Thursday, July 17, 2008

Birthday dinosaurs, Disneyland and El Modena

As any boy in first grade will tell you, the best way to celebrate birthdays is with dinosaurs. Today we're celebrating the 53rd birthday of Disneyland and the 38th birthday of Hollingsworth, the beloved stegosaurus at the children's section of the El Modena Branch Library in Orange.
The first photo (top) shows an appropriate "birthday" scene from Disneyland's "Primeval World" audio-animatronic diorama. This scene was originally created by Disney for Ford's "Magic Skyway" show at the 1964 New York World's Fair. When the Fair ended, the dinosaurs came home to Southern California and became scenery along the route of the Disneyland Railroad.
The other photos today show Hollingsworth, "the library dinosaur," all dressed up for his 38th birthday party, which was held this afternoon. He is made of book covers (paper mache) with a wood and chicken wire frame underneath. Local artist Katie Schroeder of Schroeder Studio Gallery volunteered her time painting, patching (with new book covers), re-inforcing, and generally refurbishing Hollingsworth in time for his birthday. The word stegosaurus means "roof-lizard," so I suppose it's appropriate that this fellow stands over the chidren's section of the El Modena Branch Library like a roof.
Jumping back to Disneyland for a moment, it was announced today that the walk-through exhibit in Sleeping Beauty's Castle will reopen. But rather than re-opening with the 1970s scenes we're used to, Disney want's to re-create the original 1957 displays, adding just a little high-tech wizardry to sweeten the pot. The wizardry part, naturally, will be no problem for Disney. But the re-creation part is more difficult, because very few images of the original exhibit can be found. Luckily, they've put Imagineer Christopher Merritt in charge of the project. Chris is not only an excellent artist, he is also an excellent theme park historian. His long-anticipated (and painstakingly researched) book about Knott's Berry Farm should be coming out around Thanksgiving.


Biblioadonis aka George said...


Great post. I do love Disney and libraries. Great connection.

walterworld said...

Glad to hear the SB walk-thru is coming back. Especially recreated from the original approach...

And it's good to see that a classic dinosaur or two are getting there birthday honors on!