“Walt Disney” American Experience Documentary To Air In 2015

Just announced by PBS and American Experience, a two night, four hour documentary simply titled “Walt Disney,” will be debuting on PBS stations nationwide in the fall of 2015. The documentary is said to include footage from the Disney archives, along with interviews from animators and Imagineers.




From the press release:

Directed and produced by Sarah Colt (“Henry Ford,” “RFK”) and written by Mark Zwonitzer (“JFK,” “Triangle Fire”), the film features rare archival footage from the Disney vaults, scenes from some of his greatest films, and includes interviews with animators and artists who worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Imagineers who helped design Disneyland.

“Walt Disney is an entrepreneurial and cultural icon,” said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE executive producer Mark Samels. “No single figure shaped American culture in the 20th century more than he.

A polarizing figure — though true believers vastly outnumber his critics — Disney’s achievements are indisputable. He created one of the most beloved cartoon characters in history, Mickey Mouse; conceived the first ever feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; pioneered the integration of media and marketing with thousands of branded products; invented the anthropomorphic wildlife documentary; and conceived Disneyland, the world’s first theme park and the fulfillment of a lifelong desire to create a world unto itself.”

Are you excited for this one, Disney fans? Considering the amount of both information and misinformation that has been presented before, do you approach this one with trepidation or enthusiasm? I for one am looking forward to it, but look forward to hearing your thoughts as well!


Adventureland Trading Company Coming Soon!

Disneyland has been a place where tourists flocked, but locals played. Recently, Disney’s been capitalizing on this notion, and creating in-park experiences that both the tourists and locals can enjoy equally. First came the Legends of Frontierland, and now, thanks to ‘Tallahassee Glover’ on Disney Parks’ Blog, they just announced today another new limited time experience in Adventureland!


“Hello adventurers, Tallahassee Glover here with the first of a series of dispatches from deep in the jungles of Adventureland at Disneyland park. The birds who sing words tell us that a new merchant is opening soon for a limited engagement beginning August 1. Adventure Trading Company will be a provisions and publications company with a knack for selling goods that send the buyers on wild adventures. At the end of these adventures are Adventureland relics known as Juju. These unique artifacts reflect the ancient traditions and importance of storytelling in Adventureland. Collect Juju! Collect adventures! Collect stories!Be sure to make like a monkey and swing on over to the Adventure Trading Company starting August 1 and see what awaits you!”


Happy 59th, Disneyland! Got Plans For the 60th? (Live Blog)

Today, we celebrate a place that many of us hold near and dear to our hearts. A place of wonder and fantasy. A place of nostalgia with new memories to be made. A place that, roughly 60 years ago was revealed to the public as a coming reality. A place that opened its gates to media and invited guests for the first time (as millions watched on their black and white televisions at home) 59 years ago today. Happy birthday, Disneyland. To this DisNerd, you continue to inspire, to be my home away from home. While it pains me to not be there today, I’m celebrating from here, keeping abreast of developments relating to your 60th anniversary next year. Here’s to many more memories to come!

Thank You, Walt.

Thank You, Walt.

This morning, on the 59th anniversary of Disneyland’s grand debut, Disney Parks plan to announce events surrounding the park’s upcoming 60th anniversary. This blog post will go live at approximately 10:00 AM PST, to update fellow DisNerds with any announcements that are being made. Bookmark this post, or keep hitting refresh – we will do our best to update with anything newsworthy! Also, make sure to follow @COADisNerd on Twitter, as Confessions contributor Jake will be updating the feed for that side!

Live blog updates:

The Dapper Dans have kicked things off with a sing along of “In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” and “A Pirates Life For Me.”


guycharactersAnnounced: Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary Celebration will start Spring 2015.


Diamond Celebration Logo

The Diamond Celebration Logo

From the Disney Parks Blog:

“As part of this morning’s festivities, we’re inviting the generations of families and friends who have visited to share their favorite memories through the photos they have taken at the resort. We’ll share some of the photos here on the Disney Parks Blog, and one lucky guest will have a chance to win a trip to the start of the 60th anniversary celebration in spring 2015. Starting today, fans in the United States and District of Columbia are invited to submit photos that represent their memories from the Disneyland Decades – 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000 to the present. Using hashtag #Disneyland60Contest, guests may share the photos via Twitter or Instagram. Let us know the decade in which the photo was taken in the description or tweet.”

The Logo Reveal At Disneyland

The Logo Reveal At Disneyland


cupcakesopera house


The Celebration on Main Street has ended. A few lucky Parks Blog followers have gone into a repection at the Opera House. Should new details come available to any offerings for Disneyland’s 60th, we will keep you updated here. Thanks for following along, fellow DisNerds!

Disneyland Update From the Fourth – Including New Alice In Wonderland Pics!

Thankfully this last weekend, I was able to head over to the Disneyland Resort for the Fourth of July. I wasn’t really planning on this trip, but since there wasn’t any other plans made for the day, and the Resort puts on a great fireworks show, might as well go, right?

Now, here’s some of the shots I got over the weekend. I didn’t film the attraction, but I was able to get some shots of inside Alice in Wonderland with the refurbished interior, and widened exterior, along with some other shots of around the parks.



The Park really does go all out for the Fourth, with Patriotic bunting gracing every building along Main Street.

This upcoming week, Frontierland is receiving a new area show that takes place with guests, offering a what’s sure to be unique and interactive experience. Here’s some of the props they’ve placed for the show. 

Now, Alice was difficult to shoot, as I don’t have a good lens to shoot in black light. Tried my best though!

The rabbit is now projected right inside as you head into Wonderland. This is one of MANY new projected areas in the attraction, and honestly, if you didn’t know better, you would have thought they were there all along. They’re very well placed, and add so much great, subtle detail to the attraction.

Yet, many of the original props and AA’s remain in place, giving it a wonderful new touch while keeping that classic old-school feel.

So many projected cards!

Some have often complained that this section of the attraction was going to be forever ruined. Yes, it’s not as thrilling as when it was just that dark green vine. But when you’re looking out over the crowds towards the middle of this shot, can you really pinpoint just how much is lost on the view? I can’t.

Even the new OSHA handrails are wonderfully themed and visually unobtrusive, given that they’re only on the left-hand side (only side you can enter/exit the caterpillars from).

Above is one of the Alice figures that was added. I had to go back and double check, because for some reason, I thought she was always in the attraction. There was one Alice figure, across from the Caterpillar in the “Bread and Butterflies” sequence. But to make things more cohesive, WDI did to Alice what they did to Snow White back in the 80’s and changed the point of view, where we are no longer seeing it from the point of view of Alice, but as guests going through the story, much like the other dark rides.


This was in Downtown Disney over the weekend. I have to commend Coke for their advertising. They really do know how to market to nearly every audience. The red kiosk you see in the shot is a machine you could go up to, type in your name, the name of the person you’re sharing with, and out came two 4oz Coke cans.


Definitely a great and creative way to promote your product!


ESPN Zone has been keeping tabs on the World Cup, along with..

A massive Screen to watch the games on!

Now, to round out this brief update, here’s some of the more artsy shots I was able to capture, along with some first time long exposure shots of fireworks!




Disney Family of Wines Coming to Golden Vine Winery

Disney Parks Blog writer Pam Brandon has just released an article with some fancy news! It seems that people in the film business have a rather cool hobby to help them unwind from the movie-making industry, and that’s making wine. We all know that Disney California Adventure has offered alcoholic beverages since its opening in 2001, and with a good list of beers and wines to choose from. However, now they’re bringing their list ‘home’, by offering select wines from Disney families. Check out the official article here:

“Just in time for summer, the pretty Alfresco Tasting Terrace on the second floor of Golden Vine Winery at Disney California Adventure park is debuting a new menu and a very cool wine list. There are just 40 seats and you don’t need reservations, so it’s perfect for a small Mediterranean-inspired plate and a delicious sip of wine on the open-air veranda.

The unique wine list is the only one at any Disney Resort to feature all eight wineries of the “Disney Family of Wines,” a diverse collection that has a personal connection to the Disney name: an artistic talent, a sense of what makes for good storytelling, quintessential family DNA . . . all of the wineries display qualities long identified with Walt Disney and The Walt Disney Company, carrying on the Disney legacy and typifying the passion, innovation and quality that the name Disney symbolizes.


Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog, copyright The Walt Disney Company

Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog, copyright The Walt Disney Company


Only three of the wines have previously been offered at Golden Vine Winery: MacMurray Ranch, Silverado Vineyards and Lasseter Family Winery. The others are new to the restaurant. The family of eight includes:
• Fess Parker Winery
• MacMurray Ranch
• Silverado Vineyards
• Lasseter Family Winery
• Gogi (owned by actor Kurt Russell)
• Frank Family Vineyards
• Chappellet Winery
• Skywalker Vineyards
click for complete article

This is a wonderful addition to the park, and adds that extra touch of including the artists, actors and directors that have partnered with the company over the years, while showcasing their love of good wine with good food for all of us guests. Which wine (assuming you’re of legal drinking age) are you excited to try on your next visit to California Adventure?

- Jake, (News For DisNerds Staff)

Why I Write (And Why I Sometimes Don’t)

Greetings all – long time no talk!

Today, I thought I’d tackle perhaps the nearest and dearest subject that I can when it comes to this site and yours truly: Why I write, and why sometimes it seems there are huge gaps when I don’t.



So why do I write?

Well, the answer to that is quite simple, honestly. I love to write. It’s something I love to do. When I sit down at a keyboard, or with pen and paper in hand (which, I’ll be honest, doesn’t happen frequently), the words start flowing. It frees the soul – it’s a true passion of mine. If I could get paid to write for a living I would in a heartbeat. In fact, I have a few things I’m working on (non-Disney related) to work toward that goal someday. But I digress….

Why do I write about Disney?

First and foremost, it’s because I love Disney. With such a vast richness that the company and its history have to offer, along with my experiences with them, I feel there is so much to be said. Not that Disney is the only thing in life I feel is worth writing about – nor the only thing I love. Nonetheless, it is a powerful subject that touches so many.

Which brings me to the second reason….

Because Disney reaches so many, we have common bonds. We have fond memories of the past and often savor the hope and challenge of the future. We also have areas of disagreement as well. Many out there like to point out flaws they see within the company: in the parks, films, leadership. Now, I’m not saying that criticisms are bad. In fact, they’re quite necessary – if we didn’t have a voice, there would be no individuality, no changes. However, many sites and blogs, when they start with criticisms…. Well, let’s just say the entire area seems to take on a very cynical tone. It soon becomes a place looked at as a “Disney bashing” site, which, may or may not be entirely fair based on the situation.

Nonetheless, seeing so much in the way of criticism sent me on a course of thinking: what if I started writing about the positives? The reasons I love Disney? The magical moments, the theme parks, music, movies… there’s just so much to speak happy thoughts of! Thus, Confessions of a DisNerd was born. In doing so, I have strived to keep a positive and upbeat vibe in everything I post.

It’s not always easy. There are times I don’t agree with decisions the Walt Disney Company has made. I think this is to be expected in every corporation, as well as in any walk of life including familial relations and friendships. If we all agreed 100% of the time, things would just be…well, weird. When it comes to such things, however, I choose to not post or talk about it here. There are plenty of sites and blogs willing to discuss those matters, so why not leave it to them? I prefer to discuss the good instead.

I will admit, when it comes to negative posts on other blogs and sites, things can get downright vitriolic. Even from those who look to defend Disney, many times arguments get reduced to name calling and incredulous statements. Nowhere is this more evident than in social media, where thoughts and arguments get reduced to memes and 140 characters. I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in this whirlwind at times, not by throwing myself into the thick of the fight, but by reading and stewing. There’s a real danger in battling negativity to become negative yourself, and this is not okay. In these times, however, I will ultimately say, I have handled it the wrong way.

I stop writing.

I get so fed up with the arguments over leadership, films, theme parks, etc. that I forget to focus on the things I love instead of the arguments that I see come across my Twitter feed. When this happens, I’m not in much of a writing mood, sad to say. But perhaps I should be. Perhaps I should remember the happy things: the music I grew up on, the tv shows and movies I still love, seeing the world of Disney through my daughter’s eyes instead of those of a grumpy old me.

Why do I tell you all of this? Simply, there are times, especially in the recent past, where I have been lax in posting here, or on the social media outlets I have. While yes, things have been busy outside of the blog (life – what’s up with that?), there’s no reason to not remember the positives. That’s what Confessions is all about, after all!

I would love to say,  “Starting today, expect more posts – even a few a week!” But I don’t want to promise what I can’t deliver. I do, however want you, my dear readers who have come with me on this journey thus far to know this: I will try to remember the happiness that Disney brings me, especially in times I am brought down elsewhere. In fansites, in social media, in life outside of the World of Walt, I think this is something we can all do. Focus on what makes us happy.

For me, that’s writing. And I look forward to doing more of it.

“Beauty and the Beast” Latest Disney Classic To Be Made Into Live Action

BeautybeastposterLast night, news broke that Beauty and the Beast would be joining the ranks of  “Alice in Wonderland ” “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” and “The Jungle Book” as a live action remake (or, in many cases, “re-imagining”) for Disney, to be helmed by director Bill Condon.

Now, I know many are incredibly skeptical of these live action versions of beloved classics. I am no different, and this one could have been one of the greatest causes for concern. You see, Beauty and the Beast is, for many in my generation, what “Frozen” is to this current generation. It is the pinnacle of Disney animation. Great storytelling with amazing music added in. This was the movie that as kids and teenagers, we saw in the theaters countless times, memorizing all of the songs and even some lines. The first animated feature to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, it holds a place near and dear to many, and must be treated with the utmost care.

So why do I say it could have been cause for concern? Well, after reading an article from the reliable HitFix entertainment site, I have great hope for this one instead. According to Kristopher Tapley at HitFix, “Sources tell HitFix that Condon won’t only be drawing from the 1991 Disney film. In his pitch to the studio, the director said he would also include most, if not all, of the Menken/Rice songs from the Broadway musical that ran for 13 years from 1994 to 2007. It will be a ‘straight-forward, live action, large-budget movie musical,’ we’re told.”

Call me a sucker for a good musical. Call me an even bigger sucker for the stage version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Whatever it is, the idea of Condon drawing inspiration from both the movie and stage show inspires me as well. Does this mean we’ll be getting a straight up adaptation of the long running Broadway show? With scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos, I would doubt it. However, the idea of someone doing a “straight forward” adaptation gives me hope that we’ll see something close. I hold out a greater hope for this one.

What about you, fellow DisNerds? Anyone else looking forward and hoping the best for this new remake? Who would you cast in the film?