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It’s an HO World After All

Disneyland Mad Tea Party Model Mock-up

Trader Sam

Back in 2007, I worked on some mock-up package designs to help pitch an idea to the Disney Parks. I did have to use photos found online, but since I do not remember where I got them, I cannot credit anyone.

Imagine putting together your very own HO scale plastic model of the Mad Tea Party attraction or Sleeping Beauty Castle, complete with surrounding foliage. Sounds pretty sweet, huh? Granted, not everyone enjoys or even has the patience to assemble and paint a plastic model. But, boy, wouldn’t it be neat to start building your own Disneyland or Magic Kingdom right at home? And, that’s only one version of the model kits.

Aside from the basic kit, there would be an Imagineering edition that included lights, motorized movement, and/or sound. Have I piqued your interest yet? So, now you have a Mad Tea Party that spins and lights up! There would even be a certificate of authentication (signed by Tony Baxter?) certifying that details are accurate and conform to Disney standards.


Production of the models would have been handled by Faller, a German company that has been producing high-quality scale models (yes, even with lights, sound, and animation) for decades. They even have a car system where motorized vehicles follow underground wires. Imagine having Main Street vehicles driving themselves around!

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Sadly, the deal never went through for whatever reason. Maybe the economy? These wouldn’t have been cheap kits.

Both the reviewer and this website have not received any compensation for writing this post. Both the reviewer and this website have no material connection to the third-party brands, products, or services that have been mentioned. This is being disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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There are 11 comments.

  • Caleb:

    OH, that would have been so cool! so sad it didn’t work out…

    • Trader Sam:

      Yes! I was really looking forward to seeing these kits.

      I’m glad to see that someone combined the Olszewski sculptures with Faller’s car system. But, the Faller system is way more than just a car following a hidden wire. The cars are actually programmable, so they can start, stop, make right/left turns, turn on blinkers, turn on headlights, etcetera. You can really create a complex street system. Watch some videos on YouTube!

  • Trader Sam:

    You can now get a closer look of all of the artwork on Flickr.

  • Brad:

    Check out what this guy has done with the Olszewski Main Street and Main Street Electrical Parade miniatures…
    http://www.imagineeringdisney.com/

    • Trader Sam:

      Yeah, I posted that on Twitter a few days ago. I wish had the money and technical know-how to do that kind of stuff.

      • Brad:

        I remember seeing those posted in the “disneyworldmodelers” group on Yahoo. I was so excited. I do wonder if the timing of Disney coming out with the HO scale train and the other playsets was influenced by this. The Main Street Station is labeled as HO, but it’s much bigger, almost “O” scale.

  • Bob Olson:

    Have you thought about pitching the idea to the Disney people again? To quote a non-Diney icon . . . “People come and go so quickly here.” My sense is the the turn over is pretty high and the executives that did not like the idea in 2007 may have been replaced with ones that may be more receptive to the ideas. It is worth a try.

    • Trader Sam:

      The idea wasn’t mine. I just did the mock-up art.

      Disney actually requires that you do a lot of the work, which requires thousands of dollars, and many years! The guy who was pitching the idea even flew back and forth to Germany to talk with the people. Before any company will jump in, you have to have prototypes, concept art, consumer testing/reports, and all of that jazz to show that the product is going to be a seller. It takes a poop-ton of money.

      He’s there right now, talking with another German company about manufacturing a different Disney-inspired item. I had help in creating the mock-up packaging for that, too.

  • Virginia:

    Amazing!

  • Becky:

    I’m surprised that they didn’t at least use the idea as a ready to use holiday item. Mr. Christmas made (makes?) a Peanuts teacup type ride. I’ve been considering buying one (even though it only has 3 cups).

  • Jackie:

    THat would have been amazing! Im sure I would have bought one… my friends + I love the paper models from this site, this would have been heaven.

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