We all like knowing what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of our favorite movies and/or TV Shows. We get even more excited when we get a peek behind the scenes of our favorite Disney Park or attraction.
Walt Disney Imagineering has been giving Disney fans virtual tours of certain areas of the Imagineering Campus. The next stop is the Sculpture Studio. This hidden gem is one of the locations that epitomizes the heritage of Walt Disney Imagineering.
Disney Legend Blaine Gibson once supervised the sculpture department, and his sculpts were used to create various figures and bronzes in Disney Parks. Today, the Sculpture Studio continues to house Blaine’s masterpieces, as well as Imagineering’s recent sculptures. The Studio is even named after Blaine, which is a great honor.
One of the highlights of the Sculpture Studio is seeing the original concept for the Partners Statue in the Hub at Disneyland. It had Mickey holding an ice cream cone. When the concept was being reviewed, it looked like Walt was taking a child out for a walk.
So to make Walt and Mickey look more like ‘Partners,’ the ice cream cone was removed and the statue we see at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom is the statue we now know. The Partners Statue was unveiled at Disneyland on Mickey Mouse’s 65th birthday – November 18, 1993.
The Sculpture Studio is filled with maquettes from the Haunted Mansion, 1964-65 World’s Fair, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Those maquettes would even be used to create some of the well-known Audio-Animatronic figures we know and love.
We were even treated to the original 8-inch hand-sculpted figure of Tramp from “Lady and the Tramp” before he was scanned and milled out to create a larger version. He was then scanned again to create the 3-story version seen at Disney’s Pop Century Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort.
These virtual tours of Walt Disney Imagineering help bring us closer to the magic and how it’s created. So the next time you see your favorite character sculpture in any Disney Park, know that it might have been sculpted by either Blaine Gibson or another talented Disney Imagineer.