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Good morning! This day in Disney history, June 23rd, The Skyway to Fantasyland and Skyway to Tomorrowland opens. Along with The Enchanted Tiki Room and the re-themed Tarzans Treehouse.
1956:The Skyway to Fantasyland and Skyway to Tomorrowland. Walt heard of a system being tested in Switzerland in 1955 and of course HAD to have one! After figuring out where the attraction would be placed in the park, he purchased a used 1947 Type 101 Sidechair #5, which was one of the Von Roll prototypes who was based in Bern, Switzerland. When Walt and the imagineers bought the ride, it became the 1st Von Roll aerial ropeway in the USA!
Walt, and Dr Walter Smidt, the Swiss Consul General of Los Angeles, presided over the opening ceremonies. 42 gondolas carried 2 guests at a time over the park. They were dispatched about every 9 seconds and moved at 4 mph. The Skyway gave guests an overview of the park between two stations: one in Fantasyland (where the drive system was located) and the other in Tomorrowland (where 35,000 pounds of ballast kept the 2400' long cables taut).
In between was the peak, a support tower located on Holiday Hill (basically a mound of dirt, which later became the Matterhorn). In 1959 after the Matterhorn was added, guests rode through it!
In 1965, rectangular buckets replaced the original round buckets. The rectangular buckets were a familiar sight in the skies of Disneyland for almost 30 years!
Did YOU ever ride the Skyway? What did you think of it? Do you miss it?
Also on this day in 1963:The Enchanted Tiki Room (a favorite for my minis) opened to the public in Adventureland! According to davelandweb.com: “It was the 1st attraction to cost $1million+, first fully air-conditioned building and 1st to feature Audio-Animatronics developed by WED Enterprises. United Airlines was the 1st official sponsor, but later changed to Dole.”
Originally owned by Walt Disney (through WED Enterprises) the Tiki Room was to be a restaurant featuring AA birds serenading guests as they dined. The “magic fountain” was to be a coffee station (a storage compartment remains in the base) and the restaurant would have shared its kitchen with the now-defunct Tahitian Terrace (for more info about the terrace: http://tinyurl.com/mts76t7 and Plaza Pavilion Restaurant. Since ownership was separate from the rest of the park, a small admission of 75¢ was charged.
José is red, white, and green and speaks with a Mexican accent (Wally Boag) Michael is white and green with an Irish brogue (Fulton Burley) Pierre is red, white, and blue and has a French accent (Ernie Newton) Fritz red, black, and white has a German accent (Thurl Ravenscroft, voice of Hawaiian God Tangaroa-Ru near the entrance)
An AA talking Juan the “barker” bird was once located near the walkway to beckon visitors inside, but was removed when he caused enormous traffic jams of gawking guests. (Stickers please!)
Ticket Booth Roof from August 1966 (Note Juan the Barker Bird)
The birds all have real feathers with the exception of the chest area which is covered in custom-woven cashmere, allowing the figures to “breathe” in a lifelike manner (inspired by an employee at a planning meeting who wore a cashmere sweater which moved at the elbows exactly the way the engineers envisioned). To watch a few clips of historical footage from the Tiki Room: http://tinyurl.com/mkt2bcx
Walt Disney and Tiki Hostess Diana Lai, at the opening of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room
225+ talking, singing, and dancing birds, flowers, the magic fountain, tiki drummers and tiki totem poles make this attraction a MUST SEE in my opinion. Hopefully all you lucky people in the park will stop by for a dole whip and birthday performance today!
Have you been in the Tiki Room? Do have a favorite song or part of the show?
Lastly, in 1999Tarzans Treehouse opens in Adventureland. Some of you may remember it as being Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, which closed in March 8th, 1999.
Tarzan welcomes the first guests to Tarzan's Treehouse Joining him for the opening was an audience of Kosovar children, dressed in green shirts, which recently arrived in Southern California, as well as Cynthia Harriss, second from left, executive vice president of The Disneyland Resort, and Danton Burroughs, far right, grandson of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. (AP Photo/Disneyland,Glen Miller)
To take a climb and walkthrough of Tarzans Treehouse:
I've posted this in the past but this is an Interesting OC news story done about the original tree that inspired Walts version of the treehouse at Disneyland:
Do you like the the updated Tarzans Treehouse? Or do you prefer the original Swiss Family Robinson version?
Thanks for reading and watching! Hope you all have a Magical Monday!
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Taste Pilots Grill in DCA will reopen as Smokejumpers Grill on March 13 as apart of the new-themed area, Grizzly Air Field.
Attraction Closures: Critter Country (opens 4/3), Fortuosity Jewelry Shop (opens 3/13), Magic Eye Theater (TBD), Matterhorn (opens 5/16), Peter Pan (opens 5/8), Snow White Grotto (opens 5/1), Starcade (TBD), Soarin over California (opens 5/15), Grizzly River Run (opens 3/20), Luigi's Flying Tires (2016), World of Color (TBD).
unForecast Crowd Prediction: This week is the unofficial start of the Spring Break crowds, so expect the parks to be a little more crowded than normal. Also with only one showing of Fantasmic during the week, expect FPs for the show to go quickly along with it being crowded around the Rivers of America close to showtime. Throughout the week, expect CIs to be in the high 60s to low 80s for Disneyland Park and in the low 70s to low 80s for DCA.
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#rollcall Monday, March 30th - Live! Decisions, decisions...what would you choose? 😃 Post your picture requests, whereabouts in the parks, etc. Those of us in the parks will do our best to keep wait times accurate and fulfill your requests! Happy Monday! 🎉🎉🎉✨✨✨ - Darlingwendi
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Peter Pan closed through May 7
Matterhorn Bobsleds closed through May 15
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh closed Jan 12-April 2
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes closed Jan 12-April 2
Splash Mountain closed Jan 12-April 2
Hungry Bear Restaurant closed through April 2
Innoventions closed March 31-September 30
Space Mountain closed May 5-7
Haunted Mansion closed May 4-7
Indiana Jones closed April 20-May1
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE:
Soarin' Over California closed through May 14
Luigi's Flying Tires closed through Dec 1