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  1. #1

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    Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    I've been following Disney artist Kevin Kidney's blog religiously for the past few weeks as he slowly unveils images of some incredible figurines and collectibles him and partner Jody Daily have been creating for Disneyland's 55th.

    The duo has releasing a series of five nostalgic ride vehicle replicas later this fall. Kevin unveiled the fourth ride vehicle in the series on his blog today the Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland. Not only is the piece he and Jody made absolutely beautiful, but Kevin shared a bit of information about Engine No. 1 that might be of interest to some Disneyland fans the old Mine Train from the edge of the Rivers of America has been given to the Walt Disney Archives.



    All Aboard the Mine Train
    For many years a dilapidated old train sat in ruins along the banks of the Rivers of America, the last remaining scrap of an extinct Disneyland attraction from bygone days. It was in terrible shape, rotting and falling apart from years of exposure. Barely legible on its domed boiler was a faded gold number "1".

    About a month ago, the train vanished from the park (finally given to the care of the Disney Archives ), and Jody and I were somewhat surprised to see it gone. For the past year one of our projects has been to make a miniature replica of Train #1 as it appeared bright and new in 1960 when Nature's Wonderland opened. We felt it would be a happier way to remember this attraction, the layout of which had been designed by Walt Disney himself.

    Our replica of the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train #1 will be released this fall, as part of the ongoing celebration of Disneyland's 55th Anniversary.


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

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  2. #2

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    I have to be honest I have mixed feelings about this news... Archives is known for preservation, not restoration... I would hope they would restore it to "like new" condition but I highly doubt that will be the case. It also saddens me because it means it will not be readily accessible for public viewing... now it is "locked away" if you will.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  3. #3

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I have to be honest I have mixed feelings about this news... Archives is known for preservation, not restoration... I would hope they would restore it to "like new" condition but I highly doubt that will be the case. It also saddens me because it means it will not be readily accessible for public viewing... now it is "locked away" if you will.
    I'm assuming Tony Baxter and the rest of Imagineering donated this to the Archives with the best intentions. I can't imagine Baxter would give up this piece of classic Disneyland history that became a very memorable part of the Rivers of America tour without good reason. I'm guessing the train was in very bad condition and this was its last chance of being salvaged and preserved. Otherwise, it would have continued to rot along the edge of the River, needing to be removed at a later date with no chance of being preserved at all. Again, this is all speculation on my part...

    It's certainly a loss for the Disneyland guest, but I'm thinking/hoping that it's ultimately a long-term win for Disneyland history.

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

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  4. #4

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    If you are right MG then it really says a lot about a Company. They would rather hide a treasure then spend the money necessary to restore it and show it off.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  5. #5

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    If you are right MG then it really says a lot about a Company. They would rather hide a treasure then spend the money necessary to restore it and show it off.
    It says a lot about certain parts of the company; namely Team Disney Anaheim's lack of interest in their history, despite how much they profit from it.

    Personally, I have nothing against the Archives in this situation. If they're able to save something that TDA feels isn't worth their while, then I appreciate their efforts.

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

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  6. #6

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Personally, I have nothing against the Archives in this situation. If they're able to save something that TDA feels isn't worth their while, then I appreciate their efforts.
    again it is preservation (maintaining current state) vs restoration.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    I agree! I will miss it along the Rivers of America!

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    again it is preservation (maintaining current state) vs restoration.
    I understand your point, but I'd rather preservation through the Archive instead of total loss from TDA.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    I have missed that attraction for so long. It was neat seeing that along the Rivers of America.

  10. #10

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    I understand your point, but I'd rather preservation through the Archive instead of total loss from TDA.
    Gotta agree with this. Better to have it kept than to be lost forever. Perhaps a replica would be a nice compromise for the ROA?
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  11. #11

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Well, I for one am excited about the miniature! How cool. Of course, I might be a little biased by the fact that I'm a closet model railroader, but nonetheless, it is really cool!

  12. #12

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    again it is preservation (maintaining current state) vs restoration.
    At least there is a chance for restoration at a later date. Certainly more than if they just left it along the RoA to rot.

  13. #13

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by PistonCupChampion View Post
    At least there is a chance for restoration at a later date. Certainly more than if they just left it along the RoA to rot.
    Which goes back to a company not caring enough to spend the money to fully restore the piece THEN give it to archives, or find a less weathered location to install it.

    MG believes Tony "gave it up" so they wouldn't have to toss it... which says a lot about the company Tony works for.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Which goes back to a company not caring enough to spend the money to fully restore the piece THEN give it to archives, or find a less weathered location to install it.

    MG believes Tony "gave it up" so they wouldn't have to toss it... which says a lot about the company Tony works for.
    I think it's kinda like what the Air Force museum here does. They go to all sorts of places and salvage rare airplanes that have been wrecked and forgotten. Then they take them back to the museum, take them completely apart and restore them. I am sure eventually the train will undergo the same process. It's a one of a kind relic, a survivor of Disneyland past. I'm sure Dave Smith or someone thought it was too important to lose.

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    Re: Rivers of America Mine Train in the care of Walt Disney Archives

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Which goes back to a company not caring enough to spend the money to fully restore the piece THEN give it to archives, or find a less weathered location to install it.
    Well, let's say you were President of DL or whatever, and you have X amount of dollars to work with. Do you spend it on restoring an item that's an atmospheric piece, or do you spend the money on something that has more direct impact on the guest experience?

    I don't pretend to know how much it would cost to fix ol' #1, or even if Disney would need to make such an either or choice. I just don't think it's fair to say they don't care.

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