Friday, February 5, 2016

Jungle Cruise boathouse tour (pic heavy!)

Welcome aboard! My name is Anna K. and I'll be your skipper, dance instructor, lifeguard, and social director for the next 15 pictures...or as far as we get.

I highly recommend opening this video in another tab and enjoying Albert Awol's humorous broadcast as you enjoy this tour of my tiny tribute to the World Famous Jungle Cruise.

I had to leave a few exterior things unfinished, but Undersized Urbanite is all about decorating, and I did manage to wrap up the interior. I'll re-visit the canopy over the stairs as soon as I figure out how to make it.

I shuffled some of the signage around (and I wish the removable office roof would stay put...). By the way, trimming a window down to size is really, really hard and I don't recommend it.

A peek inside. In real life, this room is filled by posts and chains directing the queue (also, as I had to selectively compress the boathouse to keep it a manageable size, the real-life room is MUCH bigger).

Cargo area.

Canteens and a butterfly net, waiting for their next trip out into the jungle. (And yes, that's a toy tiger. The Jungle Cruise visits Asia, Africa, and South America. Since Disney didn't assign a specific location to the boathouse, neither will I.)

 "Jungle Chess", with tiny paper "feathers" denoting which pieces are whose. Again, this room is MUCH bigger in real life and the space under the stairs is staged with enough supplies for a safari.

A glimpse upstairs.

Familiar faces and a few nods to other Disney attractions and films.

The removable infirmary, shown from the back.

The "Jungle Radio" office. Albert must have stepped out...

A peek at the tower's removable back wall. Disney park visitors just might recognize the four macaws from a different Adventureland attraction.

Wake up, José! (And stop calling me señorita!)

A wider view showing more of the upstairs layout. Oh, did I mention the tower roof is also removable?

This is a very cluttered study in real life. I had to pare it down a bit due to the smaller footprint.

I have absolutely no idea what, if anything, is in the tower's top room in real life. So I decided a daring lady explorer, Dr. Victoria Falls, lives on site and works as a skipper to finance her own expeditions. (This was before Disney announced the Skipper Canteen, managed by Alberta Falls. Which is an inside joke: skippers love to quip that Schweitzer Falls was named for "Dr. Albert, uh, Falls." The pictures on the wall, incidentally, are of Dr. Schweitzer and Dr. Livingstone. I guess I could say Victoria is Alberta's cousin...)

Another view of the radio office.

The dispatch desk. I sneaked in references to three Pixar movies, a Disney Princess, and a menu from Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar (which is at the Disneyland Hotel, but inspired by the Jungle Cruise).

A closer look at the back wall, with three separate references to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

I flipped the infirmary around for a better view. Anyone know a good source for inexpensive miniature bottles that are tiny enough to fit into a vintage House of Miniatures closed cabinet top? Lowest 1/12 scale shelves ever...

 And now, the most dangerous part of our journey - the return to civilization and the California freeways! If you enjoyed your voyage, my name is Anna K. and this has been my Undersized Urbanite entry; if you didn't, my name is Becky and this has been Storybook Land ;)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hard at Work on the Boathouse

I know, I know...a month since my last update. Rest assured that I have been making good use of what spare time I do have, since I do need to get this done by the deadline!

First up: making a caved-in section of roof with a lot of deferred maintenance. (I will NOT be miniaturizing the animatronic snake that I seem to recall hanging from the rafters back in the mid-'90s.)

Back view of the roof construction. Since the rafters are visible in this part of the boathouse in real life, a solid roof wouldn't do here.

Close-up, shot from below.

Staging furniture and props in one of the tower rooms. Have I mentioned that the shutters really work? (I won't be opening and closing them much - it was very difficult to install these, so I don't want to risk them popping out of place.)

Under the new roof section.

This is a Fastpass distribution space in real life, so I'm re-purposing it as a cargo storage room. I made the crates from wooden blocks and strip wood.

Oh my - what could this be? More details to come...

Monday, November 16, 2015


Je suis française (et américaine). Je n'ai pas peur.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Not-So-Little Boathouse News

They're at it again...Van Eaton Galleries is having another Disneyland auction.

Just like last year, there are so many great things in the auction catalogue, but if you're reading this blog for the Jungle Cruise boathouse updates, pages 194-195 are well worth a glance.

The Disneyland Hotel installed the Safari Adventure remote control boats in 1999. It closed in 2010 due to extensive renovation of the hotel property. I still fondly remember getting lost at Downtown Disney with a friend, accidentally walking into the hotel's pool area, and stumbling upon a sparkling pond with tiny jungle boats. We looked at each other, wordlessly started digging in our wallets, and immediately used up a week's worth of laundry money playing with those boats. Ahh, good times.

Anyway...the Safari Adventure prop boathouse is going to be part of the auction. Also available: the "burning" boat (which would "catch fire" if you steered your boat to a certain spot), the fire department raft (the "burning" boat would be extinguished by a tiny elephant), and one of the original remote control boats.

These items are just begging to be installed in and around a Disney fanatic's backyard koi pond. Alas, they are far beyond my budget (the lower estimate for the boathouse is about 20 times my budget), I definitely do not have enough space (the SA boathouse is mounted on a 7-foot-long, 4-foot-wide base), and I don't have enough mechanical know-how to make them operational again.

So, work continues on my considerably more modest version of the boathouse.

Carved posts and delicate railings are slowly being installed. NOW this looks like a late-Victorian-era structure! I need to make more shutters, but the 6 that have already been installed really work.

View from the back. Remember, that tower wall with the door on it comes off for access to the interior rooms. (The real-life door is a much plainer style and next to a window, but I had to shrink the tower down too much to do both. With so much of the tower visible, I also thought it made more sense to make the door stylistically more consistent with the other walls.)

Two room interiors to finish. Then the hard part begins: removable railings, a (hopefully) removable infirmary, a caved-in roof, and a canopy over the stairwell. I've certainly got my work cut out for me!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

This room box really hasn't changed since the last time I posted it (except for the Jack and Sally figures on the mantel), but I thought it would be more fun than the next boathouse update (which is coming later this weekend).

Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Quick vignette

A friend asked about my progress on the boathouse, so I threw together a quick vignette in the first sort-of-finished interior room.

I still have to install the window shutters (and make the removable roof for the ticket office), but I think you'll get the idea. (The "view" is a rendering of the Indiana Jones Adventure - which is next to the boathouse in real life - from my D23 calendar. I didn't have any good pictures of Adventureland on hand.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Testing, Testing...

I'm hard at work on interior walls for the boathouse, but as it takes a long time for glue and paint to dry, I've been making the most of it by working on the beach bungalow at the same time.

Regular readers may recall I scratch-made my own retro figural lamps. I decided it was time to install them.

These lights aren't hard-wired (I'm never hard-wiring a house again; it's just too problematic when a light mysteriously stops working) - instead, they will run on batteries concealed outside the house in trash and recycling bins.

They work! :)