Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This just in from Jim Korkis:

[ Disneylands that Weren't Disneylands

I got a chance this last week to spend some time with Todd Pierce on the faculty at Cal Poly who is working on a book on early Disneyland and other theme parks and we talked about some of the early Disneyland Designers like Harper Goff, C.V. Wood and Bruce Bushman who went on to work on other non-Disney theme parks.

Bruce Bushman (1911-1972) began work at the Disney Studios as a layout artist on the short cartoons although he also worked in other capacities including Art Director of the Mickey Mouse Club tv series and Art Director for the Nutcracker Suite segment of Fantasia.

He worked on attractions for Disneyland from the beginning including the horses for the Disneyland Carousel, Casey Jr. Circus train, Phantom Boats and the Mickey Mouse Club Circus.. Bruce was a large, husky man and Walt decided that his proportions would be used as a guide for the seating on the ride vehicles like the Snow White ride. He was the son of famous silent screen star, Francis X. Bushman. He has a window on Main Street at Disneyland.

Here’s a concept piece by Bushman for Bible Storyland, a park to be done in Los Angeles. You’ll notice it is very Disneyland-esque from a Hub and then branching out. I know this is tiny but you might be able to pick out the Dante’s Inferno ride. ( For a larger view, go to this link and go to the October 27, 2006 entry.)

In the Fifties, Nat Winecoff, former Disney promoter and theme park developer, conceived of a $15 million Bible story-based theme parkwhich he planned to build on 220 acres of land in Cucamonga (now Rancho Cucamonga). Investors included actor Jack (Wizard of Oz Tin Man) Haley and Donald Duncan of Duncan Yo-Yo fame. However, the clergy allegedly quashed the idea and Bible Storyland was never erected.

To be constructed in the shape of a heart, Bible Storyland would have included different “lands,” each with its own theme, tied to either pre-Christian times, the Bible or the New Testament. Parkgoers would arrive at a Star of David garden and could then saunter through the Garden of Eden and visit Adam and Eve. Visitors could also venture to Israel and ride animals through Noah’s Ark Carousel, explore the inside of the whale with Jonah and watch Moses on Mount Sinai. Other locales would have included ancient Egypt, Babylon and Rome, as well as Ur, where Abraham began his journey to the Promised Land. It would have featured rides and attractions such as “Adventures in King Tut's Tomb”, “Noah's Ark Carousel”and “Ride Through King Solomon's Mines”.

You can find Bruce Bushman's concept artwork for a Hanna-Barbera theme park for the Sixties go to this link.]


Matterhorn1959 said...

Didier-Do you know how to reach Todd Pierce as I have other Bushman concept art for other parks.

Didier Ghez said...

He has a myspace site. I believe we might be able to contact him there.