Disney Ride Secrets: it's a small world

Since it’s debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the “it’s a small world” attraction has delighted guests of all ages. Let’s take a look at some of the history and trivia which make this attraction so special.

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There comes a time when some of our favorite Disney attractions must be replaced in order to make room for new Disney magic. Do you know which extinct attractions immediately preceded these Walt Disney World favorites?

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Disney's Never Built Western River Expedition - Big Thunder Mountain

Surely Floridians wouldn’t be interested in a pirate attraction at Disney. The imagineers decided the southeastern region of the country would be more interested in an attraction with a less familiar theme – the wild west.

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Discover Future World: Test Track

Epcot’s Test Track has been delighting Future World guests since the late 1990’s and continues to do so with the 2012 overhaul of the attraction’s theme. Reaching speeds of up to 65 mph, Test Track is a must do for any thrill-seeking guest at Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at what makes Test Track one of Epcot’s best attractions.

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Meeting Disney Legend Bob Gurr - Bob Gurr and Margaret Kerry

When I am at Disneyland, you know what I sometimes forget? That every single attraction within the parks was man made and designed by incredibly hard working “Imaginieers”. These magical people have worked so hard through the years to create some of our most cherished memories through the years.
Back in the day, Walt Disney handpicked all of the Imagineers to make Disneyland come true and open its doors in 1957. One of these creators was Bob Gurr, whom Disney hired to assist on Autopia. Gurr went onto be the mastermind behind such beloved attractions as The Matterhorn Bobsleds, Submarine Voyage, The Haunted Manson….and, ready for it? The Monorail.

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Doom Buggies of The Haunted Mansion

Even from the very first sketches of plans for Disneyland, Walt Disney always wanted to include a haunted house attraction in his park. Unlike haunted houses at other amusement parks, Walt’s haunted house would have a lighter, friendlier, comedic feel to the attraction. He originally planned to make his haunted house a walk-through attraction. Guests would stroll through at their own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of Walt’s haunted house. After further research, this walk-through attraction posed a few problems; How would the imagineers ensure a high enough capacity to allow each guest a chance to experience the attraction? How you the direct the guests’ attention to certain the elements of the attraction?

Doom Buggies

In their search for an efficient way to guide guests through Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction, the imagineers turned to a ride system which had previously proven itself on Adventure Through Space – the omnimover. This type of attraction vehicle consisted of a continuous chain of ride vehicles which would move throughout the attraction as one unit. The individual vehicles would be able to turn in any direction.  The Haunted Mansion’s onmimover vehicles, affectionately called Doom Buggies, are the perfect ride vehicle for directing guests’ attention throughout the attraction and enhancing the eeriness of the Haunted Mansion.

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Vintage Disney: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

I remember walking through Fantasyland, and there it was – an abandoned lagoon. I had never seen a submarine sail through its waters, and I never would. How could what must have once been a fascinating excursion into the deep now sit off-limits, never to be experienced by another guest?

The Story

The story of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Submarine Voyage began long before any Disney parks were constructed. In fact, it began many years prior to Walt Disney’s birth. In March of 1869 author Jules Verne introduced the world to the story of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus. The story was serialized in a French publication and ran until June 1870.

Verne’s description of the Nautilus was well ahead of its time, accurately describing many features of modern submarines. Because of this, the story has stood the test of time. In the late 1930s, when many Hollywood film studios were looking to create new Technicolor films based on classic novels, Disney secured the rights to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Unfortunately, the project was put on hold due to World War I. The project was resumed years after the war ended and the completed film released in 1954, just one year prior to the opening of Disneyland.

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What New Attractions Are Coming To DIsney's Animal Kingdom? - January 2016 Q&A

There are quite a lot of exciting things in the works for Disney’s Animal Kingdom! The first new experience for Animal Kingdom will be the Rivers of Light show which is scheduled to open in Spring 2016. This show will take place in front of the Tree of Life on Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. Two mystical hosts will come to the river, bringing their gifts of light.

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The Origins of Haunted Mansion Holiday

Due to the success of It’s A Small World Holiday and The Country Bear Christmas Special, two other Christmas attraction overlays at Disneyland, the imagineers decided they wanted to install a Christmas overlay to the Haunted Mansion. They initially considered a theme centered around A Christmas Carol but ultimately chose a more sinister theme for the attraction.

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The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing some of the fun you can find at Disney during the holidays. In 1986, Jennings Osborne’s daughter, Breezy, asked her father if they could decorate the family’s Little Rock, Arkansas home with lights for Christmas. Jennings’ first Christmas light display featured about 1,000 sparkling […]

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Exploring The Unknown: Expedition Everest - Frontierland Station

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing little known facts about some of our favorite Disney attractions. Since opening in 2006, Expedition Everest has been thrilling guests of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This massive attraction takes guests on an exciting runaway train excursion and even brings them to a close encounter with […]

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A Muppet Land At Disney's Hollywood Studios?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Visitors to Disney’s Hollywood Studios have been entertained by Kermit, Fozzie,  Ms. Piggy, and friends at Muppet*Vision 3D since May of 1991, just two years after the park’s opening. This beloved attraction is filled with the typical Muppet brand of chaos, punny jokes, and cheap 3D tricks. While this attraction […]

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Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland: The Castles

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are comparing Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Both Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland and Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World are a magical sight to see. For many park guests, this sight alone lets them know they have finally returned “home” to the Magic Kingdom. For […]

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60 Reasons We Love Disneyland

Sixty years ago today, the Happiest Place On Earth opened its gates to the public for the very first time. Despite a few setbacks on opening day, Disneyland quickly became a magical destination for the young and young at heart. The park has gone through quite a few changes over the years. We’ve seen some […]

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Disneyland 1967: A Year of Pirates & New Lands

The beginning of 1967 marked the beginning of the first year in Disney history without Walt. Though he was no longer there to lead the company, Walt’s dreams lived on. At Disneyland, 1967 saw the unveiling of an attraction which has gone on to become a Disney classic, as well as, the addition of one new land […]

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Disneyland's Midget Autopia

Recently, my mom found her old View-Master along with some View-Master reels. Like a couple of big kids, we both proceeded to take a look at the reels. It reminded me of ordering dessert at the 50’s Prime Time Café, except we didn’t have any reels showcasing delicious desserts. I was thrilled to find a […]

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Disneyland's Most Unusual Store

When Disneyland opened in 1955, many of the stores on Main Street, U.S.A. were leased to outside companies to help fund the park. Last week, I shared about the Tobacconist store on Main Street; if that wasn’t unusual enough for you, the store we’re discussing today, definitely will be. Located in what is now part of […]

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A Tobacco Shop At Disneyland?

When Disneyland opened in 1955, many of the stores on Main Street, U.S.A. were quite different than we know them today. Honestly, you would probably be a bit shocked by a couple of them, but more on that next week. Given Disney’s 2007 decision to ban smoking in their films and even digitally remove smoking […]

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Fastpass To History: Building Disneyland - Walt Disney shows Disneyland plans to Orange County officials, Dec. 1954

Walt Disney had dreamed of a place like Disneyland for years before it became a reality. In the 1930s, after visiting various parks with his daughters, Walt envisioned a place where both parents and children alike could have fun together. The park would be a magical place for families to enjoy. Walt initially planned on constructing […]

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Remembering The Parades Of Epcot

Everyone loves a parade, so it would be natural to assume parades at the four Walt Disney World parks have been abundant over the years. This is true for most of the Walt Disney World parks, but for Epcot – not so much. Since the park’s opening in 1982, there have only been a handful […]

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