Well, if any of you remember your childhoods and I hope you do, you’ll remember that Disney was a big part of that…
Well I do too, and you see, I have to do a History Day project about Disneyland… great topic don’t you think? Wonderful “field trip” opportunities.
The thing is that we’re not sure how to go about our project. Our topic is frontiers, Disneyland was a frontier in entertainment, the first theme park. We were thinking of doing research on amusement parks before Disney and how disney changed things forever. But how exactly do we turn this into a documentary… or a report(ick!)… or a performance(eek!)
Any suggestions?
I bow before your superior mental powers. Help me!

Disney Kitty

Try this:


Thank you so much Soup that’ll be great for research. I love this, finding the information is easy because people are willing to help and who doesn’t love Disney?


Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do with the project? We were thinking of doing a documentary type video and starting at the statue of Walt and Mickey.
Does anyone have any favorite places that would be good to film?
Suggestions anyone?
Comments from the peanut gallery? Please?

Disney Kitty

Ahhh, Disneyland. Great memories. :slight_smile:
Well, I’d hate to eliminate my macho image on the boards (not that I had one to begin with), but my favourite rides at Disneyland are probably The Haunted Mansion, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. I’m not sure how well the inside of either of them would film, though the outside of both is very cool. The Pirates of the Carribean is another one that’s a lot of fun.
Also, I really like the rest of New Orleans Square, too. A fun atmosphere.

I read in my favorite book, Since the World Began, by Jeff Kurtti (Hyperion, 1996), that Walt Disney got the idea for Disneyland whilst watching his two daughters playing on a carousel “…in a west Los Angeles amusement park.” Although Mr. Kurtti isn’t specific, surely you could find a carousel dating back to the 40’s somewhere in or around L.A.


rastahomie, the carousel idea is pretty good but we werethinking of filming something on the disney carousel, namely the one horse that Walt hand picked to put on the carousel. It’s a brown horse with a gold tooth. thought that might be a nice thing to add.

Disney Kitty

Try the Griffith Park area. I know they have Travel Town, the Carousel and the Observatory.
http://www.cityofla.org/RAP/grifmet/gp/index.htm looks to be a good source of information.

http://english.glendale.cc.ca.us/gphome.html is a site thru Glendale Community College that might help. Also try the LA City Parks and Recreation Department.

Good luck!


Well, one idea I might look at is the way the early amusement parks (maybe Six Flags, and certainly Coney Island) were operated. I get the impression alot of the entertainment was ride based, and had a very “carney” type operation. Focusing on the PT Barnum philosphy of advertising, instead of luring kids with wholesome topics. Disney came along and completely changed that making it a huge business instead of a diversion. Then show how every amusement park these days, even the ride geared ones, supplement everything with cartoons and kid appeal. Old amusement parks were built for adults. New ones for kids.

Sorry for the babbling stream of consciousness, but I hope you get spmething out of it.

Thank you for all the technical help but I was looking for more of the creative aspect of it all. I can do a whole report about Disney with what you’ve just given me but how do I turn that into something that people want to watch?

Does anyone at all have suggestions of something cute to put on film? Any creative ideas? Anything at all? We’re desperate here.


**Fairy Princess Kitty **: “Thank you for all the technical help but I was looking for more of the creative aspect of it all. I can do a whole report about Disney with what you’ve just given me but how do I turn that into something that people want to watch?”

Ahhh… now a topic I’m somewhat familiar with. :smiley:

Do you live in SoCal? Are you close enough to the park that you can go there to shoot footage? You can talk about your own childhood memories of the park, and juxtapose it with footage of those actual rides. You can compare DL to your local amusement park/fair and talk about how DL upped the ante on amusement parks. You can talk about how the construction of Disney’s California Adventure is taking DL back towards more of a traditional amusement park…

You can talk to every single one of your classmates to see if anyone has happy Disneyland memories, then “interview” them on camera. Then everyone will want to watch your video since they might be on it!

You’re gonna have to do your research first. There’s a TON of stuff out there if you know where to look. Start at MousePlanet (http://www.mouseplanet.com, where both Obfus and I are columnists), read the book Mouse Tales by David Koenig (also one of our columnists), get an angle.

You can go to SaferParks (http://www.saferparks.org) and do a story on the history of park safety in this country (not quite a “frontier” thang but you can get a historical perspective)…

Unfortunately you won’t be allowed to into the park for free… perhaps you’d like to talk about the exploitation of cheap labor in the park, and interview cast members who work for minimum wage? LOL

You can film AROUND Anaheim and talk about the cheapening of nearby neighborhoods (tacky tourist shops, drug-ridden neighborhoods, etc.)… it’s somewhat similar to what happened in Kissimmee (near Orlando)…

**Omniscient **: “Old amusement parks were built for adults. New ones for kids.”

Uh??? Walt Disney went to an amusement park with his two daughters and was sitting on the bench watching them go on a carousel ride, when the thought came to him, of a park where parents could enjoy the rides just as much as the kids. Other than the old Coney Island-type parks, the amusement parks of our century were primarily for the kiddies. It’s only when Disney came up with the expansive idea to build the huge park for kids AND adults that the focus shifted.

I can give you the perspective on DisneyWorld and the changes it hath wrought upon central Florida. I live a few miles from ‘the Rat’, and it costs me 1.25 *per minute* to call anywhere in the Disney area, yet I can phone a friend 20 miles down the street [we have very long streets here] in another area code (863) and the entire hour and a half conversation cost me .25.

I’ve been here for 10 years; Roommate has been here since 1968 B.D. (Before Disney). Feel free to contact me off board and I can give you a local’s perspective.

Good luck.

Oh, I forgot to mention.

I also worked as a travelling carny for awhile, so I can give you that perspective too. Oh, the stories…

The sentence was in the brain, but did not make the long hourney to the keyboard: Disney not only has its own police/security and fire departments, but up 'til recently, its own phone company.

**screech-owl **: “Disney not only has its own police/security and fire departments, but up 'til recently, its own phone company.”

Oh screech, Kissimmee is a total doctoral dissertation in itself. Author and Miami Herald columnist, Carl Hiassen’s book, Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World is a good example of writings that discuss this. I don’t think there are quite as many books out about the Anaheim park.

Screech – the police/security and fire within WDW is Disney… but is the phone “company” also Disney? Or just a Reed Creek Development company? Yes, Disney basically owns all of the area… but things are handled by those hired/created by Disney, while other things are handled by Disney Co.

Walt was able to plan out much more of his influence over Kissimmee than he ever could in Anaheim, so it makes for an interesting story.

Baglady, that’s actually a really good idea. We go to disneyland every so often anyway and one of the members of my three person group has a season pass too.
Disney as a company has done quite a bit to change our world and that’s a frontier too, heck Disney owns the half of the world that Microsoft forgot about. However, we only have a month to finish this project and talking about the entire empire that is disney could take a whole lot longer than that.
What do all of you think of having Walt’s opening day speeches as introductioins to parts of our video?