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Disney in-jokes make Goofy's Sky School great fun for animation history buffs

Disney in-jokes make Goofy's Sky School great fun for animation history buffs

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The redo of Disney California Adventure Park is really coming together nicely. As you can see from these shots that Noe took yesterday, its Pan-Pacific-Auditorium-inspired entrance is getting closer & closer to completion.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

How close? A quick peek over that Disney-characters-from-the-1930s construction wall reveals that they're just about to begin laying this theme park's new paving stones.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Over at the Redwood Challenge Creek Trail, the retheming of this DCA Opening Day attraction has nearly been completed as well. As you wander through this wilderness recreation area, you'll find that virtually every reference to the "Brother Bear" characters have since been removed. Now it's Russell and Dug from Pixar's 2009 release, "Up" ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... who serve as the hosts of this extremely hands-on play area. Where - in order to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer - you must first earn your badges in rock climbing, tracking, puzzle solving, wolf howling, animal spirit and bravery.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And speaking of bravery ... I noticed that quite a few brave DCA visitors were taking part in the soft opening of Goofy's Sky School.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

"And what was so brave about doing that?," you ask. Well, if you're paying really close attention while you're moving through this attraction's queue, from the parachutes that used to be chicken feed bags ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... to the hens that are nesting on top of the Fast Pass machines ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... to this ride's control panel (which - if you'll look closely - has been fashioned out a box that used to hold fresh eggs) ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... it's clear that Goofy's Sky School - up until just recently - used to be a chicken farm. In fact, that's what the Official Permit for this place says. That Goofy has been certified to run a chicken farm. But Goofy has crossed out the words "chicken farm" and then scribbled in "Flight School."


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Which - you'll have to admit - is a cute little gag. But what I liked best about this permit that the Paradise Pier Bureau of Farming issued is who signed it: J. Kinney (as in Jack Kinney, the director of some of Goofy's funniest shorts from the 1940s & 195os) and A. Bertino (as in legendary Disney gagman Al Bertino).

The Imagineers did something similar with the patent application that Goofy has filed for his flying contraption. If you look close, you'll notice that the patent inspector is P. Colvig ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... as in Pinto Colvig, the Disney Legend who voiced Goofy from 1932 through to 1967.

There's a bulletin board in the Goofy's Sky School queue that also features some additional Disney in-jokes. From a Babbit Employment Bureau flyer (which is an obvious nod to legendary animator Art Babbit. Who's often been credited with taking Goofy - who used to be just a background character in the early Mickey Mouse cartoons - and turning him into a star), a "Notice to Appear" signed by George Geff (which is the name that Goofy used to go by in all of his "How to" shorts) as well as a letter signed by Big Al from the Bear Brothers Backwoods Brewery (Big Al is - of course - the character from the "Country Bear Jamboree" show that was patterned after Al Bertino).


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Mind you, there are lots of great gags that are not Disney in-jokes stashed in Goofy's Sky School queue. Everything from today's weather report (i.e. "Breezy with a 90% chance of chickens") to Goofy's instructions when it comes to how one should fly a plane (i.e. "To descend, press stick forward, close eyes and scream'").


Photo by Noe Valladolid

You'll find similar sorts of signs when you finally board this rethemed Wild Mouse coaster and then take to the skies. Which are loaded with all sorts of crucial instructions like "How to Turn" ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... and - more importantly - "How to Land."


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And after spending a few hair-raising moments zooming through Goofy's Sky School, I could have really used a drink. Unfortunately, the two restaurants that will make up DCA's new beer garden area (i.e. The Boardwalk Pizza& Pasta as well as the Paradise Garden Grill) won't be open 'til sometime later in the week.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

But - even so - it was nice to get a chance to take part in the soft opening of Goofy's Sky School yesterday. If only so that Noe and I could then be among the first to see all of those great Disney in-jokes that the Imagineers stashed along the queue. Which will make experiencing this radically rethemed version of DCA's old Mullholland Madness ride a lot more fun for animation history buffs.

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  • You posted from the future! "Sun, Jun 26 2011 11:04 PM" it's only 9:36 PM now

  • The park is turning out great. The little details placed over the last year have really made everything stand out.

    Only thing I can't stand is that hideous entrance. Not only is it ugly, but I don't understand why they couldn't come up with something original instead of just copying DHS.

  • I think this coaster is a cheap makeover and not Disney worthy, just like the same coaster in Animal Kingdom (that whole part is just a kick in the face in a otherwise spectacular park). They could have the theme and have a coaster like this in it.

    nl.wikipedia.org/.../Bestand:Bobbejaanland_airrace.jpg

    I think the only thing worth to go and visit the park is Cars Land when it´s ready although I´m nut sure if it´s a big pull now the second Cars movie is kind of a let down.

  • Geef... George Geef... not 'Geff'.

  • Nice article! I'm a Disney freak ( and "Annual Pass Holder") and have been waiting for this to open for months now.  I finally get to try out the new Goofy ride this Saturday and can't wait! I was already a fan of Mulholland Madness so I know this will be well worth the wait ;)

  • Great article and great pictures.

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