A thing that is seldom-noticed and never-talked about, that I have seen: the small vignette of a collapsed mine shaft and ore carts near the finale of Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (just before the newly-enhanced tunnel featuring the blasting and ‘explosions’).
The cars whip around it very fast and no pause to study it in person, really, so I think many don’t even register the details of it beyond a half-second glance. Also notice the emergency evacuation staircase in the far back of photo, beyond the front ore cart.
Second floor of the Journey into Imagination building
So we will be doing a full review of the Undiscovered Future World Tour soon but we wanted to just post these for everyone to see. They’ve been heavily watermarked and please do not repost them on tumblr or any other social media site.
Now technically guests are no longer taken up there as part of the tour. However our tour guide, who shall remain nameless, was extremely generous and took us up there. (We think probably because we were a very small group, just us three sisters and another couple, and all were obvious EPCOT nerds. Plus our guide had worked at the pavilion for a long time and had obvious love for it that we shared.)
Just a few things our guide let us know about the pavilion:
- We weren’t allowed to go into the exhibits area as that is not “show ready” in any form. It’s mostly used for storage but we could still see some of the original ImageWorks exhibits set up.
- The other reason guests are generally no longer taken up there is because there are structural issues. Apparently a manager fell through the floor while walking around up there recently.
- As of this time there are no plans to make any changes to the pavilion. According to our guide no changes can take place unless there is a dedicated “partner” for the pavilion.
- Our guide also let us know that Disney won’t be able to put Dreamfinder back in the ride until they can buy him back from Kodak. Disney bought Figment back a few years ago but Kodak still owns the rights to Dreamfinder. Our guide did say that there are many imagineers who do want to get Dreamfinder back though so maybe one day it’ll happen. (I think it’s even more likely given that Kodak is allowing for Dreamfinder’s use in the Figment comic.)
Here’s what Disneyland looked like from above in 1955 and 1988. The photos ran with a June 2, 1988, Times story about Orange County’s growth that was pulled from the archives by Times Image Specialist Scott Harrison.
Photos: Los Angeles Times, Aurelio Jose Barrera / Los Angeles Times