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Entries in Disney Detail (6)

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
Sep172012

Hidden Mickey Monday ºoº - Matterhorn Hidden Mickey Coat of Arms

Posted along the Matterhorn queue are actual crests or shields symbolizing several Switzerland's twenty-six cantons, or states. A red and white coat of arms featuring a stylized key, represents the Swiss canton of Obwalden. Concealed on the Obwalden coat of arms is a miniature Hidden Mickey, a classic three circled shape painted in black.

Obwalden Coat of Arms in Disneyland's Matterhorn queue.

Although the key's head is also reminiscent of a Classic Mickey, the actual Mickey appears at the base of the key's stem. The Matterhorn facade features two shields with this striking red & white design. This crest, which includes the Hidden Mickey, is displayed in the Fantasyland side of the Matterhorn's queue.

A Hidden Mickey appears on the Obwalden Coat of Arms in Disneyland's Matterhorn queue.

Saturday
Aug112012

Hidden Disney Details - DCA's Red Car Trolleys

In 1901, real estate mogul Henry Hunington purchased several small Southern California transportation providers and consolidated them into the Pacific Electric Railway. He boosted ridership by extending the light rail routes throughout Los Angeles County and into the adjacent Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino Counties. Under Hunington's leadership, all of the Pacific Electric's urban cars were painted red, leading to the iconic Red Car nickname.

At its height, more than 900 Pacific Electric cars served approximately 100 million passengers a year. Although the light rail system enjoyed its busiest year in 1944, the advent of the automobile led to a steep decline in ridership post World War II. The icon's luster finally faded on April 8, 1961, as the Red Car Trolley made its last trip on the line connecting Los Angeles and Long Beach.

A Red Car takes passengers from Buena Vista Street to Hollywood Land.When Walt Disney moved to Hollywood in August of 1923, he would have seen dozens of the Southland's iconic Red Car Trolleys. Before the evolution of Southern California's freeway age, Red Cars were a transportation fixture. From 1901 to 1961, the electric Red Car system covered more than 1,000 miles of track throughout Los Angeles and its neighboring counties. Inspired by the Red Cars of the 1920's and 30's, Disney's Imagineers paid homage to the past by installing a trolley line between Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Land.

Passengers board Red Car Trolley #623 in Hollywood Land.

Buena Vista Street's Red Car Trolleys are based on the light electric rail cars operated by the Pacific Electric Railway in urban areas like Hollywood. DCA's Red Car Trolley #623 is patterned after the St. Louis Car Company's 600-series of trolleys that were comissioned by the Pacific Electric Railway in 1922 & '23.

The 23 in #623 refers to 1923, an important year for Walt Disney. His Laugh-O-Gram Studios in Kansas City, Missourri had gone bankrupt in July, so in August of 1923, Disney decided move to California. The great storyteller traveled to Hollywood, determined to try his luck making films.

Red Car #717 on DCA's Buena Vista Street

Red Car Trolley #717 is a direct tribute to July 17, 1955, Disneyland's Opening Day. The numbering for 717 is also inspired by the trolley's type, since it is patterned after the St. Louis Car Company's 700-series of trolleys, used in city areas by the Pacific Electric Railway in the mid 1920's to 30's.

In recent years, high gas prices and heavy auto traffic have led to a resurgence in public transit. Several of L.A.'s current Metro Rail lines even follow historic Red Car routes. To acknowledge its transportation history, the Port of Los Angeles operates a restored 1.5-mile trolley route called the Waterfront Red Car Line.

Friday
Aug032012

Hidden Disney Details - Buena Vista Street Mailboxes

There are dozens of Disney Details to discover along Buena Vista Street, Disney California Adventure Park's newly remodeled main thoroughfare. Hidden in a private entryway next to the Los Feliz Five & Dime is an apartment-style mailbox.

The nameplates on the personal mailboxes feature a few familiar names with Disney ties. From left to right the names read; S. Yoshiwara, E. Valiant, T. Ogelvie and P. Peabody.

The S. Yoshiwara mailbox is a tribute to Staci Rei Yoshiwara, a Disney fan and former cast member who passed away before Buena Vista Street's completion.

"This name is dedicated to a good friend and former Disney cast member who passed away during the creation of Buena Vista Street. Being a fan of Disney and knowing she'd never get to see Buena Vista Street, I felt it was only fitting she'd always be able to call it home."
- Brandon Kleyla, WDI Set Decorator

Bob Hoskins plays Eddie Valiant, who receives his mail directly from the postman - Who Framed Roger Rabbit © Touchstone Pictures

E. Valiant - Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Valiant was the circus clown turned heroic cop, who then turned into a drunken detective after an evil cartoon dropped a safe on his brother. Eddie was played by real life actor Bob Hoskins, who starred alongside the animated Roger Rabbit. A bit too sexy and risque to be a traditional Disney feature, the Academy Award-winning Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released under Disney's Touchstone Pictures. 

Don Knotts as Theodore Ogelvie (L) & Tim Conway as Amos Tucker - The Apple Dumpling Gang © Walt Disney Productions

T. Ogelvie - Theodore Ogelvie, was Don Knotts' hapless character from Walt Disney Productions' The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) and its sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1982). In the 1975 box office hit, Knotts teamed with comic actor Tim Conway, who co-starred as the dimwitted Amos Tucker. Together, Theodore and Amos were a pair of inept outlaws, bumbling their way through the Wild West.

Officer Percival P. Peabody - Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort © StudioCentral.com

P. Peabody - Officer Percival P. Peabody, one of the eccentric citizens from Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Officer Peabody is entrusted with Keeping the streets of Hollywood safe, one star at a time. (Percival P. Peabody photo courtesy of StudioCentral.com.)

Thursday
Jun212012

Hidden Disney·Pixar - From Cars 2 to Brave

Walt Disney Studio artists were famous for hiding inside jokes or placing caricatures of each other in their cartoons or animated films. Pixar's animators, having some of their own fun, created their own tradition by hiding references to upcoming films in previous releases.

In Toy Story 3 (2010) one of the Sunnyside preschoolers wore a Lightning McQueen t-shirt, paying homage to the upcoming Cars 2 (2011). Prior to that, Disney·Pixar's UP (2009) featured a pink Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3, which appeared in a little girl's room with the Pixar ball - both visible as Carl & Ellie's house flew through the city.

Cars 2 T-Shirt from Toy Story 3 © Disney·Pixar

Toy Story 3's Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear in UP © Disney·Pixar

As Disney·Pixar's thirteenth animated feature premieres in theaters on June 22, 2012, here's a flashback to BRAVE's first Easter Egg, a hidden cameo in 2011's Cars 2.

With the World Grand Prix shifting to Great Britain, the villains attempt to destroy Lightning McQueen and any support for alternative fuels. With Mater & Lightning flying through London's streets, Holley clears a path by pushing Dr. Z's henchmen, Acer and Grem, into the Left Turn Inn.

As the villainous pair crash into the Left Turn Inn, they end up spilling dozens of pints on the pub's patrons. As soon as the oil spill clears, clearly visible is a Scottish tapestry featuring the fearless highland family from BRAVE as cars.

Acer & Grem pushed into the Left Turn Inn - Cars 2 © Disney·Pixar

Patrons enjoying pints in the Left Turn Inn - Cars 2 © Disney·Pixar

Acer & Grem splash the Brits with their pints - Cars 2 © Disney·Pixar

The Left Turn Inn's Scottish Tapestry features Cars characters from BRAVE - Cars 2 © Disney·Pixar

Original Family Tapestry from BRAVE © Disney·Pixar