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Fun Find Friday

September 16, 2016

Location: Echo Lake, Disney's Hollywood Studios

Not too long ago I went to Disney's Hollywood Studios with a person who doesn't frequent the parks too often. While passing Echo Lake they made a simple observation to me. They couldn't figure out why there was a dinosaur found at Echo Lake.

Gertie the Dinosaur

For today's Fun Find Friday I figured we would take a look at the dinosaur and figure out what the Disney connection is. The dinosaur is named Gertie and she has quite the interesting backstory. In 1914 an animator named Winsor McCay had a vaudeville act that would change the world forever. While standing up on the stage he revealed the screen behind him where the audience found Gertie the Dinosaur.

Winsor did something that had never been done before. He began to interact with a cartoon character on the screen. While the act seemed very simple, the audience began to freak out believing that Gertie aws an actual dinosaur that may come off the screen and attack them. While that seems like a ridiculous thought now, we have to remember that at that time nothing like that had ever been done before.

So how does it have a connection to Disney when Gertie debuted when Walt Disney was only 12 years old? Gertie was Walt's first inspiration to blend animation and live action with one another. Due to this, Walt once invited Winsor's son Bob onto his show to recreate the Gertie the Dinosaur scene with new animation. During the episode, which aired in 1955, Walt pointed out to him that Walt Disney's legacy should have been Winsor's if he had lived long enough.

The legend of Gertie of course, now lives on here at Echo Lake where the dinosaur who wowed audiences over 100 years ago can now wow guests who pass by her on a daily basis.


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