Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SPLASH! Vintage River Country Pictures

One of my favorite memories from when I was a child was visiting the now closed River Country. Opening on June 20, 1976, this was the first of the WDW water parks. Unfortunately, the park ended operations on November 1, 2001. A few months ago, I was fortunate to purchase several vintage photos of River Country. The owner said they were taken between 1975 - 1977. I'm guessing around 1977 or even later given when this water park opened. Enjoy this time travel back to the early days of River Country.

If you have any memories of River Country, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Disney's Dick Tracy 20 Year Anniversary

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Disney's Touchstone Pictures adaptation of Dick Tracy which was based off of a comic strip started in the 1930s by Chester Gould. The movie, directed by Warren Beatty, who also starred as the title character, made its premiere at the AMC theater at Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World on June 14, 1990. Here's a cover of that day's Eyes & Ears to celebrate the premiere of Dick Tracy, followed by the two pages that talk about the event.

Although the movie, which had a budget of around $45 million, didn't open to spectacular reviews, it none the less was a hit at the box office grossing just under $23 million its opening weekend and over $100 million in the US for the duration. The movie was loaded with stars including Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna, Dustin Hoffman, and James Caan to name a few.

In the summer of 1990, everywhere you looked at Disney-MGM Studios, you found Dick Tracy merchandise, posters, characters, and entertainment. For starters, you could see the 'Dick Tracy Diamond Double-Cross' show at the Theater of the Stars...which had a very catchy tune..."Calling Dick Tracy, with a clue and a tommy gun". The show ran from May 21, 1990 to February 21, 1991. I believe you can find clips of this on YouTube.

There was also a 'Calling Dick Tracy' shop where you could buy Dick Tracy merchandise of almost any item from shirts to buttons to balloons to cups. Below is a cup I bought at the Calling Dick Tracy shop.

I was on the WDW College Program the summer of 1990 and remember all the excitement among cast members, especially us students, for the premiere. I remember the rumors that Madonna had rented out the entire top floor of the Grand Floridian. To tell you the truth, I don't even think she showed up at the premiere. I did have the fortunate opportunity to work as a doorman at the Adventurer's Club at Pleasure Island that night. It was really exciting. Unfortunately, I only saw two stars...Michael Eisner and Alan Alda. I still wish we had digital cameras back then! It was very surreal to see these two, especially Eisner. I can always say I opened the door for him!!!

Here is the Dick Tracy hat they gave us doormen to wear during the premiere. It was the same one you could buy at any number of shops at WDW. I can't believe I still have that hat.

Going back to Disney-MGM, as you walked down Mickey Avenue, there were several large photo op displays featuring Dick Tracy where you could literally walk into the picture. I've included a couple of pictures I took with some of my friends back in the summer of 1990 shortly after the premiere.

The references didn't just stop there. During both parts of the Backlot Tour, you could find mention of Dick Tracy. During the riding portion, you were taken by some of the vehicles, bullet holes and all, used in the movie. During the walking tour,
some of the short programs you'd see on the monitors talked about the filming of the movie. Of special interest was Beatty's decision to only use about 7 primary colors in the movie, most notably red, blue, green, and yellow, to give homage to the strips origins. Man, I sure do miss those clips they used to show during the walking tour...very educational.

Well, that is the majority of Disneyphemera I have related to Dick Tracy. I hope you enjoyed looking at the pieces. Now, I just need to add this movie to my Disney movie collection. I wish they'd release a BluRay anniversary edition. Does anyone else have any memories of Dick Tracy at the parks?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Star Tours/M&M's Commemorative Poster from 1990

This weekend, I was going through my Disney posters and found this 24" x 36" poster for Star Tours. I was super excited to find this rolled up in one of my poster tubes! I had totally forgotten I had this! This appears to have been a poster from Disney-MGM Studios for Star Tours. What is cool is the bottom says, "Commemorating The Grand Opening January 13, 1990" and "Star Tours Presented by M&M's".

If I remember correctly, I purchased this when I was on the Disney College Program back in the Summer of 1990 at Property Control. That was a place back behind cast member parking at the Magic Kingdom where Disney sold different theme park props, such as signage, as well as item from resorts such as robes, towels, couches, etc. They also sold unclaimed guest items from lost and found and some overstock and damaged items as well. It was similar to Bargain Basement, but, not as much retail merchandise.

Although the poster may not be in the best shape, it has awesome colors and I just love the graphics with the two M&M's guys. This is what also makes it special...the cross collectibility with Disney, M&M's, and Star Wars as the most obvious three categories.

If anyone has any more information on this poster, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Coral Reef Restaurant 1987

In June 1987, my family visited Walt Disney World. This was our first trip to the WDW since it added a second theme park, EPCOT Center. One of the places we ate at was the Coral Reef Restaurant which was located at The Living Seas pavilion in Future World. The restaurant opened on January 15, 1986, so, it had only been open roughly a year and a half when we visited.

What was so unique about this restaurant was the huge glass windows which allowed guests to view the underwater world as they dined. I remember when we first sat down at our table, I thought of the scene in Jaws 3-D where the people were eating, drinking, and socializing oblivious to the behemoth shark that was about to change their experience. Of course, this had no giant fish, but, it did have many sharks for my brothers and I to gasp over, especially the bull sharks. The above picture is one we took of the bull shark, but, as you can tell, ya can't really see the shark. But, you can get an idea of the decor and the size of the windows for viewing the aquarium.

We did get a couple of Disneyphemera items from this lunch. The first item we received was the host card stating our name, party size, and time we arrived. This also doubled as an identification guide for the different sea life that we could observe while we dined.

The next item is a foil wrapper from one of the after dinner chocolate dessert mints we received. The mints were actually round coins, about the size of those you can find today at the various Disney shops with Mickey, Minnie, and others on them. I have three of these, but, this one has been flattened the best to show the design which includes EPCOT Center's Spaceship Earth.

Now, if I could just remember what I had? I wonder if my parents kept that receipt?!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Walt Disney Productions 1968 Annual Report

Here is a copy of the Walt Disney Productions Annual Report from 1968. I picked this up a couple months ago at a flea market for $3! I was excited to not only get this item for such a low price, but, because it was the year I was born. Just a short few years removed from Walt Disney's death, it is interesting to not only see the Disney executives reflect on the fiscal year 1968, but also relay to the shareholders and the world what is on the horizon for the Disney company. Of particular interest in the report is a six-page layout of Walt Disney World which was to be opened in a short 2-3 years. Also of interest are the upcoming movies Disney has in development and will be released to theaters in the upcoming year(s). I also found it interesting to read the optimism of another venture of Disney's which was Mineral City, a resort to be built around the Sequoia National Park. I have printed out the entire report for you to enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Combo Pack & Coupon

Today, Tim Burton's vision of Alice in Wonderland is released on DVD & Blu-Ray. If you plan on buying the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, you may want to visit to get a $10 off coupon. And, if you have a Best Buy near you, you may want to go purchase your copy there. They have an exclusive combo pack on sale for $26.99, regular price is $34.99. Use that $10 coupon, and you get the exclusive combo pack for $16.99.

The "exclusive" is an additional outer sleeve which has the holographic look too it as well as a key hole featuring one of six different characters from the movie. But, not to worry about which character you actually choose because the character you see through the key hole is actually a 5" x 6.5" card. And, you get ALL SIX CARDS which include The Mad Hatter, The White Rabbit, The Red Queen, The White Queen, The Chesire Cat, and Alice. They are beautiful high gloss, heavy stock cards. So, hurry out and get yours while you can...and, don't forget that coupon!!!

Well, this isn't exactly what I had in mind for my first "official" post on Disneyphemera, but, I figured this could help you add to your Disney collection and save you some money as well.