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1976 GA Characters & Entertainment Photos


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Steve (Csogi), your collection of photos is priceless!

 

I noticed a lot of the shots were taken outside the entrance gates in the new for 1976 outer mall. Were characters typically assigned to work out there or was it just for this photo-op?

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We worked outside the gates every morning 30 to 45 minutes before the park opened. You would warm the crowd for the park, take their mind off how long they had been waiting, and take pictures. While you could not remember every name or face, it would drive the customers crazy if you caught up with them later in the day, acknowledging them, and inquiring about their day. If you remembered their name (especially with the kids), that was an extra bonus.

 

It's funny that you mention photo-op's. When I think of a photo-op, I see characters in a designated spot at a specific time, with people crowding around them. Every minute that we were on the street was a photo-op.

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Steve, as someone who spent a lot of their time hanging around the main entrance of the park, what was your impression of both the original (up to 1975) and the new one (1976 to now). Was the new one an improvement? Were there issues with the original one that warranted the change? What do you recall?

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I know that in 75, Dream Street was really crowded. I think that they might have hit 2.5 million visitors that year. It was so crowded that Kathie and I, as Toy Soldiers, had a difficult time managing our way down the street. The characters were only allowed to roam from the entrance to the fountain, so we were crammed together. This also caused problems when everyone was leaving the park.

 

I think that management wanted to provide additional walkways through the park. Along with the new entrance, the Games Area was built (providing another area for people to walk). Placing the entrance more in the middle of the park allowed for a smoother flow, both at the beginning of the day and at closing.

 

I forget if it was 77 or 78 that part of Dream Street was closed near the Carousel. This was divert people through the Games area. This I did not like. It took away from the site line down Dream Street (Carousel, Fountain, and Giant Wheel)

 

The new entrance had more of the 'wow' factor then the original. That and the improved flow of people makes the new entrance better.

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As a general rule, you were the character that you were hired to portray. There were some characters that you tried to have on the street every day. For those, you had to have fill ins on their days off. This was good, because it led to people experimenting with other characters.

 

 

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