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Historical Fun Facts

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 In addition, sometimes an area changes, so the information is no longer valid.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.

liberty-bell-2013-a.JPG

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.

liberty-bell-2013-b.JPG

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”.

scifi.jpg

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.

superstar-tv.jpg


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.

Living-seas.JPG



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.

WondersofLife.JPG

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.

world-of-motion-front.jpg

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.

Comments (29)

Kelly M:

Yes please! What a great article. I can't get enough of quaint facts like these.
Happy new year!

Steffi Finnerty:

Loved Super Star Television. My family was chosen for different parts quite a few times. The only sad part was you were not allowed to take photos. It was so much fun. Wish they'd bring it back!

thomas:

I vote yes to more fun facts, thank Jim have very good new year

Jeff Thomas:

It is great fun, and very interesting to learn small details about the World. So much has come and gone over the years there.

Jeff V:

I remember "Superstar Television" at MGM Studios when we visited November, 1990. I think our family appeared in the opening credits of "The Brady Bunch", when the faces appear in the squares. I would love to see more of these, fun memories!

Julia:

Very interesting fun facts! I would love to read more. Happy holidays!

Kristopher Nixon:

Please dig deeper. I love obscure facts about Walt Disney World!

Jenn :

Yes please!! I love fun facts & history.

Tim:

Yes please! Love these facts

Susan:

Jim, I enjoy all your articles so much!

Please continue with your "oddball" historical facts. Maybe you can give it a name: how about "Jim's Disney Obscura?"

Kathleen Thornton:

I would love to hear more. I love trivia and I love Disney.

Julie:

Yes! Please keep going, Jim! Your fun facts are a big part of why I love Allears so much. So interesting!

Clare C.:

This was so fun to read! Thanks for sharing.

Andrea S:

I would love to read more fun facts about the history of Walt Disney World. I just love this kind of reading, I was going down memory lane when I was reading your blog and seeing the great photos from past attractions.

Hi Jim -
Yes! Please keep them coming!! These little snippets are great. I was once chosen to play Al in the Home Improvement scene at Super Star Television. That attraction was hilarious and I miss it.
- Jeff

Tammy Riemenschnitter:

Woohoo! I love fun facts about WDW. More please!!!!

Jim Finley:

Jim please keep it coming it is the things like this that intrigue me most and alot of times bring back memories.

Sandy Ednie:

These are great! Would love to see more!

Don:

Great as always! I hope there are many more fun facts coming our way!

S. Davis:

yes, please

Michelle:

Great fun facts! I was six years old when I rode in the Bonanza scene at Super Star TV...pretty excited to find out that it was a pretty special horse I was riding!

Paul:

I miss Monster sound show. It was next to superstar. Do you have any information about why disney pulled these shows. There were part of the Studio visit. I really miss the old studios.

John M Garrity:

Please keep the facts coming -- the more obscure, the better!

gena yates:

please keep diggin !!! i miss merlin , tink in the drawer , 20000 l. under the sea , that show in wonders of life where your a blood cell ......boo hoo , but , time marchs on !!! do you know if they will relocate mickey and minnies house ??!! i will surely miss them too if they dont bring them back !!!!

Penny from Vermont:

Cannot get enough and the weirder the better. Keep digging! Actually if you could find out what the history is around Joe Rohde's earring? I always wondered.

Gina:

Heck yes......please keep digging. Love the pictures! :o)

Trish:

YES, please keep them coming! I am particularly interested in Main Street from the early 1970's. I have so many odd memories of the Magic Shop, the fortune telling machine, and other oddities

ConnieL:

I fondly remember the Jolly Holiday Package. You got to see the Night Before Christmas Show at the awesome Fantasia Ballroom at the Contemporary. The party at the park did not have so many things going on that you could not enjoy everything. Didn't have to worry about missing anything. Being served chestnuts on open fire in front of Grand Floridian. And of course, Lights of Winter. Oh yes, during the tree lighting at EPCOT, the different Santa's were introduced. We did not have to rush around World Showcase to find them. Aaaah the Good Old Days!

Jody:

As the above commenter, I remember the Superstar Television. My son was the millionaire in Gilligan's Island, my husband was a policeman in an episode of the Golden Girls and my mom was chosen for the role of Ethel in the I Love Lucy in the candy shop. It was so much fun that until my mom passed away a few years ago we still would buy random Lucy candy shop things for her. I wish we had broken the rules and filmed it! It was a fun thing and they should consider bringing it back. The studios could use some new entertainment.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 30, 2013 7:26 AM.

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.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.