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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Welcome to the Club

From what I’ve heard over the past few days or so, Club 33 is not exactly the easiest place to get into. Apparently it’s only the most exclusive club in all of Disneyland, that’s all. And yet, that’s exactly where some of you ended up. Invited inside to speak with Wallace the elusive mapmaker on the phone and search the area for clues.


Like many things recently, the leg of the journey that led to Club 33 began with one of Wallace’s latest pieces of art – a map of Walt’s Haunts that included Le Grand Courtyard in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. Writing in small print appeared on the archway above the courtyard entrance: 7/26 8:10-8:20am. This past Friday morning. Early. Which if it weren’t for class, I’d have my comforter pulled up to my nose with Nora and Sofia purring into each ear. But some of you made the trek. Powered by coffee and curiosity. (What more do you need?) And from the sound of it, you were rewarded with a unique surprise.

While taking an extended break to the computer lab, I sat in front of a corner computer with my eyes glued to the screen, watching your reports, pictures, and Hastin’s livestream. And honestly, there was so much that happened that I’m not really sure I’ve completely wrapped my brain around it. And a recap from me, 3000 miles away in little, old Rhode Island, doesn’t really do this part of the adventure justice. So maybe I should leave some of that to you.

75 Responses to "Welcome to the Club"

  1. Kevin says:

    Elusive is the word for our Wally Maps. But he did speak, at length, it seems, to Hastin and others. And it looks like Thursday offers more fun, and data. Can’t wait, and thanks to everyone out West!

  2. Deborah says:

    A fabulous wrap up! Thanks so much, Amelia!

  3. Christina says:

    Really nice recap of the Club 33 excursion, Amelia! Did any of the team who went to Disneyland today after Walt’s Barn find anything of interest?

    • Jason says:

      In short, the Morse Code message at the New Orleans Square station that normally sounds Walt’s dedication of Disneyland was replaced with “Welcome society members of 1966 and our new inductee RDB.” Most of us agree that RDB stands for Ray Douglas Bradbury, who had deep connections with Disney, especially EPCOT. makes for some good reading.

    • Katherine says:

      Yes, we found a clue that led us to the morse/telegraph playing at New Orleans square in Disneyland. It was a new recording and after the awesome work of fellow Optimists it was decoded as “Welcome society members of 1966 and our new inductee RDB” The guess is that RDB stands for Ray Bradbury.

  4. Ricky says:

    Can’t wait to see what happens at the bench on 8/1… and then at the D23 Expo!

  5. Stephen says:

    Love the slideshow. Even though not all of us can be there it is awrsome trying to lend a hand from home. Good work everyone!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the recap! I wish we were at Disneyland to join in the fun! At least we can all vicariously enjoy this experience!

  7. Eli says:

    A quick search for society of 1966 brings up some interesting possibilities.

  8. Eli says:

    Journal of the chemical society organic 1966?
    Perhaps the final piece of this utopia was overcoming disease…

  9. Katherine says:

    Here is an interesting article on Ray Bradbury which explains his connection to Walt as well as the Worlds Fair.

  10. Fred says:

    Great recap!

    I am REALLY hoping to make it to Disneyland this Thursday for the “bench” meet up. :)

  11. Catherine says:

    Wow, Amelia! Your recap was great. You’ve pulled together everyone’s contributions into a single, amazing story. Your grandfather would be proud!

  12. Vito says:

    The Storify was neat I’ve never seen something like that before. and yes Hastin’s livestream was amazing! I had it on one screen while work was on the other :) i’m hoping he can do it again at the park bench this Thursday, can’t wait to see!

  13. Jeffery says:

    Thanks Amelia for the nice recap and keeping us all in the loop so far! I have to say all of this feels all too similar to the story one might experience after being inducted or recruited into the society of imaginative thinkers and creators of tomorrow… Maybe a similar story to that of your grandfather. Working on top secret projects and gearing up for the World’s Fair + Disneyland with Walt himself at the helm sure would be adventure and I am sure it was in the year 1966 (and those leading up to this point). Thank you Amelia and keep the updates coming!

  14. B.J. says:

    1966 was when Walt died. I’m starting to wonder if this has anything to do with the rumors that Walt was frozen until a cure for lung cancer was found. On side B of the Carousel of Progress record it talked about preserving people’s bodies and then bringing them back to life.

    • Danielle says:

      You may be onto something there…

      • Wesley says:

        Can you imagine if this whole thing were a tease for Walt Disney coming back to life? Yeah… I know… science fiction… but man, that would be crazy.
        (what would he say about EPCOT?)

        • Derek says:

          That was exactly my first thought as well! Lol. Funny to think…

          On a related note, also on side B, it mentions robotics and its impact on future society. Not to mention, how it makes the past come alive. It’s very possible that Walt could be revived, just in a different sense than we realize

        • Kristin says:

          Ha! My friend and I were joking about this. Imagine Walt walking into D23…I’m not sure what I would do.

          • Stephen says:

            I posted this in an earlier post but if you have the D23 Expo 2013 App, the discription for the parks and resorts pavillion says “…the lastest in autonomous Audio-Animatronics technology and an opportunity to meet an old friend in an entirely new way”. Who knows?

          • Natalie says:

            hmm interesting . . .

          • Deborah says:

            Autonomous Audio-Animatronics? Intriguing! Perhaps my theory that our dear friend Wallace is something more than we think is true…

          • Ricky says:

            Or, at least, Tom Hanks as Walt Disney… :)

          • Ricky says:

            By the way, the description Stephen posted here is from the 2011 D23 Expo, not this year. Time to update your app. ;) That was referencing interactive talking Mickey Mouse, who appeared there:

          • Peter says:

            “Meet an old friend in an entirely new way” probably refers to the interactive talking Mickey walkaround, but you never know.

          • Stephen says:

            he was there last time, it could be Mickey, but my guess is that it is something else. I guess we’ll see in less then 2 weeks

          • Mercedes says:

            Has anyone found the Disney Cartography booth in the Collectors Forum? I just looked, but I couldn’t find the location, just the fact that it was there. It wasn’t on the map, or I couldn’t see it.

          • Stephen says:

            Rickey, I just downloaded that app so D23must not have updated it from the last expo. It isn’t on the site though.

  15. Dustin says:

    It was great to see this come together. Club 33 and your Grandpa, who would have thought? Deep connections your Grandpa had. I too am a few hundred miles away and feel like I can’t help, but I always find a way.

  16. Mercedes says:

    Oh, that gave me goose-bumps. And love you keeping us all loopy, Amelia! Yay!

  17. Robert says:

    I aware, I’m *this close for a one day road trip to Disneyland. Anybody from Phoenix wanna team up and go to DL for the bench meet up? The more the merrier(and cheaper gas).

  18. Rachel says:

    Oh man. I’ve been gone for a bit on account of some family emergencies, and I feel like I have missed so much! I haven’t been around since we started listening to what was on the records Amelia mailed some of us. Can anyone fill me in? I know that’s a lot to ask. I’m just struggling to connect all the dots myself.

  19. Peter says:

    Some inspirational viewing: Disneyland Goes to the New York World’s Fair

    • Derek says:

      Do some searching on youtube; there’s quite a few excellent videos on the fair, not all about Disney. Some companies had some pretty inspirational pavilions as well. Plus, there’s a lot of extra footage of the Disney attractions out there, that’s not in the one show. It really is amazing… It’s a shame one can’t see it anymore :(

  20. Jeffrey says:

    Hey guys, this may be a long shot, but has anyone checked anything out by the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland? Upon further review of Wallace’s site, I came across the picture on his biography. In the lower picture, he has his sketchbook and it looks like he’s drawing a Tea Cup.

    • Roland says:

      Kinda think of it, you’re on to something! Despite being 5000 miles away from Disneyland, someone should look into that. If anything, take a flash picture; there might be a hidden patent or better yet another clue!

    • Ryan says:

      I wonder if it is the concept artwork that greets us on his home page…

      Are there other clues in his Lincoln, carousel of progress, and primeval world? I notice we see the same IASW Scotland child in more than one. Is there more going on here?

      Meanwhile, back to Carlos, the artwork he is working on in the first post has that same diagonal slash as the other worlds fair artwork. There is a number at the bottom, at least I think it looks like a number. Actually I think it looks like Russian lettering, but I have no idea how that all fits in. The excitement around this weekends events has been catching but are we connecting to the story, Amelia’s story. Her grandfather and mother are at the hub of this whole thing. Together we can make the world beautiful.

    • Stephen says:

      He is definitely drawing the tea cup rides, he has those on his logo on the website as well.

    • Kaitlyn says:

      Weren’t the tea cups patented by WED at the same time that some of the other Tomorrowland attractions we’ve been discussing were patented? I remember someone posting about it way back when.

  21. Stephen says:

    It’s a good point though Wallace said that there are clues hidden all over Disneyland, might be worth checking out.

  22. Kaitlyn says:

    This could be a long-shot, but the tea cup artwork in the header of the site is VERY similar in style to the artist SHAG. I can’t say that is actually a piece by him, but since SHAG has produced a lot of merch for Disney (and done a lot of artwork based on the varying lands, including numerous pieces for Tomorrowland), would it be a stretch to say that he is somehow involved?

    • Rachel says:

      I don’t think that he is necessarily involved with this game. I am a big fan of his art. I think it is just being used on Wallace’s website because Disney has rights to use it, and it fit Wallace’s theme nicely. I don’t think it is intended to be very significant. More of a place-holder banner picture.

      • Kaitlyn says:

        That’s a fair assessment. I just recognized the work immediately and wonder if it had been discussed before. There are so many other leads going other directions that I doubt he is involved!

  23. Ryan says:

    On further thought, has anyone ridden IASW looking specifically for the Scottish highland lad? Is there a clue there? How about by the triceratops in the primeval world? Just a thought.

    • Kaitlyn says:

      Pretty sure the Scottish lad is still playing bagpipes and wearing a more elaborate headpiece than the simple tam portrayed in Wallace’s artwork. Unless it’s been changed in the last couple days. I have no idea about the triceratops, but the last time I saw them (two weeks ago) there didn’t seem to be anything drastically different. But then again, this mystery is all about little clues hidden in plain sight…

  24. Ryan says:

    Amelia, by the looks of things, your grandfather was an influential member of a society that either honored great optimists of the past, or a society of optimists that has been around for quite some time. The Disney connection proves that this society is indeed alive and well and, according to Wallace ( a gifted artist and probable member of this society) is still looking for optimistic behaviorists interested in influencing the beautiful beyond of our near future. Are there other bits and pieces of your grandfather’s work, mementos, or that lovely bedtime story that can broaden our view?

    What an amazing legacy he lived and is passing on to you and so many of us as well! Thank you for sharing and learning with us!

  25. James says:

    hey everyone!! Can’t believe all that’s happened in the past few days. I’m trying to get caught up as my vacation took an interesting turn resulting in a tour of Celebration Hospital. But I’m okay and we’re finishing up our trip before heading home. I can’t wait to get back to sorting through all the clues with all of you. I’ll get my pinterest board updated as quickly as I can get caught up!

  26. Carlos says:

    Do I need to bring something for 8/1? Just by showing up at the location is good?

    • Hastin says:

      If it’s anything like The Grand Courtyard – just showing up should be fine.

      • Carlos says:

        Cool. The next location does refer to the Bench in mainstreet right?

        • Cody says:

          We need admission to the park though right? :/

        • Hastin says:

          The Bench is the one that’s inside the lobby of “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln”

          Note that Lincoln is the only Wallace poster we haven’t used for a clue yet. Hopefully this resolves it!

          • Fred says:

            I am planning to be at the bench on 8/1.
            I really excited to see what new developments come up! :)

          • Stephen says:

            Explain what you mean?

          • Ryan says:

            The opera house would be a perfect place to host a…society induction meeting, convention, or briefing…lots of seats, a front stage for a speaker. What if ALincoln addresses members of this TU society? That would be pretty cool.

      • Renee says:

        Maybe someone should bring a sketchbook? :)

        • Stephen says:

          I would say that is a good idea, he specifically mentioned that one of his tweets so it might be needed

          • Natasha says:

            Perhaps since the folks meeting at the bench might be going to Walt’s apartment, they will need a sketchbook to record the clue, as there is typically no non-staff photography allowed up there.

          • Wesley says:

            Disney could definitely include rubbings that you might need to do in order to see something more clearly… sometimes a camera won’t pick up small details.
            This picture has nothing to do with StoryOrbit, but shows the use of rubbings in the park. They’ve been around for a long time.

  27. Kalani says:

    Just heard recently that Le Grande Courtyard / The Court of Angels is likely going to be closed to make room for a Club 33 expansion.

    If any fellow Optimists were planning on visiting that specific Walt’s Haunt and have not yet done so; now would be a good time.

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