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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 2 ]

Back in June we brought you a look at one of Walt Disney's masterpiece attractions, Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland.  In Part 2 we focus on one of the coolest examples of "Backyard Imagineering" we've ever seen. 


The Living Desert

A comment was posted on Part 1 by Sam Towler who brought our attention to his miniature scale model of Nature's Wonderland with lighting and moving parts that will blow you away.

"This is my documentation of my miniature recreation of the long gone Disneyland attraction, Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland. This is a selectively compressed model railroad, modeled in On30 scale at 5' X 7.5' that I have been working on since 2005; even after almost 5 years of work, I'm still not finished."

"I started the layout when I was a sophomore in high school with basic skills and over the years the layout has been improved and reworked in drastic ways to match my ever improving model making skills. In fact, since I started rebuilding the layout, I've actually created a whole new layout, piece by piece."

Bear Country

Rainbow Caverns

Cascade Peak



Sam's blog takes you through a detailed look at the creation of the model.  This jaw-dropping project has me giddy as a school boy.

Stay tuned for The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [Part 3] (now available).


Related posts:

The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland Part 1
Disneyland Skyway in Your Backyard?
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
LEGO Disneyland
2 Fantastic Disneyland Scale Models


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Reader Comments (15)


Anyway, great work. I can't stop looking a the photos. I'd love to see it in real life.

October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTL98H8R

I am mesmerized by that geyser video. I'm like Mowgli caught in the hypnotic stare of Kaa the snake on Jungle Book. Don't ask me why, it's just extremely cool. Great work!!

October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSKIPP

Very cool. Thanks for sharing.


October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaspian

Watching these videos makes me want to get up and make a model right now! Great job Sam. Thanks for sharing those videos; they are so fun, insightful, and inspiring! You are very talented.

October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLilly

Wow! So awesome!

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

The cut up Icee signs are a nice touch.

This thing is great. You have to watch the videos up to the end where you see the animated rocks!

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Wow, for a split-second I thought I clicked the wrong link and was looking at my blog! Thanks for the interest enough to have my work be [Part 2] of your series. I wish I had more stuff that was more "show-worthy" to show, but hey, I need to get to work on those areas and finish them! (or the entire thing done for that matter...) (speaking of "show-worthy" shots, I'm surprised you guys didn't post my finished Rainbow Caverns shot-- rather than that top view looking at a half-finished caverns with blue lights).

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSam Towler

Sam! The man of the hour. Which shot are you referring to? I can still post it.

October 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterAdmin

Sam, you deserve an award for this model! The geyser effect is pure genius. In fact the Disney Family Museum should buy it from you a million bucks.

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

This is a fantastic way to preserve the history of Disney.

March 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLimogesBoxCollector

I've been following this guy's projects for a couple of years...he is fantastic! If you haven't checked out his other projects, like his "under the table" attractions, they are a must!

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

What are all the K'nex gears for?

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick

I am in such awe right now!
I LOVE this !!!
Amazing amazing job!!

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Amazing talent!

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Seward

I've been following this talented young man's progress for 4-5, starting with his first "under table crawl-through" attraction...he's amazing...if you haven't seen his earlier work, i.e. his "Haunted Mansion" & "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" crawl-through attractions, you've got to check them out!

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

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