Sunday, March 9, 2014
What is at Walt’s Barn? ~ Retlaw 101 Combination Car
One of the wonderful things that is at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn is the Retlaw 101 Combine Car. So what is the Retlaw 101 Combine and what is the story?
First off let’s start with start with the name. Retlaw, stands for Retlaw Enterprises the company that owned and operated the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, all the Main Street Vehicles and the Mark Twain Paddle Boat. Flip it backwards and Retlaw becomes Walter. Yes, Walt Disney had a privet company that owned and operated the stated vehicles at Disneyland. They were not owned by the Disney Company or Disneyland in anyway, they were his personally.
The number 101 means this was the first car of 6 that ran in a set on the Disneyland Railroad. On opening day there were 2 locomotives, #1 C. K. Holiday and #2 E. P. Ripley. The cars pulled by the #1 Holiday were 101-106 and the #2 Ripley were 201-206. So the 101 Combine was the first of the passenger cars pulled by the C. K. Holiday.
I’m going addressed why it is called a Combination or Combine car. This car is a combination of passenger and mail/cargo car. The first 1/3 of the car is for mail/cargo and the last 2/3 if the car is for passengers. This was standard on trains when Walt was a boy and when he was a boy Walt was a news butch on the trains selling newspapers and apples from his family farm. He would often take a break in the cargo section of the combine car so that type of car had one made for his park. Now this is not practical for an amusement park. It can’t carry as many guests and it also was not easy to load or unload guests. So why did Walt demand there be a combination car? I believe it was because it was historically correct and it brought back fond childhood memories. It is reported that the Retlaw 101 Combine (the only Disneyland Combine) was Walt’s favorite car.
In 1958 the Grand Canyon Diorama was added to the Disneyland Railroad. This required the change of the rolling stock because the front facing passenger cars were making it hard for people to see the Diorama. The cars were tipping slightly on the track as everybody moved over to see the Diorama. That is why this car is no longer in use at Disneyland.
The Retlaw cars were stored in the Disneyland Roundhouse for several years and then sold to privet collectors. Eventually the Combine ended up at the Carolwood Foundation and has been restored. 102-105 are in the hands of a privet collector that runs them in Northern California and the 106 or last car in this set was the Grand Canyon and has been re-imagined as the Lilly Bell VIP Presidential Parlor Car. The Lilly Bell is still being run at Disneyland and is for the use of VIPs, Club 33 members and daily tours.
If you are interested in the Lilly Bell Tour check out my other blog post for more information:
Posted by Pranking Pixie at 9:07 PM
Saturday, March 8, 2014
What’s At Walt’s Barn? ~ King George V Locomotive
When Lillian Disney died the Disney Estate was sold and the new owner decided to demolish the home and Walt’s barn where he worked on his backyard trains. Diane Disney Miller, Walt & Lillian’s daughter asked if she could have the barn.
The barn was dismantled moved to the Los Angeles Live Steamers Club/Museum (LALS) in Griffith Park, Ca. Walt was a member of the LALS and had donated the track from his trains to the club before his death.
There are many wonderful items in the barn today. You will find items that belonged to Walt and some that belonged to some of his top animators, Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnson along with others. There are also many items from Disneyland.
Today I’m going to share about the King George V Locomotive that sits in the middle of the barn. This is a beautiful old locomotive belonged to Walt Disney and has an interesting story to tell, if only it could talk.
In 1951 Walt and Lillian took a holiday to Europe. While there Walt went into the Bassett-Lowke Ltd. Shop in London to look around for a train to add to his new backyard train set. It was early in the day and Walt made the purchase with the agreement to come back in the afternoon to finalize the purchase and arrange shipment back to the United States.
Shortly after Walt left the shop another American came in and wanted to buy the locomotive Walt had just purchased. The shopkeeper told the man the locomotive had been sold but to come back that afternoon to see if the purchaser changed his mind.
That afternoon both men met at the train store and got to talking over this locomotive. Walt asked the man what he did for a living. When he said he was an artist Walt told him to come talk to him when he got back to America. Walt did not let the gentleman have the King George V.
This second American train enthusiast was none other than Harper Goff! Harper did look Walt up when he got home and ended up designing the Nautilus Submarine for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He worked on many other Disney movies. He also developed conceptual ideas for Disneyland including Main Street USA and the Jungle Cruise.
Walt and Lillian took a cruise ship home to America. He had the locomotive crated and shipped home on the ship with him. On the way across the “Pond” the crate with the prized locomotive became soaked with sea water and the locomotive suffered water damage. Walt never repaired the King George V locomotive. He was too busy with “plans for his little park”, Disneyland. The locomotive has sat in storage unrepaired and unused since 1951.
On a funny note, Walt could never have ran the King George V on his tracks as his existing layout was 1/8 scale and the King George V is a different scale.
This train, along with a picture of a dejected Walt Disney checking out the water damage after getting it home are on display at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn.
I’ll be posting more stories from the barn in the coming days.
To find out more about the Carolwood Barn check out their website.
Friday, February 21, 2014
For Immediate Release
Hollywood icon and Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke to appear at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn
Los Angeles, CA, February 20, 2014 : Dick Van Dyke, Disney Legend and star, will be making a rare public appearance at Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn on Sunday March 16th from 11am – 3pm. Mr. Van Dyke is scheduled to appear on behalf of the Carolwood Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to Walt Disney’s railroad legacy. Memorabilia will be available for signing during the event, with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation.
Dick Van Dyke is a Hollywood icon starring in over 15 films including Disney’s Mary Poppins and over 25 television shows, including the long running The Dick Van Dyke Show. A Tony, Grammy and multiple Emmy award winner, Mr. Van Dyke was given The Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 by the Screen Actors Guild at their annual ceremony. Mr. Van Dyke has been closely associated with the Walt Disney Company since Walt personally asked him to play Bert in Mary Poppins. From there he went on to star in other Disney projects such as Never A Dull Moment, Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., Dick Tracy and TV’s The Golden Girls. Because of his immense contributions to the Walt Disney Company, Dick Van Dyke was named a Disney Legend in the film category in 2008.
In anticipation of this special signing event, visitors are asked to observe the following guidelines: Only one item per person will be autographed; no personalization or posed pictures will be allowed. All items to be autographed must be purchased from the Carolwood Foundation, although a single outside item may be substituted for a purchased item. Parking is free, but very limited. On-street parking is available in Griffith Park from dawn to dusk. Carpools are highly recommended. The Foundation cannot guarantee that every guest will be able to meet Mr. Van Dyke. All scheduled activities are subject to change without notice.
Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn is located at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum at 5202 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park. The barn is open the third Sunday of every month. Admission is free. Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn is operated on behalf of the Walt Disney Family Foundation by the non-profit Carolwood Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity. The Foundation's mission is to preserve Walt Disney's railroad legacy. This is accomplished through: sharing our volunteers' and supporters' love of railroading; teaching our children to understand the role that railroads served in building America; and encouraging the continued appreciation of railroading. For more information on the Carolwood Foundation please visitwww.carolwood.org. For information about this and upcoming events at Walt Disney’s Barn, please visit us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter (@waltsbarn).
All press inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
Please note that we cannot accommodate every request.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Lessons in Prayer and Pixie Dust
Today I’m sharing a very personal story. I hope you don’t mind.
16 years ago my husband had an accident. He was electrocuted. The how is not as important as the fact it was bad. He took 277 volts, triple faze. The insulated dykes he was cutting wire with blew up and pieces imbedded themselves a ½ inch into the cement ceiling above his head. He crawled down the ladder he was on and told everybody near that he had electrocuted and that his wife (me) was going to KILL him for touching electricity! I had told him if he was visiting his brother and his brother asked him to do anything to help him stay away from electricity! After saying that he went into full arrest (no heartbeat no breathing) and CPR was started by people that were there that just happened to know how to do it. 911 was called and paramedics showed up within 5 minutes of him going into arrest and they continued CPR until he got to the hospital. He was at the ER within 15 minutes of the accident. CPR was continued at the hospital for another 30 minutes before they got his heart going again! That is a total of 45 minutes of CPR!!
Normally after 10 minutes of CPR there is major brain damage and in fact little hope of saving the person’s life. If a person survives they are usually vegetables. My husband was showing all the signs of being brain dead. For 36 hours after the accident he was in a coma and unresponsive to commands. He was responding to his ventilator and the ventilators of the other patients in the ICU. You see, he is a respiratory therapist and maintains ventilators (life support machines) on patients. Whenever someone’s ventilator alarm went off he would get agitated and fight. He would kick and thrash around. Several times kicked nurses who were caring for him. The doctors had two choices. Keep him on the machine and give him more sedatives or take him off and let him die. Really there was not a choice as giving him ore sedatives would have killed him. Could not leave him on the vent as he was because he would hurt himself and the staff. They said the best I could hope for when they took him off was him being a vegetable in a nursing home for the rest of his life. I chose to let the doctors take him off of the ventilator and all other life support and place him in the loving hands of God.
Within an hour of him being taken off of life support he was sitting up . . . in a chair talking to his nurses!! His memory was shaky and he was nervous but he was ALIVE! His voice sounded like a 4 year olds but his words were his normal highly intelligent adult vocabulary. He remembered me and our daughter, who was 3 at the time. He remembered most family members and some friends, it was obvious his memories were there but he did not “know” the way to get to them in his brain. He also remembered his very complex medical history. He knew what meds he is on and the dosage he took.
The paths to his memories were destroyed but not the memories themselves. Once the “door” to the closet holding a memory was opened he could slowly bring it out. I chose to help him rebuild the paths to his memories. I came in with photos and even receipts I’d saved and started talking about vacations, special occasions and fun days we had during our, then 18 years of marriage. I told stories of friends and family. I started talking about what I knew of his childhood and asking him questions giving him time to think and chase down the various trails in his mind to find the correct memory. One of the things we spoke about often were the various days we spent at Disneyland and how those had bonded us together. Disney came up more often than any other topic!
After a few hours of hubby repeating the same questions over and over I wrote them down along with the answers. I gave him the note pad and when he would ask, “Was I electrocuted?” I would answer, “Number 1.” (Yes, you were electrocuted at your brother’s worksite.) There were about 10 questions he kept repeating and I made sure all the information was there and the nurses knew it was there to help him.
A few days after waking up the doctors wanted to discuss Scott’s future. They said I was on the right track with helping to rebuild his memories and continue what I was doing. He had nerve damage that affected the fine motor control in his hands. They asked if he had any hobbies. I said, “yes, woodworking, furniture building.” The doctor said, “NO! It’s too dangerous for him to use power tools with the poor control of his hands.” So I looked for another “hobby” that I knew hubby wanted to try but never had. He needed something low energy, low cost, low maintenance (I’d be the one cleaning up after him and our daughter for a while without help.) and something he could do anyplace. I knew he had always wanted to draw but felt he never had the ability. He said his stick figures looked like you asked a 5 year old to draw it with a crayon. I chose to encourage drawing!
I went out and got the book “Drawing for Dummies”, good colored and black pencils and a high quality drawing pad. I was excited to give these to hubby and looked forward to seeing him get excited! Instead of excitement I got a confused look. He was excited and like the idea but did not have any idea of what to draw!!! When he told me he could not think of what to draw. I reached in our daughter’s bag of toys and books that I had brought to keep her busy while visiting daddy and pulled out several Disney coloring books! He started freehand drawing the characters he saw in the coloring books. He soon was adding things around the characters. That was the start of Disney being a major part of his healing process.
The doctors released him from the hospital 6 days after the accident. ICU nurses that took care of him the first few days fell off their chairs when he walked into ICU to thank them and say good bye as he left to go home. He was off work for 30 days total and maybe he should have taken longer, but he felt he needed to go back or lose the ability to rebuild the memories of how to do his job. His work gave him a shadow for a month. This person would go around with him and watch what he was doing and answer any questions he had. This small assistance made the world of difference and got him back to work!
Have you ever gotten a good static charge and then had a strong shock from a doorknob? You know you would not want Mickey Mouse to hear the first word out of your mouth! You feel angry and scared when you take a static shock! That is a natural physiological reaction to an electrical shock! You respond with anger and aggression to survive! With the amount of power that my husband took that anger, fear and aggression has never left! That is also normal for someone taking that amount of power. It is not uncommon for someone who takes that amount of shock to become aggressive and abusive. I’m blessed because hubby has not become that way! The question is how does he control it? Prayer and Pixie Dust! A lot of time is spent praying for strength in our household!
People ask why we spend so much time at Disneyland. (About 2-3 days a month on average.) It is my husband’s therapy, the Pixie Dust! We decided, a few months after he got out of the hospital and was finally feeling strong enough, to go to Disneyland for a day. Our daughter needed a day of family fun and positive relaxation and so did we! We found that he relaxed in ways at Disneyland that was different and deeper than when he was anyplace else for a day trip! The happiness he found there lasted longer than anything else! He had to slow down. He followed what the sign said as you enter Disneyland from the entrance plaza.
Going under the train there is a sign that says, “Here you leave Today and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy”. Going through that tunnel you leave all the problems and worries of today behind and remember the joys of yesterday, look forward to the hope of tomorrow and choose to relax and accept the fantasy that is Disneyland. This is medicine to his soul!
Disneyland is where we spent time rebuilding his memories of past trips with family and friends. We relax in the lines talking about past trips to Disneyland and other places. At Disneyland we sit and make plans for the future and have dreams that seem too big to happen and some are but they are fun. It does not matter! Blue Sky dreaming is a good thing! Going to Disneyland helps him put things in perspective and put the stress, anger and frustrations in place.
So when people ask, “Why Disney?” We say, “Why NOT Disney? It is a healing place that brings joy and peace to our family!” Not only did my hubby have to learn to cope with his accident so did my daughter and I. We had to learn to understand when he gets nervous. We learned to see his anger building and encourage him to deal with it. We had to discover ways to help him remember things. To this day he still has short term memory issues. This is why I am a Disney Travel Agent helping those with special needs see they can enjoy Disney. This is why I blog about Disney.
Posted by Pranking Pixie at 1:56 PM
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Mike Peraza will be at Disneyland for Steampunk Days!
Mike Peraza is a Disney art director and concept artist who has worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Television Animation, Disney Comics, Disney Interactive, WED and Disney Fine Art Galleries.
Some of his past work for Disney includes designing multiplane shots for “The Fox and the Hound”, design and layout work on “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”, “The Great Mouse Detective”, “The Black Cauldron”, “Tron”, “Something Wicked this way Comes”, “Return to OZ”, “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast” for feature films. For Disney TV he worked on “DuckTales”, “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers”, “TaleSpin”, “Goof Troop” and “Darkwing Duck”.
Now that I’ve told you about Mike Peraza let me explain Steampunk if you have never heard of it before. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery. This is often sent in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or the American Wild West. Shows like Wild Wild West fit into the Steampunk genre as do the works of Jules Vern, H. G. Wells, Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfield, Stephen Hunt and China Mievill. Steampunk is often a hybrid genre blending Victorian-era faction, art nouveau design and films from the mid-20th century.
On February 22nd, 2014 Mike will be at Disneyland to autograph prints of his original Disney themed Steampunk work. He will be at the Disney Art Gallery on Main Street USA.
Here are links to Mike’s webpages and to the wiki page on Steampunk if you’re interested!
Mike Peraza Portfolio
Mike Peraza Disney Ink & Paint Club Blog
Steampunk Wiki Page
Sunday, January 26, 2014
This is my response to a Fox and Friends story on there being a Christian message in Frozen. I was appalled to hear a Prof at a Baptist University say there are no messages of faith in Disney movies.
Posted by Pranking Pixie at 11:00 PM
Happy Birthday Disney Dream Cruise Ship!!
Today is the birthday of the Disney Dream! The Disney Dream set sail on her maiden voyage January 26th, 2011! The Dream is the 3rd ship in the Disney in the Disney fleet.
The Disney Dream sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida on 3 and 4 day Bahamian cruises with stops at Disney’s privet island, Castaway Cay.
Dream has many firsts for the Disney Cruise Line. It is the first of the second set of ships commissioned for the Disney Cruise Line. It was the first of the fleet to have a non-toxic hull paint that increases fuel efficiency. First water coaster at sea or on land (AquaDuck). Magical Portholes that make even the inside cabins seem like ocenview. An updated Animators Palate Restaurant. Goofy’s 9 Hole Mini-Golf course and sports zone. There is also Enchanted Artwork throughout the ship that comes to life while guests are looking at it.
Jennifer Hudson is the Disney Dream’s Godmother. Jennifer Hudson started her career as an entertainer on the Disney Wonder.
Like the older Disney Ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) there are 3 pools that give separate space for kids, families and adults. There are other areas that are designed for specific groups of people.
Rotational Dining is the standard on all the Disney Ships. You rotate each night between the 3 main dining rooms. Your serving staff follows your rotation and you have the same team each night. This adds continuity to the service and your staff learns quickly what you like. They also watch out for things like food allergies. There are 2 adult only restaurants that you can have brunch or dinner at. Palo is on all the Disney Ships and Remy’s is only on the two newer ships. Your servers do not follow you to Palo or Remy’s and both of them cause extra.
There is lots to do on the Disney Ships from kids clubs for the younger cruisers to tours, spa/salon treatments, shows, dancing, and ale or wine tasting for adults.
So Happy Birthday Disney Dream!!! Fair seas and a following wind be with you!
Broadway caliber stage shows, first run and classic movies or a deck party with fireworks end your days on the ship. There are