Saturday, July 24, 2010

Speed Rails of a Different Sort

Google 'speed-rail walt disney world' and you'll find lots of speculation regarding a proposed high-speed rail line connecting WDW with Orlando and MCO. What you won't find, though, is something you likely touch each and every trip to Epcot's Future World.

Speed-Rail is a registered trademark and line of aluminum slip on pipe fittings of the Hollaender company. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Pete Hollaender founded the company in 1930 and by 1946 developed and held patents to a wide line of slip on fittings. By 1958, the Hollaender company purchased an aluminum foundry to manufacture the fittings and the line of Nu-Rail® (pictured below), Speed-Rail®, (pictured above), and others became well known products.

The Hollaender company has weathered a few storms common to 20th century American manufacturing entities but remains strong a supplier to the Disney company a serves as a shout-out to the city of Cincinnati (CINTI.O) each time a hand grabs on to a rail.

These photographs were taken by the author in May, 2010 inside the Soarin' and Test Track queues.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goofy's Barnstormer

A true 'kiddie coaster', the Barnstormer at Goofy's Wise Acres Farms, located in Mickey's Toontown Fair inside Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, is a treat both for kids and snapshot aficionados. Located on the eastern side of Toontown Fair the attraction is great for pictures due to the great use of primary colors and the trees in the back that separate the attraction, visually, from Tomorrowland the the Tomorrowland (Indy) Speedway.

The attraction is designed to allow smaller children a chance to ride a coaster; 35" is the minimum height requirement. Opened in 1996, the attraction utilized some components from existing Mickey's Birthdayland / Mickey's Starland including the barn which is said to the the petting zoo from the previous incarnations of Toontown Fair, specifically Grandma Duck's Petting Farm. (Hmm, we wonder if the teenagers liked that attraction.)

The ride takes visitors on a ride under the pretense of Goofy as a flight instructor, takes some traditional twists and turns after the initial climb, and features a 'crash landing' of sorts as riders wind through the barn itself towards then end.

All in all, the Barnstormer is a quick ride and clocks in at under 1 minute which keeps the lines moving and in line with expectations for smaller children looking to take their first roller coaster ride in the Parks.

These photographs were taken in May, 2010.