MousePlanet Mailbag for August 4, 2005
Compiled by Stephanie Wien, Mailbag Editor
We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot
publish them all, the following may be of interest to our readers.
Birthday MousePlanet, our July 19 article in honor of Disneyland's
50th anniversary and MousePlanet's 5th, MousePlanet staff members shared
their Disney memories. Some of our readers have also written in with
their memories and birthday wishes.
If you would like to share your Disney memories with us, send us
the following information to our mailbag here:
- Impressions of Disney: What is your first recollection
of Disney that you remember, or that made an impression for you?
- First Trip: What was special about your first trip to
a Disney park? Does not have to be Disneyland, but if not, please
specify. How old were you, and who did you go with?
- Most Memorable Visit: What is your singlemost memorable
visit, time, or incident related to a Disney park visit?
- On MousePlanet: Please share with our readers your thoughts
on MousePlanet and/or your involvement with it as we celebrate
our Web site's 5th birthday!
I really enjoyed reading all of your memories and stories about Disneyland
and Disney World, that I wanted to take a moment and share mine. My
impression of Disney as a whole is basically how it makes me feel inside.
I know it sounds corny, but every time I hear a Disney song or see one
of their commercials on TV or just recall a Disney memory, I get chills
and tear up a little bit. Disney is really just happiness for me and
I do enjoy all aspects of it.
My Disney memory is one that will forever be tattooed in
my brain. I was 6 years old (and had already been to Disneyland a few
times) and we drove from where we live here in Northern California down
to Anaheim for the first time. It was also my first experience with
L.A. traffic and to say the least, I was quite nervous with my Dad behind
the wheel. He sped through that traffic like there was no tomorrow!
To make a long story short, I ended up getting hives and had to get
a shot in my posterior. I still had fun at Disneyland
once the welts went down!
I just recently became a diehard fan of MousePlanet. My aunt actually
told me about your website because we are both fans of all things Disney.
I love reading the Park Updates because it is so informative and current.
My family and I are hoping to go to Disneyland in November (the week
of Thanksgiving, but not the actual day of). Do any of you have any
tips or ideas on a better time to go if that time isn't the best? The
last time that I took a trip down to Disneyland was this past December
and it was the more crowded than any other time I have gone, which has
been in the summer months. I have never seen the park decorated for
the holidays and it all was amazing! You all do a great job at informing
your readers of what's going on. I have not gotten to take a look at
all of the sections of the site, but believe meI will!
Just on a side note, how do people become a part of MousePlanet? Do
you have to reside close to Orlando or Anaheim? Thank you again for
all that you do. Your dedication is clear when you see all that MousePlanet
has to offer. Happy 5th BirthdayI hope that this site will be
around for years to come.
Hi Dear Erica Thank you for sharing your Disney memories with
us. I'm glad you got over your hives! What a way to start a vacation.
I hope you are able to make it to Disneyland in November with your family.
You might also consider early December, after Thanksgiving. The crowds
tend to be lower between the holiday periods.
As far as getting involved with MousePlanet, although many of our staff
members do not live in Orlando or Anaheim, those who do have a distinct
advantage. Although we do not have any openings for staff writers at this
time, we always welcome submission ideas from our readers, whose articles
we publish regularly. If you are interested in contributing an occasional
article, you can send email to our Writer
Inquiry page and we will be happy to send you the details.
Shannon Faraone writes:
I really enjoyed reading all the writers responses to the questions.
It was great to hear so many people felt the way I do. Disney has not
only been movies and TV memories growing up, but it has been a constant
in my life when so many other things around me have changed. Only Walt
could have such the genius to realize nothing is as comforting as tradition
but also the genius to make subtle changes. I love California Screamin'
as much for its wild ride as I do for the memories of Pirates. I will
never forget going on that when I was 8 (it took that much convincing,
my first trip I was 4 and stuck with Dumbo!). I could not understand
how there was a restaurant floating in the middle of a river. How did
you get to it? To this day, when my fiancˇ and I eat there, I look at
the confusion of all the children's faces that pass by and remember
how I felt snuggled in between my mom and dad. To top it all off, my
fiancˇ Brian proposed in front of the castle there this Christmas and
I celebrated (over and over all four days) my 21st birthday there with
my family. I have gone through many milestones in Disneyland and I look
forward to another fifty years of them!
Hi Shannon I too am fascinated by the magic of the Blue Bayou,
where it's always a clear and pleasant night, no matter what the weather
is outside. Best wishes on your upcoming nuptials.
Ken Smith writes:
I was born in (East) LA in 1966. My mother assures me that I went to
DL for the very first time in the spring of 1967. Disneyland holds the
distinction of being two of my oldest memories. I remember one of the
mermaids floating in the water during the submarine ride and the pirate
skull at the very beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean. In my memory
book, my mom had placed 4 photos from a trip in 1969 of it's a small
world, the carousel, the Snow White grotto statues and of Mickey holding
my hand on Main Street. (I've got a VERY perplexed look on my face in
In January 1994, I returned on my own as an adult as part of a cartoonist's
convention. We arrived the day after the Northridge Quake, those of
us still on East Coast time were up in the hotel bar at 4am racing water
glasses across table tops during the aftershocks. Several of us carpooled
up to DL just before the convention actually got started. We parked
in the 'Bambi' row I believe, almost directly in front of the gates
and about where the big 'C' is now. The park was very uncrowded and
it was one of the best days I've ever had at any park. We rode the sky
buckets, submarines and people mover before they were removed and we
also got treated to the soft opening of Roger Rabbit's Toon Car Spin.
I also got an updated photo with Mickey in Toontown
he's gotten a lot shorter over the years since my '69 photo.
Arnold van Beverhoudt Jr. writes:
Happy Birthday to MousePlanet!
I was inspired by the thoughts and memories of the MousePlanet staff
on the occasion of your 5th birthday to put together my own recollections
based on Alex Stroup's outline. I hope you can include this in an upcoming
Mailbag or as a guest article.
Impressions of Disney My earliest recollection of exposure
to Walt Disney's creative talent was, at the age of 4 or 5 (1954-55),
having my mother read to me the Golden Books version of Dumbo. I have
a very vague recollection of the scene where Dumbo and his mother were
separated and put on the train to go to the next circus stop. My mother
sometimes still asks me if I remember when she read that story to me
and I cried because I was sad that Dumbo and his mother had been separated.
I also remember watching the Mickey Mouse Club and Davy Crockett on
our black and white TV set. Davy Crockett was a favorite of mine, and
one Christmas I received a Davy Crockett costume, which I frequently
wore. For a long time after, I would seldom be seen without my Davy
Crockett raccoon tail hat. In later years, the various variations of
the Wonderful World of Disney TV show always kept me connected to Walt
Disney and his imaginative creations.
First Trip Surprisingly, my first trip to a Disney theme
park didn't come until I was 22 years old (1972) and already graduated
from college. I invited my younger brother, Steven, to go with me on
a 2-week vacation to Florida. We stayed with family friends in Miami
and, among the other excursions, we went on a 2-day Grey Lines tour
of the Kennedy Space Center and Walt Disney World. At the time, Disney
World consisted of only the Magic Kingdom, but we enjoyed the park's
many attractions and rides. Favorites were the 20,000 Leagues Under
the Sea submarine ride and the Jungle Cruise.
Most Memorable Visit It would be 10 years before I again
visited a Disney theme park. By that time, my wife, Helena, and I had
been married 8 years and we had a 5-year old daughter, Selene. I don't
think I can pick out one specific visit that was most memorable,
but instead have a sense that our infrequent trips to Disney World and
Disneyland represented or coincided with milestones in our lives. That
first (1982) visit to Disney World with Helena and Selene was our first
family vacation together off our home island of St. Thomas. Selene was
at an age when she had just completed her first year of school (pre-kindergarten)
and could appreciate the magic of the rides and other attractions at
the park. That was followed, 3 years later (1985) by our first and,
so far, only visit to Disneyland. On this trip, we had the opportunity
to stay in the park into the night and enjoyed the spectacle of the
Main Street Electrical Parade for the first time.
The summer of 1989 marked personal highs and lows for us. This trip
to Disney World marked our first time staying on-property and added
greatly to our enjoyment of the parks. But only a few months after we
returned home, Hurricane Hugo struck St. Thomas, causing major damage
to our home. That was a very traumatic event for Helena, Selene, and
By the time of our next (1992) visit to Disney World, Selene was a
15-year old teenager and beginning to develop a sense of her future
career goals in an artistic field. So, we signed her up for a behind-the-scenes
tour of the Disney Animation Studios at Disney-MGM Studios. This was
also the first of our now-traditional Christmas-time visits to Disney
World, and this added a whole new dimension to our enjoyment of the
parks and their attractions.
Our 1997 visit coincided with another milestone in Selene's life, as
she was then a college student studying for a degree in graphic design.
Helena and I flew up to Orlando from St. Thomas, and Selene met us at
the airport after her shorter flight from Ft. Lauderdale. To date, this
has been our last visit to a Disney theme park with Selene, as she's
now married and starting a family of her own.
However, Helena and I have continued to visit Disney World, enjoying
Christmas-time at the parks in 2003 and 2004 as an empty nest
couple. I'm planning to retire in April 2006, and Helena and I are considering
a post-retirement trip to Disneyland in May 2006 to try to get in on
the tail end of that park's 50th Anniversary celebration. Also, as I'm
writing this in July 2005, Selene is (any day now) expecting our first
grandchild, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities
for Helena and I to visit and enjoy the Disney theme parks in our new
role as retired grandparents.
On MousePlanet It's been about 3 years now since I first
found the MousePlanet Web site, and it has become an important part
of my daily routine. During my workday lunch breaks, I catch up on the
daily articles and trip reports as I eat my brown bag lunch
and unwind from the stresses of the work day. Although I've never met
and rarely corresponded with the MousePlanet staff of writers, they've
grown to be long-distance friends who help me toas Mike Scopa
so aptly puts itget into the Disney Zone. On weekends,
with no new MousePlanet articles to read, I often put on a Disney park
or soundtrack music CD to keep me in the Zone. Mike's contribution
to your 5th anniversary article captured exactly why I've grown to be
almost fanatically interested in the goings on at the Disney theme parks.
As he put it,
I knew that I had found the one place on Earth
I could depend on to release me from the cares of everyday life.
While at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you can forget about work,
personal problems, health issues, and all the other cares of the everyday
world. Like Mike, during the 10-day visit to Disney World that Helena
and I enjoyed in December 2003, we completely lost track of what day
of the week it was. All we were aware of was that we were having a wonderful
timewe were in the Disney Zone.
The availability of MousePlanet has since helped me to make that realization.
So, Thanks! to the MousePlanet staff, and congratulations
on your 5th Birthday! Here's to many more years spreading the Disney
Magic and bringing new people into the Disney Zone!
Hi Arnold Thank you for the wonderful letter and sharing your
memories with us. Best wishes on your retirement. I hope you will share
your experiences with your new grandchild with us when the time comes.
Feedback for Kevin Krock
Our Home Theater &
Entertainment editor Kevin Krock responds to a question about a DVD
release for Disneyland's 50th Anniversary:
Russell Nagata writes:
Do you know what happened to the DisneylandThe Secrets, Stories
and Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth DVD? It was to be released
on July 12, 2005. I ordered it from Amazon.com and they put the release
date as Jan. 1, 2010. It seems odd to advertise a DVD 5 years in advance.
The DVD is a Disneyland 50th Anniversary edition. By that 1/1/2010 it
will be past Disneyland's 54th Birthday.
Hi Hi Russell Yes, July 12th came and went without any Disney
home video recognition of Disneyland's 50th anniversary, even though Disney
had announced the title you mentioned. Interestingly enough, it was quietly
pulled from the electronic press release, and there is no reference to
it on Disney's DVD release schedule or press kit site. I asked one of
my contacts, and his reply was that it could have been pulled for any
number of reasons, such as technical flaws, legal hang ups, etc. It could
also be that they wanted to include some of the 50th anniversary footage
shot during the ceremony on the 17th, but that is just one of my hopes
From what I can tell from other sources, the DVD will be released some
time later this year, but there is no release date at this time. So, until
then, we'll all have to wait patiently.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Kevin Krock
Do you have specific questions about an upcoming trip
to Disneyland, Walt Disney World or another park, or do you need help with
your trip planning? While you can contact one of the columnists, we encourage
you to join our special MousePlanet community on our MousePad
discussion board. There, you will find like-minded Disney park fans who
can try to help answer your questions.
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