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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 

 

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Reader Comments (11)

Incredible post. Interesting how you can love one Light Parade and disregard another, eh? Leota footage is very cool, too.

December 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Wonderful! So many little treasures that would have otherwise found their way to the garbage bin. Each one important.

I often look through my little collection, Butyrate shells, skins , etc. Good times.

In the mid 80's the coins from the last scene of POTC were metal Mardi Gras coins that said " the seven sisters" (the daughters of Zeus) but by 2004 they were replaced by plastic Genie coins. Why did they have so many of these?

little scraps finding their way home. You, sir, are a genius for posting this.

December 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

Freaking. Awesome.

December 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMC

Brad- Yeah, maybe it's because Spectro feels like a rip off of an old classic. I don't know. MSEP seems more artistic and original too.

Hoot- Your collection rocks! Yeah, what's up with the excess plastic Genie coins? I've seen them on non-Aladdin parade floats too. I didn't know that about the metal Mardi Gras coins. How cool is that. Now there are no gold coins in that last scene. Or are there? I don't know. Maybe all that black light stuff they added distracts me from noticing.

December 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

I love that you posted this. It makes me smile on so many levels. It motivated me to get out my nerdy box of junk and reminisce. Lol! Love it!

December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLilly

Love...LOVE...LOVE these posts!! So great seeing some of these relics of the park, no matter how small, very inspiring to those of us who like to recreate them! Thanks for posing again!

PS: Don't love the posts that clutter my inbox from the wannabe vendor selling their garbage for their "online store". It's VERY annoying!

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross

Yeah sorry about the stupid spam comments. We are doing several things to stop them but they keep showing up. Dummies!

December 6, 2010 | Registered CommenterAdmin

Don't blame you guys at all...I blame them. Besides, who would EVER buy from someone THAT annyoing who sends run-on messages? LOL!

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross

WOW! This is fantastic!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

December 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

Fun, unique post!

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSkipper8085

>> Am I the only one who never loved Spectro but always loved the Main Street Electrical Parade?<<

*NO*. :) I specifically applied to become a CM after seeing the second run of MSEP for the Millennium Celebration - and by the time I was hired, MSEP had its "Farewell Tour" (again) and Spectro was back :-/ I did manage to work for Main Street Operations (which was "in charge" of the Parade Audience Control along the Main Street-to-Liberty-Square portion of the parade route - well, back then, it was). I got to see MSEP during its 1977-1991 run, then my family and I had annual passes to the parks from 1999-2001, and we were at Magic Kingdom at least three times a week *just* to see MSEP. My kids, now 23, 21, and 15, *still* love MSEP over Spectro <LOL...>. It's just something *so much better* about the music, the floats, the characters, the *ambience*...

Oh - and nice little "box of treasures" :-) I *think* that the "Aladdin" coins were also used all over the Aladdin/Genie parade float and little "side floats" from the "Remember the Magic" afternoon parade. I also had one of the MSEP float "light covers" (the clear plastic thing) in a nice boxed set that I purchased online somewheres (I wanna say mine was from Disneyland, though).

Cool stuff ;)

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMain Street Jim

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