Jim’s Attic: Historical Fun Facts
By Jim Korkis
Over the years, I have gathered little oddball fun facts about Walt Disney World but sometimes, they can not be expanded into a full article. In addition, sometimes an area changes, so the information is no longer valid.
Here is a handful of that strange stuff in one of my archive files that I thought you mind enjoy knowing:
LET FREEDOM RING. During the Bicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Constitution at Walt Disney World, one of the temporary displays in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom was a reproduction of the original Liberty Bell loaned from the Mount Vernon Memorial Park of Fair Oaks, California through June of 1989.
However, Disney guests loved the reproduction so to provide a permanent display, Disney Show Properties and Interiors purchased a new replica. It was cast by Paccard Fonderie of Annecy, France using the original Liberty Bell mold. The new bell took its place of honor just before July 4, 1989 where it remains to this day.
The bell was made primarily of copper but also contains tin, lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver. It stands eight feet high, including stock and weighs two and a half tons.
DISNEY’S BIG BANG. Here’s a Disney culinary treat I never remember enjoying but maybe some readers have tasted it. I have had a lot of Disney menu favorites over the years that have disappeared completely.
When the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant opened at Disney MGM Studios on April 20, 1991 (were any of you surprised it was not open with the park in 1989?), it had some very unique food offerings including “The Big Bang”.
Yes, that is what the creamed popcorn soup concocted by Disney MGM Studios Executive Chef Reimund Pitz was labeled on the menu.
“Popcorn was the number one best seller at the drive-in movie, so we played around with a lot of different ideas and came up with a velvety popcorn soup,” said Pitz when the restaurant opened. “All of our ideas are themed to the drive-in era. We took the old classics and added a new flair.”
HORSING AROUND Here’s something interesting from a WDW attraction that no longer exists. I hope a handful of you might remember the SuperStar Television show at Disney MGM Studios where Disney guests were chosen, costumed and through the miracle of blue screen added into scenes in some popular television programs.
One of those experiences was riding on a horse in a scene from the popular television Western series “Bonanza”. Audiences were probably enjoying the discomfort of the performer so much that they never wondered about the horse.
I was able to confirm many years ago that the sculpted horse had been recycled from the motion picture The Godfather (1972), famous for a scene with a realistic looking horse head. The Disney Company even sent the information out to the media in 1996 as a fun fact for Walt Disney World’s 25th Anniversary celebration.
Is it still in storage in a WDW prop warehouse or does it appear somewhere else on property? Unfortunately, I don’t know.
WATER EVERYWHERE. If you emptied all the water from the Living Seas with Nemo at Epcot into one-gallon milk jugs and laid them side by side, they would stretch from New Orleans to Raleigh, North Carolina, approximately 540 miles.
SIX MILLION MILE MAN. The DNA Tower that stood in front of the entrance to Wonders of Life at Epcot was 5.5 billion times larger than the DNA molecule it represented. It would have been just right for a human six million miles tall.
MOST PHOTOGRAPHED AT EPCOT. In 1995, it was determined that the most photographed thing at Epcot was not SpaceShip Earth. Believe it or not, it was General Motors’ model automobiles and prototypes in Future World exhibited at the World of Motion attraction (which closed January 1996) according to the Disney publicists connected with the WDW News & Information department.
Would any of you like me to go deeper into my files to find more WDW Fun Facts?
The previous post in this blog was D23’s Holiday Splendor.
The next post in this blog is Jim’s Attic: Farewell to Cap’n Jack’s.