Monday, November 18, 2019

"Partners" Statue dedication, November 1993

26 years ago (has it really been that long?), there was a special event at Disneyland - the dedication of the famous "Partners" statue. You know the one... with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, right in the middle of the Plaza. Irene, Bruce and James shared these photos from that day.

It was November 18th (a Thursday) to be exact. Were any of you Junior Gorillas there? This is kind of a neat photo, it appears that the front gate is being unlocked (at 8:15 AM), while CMs in purple and blue (bleah!) loiter near the floral portrait. Unless there is a barrier that we can't see, I'm amazed that there isn't a large crowd waiting to rush the gate.

November 18th was Mickey's 65th birthday; and the "Worldwide Kids Party" was a four day event in which the mouse (and the park) played host to 20,000 needy children from three continents. I think it's interesting that the article I found made no mention of the Partners statue, perhaps that was an unannounced surprise?

Darn paparazzi! 

Here we go, the ceremonies have officially begun, and right in front of the castle. The Disneyland Band is all dressed up in tuxedos, which is very appropriate considering the fancy occasion.

The "Fab Five" (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto) made an appearance. On the dais is Jack Lindquist, who was wrapping up his three-year stint as the President of the Disneyland Resort. To his right (our left) is none other than Roy E. Disney. Purple sweatshirts, guys? Really?

Roy E. Disney was Roy O. Disney's son, and Walt's nephew of course. I was a little surprised that I couldn't find footage of his remarks on YouTube, but I admit that I could have spent more time looking! I'm guessing that he did his entire speech in the form of a rap, with Jack Lindquist beat-boxing nearby. "Weeeeeell, my names Roy E. and I'm here to say, I like to rap in a G-rated way". Then he spun around on his head (there's a piece of cardboard on the ground that you can't quite see), I've heard it was amazing.

Practically hidden are Pinocchio, Pooh, Tigger, and Chip.

It's kind of cool to see the Partners statue down at ground level. I'm sure you all know that the statue was sculpted by Disney legend Blaine Gibson; copies of it are now in five Disney theme parks.

This was around half of the photos from this batch - I'll share the rest in another post.

Thank you, Irene, Bruce, and James!


Nanook said...


Oh, really now... purple is so "on trend"-! (Just think how 'ahead of their time' all those folks were). It is a bit unsettling to see Walt and Mickey standing right at ground level, but it was merely a short jaunt over to their permanent home. After the ceremonies were completed, both Walt and Mickey merely walked right over to the Hub, where they've been 'holding a pose without moving' for the last 26 years.

Thanks to the D T and The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hmmm, this would have been a good year to visit. The Skyway was still there....we can see the cables in the background. And the Castle's colors are nice and subtle, just how I like 'em! I wonder if the Partners statue was moved that day, during operating hours, or if it remained in that same spot until the end of the day?

In that first pic, we can see a lantern-looking light on top of those green boxes, next to the entrance turnstiles. Those were the lights that went off, when a guest won a prize during DL's 30th anniversary in 1985, and the following year for a promotion in 1986. I'm not sure if they were used for any more promotions after that, but it's interesting to see that they were still in place 7 years later, even after the rest of the "Gift Giver Extraordinaire" contraption had been removed.

Andrew said...

That "Worldwide Kids Party" logo reminds me of the "it's a small world" logo. And those colors, although a bit a garish, still look pretty rad and trendy to me, a teenager in 2019, so I'll give them a B+.

Nanook, I was thinking the same thing!

Chuck said...

Funny - I was just reading about the "Partners" statue last night and noted the dedication date. My own personal triumphal return to Disneyland was on Christmas Eve of that year, so the statue was brand new when I first saw it.

I wonder what all of the maroon hats in the first couple of rows were for? I see one of them is lettered for USC, and another is defiantly turned sideways. Also note all of the blue shirts (and at one yellow and one orange one) with a Delta Airlines "bumper sticker" on the back.

Thanks again, Dream Team!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks, Irene, Bruce, James and Major! These are wonderful pictures! - and the first that I've seen from this event.


K. Martinez said...

Wonderful, unusual and rare images. Thanks, Irene, Bruce, James.

JC Shannon said...

Great shots of the ceremony, thanks to Irene, Bruce and James. And thanks to the Major, who I suspect secretly covets those stylish purple and blue outfits. Stylin'.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I kind of wonder if the people behind the fence in photo #1 are performers? Maybe the did a little song and dance, in which case I can forgive their purple and blue ensembles. But those purple sweatshirts are just dumb. Now I want to create some CGI footage of the bronze Walt and Mickey coming to life and terrorizing Disneyland.

TokyoMagic!, I’ll bet it really would have been a good year to visit! My guess is that the statue wasn’t moved until after hours, but… I don’t really know. Thanks for pointing out those lights on top of the turnstyles! I figure if anybody would know if they were used for anything else, it would be you.

Andrew, yes, I think that logo is clearly inspired by IASW. And hey, just because I don’t like the colors doesn’t mean that YOU have to hate them too!

Chuck, I feel kind of bad not liking the “Partners” statue, but the heart doesn’t want what the heart doesn’t want! No idea about the maroon hats. I still wear my baseball caps sideways and my jeans backwards. People think I’m dope! And def. I guess Delta Airlines must have helped kids from other parts of the country/world to get to Anaheim for this big event.

Lou and Sue, I’ll bet Lou has some pix just as great!

K. Martinez, I could tell that Irene was especially excited to share these with me (and with all of you).

Jonathan, everyone knows that my color is orange! EVERYONE! There is no such thing as too much orange.

Andrew Wirtanen said...

Great pics. Coincidentally, I just posted on my site about Blaine Gibson's Sedona studio, which is now an Airbnb that you can stay at. He created the Partners statue there!

Anonymous said...

Good to see Jack and Roy...2 "movers and shakers" of the company who kept the Disney aspect alive as long as they could. With their passing, the future was fully passed along to those who no longer have a direct connection to the founder. KS

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Seems to me all those similarly-clad youngsters patiently watching the statue unveiling festivities are a part of the Worldwide Kids Party, and as Delta Airlines is The Official Airlines for Kids™ - if they say so themselves - it certainly feels like this is all part of the same event, synergistically melding the two together. (I believe the Disney Company was smack dab in the middle of 'synergy', corporate-wide).

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone for the pictures of this event, and the info on the backstory.

I know I would never had the patience to sit through this, I would have been off to Peter Pan or the Bobsleds, but it is fun to read about now.

I guess I'm in the minority, but I don't mind a statue in the center planter. It's the natural spot for a monument. In a real town, it might be a statue of the founder or a prominent citizen, or even an equestrian sculpture of some famous soldier, so the existence of a statue and the topic are completely "on theme". The hub might seem incomplete without it.

I do think the statue itself is a little strange as it shows how odd Mickey would look if he were really a 3 dimensional person. We have a lot of statues of Charlie Brown up here and his cartoon proportions make a really weird statue.


Irene said...

Ah - these photos have finally been posted! When I was going through the album of photos, it was this set and this day that gave me the idea of giving all the photos to the Major to share with everyone! I had no idea all of this went on until I saw these pictures. Thank you everyone for your kind words. I am so glad I was able to share James and Bruce's photos with all of you.

Andrew said...

Major Pepperidge, orange is the Blogger color. I think the blog would look a lot better completely orange, or even better yet, matching the scheme in these pictures!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Lou's brother and wife (Homer and Adeline Perry) - which were my aunt and uncle, now deceased, were friends with Blaine Gibson and his wife. Homer and Adeline retired to Sedona (in 1977), and Homer was also an artist (he did illustration work for Lockheed's government projects - the Skunk Works *, in California). My Aunt Adeline and I spoke often on the phone, and I remember her telling me lots of details about a "Walt and Mickey Mouse statue" that Blaine was working on, over a period of time - during which time my aunt would spend with Blaine's wife because she had dementia and Blaine didn't want her to be alone while he was working. I never met Blaine, but sure wish I did, as my aunt said he was a very kind man.

The first time I saw the Partners statue at the Park, I had forgotten my aunt telling me about it, but instantly realized that was the one she watched Blaine create. I love that statue, but I do understand why some of you think it would look better in another location.

* I just googled Skunk Works (to see if it was one, or two, words) and the skunk drawing that pops-up is the one my uncle "designed" for Lockheed. Until now, I never realized that was the official skunk, as I only remember seeing the artwork (for that skunk) on display in my aunt and uncle's house - and being told my uncle did that drawing.