Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Original painting - Dan Martinez - Van Eaton Galleries

Disney’s The Haunted Mansion Concept Art In Auction!

Friends, I know I am not in the minority when I say it’s hard to top Disney’s The Haunted Mansion. It was announced just last week that Van Eaton Galleries would be holding a very special auction. Entitled The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump, it will feature artwork and items from his long career as an Imagineer. Including of course some rare Haunted Mansion concept art!
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Van Eaton Galleries catalog cover

While it may have begun it’s life…or is that afterlife as the Museum of the Weird. There is certainly no denying that The Haunted Mansion has captured the hearts and minds of fans all over the world. The attraction was started in earnest in 1961, when visitors were given handbills announcing the opening year as 1963. The doors to The Haunted Mansion wouldn’t open to guests however until 1969.
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - View Master Reel

Rolly Crump was one of the two Imagineers, that Walt Disney approached to come up with elements of the attraction. Remember it had begun as The Museum of the Weird, so some ideas were gypsy wagons, haunted furniture, as well as man-eating plants. In fact back in 1951, an illustration was created by Harper Goff. Disney would go on to ask legendary Imagineer Ken Anderson to concoct a tale to match the illustration.
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Harper Goff

From such humble beginnings, over the years the core of The Haunted Mansion would begin to take place. Jettisoning the idea of The Museum of the Weird it instead became the final resting place for 999 Happy Haunts. As well as becoming an attraction whose collectibles are greatly sought after. You do not have to take my word for it, just ask Guillermo del Toro if you need more proof.
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Guillermo del Toro

Which is why this auction by Van Eaton Galleries is so incredible, friends. Take a moment and look over a few of the many objects being offered. How does an original spoon to celebrate the 1969 opening strike you? A rare collectible doesn’t quite cover it, right?
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Ice Cream Spoon - Van Eaton Galleries

Or perhaps you would be more interested in some of Rolly Crump’s original illustrations for the Candle Men concept?
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Candle Man - Museum of the Weird - Van Eaton Galleries

Maybe a signed print of the concept by Crump for the Gypsy Wagon?
Haunted Mansion Concept Art - Van Eaton Galleries - Gypsy Wagon

A huge thank you to Van Eaton Galleries for the images used in this article. As a matter of fact you can follow any of the links to the auction site yourself. In addition you can look through through or even order a catalog for The Haunted Mansion concept art auction.

Want to go a little deeper than the auction of that Haunted Mansion concept art? Why not listen to Rolly Crump discuss the attraction’s creation yourself?

[Via] The Walt Disney Family Museum

Disney Storytime Collection - No 1 - Snow White

Recall The Walt Disney Storytime Collection?

The other day I was doing a bit of research for the Diary of an Arcade Employee Facebook page. I was actually looking up some British gaming magazines, in particular a publication known as TV Gamer. That is of course when I stumbled on a most interesting advertisement indeed. An ad for the Walt Disney Storytime Collection – a magazine and cassette tape from 1984.
Disney Storytime Collection - Advertisement

As you can certainly read in that advertisement. The Walt Disney Storytime Collection offered fans all manner of Disney treats. Coloring pages as well as puzzles and it appears that stickers were included too. Add to that stories taken from different Disney shorts and movies in serialized form.

On top of everything of course you have the likes of Dame Penelope Keith, John Alderton, and Paul Daneman narrating said stories. This to say the very least was an incredible pool of actors. Dame Penelope Keith is best known for To the Manor Born as well as Good Neighbors. With John Alderton appearing in Zardoz and Upstairs, Downstairs. Paul Daneman was probably best known for his role in 1964’s Zulu with Michael Cane and Not in Front of the Children.

[Via] Readers Digest UK

Furthermore this naturally forced me to head to YouTube in the hopes of finding a video. Sadly those hopes were dashed but at the very least I was able to stumble on some images of the magazines itself.
Disney Storytime Collection - Mickey's Holiday

It probably goes without saying that the 24 issue run of the Walt Disney Storytime Collection was only published in the UK. The publisher appears to be Whinfrey Strachan and in addition they produced 2 specials.
Disney Storytime Collection - Page 1
Disney Storytime Collection - Mickey page 2

I know that it certainly isn’t part of the Walt Disney Storytime Collection…

But how about you take a few minutes to enjoy The Haunted House? From the Fisher-Price library of storytapes and books?

[Via] Rush Mojo

EPCOT Magazine

My appearance on Disney Channel’s EPCOT Magazine

Recently I asked the podcast RetroWDW to investigate the short lived Disney Channel news magazine, EPCOT Magazine. Naturally they were able to uncover some wonderful details about the production of the show and shared it in their episode, Polynesian Dreams – Part I. It is a great episode if you love the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World and if you are interested in hearing what they found out about EPCOT Magazine.

Listen to RetroWDW answer my question about EPCOT Magazine

If you are not a fan of high quality Disney podcasts, here is what they said in their show notes:

Garry was up next and asked all about EPCOT Magazine. He felt he was on the show at one point, so we inform him all about this daily digest style show from The Disney Channel. This show ran from 1983 – 1986 and was hosted by Michael Young. Brian gives all the details on this gone, but not forgotten shows. We restored a 16mm film that shows some of the filming, behind the scenes. Check the 3:00 minute mark in this video.

That is right, I might have been on EPCOT Magazine as a kid. I thought I would use this opportunity to write-up a more thorough description of my appearance on the show.

In late Winter/early Spring of 1983 my family visited EPCOT Center for the first time. We did not take many trips, but my Mother was obsessed with Florida and Disney. So we saved for the entire year to make this trip.

We drove down from New Jersey and were in Florida for a week. We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale and then at the end of the week we would drive up to Orlando and check into the Days Inn and checked in for two days. Day one we went to EPCOT Center and day two, the Magic Kingdom.

My Mom and I were over the moon for EPCOT Center. The rest of my family, not so much. Being raised on a steady diet of Disney mythology, I could not get over that I was in a NEW DISNEY PARK. At the time I thought this was a once in a lifetime experience. At the park, I was shot out of a cannon, nothing could contain me as I ran from attraction to attraction and place to place.

I discover WorldKey

Being a tech fan, how could I not be excited? Then I found the WorldKey Touchscreen info kiosks. This was my first time interacting with the screens and I was set on mastering it. Since few attractions were open and we had a whole day to kill, my family indulged my love of the kiosks while they spent time in shops or hiding in the shade.

I was very young at a the time, just a child, and my enthusiasm grabbed the attention of a nice person who asked me to talk them through the use of the kiosks. Little did I know that I was auditioning for an appearance on a television show.

After 15 minutes of poking at the screen and talking non-stop, I noticed a few other people were watching me. They then asked to talk to my parents and I brought them to my Mother.

I would later find out they were from EPCOT Magazine and wanted to film me for the show. So after my Mom signed a few documents, they set up the cameras, filmed for about 45 minutes, and that was it.

We got copies of the docs, but no info about when or if the footage would air. Despite my sisters making fun of me for the rest of the day, I was on Cloud nine.

When we went home, I was sure that this was the start of my career in television and fell asleep on the cot at the Days Inn dreaming of my inevitable move to Hollywood.

When we got home, we did not have access to the Disney Channel. This caused much consternation on my part. After all, I did not want to miss my big moment.

Eventually the Disney Channel would be available, but it was very pricey. It did not seem like we would be able to afford it, but fate would lend a hand.

My awesome rebellious sister lends a hand

My sister, fed up with having only basic cable, took it upon herself to order the MOST expensive cable package by pretending to be my Mom. The fallout from it was explosive, but somehow when the smoke cleared, we kept the cable!

I would tune into the Disney Channel every day and would consult my Disney Channel guide for broadcasts of EPCOT Magazine. Episodes would come and go, but I would never see myself. Which means that they might have never used the footage or I missed the episode that aired it.

Sadly info about the show is scant online. So I have not been able to find episode descriptions. The bits of footage available are just as scarce, so I am forced to look for clues and information wherever I can.

Watch the intro to EPCOT Magazine

When my Mother passed away, I inherited a lot of paperwork, I could not find the release forms, but I have not given hope up that they are in some other box. Perhaps if I find them, I will get more clues or a name of someone I could try to track down.

The internet is a magical place. You never know what someone is going to upload or sell. So I keep my eyes open.

This is the closest I have come to being a part of “Disney” and as fans of Disney will tell you, being part of the magic is something we all secretly dream about.

Disneyland garbage can

My favorite Disneyland garbage can

Back before I did the Retroist, I used to blog about Disney. One of my odd passions was for the themed garbage cans in the parks. When I started going to the parks as an adult, you could often find me laying down or crouched in front of a garbage can, snapping photos.

This weekend, I scanned a bunch of old photos and found a drive full of earlier digital photos from my park visits. In that drive was a folder called, “The Best.” What was in it was a couple of photos of an austere, but adorable garbage can that lived in the Photo Supply Co. store on Main Street. These photos had originally been posted on the Disney site I did, along with a gallery of several hundred other shots.

I will spare you the larger gallery, but this fella is so cute and retro enough, that I thought I would share it here.

Gallery of the best garbage can in Disneyland

It has been a while since I have been back to Disneyland. So I was not sure the Photo Supply store was still there, but according to the Disneyland website, it is!

So if you are in the area and like to look at garbage cans, keep an eye out for this slim little gem. It was always kind of tucked to the side, but not hard to spot.