September 29, 2010

Project Movie House: Update

We heard from the New Scotland Historical Assoc. yesterday. It looks VERY promising for an interview on the Mayfair Drive-In and for photographing and scanning Indian Ladder Drive-In memorabilia. Guess I'll need to plan a trip to V'ville!

September 28, 2010

New Retro Inspired Artwork

I finished the latest in a series of retro sci-fi inspired posters. This one is a movie one sheet and has more of a fifties/sixties vibe to it.

September 27, 2010

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: "The Rocketeer", part 3

[If this looks familiar its because it originally appeared at FILM+TV. I am re-posting a few entries here to add them to the archives.]

Because somebody on the west coast wanted to see them, I scanned few more of the Topps "The Rocketeer" cards. Enjoy! And remember just click on the image to see a larger version.

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: "The Rocketeer", part 2

[If this looks familiar its because it originally appeared at FILM+TV. I am re-posting a few entries here to add them to the archives.]

"How do I look?"
"Like a hood ornament."

As we close in on the departure date for our Walt Disney World trip, I'm getting more excited to visit 'Peevy's Polar Pipline' at Disney's Hollywood Studios. At Peevy's you can down a Cosmic Coca-Cola or Minute Maid Raspberry Lemonade Launcher and gander at some swell "The Rocketeer" memorabilia including Cliff's helmet and jetpack! In the meantime here's a little teaser (literally) with the original theatrical trailer...

Video Copyright © The Walt Disney Co.
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Rediscovering (Walt) Disney: "The Rocketeer"

When I was down at Walt Disney World in 1991 there was still a lot of evidence of "The Rocketeer" at the Disney/MGM Studios, after all it had just been released that summer. I remember seeing the Spruce Goose model hanging from the ceiling of one of the restaurants, lots of posters and other collectibles of course and seeing many props and vehicles on the backlot tour. A large part of the original Backlot Tour and Residential Street were razed to make room for the new attraction: "Lights, Motors, Action!™ Extreme Stunt Show".

Anyway... I was cleaning up my home office and uncovered a box of Topps "The Rocketeer" Trading Cards - Its an almost complete set (I don't have the 11 stickers)! I flipped through them and quickly realized why they won't fetch much on the memorabilia market... they kinda stink! Many of the scenes are unremarkable and many of the iconic scenes are missing. Oh well, I still heart "The Rocketeer" and they did bring back really good memories.

I have scanned a few of them to share with you. Including three that show props or vehicles seen on the old Backlot Tour at Disney/MGM. Just click on the image to see a larger version.

These next three cards feature the Bulldog Cafe, Hughes Aircraft Gyrocopter and Cliff's new Gee Bee airplane (a gift from Howard Hughes, played by Terry O'Quinn), all former residents of the Backlot Tour.

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: Postcards from the World

Yesterday I put up the postcards from the '78 trip to WDW. Today I'm putting up the postcards from my 1991 trip. Can you see a difference in the cards my parents bought and the ones I bought? I wonder what we were thinking about when we made our selections?

Again, the description from the back of the card is included and you can click on the image to see a larger version. As always, enjoy!

On The Magic of Disney Animation, guests meet and talk to Disney artists while observing first-hand the fascinating, multi-faceted process of creating Disney animated films.

New York Street, part of the Backstage Tour, provides a versatile, fascinating setting for the filming of everything from flashy dance numbers to sinister spy thrillers!

Attention Star Tours visitors! Fasten your seat-belts and prepare for take off. Tours depart every five parsecs from the Star Tours Space Port for hundreds of thrilling intergalactic destinations.

The Moon of Endor, home to the resourceful Ewoks, gives picturesque welcome to travelers aboard the state-of-the-art Starspeeder 3000.

The famous cloud city of Bespin in Lando Calrisian is a favorite fun-time excursion for customers of the Star Tours intergalactic travel company.

"TYPHOON LAGOON" - A state-of-the-art water adventure gives small and large fry lots of ways to enjoy the four S's: surfing, snorkeling, sliding--and just splashing around!

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: Postcards from the World

In Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: Part 1 I included two images from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. One of the Nautilus submarine from the 20k ride and another of the "Banjo Kings" on Main Street USA. What I didn't mention is that these two pix are actually postcards that we picked up on our trip in '78. I did post them on my facebook page along with the others from '78 and 1991.

So now I am going to post them here for your enjoyment, and under each card is the description from the back of the card. Click on the postcard to see a larger version.

"20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" - Mysterious sunken worlds and strange deep sea creatures lie ahead for guests joining Captain Nemo aboard the submarine Nautilus, for a voyage 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

"Cinderella Castle" - Beautiful Cinderella Castle, with spires reaching to the sky, marks the gateway to the happiest land of them all... FANTASYLAND

"The Country Bear Jamboree" - Frontierland's Grizzly Hall features the zaniest troupe of bears ever seen, in The Country Bear Jamboree. In a foot-stompin', country-Western hoedown, they sing, swing, and strum guitars in the finest tradition of wild frontier musicals.

"The Country Bear Jamboree" - "Big Al" tries to steal the show from his fellow singin', swingin', guitar pickin' bears in Frontierland's wild, country-western hoedown... The Country Bear Jamboree.

"The Haunted Mansion" - Hovering over a riverbank, in "deathly splendor," is the mysterious Haunted Mansion... a active retirement home for 999 happy ghosts, ghouls, and goblins "dying" to meet visitors.

"The Banjo Kings" - The Banjo Kings are one of many groups that strike up impromptu musical fun for guests along turn-of-the-century Main Street, U.S.A., where there's even an old-fashioned sense of merriment about keeping "law and order."

"The Walt Disney World R.R." - Old-fashioned narrow-gauge steam trains depart from Main Street for grand circle trips around the Magic Kingdom.

"Walt Disney World Railroad" - Old-fashioned narrow-gauge steam trains carry guests on grand-circle excursion tours around the Magic Kingdom.

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: Part 1b

Here are a few more photos from the 1991 trip...

The Disney-MGM Studios Backstage Riding Tour.
From left to Right: The cabin section of "Blue Thunder", assorted military vehicles, the Blackbird boat from "The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage". (Now gone!)

The Disney-MGM Studios Backstage Riding Tour.
The Bulldog Cafe and the Gee Bee from "The Rocketeer". (Now gone!)

The entrance to Star Tours at Disney-MGM Studios.

The Adventurers Club on Pleasure Island. (Now gone!)

Here's a blast from the past...

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: Part 1a

Not a full blown post but I found a bunch of photo negatives from my '91 trip to WDW. They were taken with a now missing Kodak panoramic camera. I scanned a few of them in but did very little Photoshop work on them. Click on the image to see a larger version...

This obviously is EPCOT, looking at Spaceship Earth from Japan.

The queue for the old Backlot Tour at Disney-MGM Studios. From left to right, the sand skiff from "Return of the Jedi", a snowspeeder from "The Empire Strikes Back" and the Hughes Aircraft gyrocopter from "The Rocketeer".

The final act of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.

Rediscovering [Walt] Disney: Part 1

The first time I visited Walt Disney World was in 1978. My parents, my mother's parents, myself and a friend made the long drive from Albany, NY to Orlando, Florida in my fathers van. I'm sure the trauma of having to drive that far to Disney has been blocked out as a survival mechanism by my brain! But drive we did. And as with a lot of things that happened prior to say yesterday, I don't remember much about it.

I do have some memories that stick out still, Space Mountain, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Skyway ride. Two out of these three experiences are now gone from WDW. Skyway closed in '91 and 20K closed in '94. I was terrified of Space Mountain, but my friend and I had met a couple of girls and well, I wasn't about to wimp out at that point. But please note I have never ridden another roller coaster since then, and probably never will.

The Skyway was a very low-key, non-scary ride that allowed us to fly over WDW from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. I thought it was great because you could look down on the park and see everything, rides, people, buildings, etc. as you gently glided by overhead.

I LOVED 20,00 Leagues! First of all I thought the movie had been awesome and now here I was getting to ride on the Nautilus in all it's Victorian Sci-fi glory! Yes I knew it was all fake, it certainly didn't look real, but I could suspend belief and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Oh what I wouldn't give to have one of those submarines parked in my driveway right now!

I went two more times after that - 1991 and 2006. Both times without kids, and I did a lot of adult oriented things that I never had done before - and as it turns out - will never get to do again. Anybody remember the great Backstage Tour at Disney-MGM Studios?

Since the last trip in 2006 my wife and I have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl. And we decided to go back to Disney with her. To celebrate her, get away from it all, and go back to the place that we found so magical back in 2006. So in 2009 we hopped a flight to Orlando, took a limo to The Wilderness Lodge and proceeded to have the time of our lives! It was like we were seeing the park again for the first time.
We did character meet and greets, went to Toontown, rode boats and trains, bought mouse ears, had character meals, even took our daughter in a swimming pool for the first time! It was sooo magical we took the Disney Vacation Club plunge and began planning our return trip for the next year! It too was a great trip, we invited a friend to join us (she needed a break) and again went on rides none of us had ever done before, ate at restaurants we never would have tried if not for our little girl.

And yes, our next trip is already booked for 2010 and we're looking at dates for 2011 too.

So now my curiosity and my long dormant love of Disney has been rekindled. Lisa bought me a membership in D23, we have bought multiple guide books, Imagineering books and iPad apps. I am reading a dog eared paperback copy of Roy Thomas' biography of Walt Disney, and I am rediscovering so many things about the man, the myth, the films, Disneyland and Walt Disney World that I had forgotten or never knew at all.

I do plan to write more, take more pictures, take more trips (Yes David B., Disneyland is still on the to-do list), read more books, do more research and troll the vast and boundless interweb for blogs and websites. I will include links below to some of our current favorites. So go ahead check out the photos, the videos and the websites and watch for Part 2. Hopefully it won't take me too long to write.

2719 Hyperion
The Disney Food Blog

Widen Your World on YouTube.