Monday, May 18, 2009


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.


  1. Great Shots!!

    Did it every seem a little eerie?, with the empty cars and just the soundtrack?

    Or Were you more nervous about "bumping" into someone?


  2. All of the above. :)

    It was eerie, surreal, exciting, etc... especially in the beginning. We were very cautious when we started, spooked by any and every little noise that didnt sound like it was 'part of the ride'. One of the funniest things was whenever the ride would stop (for wheelchair access or whatever) and the spiel would go off, we would be rushing to get back to our car, for fear we had been caught or did something to trigger the shutdown.

    But then as time went by, and we became more calm, comfortable, and confident, things didnt spook us as much. This is when we finally figured out we could stay inside the ride and explore the behind the scenes and take our time taking pictures and video.

  3. Thats so neat, you guys must have felt like you had cracked the Enigma code---but at the same time to know this was end , kind of sad.

    Once I was on POC in WDW and it was having a bad day so the the boats would stop and the sound would go out and the "dont jump" messages would start.I was amazed how the sountrack is so "huge" to the illusion.

    Finally the boat died in front of the treasure room and they put a ladder across and we walked out through a door in the back of the treasure room.

    Then we had to turn right to exit, but I looked off to the left and fought back the urge to take off running into the bowels of the attraction-- only because i was with my Dad did save I myself:-)

    You could smell motors and machinery-- you knew there was something big nearby:-)

  4. I've had the good fortune to walk through (and backstage in) several Disney attractions while a CM in the 80's (sadly, Horizons was not one of them). Most were ones I worked, but I did manage a few others, "legally", including Pirates. It was by far one of the most fascinating (top honors here still go to American Adventure; the "War Wagon" is simply mind-boggling). But I have to say, it "ruined the illusion" more than seeing any other (including AA) from backstage. In particular, the "burning city" which is so convincing from the ride--is no longer convincing to me. I can't help now but see it for what it is (you don't want to know). And seeing how this seemingly very expansive space is put together is quite sobering as well. In short, sometimes seeing these things is a double-edged sword.

  5. I could believe it, that's the reason I have stayed away from those backstage tours.

    The illusion is what you're paying for:-) and when you stay at the Polynesian , the illusion is that you will have ANY money left at the end of the week;-) Its my favorite.

    As a technical person, the mechanical aspect of the attractions is fascinating.

    Robots, omnimovers, moving soundtracks-- technical masterpieces. Im 50 now, I always thought it was the omnimover attractions that made Disney so different from Cedar Point etc.

    I wish they would build just one more real old-school Omnimover ride -- with a real attraction inside--
    not just video screens--like thats original.

  6. James, I'm with you on both the engineering and the love of Omnimovers. While my career is in software engineering and visual design, I've always had a tremendous interest in mechanical and electrical engineering. I have a great appreciation for good engineering design--so I'm like a kid in a candy store with this stuff (Hoot and Chief, you've heard it before, but I have to say it myself--you're AWESOME for sharing this with us!). I especially loved the mechanism for pulling "spacewalk dad" from his perch. Brilliant!

    I agree about the Omnimovers, too. A few things from my first trip at 10 years old immediately struck me and stuck with me: 1) The monorails. I'd been to other parks with monorails, but they were "toys" compared to Disney's fleet, which to this day remain "futuristic" looking; 2) The "sense of arrival" acheived by setting the Magic Kingdom back and using trams and monorails to get you there; and 3) The Omnimovers. They were--and are--slick and, for lack of a better word, "classy". They're also exceptionally efficient. 4) Of course, Audio-Animatronics. Nothing else came close. It's sad that many of the things that made Disney parks so distinctive, truly placing them in a class of their own, the Company no longer cares about. :(

  7. James--and anyone else who has an interest in engineering--if you don't mind having the illusion spoiled a little (nothing on the order of seeing Pirates backstage, and no more than we've seen here), I'll dig up a link to photos of the "War Wagon" from American Adventure. That's the uber-massive-multiplied-by-stupendously-huge mechanism that makes the rapid Animatronic/show scene changes possible. The photos can't give you a good sense of the scale and grandeur of the thing, but you do get to see how it works. It's one of the most clever and brilliant pieces of engineering I've ever seen.

  8. G7, hurry up with those pictures.