Starlight Bathrooms in Tomorrowland

We all like to fantasize about what life will be like in the distant future. Will we have flying cars? Will there be world peace? Will robots go potty?

OK, that last ponderable may not have crossed your mind, but it seems to have occurred to the Imagineers that designed and built Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World:

Starlight Bathrooms 1

While Sonny Eclipse croons to the patrons many of said patrons must make their way to the… er, Dehydration Centers for a little… relief. And apparently, so do the robots:

Starlight Bathrooms 2

And it seems that both gender models must make this pilgrimage:

Starlight Bathrooms 3     Starlight Bathrooms 4

So while just what a robot does in a restroom probably should remain a mystery to all humans, a much bigger mystery is revealed in the next sign:

Starlight Bathrooms 5

“Whaaaaaaa-T!”

I just can’t get my head around this one! What could one human guy in a wheelchair possibly need to do in a restroom with both a ‘male’ and ‘female’ robot??? Now I’m all for companionship, but…

Sometimes I think Imagineers put far too much thought into their projects.

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Top Five Top 5 Lists on Disney Nouns

If you have just started following us here at Disney Nouns, you may have missed some of our legendary (at least in our own minds) Top 5 Lists. If so, that would be a shame, as we spend several minutes compiling each and every one!

Top Five Graphic

So, without further ado and certainly without any requests from our readers, here is the top five list of our Top 5 Lists, in no particular order:

1

Things They Should Bring Back at Walt Disney World

2

Mistakes Walt Disney Made

3

Time Wasters at Walt Disney World

4

Walt Disney World Things We Want Everywhere!

5

Characters That Should Have a Meet-and-Greet

So click away and enjoy these Top 5 Lists from the past. And I was only kidding when I said we only spend a few minutes on each list. Sometimes, we can crank one out in under a minute flat!

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Disney Chandeliers

When everyone else is photographing characters, buildings, shows, and flowers, and generally just enjoying the scenery at Walt Disney World, I am… looking for something else!

Ceiling Lights 3

Look up… it could be looking back!

Sometimes I pick a theme and see how many pictures I can get, as in this case, chandeliers:

Ceiling Lights 1     Ceiling Lights 2

Ceiling Lights 4

The good thing about this theme is that subjects are everywhere! Disney Imagineers like to plus every location with spectacular decorative objects:

Ceiling Lights 6

Ceiling Lights 5

Let’s hope it stays above, and not on, our heads!

So the next time you visit Walt Disney World with your camera, pick a theme and see how many images you can create!

Another theme shoot that I did at Walt Disney World was of Lamp Posts. Check it out!

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Original Radio Broadcast LPs Too

Back in April of this year I posted a selection of old LP’s that contained some of the best old radio programs from the early days of the medium. It was entitled Original Radio Broadcast LPs and I’m sure that explains the title of this post!

This post contains eight more selections that I just recently came across in a local flea market. Let’s have a look at them:

Radio LPs 1

Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were the two most famous singing cowboys of the old West. Although I rather doubt real cowboys went around crooning on horseback, it was fun to hear them whoop it up and shoot it up at the same time!

Gene rode onto his first show, Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch, on January 1st, 1940. Along with his ranch hands he sang songs, told stories, and kidded around to every kids delight!

The album above was produced by Golden Age Records in 1977.

Radio LPs 2

You would think having a ventriloquist appear on radio would be a bad idea, but Edgar Bergen, along with his dummy Charlie McCarthy, made it work. They appeared together on radio from 1928 to 1948 making this comedy duo (?) the stars of one of the longest-running programs ever to hit the airwaves!

The album above was produced by Mark56 Records in 1974.

Radio LPs 3

Time to get tough with one of the most well-known golden age gangster serials of all time. Gang Busters first appeared of radio on January 15th, 1936 and was still being heard, loudly, in 1957. It featured actual descriptions of wanted criminals which was credited with the capture of 110 wanted men. Now that’s entertainment with a purpose!

The album above was produced by Visual Drama Inc. in 1977.

Radio LPs 4

Anybody remember this guy? The Jack Benny Program ran from 1932 to 1958 and I think he may have ended up on television. What could I possibly say about this man and his legacy that you wouldn’t already know? So I’ll just say that this record has episodes from 1933.

The album above was produced by Mark56 Records in 1976.

Radio LPs 5

Mystery and detective shows were on every radio station with varying degrees of success. No doubt you’ve heard of The Thin Man, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Charlie Chan, and maybe even Boston Blackie and Bulldog Drummond. But you may not have heard of Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons. It ran from 1937 to 1955 and featured a soft-spoken ‘kindly investigator’ who always got his man!

The album above was produced by Radiola in 1975.

Radio LPs 7

Family programming was a big hit in the early days of radio and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was one of the most popular shows of this type, eventually ending up on television and launching the singing career of one Ricky Nelson. This LP features a show in the series which aired on October 5th, 1951. The complete series started in 1946 and ran until 1954. It made the transition to television in 1952.

The flip side of this LP features an episode from the Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show from 1948 (not pictured).

The album above was produced by Radiola in 1979.

Radio LPs 8

This LP is a bit unique in that it contains a biography of the man and not an excerpt from a radio show of his own. On February 28th, 1956, Fred Allen narrated the ‘adventures’ of W. C. Fields with the help of several Hollywood A-listers. It also contains a comedy routine by Fields called ‘W. C. Fields Drinks a Glass of Water!’ Only on Radio.

The album above was produced by Radiola in 1975.

The last of the eight albums featured in this post is very special to me. I’ve posted before about my love of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. There, in Greenfield Village, you can visit the Menlo Park laboratories of Thomas Edison. In those laboratories you will see one of only 9 working Edison phonographs in the world! Too cool.

Radio LPs 6

At first, Mr. Edison was determined to force culture on the masses by only recording music and entertainment that he himself viewed as good. This led to poor sales as companies like RCA and others had no problem publishing whatever garbage the masses wanted to hear! It took awhile, but finally Mr. Edison relented and also put out what the people wanted.

This particular collection is beyond awesome! It was released under a special arrangement with The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village and contains historical recordings dating back to the first ever record from 1888 and including other recording firsts through to 1929.

The album above was produced by Mark56 Records in 1978.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the early days of radio via these great LP’s. If you’d like to do more research into the history of radio, please read my review of the book This is Radio, from which I drew most of my information for this post.

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Mickey Mini Ceramic Planter

Oh what a few dollars can buy! Recently I was on one of my many Excursions of Discovery and found this Mickey Mouse miniature square planter:

Mickey Planter 1

There is no way to know what year this was produced but it obviously isn’t very old. So the $4.00 I paid for it was more than enough.

Mickey Planter 2

Nice detailing in the back and top edging

I guess if you wanted to plant a single flower this vase (?) would be perfect!

Mickey Planter 3     Mickey Planter 4

The word ‘Disney’ is embedded in the base and the stickers say ‘Mickey and Co.’ and ‘Licensee Enesco’ and ‘Made in China’.

Maybe I should plant a single Snow White Frangipani in this planter in honor of Minnie’s old look?

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Book Review: This Was Radio

Isn’t media wonderful? Here I am writing a post for the Internet that I will share on social media about a hardcover book which describes the early days of radio. If I could find a way to throw television in somewhere I’d have every form of media covered!

But rather than do that I will start by showing the publication in question:

This Was Radio Book 016

11 1/2″ x 14″ Hardcover, 70 Pages

This Was Radio Book 015

ISBN: 07413-0038-9

I love all-things vintage. And if I can find a Disney tie-in along the way more the better! This publication was published in 2000 by the Great American Audio Corporation. It was written by Ronald Lackmann with an introduction by Leonard Maltin.

The book is divided into 10 chapters which first cover the invention of radio before seguing into the different genres, such as comedy, children’s programming, and talk shows, among others. Chapter 10 provides a brief sum-up of radio’s impact on popular culture.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

This Was Radio Book 020

If it’s entertainment history, it’s Leonard Maltin

I love the reporting of this man! He has done many introductions for Disney productions and is a well-known champion of entertainment history. He, like myself, feels that the shows of the past should be remembered and studied.

In the early days of radio, two companies were major competitors in setting up networks that crossed the United States. They were:

This Was Radio Book 018     This Was Radio Book 019

Other smaller companies would join the party and the government would later step in with regulations to balance out the content.

And what was in that content?

This Was Radio Book 021

Lucille Ball’s first stint as a wife was on radio

This Was Radio Book 022

Mr. Inka Dinka Doo got his big push on radio

This Was Radio Book 023

And even dummies made it big!

Another Disney tie-in comes from a famous Disney star. From Chapter One: “As performers realized how many people were “tuned in” to radio broadcasts, entertainers like… vaudeville comedian Ed “The Perfect Fool” Wynn decided they might be able to increase the size of their audiences by performing “on radio” for thousands, instead of a mere hundreds of fans. Wynn was heard on one of the first important, well-publicized aired-live comedy shows… Wynn decided to broadcast on a regular basis, becoming one of radio’s first major stars (with the Ed Wynn Show, later called The Fire Chief).”

But it wasn’t all fun and game shows on radio. News broadcasters soon found that radio was a great way to spread fear and panic, er… I mean informative political and social commentary. Some of what was covered was quite chilling:

This Was Radio Book 017

From political commentary to the bomb

So if you needed to know it back in the day, you learned of it on radio! Of course, we all know that in time television did come along to overshadow that little talking box in the corner. But it never gave up the fight and is still around today, if only for talk and musical purposes.

But if you’re like me you yearn for the days when The Lone Ranger, gangsters, monsters from outer space, funny comedians, and famous actors all ‘appeared’ over the airwaves!

Review: I’d give this book 4 out of 5 Stars. It is a very comprehensive listing of the programming from the early days of radio with a nice selection of behind-the-scenes photographs. For those not that into radio it will seem a bit like a laundry list of shows with not enough context, but as this book was written for the über fan, that hardly diminishes the books validity.

The book also contains two compact discs with a smattering of old-time radio broadcasts.

For a further look at these old radio broadcasts, please read my earlier post entitled Original Radio Broadcast LPs and you might also enjoy my review of a little publication called Nostalgia Digest. It also contains information about the early days of entertainment.

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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Candy Fan

This is a true triple-threat: It has a great Mickey Mouse Clubhouse tie-in. It’s a convenient and fun fan. And it has candy in it!

MMCH Candy Fan 002

A present from my wife

I love all-things transportation but especially if it has a Disney element to it. So having Mickey Mouse flying a helicopter is just too much:

MMCH Candy Fan 005

And as I mentioned, go further and add candy:

MMCH Candy Fan 004          MMCH Candy Fan 003

Now you’re just sending me to Disney/Toy/Candy heaven! And an added bonus is that after the candy is gone the candy compartment can be used for secret storage.

MMCH Candy Fan 006

MMCH Candy Fan 007

I haven’t tasted the candy yet but it claims to be CandyRific, so how bad can it be? You can just see it in the picture above, but the candy bag has little Disney logos on it as well.

MMCH Candy Fan 008

Time to fly this post off into the sunset

But first, did you notice that Mickey is flying a helicopter with a Fenestron tail rotor? No? Well here is some aviation information just for you: A Fenestron (or fantail, sometimes called “fan-in-fin”) is a protected tail rotor of a helicopter operating like a ducted fan. Placing the fan within a duct reduces tip vortex losses, shields the tail rotor from damage, is much quieter than a conventional tail rotor, and shields ground crews from the hazard of a spinning rotor. The housing is integral with the tail skin and, like the conventional tail rotor it replaces, functions to counteract the torque of the main rotor. It was first developed by the French company Sud Aviation (now part of Airbus Helicopters) and is installed on many of their helicopters.

Tail Rotor

The term Fenestron is a trademark of Eurocopter. It comes from the Latin ‘fenestra’ for window. And now you know!

Funny Story: My wife bought a small hand-held fan from AAA/CAA recently thinking she could use it discretely to cool herself off when it got too hot. But the stupid little thing can be heard in the next town over! So later we are at a product fair and she picks up a free hand-held fan from a vendor thinking to have better luck. It’s just as loud!

She buys me this very conspicuous hand-held fan… and it is whisper quiet. I shouldn’t laugh, but…

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Top Five Disneyland Attractions

You can’t visit California without visiting Disneyland. This iconic park is synonymous with the bright and fun spirit of that State!

I’ve already given you a list of the top five attractions at Disney’s California Adventure, and now it is time to walk across the courtyard to Walt’s original dream: Disneyland. So here will be my list of the Top Five attractions in Disneyland. Keep in mind that my focus is on attractions unique or better realized in Disneyland, so expect some obvious candidates like Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean to be overlooked on this list. After all, these have been copied and built in almost every Disney park. With that said, and an acknowledgement that this could very easily have been a Top 10 list, here we go:

ATTRACTION FIVE

SAILING SHIP COLUMBIA

Columbia Ship

Synopsis: Board the 110-foot-long, fully rigged Columbia and feel the wind and sun upon your face. Marvel at the towering 84-foot mainmast or inspect the merchant ship’s 10 cannons and 2 deck-mounted swivel guns — necessary to repel the attacks of ruthless pirates. Imagine what it must have been like to challenge the ocean aboard the Columbia with a determined crew of skilled sailors. It took the original Columbia 3 years to sail around the world, but your voyage will only take about 15 minutes.

Below the main deck you’ll find historical displays recreating the living conditions of 18th-century sailors. The maritime museum celebrates the dedication and sacrifice of the brave explorers who filled in the final details of the world’s map.

Disneyland is the only Disney park where you’ll find this amazing nautical recreation. Most parks have a paddle-wheeler, but not The Columbia! So this is a not-to-be-missed attraction at Disneyland because of its uniqueness, splendor, and edutainment value.

ATTRACTION FOUR

FINDING NEMO SUBMARINE VOYAGE

Finding Nemo Subs Signage

Synopsis: Board the yellow research submarine of the Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation Institute (N.E.M.O.). Sit at one of the portholes where you will be dazzled by the underwater curiosities as your submarine dives fathoms beneath the surface. Your mission is to explore a newly erupting undersea volcano! Float past the scattered ruins of an ancient civilization that rest on the floor of a lush kelp forest, recently uncovered by the volcanic explosions. Watch deep-sea divers as they search for diverse exotic fish. Including a certain little Clown fish named Nemo!

Finding Nemo Subs 1

I remember the original 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Submarine Voyage that was in Walt Disney World. I was very young when I experienced it (back in 1972) but still have very vivid images in my mind. To have this attraction back again, albeit in another form, is breathtaking!

Be sure to ride this attraction at least once despite the long lines as one never knows when such an expensive ride will disappear again.

ATTRACTION THREE

AUTOPIA

Autopia

Synopsis: Take the wheel and whirl around the tracks of Autopia, a fun-filled roadway where you can both be the driver of your own small car and get glimpses of things from the car’s perspective! A combination of the words “automobile” and “utopia,” this roaring racetrack features 4 lanes of fun! Drivers of almost all ages can experience the thrill of putting their pedal to the metal on this imaginative motorway lined with lush green foliage and humorous billboards. Guide rails keep less experienced drivers on course as the cars hug curves, cross bridges and even go off-roading!

Disneyland Autopia

If you love the smell of the open road, and by ‘smell’ I mean gas fumes, then this attraction was made for you! I personally love it and it would be in the number one spot if not for that pesky pollution thing. Some parks that have duplicated this attraction have made the cars electric but I hope Disneyland keeps the original smoke-belching cars that Walt placed in his park! Of course, this attraction is getting another make-over now that Honda is taking over sponsorship, so that is also something to look forward to when you visit.

Many say this attraction is boring but I implore you to try it yourself at least once. And if you can do this with your child driving, I promise you won’t regret it!

ATTRACTION TWO

PETER PAN’S FLIGHT

Peter Pan's Flight

Synopsis: This is an enchanting aerial journey inspired by the classic Disney movie Peter Pan. Soar over Never Land in a flying pirate galleon and watch the daring adventures of Peter as he confronts his dreaded arch-nemesis, Captain Hook.

I should admit that I am firmly in Camp Disney World when the debate over ‘which is better’ comes up. I loved Disneyland when I visited in 2013 and hope to return some day, but it didn’t sway me from my beloved ‘home’ park! However, I have to admit that Disneyland kicks some serious butt when it comes to variations of repeated attractions, like Peter Pan’s Flight. DL wins hands down!

The ride is smoother, the effects are cooler, and the overall presentation is somehow indescribably… better. I really did feel like a child again riding Disneyland’s version of Pan! And you will too.

ATTRACTION ONE

DISNEYLAND MONORAIL

Monorail Plaque

Synopsis: Ride this high-speed, “green” transportation system that rockets along a single rail that circles Disneyland Park! As you are whisked around the Resort for a 13-minute ride, sit back and enjoy aerial views of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland in Disneyland Park and Grizzly Peak, Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure Park. The route also parallels Harbor Boulevard and travels over the Disneyland Main Entrance and Entrance Plaza, taking you above and beyond the Park scenery.

And ride in the front with the Pilot, something you can’t do in Walt Disney World at present.

Disneyland Mono Ride

To ride a monorail is truly to experience a bit of transportation history and to share one of Walt’s personal passions. He wanted one of these in every city, but he had to settle for one in both of his beloved parks.

Conclusion: Disneyland has many other great attractions from shows to dark rides. And like I said at the outset of this post, this could easily have been a Top 10 list! But I think I have chosen the best five must-try offerings in this park. Do you agree? Let us all know what your favorite Disneyland attraction is in the comments below!

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Song of the South: Never Forget the Past!

I follow a blog called Mr. Fun’s Journal created by and basically about the experiences of Disney Legend Floyd Norman. He is an African-American Disney animator who often has some very pointed things to say.

Recently he posted something about The Song of the South that I appreciated in a post he called Forgetting History is Never a Good Idea.

Br ers

You can see the image above and read his thoughts on the current situation of this classic movie by clicking the links above. I highly recommend it as he, as an African-American, makes some very insightful comments. Among them he says:

It is with deep regret the film remains mired in accusations of racism and insensitivity to African-Americans. Those who know their Disney history know this is exactly what Walt Disney hoped to avoid.”

With all the fluff pieces on the Internet these days, this is refreshingly something meaningful to read!

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Top Five Disney’s California Adventure Attractions

This much-maligned park has made some amazing strides in recent years. At this point it has some of my favorite attractions to be found in any Disney theme park!

So without further ado, let’s look at the Top 5 DCA attractions:

A T T R A C T I O N     F I V E

REDWOOD CREEK CHALLENGE TRAIL

Redwood Trail

Synopsis: Take in glorious wilderness sights and embark on exciting adventures along the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. You’re free to explore the area in any order you wish, but wherever you go, you’ll find plenty of fun activities that the whole family can enjoy together!

From climbing to exploring your youngsters will wear themselves out in no time! And you just might meet Russel and Dug from the Pixar movie UP! This fun area is at number five due to its selected target audience that somewhat excludes older guests.

A T T R A C T I O N     F O U R

MATER’S JUNKYARD JAMBOREE

Maters Junkyard Jamboree

Synopsis: Board a trailer pulled by an adorable little tractor and swing in time to lively music. Mater rounded up a herd of little tractors for some old-fashioned dancing fun. If you look closely, you’ll notice that no 2 of the 22 tractors are the same. They have different spots, mouths and eye colors. The one thing they all share: they love to dance!

Tractor     Tractor Crossing

This won’t appeal to every age group and is of course aimed at the shorter members of Disney fandom. But even taller riders are sure to have a good time as they sing along with Mater! This sits at the number four spot because of its selected target audience.

A T T R A C T I O N     T H R E E

SOARIN’ AROUND THE WORLD

Soarin Around the World

Synopsis: The globetrotting kicks off in the Swiss Alps, as clouds clear the way and unveil a towering sight familiar to longtime Disneyland fans. But the adventure doesn’t end there… it’s just beginning! Throughout your tour, you’ll hop past The Great Pyramids of Egypt, sail across the spectacular Sydney Harbour, cruise near Mount Kilimanjaro and explore many other picturesque locales.

This is your chance to feel like you’re flying on a hang-gliding ride along the horizon—all set to an iconic musical score—before coming in for a climactic and unforgettable landing!

With new locations this fan favorite just got even better! But its only number three on the list because it isn’t unique to this park, appearing in Walt Disney World’s Epcot as well.

But it does begin to ramp up the selections preparing the way for the top two attractions that both deliver all the thrills and chills anyone could possibly handle:

A T T R A C T I O N     T W O

CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN’

Cali Screamin

Synopsis: Race up a steep incline to an altitude of almost 120 feet, then take the plunge downward! Buckle up in a coaster car and glide to the launch zone along a rocky jetty on Paradise Bay. As you anxiously wait for the starting signal, hold on tight as the excited voice of a carnival sideshow barker overhead begins the countdown to your whirlwind ride. And then, take off!

Catapult past splashing waves and swoop, swirl, dip and curl in and out of the Paradise Pier boardwalk area. Hurtle into the sky blue “scream tube” and then twist and turn until you reach a brief lull at the peak. Catch your breath for half a second before diving into the loop-de-loop that winds 360 degrees around a blazing sunburst.

Cali Screamin cars

This is the longest and fastest roller coaster at the Disneyland Resort and one blast of a ride I can tell you! If you love fast and furious, you need to experience this attraction!

A T T R A C T I O N     O N E

RADIATOR SPRINGS RACERS

Racers

Synopsis: Kick the fun into overdrive on this auto race attraction that features familiar characters, fantastic scenery and “wheel” thrills! Come side-by-side with your competition. Your car is pitted against another for a friendly race for first place at the checked flag. Zip over hills, zoom around high-banked turns, and cruise down camelback straightaways past spectacular red-rock formations.

While there is only one winner, everyone is sure to have a great time. Just like in the Cars movie, the focus is on the journey, not the finish line!

Racers Racing

Test Track in Walt Disney World’s Epcot was the inspiration for this hyper-attraction. But in my opinion the Racers take the technology to all new heights! The environment is truly immersive and I dare anyone to deny this attraction belongs in the top spot.

Conclusion: DCA has many other great attractions from shows to dark rides. But I think I have chosen the best five must-try offerings in this park. Do you agree? Let us all know what your favorite DCA attraction is in the comments below!

Check out my post about the Top 5 Attractions in Disneyland too!

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