Chuck Schmidt, bitten by the Disney bug at an early age, remembers watching The Mickey Mouse Club after school in the mid-1950s. During his 48-year career in the newspaper business, he channeled that love of Disney as the Sunday News and Travel editor for The Staten Island Advance. Chuck has written or co-authored seven books for Theme Park Press, including Disney's Dream Weavers, On the Disney Beat, An American in Disneyland Paris, Disney's Animal Kingdom: An Unofficial History and The Beat Goes On. Chuck has shared his passion for all things Disney in his Still Goofy About Disney blog on AllEars.Net since 2016. He resides in Beachwood, N.J., with his wife Janet. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren.


Pictorial Souvenir Booklets (a Long-Standing Disney Parks Tradition) Are a Victim of the Times

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I took home three keepsakes from our first visit to Walt Disney World in 1972: A vintage Mickey Mouse T-shirt; the Information Guide they handed out at the gate, and a copy of A Pictorial Souvenir of Walt Disney World. The T-shirt is currently reposing in a landfill. The Information Guide is tucked away in a box of similar guides I’ve collected over the years. The Pictorial Souvenir? It remains a constant source of information and, frankly, wonderment.
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Ford’s Magic Skyway at the 1964-1965 N.Y. World’s Fair Was a Breakthrough Achievement for Disney

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The Ford Motor Company’s Magic Skyway attraction was among the five most-attended shows at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. The attraction was conceived and created by some of the most talented people working for WED Enterprises, the forerunner of Walt Disney Imagineering. It combined a compelling story – a motor tour through the story of man, from primeval times to a glimpse into what the future might hold – with a new ride system which allowed nearly 2,000 guests to enjoy the experience every hour. It also was among the first attractions to feature game-changing Audio-Animatronics technology.
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With Disney Parks Closed, It’s Time to Remember the Magic

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It’s rare when any of Disney’s 12 theme parks around the world have been closed to guests. Up until this year, weather events [hurricanes in Florida or typhoons in Asia], natural disasters [earthquakes in California], national days of mourning [John F. Kennedy’s assassination] or terror attacks [on Sept. 11, 2001 in the United States and 2015 in Paris] were reasons for shutting down any of Disney’s parks and resorts worldwide.
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Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Fulfills a Years-Long Promise

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More than five years ago, Walt Disney Imagineering’s creative director Kevin Rafferty made a promise to Marty Sklar, his former Imagineering boss, mentor and long-time friend. “I promised Marty years ago that I was going to come up with an original attraction with an original song that was centered around Mickey Mouse,” Rafferty said. “And every time I saw Marty after that, he’d always ask me, ‘How’s that new attraction coming?’” On March 4, 2020, Rafferty made good on that promise.
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In Search of Epcot’s Mission: Getting the Ball Rolling in the Mid-1970s

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In May of 1974, less than three years after the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World had opened to resoundingly positive response, then-Disney president Card Walker announced plans for the second phase of the Florida Project. He took the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or Epcot, off the back burner, where it had resided since Walt’s death in 1966, and made it the company’s top priority.
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