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  • Walt's favorite ride

    I'm betting it was JC. Maybe, maybe DLRR, but I'm thinking it was close second. I know POTC would have become his new favorite.


    "We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together."

    -Walt Disney

  • #2
    Re: Walt's favorite ride

    DLRR--in my mind, no question. It has been published before that the Enchanted Tiki Room was his favorite attraction, though I never have heard or seen a direct statement by Disney himself regarding this (but it may exist--Opus, or MJ may be of help here).

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    • #3
      Re: Walt's favorite ride

      I know 3 specific places you could find Walt when he was in a bad mood. Steam Trains, Jungle, or the deck of the Mark Twain. Of the 3, Steam Trains is the only one he had an actual costume for. When you consider the history of Disneyland, and Walt's love of trains, I believe Trains would be the obvious choice as his "favorite" followed by Jungle and Mark Twain.

      Tiki holds a special place in part because he financed it out of his own pocket... and because of the technological innovations behind it. He was very proud of Tiki! I think there is a quote somewhere about delighting in the smiles on the childrens' faces when they saw the birds come to life... not sure if it was Walt himself, or possibly an author who wrote that.

      Minor side note, at the time Walt green lighted the J.C. he hadn't seen the African Queen, he simply trusted Harper and said "Do it". As to the Tiki Room Birds, that concept came from a toy he picked up in an antique shop. He actually bought two of them, one of his grandkids broke one.
      Last edited by techskip; 03-13-2008, 09:48 AM.
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      • #4
        Re: Walt's favorite ride

        I'd say probably just driving around the park in the firetruck after closing and being like "Yeah, I built this."

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        • #5
          Re: Walt's favorite ride

          It had to have been the railroad. I mean, it was the only attraction that was always there in every single early design or idea for the park.

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          • #6
            Re: Walt's favorite ride

            I've heard that the latest attraction was always his favorite.

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            • #7
              Re: Walt's favorite ride

              Originally posted by Datameister View Post
              It had to have been the railroad.
              No question about it.
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              • #8
                Re: Walt's favorite ride

                Originally I was thinking it had to be the RR, but then I thought about it longer and realized that the JC was more "interactive" than the railroad, more "dramatic" than Tiki. Just my guess.


                "We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together."

                -Walt Disney

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                • #9
                  Re: Walt's favorite ride

                  Originally posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
                  I've heard that the latest attraction was always his favorite.
                  This is very similar to Duke Ellington. When asked what his favorite composition was, he responded "The one I'm working on right now." I have a feeling that was Walt as well. From what I've read, nothing lit the man up more than getting a chance to show a guest the latest thing. Something along the lines of "Wait until you see this!" He was consantly looking toward the future, and I have a feeling his favorite, just before he passed, was the entirety of EPCOT.

                  But on days when he just wanted to reflect, I think his heart remained with the Mark Twain. On one of the recent DVDs they talk about how he used to come to the park early and just stare out at the Rivers of America.

                  But I'm thinking by that point, picking a favorite would be like choosing between his children or grandkids.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Walt's favorite ride

                    Originally posted by Sorcerer's Apprentice View Post
                    Originally I was thinking it had to be the RR, but then I thought about it longer and realized that the JC was more "interactive" than the railroad, more "dramatic" than Tiki. Just my guess.
                    It isn't so much the interactivity or the drama, it is the fact that he loved trains. It is that simple, Walt loved trains and he enjoyed everything about them. Steve D can fill you in on the details, but the Disneyland RR is widely considered to be Walt's favorite.... and this is coming from a Jungle Skip who loves Jungle!
                    Originally posted by Mac Daddy View Post
                    But on days when he just wanted to reflect, I think his heart remained with the Mark Twain. On one of the recent DVDs they talk about how he used to come to the park early and just stare out at the Rivers of America.
                    Like I said, on those bad days there were 3 specific places you could find him... Trains, Jungle, or the deck of the Mark Twain. I think part of the appeal of Jungle was the immersive environment, and the pride of a job well done.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Walt's favorite ride

                      Originally posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
                      I've heard that the latest attraction was always his favorite.
                      Yup that's what I've heard. The project he was currently working on was his favorite so was POTC the last?
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                      • #12
                        Re: Walt's favorite ride

                        It would be impossible to know which one it was but I think it's safe to say he was most proud of any of the AA based attractions.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Walt's favorite ride

                          I have a feeling that in his last couple of years, it would be Carousel of Progress.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Walt's favorite ride

                            Originally posted by Sorcerer's Apprentice View Post
                            Originally I was thinking it had to be the RR, but then I thought about it longer and realized that the JC was more "interactive" than the railroad, more "dramatic" than Tiki.
                            More interactive? More dramatic? Clearly you've never operated a steam locomotive.

                            Trains are what led Walt to create the Park--they were Disney's true passion. As Tech notes, Walt kept striped railroad overalls in his firehouse apartment. These were once on display at Retlaw in the Valley. I assume they will be once again displayed in the Walt Disney Family Museum.

                            Next would be the Mark Twain. Ward Kimball noted that Walt considered the trains and the steamboat the "seventh and the eight wonders of the world." Perhaps there's a reason the trains were the very first attraction completed and operable?

                            Walt Disney LIVED and BREATHED railroading, from being regaled by his Uncle Mike Martin, an Engineer on the Santa Fe, with railroad stories as a child, to sneaking into the cab of a steam locomotive while the crew was off eating and blasting the whistle on a dare. Then came his job as a news butcher on the Missouri Pacific. Climbing over the tender coal load of a moving train to bribe the engine crew so that they would teach him how to operate the behemoths. He was crazy about railroading, and even penned a magazine article for Railroad magazine shortly before he died about that passion.

                            Sure, he probably liked all the attractions at the park for differing reasons. But there was only one or two attractions that he personally owned (through Retlaw, his own personal company)--and the trains were one of them. When he was in the Park after some stressful periods in his life, he didn't drive the fire engine or ride the carousel--he climbed into the cab of one of his steam engines, blasted that whistle, yanked that throttle and headed out, living his dream. If you were old enough to visit the Park between 1955 and 1966, there is a chance that if you rode the train, Walt Disney was your engineer.



                            Sure, a carousel--or rather, the emotional distance between parent and daughters that the carousel represented--may have ignited the spark of an idea with Walt. But the fact is, Disneyland was built so that Walt Disney could live out his passion in life, and be an engineer.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Walt's favorite ride

                              Originally posted by techskip View Post
                              It isn't so much the interactivity or the drama, it is the fact that he loved trains. It is that simple, Walt loved trains and he enjoyed everything about them. Steve D can fill you in on the details, but the Disneyland RR is widely considered to be Walt's favorite.... and this is coming from a Jungle Skip who loves Jungle!
                              Like I said, on those bad days there were 3 specific places you could find him... Trains, Jungle, or the deck of the Mark Twain. I think part of the appeal of Jungle was the immersive environment, and the pride of a job well done.
                              Thanks for the insight!

                              Originally posted by DisneyGal View Post
                              Yup that's what I've heard. The project he was currently working on was his favorite so was POTC the last?
                              I would go with your direction, too. It seems Walt was more interested
                              in future projects, he was always mentioning future projects. So I would
                              go with Pirates, also.
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