Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hong Kong Disneyland: The Little Resort That Could

My second article for The DIS covers a brief history of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, as well as my personal thoughts of it as a lifelong Disneyland guest.

In November of 1999, the Hong Kong government announced that through a joint venture with the Walt Disney Company, Hong Kong would become the site of Disney’s 3rd international resort destination, and its second in Asia. Since land can be hard to come by in Hong Kong, work began in May of 2000 on the reclamation of about 2.8 square kilometers of land in Penny’s Bay at Lantau Island. Over 70 million cubic meters of fill material was placed in the reclamation area, and in January of 2003, construction of the resort began.

Read the rest of the article via the link below!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An Interactive Evening with Jerry Rees

The Disney Project is pleased to announce the details of our second in-person Disney fan event.

“An Interactive Evening with Jerry Rees” will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2015.

Jerry with Martin Short on the set of CinéMagique

Tickets now on sale! Get tickets here.

Location: Variety Screening Room
The Hobart Building
582 Market Street (at Montgomery)
San Francisco
7-10p (doors will open at 6:30)

Jerry Rees is a writer, director, animator, and storyteller in all media. Some of you know him as the director of The Brave Little Toaster.  Some of you know him as the director of Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years starring Steve Martin and Donald Duck. Some of you read about Jerry in the recent Vanity Fair article “The Class That Roared”, covering the famed class from CalArts. If you’re a Disney fan, it’s likely you have enjoyed his work at some point.

Jerry’s impressive resume runs the gamut of creative wizardry, from visual effects supervisor on the original TRON, to trans-media director on Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland. He’s also directed such past and present favorites as: Cranium Command, Alien Encounter, CinéMagique, and more. All told Jerry has served as director for nearly 20 Disney attractions. His talents are currently being utilized at WDI as a PH Executive Research & Development Imagineer.

The evening will consist of two presentations. The first will be by Keith Gluck (writer, Disney Historian, proprietor of The Disney Project), and the second by Jerry. The title of this event refers to both programs, and here’s how:

Program #1: Keith Gluck - Choose Your Own Adventure!

Ticket buyers will have 4 different programs to vote on prior to the evening of the event. Whichever program gets the most votes, wins.

Choice 1: The Evolution of the Disney Dark Ride (learn fun facts about Disney dark rides, from Peter Pan to Mystic Manor)
Choice 2: A World of Disney (you know the U.S. Disney Parks, but in this program we chat about the international Disney Parks)
Choice 3: Walt's Main Street (learn about how Main Street was in Walt's day, when he walked it himself)
Choice 4: The Disney That Should've Been (wanna know more about cool projects like Mineral King? Western River Expedition? Then this program's for you)

Program #2: Jerry Rees - My Life Imagining and Imagineering

Join Jerry as he discusses just a few of his many experiences working with Disney over the years.

Jerry is both extremely knowledgeable and personable, and he wants his program to feel more like a conversation and less like a lecture. So questions and comments during his talk are encouraged! (note: questions may be moderated by Keith if time constraints require).

Side note: Keith is also knowledgeable and personable, but not as much as Jerry, therefore questions regarding his program will come after. :)

The evening will also include an original short film, light refreshments, and a no-purchase necessary raffle.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you in November!

The Variety Preview Room and Event Space is a private movie theater, meeting space and lounge owned and operated by Variety Children's Charity, a non-profit organization serving the needs of children throughout Northern California since 1947. Proceeds gained from the Variety Preview Room fund Variety’s programs serving children challenged by physical and mental disabilities, poverty, abuse and neglect.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015 D23 Expo day one - My Disney Project Life

Some of the highlights from day one at 2015's D23 Expo include: clever costumes, random Disney fan antics, meeting Imagineers, and priceless footage of Walt himself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Four Years of The Disney Project… and Counting!

I know the “big” anniversaries end in 5 and 0, so maybe I’ll throw a party next year. But for now, I would like to say thanks to all of you. On June 25, 2011, I started a tiny little Disney fan blog. A few months later, I began writing for a major Disney fan site. And then another. And then another. Since I guess I’m waiting for next year to honor the site’s 5th anniversary, I’ll save the ever-intriguing “history of The Disney Project” till then. But for now, let’s talk about the future.

I have definitely slowed way down on my Disney writing and even podcasting. What do busy people say? “Life got in the way”? Well busy people are right. It can. It does. It did. But now, it took a bit of a sidestep. I am writing this post from my couch, waiting for 2 more hours to tick by so I can head to SFO and board my first ever flight to Asia, and both Asia Disney resorts. It goes without saying that I am beside myself with anticipation. I am also, however, looking forward to what's in store for The Disney Project.

After my return from Asia (early July), I have a few “Disney projects” planned for you guys (see what I did there). I am actually pretty excited about each of them, so much so that I decided to give you all the sneak peak from my couch.

Project 1: If you live in/near the Bay Area, please use this notice as a “Save the Date”. The Disney Project will be bringing you its 2nd live event in San Francisco on Saturday, November 14. Our last event was a huge success, and for that I can’t thank those who attended enough. Event number two will be smaller in scale, but just as exciting. More details are forthcoming, but for now, please set November 14, 2015 aside.

Project 2: The Disney Project is going to delve into the world of vlogging! Not weekly, mind you, since I live nowhere near a Disney park. However I do live near The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, so expect the occasional episode from there. Additionally, when I do visit the parks, I may have some cool things to share with you guys. I am also lucky enough to be friends with a Disney personality or two, so be on the lookout for possible cameos. Like Project #1, more details to come.

Project 3: But the most exciting, and by far, the most important part of our Disney Project, in fact, the heart of everything—is a book. Yep, finally! I have written for so many different Disney sites over the years, I have been asked more than once as to when I was going to join the world of Disney authors. Well the answer is, 2016. I have what I believe to be a pretty neat idea, and once again, more details to come. This project is the one I am the most excited about, because out of all of my creative endeavors, writing is the one I actually do fairly well.  

That’s it for now, folks. I just wanted to give you guys a quick update before I depart for Asia. If you’re reading this, and technically you are, thank you so much for supporting my little Disney fan blog. I’m so excited about what’s coming up, and I’ll do my best to make these projects entertaining for you.

~ Keith

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Disney Project Podcast--Episode 19: TRON

Guy Selga from joins us this month to chat about all things TRON. The original TRON, TRON: Legacy, TRON's once and future presence in the Disney Parks, and even TRON: Ascension are covered in this episode of The Disney Project Podcast. If you're a TRON fan, this is an episode you won't want to miss.

Your listening options are iTunes, direct download, or via the player window below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Five Things You Should Know Before Visiting Disneyland Paris

I am pleased to announce that I am writing for my 4th major Disney-related site: The DIS. This will be fun for me as it will allow for a different style of writing. My posts on The DIS will be largely opinion pieces, with the teensiest of Disney history thrown in. Enjoy!

In December of 1985, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells (Disney’s then-CEO and COO, respectively) signed a letter of intent with then-French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius to build the Euro Disney project in Marne-la-Vallée, France. On March 24, 1987, Eisner and then-Prime Minister Jacques Chirac signed an agreement stipulating that construction move forward. On April 12, 1992, the Euro Disney Resort opened.

Since opening day the resort has undergone several name changes, welcomed a second park, and dealt with some vexatious financial moments. It has persevered, however, and to this day remains one of the top tourist destinations in all of Europe.

Please check out the rest of the article on The DIS:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Disney and Lionel

When Walt Disney commissioned artist Herb Ryman to create a piece of concept art of Disneyland to show to the bankers, his instructions were clear: “Herbie,” Walt said, “I just want it to look like nothing else in the world. And it should be surrounded by a train.” Walt’s love for trains can be traced all the way back to his days as a young boy growing up in Marceline, Missouri, and spanned the breadth of his amazing life.

Walt with his girls on the Lilly Belle
Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Company, ©Disney

Please check out the full article at

Monday, January 19, 2015

Modern Mouse Radio: Walt's Epcot

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the popular Disney podcast Modern Mouse Radio. Host Josh Taylor and I had a really fun chat about EPCOT the city.


We talk about what would have worked about it, what wouldn't have, but mostly how awesome it would have been. Let us know your thoughts!

Direct download this episode

Get this episode in iTunes

Follow Josh Taylor on Twitter: @ModernMouseJosh