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Mouse Tales
A “behind–the–ears” look at Disneyland
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David Koenig
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The author of “Mouse Tales” and “More Mouse Tales” offers a behind-the-ears look at Disneyland and other parks

You can write to David here.


Table of Contents

10/27/05 Wax Off – Word of the closing of Buena Park's Movieland Wax Museum prompts one final visit from David.

9/13/05 Second Wind – What to do to recapture the fading interest in the 50th and just to capture any interest in DCA.

8/9/05 Reunions – Details on two reunion parties for 50 years of Disneyland cast members.

7/8/05 Differentland – 15 of the big changes that have affected how we experience Disneyland.

5/10/05 New Tours – David has one of the possible new stories and the ramifications of updating this Tomorrowland attraction.

3/24/05 Jungle Revisions – David gives the scoop on upcoming changes to Jungle Cruise.

3/1/05 More on the 50th – David gets more information about the 50th and feels better about it, a little better.

2/22/05 Time Travels – David looks for ways to relive the original Disneyland, and makes a special tour offer.

2/8/05 First Tours – David gives the history of how Disneylands tour guides got their start.

12/30/04 Fond Farewells – David remembers ten people and things lost in 2004 that will be sorely missed.

10/28/04 The Last Detail – David discusses the last and most important item on Matt Ouimet's wish list.

09/17/04 Black Eye – The current controversy at CBS News brings to mind David's own experience with them.

08/17/04 Expanding Horizons – David shares his thoughts on what may be an approaching era of growth for Disneyland.

07/08/04 In Memory – David looks back on the life and death of Debbie Stone, thirty years later.

06/15/04 Catching Up – David brings us up to date on various stories.

05/04/04 A Tall Order – David considers the importance of Tower of Terror in DCA's short history.

03/11/04 Last Days – David thinks about some of the key numbers in Michael Eisner's life right now.

02/11/04 Letting Its Guard Down – David reports on a significant reduction in resort security, and other news around the resort.

01/16/04 Disney 2014 – David predicts the future of the Disney Company if Michael Eisner remains CEO.

12/23/03 Coup II – David looks at acclaim for a two-year-old articles and ponders Roy Disney's chances for success.

12/4/03 Who's To Blame – The DOSH may explain what happened on Big Thunder, but does it really explain why?

11/13/03 Less Office, More Show – Universal Studios' new owner is making back-office changes, and they might improve the parks.

10/15/03 Change Reaction – A run-down of minor, but cumulative, changes around Disneyland.

9/10/03 Voice of Thunder – Bob Klostriech has been raising questions about maintenance, and Big Thunder specifically, for five years.

8/14/03 Suspended Animation – Changes in Feature Animation point to a dismal future for traditional 2-D films.

8/12/03 Land Locked – Disney returns to the way Walt did it, and not many are happy with it.

7/30/03 So Sorry – Disney apology leave some unimpressed, and Facilities battles against graffiti.

7/2/03 Taken Prisoner – Guests may have enjoyed the world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was an entirely different experience for cast members.

6/24/03 Death at Disneyland – Tragedy for one family as their infant son dies on Pirates, and other updates from Disneyland.

6/5/03 Return of Limo? – The dark ride at DCA may be ready for a comeback; plus Indy rehab, and more.

5/28/03 Golden Opportunity – Do recent sightings of veteran Imagineers signify real changes by Disney?

5/15/03 Reamin' California Reamin' – Readers respond to David's last article.

4/30/03 California Reamin'? – David Koenig questions whether the common complaints about DCA are really anything new.

4/23/03 BREAKING NEWS – David Koenig reports on a serious injury at DCA's Aladdin stageshow.

4/03/03 All the World's a Stage – David Koenig reports on a couple recent gatherins of Disneyland history.

3/04/03 Blood Alley – Reports on concerns over Autopia safety for both cast members and park guests; plus updates to previous stories.

2/18/03 Ears to the Ground – Reports from throughout the lands of the Happiest Place on Earth.

2/6/03 Character Explosion – Universal Studios pulls out all the entertainment stops to get you into their park.

1/28/03 E.T. Go Home? – Updates on plans at Universal Studios, as well as Disneyland and Mission: Space

1/21/03 Fantasia Discontinued – The details on a potential park attraction never realized.

1/7/03 Princesses on Parade – A new plan to sell princess merchandise and reader mail helps flesh out previous stories.

12/18/02 Silly Old Imagineers? – Imagineering tribute may cause problems down the road, plus a 1000th ghost for Haunted Mansion, and updates to previous stories.

12/10/02 DOSH investigates Big Thunder – Death of park guest prompts DOSH to investigate the popular Disneyland attraction, Space Mountain rehab questions, and the continuing problem of costume theft.

10/28/02 Tomorrowland Touch-Ups – But does Disneyland need to do more? Also David shares some reader feedback to past columns.

10/23/02 Good Character – Road rules for visiting with Mickey, Paul Yeargin leaves, plus a visit from the RALLY MONKEY.

10/18/02 Ways of the World – David has some observations now that he's back from Orlando.

9/24/02 Heaven Sent – Could there be a field of dreams in Anaheim that are coming true?

9/4/02 Smash Mountain – An accident shuts down the popular Disneyland attraction over the Labor Day weekend.

8/22/02 Good News, Bad News – An update on Disneyland and Universal Studios plus reader mail about Tom Smaller Island.

8/14/02 Tom Smaller Island – Are the Disney lawyers going overboard? There's not going to be much left to do the way things are going...

7/25/02 Quick Bits – Looks like a shiny new "world" after all, Treasure Planet, Fantasmic staff cutbacks and BATS!

7/17/02 Golden Dreams – Here's a wish list for Disneyland's 50th.

7/11/02 Tip of the Cap – A salute to some Disneyland legends, changes at DCA and Universal, and more.

6/12/02 Pesky Passholders – Perks for Passholders, sound returns to Space, and more.

5/29/02 Reader Revolt! – Readers respond in droves defending the little ones...

5/21/02 Update & Feedback – Splash and Indy info, a correction on Space, counting character visits, and more.

5/8/02 Update & Feedback – Space, Splash and Indy info, readers write about cranky kids, and more.

4/29/02 Another Update & Feedback – News about Space Mtn. downtime and repairs, readers write about merchandise, rude visitors, and more.

4/17/02 Update & Feedback – Readers write about attraction rumors, merchandise, and more.

4/8/02 Big Crowds, Big Cutbacks – Catching up on shop changes, attraction rumors, and more.

3/4/02 Watch Out for Brandy – The stockholders meeting, Autopia, and more.

2/22/02 Lift: Off – The Matterhorn's inoperable elevator, promotions, crowds, and Moesha, Moesha, Moesha.

2/7/02 CalOSHA & Autopia – Are too many bumps making headaches for Disneyland? Plus catching up on reader e-mail, and even more predictions.

1/24/02 Of Note – Disneyland lost one of its most memorable characters, saxophonist Edwin Pleasants.

1/8/02 Predictions for the New Year – David takes a look at the future of the Disneyland Resort.

12/20/01 Winding Down the West – Universal Hollywood's famous stunt show is closing. Will it ever return?

12/5/01 If Walt Were Alive – Are Walt's guiding principles now irrelevant in today's business world?

11/15/01 Design a Coaster – Readers respond to the Carrousel article, plus info on the Innoventions exhibit, and more.

11/9/01 Circular Reasoning – Would disabled access ruin Disneyland's King Arthur Carrousel?

11/5/01 Snooping Around – A peek at possible Disneyland projects.

10/23/01 Costume Foolery – Cast Members take matters into their own hands as the saga continues with Disneyland's costuming department.

10/2/01 Leftovers for Leads – Your ticket to Disney’s Catastrophic Appreciation party.

10/1/01 Then & Now – Celebrating Disney World’s 30th; comparing the popular attractions then and now in the Magic Kingdom.

9/18/01 Confronting the Threat – How last week’s events have changed things at the parks; a little history.

9/7/01 Adventureland is OPEN – Walt Disney World decides against late openings, plus David shares e-mail from cast members and readers.

8/24/01 Adventureland is CLOSED – Walt Disney World cuts back on ride hours: pay full price for rides that open late and close early.

8/13/01 Cast Members Big Secret – The mutiny TDA doesn't know about; also, putrid Jungle, Atlantis II, and much more.

8/3/01 “Dark” Days Ahead? – Could the Disneyland Resort return to the era of closing down the parks one or two days a week?

7/17/01 Cancelled – Disney stops production on the Atlantis TV show/Universal Studios shutters their live shows.

7/10/01 All the Wrong Moves – Is Disney repeating mistakes that almost destroyed the company twenty years ago?

6/22/01 Catching Up! – Disney and Universal CMs gab about layoffs, a Pirates sinking, Silent Space Mtn, Universal digs Disney, and more.

6/13/01 Catching Up! – Disney and Universal CMs gab about trees, rehabs, DCA's lack of and Universal's increased attendance, and more.

5/21/01 Trek & Disney – Plus an interview with Walter Koenig (from the original Star Trek series and movies).

5/16/01 Cast Member’s Revenge – Plus more on the voluntary separation program...

4/25/01 The Bulbs are Back in Town – Who needs Main Street? What's behind the decision...

4/19/01 Splash Pirates – There be squalls ahead, wet men tell some tales... Why it got so much wetter since the last rehab.

4/11/01 Get in Line to Resign – The consequences of the VSP (Voluntary Separation Plan).

4/4/01 Bye Bye Bears? – David catches up on Disneyland news and information.

3/26/01 Mansion Accident – Hectic weekend at Disneyland climaxes with a Tom Sawyer Island raft bursting into flames.

3/13/01 Hold Your Breath – Soon after the mid-June release of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, box office returns will determine the fate of Atlantis: The Theme Park Attraction.

3/5/01 Soarin' Off To Florida – What form will DCA's star attraction take at Disney World?

2/20/01 Sacre bleu, more deja vu – Hear from some of the people involved.

2/14/01 Return of the Rocket Rod – and other short stories about Disneyland rehabs.

2/7/01 Why all the Passion? – A first visit and some thoughts on California Adventure.

2/2/01 Sacre bleu, it’s deja vu – Pirates accident is near-replay of earlier incident.

1/23/01 Sub = Zero – Will the Subs ever sail again at Disneyland or Walt Disney World?

1/15/01 Universal’s Coming (and Going) Attractions – A quick recap of what to expect this year at Universal Studios Hollywood.

12/29/00 The Virtual Lead – Disneyland employees are dreading it, should you?

12/26/00 Pineapples from Heaven – Could Dole help restore the Tiki Room? Plus a photo tour of the current neglected attraction.

12/12/00 Survey Says... – The Happiest Inquisition on Earth.

12/4/00 Grinch-less – Find out what's holding back the the Grinch from Universal's promotions, plus a Universal Studios Hollywood update.

11/13/00 Idiot-Proofing the Parks – Despite a spate of well- publicized accidents, Disney parks usually are safe if guests exercise appropriate caution and common sense. That's a big if.

11/7/00 Q&A on DCA – The countdown to Opening Day at Disney's California Adventure is now under 100 days. Previews begin in just two months. Downtown Disney should open even sooner. Still, questions remain.

10/30/00 Staying Safe on Star Tours – Guests on Disneyland's Star Tours feel as if they've been sent hurtling through space, nearly averting catastrophe at every turn. But in several instances over the last two months, such simulations have almost become realities. Plus reader mail.

10/18/00 Blame Barney – Back in April of 1993, Universal's in-house Entertainment Department staged its only parade, which ran for less than three weeks... the ensuing fiasco permanently soured the park on future parades.

10/11/00 Disney’s Casting Adventure – The sheer number of low wage positions needing to be filled at the new park in a tight job market has many concerned that the average DCA cast member won't be the courteous, ever-smiling Barbie and Ken type typically associated with Disneyland.

10/3/00 Following Roger Rabbit without a paper trail – Ten days after the tragic accident at Disneyland, the most basic question remains unanswered: how did a little boy fall from his seat on Roger Rabbit's CarToon Spin and under the next car?

9/11/00 Universal Studios landmark may be demolished – A park icon could be under the wrecking ball as you read this.

9/5/00 Have you seen this Cast Member? – What happened to Harvey?

8/29/00 Are the Rocket Rods going to Orlando? – and other reader mail.

8/25/00 Mouse Tales Update – News from Disneyland and Universal Studios. 

8/15/00 Why Disneys California Adventure Will Be A Smash Success – DCA won't be a magnificent failure, but a clumsy success.

8/8/00 When Tourists Attack – David writes about the increasing visitor frustration with Fastpass.


David Koenig
David Koenig

David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.

After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999) (All titles published by Bonaventure Press).

He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.


Note: Since 2003, any of David's feedback comments appear in our regular MousePlanet Mailbag.

May 15, 2003

November 8, 2002

September 19, 2002

July 30, 2002

July 9, 2002

June 26, 2002

February 7, 2002

January 22, 2002

January 15, 2002

January 2, 2002

December 10, 2001

November 15, 2001

October 29, 2001

October 10, 2001

September 24, 2001

August 21, 2001

August 8, 2001

July 23, 2001

July 16, 2001

June 29, 2001

May 3, 2001

March 19, 2001

February 12, 2001

February 1, 2001

January 11, 2001

January 3, 2001

November 20, 2000

October 13, 2000

October 6, 2000

September 20, 2000

August 18, 2000

August 10, 2000

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