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Disneyland 1952 with Historian Jim Korkis

Show Notes for Episode 327

Disneyland, as a company, originated in 1952, but Disneyland as an idea existed before that, and got rejected by a city council. Historian & author Jim Korkis discusses these facts with us on this episode. Hear all about the plans that were rejected and more about the origins of Disneyland.


Check our Disney COVID-19 Tab for updated information of COVID-19 resort requirement updates.

Disneyland Resort Current Event

Our web master Russell was injured in a fall from a ladder. We appreciate all of the well wishes he has received. He is in Physical Therapy and is doing well. We apologize for the delays in getting our show notes up for this and the next couple shows but he insists in continuing with our web page.

Disney California Adventure Lunar New Year: Raya, Food & Tigger Too!
By Samantha Davis-Friedman -January 23, 2022

"One of my favorite things about Disney California Adventure Park is its evolution from primarily representing iconic geographical features of the golden state – like its Redwood Forests and beachfront piers – to also showcasing California’s diverse population through annual festivals. 

"Among these multicultural events is the Lunar New Year celebration, which after taking 2021 off, is returning to ring in the Year of the Tiger from Jan. 21 to Feb. 13, 2022. "


Construction Walls Up Around Former AMC Building in Downtown Disney
Feb 1, 2022

"Earl of Sandwich, Sugarboo & Co. and Starbucks have all now closed as Disney prepares to demolish the building that was previously also home to the AMC Theatres.

"As of this morning, the entire building is surrounded by construction walls as work is due to begin in earnest any day now.
"This is a multi-year project to reimagine Downtown Disney District and will include an even broader collection of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.

"Earl of Sandwich could potentially return in some form during construction, but plans have not yet been finalized."

Laughing Place

Disneyland Magic Key passholders get their own Club 33
Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland crews began work Monday, Jan. 24 on a renovation of the Magic Key Terrace at Disney California Adventure that is expected to be completed in late spring.
UPDATED: January 25, 2022

"Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland crews began work Monday, Jan. 24 on a renovation of the Magic Key Terrace at Disney California Adventure that is expected to be completed in late spring.

"Magic Key Terrace will remain open throughout the renovation with sections closed and capacity reduced on occasion during the project.

"The renovated Magic Key Terrace will serve as a hidden respite for annual passholders much like the private, members-only Club 33 at Disneyland and 1901 Lounge at Disney California Adventure.
"While the renovated Magic Key Terrace won’t offer the same elevated level of service and privileges as Club 33, the passholder lounge will be a hidden, private, exclusive, members-only, second-story hangout just like the famed spot above New Orleans Square.
"The renovation project is a continuation of what began as the Alfresco Tasting Terrace that opened as an exclusive annual passholder bar in January 2020 and returned as the Magic Key Terrace when DCA reopened in spring 2021 following an extended coronavirus closure of the parks.

"The passholder bar and eatery will expand from the terrace on the second floor of the Golden Vine Winery into the former dining room of the Vineyard Room restaurant once run by the Robert Mondavi Winery when DCA opened in February 2001.
"Imagineering created a new backstory for the Magic Key Terrace as a beautiful hacienda recently purchased by a young couple that wants to keep the charm of the old place while adding some comfortable contemporary touches.

"The redesign will keep the beige adobe plaster walls and hacienda architectural styling while adding a contemporary splash of saturated blues, turquoises and greens."

Orange County Register

Magic Key Terrace at Disney California Adventure Undergoing Renovation
Jan 24, 2022

Laughing Place

Disneyland employees’ economic plight spotlighted in new Sundance documentary
'T​​he American Dream and Other Fairy Tales,' by documentary filmmaker, philanthropist and social activist Abigail Disney, debuted Monday, Jan. 24 at the Sundance Film Festival.
UPDATED: January 26, 2022

“'T​​he American Dream and Other Fairy Tales' by documentary filmmaker, philanthropist and social activist Abigail Disney debuted Monday, Jan. 24 at the Sundance Film Festival, which was moved online due to COVID-19 concerns.

"The documentary’s message: Disneyland and the Disney company epitomize the widening inequality in the United States and the moral breakdown of corporate America.

"Abigail Disney — the daughter of former Disney senior executive Roy E. Disney and granddaughter of Disney company co-founder Roy O. Disney — has long been a critic of Disney CEO compensation and the company’s treatment of its cast members, Disney parlance for employees.
"The documentary recounted a 2018 union-backed survey by Occidental College professor Peter Dreier that found 10 percent of Disneyland employees were homeless at some point and two-thirds of them didn’t have enough money to pay for food.

"Disneyland employees interviewed in the documentary said they knew fellow cast members who were on food stamps, slept in their cars and went without medical care.
"The documentary took aim at CEO compensation as a key contributor to income inequality in the United States.

"Roy O. Disney’s pay including stock options in 1967 was 78 times his lowest workers’ pay, according to the film.

"Former Disney CEO Bob Iger made $65 million in 2018 – 1,400 times the median salary of Disney employees, according to the documentary.

"The documentary portrayed a Disneyland employee strike in 1984 over the company’s demand for a three-year wage freeze as a turning point for Disneyland cast members.
"Abigail Disney noted in the film that her great uncle Walt Disney and her family’s story were constantly invoked as the embodiment of the American dream.

“'My grandfather and great uncle did not rise alone,' Abigail Disney said in the movie. 'In the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, a full time worker at Disneyland could afford a modest middle class life. A house, food in the fridge, a car and the ability to raise a family.'”

Orange County Register

Union says Disney is moving ahead with vaccine mandate for employees

"Workers United Local 50 Union posted on Facebook last week that the Disneyland Resort is moving ahead with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its workers.

"'We have received notice, after months of good faith negotiations on the matter, that the company will be moving forward on a vaccine mandate for Local 50 and other Union's not currently under a mandate.'

"The post states that workers must submit their verification by April 11.

"Chris Shively, a shop steward for the union, stated in the comments, 'For everyone asking why we didn't come to an agreement with Disney. We requested that they also require guests to show proof of vaccination or a negative test and Disney said no.'

"The Walt Disney World Resort had to lift its vaccine mandate after Florida lawmakers banned such policies."

Mouse Planet

Disneyland sets dates for expanded Celebrate Gospel music festival
The new Celebrate Soulfully event running throughout February at the Disneyland resort celebrates the work of Black artists through song, dance, food and stories.
PUBLISHED: February 1, 2022

"Disneyland kicks off Black History Month by pairing the returning Celebrate Gospel music festival with the new and larger Celebrate Soulfully monthlong event that honors the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history.

"The new Celebrate Soulfully event, running throughout February at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, celebrates the work of Black artists through song, dance, food and stories.

"The similar celebratory names attempt to align two Black History Month events that have been running at Disneyland (Celebrate Gospel) and Walt Disney World (Celebrate Soulfully) into one cohesive package."

Orange County Register

Disneyland plans summer debut for ‘Lion King’ show
The 'Tale of the Lion King' show will open in early summer at Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre, according to the Disney Auditions website.
PUBLISHED: January 26, 2022

"A 'Lion King' musical stage show coming to Disneyland this summer will offer a new adaptation of the ancestral story of how a young lion cub becomes king of the jungle told with singers, dancers and drummers.

"The 'Tale of the Lion King' show will open in early summer at Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre, according to the Disney Auditions website.

"Disney Live Entertainment is seeking singers, dancers and drummers for the 'Lion King' show with rehearsals beginning in late April, according to the audition website.
"The 'Tale of the Lion King' show moves to the Fantasyland Theatre after playing on the banks of Paradise Bay in the “World of Color” viewing area before the pandemic closure of Disney California Adventure.

"The modest-sized DCA show featuring an ensemble cast of 18 performers will likely expand to match the scale and size of the Fantasyland Theatre."

Orange County Register

Thu, February 3, 2022
Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests Can Step Into Fun New Fitness Classes at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
by Valerie Lee, Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

"Take a yoga class with scenic views of Disney California Adventure, or relax during guided meditation, focus on stretching, get in gear at a boot camp in the park, test yourself on an obstacle challenge at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, or find yourself on a paddleboard in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa’s Fountain Pool!
"Here are a few highlights of more than a dozen fitness classes, 30 to 45 minutes in length, offered through Tenaya Stone Spa and the fitness center at Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa, which are tailored to a variety of skill levels: ...

"As a Disneyland Resort Hotel guest, you may also workout in any of the three complimentary hotel fitness centers, also located at the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Strength machines like advanced ellipticals, regular and recumbent bicycles, treadmills and stair climbers are great for a cardio workout, and if you want to pump some iron, weight machines and free weights are also available.

"Now, after taking one of these exclusive fitness classes or after a sensational day in the parks, you may want to treat yourself to a relaxing service at Tenaya Stone Spa. Wonderfully rewarding is the Tenaya Signature Massage after being on the go. If you spent the day visiting the parks, your feet and legs may need some love, so try the soothing and reinvigorating Mindful Traveler foot treatment."

Disney Parks Blog

New Fitness Classes Now Available for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests
Feb 3, 2022

Laughing Place

Disneyland Update – Low Waits & Good Fortune
By Logan Collins -January 24, 2022

"January is often looked at as Disneyland’s “off-season”, but there is plenty of activity to be found all throughout the resort. With several major construction projects underway and the return of a popular seasonal celebration, the resort feels anything but slow. let’s journey through the land of construction scrims and Lunar New Year celebrations…"


Dateline Disneyland: Character Conundrum, Spring Sprung & Construction Hum
By Andy Castro -January 31, 2022

"The Disneyland Resort’s popular Lunar New Year festival is in full swing at Disney California Adventure but the park just can’t seem to keep up with demand.  Meanwhile, refurbishments and construction projects are underway throughout the resort, with Downtown Disney next to become an active construction zone as it begins a major, multi-year project that will re-imagine the mall’s west end with new shopping, dining, and mid-century modern vibes.  In the parks, Disney Legend Dave Smith was honored with a window on Main Street last week and the new Genie+ service could soon mean meeting your favorite characters at Disneyland could take a lot longer if you aren’t willing to pay extra.  
"Would You Pay For Characters? 

"Last week, Walt Disney World announced certain character meet-and-greet locations would be added to the Genie+ Lightning Lane service.  While the change doesn’t lock out guests from a standby queue option, it does underscore the flexibility of the new Genie system to be applied across multiple types of attractions and experiences.  

"For now, Disneyland hasn’t announced adding character meet-and-greets to its version of the Genie+ service, likely because the Anaheim theme parks are still offering character greetings strictly on a socially-distanced basis. Most characters are greeting guests without queues; instead, guests are encouraged to walk up, wave, and snap selfies with characters from a distance.  In some cases, like with princesses, guests can walk past two or three princesses at Fantasy Fair for socially-distanced banter and selfies.  Other princesses and characters are found elsewhere at unpublished times.  

"Why do we think this might happen at all? Because Disney Parks management is in the process of being consolidated in Florida and more and more operations are being standardized between the Orlando and Anaheim resorts. But with traditional, queued, one-on-one meet-and-greets with character simply not yet available at Disneyland due to health and safety protocols, it might be a while longer before we see Mickey Mouse or the princesses added to Genie+. "


You can listen to show 327 on iTunes or go to Libsyn service here.