Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Dana Point: Festival of Whales

Image courtesy

Are you looking for an inexpensive family-friendly event to attend this weekend or next? If so, Dana Point’s 39th Annual Festival of Whales may be just what you are looking for.

The Festival kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, March 6th at 10:00 a.m. with a parade along Pacific Coast Highway. According to the website all events are weather permitting, so you may want to call (1.888.440.4309 or 949.472.7888) before venturing out.

For more information check out the the official event program. Some of the events include: guided family tide pool hikes, street faire, free fishing clinic and trip for kids, cars, art, movie in the park and much more.

This years promotional poster was designed by John Van Hamersveld. You may not recognize the name, but you definitely know who he is. He designed one of the most iconic surfing images ever, The Endless Summer film promotional poster.

Captain EO is back! February 23!!

So long, bad times.......Hello, good times!

That’s right kids.  The rumors were all true.  While it was originally thought that Captain EO would return for the special Halloween celebration Disneyland had in 2009, there simply wasn’t enough time to do it up right.  According to the Disney Parks Blog the official date for it’s return is this Tuesday February 23!!!  Also, according to the blog site, there will be a special Captain EO announcement on the Disneyland Twitter account next week.  So if you have Twitter, follow them to see what it is!

I was lucky enough to be in the first audience to see the movie since 1997 last week when they were doing some special cast member testing.  It sounds great and was so fun to watch in 3D again.  I think this will be a huge success due to fans who remember it from their younger days and also for the new generation who have never seen it before.  Also, be ready for a few new surprises that didn’t exist in the original run. :-)

Anyone going opening day??  Maybe we can have a good old fashion IRL (In Real Life) meetup!

Knott’s Blast From the Past

If you find yourself at Knott’s Merry Farm this year be sure to check out the Barn in Ghost Town for a nice display featuring some familiar characters from the venerable theme park’s past…


If you don’t know who that is in the picture above, it’s a (non functioning) animatronic from the famed and long-gone legendary dark-ride Knott’s Bear-yTales. The Bear-yTales website notes the attraction took you along “various adventures of the Bear-y Family. Along the way, you’ll see Frog Forrest, the Candy Company and bakery where everyone is making boysenberry pies and preserves, the Gypsy camp, where Sara tells your fortune, and the spiders and creatures of Thunder Cave. And you can’t forget the Weird Woods, home of Crafty Coyote, or the trilling conclusion at the Country Fair.” The Boysenberry smell piped into the attraction was the best!!


Interestingly, KBT was replaced by Kingdom of the Dinosaurs in 1986. That ride (also quite good) closed in 2004 and you can find some of the former set pieces in the Timber Mountain Log Ride; such as the evil red-eyed wolves.

It’s nice to see Cedar Fair making use of old Knott’s props and historical ride pieces throughout the park. Now if only they would scale down the thrills and beef up the family entertainment. A nice new Peanuts dark-ride or even a new concept dark-ride altogether would we a welcome addition.

Old Towne Orange Tree Lighting And Candlelight Procession

Tree lighting kicks off holiday season - slideshowThat’s right kids.  It’s that time of year again.  Time to put on your winter outfit (which this year may just consist of a long sleeve t-shirt) and venture out to the Orange Circle for the annual Tree Lighting and Candlelight Procession.  It takes place this Sunday December 6th.  It starts at 3:30pm and goes until about 7pm.  There are booths with hot chocolate, sweets and goodies set up for you to peruse and enjoy, but it really gets good just after dark (5:30-6ish??).  That’s when the singing starts and the story of Christmas is told.  If you have kids, this is great for them, but my wife and I love it even though we don’t have kids.

It’s because of occasions like this that I really love Old Towne Orange.  When I attend these events, I forget that I’m deep in the middle of a big Southern California city.  I feel like I’ve been transported to a small town in middle America.

Knott’s Book Signing Event on Video

Jay Jennings, the curator over at The Knott’s Berry Farm Museum, alerted me to this video of his recent book signing event. It’s nice to see people still love the place and frankly I haven’t seen a line like that since I waited in like for chicken dinner. Mmmmmm mmmmmmm!

The video features Jay signing his book Knott’s Berry Farm: The Early Years inside the famed Chicken Dinner Restaurant on Aug 29, 2009. Nearly 300 people lined up to see the author – including Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter.


Knott’s Berry Farm: The Early Years

As our constant readers know, I am prone to fits of nostalgia about the wonders of Knott’s Berry Farm. I can’t help it; it’s a condition. Needless to say I was thrilled, wait let me rephrase that… I was THRILLED (!!!) when I saw Jay Jennings (pictured below), the Curator/Historian of The Knott’s Berry Farm Museum was releasing a new book entitled Knott’s Berry Farm: The Early Years.


[Photo courtesy of The Knott’s Berry Farm Museum]

A nice feature over at The OC Register quotes Jennings as saying ”I hope my book brings back fond memories of when families visited Knott’s Berry Farm and Ghost Town and the sheer fun and joy of walking up and down Main Street“. Indeed it does! With all the recent hubbub about D23 it’s nice to see a little history and street-cred being bestowed on Orange County’s original theme park!

There was a book signing on Saturday but, alas I was being burned alive in LA on that day so I was unable to attend. There is something to be said for an event that is smaller, more personal and rich with history. I encourage you to check it out the KBF Museum web site and of course, order that book! One more photo after the jump…


“Pitcher” Perfect

Old Towne Orange Sign

There are so many things I love about Old Towne Orange (the houses, the people, the shops just to name a few), but I have one spot that has been my favorite since I discovered it several years ago.
Pitcher Park-


Pitcher Park sits at the corner of Almond and Cambridge in an entirely residential area, minus the school across the street. The park is small, taking up no more width than 1 house and no more length than 2 houses. It has benches, tables, greenery…all the things you expect to find in a park. But when you look closer, you see the little details that I love so much about the park.
Well don’t just sit there, follow the link to hear what they are and see more pictures! (more…)

More Disneyland Memories

Simply put, this home movie filmed inside Disneyland in 1956, is nothing short of enchanting. It’s two minutes of pure nostalgic joy. Watch closely as Walt himself makes a casual appearance to meet and greet Guests. It’s astounding. I ask you this: When was the last time any of you saw the current Disneyland Resort President or better yet CEO Bob Iger, just strolling through the park chatting with Guests? He was remarkable and thus far, irreplaceable.

[Unfortunately Metblogs does not support the embedding code for this video. Just click the link below the preview picture and you’ll be whisked off to Vimeo’s web site]


CLICK HERE TO SEE Home Movies At DisneyLand – 1956 from Jeff Altman on Vimeo.

Disney Inspiration (DisPiration?)

Don’t judge me. Disney makes up their own words all the time (Environmentality and Presenteeism come to mind). I digress……

I was reading through an Adventures By Disney magazine at work, and came across a picture of Neuschwanstein Castle. I’ve included a picture below:



Look familiar to anyone?? Come with me past the jump for more pics and comparisons to Orange County’s 1st castle.

Archiving Orange County AOC: OC Fair

Main Exhibit Hall

Main Exhibit Hall

The OC Fair wasn’t always host to giant $2 million shows or an exhibit hall-turned-“As Seen On TV” playroom.

The fair used to (*gasp*) showcase the surrounding cities that make up the county. Here we see Tustin’s “Farm Center” and a little special appearance by San Diego County. Times were a little less “in your face” back then. But they still loved comics, though probably not as much as we do.

But this was 50 years ago, 1949.

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