For those of you that don’t know, I’m a huge Disney geek. I try to get to one of the parks at least once a year, to refuel creatively (a technique my husband and I learned from Jeff Baham, webmaster of http://www.doombuggies.com/).
It’s sort of one of my five pillars of geekdom.
A couple of years ago, I went on the hunt for details of a Walt Disney World attraction that I couldn’t remember the name of, it turned out the be the “Monster Sound Show” starring Chevy Chase and Martin Short.
At that time, I discovered that there were more freaks for details and trivia like myself. I thought that the only truly immersive websites for Disney fans were Doombuggies, TellNoTales, and maybe a few others.
But on my search for the now defunct show/attraction, I stumbled upon http://www.yesterland.com/. Yesterland is a website devoted to shows and attractions that no longer exist in the Disney theme parks.
I was lucky to correspond a bit with the webmaster, site creator and “curator” of Yesterland, and he allowed me to ask him some questions, just one Disney geek to another. Here is the Yesterland interview with Werner Weiss.
1.) When did you start Yesterland?
I began work on Yesterland in late 1994 as an effort to learn more about the Internet. The grand opening of Yesterland was May 20, 1995.
2.) When you started the site, were there a lot of similar sites? I’m noticing them springing up all over the place the last couple of years especially.
There were already a few other sites about Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but not like today. There wasn’t even an official Disneyland or Walt Disney World website, although Disney already had an official site promoting their movies.
3.) In your opinion, what is it about Disney culture, and the rides in particular, that inspires such a big fan community on the internet?
There’s a big Disney fan community because a lot of people enjoy the works of Walt Disney and the creative organization that he built. Although Walt and most of the people who worked with him have left us, new generations of Disney Imagineers, filmmakers, and other creative people have continued in the tradition of Walt Disney.
4.) What are some of your favorite Disney-related websites?
MiceAge ( http://miceage.micechat.com ) and MiceChat ( http://www.micechat.com ) are favorites of mine. I check them daily. Since October 2006, Yesterland has been affiliated with them. We announce new Yesterland content at MiceAge. Readers can discuss the articles and other Disney park history topics on the Yesterland forums at MiceChat.
Deb Wills has a great trip planning site at AllEarsNet ( http://allears.net ).
I like to keep up with what Disney Vacation Club is doing at DVCNews.com ( http://dvcnews.com ).
Davelandweb ( http://davelandweb.com/disneyland ) has an amazing collection of vintage Disneyland photographs.
There are a whole bunch of terrific blogs, websites, and discussion forums, all dealing with Disney in one way of another. There are too many to check them all every day. One of the reason I maintain a page of Disney Park History Links ( http://www.yesterland.com/links.html ) is for my own use.
5.) What is your favorite cancelled attraction at any of the parks? Mine is “Monster Sound Show.”
I miss the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland at Disneyland. It was replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The old ride was in the tradition of the Jungle Cruise, an open air scenic ride with show scenes that put you in another place. There was something new around every turn. Big Thunder is much more popular than the old Mine Train, and it’s a very good ride. Still, I wish I could have taken my kids on the old Mine Train.