Friday, February 22, 2008

Gone Fishin'

The Blog Wore Tennis Shoes offices will be closed until Friday February 29. Please check back with us then!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Honeymoon Early 80's Style

  • These groovy images are intended to persuade happening couples of 1981 to book their totally awesome honeymoon at Walt Disney World. The 4-Night Honeymoon Vacation Magic package included:

*Four nights accommodations at the Holiday Inn East Court of Flags Resort Hotel

*"Two days' unlimited shuttle pass for transfer between your hotel and WALT DISNEY WORLD Magic Kingdom or two days parking at Walt Disney World"

*"Two days' admission and unlimited use of all rides and attractions in the Magic Kingdom (except Shootin' Gallery)"

*"One admission to the WALT DISNEY WORLD Cruise to Discovery Island or one admission to the Moonlight Cruise"

*One admission to Wet `n Wild

*"Good-time excursion to Sea World"

*"You will receive a Kodak Instamatic TM X-15F camera outfit, complete with film to catch all those special moments in pictures"

*"A color photograph taken in the WALT DISNEY WORLD Magic Kingdom"

*Dinner for two at the Lake Buena Vista Club

*and a bottle of champagne.

These days you aren't even allowed to mention the name Sea World on standing on Disney property.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Black Hole Comic Book Ad

The Black Hole has always humored me as a Disney film. After passing on the opportunity to distribute Star Wars, Mickey was sure he had a Star Wars-sized hit with The Black Hole. It was pretty much the first movie from Walt Disney Productions that really strayed away from "the Disney formula" quite a bit and just didn't feel like a Disney picture. Even though it's quite different from the studio's earlier products, it was still marketed just like every other highly-anticipated Disney flick. So even though there were Disney firsts like mild profanity and on-screen death, you could still buy your share of Black Hole action figures, Black Hole lunch boxes and (in my case) Black Hole pajamas. Here we have an in-house ad from Whitman Comics for their adaptation of the 1979 science-fiction flick. There was also a Sunday comics adaptation that appeared in newspapers to hype the film. The comic strip version has recently been reprinted in Disney's Comic Zone Digest.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy (Hall of) President's Day!

What kid wouldn't want to go home and relive all the fun and excitement of The Hall of Presidents via a stereophonic 33 1/3 long-playing record album? This record from 1972 actually expands on the material presented in the Liberty Square attraction and gives us fully dramatized accounts of some of the events mentioned in the show. The recording concludes with a roll call of all 36 Presidents and then a speach from President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln here is once again voiced by Royal Dano using some of the same audio from the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction at the 1964 World's Fair. This track can also be found on the 1980 record/cassette The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World.

As with many Disney records, the album jacket itself opens up to reveal a "magnificent full-color illustrated book." Inside you'll find reproductions of some of the specially created murals used in the attraction's 70mm film segments. The book's introduction attempts to describe the attraction for listeners who may not have experienced it: In The Hall of Presidents, the Imagineers of Disney have combined the magnificence of wide-screen film storytelling and stereophonic sound with the amazing Audio-Animatronics system of life-size, likelike animation. The result is a panorama of 200 years of our nation's history featuring those men who have led our country since its founding...the Presidents of the United States.

The narration was written by James Algar and performed by Lawrence Dobkin, Original score composed and conducted by Buddy Baker.

One more thing about the attraction, the gift shop right outside the exit of the theatre is called Heritage House and is one of the more unique gift shops in the Magic Kingdom.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Top 10 Jobs I'd Like to Have in Walt Disney World

I've always envisioned myself working at Walt Disney World. It's such a great atmosphere and there are so many neat and cool things to do there that I know it's the place for me. Obviously if I could have ANY job in WDW I'd like to be a VP of something-or-other or have alot of creative input. But you gotta start somewhere, right!? This is a list of ten entry level/front line jobs that I'd like to have a shot at someday. Some of these positions I've been fascinated with since I was a child while others I just came up with to round out this list to ten! Oh...and I left off Jungle Cruise Guide and costumed character because everyone wants to do that.

10) It's a Small World Tower Waver I'm not even sure if this is still there after the latest referb, but as soon as your boat leaves the loading area it travels through a little tunnel in a tower over the waterway. There's always someone up there in the tower waving to each boat as they pass through. I'm not sure what exactly they do up in that tower but what a nice way to spend a day waving at people as they are about to ride one of the all-time greatest rides. And, unlike the rest of the free-world, I can't hear "It's A Small World" enough. I love that song! That alone makes me more qualified to work in the waving tower than most people.

9) Parking Lot Traffic Director I'm sure this job would be utterly miserable once the temperature reaches 95 degrees outside, but I've always thought the guys that direct you to your parking spot in the theme park lots had a pretty cool gig. Waving mini-vans from one attendant to the next, then down the right row to the guy at the end of the row who sends you into the right spot...or the guy in the other lane who tells you to keep pulling into the spot and then knows exactly the right moment for you to put on the breaks...that's a magical talent right there!

8) Gift Shop Working in retail is probably where the majority of my experience is. If I had to pick from any of the retail operations on property I've got it narrowed down to two. County Bounty in Mickey's Toontown Fair is one of my favorite places to shop. I know it's got the same things as just about everyother shop in the Magic Kingdom but I've always liked the atmosphere in that giant tent. That place is never empty so I bet a shift there would keep you moving around quite a bit and there would always be something to do to keep busy. Plus, being right in the heart of Toontown and so close to Mickey's house I'd feel like I was actually working for Mickey which would be exciting and keep me on my "A-game" in case Mickey ever stopped in to check up on things. (Sad, isn't it!?)

My other gift shop choice would be at the other end of the spectrum. I've always enjoyed shopping on the concourse level of the Contemporary Resort. It's quiet, relaxed, and I just love the whole feel of the Contemporary. The Fantasia shop is cool and used to have an animated Sorcerer Mickey conducting a symphony of fiber-optic lights in the background that I loved! Even though it's been gone for years, I always find myself drawn to that store after a gut-busting meal at Chef Mickey's. I also like the kiosk in the middle space between Fantasia and BVG. It's another nice relaxing spot where you can always strike up a conversation with the cast member . That would be a fun spot to work also.

7) Overnight Curbside Check-In at the Polynesian Simply put, sitting outside all night in that tropical surrounding would be an outstanding way to earn a paycheck!

6) Enchanted Tiki Room Operator Running this attraction would have three perks for me. First, you get to use the CB-style microphone to address the guests and you get to interact with the Phil Hartman and Don Rickles birds in the preshow. Second, after sitting through that show a dozen times in a row you would know every second of dialogue and ever single lighting and music clue like the back of your hand. (That would be a great investment of brain usage in my book.) And third, and most important of all, you'd get to use the big giant stick to tap Jose and wake him from his siesta. (I've always found that to be a cool element of the show.) What an honor!

5) Innoventions Spieler I would love to be the host of that home theatre demonstration, or the House of Tomorrow, or that game where you pick out where pizza toppings come from. I don't even know if any of those exhibits are still there because my last handful of trips have been toddler-centric and the march of progress can't compete with Nemo & Friends but getting back to the point...I'd like one of those jobs giving out the spiel all day long.

4) Honey, I Shrunk The Audience Operator I'm going to lose some of you here...what I love at this attraction is after the pre-show the cast member pushes the little button on the CB-style microphone and the lights dim and a spotlight rises on the cast member to give the spiel before moving into the main theatre. I know this happens other places thoughout the parks, but at this attraction you have the added duty of going up to the podium on stage and giving another spiel and being part of the show. How cool is that?

3) Boat Driver I can't swim and I'm actually kind of afraid of the water, but spending all day on a boat looks like it would be one of the more relaxing ways to spend a day. The ferry from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom is a grand little boat and the view during the trip can't be beat. It's such a great feeling being on the Seven Seas Lagoon, I imagine traveling back and fourth on it all day long would never get old. I also like the waterway that connects Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the resorts in that area. Every ride I've ever taken on those waters has been peaceful.

2)Bus Driver Driving around Walt Disney World all day long...interacting with guests...air's all good. Whenever the bus driver gets on the PA system and starts mingling with the passengers and getting everybody excited...I get all tingly! Which brings me to my number one job...

1) Guy on the Back of the Parking Lot Tram Seriously, this is where I belong. Ever since my first visit to WDW I've wanted to sit in the back of the parking lot tram and do my own little show. Telling people what stuff is going on each day, making little Disney jokes and bad puns, ratteling off the names of all the sections of the parking lot and making fun of people who can't follow directions. It would be so great just chillin' on the back of that tram with my microphone and the Florida air breezing by as my driver and I make our way through the parking lot. Magic Kingdom and the Studios are my favorite parking lots and I'd prefer the night shift. I'd love to work on nights when the Magic Kingdom is open until 2 am. That would be like having my own late night show on wheels. dream!

Driver, we're all clear!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sneak Peak of Cinderella

The 1948 book Walt Disney's Mother Goose uses the Disney cannon of characters to illustrate classic nursery rhymes. In addition to Mickey, Donald and Goofy, the likenesses of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi are used several times thoughout the book. But tucked away inside the pages next to the rhyme Little Betty Blue is an illustration featuring a much younger, cartoonier looking Cinderella than the Cinderella we've all come to know and love from the 1950 animated classic. The dress appears to be close to the one she wears to the ball in the movie, but Cindy herself has a more rounded look, a little more youthful. It looks as if the studio snuck in this sneak preview of their newest star even though she still had some evolution to go through before she hit the big screen. It's the one picture in the book that sticks out from all the other traditional looking characters. Everytime I read the book to my kids I start wondering what the story behind this version of Cinderella is.

Check out this other great picture from the same book. It features stars from almost every Disney animated film to have been released at that time. (I don't see Fantastia represented.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fantasia Continued...indeed!

Here we have a case of the marketing department cart getting ahead of the animation studio horse. This early 90's magazine ad warns us of our LAST chance to see the original Fantasia IN ANY FORM...EVER! It also promises us a new flick in 1996 called Fantasia Continued that will replace the original masterpiece FOREVER! I'm afraid all the hype was about as pointless as an Orange Level Homeland Security Warning. Walt Disney's film still lives on in DVD and we never did get `96's Continued film. However, four years later Fantasia 2000 debuted and now the two films happily co-exist in the same world.

The folks at Disney have been creating public excitement for their films long before they extended Hannah Montana's stay at the multiplex.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun Facts and Fantasy

Someone could probably run a blog on the single subject of Disney Trivia Books. There sure are plenty of them out there! This one I found at a used book store last summer. It's got 42 pages of your standard Disney questions in catagories like "animated films","live-action films","theme parks" and the ever popular "mousecellaneous".
It's all actually a game you can play with the family, with easier questions for the kiddies and grown-up questions for Mom and Dad. The game portion of the book looks very confusing. There are about 100 tinny-tiny little pieces to punch out of the back of the book so that you can keep score and pick categories and all that good stuff. The book starts out with "The Disney Story" a brief overview of the company's history, managing to make it from Steamboat Willie to Splash in less than five pages.

The Disney Channel plays a major role within this volume of Disney Trivia. Not only are The Disney Channel logo and several early shows featured on the cover many of the questions deal with programing found on The Disney Channel. There's not too many Disney Trivia challenges out there that are going to ask you about "Five Mile Creek", "Mousercise", or "Gun Shy". The emphasis on cable television, the 1984 print date and the lack of a UPC code on the back of the book make me think this book was a giveaway associated with signing up for the then-new premium service. Perhaps it's a gift the local cable operators gave new customers or perhaps Disney sent this book to new subscribers when they signed on during one of The Disney Channel's many...many free preview weekends.

Another neat thing in the book is the number of small black and white illustrations of characters, people and places. Take a look at two pages from inside and enjoy:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mickey's Film Express

Here's one of the more unusual and random pieces from my collection: a film processing order form and envelope from Walt Disney World circa 1982. My family and I stayed at Ft. Wilderness that year, and the themeing of this envelope suggests that it may have been exclusive to the campground. Either way, it's an odd thing to have hung onto all these years. There's not much else to say about it except notice the fine artwork, the crazy low prices and the hoops you had to jump through to get pictures developed before the age of digital cameras.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Chipmunks In Your Freezer

When it comes to frozen novelties, it's hard to beat a Mickey-shaped ice cream treat. However, Chip n' Dale had a run in the early 90's with very pleasant results. These tasty fudge flavored treats featured the likeness of both Chip and Dale with either a chocolate or cherry flavored candy as the nose. They were the perfect after-school treat while you sat down to watch The Disney Afternoon. Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers Fudge Bars debuted in 1991 and were produced by a company known as Gold Bond. I assume NOT the same company that makes Medicated Foot Powder.