June 5, 2008
Day 3 -Making the Magic
Word of the day - WED Enterprises
Our day began with our luggage pick up at 7am for transfer to the Disneyland
Grand Californian Hotel. Breakfast was at the Hotel's Twist restaurant and was a buffet served from 7 - 8:15 am.
At 8:15 we all met in the lobby and boarded our coach for the part of the trip that many had been anticipating...our visit to Walt Disney Imagineering.
We given ID Badges that we had to wear at Imaginerring and the Disney Studios.
This place is so off limits to the rest of the world, that as we approached the turn off, Robyn had to make a call on her cell to announce our arrival and our guide Dave for the tour at Imaginerring met us at the entrance to the building.
If you were driving down the street where imagineering is, you'd drive right past it. It looks like any ordinary set of buildings except the address markers
resemble cast member name badges.
As with other stops on our adventure cameras were off limits and left on the bus. However our guides, were allowed to take pictures in areas we were not.
Dave, who is a writer on the Imagineering team walked us through a long corridor of offices to a room where a video presentation was to be given. The offices we walked by didn't look like any office I have every worked in or seen.
There was pixie dust all over, things hanging off the ceilings , toys and miniatures of everything Disney imaginable. I thought what a cool place this would be to work at, oh yeah the dress code..not ties...jeans and any kinda shirt they pulled out of the closet that morning. Well back to the tour & video.
It educated us on what imagineers do, they do every . Think of almost an discipline that could be involved in a new attraction and over the course of time they all will be involved in some respect. Dave spoke about being an Imagineer
and all things WED Enterprises is involved in.
At the end of the video a small side curtain in the room was pulled back and
there stood before our big ,very big eyes Lucky the Dinosaur. The newest in audioanimatronics. He had just return from a visit in NYC ,so we were so fortunate to have an private audience with Lucky. He moves , he walks, interacts with guests, makes moaning sounds and even signs his name with a pen drawing a 4 leaf clover.
We were all allowed a few minutes with Lucky and had photo's taken with him.
After Lucky, and what really could follow him, we went to the sound room
which featured a new sound technology . We sat in this room and had head sets placed on and then the lights were turned off, and it was black in the room.
We listened to some great sounds like paper crumbling over our head, doors opening and closing, a buzz haircut in process. The sound is recorded in such way that you think you are listening in 3 D. The haircut you felt it was so close that it was your hair being cut.
Great experience in new sound technology.
Next we moved on to room where the premolds or maquettes are kept. The room was lined with tall glass enclosed cases with hundreds of maquettes. Everyone was able to find the premold for their favorite character.
In the center of the room secure to pillars were the original Snow White and the 7 dwarfs that once sat in snow whites grotto at disneyland. These were carved from marble. Years of exposure to the elements began to show erosion , so
duplicates were made from a different material that could weather the test of time better then the original marble pieces. The duplicates now sit in snow white's grotto. We also got a lesson in forced perspective, since Snow White was casted the same size as the dwarfs this technique was applied when she was placed in the grotto. She appears larger then the dwarfs, but she is not.
The next stop was a performance by an audioanimatronic who had been named Joe Cocker, by his imagineer. He was just wires and plastic but sang a complete version of "Feelin Alright". When leaving Joe we walked down the hallways with contained sketches on the wall and Dave said...this is a great place to work..you can write all over the walls.
Dave led us into a courtyard and on other the side was "Mickey's of Glendale" the employee only imagineer shop....We had been given a 40% off coupon for one item.....we have 30 minutes to shop ....................
to be continued