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Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in Hall of Presidents (4)


WDW Construction: Liberty Square


Let's explore an amazing set of very rare construction photos of Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square. These photos were taken at different stages of construction. 

In the photo above we see Haunted Mansion construction in the distance. That building on the right is The Hall of Presidents before the bell tower steeple was added. Next we see a higher view of Liberty Square with some Cinderella Castle construction in the foreground.

The Hall of Presidents building is taking shape. The Liberty Tree Tavern exterior has been almost complete for some time now. Gift shop construction begins.

Upper levels of the gift shops begin. Wait... No Liberty Square bridge yet? Very odd.

Beautiful curvy brick wall (still there today) is coming along nicely. There's that wonderful backside of Liberty Tree Tavern. It's meant to look like the frontside of "other" buildings. 

The large white building seen here is The Hall of Presidents show building. Connected to it to the north is the show building for Peter Pan's Flight. Also, we have a bridge now.

Riverboat dock, dry Rivers of America, and Haunted Mansion in the background. Notice there's no canopy over the outside Haunted Mansion queue?

Construction continues on the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat (but not in in Liberty Square yet). Remember the story of this first boat? It began carrying passengers through Rivers of America on October 2, 1971 (the day after Opening Day). It was damaged at dry dock in 1980 and never returned to the Rivers. A second riverboat called Richard F. Irvine (with only one smoke stack) was added in May of 1973. It continues to run today under the name Liberty Belle Riverboat. In this photo I noticed the back windows are a bit different than the windows in the final product. They must have changed them at some point.

Here we can compare aerial views of Magic Kingdom construction in December of 1969 to the year-old park in December of 1972. Look at the evolution of Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake! 


Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
Magic Kingdom at Night
WDW Before Opening Day 1971
WDW Construction: Magic Kingdom
WDW Construction: Polynesian Village Resort
EPCOT Construction from the Air



Imagineering Sound Design Behind-the-Scenes

Imagineers share the unusual work of adding sound to Disney attractions in this new video.

Director Michael Coleman recently contacted us about a video he recently produced about WDI sound teams. He takes us behind-the-scenes of Walt Disney Imagineering Studios to see how ride tracks, voice recordings, sound effects, etc. are produced.

See home-made contraptions designed by legendary sound designer, Jimmy MacDonald (first photo above). 

See how speakers are disguised with the use of painted scrims.

Jimmy MacDonald is seen here crafting the sounds of a forest fire for Bambi using bamboo.

Even President Obama takes part in the Imagineering process.

Side note: When recording his speech for The Hall of Presidents he said, "are these like wax figures or holograms?"... "Oh robots, that's kind of cool". This is not featured in this video but can be seen here.



A big thanks to Michael for sharing this new film. All images are courteous of Michael Coleman, SoundWorks Collection, and Walt Disney Imagineering.

Up next: Walt Disney Studios Post Production Behind-the-Scenes.


Related posts:

Inside Walt Disney Imagineering
New Lincoln Animatronic Lookin' Good 
I Miss Paul Frees 




Little Box of Treasures

While working with animatronics and props I would find myself emptying the pockets of my work clothes at the end of the day to find scraps of that day's work.  I decided to keep some of this stuff in a box so years later I could remember the variety of materials I once used.

Humor me as I share what might look like a pile of garbage.  For me, this garbage represents a whole lot of theme park ingenuity and memories of getting my hands dirty early, early in the morning...

Pieces of Brer Frog's pipe stem made of surgical tubing, covered in fabric tape and painted to look like bamboo.  Good ol' Brer Frog had the habit of smacking himself in the face with his previous, unforgiving, rigid pipe.  Speaking of smacks... Doesn't Brer Frog look a lot like the Sugar Smacks frog??

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea plants.  We would find these in the dirt after they filled in the lagoon.  I imagine there are still colorful plastic plants like this out there today.  Thank goodness they tore out that "too-expensive-to-keep-alive" ride.  << I'll explain my theory one day on how this is NOT so accurate.  Sometimes at night after they closed 20K I'd walk the catwalks in the caves only to pee my pants (figuratively) ever time.  So dark and damp and drippy- not to mention all the sea creatures sticking out of the dirty, half-drained water.

A genuine real piece of Walt Disney's backyard Carolwood Pacific train tracks! Given to me by a man who worked on site at Walt's Holmby Hill home in Los Angeles.  I like it because Walt himself played around with this stuff-- unlike a lot of park props.

Butyrate, skin, etc. from Pirate animatronics.

Coins from the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade.  Some coins were thrown out during a rehab we worked on.  Why is the Genie from Aladdin on them??  Don't ask me.  Fortunately the character artwork on the coins is not visible to guests, right?  It's Frontierland after all. 

A piece of George Washington's Hall of Presidents hands.  We'd pull a rough hand skin from the mold, "butter" it up (trim and add detail with a flat metal tip on the end of a torch), paint, and install.  Always enjoyed that.

We would remove hair and beards from Haunted Mansion ballroom ghosts once they lost their bright white shine.  Darker hair is much harder to see from the Doom Buggies.  I'll leave it to you to figure that one out.

Skin-like rubbery old paint would come off in large pieces.  Head skins too needed to be bright in color for the illusion to work.  The green rubber came from the old attic bride, I believe.

Madame Leota and Little Leota share similar projected effects.  Old portions of film would be thrown out when worn.  Above you see film from both Leotas.

In the Carousel of Progress 8mm film runs footage of a boxing match- projected from the basement below.  Remember the grandma exclaiming “Give’m a left you big lug!”

How in the world did a Mad Hatter nose end up in the box?  Don't ask me.  I believe the smelly thing was given to me for some reason.  Still stinks all these years later.

Spectro Magic lights.  Remember when Main Street Electrical Parade retired "forever" the first time and they sold light bulbs for $35??  Well these ain't those.  Am I the only one who never loved Spectro but always loved the Main Street Electrical Parade?


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
Surviving Pieces of Journey Into Imagination
Audio Animatronics 101
What Disney Characters Love