Hi! I'm Anita!
April 6, 2009
of Film in the Wonders of Life Pavilion?
There was a great movie in the Wonders of Life pavilion in Epcot that starred Martin Short. What was the name of the movie and is it available on DVD? I loved it and would love to show it to my daughters.
The name of the film at the former Wonders of Life pavilion was "The Making of Me." To my knowledge, it is not available on DVD. It used to be available on a video-sharing site that begins with "You," but a quick search no longer turns it up -- sorry.
Martin Short can be found in at least two other current Disney Parks attractions, and at least one other former Disney Park attraction. What parks does/did he appear in, and what are the attractions' names? Answers in next week's column.
I remember back in the '80s (maybe late '70s) an attraction where we paddled our way around Tom Sawyer Island in large canoes. I recall it being long, painful, but educational ("Paddle in a J"). On a recent trip to the World, while waiting in the queue at Haunted Mansion, I noticed a dock area below the level of the line. It looked as if it wasn't in use anymore. Could these be linked? Could this be the boarding area for the attraction I remember? Did we really paddle it around the island or were there hidden ropes underwater? Thanks for your weekly insight.
You're remembering Davy Crockett's [Explorer] Canoes. This is another of the "Brigadoon" attractions and restaurants at WDW (those things that are/were only open once every 100 years or so). They were open seasonally from 1971 until possibly as late as 1994, but the very last reference I can find is on a 1980 Magic Kingdom map. So rarely were they open, they're not even mentioned in official guide books. I only saw them open once, in the early 1970's. They were definitely guest-powered and steered, and I have the same memories you have of the experience -- long and painful.
The canoes' dock was actually located on the other side of the Rivers of America, to the north of the Tom Sawyer Island raft docks and approximately next to where the exit of Big Thunder Mountain is now, but on the shore of the Rivers of America. The dock you saw near the Haunted Mansion queue belonged to another lost "Brigadoon" attraction themed to Davy Crockett, the Mike Fink Keel Boats. Although there are those Disney park fans who will protest, in my opinion, some lost attractions should stay lost, and the canoes and keel boats are two of those attractions.
Thanks for the trip down Magic Kingdom Memory Lane!
Hey Anita, love your column. My family and I were at the parks in the summer of '07. My mom, who went with us, is giving me a hard time about a photo I took. We had an early breakfast at Chef Mickey's. Once we got to the Contemporary, we entered from the ground floor. I took a picture of my daughter in front of a statue there. The statue was of a conductor bending down to shake Mickey's hand. Is the statue still there? What can you tell me about the statue? And the most important question, am I correct that it was in the lobby of the Contemporary Resort? Thanks, Anita, for whatever help you can give.
You didn't dream it; the statue used to be in the lobby, just inside the front entrance of the Contemporary Resort. The conductor was Leopold Stokowski, who conducted Paul Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in the 1940 film, "Fantasia." It pays homage to the scene where Mickey Mouse shakes the great conductor's hand.
For an inanimate object, this statue has been doing some traveling over the last 18 months or so. When the Contemporary underwent a lobby refurbishment, the statue was moved to the Contemporary's convention center for a very brief period, according to people who saw it there. I can't find photographic evidence that it was there, but there are definitely accounts of it being there. Next, it went to the area near the end of the Magic of Disney Animation tour at the Studios, where it was on display until a Snow White anniversary exhibit was installed in the room. According to my good friends Mickey and Donald who went in search of the statue for me, it's now in a backstage area, and may or may not come back when the Snow White exhibit has ended, although current plans call for it to reappear. I hope so, as this lovely piece of art represents a very important piece of Disney history.
Any idea what the cost of the tethered hot air balloon in Downtown Disney will be? Length of the flight? We're going the end of May, and hoping it will be fully operational. On my bucket list is a hot air balloon ride, and I never specified that it couldn't be tethered, so this will be perfect, and hopefully more in my price range. Thanks.
Characters in Flight, tickets are $16 for adults 10 and above and $10 for children 3-9 for the 6-minute flight. All prices include tax. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Operating hours are Sun. - Thurs. 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., weather permitting.
Have a great trip to the World!
I remember enjoying a live Christmas show with the Disney characters at the Galaxy Palace Theater in the Magic Kingdom. Does that show still exist somewhere in the Magic Kingdom since the theater is no longer there?
The show was called Mickey's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and was performed for many years at the Galaxy Palace Theater during the holiday season, as you mentioned. This year, the show's fate is still unknown, but the general feeling seems to be that it won't return. There is the possibility that it will be performed in another venue, but I'm not very optimistic that will happen. Since nothing official has been announced yet, we'll have to wait and see as more details about the 2009 holiday events become known.
Hi Anita. I want to go camping at the World and I would like to know what are my options? I want to stay on property and I would like to sleep in my own tent. Thanks.
You only have one option if you want to stay on Disney property. Luckily, that one option, Fort Wilderness, is a world-class campground and resort. There are pools, activities, a restaurant, transportation to the parks and Downtown Disney, and on and on. The rustic and woodsy resort sits on the south shore of Bay Lake, roughly between Port Orleans Riverside and the Wilderness Lodge. Partial hook-up campsites cost between $43 and $84 per night, depending on season (tax not included).
You can read more about Fort Wilderness and what it has to offer here. Have fun planning!
First, thanks to those of you who wrote to let me know I had erroneously written that Tim Burton directed "Nightmare Before Christmas." Tim Burton was actually the producer.
Also, any Walt Disney World fan knows that the only thing that stays the same at the World is change. On that note, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has changed its tipping policy to be more in line with salons outside the World and tips are now gratefully accepted. Please feel free to tip your Fairy Godmothers in Training -- 15%- 20% would be appropriate. Thanks to everyone who wrote in about the policy change!
Last, a few readers wrote in to tell me that part of Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals was indeed part of the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack.
Variations of Space Mountain can be found in the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. What element is unique to the Magic Kingdom Space Mountain's track configuration?
The element that is unique to the Magic Kingdom Space Mountain's track configuration is that it is the only one with two tracks-- Alpha, to the left as you approach the load area, and Omega to the right. Although the tracks more or less mirror each other, Alpha's track is approximately ten feet longer than Omega's.
The Disney Geeks of the Week are, in no particular order: Cheryl, Amanda M, SSG, Lynn, Keith, Tabitha, Jim Mc, Ken, Andrew, Mike, Brian, Amy, Peter, Annie, George (loved your Space Mountain story, George! Thanks for sharing!), Mary Beth, Michael H, Jim T, Kathy, Carter, Randy, Zachary (to answer your question, Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris is the only one with a catapult launch system), Kristin, Kimmy, another Michael H, Dan, and Amanda.
Thanks everyone! See you next week.
That's it for this edition!
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