I was invited to Disney Imagineering last wednesday for a UCLA alumni mixer. During the short tour of the facilities they gave us, we got to see and hear some amazing things that I wanted to share. I have no idea if you already all know these neat details, but here's some trivia we found out:
-"Meet The World" the Tokyo Disney film (that I guess isn't around anymore) was a massive headache for the Imagineers, as they struggled very hard to find a polite way to bring up WWII. Marty Sklar said they all breathed a sigh of relief when the show was finally taken down.
-There is a rumor that the original Snow White and the Seven Dwarves statues that are next to the castle were sent anonymously to Walt Disney and carved using a set of soaps as a referene, hence Snow White's small size. They recently discovered this is untrue, Walt commissioned the statues from an Italian sculptor, who made a mistake in the proportions. Rather than recarving the statues, they placed Snow White higher up to create a forced perspective. The original statues are no longer in the park, but instead live in the modeling shop at Imagineering.
-Carsland Stuff: Well, the coolest part for me was to see the 1/2 inch scale model they have recently completed for the Radiator Springs Racers, as well as the 1/8 in scale of the whole Carsland section. I apologize if this is repetition, but here's what we heard:
The whole town will be there, and each building will have a unique function. The entrance will be near Mater's Junkyard and the Jamboree ride. Milton's hippy dome will be a snack stand with fruits and healthy treats. Sarge and Lizzie's will both be souvenier stores. Flo's will be a sit down dining experience. Luigi's will have the flying saucer ride and of course, that brings you to the Radiator Springs Racers. (Apologies, I'm totally blank on what Ramon's body shop will be. They told us, but it was after the cocktails).
-The rockwork for Carsland is going to be 130 ft high at the highest point, and is designed specifically to block out the unattractive telephone poles outside the park.
-They also showed us the model for the new Fantasyland at Disneyworld. Again, please forgive me if this is repetitive. I've never been to Disneyworld, so my knowledge of this is limited.
They will be creating three "princess experiences" as a means of replacing the simple kiss-and-dismiss treatment that kids often get after standing in line. In Belle's father's cottage, a story will be read by Belle. In the fairy's cottage from Sleeping Beauty, kids will get to help the fairies throw a 16th birthday party for Aurora. In Cinderella's castle, kids can help Cinderella get ready for the ball, either by helping her learn to dance, or taking "knight training classes" (for boys not wild about dancing).
Dumbo will be getting a second ride structure to cut down on lines, and the queue is undergoing an innovative design. Instead of a line, riders will get a color-coded feather upon entering a huge circus tent, where they can freely move about and play until their "feather group" is called.
Hope any of this was new to you! We had an amazing time and I just wish they had allowed us to take pics!!