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Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

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  • Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

    Some time ago there was great debate here in a thread about the depth (or lack of) of the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean. That may or may not be related to what I'm about to post.

    So anyway...I'm tripping the light fantasmic rummaging through the Opus Archives when I happen upon this mystery photo:



    Dated 1961. That jives with the construction of Swiss Family Treehouse that you can see there (it opened in 1962). Looks to be covering the area where the Indy and Pirate's entrances are now.

    Now having been in and about Disneyland lots since its earliest days...I like to think I know more than most about the place. But this photo has really thrown me for a loop. Just look at that hole and it's size and depth! What the heck were they digging for and doing back then? Looks like they are laying pipe at the very bottom...but why at such a depth?

    I suppose it could be pre-prep for New Orleans Square and Pirates...but 1961? That's quite a ways from when it opened. But I suppose it could be just that. Perhaps they knew some major attraction was going in that space and decided then was a good time to start on infrastructure?

    I don't know. Do you?

  • #2
    Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

    If you have a copy of More Mouse Tales there is a picture on page 103 that shows an overview of the park, dated 1961 in which you can see the steel supports for Pirates and NOS. Aparently what happend is they started construction of NOS in 1961 but stopped to do the work on the 1964-65 worlds Fair projects.
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    • #3
      Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

      They got the New Orleans Square park-area buildings all done - that's how they got far enough on Walt's New Apartment (Disney Gallery now) that he had breakfasts and spent time in the unfinished rooms.

      It took them a long delay for the Worlds Fair to get back to the "Show Buildings" behind the berm and the operating show elements of Pirates. Walt walked through an incomplete Pirates, but never saw it as a finished ride.

      --<< Bruce >>--
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      • #4
        Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

        Originally posted by Opus1guy View Post
        Some time ago there was great debate here in a thread about the depth (or lack of) of the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean. That may or may not be related to what I'm about to post.

        So anyway...I'm tripping the light fantasmic rummaging through the Opus Archives when I happen upon this mystery photo:



        Dated 1961. That jives with the construction of Swiss Family Treehouse that you can see there (it opened in 1962). Looks to be covering the area where the Indy and Pirate's entrances are now.

        Now having been in and about Disneyland lots since its earliest days...I like to think I know more than most about the place. But this photo has really thrown me for a loop. Just look at that hole and it's size and depth! What the heck were they digging for and doing back then? Looks like they are laying pipe at the very bottom...but why at such a depth?

        I suppose it could be pre-prep for New Orleans Square and Pirates...but 1961? That's quite a ways from when it opened. But I suppose it could be just that. Perhaps they knew some major attraction was going in that space and decided then was a good time to start on infrastructure?

        I don't know. Do you?
        It could be prep for NOS, The Wax Museum, or adding new space on the track for the ROA. It is most likely prep for the Wax Museum because they were well underway with that before they even thought up of the Pirates we have today. Also, the space is way to deep to be laying what looks like some sort of track. It is most likely The Wax Museum because it had a second underground level.

        Hope this helps.
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        • #5
          Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

          Remember, the RoA and the Jungle Cruise were once connected by a small waterway, located where the treehouse is today. That excavation could have something to do with rerouting that connection. At least, that's my guess.

          Cinderella IV: The Bloodening

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          • #6
            Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

            Originally posted by Walt Jr. View Post
            ...or adding new space on the track for the ROA.
            Oh, for sure it's not Rivers of America. Wrong location and that thing is about 4 times deeper than ROA ever was! But Thanks!

            Originally posted by aerinpegadrak View Post
            Remember, the RoA and the Jungle Cruise were once connected by a small waterway, located where the treehouse is today. That excavation could have something to do with rerouting that connection. At least, that's my guess.
            Nope. I know all about that. Much smaller pipe which runs very close to the surface. It runs on the other side of that hole. Minor construction for that. This hole had to be for a major project that required that kind of depth. I mean...look closely at that thing! Those guys are really down deep. That has to be at least three stories underground. Or four. But that's another story. (Sorry...couldn't resist)

            The putting things on hold bit due to the World's Fair makes sense to me. Just never realized there was this level of infrastructure going on for that area at that time.

            Thanks All!
            Last edited by Opus1guy; 03-06-2007, 07:02 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

              Also, while you don't go that far down I don't think, the top of that hole is level with the tree which is where the level for the pirates building entrance used to be but now is much lower under the bridge and such.. so as deep as the hole looks, think of the distance from the base of the tree, and then to the walkway down the hill by it, and then to the bottom of the rivers of america... it probably gets close..

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              • #8
                Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                So, perhaps NOS and I were born the same year?

                Fascinating photo. So weird to look at how bare DL was back then, compared to now.

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                • #9
                  Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                  Originally posted by Opus1guy View Post
                  I mean...look closely at that thing! Those guys are really down deep. That has to be at least three stories underground. Or four. But that's another story. (Sorry...couldn't resist)
                  I certainly wouldn't say they're "underground."

                  And also, I think the photo is deceiving. I don't think it's as deep as it appears.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                    That hole looks to be between 30 feet and 40 feet. Using the following information -- 90 foot length of drop at a 21 degree angle -- and my special magical powers -- basic geometry -- the vertical drop is about 32 feet.
                    Seems about right, if the bottom of that hole is the bottom of the POTC show building.
                    Questions are:
                    1. Was the "Wax Museum walk-through" going to be built outside the berm, 30 feet below the surface, or was it going to be only under NOS?
                    2. Exactly when did they decide to build a flume ride? Most "hgistorical accounts" note a change in direction following the World's Fair in '64.

                    Opie, maybe the "4" looks like a "1" on your photo date?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                      Judging by the location of the hole in relation to the Tree structure, I would have to say the hole is no where near the "drop."

                      The drop only exists to get the flume under the berm that the railroad track is laid upon. So really the drop is probably a lot closer to, say the NOS bathrooms than the area shown in the photograph, which seems to be closer to the "front" of the ride.

                      Really, for all we know, these guys could just be re-routing some of the park's sewer or fresh water piping. It's difficult to make any conclusions. With the knowledge that most of NOS is built over a "basement," they may have had to excavate even deeper to lay piping.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                        Also, this picture appears to be inside the berm, since I don't see any tracks. So, this really has nothing to do the the POTC show building.

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                        • #13
                          A HUGE Hole!

                          Thanks for posting that very interesting photo. The first thing I noticed was the lack of shoring to protect against cave in! This would have the state OSHA inspector flipping out if it happened today!

                          It appears the workmen in the hole are forming a concrete foundation for a side wall. That is my guess from what I see and what I know about construction.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                            Originally posted by sediment View Post
                            Also, this picture appears to be inside the berm, since I don't see any tracks. So, this really has nothing to do the the POTC show building.
                            I agree.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Opus Archives: This Story Has A HUGE Hole In It!

                              But the first show building for POTC is not past the tracks, its underneath where you load, so this is most likely the construction for it.

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