I am not sure how many read Al's articles. I enjoy them, and while I don't read them the moment they come out I do eventually get around to them. Many on here know that I tend to pick on WDI a lot. Here... will be another stunning example of it.
Part of Al's article was the decision to not have a full replica theater complete with Walt show. There were a number of reasons cited as to why, but the nail in the coffin was the ballooning trolley car budget. I realize everyone will immediately blame the bean counters at TDA but before they start I wanted to point all of this out!
Evidently no one in WDI realized that high voltage cable car power lines, and mylar balloons don't mix. I'm not a rocket scientist but I believe Ben Franklin effectively proved something similar in one of his experiments. In one of my other threads I complained about the "what do we do now" attitude expressed by WDI when things don't go their way and budgets get cut. I complained about poor planning, and a lack of plan B... this is another wonderful example. You can't have high voltage lines above because of balloons and stupid people. You can't have voltage on the tracks because, well, people will be walking on them. So... that leaves the individual cars. Ironically the Main Street Vehicles could easily provide the solution... natural gas! Simple, easy, effective. You could still have those wonderful lines, minus the power, to at least present an accurate portrayal of how the cars used to run. Parades would be another logistical problem... possibly a raising/lowering mechanism similar to theater rigs... again not rocket science!
Design and Construction of the cars should be even easier. Obviously they will be scaled down, but you could technically use the current Horse Drawn Carriages as a template for the scale. The Horse Drawn was the predecessor to the electric trolley! San Pedro just finished their trolley a couple years back, those blueprints are easily accessible. Likewise you can see a fully restored one at Travel Town. If you use the Horse Drawn scale that that also takes care of parts, and track gauge! About the only problem I can see is a roundhouse or other alternate area for storage, depending on how many you could even model that after the current method for the Horse Drawn.
So I am done with the soapbox if anyone else wants to take it from here but once again I can't understand how something this simple became so complicated! Actually I'm lying... I can understand... I've seen it firsthand before! So now feel free to blame the bean counters, personally I blame the ones who didn't realize a high voltage power line and a mylar balloon could BBQ a tourist!
Edit: Evidently the mylar comment has been disproven but to prove it was not me who came up with it
from Al's article. http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al040808a.htmThe nail in the coffin came with the ballooning budget for the elaborate Pacific Electric Railway Red Car system to be installed from the DCA entrance back through the Hollywood section. When the Imagineers realized that running high capacity electric trolley lines down the middle of a busy theme park full of kids holding Mylar balloons would prove to be a real design challenge, the costs for the installation of this custom built trolley line began to skyrocket. With the Red Car attraction needing more money, and with the Walt Disney Story receiving lots of pushback from TDA, the decision was made to abandon plans for another tribute to Walt in Anaheim.
Have a nice day!