Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rest In Peace Roy E. Disney

Roy E. Disney passed away this morning.  For some odd reason all Disney passings happen within 5 days of eachother:

Walt Disney- December 15
Lillian Disney- December 16
Roy E. Disney- December 16
Edna Disney(Roy O's Wife)- December 18
Roy O. Disney- December 20.

Here is a letter from Bob Iger about Roy's Passing:

 It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of our friend and colleague Roy E. Disney. After a courageous year-long fight with stomach cancer, he passed away peacefully this morning at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, surrounded by his loving family.

Roy played an important role in our lives here at Disney, and in the success of our Company over many years. Along the way, he touched many of us in a personal way. During his 56-year association with the Company, his true passion and focus was preserving and building upon the amazing legacy of Disney animation that was started by his father and uncle. His commitment to the art of animation was unparalleled and will always remain his personal legacy and one of the greatest contributions to Disney's past, present and future.


Roy not only helped to keep the legacy alive, but he also embraced new technologies, and gave the filmmakers the tools they needed to tell their stories in new and exciting ways. He encouraged talent, and loved working with the creative community. And they loved working with him.


Roy was a Disney Legend in every sense of the word, and his contributions to this great company have been profound and will always be remembered. For the next week we will be flying the Disney flag at half mast here at the Studio and at our parks, and I know you join me in sending thoughts and prayers to Roy's wife, Leslie, his four children, and his 16 grandchildren. For those who wish to pay their respects, the family has requested that donations be made in Roy's name to the California International Sailing Association (CISA) to benefit youth sailing.

Rest in Peace Roy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 1966

As you may or may not know today marks the anniversary of Walt Disney's passing.  A lifetime of smoking gave Walt a large tumor in his left lung.  Removing the lung was his only option but he sadly died a few days later.

Walt was cremated and his ashes placed at Forrest Lawn Glendale.  You can find his grave in a small garden outside The Freedom Mausoleum.  I was able to visit it a few months ago during a trip to California.

Here is the entrance to Walt's Garden.



And a shot from the inside.



Buried with Walt are his wife Lillian, and their son in law.




If you are interested in paying your respects to Walt you can visit Forrest Lawn Glendale.  The employees are not permitted to tell you where someone is buried though.  If your looking for Walt follow the signs to The Freedom Mausoleum.  His garden is on the left hand side of the entrance.  The first page of my Flickr has an aerial shot with his garden circled.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Go Ask Dave....

Over the summer I was watching the 1936 Hitchcock Film "Sabotage."  During the opening credits I was shocked to see a full screen thank you to Walt Disney.  Seeing as how I love Walt and Hitch I was curious to see what had brought the two of them together.  I won't give you the entire plot line but it surrounds a theater owner who is also a saboteur.  Towards the end of the film we see people in the theater watching and an animated short, which happens to be Walt Disney's Silly Symphony "Who Killed Cock Robin."


(screen shot stolen from here:moviegoings.wordpress.com/ page/15/)

It really got me thinking "Were Hitchcock and Walt Disney friends/ fans of each others work?"  Well I knew there was only one person to ask and that was Dave Smith.  Dave Smith is head of the Walt Disney archives and probably knows more about Disney History than anyone.  I submitted my question to him via the "Ask Dave" section of the D23 website.  I had pretty much given up my hopes of him answering my question until last Friday.  I enjoy "Ask Dave" so I check it regularly, and wouldn't you know this week he answered my question!



So there it is, sadly we don't know is Hitch and Walt were friends or fans of each other.  We do know that this is not the last time their paths will cross, but i'll save that for another entry.....
   

Friday, December 4, 2009

Walt in Kansas City

Well since tomorrow is Walt Disney's birthday I better make this post about him.  If you have read my previous post you know that I spent a rainy afternoon in Marceline Missouri.  What you do not know is that I spent that morning in Kansas City visiting Walt Disney landmarks as well.

Here is the house the Disney's lived in on Bellefontaine Ave.



As many of you might know, Walt made his first cartoons in a garage behind this house.  I did some research before my trip and saw that there was an alley behind Bellefontaine that would lead me to the garage!  The only problem was this wasn't the nicest neighborhood and some people were already standing on their porches staring at me taking pictures of a house.  I decided that I probably wasn't going to be in Kansas City again any time soon so I let them stare and I turned the corner and headed down the alley.

A car stopped and the woman inside asked me if i had been taking pictures of the house.  "That's my grandmas house." she said.  My mom who was with me (we were driving to a wedding in Omaha when I made her detour to all my Disney destinations) told the woman that I was a big fan of Walt Disney and had wanted to see the house.  The woman was very nice and a fellow Houstonian, so after a little chit chat she drove away and we were heading down the street towards the alley.

To get to the alley we had to walk past an auto repair shop where some shady looking guys were standing around.  My mom suggested we get the car and just drive down the alley, but as we turned around we heard someone yell "Ya'll lookin' for Walt Disney?"  We turned around and yelled back to him that we were.  He yelled back "Well come on, it's right back in this alley, you wanna see the garage?"

At this point I felt a lot like Karen in Goodfellas when Robert Di Nero's character is telling her he has some fur's for her down an alley and she runs off terrified.  I'm no Karen so I walked towards the alley and the repair shop.  Turns out the guys were very friendly and walked down the alley with me to see the shed as well.  He had just learned that Walt Disney had lived in the house.  I asked him if a lot of people came to look at the shed, he said no....

So here it is, Walt Disney first studio still standing in all it's glory.  Built by Elias Disney himself!

 

Check out my flickr for more pictures of the house and garage.

More post about Walt Disney landmarks to come.  We still have some left from Kansas City , Marceline, and a few from LA.

Happy Birthday Walt!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Davy...Davy Crockett!

My blog was featured in this weeks Geek-End Update over at Imaginerding!  What an Honor!

Alright, well this post is going to switch gears from our most recent adventures though Marceline.  I'm going to discuss one of my other past times, writing letters to Disney Legends.

Back in 2003 I was a cast member at Walt Disney World as part of the WDW College Program.  I worked at The Missing Link Sausage Company on Pleasure Island (very glamorous).  The job wasn't that bad because my hours were from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. which meant I could wake up as late as I wanted and still go to the Magic Kingdom before work.  Most of the time that is....

One week I had to work The Festival of the Masters which meant my schedule was now 7 a.m. to 7p.m.  This wouldn't have been bad at all if it wasn't for Fess Parker, Disney's Davy Crockett being at Epcot at the same time.  Fess owns a winery and was speaking at the Food and Wine Festival about his brand.  The closest I was getting to Fess that day was selling his wine at a tent in Down Town Disney.



It was then that I decided I was going to contact Fess Parker by mail and hope that he would write me back.  I contacted some people though his wines website and they gave me an address where I could write to Fess.  A few weeks later guess what came for me in the mail......




How great is that!  What a swell guy!

Since then I have written many Disney Legends and most have been kind enough to write me back.  So every once in a while i'll share some of the letters they have been kind enough to send me.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Midget Autopia

When I visited Marceline I thought I knew of all the Walt Disney landmarks scattered around town, but I was wrong.  When the Midget Autopia closed in Disneyland Walt had the entire ride shipped to Marceline.  Unfortunately Walt and Roy were not able to make it to the dedication ceremony so the attraction was opened by Marceline's Mayor.



Sadly because of the constant maintenance needed for the little cars the attraction did not last very long in Marceline, but if you think they tore the track down then you've got another thing coming.  The track is still there and so is the queue. (They just threw some tables under it and made it into a picnic area).  It was raining pretty heavily but that didn't stop me from doing a few laps and taking some pictures.



In the back right of the above picture you can see the swimming pool that Walt dedicated to the town.




There's a few more pictures of the Autopia track on my Flickr site as well.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walt Disney in Marceline. Part 3

Alright, on with the adventure through Marceline.  So after safely passing the dreaming tree without being struck by lightning, the rain picked up so I jumped the puddles, (landed in some and) safely made it inside Walt Disney's Barn.  This obviously isn't the same barn that Walt infamously painted the side of in tar.  This one was built by volunteers and they encourage people to sign their name inside.



You never know who's name you might find.  Here's Pixar Director Pete Docter's Signature.



So after signing my name and waiting for the rain to let up I went out and took a few pictures of the barn itself.    Then I headed off to my next exciting Marceline Walt Disney Connection.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Walt Disney in Marceline. Part 2

After going through Walt Disney's Hometown Museum I went exploring in Marceline to find some Disney Landmarks.  Most importantly Walt Disney's Dreaming Tree.



It was a pretty rainy day in Marceline but I knew the odds of being there again anytime soon were slim to none so I walked through the rain and puddles to see the tree that was so important to Walt.



The tree itself is in pretty bad shape since Walt saw it last.  The woman at the museum told me that it's been hit by lightning several times.  so it probably wasn't a good idea for me to stand under it during a rain storm but.....



This tree has seen better days, and probably won't be around too much longer so go to Marceline and see it while you still can.  Here's a picture of Walt and Roy with the tree on a trip they took to Marceline.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Walt Disney in Marceline. Part 1

So in 2 weeks I went to the new Walt Disney Family Museum and The Walt Disney Hometown Museum.  I visited all the Disney landmarks in Marceline and Kansas City which I will eventually post.  But for now here's some of the Hometown Museum.



The museum is located in the old Marceline train station where a train still passes by every 20 minutes 24 hours a day.  The museum itself had a lot more than I was expecting including letters from Walt about a park he planned to build in Marceline.  My favorite piece they had was a christmas card drawn by Walt with a caricature of him and Elias in it.  If you ever in Missouri take the trip to Marceline there is a lot of Disney history there.  I'll post more from my trip in the next few days.




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Everywhere you look!

I guess it's safe to say that I like finding places where movies and TV shows were filmed.  If you don't recognize this house than you were not alive in the late 80's to mid 90's.



If you're in San Francisco and have the urge to see this pop culture landmark the address is 1709 Broderick Street.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum opens today.  I was lucky enough to attend a sneak preview last weekend.  You are not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, but no one stopped me when I was taking them near the gift shop.  So here's a few.



The museum is located inside the Presidio in san Francisco.  The Walt Disney Family used it for storing Walt's awards and personal items until his daughter Diane decided to turn it into a museum.



You walk into the Cafe area with the Museum entrance to your right.  To your left is the gift shop and downstairs is the restroom which had some original Disneyland Attraction Posters on the wall.  Not to mention this awesome Mary Blair tile floor!



                                                  

                                                  

On display in the gift shop was a Multi-Plane camera.  As you went through the museum you could actually look down into it!



                                                          
The Museum itself was amazing.  Drop what your doing and go to San Francisco to see it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Hide Your Looks Behind These Scars...

I really having a hard time believing that Danzig ever lived in this house, but everyone on the internet claims he did......And when has the internet ever been wrong?


I love the giant hole in the roof.  Probably so all the bats could come and go freely...


Monday, September 21, 2009

Pee Wee Herman Bike Part 2

Here's the rest of it. I'm working on the Fenders right now.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pee Wee Herman Bike Part 1

I just bought this 1952 Schwinn Flying Star. It's in pieces right now because I am in the process of cleaning it up and giving it a new paint job to transform it into a Pee Wee Herman bike.

When I took the tank apart I found a huge wasps nest....