Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fiesta Fun Center- Shooting Gallery

Anybody who's weird on early Walt Disney World remembers, or has heard of, The Fiesta Fun Center at the Contemporary Hotel. History

The main attraction was a shooting gallery that had no theme. Just animated props with infra red lights as targets. Keep in mind, as you look at this post, that this was pre-video game era 1970's. A shooting gallery was THE SHIT in a giant room filled with skee ball, Pool tables, air hockey, ping pong etc. If you remember that time period this post is for you.

The bare bones of the Shooting Gallery was actually built by another company and was purchased and customized by Disney. The only clue I have  as to who built it is a tag on one of the props that says "Funtime Inc". I can't find any info on Funtime. I saw the same core gallery at two other amusement parks so I know that they sold more than one. Maybe three was all they sold and video games came along and killed them:( Who knows.

ANYWAY. Disney spruced theirs up with some really cool props made from molds of things you'd see in their attractions! That's what made the Fiesta Fun Center version so great and so Disney.

In 1998 I went on vacation to Cedar Point In Ohio with my fresh wife. I wanted to show her my birthplace of Sandusky Ohio and the incredible park that started my fascination with the amusement park industry. Low and behold we discovered the Fiesta Fun Center Shooting Gallery! It had been purchased by Cedar Point from Walt Disney World!

I hate to write too much but hang with me here because this is important. I was sure the gallery had been destroyed BECAUSE in 1992 I was in the art department at Mystery Fun House and I saw the animated Sea Serpent laying in the dirt behind the shop! Beings that Mystery Fun House had it, and was a shit hole, I figured the entire thing was in the dump.

Wrong! There it was at Cedar Point. Let's get on with it then. I present to you "The Cool Disney Additions To A Shooting Gallery They Bought and Added Shit To". Here's the video I shot.

Neat huh? You may have already noticed some Disney Characters in there. Let's see:

OOH! A cat from Pirates of the Caribbean! At Cedar Point! Life is crazy!

A rum drinking dead person! From Disneyland's Pirates! 

This is a hard one.........anybody guess it? Those are the hands from the guy in the coffin in the Haunted Mansion! "Lemme outta here".

There's a mermaid from Peter Pan's Flight! Bare chest and all! At Cedar Point!

Holy shit! It's one of the Gator Boys from Splash Mountain! Actually, at the time, it was from America Sings at Disneyland. 

It's Beacon Joe! Or you may recognize him from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, etc.  Here he is spear fishing for what I'm sure was a fish from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He appeared in three places in this shooting gallery. One being the rotating head inside the Knight's helmet. Two being this snorkeling version......

This is the most obscure. If you watch the video again you'll see this head pop up and down. These were the ORIGINAL pop-up attic heads in the Haunted Mansion! This one's been painted to look like a person but you'll recognize the open mouth shape for sure. The original WDW versions were shot up by a blast of air and the head was guided by two wires. See the arrow I made? See the two wires? 

This one......well I had thought for some time that the Jungle Cruise frogs might have ended up in this Gallery. Nope. They did not for these aren't the jungle frogs. Nope. They aren't from America Sings either. They were copied from this:

Late 60's "Frisky Frog" from Fischer Price. Oh well. 

This is the part where I get really dorky. In the video you see these dancing shoes. WELL. WELL. At the Fiesta Fun Center they were part of a bigger picture. You see, there was once a wizard that sat on a stool reading a book of spells. If you shot the target the wizard would point his wand at the shoes and they'd dance! The wizard was the third "Beacon Joe" head. He, along with the Sea Serpent, never made it to Cedar Point. I have no clue as to were he went. 

So......eventually Cedar Point got rid of the shooting gallery. In 2008 it showed up in Texas, for sale, on Craigslist. The seller identified at least two of the Disney added props in pictures so I knew it was the Fiesta Fun Center version. $30,000 for the whole thing. The seller was pretty desperate but I've never had more than $2,000 in the bank and I was in the middle of a great adventure with my friend Mike. 

I wonder where it ever went?


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  2. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on this topic. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him. So I should thank you for the free lunch I got.

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  3. Great detailed information, I ll be visiting you more frequently, here is very interesting information.

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