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"Yes, the concept of
creating happiness for others is still alive and well and like the trees, it will survive
for many more decades. I've been very fortunate to have been part of it"
-- Van Arsdale France
It's been a sad week in the World of Disney. One of the Disney Legends, Van Arsdale France, died early in the week. Van is most well known for starting the Disney University. He coined terms like Cast Member, The Show and Costumes for the theme park industry. Van became known to many Disney fans after writing his book Window on Main Street. In the book Van gave you an inside look at what it was really like in the early days of Disneyland. Far from the sanitized look we're used to seeing, his book gave real insight into the people behind the magic that, I believe, made fans respect them all the more. Because of his candid book, many who never had the opporunity to meet Van, including myself, feel like they really knew the man. Much was written this week in memory of Van including:
- The Life of Van France (LaughingPlace.com - Doobie Moseley)
- Lessons From the Professor (LaughingPlace.com - Rick West)
- Los Angeles Times Tribute
Many of our readers have also written us their memories of Van. We'll be compiling some of those for a special column later this week.
The other big news in the world of Disney this week was the announcement of the first official tenants for Disneyland's Downtown Disney entertainment and shopping area to open in 2001. On Thursday we posted an extensive article on who those tenants are what to expect from them. Also this week, Ken Wong, the President of Walt Disney Imagineering, resigned his post. No successor has been named though Internet rumors continue to state the new head will be Paul Pressler, former President of Disneyland and current head of Walt Disney Attractions. Again, those are currently rumors. In the movie world, last week Disney released their latest live-action film, The Straight Story. Reviews thus far have been very, very good with most reviewers mentioning their surprise at David Lynch making a G rated movie. Stay tuned to our news headlines to find out how well it performed at the box office.
For those of you that can't make it to Disneyland every week, today we posted an article called Disneyland Update. In it we show you some of the latest changes at the park including construction on Disney's California Adventure, the Autopia exhibit at the Disney Gallery, Disneyland Hotel changes, the Plaza Inn Breakfast Buffet and much more.
-- Doobie Moseley (October 18, 1999)
Editor's Report: Doobie's look at the world of Disney and what's coming up on LaughingPlace.com in the coming week.
The Editor's Report is posted every Monday.