By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Category — w. Most Recent Stuff

A Friday Visit with Jim Korkis: The Mosaic at the Land Pavilion

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on


By Jim Korkis

Walt Peregoy was a color stylist and background artist for animated films including Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and the Sword in the Stone. From 1977-1983, he worked at WED, and did work for The Land pavilion and the original Journey Into Imagination pavilion at Epcot’s Future World.

Peregoy designed the entrance mosaic for The Land pavilion, and answered my questions about it in a 2007 interview: “It is three thousand, six hundred square feet. Every celebrity in the world has gone through Disneyland, I’m sure, but there’s nothing obvious, that sticks out as a particular work of art. This does.

“For the Land pavilion, I designed the entranceway and the twenty-seven foot tall, 360 degree sky inside. I designed the three solid balloons that would go up and down with different foods. I designed the fountain below the balloons, but I didn’t get my way with the fountain. Jim Sarno sculpted it. Beautiful. He told me he left because the fountain wasn’t finished with the top the way I designed it. I intended that it all be different foods not only sculpted but painted.

“Orlando Ferrante called me one day and said, ‘This is about the mosaic’. I said, ‘Oh, I guess you’re not going to do it. I understand that’. He said, ‘No, we’re going to do it!’ 3,600 square foot mirror image. It’s fantastic! I’ve still got the original study plaque that I made of it.

“They blew up it up verbatim. I go over to see this German mosaicist. He lived up above Beverly Drive up in the hills until it finally became a dirt road. He was an ex-S.S. German. I told him, ‘My wife’s French’. He said to me, ‘You’ll have to come over to dinner. Bring your wife’. I said, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding! My wife will kill you. My young brother-in-law was beaten to death over a period of four years’.

“Every time I would leave him, he would come out to the garage with me and I would be in a car backing out, he would say, ‘See ya!’ and he would click his heels! He wasn’t being mean. He was just so German. I thought, ‘You got to be kidding!’ He clicked his heels.

“I have to admit he was good. I would go up to his house to see how the mosaic was coming along periodically but he would always click his heels when he said ‘goodbye’.

“When Disney said to me, ‘You can’t put your name on it’, I said, ‘Then his name doesn’t go on it either’. Eventually Disney said, ‘Mosaic originally styled and designed by Walt Peregoy’. Even when I’m dead, even when nobody ever knows me, I will still know.”

The transformation into a physical reality was the task of world-famed mosaicist Hanns-Joachim Scharff with his daughter-in-law Monika. Scharff studied art history at the University of Leipzig and was inspired and drawn to mosaics as a youth during a visit to Italy. He was also an S.S. interrogator for the Nazis during World War II.

In 1966, he did mosaic work for New Orleans Square in Disneyland. In 1970, he and his wife and daughter-in-law did the impressive mural inside the breezeway of Cinderella Castle which was one of the reasons he was asked to do this mosaic.

The Land Pavilion mosaic has approximately 150,000 individually cut and shaped pieces in 131 different colors. The pieces are made of marble, granite, slate, Byzantine glass, Venetian glass, real gold, mirror, ceramic and pebbles.

The mural is supposed to be a mirror image but there is one tile different in each side. One side has a ruby colored tile while the other has an Emerald colored tile. Hanns-Joachim worked on one side of the mural and Monika on the other. The different stones represent their birth stones.

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Thanks, Jim! Jim has also written about Scharff  here. And come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including his latest, Call Me Walt, and his Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never You Never Knew, which reprints much material first written for this site, all published by Theme Park Press.

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December 8, 2017   1 Comment

Updated Review of Disney’s Pop Century Resort

I just completed and published my updated review of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The updated Pop Century review begins here, and has six pages in total:

The update includes a bunch of all-new photos from my June 2017 say in a not-yet-refurbed room and my July 2017 stay in a refurbed room–my ninth and tenth stays at Pop Century, respectively.

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December 7, 2017   2 Comments

The Pools at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

For the first page of this review of Disney’s Pop Century Resort, click here.


Disney’s Pop Century Resort has three good-sized pools, one in each themed area except for the 70s area–the Hippy Dippy pool, Bowling Pin Pool, and Computer pool.


The principal pool, the Hippy Dippy Pool, is near the center of the resort in the 60s section, on the food court side of Buildings 4 and 5.

Like other value resort pools, there’s no water slide or fancy kids splash pool, but otherwise it has more amenities than the other pools at the resort.

There’s a small kids pool on the side closer to Hourglass Lake.

You’ll also find at the Hippy Dippy pool a cornhole game…

…and a ping-pong table.

Pool games happen every afternoon, and many evenings a Disney movie is shown.

The Hippy Dippy pool at night.

The only bar at Pop Century is just outside the Hippy Dippy pool area, close to the food court.

The amenities, pool games, and general color and energy make the Hippy Dippy pool the most popular of Pop Century’s pools.  But if what you want is to play with the kids in the water, sun, or swim, the other two pools are perfectly good alternatives, and will likely be less crowded.


The Bowling Pin pool is in the 50s area, centered among Buildings 1, 2 and 3, and closest to Building 2.

The pool overall–perhaps not surprisingly–is laid out to resemble a bowling pin…

…just as are the stairs of these 50s buildings. The pool is big and has a large pool chair area, but like the computer pool it’s not worth a walk that takes you past any other Pop Century pool.


The Computer pool is in the center of the the 80s and 90s area, among Buildings 7, 8 and 9, closest to Building  8.

The computer theming is a keyboard at one side of the pool and a screen (and another keyboard) on Building 8…

…the pool itself is a simple, but large, rectangle with plenty of pool deck space.


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December 7, 2017   No Comments

Next Week (December 9 through December 17, 2017) at Walt Disney World


The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, Extra Magic Hours, parades, and fireworks.

For more on December 2017 at Disney World, see this.


The Magic Kingdom will be open from 8a-12MN 12/9, 8a-6p 12/10, 9a-10p 12/11, 8a-6p 12/12, 9a-10p 12/13, 8a-6p 12/14 and 12/154,  8a-12MN 12/16, and 8a-6p 12/17

Epcot will be open from 9a-9.30p every day

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open 9a-8p 12/9 through 12/14, 9a-9p 12/15, 9a-6p 12/16, and 9a-9p 12/17

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open 9a-8p every day


Saturday 12/9 Morning:  Animal Kingdom  Evening: none

Sunday 12/10  Morning:  Hollywood Studios  Evening: none

Monday 12/11 Morning: Animal Kingdom   Evening: none

Tuesday 12/12 Morning: none Evening:  Epcot

Wednesday 12/13 Morning: none  Evening: Magic Kingdom

Thursday 12/14 Morning: Epcot Evening: none

Friday 12/15 Morning:  Magic Kingdom Evening: none

Saturday 12/16 Morning: Animal Kingdom   Evening: none

Sunday 12/17  Morning: none  Evening: Epcot


The Magic Kingdom: Afternoon Festival of Fantasy Parade: 2p every day


Happily Every After at Magic Kingdom: 9p 12/9, 12/11, 12/13 and 12/16

IllumiNations at Epcot:  9.30p every day

Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  8.30p 12/9 through 12/15; 7p 12/17

Star Wars Show and Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  9p 12/15 and 12/17

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 8p12/9 through 12/14; 6.30p 12/15 and 12/17

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom 6.30 and 7.45p 12/7 through 12/14; 7.15 and 8.30p 12/15 through 12/17


See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

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December 7, 2017   No Comments

The WDW Magazine 2018 Preview Issue is Out!

The latest edition of WDW Magazine, which focuses on 2018 at Disney World, is out!

The magazine is available on iTunes, for Android, and on the web.

From my friends at the magazine, here’s the scoop on this month’s issue:

This month we recap the amazing year at WDW in 2017, look ahead to what’s coming in 2018, talk about the pros and cons of visiting in every months of the year, and explore why winter is the best time to visit!

Plus we have a sneak peek inside Club 33 at Disneyland and a preview of the new Beauty and the Beast musical on the Disney Dream!

We also look at the All-Star Music Resort, Columbia Harbour House, how early you should book your WDW vacation, the best gifts for your kids, and we share some fun facts about Tomorrowland.

For all you Star Wars fans – we have an exclusive interview with Jamie Cosley from The Light Side comic featured in Star Wars Insider!

WDW Magazine is dedicated to bringing you in-depth coverage and stunning photos every month. For 4 years it has been the leading digital magazine for Walt Disney World fans.

I write the WDW Magazine column for first-timers (because who else would??). In this edition, I focus on whether or not you should time your trip around the opening of Toy Story Land.  Moreover, in an annual tradition, Carl Trent and I debate the best and worst times to go in 2018!

Curious? Of course you are! Subscribe via iTunes, Android, or on the web.

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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December 4, 2017   No Comments

Great Park Hopper Deal

My friends at the Official Ticket Center are offering a great deal for those on shorter trips.

Through February 4th, if you buy your two or three day tickets through them, you get a park hopper for each ticket for free! That’s a savings of about $65/person, or more than $250 for a family of four!

Park hoppers allow you to visit more than one park in a day. On shorter tickets they can be quite valuable, permitting you, for example, to see the evening shows and/or have dinner at a different park than the one you spent the day at!

Book your tickets here. There’s no special code needed–if you go to its Disney tickets pages, you’ll see that two and three day tickets have the same price with or without hoppers!

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December 3, 2017   5 Comments