"chris merritt"

Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks

[[Imagineer Chris Merritt (previously) was the protege of the Disney legend Marc Davis, the character designer whose work defined the look of such classic attractions as Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Merritt has written seminal books on southern California's themed attractions, including Knott's Berry Farm and Pacific Ocean Park.

[[His latest book, Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks, is his magnum opus: a gorgeous, two-volume, slipcased set on the life, philosophy, reminisces, career, and designs of Marc Davis, incorporating many never-seen rarities from Davis's own collection, as well as the Disney archives. Chris was kind enough to supply us with this excerpt from Chapter Nine, which tells the backstory of my beloved Haunted Mansion, largely through transcribed, verbatim quotes from Davis himself. -Cory]] Read the rest

"The Stab": a forgotten nearly-was Haunted Mansion changing portrait

The queue area at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland features a row of changing portraits wherein paintings everyday scenes are revealed as sinister and haunted (originally the effect was done with crossfading slide-projectors; now it's done with an amazing, crisp electroluminiscent effect). Read the rest

10 photos from L.A.'s long-gone Pacific Ocean Park, a day out by the sea you'll never enjoy

Pacific Ocean Park--or as it was commonly known in Los Angeles from the '50s through the '70s, P.O.P.--was extraordinary in both its glamorous rise and spectacular fall. As a family-oriented attraction in the '50s with modernist-styled rides designed by Hollywood's best, P.O.P.'s attendance briefly surpassed that of Disneyland.

Domenic Priore and I uncovered hundreds of images, most unseen elsewhere, including original ride designs, illustrations, and photos of the Tiki-rich, space age, and nautical rides. P.O.P. was often widely seen in movies and television shows throughout the '60s. Its Cheetah auditorium hosted important early rock shows, including those by Ritchie Valens, The Doors, and Pink Floyd. Read the rest

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