/ Friday, July 5th, 2013

Welcome back, my fellow daydreaming Imagineers!  We’ve got a real puzzler for you this week.

footImagine, if you will, that you were the head of WDI, and you came upon the object pictured while digging through the Disney Archives.  Your mind racing, you begin to wonder: what story could this have been a part of?  And why was it not included?  And could it be used now?

You ask an intern to write a brief memo, examining these questions.  What would the memo say?  Share your brainstorm in the comments below.  One respondent will be selected at random to receive a WDW Radio Mystery ticket!  Winner will be chosen next Friday, July 12.

9 Responses to "Wanna-Be Imagineers: Something is Afoot!"

  1. Fred Aebli says:

    My memo might say….

    While working on a project this week, I was called in by my mentor to dig through the archives. Initially, I thought I couldn’t take the time from my project but realized it might lead to some other cool project…and it did. We came across a storage location for Pirates of the Caribbean and there were a number of artifacts but the one that caught my attention was a foot with the writing, “pirate leg – second left foot”. As it turns out while casting some of animitronics, a a backup foot was created in case of one becoming damaged. This foot, with just a touch of paint can still be used! Not in Pirates of Caribbean but over on Tom Sawyers Island. As you wind through some of the caves, we can place this foot in a dimly lit corner, peaking out from behind some well placed rocks and vegetation making look like someone has hidden away. Additionally, place a message in the fort that posts an announcement for someone who has escaped and was last seen heading into a cave area. You can also cast some barefooted foot prints on the ground (mud?) heading into the cave. This whole idea leaves alot to the imagination since you never really see a full body but you catch a glimpse of a foot in a dark cave.

  2. Prop no. WRE: AA-23

    Based on my research into the prop found by Mr. Hawkins (which we’ve taken to calling Pete’s appendage), I have concluded that it is most likely from a prototype of Marc Davis’ Western River Expedition, given its vicinity to related articles and denomination of WRE. Though I have been unable to locate it, I recall seeing concept art and prototype of a man fishing on the banks of the river, a child on his shoulders, feet dangling in the water and a giant American Alligator drifting nearby. This may very well be the man’s left foot. Whether or not it was displaced by the jaws of the gator I cannot say.

    As to my thoughts on its use today, aside from the arbitrary attempt at reviving our much-pined Thunder Mesa I have been inspired to pitch a new attraction. Exploring the limitless possibilities of the mysterious foot calls to mind the very core of Imagineering.

    Professor Ludwig Von Drake’s Miscellaneous Oddities Upward Curiosity Elevator (or M.O.U.S.E.) Would be a dark ride in the tradition of The Haunted Mansion and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in which groups of guests enter the lobby of the Von Drake Viennese Curio Shop. The walls would be festooned with birdcages containing objects of mystery. Each group would have an individual designated by a cast member (preferably a child) to come up and use the Mysterious Invisible Corporeality Engagement Structuralizer (Yeah, you can figure this one out), a gizmo that will draw a volumus beam of light to a caged object at random, for instance- an old fake leg. The cast member will then give them the ol’ “Ohhh, this is a very strange object found in the rubble of Bulgarian mansion…” etc. The object will then be taken down and placed in the M.O.U.S.E., which would be an elaborate contraption, which identifies the strange interdimensional energy attached to all things. The group then enters a 22-person capacity ride vehicle which takes them on an elevator-like ride which will move up, down side to side and even gimbal in 360 degrees through both real sets and motion simulator dome screen sets all based on a fantasy world stored away in the object and uncovered by the M.O.U.S.E.

    There could be many multiple experiences à la Star Tours based on however many objects are available to be chosen in the lobby. This would then be used as the key to the ride script. It would involve many small, movable set pieces and might be something we’d have to spend more than a couple of dollars on, but I think it would be a blast

  3. Fran Cassano says:

    “While assisting in the Disney Archives, we came across this calf and foot. Originally thought to have been a reference for audioanimatronics, we realized that these were actually a scrapped series of casts for larger full sculptures that would reside in the World Showcase sections of EPCOT Center.

    It seems that this one artifact is in reasonable condition and hope that you will consider resurrecting the since scrapped project, but for special events including: Flower and Garden, Food and Wine, and runDisney (where this foot would be a prefect addition). Thank you for your time and consideration. enclosures.”

  4. What’s this for again? Oh, it’s for Pirates of the Caribbean. Hmmm…let’s see… I know! It needs more hair on it!

  5. Brian Bernhard says:

    7/5/13;WDW ARCHIVES;BERNHARD,BRIAN;#30-FG4

    Today while searching through the archives of Imagineering projects of yore, my supervisor and I literally stumbled across as sculpted foot since it was left out in the middle of the floor. I mean seriously, it’s a piece of Disney Company history, SHOW SOME RESPECT ARCHIVE CARETAKER! Anyway, upon examination, the origins of this peculiar item were unmistakable. This foot came from the Atlantis scene from the extinct 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea attraction!

    I was absolutely thrilled to hold a piece of such history in my hands. I then quickly put it down when my supervisor told me the white paint on it had an extremely high lead content. Apparently this foot was from a statue of the mythological Greek god Zeus. The foot was painted with careful detail as to make it look weathered yet at the same time still defined. The reason why there is detailing on the part of the calf where the rest of the statue’s leg would be is that in the scene, the statue itself actually fell over due to strong oceanic currents thus causing it to break apart from the anchored foot. This was done as a story telling aspect to show how Atlantis, though beautiful, is also very dangerous for an aquatic journey such as the one the rider is on.

    My supervisor and I then went into a small conference room to brainstorm how we could repurpose the foot since it was taking up valuable archive space. After long confederation, I finally had my idea. Since it already has a patina on it and it is sculpted in a Greco-Roman style, we could easily use it and the rest of the statue it was part of in a new Roman mythology attraction for World Showcase’s Italy pavilion called Vengeance Of The Gods. Most Greek gods had a Roman counterpart and Zeus was no exception with his counterpart being Jupiter. So basically, the attraction would go like this:

    The ride building itself would take the form of a large Greco-Roman building with many aspects of classical architecture used in its design, Most notably a large dome on the roof. In front of the building would be the ride’s main que which would be a cobblestone path winding through beautifully manicured gardens with several topiaries, fountains, flowers, and statues. All of this would lead into the museum where the main que would continue as it wrapped through exhibits about the ancient Romans until the rider reaches a large door leading into the museum’s new exhibit, Olympus: The Gods. Several riders are then ushered into the exhibit in large groups much like the stretching room in the Haunted Mansion. The room is an enormous rotunda which is located beneath the building’s notable dome causing a domed ceiling to be had in the room. The entire room is white marble. The floors are gigantic slabs of white marble. The walls are white marble with intricate arches and designs carved into them. There are several large columns along the walls which are also white marble. Even the ceiling is made to look like carved marble. Despite all of this marble detailing though, the focal point of the room is 12 large statues along the rotunda’s walls. Once everybody is inside, a cast member comes out in front of the group and explains how he/she is going to be your tour guide for this new exhibit. They then proceed to tell the crowd that the 12 statues surrounding them are of the twelve Lectisternium gods of Roman mythology. The Lectisternium gods are considered to be the “main gods” of Roman mythology. he Cast member then goes on to tell more of who each statue is of and what they were the Roman god of.

    Ceres, the goddess of agriculture.

    Mercury, the messenger god.

    Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and home.

    Vulcan, the god of fire.

    Diana, the goddess of the hunt and the moon.

    Apollo, the god of the sun, light, and truth.

    Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

    Mars, the god of war.

    Minerva, the goddess of the arts and intelligence.

    Neptune, the god of water and the sea.

    Juno, the goddess of women and marriage.

    Jupiter, the god of thunder and the skies. Often considered to be the god of gods. This statue includes the foot from the archives.

    The 12 statues all look very fierce and powerful. Angry in some way. Once the cast member finishes explaining who each statue is of, he/she begins to drone on about Roman history. They do this for about 60 seconds or so when all of a sudden, the lights go out and the statues become back lit so the rider can only see their silhouettes. Then, cracks start to form in all of the statues. Light then emerges from these cracks and the stone of the statues crumbles away showing the gods and goddesses themselves in the positions their statues were. This whole sequence could be done similarly to the shows in the Magic Kingdom involving projection on the castle, only this time on a smaller scale with projection on the statues. Once the stone crumbles away and the gods are revealed, Jupiter yells in a booming voice, “ENOUGH!!!” followed by a loud clap of thunder. Jupiter then proceeds to explain how ever since the Roman empire fell, the gods had been forgotten or seen as dull history by most people and now the gods are fed up with it. They plan to make it so that everybody in the world knows they exist, starting with this museum. A large storm cloud then forms in the ceiling of the room, again done via projection, and a vicious storm begins with deafening thunder and rapid flashes of lightning and the sounds of heavy rain. Jupiter then says how if you want to live, he suggests that you brave the trials the gods have set forth for you. Then, all of the gods fade from their locations, the storm dissipates, and the lights tun back on and the room is completely reverted to how it was upon entry. The cast member/ tour guide assures everybody that it will all be fine as long as they heed the gods and that they shouldn’t worry since the museum’s curator will try to help sooth the gods. The cast member then ushers everybody through a large door which leads to a second que. The que wraps through the rest of the mythology exhibit but this time, all of the display cases are shattered and defaced and there is vandalism unique to each god all over the room. This que leads the rider to a loading platform where they board ride vehicles which use the same ride system as Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom and the Indiana Jones ride from Disneyland. The vehicles look as if they have been ornately carved from a dark wood. Once everybody is boarded, the journey through the rest of the museum begins.

    First the riders go through a hallway which ahs been vandalized by all of the gods. A voice then comes on over the museum’s speaker system announcing that it is the museum’s curator. He states how he can probably talk down the gods but he needs everybody’s help and that the journey will certainly not be easy, but it needs to be done to save the world. He then explains how each god took over a different exhibit and set up their own trials and in order to survive, they must pass them all. The order and descriptions of the exhibits is given below:

    1) Ceres has taken control of the agriculture exhibit. The room has several relics in it such as Neolithic Era plows, cotton gins, etc. Ceses has planted some crops around the room such as wheat, corn, fruit trees, etc. Ceres’ voice is then heard saying how for millennium, she has kept the world fed with bountiful harvests, but not any more. Then, all of the crops in the room are set ablaze. The curator’s voice then comes on the loud speaker saying how the world has always been thankful for the harvests Ceres has brought them and without them the world would not be where it is. The riders are then prompted to agree with the curator. Seeing how her work truly is appreciated, Ceres stops the fire and the crops are as if they were never even burnt.

    2)Mercury took over the transportation exhibit which is filled with old cars, carts, planes, etc. Mercury’s voice is then heard saying how without his messages to the gods, nothing would get done since communication would be impossible. He then says how if mortals cannot appreciate that then they should meet their fate. Then, a large train locomotive starts up and begins to roll towards the ride vehicle, ready to crush it and everybody inside it. The curator then talks Mercury down similarly to Ceres and Mercury stops the locomotive, apologizes, and dissipates.

    3) Vesta has taken over a replica of a typical ancient roman home. There are cracks in the walls, items thrown about, and four large wooden support beams holding up the roof. Vesta then makes a speech similar to that of Ceres ans Mercury stating how if people cannot appreciate having a roof over their heads then the roof will come down upon their heads. Then the wooden support beams begin to crack and the curator hastily points out how if the four beams give way, the ceiling will fall and crush them all. He then talks down Vesta and she restores the beams then dissipates.

    4) Vulcan has taken over the museum’s Pompeii exhibit which has several artifacts from the ruined city, but the centerpiece is a large scale model of Mt. Vesuvius in the center of the room. Vulcan then makes a speech saying how his gift of fire to man kind has allowed them to thrive and create new technologies and that if man cannot appreciate this then they shall perish, reminding the riders that if you play with fire, someone is bound to get burned. The volcano model then proceeds to “erupt” spewing ash, smoke, and lava using an effect similar to that used for the volcano in Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Yet again, the curator talks Vulcan down, he dissipates and undoes his damage.

    5)Diana took over the museum’s observatory. The room has many star charts and antique telescopes, but the most prominent feature is a domed ceiling similar to that of the ceiling in the opening rotunda upon which the night sky is projected showing the stars and moon. Diana is angered by the fact that each day she moves the moon with perfect timing and allows for proper tides and merges day and night and yet nobody appreciates it. She decides if she won’t be recognized for her work, she may as well just stop. As soon as she does, the moon begins to “fall from the sky” and hurdle towards Earth, all of which can be seen on the domed ceiling. The Curator talks her down just before the moon hits earth and she once again starts the moon on its orbit around the earth.

    6) Apollo has taken over the hall of law where several ancient manuscripts and tablets which describe ancient laws are displayed in glass cases. Being the god of truth and justice, Apollo decides to put the riders on trial for their crimes against the gods. He finds them guilty and sends them to be executed by the three headed dog Cerberus. The curator talks Apollo down though and he revokes his sentence, reverts the room, and dissipates.

    7)Venus has taken over the textile gallery where ancient and antique garments are displayed on mannequins in glass cases. Fed up with humans taking their beauty for granted she decides to show humanity true ugliness by sending the snake haired beast Medusa to turn the riders into stone. Just when Medusa begins to appear, the curator talks down Venus who then uses a mirror to turn Medusa into stone and the two dissipate.

    8)Mars, the god of war, has taken over the hall of armor and weaponry. Swords and axes hang on the walls and suits of armor are everywhere. Mars feels he is under appreciated for the protection he provides man with by allowing for armies to defend nations. He decides he will no longer protect man kind. Then the suits of armor come to life and begin to approach the ride vehicle with swords and weapons ablaze. As they ready themselves to strike, the curator talks Mars down and he call back the troops and then dissipates.

    9)Minerva is disgusted by a lack of art appreciation so she decides to take over the painting gallery. In an attempt to make the riders appreciate art and what it has to offer them, she plans to trap them in a painting for all of eternity. The riders then see themselves in a large painting on the wall. This is done by a camera taking their photo earlier in the ride and putting it through a special filter to make it look like a painting. With the riders “trapped”, the curator talks down Minerva alone. He succeeds and she frees the riders from the painting, shown by a removal of the filter, and she dissipates.

    10)Neptune has taken over the museum’s aquarium. Tanks with fish are seen along the walls of the room and there is one large tank in the center. Neptune appears inside the fish tank in the center similarly to the effect used in The Living Seas With Nemo And Friends. He feel under appreciated much like the other gods so he decides to flood the earth. Then, the light in the room turns a deep blue and projectors project a rising water level and some bubbles and fish and what not on the walls to make it look as if the room is flooding. The curator then talks down Neptune before the room completely “fills” and Neptune drains the room the dissipates in a cloud of bubbles.

    11)The vehicle now enters the hall of women’s history. There are portraits of famous women of all fields and artifacts from them are in tidy cases. The strange thing about this room is that it looks untouched by any of the gods as pointed out by the curator. Then a warm light is projected upon a far wall from which Juno steps forth. She states how she is not angry with mortals in any way. She is in fact proud of them and their achievements they have made thus far in history. Juno does not wish to hurt you, but she knows her hot headed husband Jupiter will. She says how the riders are not ready to take on Jupiter alone so she shall grant them and the curator protection from Jupiter’s power as they encounter him. The curator thanks Juno before she dissipates. The vehicle then moves into the next room for the showdown against Jupiter.

    12) Jupiter has Taken over the museum’s conservatory and has completely destroyed everything inside. He has also constructed himself a large marble throne which he is sitting upon. The room’s ceiling is one gigantic skylight which shows the riders how a terrible storm is brewing above the museum. Zeus plans to strike the entire world with endless lightning starting by striking the riders. He summons forth a lightning bolt of monstrous proportions which strikes the glass skylight and shatters it. He then summons for another lightning bolt but in the middle of it, a warm light surrounds the ride vehicle and the riders here Juno chanting a spell of protection in Latin. She summons the other 10 gods met earlier in the attraction to help protect the mortals who so valiantly risked their lives to show the gods the error in their ways. The other 10 then join in the chanting one by one. The power of the gods protect the riders as they see Jupiter’s second lightning bolt fail to hit the ride vehicle. Fatigued from the summoning of the lighting, Jupiter rests and so do the other gods. Juno then approaches Jupiter and tells him of how mortals truly are grateful for the gifts the gods have given them and that it was the gods who were at fault for being ignorant and blind. Jupiter then realizes just how horrible of a mistake he has made. To make it up, he decides to fully restore the museum. He thanks the riders and the curator for their work and then dissipates along with the other gods. The room then goes pitch black and when the lights come back up, the conservatory is fully restored.

    13) The ride vehicle travels down a corridor as the curator commends the riders on a job well done and says how what they all witnessed today was truly remarkable. He thanks them once more then says how he must leave to fill out the mountains of paperwork this incident has caused. The riders then disembark their vehicle at a station almost identical to the one they boarded however, everything that was destroyed has now been fully restored. The riders then exit out into a gift shop.

    So yes, another day’s work done as an Imagineering intern. It was tough, but boy didI love it!

  6. TO: Disney Imagineers

    FROM: Wesley Snyder, Lead Imagineer

    DATE: July 7, 2013

    Recently, while searching through the archives, my assistant and I came across this plaster cast of a foot. Inspection of the reference numbers on the sole revealed it to be a cast from the Pirates of the Caribbean. However, since it is obviously no longer needed, we have decided on a re-imagining project that is actually quite large.

    Discovering Disney

    This foot is going to be one of many props placed around the Magic Kingdom as a part of the in-park specials available in our upcoming free app: Discovering Disney. Guests visiting the park will have a scavenger hunt of sorts, with each prop giving a clue that will help them find the next one. Walt Disney loved audio-animatronics, so guests will be invited to put together their very own AA by locating the different parts using GPS on their handheld devices (cell phones).

    Once the guests assemble the entire audio-animatronic, it will stay on their device and give hints, tips and facts about Walt Disney World based on where they are located at the time.

    This portion of the Discovering Disney app will encourage guests to spend more time in the park, and while they are doing so, let them know a little more about the history of Walt Disney. The D23 “One Man’s Dream” exhibit is very well done, but we felt it necessary to find a new method for people to discover the history of our company and founder in a way that is easier for most guests.

    Have a Magical Day!

  7. MEMO

    TO:WDI Employees

    FROM: Archives Dept.

    RE; Epic Fail

    Remember that prototype of Cinderella’s foot that just didn’t work? It has surfaced again, this time in the men’s rest room. We really need to find a “happily ever after” for this little beauty. Anyone interested please contact Bruce Vaughan ASAP.

    Keep Moving Forward!

  8. Steamboat Eddie says:

    All I can say is reading through these was so awesome. You guys have amazing imaginations!!

    Have an awesome day!!

  9. I thought about creating the “concept art” I described. I thought the odds were against anyone looking at it. If you guys are interested, I’ll do it… *tumble weeds*

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