Gather ’round, young ones, and I’ll tell you a tale of the distant days of yore when the Disney Channel featured programming related vaguely to Walt Disney and the Disney films and parks.
One staple of those great days was interstitial segments that aired between programs (the channel had no commercial breaks back then), which would feature “breaking” news from various segments of the Disney empire. Back before the days of the Web, or Twitter, or blogs or D23 or the Progress City Radio Hour, fans found out about new film and television projects when Disney darn well felt like it. Nowadays Disney will hold a press event to announce projects that we might have known about for a year or more; or, if you’re Rich Ross, you throw a massive media announcement to unveil a film slate that had actually been officially announced six months prior.
Back in the day, though, any new issue of Disney News or new featurette on the Disney Channel might bring astounding news of a new attraction, animated feature, or entire new Disney park. Needless to say, when those between-show breaks came up on the Disney Channel I would sit with my fingers crossed that one of these “Dateline Disney” pieces might show up. The trademark soundtrack of the opening logo, with its beeping telegraph, would send me sprinting to the television to see what was in store. If you were very, very lucky, it would be something from Walt Disney Imagineering.
This particular segment is one that sticks in my mind, because it seems like it came on fairly often. In fact, I’m pretty sure that we got kind of sick of it after a while, because we were ready for some fresh news. Still, this promo did its job in getting us fairly wound up to see Dreamflight, which opened in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland in 1989. Maybe it did too good a job, because I can remember the rather crushing disappointment when we actually got to ride the attraction.
Anyway, here’s a neat little look at a bygone age. Everybody sing! “We’re gonna take you flyin’…”