Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday WOW: More Studio & Trip Report

When last we met at the Disney Studio, we were checking out all of the cool items in the Archives. Let’s check out a few more before moving on. I am hoping that these three fellers from one of my favorite attractions need no introduction!

This cool little display of small heads contains some of the most important pieces involved in the history of Disney Audio Animatronics. Buddy Ebsen & Ward Kimball were the models for these tiny heads, sculpted by Charles Cristadoro for Project Little Man, which eventually morphed into Audio-Animatronics.

I’ll bet Tim at Vintage Disneyland Tickets would love to get a hold of this beauty...the first ticket sold on Disneyland’s Opening Day to the General Public! Purchased by Roy Disney, this ticket is now in the Disney Archives.

For “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” enthusiasts, these items would be considered the Holy Grails!

One of the cases contained a few original drawings by Walt himself:

Anyone who considers themselves a Disneyland fan should be paying homage to this building on the lot:

Much of Disneyland was built within this structure back in 1954/1955, including most of the Disneyland Railroad Cars and The Jungle Cruise inhabitants. This previously posted January 1955 photo of a JC African Bull Elephant was taken inside that structure.

Over at the Animation Building, I learned one of the strangest things.

Walt’s original office on the corner here of the third floor is now occupied by Shaun Cassidy. Go figure...I’m still scratching my head on that one (I think I can hear “Da Doo Ron Ron” faintly through the window).

At another entrance into the same building, a large photo was placed in front showing that the Animation Building had played a “role” as Medfield College in many Disney movies, including “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.”

These halls are basically the holy land for animation nuts; I was also able to go into the tunnels below where cels were transported between buildings without being damaged by the outdoor elements.

To think of the talent that has worked here…

Yes, the legendary Ollie Johnston & Frank Thomas:

Naturally, on the way home, a detour to the park was necessary.

After the usual Fried Chicken & Caramel Apple Pie lunch at the Plaza Inn, it was time to ride Pirates.

Talk about timing...not long after exiting POTC, we were able to watch the new musical spectacular, Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee. Starting out in New Orleans Square and marching onto the Mark Twain, the music from “The Princess and The Frog” continued on as the Riverboat floated down the Rivers of America and stopped right in front of the crowds along the “shore.” It was a lively and spirited show that was very well-done. If you have a chance to see it before it exits the park on January 3, 2010, definitely do so. The guests that day were eating it up.

One of the other things I wanted to check out was the new Disney Gallery, located in what had previously been The Bank of Main Street in Town Square.

The “bank” hasn’t truly been a bank since 1993, so the loss of this particular business was nothing new. However, it is a little sad to see the original decor and teller windows removed. Granted, the designers saved one window and the vault and have kept the theme of a bank, integrating it into the new Gallery.

I have to admit that the Gallery in this location makes sense, as the space now spills over into the Opera House where vintage exhibits and the 50th Anniversary Steve Martin movie continously plays. Not to start rumors, but it does make me wonder there really a need for Disneyana? With the impending talk of Starbucks taking over the Market House, I could see Disneyana biting the dust and getting reconfigured as something different. Main Street doesn’t really need two high-end collectible gift shops/museums, does it?

The one really odd thing about the Disney Gallery is the lack of information about much of what is being displayed. Here they have an amazing collection of original art and models (such as these pieces from the original Sleeping Beauty Diorama , Jungle Cruise, small world, and Pirates), yet there is no corresponding information. Hopefully this will be rectified soon.

All nit-picking aside, it really is a beautiful space and could make a fantastic place to see art from Disney’s past and present.

That’s it for now folks...I think I’ve glutted you all with enough photos and information for one day. Hopefully this post earned the Wednesday “WOW” title!

See more Walt Disney Studio photos at my website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome post!!!! I want that ticket!! They actually let it out of the vault? Is it on display for all to see????? I use those same plastic holders for my rare tickets, therefore that #0000001 ticket should be in my collection!!!!

I saw the studio earlier this year, I could have spent the entire visit in the halls of the Animation building, the walls to DO talk...

WTF - Shaun Cassidy in Watl's old office???? ("I met her on a Monday and my heart stood still...")

Tiana’s Showboat really looks like a fun show. Are they running it everyday? I might stop by during the week (next week) that would be cool if they have the show when its not that crowded..

The Gallery does seem to fit in the old bank rather well, actually better than the AP center! Thanks for valut photos, isnt that "timed lock" mechanisium amazing. The CM opened it for me last time, it still has a "Property of Bank of America" asset tag on it (link)

William Bezek said...

ummm...caramel apple pie. Project little man? Never heard of it, I need to research that.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the great post Dave!

TokyoMagic! said...

Wednesday Woweeeeeee!

Hey, those Pirate maquettes at the studio (1st pic) look like they're just sitting on top of a cabinet out in the open....unprotected. Are they?

Was that Project Little Man the same as that "Dancing Man" model with the Buddy Ebsen miniature that danced on a little stage? I have a photo of that model somewhere around here.

Thanks to you and VDT, I'll have Da Do Ron Ron in my head for the rest of the day!

Daveland said...

Chris - correct on both counts. In fact, I believe all of those figures were out the last time I visited back in the spring. And yes, you are also correct on Ebsen & The Dancing Man. Sorry about the song in your least it's not small world!

Chris Merritt said...

Glad to see that Maleficent from the original walkthrough on display. Take a look at the mechanism on the back of Diablo's wings - very simple yet effective hand-crafted animation. When we did demolition, we found the original hole that her rod attaches to in the wall... She looks even better under black light, of course!

Amy said...

I felt the same about the new gallery. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

Thanks for the tip on the show! I will be sure to check it out. :)

Dan Alexander said...

Great stuff here---I'm pretty sure that hippo is Walt Disney World's version.