For decades, the loveliest lass in all of Pirates of the Caribbean was the redhead, who attracted the attention of all the pirates attending the wench auction. With the current social climate, the scene was no longer deemed appropriate for a theme park and the saucy redhead became a piratess herself.
Revisionist history? Hardly. The storyline for the attraction always featured a pirate’s life for the redhead- you just had to know where to look. In the beginning of the ride in DISNEYLAND, the haunted bar frequented by the skeleton crew has always had an interesting painting behind the bar- a close look at the painting shows a familiar sight- the redhead!
Yes, the same redhead from the later scene became a lady pirate- her fate revealed before we see her at the wench auction. The painting was even called “A Sign of Things to Come”. The backstory of the redhead was that she escaped the clutches of the pirates and became a pirate herself. When the attraction was shoehorned into Florida’s Magic Kingdom Park, this scene was not included in the ride.
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In 1936, Disney went meta. In the cartoon short Mickey’s Rival, we are introduced to a pompous character named Mortimer who becomes a rival for Minnie Mouse’s attention.
Why was this meta? Walt Disney originally wanted to name his famous mouse Mortimer. After asking his wife what she thought, she felt the name was pompous and suggested Mickey Mouse instead. When the idea was pitched for an annoying rival for Mickey, Walt had the perfect name- Mortimer Mouse.
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Silly Symphonies was a separate movie series created by Walt Disney to produce music themed cartoon shorts that weren’t tied to the hugely popular Mickey Mouse, though they were “presented” by him. The series was more ambitious than the Mickey Mouse shorts and was the first to feature the expensive technicolor process in 1933.
The huge success of the Mickey Mouse shorts led Roy Disney to discourage his brother from using the expensive technicolor process to produce them; after all, Mickey Mouse was popular enough, why spend the extra money to make them? Walt Disney, however, was never willing to settle for second best, so in 1935, he was finally able to convince Roy to let him begin producing the Mickey shorts in color. The first was Mickey’s Band Concert.
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When DISNEYLAND first opened, it was surrounded by orange groves. It would take time for the business world to see that there was a lot of money to be made in Anaheim. In order to fill the void in shopping options around the Magic Kingdom, the DISNEYLAND Hotel built its own shopping plaza, which originally featured a wide array of merchandise.
Guests could buy California fashions, the latest cameras and electronics and yes, even Disney merchandise. A barber shop, salon, car rental shop and airline ticketing station rounded out the options at the hotel’s travel port.
The hotel would further expand its offerings, adding the DISNEYLAND Hotel Plaza, an additional complex filled with shops and a spa. By this time the area surrounding the park had finally filled in. The additional facilities were designed more as a way to keep guests on the property versus providing services that the area lacked.
In the 1980’s after the Hotel was officially taken over by DISNEYLAND, the shops and restaurants became more Disney oriented. Shops that used to sell a variety of items only sold Disney merchandise. The Disney characters began making more frequent appearances on the property and the restaurants were renamed after Disney characters.
In 1999, the various amenities and plazas were removed to make room for Downtown Disney. The memories, however, remained.
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In 1934, Walt Disney saw his biggest creation become gigantic- Mickey Mouse made his very first appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a gigantic balloon.
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Even in the beginning, Mickey Mouse’s birthdays were celebrated by Hollywood; in this picture, Bela Lugosi helps celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 5th Birthday.
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