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Fun Find Friday

August 24, 2012

Location: Buena Vista Street, Disney California Adventure

It's time for a history lesson class!

When Walt Disney was 18 years old he got one of his first jobs in animation. While there he met a man that would stick by his side throughout the majority of his career in some way, shape, or form. The man's name? Ub Iwerks. When Walt began Laugh-O-Grams in 1922, Ub became the chief animator for the new studio. Unfortunately (but fortunately for us), Laugh-O-Grams didn't pan out and Walt made the move to California in 1923 to create a brand new studio, which also inspired Buena Vista Street!

When Walt started up his new company (which is the one we all know and love today), Ub joined him. Eventually Ub would become the main animator that helped design the overall look of Mickey Mouse and is credited with fully animating Mickey during Steamboat Willie. Eventually Ub would head off and try and make a name for himself, but after minimal success he eventually made his way back to Disney and showed he wasn't just an amazing animator, but quite the innovator as well!

Ub began to specialize in special effects for films like Song of the South, 101 Dalmatians, and more. He would eventually dabble in Imagineering with his son Don. Together the two of them created the Circle Vision camera and would eventually both be named Disney Legends. I know what you are thinking, how does this connect with Buena Vista Street? Let's take a look at the picture below:

Sitting above Elias and Company (named after Walt's father, but that's a whole different Fun Find Friday waiting to be written) you will find the above balcony. Sitting upon the wall of the balcony is the sign which reads, "Eye Works: Special Optometric Process". The Eye Works is a play on Ub's last name, Iwerks, and mentions that he is indeed a specialist in special effects.

With this balcony being one of the first things guests see after entering Disney California Adventure, it's nice to know that the man who believed in Walt's dream and moved to California with him gets some recognition for being there at the start of Walt's own California Adventure.

 

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