I'm always reading about Disney stuff (of course), so it's not too often that I find out a really interesting tidbit of information that I didn't know before. However, I do have a couple of things I found out recently to share with you! First, I had no idea that the oldest "surviving" Disney animated character is Pete (who went by many names, my favorite of which is Pegleg Pete). Pete is Mickey's enemy, right from the beginning in Steamboat Willie. He was in a few early Disney cartoons before Mickey was born, so he's the oldest. He's still around in today's shows, making mischief at the House of Mouse, and he's even Goofy's next door neighbor in the Goofy movies!
Next, I saw a great DVD from the Extinct Attractions Club that features Imagineer Tony Baxter giving a walk-though tour of the Haunted Mansion in Orlando (I have no idea where this incredible video came from - it seems to be some kind of a Cast Member overview thing). Anyway, Tony mentioned that since the original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland opened in 1969, things were well underway at Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971. So, they actually built lots of the animatronics and illusions in duplicate, so the doubles could just be shipped to Florida and installed. Essentially, they were building both Haunted Mansions at the same time - amazing!