Thursday, May 1, 2008

Moonliner Raising

Yesterday I shared that ten years ago the Moonliner finally came back to Disneyland. I know because I happened (as much as I "happened" to be there 120 times that school year!) to be there that day. I took photos of the Moonliner lying on its side from several different vantage points. I had friends working at the Information Board in the Central Plaza who told me the following Monday there was to be a dedication ceremony before Park opening, with a limited number of tickets available to Disneyland Cast Members (and a Guest). As I indicated my interest, one of them went to check, only to find that they were all out of tickets.

Slightly bummed, I headed back over to Tomorrowland. Since work was still being done on the rocket, I went up to the Space Mountain Concourse, which always provided an excellent vantage from which to watch New Tomorrowland construction. And I spied some Imagineers!

Yes, that's Tony Baxter and Kim Irvine standing there by a testing Cosmic Waves. When I saw them start to move, I hustled down to Tomorrowland, hoping perhaps to finagle my way into the dedication ceremony. I "happened" to run into Tony and informed him they were all sold out of tickets. "They're selling them?" Oh, no, that's not what I meant. I told him they had just run out of tickets. I don't remember anything more of the conversation, because he certainly didn't offer to get me in! But it was worth a shot, anyway.

The next day, I "happened" to be at Disneyland, too. (I don't know if this was an actual day off from school, or a day off that I made up for myself.) Actually, that morning I was at the Disneyland Pacific Hotel having my New Tomorrowland Press Kit signed by Paul Pressler. I think we talked about Redd Rockett's Pizza Port for a minute. Then I went into the Park to play around and, of course, check in on the Moonliner. This photo was taken by a Redd Rockett's Pizza Port Cast Member, I believe that morning:

It was maybe around 10 AM that I spotted Bruce Gordon through the construction fence. To my delight, he motioned for me to come around the side, and he brought me behind the fence! After a few minutes he said to me, "So Tony tells me you got screwed out of your tickets." He then offered to get me into the ceremony, provided I show up at the Harbor House Cast Member entrance at 6 AM (or 6:30--whatever the time, he was about twenty minutes late!). He then proceeded to let me stay behind the construction fence for the entire afternoon as they prepped the Moonliner and finally lifted it upright for the first time via crane, and then placed it on its pedestal.

The following three images are from a music video Bruce produced on the Moonliner's construction (set to Yello's "Oh Yeah"). In the first image, you can spot me near the construction fence, doing some of my own taping! I think Bruce was going to kick me out of the construction site when he went up to the second level of Innoventions, but I convinced him that I wouldn't go anywhere. The last image is from a Cast Member.

I'm sure many of my readers will agree that the Moonliner is one part of the New Tomorrowland they got mostly right!


Daveland said...

Great to see the return of an icon. Thanks for the post!

Unknown said...

Great story and great pics!

Thanks for sharing it with us.

mistryl said...

To this day, I no longer associate "Oh Yeah" with Ferris Beuller, as everyone else does. I associate it with Bruce and the raising of the Moonliner.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great post! Oh man, you got to go "behind the fence" and with Bruce Gordon! Thanks for sharing; I can’t believe it was 10 years ago? Seems like just yesterday when I first saw that ball and those fountains and thought "wtf"? (What the future?).