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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mickey Mouse Club (60th) & A Goofy Movie (20th) Anniversaries To Be Celebrated At D23 Expo 2015


60TH ANNIVERSARY OF MICKEY MOUSE CLUB TO BE CELEBRATED AT D23 EXPO 2015 WITH REUNION OF ORIGINAL MOUSEKETEERS

Disney’s Official Fan Club Will Also Present Panels including A Sneak Peek of American Experience: Walt Disney, A Tribute to A Goofy Movie for Its 20th Anniversary, and More.

BURBANK, Calif. – June 30, 2015 – Members of the original Mickey Mouse Club will join the fun at D23 EXPO 2015 during a special presentation to commemorate the show’s 60th anniversary. Celebrating Walt Disney’sMickey Mouse Club — 60 Magical yEARS, hosted by author Lorraine Santoli (The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book), will take place Sunday, August 16 at 5 p.m. in Stage 23. The panel, featuring original Mouseketeers Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien, and Doreen Tracey, along with actors Tim Considine (Spin Evans) and David Stollery (Marty Markham), will include a one-of-a-kind performance filled with memories, music, and magic. D23 EXPO 2015, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, will take place August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

In addition to the panel, the Disney Dream Store will offer a small collection of 60th anniversary Mickey Mouse Club items to mark the occasion. Also, several of the Mouseketeers will be available for a signing opportunity at D23 Autograph Central on the EXPO show floor on Sunday from 2:303:30 p.m.  Plus, guests will be able to see Mouseketeer Annette Funicello’s original Disney Legend handprints on display for the first time outside the Walt Disney Studios lot. The handprints, taken on October 21, 1992, when Funicello was inducted as a Disney Legend, will be presented in one of the show floor’s “photo spots.” There will also be a collection of props and costumes from Mickey Mouse Club Circus in Walt Disney Archives Presents—Disneyland: The Exhibit.

D23 will also present several other engaging presentations for guests throughout the weekend including:

Charles Phoenix: Big Retro Disneyland Slide Show!
Friday, August 14, 10 a.m., Stage 28
Be prepared for your Disneyland-loving spirit to soar when the Ambassador of Americana takes you to the granddaddy of all theme parks when it opened. With his spectacular collection of “found” mid-century-era Kodachrome images, unbridled enthusiasm, and keen eye for detail, Charles shares the early days of Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland. See long-gone attractions, including the Phantom Boats, Flying Saucers, the Indian Village, PeopleMover, House of the Future, Carousel of Progress, and the original Tomorrowland—promoted as “The World of 1986”—and the all-new Tomorrowland in 1967. Your imagination will be inspired! 

Disneyland Home Movies
Friday, August 14, 4:30 p.m., Stage 28
While Disneyland is one of the most photographed places on earth, this collection of one-of-a-kind footage and photography offers a unique viewpoint from another time. From the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs; Lynne Kirste, Special Collections Curator; and surprise special guests will take guests on a journey from Walt’s inspirations for Disneyland to the park’s opening and evolution, as captured on film. Suzanne Lloyd joins the presentation to showcase her grandfather Harold Lloyd’s stunning photography of Disneyland taken the week before the opening and on opening day.

A Goofy Movie 20th Anniversary Reunion!
Friday, August 14, 6 p.m., Stage 28
Fans of A Goofy Movie won’t want to miss this special commemoration of the beloved Disney animated feature, which turns 20 in 2015. Film producer Don Hahn hosts a panel of A Goofy Movie talent––including Disney Legend Bill Farmer (Goofy), Jason Marsden (Max), Jim Cummings (Pete), Rob Paulsen (P.J.), and writer Jymn Magon––who will share behind-the-scenes stories and surprising anecdotes from the fan-favorite musical.

The Making of American Experience: Walt Disney
Saturday, August 15, 4:30 p.m., Stage 28
This fall, PBS will premiere a new two-part, four-hour film exploring the life and legacy of Walt Disney as part of the American Experience series. Go behind-the-scenes with the team who brought the project together for a special sneak peek of the film: moderator Don Hahn (film producer, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King), Sarah Colt (director/producer, American Experience: Walt Disney), Neal Gabler (biographer, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination), and Becky Cline, the Director of the Walt Disney Archives.

Best of Destination D
Sunday, August 16, 4:30 p.m., Stage 28
Since 2010, D23 Destination D events have offered D23 Members the chance to celebrate their favorite Disney subjects with unique and in-depth presentations from Disney Legends, Imagineers, animators, and others who have made magic on film, at Disney theme parks, and beyond. At D23 EXPO 2015, D23 is bringing two popular presentations from prior Destination D events together for a celebration of Walt Disney World® Resort—including a look back to its construction, early development, and favorite attractions of the past with Disney Legend and Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith. Then, Imagineer Jason Grandt will provide a modern look at Disney Parks and offer a designer’s point of view of details and “Easter Eggs” found throughout different attractions.


Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

About D23 EXPO 2015
D23 EXPO—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 EXPO 2015 news, visit D23EXPO.comPresentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 EXPO conversation, make sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23EXPO.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold and General Membership levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Marvel's Ant-Man World Premiere Photos!


The cast and crew from MARVEL’s  ANT-MAN had a fANTastic time celebrating the world premiere of the film at the world famous Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
















Marvel’s Ant-Man hits theaters July 17!

ANT-MAN
MARVEL STUDIOS
Website and Mobile site: http://marvel.com/antman 
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antman 
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntMan 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Giveaway: Made with Magic Disneyland 60th Magic Brush


Enter to win a Made with Magic - Magic Brush for Disneyland's 60th Anniversary! It changes the colors on the Made with Magic Mouse Ears and Gloves! Perfect while watching any of the new night time entertainment at The Disneyland Resort!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 26, 2015

Giveaway: Despicable Me Unicorn Plush BackPack


It's So Fluffy!!! Win a unicorn push backpack from Despicable Me!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One on Blu-ray 9/1/15


A Spark of Rebellion Ignites the Galaxy in
Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One!
      
      On Blu-ray™ and DVD September 1, 2015


In the first groundbreaking season of Star Wars Rebels, young hero Ezra Bridger joins the clever but motley crew of the starship Ghost in their resistance against the Empire. As the series begins, Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet, ruling with an iron fist and ruining the lives of its people. Ezra and his new rebel friends -- Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper -- embark on daring adventures in their fight against oppression across the galaxy, receiving help from familiar heroes such as Lando Calrissian, Ahsoka Tano, and Jedi Master Yoda. Pursued relentlessly by the Imperials and a Jedi hunter called the Inquisitor, this tenacious ragtag band of rebels will find itself in the crosshairs of none other than Darth Vader when season one closes in a shocking two-part finale. 

Star Wars Rebels is created by Dave Filoni (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Sherlock Holmes), and Carrie Beck. The Lucasfilm Animation production is also executive-produced by Filoni and Kinberg as well as Greg Weisman (“Gargoyles).

Featuring the voices of Freddie Prinze Jr. (“I Know What You Did Last Summer”) as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall(TV’s “Young Justice”) as Hera, Steve Blum (“The Boxtrolls”) as Zeb, Tiya Sircar (“The Internship”) as Sabine, Taylor Gray (TV’s “Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures”) as Ezra, David Oyelowo (“Selma”) as Agent Kallus and Jason Isaacs (“Harry Potter”) as the Inquisitor.

Bonus Features:
Blu-ray:
  • Rebels Infiltrates Star Wars Celebration (Exclusive to Blu-ray)
  • Season One shorts: “The Machine in the Ghost,” “Art Attack,” “Entanglement,” “Property of Ezra Bridger”
  • All DVD Bonus (see below)

DVD:
  • Rebels Recon: 14 behind-the-scenes featurettes
  • Star Wars Rebels – The Ultimate Guide
  • Star Wars Rebels Season 2 – A Look Ahead

Disc Specifications:

Release Date:              September 1, 2015

Format:                       Blu-ray (2-Disc) & DVD (3-Disc)
Rating:                         TV Y7 FV

Run Time:                   Approximately 330 minutes (not including bonus)

Closed Captioned:      Yes
Aspect Ratio:              1:78 (Widescreen)
Audio:                         5.1 Dolby Digital
Languages/ Subtitles:   English, French & Spanish

About the TV Show:
New episodes of Star Wars Rebels Season Two premiere this fall on Disney XD.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company's activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONESfranchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.
Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. STAR WARS © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Paul Rudd Surprises Fans at ANT-MAN Sneak Peek at Disney California Adventure!


Today Paul Rudd surprised costumed fans at the exclusive Ant-Man sneak peek at Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim, California!

The Ant-Man exclusive sneak peek is now running at Disney California Adventure park. Ant-Man opens in theaters July 16.

MARVEL STUDIOS
Website and Mobile site: http://marvel.com/antman 
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antman 
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntMan 

Pixar Presents Its First-Ever D23 EXPO Booth, Plus Panels and a One-of-a-Kind John Lasseter Hawaiian-Shirt Exhibit


BURBANK, Calif. – June 25, 2015 – Buzz Lightyear will welcome visitors to D23 EXPO 2015 as Pixar Animation Studios celebrates the 20-year anniversary of Toy Story, among a host of exciting presentations, demonstrations and panels that pay homage to Pixar’s past while looking ahead to its roster of exciting new films. The fearless space ranger, who appeared in Pixar’s groundbreaking CG-animated feature-film debut Toy Story in 1995, as well as Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010), has taken flight in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® six times as a giant character helium balloon, measuring 67.7-feet long, 39.9-feet wide and 34.3-feet tall. This summer, the Disney•Pixar Buzz Lightyear balloon travels to the West Coast for the first time ever, welcoming guests to D23 EXPO 2015 as it soars outside the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. D23 EXPO 2015 takes place through August 16.  

CALENDAR OF KEY PRESENTATIONS/ PANELS/ EVENTS:

Every Story Is a Journey: The Upcoming Films of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
Friday, August 14, 3:00 pm  – Hall D23
After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip to San Fransokyo where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents “Every Story is a Journey.” Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Disney Animation’s Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent. Cell phones, cameras and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotions Behind Inside Out
Friday, August 14, 2015, 11:30 am – Stage 28
Get the inside story on the making of Pixar’s latest summer release Inside Out. Hear from Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter (UpMonsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up) as they reminisce and share their personal stories of creating a world that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen. 

Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn’t Want You to Know!
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 3:00 pm – Stage 28
Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you don’t know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers behind some of Pixar’s most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc.Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The IncrediblesRatatouilleBrave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out) and Dan Scanlon (CarsToy Story 3Monsters University), as they talk about the twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story ideas that didn’t make the final cut.

Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back
Saturday, August 15, 2015, 4:30 pm – Stage 23
From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting. Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution, blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995’s Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben Ostby, Bob Pauley and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.


ON THE EXPO SHOW FLOOR:

Animation – Show Floor Exhibition
For the first time ever, Pixar Animation Studios is creating a show-floor experience at D23 EXPO. Pixar teams up with Walt Disney Animation Studios for an unforgettable adventure that showcases magic from both animation studios, featuring live demonstrations, presentations and autograph signings with top filmmakers, free giveaways and interactive displays. With highlights from films like Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana, animation fans will get the inside scoop on their favorite films and characters. 

Say Aloha to John Lasseter’s Film-Themed Hawaiian Shirts
Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter takes Disney and Pixar animation to heart—literally. For nearly every film—from Finding Nemo and Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen and Inside Out, Lasseter has commissioned an exclusive movie-themed Hawaiian shirt. And those who know the Oscar®-winning storyteller know that he loves his Hawaiian shirts—and dons one for almost every occasion. Animation fans will see their favorite film characters “materialize” before their eyes in this colorful collection, which will be exhibited on the show floor.

Fans can take home their own shirt, thanks to Disney Store at D23 EXPO. This D23-exclusive Reyn Spooner-design features characters from all the feature films produced under the creative guidance of Lasseter. The simple, appealing collage joins many of Disney’s and Pixar’s most beloved recent characters on one wearable canvas. The shirt will retail for $99.95.  


Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Through June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $58 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

About D23 EXPO 2015
D23 EXPO—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 EXPO 2015 news, visit D23EXPO.comPresentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 EXPO conversation, make sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23EXPO.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold and General Membership levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

About Pixar Animation Studios 
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative, and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including the Toy Story and Cars films, Finding NemoThe IncrediblesRatatouilleWALL•E and Up, the Northern California studio has won 30 Academy Awards and eight Golden Globes®, and its 14 feature films have grossed more than $8.5 billion at the worldwide box office. Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out is in theaters nationwide; next up for the studio are The Good Dinosaur on Nov. 25, 2015, and Finding Dory on June 17, 2016

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Grizzly Peak Airfield Hidden Details: The Rambler and its Ties to Disney History


I'm sure many of you have taken a look at the beautiful Rambler in the Grizzly Peak Airfield next to Humphrey's. But how many of you are aware of the Rambler's ties into Disney history?


Before we get into the Disney ties, let's take a look around the Rambler! You can see that this vehicle is packed for an adventure!


It perfectly fits the time period and reminds a lot of us of those great family vacations!

Now the Rambler is recognized as one of the first successful modern American compact car manufactured by American Motors Corporation (AMC).  AMC was one of the first sponsors for Walt Disney's television series. AMC was also the sponsor of Circarama in Tomorrowland in Disneyland.


Disney also created several commercials for AMC featuring some of their most beloved characters! Watch the video above!

Hope you enjoyed this look at one of the hidden details of the Grizzly Peak Airfield in Disney California Adventure!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Disney/Pixar's "INSIDE OUT" Posts Biggest Opening Ever for an Original Film


DISNEY•PIXAR'S "INSIDE OUT" OPENS WITH MORE THAN $90 MILLION IN DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE FOR BIGGEST ORIGINAL MOVIE OPENING IN HISTORY

Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” heads to the top with the biggest opening for an original movie in history, topping the previous No. 1 original movie, “Avatar,” by more than $13 million, with $90,440,272 million in domestic box office opening weekend. The film opened Friday, June 19.

Directed by Pete Docter (“Up,” “Monsters, Inc.”), and featuring the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith, “Inside Out” took in an estimated $132 million globally, with many significant markets yet to open. The film is the second highest Pixar opening of all time, behind 2010’s “Toy Story 3,” and continues to be well received among audiences and critics alike.
·      “Inside Out” has an “A” Cinemascore.
·      The movie is at 98 percent on rottentomatoes.com
·      “Inside Out” was the highest-grossing Disney•Pixar movie of all time in Russia. 
·      Friday box office for “Inside Out” ($34.2 M) made it the second largest opening day for Pixar, behind “Toy Story 3.”




ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” ventures inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, where five Emotions are hard at work in Headquarters, led by optimist Joy, whose mission is to keep Riley happy. Fear heads up safety, Anger ensures all is fair and Disgust prevents Riley from getting poisoned—physically and socially. Sadness isn’t quite sure what her role is. When Riley's family relocates to a big city, the Emotions help guide her through the bumpy transition. Suddenly, Joy and Sadness are swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind, and Fear, Anger and Disgust are left in charge of Headquarters. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Dream Productions—to get back to Headquarters, and Riley. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc.", "Up"), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. ("Up") and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino ("The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," "Up"), Disney•Pixar's "Inside Out" is in theaters now.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sasaki Time's Jurassic Park Jeep 05 Vehicle Review - Return to the Island


*Note: This is intended to be an actual review of a Jurassic Park Jeep. This is based off my friend Alan's love for the movies and for the jeep itself. It is also a work of fan fiction with the thought that InGen and Jurassic Park are real companies and places. We hope you enjoy the review.*

Recently we were notified, by a cryptic letter to the Sasaki Time offices, that a company long thought lost had sent us an invitation to a unique event. The company was International Genetics Technologies, out of Palo Alto, California…long held to have been disbanded back in 1997. The letter was signed by the famed geneticist John Hammond, and what followed was a request to one of the most exciting road tests we’ve ever accomplished here to date: an honest to goodness Jurassic Park Jeep!


When last we saw these rugged looking 4-wheel drive safari legends, it was in the 1993 Steven Spielberg film, Jurassic Park, produced by Universal Studios. In the film, we saw these agile off-road vehicles ferrying Park guests from the Heliport to the Brachiosaur Paddock, rescuing survivors on the road from a rampaging T-Rex, and witnessing a Dilophosaurus attack on a computer programmer to his doom near the East Dock! Indeed, one of the original survivors of that frightening evening is still on display after all these years near the Jurassic Park Discovery Center at the Universal Islands of Adventure Theme Park in Orlando, Florida! However…in our case, we learned there was more to the history of these legendary vehicles that the cinematic or theme park record had reported. It seems…something has survived!


But we’re getting ahead of ourselves in this story. The invitation came from the current CEO of InGen (with the additional consent of the Costa Rican Department of Preserves) asking if we were interested in road testing one of the Park vehicles, under the condition that we all signed non-disclosure agreements as to the site’s secret location. We both agreed, signed the documents, and prepared to ship off to a tropical local in Central America. Suitably attired in tropical “safari” gear (with our photographer in tow), we were flown south to San Jose, Costa Rica, and then by helicopter to a small volcanic island off the western Costa Rican coast simply known as “Site A”…or “Cloud Island” to the locals.


The moment we arrived, we were greeted by the object of our search. The light duty truck built by Chrysler, known as the Jeep Wrangler YJ, was still in use at the location, even though we saw a few “newer” models here and there! Maybe it was out of sheer nostalgia, or perhaps they remained an endearing symbol of the park, that the review was requested at all! We suspected the famed Jeeps were being phased out, and our hosts wanted a quiet sendoff before that happened.


Two Jeep’s (numbering 05 and 10) awaited us at the concrete pad when we emerged from the Agusta Helicopter, awash in spray from the high waterfall nearby! We crawled into the 2-door model, belted ourselves down with the standard shoulder seatbelt system, and we were off on a tour of the small Island’s roads and byways! With Jason at the wheel, we were given full freedom to roam the fenced areas, review the vehicles themselves, and do all the road testing we liked…as long as we said nothing in this article of what we saw in the “animal” park around us!


Upon examination of the exterior of these beautiful trucks, we realized that even though they were designed to be “off road” vehicles, they were used for all kinds of duties around the island…including ferrying VIP guests, park animal and landscaping personnel, wardens and rangers, and park management! In response…they were beautiful! The body was painted red and tan, with attractive stripes down the sides (apparently to deter larger animals in the park), and sported park logos and vehicle numbers on the sides and hood! We even loved the fact that this model had the much-maligned “square” headlights so popular when the YJ was produced. The Wrangler featured a wider track, angled grille, and a modernized interior compared to the CJ series. While it did share the open-body profile of the CJs, it shared few parts with its predecessor. That includes the headlamps.


Both models were outfitted with the popular (well…in the 1990’s anyway) Sahara Edition trim level. : which came standard with most available options, including body color fender flares and alloy wheels, interior door panels with pockets, front bumper mounted fog lamps, and plastic ends on the front bumpers. Ergonomics of the Jeep Wrangler were standard, with green trail cloth bucket seats with storage pockets, and dark green carpet. Some models even sported the Mopar windshield light bars! ALL had Ramsey 6000 winches as well. The owners expressed their concerns at making sure guests understood that the CEO…”Spared no expense”.

Along the muddy dirt roads, the 3,000 pound Wrangler, handled well…testing in four-wheel drive and two, with a 5-speed AX-15 Manuel transmission and a 4.0 L AMC straight-6 engine!


We opted to do several road test evaluations on a dirt road linking the Heliport to a nearby animal paddock, passing through high electrified fences, gates, past a Visitor Center, and over the occasional paved stretch (apparently used by the park’s “self-guided” tour vehicles).


We laid down slalom cones, used a rough gravel path for our skidpad evaluations for handling analysis. The Wranglers exhibit inherent tradeoffs of ride and handling, in part because of the old-style leaf spring system underneath. At least the heavy-duty gas shocks took most of the brunt. It’s not that the YJ is unsophisticated. Indeed, it is wider and lower than the previous CJ model so famous for rollover issues. Breaking was no issue…even on steep volcanic routes, due to the robust front disc, and rear drum breaks standard on this model! It’s LT235/75R15 BF Goodrich All-terrain tires were well suited for the Jeep. The Wrangler’s ride certainly displayed many and abrupt turn, twist, and bump due to the uneven tropical soil, but then again our test route included everything from smooth blacktop (with an odd, raised bus bar in the center), to really rocky ruts, across shallow creeks, and through areas where we wished we had the tan soft top over us to protect from flying fluids!


It wasn’t exactly a quiet venue either. After filtering out assorted jungle sounds, assorted gasps, screams and wimperings, and large animal roars (sorry…we can’t tell you what!), we tried to get a maximum noise –level reading. However, we weren’t able to do so in the field due to the sound meter going missing in an unexpected avoidance maneuver! The nice folks at the Motor Pool promised they would search for it later!

The Engine
: The standard '87 YJ engine was the 2.5L inline-four 1bbl carburetor, while the alternative was the 4.2L six-cylinder 2bbl carb held over from CJs gone by. In 1988, the four-cylinder went throttle body injection, and both engines increased their compression ratios to 9.2:1. The following year, the 4.2L went standard for the Laredo. For 1991, the Power Tech 4.0L was dropped in where the 4.2L used to be; the new 242ci multiport fuel-injected mill made 180 hp at 4,750 rpm and 220 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, with a compression ratio of 8.8:1 and bore-and-stroke of 3.88x3.41. When the Renegade replaced the Laredo, it too had the bigger engine as standard equipment, although by 1992, the Islander and Sahara would also have it as standard. The four-banger (now with multiport fuel injection) jumped to 123 hp at 5,250 rpm and 139 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm in the same year that the YJ got the 4.0L, and in 1993 the 2.5L's compression ratio went to 9.1:1 the same year the YJ switched to stainless steel exhaust. And in case you were about to ask, it's true. For a few years there, the four-banger did make more horsepower than the six-cylinder.

The Transmission: 
From the start, the Wrangler came with a standard fully synchromesh five-speed manual (the dreaded Peugeot BA-10 with the six-cylinder and the Aisin AX-5 with the 2.5L), although if you stepped up to the 4.2L, you could get the three-speed automatic (with column shift). 

The Transfer Case
: The two-speed NV231 with 2.72 low range is the standard T-case. It has shift-on-the-fly, part-time, four-wheel-drive Command-Trac.


The Suspension/The Axles: 
It has Danas at both ends. The front has a semi-floating 30 with a shaft-disconnect system, as well as Hotchkiss-type leaf springs, a stabilizer bar, and a track bar. Out back there is a 35c without C-clips. A track bar and leaf springs located the rear axle. Borrowing Cherokee axles, recirculating-ball steering, and other mechanicals, combined with the wider, lower stance and stabilizer-bar design, made the YJ see a huge improvement in road performance. With the four-cylinder, the axle ratio is 4.11:1; the six-cylinder has 3.07 gearing with the manual and 3.55s with the auto. The four-cylinder auto receives 3.73s. When the 4.0L came, six-cylinders had 3.07s. A Trac-Lok rear diff was optional for the YJ except on the S model.


Needless to say, our road test crew came through with no injuries, only a few minor scares, and a great respect for the job the little Chrysler Jeep Wrangler YJ was able to accomplish in the unique animal park. It’s a vehicle admirably suited to it’s unique mission! The YJ hasn’t been reviewed since it was phased out in 1995 (and replaced by the venerable TJ model), but this team was glad to do so. Even under the blackout required by the review team, it was joy to revisit the first Wrangler model again. It was certainly not the sort of environment you get to experience this vehicle in every day.


Jurassic Park Jeep 05 is owned by Alan Douglas.

This article is written by Alan Douglas and edited by Jason Sasaki.

*Disclaimer: This review is based on the love for the universe created by Jurassic Park and is not endorsed or sponsored by Universal Studios, Jeep or any entity associated with the Jurassic Park films.*


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