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Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event to look back at the history of Audio-Animatronics

Jim Hill

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Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event to look back at the history of Audio-Animatronics

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"This is the latest thing we've done ... Audio-Animatronics," Walt (Disney) said. "We are using the new types of valves and controls developed for rockets. That way we can get extremely subtle motions."

"About that word," I said, "Audio-Animatronics."

"It's just animation with sound, run by electronics," he smiled. "Audio-Animatronics. It's an extension of animated drawings.


Photo by Thomas Nebbia. Copyright National Geographic Society.
All rights reserved

"We take an inanimate object and make it move. Everything is programmed on tape: the birds' movements, lighting effects, and sounds. We turn on the tape and the birds do their stuff. At the end, the tape automatically rewinds itself and starts all over again. With tape we could present a program of an hour and six minutes without repeating anything."

"Is anyone else doing this kind of thing?"

"I don't know anyone crazy enough," Walt laughed.

From Robert De Roos' "The Magic Worlds of Walt Disney" Which was originally printed in the August 1963 issue of National Geographic magazine


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

It's always great to get these little look backs at the days when Walt was personally running the Mouse Factory, isn't it? So that you can then get a sense of what sort of man Walt Disney actually was. What then drove him to spearhead the creation of amazing storytelling technologies like Audio-Animatronics?

Well, if you enjoyed the above anecdote, then you should probably make your way to the Disneyland Hotel on Saturday, September 18th. Where many of the men & women who personally worked with Walt on that first generation of AA figures will then be on hand to share their stories at Ape Pen Publishing & the 1313 Club's Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event.

We're talking about genuine Disney Legends like X Atencio, Kathryn Beaumont, Alice Davis, Bob Gurr and Floyd Norman. Each of them telling tales about what it was like to work side-by-side with Walt Disney. How he regularly challenged his employees to do seemingly impossible things. Like build a robotic version of Abraham Lincoln that could rise from a seated position and then address an audience.


Photo by Thomas Nebbia. Copyright National
Geographic Society. All rights reserved

Mind you, this Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event isn't just about looking back. Current Imagineers Larry Nikolai, Ethan Reed and Josh Shipley will also be on hand to talk about what's being done today with Audio-Animatronics. And then Garner Holt will take the stage and discuss where the next generation of this storytelling technology may be headed.

And did I mention the displays? Those pieces of AA-related history that are going to be showcased  at the Disneyland Hotel on September 18th? Amazing items like:


Walt Disney inspects one of the AA figures that Marc Davis designed for the dunking scene
in Disneyland's "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And did I forget to mention that this full evening of entertainment (which is slated to run from 4 - 10 p.m.) will include a three course sit-down dinner? Or that Kirk Wall and the Can Can Girls from the Golden Horseshoe Revue will be on hand to work the crowd at this once-in-a-lifetime event?

Now please be aware that all of  the panels & entertainment that are listed above for the Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom are subject to change. But even so, this is still going to be an event that every true diehard Disneyana fan just can't afford to miss.

And speaking of afford ... Here's a breakdown of the various packages that Ape Pen Publishing and the 1313 Club are still offering for the night of September 18th (Sadly, all of the VIP packages have already been purchased)


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

  • $120 - Dinner & Show (with seating in the lower middle section) plus special gift
  • $88 - Dinner & Show (with seating in the upper section)

Now Admittedly that may seem a bit pricey. But did I mention that Neal Patrick Harris will be acting as the host of this 6-hour long event?

With Dr. Horrible himself serving as the MC, how can Walt Disney's Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event miss? Which is why - if you're smart - you'll click on over and purchase a ticket to this event today. Otherwise ... Well, you may miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime celebration of 55 years of better storytelling at the Disney Parks through the innovative use of technology.


Copyright Ape Pen Publishing and the 1313 Club. All rights reserved

For further information of this Ape Pen Publishing & the 1313 Club event, please click on this link.

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  • Thanks for posting this, Jim! I was able to snag one of the lower middle seats before they sold out.Time to book a trip to Anaheim.

  • Thanks, Jim. I just wish I could be there.

  • They Still have up seat available . I purchased one today!

  • Sorry.. Upper seats are still available

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