On April 1, Kevin Rafferty – one of the most prolific members of Walt Disney Imagineering – pumped the brakes on his daily trek, as well as his heralded Disney career, leaving behind a legacy that few, if any, will ever match.
Underwhelming. That's what I thought after our first visit to the Disney/MGM Studios in August of 1989. Where it took several days to see and do most of the attractions at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, it took just a few hours to take in the limited number of adventures in the park, which was based on Hollywood, and specifically, movie and television production.
Epcot was in the midst of a massive and long-overdue overhaul earlier this year when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. If nothing else, the delay in the opening of attractions such as Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy and the overall upgrade of the park has afforded us the opportunity to pause and take a look back … to some of the attractions that were on the drawing board, but never made it to the park.
Even though the Walt Disney Company is based in California, New York and Disney have had a long association, one which continues to this day. One could go as far as to say that New York City is the Walt Disney Company’s second home.
It may be hard to fathom, given the staggering attendance figures we saw at the Anaheim, Calif., resort before the pandemic wreaked havoc, but closures at Disneyland were fairly common during its first few years of operation.
How do you go from the most revered animator in the cartoon world of the 1920s to one of the most innovative minds in the movie and theme park industries decades later? Simple. You re-invent yourself. "Walt Disney's Ultimate Inventor: The Genius of Ub Iwerks" is a new book by Don Iwerks, Ub's son and fellow Disney Legend.
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.