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Tuesday
Feb082011

Frontierland Shootin' Arcade Like You've Never Seen It

Come on. You know the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade is the best 25¢  you'll ever spend at a Disney park. (Or is it a buck now?)

 

Once upon a time, a few of us were locked behind a big black curtain for days and days as we applied a fresh new coat of paint on this set work. I'd do it again. It was a joy to climb around the desert landscape and play with all the moving parts that don't always move like they should anymore. We even got unlimited use of the electronic rifles... thanks to Mr. Hoot!

One thing that is especially clever about the set is that thar walkway between the foreground with toombstones and the middle ground with the buildings. There's another walkway between the middle ground and the background. And it's all so seamless to the shooters standing by. Take that, Kilimanjaro Safaris. You weren't the first to hide trenches.

The backside of fake arboriculture:

Get a load of that cool covered wagon mechanism hiding behind the rock:

Here we see some "before" shots and sadly I have no "after" shots of these rocks. And boy I'd like some close-up video of that mine car flying in and out of that "Lucky #13" mine.

I really do hope they never take this thing out of either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom. It's a fun little B-ticket attraction. Aaaand.... it's INTERACTIVE.... all you Disney management who insists on ineractiv-izing things. This is already interrrrractivvve, so no need to touch it. Maybe add a Frito Kid machine off to the side. :)

Controls:

"Big Thunder Arcade"?? Can someone provide the history of the "Big Thunder Arcade"?

And I love these handwritten instructions on the light switch. They say, "Exhaust fan switch in attic leave on during operation". And then someone was nice enough to further clarify in red marker on the wall next to it, "Leave on operation".

 

Related posts:

Carousel of Progress Like You ve Never Seen It
The Haunted Mansion Like You've Never Seen It
Pirates of the Caribbean Like You've Never Seen It
Frito Kid and Deeee-licious Fritos!

 

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Reader Comments (10)

AWESOME!!!

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

Fantastic article (I love this series). I first remember the WDW arcade in '78, thinking it was the greatest thing ever. Even now I'm still a big fan, but tend to appreciate the work detail & imagineer creativity so much more.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWdwFanBoyBrett

We use to bring a TV remote to the parks; the IR blaster on one will almost certainly have some button that'll activate the sensors at the shooting range. Plus, it'll hit a whole range of them at a time instead of just one.

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSeth A. Roby

Seth- No way! I'm going to try that. How fun is that. And multiple targets at once?? Fantastic.

February 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterMitch

I was fortunate to be on the opening team for the WDW Arcade (after the health department shut down our lead-shot gallery) and I can indeed confirm that we used to use a CD-player remote to set off each target to test them.

I don't know if the pics are from FL or CA, but can anyone confirm the rumor that when DL built their gallery, they didn't take the sun into consideration, and at the same time every day, the sun would be at a certain point and set off all of the targets, thus requiring them to built a porch over it?

February 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXimagineer

Ximagineer- How coooool. Opening team, that is great. Any photos you wanna share?? :)

And I'd love to know about the sunlight problem!!!

BTW, these are MK pics.

February 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterMitch

Don't think I have any photos from then, sorry. Somewhere, I do have a cassette of the audio from the arcade, as it progresses from quiet to stormy and back to quiet. I'll have to dig that up... and then dig up a cassette player! :-)

February 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXimagineer

Seth, we brought "Genie" brand garage door openers to the parks. If you opened the cover and adjusted the frequency wheel you could shut down rides like Mansion and Peter Pan. It was useful because you could stop the rides and record video loops of any scene you wanted.

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

I swear, Disney must have owned stock in Genie, as every Omnimover ride used those things! I rode Mansion last night - I shoulda checked to see if they still use them!

February 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXimagineer

That's amazing!!! Great pics!

February 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatts

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