Wednesday, April 01, 2015

April Phooey

A few weeks ago it became clear to me that my 2015 "April Fools' Day" images were just not working out; my ideas weren't that great to begin with, and then the execution turned out to be much more difficult than I anticipated. Rather than present something half-assed (it wouldn't be the first time), I have decided that after almost nine years, maybe I can present a few of my past efforts. It seems that I have managed to misplace (or discard?) the original high-res files for most of these silly images, which is a bummer, considering how much time I spent on some of them. 

ANYWAY, let's start with this one, originally posted in 2007. It's still my favorite! The original slide was vertical, but I wanted more room for the rocket to fly in, so I cropped off some of the bottom and  painted in some additional sky. Then I found a decent photo of the Moonliner (I needed to see pretty much the whole thing), and altered it to look as if it was up above us, with the legs in the "closed" position. Next I found a nice exhaust plume from an Ares rocket launch, and spent quite a bit of time trying to make it look like it was behind some elements, and in front of others, so that it felt like it was inside the park. Then I added a bit of extra glow around the base of the rocket to make the blast feel hot and bright. There are some things I might do differently these days, but I'm leaving it be.

This next one from 2008 is probably my second favorite. I basically tried to cram as much incongruous stuff into one image as I possibly could with the time that I had. I think the final number of items was 31 or 32, ranging from the very large (what's the Matterhorn doing in Frontierland?) to the very small (such as the "dead settler"). Adding the reflections in the water turned out to be surprisingly time-consuming. One cool thing is that I had a chance to speak with Tony Baxter (my one and only time) a day or so later, and he brought up this "crazy picture" that he had seen online (without my prompting at all), and he was clearly describing this image. I think one of his coworkers sent the photo to him, because he did not seem to be aware of my blog. You win some, you lose some!

I can't say that this next one is my third favorite, but it was the only other one that I could find in high-res. It is from 2010; I remember that I was scrambling for an idea - ANY idea - and thought it would be fun (and weird) to put Walt Disney's head or face on every visible person, male, female, or child in the park. There's 1930's Walt, all the way up to the 1960's. The hardest thing (surprisingly) was finding a photo with a decent number of people walking toward us, and close enough so that we could see their faces. It seems that most photos show the backs of a lot of heads. I think the "Walt eating an ice cream bar" might be my favorite, but it depends on when you ask me.

Hopefully I can come up with something new for 2016, if I am still blogging!


Nanook said...


Wowie-! These all may have been seen before, but that hardly lessens the fun at seeing them again.

Oh, those poor unsuspecting folks in Tomorrowland, who seemed very non-plussed at the closeness of all that exhaust.

And after seeing the Matterhorn in Frontierland, perhaps a re-think of bringing back Cascade Peak is in order. The Matterhorn seems right at home there.

And I think my favorite "Walt" is the 'long-haired' dude, with the hideously-patterned pants, or the 'child' Walt.

Thanks, Major, for ALL the posts - funny and otherwise.

TokyoMagic! said...

Genius! That's what these are. Pure genius!

Major, I enjoyed these April Fool's "Greatest Hits" very much, along with the background/side stories. Did you ever tell T.B. that you were the one that created the photo that he was talking about?

Nancy said...

Exactly what they said....these are fabulous!!!! April 1 never get old with you in the driver's seat, Major!

I have to agree that the Moonliner is definitely my favorite, but the idea of Monstro munching on Space Mountain was, as TM said, genius.

Looking forward to what you cook up for us next year!!! :-)

Chuck said...

If reruns weren't good enough, I'd never watch TV.

I consider these "classic episodes" of GDB, particularly the one about the trash can ride.

Thanks for more smiles today, Major! And that's no April Fool!

K. Martinez said...

Happy April Phooey to you too, Major. I have no idea why Jiminy Cricket's "I'm No Fool" song is stuck in my head today.

That Tomorrowland April Fools Day image is awesome! Another of my favorites not featured here today is 2011's "Animatronic Day" in which droid like characters are walking in front of the "it's a small world" façade. Thanks, Major.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

OH MY GOSH! The Soviets were right about that place all along! I hope that was a preemptive strike!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Love them Major.

I have had a few hamburgers in tomorrowland that I think were cooked by that rocket. Well done (pun intended).

The third is classic. My two faves are the short "beatnick" looking Walt by the trashcan and the little kid Walt who looks like he's trying to unclench a wedgie.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!! These are some of my all time favorites of yours, Major. The Moonliner is the best, absolutely inspired! I also remember your funny description of the Main Street Trashcan ride, CLASSIC! My favorite Walt is the child, it gets extra credit for the ¾ rear head shot you found.

THANKS Major! You started off April Fool’s Day just right.

So, is it ok to post these on FB? With a link to this page of course.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, Major.

I remember all of these as posted, I guess I'm old.



Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Oh BTW, the Tony Baxter element is awesome too! I’ve always wanted to meet him. Would you care to elaborate on that encounter?

Irene said...

I didn't even know about your blog until later in 2010 and so these are all new to me. As everyone is saying - brillant! I just really get a kick out of the Walt one. The child Walt is so funny. Yes - you must keep blogging.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am all for Cascade Peak's return! I do kind of like the long-haired Walt as well. Thanks!

TokyoMagic!, I did, but I think his reaction was pretty low-key… something like, "Oh, really?".

Thank you Nancy!

Chuck, who wouldn't want to ride in a trash can? Disneyland really WAS where dreams came true.

K. Martinez, yes, I almost used the "Animatronic Day" picture, but I was never entirely happy with it. I like the idea, but the execution was not so great.

Monkey Cage Kurt, thank goodness Khrushchev never saw that sight!

Alonzo, surprisingly, I didn't notice the little kid was grabbing his own butt until TokyoMagic! pointed it out back in 2010!

Monkey Cage Kurt, thanks for the nice words. I guess you can share them on FB; I am ambivalent about FB, but there are people (one guy in particular) who take stuff from this site nearly every day and share it there without ever giving me credit (that guy even crops my watermarks off), so maybe it would be nice to have the blog mentioned for once… it's up to you.

JG, you're welcome!

Monkey Cage Kurt, it's kind of a long story; in a nutshell, an Imagineer acquaintance set up a dinner in Anaheim, and I was invited because I'd helped the Imagineer out with something. We were at a "Benihana"-type restaurant, and dinner was perfectly pleasant. The cool thing was that, afterwards, Tony said, "Do you guys want to come up to my house?". Um, YES. That was pretty amazing.

Irene, I appreciate the sentiment, but am not sure how I can blog every day once my slides run out. I'm not very excited at the prospect of just reposting everything, especially since it's all there for the taking anyway. I originally thought I would only blog for about three years, so I'm WAY past that!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

That’s great! So, did Tony show you his Disneyland olive trees that he has in his yard, twinkling lights and all?

I still want to see the jettisoned “goofy post” you mentioned the other day. The digital file you wished you could crumple up and throw in the trash.

Major Pepperidge said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, yep, we saw the olive trees w/lights! I might be able to salvage the discarded post (maybe not, though), so I'm going to keep it to myself for now.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...