Saturday, March 26, 2011

Is This the Future or 1998?

(Hint: If you're not traveling around Southern California in a Rocket Rod, it's probably 1998.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Get the Point?!

This will be the most exciting post yet! See how the exclamation point lends that statement credibility? While combing through photos recently I noticed that the current "it's a small world" marquee doesn't quite reflect the attraction's name:

The exclamation point addition is not, however, a new addition to the signage, as I have a photo from 1998 that also includes it:

The exclamation point is not and has never been a part of the official nomenclature. The attraction's page on uses the correct language. The original marquee contains what is still widely regarded as the correct form of the attraction's name (although not by Dave Smith; check Disney A-Z for the entry on It's a Small World):

I'm not much of a fan of exclamation points in attraction or entertainment events and have long felt that it's been overdone in the past, oh, twenty years (beginning with Disney Afternoon Live!). But then I started looking through my photos and realized that Walt wasn't shy about using exclamation points to drum up business for some classic attractions, like the Surrey Ride!...

...the Haunted Mansion!...

...and, of course, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room!:

After finding these historical examples, I am more accepting of modern uses. How about you?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Third Anniversary of Bob Gurr's Window

I thought I had promised a write-up on the dedication ceremony for Bob Gurr's window on East Center Street, but apparently I had only mentioned my attendance back on March 23, 2008. Today is the third anniversary of that ceremony and I thought the time had finally come for me to give a brief rundown of the ceremony (with ample photographic illustrations).

The ceremony occurred during my "wilderness years" while I was still off at Maryland, but Bob let me know two months in advance that the ceremony would be taking place and I was able to arrange to be in town for it. They had us check in at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa before walking us to the main gates as a group. Once inside, the Bob Gurr-designed Main Street Vehicles were out to ferry us to East Center Street:

I was happy to jump in the Fire Engine because it had been Bob's idea to add to the Park (see story at the previous link). It having been nearly five years since I was a Cast Member, I delighted in seeing Town Square before the Park opened--on what was really a gorgeous spring day.

My family was among the first group in and we were thus able to secure front row seats to the ceremony. The window (the first to also feature a three-dimensional prop) was nicely covered before the presentation:

The Dapper Dans started things off:

Disneyland Vice President Michael O'Grattan:

Bob emerged from Backstage riding aboard one of the VIP touring cars he designed:

Marty Sklar talked about his long-time colleague at Imagineering:

Mickey and Minnie unveiled the window...: Bob's great joy:

Bob was touched by the honor:

Bob and Minnie:

The Dapper Dans then unveiled Bob's take-home copy of the window (designed by Warren Wilson):

The Fab Five (Goofy is in the back with a Mark VII Autopia car):

Like all Disney productions, confetti was involved:

A final shot of Bob and his window:

The ceremony was followed by a breakfast reception in the Opera House for the invited guests, where I met for the first time (among others) Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. I was delighted to be present for recognition of Bob's tremendous contributions to Disneyland!