15 August 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50 - Smith

I love the little details that tell a story, or hint at another story. If you’ve spent any amount of time around the Gazette, you know how true that is. I preach often about just looking down at the pavement you’re walking on, for goodness’ sake! In perusing the archives for stories to tell as we move towards the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, I came across a detail that’s now extinct. It was hilarious, obscure, tucked away on a shelf, and I only ever took one, woefully out of focus photo of it.
In the ticket office of the Walt Disney World Railroad’s Frontierland Station, there is luggage stacked in several places, and even high above guests on shelves. One such luggage rack was home to a particularly great visual pun gag until 2007 when it clearly decided it was time to leg it out of town. Between the bags and cases was a limb, a wooden leg, with the name ‘Smith’ printed on its side.
For those of you who are unaware, this is a clever reference to the icon scene in the film Mary Poppins where they have tea on the ceiling with Uncle Albert. At one point, Bert and Uncle Albert are stuck on the ceiling because they cannot stop laughing and continue to further their predicament by telling each other jokes. This Frontierland nod is based on the joke Bert tells, “I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith,” with Uncle Albert replying, “What’s the name of his other leg.”
I’d love to see this prop make its return to the park, or pop up in some other fashion elsewhere in the parks, but only time will tell. In the meantime, I’m content with my blurry photo and memories, and I’m reminded to always take note of my surroundings and document what lovable details I find.

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