• Disney Stories
    Walt and his Praxinoscope

      The Praxinoscope was the successor to the Zoetrope. It used a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a spinning cylinder. It had an inner circle of mirrors, placed so that the reflections of the pictures appeared stationary in position as the wheel turned. Someone looking in the mirrors would see a rapid […]

  • Disney Stories
    In Tribute to Walt Disney 1901-1966

    By Mark Hickson: Forty nine years ago Walt Disney passed away. Below is his last official portrait that hung in my office when I was an Imagineer. I always referred to him as ‘Uncle Walt’ as he was the uncle I always wanted, but never had. He never knew it, but besides my father, he was the […]

  • Disney Stories
    Artoo In Love

    The new short film “Artoo in Love” looks at the droid’s struggle to find love in San Francisco and Berkeley. “Artoo in Love,” which made its debut over the weekend at the Sonoma Film Festival, was written and directed by Evan Atherton, an Autodesk engineer who works on “experimenting with new technologies as they relate […]

  • Disney Stories
    Walt Disney’s Los Feliz Home

    Walt Disney’s private home in the hills of Los Feliz on the eastside of Los Angeles evokes the animation mogul’s classic fairy tales. Built by Disney studio craftsmen for only $50,000, Disney lived there with his wife and two daughters from 1932 to 1950. It is the only one of his residences in the area […]

  • Disney Stories
    Disneyland Hotel Waterfalls

    Story by Mark Hickson: Way before I worked for Disney my family and I had a special treat. After dinner we would drive from our home in Los Alamitos and do the “$6.75 tour of Disneyland.” It involved driving to the Disneyland Hotel and visiting the wonderful waterfalls in front of the Bonita Tower, taking in […]

  • Disney Stories
    Disney’s Hollywood Studios 25th Birthday Party

    On May 1, 1989, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, originally named the Disney MGM Studios, opened to great fanfare. Next Thursday the park will celebrate it’s 25th, or Silver Anniversary. Special events include: Minnie and Mickey Mouse will take the stage with Hollywood Studios Vice President Dan Cockerell at 10 a.m. to kick off the celebration by […]

  • Disney Stories
    Tony Baxter Gets a Window on Main Street U.S.A.

    By Mark Hickson: I first worked with Tony back in 1987 on Disneyland Splash Mountain. At that time I didn’t single him out to b a “Disney Legend,” for two reasons, one because the award had not yet been invented, and two, because I was literately surrounded by the legends that knew and worked with […]

  • Attractions
    The Buckets

    By Mark Hickson: The Buckets were so cool. Where else could you be swept away into the sky and travel from a fantasy to tomorrow? The Buckets, as we always called them, were perfect for two friends to share. There was always a high level of excitement after you were loaded and dispatched. Your Bucket would climb […]

  • Attractions
    StratoSnak: A Dish that was Never Served

    Fully automated food service? I cant wait! Well, I’m still waiting… StratoSnak was your food delivery system of the future… or so they thought back in 1955 when this concept sketch was done for the Disneyland project. This is from a local newspaper insert promoting the park (the box on the right is a food service tent intended […]

  • Disney Stories
    The Shooting Exposition at Disneyland

    Story by Mark Hickson: When I was a kid, I would always head to the Frontierland Shooting gallery. For one thin dime you could shoot real BB Guns at the Injuns, varmints and bad men in a real frontier town. Today, after several changes we now have the “Shooting Exposition” with non-offensive light rifles shooting […]

  • Disney Stories
    This Well’s Little Secret

    Ever see this at Disneyland Splash Mountain’s queue area? It’s Brer Rabbit’s Well. Sure looks mighty fine with all that greenery and a statue of Brer Rabbit with his knapsack there. Well (no pun intended) this was not the way it was conceived. If you’re familiar with the story you know that he gets stuck in […]

  • Tim Burton – The Un-Disney Legend

    Tim got his first real break as an animator’s apprentice at The Walt Disney Studios. He worked as an animator, storyboard artist, and concept artist on films like The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, and Tron. Tim’s Disney films include Vincent (1982), Frankenweenie (1984), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), James and the Giant […]