Unfortunately in this Christmas eve i just learned a very, very, VERY sad news: the great WDI Imagineer Pat Burke passed away yesterday. For Disneyland Paris fans , Pat Burke will stay forever as the Imagineer without whom Frontierland and the town of Thunder Mesa would never have been as magical as it is. Next time you'll go at DLP and see the fantastic props all around the streets, shops, restaurants and rides of Frontierland, starting by the ones all over Big Thunder Mountain, these fantastic antiques props and machines, have a thought for Pat Burke as it was him who went all around the old West to find them in ghost towns or in the middle of the desert! And not only Frontierland but also in Adventureland as he also found the props for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and worked on the Geyser Mountain project that never was.
As for the overseas attractions he worked on, Pat Burke worked on the four Big Thunder Mountains at DL, WDW MK, TDL and DLP but also on Indiana Jones Adventure, the different versions of Splash mountain, on Tokyo Disney Sea Cape Cod and American Waterfront. He also worked on HKDL and his last work for WDI was on Raging Spirits at TDS.
I knew him very well and i've been in contact with Pat since six years or so and talked regularly with him on phone. He was the kindest man in the world, really. It was two months ago that i had my last call with him, and he was not feeling very well at that time. Pat was definitely a man of last century, and probably the only one who could recreate the Old West as he lived in it when he was a child. There is a famous quote saying "no one is irreplaceable" but Pat was the one who made this quote wrong. No one will ever replace Pat, and with him passing away, it's not only a man but a whole era which is disappearing.
I will pay a larger tribute to Pat on Disney and more very soon.
Pictures: copyright Pat Burke