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New Ways to Experience Disneyland Park Attractions Throughout 2016

If you have ever wondered how the Disneyland Railroad steam engines run, or what Jungle Cruise skippers do when they aren’t in their boats, they’ll soon have a chance to find out.

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Beginning this month, Disneyland Park Guests will have unique, limited-time opportunities to experience some of their favorite attractions in new ways.

While the Disneyland Railroad is temporarily closed this year, Guests at the Main Street and New Orleans Square Train Stations will be able to get up-close with the historic steam engines that have circled Disneyland Park for decades, learn about these amazing machines firsthand from our own train engineers and even take a picture with an engine! Each engine will be accompanied by knowledgeable train engineers, who will share fun facts, details on how the engines operate, stories from the history of the Disneyland Railroad and more.

And, while the world-famous Jungle Cruise undergoes refurbishment early this year, the skippers will still share their stories, adventures and humor with Disneyland Park Guests in front of the attraction. They’ll recount tales from their travels while the Jungle Navigation Company headquarters readies for reopening later this year.

Look for these special opportunities and more – including new, limited-time experiences aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia – throughout the year at Disneyland Park.


The Story Behind Windows on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park Honoring Roger Broggie

When we visit a Disney Park, did you know that there are clues all over as to the people who helped Walt Disney create all that magic?

One great example of this are all the windows on Main Street USA.  Those clever and comical windows often make reference to a creative influence behind the park’s creation.

Such is the case with Disneyland’s Main Street USA and this window honoring Roger Broggie, without whom much of Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts would look drastically different.

Here is Roger’s window in Disneyland…

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. , at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007. His window is above the Magic Shop and fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.”

The Disneyland Railroad was inspired by Walt Disney’s love of trains. Since he first conceived the idea of Disneyland  Park, every concept design had one thing in common: “… it will be surrounded by a train,” said Walt. Roger Broggie, the first Walt Disney Studio employee to be recruited for the hand-picked team at WED Enterprises (now called Walt Disney Imagineering), was instrumental in helping Walt fulfill this dream.

Hired in 1939 as a master machinist, one of Broggie’s first assignments was the installation of the multiplane camera at the Burbank studio. Because he was familiar with fabricating small camera parts with great precision, Walt approached him to create a one-eighth scale live steam locomotive. Broggie helped create the Lilly Belle , a miniature live steam engine named for Walt’s wife, Lillian. A replica of the Lilly Belle is currently on display in the Disneyland Main Street Train Station. In 1949, Broggie helped Walt build his miniature trains in the Studio Machine Shop and later installed the Carolwood Pacific Railroad in the backyard of Walt’s Holmby Hills home.

In 1950, Broggie was promoted to head of the Studio Machine Shop and he became the transportation specialist. As plans for Disneyland progressed, he oversaw the development of the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad, the Monorail system  and Matterhorn Bobsleds . He also worked on new processes and techniques such as Circle-Vision 360, a motion picture format with screens that completely surround the audience, and “Project Little Man” which became the prototype for Audio-Animatronics technology.

While working on “Project Little Man,” Broggie and fellow Imagineer Wathel Rogers constructed a 9-inch-tall figure of a moving, talking man that mimicked vaudevillian tap-dancing using cams, cables and tubes. The original figure is on display as part of the D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum through April 30, 2013.

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. , at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007 fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.”Broggie is known for epitomizing the essence of Walt Disney Imagineering – the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how. His legacy lives on at Disney as his grandson Garry (son of Imagineer Roger Broggie, Jr.) carries on the tradition as a third-generation machinist and supervisor at the Disney Studio machine shop.

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. , at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007. His window is above the Magic Shop and fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.”

Additionally, he has a window dedicated to him at Magic Kingdom Park  in the Walt Disney World Resort , and on October 21, 2003, Walt Disney World Railroad Steam Engine #3, was re-dedicated as the Roger E. Broggie in his honor. In 1990, Broggie was named a Disney Legend .

 

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Animating the Disney Parks: Claude Coats

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend D23’s Destination D at the Disneyland Hotel. I listened to a fascinating presentation, “Animating the Disney Parks,” featuring Eddie Sotto and Imagineers Tony Baxter and Tom Morris. Each Imagineer shared the story of how legendary Disney animators and artists became the first Imagineers during the early development of Disneyland and then the Walt Disney World Resort.

Animating the Disney Parks: Claude Coats

Tony Baxter, Walt Disney Imagineering senior vice president of creative development, got the discussion started with the story of his mentor, Claude Coats. Originally in 1935 as a background painter, Coats created the worlds of “Pinocchio,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Lady and the Tramp.” His backgrounds created a sense of place, Baxter said, much like WED Enterprises (later Walt Disney Imagineering) would do in theme parks.

When Walt Disney was creating Disneyland, the talents of his animators were needed for this new medium. As Baxter recalled, Coats’ experience working on “Lady and the Tramp,” especially, gave him the inspiration to look at the world from an altered perspective – inspiration that would later lead to real-life experiences like Storybook Land Canal Boats and Adventure Thru Inner Space.

“Disneyland defined the ability to take you out of the world you live in,” Baxter said.

scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean

Coats was trained in architecture, Baxter said, which gave credibility to the environments he created. When the scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean were being developed, it was Coats who had the idea to paint the ceiling black, creating the illusion of a night sky and making the ceiling disappear – giving guests the sense of being outside at night.

Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World along the Disneyland Railroad

You can see Coats’ background painting talents for yourself today in the Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World along the Disneyland Railroad.

Check back for more from “Animating the Disney Parks” – next time, we’ll focus on another master of creating a sense of place, Herb Ryman.

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