Saturday, March 15, 2008

My 24 hours with the Legendary Disney Imagineers! part 2

Our Doombuggies Swinging Wake began with a mixer at the Napa Rose with David O'Neal and his entourage, which included Neil Patrick Harris (who happens to be a big Haunted Mansion fan), Chef, the creator and owner of, and his lovely wife, and of course, our esteemed guests, X, Mrs. X, Harriet Burns, Blaine Gibson, and Bob Gurr.

Sam and I spent this brief interlude talking with Harriet and Blaine, listening to their stories about their early days as Imagineers.  Harriet shared that it was an exciting time to be working for Disney, figuring out innovative techniques and experimenting with new concepts.  She gave an example of  testing different products for color fading the hair on the mermaids in the submarine ride. Harriet laughed as she reminisced about soaking the hair in Clorox with no affect.  However, once the hair was outside in the Southern California sun for two weeks, the red hair color was no more.   I asked Harriet what it was like being the first woman hired within the Imagineering Dept. in a creative role.  She sweetly replied, "I was just doing my job!"  

I earned my dorkiest moment award a little later when I had asked X what he thought of the recent changes to the mansion.  That's when I learned that he and his wife hadn't been on the ride in several years.  Of course, I blurted out, "You have to ride the ride tonight! After the event!"  I immediately recoiled in an attempt to hide my overt enthusiasm, but Mrs. X chuckled and said, "Well, only if you ride it with us!"  If it weren't for Sam's strong arms around my waist, I surely would have fainted dead away.
Sam and I parted briefly parted ways with our new friends at this point to join the rest of the doombugs at the Blue Bayou, where we helped pass out the evening's swag.  We sat with a wonderful couple, who happened to be local to the area and we had the best time sharing stories of our collections.   Dinner complimented the evening's theme with courses such as Brides Beating Heart Red Pepper Bisque (my favorite) with Graveyard Chocolate Coffins for dessert.  I wish I could share more about the speakers:  Chef Mayhem, owner and creator of Doombuggies and David O'Neal from Extinct Attraction both spoke briefly and thanked everyone for joining the swinging wake, Jeff Smith from Randotti gave a short presentation about the family business that was quite interesting and humorous, but to be perfectly honest, I was in a bit of a daze at this point of the evening.  I was helping with round two of delivering the goodies to the attendees, but all I could hear was this little voice in my head saying, "Only if you ride the ride with us."  It kept repeating over and over in my head -  slowly, deliberately as if burning the individual syllables into my cortex.  When I finally came to, I realized that I had completely missed the questions and answers segment with our panel of distinguished guests, and the crowd was already dispersing and making their way to the Haunted Mansion, for an exclusive, after hours ride and a photo opportunity with some groovy ghoulies!  

The amazing assortment of goodies from the event.  Not pictured is a custom
 booklet created by Chef and a Swinging Wake 10th Anniversary t-shirt.

Be sure to join us tomorrow for our third installment of My 24 hours...


Biblioadonis aka George said...


Can't wait to hear more.