Disney fans following The Optimist were treated to another once-in-a-lifetime experience today, following in the footsteps of Walt’s own past on a journey to the future.
Last week the alternate reality game developed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Studios promoting next year’s “Tomorrowland” film had players following clues to a few of Walt’s haunts: Chili John’s, Griffith Park, and even inside and throughout Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33 – a rare treat almost never offered for free. Hints to these locations were featured in artwork posted on game character Wallace’s web site.
Following those events, two stops still remained in a step-by-step journey to relive Walt Disney’s early days of Disneyland and the 1964-65 World’s Fair.
On Sunday, July 28, 2013, Walt Disney’s Carolwood barn opened for four hours specially for those seeking answers in The Optimist. This location features a barn Walt used as a workshop for miniatures and model trains, now home to the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum, which Walt helped found.
Wallace’s art pointed players to search for new clues inside the “Redlaw 1” combine train car, not normally part of the standard Carolwood tour. The hint stated “Flash photo opportunity inside.” Our resident optimist Jeremiah Daws once again documented this latest leg of The Optimist journey in the video below.
Video: The Optimist takes players to Walt’s Carolwood barn
When a flash photo was taken, a mysterious message magically appeared pointing players to New Orleans Square’s telegraph.
But before jumping back to Disneyland, no Disney fan could leave Carolwood without taking the full tour and ride on the miniature train.
Video: Guided tour of Walt’s Carolwood barn
Video: Full ride on the Live Steamers railroad
It’s a must-visit location for anyone wanting to take in the full history of Walt Disney, including the passions and interests that led to the creation of Disneyland.
Speaking of which, Jeremiah then drove to Disneyland, once again in the name of seeking answers in The Optimist. Finding himself back in New Orleans Square he, along with other players, listened carefully to the telegraph recording playing throughout the area.
(Thanks to Jeff Heimbuch for originally recording the audio.)
The telegraphed Morse code that normally loops in New Orleans Square decodes to Walt Disney’s dedication speech from Disneyland’s opening day. But the mysterious forces behind The Optimist secretly swapped out this recording, which I – from my home in Florida – immediately started to sift through. Quickly teaching myself a bit about Morse code and using a tip from my wife Michelle to look at the audio’s waveform instead of trying to decipher by ear, I translated the clicks and clacks of the telegraph to the following Morse code message: