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Opus Archives: Remembering "Arthur"

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  • Opus Archives: Remembering "Arthur"

    Last year PLAZAINN1 mentioned Disneyland's famous "Arthur" in a "Old Disneylander" thread that's now locked. In it I wrote:

    >>>I have a color photo of him at Disneyland from a Los Angeles Times story they did on him. But finding that old newspaper clipping is another matter. So I can't help you out right now, at least.

    I don't think any of us knew Arthur's last name and I'm not sure it was even in the LA Times story. He passed away around 1991-92 I think.

    Here's my previous post on Arthur from another Disney bulletin board:

    Anyone remember Arthur? I sure miss him. What a sweet gentle man. An older man with a mental handicap. An 8 year old trapped in a older man's body. He sure loved Disneyland!

    He was one of only 3 people that Main Gate Cast Members were taught to let into Disneyland with no ticket, no Annual Pass...nothing. Just "Hello Arthur...How are you today" and they'd swing open the stroller gate and admit him.

    At the end of the day he would walk over to the Harbor Cast Parking Gate (Harbor House) and just stand there. Usually within 2 minutes some Cast Member would pull over and say "Hi Arthur...need a ride home?" Just like that. He visited almost every day.

    If I had a penny for every time Arthur asked me, "You off today?"...I'd have an extra dollar in my wallet. He'd often bring a small square pillow with him as well that he's sit on for the parades, that was autographed by characters. Arthur and his bag full of stuff. I can still picture the way he'd smile, nod several times and bring his hand up for a single wave...when you greeted him.

    The Los Angeles Times did a whole color spread on him once, and another nice piece when he passed away.

    Yep. Sure miss seeing Arthur around.<<<

    Now fast forward to today and the Opus Archives finally coughed up the above mentioned newspaper story...only it wasn't from the LA Times, it was from the Orange County Register...dated January 3, 1983. Here it is, dedicated to PLAZAINN1:





    Really love the end of that story.

    In later years that blanket was replaced by the small pillow I mentioned up above.

    Arthur really was as much a part of Disneyland as anybody that worked there. Both Cast and regular Guests knew and loved this special man of Disneyland very much.



    Anybody like him out there today?

  • #2
    Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

    That was a great story, it really puts a human face on Disneyland. Thanks for posting it.
    Charlie :wave:
    MiceChat User #1037

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    • #3
      Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

      What a great story. Thank you so much for posting that.
      Check out my Disney pix at: http://picasaweb.google.com/westsidejuggalette

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      • #4
        Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

        Brought a tear to my eye!

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        • #5
          Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

          Sadly, I can only think of one regular visitor with anything near that kind of ubiquity among Cast Members. Unfortunately, he's not so much beloved as really, seriously creepy.

          Cinderella IV: The Bloodening

          "It's okay, Beaker, we're scientists. We get paid to fail."

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          • #6
            Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

            I remember Arthur. Parade performers always went out of their way to say hello to him. He had a smile that just lit up his entire face. He was almost always hanging around Harbor House at the end of the day, until someone walking out would say, "Need a ride, Arthur?". He never waited long.


            We were told early on by those more seasoned to keep our Dland Cast Member IDs right next to our driver's licenses in our wallets. Anaheim Police Officers got to eat for free in the Cast Member cafeterias, so there was a good chance you might get just a warning, rather than a ticket, if the officer saw you were a Cast Member.

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            • #7
              Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

              I know there is an older man named Robert who always has to have the last car of the night on Autopia. A really nice older man with a mental handicap. He walks around with a notepad to mark how many rides he has been on for an unknown amount of time. I thought it was only at Auto but I have seen him do it on the tram and Snow White when I would be in the park as a guest.

              There is also an asian couple that comes on Auto every morning as well. Nobody knew their names but the husband had a special clap that he would do in the station that all the CMs knew. In fact when we would see him walk in the entrance we would start clapping to aknowledge we knew he was there.

              Another is a nam named Rick that goes to Buzz daily to have the #1 score. He would then go in and enter a CMs abbreviated name in the space as the champ. He was a really nice guy.

              I don't know if they are still there though because it has been 6 months since I quit.




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              • #8
                Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                Oh my goodness, that almost made me cry.

                There was a man just like that who would be dropped at the local mall in Phoenix, when I was a child. I remember seeing him from as young as I can remember, until I was in my teens and working at the mall. He would wander the mall all day and the shops that sold food would give him sandwiches, etc. I don't know what ever became of Herbie, but, it was an exact type of story where he'd be dropped off in the morning and spend his day at the mall in Phoenix. I wish he'd had DL to go to daily.

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                • #9
                  Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                  ORDDU: My sisters and I certainly remember seeing Arthur all the time back in the mid to late 80's. He was an integral part of a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth. If we didn't get to see him at least ONCE during a day's visit, something seemed very much out of place. What a dear soul he was...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                    Originally posted by PirateChick View Post
                    I know there is an older man named Robert who always has to have the last car of the night on Autopia. A really nice older man with a mental handicap. He walks around with a notepad to mark how many rides he has been on for an unknown amount of time. I thought it was only at Auto but I have seen him do it on the tram and Snow White when I would be in the park as a guest.

                    There is also an asian couple that comes on Auto every morning as well. Nobody knew their names but the husband had a special clap that he would do in the station that all the CMs knew. In fact when we would see him walk in the entrance we would start clapping to aknowledge we knew he was there.

                    Another is a nam named Rick that goes to Buzz daily to have the #1 score. He would then go in and enter a CMs abbreviated name in the space as the champ. He was a really nice guy.

                    I don't know if they are still there though because it has been 6 months since I quit.
                    I don't know if Disney would like the parks to be considered a form of adult day care, but I can think of lots worse ways to treat some people and lots of less safe environments for them.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                      Originally posted by JeffYardDog View Post
                      I don't know if Disney would like the parks to be considered a form of adult day care, but I can think of lots worse ways to treat some people and lots of less safe environments for them.
                      Robert was the only one that I mentioned that had a mental handicap and even then he was well enough to seem normal to those that didn't know him. He brought his son on his visits to the park and they were both really nice guys.

                      The other two were people with normal capacity that enjoyed being in the parks. They were retired and what better way to spend the day than at Disneyland? When you see someone everyday you get to know them, this even happened at the market and office I used to work at.

                      I really don't see it as an adult day care type of thing. On top of the regulars we had, there was also some mentally handicapped people that came around fairly often. Truth be known they acted better than the average guest that thought that they are above the rules. I remember Walt saying "All who come to this happy place welcome, Disneyland is your land." When I think of that I think all refers to everyone regaurdless of the mental capabilities they have.




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                      • #12
                        Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                        Originally posted by aerinpegadrak View Post
                        Sadly, I can only think of one regular visitor with anything near that kind of ubiquity among Cast Members. Unfortunately, he's not so much beloved as really, seriously creepy.
                        lmao yea, there are several VERY VERY regular guests and loved isn't the word, the word is more along the lines of creepy, stalker, weirdo....

                        Too bad we don't have any Arthur's =[

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                        • #13
                          Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                          Originally posted by PirateChick View Post
                          Robert was the only one that I mentioned that had a mental handicap and even then he was well enough to seem normal to those that didn't know him. He brought his son on his visits to the park and they were both really nice guys.

                          The other two were people with normal capacity that enjoyed being in the parks. They were retired and what better way to spend the day than at Disneyland? When you see someone everyday you get to know them, this even happened at the market and office I used to work at.

                          I really don't see it as an adult day care type of thing. On top of the regulars we had, there was also some mentally handicapped people that came around fairly often. Truth be known they acted better than the average guest that thought that they are above the rules. I remember Walt saying "All who come to this happy place welcome, Disneyland is your land." When I think of that I think all refers to everyone regaurdless of the mental capabilities they have.
                          Normality, capacity, etc is a continuum, not an either or type of thing.

                          And I see the 'adult day care' as a sheltered kind of environment rather than a formal program in the case of the parks. In the 'real world' there are lots of not so safe places with the occasional predator that some people might have not-so-good defenses against.

                          Not to contradict your POV.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                            That was a beautiful story. :crybye:

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                            • #15
                              Re: Opus Archives: Remembering &quot;Arthur&quot;

                              That being said, the world is a much different place now. You never know if someone is a nice old man, or a creepy petifile (sp?). It was nice that CMs always allowed him in without a ticket, but I do not think that anything like this would happen nowadays....

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