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Monday
Oct222012

Hidden Disneyland Details - Sparky's Empty Grave from Frankenweenie

Every Autumn, Disneyland's Haunted Mansion undergoes a whimsical transformation, becoming the Haunted Mansion Holiday. Inspired by Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Madame Leota and the mansion's 999 haunts open their eerie estate to the quirky ghouls from Halloween Town. Beginning in 2001, Jack Skellington has hosted the annual holiday overlay, a mishmash of the otherwise mismatched Halloween and Christmas holiday seasons.

A new Disney Detail has been added to this year's Haunted Mansion Holiday. In anticipation of Tim Burton's latest Disney project, the stop-motion animated Frankenweenie (2012), a special grave and marker have been added to the pet cemetery in the mansion's front garden.

Sparky's Empty Grave in front of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Though empty gravesites may not seem strange in a pet cemetery, or more specifically - Pet Sematary. This empty grave and bone shaped cross are tributes to Sparky, the four-legged star of Burton's Frankenweenie, which was released in theaters on October 5, 2012.

Monday
Oct152012

Hidden Mickey Monday ºoº - Carthay Circle Theater - Terrazzo Floor Mickey

The Carthay Circle Theater - Buena Vista Street - Disney's California Adventure ParkCalifornia Adventure's Carthay Circle Theater stands as the centerpiece of the park's 1920s & 30s themed Buena Vista Street. Inspired by the original built in 1926, Disney's replica of the storied cinema pays homage to Hollywood's Golden Age.

Located at 1901 Buena Vista Street, the Carthay Circle Theater's design was inspired by Southern California's Spanish styling and the Art Deco movement popular in the 1920s. The theater's grand entrance is framed by its wonderful ironwork, ornately painted tiles and colorful terrazzo flooring.


Terrazzo Floor - Carthay Circle Theater's Grand Entrance

Just outside the theater's entrance, a Mickey has been hidden in the Carthay Circle's poured terrazzo floor. To the far right of the main doors, there is a plaque marked 1901.

Terrazzo Floor Hidden Mickey - Carthay Circle Theater - Disney's California Adventure Park

The miniature Classic Mickey is located within the white strip of flooring near the 1901 plaque. Slightly larger than the width of a pencil, the marble chip Hidden Mickey is embedded within the terrazzo.

Friday
Oct052012

Remembering Steve Jobs and his Disney·Pixar Legacy

(L-R) Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, Bob Iger & John Lasseter in January 2006 at Pixar Studios - Photo Paul Sakuma/AP

A year ago on October 5, 2011, Apple's famed co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, died of pancreatic cancer.

Though most associate Jobs with the Macintosh, iPhones and Apple Inc., his genius and foresight also helped advance computer animation. After being ousted from Apple Computers in 1985, Jobs purchased the Graphics Group in 1986. Known for creating computer generated special effects, the Graphics Group was formerly the Lucasfilm computer graphics division. Jobs initially invested a total of $10 million dollars. The sale price of $5 million to George Lucas and the other $5 million was re-invested as capital. Along with Dr. Ed Catmull and Dr. Alvy Ray Smith, Jobs co-founded the newly named PIXAR on February 3, 1986.

Jobs served as Pixar's Chief Executive Officer. By investing another $40 million into development of Pixar's hardware, software and animation sectors, Jobs gained almost total control of the company. By 1990, Pixar's failing hardware division was sold. Jobs became Pixar's Chairman of the Board in 1991, shifting Pixar's focus to animation software and the animation studio headed by former Disney animator John Lasseter. At the time, Pixar's studio was only modestly successful, creating computer animated shorts, commercials and special effects.

Despite losing tens of millions of dollars, Jobs stuck with Pixar Studios through lean times. Prosperity finally came with a $26 million-three feature distribution deal with the Walt Disney Company and the subsequent success of its first full-length computer animated feature, Toy Story (1995).

Beginning with 1995's Toy Story, Pixar Studios churned out a string of buttery box office hits, all while wowing critics and winning awards. However, Pixar's constant success led to disagreements with the Walt Disney Company over property control, rights and distribution. Negotiations in 2004 between Pixar & Disney were difficult, as Jobs and Disney CEO & Chairman Michael Eisner were reported to be combative.

On January 24, 2006, the Walt Disney Company announced its acquisition of Pixar. Unwilling to sever the Disney·Pixar relationship, the Disney Board had replaced Eisner with Bob Iger. As the new Disney Company CEO, Iger quickly drew up a merger worth an estimated $7.4 billion in Disney Company shares. Steve Jobs immediately became the largest single Walt Disney Company stockholder, controlling more than 7% of shares worth around $4.6 billion. Quite a nifty payday for Jobs, following his initial investment of only $10 million.

In addition to sitting on a fatter wallet, Jobs was granted a seat on the Disney Company's Board of Directors. He also sat on a committee created to guide Pixar Studios and Walt Disney Animation as separate entities. The merger created several shifts in Disney Company leadership as Pixar's John Lasseter was named Chief Creative Officer for both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. In addition, Lasseter was named the Principal Creative Adviser for Walt Disney Imagineering. Pixar President, Dr. Ed Catmull, added a second title, becoming President of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs & John Lasseter - Photo © Pixar

When Steve Jobs died last year, his influence over Disney & Pixar far outweighed the number of shares he owned. The magician who unveiled the iPod and iPad, Jobs added a bit of his own magic to the Walt Disney Company. The Disney·Pixar merger helped us find Nemo and Buzz Lightyear at Disneyland. It also paved the way for Cars Land and Toy Story Midway Mania at the Disney California Adventure Park.

By investing in Pixar's infancy, Jobs helped create a new artform, the computer animated feature. Through this new medium, Pixar's animators created dozens of this generation's most endearing and iconic characters. Incredible storytelling created financial success for Pixar, leading to a Toy Story trilogy, not-so scary monsters and a house lifted UP by hundreds of helium balloons. Thanks to Steve Jobs and his belief in Pixar, we've learned adventure is still out there and that we've got friends like Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

Thursday
Oct042012

Ginnifer Goodwin, Self-Professed Disneyphile

During her September 26th appearance on the ABC Network's Jimmy Kimmel Live, actress Ginnifer Goodwin admitted to being a huge Disney fan. The vivacious Goodwin acknowledged that she's living out a childhood dream, by starring as Snow White on ABC's fairytale-inspired Once Upon A Time. The real life Disney Princess is a frequent park visitor, sharing a few of her favorite (and not-so-favorite) Disneyland attractions.

 

The self-professed Disneyphile also gushed about her membership to the exclusive Club 33, secretly located in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. Goodwin acknowledged the restaurant's extremely limited membership and extensive waiting list. It seems odd that the star of a Walt Disney Company production would have several difficulties just getting a dinner reservation, let alone a club membership.

Its great to hear that the actress entrusted with portraying Disney's first princess, is at heart, a true Disney fan. The next question, does Ginnifer Goodwin know about Hidden Mickeys? 

Monday
Oct012012

Hidden Mickey Monday ºoº - Halloween Time Hidden Mickeys

It's Halloween Time at Disneyland. Jack Skellington and his frightening friends from Halloween Town have taken over the Haunted Mansion. In Frontierland the Halloween Tree is in full bloom and talented pumpkin carvers have moseyed on over to Big Thunder Ranch. An evil presence haunts Space Mountain and Main Street USA has turned several shades of orange with pumpkins lining shops and windows.

Every Halloween Time Disney's Imagineers come up with new ways to incorporate Hidden Mickeys in the seasonal decor. Take a look at some Halloween Time Hidden Mickeys from years past.


A timepiece Hidden Mickey from New Century Timepieces - Main Street USA - Halloween Time 2007.

2008 Halloween Time Jack-o'-Lantern Hidden Mickey - Fortuosity Shop - Main Street USA

Main Street Magic Shop's Goofy & Vampire Coffin - Halloween Time 2009

Vampire Coffin Hidden Mickey - Main Street Magic Shop - Halloween Time 2009

Paper Lantern Jack-o'-Lantern with Hidden Mickey Eyes - Big Thunder Ranch - Halloween Time 2011

Keep an eye out during Halloween Time to discover more seasonal Hidden Mickeys! (^_^)

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