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Tag Archives: Disneyland

The Geekiest Book on Earth

book_dlandencycChris Strodder’s book The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Event in the Original Magic Kingdom (whew) was a holiday gift from my spouse that I just finished reading — cover to cover. What Strodder has done here is compile every attraction, restaurant, and shop that has ever existed within Anaheim Disneyland’s perimeter berm (even the berm itself gets an entry!). Also included are profiles of notable people involved in the park’s history and tantalizing glimpses at lands and attractions that were planned, but never built. This book contained a lot of fascinating info that even a Disneyland History geek like me didn’t know. Stoddard’s writing style is enthusiastic and well-informed, full of delicious factoids — and blessedly different from the upbeat blathering that characterizes most Disney fansites. Just read his little bio of Walt Disney himself to get a feel of the even-handed but fun tone present throughout this book. Want to know more about Aunt Jemima’s Pancake House, the Main Street Electrical Parade, Princess Fantasy Faire, the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, or even the expertly themed restrooms? It’s all in here.

Funny postscript — one of the first things I checked in this book was the Wizard of Bras shop (did you know one could shop for ladies’ unmentionables on Main Street?). Sure enough, it’s listed in here. I mistakenly thought the shop itself was called Wizard of Bras, but that was actually the name of a display that was housed inside the more humbly monikered Intimate Apparel store which only operated during the first two years of Disneyland’s existence. You learn something new every day.

Miracles from Molecules

Posting our Wednesday video on Thursday (the mind is the first thing to go, doncha know), we have a short film from on one of Disneyland’s best-ever attractions — Monsanto’s Adventure Thru Inner Space. This was the ride where, riding in a capsule-shaped buggy, one got shrunk down to explore the molecular structure of a common snowflake. The thrills began in the ride’s queue, with a giant microscope and that super-cool rainbow hued snowflake on the wall (seen at 2:07 in the video). Sadly, the guest shrinkage ceased in 1986 and things were never quite the same in Tomorrowland. Star Tours swallowed up the same space in the park, not a good substitute in my opinion. Pee Wee Herman replacing Paul Frees? Phhhtt.

Young, Gifted & Baroque

It’s finally done! The Autumn mix, Young Gifted & Baroque, grew out of my fascination with Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade music. As even Disney neophytes know, the parade’s twinkly theme was appropriated from “Baroque Hoedown” — a song composed by French electronica pioneers Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley for their 1967 LP Kaleidoscopic Vibrations. Ten years later, musicians Don Dorsey and Jack Wagner lengthened the song and incorporated (rather ingeniously, I think) melodies from classic Disney films to create an unforgettable soundtrack. According to the song’s Wikipedia entry, Jean-Jacques Perrey didn’t even know Disney was using his song until he chanced upon the parade during a 1980 visit to Disneyland!

This mix contains Perrey & Kingsley’s original and a bunch of other goodies. It culminates with an official 2001 remix of the Main Street Electrical Parade theme with campy voice-overs from Alice In Wonderland‘s Alice and Pete’s Dragon‘s Pete. Other versions include They Might Be Giants’ frenetic cover, a delicate rendition by harpsichordist Sumina Arihashi, a dance remix by Konishi Yashiharu and Pizzicato Five, and an orchestral arrangement used as mood music in the Disney theme parks. I’ve also filled out the mix with various tunes I dig that have a funky “amusement park” vibe (please note: the mix is one long 72-minute mp3 file with the songs slightly blending into each other). Enjoy.

Download ‘Young, Gifted & Baroque: Autumn 2008 Mix’

Young Gifted & Baroque - front

Young Gifted & Baroque - track listing