I never heard this song until a few months ago. But now I love it.
Above image is one I took at the WestCOT (an abandoned sister park for Disneyland) presentation by Jeff Heimbuch and Keith Gluck, the bottom concept art which the top image contains is the work of former Disney conceptual designer John Horny.
The artwork, according to Mr. Heimbuch, represents a concept for a thrill ride called Deck 13 that was to be featured at WestCOT’s ambitious ‘Wonders Of Space’ pavilion, between exhibits and more science-factual displays. To me, the attraction as described sounded like a early hybrid of what would become Tower of Terror and the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter - a very new, untapped direction for Disney at the time, with the outright elements of horror being something that had not yet been touched by Imagineers at the time (1991-1992). It also doubtless owes a debt to the classic ‘haunted house in space’ film, Ridley Scott’s Alien of 1979. The following is my recollection/summary of the general ride experience, and any errors in describing content are my own and not those of the presenters or original designer.
Guests seemingly would have walked through an abandoned space station (apart from the skeletal remains of the crew, still wearing their astronaut uniforms, resting in ‘hibernation pods’ of some sort) before boarding a four-person vehicle attached at the back to the wall/a tower (a la Maliboomer or many flying coasters that exist), and being launched upwards through the station and out into ‘space’. The space portion would be achieved somehow via a curved screen/star field, showing distant galaxies and planets and the like in a somewhat realistic manner.
At this point, the ‘threat’ element would enter, in the form of a seemingly-distant shape drifting closer and closer, which would be revealed to be a dead, skeletal astronaut as it got right near the guests/vehicle, making a grab for them. I am unclear if this ‘villain’ was intended to be a zombie/possessed corpse by some kind of ‘space ghost’, or if it was an alien imitating the human remains a la The Thing, but either way it is a pretty audacious concept and could have been quite creepy if realized well.
As the creature approached, guests would suddenly be sucked backwards along the track without warning, as if being pulled into an airlock, and re-enter the space station. They’d again be menaced from above by the space monster (figure 9) then plummet down a sudden drop, taller than the current Tower of Terror seemingly, and through a glass tube visible to those in the larger pavilion. At the bottom of the drop, the vehicle would dip and then straighten out, perhaps looking upwards for yet another appearance by the show’s main antagonist, hovering inches away from them, ready to grab. They’d evade it yet again, likely with some kind of special effect enhancement, then head back to the unload area to disembark.
Overall Deck 13 sounds like it could have been a lot of fun, and certainly ambitious for Disney at the time both in subject matter and ride system/thrill level. It was cut seemingly fairly early on from the Space pavilion by most reports, when the planning for WestCOT was not going smoothly in terms of finance and the city of Anaheim playing along.
Thanks very much to Jeff Heimbuch, Keith Gluck and John Horny for their work in creating/explaining this attraction, which I had never heard about in detail before - it was fascinating to see explained and explored.
Original artwork and more by John Horny may be found here.
I’m glad people got a kick out of this part of the presentation. I really wish they made this ride a thing. A real, actual thing.
Bob Gurr loves Duffy, clearly. None may resist his power and fluff-level. Do not attempt to do so.
Photo taken by me at the WestCot/WED history panel in San Francisco last night. Mr. Gurr was a true pleasure to hear speak and meet, very pleasant, witty and sharp - gave back as good as he got in terms of the humor and gentle ‘ribbing’ from the presenters (Jeff Heimbuch and Keith Gluck, from several Disney fan projects on the web).
Hey, this is from our event! :)
Damon Lindelof: ”I think there will be more LOST, but I don’t think it’s gonna come from us. My guess is that some other creative team will come in and take their creative spin on this content, which is really exciting.
I think we told our story. We put so much energy into ending it, that to put energy into kickstarting it again, you know…The show, I felt like it had a very successful life. Maybe it lived a little too long, but I never felt like it didn’t live long enough. So I feel like there will be more, but it won’t be made by us.
The [questions] that were alive during the show are still the biggest ones post-show. What was up with the polar bears? Are they all dead? Were they dead the whole time? Different expressions of that… Who was on the other outrigger? Why Nicki and Paolo? The show lived with questions, it died with questions, and I’m happy to have questions be the legacy.” (x)
This is not the first time Damon has said that he thinks there will be more LOST, but he will not be involved. Back in April 2012, he made similar comments.
ME! ME! LET ME DO IT!
Where Walt Disney Walked
Adam the Woo. He goes on adventures for you.
Like this one. This one is great.
"Well, Walt, I think it’s a piece of crap."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I will always love Rolly Crump.