Walt Wednesday #15
Disney artist and Imagineer Bruce Bushman pictured here with Walt Disney, was a lead designer of the original Fantasyland as you can see by his concept art on the walls.
Bushman was first hired by the Disney Studios to work on Fantasia on April 5, 1937. In the years leading up to the 1955 opening of Disneyland, Bushman was one of the many Disney artists tapped to help design and build Walt’s theme park. The Disneyland prospectus that was used to attract financial investments included a number of Bushman’s concept drawings for Fantasyland.
Bushman designed the 70-foot tall canopy to top off King Arthur Carrousel, which was a refurbished merry-go-round, and had it look like it was made of fabric even though it was actually aluminum. The canopy is “supported” by vertical lances and shields. Bushman designed each shield and included artwork associated with the Knights of the Round Table. However, because there were more shields than authentic artwork he was forced to improvise. His solution was to include the coat of arms from his wife’s family, as well as those from a number of fellow Disney artists.
Bushman also helped design the Casey Jr. Circus Train. Disney Legend Ken Anderson said: “We did the little circus train, and we had a beauty. Bruce Bushman had worked and worked to get the design just right on this train.”
As the design of the Dumbo attraction progressed, Walt wanted to to make sure the elephants were large enough to accommodate adults as well as children. To make sure they could comfortably fit, Walt looked to Bushman - who was a tall man - and told his team to use him as their model for ride vehicles. Walt said to Bushman “If it fits you, it’ll fit anybody.”
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Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".