Friday, November 23, 2007
The Box office mojo web site post today a great interview of Dick Cook, chairman of Walt Disney pictures.
Not only he talk about the upcoming movies or awaited project like the Jungle Cruise movie and eventually a future Swiss Robinson family movie too, but also about his beginning when he worked at Disneyland in the 70's.
Dick Cook used to be one of the drivers of the Disneyland monorail. In fact, he even was the driver of the monorail when it did catch fire in 1970 ! Here is below the part of the interview where he talk about it.
Box Office Mojo: Is it true that you learned the value of putting out fires while working on Disneyland's Monorail?
Dick Cook: The Monorail did catch fire back in 1970 and I happened to be driving. I had been assigned the task of driving the Monorail the day new engines has been installed. A Swedish company called Alweg—it was the Disneyland Alweg Monorail—had just installed four new turbine engines and the engineers and mechanics had been working on the Monorail, riding on it, making adjustments to the drivetrain and making sure it was OK. I was driving it [without passengers] around all day. Finally, at the end of the day, they said it checked out and was certified and ready to go. It was a very busy day at Disneyland, and we could take some loads of people. We were in the Tomorrowland station, they loaded 124 people—I know that because it happened to be the capacity for that train—and it was full. I was in the cockpit—the front section—by myself because until then they had different engineers riding with me. I went over to the rectifier, where the power comes in, and I had to shift it into neutral. When I shifted out, all these red lights lit up on the panel and I could smell smoke. The Monorail was on fire. What had happened, which I didn't know at the time, was that one of the turbines had been miswired and there was an electrical fire and it took all day for the wires to get hot enough to catch fire. I managed to stop the Monorail over the parking lot and they had to call out a hook and ladder and they brought everyone down individually—I was the last one unloaded. I was one happy guy to get off that train. At that particular moment, I kept thinking my whole career went up in flames. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and the fire was put out very easily. I did have control over the microphone and we were up there for so long. I had the guests sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and I had them roll down the windows so I could hear them singing, trying to entertain them as the smoke was coming up. We did ruin those four brand-new turbine engines but that was a small price to pay."
I recommand you to read the rest of this great interview on the Box office mojo web site at:
Interview: copyright Box office mojo