In 1954, ABC began running the Disneyland
series, quickly gaining attention within a year with their Fess Parker-starring Davy Crockett mini-series
-within-a-show. By 1961 the show moved to NBC and was being called Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
, where Walt Disney himself continued to host the weekly show until his death in 1966. Afterward the show continued, being renamed The Wonderful World of Disney
in 1969. This is probably the show title most recognized today. The show continued under various other titles, even moving to CBS in 1981, but finally wrapped in 1983. New versions of the same show have come along since then (some hosted by then-CEO Michael Eisner), including 1997's ABC version of The Wonderful World of Disney
. Fans agree that none held a candle to the original, legendary run of the show in its heyday.
Bits and pieces of that original show have leaked out onto DVD, most as part of the annual Walt Disney Treasures
wave of DVD sets in collectible tin packaging. Here at TVShowsOnDVD we can't claim to have always done the best job in keeping up with some of those releases, and with this year's releases we almost overlooked one set coming with three episodes of the show from when it ran under the Wonderful World of Color
Scott Wolf runs the fan site MouseClubHouse.com
website, a very cool place to visit if you love Disney stuff. Of course, when you hear the name "Scott Wolf" you are probably thinking of the actor who was in such TV shows as Party of Five, Everwood
and The Nine
. Nope, not the same guy. But this Scott Wolf IS the same one who worked at Walt Disney Television Animation as the Assistant Producer of the series TaleSpin
. Scott's a great guy, and we especially appreciate him because this past weekend he sent us a note letting us know we were overlooking these episodes on DVD.
As Scott reported at his site
, December 12th
see the 7th annual release of Buena Vista's Walt Disney Treasures
line, and one of the three titles this year is Disneyland - Secrets, Stories & Magic: Walt Disney Treasures Limited Edition Tin
. This 2-disc set sells for $32.99 SRP, but can still be pre-ordered at Amazon
for $22.99 at this time. The main feature on this release is the new documentary called "Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic," all about the theme park. Toward that end there is an enclosed lithograph suggestive of the park, and a replica of a vintage Disneyland "E Ticket" booklet enclosed as well. Neat.
But the bonus features find 3 episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
included: "The Golden Horseshoe Revue," "Disneyland Goes To The Worlds Fair" and "Disneyland Around The Seasons." Scott's note to me explained more about these episodes:
I'm very excited that that Treasures set will have The Golden Horseshoe Revue show. It's supposed to be the 10,000th performance of Disneyland's stage show (which according to Guiness is the longest running stage show in theatrical history) but it's not a true representation of the real show. Just some elements of it, with Ed Wynn, Annette Funicello, and a barroom brawl scene reenacted. There's some trick photography and things that couldn't happen on a live stage which bug me, but you do get Wally Boag who did the show from 1955 to 1982 and Betty Taylor who did the show from 1955 to 1986.
They also will have my favorite "Wonderful World of Color" episode called "Disneyland Goes to a World's Fair." Walt Disney takes you thru the studio to show you the work being done on Mister Lincoln, Small World, Carousel of Progress and the Ford Skyway attraction. The dinosaur diorama that is seen from the DIsneyland Railroad today is taken from the skyway. Small World until this month has the same boats and moats as were at the World's Fair but will be closing in January for about ten months to finally update those things that need work.
The last episode is called "Disneyland Around the Seasons" which focuses on seasonal happenings such as parades.
Wow, Scott's certainly got more info about these than the press release! He's a real expert on these things, and you should make his site a regular stop on your surfing schedule. Other awesome bonus material on this set includes the "Cinemascope tour" People and Places: Disneyland U.S.A.
, in Technicolor and with a newly remastered 5.1 soundtrack, and "Operation Disneyland," a segment never seen by the public before, as it was made to be seen only by ABC affiliates on their internal closed-circuit network. The piece "illustrates the gigantic challenge of the park’s 1955 opening day live broadcast." For more information about this and other bonus material on the set, please read the full press release at MouseClubHouse.com
. Here's a look at the package: