Sunday, May 31, 2009

Disneyland - Sentimental Sunday No. 13

If you know me, you probably know that my Dad worked for Walt Disney for 30 years. He was involved in the building of Disneyland, DisneyWorld, and all of the live action films that Disney produced from 1954 – 1984.
Johnny Porter - Walt Disney Studios - 1981

Dad was a prop-maker, by trade, and a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 44. He was a talented machinist and wood worker. Of course, being his ever loving daughter, I’m a little partial to how talented he was. But, I thought I would share with you – on this installment of Sentimental Sunday – some of his handiwork. All of the images being shared were gathered from Google Images.

All of the fancy wood turnings (called "Gingerbread work") on the Mark Twain Riverboat were made by my Dad.

The original wooden book stands in Sleeping Beauty's castle were made by him.

For the original "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" my father and my Godfather, Orie Carfagno, made the chair that President Lincoln sat in.
Dad was charged with creating the staircase banister for the movie "Mary Poppins". It had to come apart so that a seat could be placed in for Mary Poppins to appear to be riding up the stair case. But, when the seat was not present, the banister needed to appear to be one solid piece. He worked on this project for quite some time.
You can still see much of my Dad's work at DisneyLand and Disney World. All of the fancy woodwork on the buildings on Main Street U.S.A., and cabinets inside the shops, were made by my father. I am so proud of the work that he did and the legacy that has been left behind.
We're going to Disneyland in about a month. I haven't been there since J.J. was little. I am looking forward to sharing these things with him and pointing out the work that his Papa created.


Patty said...

What an interesting post. Sounds like your Dad was a wonderful woodworking/craftsman. Thanks for sharing the history.

laura said...

I love your Sunday posts! How fun you are going to be going and will be able to show JJ. He is going to love seeing what his Grandfather did! How cool is that!

Kim Despain said...

Wow! I seem to remember talking about this during gymnastics long ago. What an amazing legacy to have left and how exciting to share it with JJ! I remember the Presidents ride and I swore that the seats moved and my mom said it was the stage....

The next time we go to Disneyland, I'll be sure to look closely at all the things you described.

Columbo said...

I was a very lucky man to have met and known him. Especially I was very lucky to have married his daughter. I am looking forward to seeing Disneyland again and showing John what his Grandfather did in the building of Disneyland.

Megan said...

That is so neat that you have such a great connection with Disneyland. Next time I am there I will pause to look at the Mark Twain and think of your father. It will be nice to be able to meet up with you next month too!

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