09 November 2009

One quart

There is an oil drilling operation underway on Walt Disney World property, in fact it has been going on since 1989. The signature experience of the Backlot Tour has always been the few shaky moments spent in Catastrophe Canyon. While less thrilling today than it was in 1989 when DVDs were not yet available chock full of behind the scenes bonus features, the first-hand experience of being in the middle of a disaster scene and seeing how it is produced is still a lot of fun.The scene is set around a mining operation, complete with oil derricks and a tanker truck, all part of the Mohave Oil Co. In fact, the story of the mining operation begins even before guests enter the canyon, as the company’s plane is park right outside of the canyon, but still within the set’s security gates. The calamity that ensues, full of floods, fire, and falling power lines, doesn’t appear to have caused the company any great setbacks however. Just down the road in Mickey’s Toontown Fair, in Mickey’s garage, three cans of Mohave Oil Co. oil can be found just waiting to keep Mickey’s engine running smoothly. I would hazard a guess that Mickey wouldn’t be sponsoring a poorly run outfit by using their product, so Mohave Oil Co. must be on the up and up.

Many times the Mohave Oil Co. has been listed as a fictitious company, a figment of Disney’s imagination if you will, but that is not the case. The Mohave Oil Co., complete with its western skyline and Native American logo, is based in Kingman Arizona. Known as a gasoline distributor, the company is also known for its operations in the oil industry and oil field equipment services. An article discussing the company’s oil rationing during the 1979 energy crisis can be read online, while an old gasoline pump globe for Mohave Oil Co. can be seen at auction about halfway down the page.

Disney is great a taking their fictitious companies, characters, and products and introducing them in real world terms throughout the parks, and sharing them between the parks, of Walt Disney World. On a rare occasion, however, they know just how to insert a piece of the real world into their controlled environments where guests won’t even think to bat an eye. The placement of Mohave Oil Co. inside of two parks in Florida has always been a treasured secret among the Disney enthusiasts, but the real world component makes it all the more worthy of its status.

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