50th Kick-off Coverage, Page 4

by MousePlanet Staff, contributing writer

Our coverage so far: May 4: Page 1 | page 2 | page 3 (this page) | May 5 most recent page

11:25 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

Julie Andrews still had her role to play. It was her duty to unveil the final golden ride vehicle, and perhaps the most special of all: Jingles on the King Arthur Carrousel.

Jingles was the first horse purchased when putting together the carrousel for Disneyland, and has always been a notable element of that attraction for park fans. The event itself was pretty much the same as the earlier ones today, with a little patter followed by the unveiling.

Julie Andrews poses with the covered Jingles. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

The reveal: No revelry ensued; there was a cocktail party waiting. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Julie Andrews poses with a very nice gold Jingles. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

11:15 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

Yes, I feel a little cheap feeding the celebrity machine by running a bunch of photos of people just because they're famous and attending a party mere mortals couldn't even get a glimpse of. But hey, it's 11:00 p.m. and I'm short on sleep. What else do I have to do with my time?

The most interesting event of the "gold carpet" arrivals involved Michael Eisner. As you'll see in the photo below he was carrying a set of gold Mickey ears. Many of the celebrities wore theirs, while others just carried them. However, when asked by a photographer to put his Mickey ears on, Eisner's attending publicist responded with "not a chance." Read into that what you will.

The gold carpet down Main Street, U.S.A. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Cast members were indeed used to provide some excitement. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Author Ray Bradbury. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Disney musical legend Richard Sherman. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Film critic and author Leonard Maltin with family. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Disney CEO Michael Eisner not wearing his Mickey ears. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Art Linkletter, still spry at 92. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

John Lasseter and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

Disney fan and television star John Stamos. Photo by Frank Anzalone.

10:20 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

I finally escaped the prison of this laptop for a while when I was assigned to go check out Disney's California Adventure and see how the crowd was, as everybody but media was cleared from Disneyland.

Standing at the gate of DCA, watching the masses leave Disneyland—the number heard was somewhere around 15,000 invited people were at Disneyland today—it was a bit of a slap at DCA to see that at least half the people were immediately heading for the trams rather than taking advantage of their free entry into DCA.

Wandering into DCA in time for the 5:45 performance of Block Party Bash, the first two show stops absorbed almost the entire DCA crowd. Almost nobody was at the third show stop near Paradise Pier, and even after the parade the crowds remained thin. Reports were that every ride, including California Screamin' and Soarin' Over California were walk-ons.

At around 6:00 p.m., after Disneyland has been emptied. Those few in the park are lining the road near A Bug's Land for the parade. Photo by Alex Stroup.

At about the same time, the bridge to Paradise Pier shows the same thing: No crowd. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

10:05 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

We have three videos that may be of interest. The first is a ride-through of the reopened Jungle Cruise, the second is a complete run-through of the Remember... fireworks and the third is a complete video of the Parade of Dreams.

Obviously you shouldn't watch these if you wan to save yourself for seeing them in person. All three are in Windows Media Format (.wmv; because that is what we can produce most quickly with what we have). The last two are particularly long and the files approach 20 megabytes.

For technical reasons we had to remove the videos we were providing. We should be able to provide something along these lines at some point Thursday.

5:05 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

Of interest to some, Disneyland has put up a new wall around the submarine lagoon.

A new, more interesting, construction wall around the submarine lagoon. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

A close-up of one of the signs on the wall. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

4:50 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

The following is a brief description of the new film that has replaced Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. If you prefer to wait to see this yourself, just skip this entry.

The film starts with an introduction by comedian Steve Martin, saying that Disney wanted a host who had been there since the beginning. Donald Duck volunteers, but Martin dismisses him as "too animated." The film then goes into a photo of Martin when he was a cast member at the Magic Shop in 1960.

Next, you see the famous clip of Walt Disney explaining why he came up with the idea of Disneyland (wanting a place he could have fun with his children and grandchildren), with Martin interjecting with "uh huhs" and "good ideas" as if he were interviewing Walt.

Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney in a photomosaic on display inside 50 Magical Years. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

What then follows is a sequence of video clips from the early days of Disneyland, many of them familiar, including a time-lapse of Disneyland's construction, Walt's opening day address, and blooper footage from "Black Sunday" (that is, the day Disneyland opened). In one video, Art Linkletter is talking, and Donald takes the microphone away from him and is close captioned—because nobody can understand him. Donald Duck then attacks the caption, chasing the letters off the screen.

After this is a land-by-land overview of attractions from the park's first decade and an overview of animatronic figures used in park attractions, and a retrospective of live entertainment at the park from Slue-Foot Sue's Golden Horseshoe Revue to Boy George. The film closes with Donald trying to blow up Steve Martin with fireworks—but he changes his mind and launches them over the castle instead.

One of the exhibit displays in 50 Magical Years. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Closing images are photos pulling back to a photomosaic of the castle, which fades to a rendering of the castle.

Steve Martin and Donald Duck in battle during 50 Magical Years film. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

4:14 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

Some odds and ends:

  • We found out why John Lasseter was spending so much time on the Jungle Cruise. After his studying of the script and many consecutive rides, Lasseter took the helm of a Jungle Cruise boat for a very limited audience of premiere media outlets. Word is he'll do it again at some point to be filmed.
  • If you're seriously considering one of the $30 desserts (at least one staff member here is, the fool) you might want to know that your dessert options are a Mickey truffle filled with a raspberry chocolate, a banana split, warm chocolate sundae, or apple pie with caramel sauce.
  • Throughout the day they have been putting up a large stage in the moat next to Sleeping Beauty Castle. This will host a 70-piece orchestra, which will accompany LeAnn Rimes at tomorrow's public kick-off event.
  • We're working to get some decent photos from inside 50 Magical Years, but the lighting is terrible and time inside is limited. If we get any they'll be our highest priority.
4:04 p.m., May 4, 2005
by Alex Stroup

Another unannounced opening this week is the Nestle Junior Chef program at Plaza Pavilion. In this program, which is held five times a day for of up to 20 children ages 4 through 10, the kids do all the work to mix cookie dough.

The ingredients are stored in canisters that pay homage to Main Street stores. Examples are "Candy Palace" vanilla and "Gibson Girl" sugar. Once the dough has been mixed the cookies "bake" for 3 minutes in one of Mickey's magic ovens. Each child then gets to take a cookie home with them after the show.

Between shows, children get to decorate and color chef hats and coloring sheets.

The chef who helps them through the program. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Children coloring between shows. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

We're not done yet! We'll be updating this page throughout the day on May 4 and 5. Keep reloading and we'll do our best to keep you up on all the current events and links of interest from around the web. If you have anything of interest, contact Lani Teshima here, as Alex Stroup is in the park all day and is not checking email.

Our coverage so far: May 4: Page 1 | page 2 | page 3 (this page) | May 5 most recent page