Back in the early 90’s as a young kid I was absolutely infatuated with Disney Adventures magazine. The small format, enticing covers, and easy access at the grocery store checkout made this a must have monthly. Sure there was a lot of begging involved on my end each month for this but it usually panned out.
Disney Adventures had a lot going for it. Comics? Check. Interviews with kid-friendly celebs? Yep. All the Disney related coverage you could want? You bet. This is particularly true when it hit its stride in the mid 90’s with the introduction of the Disney Afternoon cartoon block. For two hours a day the Disney channel has a killer lineup of cartoons which included Tail Spin, Gargoyles, Ducktales, Mighty Ducks, and more. Good TV.
A brief history
Starting in 1990 and ending in 2007 Disney Adventures had a looong run. Not a lot of kids magazines get a near two decade run.
Issue 1 featured Rick Moranis and Baloo from Tale Spin in a fun photo/illustration mashup that would end up being a trademark for their covers for the length of the magazines life. My all time favorite? Hulk Hogan and a dragon. You bet. Still sits in a drawer in my office with my old mailing address attached.
The magazine hit on just about everything and really was (and still is honestly rereading a few) quite entertaining. It had something for everyone:
- Celebrity interviews
- Sports news
- TV and Movie news
- All things Disney related
The magazine really hit its peak of popularity in the mid 90’s as Disney reinvigorated their brand and broke into the cable TV market with their own channel and cartoon block. This is when I was fully invested and HAD to have a an annual subscription. This magazine went everywhere with me.
One aspect that really sticks out for me from the magazine oddly enough is the logo. The bold font spreading across the top was always the visual trigger for me in the crowded magazine stacks. I to this day appreciate what they did with that logo.
The age of “uncool” AKA being a teenage tool
As the 90’s moved on as did I. Once I hit my teens pro wrestling was hitting its peak and I was fully invested, so Disney sort of went on the backburner. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the Disney brand, quite the opposite actually, but more “cool” things became important to me at the time. At 14 there was no way I could be caught reading a Disney Adventure magazine! Today I could care less what people think about my reading preferences. Age is wisdom.
The end (and death of print)
Disney Adventures met its demise in 2007 which to be fair is a lot better than many magazines. I will be honest and admit I lost my connection to the magazine about 10 years prior but I always enjoyed seeing it on the racks of the checkout counter. Disney Adventures ended in the prime of the Disney tween sitcom explosion (Lizzy Maguire, Sweet Life of Zack and Cody). Magazines were dying off by the dozens and it had ultimately run its course.
In the end Disney Adventures left a long line of classic issues and entertained kids. It holds a pretty special place in my childhood and is fun to flip through old issues every now and then.