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"There's Magic in the Stars"
45 Years of a Magical Cast
Last week Disneyland officially kicked off it's 45 year celebration. In case you missed it, we've got coverage and lots of pictures in our 45 Year Celebration Ceremony feature and our Guide to the 45 Year Celebration. The new "45 Years of Magic" parade and "Believe ... There's Magic in the Stars" fireworks show are the highlights of the celebration along with lots of merchandise and special activities planned for the actual birthday on July 17th. Also, later this summer the new Autopia will open (see: Autopia Cars Unveiled).
Disneyland's theme for this celebration is "There's Magic in the Stars". The "stars" being the characters and Disneyland's guests. Indigo, one of LaughingPlace.com's contributors, suggested Disneyland's Cast Members should be included in that as well. I couldn't agree more. While major attractions and shows draw guests to Disneyland, it's often the Cast Members that make the biggest impression. Following are a few stories about Disneyland's wonderful Cast Members.
- One evening while waiting forever for Fantasmic!, three wonderful young Cast Members - Jerome, Michelle and Dave - entertained a young girl next to me. When they heard she didn't have the opportunity to see Mickey Mouse that day one of them went to City Hall to find Mickey and get an autographed picture of him. A wonderful gesture.
- From our first trip to Stromboli's years ago to our recent trips to the PCH Grill, Rebekah and I always have a wonderful experience when we eat at the Disneyland hotels. It helps that we eat at these places so much, but it's still nice to be greeted by name and have Cast Members come talk to you. Thank you to Daniel, Chris, David, Lennie, Tyrone, Genevieve, Marcus, Jeremy, Seanna, Denise, Jeff, Tim, Jerry, Kris, Steve, April, Martha and everyone else who I didn't mentioned for making every visit a treat.
- Congratulations to Al from the Plaza Inn for being a finalist for an Orange County Tourism Council "Service Excellence" award. There's just something about Al's friendly and sincere nature that makes him one of my favorite Cast Members.
- Maynard and his "evil twins" always bring high energy to whatever they do. If you've ever been on the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Astro Orbiter, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience or just seen him working guest control, chances are you'd remember it. His unique style is unforgettable.
- During the 45 year ceremonies, Disneyland president Cynthia Harriss introduced two very special Disneyland Cast Members - Ysias "Ray" Reyna who at 89 is Disneyland's oldest working Cast Member and Oscar Martinez who has been a cook on Main Street since 1956.
Of course there are thousands of stories just like these and I'm sure many of your have your own. Thank you to every one of the Magical Cast Members at the Disneyland Resort - past, present and future. You truly do make the magic happen every day.
News of the Week
Here are last week's major stories:
- Richard Farnsworth of The Straight Story has been nominated for best performance by an actor in a leading role. Toy Story 2 has been nominated in the Original Song category for When She Loved Me. Tarzan has been nominated in the Original Song category for You'll Be in My Heart. The complete nomination list is available at the official Oscars site.
- CBC-Canada reported the Walt Disney Studio will close its animation studios in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. These studios turned-out the full-length direct-to-video features Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Pocahontas II: Journey to the New World.
- Walt Disney Art Classics has officially retired The Puppy Love scene as of February 14, 2000. That means Mickey, Minnie, Fifi, and the opening title from the cartoon short Puppy Love will be added to the gallery of retired items. Click here for pictures and more information.
- The February 16th Orlando Sentinel reports between 30 and 40 Imagineers have been laid off at Walt Disney World.
- A February 16th Orlando Sentinel column discusses CAVE technology - a new 3D system reported under development at Disney for future theme park attractions.
- A February 13th Bergen Record article on the anticipation on Broadway for Aida, Disney's latest theatrical production. The article includes an interview with Adam Pascal, the show's male lead.
- A February 16th Los Angeles Times article reports two top executives - Bob Weiss and Marshall Monroe - have left Imagineering in pursuit of greener pastures on the Internet.
- The New York Post in an article dated February 17th reports Wall Street analysts criticize Eisner for his large golden parachutes as a contributing factor to Disney's revolving door woes.
- Disney CEO Michael Eisner discussed the company's Internet positioning with Dow Jones.
- Last week Dewayne's BeanBagFlash reported the release of Jessie, Emperor Zurg, the Bear in the Big Blue House, Disneyland Security Mickey, Disneyland Fireman Mickey and more.
This week's trivia contest is all about The International Aspects of Walt Disney World and this week's Online Poll asks the question "Which is your favorite Disney mountain in the United States"? Later this week we'll have a feature on Cinderella's 50th Anniversary Celebration held last week at the Disneyland Hotel plus a few more surprises.
-- Doobie Moseley (February 22, 2000)
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 Tuesday.