Saturday, November 19, 2011

Disney Poster, by the Decades

Back in July, I posted a faux "Disneyland Poster" from the opening dedication ceremonies.  I had created this image about 5 years ago for a school project.  (I will repeat here, that this is not an actual Disneyland poster)

Much to my surprise, this post has become the most visited post in the short history of this blog.  (My many thanks to those who appreciate and visit (and copy) my work).

The volume of visits made me think, if I had to create a new poster, what would it look like? Those thoughts have been in my head for a couple of weeks, and I did finally come up with an idea.

Here is my latest poster idea... I put it together in about 4 hours with images I could easily create or access.  It was not part of a graded school assignment, nor did Disney contact me with a business proposal to create this, so some of the graphics are a bit rough.  (I am unemployed, so a Disney offer would certainly be welcome!!!)

This is MY Disney Decades Poster.  Each decade, from the 1920's thru the 2000's are represented in a singular element within this poster, however, only the realms of Disney that are part of my own life are represented (sorry, Marvel).  Look for different elements that represent animation and parks to be featured...

Disney Decades Poster (1920s thru 2000's)

I am gonna open this post to my readers.  Can YOU figure out which element represents which decade?  If you'd like to participate, just comment below with your response (PLEASE RESPOND WITH AN ANSWER FOR ONLY ONE DECADE---I'd like to give everyone the opportunity to respond, so I will delete multi-decade responses---however, if you think you are uber-knowledgable, once someone else has added a response, I will accept your next reply)

Decade Icons:  (UPDATED 25 June 2012)
  • 1920's- The "pie eye" classic 1928 Mickey face [Trevor]
  • 1930's- wavy music bars from the 30's Silly Symphonies [Trevor]
  • 1940's- Sorceror Mickey hat from 1940's Fantasia
  • 1950's- Disneyland's "D" logo; opened July 1955
  • 1960's- E-Ticket "Castle Background" existing on only for '66-67 ticket books.
  • 1970's- WDW original logo globe; opened in Oct 1971 [flymetothemoon]
  • 1980's- Original Rainbow Castle logo from BVHV [Pixie Pebbles]
  • 1990's- Pixar Ball from "Luxo, Jr", the short shown before 1995's "Toy Story".
  • 2000's- Disney Parks cheesy balloon from 2008's "Celebrate Today" promotion.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Birthday Surprise at Mickey's House

Seven years ago, a school assignment asked us to design a fictional residence.  Ideas from TV, movies, and books were used by everyone, well, everyone except for me.  I chose to create a functional version of Mickey Mouse's House.  Despite living in southern California, and visiting Disneyland hundreds of times... I spent the holidays that year in at Walt Disney World, and took dozens of photos of (the now extinct) Mickey House in Mickey's Toon Town Fair.  Fundamentally, the houses on both coasts were the same, but in actuality they were quite different---and neither were truly functional---where did Mickey take a bath?

Eighty-Three years ago today, November 18th, Mickey Mouse made his premiere in Steamboat Willie.  In honor of his birthday, I am sharing my sketch of Mickey's house (a mash-up of both versions)

Mickey's Toon Town House

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y,  M I C K E Y ! ! !

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Disneyland Mountains: Mountain Range

So, I have not yet included Grizzly River Rapids, as that is not part of "Disneyland"... but it is being considered.  As the Radiator Springs range nears completion, GRR is becoming more important to include.  Perhaps I will revisit BTMRR, GRR and Radiator Springs soon in order to complete the Resort Mountain Range.  Until then, here is the larger, poster sized version of the image above
Click on this for FULL SIZE

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Disneyland Mountains: Splash Mountain

This was probably the attraction that I most anticipated as it was being built.  Perhaps because it was the biggest build after my tenure at the park.  Perhaps because I am sentimental toward the America Sings characters that inhabit the attraction. Perhaps it was because it ran months late in opening.  Today, I don't always ride it because I have gotten too old to get soaked each visit, but it is still a favorite... and the drawing is my most favorite in this series.
Splash Mountain, 1989

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bailey Cat Halloween Sorcerer

This year, Bailey is dressed up for Halloween as the Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia (aka Sorcerer Mickey)
Sorcerer Bailey Cat
H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bailey Cat Halloween

Back in July, I posted some of my cat toons, some featuring my own cats and some featuring some of my favorite Disney characters, as cats.  (HERE)

Today, I am gonna stray a bit, for Halloween, and post some pics of my Bailey cat decked out in holiday costumes.
Bailey Ghost

Bailey Vampire
Tomorrow you'll get to see what Bailey dressed up as this year

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Disneyland Mountains: Big Thunder Mountain

This is the drawing I am least fond of.  I love the ride.  I worked at Disneyland in 1983, when BTMRR was merely 4 years old after its 1979 opening... and the west side of the Park was very, very quiet after dark in those days.  In fact, I doubt I ever rode this in daylight the entire Summer I worked there.

Anyways, I am not fond of this image, but as part of a set it IS required... yes I have it printed out and displayed on my own walls... part of the set.  Someday I'll probably get around to redoing this image so that I am much more fond of it.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 1979

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mickey Mouse Halloween Balloons III

For Halloween, a Mickey Mouse Balloon could be a Leopard (or a Bailey Bengal Cat)...
Mickey Mouse Leopard Balloon

Or a fancy rainbow...
Rainbow Mickey Mouse Balloon
BUT, probably the best Halloween look would be a Jack-o-lantern pumpkin...
Mickey Mouse Pumpkin Balloon

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mickey Mouse Halloween Balloons II

If you were a Mickey Mouse Balloon, you might have a costume of...

Old Glory...
Mickey Mouse American Flag Balloon
but if you wanted to be more rogue, you could make the red & white into a bandana and be a pirate balloon...argghhh
Mickey Mouse Pirate Balloon

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mickey Mouse Halloween Balloons

If you were a Mickey Mouse balloon, what would you want to be for Halloween?

Perhaps, a cow or dalmatian... but only if you had 101 spots...
Mickey Mouse Dalmatian Balloon
Maybe you'd be Jack Skellington...
Jack Skellington-Mickey Mouse Balloon
Or you might just wanna be a Mickey Ghost...
Mickey Mouse Ghost Balloon
What would you be?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Disneyland Mountains: Space Mountain

The next mountain built in Anaheim was the Tomorrowland e-ticket, Space Mountain.  I still have my Magic Kingdom Club unlimited passport Ticket from 1977, the year this opened, so I can tell you the specific date of the first time I rode it.  What I cannot tell you is how many times I have riden it over the years since then... easily over a hundred, as it is one of my favorites.  (To be fair, I have at least a dozen favorites though)
Space Mountain, 1977

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Disneyland Mountains: Matterhorn

As a designer, I love creating "bigger" projects merely by duplicating a single good idea.  Perhaps you have figured that out, as I have already presented a series of graphics based on Ticket Books, Castles, and Small World Sun icons.  I have had a real world version of the clocks on the right side of this blog, representing the time at each park, in my own home for over a decade (yes, back in the days before Hong Kong, even).

So, as I was experimenting with graphic design and needed a source of inspiration, I looked toward Disneyland.  First, a small image to tease:
First let me say, this series of the Disneyland Mountain range was done years ago, in an effort to experiment with some different drawing and computer skill sets I was developing. Each are done slightly different, and three of which I love and adore... You'll figure out which is less successful in the next few weeks.

So here is Disneyland very first iconic mountain:  the 1959 classic, Matterhorn Bobsleds
Matterhorn Mountain, 1959

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Disneyland Sign Update

The Disneyland Sign/Marquee has always been one of my favorite Park icons ever since my youth.  A visit inside Disneyland was at best, a once a year occurrence, but driving on Harbor Blvd past the sign was a much more frequent happening.  I posted the history of the sign in my July and August posts, my way of visiting the sign now that I live 1000 miles away.

In September, I was able to make the trek to Anaheim, and I made a point of stopping by the pedestrian sign that I have been posting on my blog... only to find it behind construction barricades.

Thanks to the web, I have found new pictures of the sign, fresh with a new coat of paint and some minor changes, ready to welcome the upcoming holidays and the major upgrades at California Adventure in 2012.

I have updated the original blog post HERE. However, here is a preview of the new look:
Disneyland Sign 2011
The confetti and balloons are gone.  The support posts are now painted green for the first time, matching the existing light posts in the area.  A blue and white line flows along the entire banner "ribbon" to match the type coloring.  This is a pretty boring look, but I think it is more appropriate for Disneyland than the previous Disney Parks hoopla.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thank You to my Blog Visitors

In under 4 months, this blog has already had double the traffic of my other blog (which is almost 4 years old).

I have been tracking where in the world visitors to this blog have been coming from.  In order to Thank everyone for visiting, I created this little Small World inspired poster with the title flags replaced with the National Flags of the frequent visitors to my blog... so, if you see your flag, my THANKS For Visiting!
I am glad to see U.S., Japan, France and Hong Kong represented... but I especially appreciate seeing visitors from countries that don't have Disney theme parks of their own!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bailey Cat as The Lion King

When my cat, Simba, passed away, I knew that the Circle of Life needed to kick into gear.  Simba had been born in 1994 and was named after the recently released title character in The Lion King, after all.  So when I found Bailey, he was a kitten, just a few weeks old... but he had been born on the same day as Simba's passing.  Bailey became the heir to everything Simba left behind.

My other blog is primarily about the cats... but when I do a toon of Bailey, dressed in disguise as the Disney lion, it gets posted here.

He just can't wait to be king...
"The Lion King" is being released on Blu-Ray today.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Disney Castle Parks: HalloweenTime

For October 1st, I thought I should do one more Castle in the Castle series I have been posting for the last five Saturdays.  Since I have yet to create the upcoming Shanghai Castle, a Halloween overlay of Sleeping Beauty Castle seemed like the perfect choice.

My favorite part of this image are the Ghost Mickey Balloons rising from the Castle!
HalloweenTime Castle

Friday, September 30, 2011

Disneyland Gay Days 2011

This is the weekend to either wear red...or to totally NOT wear red, if you'll be at Disneyland or California Adventure.  It is Gay Days at the Disneyland Resort.  So this is either notification if you are interested in participating or a warning if you have issues with it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Disney Castle Parks: Hong Kong Disneyland

Finally, (for at least a couple years, anyway), the Hong Kong Resort opened in 2005.  This Castle Park was the smallest built thus far, and as so, needed an appropriate sized castle.  Anaheim's Sleeping Beauty Castle was selected to be duplicated in Hong Kong due to its appropriate scale.

Now, I always felt Tokyo made the wrong choice, by selecting the Florida Castle to duplicate.  However, once I found my beloved Anaheim Castle was being copied elsewhere, I felt betrayed.  Apparently, I actually had been quite happy Tokyo went east-coast all these years, I just didn't know it.

I do like that the HK Castle has a beautiful mountain backdrop behind it.  In my interpretation, I did opt to color the castle turrets in a more fitting Chinese red... not as it is in reality, but how I view it.  Besides, it compliments the pink castle walls.
Hong Kong Disneyland's Castle

Monday, September 19, 2011

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

I realize that Pirate Day on a Disney related blog has some obvious references.  I choose to discard all of them and go my own route.

Ahoy, me mateys. This be Bailey, me first mate. He be ARRGGuably the cutest cat on the seven seas.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Disney Castle Parks: EuroDisney/Disneyland Paris

(You must know, I thought EuroDisney was a brilliant name, and find it to be unique and informative toward the Paris Park, so I continue to use it still)

The Castle at EuroDisney, (the Disneyland style, Magic Kingdom, outside of Paris, France), is absolutely stunning and beautiful.  If I didn't already have a love affair with my own Anaheim Castle, this would easily top the charts.

As the story goes, Disney was gonna build a Castle in France, right among the hundreds of real European Castles throughout the continent, so they had to make this one really special and magical.  I think they succeeded.  I especially love the rectilinear lines of the structure and gardens that mimic the artistic style of the Sleeping Beauty animation aesthetic.

(FYI, although I am sure your might already know this, "Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant" translates to "Sleeping Beauty Castle")
Euro Disneyland Paris' Castle

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Disney Castle Parks: Tokyo Disneyland

When Oriental Land Company reached an agreement with Walt Disney Productions in the 70s regarding building a new Disney Park in Tokyo, they had two different, existing parks to pick and choose the best elements from in creating their own, third kingdom.  By-and-large, I agree with most of the choices they selected (after all, I also have the added benefit and critical eye of perfect hindsight). 

They chose the Florida version, with its impressive size and grandeur.  I know there are subtle difference between the two, but they are mostly too subtle for even me.  I always felt it was the wrong choice, but again I understand the reasoning.
Tokyo Disneyland's Castle

Monday, September 5, 2011

Other than Labor Day

Instead of celebrating today's US Holiday, today's date, September 5th, has quite a long running history with me, particularly as it pertains to Disney.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you might already know my favorite Disney character is Pluto.  Today happens to be his 81st Birthday.  (Or 17 in dog years.  I was 17 when I became a cast member at Disneyland.)

You might also already know that another of my favorites is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.  He is approximately 62 weeks older than Mickey Mouse, but also celebrating his 84th Birthday today.  (Honestly, he doesn't look a day over 7, don't ya think?)

Another big event that occurred on this day, 33 years ago, was the first day of 8th Grade.  Presumably, it was on that day I met my Best Friend for the first time... or at least heard her name on the roll call for the first time.  (My memories might be a bit vague, but I do recall we sat one in front of the other from day one... perhaps she can share her memories about this in the comments section.)

We would go on the see "The Fox and the Hound" in theaters on its original release, sport matching Mickey Mouse t-shirts, visit Disneyland together a zillion times, and share her first Walt Disney World visit.  She represents a little bit of Tinkerbell's sass, Mulan's identity search, Mrs. Potts' comfort & guidance, and Minnie's sweetness & friendship. (Beast's Library in the Sorcerer's Workshop within DCA's Animation Building revealed she was definitely Mrs. Potts, definitely.)  Little did either of us know at the time, that we really would become "friends forever", just like Tod and Copper.

So, that is what I am gonna celebrate, on this day... rather than the 47th occurrence of Labor Day of my life.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Disney Castle Parks: Magic Kingdom

The second Disney Castle was in Florida in 1971.  Home to Cinderella, it is much taller and sleeker than its California cousin.  While I do admire this Castle, I also find it a bit bland.  As I was attempting to create my graphic version (below), I found it to be void of interesting details found on the previous castle.  I do like, however, that this castle represents a different style, time, and place.  And to be honest, I'll admit it is much more majestic and awe inspiring just 'cuz its so darn big!
WDW Magic Kingdom's Castle

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disney Castle Parks: Disneyland

Let me say this up front: I hate the "Disney Parks" homogenization of the 11 current Disney theme parks. Each park is unique and different...even the five Magic Kingdom, castle style parks have their own personality and vibe.  By creating that "One Disney" umbrella term for all the parks, it has done nothing but help to water down the special magic that each park has unto itself.

Don't get me wrong, I still have my personal favorites, as I am sure most of you do, as well, but favorite or not, I still enjoy each and every park on its own merits.

I can also enjoy that which is similar, as well.  I am not so jaded as to also understand and appreciate similarities.  By my way of thinking, there are three distinct classification of Disney Parks: Castle Parks, Studio Parks, and Unique Second Gates (some of which were immediate hits; some that need to grow into their success)

My way of simultaneously celebrating the similarities/differences of the Castle Parks will be this "Disney Castle Park" series.  We start with the original, Disneyland, which is my favorite for obvious reasons... I am from Anaheim myself, I grew up with it, I worked there, I helped lower the drawbridge during the 1983 New Fantasyland dedication, Walt built this one...
Disneyland's Castle

Sunday, August 21, 2011

it's a small world (9 & 10) SUN-day

So this is the final post of this 5-part series and I have a lot to say about these two images.

First off, a bit of history.  North America/USA played host to the first three versions of this attraction (New York World's Fair '64, Disneyland '66, Magic Kingdom '71), so as the host region trying to be a good host, there was never a strong North American presence in the ride other than perhaps the minimal North Pole, Canadian Mountie, totem pole, and Finale appearances.

In 1998, I had my first International Small World experience in France.  Since the States where no longer the host, an entire North American segment featuring Broadway, Hollywood, and American West (cowboys & indians) were totally new to me and I loved it. The addition of this part attraction to the recent update of the Anaheim version is not as appreciated. (I prefer being gracious hosts, and I really miss the original Oceania area).  So below is the "newer" North American Sun.

The final Sun in this set is the Finale Sun.  The Finale, featuring elements from the entire attraction, thus the entire world, are dressed in attire that matches what was worn in the regional areas of the attraction, but in various shades of White (with soft Blues and Yellows).  The Finale room also features a sibling Moon.  During the Small World Holiday overlay, the Sun is replaced with a Christmas style ornament, appropriate for the holiday theming.  For a few years, the Finale Sun was not returned to its original location during the off-holiday season, but since its major rehab, the happy Finale Sun shines brightly over the attractions exit flume.
[Top] North America [Bottom] Finale

View the entire Small World  SUN Series
by clicking the "Small World" link on the right,
or by following the link [here]

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Disneyland Sign 2000s

Last in a Series of Five
A new Century brought a new Disneyland and a new Disneyland Sign.  Because of multiple parking locations, including the new Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, and the expansion to "Resort" status due to the new Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and Disney's Grand Californian, a single Sign would no longer be as relative or important.

(FYI. I am focusing my design on the pedestrian sign, located off Harbor Blvd, as it sits near where the previous signs once stood)

Also, this new sign is less of a photographic icon than the previous versions, so it becomes harder to find image references and proper time frames for each variation.  Updates, corrections and reference images are welcome anytime.

Disneyland Sign, 2000-2001
Sadly, with the Resort status upgrade, the classic Disneyland font was removed from the newest Disneyland sign.

Disneyland Sign, 2001-2003
 With the opening of California Adventure, the sign became Orange County orange.

Disneyland Sign, 2004-2007
Thankfully, the font was returned to the classic style, just as the Park headed into it's "Golden" 50th Anniversary, during 2004-2005.  For 2006-2007, the 24 month "Year of a Million Dreams" logo was included.

Disneyland Sign, circa 2008(?)
The Park and Sign were dressed up with giant purple leaves, for a short period of time, however I can't pinpoint the exact time frame.

Disneyland Sign, 2009
For the "What Will You Celebrate" campaign in 2009, the sign got a balloon and confetti makeover.

UPDATE:  Monday, October 10, 2011

Disneyland Sign, 2011
Unveiled in October 2011 was this newest version.  No confetti or balloons and a slight color alteration to both the posts and banner.

(Images are for historic illustration purposes only) 

View the entire Disneyland Sign Series
by clicking the "Marquee" link on the right,
or by following the link [here]

Sunday, August 14, 2011

it's a small world (7 & 8) SUN-day

The next two comprise my favorite pair.  The South/Latin America Sun is animated by the rotating yellow exterior sunbeams that spin behind the orange clay colored sunbeams.  The South Seas/Pacific Islander Sun is compelling to me because of the unique character of the face and it's lack of symmetry (sum beams only shine down, towards the ground)

[Top] South America [Bottom] South Seas

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Disneyland Sign 1990s

Fourth in a Series of Five
During October 1989, there were a couple days in which guests to Disneyland were greeted by TWO Disneyland Marquees.  A new digital version was installed, and the classic (my favorite) was then dismantled.
Disneyland Sign, 1989-1999
This sign, was electronic, and could display many messages in rotation... as well as simple animated graphics.  This sign greeted guest for nearly all of the 90's, until construction of Disney California Adventure moved the parking entry to the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure on the furthest region of the property.

(Images are for historic illustration purposes only) 

View the entire Disneyland Sign Series
by clicking the "Marquee" link on the right,
or by following the link [here]

Monday, August 8, 2011

Map Monday: Disneyland 1955 vs 2005

I have scoured dozens of maps, overhead photos, video, technical drawings and anything else I could find on Disneyland history in order to re-create the park layout as it changed over the years and decades.  Personally, I find it fascinating to know how the park evolved and why certain things are where they are.

I have a background in digital mapping and in graphic design, and so I have combined the two skills to create the maps on this blog.  While I acknowledge the drawing I present is not a precise representation, I have used my mapping skills to be significantly close.

**Click on the image to see full size**
Disneyland Map, 1955 with 2005 reference overlay

Be sure to follow the Railroad tracks around the outside of the park--today's entrance to Critter Country is yesterday's train path.  Notice how the Submarine Lagoon is different than the original Phantom Boat lagoon.

Really cool things I have found:
  • Find the Dominguez Palm.  It has been on this property since the 1896. It was originally behind today's Haunted Mansion show building (see Holidayland on map) and moved to a spot in Adventureland during the original park construction, where it remains today.
  • The Indian Trading Post (built 1956) is still there today in Critter Country, despite all the significant changes to the area of the Park.
  • The Rocks between Big Thunder Trail & Big Thunder Ranch are the same ones built in 1956 for Rainbow Ridge attractions, particularly the Mine Train.
  • The only two DL&SF Railroad Stations, at Main Street and Frontierland, each had their own engine & passenger cars and each completed a round-trip trip without stopping at the other station---that is why both stations have a passing lane, so they could skip the station that was not on their day's route.
  • Every time the Railroad expanded near Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise added a new scene.  Elephant Bathing Pool, African Savannah, and Hippos were all additions to the original cruise.
  • The big gate across from Small World, between Storybookland and Fantasyland Theatre opens to a space that was once the route the railroad used to travel.  Follow the gates due east across Small World Mall toward the Monorail, and you'll find the Monorail used to run parallel to the former railroad tracks for several yards.
  • All the bodies of water are interconnected, in two groupings.  Tomorrowland to Fantasyland were one combination.  Main Street (Castle & Plaza Hub), to Adventureland, Jungle Cruise, leading to Rivers of America.  I believe there still is some inter-connectivity, but it is no longer as visible as it was in the early years.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

it's a small world (5 & 6) SUN-day

Next in the series, we venture to Asia.  In my opinion, this is the most clever...and certainly the most 3 dimensional of all the Suns.  I know that I always seem to notice this Sun, but I also seem to always not notice it at the same time.

Below is the most ingenious Sun... Africa.  It combines the blue-green shade of the Sun as seen through the heavy leaves found in jungle Africa, with the distorted rings of heat rising from the sands of desert Africa.

[Top] Asia [Bottom] Africa