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Entries in Disneyland (50)

Saturday
Nov062010

A Disney Artist's Designs for a Hanna Barbera Land

Fantastic concept art for a never-built Hanna Barbera Land by Disney concept/layout artist Bruce Bushman (1911-1972). 

If I were to have a second blog it would be a Hanna Barbera animation blog.  I'm sure I'm like most of you when I say Saturday mornings as a child were made up of Disney animated shorts, Looney Tunes cartoons, and Hanna Barbera animation.  PS: This has nothing to do with the upcoming Yogi Bear movie starring Dan Aykroyd... but I do love me some old-school Yogi!  Plus some Jetsons, Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry [before, including, and after the Chuck Jones years], Space Ghost, Quick Draw McGraw, and Smurfs.

Bruce Bushman started with Disney in the late 30s as a layout artist on Fantasia.  In 1953 he joined W.E.D. working mostly on designs for Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  He left Disney in the late 50s and landed work in the early 60s with Hanna Barbera as a layout artist there.  At some point in the late 60s Bushman was asked to create concepts for a Hanna Barbera land that ended up never being built.  I'm not exactly sure what location these concepts were intended for. 

Though there have been many Hanna Barbera "lands" or areas in amusement parks around the world (Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Great America, Universal Studios, Carowinds, Canada's Wonderland, Wonderland Sydney) these drawings represent something that could have been more fantastic than them all. Or better yet, how about an entire park. These sketches were auctioned online a few years back but not much has ever been written about them.


Cartoonsville Main Street

According to the artwork, the land's main stretch would have a "Cartoonsville" Main Street.  

From the entry gate you would see on your left: Yogi Picnic Basket Restaurant, Boo Boo Gift Shop, Jellystone Park Picnic Area entrance, Winsome Witch Haunted House, and Gulliver’s Adventures Birthday Party Area entrance.

On your right: Bedrock Emporium & Museum of Modern Inventions, Rest Rooms, Hillbilly Bears Shooting Gallery, Cartoonsville Camera Shop & Cartoon Studio, Precious Pupp Restaurant (Granny, Proprietress)


Flintstone Freeway Ride

 

Gulliver’s Adventures Birthday Party Area

Moby Dick Ride

The Moby Dick ride as you can see would take riders in a whale vehicle. The ride would consist of dark light effects, sea monster, treasure ship, volcano, sand creature, giant squid, shoctopus, electric eel, sub-ship fight, iceberg monster, and and ice cave exit.

Jetsons Ride

I'd love to see how the flying car effect would work as you'd ride through the futuristic utopia in the year 2362.

Space Ghost's "Battle of the Planets" Ride 


Surely Bushman drew on his experience with Disneyland's Dumbo ride (see artwork further below) when creating this. It appears to be housed inside a dome.  Is that to achieve a dark, space-like atmosphere?  His notes indicate a level of interactivity with "simulated ray gun hits" and "individual climb and dive controls".

Other Rides


Not sure exactly what these two rides would be but they look great. The first of the two might have been some sort of Johnny Quest motion ride with projections.  The vehicles in the second look amazing with their bubble domes and tank-like wheel systems.


Bruce Bushman's Disneyland Work

Many of Bushman's designs can be found at Disneyland's Fantasyland today.  Many of his concepts cannot be found.  So it is in the life of a concept artist.  I particularly like the Tea Party centerpiece in the middle of the spinning tea cups.  Or the whip Timothy Mouse is cracking in the middle of the Dumbos.  

The whimsical Fantasyland ticket booth still standing at the Casey Jr. Circus Train entrance was a Bushman design.

 

 

 

I can't get enough of this Pinocchio boat ride idea that had sent riders plummeting down the tongue of Monstro the whale.  If I'm not mistaken, it looks like this drawing has the boat ride located in the same area Pinocchio's Daring is located today. Could the 1983 addition of a Pinocchio ride in that location have been inspired by Bushman's concept??

 More about this very talented yet under-publicized artist in a future post.

 

Related posts:

"A Day at Disneyland" 1960s Super 8mm Souvenir Film
Vintage Disneyland Home Movies- Meeting Walt Disney Himself
Matterhorn for Magic Kingdom Fantasyland
Fantasyland Expansion Model

 

Friday
Oct292010

Fake Disneyland in Japan

We were not behind the camera in this photo shoot, unfortunately  I've never been to Japan but this would be my second stop right after Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea.

"Nara Dreamland" is a cheap Disneyland ripoff that opened in 1961. It was closed in 2006— imagine that. Not only is it creepy for its current ghost town-like condition but it's terribly scary just how blatantly they ripped off Disneyland's design. They shamelessly recreated dozens of pieces of Disneyland but did so in such a mediocre way.  At the same time, as you'll see in the videos posted below, it was once a beautiful, happenin' place. Its opening day ceremonies lead you to think that Dreamland did for Japan what Disneyland did for the U.S.... Well it really didn't.

Photographer Kyle Merriman, based in Taiwan, spent 4 hours recently with friends in Dreamland despite rumors that the abandoned park was heavily guarded.

"We spent 4 hours exploring this incredible place, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. There were still areas of the park that were next to impossible to get to no matter how hard we tried. The main entrance, filled with shops, restaurants, makeshift police and fire stations, ticket booths and even a public hall was showing clear signs that the plant life wanted back what was once theirs," Kyle says. 

The color scheme is right up there with Old Town Kissimmee. Who doesn't love a whole lot of cotton candy pink and sea foam green??

Kyle ain't the only one touring the abandoned property, dodging guards, and ignoring warning signs. Urban explorer Florian, a German expatriate living and working in the Osaka area, has made his way into the park both during the day and at night.

Florian says, "all the 'If you see somebody entering Nara Dreamland: Call the police!' signs were replaced by new 'If you get caught we’ll fine you 100,000 Yen signs... Exploring an abandoned amusement park on a warm night in late summer is nothing but an amazing adventure – and I guess it is even more so if you can suppress the uneasy feeling of not being wanted there.  I can’t say that I really enjoyed shooting Nara Dreamland at night, but I nevertheless cherish it as an exciting and educational experience."

"'Wait a minute!', you might say at this point. 'If you felt uneasy all the time, why did you even wait for the sun to come up?' Well, the answer is simple: Since the sun rises at about 5.30am in Japan even in late September we though we could kill two birds with one stone and do a second round through the park, shooting it under way easier lighting conditions – and that’s what we did," said Florian. Read more on Florian's blog.

What did the Walt Disney Company think of this place?? What did Walt think of this place? He had to have know about it. Did he care? Was it considered a compliment? An insult?


Pre-abandonment

Theme Park Review tells of their Dreamland visit and how they showed up to what looked like a closed park with no visitors out front, though the place was open for business. They mention that at first glance the park looked nice but "take a closer look and most of the place looks like a dilapidated abandoned park. Most of the stores are boarded up, trucks are parked on the streets.  It's just bizarre."

Rewind to the early 60s:

 

Related posts:

Abandoned Disney: River Country Then and Now [Part 1]
Abandoned Disney: MK Fantasyland Tower
Abandoned Disney: Country Bear- Max 

 

Monday
Oct112010

Disneyland Meets EPCOT Center

I love when a the worlds of Disneyland and Epcot come together in one form or another.  I once collected issues of the Disneyland Line and this one is extra special for that reason.

Check out the date on that.  September 30, 1982.  What were Disneylanders thinking about the first non-Magic Kingdom Disney park ever created... just one day before its grand opening?  I don't really know, but this is what they were reading.

Did any of you go on this trip??

If so, write to us about your experience. There might be a little souvenir coming your way.  What did Disneyland cast members think about EPCOT Center? Was there criticism, jealousy, both?  Were any of you working at Disneyland when EPCOT opened?  Stories?

How cool is that... They showed opening day ceremonies at Disneyland's "Lincoln Theater" starting at 7:00 a.m. California time.  Something like that today would draw a crowd of AT LEAST 12 or 13 cast members.  Back then it must have been a full house.

And "videotape monitors throughout the park" for the first 21 days of October showed pavilion dedications?  Whoa.  Are we talking about monitors on-stage for guests to view as well?  Or just back-stage? And where were these "videotape" monitors?  Either way, that is swell!

Little did Disneyland employees know at the time, their lovely parking lot would one day house not only a controversial Disney theme park but a piece of EPCOT Center.  This guy from World of Motion can now be found at California Adventure in the Hollywood Backlot area.  (photo credit dfan09).

Other pieces of EPCOT Center (also from World of Motion) have found their way to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean.  In the 1997 rehab, a number of WOM animatronic figures became pirates.  Like the guy with the fruit basket with the horse stealing the apple... Is that guy still ever around?  He hasn't been there the last few times I've ridden.

Any other original pieces from one park now living in the other (Epcot to Disneyland or in reverse)?

 

Related posts:

EPCOT Construction from the Air

HORIZONS MURAL, "The Prologue and the Promise" [ High Res ]

HORIZONS the way you wish you knew it

 Daredevil Circus Spectaculars at Epcot Are Just Not What They Used To Be