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Entries in Fantasyland (16)

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

 

Sunday
Jul252010

Matterhorn for Magic Kingdom Fantasyland

 

Concept for an East Coast Matterhorn! Newly-created concept art created by Imagineering Disney.com

I was talking with my pal Hoot the other day about how a Matterhorn mountain would fit perfectly in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland.  Disney talked about the idea decades ago.  It was intended to go where Toontown is today.  The latest rumors about the 'new Fantasyland' or 'Fantasyland Forest' say that some people at Disney are rethinking the whole thing- minus The Little Mermaid ride and the Be Our Guest Beauty and the Beast restaurant.  

I Say Give Us a Matterhorn!  
Wouldn't that make everyone happy??  The thrill-seekers and the nostalgic-minded alike?  The 20K (or former 20k) property is ginomous.  It can fit a mountain, a few dark rides, and a whole lot more.  Hoot says he wants a Pinocchio dark ride and I agree.

A Boat Ride and Swiss Village
In the concept above (drawn on a napkin this afternoon) you'll see the old classic Matterhorn taken to a new level.  Not only is there the Matterhorn mountain much like you see at Disneyland, there is a boat ride going through the lower caves of the mountain and through a Swiss Village.  The Swiss Village would include a full-service restaurant with the boat ride through the middle.  There will be a quick-service restaurant and a bakery full of swiss cheeses and pastries (at the request of my wife).

Two Tracks?
Also unique to this design--- Not only is there a regular bobsled track through the mountain, the concept includes 'Junior Bobsleds' for the little ones.  I ran this idea past Lilly and she said to make the tracks begin and end at the same time.  That way younger riders and older riders can can load and unload together, both experiencing the 'same' attraction at the same time.  This way the little riders get to ride the Matterhorn AND have a more thrilling ride to look forward to when they are older.  The junior track would go through lower caves of the mountain but mostly traveling through smaller hills outside the mountain.

I say the bobsleds on both tracks should not only depart next to each other but they parallel each other for the first little while before going their own separate ways.  THEN they meet up next to each other at a couple points along the way THEN end at the same unload dock.  Now you can ride the same attraction three ways:  regular, junior, and by boat.

 

 

Saturday
Jul172010

Disneyland in 1955

A look at the early days of Disneyland. The park opened to invited guests on July 17, 1955. The following day it opened to the general public.

Front and back covers of "Picture Souvenir Book of Disneyland in Natural Color" reprinted in 2005 for Disneland's 50th Anniversary.

 

Scan from the inside front cover of "Picture Souvenir Book of Disneyland in Natural Color"
A list of attractions was presented in this early map from an early Picture Souvenir Book. This specific book was not available on Opening Day, of course, because photos with guest in them were not available. This an interesting map-- oddly drawn and missing a number of attractions from 1955. You'll notice the lack of labels for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White, Peter Pan, Mad Tea Party, and almost everything in Tomorrowland. I love that the Railroad is traveling the wrong direction. Holidayland is on the complete opposite side of the park. It's cool to see the waters of Rivers of America connected to the waters of " 'Explorer Boat Ride' through the Rivers of Mexico, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia" (The Jungle Cruise).

 

Main Street, USA

No other part of Disneyland resembles the way things looked in 1955 more than the exterior portions of Main Street. Almost every sign has been changes but the architecture of the buildings remains almost identical. The interiors however have changed much.

 

 

Fantasyland

Within the Castle Courtyard King Arthur Carrousel was positioned much closer to Sleeping Beauty Castle than it is today. The Mad Tea Party was directly north of the carrousel (both moved to new locations along with Dumbo in 1983). Sleeping Beauty Castle was spectacular yet the public had little connection with the animated film because Sleeping Beauty would not debut until January of 1959. Artwork was presented on Disneyland, the T.V. show in 1954 and the Sleeping Beauty walk through attraction inside the castle opened in 1957 with several dioramas telling the story of Sleeping Beauty. A similar walk through attraction exists today.


Casey Jr. Circus Train, one of the most charming little attractions even today, offered a view of the very underdeveloped Canal Boats of the World (later renamed Storybook Land Canal Boats). The boats were sadly not operational on Opening Day. The landscaping and miniature scenes we know today were not present but plenty of dirt was.

A creepy looking Court Jester selling balloons?

You'll notice what looks like another Court Jester running with kids on Opening Day through the castle in this famous photo. When did they finally get rid of those guys?? I guess they fit the land in which they reside, but still...

 

Tomorrowland

The most changed of any land. The Autopia is the only remaining attraction today. In 1955 guests enjoyed the following, now extinct, attractions. Circarama U.S.A., "A Tour of the West, the Dutch Boy Paint Color Gallery, Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, Kaiser's Hall of Aluminum Fame, Rocket to the Moon, Space Station X-1, Thimble Drome Flight Circle (displaying flying model planes), Tomorrowland Boats, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit, and The World Beneath Us presented by Richfield Oil.

No guide rail on the Autopia track?? Boy did I dream of that as small child. Among the first to ride the Autopia on Opening Day were Frank Sinatra and son and Sammy Davis Jr.



 

Adventureland

Hop aboard the "Explorer Boat Ride through the Rivers of Mexico, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia" (Jungle Cruise) where the skipper was not wise-cracking, the plants were small, and the Marc Davis gags we know and love today did not exist. However Schweitzer Falls waterfall was called Schweitzer Falls even way back then.

Frontierland

Other than the exteriors of Main Street and Sleeping Beauty Castle, the southern stretch of Frontierland facades have changed less than almost anything in the park.

 

Opening Day Model

It's worth taking a look at this top-notch model that was installed in the lobby of Disneyland's Opera House in Town Square for the 50th Anniversary. It was originally installed flat then later relocated within the same lobby to a northwest wall and was mounted on an angle. This location, as you might remember, once housed the talking animatronic owl who spoke about Walt Disney's True Life Adventures. Oh how I loved watching him narrate those clips in his little graduation cap in an old-fashioned classroom setting.

 

Hooray for Disneyland.


Images scanned by Mitch. All other photos taken by Mitch.

 

Related posts:

New Fantasyland 1983
Disneyland 1955 Model Close-ups
THEN AND NOWWalt at Disneyland