Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Iron Spike Room

Yesterday I asked if anyone knew where in Walt Disney World can you find items owned by Walt Disney.  Of course, George Taylor knew the answer (what doesn't he know?).  I actually had no clue this place existed until my trip 2 weeks ago.

I'm going to blame my lack of knowledge on the fact that I also have a lack of money.  You see, if you want to see two cars from Walt Disney's Carolwood Pacific Railroad, you will need to go to the Disney Vacation Club area of The Wilderness Lodge.  I don't know about you guys, but I'm glad Disney is finally giving perks to it's wealthier guests.  The time has come for these people get a little special treatment!

Anyway, onto The Iron Spike Room.  Like I said before, to get here you need to head to The Wilderness Lodge.  Walk through the lobby and take a right when you see the gift shop.  This will lead you outside, keep walking straight until you reach another building.  Once inside take another right and you will run into this:

Inside is a lounge with checkers, chess, and chairs to sit and relax in.  Plus, this fancy fire place.

In the back of the room though is what we came to see.

Two cars from Walt's backyard rail road!

The room is full of pictures of Walt, trains, and this model.

This was behind a frosted/wavy glass case.

Here's a few more close up shots for you.

So, next time your in Walt Disney World, take some time to check out these amazing Disney artifacts!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Where in Walt Disney World can you find items that belonged to Walt Disney himself?

Hint: I'm not talking about One Man's Dream...

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Picture Pages

Corn fed she be! by donniedisney
Corn fed she be! a photo by donniedisney on Flickr.

In an effort to give you guys more bang for your buck, I've decided to post pictures from my trips. Don't worry, you won't have to see boring pictures of me eating, just mediocre attraction shots.

I'm no pro photog (obviously) but I recently upgraded from a point and shoot. So, I might as well do something with all of these pictures!

Here's one I took last week, if you do not recognize this scene you are probably reading the wrong blog.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The New Haunted Mansion Queue

Every morning last week when I rode the Haunted Mansion the new queue area was blocked off with plants.  Waiting in line you could see workers in the new area, and hear a lot of sneezing.  Whenever we asked when the new queue would open, the Cast Members had no idea.  Then, the one day I was not at the Magic Kingdom it opened from 10-3.  My last day (which was a half day) was Friday.  The queue still was not open and I had pretty much given up all I hope that I was going to see it.  We had Fast Passes for Space Mountain, and decided to ride it before heading over to Epcot.

We got off Space Mountain and headed up the moving side walk to the gift shop.  In the gift shop I realized my iphone was gone, it had fallen out sometime during the ride.  I knew it must have been in the seat, so we ran to the entrance and told a Cast Member.  After waiting around for a few minutes they told me "You can come back tomorrow, if it fell out during the ride we can turn the lights on tonight and look for it."  I explained that we were leaving in a few hours so they told us to come back in an hour.  

We headed over to the Haunted Mansion which had a 20 minute wait.  We asked the CM if the new queue was open.  He replied "I guess you'll have to wait in line and find out."  We took this as a yes and got in line, as we walked away we heard "Psssst."  We turned to see the CM nod his head with a sly smile on his face.

So, as you can imagine as excited as I was to finally see the new queue,  I was more concerned about my phone.  Taking photos was also a little complicated since people were all over the place, posing with the figures, and touching everything.  Anyway, let's see this thing!

First, we have a new set of busts.

Some of the old graves have been relocated.

I like how in the last 3 refurbs (Space Mountain, Pooh, and now HM) Disney has added interactive touches to help the time pass.  When you touch the instruments on this wall, they play!

 On the opposite side the instruments are more fiendish looking.

Then we come up to the Sea Captains grave.

One awesome touch is that it's leaking water.  This grave is also the source of all the sneezing I heard.  The captain will randomly sneeze and water will spit out of the top of the grave.

Guest can also play this organ while waiting in line.  Smoke comes out of the pipes and skulls.  Check out the brand!

The books in this book case  pop out while you wait. 

If you are wondering why there is a bookcase in a cemetery, it's because the grave belongs to a writer.  A ghostly voice recites a poems that magically appears on the book in her tomb.  Towards the end of the poem she gets writers block, that's when it's your turn to yell out what word she should use, which will then appear in the book.

One of my favorite new additions though is this wall of crypts.

Paul Frees, Ken Anderson, Rolly Crump, and Blaine Gibson are now immortalized in the attraction they helped create.

The old grave yard has been slightly rearranged as well.

There you have it kids, the new Haunted Mansion queue.  I think it's great, and honestly how can you not?  New busts with funny deaths, the Sea Captain gets a grave after all these years, musical and talking graves!  If you do end up hating the new additions I don't think you will ever have to walk through it.  There was a Cast Member in the queue telling people if they wanted to see the new additions they could take the long way, if not they could proceed through the regular (shorter) line.  

Incase you were wondering, when I went back to Space Mountain an hour later they had my phone.  Great end to a wonderful trip!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Magic Kingdom: 1985

Alright kids, next week I will be in Walt Disney World and away from the internet.  So, like any good Dad I will leave you with a present before I go.  Here are a few pictures I selected from my Aunt and Uncle's honeymoon in 1985, enjoy!

I love this shot, check out the old Tomorrowland entrance, not to mention the Astro Blasters.

I like this classic Tomorrowland, now it just seems so busy.

Who doesn't love the old barker bird.

This is my Aunt Nanette, you might recognize her from my earlier post where she was pictured with Dream Finder.

Welcome to Hell!

We made it! All he lost was the sleeves to his shirt (that is not my uncle).

Is this from If You Had Wings?

If you want to keep up with my WDW Adventures, follow me on twitter: @donniedisney.  See ya real soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

WDW College Program: Intro

Are you in College?  Do you want to work at Walt Disney World?  Do yourself a favor and try to join the Walt Disney World College Program.  I was a CP back in 2003.  At the time I was a blue haired punk being followed around the Disney Store by the manager, who I can only assume thought I was there to steal DVD's.  Eventually, he realized that I knew more about Walt Disney than he did and followed me around to discuss Walt.  One day while I was in the store he asked me if I had ever heard about the WDW College Program.  I had no clue what he was talking about, then another Disney Store employee (sorry, they are not Cast Members) told me they were going to be at the University of Houston later in the month.  I did not go to UH but I decided to attend the presentation anyway.

A few weeks later there I was with 100 or so other kids learning about the College Program.  My friends (Ralf and Steven) and I signed up for interviews for the next day.  I was nervous since this was a pretty important interview. I mean, it was up to this woman if my life long dream of working at WDW would come true.  She let the three of us interview together (I think they do the interviews over the phone now) so my nerves vanished.  She started by asking us what "role" we would like.  I said custodian (because they get to roam the parks answering questions).  Steven said he wanted to be a character.  The recruiter told him that to be a character he would have to drive to Louisiana and audition.  Steven decided that a better idea would be to run around the room like King Louie in hopes she would see what a great performer he was and hire him on the spot.  The recruiter was not amused.  She went on asking us questions about our favorite attractions and Disney films.  Steven went on blowing the interview.

When it was over Ralf and I thanked Steven (who was oblivious) for ruining our chances of being accepted.  Weeks went by, Ralf received an email congratulating him on being accepted, I heard nothing.  Then one day a giant envelope arrived in the mail congratulating me on being accepted.  Steven also received an envelope, it was much smaller....

Turns out Ralf and I were 2 out of 3 people accepted from the University of Houston presentation.  I still have no idea how the recruiter looked past all of Steven's tomfoolery and accepted us, but I'm glad she did.

Obviously, my CP experience doesn't end there, but I will continue the saga as long as you guys want to hear about it.  So let me know!

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I'll work on that for next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Want to hear me talk about Walt Disney?

Do you guys/girls listen to Mousetalgia?  This weeks episode is about seeing Walt Disney history outside of the parks.  Since I have been to Kansas City and Marceline they asked if I would be on the show to talk about it.  Naturally, I said yes....

You can stream the episode on their site, or if you want to download it so my soothing voice can rock you to sleep, you can download it for free on itunes by searching Mousetalgia.

If you have never listened to Mousetalgia before I highly recommend it (it's actually the only podcast I listen to).  It's because of these guys I was able to meet John Lasseter a few years ago.  The hosts, Dave, Becky, Kristen, and Doom Buggies creator Jeff are very knowledgeable and cover a wide range of Disney topics.  Plus they're very entertaining to listen to.  So give them a listen!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fun at the Fair!

These advertisements are from The Official Guide to the 1964 World's Fair.  As you probably know Disney contributed four exhibits (plus Rolly Crump's Tower of the Four Winds).   I'll have to look through the guide again to see if there was any mention of Mr. Lincoln and The Carousel of Progress.

Many people do not know this, but the boats actually sailed through gallons of Pepsi. (Ok, I made that up)

The Skyway seemed like a really great attraction, it's too bad Ford did not allow Walt to take the whole thing back to Disneyland.