoonish feel for ‘California’ and a more ‘Buena Vista Street’-esque writing for the ADVENTURE portion of the logo. We’ll see how it actually turns out.DCALogo-2010-600x364In other Disneyland Resort news, the Disneyland Hotel will be (is getting) a makeover to be more reminiscent of the Disneyland theme park. Disney Parks Blog broke the news earlier this week:

The pool area is getting a whole new look, including a brand-new pool, all-new immersive water play area and a complete redesign of the Never Land Pool. Plans also call for a new restaurant and bar, and re-theming of the hotel’s three guest room towers.

The biggest transformation (and what I’m most looking forward to) are the changes coming to the pool area. With a nod to the iconic original park signage, “Disneyland” will be spelled out in familiar blocks atop a platform supporting two huge water slides (the larger slide will be 26 feet high and will stretch 187 feet before it plunges into a splash pool below). Reminiscent of the original Monorail station at the Disneyland Hotel, at each slide’s entrance will sit a replica Monorail Car that guests will glide through as they twist and turn their way to the pool below. The pool will also feature a third, two-lane mini slide, perfect for little ones, which is just 3 1/2 feet high and is 19 feet long.

Never Land Pool

The Never Land Pool will receive a complete cosmetic makeover but will retain its unique shape. A new, four-foot deep pool will be built between the Never Land Pool and the water play area. A footbridge will stretch over this new pool, connecting both sides of the courtyard area and giving easy access across the property. Six new cabanas will also be added. To help you visualize all these exciting, new changes, here’s a rendering from an aerial view

Aerial View: Never Land Pool

And that’s not all! Two new dining locations will be introduced in the current location of Hook’s Pointe, Croc’s Bites and Bits, the Wine Cellar and the Lost Bar. A new “smart casual” dining concept will feature Tahitian architecture that is reminiscent of the ’50s and ’60s era of the hotel and the original Tahitian Terrace restaurant in Disneyland park. A new bar will draw on the adventure theme from the Jungle Cruise attraction.

The new water play area, pool and dining locations are scheduled to be completed by summer 2011, and the remodeled Never Land Pool is slated to be completed by summer 2012.

The hotel’s three guest room towers will be renamed to reflect Disneyland park’s distinctive lands. The Dreams Tower, currently under renovation and scheduled to be completed in 2010, will become the Adventure Tower. The Wonder Tower, next to undergo transformation and slated for completion in 2011, will be the Frontier Tower, and the Magic Tower, which will be finished in 2012, will become the Fantasy Tower. A large marquee featuring classic artwork for Adventureland, Frontierland and Fantasyland will identify each tower.

Moving over to the East Coast, for a couple pieces of news, we have a new Tables in Wonderland Dining Experience, this time, taking place at Cat Cora’s Kouzzina, where guests will be able to dine with Cat Cora for lunch.


A final piece of East Coast news is the renaming of Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, becoming effective on June 1st. As the latest news is happening, the Disney Parks Blog broke the news the other evening:


The name changed is explained with a new backstory behind the carrousel.

Following their fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming took up residence in Cinderella’s Castle. With peace throughout the kingdom, Prince Charming had time to practice for jousting tournaments. In the countryside near the castle, he built a training device of carved horses, on which he could practice the art of ring-spearing, a tournament event in which a knight rides his horse full speed, lance in hand, toward a small ring hanging from a tree limb, with the object of spearing the ring. This event was known by various names throughout the lands, but generally came to be called “carrousel.”

The carrousel device drew the attention of the villagers, who wanted to take a turn on this amazing spinning contraption. So Prince Charming had a second carrousel constructed closer to the Castle, where everyone could take a spin on this wondrous invention. Instead of a working knight’s training device, however, this new carrousel is more befitting its regal location in the Castle Courtyard – its rustic training horses replaced with ornately decorated prancing steeds adorned with golden helmets and shields, flower garlands, feathers and other festoons. Prince Charming invites one and all to test their horsemanship skills and to enjoy their own happy ending.

Onto the pin previews, which we have a few for this week!

First, What’s HapPINing Blog brought us a preview of some of the various pins to be released at Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween Party this year.

The logo and Passholder Exclusive!Blog_20100526_MNSS01

Various other MNSSHP pins…Blog_20100526_MNSS02

Finally, after guest feedback, there will be an EXCLUSIVE Halloween Night Party Pin released ONLY on October 31st, and will not be included in the Framed Set.Blog_20100526_MNSS03

Finally, in pin news, we have some DCL Pin Previews, also from What’s HapPINing Blog.


And a DCL Pin Trading Bag Exclusive!


As always, we bring you the Vinylmation news, sponsored by Vinylmation Connection, where you can get the latest and most up-to-date information and news. (picture below by reader Greenhpper)


Here is the latest news, information, and previews from Vinylmation Connection.

Have A Laugh Figure Preview
May 28th DTN Vinylmation Information/Report
Condiment Set Preview
Holiday Series #2 Preview—Memorial Day

May 28, 2010

Vinylmation Connection: Pirates of the Caribbean

Today we finish up our ‘Month of Pirates’ with a fitting Vinylmation Connection, connecting this month’s theme to several Vinylmations. But first, if you need more information on Vinylmations, check out our partner site, Vinylmation Connection, one of the first Vinylmation based Discussion Forums.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the attractions that has been featured more than once in Vinylmations. The Pirates attraction was also featured in back-to-back Park Series.

First, in Park Series #3, the Pirate Auctioneer was feature as a three-inch figure Vinylmation.

Par3-4 Par3-4


Released just recently, in Park Series #4, another Pirates themed three-inch figure was released, the Dog from the Prison scene.

Par4-8  Par4-8 

Pictures from the Official Vinylmation Site, and Pin Pics

May 26, 2010

Wonderful Weenies of the World: Skull Rock


Today’s ‘Weenie Wednesday’ feature is a different one, not only are we not going to talk about something that is a major weenie, like the Castle or Sorcerer’s Hat, but we will also be covering two of them at the same time. This weenie is Skull Rock, located in Disneyland and in Disneyland Paris, one Past, one Present. After all the definition of a weenie is “an item that draws in attention and brings guests into the park”, and these two Skull Rocks did (do) just that.

Our first Skull Rock was placed in Disneyland in 1960, and joined the already existing Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship, which was located in Fantasyland since the 1955 opening of the park. This Skull Rock incarnation was a simple walk through piece of landscape, where guests could eat their purchased meals from the Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship. Closing in 1982, as a victim of the New Fantasyland, when the New Fantasyland opened in May 1983, guests found that replacing this area was Dumbo the Flying Elephant.


skullrock_angle  skullrock_night pin31046 pin48657


Today, guests can visit Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship and Skull Rock in Disneyland Paris’s Adventure Isle attraction, located near Pirates of the Caribbean. The area features caves, a suspension bridge, and pirate lookout areas. Imagineers just didn’t take something that was and make it new, they re-did the layout of Skull Rock and made bigger, and actually made it look as if it was a part of the landscape, and not just ‘placed’ there. This play area opened with Disneyland Paris on April 12, 1992, and is still open today.




448px-Skullrock      DLP%20Adventureland%2033 pin1945 pin19586    pin62884

Pictures and Information from Yesterland, Jack Spence of All Ears Net, and Pin Pics

May 22, 2010

Weekly (Pin) News

The Weekly (Pin) News is moving to a bi-monthly feature as lately there hasn’t been that much news lately to cover in one post per week. So the WPN is officially moving to an every-other-week released feature.

Onto the News and Previews!

Our first preview of pins will be released in June when the Alice in Wonderland DVD/Blue Ray is released.

2010-05-12%20-Alice1     2010-05-12%20-Alice2

Another preview we have for you today is of upcoming Piece of History pins from May 2010 to September 2010 to be released in Disneyland Resort.2010-05-18%20-%20PODHIIUpdate

Another set of previews are from the Disney Parks Blog, which has the full story behind these pins featuring the classic Mickey Head shape, designed by product designer, Julie Andrews.


mtu349209SMALL mtu401148SMALL

Our final preview comes from the What’s HapPINing Blog, and in honor of Star Wars Weekends beginning this weekend, they showed these pins, with no explanation of what they are. But we, the GDP, have confirmation that they are some of the pin products to be released in August in Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Last Tour to Endor event.


Finally, we have a picture of the five Alice in Wonderland set inspired by the scene in World of Color’s Alice in Wonderland sequence. These were released as WDI Exclusive. This set was released with a few other World of Color inspired pins including a Tinkerbell Logo, and Chernabog head, with a few others. (Thanks to reader, Jabberwocky, for the picture)


Onto the Vinylmation News, sponsored by our partner, Vinylmation Connection.

VMBlog_20100521_LandoHere is this weeks tops stories:

Annual Passholder Orange Bird Figure Preview
Black Cauldron Anniversary Set Preview
Official Star Wars Figure Preview—Lando Calrissian

May 20, 2010

…Drink Up Me ‘Earties, Yo Ho!


Opening with the park, like Tokyo’s attraction, Disneyland Paris’ Pirates of the Caribbean opened on April 12, 1992, in the far back corner of the park. It is housed in a battle-scarred fortress and is much different than the originals. DLP%20Adventureland%2065 DLP%20Adventureland%2066

The ride begins as guests depart on boats from a landing and enter a lush lagoon at nighttime with the thundering of waterfalls everywhere. The boats pass through a shipwreck and enter an old fortress nearby. Inside gun noises and sword clanking are heard in the back as the boats climb up a large lift hill used to haul cargo throughout the fort. At the top flames are engulfing the fort and the shadows of fighting pirates and soldiers are seen. Up ahead the guests see the pirates in jail trying to coax the key out of the naughty guard dog.



The boats go down a waterfall in the side of the fort caused by a cannon ball and pass the bombarding-the-fort scene, where the soldiers and the pirates fire at guests. Entering the relative safety of the town, guests see all the original scenes from the Disneyland original except for a new pair of swordfighting men who duel for a girl in the chase scene. After passing the burning town, darkness fills the air and red flashes and hot air appears as the arsenal of the town has blown up sending the guests to Davy Jones' Locker. They pass all the grotto scenes from Disneyland and exit the boats after a parting thought from the skull and crossbones. It’s the only installment not to feature the movie characters.


When the attraction opened, the swordfighting duo (above),were the two most sophisticated figures in the history of Disney theme parks. In Disneyland Paris, it offers a great transition between Adventureland and Fantasyland, as the Pirates attraction is on the edge, and right next to Pirates of the Caribbean is Peter Pan’s Flight.

pin7369 pin24182 pin48107 pin52772 pin56966

pin77374       pin77376

Pictures and Information from Jack Spence of All Ears Net and Pin Pics