disneyparks

Vintage Disneyworld: 1994 UK promotional video!

Slowly I’m going through all my family’s old VHS tapes and here’s a good one! A 1994 promo video from the UK airline Unijet, showing off all that Disneyworld and Florida had to offer to Brits.

Features footage of some now-defunct attractions including Pleasure Island, River Country, Spectromagic, and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure (my favourite when I was a kid.) Oh, and a robot Bill Clinton.

Fun fact: For YEARS I assumed this goddamn video was the cause of my annoying-but-far-from-debilitating submechanophobia. I definitely remember that as a child I saw a clip of the Universial Studios Jaws ride and it terrified me no end. I always thought it was on this video… But why would a Disney promo video be promoting the competition? (Even in the Florida montage at the end I don’t think there’s any Universal Studios stuff!) So hmmm, maybe I’ll stumble upon that damn shark in a different video one day.

Vintage Disneyland: DLP in 2001!

Poor old Disneyland Paris, it was always the underdog of the Disney parks, insofar that anything pulling in millions per year can be an underdog. It’s considered the worst of the Disneys. But it’s not, I promise you it’s not! It has its own French flavour and I really love it.

And here’s what it looked like in 2001…


I’m a big fan of animatronics and DLP hosts two terrific ones: the Dragon and the Giant Squid. If you have submechanophobia like me, try not to think too hard about how the squid is cleaned and maintained, mmkay?


A lesser-known animatronic in the park is this guy, the crocodile which sits outside of the Rainforest Cafe. He was still there as of 2017!




Here’s some shots of the parade through the Magic Kingdom. This was before the Studios part of the park opened, so no parades there.


But there was only one year to go until it DID open, so you could still see the entry gates and the water tower, you just couldn’t go in.


This is the Main Street Electrical Parade, which I’m sure looked MUCH better in real life. Sadly it exists no more, at least not in Paris. :(


And lastly… There’s no photos of me in here because I was hideous-looking in 2001, acne and puberty hit bad, so please enjoy this picture of the castle which I luckily am not in.

Vintage Disneyworld ’99: Esmeralda

Esmeralda was always my favourite of the Disney women. She wasn’t a princess but I didn’t care. (This was before Disney really started pushing the ‘princess’ thing anyway.) She doesn’t appear in the Disneyland parks anymore ever from what I can tell. Disney just kinda quietly ignores their version of Hunchback of Notre Dame, probably because… well… if you’ve seen it you’ll know.

But then I found this old Disney autograph book in a drawer and in it was-

This was kinda interesting to me even though I could not remember meeting either of them AT ALL. (I was still a pretty young kid after all.) And also there was no date on the autograph book because children don’t think to date things! So those autographs could’ve been either from 1996 (when HOND actually came out) or 1999. But I have SO FEW MEMORIES of going to Disneyworld in 1996! That’s what the photos are for, to remind me, but honestly I kinda look at them and a lot of the time there isn’t any memory attached.

But a week or two ago I found this tiny little keyring photo album thingy, all the way from the late 90s. You could print out tiny little versions of photos (or get your parents to do so) and store them in a photo album so small you could carry it around with you on your bag or keys. Yeah… that’s what we all did before phones.

So I flipped through the teeny keyring album a couple of times. It was all pictures from our trip in 1999, which I do remember a bit better. And after looking more closely suddenly I realised there was one photo hidden behind another. I pulled it out and…

There was an Esmeralda in Disneyworld in 1999! I don’t know if she was the one who gave me the autograph or if that was a different ’96 Esmeralda, but hey she hung on for a few years in the park after Hunchback of Notre Dame came out and before Disney got cold feet about the contents of the film!

Thank you past me for hiding that photo away where I’d probably have never found it, ya dick.

Vintage Disneyworld: 1999 edition

Hey remember all my posts of photos from when my family went to Disneyworld in 1996? Well we went in 1999 as well (I was a spoiled kid) and only recently have I uncovered photos from that. There’s not nearly as many (I figure the rest will show up eventually) and they’re pretty small images but, wanna see?

Animal Kingdom would have just opened at this point I think. It was about a year old when this photo was taken!

I imagine I was probably pretty fascinated by the dinosaurs scattered around Animal Kingdom. I seem to remember the movie Dinosaur was being advertised in the park a lot and there was at least one “Dinosaur” themed ride? Alas, I fear it didn’t stand the test of time.

On the cable cars again! Those things must’ve been popular. So I guess the body of water on the right is the submarine lake with the submarines long gone.

Tomorrowland as viewed from the cable cars. I remember the racing car ride there but couldn’t say with any certainity what it was called.

The castle, presumably also viewed from the cable cars since there’s no crowds getting in the way.

Space Mountain, ditto. Is now a good time to point out I find the Disneyworld Space Mountain design so terribly dull? Feast your eyes instead on the Disneyland Paris one. It’s a WORK OF ART.

Oh but this is Spectromagic and that was also a work of art!

Right here is a blurry dolphin and my 13-year-old self wrote on the photo that this was at Epcot, they had dolphins at Epcot? Oh wait they did! And still do! I also gather animal rights activists aren’t happy about it and well, fair enough.

Elsewhere in Epcot, who’s this guy? This would have been at Innoventions, which was closed for good and reduced to rubble just last year, aww man. Oh here’s a video of him! I think his name is Starnac. Wonder where he is now.

Ah here is The Electric Umbrella! That name stuck in my mind for ages for some reason.

This is IllumiNations which took place over the Epcot lake! Also hooray, 90s cameras had evolved to be able to take pictures of fireworks at that point.

Minnie Mouse! Oh my GOD you can see my training bra under my shirt in this picture.

An AT-AT! That must be the building Star Tours was in?

Curiously the only Disneyworld ’99 snaps I do have in high definition are ones from Typhoon Lagoon. Here’s the Typhoon Lagoon boat!

In fact WAIT I have a picture of that boat from ’96 as well! So here’s the two side-by-side.

And that’s about it! (I really hope I find the rest some day though.)

You can repost the pictures of the attractions here, but please don’t repost any pictures with people in them!

Disneyland’s Splash Mountain To Be Reimagined With ‘Princess And The Frog’ Theme — Deadline

Splash Mountain, one of the mainstay rides at Disneyland whose theme was based on the Uncle Remus Br’er Rabbit story from Disney’s controversial 1946 film Song of the South, will be reimagined based on the animated film The Princess and the Frog. The news comes amid growing calls to change the ride’s theme in the…

Disneyland’s Splash Mountain To Be Reimagined With ‘Princess And The Frog’ Theme — Deadline

Eyyy! I have never actually been on Splash Mountain, only viewed it from a distance, but I’m really happy Disney is doing this. Tiana and TPATF have long been ignored by the theme park people.

I know from just a quick glance online that people are already complaining about this and I view their motives with extreme suspicion, as I have seen the original ride on a video and apart from the drop at the end it is utterly, utterly boring.

Two of my favourite things!

Those two favourite things being 1) The Terrifyingly Good Engineering Work That Goes Into The Disney Parks and 2) The Concept of Submechanophobia, Which I Definitely Have, But Viewed Safely From Behind A Computer Screen.

I am interested to know that the Disney submarine ride triggered submechanophobia in some people! But for me it was always that damn Jaws ride, an entire theme park away from the Magic Kingdom and now sadly departed. Can’t blame Disney for that one. I can blame them from not taking better care of their Nautiluses, Giant Squids and Sea Serpents though. Dammit Disney.

That Disneyparks parade fire

Hey remember when the Maleficent float caught fire in the Disneyworld parade a few years back? Today I was arsing about on the Internet with nothing to do and I found a closeup video of it.

And I must give A MASSIVE SHOUT-OUT to the poor actor playing Prince Philip and his wonderful facial expressions here.

“Hi kids! Don’t worry about what all those people opposite are looking at and I won’t either.”

“oh god it’s really close behind me isn’t it”

“keep it together man, keep it together”

“OH FUCKING HELL THE FUCKING DRAGON IS ON FIRE”

“Uh should I… do something? In… in character?”

“Yeah you know what I’m not paid enough for this”

“Oh crap I forgot to smile! THAT’S WAY WORSE! Crap crap crap crap!”

“Okay stay calm dude you can salvage this with a cape-flip. philip out.”

FIX THE YETI!

One of my lesser-known obsessions is animatronics, especially the stuff which comes out of Disney. For example, the other day I saw this-

and I felt honest-to-god very sad, although admittedly that may be just the pandemic and the lockdown and the uncertainty getting to me.

But hey, while we’re on the subject of Disney animatronics, let me tell you the story of one of my favourite ones! This one:

THE YETI!

Poor, poor Yeti. Disney had such high hopes for him and he was SO expensive. I mean, look at him moving! That sort of technology doesn’t come cheap. They built a whole rollercoaster around him! Heavily promoted him as one of the most sophisticated robotic creations out there! And then he broke.

Now the Yeti is in “Disco Mode” which means he basically has a light under him to give the illusion of movement. Because if he actually moves too much, he’ll damage the actual rollercoaster itself and, uh, we don’t want that. The Disney corporation also surprisingly considers that human lives > one multi-million hairy boi. So for almost a decade now, the Yeti has been unmoving while it lurks over passengers.

Here’s what the Yeti’s boss, I mean Imagineer Joe Rohde, said about the situation back in 2013:

“You have to understand, it’s a giant complicated machine sitting on top of, like, a 46-foot tall tower in the middle of a finished building. So, it’s really hard to fix, but we are working on it. And we continue to work on it. We have tried several ‘things’, none of them quite get to the key, turning of the 40-foot tower inside of a finished building, but we are working on it… I will fix the Yeti someday, I swear.

So that got me thinking… Disneyworld is obviously closed for the time being. Maybe, ONCE the coronavirus has retreated to a safe distance (human lives still > one multi-million hairy boi) they could keep Animal Kingdom closed for just a little bit longer, depending on how things go with regard to opening very crowded places, and finally/safely fix the yeti?

Anyway here he is in his original glory back in 2006.

Happy birthday, Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris turns 28 today. (It is in fact younger than me.)

It’s sad to think the park is closed for now and no-one is having a party, but what can ya do. Here’s some of the photos I snapped when I was there for my honeymoon back in 2017. Dave had never been to a Disney park so I decided to take him.