Today’s Wheel of Adventures has stopped at 2007, so here we go, to a creative adventure in the desert with Bob Gurr.

The Nevada desert in August every year attracts over 50,000 very special folks to a hot dusty barren dry lake bed completely devoid of any amenities – not even weeds will grow there. Why special? They call themselves “Burners”, they’re headed for Burning Man, the crazy art festival bacchanal-like annual gathering. Naturally being a Disney designer I just had to go see this wild thing first hand in 2007. I instantly was transformed into a Burner and returned in both 2010 and 2011. I made a GurrVideo Production of the 2010 event.

Burning Man 2010 by Bob Gurr from Vito Fun on Vimeo.

 

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Since 1986, Burning Man has become an artist’s mecca every year. Search any internet source for a vast fund of history and explanation of just what Burning Man really is. You’ll learn way more than I can tell you in this quick True-Life Adventure tale. But a general overview; 100% of everything one will need must be brought in, and 100% of everything left afterwards must be removed. There are no utilities, no power, and no basic human needs beyond rental porta-potties and ice for purchase.

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There’s nothing commercial to buy or sell, everyone brings gifts to share – it’s a one week commune. Nothing is paved, the ground is powdered dust which blinds everything when winds roar, turns to slippery mud during thunderstorms. It’s hot, cold, calm, and dust storm with little warning. In between, Burning Man is the most magical and serene times I’ve ever experienced. Few conventional humans would ever think of going, but once there, it’s in your heart forever. I won’t even try to explain further. Just view the 2007 photos and enjoy the 2010 video.

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In the end, they burn the man.  😉

Have any of you visited Burning Man? If not, have you thought about it?

Next time on Bob’s True-Life Adventures – we sail the Caribbean on the biggest ship at sea.

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Bob Gurr is a true Disney legend who was hired on to design the Autopia for Disneyland. Over nearly four decades, Bob would become famous for developing the Monorails, Submarines, Flying Saucers, antique cars and double-decker buses of Main Street, Ford Motor Company's Magic Skyway (at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair), Omnimover ride system, Matterhorn and lots more. It has been said that if it moves, Bob probably played a part. Upon leaving Imagineering in 1981, Bob worked on a number of "leisure-time spectaculars" and "fantastical beasts" for parks and developments all over the world. Most notably, he created King Kong and Conan's Serpent for Universal Studios Hollywood, A UFO for the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, and the memorable T-Rex figure featured in Steven Spielberg's motion picture "Jurassic Park." You can find Bob's column, Design: Those Were The Times, right here on MiceChat. Though don't pin Bob down to a schedule, he's busy being "retired."
  • Bob, your photos are stunning.

    I’ve got friends who live for Burning Man. But there’s something about spending a week in the desert in the middle of summer that doesn’t quite appeal to me. I’ve never felt the desire to go. Which makes me appreciate these photos and your video even more. I’m certainly missing out by not going, but still can’t imagine myself there. 😉

  • Badger

    That was a great trip report and an awesome video — thanks for sharing.

    I hope to make it out to Burning Man someday.

  • HeyBaloo

    I have been to Burning Man a few times over the last decade, and I am really happy that Disney Legend, Mr. Gurr has made it out there a few times as well, everything he said about the special vibe of the event was right on. There are certainly quite a few other Imagineers that have made the trip, as evident by all the amazing design and engineering projects you see out on the Playa. I intend to get out there a few more times over my next years and already have some designs in my head for a few ” Art Cars”, a themed yurt village, and a raft ride, most of which I owe the inspiration from my interests in Disney theme parks. Thanks for this TR, Gus