Message: Dear Lou, I can remember a part of the Splashtacular show at Epcot, a dinosaur looking animatronics (well the head looked like a dino) would come up from a spot near Communicore, this was one of the villains in the show. Then after they cancelled this show I noticed the same animatronic being used in a Tomorrowland show (the Galaxy theater) where the animatronic was dressed like Elvis….do you remember this…thought it was kinda funny. Thanks
Answer: Wayne, Thanks for the question. I (vaguely) recall Maleficent coming up from the fountain and changing into the dragon to take away the colors that Mickey and friends were singing about.
As for the AA figure, are you referring to Sonny Eclipse? The lounge singer in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe? If so, he’s still there (he was actually being refurbished as of October, 2004)
Message: I heard rumors about a fifth WDW park opening near the TTC in the not so near future. (2010??) I didn’t get any details about the new park other than location and approximate time it would be started/completed. Have you heard anything and/or details of what the new park would be like?? Is this just a rumor? Thanks so much.
Answer:Sandy: Hi! Rumors of a fifth Disney theme park, in addition to the Beastly Kingdom finally coming to DAK have been swirling for years. However, Disney is not planning to open a new park anytime soon. A few years ago, there were “confirmed” rumors of a Villains-themed adventure park with roller coasters and thrill rides, etc. on the drawing board, but that has never come to pass. Plus, with the additions to Epcot and DAK coming (Soarin, Expedition Everest), it is doubtful that anything else like that will be forthcoming very soon.
Message: I have been going to Disney for years now and I was wondering why River Country was closed and what was going to happen to the Discovery Island in Bay Lake. I used to love the island especially and used to stay at Fort Wilderness. I know a lot of the animals can be found in the Animal Kingdom, but a lot of them also cannot be like Toucans or the Bald Eagle which I always loved. Just wondering if this would ever be reopened and if not then why on most current maps, like the one in back of Birnbaum do they show the island complete with birds and all that. Thanks for re4ading this though 🙂
Answer: Thanks for the email. River Country closed at the end of the season in 2001 and never reopened, partly due to the attendance issues as a result of 9/11. It was also due to problems with bacteria in the water, as it is directly connected to Bay Lake. Check out a couple of the River Country threads in our forums at www.disneyworldtrivia.com/forums .
Discovery Island has been surrounded by rumors for some time now. At one point, there were rumors of it being converted into a themed land based on the computer game “Myst” which never developed. It has recently been rumored to be converted into an exclusive, very upscale resort, including villas, etc. catering to the honeymooning crowd. To date, though, nothing has been finalized, and the once beautiful island sits abandoned.
Message: who did walt disney buy the land from to build disneyland florida?
Answer: Hi Victoria, and thanks for the email. Disney actually bought the land from hundreds of landowners using fake names and dummy corporations.
You can read an article I wrote about it here in my article called “Walt Disney World History 101 – “How to buy 27,000 acres of land and no one notice”: http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/articles/asklou/wdwhistory101.php
Message: Where did Walt Disney get his idea from for the Disney World castle? Is it true that Walt Disney received a dishonorable discharge for the Army?
Answer: Thanks for the question! Imagineers used several French castles for inspiration, among them the Chambord, the Usse, and the Chenonceau. Inspiration also came from the castle in Walt Disney’s own film Cinderella, as well as the Bavarian Castle Neuschwanstein. You can read more about it here: http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/trivia/mk/castle.php
As for his discharge form the Army, my understanding was that is was NOT dishonorable.
Message: I can’t wait for it’s a small world to reopen. What rides or attraction would you take a 6 month baby on?
Answer: We actually went with my daughter when she was around 6 months old, and believe me, there’s more he/she can do than you think!We wanted her first ride to be something “memorable”, so we chose Pirates (which she fell asleep on!). Depending on the child and their temperament, there are lots of possibilities. For example, my daughter was fine in the Haunted Mansion, Snow White, Peter Pan, etc. Other attractions I recommend that are somewhat “visually stimulating” include: Liberty Square Riverboat, Jungle Cruise, Most of the Fantasyland attractions (e.g. Pooh) Buzz Lightyear, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Aladdin/Dumbo, Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, The Living Seas (my daughter loved looking at the fish), Tomorrowland Transit Authority (nice relaxing ride that you can stay on… nice place for kids to fall asleep on), Festival of the Lion King, Pocahontas & her forest friends, Parades are a big hit, too!
Message: Hi again….thank you for answering all of my questions up to this point. I have a couple others for you now:…
1.) Does Pal Mickey work on return trips to Disney….even if you haven’t been there in over a year or two?
2.) The Caribbean Resort has a Parrot Cove or something along those lines, what type of birds can be seen there, is it just parrots or various species?
3.) Are you allowed to record the American Adventure Show in EPCOT?
4.) What are the best places to see the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom from within the park, not counting the Contemporary, especially if taking pictures and you want to get the fireworks above the castle.
That’s all I have for right now….thanks though for answering some of theses questions, and by the way…. (in response to a previous question) I found out if you e-mail Starabilias with a request, they will take a photo of anything you want and then e-mail it to you….so even though they don’t allow photos, they are willing to send photos so that they can sell the items throughout the country. Thought you might want to know. Thanks for the help. 🙂
Answer: Thanks for the email! Let me hit your questions one by one:1. Yes, Pal Mickey will work on all your return trips, and retrieve new information as it is sent in the parks
2. You’re thinking of Parrot Cay island, located in the middle of the 42 acre lake. There, you will find a an aviary filled with variety of exotic, tropical birds. There’s also a nice children’s play area.
3. I have recorded the AA before, and have seen other recording of it online. As long as you don’t use an external lighting source, you should be fine.
4. I recommend (shhh… our little secret), the Rose Garden on the path to Tomorrowland from the hub. It offers an out-of-the-way spot to see the fireworks, and get a great view of Tinkerbell’s flight! There are plenty of railings to lean against, too! You can even get there early, setup tripod, and get some fabulous shots!
Message: What is the music that is played for Illuminations?
Please tell me what the titles and artists are. I would also like to know where I can get the music. Thank you so much!
Answer: Thanks for the email. You can get a copy of the Official Illuminations CD from the Laughing Place store HERE : (Search for Illuminations)
Well, that’s it for this edition of the Ask Lou… mailbag. Have a question? Stumped with some Walt Disney World trivia? Just go ahead and