“I Call the Big One Bitey”

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Ok, so I quoted Homer Simpson before Mr. Disney… but come on! That episode was hilarious.

The Disneyland Monorail was the first transportation system of its kind in America. It was based on a system built by the Alweg company and discovered by Walt Disney while traveling in Germany. It first appeared in Disneyland Park in 1959 with its “Googie” architecture, a space age look that was enormously popular during the 1950s. The Monorail celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 14, 2009! – Disney’s Official Disneyland Website

The fifth and final Disneyland 55th Anniversary 9″ Attraction Poster figure will be out exclusively in Disneyland on Friday, August 26. The Monorail, like the DL posters before is designed by Alex Maher and is limited to only 550 pieces. It will retail for $44.95.

In 1957, Walt Disney first saw the monorails that a German company, Alweg was developing. On June 14, 1959, the Disneyland Alweg Monorail System was dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Vice President Richard M. Nixon. It was the first Monorail in the US, and Walt Disney believed it was the future of urban transportation. The Disneyland monorail began as a sightseeing tour above Disneyland, but quickly expanded its purpose to serve Disney hotels and today, stops at the Downtown Disney District.
This Vinylmation, Disney admits, took some time in development as the wrapping of the design took longer than expected. I see what they mean. Take a look at the poster below and picture the many different ways this figure could have worked.
You really have to expand the poster to a 3D image in your mind and follow it around the Vinylmation’s body. Artist Alex Maher could have just slapped the 2D poster image on the front and put the words or a mirror image on the back. But he instead gave the poster a 3D feel were the monorail wraps around the side. I’m sure the Matterhorn and the Tomorrowland Rocket proved difficult to place. In the poster they are both flat and off in the distance. But Alex took the approach that this is a 3D image, frozen in time. And took a different “camera angle” on the scene. Think those 360 camera shots they show in football games. So by moving the angle slightly and wrapping it, he is able to position the landmarks in a way that makes sense. The words on top, were put into the face and words on bottom (which changed over the years) where stuck on the back of the head.
Upon first look, this figure wasn’t impressive, but like the It’s a Small World ride, I am more impressed knowing what went into the design… and it became a favorite.
So what are your thoughts? The entire set is out. Do you like the 5 piece Disneyland Attraction Poster set? Which one is your favorite? Leave your comments below.

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

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