In 1985, my heart was broken when my favorite attraction “Adventure Thru Inner Space” was closed. I was only 14 and was in the middle of a painful childhood, (moving around a lot and being abused). My happy times were when I would visit Disneyland, I waited and waited to go there, and Inner Space was my favorite ride, straight out of the 60s (a time period that I watched on reruns of Gilligan’s Island and The Munsters).
A time period when I thought everyone was happy, not like my family. I was so sad that I would never be able to experience my favorite ride again. I felt like my happiness (what there was of it) would never return.
In 1986 my family and I were kicked out of the run-down house we renting, since my step dad ran out on us. I was near suicide. (This never happened on TV)
My mother moved my brother and me to the Frontier Motel in back of Disneyland, a friend of hers bought us two annual passes to Disneyland, and for 2 years, 1986- 1987, we went to Disneyland everyday! No school, just Disneyland. I managed to rent a video camera, and I filmed everything I could of Disneyland and surrounding Anaheim. We would hope to win popcorn and juice bars from the 1986 “Everyone wins everyday” promotion from Disneyland, since we had very little foodand no money. I watched the happy families wander through Disneyland every day of the summer. Even the people who played the characters would recognize my little brother and give him special treatment since we were there every day.
We then moved to the Jack and Jill motel right in back of where the parade building was in the back area of Disneyland. (Now the Budget Inn) I could hear the snowman growl through the busted hotel window.This was April 1987, Circus Fantasy was going on at Disneyland and we were getting worse off. We shared a single can of corned beef hash every other day, and went hungry the rest of the time. One day my 7 year old brother and I came back to the hotel from our day at Disneyland and our mother never did. She had left us. My brother’s dad came and got him and left me. I was put into foster homes, and taken from Disneyland….My happy place.
I came back as much as I could, taking busses and even riding my bike from Long Beach to Anaheim. I was in foster homes for several years afterwards, and was lucky to work at Magic Moutain, and was the monorail guide for their small monorial. I also worked on Gold Rush, Nija, and Jet Stream.
Then when you turn 18, they throw you out, of foster homes and you fend for your self! So I turned 18 and got a job at my home, I worked at Disneyland from 1989-1992 sweeping trash, cleaning vomit and bathrooms for $3.75 an hour.
Afternoon Avenue 1991 and Dave is on janitor Duty! Looking for vomit!
I lived with my girlfriend Heidi and we got to be on the cover of the 1990 DISNEYLAND guide book! Even though we are a just a tiny spec on the castle, its cool! I was in High school, living in a rented room in Anaheim and learning to be in video and film production. That paid off and I became a video editor. I also owned a limousine company and would often have my driver take me to Disneyland for a few hours to look at the people I used to work with, they are still cleaning vomit. These are the same guys that would tell me to give up my dreams!
Life was better..But I still missed Inner Space. I still wanted to go on it again. I went to the Yesterland website in 1997. I was amazed! All the old stuff was there on the Internet. I thought, “With all this, there must be a way to reach people with video or film footage of this stuff.” I tried and tried and finally got through to people. Hundreds of people sent video and film, and within no time I wrote a script and the video was off and running.
Now we have 65 DVD videos on Disneyland, Disney World, Epcot, the 64 Worlds fair, and Knott’s Berry Farm now available for you. We are always working on more (and always looking for suggestions, film, sounds, and people to interview).
Now a days, the events that take place to produce new Extinct-Attractions-Club.com DVDs are, to me, mind boggling. One day we are with Bob Gurr (the man who made the Monorail, Autopia, and Peoplmover) and the next day we are drinking martinis at X Atencio’s house and talk about how he wrote the scripts for Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Inner Space. We just spent a sunday at ,Alice Davis’s home watching with America Sings with her, she was so nice and so happy with what we did. Then we went flying up to Oregon to see the voice of Gumby and the voice of Big Thunder Mountain. Some of my favorite Extinct-Attractions-Club.com moments include talking to Thurl Ravenscroft (The grinch, Tony the tiger, etc.) and having Rolly Crump call us up on the phone and thanking us for the work on The Land DVD (which was followed be phone calls from people who made all The Land rides thanking me for preserving their history!!).
Gee Whiz, someone please pinch me!! It’s grown out of control!! I could not be more happy if I tried, this is like a dream!
We have so many people helping and the DVDs just get better and better! I could never imagined this 8 years ago when I started my Inner Space film hunt!
Why do we do this? Because we care about Disneyland’s past, we knowhow much it means to you. It’s not just the rides or shows you miss, it’s how they made you feel, and the fact that those feelings and memories come back when you see and hear the attractions on these DVDs. No one else is making historical DVD’s like this, so we had to. We know that together we can preserve the past through videos and DVDs and we can allow you to re-live the moments and memories of these past attractions, and share them with those you love. And the best part is that your membership fees help the people who live in hotels around Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. These people are not drug addicts, they are just having a hard time and they need our help. Please help us to help them, there is no other charity group helping families in hotels around Disneyland, so we might as well.