Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lincoln at Rest

January 7, 2001 was the date of my first tour. I only had one actual Guest on my tour, but a party size of six. In addition to the Guest (a first-time visitor from Malaysia), there was my "big sister" (to verify I was capable of giving an adequate tour), a Tour Guide trainer and three trainees, some of whom mouthed along as I utilized portions of the spiel from the script! That's not the subject of today's post, however. That day also marked the final day of Walt's Lincoln.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln has been revised a couple times in its history. In 1984 a newer figure was introduced and the show was shortened. Additionally, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" ending was replaced with a song written for American Adventure at EPCOT Center--"Golden Dream." The Lincoln speech, though shortened, retained the recording made by Royal Dano in the 1960s and narration by Paul Frees. I like to think of the pre-2001 Lincoln as Walt's Lincoln, as contrasted with Haircut Lincoln. I spent many, many hours at The Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in 1997 and 1998. One day I saw the Lincoln show 13 times in one day! That experience forever imprinted the show in my memory.

The show was closed without much fanfare. I wouldn't have known about it, except I saw it show up on the refurbishment schedule within a week of that closing date. After my shift was over, I hung around and wandered over to the Opera House around its closing time. I knew the Cast Member working and, after watching the final show with only a few others, got to take a few last looks at Abe (including a photo with him that I have at my desk at work). The following image is not suitable for young children, particularly when viewed at full resolution. I'm not even sure it's suitable for adults!

I'm also sharing some glass slides from the show. These were slides that were being replaced with fresh copies during a refurbishment. I think they're pretty neat; I just wish I had them all! Thanks to Chris for scanning these for me several years back. The first image (these aren't in show order) is Lincoln at the end of the slide show, as we hear part of his Second Inaugural:

The full-size original can be downloaded here. The second image, I think, is from the "our nation's greatest crisis occurred when Abraham Lincoln was our President, and our protector" line, but am not sure:

The next two are from the Lincoln-Douglas debates (well, just Lincoln here!). "Come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence...":

Fifth slide is the very first one in the show. "We the people of the United States," etc. Thanks to my repeated viewings of the show, I can recite that and know offhand that the Civil War started April 12, 1861:

The final two slides are from the "Two Brothers" portion of the show:

Did you know the song was written by Irving Gordon, he of "Who's on First?" authorship? You can hear John Denver sing it as part of a Civil War medley, starting at 6:26:

Denver, of course (of course!) performed at Disneyland (but probably not this song!).


Eric Scales said...

Great slides Jason. I love how the shape of the projection window has affected the way the slides faded.

The Viewliner Limited said...

Wonderful presentation Jason. Appreciate the blog very much, Richard

Major Pepperidge said...

Yes, those are super neat. You mean Abbot and Costello didn't write "Who's On First"??

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Haunting Mr.Lincoln image there! Fantastic and RARE slide collection! Thanks for sharing, both the photo's/slides and your memories!

Kevin Kidney said...

Yes, thanks, Jason! Neat to see the masked-off bits of the paintings.

mistryl said...

hahah yay, you posted the scary Lincoln picture!

Why that makes me so happy is beyond me. I probably wouldn't find it so amusing after he eats my babies (and he so totally is, I mean look at him!)