Monday, July 27, 2009

A (recently) Extinct Attraction: The Mickey Mouse Revue

I had originally planned for a very different blog this week. But while surfing through some Disney News Feeds, I found some news that really bummed me out.

While it may be old news to some, I just recently discovered that one of my ALL TIME favorite Walt Disney World attractions was about to go the way of the Dodo...

Well, technically, it isn't a Walt Disney World Attraction...but it WAS!!!

The Mickey Mouse Revue, which has been an attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Toyko Japan, since it was packed up and shipped out of Walt Disney World, is closing it's doors forever.

I realize that I may be dating myself (especially since it left WDW on September 14th, 1980) when I tell you that this show was one of our family's must see's, every vacation.

Even though it has been nearly 30 years (and it pains me to say that) , I can still remember it as though I saw it yesterday...

The Revue will always be a true classic in my book...

To begin with, name one other attraction that can boast such a star studded line up as the Revue?

With characters from Disney Classics such as Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Song of the South, The Jungle Book, The Three Caballeros, The Three Little Pigs, Alice in Wonderland and Dumbo...and that's not to mention the Fab Five, Huey Dewey and Louie and even some lesser known characters such as Abner and Monty (The Country and City Mice).

Now, I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, as I am a HUGE fan of what we all have to enjoy these days at our Four Parks, but it would be nice to see a show, or attraction for that matter, with some "new" faces in it. I love what they have done at the parks lately, with the more "marketable" characters, but I wish that we had a chance to see more of the classics...more of the characters that got us all hooked on Disney in the first place!!!

And with classic songs from all of the above films, this was a not to be missed attraction...

I had always assumed I would get a chance to see it again when I, someday, visited Toyko Disneyland...but alas, that will unfortunately not be the case...

I could drone on and one about the show, the songs, the characters, and how it made me feel, but instead I have decided to simply attach the footage of the Mickey Mouse Revue, from the Grand Opening of Walt Disney World Television Broadcast...

For those of you who have seen this before, I am sure it will take you back in time...for those who have never seen it, I hope you can get a feel for just how special a show it was.

I hope you enjoy the show...

And as always, feel free to drop in with a comment...I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on The WED Page!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground..... A Long Lost Attraction

Let me start, right off the bat, by addressing your possible reaction to my title this week...Yes, Fort Wilderness Campground is still there, and yes, it is now, and has always been, a very popular destination at Walt Disney World!!!

What I am refering to is a Fort Wilderness that existed a long time ago, in a much simpler "World".

Every year, Mom and Dad would pack my 2 brothers and I into the plush and roomy back seat of Dad's 1974 AMC Hornet (that car was one sweet ride), and make the 1000+ mile pilgrimage down to a Walt Disney World that was a mere speck compared to the World we all know today. A resort so different, that most years we were lucky enough to spend a few days in every resort on property...both of them!!!

On these vacations, which usually lasted 10 days or so, we would hit the park (yes, I said park) almost every day. Disney World fans of today would more than likely go stir crazy if they were to spend all of their time in just one park, but back in the day, we were absolutely thrilled to do it...perhaps, it was because it was all we knew...even with just a single park, it was still, far and away, the most magical place you could ever think of.

With up to 10 days to enjoy in The World, we were always on the lookout for new and exciting of our favorites was The Fort Wilderness Campground. Now, I know many of you have been there, many have stopped by for a night at The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review or maybe the Backyard Barbeque. But for us, Fort Wilderness was so much was truely a must see attraction. As important to us as Space Mountain or in later years, Big Thunder Mountain (that bad boy didn't open until a few years into our relationship with The World...scary considering it is almost 30 years old now), a day at Fort Wilderness was one of the most magical moments of any vacation.

Coming from New York City, (the Bronx to be precise) where we grew up, this was truely THE WILDERNESS. At least one day on every trip we would run down to the dock at our resort, hop on the launch and head over for a day in the great outdoors.

My brothers and I could hardly wait to get down to the TriCircle D Ranch to visit the farm and pet the goats, sheep and other critters that called it home (This was also home, in later years, to the World Famous Minnie Moo). We would then head on over to the stables and saddle up for our very own cowboy adventure...(an adventure which became even more poignant, come 1980, when my Urban Cowboy obsession obsession which is more than apparent my choice of head wear in these photos)...thinking back now, I can remember, more than once, peering down on alligators from the back of my trusty steed, as we would enjoy a trail ride through the campground and surrounding "wilderness".

But the GRAND FINALE of our day at Fort Wilderness, each and every vacation, was our feast (or at least that is how 3 young boys looked at it) at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review. I still to this day, sing along (under my breath, of course, so as not to scare off my fellow vacationers) to all of the classics songs at this amazing show.

Now I could also go on and on about all of the good times we had at, what we considered our own personal swimin' hole, River Country, but I will save THAT one for another blog.

The real point I am trying to make here, is that while I would never give up all that we have to enjoy nowadays at our World, I do sometimes long for the simpler pleasures of those Disney Vacations. Back before the days of "GOING COMMANDO" through the parks. A time when we could really enjoy the little things the resort had to offer. Amazing, hidden treasures that I still to this day dream about.

Now that I myself am a Dad, I am trying to expose my own little guys to these wonderful, laid back, experiences of the World and I whole heartedly urge you to do the same...slow down, snoop around, see what you can find...there is so, so much out there that even many veteran Disney World Commandos don't know about.