Walt Disney Imagineering recently rediscovered a Snow White audio-animatronic that has been missing since the 1990s.
Now, Disney Parks will display the sculpted figure in a new exhibit honoring Walt Disney Animation Studios’ history as part of its Disney100 anniversary celebration. Since the beginning of Disneyland Park at WED Enterprises in 1955, Disney Imagineers have utilized special skills to transfer some of Disney fans’ favorite cinematic characters and settings to real-life counterparts at theme parks worldwide.
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In fact, The Disney Gallery Presents: Disney 100 Years of Wonder exhibition, which recently opened, will display more than a hundred art pieces used in creating classic Disney films and 3D models, which form the foundation for their transformation from the screen to attraction, or attraction to the screen.
Moreover, the exhibition as assembled by Walt Disney Imagineering’s Executive Creative Director Kim Irvine, is the largest ever featured in the Main Street, U.S.A. gallery and extends to the entrance of The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Kim’s parents both have famous ties to the Walt Disney Company, and artwork from her father Harvey Toombs’ career as an animator on films like Dumbo (1941) features in the exhibit, along with an original animator’s desk and storyboards provided by the Walt Disney Archives.
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If Harvey’s name sounds familiar, it’s likely because his wife and Kim’s mother, Leota Toombs, was integral to the creation of the original Haunted Mansion, even serving as the facial model for Madame Leota! The exhibit also focuses on Disneyland’s opening day history with an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, its contributions to animation via a multiplane camera model, and a new piano version of “When you Wish Upon a Star.”
However, the piece Creative Development manager Dave Caranci was most excited about is a rediscovered sculpt of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Old Hag/Evil Queen, which he has searched for going on three years. Allegedly, the figure of the caged witch once found in shops across Main Street and Fantasyland between the 1980s and ’90s went missing towards the end of the 20th century, only for Caranci and Irvine to find her a few months ago while touring a company warehouse.
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Watch the video below to hear more from Irvine herself:
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Caranci told Disney Parks Blog, “We know our Guests are going to be as excited to see her as we were,” which any visitor with valid Park admission and same-day reservation can do during the yearlong 100 Years of Wonder Celebration at the Disneyland Resort!