Friday, August 28, 2015

The Mouse Castle Lounge 08-28-2015 - Disney Legend Bill "Sully" Sullivan, Part One

By Tim Callaway



Once a Jungle Cruise skipper, always a Jungle Cruise skipper.
Disney Legend Bill "Sully" Sullivan.
In the summer of 1955, William “Sully” Sullivan got a job at Disneyland, just days after he watched the park’s grand opening on television. It was the beginning of a career with Disney that lasted nearly forty years. Sully started out as a ticket taker on the Jungle Cruise before becoming a Jungle Cruise skipper. And that was just the beginning. Sully moved up the ranks at Disneyland, with side trips to the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley and the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York. He got to know both Walt Disney and Roy Disney. He even met his future wife in Adventureland. Sully ended his career as vice president of the Magic Kingdom in Florida, and in 2005 was named a Disney Legend. 
In his memoir, From Jungle Cruise Skipper to Disney Legend: 40 Years of Magical Memories at Disney, Sully talks about the many adventures he had during his lengthy career, and he’s going to share a few of them with us today. In part one of our two-part conversation Sully tells us about Walt, the early days of Disneyland, and the four principles that guided Sully throughout his career. Sully Sullivan is my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.

Enjoy

For more fascinating books about Disney history, visit www.ThemeParkPress.com.


Listen and subscribe to The Mouse Castle Lounge on iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Inside The Mouse Castle 08-24-2015 - Jungle Cruising with Dwayne Johnson, Kind Words for Cinderella, Banksy's Dismaland

By Tim Callaway



Pirates with the lights on.
Pirates of the Caribbean with the lights on, a Haunted Mansion scolding, hard root beer and coconut-flavored vodka. 

And yeah, I guess Anthony and I talk about some Disney news too.

Inside The Mouse Castle this week, we revisit a few more items from the D23 Expo and Anthony's trip to Disneyland with his parents. We also imbibe a few tasty beverages as has become our habit since we started recording the show late at night. Don't judge.
Here's what else is going on:
  • The long-rumored Jungle Cruise movie, at one time expected to star Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, is back on track, this time with Dwayne Johnson on board.
  • John Lasseter played Jungle Cruise skipper for real last Tuesday, taking guests on a trip through the exotic waterways. And, wouldn't you know? Josh Gad was there to document it.
  • Disney's live-action Cinderella comes out on Blu-ray and Digital HD on September 15th. In the spirit of the little cinder girl's upbeat philosophy, fans are encouraged to "have courage and be kind" at www.CinderellaKindness.com
George Clooney in Tomorrowland.
  • Also available on video beginning October 13th is Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie. I was disappointed the first time I saw it, but not so much that I won't give it a second look.
  • Japan's largest airline, ANA, is launching a fleet of Star Wars-themed airplanes (okay, four) featuring droids R2-D2 and BB-8. They'll start transporting passengers, both domestic and international, this fall.
  • A federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Disney, DreamWorks and several other animation studios accusing them of collusion and wage fixing. This follows on the heels of a similar suit that was thrown out in April for falling outside the statute of limitations. 
  • Graffiti artist Banksy is taking a satirical shot at Disney parks with his new exhibition "Dismaland." This "bemusement park" takes up space at an old public pool in Weston-super-Mare in southwest England. Its centerpiece is a rotting, decrepit castle surrounded by a warped mermaid statue and a crashed police van. The exhibition is, of course, staffed by surly greeters and security guards. Over 50 artists from 17 countries have contributed to the project, which takes swipes, both good-natured and cynical, at not just theme parks, but at immigration laws and 21st-century activism. The exhibition will be open through September 17, 2015. 


Enjoy!




Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Mouse Castle Lounge 08-21-2015 - Inside the Disney Marketing Machine, the Walt Disney Hometown Museum and the Walt Disney Birthplace

By Tim Callaway







A Midget Autopia car on display at the Walt Disney
Hometown Museum booth at the D23 Expo.
Another D23 Expo has come and gone. Hopefully you caught our slightly inebriated recap of the festivities on Inside The Mouse Castle. Today, we’re going to sit down in the Lounge with some of the people who were part of the Expo. We’ve got Kaye Malins and Peter Whitehead with the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Walt’s boyhood home of Marceline, MO. They’re going to talk about their ambitious fundraising efforts to restore the Midget Autopia, which was relocated from Disneyland to the city of Marceline in 1966. It operated in Marceline for a number of years before falling into disrepair and now the Museum wants to bring it back…and you can help.

Another great cause to support is the Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago. It’s the actual home designed and built by Walt’s parents in 1893 and the very place Walt was born in 1901. The Birthplace is undergoing an extensive restoration and Todd Regan will be here to bring us up to date on how it’s progressing.

Author Lorraine Santoli and Dave Mason with
Saturday's Toys at the D23 Expo
Before we get to that, though, we’ll be joined by the former director of corporate synergy with Disney, Lorraine Santoli. She’s also an author who’s had a longtime association with the original Mouseketeers. In fact, Lorraine hosted a celebration of 60 magical years of the Mickey Mouse Club at the D23 Expo. She was joined on stage by Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien and Doreen Tracey. It was a delightful presentation.

Before the Expo, Lorraine and I chatted about her latest book, a memoir of her 22 years at the Walt Disney Company, Inside The Disney Marketing Machine. In it, Lorraine recalls the many memorable events she was part of in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, including Mickey Mouse’s 50th birthday, Donald Duck’s 50th birthday and Disneyland’s 30th anniversary. She also talks at length about the leadership styles of Disney’s top executives during that time, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. It’s an insightful look behind the scenes of an entertainment company on the verge of becoming the media giant it is today.

Enjoy!

For more fascinating books about Disney history, visit www.ThemeParkPress.com.


Listen and subscribe to The Mouse Castle Lounge on iTunesStitcher and SoundCloud.