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A Date With Dreamfinder

Sunday, June 9, 2013

This morning John and I headed out to Polk City, Florida, to attend a tiny little convention of sorts - only this one centered on Disneyana and vintage Florida collectibles.

We parked in the grass:

 ...crossed a parking lot with two vintage planes on it:
 ... and entered the side door to this hangar:

Inside were two large rooms housing an assortment of vendor tables filled with goodies like these:

 That Nautilus model was two grand, if you're interested. ;)



I was mostly interested in the old theme park memorabilia, like that sign there, but there were also TONS of pins and vinylmations, not to mention a fair amount of cast costume pieces - though no one seemed to know how that was possible/legal. Heh.

Here's the back room:


At the far wall was a small stage where they held trivia contests, and later a charity auction.

We were there because our friends Kevin and Michelle Yee had mentioned it (Kevin has written a ton of Disney books, so you uber Dizgeeks might recognize his name), and also because Ron Schnieder was there.

Here's Ron hosting one of the trivia sessions:
 
[The final question, for you trivia buffs: The woman who voiced Snow White also said a single line of dialogue in The Wizard Of Oz. What was that line?]

Ron is the original Dreamfinder, and though John dressed as him for Halloween last year (plus Ron  left a lovely comment on my post about it), we'd never actually met him.

While brainstorming things we might get Ron to sign for us last night, it occurred to me that the most unique option was John's costume. So, we brought along his Dreamfinder jacket.

We had to wait a bit for an opportune moment to interrupt Ron, but when we did I only had to mention that John was the one who dressed as him last year for Ron's face to light up. Beaming, he told us he'd be delighted to sign John's jacket (we'd left it in the car, so we could ask first), and that while he'd seen many DF costumes, he was simply "blown away" by John's.

So John hurried out to retrieve the jacket, and then we made our way through the crowd again to Ron's table. I could see several people perk up at the sight of a blue jacket being brought by, some excitedly asking Ron if that was one HIS old jackets. :) (In response, Ron said so many nice things about John's costume, John was positively blushing.)

Here's Ron signing the underside of the lapel:


We bought Ron's book, since I've been meaning to grab a copy of that for ages, and then John and he talked shop about the costume for a bit, followed by Ron regaling us with a few quick stories. He told us one of the Jelly Belly flavors was the exact same color as Figment, so he'd give little jars of them - "dragon eggs" - to the Wish Kids he'd see. Or, if the crowd was right, he'd drop one from Figment's butt, pick it up, and eat it. :D

He also told us how he was walking into Epcot about two weeks before the park opened - preparing to film something for the ride, I believe - and came across a patch of wet cement. Unable to resist, he found a stick and scratched out "FIGMENT" with a backwards E. He later told everyone that was where he and Figment first met.

(I did a quick search, and found a photo of that concrete patch here. You can bet I'm going to hunt it down in person when we're there later this week, though!)

Before we left I asked Ron if I could have a photo of him holding up John's jacket. He offered to come around table for that, so I suggested John jump in, too. I expected Ron to just hold the jacket in front of them, but he immediately told John, "Here, put your arm in the sleeve." And then I took this shot:

John and I walked away giggling and grinning like little kids - and for once I think John was the more excited one. He kept saying how awesome that was, and how happy he was we'd gone.

It wasn't until later, though, as John and I looked over my shots in the car, that the full impact of that last picture really hit us. "Oh, wow," I said, "Dreamfinder himself is putting his coat on you." And then it got really, really dusty in there.  

Darn allergies. 

:)


Thanks, Dreamfinder.





Posted by Jen at 6:41 PM Labels: ,

38 comments:

  1. What an incredible experience that must have been for both of you! I'm pretty sure I developed some out of the blue allergies while looking at that picture of Ron putting the jacket on John. :)

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  2. THIS IS SO AWESOME. Is the convention a yearly thing? B/c if so, I totally want to go. My husband and son would love that it's at Fantasy of Flight, and I'd love the Disneyness!

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    1. This is the first year I've heard of it, so I'm not sure! You might check out the organizers' Facebook page, though; I'm sure someone there could tell you.

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  3. Such an amazing story. I'm so jealous.

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  4. I love John's smile in that pic... So cool! :-)

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  5. that's just awesome, John!

    -Barbara Anne

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  6. Anthony and I met him in EPCOT a few years ago. He was so nice!! A bunch of our friends were at the convention too, so it's cool to see you were there too :)

    Also, that line is "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" spoken during "If I Only Had a Brain."

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  7. So don't keep us in suspense - what's the answer to the trivia question? :-)

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    1. I was wondering the same thing! Now I MUST know!

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    2. My bet is the "Where for art thou, Romeo" line from the Tin Man's song.

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  8. This is so amazing!! That last pic made me tear up... I mean, my allergies are kicking in too, darn it!

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  9. So cool! Did he see your Figment costume too? Did he love it? Figment was always my favorite :)

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  10. "Wherefore art thou, Romeo" :)

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  11. What a great experience! When I was a child in the 80's, Figment was my absolute favorite thing about Epcot. I still have the Figment plushie I got then. <3

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  12. I'm guessing the voice of Snow White sang the, "Where for art thou, Romeo?" line in the Tin Man's song.

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  13. Is it the 'O Romeo' line from the Tin Man's song?

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  14. OMGOSH tears...all of the place...stupid allergies...I wasn't even THERE! :D

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  15. LOVE it! LOVE John's Dreamfinder costume and of course I Love Figment. :-D

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  16. Wow, what a great afternoon! Awesome story and photo.

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  17. I developed a sudden, spontaneous, and (thankfully) brief allergy to my cats when I saw the passing the mantle pic. *sniffle* :')

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  18. Definitely "Wherefore art thou Romeo." I'm insanely obsessed with that movie.

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  19. That's just pure awesomeness. I'm so excited for you guys that you had that encounter with him. Jen, did you ever mention the kind of camera you have? The pictures are really great, and I've know you've been doing some special layered shots at Disney lately... I am taking photography and am using (read: borrowing) a Canon Rebel XT; it's good enough for that class but when I go a'looking for one of my own, it'll probably be a T3i, at least currently that would be my choice. Who knows, in a year when I can finally afford to purchase one it could be a different choice... any thoughts on that?

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    1. I use a Canon 7D now, and I like it really well. I used a Rebel XT for years, though, and also highly recommend that one. (Took me ages to finally "offically" switch to the 7D, since I kept going back to the Rebel.) The 7D lets you do a bit more - like HDR shots - but the Rebel is a solid, user-friendly camera that also gives great shots.

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    2. Thank you for sharing. :) I almost piddled myself today when our photographer came out to my campus today. I let her set up shop in my office... and I got to hold her Canon 5D Mark III. Woo-wee. Now that's a camera. I know there's still super high end out there but still it's like 100 steps above the Rebel I'm using. But don't get me wrong, I do like the Rebel it is a great camera. Last project in my class: light painting. I'm having fun playing with el wire making "magic fog" and fire. lol

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  20. Storm the KlingonJune 10, 2013 at 4:48 AM

    As a fellow costumer, this post made me smile so hard, my face hurts. If I ever get to meet Suzie Plakson, the woman who played K'Ehleyr (and inspired my costume/persona), and she liked my costume so much she insisted on signing it, I think I would be so insanely happy and proud, I'd fall OUT. So I can only begin to imagine the crazy glee you guys are feeling! Well done, you two, and blessed be. :)

    Cheers, and keep costuming!

    Storm

    P.S. It takes over 53 THOUSAND stitches to knit a Fourth Doctor scarf, or I can buy one from thinkgeek.com for $50... guess which one I'm going with? ;)

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  21. Wow. You guys have all the best adventures :D
    ~erin kristine

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  22. Look at that grin on John! I'm surprised it even fit in the picture frame. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Be sure to embroider over the signature, so that it is never lost in case of cleaning :)

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  24. What a wonderful story! One of my favorite Disney pictures is of me, my Nana, Dreamfinder and Figment from when I was about 10 years old. What is the name of his book? I'd like to buy a copy.

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    1. It's called "From Dreamer to Dreamfinder." If you hit the link up there in the post, it'll bring you to the Amazon listing. (Hardcover is just under $30, but there's also a softcover for about half that, I believe.)

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  25. I'm getting verklempt just reading about it!

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  26. How awesome! John looks like a kid in a candy store on a day it's all free! Also, I would've never thought to embroider over the autograph, thats such a great idea.

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  27. It looks like some symbolic passing of the torch maybe Disney should bring back dreamfinder and hire John to be him!!!!

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  28. What a wonderful story!! love the pictures!

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  29. How absolutely amazing!

    I am still giggling over the dragon droppings that Ron Schnieder would eat. Teehee.

    Andrea

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  30. Darn it! Just got dusty here too... ;)

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  31. Do you know what that last picture feels like to me? Dreamfinder PASSING THE TORCH!

    What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing it. :)

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