I went out today just to keep loose. Started feeling a little pull in right thigh. Decided to play it safe and cut it short. I’ll work on stretches and roller the rest of the week. Probably walk run on Wednesday, but rest up for next Sunday’s Walt Disney World, Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon. Ran 2.28 at 9:30 pace.
Today’s run was a light maintenance run for next week’s Walt Disney World, Run Disney, Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend. I’m pretty happy over all with today’s run. I ran 3.06 miles at 9:51 pace.
It is with a very sad and heavy heart that I report the passing of former Walt Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar.
My thoughts on the passing of Legendary Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar
I first met Marty Sklar at a special eventput on by the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet in 2012. At the time, I had a rough draft of my first book. Mr. Sklar was very inspirational and is part of the reason I pressed ahead and now not only have that book in print, but a second book in print and a third in the works.
I had the good fortune to see him talk several times and even got to have a brief private conversation with him twice.
He is not without his controversies, but he was a good man. He brought much joy to countless numbers of people, including me and my family. He took Walt Disney’s founding principles and never wavered from them. They were successful for Walt, and he continued with that success. I have signed copies of both of Mr. Sklar’s books and will always cherish them and their great words of advise.
I can’t claim to have personally known him, but I have benefited from his writings, presentations, and personal words of advise.
Thank you Marty,
Russell D Flores
Here are some links reporting on Marty Sklar’s passing:
How to enjoy the Disney Parks more and see those details?
Disney as “Seen” thru Russ’ Lens.
By Russell Flores
How to enjoy the Disney Parks more and see those details?
I get a lot of questions along the lines of, how do you find / see all of these details or how can I enjoy the Disney Parks more. The quick answer is obviously, you need to stop and smell the roses. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That’s the real trick to finding Disneyland’s many details. That’s all there is too it. Thanks for reading this post. What? You want something a little more specific? Ok, I’ve still got a little space Lynn and Laura let me have. Here is what I do to apply this principle.
First of all, I literally stop and look around. I look up, I look down, but most of all I look backwards. Especially in lines. The Imagineers know most people look in the direction of the line’s movement, so they will put some of their best stuff behind you. Sometimes things peek my interests right off the bat. Other times, I look at something and think, is there something here and just take a picture I can look at more later. I will use this techniques in areas such as queues where you can’t stop for long periods of time to just look at something. I will then look at it later and do research to see if there is something there. I did this with the Mule Engine in the Thunder Mountain queue. I looked at them every time I went and took several pictures. Then one day I found the answer I was looking for. I learned that the one in the queue and one behind Thunder Mountain were used in the movie Hot Lead, Cold Feet staring Don Knotts.
Another way to find these hidden secrets is to do research before you go. Read books or cruise pages on the internet. Shameless plug, my Seen Un-Seen Disneyland book series would be great for this. There are many great books out there. Books by Jeff Kurtti, Jeff Heimbuch, Dave Smith, Sam Gennawey, Kevin Yee, Tim O’Day, Jason Surrell, Bob Gurr, Jeff Baham, Lynn Barron and Ken Pellamn, Joshua Shaffer, and The Disney Imagineers just to name a few.
Be careful though, especially with the internet. The internet is self feeding, so one person posts something, another copies it, and before you know it, it is on several sites and everyone is taking it as the truth. You see this a lot with “quotes” from Walt Disney. Another is the spike behind Sleeping Beauty’s Castle being the center of the park. This is a classic example of such a Disney Urban Legend. There is also the clock on the back side of the castle being set to the time of Walt Disney’s death. This one is quickly dismissed by looking at the clock and then looking at Walt Disney’s obituary. I’m not saying be a total negative nelly, just be aware while cruising the internet. Use multiple resources like an internet source and a book.
Another great way to learn about many Un-Seen treasures is by listening to podcasts such as The Sweep Spot, Dis-Geek, Mousetalgia, Communicore Weekly, Dis-Unplugged, Skywalking Through Neverland, and many, many others. Find one or more that are entertaining and/or informative. Listen to them while driving to and from work like I do, while working, or even while exercising. These shows can be very fun, entertaining and informative.
The last source I’ll write about is looking at DVD’s / Blu Rays and videos. Especially the ones of people who worked on the various projects. You’d be surprised how many videos of the great imagineers exist such as Tony Baxter, Rolly Crump, Bob Gurr and many more are out there. Many have books too. Check out the bonus material on Disney DVDs / Blu Rays. As Jeff Kurtti said on one of my posts, “Did no one watch the Walt Disney Treasures DVDs I produced?” Documentaries such as Waking Sleeping Beauty by Don Hahn can be great for finding details. These are a great series with a lot of great information. They are a must for the true Disney fan. Also check YouTube.
There are additional ways to get information such as attending Disney related events, emailing Dave Smith at Ask Dave, Talking with Imagineers you have the opportunity to meet, or fellow fans. And don’t think I’m just talking about Disneyland. You can find these Un-Seen treasures at all the parks and even the Walt Disney Studios. I find great joy in finding and sharing these hidden treasures that Walt Disney and his imagineers add to make the Park that special place we call Disneyland.
I hope these suggestions help you find new ways to enjoy the Disney Parks more. If you have suggestions or comments, please fell free to post your comments.
Why did Walt Disney care about adding so much Details to Disneyland ?
I’ve been asked many times why did Walt Disney insist on adding all the extra Details to Disneyland ? Most of the other parks that exist today don’t have so much detail. The amusement parks that existed at the time clearly didn’t have so much detail. Those two sentences answer the question. Disneyland was not to be like any amusement park that existed at the time and was not meant to be like an theme park that might follow. Walt Disney wanted his park to be better than that. He wanted his park clean, he wanted it to revolve around family enjoyment, he wanted his “guests” to be treated professionally by his “cast”, and he wanted people to have a smile on their face. Walt is quoted as saying to the original WED designers (later called Imagineers), “All I want you to think about is that when people walk through or ride through or have access to anything that you design, I want them, when they leave, to have a smile on their face.” (footnote 1) For Walt Disney, it wasn’t primarily about making money, it was about building a place where a family could really enjoy themselves together.
When they were building the Storybook Land Canal boat attraction, Walt Disney insisted on small details in the miniature houses, including stained glass windows. When he was asked by one of the builders, who would know if they didn’t include all the details, Walt Disney said I’ll know (footnote 2). Walt Disney knew from his experience with animation that along with a great story, great characters, and great artistic ability, you needed details. If you had a scene that took place in a bedroom, you could just draw a wall and a bed. But if you really wanted the audience to feel like they were watching a scene in a bedroom, you needed to include all the details. Night stand, water glass, cloths, etc. He had his artists watch live action models (people and animals) so they could get the movement correct. He wanted his characters to move as the human mind would expect them to.
I think even the development and use of the multiplane camera was apart of this attention to detail. Walt Disney could have continued to animate his films like everyone else did when they went into or through a scene. Walt Disney knew that in the minds of audience, they knew what was gong on, but that it didn’t look like real life. Different objects should move at different speeds based on their relation to the person moving.
All of this experience was used in the development and building of Disneyland. It is commonly accepted today that in part, Disneyland was Walt Disney’s next step in the evolution of movies. A true multi-dimensional experience of the story. This theory even holds that the layout of the park corresponds to the structure of a movie. So going right along with this theory is that Walt Disney would want all of the details to make the story more believable. And since you couldn’t hide any missing details from this live movie, you would need to include it all to maximize this wonderful experience called Disneyland.
1. Bruce Gordon and David Mumford Disneyland, The Nickel Your: A postcard journey through 40 years of the Happiest Place On Earth. (Santa Clarita. Camphor Tree Publishers, 1995), p. 16.
2. Mouse Planet, The Story of Storybook Land, (4/1/2013).
A couple of years ago, I wrote a few blog posts for The Sweep Spot web page. I recently found them and decided to report them here. So here is the first of four post I wrote.
I’ve been toying with YouTube and posting some short videos. Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/user/rdf444
Seen Un-Seen Disneyland Online Store
I am so proud to announce the Grand Re-Opening of the Seen Un-Seen Disneyland Online Store. You can now order autographed copies of my books directly from me.
These books are full color books with no duplication between the two. They will show you hundreds of the wonderful details that the Walt Disney Imagineers (WDI) have added to help make Disneyland the special place that it is.
Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland documents and highlights the many obscure and unique details that are built within Walt Disney’s Disneyland. With over 325 full-color images, Russell Flores brings to life—and to sight—the many wonders that Disney Imagineers have thoughtfully placed inside the Magic Kingdom. Stories, trivia, and over a dozen quizzes are part of this unique and first-of-its-kind book. Learn about things that visitors often see but not notice when visiting Disneyland. This book will make all subsequent visits to Disneyland that much more magical and inviting.
More Seen-Un-Seen Disneyland is ALL NEW material (No duplication) with over 590 new, Full Color Photographs covering more of the wonderful details at Disneyland. There is no duplication of the first book and it is about 1 1/2 times the size of the first book. This book contains such topics as: Tributes to former attractions and Cast Members, Urban Legends, Landscaping, Names, Disneyland Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and many more… There are 268 pages, 597 pictures, 321 end notes, 16 quizzes, and over 165 references.
These books will come direct from the author, Russell Flores, and are autographed and can be personalized upon request.
And to celebrate my new store, I will be selling Seen Un-Seen Disneyland for $11 ($8.95 savings) and More Seen Un-Seen Disney for $12 ($9.95 savings) Until midnight St. Patrick’s day (PST). Be sure to check out my store and to share the link with fellow Disney fans.