Saturday, February 27, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

Artistic rendering showing the Cotton Blossom.

Its been a while since we took a step back to look at park history, and there is no time like the present to look back at the past! For the last several months Jeff and I have been borrowing the park's photo archieves. Hopefully over the next several months I will be able to share most of those photos with you, and as there are hundreds it should be a good time!

When the park opened one of its major anchors was its three major ships (I made a pun!), the Henrietta at the park entrance, the Victrix schooner and of course the Cotton Blossom. I decided that we should start with the grand lady of all three, the Cotton Blossom. Bought by Hunt Midwest during the famous MGM studio auction for only $18,000. Cotton Blossom of course most famous for its roll in the 1951 "Show Boat", but also stared in Rain Tree Country, and was used also by the Warner Bros. Studio and many commerials (including one selling beer).

Is this the Cotton Blossom being left for neglect? Well yes, but not when or where you think. This is our oldest photo showing the Cotton Blossom in its original California home awaiting its new owner.

Once Hunt Midwest had purchased Cotton Blossom came the daunting task of disassembling the boat, moving, storing, and then reassembling a 134 foot long, 34 foot wide movie model. Cotton Blossom was shipped cross country using 6 rail cars, and then stored in Hunt's under ground caves for 2 1/2 years before the park began the attempt to re-assemble on July 5, 1972.

Overlooking what will someday be the Americana and Orient sections of the park. The Cotton Blossom is rising in the direct center. You can also see the hillside to the left that will someday be home to the Patriot roller coaster.

Here's more of a close up. You can see the recognizable paddle wheel at the stern.

JE Dunn who was responsible for construction on the entire park also assisted with re-construction of the Cotton Blossom. However the park also brought in specialized help include Glenn Robinson and his crew from California. Glenn originally was in charge of special effects at MGM studios when the Cotton Blossom was originally built.

Vertical construction is progressing with the first and second floors finished.

A little further along now.

Another problem arrised with re-construction when it was discovered the supposably individually numbered parts were not ALL individually numbered, causing for atleast a brief time the concern that re-construction of the Cotton Blossom might not even be possible at all. It was at this point the park brought in a local retired ship builder, Wyman Beardsley to assist with finishing the construction project. Finally after 10 months of construction and most likely stress and frustration the dream became a reality. Cotton Blossom, though not a truly moving craft lead the park through its formative years as one of its main attractions. It was sadly destroyed after the 2005 season.

A craftsman finishes up one of the many intricate wooden detail pieces.

Cotton Blossom in all her glory on Opening Day, May 26, 1973

Monday, February 22, 2010

Worlds of Fun Off Season Photo Tour

Our goal is to get out the park a few times this off season, to see whats happening. So following Snow Storm #538 of the season Jeff headed out today for some photos. Both Jeff and Brandon succeeded in not only getting a few photos... but also partially freezing to death. :)

So without further ado..

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First we have Zulu, carless, left suspended in the air. It looks a little surreal.

Next we move over to The Cat, which is in hibernation as you can see under a blanket of snow.

Anyone ready for a ride? Some assembly required.

The transfer panel, covered with YET more white stuff.

Mamba trying out its White Period.

Can a snake shiver? Brr the look of that just feels cold!

Up close and personal with the transfer track. What no trains? I wanted to go for a ride!

Not responsible for lost or stolen articles right? hmmmm....

Dutchman vs. Autobahn. Who knew Autobahn had so many uses?

A close up on the Dutchman cars

Front Mall is getting some new floors.

Tivoli Theater is getting some work both inside...

and Outside

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where Am I?

For the last 48 hours I have been scanning, scanning, scanning... for the next probably year of blog updates. It should be good, and I am pretty excited. While I have been working I stumbled along a photo that took me probably 24 hours, and about three different attempts to finally identify. Instead of just throwing the photo out there, and saying well here is "blank", I thought it would be much more fun to play a little "what am I". I am sorry to say I have nothing to give the 9th caller with the right answer.

So here we are... one hint, pay attention to what is in the background.

If you think you know... leave a comment below.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Club Blood

Schedule? What Schedule? Exactly.

So to hold everyone over once more for the next 60 days we thought we might keep everyone entertained by some photos of a vampire lair, shot in the middle of the day. On closing day for last season, Jeff got a chance to voyage in to the Lore of the Vampire's new lounge in the Orient Expr... oops Club Blood, found amazingly, in an abandoned Subway Station. Even more amazing, this subway station seems to bear an amazingly resemblance to a roller coaster tunnel.

Okay, okay all sarcasm aside. Truly, we were pretty impressed with the theming in this re-vamped area of Lore of the Vampire (no pun intented).

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So here's a look inside, in the daylight.

Starting the drop into the tunnel, looks like a normal New York City subway station to me!

At the bottom of the steps we begin our walk through the underworld...

I really like the sign on the wall to the right, UBB, United Blood Bank of Kansas City. Nice. Does it seem to be similar to another bank in Kansas City?

I am a fan of the details, so I love this sign too.

Sometimes Graffitti can be cool all by itself. Some talented work here.

Uh oh, we have reached the entrance to Club Blood. Should I be worried?

Not terribly scary, but I like the detail of the archway.

Who knew that a Vampire Nightclub would have an actual bar? I never realized it, but I guess you could really buy drinks here. What's on the menu? Type A, AB and O. Ohhhhhh.

The err... Lounge area. While we went through Vampire characters were doing a little pole dancing. I still don't know how I feel about that...

A reverse look

Not really sure whats supposed to be going on here. It looks like a barber's chair, and that doesn't sound fun when dealing with vampires.

Here is another look, maybe looks like some kind of blood donation room? Yikes I hope the donors are paid well.

Panoramic Photos

Wow an update! I would never leave everyone hanging on forever with nothing to show for it. It's been a fun off season, lots of snow. :) So to keep you all warm I figured I would post a few photos from the end of last season. Remember... temperatures in the 60's? Sunny, no snow... Yes folks we will see that once again. Here is living proof.

To start us off I wanted to post a few of Jeff's panorama photos. The photos themselves were taken on the last day of the season last year, and then stitched together to form a long 180 degree panoramic look. Be sure to click on each photo for the full size version!

First, here is The Orient section.

This is my favorite, it shows the Americana section and entrance into the Orient. I love it for its fall colors.

Last, the Scandinavia section. As a stitched together photo it doesn't entirely show the curve that the group of shops actually have, but still an interesting photo.

Hope you enjoyed! See you all in 61 days! As always I am always open to ideas you would like to see here or on the website. Please feel free to leave comments.