About the Author

Jeff Heimbuch lives along the Jersey Shore but his heart lies at Walt Disney World (along with his wallet!). When not visiting the happiest place on Earth, he enjoys making movies. You can see his work at Bamfer Productions.

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The 626

by Jeff Heimbuch

For years, Jeff Heimbuch has been writing about Disney. Many of his articles have appeared in Celebrations Magazine. But Jeff has always had a little '626' inside him anxious to come out. Unlike his column's namesake, Stitch, he might not paint the Castle blue, but he will paint the park red with entertaining stories, fascinating insights, and daring ... experiments.

Top 5 Tips for People Not Attending D23

Aug 19 Not attending the D23 Expo this weekend? You're not alone. Most Disney fans, in fact, won't be there. But that doesn't make it any easier to imagine the lucky few having fun while you're just reading about it. Jeff has tips to make it better.

Review: Waking Sleeping Beauty

Aug 12 Not long ago, Jeff watched Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary about the Disney animation department, for a second time, and found that the film had lost none of its power and that, for a Disney film, it's still startlingly candid.

The Disney Refillable Mug Debacle

Aug 5 Three things you don't discuss in polite company: religion, politics, and Disney refillable mugs. In an effort to squeeze profit from every sugary drop of soda, Disney is testing a new system to limit your liquids. Jeff Heimbuch has an analysis.

Alone at Disneyland

Jul 29 One is the loneliest number (that you'll ever do), even at Disneyland, but Jeff Heimbuch finds the lie in those lyrics as he pilots his way solo through the park and discovers that it isn't so bad. In fact, it's pretty darn good!

Discovery Island

Jul 22 The island in Disney World's Bay Lake was not always deserted. Jeff traces its history from its beginnings as the home for farmers and radio pesonalities to its acquisition by Disney, when it became first a pirate playground and then a wildlife attraction..

California Adventure

Jul 15 Jeff is back from his first trip to Disneyland since childhood. He loves Disneyland - prefers it, in fact, over Disney World. But what of California Adventure? Has Jeff fallen for it as well? Join us now for another episode of As the Park Turns...

Disneyland Romance

Jul 08 "Young love, first love, Filled with true devotion..." Those are part of the lyrics to an old song by Sonny James, but when it comes to Disneyland, the words could have been written by Jeff Heimbuch, who rekindled a flame.

Rockin' with Rolly

Jul 1 During Jeff's recent trip to Disneyland, he was able to meet, hang out with, and guzzle wine with childhood hero, Disney Legend Rolly Crump, who gave Jeff a tour of Crump Manor and access to the voluminous archives of his Disney career.

First Time Disneyland

Jun 24 Can you believe it? Jeff Heimbuch is in Disneyland. And I'm stuck in Scranton, PA. The universe is a cruel place, my friends. But Jeff left behind this special installment of his column before he tearfully (ha!) departed for his Mickey meetup.

Disenchanted: Disney Princesses Gone Wild

Jun 17 Princesses are supposed to be demure, polite, pliable. Not so the 'bitches from the kingdom' in Dennis Giacino's hit stage play. His princesses are pissed! They want their cut, and they want their say. Jeff Heimbuch treads softly for this story.

The Orange Bird

Jun 10 Those with Disney cred stretching back a few decades will remember the Orange Bird, a juicy creature created as a promotional gimmick by Disney for its friends at the Florida Citrus Commission. Now a cult figure, rumors swirl of the Bird's return.

Hidden Mickeys

Jun 3 What makes Hidden Mickeys so perennially popular? I think it's our hard-wired prehistoric past: we were all hunter-gatherers at some point and now, instead of mastodons, we hunt Mickeys. Jeff Heimbuch, fortunately, makes better sense of it.

Pirates 4: Meal and a Movie

MAY 27 Much like George Costanza in a famous episode from Seinfeld, Jeff Heimbuch has combined two things that he loves: meals and movies. He saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at an AMC Dine-In Theatre, and reviews both meal and movie.

Jungle Cruise History

MAY 20 Skipper Jeff is taking passengers on his very own Jungle Cruise (sometimes he brings them back, too). What his spiel lacks in bad jokes and terrible puns it makes up for with observations about key events in the long history of the Jungle Cruise.

History of the Haunted Mansion, Part 2

MAY 13 You're back! After last week, I thought we'd never see you again, but you have mettle. Foolish mortal, mettle or no, you will tremble in terror, hemmorhage in horror, as Jeff Heimbuch's bony grip drags you into a twilight world of happy but hungry haunts.

History of the Haunted Mansion, Part 1

MAY 6 Of all the Disney attractions, the Haunted Mansion has the most history, spawns the most trivia, and fascinates the most people. But surprisingly, as Jeff Heimbuch relates, the Mansion lacked a clear concept and took forever to build.

Muppet*Vision 3-D

APR 29 I'm not a Muppet fan. I used to have nightmares about them. But Muppet*Vision 3-D at Disney World is slowly winning me over. Jeff Heimbuch (who loves the Muppets!) takes us back-stage at Muppet Theatre in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Review: The Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia

APR 22 Last week, I previewed R.A. Pedersen's new book, the Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia. I think the book is indispensable to those with an insatiable interest in Epcot. The book brims with facts. Let's see what Jeff Heimbuch thinks...

The Four Caballeros and the Cuban Carnival

APR 15 Ay carumba! Jeff Heimbuch, the Fifth Caballero, sheds light on the mysterious Miguelito Maracas, the avian, cigar-chomping plantation owner from pre-Castro Cuba whom Disney 'discovered' in the 1940s but because of politics never became a star.

Western River Expedition

APR 8 The Western River Expedition is spoken of in awe-struck tones around Disney campfires. Had it been built, it would have been the biggest themed area of Disney World. But it wasn't built. Most likely, it'll never be built. Jeff Heimbuch explains why.

The American Adventure

APR 1 The American Adventure is the 'crown jewel' of Epcot's World Showcase. Jeff Heimbuch interviewed on Wednesday one of its creators, Imagineer Steve Alcorn, and now Jeff returns with an in-depth look at the pavilion's architecture and animatronics.

Disney Survey Markers

MAR 25 I bet you've stepped on a very cool part of Disney without even knowing it: survey markers! As Jeff Heimbuch explains, if you look down, you'll see them throughout the parks. Tired of hunting hidden Mickeys? Then sleuth up some survey markers!

Herb Ryman, Warp and Weft

MAR 18 For some, Herb Ryman is the 'other' Walt Disney. His art expressed Walt's vision for Disneyland. John Donaldson wrote a memoir of Herb called Warp and Weft. Any good? Let's find out what reviewer (and ace columnist!) Jeff Heimbuch thinks...

Jose Carioca the Disney Parrot

Jeff Heimbuch feathers the nest of Disney's forgotten bird

MAR 11 Growing up, my favorite Disney film was the under-appreciated 1944 classic, The Three Caballeros. And it's still my favorite film. I'm not sure what I love so much about this movie, but I watched it over and over as a child until I wore out my original VHS tape (on which we had copied the film from a telecast). Later, I bought... MORE

The 626

Jeff Heimbuch swims The Living Seas from Hydrolator to Turtle Talk

MAR 4 "We welcome you to The Living Seas. We welcome you to Seabase Alpha." And with those words, we were transported to a world under the sea... Not a world filled with singing crustaceans and red-headed mermaids. That's reserved for cartoons. I'm talking about the REAL DEAL: a living, breathing seabase,... MORE

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Jeff Heimbuch traces the sad history of Oswald the (Un)Lucky Rabbit

FEB 25 "I hope we never lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a rabbit." That's one of Walt Disney's most famous quotes. Quite striking and humbling, isn't it? Walt never forgot his humble roots. He knew that, by a stroke of luck, an animated rabbit by the name of Oswald helped him buil... Wait. What?... MORE

The 13 Tombstones at The Haunted Mansion

Jeff Heimbuch tells the tales of the tombstones

FEB 18 As my family and girlfriend will attest, my all-time favorite Disney World attraction is The Haunted Mansion. No matter what we do, where we're going, or what time we get there, it's the very first ride I go on. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. We get off the bus, we drop off our stuff in our room, and then we... MORE

One Man's Yearning for a Yeti

Jeff Heimbuch tells the legend of the Yeti that used to work

FEB 11 You see, the YETI was SO powerful that it couldn't be attached to the structure of the building itself; it had to be its own separate entity. If attached, it literally would have pulled the 'mountain' apart, which was NOT something Disney had envisioned. So, instead, they made the Yeti its own... MORE

The Colorful Story of Castaway Cay

Jeff Heimbuch uncovers the island's checkered past

FEB 4 Castaway Cay! Lovely place, isn't it? So clean, so wholesome, so ... Disney. Well, yeah, but it wasn't always like that. Castaway Cay has history that would make Mickey curl up into a little ball and whimper softly. Jeff Heimbuch popped the lid off Castaway Cay and now lares bare its sordid - but fascinating! - past. ... MORE

The Windows of Main Street, U.S.A.

Jeff Heimbuch peers through the glass and tells stories of Disney past

JAN 28 Most people who tramp down Disney World's Main Street, U.S.A. tramp hard and fast for the Castle and the lands beyond. Not many linger. Of those who linger, not many look up.That's too bad because if more folks lingered and looked up they'd see one of Disney's neatest touches: the names stenciled on... MORE

Enchanted by the Tiki Room

Jeff Heimbuch flocks together with tiki birds of a feather

JAN 21 When the original version of 'Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room' opened in Disneyland in 1963, it was the first attraction ever to feature audio-animatronics. For its time, The Enchanted Tiki Room was a major leap forward in theme park innovation. It set the bar for other attractions to come. But how did... MORE

Launch of The 626

Jeff Heimbuch escapes the containment field and launches The 626

JAN 14 We all have to begin somewhere. Walt and Roy officially began in their Uncle Robert's garage in 1923. Mickey Mouse is rumored to have begun on a train ride back to California. Disneyland began as a simple thought in Walt's mind as he watched his daughters play in a park. All of these humble... MORE