Monday, November 30, 2009
These little articulated rubbery PVC figures of the old school Winnie the Pooh costume characters were part of a Magic Kingdom playset collection at Sears in the late 1980s. These figures are small (about 2 inches tall) and rather cheaply made, but the likenesses of the characters is pretty much spot-on. This set was only available through the Sears Catalog, and included Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, and Cinderella. There was a big Main Street set you could get with Mickey and Minnie, too. This collection, like many Sears items at the time, was not very popular and not made very well.
But I love these little figures, and the costumes they are based on.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I've never been to Knott's Berry Farm in California, but I was interested in the park, largely because of the Peanuts characters. There used to be a cereal called Dinersaurs (which did not last long) and they had this contest to win a trip to experience the new Kingdom of the Dinosaurs ride. Needless to say, I did not win.
Update 5/11/13: With the Timber Mountain Log ride at Knott's Berry Farm getting a major upgrade, folks have been talking about Kingdom of the Dinosaurs again.
Will Kingdom of the Dinosaurs return someday, or will something totally different appear in their old stomping grounds?
It would be nice if the Dinersaurs characters could get a new gig. Maybe they could have a restaurant at Knott's. Winner, winner Fried Pterodactyl Chicken dinner!
The Dinersaurs are friends with Denver, the Last Dinosaur. This character had his own animated TV series in the 1980s.
Somehow I found the three free stickers that were the prize in the box of Dinersaurs Cereal.
I think "Denver The Last Dinosaur" would do well as a "Smurfs" or "Alvin and the Chipmunks" live action movie. Not that I'm saying that would be a good thing.
A "Dinersaurs" animated series on Food Network would be off the chain! Spiky blonde Stego Stan would have to be voiced by "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host Guy Fieri.
I would cast chef Aaron McCargo Jr. (from "Big Daddy's House") as T-Rex, Emeril Lagasse as Buddy Brontosaurus, Ron Ben-Israel (from "Sweet Genius") as Terry Pterodactyl, and Paula Deen as Sara Triceratops.
Kingdom of the Dinosaurs opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1987. It replaced another dark ride called "Knott's Bear-y Tales."
Growing up in Alabama, most people I knew had never heard of Knott's Berry Farm. Relatives in Arizona and California would often save Knott's ads for me, since they knew how much I liked Snoopy and the Charles Schulz Peanuts characters.
I recognized Knott's Berry Farm when I saw the 1987 movie "Summer School" starring Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley. Remember the scene where the nerd vomits in the trash can after riding the roller coaster?
I'm pretty sure "Kingdom of the Dinosaurs" made an appearance in the Martin Short movie "Clifford" in 1994.
When Knott's Berry Farm was purchased by Cedar Fair in 1997, it opened the door for Snoopy to be the mascot for Cedar Fair-owned theme parks across North America.
Cedar Fair theme parks are known for their big roller coasters. It looked like the old school dark rides and close encounters with Bigfoot at Knott's Berry Farm would be a thing of the past. However, the 2013 upgrade to the Timber Mountain Log Ride will feature many new effects and animated figures produced by Garner Holt Productions.
Could Kingdom of the Dinosaurs ever be brought back from extinction?
I think it is time for a Wild West Cowboys and Dinosaurs Dig Roundup interactive dark ride. It would be fun to see that T-Rex wearing a ten gallon hat and shooting guns with his tiny little hands.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
When Bear Country was renamed Critter Country for the arrival of Splash Mountain in 1989, Disneyland created a line of plush toy critters that were sold in The Briar Patch store (they may have been sold at Crocodile Mercantile, too--I can't remember). Here we see a frog (which I found on Ebay years ago) and a mouse (which I bought in 1989 at the park). There was also a turtle, hedgehog, and another little rodent. At some point, there was a "Critter Country" animated series planned--not sure if these little guys were part of that. The unknown critters were kicked out of the Briar Patch a long time ago.
Sometimes these little critters show up on Ebay.
Fuzzy memories of fuzzy characters!
Whatever it is, it's cute. But not cute enough to stay in Disneyland.
This little guy always has a bad hair day.
I'd love to know the history of these characters. They certainly weren't flying off the shelves. And these were pricey, too!
It's too bad these little mystery characters never took off. Maybe someone can explain their story.
Back in 1983, I got this great T-shirt with Dreamfinder and Figment from Epcot's Imagination attraction. This ride was a favorite of my whole family, and sadly, Disney took out what made the adventure so special. What amazed me is how the cars split up and followed the flying airship for an entire song sequence---I only later found out that there were five airships and sets of animatronics on a turntable---amazing! We also really liked the "Morning Mist" smell. Figment, here's hoping Disney decides to make your ride imaginative again.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I don't remember buying this Walt Disney World Electrical Parade decal---I think it may have been given to me by a friend. At any rate, it remains unused, but loved. You can still catch the Electrical Parade at Disney's California Adventure, but Walt Disney World has Spectromagic, which is also nice.
This is a Sea Lion (Seamore Sea Lion to be exact) and NOT a Seal! This is one of the many things I learned at Sea World in Orlando, Florida in 1986 when I bought this patch for $2.29 (which sounds kind of pricey even now). Seamore was one of my favorites.
The Hanna Barbera characters used to be EVERYWHERE. Universal Studios Florida had a nifty flight simulator attraction (along with a gift shop) that is now themed to the Nickelodeon characters.
These pins of Top Cat and Scooby Doo were purchased back in 1994.
I was at Universal Studios Florida a few weeks ago, and somehow Scooby Doo is still featured on merchandise for the park, but I don't think he actually is tied to an attraction anymore.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Back in 1981, Six Flags Over Georgia debuted "The Monster Plantation"--a boat ride filled with wacky and scary animatronic monsters, designed by former Disney artists. In May of 2009, the ride was finally (mercifully) refurbished, changing to "The Monster Mansion." This button could be purchased at "The Monstore"---a shop that vanished years ago but was revived and upgraded with a Monster Plantation museum when the ride reopened as the "Mansion."
Hello there! My name is Dan. I am 34 years old and an admitted Disney/theme park/animation addict. I am also a pack rat, and have an extensive collection of what many people might consider trash. But of course, one man's trash is another man's treasure. But I did keep a lot of junk--too much, and I really don't want to be on one of those TV shows about hoarding.
"The Fox and the Hound" was a favorite of mine as a kid. This was low-tech personalization---you never see the faces of the two children in the book (allegedly me and my older brother).