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Entries in Props (2)

Saturday
Dec042010

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 

 

Wednesday
Sep152010

Surviving Pieces of Journey Into Imagination

...and Fresh Roasted Corn!

The original Journey Into Imagination ride was a quality, imaginative, creative, original, spectacular ride if I ever did see one. You wouldn't know it by looking at it's current state. The company killed of the main characters and eventually brought back Figment but Dreamfinder is still six feet under.

But pieces of the original ride still exist. Some of them in my home office. A few years back my ol' pal Hoot Gibson asked if I'd like pieces of the famous blimp!  His wife, a lot like mine, valued space over dusty old iconic treasures. I was thrilled.

Good old Dreamfinder flew his blimp with a red and gold control panel in front of his pilot seat and a glass-like dome above with binoculars attached.

 
At one time I had the original blue suit with original shoes, goggles, hat, and gloves and bow tie. Of course I would wear them around the house while playing with the control panel and fake binoculars. I wore them around my office at Disney a couple of times at the risk of being unprofessional. Now why can't I find the photos of this?? I don't know. Over the years these items sadly slipped through my fingers.  



Ok.  Possibly to coolest thing about this is what you see in the above.  That decorative cap is a jello mold.  Not just any jello mold.  Underneath there's a price tag from Disneyland! (Photo to come)  Who thought of this??  How did this come about?  I mean it does fit the style of the vehicle but did they say "I bet the west coast gift shops have a perfect jello molt that would look GREAT on this"?  A mystery.  Any early 80s W.E.D. people out there who helped build this thing? If so, drop me a line.  Hoot showed me this.  How rad is that?  By the way these pieces were originally given to Hoot by those determining the fate of the blimp.

Fresh Roasted Corn you ask?  This story is ten times cooler as told by Hoot himself on a new blog brought to us by none other than our favorite Horizons adventurers Hoot and Chief of Mesa Verde Times.  Their new blog tell the prequel to what you've just read, and the blog is called "Fresh Roasted Corn".  Check out photos of Chief popping out of the blimp as Figment once did.  Click here.

 

And if you can gag your way through what is Epcot's Mouse Gear store to look up on one of the west walls you'll see more of the blimp vehicle.

 

Related posts:

Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center

EPCOT Construction from the Air

Love, Hate, and John Lasseter

HORIZONS the way you wish you knew it