Discovering The Magic Kingdom

The ultimate Disneyland book!


Welcome to the Discovering The Magic Kingdom's blog. You will find more tips on products to bring with you to the park, places to eat, movies to watch and Fun Facts featured in the book.

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Pirates of the Caribbean CGI

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on August 4, 2017 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Check out these photos from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. They show what the scenes looked like before and after the CGI (Computer Graphics) were added in.

Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Captain Salazar, Geoffrey Rush, Captain Hector Barbossa, fun facts, disney history, behind the scenes, Kaya Scodelario, Carina Smyth, Henry Turner, Brenton Thwaites, Keira Knightley, Elizabeth Swann, Orlando Bloom, Will Turner

R.I.P. June Foray - An Amazing Voice Actress

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on July 29, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (2)

"Don't tell heem, Carlos. Don't be cheekin." That most notable line from Disneyland's Pirates of The Caribbean was spoken by well known voice actress June Foray. June passed away at the age of 99.

Here is the bio I wrote about her in my new book.

June Foray – (Born September 18, 1917, in Springfield, Massachusetts-July 26, 2017). There have been times when Mel Blanc was referred to as the male version of June Foray. June’s most notable voice role was that of Granny in the Looney Toons Sylvester and Tweety cartoons and Tiny Toons. Her career with Disney started with her role as Lucifer in Cinderella (1950). She then went on to voice the brunette mermaid (and modeled for it) and squaw in Peter Pan (1953), Mrs. Sheep in Lambert the Sheepish Lion (1952), Witch Hazel in Trick or Treat (1952), Knothead and Splinter in the Woody Woodpecker cartoons, Witch Hazel in the Looney Toons cartoons, Rocky Squirrel and Natasha in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), Dorothy Gale in Off to See the Wizard (1967), Raggedy Ann in 1978 & 1979, Aunt May Parker in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981), Jokey Smurf in Smurfs (1981-1986), Wheezy and Lena Hyena in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Ma Beagle, Mrs. Featherby, & Magica De Spell in DuckTales (1987-1990), Grammi Gimmi in Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991), Norman's Aunt in Marsupilami (1992), Grandmother Fa in Mulan I (1998) & Mulan II (2004), and so many others. In Disneyland, you can hear her on Pirates of the Caribbean as Carlos’ wife shouting out the window “Don’t tell heem, Carlos. Don't be cheekin.” She also reprised her role as Wheezy the weasel for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.

My 2nd Edision Is Now Available

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on July 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (2)

My 2nd edition is now available for purchase as we celebrate the 62nd anniversary of Disneyland.
Enjoy 700 pages full of Disneyland information.
There are now over 3,700 fun facts for the parks and for the Disney movies.
There are also over 750 photos contained within.
Here is a quick look inside.
Click here to purchase BUY A COPY

History of Female Pirates and the Redhead

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on June 30, 2017 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Disney is planning on changing the infamous Auctioneer scene in Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean in 2018, along with Disney World’s Pirates. We get the frequently spoken line “We wants the redhead,” from this attraction. Pirates first opened on March 16, 1967, just four months after Walt Disney passed away. Walt was only able to experience the Auctioneer scene before his passing.

“Walt visited the show building in Disneyland and went on a tour with Marc Davis and a few other Imagineers. The boats’ water channel was not filled yet and all the sets were frame worked, so they were able to walk through. The Auction Scene was set up with the Auctioneer moving about. This would be the last Walt ever saw of the attraction’s sets, because of his failing health and then eventually his death.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 508

Marc Davis was the original concept artist for the “gag scenes” on the attraction.

“Marc Davis took his pirate design inspirations from author and artist Howard Pyle. More specifically, his final work Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, published in 1921. We see and design pirates today because of Howard’s artistic outlook of them. Howard published a total of 24 books in his short lifetime, some of which were tales of King Arthur and Robin Hood.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 504

Marc’s wife, Alice Davis, was brought in on the project as well.

“Walt asked Alice Davis to come in and design the wardrobe for the pirates. She last worked on the “it’s a small world” attraction for the World’s Fair. She had said, “I went from sweet little children to dirty old men overnight.” The pirates were a challenge for her because they did not move like people in order to put clothing on. She used a lot of Velcro so that the clothing could be taken off and replaced quickly. She also learned from her small world experience that the fabric wears down in certain areas from constant rubbing, and leaking hydraulic fluid and oil is also a problem.“

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 506

Imagineer Leota Toombs, Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion, was brought in to do the finalizing of the pirate figures, including the redhead.

The question is, should Disney change the scene and make the redhead a female pirate? There are different answers to this question.

On one hand, the redhead ended up becoming a pirate anyway.

“In the room where the skeletons are drinking, there is a painting of a redhead. This is supposed to be the same redhead you see later being sold at the bride auction as it is showing the future. The painting was done by Marc Davis and is titled “Portrait of Things to Come.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 513

Do we want to alter the intended timeline of events created by the Imagineers in the mid 1960’s. The same geniuses that brought us all those first few decades attractions. Make the redhead a pirate in the past instead of turning her into a pirate in the future, which is the origin stories of most female pirates.

On the other hand you don’t want to offend anybody who is on the attraction. Not that drunk pirates setting a town on fire, looting houses, drowning the town mayor, or brandishing weapons and firing them off all over the place isn’t offensive either. Should Disney stay the course of history as it happened? Or should they change it to appease the offended few?

Female pirates have existed for a long time. In fact, one of the most powerful pirates in history was female. More on her later. Maybe adding in a female pirate is a good thing. Sure the portrait of the redhead, also just named Red, exists early on in the attraction, but will youngsters understand that concept? Most likely not. If you have a gun brandishing focal point female pirate to grab the attention of young riders that might make it more obvious. It shows girls that they can be pirates as well as boys.

When Disney first added the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique they were there to makeover young girls into princess. What about the boys? Disney ended up adding a prince makeover, which wasn’t very popular. Then they added the pirate makeover. But why would a girl want to be a pirate when all they have seen in the park are boy pirates? Sure the forward thinking youngsters will be whatever they want to be. That leaves the kids out who want to be like a specific character. If boys can be like Captain Hook, and girls can be like Cinderella, why can’t other girls be like the redhead pirate?

If you look into pirate history you can see is speckled with the triumphs of female pirates. Here are a few of them. The bios were taken from

Pirate Queen Teuta Of Illyria (years of reign 231 BC-227 BC)

After her husband, the King of the Ardiaei tribe in Illyria, died she took over the crown. She supported the pirates of her Kingdom and with that support they captured merchant vessels of Greece and Rome. This lead to the capture of two Ambassadors of Rome, one killed and the other held captive. Eventually, Rome was forced to declare war. Once Queen Teuta surrendered Rome declared that no ship should sail under her reign.

Jeanne de Clisson (years active 1343 AD-1359 AD) Also known as Jeanne de Belleville and the Lioness of Brittany

Jeanne de Clisson was British and lived in Brittany when she married Olivier III de Clisson a wealthy nobleman. After failing to defend Vannes he switched allegiances to the English and was later captured by French and executed under orders of King Philip VI. Jeanne swore vengeance on the king and sold her lands and bought three ships calling them the "Black Fleet" because of their black exterior and red sails. She assembled a crew and took to the seas defeating any ship belonging to King Philip VI leaving only a few alive to tell that she had struck again. After his death, she continued to capture ships. She later retired to Britain.

Grace O'Malley (years active 1563 AD-1603 AD) also known as "The Sea Queen of Connacht" and “The Pirate Queen Of Ireland”

She was the Queen of Unmaill she was a fearless leader from Ireland who rejected the ways a woman was "supposed" to act. Instead, she took to the seas commanding 20 fleet ships to stand against Britain. She raided ships of the English and Spanish. She was legendary for her escapes and her captures. She continued to pirate until her death in 1603.

There have been plays, television specials, and videos made about this woman.

Anne Dieu-Le-Veut (years active sometime between 1661 AD-1710 AD)

After being deported from France for criminal behavior Anne married Pierre Length. One night in a bar fight Pierre was killed by Laurens de Graaf. Anne challenged Laurens to a duel and when he drew a sword and her a gun he was so impressed he proposed. She said yes and together they sailed the seas. They took over ships and raided Jamaica. Anne and her two daughters were captured and what happened after they were freed is unknown.

Christina Anna Skytte (years active between 1650’s AD-1660’s AD)

After this Swedish pirate and her fiancé joined her brother in the pirate business they soon found she was no one to be messed with. They attacked a Dutch merchant ship killing the crew and stealing the cargo. This lead to the capture and execution of her fiancé and forced her to flee.

Jacquotte Delahaye (years active in the 1660’s AD)

This Haitian woman had a hard life after her mother died after giving birth to her brother, and her father killed. To take care of her brother she had to turn to piracy. She had to fake her own death in order to escape the government. After living as a man she returned to pirating and is thought to have sailed alongside Anne Dieu-Le-Vuet.

Rachel Wall (years active 1781 AD-1782 AD)

Wall was the only known American pirate. She married George Wall and tried to settle in Boston. The two were always poor so when she procured a small boat she saw oportunity. She used the boat to go out after storms pretending to be ravaged. After boarding the unwitting ship they would murder and steal. This ended when a storm passed through and destroyed her boat and killed her husband. She continued to steal on land and was arrested. She wrote a confession of her sins trying to sway the authorities. It didn't work and soon she became the last woman hanged in Massachusetts.

See, there have been plenty of female pirates of the past, and plenty more not listed. Now what about the female pirates depicted with Disney? First off, in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Ching Shih is portrayed, one of the most powerful female pirates in history.

“In the film Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007), actress Takayo Fischer portrays the character Mistress Ching. That character is a person from real life. Ching Shih lived from 1775-1844. She was originally a prostitute who was captured by pirates and ended up marrying the pirate captain Zheng Yi. Six years after they were married, he died and she took over his command of over 300+ ships, employing 20,000-40,000 sailors. She is well known for being extremely strict and followed through with her punishments of whipping, flogging, and beheading. She defeated the Chinese government’s attempts to stop her by beheading every prisoner who didn't join her. She terrorized the Chinese seas from 1807 until she received amnesty in 1810. After she retired, she kept all of her loot and opened up a gambling house. In 1844, she died at the age of 69.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 158

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), we see Zoe Saldana portray Anamaria, a very strong independent female pirate that actually earns the ship Jack Sparrow “liberated.”

In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), we are introduced to the strong willed and excellent swordswoman Angelica, who is portrayed by Penelope Cruz.

Let’s also not forget Elizabeth Swann, who was in the first three films and had a cameo in the fifth. She was one of the main characters and was eventually made the Pirate King by the Brethren Court.

These are just the depictions in the films. What about on the attraction? Before you even board, you pass paintings on the wall designed by Marc Davis. One is of Anne Bonny and the other is of Mary Read.

Anne Bonny (March 8, 1700 - possibly April 25, 1782) – Anne is famous mostly in part to being only one of two known women to be convicted of piracy in the Caribbean. She married famous pirate James Bonny, and also had a relationship with the pirate John “Calico Jack” Rackham. She later hooked up with Mary Read and they became a trio of pirates with Calico Jack until they were captured in October 1720.

Mary Read (1670-1698, no one knows for sure - 1721) - Mary grew up being dressed as a boy by her mother, to disguise the fact that she was a girl. She became a deck hand, married a Flemish soldier, dressed as a woman until he passed away, and then started dressing like a man again. Her ship was taken over by Calico Jack and Anne Bonny. Mary joined their crew and became friends with Anne. Mary, Anne, and Jack terrorized the Caribbean until their capture in October 1720. She later passed away in prison during child birth.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 509

There is a bronze statue depicting Anne and Mary in the Bahamas.

Marc Davis created concept art for Mary and Anne for a scene that never made it into the attraction.

We now circle around to the redhead again. She is depicted as a pirate in the painting as a pirate already.

What do you think? Should Disney change it and make the redhead a pirate to be more public sensitive, or should they leave the scene as it was when Walt first experienced it?

Here are some examples of the redhead from the attraction found in Disney merchandise. Notice the action figure in which she is holding a gun.

Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: Breakout! Easter Eggs

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on May 27, 2017 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Opening today is the new Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! 

(I will be updating this as things are discovered)

In the entry level of the attraction before boarding, there are lots of Easter Eggs hinting at all of the Marvel films or other Disney things;

• Cosmo the Spacedog – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Hanging in a cage high above is Figment - Epcot’s Journey IntoImagination.

• An Ultron sentry that lights up and randomly quotes lines from the movie - Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (2015)

• Armor from the Nova Corps - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Warlock’s Eye from Odin’s trophy room, it follows your movement – Thor (2011)

• Dark Elf mask - Thor: The Dark World (2013)

• A cocoon believed to be Adam Warlock’s, as seen in Thor: Dark World (2013) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• A case of eyes marked “Chitauri” – The Avengers (2012)

• A case marked “Orloni” which are little rodent-like creatures - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Kree artifacts, as in Ronan’s race - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Artifacts from Atlantis, possibly hinting at Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner

• An Asgardian War Hammer that will one day belong to Beta Ray Bill, the one who wins Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Odin then gives Bill his own hammer, this one also called Stormbreaker.

• A painting with The Collector and his brother The Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum - Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

• The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are hanging on the wall in the pre-boarding video room. They were the full body metal cage used by Doctor Strange to imprison Kaecilius - Doctor Strange (2016).

• There is a little figure on The Collector’s desk of a ghost dog – Haunted Mansion

• During the pre-boarding video, Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance.

• A Hydra soldier helmet - Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

• On the shelf behind the open book is a bellhop hat - Tower of Terror.

• One of the books has a HTH bookmark - Hollywood Tower Hotel.

• Just before boarding the lift you can see Harold, the original Yeti - Matterhorn Bobsleds.

• The painting that is behind the octopus used to hang in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on the wall before the pre-boarding video room.

• The octopus is Dolores from the extinct attraction The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown (1986-2001) that existed in Critter Country.

The Indiana Jones Track

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on May 11, 2017 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The Indiana Jones Adventure attraction in Disneyland has the same track layout and EMV’s (Enhanced Motion Vehicle) as the attraction Dinosaur in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

The Mermaids of Tomorrowland

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on March 25, 2017 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

MERMAIDS IN DISNEYLAND? That’s right they are real. For the summers of 1965, 66 & 67 you could have caught a glimpse of them. They would swim around for 4 hours each day to entertain guests by doing aquatic stunts. Sometimes they would swim up to the people floating by in the submarine and peek through the porthole. Some of the girls started to complain about the fumes from the then diesel subs and the high chlorine content of the water. So it pressed Disney to remove them. The Cast Member girls who portrayed the lovely mermaids made a reported $1.65 an hour. There were some instances when young men were caught jumping into the water and swimming out to the mermaids basking in the sun on the coral in the middle of the lagoon. Raise your hand if you want to see them return.

R.I.P. John Hurt

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 27, 2017 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

R.I.P. John Hurt

January 22, 1940 - January 27, 2017

John played many characters throughout his 55 years of acting. He has 205 movie and television credits to his name. He will be remembered by all. Here are just a few of the movies/tv series that I know him from.

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Flounder Easter Egg In Moana

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 24, 2017 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Flounder from The Little Mermaid can be seen in Moana when Maui is singing the “You’re Welcome” song.

40min 35 seconds into the movie.

Gina Rock on the Closing of Ringling Bros. Circus

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 18, 2017 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Tinker Bell is one of the most iconic characters that Disney has ever created. She made her first Disney appearance in the 1953 animated feature Peter Pan. Disney then used her to promote the upcoming theme park, Disneyland. Since the opening of the park in 1955, Walt thought the night-time fireworks show lacked something spectacular. Walt introduced crowds of Disneyland visitors to the first live version of Tinker Bell in 1961 when he had the 4-foot 10-inch tall Tiny Kline zip across the castle from atop the Matterhorn. Her appearance was welcomed by all who saw her. After her retirement in 1964, Tiny passed on the “wand” to Mimi Zerbini, who only flew for two summers, then passed the wand to Judy Kaye, and then on to Gina Rock.

Gina became Tinker Bell on May 31, 1983. She amazed the children nightly during the fireworks for 21 years until her retirement. Chances are if you saw the fireworks between 1984 and 2005, you probably saw her. Gina holds the record for the longest run as the popular pixie. Before she flew as Tinker Bell, she joined the circus. One of those circuses was Ringling Brothers. Here are her thoughts on the closing of the Ringling Brothers Circus.

"Thank you to the Feld Family for a wonderful experience

This piece comes from a performer who shared two years with the famous Circus, Ringling Bros. I first would like to state for the record that I was proud to be part of this wonderful Circus History of Ringling Bros. and give a heartfelt thank you to the Feld family for making this 146-year piece of history to be so magical for both the performers as well as their audiences across the U. S. As a kid growing up in the 60’s, it was a time when this type of live show that included the animal acts were accepted.

Although I do not believe that animals should be locked up in small cages, especially large lions, tigers, and bears, it is important that the truth be told from those that lived behind the scenes of the Red or Blue curtain about the way these animals were handled. I believe that nature does not dictate for man to control large wild animals, but many were raised since birth in a human habitat environment, and many would never survive in the wild after the wonderful care they received at Ringling. There may be more hunters either maiming animals or killing them for sport, food or jewelry in the wild, but these animals had a chance to live long healthy lives that made up a huge portion of these shows.

I had the honor of working beside one of the most famous lion tamers,” Gunther Gebel Williams,” Red Show Circuit, and it can be said that watching this man raise his own tigers, feeding them, caring for them and making sure they had everything they needed was a daily task, always done with the love and care, and clearly they adored this trainer. The two years I was employed by Ringling Bros. for the Bicentennial edition in 1976 and 1977 and had the opportunity to get to know the elephant I rode, the joy of our interaction daily was one I looked forward to. I would bring carrots and bread to him before the show and he always looked happy to see me, and no doubt this large animal knew who I was. The performers were witness to routine daily feeding, and weekly grooming of the elephants which included their love for bathing, and frolicking with large inner tube tires, truly a delight to watch.

Many of my fondest memories stem from running away with Ringling Bros. Circus at the age of 19, living on a train, and performing with different cultures from all over the world. The Feld family provided an exciting opportunity for those not born into the Circus world.

Many thanks to the Feld family for providing employment to so many talented performers and those that contributed behind the scenes. These shows will be missed by many. I am confident that the retiring animals will be well taken care of and doubtless will miss their loving caretakers and trainers."

-Gina Rock

If you would like to get in touch with Gina for interviews or questions regarding her time as Tinker Bell, or as a circus performer, you can contact her Public Relations Manager, Joshua Shaffer, at [email protected]

If you would like an autographed photo of Gina, please visit…