Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Walt Disney World!

As I am writing this blog article, we are officially on our way to WDW's 40th anniversary, and make that the Magic Kingdom's birthday celebration. Surely, the Magic Kingdom has seen many shifts in histories - with certain attractions being dropped off (Alien Encounter, 20,000 Leagues, Toontown anyone?) and with a few more being added onto the list (the Fantasyland expansion, opening to the public in little modules from January to May 2012), but it's no surprise that October is by far the most influential month in regards to Disney's history.

For a few reasons: October 1st is the birthdate shared by two of WDW's most famous parks - Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center, respectively in the years 1971 and 1982. Largely these parks put Orlando, Florida on the map as the theme park county in all of Florida (well, give or take a few), and these were the lasting legacies of Walt Disney since his loss in 1966.

Also, October, in regards to specific attractions, marked the birthmonth of some of EPCOT's icons, and even a twist and turn in its history that changed EPCOT Center forever. October 1st 1983 marked Horizon's opening to the public, and it became an integral part of EPCOT's Future World - it literally tied what Future World back than offered to the park's guests and gave us the known tagline If we can dream it, we can do it. Also, on October 31st 1989 (although a preview test opening happened on October 19th or somewhereafter), the Wonders of Life officially opened to the public, and in success, it changed EPCOT's history forever.

There were successes back then, but as time progressed, we were facing failures and facepaws. EPCOT saw the loss of its prized attractions, thanks to the many changes in science and technology, and not to mention public demand of what the public wanted (you, Body Wars rider, this means you back there!!!), led to a few wrong turns (according to some people attached to the old side of EPCOT) and even some perceived cases of near-neglect for the poor Wonders of Life pavilion. From here, we mourn the loss of these attractions, and especially the Wonders of Life pavilion, for what some of us perceive them as: the most successfuly milestones of EPCOT (and Wonders of Life) history.

So to celebrate, I have opened a Tumblr blog showcasing some good photos of the Wonders of Life pavilion, and it's at WOL4EVA in Pictures. Also, it's your turn for you to mention your most fond memory of the Wonders of Life pavilion at the site. Best wishes for this wonderful month!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Potential WOL Ressurection Ideas, part 4

Wow, look at the activity at this blog!!! As we continue on with our walkthrough of ways to improve and ressurect the pavilion to a new generation, here's a list of what you may have missed last update:
  1. The Interior (Design, Structure at a Glance)
  2. Music Playlist
  3. Floorplan, Attraction Categories

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Potential WOL Resurrection Ideas, part 3

Welcome back, readers, and tagging along with the section of what I would do for the Wonders of Life pavilion to bring it back for the next generation, here are the previous two sections in case you missed it:
  1. The Interior (Design, Structure at a Glance)
  2. Music Playlist

And now, the next section, and this time, we're going to start sorting a few things...

Friday, September 9, 2011

As Seen in WDWNT Magazine Armchair Imagineering!

Now most of you haven't noticed as of yet a few potential Imagineering suggestions for the Wonders of Life pavilion, but this one is sure to raise a few eyebrows. As part of a segment written by Michael Truskowski (thanks!), this one focuses on what he would do for reimagineering the Wonders of Life pavilion. Featured in issue 7 of the WDWNT online magazine, just remember to scroll down to the Armchair Imagineering section to have a look.
Once again, thanks to WDWNT for picking up Wonders of Life as a potential armchair imagineering candidate!

EDIT: Link has been updated. Don't forget to have a look at WDWNT The Magazine for some more upcoming issues. You will enjoy them as much as I did!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Take your marks...

get set...

...okay, okay, not yet. But I am pleased to let you all know about a survey I have managed to post onto the website. Apparently, it is a highly detailed survey, and would take a goof half hour or more to complete. But if you're into contributing some good suggestions for what would bring WoL back into the spotlight (if that were to happen) then this survey would be for you.

It's called "What's Next for WoL?" (although ironically it focuses on everything else but WoL at the start) and basically it's part of a blog-based research project I might like to put together for the blog. The survey takes a look at these components:
  • Personal details, as in which area you come from, a little about yourelf, and such. These might be used to categorise the data by attribute.
  • Views on the Disney Parks, literally a litmus test to determine which parks the user has been to (based on either experience or by interest)
  • Views on EPCOT Center, another litmus test to determine if they've been to EPCOT Center (again, based on experience or interest)
  • Views on the Future World pavilions, and how you would rank them (based on your experience).
  • Views on the Wonders of Life Pavilion (the focus for the survey), how you'd rank them, as well as what would you do to improve the pavilion as a whole (including attractions)
  • Imagineering ideas if the Wonders of Life pavilion were to come back
  • What you'd think of the Wonders of Life after taking the survey
It's actually a mouthful, but the reason why I'm asking for all this information is, probably, to cater for those outside the fanbase, or perhaps delving into their memory banks. But otherwise, anyone with fond memories, or a strong interest, in any of the parks (including EPCOT and its history) can participate in the survey. Of course, there are some questions where you don't have to give out an answer straight away if you're speechless or indecisive... just leave either a blank or an 'X' and move on to the next question.

As you'd expect, it's my first time constructing a survey (and a colossal one as well!!!) so if you have any queries or improvements (what can be improved to create a much better survey, and hopefully shorter one) please shout to me in the comments box BELOW.

So without further ado, it's either this link, or the 'What's Next for WoL' survey in the links column on the left to get started! Let's go!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Things of Commandos Past

For those who might be familiar with Disney theme park history, it is not uncommon these days for people to literally own a piece of the past... now handfuls of you may be familiar with sites such as MouseSurplus or anything else, and even sites such as eBay also serve as the trading post for memorabilia of attractions past. And as with the case of long lost attractions, Cranium Command is sadly no exception.

As I have reported during the blog's first year of operation, some of us may remember the Cranium Command sign that once went up on eBay (as mentioned in a previous article to do with Buzzy's legacy), but recently found a new home. Above was a screenshot of the eBay page selling the display sign, but what's different now is that the seller is now themeparkconnection, but still sells some interesting Disney related curios as well. (Notably, a few pins pertaining to the Wonders of Life pavilion's past - its insignia and one commemorating Body Wars have sold recently.)
Another of which are the interestingly rare patches that appeared to come from the Cast Member costume department - these costume patches apparently are the insignia in regards to the early designs for the Cranium Command uniform (during the days before the pilot's jacket and army pants). One on the left is the insignia as you'd expect, while another is a lesser known accompanying one - the three lightbulbs one above (as obviously synonymous with ideas and thought) and also a simplified Virtuvian man symbol and the expression "Mens sana in corpore sano". Translation? "A healthy mind in a healthy body."

Of course, some long lost fragments of the past have come and gone, and for some reason, due to my limited scope of searching for things, things can quickly disappear before I would ever notice. Even so, those without an eBay account won't be able to find any past evidence of products sold more than 90 days (3 months) ago. So you could say that these are actually a few lucky finds to be ever documented by a blogger.

But reality wise, as soon as the Wonders of Life begins to settle as a convention center for now, it looks like Buzzy might end up under the hammer one way or another. Or maybe not sold at all. But we'll never know, pretty much the same way he'll expect piloting a chicken in his past career... right?

On a brighter note (no pun intended), another blogger has just released a set of wallpapers in regards to the Wonders of Life pavilion, and from my view, I believe that the design elements of past and future (the bright colours from the brink of the 90s and the organic geometric elements as seen in modern computer wallpapers) are definitely an excellent way forward in regards to a totally new design concept (should a totally new WoL happen). And not to mention, a funfact from the site author:
In doing this one, it got me thinking about how cutting-edge the graphics and colors were for the time. You have to remember that even though it opened in 1989 it was in full development a few years beforehand. So the “graphic confetti” and florescent colors, that were so popular (especially with teenagers) in the early to mid 1990s, was actually foretold at the Wonders of Life.
There’s your “History of Color” lesson for the day:)

So, to E82, I salute you!

Anyways, returning to normal transmission in three... two...