Monday, 31 March 2008

Enter the Dragon

To take a break from the windows of Main Street USA, Disneyland Paris style, I wanted to share with you another one of my favourite spots from the Parc.
This one is well-known, but it is very easily overlooked by regular park guests. Underneath La Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty's Castle), there is a dark and spooky dungeon...which houses its very own dragon. La Tanière du Dragon (The Dragon's Dungeon) can be entered beneath the front of the Castle, or else through a doorway within the Castle.

What I love about this Dragon is that he is not just stationary, but a massive animatronic. He breathes out smoke and is fascinating, watching his head sway side to side as he protects his Den. The attraction doesn't last for long but is one of my favourite places to visit - the cave itself is pretty creepy! Unfortunately this picture doesn't do it justice, but it captures the mood of the Dragon and his water pool.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Main Street Windows Continued

I have a couple more windows from Main Street USA to share with you all. Once again, I've found it difficult to find out who some of the names are, and their importance to Disneyland Paris or to the Walt Disney Company. Please feel free to share any thoughts in the comments box!

Of course, I just love looking at the windows and seeing the creativity from the Imagineers...
This window is from the right-hand side of Main Street USA, in the first block of buildings directly across from City Hall, and signals the Main Street Volunteer Fire Department. "Putting Out Fires Before They Start: Jeff Burton, Tony Catton, Rick Girdley, Paul La France, David Todd, John Verity". With the recent release of 101 Dalmations, it's fitting to show this one with the seemingly mascot of the Main Street Fire Department being Pongo!
To the left of this window is another showing Net Gross - Forsgreen & Green "Counselors of Investment: John Forsgreen and Jusdon Green". Green worked at the Company from 1989 - 2000, starting out as Chief Financial Officer and later becoming President, then Chairman, of Walt Disney Attractions. Forsgreen worked in the setting up of EuroDisney (as it was formerly known), presumably with relation to the financial operations. I love this window, mainly because of the phrase beneath the names: Put Your Money Where The Mouse Is. I'm sure many of us Disney Geeks have done that!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

More Looking Above Main Street...

Continuing on from yesterday's post, I have a couple more windows from Main Street USA to share with you all. These ones, however, are a little more tricky to find out who they are dedicated to. As I am a lifelong Disney fan, but a relatively new Disney Geek, I will share the windows and give an opinion on who I think they relate to... This first window is found on a side street off Main Street USA, beside one of the entrances to the Liberty Arcade. This one reads "Evans Markhams: Advertising. Products Tested". I did a bit of a search around the internet and looking through the few Disneyland Paris books I have, and I could not find who this window is dedicated for. This is a guess, but the only thing I could find that related Evans and Markham is from The Adventures of Spin and Marty, a TV series that was shown on The Mickey Mouse club back in the 1950s. All 25 shows lasted 10 minutes each, and starred David Stollery and Tim Constandine, who played Marty Markham and Spin Evans respectively.This second window shows "M Jones Electronics. Edison Talking Machines". I really cannot find anything or anyone that relates to this window, but I'm guessing it could be someone that worked within the electrical side of the company...

Although this entry doesn't educate much, it shows a small corner of Parc Disneyland that I love - it also contains the Dapper Dans' Barber Shop, named after the infamous Dapper Dans barbershop quartet. This little area is a great place to escape, to get away from the busy crowds of Main Street. There are some chairs and tables, making it a nice and relaxing area - especially if you grab a coffee and pastry from the Market House Deli. Mmm...the thought takes me away...

Friday, 28 March 2008

Windows on Main Street

To continue looking at the secrets of Disneyland Paris, let's look at some of the windows that are on Main Street USA. I'm just going to look at a couple of them today - but they are a couple of important ones.

The first ones I'm going to look at can be seen on the left-hand side of the Street as you walk towards the castle, above the entrance to the gift shop (Emporium). "Main Street Marching Band. Leading the Parade since 1884. Michael Eisner. Frank Wells." Of course, both of these names will be recognisable to Disney fans all over the world - and both played a very important part in the creation of Disneyland Paris. Some would say they even helped to lead 'the parade'...

Michael Eisner was CEO at the time Disneyland Paris opened, and had been instrumental in the building of the park and the attractions. He especially took interest in the landscaping and scenery. Whilst the park lost Disney a lot of money back in the 90s and early 00s, there is no denying how beautiful Parc Disneyland has turned out. We all know that Eisner thought very highly of himself, and compared himself to Walt Disney, so it's no surprise that he would have a prominent window in Main Street USA.

Frank Wells worked alongside Eisner as President and Chief Operating Officer during his most successful years. Wells was a great advocate of the Euro Disney project, helping to increase the "Company's international presence". Unfortunately, Wells died on April 3rd 1994 in a helicopter crash, meaning he would never get to see the turnaround of Parc Disneyland. But he will have a lifelong presence in that Parc, thanks to his window...

Another important window is shown above - and this is probably my favourite in the Parc: "Two Brothers Inc. 'Dreamers and Doers' If We Can Dream It We Can Do It. Roy O. Disney, Walt E. Disney. Founders and Partners." Even just looking at the picture brings goosebumps to me and a tear to my eye.
Of course, the window is dedicated to the men that started the Disney theme parks and the Disney Company - Walt and his brother, Roy. This window is on the right-hand side of Main Street USA, above the Sweetie Shop and across the street from Eisner & Wells' window - and it is pretty self explanatory. We all understand the importance of the Two Brothers, and I love the line 'Dreamers and Doers'. I think it sums up the Disney's magnificently - and I think it's a great motto to aspire to in our own lives.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Back After A Short Break

I'm not long back from a lovely wee trip to New York City - I didn't go on the internet the entire time I was away, which was such a relief! But that meant that this blog has looked rather neglected (as, due to circumstances, I couldn't post the night before I left).

I want to post a couple of reviews once I can on the Disney related things I managed to do whilst I was in NYC, including the new Broadway musical The Little Mermaid. In the meantime, here is one of my favourite 'Number Plates', purchased from Disneyland California Resort.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Although I'm not directly Irish, I thought I would take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy St Patrick's Day! Although the official celebrations were at the weekend, I have no doubt that there will still be several parties going on tonight... Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Knock Knock!

Something fun for the weekend... I've not had a chance to do a long post (I go on holiday on Wednesday so I'm busy getting things ready), so here's a little something fun.

I have so many silly little souvenirs, as I am a bit of a hoarder and like to keep anything and everything. I got this 'Do Not Disturb' door hanger during one of our family holidays to Orlando. I don't think we were staying at Disney resort, and I don't condem taking things from hotels, but I just had to take this home!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Best of Both Worlds?

I'm just back from seeing Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert - 3D. I have to admit, I am a bit of a Hannah Montana fan. Whilst definitely not being in the target age-bracket, I watched a couple of episodes at one point and found myself hooked.

Anyway, I saw that this had been released in the USA and I was hoping that it would eventually come over here - if nothing else, I wanted to see the 3D effects. About 2 weeks ago, I saw that one of our local cinemas were going to be showing it from today, March 14th. So, I persuaded my parents to come with me (none of my friends live nearby), saying I would take them out for dinner first and then they could sit through the film.

So, we headed over to the cinema complex, had a nice dinner in Chiquita (I looooove their Buffalo Wings and garlic bread!), and headed up to the cinema. Needless to say, we were the only family there that didn't have a child under 13. But I didn't care - I was ready for a fun time!

And a fun time I had! The film was great - slipping in some backstage snippets and tour rehearsal footage inbetween the concert itself. The 3D effects were a lot of fun, and made me feel like I was really there - especially at points when the hands were in the air and I wanted to move in my seat to see past them (silly considering they were on the movie screen!). They showed the majority of her popular songs, with a couple thrown in there by the Jonas Brothers, who are not known here...yet.

Of course, the film won't appeal to everyone, and there will be a lot of people that won't even consider seeing it. I certainly enjoyed myself and it did what I thought it would do - make me forget about the realities of every day life for a few hours. It also makes me look forward to whatever will come from Disney Digital 3D next! The two little girls that were dancing all through the concert a few rows down from me, however, won't care about any of that - they were clearly just happy to have a Hannah Montana experience here in Glasgow.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Let's Start At the Very Beginning...

Look what arrived on my doorstep this morning...
I'm so excited! I bought this book on Amazon Marketplace 2 days ago, thanks to a great recommendation on the WDW Radio Show Podcast. I have been looking forward to reading it ever since I heard the discussion on the show. One of my favourite past-times is reading, and - of course - Disney. So putting the two together is one of the best things in the world!

Anyway, a review will follow once I read it - but I thought I would share just some of the amazing pages I get to experience very soon...
Additionally, if you like reading and Disney you should check out the Imaginerding blog - the guys over there have helped widen my knowledge of what Disney books are out there. And have probably helped me spend most of my wages too... But I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Licence to the World

As I've said earlier, I want this blog to be somewhere I can discuss anything Disney. As well as this, I want to share some of my souvenirs and memorabilia that I have collected because of Disney. After my first trip to Walt Disney World, and America, I fell in love with licence plates. They were a proper souvenir - something that you definitely couldn't get in Britain, and something very exotic. To an 8 year old me, that is.

Anyway, along with badges/pins, I began to collect licence plates from my trips abroad. And because of this, I have several Disney ones that I love.
This plate is one of my first ones - it is the generic Walt Disney World plate, but I love it. This was the start of my collection, I believe. I like the way that Mickey doesn't look quite right...

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Secret Corners of the Parks

I feel bad for not writing anything here for so long - I'm going to try my best to keep this up-to-date more. I'm going to start with a little series I'll call 'Secret Corners of the Parks', highlighting some spots that I love in the Disney parks I've been lucky enough to visit.

Auberge du Cendrillon

This first stop in our series is from Disneyland Parc, Paris. Personally, I find this park one of the most attaractive and fantastical parks of all the Magic Kingdoms. I love to walk around this park and just take it all in. My most recent trip, with my parents, I spent a lot of mornings - getting up first, bright and early - and heading to the park, to have a walk around and explore.
First thing in the morning, the areas around the park are usually pretty quiet, especially the restaurants in and around Fantasyland (as they're not open). I found the beautiful Auberge de Cendrillon hidden behind the Castle, complete with Cinderella's carriage.

Of course, it must be nice for Cinderella to look out her restaurant at Sleeping Beauty's castle...