Tag Archives: world

Photo by Nomeus, 2006 - Flurbex.com

AT&T New Global Neighborhood

Photo(Nomeus, 2006 – Flurbex.com): A shot of Spaceship Earth prior to the removal of the hand and wand.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of Disney’s second theme park here in Florida, EPCOT. Originally planned as an experimental controlled community, home to twenty thousands residents; a test bed for emerging city planning and technological ideas and creations. As he put it in his own words:

“EPCOT… will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise. It will be a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry and research, schools, cultural and educational opportunities. In EPCOT, there will be no slum areas because we won’t let them develop. There will be no landowners and therefore no voting control. People will rent houses instead of buying them, and at modest rentals. There will be no retirees; everyone must be employed.”

Photo(Nomeus, 2006 – Flurbex.com): An exhibit part of the “New Global Neighborhood” post-show experience.

Walt Disney died long before he was able to see an progress on EPCOT. Though his idea for a Utopian city was set aside for the moment, plans to open a new park continued. Originally, there was much indecision among Imagineers on the park’s purpose, with some wanting it to represent present and any future technological advances while others wanted it to showcase international cultures and customs. At some point in time, the two ideas came together forming a plan similar to those of the world expos, where new technology is presented and guests are able to experience different cultures from around the world with Spaceship Earth as the centerpiece and main attraction.

Opening in 1982, Spaceship Earth was sponsored by the Bell System who had a monopoly on telephone services across the United States. In 1984, the Bell System was broken into smaller companies, with it’s parent company, AT&T, becoming it’s own company. AT&T would go on to continue sponsoring Spaceship Earth from 1984 to 2004.

In 1994, technology had drastically changed since Spaceship Earth opened and AT&T saw it as something that represented the old world, so they decided it was time for a update. Though the majority of the scenes of our history remained unchanged, those showing our current and future communication were largely updated; the script was rewritten, the theme song removed and Jeremy Irons was brought in to narrate. It was with this update that the post-show area was changed, replacing the original “Earth Station” with “AT&T’s Global Neighborhood”. The new post-show experience featured hand-on exhibits featuring AT%T’s communication technology.

Photo(Falcon’s Treehouse): Falcon’s Treehouse designed the new post-experience with the idea of combining nature with high technology materials.

In 1999, to coincide with the Millennium Celebration, AT&T once again updated the post-show. The original “Global Neighborhood” exhibits were removed and replaced with a large tree made of thick steel cable dubbed “The Network Tree” which sat atop a geodesic, transparent floor. Guests were able to see all the cables which connected to various exhibits through the tree’s branches and roots. This new post-show was renamed “The New Global Neighborhood”.

In 2003, after nearly 20-years as the sponsor, AT&T decided to end it’s partnership with Disney and subsequent sponsorship of the attraction. The “New Global Neighborhood” was removed and the area boarded up.

Photo(Nomeus, 2006 – Flurbex.com): The Network Tree as it stood years after it was boarded up.

Photographer: Nomeus
Year Taken: 2006
Website: FLURBEX

Photo courtesy of Nomeus

Big Bamboo Lounge

Photo: “The Boo” in it’s early years.

The bar opened in 1977 when Bruce Muir, a retired World War II fighter pilot and Lt. Commander, bought the former home of a doctor and modeled the bar after those he experienced in the South Pacific. Simply known as “The Boo” by regulars, it was a popular hang out for Disney cast members and ex-cast members.

The front of the bar was decorated with a World War II era ambulance and spotting tower which were maintained by customer and employee volunteers, and a decrepit spotter plane hidden in the brush. The parking lot was unpaved and flooded every time it rained since it sat six feet below the adjacent road and neighboring shopping center. Regular patrons were the only ones who knew how to drive through “Big Lake Bamboo” without having their cars fall apart.

Initially, the interior was decorated with Bruce’s paraphernalia from his Navy aviator days. Over the course of 20 years, patrons contributed extensively to the decor, hanging up anything from old Disney name tags and business cards to foreign money and aviator helmets. Attaining local popularity, animators and Disney personal frequented the “The Boo”. Many celebrities even visited the lounge including Wesley Snipes, Larry Dierker, Yogi Berra and Ralph Kent. Along with all the memorabilia pinned and nailed to the walls, for years the animators would draw pictures for Bruce to be posted on the wall behind the bar.

Considered one of the best home brewers in Central Florida, they sold their signature drink, The Big Bamboo, which is their own version of a rum punch with some extra kick and served in a 16 oz. mason jar. As for coasters, 3 sheets of toilet paper were used ever since one day, Bruce ran out of actual coasters and decided to use toilet paper ever since.

Photo: A portrait of Bruce Muir during his piloting days.

In 2004, the bar closed down due to hurricane damages. In December 2005, a fire destroyed it, caused by vagrants trying to keep warm according to officials. It was also thought by some to be the same vagrants that lived in the nearby Xanadu home, before it was demolished just a few weeks prior.

In the end, the Big Bamboo Lounge was demolished.

Photo(Nomeus – Flurbex.com): The inside of the bar soon after the fire was put out.

Photos by Nomeus, www.nomeusphotography.com

Photo by Nomeus, 2007 - Flurbex.com

Disney’s Pop Century, The Legendary Years

Photo(Nomeus, 2007 – Flurbex.com): The Legendary Years section was to be themed around the 1900-1940s decades

Disney’s Pop Century Resort is one of four hotels that cost less but still retain the Disney quality you expect. Originally planned to open in 2001, the opening was delayed due to a sharp drop in tourism following the September 11 attacks. The resort finally opened on December 13, 2003.

The hotel is unique as it is themed around American culture icons from different decades. The icons are then super-sized and placed throughout the building of the decade they pertain to, for example, the 1980s themed buildings have super-sized versions of Pac-Man and Mr.Potato Head.

Part of two phases, the first phase was named “The Classic Years” and includes 1950-1990s themed areas. This section of the resort consists of 2880 rooms, three pools shaped like a flower, a laptop, and bowling pin, and a central area called the “Classic Hall”.

The second phase was to be called the “Legendary Years”, which was to include 1900-1940s themed areas. The section was to be located across a lake from the “Classic Years” resort and connected by a bridge. Though construction on both resorts were started at the same time, Disney scaled back the project after the drop in tourism, opening the “Classic Years” section and abandoning the “Legendary Years” section that had already been partially constructed.

Photo(Nomeus, 2007 – Flurbex.com): The project was abandoned mid-construction

Disney began preparing the land around “The Legendary Years” in January 2010 and announced on May 12 their plans to complete the buildings as part of an all-new resort known as Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. As with Pop Century, it will be value-priced and will be themed around four of Disney’s popular films; The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars.

Construction began that same summer with the first section of the resort, themed around Finding Nemo, opening on May 31, 2012. When the “Legendary Years” buildings were first being built, a bridge named the ‘Generation Gap Bridge’ was constructed to connect both parts of Pop Century and made them accessible to each other. The bridge now connects Pop Century to the Finding Nemo section of the Art of Animation Resort.

The Cars section of the resort opened on June 18, 2012 and was themed after the Cozy Cone Motel from the film. The Lion King section opened on August 10, 2012 and features a more “natural” setting reminiscent of the wild. The final section of the resort, themed around The Little Mermaid, opened on September 15, 2012.

Photo(wdwmagic.com, 2012): The Cars section of the resort, themed after the Cozy Cone Motel from the film.

Photographer: Nomeus
Year Taken: 2007
Website: FLURBEX