The layout of EPCOT Center’s lost Israel pavilion

For years there has been much speculation about the design of the proposed Israel pavilion, which was featured prominently along with Spain and Equatorial Africa for EPCOT Center's phase 2. A little artwork has trickled out, mostly Herb Ryman renderings. I am unsure if this art had been previously published, but I discovered this layout drawing for what appears to be a complete plan for the Israel pavilion. Would this have been the final design? It's…Read More...

Relive EPCOT Center’s World of Motion in 3D sound

Test Track may be thrilling, but the attraction which preceded it, World of Motion, was the unadulterated spirit of Disney through and through. Although solely attributed to Ward Kimball, the attraction contains many humorous scenes designed by Marc Davis using his trademark style of show scenes punctuated by audioanimatronic figures making subtle movements. It's the robotic equivalent of today's Cinemagraph photography.Read More...

Ward Kimball and the mystery of Mickey’s Studio Tour

Rumors are staring to spread about the replacement of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios with something named, "The Great Mickey Ride," purportedly a trackless ride through Mickey Mouse's film career. This rumor reminded me of an item that went up for auction last year on eBay, a set of drawings purchased from famed animator Ward Kimball's estate of sketches for a never-realized attraction for the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland that gives a whimsical…Read More...

Listen to Vincent Price host Disney-MGM’s Sorcery In The Sky fireworks show

Long before the giant Mickey sorcerer's hat sat in front of Disney's Hollywood Studio's reproduction of the Chinese Theater, a giant inflatable sorcerer Mickey once rose above the building nightly. The park's nighttime fireworks spectacular, "Sorcery In The Sky," ran from 1990 to 1997, but this version, narrated by Vincent Price, was only used until the horror film icon's death in 1993.Read More...

Walt Disney World in Late 1978: Part One

Searching through old Disney photos and slides and home movies is often more disheartening than it is fun. Just as the average tourist often returns today with little to show than some shots of the castle, a flash photo of their group's row in a dark r...Read More...

Ten Steps to a Better EPCOT: Step No. 5

Step No. 5: CapitalizeWalt Disney Company CFO Tom Staggs and his group can rest easy -- this kind of "capitalization" doesn't require heft conversion of the company's resources into cash to fund new projects at Epcot. While that kind of capitalization would be fantastic, it's not in the cards anytime soon, and besides, the idea behind these 10...Read More...

Ten Steps to a Better EPCOT: Step No. 4

Step No. 4: Improve the ServicePerhaps it's because I spend more time at EPCOT than any other park during trips to Walt Disney World. Perhaps it's because I've got a high expectation of what Disney service should be. Or perhaps, and quite possibly, it's because I hold EPCOT to a higher standard than any other theme park, whether on or off Disney...Read More...

Ten Steps to a Better Epcot: Step No. 3

Step No. 3: Spice Up the EndingsYou've just spent 30 minutes in line and five minutes on an entertaining ride experience. (Well, in the old days, that would have been 10 minutes in line and 20 minutes on a ride, but that's an observation for another time.) If you're like most Epcot guests, sadly you try to make it out of the building fast enough...Read More...

Ten Steps to a Better Epcot: Step No. 2

Step No. 2: Update the MoviesMovies can be expensive, there's no doubt about it. These days, the "negative," or production, budget on a feature film can easily run into the nine-figure range, with many blockbuster movies costing as much as $160 million to produce. So, Step No. 2 toward improving EPCOT isn't made without that knowledge. Movies cost...Read More...