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5.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to the Happiest Place on Earth, 19 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Disneyland: Secrets Stories & Magic [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
On July 17 1955 Walt Disney opened the gates to Disneyland(R) the beloved American icon that has become a cherished destination for generations. It was also the day Walt's sixteen-year dream came true. The centerpiece of this volume is a captivating and nostalgic film that takes you inside that dream. Rare archival footage new interviews with key people and Walt's own words reveal how his innovative vision became a reality. Then discover more Disneyland(R) secrets with a fun-filled trivia game and relive the magic of the recently restored PEOPLE AND PLACES: DISNEYLAND U.S.A. presented in CinemaScope with a new 5.1 audio mix. Featuring exclusive introductions by film historian Leonard Maltin this is a timeless collection from generations past for generations to come.System Requirements:Running Time: 332 Mins.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: CHILDREN/FAMILY Rating: NR UPC: 786936702057

Originally conceived as a fiftieth anniversary tribute to Disneyland, this 332-minute DVD set celebrates Walt Disney's vision and drive in imagining, building, and marketing America's first-ever theme park. This compilation offers fascinating insight into Walt Disney's enormous undertaking through the documentary "The Secrets, Stories, and Magic of Disneyland," the retrospective "Operation Disneyland," three episodes from "The Wonderful World of Color" television series, one "People and Places" episode, and a collection of historical time-lapse construction footage from Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Leonard Maltin and Julie Andrews provide an introduction to the 80-minute "Secrets, Stories, and Magic" which details Walt Disney's initial vision for Disneyland, considered to be "Walt's Folly" by many Disney Studio employees, and the various stages of the park's planning and construction culminating in its grand opening on July 17, 1955. Extensive new and vintage footage address virtually every aspect of the conception and realization of Disneyland from the original site plan and concept art to the tight construction schedule, logistical problems during construction and on opening day, the development of new enhanced motion vehicle technology for the rides, and the shelved ideas that make up the "Disneyland that never was." Extensive interview footage includes Walt Disney, George Lucas, Roy Disney, artist Herb Ryman, retired president of Disneyland Jack Lindquist, composer Richard Sherman, and many others. After an interactive Disneyland trivia game that's none-to-easy even in the beginner mode, it's on to a restored version of the 1956 "People and Places: Disneyland USA" episode which highlights Walt Disney's goal that Disneyland serve as a place of enlightenment, happiness, and the pursuit of fun and takes viewers on a slow-paced exploration of the five areas of Disneyland. Modern audiences might be inclined to condemn this particular feature as a 42-minute-long Disneyland commercial, but in 1956 it functioned more as an exploration of a distant place that many around the world had never had the opportunity to visit.

Disc two begins with "Operation Disneyland," a 14-minute black and white documentary produced for ABC closed circuit television which looks at the technical aspects of broadcasting the opening ceremonies of Disneyland on live television. Never intended for public viewing, the program offers an interesting and historically valuable look back at the mechanics of live television in the 1950's. Next are three episodes of Walt Disney's weekly program "The Wonderful World of Color." "The Golden Horseshoe Revue" features the 10,000th vaudeville-inspired performance at Disneyland's The Golden Horseshoe Saloon with Betty Taylor, Wally Boag, Gene Sheldon, Ed Wynn, and former Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. "Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair" details Disney's contributions to the New York World's Fair of 1964-1965 including the creation of "It's A Small World" for UNICEF, "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," and the "Primeval World" audio-animatronic dinosaurs currently on exhibit in the Disneyland Railroad. "Disneyland Around the Seasons" celebrates Disneyland's 11th year with a look at special holiday programming at Disneyland. Finally, footage from several time-lapse cameras scattered throughout Disneyland during the park's construction is presented with narration by Tony Baxter from Disney Imagineering, and Ed Hobbleman and Walter Magnuson from the Disney Studio Inventory Group. Just about everything one could ever want to know about the history of Disneyland is right here in this thorough Disney collection. --Tami Horiuchi

This 2 DVD collection is simply superb. If you are a fan of Disneyland and want to know how it all started, then these documentaries are for you. There are some lands and attractions that you hear from older Disneyland 'enthusiats' that are documented and well talked in there.

The one documentary that I found was quite amazing is People and Places: Disneyland USA. It is quite fantastic and so well restored; it look like it was filmed 25 years ago, not in 1955 !
Highly recommended!
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