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The Lifetime Achievements of Imagineer Terri Hardin

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on May 28, 2018 at 6:30 AM Comments comments ()

The Lifetime Achievements of Imagineer Terri Hardin

By Joshua Shaffer

I want to tell you about one of my favorite Disney Imagineers, Terri Hardin. She is known as one of Walt Disney’s legendary Imagineers. Terri was a sculptor and concept artist for the Disney parks, and also a puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company. She has been with Jim Henson since 1989 and with Disney since 1987. The very talented Terri is noted as being one of the top 10 puppeteers in California. She was working at Universal Studios, designing the “walk-around” character costumes, when Disney signed her up and put her in Imagineering. Someday, Terri will be added to the Disney Legends program for her Imagineering work for the parks.

The projects she did for Disney parks:

• The model sculpt for the Br’er Fox on Splash Mountain in three Disney parks.

• The Br’er Rabbit log figurehead, and the log itself, on Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland (see photo).

• In Tokyo Disneyland’s Splash Mountain, she designed the look of the main drop. It was part of a reward for Terri’s innovative thinking and fast pace. The Tokyo Splash Mountain project had fallen behind schedule, so Terri was brought on to give a helping hand. She created a new technique that could get the job done 10 times faster than before. So, she was given the task of designing the main drop. Consequently, Terri helped them meet the deadline.

• The puppeteering for Idee and Odee, known as The Geex, in the 3D Disneyland and Disney World film Captain EO.

• In Captain EO, when the Supreme Leader, played by Anjelica Huston, was supposed to have been lifted into the air, Terri stood in as her stunt double.

• She was also the puppeteer for Hooter’s trunk when he was trying to reach the button.

• Terri became good friends with Michael Jackson after this project. They kept in touch all the way up until he passed away. Terri had this to say about him;

“I did become friends with Michael Jackson. I found him to be kind, sweet, and very generous with everyone. He always had time for people. Anyone who had the chance to really get to know him as I did, realized that Michael was very different from what the media would have you believe.

Being a celebrity is not always what it's cracked up to be and may not be the goal in many a celebrity’s first mission. Many, like Michael Jackson, are ordinary, passionate people who followed their dream with great tenacity and laser focus.

Once their goal was achieved, perhaps many just didn't think of what fame can do to you and your life. One of Michael’s greatest wishes was to go shopping without being noticed. How about that! What Michael Jackson wished for is to be just like US. Isn't that interesting?”

• In Muppet*Vision 3D, she was the puppeteer for the it’s a small world dolls in the ensemble at the end of the film. That means there was more than one puppeteer huddled down underneath the characters. Many arms were involved. It is difficult to be specific about who did what with what dolls. When the animatronic penguins were installed in the orchestral section up front, they needed someone to do the puppeteering for them. Terri did the movements for the little, musical, flightless birds and the movements were recorded and then used for playback during the show. This attraction has been removed from California Adventure, but it can still be seen in all of its glory at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.

• In 1987, she completely headed up a project, which was surprising to her because it just didn’t happen often to women, when she worked on Dragon’s Lair in Disneyland Paris. She was the sole Imagineer that created it. Terri intended to have the skeleton of Maleficent’s Dragon in the lair because it was under the Sleeping Beauty Castle, but Disney didn’t go for it. (see photos)

• She also worked on designing Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland Paris. (see photos)

Star Tours is one of the most popular attractions in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. When the attraction first opened, the seats were made out of a foam-type material over which were cloth covers. If a guest became ill while on the attraction, a Cast Member would pull off the cover and take it out for cleaning. Meanwhile a new cover was put on the seat. The problem was the foam would sometimes absorb the liquids into it before the cover could be removed and replaced. It wasn’t very clean. Terri was brand new to Imagineering at the time when Disney came to her and begged her to make a “vomit seat.” She sculpted a seat that could fit buttocks, but was shaped to “gather” the liquids that might end up on the seat. And, it had to be made out of non-absorbent material. This was Terri’s first project in Imagineering. I am sure that, since 1987, the seats have been changed out with a different style, especially after Star Tours: The Adventure Continues was added in.

• In 1989, Pan Galactic Pizza Port in Tokyo Disneyland had animatronic puppets above the order queue that would talk and sort of perform a show. Terri was the one that puppeteered their movements. The theme was that the restaurant was built up around a giant pizza making-machine, and Tony Solaroni was in charge of making the machine run smoothly.

Star Tours in Tokyo Disneyland needed their own Admiral Ackbar for a 20-minute loop video that would play for the people in the queue. The Ackbar puppet was created by Terri and Lynette Eklund, and was puppeteered by both of them as well. Terri studied Japanese and was able to break down the dialogue so they could properly give Ackbar his facial expressions and movement.

Epcot had an attraction called Body Wars. It was a motion simulation attraction, much like Star Tours, that opened in 1989 and starred Elisabeth Shue. The plot of the attraction was to shrink Guests down and send them into the human body via the blood stream. Terri was responsible for making and puppeteering blood vessels and other body parts.

• In 2003, the first prototype interactive meet and greet Mickey Mouse was created and presented to Roy Disney for approval. This Mickey Mouse had a moving mouth, blinking eyes, and was able to talk. Terri controlled the face and mouth with remote controls that were connected to and carried around in a big trunk. When presented to Roy, Terri made Mickey Mouse say, “You need me!” and then blink his eyes. Roy loved it. The problem was that Mickey Mouse had to be connected to the big, heavy trunk. It wasn’t until 2010 that we saw a functioning Mouse that could talk and blink, but only in the shows and parades. He became a meet and greet character in 2013, but has since been removed because he was too terrifying for small children, so they say.

The Tower of Terror that was created for Hollywood Studios in Disney World, and later California Adventure, wasn’t a hit from the start. The Imagineers had to pitch the idea and then get it approved before it could be put into production. They needed a photo to show off their new idea. So, they created a life-sized model of the elevator car that the Guests sit in. Terri was brought in and sat in the car for the promo photo. Why her? Because of her hair. They pulled all of her locks upward to make it appear that she was falling. She threw her arms in the air, put on a big screaming grin, the photo was taken, and the rest is history.

She also worked in over 42 films and television shows as a puppeteer or costume designer:

Ghostbusters (1984). This was the role that gave her the big break she needed. She was a puppeteer for the librarian and Zuul’s demon dog that Sigourney Weaver turned into; it’s the one that showed up in her refrigerator. For that scene, Terri was actually in the demon dog suit. Also, she was one of the puppeteers for the demon dog on the sofa. When the Ghostbusters meet Gozer, Terri was in one of the dog suits off to the side. Her shining moment was when she puppeteered the face of the Stay Puft marshmallow man. When Terri was controlling the face of Stay Puft, she had to lay down below street level.

Dune (1984). She made the costumes, and stunt doubled for Sean Young.

Men in Black (1997). She was the puppeteer for The Twins.

Men in Black 2 (2002). She was the puppeteer for Sharkhead and The Worms.

The Flintstones (1994). She was puppeteering Dino’s hands and tongue. She was also the one controlling the dinosaur that Fred rode at work.

The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas (2000). She was a puppeteer.

Dinosaurs (1991). She was the puppeteer for Baby Sinclair’s arms in this Jim Henson collaborative television series with Disney. She also puppeteered Heather Worthington, Lingo, and sometimes Mindy. She would sometimes voice extra characters, like the food, other background characters, and was once Mindy. There was a lot of ensemble work, so lots of people did lots of things for many of the characters. Baby Sinclair took three puppeteers to work, one for the arms (Terri), one for the eyes (John Kennedy), and one for the mouth and speaking (Kevin Clash).

The Indian in the Cupboard (1995). She was the puppeteer for the Indian. She puppeteered all the long-shot interactive scenes with him as a 5” puppet, but not the up-close with the actor. After it was all said and done, they decided to use CG (computer graphics) to fill it all in, thus replacing her scenes. There was one brief moment that was left in the final film. It was when Omri took the teepee from his desk to try something out by putting it in the cupboard. Terri was inside the dresser doing the puppeteer work and made him turn toward Omri. There was also some moments when she puppeteered the pet rat.

Monkeybone (2001). Terri was the puppeteer and voice actor for Betty the Bovine. She said, “Step right up. Three balls for a dollar. Win a prize for the little lady.” This was also the movie when she met and became good friends with Doug Jones, who was Yeti in the film. You might know Doug Jones better as Billy from Hocus Pocus (1993), Abe Sapien in Hellboy (2004), Fauno & Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Silver Surfer in Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and recently, the Amphibian Man in the Academy Award winning film The Shape of Water (2017).

Days of Our Lives (1965-present). Terri was a part of this fourth longest-running series of all time. This show has been on the air since Walt Disney was still alive. However, she was only in one episode. Terri was a puppeteer for a fake human head that, when its mouth opened, a bunch of spiders crawled out. The head had a tube going into the mouth. When the mouth opened, someone lightly blew air into the tube to make the spiders crawl out. After the scene was shot, and while spiders still crawled on her, Terri froze with her eyes closed until the handler collected all the spiders. Then, she booked it out of the building and freaked out in her car. This was for a scene when Will’s mother was drugged and started hallucinating.

The Country Bears (2002). She was the puppeteer for Big Al and Trixie St. Clair. The Big Al costume was the heaviest costume out of all of them. The “Big Al Shuffle” came from the fact that it was difficult for multiple puppeteers to control the character.

• The whole puppeteering cast of The Country Bears (2002); Terri is front and center.

Theodore Rex (1995). She was the facial puppeteer for Molly Rex; the film starred Whoopie Goldberg. The character’s facial movements were radio controlled. There was a scene that had to be filmed near an airport and the radio traffic interfered with the radio controllers, causing the face to act crazy.

Team America: World Police (2004). She puppeteered the Samuel L. Jackson marionette in F.A.G. She also dabbed Gary Johnston’s eyes with a tissue when he was crying.

Jungle 2 Jungle (1997). She created the drugged cat that Tim Allen shot with the blowgun. She sculpted the face, built the body, and then covered it with fur. It was for the special effects studio KNB EFX Group.

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The Relic (1997). She made the giant ground sloth skeleton and a second version of it that was burnable. The director liked her sculpts so much that he took home the one that didn’t burn up. At the time it was released, it was one of my favorite films. To see her Giant Ground Sloth sculpture, skip ahead to 1:20 in the movie clip.

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The Wickedest Witch (1989). She was part of the ensemble to puppeteer the dragons. There was a part in the film when the witch, Rue McClanahan, turns one of the dragons to stone. Terri sculpted the “stone” dragon.

Bruno (2000). Also known as The Dress Code, starred Shirley MacLaine and Kathy Bates. When Bruno runs through the graveyard, you can see Terri’s sculpt of an angel boy.

The Puzzle Place (1994-1998). Terri was the puppeteer for Jody Silver. (see photo)

Lost on Earth (1997). She was the voice for the puppet girl named Angela in the whole series. She was also a puppeteer on the show. (see photo)

Oral Roberts Celebration (1981). She was a puppeteer for the Fudge Family that were created by Sid & Marty Krofft. She puppeteered Arleen Fudge and was the hands for Grandma Fudge while she was knitting on camera.

The Popples (1986). She was a puppeteer for the Popples. This was a live-action, 22-minute, made-for-television movie based on the animated series of the same name to promote the new Popples backpacks.

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DNA (1996). As part of the special effects crew, she sculpted bones that were used to create the creature in the film.

Mars Attacks! (1996). She made the dove of peace that was blasted out of the sky, the presidential parakeets, and the dog skeletons.

The Muppet Movie (1979). She was part of the ensemble.

Wild America (1997). She was the puppeteer for the bears and snakes. When Jonathon Taylor Thomas came face to face with the grizzly bear, Terri puppeteered the fake bear. The production company flew her up to Canada for the filming.

The Eighteenth Angel (1997). She sculpted the cat ears.

Renegade (1992-1997). She was the voice of the parrot in the Eye of the Storm episode.

King Kong (1976). She was an extra in the crowd.

The Low Budget Time Machine (2003). Terri was the art director for this film and created the hat William Sanderson wore.

• Here are poster pics of some of the movies and television shows Terri worked on.

Terri has also been on the commercial front:

• Terri designed and built the Foster Imposter Chickens for the Foster Farms commercials, and is the puppeteer for the passenger chicken, which is the smaller of the two. She started filming them in 1993 and has completed about 40 commercials so far. Rick Lazzarini designs all of the new chickens, including the walking ones, for recent commercials.

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• McDonald’s came out with new, battered Chicken McNuggets and started making commercials with the new McNuggets. Terri created the McNugget puppets and puppeteered them from 1982-1986. We are unsure exactly which commercials she worked on, but here are all the commercials I could find in that timeframe. I couldn’t find specific dates for some of them, so they are listed as 1980’s.

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• Going back to the early 1990’s, the Jim Henson Workshop did a series of commercials for Nissin Noodle Cups. Terri was the puppeteer for the face of the caveman’s son. The face was radio controlled.

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Outside of films, Terri has been kept very busy:

• Terri was a figurine sculptor for Disney for years, designing and creating many of the collector figurines that we all like. One of these figurines was Tinker Bell walking along the map to show Captain Hook where to find Peter Pan (see photo further ahead). When she started working in Imagineering, they put her in Blaine Gibson’s cubical. She sat there with nothing to do for four days. Blaine had documented all of his sculpts. This gave Terri something to study while she waited for a project to come across her desk. He was basically a mentor to her (see photo). Blaine sculpted the “Partners Statue” in the middle of the park and the pirates’ faces in Pirates of the Caribbean, taught Imagineer Rolly Crump how to sculpt, and so much more.

• In 1998, she sculpted a figurine series for Disney called “Jewels of the Park.” They were sculpts of the attraction ride vehicles from Fantasyland. It included a caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, a pirate ship from Peter Pan’s Flight, a teacup from Mad Tea Party, a car from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a Dumbo from Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and a carousel horse from King Arthur Carrousel. She used the horse with the cherub on it because it is her favorite. There were only 10 replicas of each sculpt made for a special event held in the old Disney Gallery above Pirates of the Caribbean. Terri made a special sculpt of Mr. Toad riding in one of the car figurines that went to Imagineer Tony Baxter.

• For the 30th anniversary special event of Haunted Mansion in 1999, she was tasked with sculpting the “Organ Master,” “The Grave Digger and His Dog,” and the “Bat Stanchion.” In order to prepare to sculpt these items, she had to walk around on the attraction when the lights were on. This gave her the ability to take “turn around” photos of things, which means 360° around each object, like the bat stanchion. That way, she has the same details on the back and the front as does the real thing. Terri is very detailed in her work, wanting to make sure every part is an exact replica of the real thing. Consequently, the organ has the same number of keys and buttons as the real one, and also the same gold trim.

• When the “Bat Stanchion” was released at the event, it was supposed to originally be a LE (Limited Edition Size) 1000, but at the last minute, Disney changed it to LE 350. Terri was able to set aside the figurines she needed for her friends, family, and herself, which was a good thing as they all sold out in two hours. Each one sold for $35.

• At the time of the event she didn’t have the “Organ Master” completely sculpted, but people were able to look at the original sculpt up close in its present state and pre-order one of the LE 10. Each one sold for $1,200. Remember the details she included in her sculpt? Some fanatic collector commented to her that her sculpt had the same amount of keys as the actual organ on the attraction. Detail! She always pays attention to detail. Standing at 17” tall, the “Organ Master” is the most intricate sculpt she has ever done for Disney.

• The “Grave Digger” also had a LE 10 and sold for $1,200. The painting process for this figurine became problematic. Generally, when a mold is made, a certain number of replicas are made, which is the LE size. Nothing more than that are made. Disney has to maintain their integrity and reputation for the collector’s sake. If there are 100 made of something, there are only 100. Terri would have what is known as “artist’s proofs” made. This gave her something to play around with during the painting process. They could make mistakes and it wouldn’t affect the actual figurines that people would buy. When the first painting of the “Grave Digger” was completed, it didn’t look right to Terri. She sought the input of Imagineer Tony Baxter, who suggested painting it to look as if it were bronzed. She had her painter try that. Nope. Still didn’t look right. She got the input of a frame designer who added that the scene in which Terri sculpted is usually seen in the dark and that certain aspects of the character would be in shadow. Terri was excited to realize that the frightened old man and his canine companion needed to be painted as though they were in moonlight and the only thing illuminating them was his lantern. The figurines turned out perfectly.

• Terri was asked to sculpt for Pirates of the Caribbean in 1997. She was able to walk the attraction with the lights on, take lots of photos, and sketch scenes that she wanted to rebirth as three-dimensional figurines. The two scenes chosen were the “Captain’s Bed” and the “Pirate Jail.”

• The “Captain’s Bed” would turn out to be quite a feat. It was the first piece to be created with mixed media. There were certain facets created with sculpt which were then cast, the blanket and pillow fringe were made out of fabric and lace, and the magnifying glass is an actual magnifying glass that had been sanded down and fitted into a ¾” wedding band. This was a LE 10 and sold for $2,000, with the original one selling for a whopping $10,000.

• The “Pirate Jail” was a unique sculpture in that you could flip it around and look through the bars from the viewpoint of the pirates. When trying to install the bars on her practice sculpt, she had to drill so many holes in order to get it perfect. So, it is a good thing Terri has “artist’s proofs” made. This figurine was made for a special Passholder Event and they were LE 10. Each one sold for $2,000, with the original selling for $10,000. Apparently, one person bought all 10 pieces with the intent to sell them on the newly-founded website eBay. Collectors boycotted his auctions and it pressed the guy to return them to the gallery, making them available to the other collectors.

• One of the requests by fans was for Terri’s sculpts to have a larger edition size. Well, when Terri sculpted the 17” Chernabog for Disneyland’s Villain Event, it had a LE 10 but was later changed to LE 5. This was very disappointing for collectors, but there were plenty to go around because he was selling for $1,500 and fans had to put their name in a lottery to even have a chance at purchasing the giant demon. Because Terri puts a lot of work and detail into her sculptures, the fans are going to be the ones to really appreciate the detail that is put into their favorite character or attraction piece.

• When Terri found out the LE # was dropped on Chernabog, she went to Linda Votaw, who was her go-between with Disney, about it. However, she said Disney wouldn’t budge on the LE #. Linda then convinced Disney to make Terri’s 5” figurine of Maleficent an open edition until the end of the event. That meant as many people who wanted one could order up to ten, as there would be plenty made to go around. By the end of the night the LE was set at 400.

• Her original sculpt, called “The Father,” didn’t sell at the event with the other Chernabog figurines. It was sent to the Disneyana Store on Main Street, where it sat on display in all of its pinkish/tan glory. One day, Nicholas Cage walked in and bought it for $6,500, along with the concept sketch. This is a very fragile sculpt because the pinkish/tan, waxy clay doesn’t set; it stays moldable. Great care has to go into having one of these.

• Around 2000, Disney brought Terri in again to do another sculpt for Disneyland’s upcoming 45-year anniversary. It was a giant bronze puzzle of the park. Disney liked it so much they ended up pulling it from the 45-year celebration and used it at a Disneyana Convention in 2001. With a LE 10, each one sold for $1,800 in celebration of Walt’s 100th birthday. Just like the Chernabog sculpt, the buyers’ names were put in a lottery for the chance to buy it. Because Disney pulled the map, the spot for the 45-year anniversary was open and Terri had to complete another sculpt. It would be the popular pixie, Tinker Bell. This sculpt ended up being Terri’s highest LE size. However, it didn’t start out that way. Disney loved her Tink sculpt so much that they only wanted to make ONE of them. This just wouldn’t do. Terri had consulted with a handful of Tinker Bell fanatics, collectors, and experts to brainstorm over ideas of what she would look like. They ultimately decided on the infamous scene in which Tink betrays Peter Pan and the Lost Boys to Captain Hook by walking on a map and leaving little ink footprints. All that work for a LE 1? Terri couldn’t handle it. She makes these sculpts for collectors. How can people collect if there is only one? She appealed it to Disney, stating that there would be a bloodbath. Disney ended up agreeing to give Tink her own event in August 2001 and increase her LE size to 50. This still wasn’t high enough. In the end, Disney ended up on allowing a LE 2500, making it Terri’s highest LE size, and making it easy for collectors everywhere to get ahold of one. Her final project for Disney would end up being the popular pixie.

Extra things about Terri that are fun to know:

• She has an instructional DVD titled Pumpkin Sculpting with Professional Artist Terri Hardin (2006). Every year Terri teaches people how to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Check out her website for classes.

• She released a book in 2013 titled Tales from Terri, A Disney Sculptor’s Life – Volume One. I recommend getting this book to read her sculpting stories in her own words. She is currently working on other volumes that will talk about other aspects of her career.

• Still today, she custom sculpts figurines for collectors. The Stitch and Remy were sculpted by her in 2016 and 2017, and then the Jiminy Cricket was sculpted at the end of 2017 (see photo). She still sculpts all the time and sells them on her website HERE. Baby Groot will be ready for the summer of 2018.

• Terri also takes on commission projects. One outstanding sculpt requested by Guillermo del Toro was of the “Captain’s Quarters” from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Guillermo recently won Best Director at the 2018 Academy Awards for his film The Shape of Water (2017), along with the award for Best Picture.

• One of her claims to fame is being named the #1 Star Wars fan. I love to hear her tell this story; it is one of my favorites.

When Star Wars was released in 1977, Terri went to see the movie and loved it. However, she didn’t just see it that one time. She saw it a total of 66 times before theater employees caught her sneaking in wearing different disguises each time. She was confronted by the manager, who was then impressed with how many times she had seen the movie. So, he told her she could come back and see it as many times as she wanted. He just wanted to know when she got to #100, so he could notify the press.

This wasn’t just a fan thing for Terri. Terri wanted to live the dream of being a part of this. With every viewing of the film, she would sketch the characters (see photos) and she would write down all the names she could when the credits rolled. She was obsessed with it. She even had a 1968 Cougar with a license plate that said VADER 1. Terri went as far as to create a Chewbacca costume.

When she compared her list of names, that she wrote down from the credits, to articles and announcements in the newspaper, she finally found a name that matched, Rick Baker. Rick was in charge of the characters in the Cantina scene. Terri went to Long Beach University to hear him speak. After the room cleared out, she had a private conversation with him about being able to do what he does. She showed him her portfolio of artwork and, being impressed, he gave her some names and phone numbers to call. After calling around, she was able to get into some of the special effects shops that worked on Star Wars. Around this time she made it to her 100th viewing of the film. Channel 7 news interviewed her and used a clip of her saying that she had seen the film 100 times. By the end of its run, Terri had seen A New Hope 180 times. And you think you’re a fan?

• Because of her media coverage as the #1 fan, she ended up in the George Lucas biography, Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas. She is mentioned on page 3.

• Jump ahead a few years to when it was announced that The Empire Strikes Back was going to be coming out. Terri wanted to get the very first ticket. Let’s just say this story is long and detailed. It is best to hear her tell you about all the drama, the pacing, the threats of arrest, the free food, and that Lucas threatened to pull their film from that theater. This is a great story. She is interviewed quite frequently on podcasts. Listen to this interview when she tells her story.

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• Over her lifetime she has created many costumes, including a Xenomorph from Alien (1979) and the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. For a costume contest in 1979, she created a Kabuki lion man costume and a ninja costume. She and a friend had a whole routine worked out for the judges in which they used real practice swords. Terri had a close call and got some of the hair chopped off her character. She took home 1st place for that.

• Terri won another costume contest in the early 1990’s for making a replica of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman costume from the film Batman Returns (1992). She won $7,000 for that cat suit.

• She has created a life-sized, rubberized mermaid tail to wear. All of the individual scales and fins were sculpted by her before casting on herself into a mold and creating a rubber copy of it.

• Recently she created a replica of Hela’s headdress from Thor: Ragnarok for a cosplay.

• Terri was 22 when she made this Yoda puppet for a costume contest at a convention. She constructed Yoda’s teeth out of dental wax, his eyes from ping-pong balls, and the body from foam. For herself, she recreated Luke’s Dagobah training uniform, with the addition of the rebellion hat that was her own touch to set her apart from him. She even created her gun holsters. She wasn’t about to just walk out in front of the judges with nothing to say. She had a whole bit worked out. She ran on stage huffing from her training and Yoda told her she must continue training. At that moment, Terri closed her eyes and tried to use the Force to levitate the audience. She said that she couldn’t do it and ran off stage. After a moment, she ran back on stage and told Yoda that she would succeed in levitating the audience. So, she closed her eyes, reached out to the audience, and tried to use the Force one more time. She opened her eyes to a standing ovation of the entire audience of 400 people. She won 1st place for best in show and best in division.

• Terri worked on sculpting a set of pocket watch boxes for Starling Watches. Frank Cohen, the inventor of Starling Watches, and Terri worked together over a 3-month period to develop and design each box. Frank wrote a novella that explains the backstory of each watch and describes how they all fit together. Each box is very intricate and the details show a part of that particular watch's backstory. Each watch and its display box are part of a set of six different collector watches. There were a total of 1,300 boxes produced to hold the steampunk-style watches. Terri also drew the cover image for the novella. You can get your own steampunk watch here. . .

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• She sculpted a plaque for Disneyland’s 60th anniversary on her own. It’s fairly sizeable, measuring in at 9” x 7” and ½” deep. It has a LE 200 and sells for $300. Each section of the plaque represents a different decade in the park’s history. She still has some available on her website.

• One of Terri’s lifelong heroes is Shari Lewis, a puppeteer and ventriloquist who was on the show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968-1970), Lamb Chop’s Play-Along (1992-1997), “this is the song that doesn’t end…” remember that?, and The Charlie Horse Music Pizza (1998-1999) to name a few. Shari created Lamb Chop in 1957 and appeared on quite a few shows including The Shari Lewis Show (1960-1963). At the age of 19, Terri was ecstatic to be able to meet one of her heroes who was also a puppeteer and puppet creator.

• In 1981, Terry was a part of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on stage for a theater in downtown LA where she portrayed Magenta, the maid. If you listened to Terri’s interview about being the first to get a ticket for Empire Strikes Back, you heard her talking about a friend who brought in a rope and stanchions for her to stand behind. They came from this theater.

• Terri loves to compete in the Disneyland runs. She has competed in 10 Disney and 2 Dopey races so far.

Her stories are amazing and she is intriguing to listen to. If you have an opportunity to meet her in person at a Disney convention, go up and say hello to her. She is very animated when talking; it comes from her days as a puppeteer. You will be hanging on her every word.

Me meeting Terri:

I have met with her on multiple occasions and just love hearing her stories. I contacted her in 2017 to ask if she would like to write the foreword to my new book. She was more than happy to and it was a whole page long.

I had been making fantasy pins for a little while, and Terri showed interest in getting involved with that. We agreed to work together on a pin. She did the pencil sketch and I redrew it as pin art and ordered all the pins. Our first collaborative pin of Big Al from The Country Bear Jamboree was available in May 2018. You can check it out to order your own HERE

Visit MY WEBSITE to get a copy of my book with Terri’s foreword in it. I wanted her to read it from an Imagineer’s point of view. My book has over 3,700 fun facts and bits of history in it about Disneyland and Disney movies. If you get my book, visit Terri at an event and she will sign the page about her, page 669.

Check out her website as she puts up sculpts for people to purchase. She will sign and number it for you. You can also ask her about getting a signed copy of her book or pumpkin carving DVD. Her upcoming sculpts are Baby Groot and the Hitchhiking Ghosts from Haunted Mansion.


In closing, I am leaving you with this pic of Terri sculpting for viewers at a Disneyana Convention in Anaheim/Garden Grove in February 2016.

Do you want to contact or follow the magnificent Terri Hardin?


YouTube: Terri Hardin



Instagram: @24fiterri


She gives private tours of Disneyland from an Imagineer’s point of view. She also gives tours of other Disney parks as well, like Disneyland Paris this September. Contact her for details.

Monster Feet

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on April 25, 2018 at 7:20 PM Comments comments ()

Upon entering Dream Productions in Inside Out, you can spot two large monster feet. This is a nod to Ted, the monster whose legs we can see when Mike and Sulley are crossing the street in Monsters, Inc.

Vintage Ride Posters in Monsters, Inc.

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on April 24, 2018 at 6:20 PM Comments comments ()

There are a total of 6 Disneyland poster hidden throughout Monsters, Inc. in the background.

1. When Boo is hitting Randall on the head with a bat, you can see a vintage Disneyland Frontierland poster hanging on the wall above the dresser. It has the Stage Coach Ride, Mine Train Ride, and Mule Pack Ride on it.

2. When Boo starts beating Randall and when Sulley grabs Randall my the neck after Boo beats him, you can see a vintage Disneyland poster on the wall above the bed for the Flying Saucers in Tomorrowland.

3. To the right of the Flying Saucers poster is the vintage poster for the Tomorrowland Submarine Voyage.

4. When Mike is telling jokes in the kid’s room at the end, you can see a vintage Astro Jets Tomorrowland poster above his bed.

5. In the same scene when Mike is leaving the kids room you can see a Sailing Ship Columbia vintage poster on the wall.

6. When Mike and Sulley are walking to work, they pass Hidden City Café. In the window next to it is Monstro the Whale on the Storybook Land Canal Boats poster from Disneyland.

BONUS FUN FACT: Hidden City Café was to pay homage to the now-closed café in Richmond, CA. This was the café used for “The Lunch” meeting with the creative team when they came up with the movies A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, and WALL•E.

The Redhead on Pirates of the Caribbean has a voice

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on March 23, 2018 at 4:15 AM Comments comments ()

The Auctioneer scene on Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most iconic scenes in all of Disneyland. This scene was also the only completed scene that Walt Disney was able to experience before his death, and the last attraction he worked on. To the happiness of thousands and the sadness of millions, Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction just reopened with the icon scene drastically altered. The former redheaded prostitute known to fans as Redd, is now a gun-wielding pirate. The entire scene is no longer the “Take a wench for a bride” scene. It was transformed into the “Auction” scene. Redd was to become a pirate in the original attraction anyway. She is depicted in a painting behind the drinking skeletons. This just puts her in the position of power now, rather than in the future. The Auctioneer is now auctioning off stolen goods and animals. What caught my attention is that Redd now has dialogue! But who is the voice of this redheaded beauty? It is voice actress Grey DeLisle. She has over 500 film, tv, and video game credits to her name.

The new scene was added to Disneyland Paris in July 2017, now the Magic Kingdom, and soon to be Disneyland.

Grand Moff Tarkin Wore Slippers

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 20, 2018 at 8:35 PM Comments comments ()

#59. Peter Cushing, the actor who portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, has twelve-inch feet. Costuming didn’t have time to custom make the boots for his costume so they hurt his feet on the first day of shooting. On the second day, he asked George if they could shoot him from the waist up because his feet were hurting and he needed different shoes. For the rest of the filming he wore carpet slippers on his feet and he was filmed from the waist up or he was partially blocked by objects, like the large table. He had the slippers on in the scenes when he was the most menacing, like when he blew up Alderaan in front of Princess Leia.

Freddy Kreuger Gave Us Luke Skywalker

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 18, 2018 at 4:30 AM Comments comments ()

#49. Robert Englund, who became Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street films, was down at the studio to audition for Apocalypse Now (1979) in the late 70’s for the production company American Zoetrope. American Zoetrope was founded by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas had used the company when he made his films THX 1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973) before he made Lucasfilm a substantial company when he came out with Star Wars (1977) (although he did use Lucasfilm for American Graffiti as well). After Robert auditioned for Apocalypse Now, the production company sent him across the hall to audition for the role of Han Solo. They took a Polaroid photo of him and sent him on his way. The role ended up going to Harrison Ford, who also got a role in Apocalypse Now. When Robert was leaving the casting office he noticed the signs for the auditioning of Luke Skywalker. He went home and found his roommate laying on the couch watching the Mary Tyler Moore show. Robert told his couch-surfing friend about the role and that he should audition for it. His friend called up his agent and set up the audition. The friend on his couch was Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill's Kids in Star Wars

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 18, 2018 at 4:25 AM Comments comments ()

#2169. Mark Hamill’s kids made appearances in the Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017). His oldest son, Nathan Hamill (born June 25, 1979), portrayed Saile Minnau. His second born son, Griffin Hamill (born March 4, 1983), portrayed Salaka Kuchimba, and his daughter, Chelsea Hamill (born July 27, 1988), portrayed Koo Millham. All three of them were part of the Resistance and survived all the attacks by The First Order and ended up on Crait for the final battle.

Ben Burtt was Darth Vader's Breathing

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on December 29, 2017 at 9:20 PM Comments comments ()

Ben Burtt was working with the sound department. He recorded himself breathing in a scuba respirator to get the iconic breathing sounds for Vader.

Burtt also recorded the beeps and boops for R2-D2 and did the sound mixing to get the sounds we hear from C-3PO.

The voice of Chewie was created by Burtt mixing the sounds from bears, walruses, lions, sick animals, and badgers. Mayhew would either speak English lines or just yell/scream before the voice tracks were overlaid.

Ben Burtt is also credited with providing the voice of WALL·E and M-O in WALL·E (2008). In Return of the Jedi (1983), he has a guest appearance as Colonel Dyer in the Death Star’s shield generator bunker on Endor. He is the one that says “Freeze!” to Han Solo before getting a tool box thrown at him. We hear the Wilhelm Scream when he goes over the railing. In The Phantom Menace (1999), he plays Ebenn Q3 Baobab and appears in the background near the end when Amidala congratulates Palpatine. In Attack of the Clones (2002), he provided the voice for Wat Tambor by saying “The techno union army is at your disposal, Count.” In Revenge of the Sith (2005), he was the voice of the Neimoidia Lushros Dofine. He is in the scene when we first get to see General Grievous. He says “Two Jedi have landed in the main hangar bay. We’re tracking them.

Pirates of the Caribbean CGI

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on August 4, 2017 at 12:45 PM Comments comments ()

Check out these photos from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. They show what the scenes looked like before and after the CGI (Computer Graphics) were added in.

Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Captain Salazar, Geoffrey Rush, Captain Hector Barbossa, fun facts, disney history, behind the scenes, Kaya Scodelario, Carina Smyth, Henry Turner, Brenton Thwaites, Keira Knightley, Elizabeth Swann, Orlando Bloom, Will Turner

R.I.P. June Foray - An Amazing Voice Actress

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on July 29, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments ()

"Don't tell heem, Carlos. Don't be cheekin." That most notable line from Disneyland's Pirates of The Caribbean was spoken by well known voice actress June Foray. June passed away at the age of 99.

Here is the bio I wrote about her in my new book.

June Foray – (Born September 18, 1917, in Springfield, Massachusetts-July 26, 2017). There have been times when Mel Blanc was referred to as the male version of June Foray. June’s most notable voice role was that of Granny in the Looney Toons Sylvester and Tweety cartoons and Tiny Toons. Her career with Disney started with her role as Lucifer in Cinderella (1950). She then went on to voice the brunette mermaid (and modeled for it) and squaw in Peter Pan (1953), Mrs. Sheep in Lambert the Sheepish Lion (1952), Witch Hazel in Trick or Treat (1952), Knothead and Splinter in the Woody Woodpecker cartoons, Witch Hazel in the Looney Toons cartoons, Rocky Squirrel and Natasha in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), Dorothy Gale in Off to See the Wizard (1967), Raggedy Ann in 1978 & 1979, Aunt May Parker in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981), Jokey Smurf in Smurfs (1981-1986), Wheezy and Lena Hyena in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Ma Beagle, Mrs. Featherby, & Magica De Spell in DuckTales (1987-1990), Grammi Gimmi in Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991), Norman's Aunt in Marsupilami (1992), Grandmother Fa in Mulan I (1998) & Mulan II (2004), and so many others. In Disneyland, you can hear her on Pirates of the Caribbean as Carlos’ wife shouting out the window “Don’t tell heem, Carlos. Don't be cheekin.” She also reprised her role as Wheezy the weasel for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.

My 2nd Edision Is Now Available

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on July 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM Comments comments ()

My 2nd edition is now available for purchase as we celebrate the 62nd anniversary of Disneyland.
Enjoy 700 pages full of Disneyland information.
There are now over 3,700 fun facts for the parks and for the Disney movies.
There are also over 750 photos contained within.
Here is a quick look inside.
Click here to purchase BUY A COPY

History of Female Pirates and the Redhead

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on June 30, 2017 at 10:45 PM Comments comments ()

Disney is planning on changing the infamous Auctioneer scene in Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean in 2018, along with Disney World’s Pirates. We get the frequently spoken line “We wants the redhead,” from this attraction. Pirates first opened on March 16, 1967, just four months after Walt Disney passed away. Walt was only able to experience the Auctioneer scene before his passing.

“Walt visited the show building in Disneyland and went on a tour with Marc Davis and a few other Imagineers. The boats’ water channel was not filled yet and all the sets were frame worked, so they were able to walk through. The Auction Scene was set up with the Auctioneer moving about. This would be the last Walt ever saw of the attraction’s sets, because of his failing health and then eventually his death.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 508

Marc Davis was the original concept artist for the “gag scenes” on the attraction.

“Marc Davis took his pirate design inspirations from author and artist Howard Pyle. More specifically, his final work Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, published in 1921. We see and design pirates today because of Howard’s artistic outlook of them. Howard published a total of 24 books in his short lifetime, some of which were tales of King Arthur and Robin Hood.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 504

Marc’s wife, Alice Davis, was brought in on the project as well.

“Walt asked Alice Davis to come in and design the wardrobe for the pirates. She last worked on the “it’s a small world” attraction for the World’s Fair. She had said, “I went from sweet little children to dirty old men overnight.” The pirates were a challenge for her because they did not move like people in order to put clothing on. She used a lot of Velcro so that the clothing could be taken off and replaced quickly. She also learned from her small world experience that the fabric wears down in certain areas from constant rubbing, and leaking hydraulic fluid and oil is also a problem.“

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 506

Imagineer Leota Toombs, Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion, was brought in to do the finalizing of the pirate figures, including the redhead.

The question is, should Disney change the scene and make the redhead a female pirate? There are different answers to this question.

On one hand, the redhead ended up becoming a pirate anyway.

“In the room where the skeletons are drinking, there is a painting of a redhead. This is supposed to be the same redhead you see later being sold at the bride auction as it is showing the future. The painting was done by Marc Davis and is titled “Portrait of Things to Come.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 513

Do we want to alter the intended timeline of events created by the Imagineers in the mid 1960’s. The same geniuses that brought us all those first few decades attractions. Make the redhead a pirate in the past instead of turning her into a pirate in the future, which is the origin stories of most female pirates.

On the other hand you don’t want to offend anybody who is on the attraction. Not that drunk pirates setting a town on fire, looting houses, drowning the town mayor, or brandishing weapons and firing them off all over the place isn’t offensive either. Should Disney stay the course of history as it happened? Or should they change it to appease the offended few?

Female pirates have existed for a long time. In fact, one of the most powerful pirates in history was female. More on her later. Maybe adding in a female pirate is a good thing. Sure the portrait of the redhead, also just named Red, exists early on in the attraction, but will youngsters understand that concept? Most likely not. If you have a gun brandishing focal point female pirate to grab the attention of young riders that might make it more obvious. It shows girls that they can be pirates as well as boys.

When Disney first added the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique they were there to makeover young girls into princess. What about the boys? Disney ended up adding a prince makeover, which wasn’t very popular. Then they added the pirate makeover. But why would a girl want to be a pirate when all they have seen in the park are boy pirates? Sure the forward thinking youngsters will be whatever they want to be. That leaves the kids out who want to be like a specific character. If boys can be like Captain Hook, and girls can be like Cinderella, why can’t other girls be like the redhead pirate?

If you look into pirate history you can see is speckled with the triumphs of female pirates. Here are a few of them. The bios were taken from

Pirate Queen Teuta Of Illyria (years of reign 231 BC-227 BC)

After her husband, the King of the Ardiaei tribe in Illyria, died she took over the crown. She supported the pirates of her Kingdom and with that support they captured merchant vessels of Greece and Rome. This lead to the capture of two Ambassadors of Rome, one killed and the other held captive. Eventually, Rome was forced to declare war. Once Queen Teuta surrendered Rome declared that no ship should sail under her reign.

Jeanne de Clisson (years active 1343 AD-1359 AD) Also known as Jeanne de Belleville and the Lioness of Brittany

Jeanne de Clisson was British and lived in Brittany when she married Olivier III de Clisson a wealthy nobleman. After failing to defend Vannes he switched allegiances to the English and was later captured by French and executed under orders of King Philip VI. Jeanne swore vengeance on the king and sold her lands and bought three ships calling them the "Black Fleet" because of their black exterior and red sails. She assembled a crew and took to the seas defeating any ship belonging to King Philip VI leaving only a few alive to tell that she had struck again. After his death, she continued to capture ships. She later retired to Britain.

Grace O'Malley (years active 1563 AD-1603 AD) also known as "The Sea Queen of Connacht" and “The Pirate Queen Of Ireland”

She was the Queen of Unmaill she was a fearless leader from Ireland who rejected the ways a woman was "supposed" to act. Instead, she took to the seas commanding 20 fleet ships to stand against Britain. She raided ships of the English and Spanish. She was legendary for her escapes and her captures. She continued to pirate until her death in 1603.

There have been plays, television specials, and videos made about this woman.

Anne Dieu-Le-Veut (years active sometime between 1661 AD-1710 AD)

After being deported from France for criminal behavior Anne married Pierre Length. One night in a bar fight Pierre was killed by Laurens de Graaf. Anne challenged Laurens to a duel and when he drew a sword and her a gun he was so impressed he proposed. She said yes and together they sailed the seas. They took over ships and raided Jamaica. Anne and her two daughters were captured and what happened after they were freed is unknown.

Christina Anna Skytte (years active between 1650’s AD-1660’s AD)

After this Swedish pirate and her fiancé joined her brother in the pirate business they soon found she was no one to be messed with. They attacked a Dutch merchant ship killing the crew and stealing the cargo. This lead to the capture and execution of her fiancé and forced her to flee.

Jacquotte Delahaye (years active in the 1660’s AD)

This Haitian woman had a hard life after her mother died after giving birth to her brother, and her father killed. To take care of her brother she had to turn to piracy. She had to fake her own death in order to escape the government. After living as a man she returned to pirating and is thought to have sailed alongside Anne Dieu-Le-Vuet.

Rachel Wall (years active 1781 AD-1782 AD)

Wall was the only known American pirate. She married George Wall and tried to settle in Boston. The two were always poor so when she procured a small boat she saw oportunity. She used the boat to go out after storms pretending to be ravaged. After boarding the unwitting ship they would murder and steal. This ended when a storm passed through and destroyed her boat and killed her husband. She continued to steal on land and was arrested. She wrote a confession of her sins trying to sway the authorities. It didn't work and soon she became the last woman hanged in Massachusetts.

See, there have been plenty of female pirates of the past, and plenty more not listed. Now what about the female pirates depicted with Disney? First off, in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Ching Shih is portrayed, one of the most powerful female pirates in history.

“In the film Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007), actress Takayo Fischer portrays the character Mistress Ching. That character is a person from real life. Ching Shih lived from 1775-1844. She was originally a prostitute who was captured by pirates and ended up marrying the pirate captain Zheng Yi. Six years after they were married, he died and she took over his command of over 300+ ships, employing 20,000-40,000 sailors. She is well known for being extremely strict and followed through with her punishments of whipping, flogging, and beheading. She defeated the Chinese government’s attempts to stop her by beheading every prisoner who didn't join her. She terrorized the Chinese seas from 1807 until she received amnesty in 1810. After she retired, she kept all of her loot and opened up a gambling house. In 1844, she died at the age of 69.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 158

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), we see Zoe Saldana portray Anamaria, a very strong independent female pirate that actually earns the ship Jack Sparrow “liberated.”

In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), we are introduced to the strong willed and excellent swordswoman Angelica, who is portrayed by Penelope Cruz.

Let’s also not forget Elizabeth Swann, who was in the first three films and had a cameo in the fifth. She was one of the main characters and was eventually made the Pirate King by the Brethren Court.

These are just the depictions in the films. What about on the attraction? Before you even board, you pass paintings on the wall designed by Marc Davis. One is of Anne Bonny and the other is of Mary Read.

Anne Bonny (March 8, 1700 - possibly April 25, 1782) – Anne is famous mostly in part to being only one of two known women to be convicted of piracy in the Caribbean. She married famous pirate James Bonny, and also had a relationship with the pirate John “Calico Jack” Rackham. She later hooked up with Mary Read and they became a trio of pirates with Calico Jack until they were captured in October 1720.

Mary Read (1670-1698, no one knows for sure - 1721) - Mary grew up being dressed as a boy by her mother, to disguise the fact that she was a girl. She became a deck hand, married a Flemish soldier, dressed as a woman until he passed away, and then started dressing like a man again. Her ship was taken over by Calico Jack and Anne Bonny. Mary joined their crew and became friends with Anne. Mary, Anne, and Jack terrorized the Caribbean until their capture in October 1720. She later passed away in prison during child birth.”

-Discovering The Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide 2nd Edition page 509

There is a bronze statue depicting Anne and Mary in the Bahamas.

Marc Davis created concept art for Mary and Anne for a scene that never made it into the attraction.

We now circle around to the redhead again. She is depicted as a pirate in the painting as a pirate already.

What do you think? Should Disney change it and make the redhead a pirate to be more public sensitive, or should they leave the scene as it was when Walt first experienced it?

Here are some examples of the redhead from the attraction found in Disney merchandise. Notice the action figure in which she is holding a gun.

Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: Breakout! Easter Eggs

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on May 27, 2017 at 6:50 PM Comments comments ()

Opening today is the new Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! 

(I will be updating this as things are discovered)

In the entry level of the attraction before boarding, there are lots of Easter Eggs hinting at all of the Marvel films or other Disney things;

• Cosmo the Spacedog – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Hanging in a cage high above is Figment - Epcot’s Journey IntoImagination.

• An Ultron sentry that lights up and randomly quotes lines from the movie - Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (2015)

• Armor from the Nova Corps - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Warlock’s Eye from Odin’s trophy room, it follows your movement – Thor (2011)

• Dark Elf mask - Thor: The Dark World (2013)

• A cocoon believed to be Adam Warlock’s, as seen in Thor: Dark World (2013) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• A case of eyes marked “Chitauri” – The Avengers (2012)

• A case marked “Orloni” which are little rodent-like creatures - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Kree artifacts, as in Ronan’s race - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

• Artifacts from Atlantis, possibly hinting at Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner

• An Asgardian War Hammer that will one day belong to Beta Ray Bill, the one who wins Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Odin then gives Bill his own hammer, this one also called Stormbreaker.

• A painting with The Collector and his brother The Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum - Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

• The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are hanging on the wall in the pre-boarding video room. They were the full body metal cage used by Doctor Strange to imprison Kaecilius - Doctor Strange (2016).

• There is a little figure on The Collector’s desk of a ghost dog – Haunted Mansion

• During the pre-boarding video, Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance.

• A Hydra soldier helmet - Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

• On the shelf behind the open book is a bellhop hat - Tower of Terror.

• One of the books has a HTH bookmark - Hollywood Tower Hotel.

• Just before boarding the lift you can see Harold, the original Yeti - Matterhorn Bobsleds.

• The painting that is behind the octopus used to hang in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on the wall before the pre-boarding video room.

• The octopus is Dolores from the extinct attraction The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown (1986-2001) that existed in Critter Country.

The Indiana Jones Track

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on May 11, 2017 at 10:15 PM Comments comments ()

The Indiana Jones Adventure attraction in Disneyland has the same track layout and EMV’s (Enhanced Motion Vehicle) as the attraction Dinosaur in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

The Mermaids of Tomorrowland

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on March 25, 2017 at 12:55 PM Comments comments ()

MERMAIDS IN DISNEYLAND? That’s right they are real. For the summers of 1965, 66 & 67 you could have caught a glimpse of them. They would swim around for 4 hours each day to entertain guests by doing aquatic stunts. Sometimes they would swim up to the people floating by in the submarine and peek through the porthole. Some of the girls started to complain about the fumes from the then diesel subs and the high chlorine content of the water. So it pressed Disney to remove them. The Cast Member girls who portrayed the lovely mermaids made a reported $1.65 an hour. There were some instances when young men were caught jumping into the water and swimming out to the mermaids basking in the sun on the coral in the middle of the lagoon. Raise your hand if you want to see them return.

R.I.P. John Hurt

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 27, 2017 at 11:50 PM Comments comments ()

R.I.P. John Hurt

January 22, 1940 - January 27, 2017

John played many characters throughout his 55 years of acting. He has 205 movie and television credits to his name. He will be remembered by all. Here are just a few of the movies/tv series that I know him from.

#johnhurt #ripjohnhurt #discoveringthemagickingdom #disney #donbluth #lordoftherings #aragorn #robroy #vforvendetta #watershipdown #immortals #indianajones #indianajones4 #indianajonesthekingdomofthecrystalskull #thestoryteller #jimhenson #theblackcauldron #thehornedking #doctorwho #harrypotter #olivander #mrollivander #spaceballs #alien #aliens #outlander #hercules #hellboy #hellboy2 #hellboythegoldenarmy #thumbelina #professoroxley #professorbroom #thedoctor #thewardoctor #lordcotys #dragon #hrothgar #adamsutler #Harrypotterandthesorcerersstone #harrypotterandthedeathlyhallows #harrypotterandthedeathlyhallowspart1 #harrypotterandthedeathlyhallowspart2 #generalwoundwort #mrmole #montrose #kingralph #lordpercivalgraves #historyoftheworldpart1 #hazel #kane #alienkane #funfact #funfacts #disneyhistory

Flounder Easter Egg In Moana

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 24, 2017 at 1:50 AM Comments comments ()

Flounder from The Little Mermaid can be seen in Moana when Maui is singing the “You’re Welcome” song.

40min 35 seconds into the movie.

Gina Rock on the Closing of Ringling Bros. Circus

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on January 18, 2017 at 3:10 AM Comments comments ()

Tinker Bell is one of the most iconic characters that Disney has ever created. She made her first Disney appearance in the 1953 animated feature Peter Pan. Disney then used her to promote the upcoming theme park, Disneyland. Since the opening of the park in 1955, Walt thought the night-time fireworks show lacked something spectacular. Walt introduced crowds of Disneyland visitors to the first live version of Tinker Bell in 1961 when he had the 4-foot 10-inch tall Tiny Kline zip across the castle from atop the Matterhorn. Her appearance was welcomed by all who saw her. After her retirement in 1964, Tiny passed on the “wand” to Mimi Zerbini, who only flew for two summers, then passed the wand to Judy Kaye, and then on to Gina Rock.

Gina became Tinker Bell on May 31, 1983. She amazed the children nightly during the fireworks for 21 years until her retirement. Chances are if you saw the fireworks between 1984 and 2005, you probably saw her. Gina holds the record for the longest run as the popular pixie. Before she flew as Tinker Bell, she joined the circus. One of those circuses was Ringling Brothers. Here are her thoughts on the closing of the Ringling Brothers Circus.

"Thank you to the Feld Family for a wonderful experience

This piece comes from a performer who shared two years with the famous Circus, Ringling Bros. I first would like to state for the record that I was proud to be part of this wonderful Circus History of Ringling Bros. and give a heartfelt thank you to the Feld family for making this 146-year piece of history to be so magical for both the performers as well as their audiences across the U. S. As a kid growing up in the 60’s, it was a time when this type of live show that included the animal acts were accepted.

Although I do not believe that animals should be locked up in small cages, especially large lions, tigers, and bears, it is important that the truth be told from those that lived behind the scenes of the Red or Blue curtain about the way these animals were handled. I believe that nature does not dictate for man to control large wild animals, but many were raised since birth in a human habitat environment, and many would never survive in the wild after the wonderful care they received at Ringling. There may be more hunters either maiming animals or killing them for sport, food or jewelry in the wild, but these animals had a chance to live long healthy lives that made up a huge portion of these shows.

I had the honor of working beside one of the most famous lion tamers,” Gunther Gebel Williams,” Red Show Circuit, and it can be said that watching this man raise his own tigers, feeding them, caring for them and making sure they had everything they needed was a daily task, always done with the love and care, and clearly they adored this trainer. The two years I was employed by Ringling Bros. for the Bicentennial edition in 1976 and 1977 and had the opportunity to get to know the elephant I rode, the joy of our interaction daily was one I looked forward to. I would bring carrots and bread to him before the show and he always looked happy to see me, and no doubt this large animal knew who I was. The performers were witness to routine daily feeding, and weekly grooming of the elephants which included their love for bathing, and frolicking with large inner tube tires, truly a delight to watch.

Many of my fondest memories stem from running away with Ringling Bros. Circus at the age of 19, living on a train, and performing with different cultures from all over the world. The Feld family provided an exciting opportunity for those not born into the Circus world.

Many thanks to the Feld family for providing employment to so many talented performers and those that contributed behind the scenes. These shows will be missed by many. I am confident that the retiring animals will be well taken care of and doubtless will miss their loving caretakers and trainers."

-Gina Rock

If you would like to get in touch with Gina for interviews or questions regarding her time as Tinker Bell, or as a circus performer, you can contact her Public Relations Manager, Joshua Shaffer, at

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The Last Moments Surrounding Walt Disney's Death

Posted by Joshua Shaffer on December 15, 2016 at 3:15 PM Comments comments ()

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest men of our time, Walt Disney. He lost a battle to lung cancer from his chain smoking on December 15, 1966, at 9:30 am.

Here is some information you may not have known about Walt’s last days.

1. The last time Walt was seen on TV was for the opening dedication of New Orleans Square on July 24, 1966.

2. The final productions in which Disney had an active role were the animated feature The Jungle Book and the live-action musical comedy The Happiest Millionaire, both released in 1967.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction Walt personally worked on, besides concepts, which went on with the company decades into the future.

4. EXAMPLE: Imagineer Herb Ryman was working on concept sketches for the park in 1954 and came up with a land called True Life Land, which was named for Disney’s True Life Adventures (1948-1960) series. It was going to be modeled after New Orleans with a pirate theme. There was to be a shipwreck with overflowing treasure chests, a store/restaurant called Pieces of Eight, and a store/restaurant called Blue Beards Den. This was to all be added onto Frontierland. This concept all predates Disneyland, but shows that Walt had an interest in adding pirates to his park. Walt’s dream of a completely themed pirates land wouldn’t be realized until the construction of Treasure Cove in Shanghai Disney, which opened June 16, 2016.

5. The only scene Walt saw completed from Pirates was the auctioneer scene. The Imagineers had set up the whole scene in the studio and put a wooden bench on wheels to push Walt through the scene at the proper pace.

6. They told Walt the studio was pushing them for a December opening. Walt asked if they would have it done by then and they said they didn’t think it would be perfect by then. Walt then told them not to approve the opening until everything was perfect, even if it took longer to complete.

7. On Walt’s last visit to the studio to check out the Pirates project, he visited Marc Davis to look over the concept art for The Country Bear Jamboree. Marc said that Walt stayed as long as he kept showing him artwork. He could tell there was something wrong with Walt. The last thing Walt said to Marc was “good bye,” which was odd because he always said “see you later” or “keep up the good work.”

8. On November 2nd, Walt had an x-ray done revealing a tumor in his left lung. The doctor gave him six months to two years to live. He had a two week stay in the hospital and was able to return home for Thanksgiving.

9. Walt didn’t want people to know he was sick, so he blamed his doctor visits on an old polo injury.

10. He was admitted to the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center across the street from the Disney Studio on November 30th after he collapsed in his home.

11. He could see the Disney Studio across the street. Roy had ordered that the lights in the facility remained on so Walt could see it.

12. A long-standing urban legend maintains that Disney was cryogenically frozen, and his frozen corpse was stored underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland. However, this was discredited due to the fact that Disney was cremated, and the first known instance of cryogenic freezing of a corpse (of Dr. James Bedford) occurred a month later, in January 1967.