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The Story Behind The People Behind The Attractions: Imagineers


Walt Disney was no doubt a great man with great vision but he is not the only individual behind the movies and especially the parks that we have come to love. He had a team of some of the best and brightest individuals who did not just think outside of the box they threw the box away and the sky became the limit. These are the people we have come to know as imagineers.

Surprisingly the term did not originate with Walt Disney but with a company called Alcoa but the name will forever be linked to the Disney legacy. Obviously the term combines two words, imagine and engineers. Normally these two terms are not connected. Engineers are supposed to work on concrete fixed principles and people who imagine are supposed to be dreamers thinking of the impossible. Putting the two words together seems an odd fit but Disney not only did it on paper they did it in the real world. Imagineers come up with a dream and then make that dream come true.

Disney is no making a documentary about these individuals and their work and I for one am excited to get my hands on it. Check out this short clip about the imagineers and the upcoming documentary.

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Can I Be Like Peter Pan?


Walt Disney Quote 11

 

The problem with some old people is not they they grow old but that they grew up! Sure we have responsibilities and we should meet them. Sure we don’t move as fast or as far maybe but does that mean we have to grow up? No Way! We cannot forget to laugh, love and enjoy life. If we do the child inside us dies and what a tragedy that is. The kind of people who do that remind me of Mr. Fredrickson from up. Don’t be a Mr Fredrickson!

Walt Disney Comments On Worrying


Walt 06

 

If you are like grumpy, you always worry if what you have done is good enough. That is the wrong thing to worry about, worry about doing your best. If you have done your best and that is not good enough for someone that is their problem not yours. After all you can only do what you can do. So do your best and let the rest take care of itself.

Pirates of the Caribbean


Before Jack was the most famous pirate in the Caribbean theres pirates were already sailing.

Before Jack was the most famous pirate in the Caribbean theres pirates were already sailing.

As you enter the Magic Kingdom and head down Main Street USA if you are looking for adventure take a left at Casey’s Corner and head towards Adventureland. Adventureland has two rides that were E Ticket rides when such things were still used. One is the Jungle Cruise. The other is Pirates of the Caribbean.

Even if you have never been to Disney World you have probably heard of Pirates of the Caribbean. How could you miss it after four films that made almost four billion dollars? You are probably even aware that the film took its inspiration from the theme park attraction.

What you may not realize is that if you rode the ride you might recognize some scenes from the first movie and even some characters. Subsequent movies also borrowed a line or in one case even some of the soundtrack from the ride.  If, having seen the movies, you expect to experience the movie in the ride you will be sorely disappointed though. Some scenes have been modified and added to the ride in tribute to the movies but it’s still not a ride through of the movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean was not originally intended to be part of the Magic Kingdom. Walt thought it would not be exciting or exotic enough for people who were living so close to the Caribbean themselves. Guests who experienced the ride at Disneyland disagreed though and began to demand that the Pirates dock in the Magic Kingdom.

Instead imagineers envisioned a western themed area called Western River Expedition. This area would have included a dark ride, hiking trails and a roller coaster. This attraction would have been built where Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain are today. Guests, however, wanted Pirates so plans for the Western River Expedition were put on hold and then because Pirates took up so much of the proposed budget eventually scrapped.

When imagineers turned to adding Pirates to the Magic Kingdom they did not do a complete recreation of the Disneyland version. Either because of space, time or budget there were several changes made and the Magic Kingdom version is shorter than its predecessor and among those who have experienced both they say it is inferior. I have never made the trip to Disneyland so I cannot offer an opinion on which is better.

The prisoners try to encourage the dog to bring them the keys.

The prisoners try to encourage the dog to bring them the keys.

I can say that Pirates of the Caribbean has earned its place as an E ticket ride. I ride it every time I find myself in the Magic Kingdom and sometimes multiple times in a day.

Like almost everything Disney there is a story behind the ride. As you enter the building it is not just any building but an old Spanish fort, Castillo Del Moro. Guests enter through the Torre Del Sol. The façade of the building is a great recreation of a Spanish fort modeled after the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in the Old San Juan in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Besides the impressive stone walls, gates cannons and muskets one of the first things I notice entering the building is that is cool! That alone makes the ride great after hours in the Florida sun. You can also catch music and the sounds of fighting.

Usually the line for Pirates moves pretty fast which is good. There is no Fastpass option for the ride. The ride itself is the typical Disney dark ride. You join the crew of a 30 passenger boat for a tour of a mostly successful pirate raid on a fictional 16th century town.

The ride begins once you join your crew and set sail. The first thing you will encounter will be either a ghostly apparition of Davy Jones or Captain Blackbeard himself(Blackbeard is rumored to be only a temporary part of the ride.) Next you get the famous dead men tell no tales scene complete with a skeleton or two. This is the audio that was lifted for the At World’s End movie.  Then it’s a short drop in the dark to find yourself in the middle of a battle between Captain Barbossa and the town he is trying to sack. Be careful of the cannonballs! There are very few direct hits but there is a danger someone in your crew may be splashed a little.

Captain Jack escapes with the treasure, as usual!

Captain Jack escapes with the treasure, as usual!

You will also encounter an auction for the fair ladies of said town and an attempt to get the mayor to reveal a secret. Be on the lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow. You will also see a pirate or two in the jail trying to coax the keys from the jailhouse dog. This scene was borrowed for The Curse of the Black Pearl. The keen observer will find Mr Gibb’s inspiration in one scene with a pirate passed out with the pigs.

After touring the town and getting to hear a rousing chorus of It’s A Pirates Life For Me you will find Captain Sparrow one last time as he joins in the singing.

Finally your tour of duty is over and you will exit the ship to be given the standard opportunity to gather some booty of your own in the gift shop. I do not recommend trying to pirate the goods though. Use money please.

While this ride may lack the splash of Splash Mountain or the thrill of the other two mountains in the Magic Kingdom it is a must see. The animatronics are great and the music is compelling but not nearly as annoying as It’s A Small World.  The ride is definitely child friendly. The pirates are portrayed as more comical then fearsome. Check it out if you haven’t already. If you have leave a comment about your favorite part.

New Polynesian Gallery


The Polynesian at Walt Disney World has to be one of the most desirable resorts on property. Not only can you see the Magic Kingdom from the resort, not only are you on the Monorail loop, it’s simply beautiful! Check out this gallery on our sister site, grumpymickey.com

Poly2

New Rapid Fill Mugs Coming Soon To Disney Resorts


Walt Disney World will soon be introducing the Rapid Fill Mug to replace the standar refillable mug that has been sold at Disney resorts for years. The biggest difference will be that each mug will have a RFID chip. These chips will communicate with the new self-serve drink filling stations. The stations will also recognize traditional paper cups which can also be purchased will also have a chip and can be only be used for one hour from the initial serve and are limited to four 20 oz pours.

Are Rapid Fill Mugs the next logical step or another chance to make another buck off Disney guests?

Are Rapid Fill Mugs the next logical step or another chance to make another buck off Disney guests?

This is an obvious change from the way things currently work. Currently the drink stations are basically functioning on an honor system. Guests can fill any cup they want. Some have even been known to fill bottles and other assorted containers. I have seen mugs from resorts other than the one I was staying in filled as well as mugs that are obviously years old. In effect, if you wanted a free beverage at the resort, there was nothing to stop you from getting one.

Of course it was not intended to work that way. For those who have not stayed at the Disney on-property resorts a little explanation might be helpful. For years Disney has been selling refillable mugs. These mugs were sold with the clear understanding that they were for the length of your current visit and for use only in the resort you were staying in.

They were a bit pricey. The first one I bought was about $12. The last one was about $15. However, if you are staying in one of the resorts and you only bought two drinks for two days, at your resort, you about broke even for what if would have cost just to buy a single use paper cup plus you had a handy souvenir. Since I was always staying for more than two days I not only broke even but I saved money.

As a guest, I must admit I was a little frustrated to pay the money for a mug and watch others using the old mugs they had bought. By nature I am an honest, if slightly grumpy person. I do not abuse a system nor do I like to see others abuse the system. I am also smart enough to know that they money Diseny was losing from dishonest customers was costing us honest ones. We were, in effect, going to pay for those who were abusing the system.

Which brings up a moral question. Though these people were doing was an obvious abuse of the system was it wrong? Was it stealing? By definition stealing is taking something that does not belong to you. These people doing that were they not? What is the difference between that and shoplifting? None in my book.

Of course some people are going to say that Disney is making plenty and that Disney prices are outrageous. I do not disagree. It irks me to pay the price I have to pay for a drink at Disney too but I have a choice. I can always bring my own.

There are two other changes in the system.

The first is that guests can use the mug at any resort now. I am not sure how much impact this will have for the average guests. How often are they going to be at another resort after all? However, there are a good number of guests who split their stays between multiple resorts. Now they will not have to buy two mugs to stay legal.

The second involves pricing. Because the number of days the mug is valid varies the price will too. The price will start at $8.99 for one day and go up to $17.99 for length of stay plus four days.

Since Disney is going to start charging more as well as eliminating theft, I would like to make one suggestion. Get rid of the generic mugs and bring back resort specific mugs!

The new system was tested in 2011 and will starting rolling out to all Disney resorts soon.

For more information check this out this articl article from Orlando Theme Park News.

Birthday Party For America-Walt Disney World Style


I love Disney and I love the country that gave Disney the freedom and resources to do all the things Walt did. So in honor of both the USA and Walt grumpy hopes you enjoy this patriotic fireworks display from the Magic Kingdom

A New Interactive Pirate Adventure at the Magic Kingdom


From the official Disney Park’s Blog:

Pirates, ahoy!

We’re happy to share here on the Disney Parks Blog today that a new interactive quest called A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas will debut in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park this spring. (And check out this great artist rendering that our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared with us!)

Pirates Adventure

In A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, guests will use a pirate map and magic talisman to help them complete five different pirate raids throughout Read the rest of this entry

Disney World History!


I am researching some history on Disney World in preparation for a new series of articles. While doing so I stumbled across this video. You will enjoy it but be warned it’s long!

Do You Feel Like A Hero?


The official opening date of the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World is coming.  On December 6th, 2012, it will open up and though everything planned will not be open, there will certainly be enough to be worthy of a Disney celebration!

The New Fantasyland is divided into two parts, Storybook Circus and Enchanted Forrest.

The Storybook Circus is already making magic happen for guests and includes the Fantasyland station of the Walt Disney World Railroad, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, the new double Dumbo The Flying Elephant and the Barnstormer.

The Enchanted Forrest will include Ariel’s Grotto, Enchanted Tales With Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, and Under The Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid.

Of course there are a few things still under construction that we cannot wait for (but I guess we will have to!) but these additions, available in full on December 6th, are well worth the trip. Well who are we kidding, Disney World is always worth the trip!

Of course, being Disney, they need a hero to open the place up for the rest of us! At least that is what their add implies (See the video below to know what grumpy means!) Could you be that hero? I sure would like to be!

For more information on the Fantasyland expansion check out our New Fantasyland Page.

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