Hi, I'm Amelia!
I’m a slightly overwhelmed undergrad, scrambling to find time between school in the smallest state in the union and work at a low-rent video store to make a documentary about my grandfather, Carlos. He was a writer who always looked to the future. He’s only passed a short time ago, and I miss him terribly. Read More >

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It All Started With a Bench

It’s been a busy week at school.  I’ve been up late working on a big team project that is due this Monday (eek!), and it’s gotten me thinking a lot about advice Grandpa used to give me.  When I was a kid, I played on a soccer team.  And. I. Loved. It.  I was the fastest one out there and I was darn proud of it.  After every goal I made, I used to do my special cartwheel celebration.  Then one day, my grandpa pulled me aside and gently told me the true secret to winning.  Working together.  As a team.  It took me a little while to fully understand how much more powerful and rewarding it was to play together as a team, but win or lose, we’d all do it together.  And soon, we were all doing cartwheel celebrations at the end of matches.

I keep thinking of that as I’ve been watching all of you for the past week.  You all are amazing at working together.  And today was a perfect example.

As all of you know, we have been eagerly awaiting the final location on Wallace’s Walt’s Haunts map – the Bench!

The bench where it all began!

The bench where it all began!

I was so excited to see where this iconic bench would lead today. I will let my fellow optimists share their journey.  I know Grandpa would be so proud of everything we are discovering – together.

I, for one, am doing cartwheels!


79 Responses to "It All Started With a Bench"

  1. Randy says:

    Amelia, I too, was not able to make it yesterday to “The Bench” in Disneyland, but my eyes were glued to my screen as I watched Hastin’s live UStream feed of the mornings events. I was just in Disneyland with my family two weeks ago, and I just missed out on all of these Walts Haunts meet ups in Disneyland and the Los Angeles area. So by watching today’s event live, I felt like I was back in Disneyland again. I did help out Hastin and his group today by answering a question, about the Mark Twain pilot certificates and that the certificate that I got two weeks ago was different than the one they all received today, on Hastin’s live chat. I can not wait to see where your grandpa’s story all turns out, maybe it will keep going after the D23 Expo next weekend? Thank you for the updates as well and I am looking forward to learning more about your grandpa’s involvement with Walt Disney in the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair!

    • Sharon says:

      I too was glued to my screen and was devastated when the feed ended. This is just so exciting and an honor to be a part of even from TX. BTW listened to my record last night, many Thanks again Amelia.

      • Amelia says:

        Sharon, I agree! I was sneaking peeks at Hastin’s live stream in between labs – it was so hard to keep focused on school!

    • Amelia says:

      Great job with the Mark Twain certificates, Randy! That’s amazing you had a certificate from two weeks ago – you must truly be in tune with the optimistic spirit.

  2. Ricky says:

    But… now what? :) Today’s events were VERY exciting (working on my own big recap post and video for tomorrow). Now Wallace’s new clues are quite cryptic. I wonder what he’s planning next and how it all relates to your grandfather.

  3. Stephen says:

    IT would have been so awesome to be there but it was pretty cool watching it Live as Haston streamed it Live, thanks again. I keep feeling like something was missed in the apartment though…. does the “Walk in Walts Footsteps” tour take you there? I will be there on Wednesday and we are taking the tour, might be another chance to take some mental notes r draw something down.

    • Natasha says:

      The Walk in Walt Footsteps does take you there, and to Club 33, although you do not get to go into the main dining area like the folks last week, you only go into the elevator lobby.

    • Mercedes says:

      I don’t know, they emphasized the phonograph *so much* – people that have taken the tour before said that was unusual. But the details are kind of blurry.

  4. Daniel says:


    What an amazing experience! So amazing you guys got to see Walt’s apartment! I wonder what all this excitement will lead to.

  5. Kevin says:

    I’d like to see @hastin do a cartwheel!

  6. Sharon says:

    I don’t think that this has anything to do with yesterday’s clues but I was getting a little nostalgic since we are winding down, and thought this was a great “E” ticket ride, also why did Amelia call her blog Story “Orbit” , Astro Orbitor relation??? Took the Walk in Walts Footsteps a few years ago and remember going into the apartment and Club 33. Can’t wait till next week to meet all my fellow Optimists.

  7. Teri says:

    Is it possible that yesterday’s clues were all intended to direct us to IASW clock at Noon?

    • Stephen says:

      that very well could be, but i also think that there is another clue there that we missed.

    • Nick says:

      If this is the case — and there is nothing explicitly linking the time from the date on the Wheelhouse Certificate and the symbols on the PM track. (Other than the presence of their clues both being on Wallace’s Edison Map.)

      That being said, if that is the case, the clue should still be visible: as with the other maps, I anticipate the only time/date specific clue on the Edison map will not be ongoing. I don’t think the circle-diamond-circle will be disappearing any time soon, so maybe someone should check out IASM at noon just to rule that out.

      Alternatively, I’m still puzzled by the streetlamp with the cirlce-diamond-cirlce in New Orleans square by 21 Royal St, which was the only streetlamp lit in that area. We scoured the surrounding area, staying nearby while we stopped for lunch. (I could see the lamp throughout lunch.)

      Why was this single lamp it? Is this where the circle-diamond-circle leads if not to IASM world? Could it be neither and we just don’t have the information?

      I choose to go with that last option, as we spent hours yesterday exploring the alternatives.

  8. Stephen says:

    Is anyone planning on going to Disneyland today?

    • Stephen says:

      If anyone is heading out to Disneyland today, I we need to try to take a flash photo at this location, it is the snack counter in front of IASW notice how the middle triangle is missing the flower, and it looks like something is overlaying it… using a flash could reveal something. if you find anything tweet it out using #TheOptimist

      • Alyssa says:

        I did notice this yesterday and I think it opens we were guessing lights for the parade possibly are in there but i didint notice the missing flower thats a good point

        • Jason says:

          These lights were installed for “Light Magic” in the late 1990s and have been used since for both general nighttime park lighting and parade lighting. Did anyone get a picture today?

      • Sharon says:

        Not sure a flash would work that far away?

        • Christina says:

          Kristina did get a chance to go check this out today. She tried flash and said nothing showed up so were calling this one a false lead :/

  9. Teri says:

    Anyone notice that Wallace changed his live chat to August 5th?

  10. Roland says:

    Lets see what clues we got so far.

    Circle diamond circle found on peoplemover
    Amelia’s date of flight on certificate
    Phonograph canister from Main Street USA

    Looking at those clues, the first one I might be on to something. The others seems like a dead end.

    From looking at the circle diamond circle, my brain is theorizing that it could not be the lamp post from New Orleanse Square but it should be on the tea cup that is alone by Fantasyland. After all, we discovered that Walt patent the tea cups the same day as the circle vision. That should looked into it but that’s just me.

    • Deborah says:

      The teacup idea is interesting, but I thought that cup was pink and white with a white rabbit head with a heart on it…

      • Roland says:

        Really? Well, if that’s the case then I apologize. I haven’t been to Disneyland in a while and I’m more than 5000 miles away. I wish I was there at the meet up but I don’t have the money. :-(

  11. Jody says:

    thank you amelia for the recap of events yesterday, and thank you hastin for doing the videotaping. wow! a lot has happened this week. a lot of history has been uncovered – and i suppose there’s a lot to uncover before the expo starts next week.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know if it is relevant. But if you do a search on the Tomorrowland Mary Blair murals that once existed, they are interesting. Those on the People Mover got a closer look and they represented the optimism of children for the future. One mural even had global satellites above their heads, which reminded me of Wallace’s IASW poster. I don’t know if there are meanings or connections, but the circle diamond circle symbols were on the old People Mover track, right? And these symbols may have an IASW connection. This may be reaching for something that is not there, but thought I would see if it sticks. :-)

  13. Ricky says:

    Here is video of Wallace’s appearance at The Bench event yesterday:

    Plus a previous tour of Walt’s apartment:

  14. Stephen says:

    This might have already been asked as well, but it appears to me that each of the clues on the Edison Square poster symbolize where the clue is physically located. I just noticed that on the poster the Ponograph looks like it has somethig on the front of it. Did anyone who was in Walt’s Apartment happen to notice any writting or anything else on the front of the Phonograph?

  15. Fred says:

    I was at “the Bench” meet up. It was really cool to see Walt’s apartment.
    Although I didn’t get a chance to hunt for clues after the meet up, and I only saw Wallace’s new artwork when I got home, is sure is interesting!

  16. Nick says:

    Here’s my closeup of the cylinder that revealed the patent number:

    • Nick says:

      And here’s a closeup of the top of the cylinder, featurting “No. 9639″

      • Mercedes says:

        9639 is apparently “Tell Mother I’ll Be There”….????

        • Nick says:

          Thanks for looking that up. All this tells me is the numbers featured on this can are not the clue: the text is. The obvious pointer is the IASW reference of “Songs of Paris Echo All Over the World,” also, on the composited map of the Club 33 crest, the Eiffel Tower DOES point in the direction of IASW.

          Thing is, our group DID go to IASW yesterday. Particular attention WAS paid to the Paris/Europe section. (As also indicated in Carlos’ alternate VIP narration.)

          Still, we found nothing.

          Perhaps the suggestion above holds water: combining this clue pointing toward IASW with the Wheelhouse clue including 12PM.

          Someone should try to check out IASM ASAP. ;)
          (If only to rule this out.)

          • Mercedes says:

            It’s a hymn, very nostalgic about family. The only thing I could connect was the heavy family theme that’s reoccurring: Amelia’s family, Walt’s family in the apartment…

        • jade says:

          I have confirmed this. Maybe Walt listened to this himself. It sounds very familiar, but I cannot figure out why.

          • jade says:

            Maybe Disney’s Dapper Dans is the connection to Disneyland since this is a quartet. Are they singing any new songs. Can someone ask them if they know this song? Also, there is an old organ (?) in the penny arcade. Maybe this song is on the song list. Walt cared much about his mother, maybe this was a tribute to her. Apparently she died shortly after Snow White and the Seven Dwarves came out.

          • Jason says:

            The Dapper Dans include “It’s a Small World” in their Disneyland medley that they generally end their set in front of the firehouse with, but I have never heard a standalone version of that song. However, they sing an excellent rendition of “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.”

      • Roland says:

        9639? Those arent just numbers, it looks like a date!
        We gotta look into that date. It looks kina important!

        • Joshua says:

          Well, the only thing that (might) be related to that date would be the death of Arthur Rackham, a famous artist and illustrator… He illustrated many classic fairy tale stories, including Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

        • jade says:

          Is it possible that there is a #1 before the 9639. The canister is a bit scratched up. If so, 1939-g would lead to the august 1939 special Disney issue of national geographic that was at Walt’s Barn with pictures of Walt’s apartment. This is also the year that Mary Poppins came out (Carousels/Saving Mr.Banks). 1939
          (Submarine Voyage = 9/6/1959, Nixon @ D.Land = 9/6/1961)

    • jade says:

      The patent # 1492021 is for “E. L. EAGAN RAILWAY TRACK JACK” It does not make sense for this patent number to be on this device. The inventor was from Illinois, same as Walt. They were both very much interested in railways.

      • David says:

        Great detective work Jade! The canister actually reads “U.S. Patent Office #1,492,023″ which a little web search returns results for a Thomas Edison patent described as: “…certain new and useful Improvements in Sound Records…” Keep digging!

  17. Suzanne says:

    Has anyone thought to check at the American Pavilion at Epcot, since Mr. Lincoln inspired it? Mark Twain is the co-host of that show, and the maquettes from that show are in the pre-show lobby of Mr. Lincoln, with this sign talking about “many diverse people working together in unity to fulfill the hopes and dreams of our country’s pioneers,” which is along the lines of Wallace reminding us that the future is not created by one person alone, but from all of us working together.

    • David says:

      Suzanne you’re absolutely right! Even the greatest Optimists have there inspirations and predecessors—pioneers paving the way for pioneers! We should keep this in mind as we piece this all together.

  18. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much Amelia for the record! It’s been so much fun following along on your journey into your grandfather’s history. Thank you for taking us along with you on this exciting path!

    • Amelia says:

      Thank you, Sarah, for joining along! The more we find, the more I realize we really can’t do this alone!

  19. Ryan says:

    I find it interesting that the record and the phonograph can be attributed back to Edison. Major clue I had not considered with the society member names from the plate. I wish there were more of the records, you know for a memento, but I am happy for so many of you to be so active in this adventure, it makes a good story for those of us who can’t presently.

    On a side note, Amelia, are you named after Ms. Earhart? I wonder if your grandfather had a hand in naming you…as another way to pass on ideals the Optimist society held dear. If so, you are doing so beautifully with your work here. What type of a project are you finishing up for Monday? Any way we can help?

  20. Geren says:

    Was anyone able to get a clear photo of Wallace? I feel like everything posted or filmed is blurry, like he’s a ghost! Please post your external gallery link for the day, if you have one.

  21. Suzanne says:

    I don’t know if this is any better than what’s out there, but here’s a pic of Wallace that I took.

  22. Brian says:

    I really love following your grandpas story. I would have loved to be there today, but I am far away.
    No record yet, but I’m still hoping. My record player is waiting….

    How many of the wax cylinders have been found? Is there a list?

    • David says:

      Brian, there are over 20 canisters at Disneyland. Our hub is they’re nearly all but exclusively in Walt’s Apartment. I think the real clue is Thomas Edison’s innovations and how they may have made other innovations possible. Has anyone looked into a list of Edision’s inventions? I know there’s many.

  23. Ricky says:

    A thought: What if all the historical figures introduced in Club 33 end up appearing in the park? What if aligning the plate on the park map points to where in the park each of those people are and the final quest will be to find and speak with each of them, in a time rift of sorts?

  24. Dan says:

    Does anyone have copies of the DL-ETICKET-NEWT-4068-001-L401.pdf and DL-ETICKET-NEWT-4050-173-E1 from the Lott site, they show a Fatal Error now and I can’t get them…

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