Saturday, May 30, 2009

Upside Down

Here are the three models that you would see in the little windows before the "choose your own future" finale. And yes, they are indeed hanging upside down! Some kind of crazy imagineering trickery going on there! Hrmmm :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Control box

Cool! The scent was shot out every minute!
See that journal laying there? It was a log book just for this machine. When they filled it, fixed it, etc.
If you Horizons fans do buy the liquid Citrus Scent be sure to keep it sealed and in a dark place when not being enjoyed. If you put it in a Mason jar and keep it on your bookshelf it quickly goes sour and turns yellow:(

A couple more

A moonshine still!!!! Well, that's what it looks like. The WED Smelitzer in all it's glory.
If this was "Citrus Blossom" the cannon in Spaceship Earth must have been "Bacon".

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scent Cannon

It may be messy, but it created one of the things that I think every Horizons fan/rider remembers fondly about the ride, that wonderful orange scent. Here are the remaining three pictures I have of the Horizons Scent Cannon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Can You Believe?

Can you believe this is (was) actually inside Horizons? I assure you it is (was). It is quite the messing backstage area huh? Can anyone (besides ex-cast members, maintenance, or Hoot) guess what this is? I will post three detailed, closeup photos of this in the next day or so.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Video Test

Well, here we go folks, I am getting our YouTube channel setup to start posting some videos of our amazing adventures. :)

I do want to say a few things first though. I may be a programmer, but I am certainly no video expert, so hopefully the quality isnt too bad for some of you more picky folks out there. :) Here is the process we are using so far:

  1. Original media (VHS/Super 8) is transferred to DVD using Hoot's Tape-to-DVD box
  2. DVD Shrink 3.2 is used to frame grab what I want off the DVD, output is VOB
  3. WinFF (ffmpeg) is used to convert the VOB files into WMV clips
  4. Windows Movie Maker (on Vista) is used to make the final combined WMV file
  5. Then I upload the final WMV to YouTube

So far it seems to work ok, I am still playing around with a few settings here and there to see what I get. If anyone out there *cough*Martin Smith*cough* has any suggestions or tips I am all ears. And I know, the one and only video I have up on the channel right now is not an in-ride video, those are coming very soon, this first video was just my first test.

UPDATE: Well I have now found and tried a different tool, and so far I like it: Avidemux. I have uploaded to YouTube the same nighttime clip now made thru Avidemux, with the audio now mixed to mono. Check it out on our channel:

Groves Part 2

Here are my two shots of the groves. The top one is very similar to Hoots shot, but slightly different so I thought it was still worthy of posting.

Cool Bird

I wonder if this bird actually had a name, or if it was just "Horizons Figure #42"? And do you think this bird was a nuisance to Mesa Verde, maybe it had a hunger for pinanas, loranges, or flavor grapes?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wish you were here

Hey! Hoot Gibson here almost live from Key West! Thanks for posting while I'm gone, chief:)

I was snorkling today while I pretended I was at Sea Castle Resort. I even saw an octopus (but he didn't blink at me).

Spacedock Dad

Here is upside down dad in the spacedock. We were really fascinated by this figure, curious as to how maintenance was done on it. So we were really excited when we finally made it to the catwalk area above this to finally find out how it was done.

Here is the top of the spacedock set. The blueish color vertical post on the left hand side, just in front of the catwalk, is part of the whole mechanism the dad is mounted on. And you can see the counter weight just to the right of it. So we assumed that when they needed to do maintenance, dad would be lowered into the scene so artists and maintenance could get at him. See the blueish colored 'hatch' looking piece to the left of the mechanism? We assumed that if dad had to be removed from the set completely, they would use that to cover up the hole? But I never recall ever seeing this scene without dad in it, so I have no idea if that was ever done.

Here is a shot from the catwalk looking up at the ceiling with the lift mechanism (winch, etc...) and the messed up black ceiling tiles. I wonder if this figure caused many problems for the maintenance folks? And then finally below, is a closeup of the counter weight.


Sad, lonely, empty Horizons ride vehicles. :(

But of course for us, this was the best thing ever, because large empty gaps like this provided us the freedom to have 'our fun'.

This shot is from the little dark starfield corner before you entered the choose your own future personal screens.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Uh oh!

There's a group out there that doesn't like us:( They claim we're just "two idiots" that know "nothing about the technical inner workings of Horizons" (one or two worked there as far as I can tell). Maintenance hallway this, tunnel that.............well, how boring can you get!!? They know all of that yet they didn't take any pictures!??? Sucks to be them.

I'm not going to mention the site because I don't want to bore our fine friends of Mesa Verde Times.

Don't hate.

P.S. Wanna hear about the time we got chased around inside the attraction and out-foxed everyone involved?

50th pic!

This is my 50th pic!...............and it sucks!
luckily we have a LONG way to go:)

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Here's the pic I used for the title of Mesa Verde Times. I didn't put the usual "MESAVERDETIMES.BLOGSPOT.COM" Because this is a sweet wallpaper.

We only add that text to our pics to help people find this blog. Stray images get sent around and we find the lost sheep Horizons fans.

Notice the control room ceiling at the lower left. This was taken from the catwalk.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chief of the Future

Here's my pal Chief, yellow flashlight in hand. He's grinning like that because he's trying to hook up! In fact, he was the last person on Earth to kiss that Animatronic figure goodbye. This took place as the "last" people to ride Horizons were about 10 cars ahead of us:)

How is that so? We saw a handful of die hards toasting with grape juice just outside of the entrance. Some sort of management person was with them. We went in ahead of them, hid out, watched them go by, we then paid our goodbye's to the greatest vision of future living ever created. When we got to unload there wasn't a person to be seen. We walked out and sat in front of Horizons. It was officially over for us and everyone else.

The rumble of poorly built cars on a shaky track ran next door at the new "Test Track". We sat and looked at the pastel wonder we had tried to document and couldn't help but to feel empty. Mrs Gibson found us there, bag of cool stuff from the Japan Pavilion, and we all three went home.

New Years Eve 1999/2000 happened and....................................

Mesa Verde 1983

Here's a nice Poloroid I took in 1983. As of Horizons closing the first time this is one of two shots I had and that's it.
Suicide fuel for sure.

Blurry but dreamy

To give new Horizons fan Rainie an idea of what the overall scene looked like. The daughter is in the control booth over seeing the Harvesters. I think the Harvesters were unmanned or unwomaned. This scene was about how, in the future, we can turn the fragile desert ecosystem into groves of hybrid fruits.


I'm still learning! I never knew the name of the grape clusters 'til just now. I'm sitting here enjoying my Sunday Coffee, I pulled the pic I scanned last night from the scanner, and I notice that I can read the tag on the grape bin. "Flavor Grape"! That solves that! The trilogy of Mesa Verde fruits were Pinana, Loranges, and Flavor Grape.

Life is sweet.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Farmer

Our daughter the farmer. Follow me on the detail in this scene. I know I beat the subject to death but humor me here.

She's married to the Captain Nemo looking guy so she has her wedding ring on. She has red hair which her daughter also has.

WHO.....WHO would have ever noticed this stuff????!!!!!!!!! Did the average guest see it? No way. When Chief and I were teens we never noticed it and I doubt anyone from Brazil did either.

BUT how amazing is it that it was there? Very.

I miss this attraction so much:(

One of my favorites

I love this pic! It's by no means a great example of 20th Century photography but I love it. Check out the freshly squeezed mutant O.J. and actual sized props of the fruits grown in Mesa Verde. The flying vehicle had a name and it was going to be one of our contest questions. Who can tell me the name?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wild Tangent

I wonder how many non-cast member (including maintenance) folks have seen this stuff? I remember when we first saw this "maintenance car" (I dont know what they called it) we were amazed because we had never seen it before and had no idea what they used it for. And yes, to get these pictures I jumped into the car and rode in it for a little while. I cant remember exactly, but i'm pretty sure I even lifted the door to expose the little monitor. :)

I actually have 4 pictures of the maint car, but this was the only other one that is half way decent, sorry.

Then on one of our extended stay trips, we actually found this wierd maintenance room where the top of the vehicles are exposed. It was really neat and spooky at the same time being inside this room while the vehicles are rolling thru. It's kind of hard to see, but if you look at the full size view you should be able to see it, there was a paint brush hanging above the cars that would wipe off the top of the contact plates (or whatever they are called) to keep them free of dust and such I guess.

And if I remember correctly this sign was either inside this room on the door, or on the outside? Just thought it was neat because it had a dinosaur (makes me think of Gertie the dinosaur) on it. :)