Today In Disney History ~ September 1st


Today In Disney History ~ September 1st11921685_10200641751283753_4982229729257858221_n

In researching today’s “In History” I came across this amazing article that not only explains WHY Disney uses sponsors for attractions and shows, but how that practice has influenced and effected and influenced how other companies handle sponsorship.

“What We Can Learn From Disney About Sponsorship Marketing”
by Patrick Diogenia for Marketingadvice.Biz

It is no great secret that Walt Disney was, shall we say, a bit loopy. Only a truly eccentric man would desert his family to live in a tiny, clandestine apartment above his theme park, with nothing to distract him but the anonymous, sun-peeled faces of the tourists below. (Or as Walt himself said, with his narcissism on full display: “I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known.”)
However, it is also no great secret that iconoclastic men (and women) bring forth innovation. Ben Franklin harnessed electricity, but according to Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, he also took hour-long “air baths” each morning, flinging open the windows to his London flat and strutting around naked – in full view of the neighbors.
The same Edison who gave us the light bulb, the phonograph and other game-changing inventions also suffered from partial hearing loss, causing him to bite his piano with his teeth in order to hear the music issuing forth.
Steve jobs wore the same uniform of New Balance running shoes, black socks, black turtleneck and Levi’s 501 jeans nearly every day of his adult life.
Considered in this context, Walt Disney, while seemingly odd to the rest of us, was merely hewing to his cohort. But what was his innovation: Mickey Mouse? Feature-length animation? While Disney redefined the use of mascots, he was not the first on the scene with a recognizable character appealing to children. There were 7 full-length animated films before Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
No, Disney’s true innovation – the one which contains every other advance he perpetuated – was in marketing. Walt was the first corporate officer to take his message directly to children: Mickey may have been the mascot but Walt was the adoring father figure. Even today, his Q Score, a measure of likability and popularity of public figures, places him in the rarefied pantheon of Lucille Ball and Bob Hope.
He is the best loved pitchman of all time, and his parks stand as living monuments to his superhuman salesmanship.

Sponsorship Marketing as Necessity
In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the Walt Disney Company was over-leveraged. The animators’ strike had taken its toll, and Walt, per his usual predilections, borrowed his way out of the hole. Astutely noting the escalating number of communiques requesting studio tours, Disney badly wanted to build an amusement park based on his movie characters – a place he took to calling “Disneylandia.”
Bank of America said no. Skepticism also befell Walt’s brother Roy, his business partner in the Disney studio. According to biographer Marc Eliot, “As far as Roy was concerned, Walt’s description of ‘Disneylandia’ served as the clearest evidence yet that he had finally and completely gone out of his mind.” Undaunted, Walt engaged the services of the Stanford Research Institute to estimate the cost of opening a park built to his specifications. The answer that came back was $11 million, or more than $100 million in today’s dollars. Mired in debt and facing multiple lawsuits, Disney’s idea seemed hopelessly stalled.
Then, in a stroke of genius, Walt decided to flip the script: instead of paying a parade of banks principal plus interest, he would find people willing to pay him to construct the park. Western Publishing and Lithography, who printed children’s books based on Disney characters; and the fledgling ABC television network took the bait. Each became an equity holder in Disneyland, Inc., which in turn owned the park.
In order to further offset costs, shops along the now-famous Main Street, USA were rented to merchants such as Hallmark and Timex. And, perhaps most significantly, rides and other attractions were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Each would boast a corporate sponsor, and be designed to that sponsor’s specifications and to advance its goals.
Thus we have the United Airlines Enchanted Tiki Room, “where 225 birds, flowers and tropical tikis sing, dance and entertain”; organ concerts by Wurlitzer; Monsanto’s Adventure Thru Inner Space; and the Goodyear PeopleMover to transport us among and between every wonder – even to the Global Van Lines locker facilities.

A Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow
To be fair, the idea of attraction sponsorship wasn’t new – it had been a successful component of temporary structures such as the World’s Fair for decades. However no one had thought that the public would pay theme park prices ($15 per person at the park’s opening, or about $150 in today’s dollars) to see the same sponsored attractions year-in and year-out. No one had dreamed that people would pay to shop in sponsored stores, eat in sponsored restaurants and stow their goods in sponsored storage lockers. No one except Walt Disney.
Buoyed by the Disneyland television program airing on ABC, as well as the Mickey Mouse Club and mountains of positive PR arranged by Walt himself, park attendance was exceptional. The public didn’t seem to mind the almost subliminal propaganda promulgated in their direction, and so Walt decided to up the ante.
For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Disney created 4 attractions that would later wind their way to Disneyland, and later to other Disney parks across the country. Among them were the ubiquitous “It’s a Small World,” created for Pepsi and Unicef; and “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” sponsored by the State of Illinois. (This project would later be expanded into The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom in Florida.)
Perhaps the most influential, if not the best-known attraction Disney created for the fair was GE’s “Carousel of Progress,” which depicted the technical advances families have enjoyed over the past 100 or so years. Each scene featured an audio-animatronic father discussing the innovations of his day, surrounded by a decidedly corny depiction of his “typical family” consisting of wife, 2 children and dog.
Unsurprisingly, the scenes also feature a number of moving appliances, such as GE refrigerators that open upon mention and light fixtures that turn on and off. Although the “present time” scene did a good job of showcasing many GE products, the overarching goal was not just to sell. GE was interested in the Disney studio – trusted as they were – lending its “wholesome halo” to their brand. In the words of Eric Schlosser, they wanted the public to “(celebrate) technology without qualms”; to see progress as being worth any price.
In the case of both Pepsi and GE, an integral part of the persuasion was the musical score. To those ends, Disney commissioned the Sherman brothers, writers of the music for Mary Poppins, to compose 2 new songs for the World’s Fair attractions: “It’s a Small World (After All)” for Pepsi; and for, GE, “It’s a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow.”
While the commercial intent of the “It’s a Small World” ride is mostly lost on modern audiences, the Carousel of Progress remains largely untouched. It continues as an operating ride, now within the gates of Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. The Carousel of Progress is often cited by Disney as the world’s longest continuously-running stage production. It is seldom mentioned that it is also the only known stage production to function first and foremost as an infomercial for its corporate sponsor.

Epcot, Brought to You by Siemens
As Florida legacy, the legend of the Magic Kingdom reigns supreme. It’s been there longest and out of all the parks, it’s the one that most intentionally apes Disneyland. Few people realize that Walt’s true legacy to the world (aside from Mickey Mouse) is Epcot, a name Walt himself coined. The acronym, which stands for “Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow,” provides a peephole into Walt’s psyche.
Disney originally intended for Epcot to be a functioning city in which people made house, went to work, saw the doctor. Everyone would pay rent so that Walt, whose tendencies toward a command-and-control mentality prompted some of his animators to dub his studio “Mousewitz,” could retain autonomy and enforce sterility. Everyone would have a job – retirement would be disallowed. Theoretically, this would eliminate slums and ghettos.
Partly because of clashes with Florida politicians – and partly because Disney did not want to invite other, voting residents into the special district the State of Florida had granted the company to build its resort – Epcot became a theme park instead of a working city. A permanent World’s Fair, if you will, where the highest pinnacle of corporate synergy could be achieved.
Today, there is a boat ride through biotech greenhouses sponsored by Chiquita; a racetrack sponsored by GM; and the Innoventions pavilion, featuring “Don’t Waste It!” by trash hauler Waste Management, “Play it Safe” by Liberty Mutual and “The Great Piggy Bank Adventure” from T. Rowe Price.
Even the films presented at Epcot have sponsors. O Canada! starring Martin Short, for example, was financed by Canada’s commission of tourism.
At the close of each day, there is a fireworks spectacular called IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which celebrates our diversity and unity as a people. The unlikely underwriter of this attraction is Siemens, the global communications powerhouse. On a recent visit to the park, I was startled to find the Siemens logo gyrating around Epcot’s iconic Spaceship Earth (otherwise known as the “giant golf ball”) as I exited for the evening.
But perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, for hawking space on an international icon is only the latest quotient in the decades-old formula of Disney magic. Ever since Walt became the first person to pre-arrange product licensing for a film before it hit the screens (for Snow White), Disney has perpetuated its prophecy through third-party funds. The money comes from mundane corporations far and wide, wishing upon a star that some of Disney’s mesmerizing magic will rub off on them.

The ING New York City Marathon
The patchwork of patronage that Walt Disney started to assemble has grown into a veritable quilt, covering the entirety of the civilized world in a layer of corporate messages, icons and ideologies. In 1970, we had the New York City Marathon. Today, we have the ING New York City Marathon. In 1989, when I first visited the Franklin Institute science museum on a school trip, it featured an exhibit called “Franklin: He’s Electric!” Today, that exhibit has been replaced by “Electricity,” sponsored by PECO, an Exelon Company.
Naming rights to venues such as stadiums date back to the construction of Wrigley Field (chewing gum) and Fenway Park (named for one of the partners’ businesses, Fenway Realty). However, at that time sponsorship marketing was the exception rather than the rule; and events and attractions held within one businesses’ portals were supported and presented by that particular business.
Walt Disney changed all of that, making it okay for non-profits and Chambers of Commerce everywhere to sell of sponsorships of dessert stations, raffles and even meal courses. Concert promoters offer sponsorships of stages, parking lots and venues. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority even sold naming rights to their State Street subway station to Citizens Bank from 1997-2000.
Today, sponsorships are a $24 billion+ business, and the Walt Disney Company has a market capitalization of more than 40 billion dollars. As Walt said, “Disneyland is a show” – and, to paraphrase Shakespeare a bit – all of us are mere players in its great, big, beautiful circus of commercialism.

TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart; Article Author Patrick Diogenia; Article Source

New ‘Minnie Mouse’s Costume Chaos’ Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card To Debut at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party


By Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager at the Disney Parks Blog

When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns for another season of fun at Magic Kingdom Park September 15, guests can pick up an added “treat” – this event exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.SOTMK2015

In case you’re new to Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, SOTMK is an in-park interactive experience that allows guests to team up with Merlin in a quest to defeat Disney villains who are attempting to takeover the park. Guests use special maps to search for villain hideouts throughout the park. When they find one, guests use different spell cards to battle the villains. Guests can begin their quest at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., and the game (and starter packs) are complimentary with park admission.

This year’s “Minnie Mouse’s Costume Chaos” card features Minnie, and friends Clarabelle Cow and Daisy Duck, dressed as witches. This event-exclusive card will be distributed in addition to the regular SOTMK card packs (meaning you can pick up both while attending the party). Guests must show their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.

Breakfast Reservations Now Available for Select Dates at Sci-Fi Dine-In


sci-fi-dine-in-theater-gallery02Starting today guests visiting Hollywood Studios between 11/1/15 and 1/23/16 can make reservations for breakfast at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Breakfast will be held daily with reservations running from 8-10:15 am. Disney’s official dining site has announced breakfast is available for a limited time test.  Sci-Fi breakfast will cost one-table service entitlement for those on Disney’s Dining plan or $23.99 per adult and $12.99 per child age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity not included)for those paying cash.

UntitledBreakfast will feature an ” array featuring breakfast pastries and choice of appetizer, entrée and non-alcoholic beverages.” Though the complete menu has yet to be released, Disney Dining did note that some of the  entree options will include:

  • Puff Pastry filled with Scrambled Eggs, Crab, Asparagus and Gruyère Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
  • Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Baby Spinach, with Bacon and Cheddar Custard on a Roasted Tomato and Cheesy Horseradish potatoes
  • Scrambled Eggs, Crispy Bacon, Sausage Links and Breakfast Potatoes
  • Macadamia Crusted Brioche French Toast with Mascarpone and Fresh Berries

Reservations are now available through 407-WDW-DINE or online at


The September Issue of The Main Street Monthly is Here!




It’s September 1st already, and that means that the new issue of The Main Street Monthly is here! This month we are starting to get into Fall festivities at WDW, with an extensive guide to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, and a peek at the new Halloween Merchandise.

We also have articles on food, parks, Disneyland, personal views, a q&a section, Star Wars, Marvel, member submissions, packing tips and so much more!  You can get your issue at!

Special thanks to this months contributors~

Scott Atwood
Michele Atwood
Holly Wiencek
Eric Weber
Bill Sferrazza
Corey Tucker
Greg Smoot
Autumn Barnes
Cindy Knoll Bennett
Janet Crosby
Andrew Menhart
Abby Wiencek
Richard Woloski
Sarah Woloski

Mystery Solved: Remembering Wes Craven’s Wonderful World of Color Episode


From the Disney Insider


On Sunday night, the world lost of Wes Craven, one of the premiere genre filmmakers of the past half-decade. And while he had a reputation for more outwardly scary material, he also had a softer side, evident in the gentle, PG-rated true-life musical drama Music of the Heart (which netted Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination) and maybe, most surprising of all, a charmingly goofy episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color called “Casebusters.”

The sunny 44-minute mystery, in the spirit of Edward Stratemeyer’s Hardy Boys, aired on May 25, 1986, the same night as global concert phenomenon Live Aid (watched by 30,000,000 people worldwide) and the start of the Hands Across America campaign (where willing strangers were linked, arm-in-arm, from Los Angeles to New York), so “Casebusters” certainly had some hefty competition as it aired. But it’s widely available on a number of streaming services and certainly worth a watch, especially if you want to bask in the craftsmanship and artistry of Craven and also want to sleep tonight.


In some ways, “Casebusters” is an anomaly in Craven’s oeuvre; it’s squeaky clean, brightly lit, and features no fewer than two chase sequences scored by cheery pop songs. The mini-movie’s central narrative, about a kindly private eye (Pat Hingle, who most will remember as Commissioner Gordon from the Michael Keaton Batman movies) whose grandkids Jamie and Allie come to visit and end up uncovering a much larger case (it involves a counterfeit money ring), is pretty standard. But Craven manages to actually craft a few memorably suspenseful set pieces, notably when the kids are investigating a spooky old house that looks an awful lot like the central location of a later Wes Craven film. And you can tell that Craven gets a kick out of working with young actors, something that he perfected on his breakout film, released just two years before “Casebusters,” and would later exhibit in other films. Craven was a tweedy intellectual and had a professorial air about him and you could tell that he knew, on a basic psychological level, what was so important about the intersection of spooky stories and adolescence.

“Casebusters,” with its truncated running time and zippy illustrated title sequence (set to Hall & Oates’ immortal “Private Eyes”), feels like a backdoor pilot to a series that never happened. Not that the “Casebusters” case was actually closed. In 1995, a series of “Casebusters”-affiliated novels were first released, in conjunction with Disney Adventures magazine. (Disney Adventures was a small, TV Guide-sized entertainment and education magazine published ten times a year.) The book series, with subtitles like “Check in to Danger” and “Secret of the Time Capsule,” had a more supernatural slant and featured a different set of heroes (brothers Sean And Brian, perhaps as a more explicit nod to the Hardy Boys). But the spirit of the book franchise, which ran for a dozen books and finished in 1997, seems to be impossibly linked to what Craven created on a sleepy Sunday night a decade earlier.

So while Craven might have been known for his more outwardly intense films, it would be a shame to overlook “Casebusters,” a charming oddity that is very much worth seeking out (we found it on iTunes, YouTube and Amazon Prime). “Casebusters” is slight but lovable, with few of the Craven hallmarks, and it managed to make us smile on this otherwise sad day.

TMSM Mythbusters: Glow Glow Made with Magic Everywhere and Room With a Ride View


TMSM Mythbusters logoThe goal of this blog series is to factually prove or disprove rumors, myths and misconceptions in the Disney-verse. Tonight on TMSM Mythbusters we are looking into the following myths “Glow Glow Made with Magic Everywhere” and “Room with a Ride View.”

Glow Glow Made with Magic Everywhere

7505055890001-5In 2012 Glow with the Show was introduced at Disneyland, and in 2013 it made it’s way across the U.S. to Walt Disney World. In 2014 Disney announced that the name of Glow with the Show would be changing to Made with Magic (MwM) and that additional interactive items would be added to the merchandise line up. Tonight’s myth or perhaps more so misconception is that Made with Magic works with ALL of the Disney Parks night time events.

7505055889990-1First before I get into tackling the myth let me take a moment to explain to you HOW MwM works. When Glow with the Show was first introduced I absolutely fell in love with the concept, so when we went Disneyland in August 2013 I purchased my very first set of Mickey ears. When it was announced Walt Disney World would have Glow with the Show I bought a set of ears from there too. Now, yes my Disneyland ears do in fact work in Walt Disney World, and my Walt Disney World Ears work in Disneyland. But there were a few modifications made to the design between 8/2013 and 12/2013 when I purchased mine. For example the foam cushioning on the inside of the World ears is more “head fitting”, and where the Land version has the power switch as a push button on the bottom of one of the ears, it is inside the hat on the battery pack on the World set.

7512055890001How the MwM items work is actually pretty simple. Made with Magic uses infrared (IR) technology. Inside the MwM item is an IR receiver that Disney “directs” a series of signals to. These signals tell the MwM how and when to work during the show. Viewing areas of each show is divided into zones, and each zones has a broadcaster, and each hat a unique serial number. During the show each zones is sent IR signals that tell each MwM item what to do. The items can interact with each other as well.

Now that you know HOW Made with Magic works, let’s tackle the myth at hand. Recently I came across a forum discussion where a future park guest was inquiring about the Made with Magic items available online at the Disney Store’s website. In the comment section of said thread someone asked if they would work with specialty fireworks. Another reader replied that the Disney Store’s website seemed to describe “that these items will work at any Disney theme park location and for any of the shows” but they weren’t sure if that was the case.

At Walt Disney World MwM currently works in the Magic Kingdom during Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, Celebrate the Magic and Holiday Wishes. They also work in Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Fantasmic! and during the holiday season Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. In Disneyland MwM works in Disneyland during Fantasmic! and the Disneyland Resort Fireworks, it also works in Disney California Adventure Park during World of Color. There are times when Disney will announce special events and engagements where MwM will work. For example during the January 2013 Disney Vacation Club member cruise on the Dream guests were able to see what was then Glow with the Show at sea! Though it would be awesome to have the MwM items come to life during all of Disney’s nighttime regular and special engagement events, but this just isn’t the case.  Currently Made with Magic does not work with Hollywood Studios Fourth of July, Frozen or Star Wars Weekends fireworks or even during Illuminations at Epcot.

1005ZX_0053GDSo while it is in fact true that the Made with Magic items you purchase in either Walt Disney World or Disneyland can be used at either park, the idea that they work with ALL of Disney’s night time shows is in fact a busted myth.

TMSM Mythbusters BustedRoom With a Ride View

Recently we received a question from a Main Streeter asking if “there is a hotel inside the Pirates of Caribbean ride in Disneyland?” This myth or misconception has popped up several times over the last few years that I know of because this wasn’t the first time I have see it. I honestly THINK this idea comes from the differences in the Disneyland ride itself as well as some of Disneyland’s unique features.

First let’s start with the differences in the two coast’s rides. Pirates in Disneyland is a longer ride than those of us who tend to frequent Disney World are use to it has more scenes and two drops. Walt Disney World’s Pirates building is themed after Spanish style fort. Disneyland’s Pirates building looks like a New Orleans residence that visibly has two or more stories. Where as Disney World’s ride has you return to the fort up an escalator style ramp, Disneyland’s ride returns you to the ground level of the ride. Walt Disney World’s building only holds a gift shop and restroom area that the public can access. Disneyland’s ride is in fact part of another Disneyland attraction, it STARTS with the ships passing through the back of the Blue Bayou restaurant where riders can actually see other guests eating their dinner.

1522901_10152626734879598_9017383551679258056_oAs I mentioned before Disneyland’s Pirates ride has a visible second story that guests can in fact access. THIS I believe is where the idea that there is a hotel connected to the Pirates ride truly comes from. Originally this space was intended to be a private apartment for the Disney family, but after Walt’s passing it later became the Disney Gallery which was an art store and museum space until 2007. The Gallery was closed to make way for the Disneyland Dream Suite. In 2008 during the last “Year of A Million Dreams” event Disneyland guests were randomly selected to stay the night in the Dream Suite. Winners were able to enter the suite using either an elevator or the outside stair case near the entrance of PoTC. The two-bedroom suite has signage outside of it that alerts park guests to it’s existence as well as a patio that faces the Rivers of America.  On many occasions suite guests were seen sitting on the patio watching Fantasmic from the suite.

250px-DreamSuiteSign_DisneyTo this day Disneyland still gives out stays in the Dream Suite as a prize through various promotions. So while there is in fact a room that guests can stay in at Disneyland above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, this suite generally can not be rented out like a room at Disneyland’s three resorts, making this Disney myth or misconception, busted.

TMSM Mythbusters Busted

Made With Magic images from
Park images from Disney Parks Blog, Wiki, and Main Streeter Byron N

Racing Disney: Having Someone to ChEAR You On!


chear-squad-logoHey there Main Streeters! I want to share with you some of what makes runDisney events so magical: the people there to chEAR you on.

Now, if you’re a runner, you know how inspiring it can be to be out on a race course and have someone suddenly appear who is cheering for you. But for those of you who aren’t runners, let me paint a picture for you: You’re all alone on a course (or it feels that way). Your feet ache. Your knees hurt. You wonder why you ever thought you could do this. You’re convinced you aren’t going to finish. You wonder what would happen if you just sat down in the middle of the road. How long would it be before someone came and picked you up and whisked you away to the finish line? There must be a million miles between here and the finish line and you just can’t do it. And then you see it.

A volunteer. A spectator cheering for someone else. The homeowner of the house you’re running by. Someone who is there cheering you on. Telling you that you can do this. That you’re going to make it. Maybe they have signs. Maybe they have a cowbell or clappers. Maybe it’s just you and them. But in that moment, they are what keeps you moving forward.

Main Streeters, there’s nothing in the world like that feeling, whether that person is a stranger or someone you know. When I’ve thought I couldn’t make it and then there was a volunteer telling me to keep going, it’s moved me to tears. I know I wouldn’t have finished some races without them.

Now at Disney, you’re never alone on the course. With tens of thousands of runners, there’s no way you could be. But there are also a large number of people cheering you on. Whether they are spectators with family members running or cast members volunteering, there is no shortage of chEAR at the Disney races.

RunDisney even offers your family members a special package for their chEAR, called “chEAR Squad”. Now, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it, so let’s try and clear up a few things:

  • You do not have to be a chEAR squad member to come and spectate.
  • If your family is coming, have them at least sign up for chEAR squad at the Bronze level. It’s free and they’ll get emails with race information.
  • There are 3 levels beyond bronze, but not all are offered at each event. Be sure to check the runDisney page for your specific event to choose the package that is best for you
    1. Silver: For the Silver package you get the email newsletter from bronze plus commemorative items for chEAR squad including a t-shirt, clappers, and a special gift (mom’s was a stadium blanket that came in handy those cold mornings)
    2. Gold: Everything in Silver and bronze plus special seating areas/viewing areas in the parks. I think there were also private restrooms for Gold at Princess weekend.
    3. Platinum: This is the package your family needs to get if you, the runner, are purchasing Race Retreat. It allows them entry into race retreat with all its amenities. It’s great if your family members are less mobile and won’t be following you around the course and just want to relax while you run.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion over chEAR squad. I’ll do another blog soon about spectating at the races. Is there anything else I haven’t covered yet you want to know more about?? Let me know, but for now, keep on running!


TMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney series by Addie Clark and Tali McPike. Please keep an eye out for more of their amazing and informative articles! If you missed of the articles in this series make sure you check them at and

If you are planning on running in a runDisney event and have questions, or have participated and want to talk about your experiences make sure you visit our runDisney Forum at

Today In Disney History ~ August 31st


Today In Disney History ~ August 31st



Disney animator Ward KimballWard Kimball , Disney Legend.  Year Inducted: 1989

While some Disney animators sought to touch the hearts of audiences, Ward Kimball sought to astound. As he once explained to a reporter, “Old Wardie got into audience’s hearts his own way. He made them laugh.”
Fellow Disney Legend Eric Larson once wrote of Ward’s animation style: “A powerful caricaturist of mood and action, Ward often used the same approach in his scene planning and cutting, as was shown in the first meeting of Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito in The Three Caballeros. The action and cutting was wild, woolly, and humorous.”
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 4, 1914, Ward’s first recognizable drawing as a child was of a steam locomotive.
He once said that his mother called him a “marked” baby because of his early obsession with railroads, a theme that would resonate throughout his life.
After high school, Ward set his mind upon becoming a magazine illustrator and enrolled at the Santa Barbara School of Art in California. While there, however, he happened to catch Walt Disney’s Three Little Pigs at a local matinee and, with portfolio in hand, Ward headed for Hollywood.
He joined the Walt Disney Studio in 1934, and contributed to most of its animated features up until his retirement in 1972. Among the many memorable Disney characters he brought to life were Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Alice in Wonderland, and Lucifer the Cat in Cinderella.
Ward also directed two Academy Award-winning short subjects, Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom—the first CinemaScope cartoon—and It’s Tough to Be a Bird, which combined both live action and animation. During the 1950s, he produced and directed three one-hour space films for the Disneyland television show. The first of his television productions, Man in Space, was given a command performance before President Dwight Eisenhower.
During the 1960s, Ward helped write the story and script treatment for Walt’s first live-action musical fantasy, Babes in Toyland, for which he directed the stop-motion toy sequences. A trombone-player, Ward led several fellow Disney employees in the internationally known Dixieland jazz band Firehouse Five Plus Two. He also restored and operated a full-size locomotive on his two-acre orange grove, and was instrumental in sparking Walt Disney’s own interest in backyard railroads.
After retirement, Ward consulted with Walt Disney Imagineering on theme park projects such as the World of Motion pavilion at Epcot Center.
Ward passed away on July 8, 2002, in Los Angeles, California, at age 88. In 2005, the Disneyland Railroad named their newly acquired Engine No. 5 the Ward Kimball in his memory. Famously, the handprints Ward left on his Disney Legend plaque feature an extra finger, a reminder of his sterling sense of humor.

TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart; Article and Additional Image Source

Pixie Party Purple Moon and Gold Star Iced Cookies

Pixie party inspired cookies! How cute! Here’s how you can make them for yourself!
What You’ll Need
Butter or sugar cookie dough
1 (1-lb) box confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Food coloring
Purple colored sugar sprinkles
Gold colored sugar sprinkles
Star shaped cookie cutter (different sizes is optional)
Round cookie cutter
Parchment paper
How To Make It
  • Preheat your oven according to your cookie dough recipe’s instructions.
  • Roll out your cookie dough in batches and cut out circles for the moons and star shapes for the stars.
  • 3
    Place your cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

  • Bake your cookies according to your cookie dough recipe’s instructions.
  • Working in batches, continue to roll and cut out your dough until all the dough is cut and baked.
  • Set your cookies aside to cool completely.
  • To make the icing: Mix together 1 box of confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup of water, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Separate your icing into two bowls. Add purple (blue and red) food coloring to one and yellow food coloring to the other and mix to spread the color evenly.
  • Use a pastry bag, or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off to pipe the icing onto the cookies. Purple icing for the purple moons, and yellow icing for the stars. After you ice each cookie, sprinkle with the appropriate colored sugar, gold for the stars, and purple for the moons. Allow your icing to dry about 30 minutes.

Recipe and pic from our friends at Disney Family!