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D23 Live: Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering


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  • D23 Live: Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering

    A panel of Disney Imagineering Legends moderated by Marty Sklar featuring Alice Davis, Orlando Ferrante, Bob Gurr, Don Iwerks and special guest Kim Irvine. Starting soon

    Bob Gurr writing a book that will be out Spring 2012.

    Today they'll be talking about transition from attractions here to Walt Disney World.

    Playing footage from Florida introducing Walt Disney and his work to the state from around the time that Walt Disney World was being announced.

    Starting the discussion with Western River Expedition attraction designed by Marc Davis.

    Marc thought Pirates were going to Florida and Western River going to California...

    Pirates planned to be walk thru but after Walt saw walkthrus in NY World's Fair, he decided ride through would be better.

    Walk thru idea: A man would be sitting on chair, telling you story of pirates with screen showing wha pirates do and then guests would move to next area.

    Iwerks: Walt wanted Hall of Presidents all along. Lincoln laid the foundation. Paintings for Presidents show were created proportionally for the 50x200ft screen. Originally planned to use Five cameras and five projectors for Presidents show but decided it wouldn't work. Built a new, revolutionary camera specifically for show. Took film and split it into five sections and used five projectors for final show.

    Bob Gurr discusses adapting the Monorail system for Walt Disney World.

    "We're gonna have a peach monorail down there on Florida... I don't know what peach looks like on a Monorail, but the Monorail just keeps expanding!"

    Kim Irvine talked about learning on-the-job at the WED model shop in the 70s while WDW was being built. Noted Rolly's different take on the Tiki room, Marc Davis' variations on Small World, etc.

    Orlando Ferrante talks about moving the monorail beams from Tacoma, WA to Orlando. It was the only place they could find to build the monorail beams. .. Talks about shipping in Coors Beer from California and work crews picking up beer at the end of the day.

    Gurr: Talking about "crash programs" designing ferry boats and retrofitting tractors for trams with new motors for WDW's transportation needs.

    Marty asks Alice Davis's first thought when she saw Florida property. "Haha! You really want me to say?".

    Talking about emotion at opening and how Marc wouldn't miss opening of Magic Kingdom despite having fallen and being severely bruised up on boat at WDW

    Marty talks about how Roy O Disney "gave his life" to WDW project.

    Marty talks about graphics package for "Tempo Bay Hotel on Bay Lake" and Roy O Disney said "What's wrong with 'The Cotemporaey?'"

    Bob Gurr talks about how engineers didn't believe it was possible to have a monorail going through the hotel. Talks about how they measured vibrations of monorail going through Monorail at 40+ MPH to prove the monorail wouldn't be dangerous for the structure.

    Marty: The architects threatened to resign the account because they didn't think a train would be safe going through the building. They didn't resign after Disney called their bluff.

    Kim Irvine talks about searching for shoes with her mother, Leota Tooms for the Alice animatronic in the Mickey Mouse Revue. Searched every store, finally found shoes but they were one size too small and Leota says "it's okay, we'll just trim her feet down!" to the horror of the store clerk.

    Alice talks about Mary Blair designing mural for the Contemporary. Says Mary was "different" during the time. Mary starting crying at dinner one night with Alice and she said "Mary, what's wrong? Your color has gone bad and you're crying!"

    Mary had gotten a phone call about her son who had gone to college and taken a large amount of LSD and had to be committed to a mental institution. Mary stuck with the mural, despite the issues in her personal life.

    Alice says Mary's mural "...made all the difference in the world; it gave it warmth."

    Time for audience questions...

    "biggest project you worked on that we never got to see?"

    Marty: There are so many... Talks about how three teams created three different ideas for second water park on Florida, Mchael Eisner came in, saw Blizzard Beach and immediately said "That one!" before hearing pitch for others

    Marty: "I think Walt could have been elected chairman of GE.. They just loved him".

    Marty: "Walt could have made [E.P.C.O.T.] happen"

    Alice: Walt wanted leaders in medicine to be centered in EPCOT so people would know were to go for the latest research and progress in medicine.

    Don: Walt, Ub Iwerks and Roger Brogie all believed that quality came first. If you don't do it right the first time, then dont do it at all.

    Alice: When working on SmaLl World Walt told her "I just want you to make the best costumes of the best quality that girls from 1 to 100 would want" ... "Always give people more than they expect. If you cheat them, they'll never come back"

    Kim Irvine used to walk the park with John Hench once a month, every month for two and a half hours and then finish the visit by riding Space Mountain. Used to tell her stories every time they walked the park and would say "It's not a happy accident that all of this works so well"

    Marty: Walk was never interested in what they were working on yesterday. He always wanted to know what was next.

    Panel has concluded.

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

  • #2
    Re: D23 Live: Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering

    O's comment on Coor's reminded me of Carousel of Progress, when it was updated and shipped to Walt Disney World for installation there. Coor's was not available in Florida, so the shows set walls were fully padded with it for all the WED field installers, after hours of course. PD
    Last edited by DisWedWay; 08-22-2011, 02:46 PM.


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