…and speaking of huge, hairy monsters…

…and speaking of huge hairy monsters, our Director of Games was also at the IAAPA Convention.


Best to start over using proper sentence structure; April is a lovely, flaxen-haired young woman.

The huge, hairy monster in reference is Shrek.

If you've been to see a movie in the past six months, you've no doubt seen the trailer for Shrek the Third, which is coming out in May.

One of April's interests while at the convention is to see all the new plush offerings. She then prognosticates which ones will be the most coveted six months down the line and places some huge orders for her department.

April had no problem viewing the cute little penguins, the colorful Care Bears, and the bouncy-bouncy basketballs.

But when she wanted to check out the Shrek merchandise for 2007, everything changed.

The Baby Shrek plush, it seems, is classified.

And behind closed doors.

No cameras allowed.

And the top-secret plush won't even be shipped until the wee Shrekling has been introduced to the media sometime in the spring.

Totally enjoying the skulduggery, a camera-free April slipped into private viewing area.

Her eyes danced as she later told us how cute those Baby Shreks were.

Come to think of it, though, she offered no description.

The rest of us may get to see roller coaster layouts way ahead of time. We'll be the first to sample the goodies at the Plymouth Rock Cafe. We'll even get to try out Turkey Whirl next month and sample various new brands of toilet paper.

But when it comes to the Shrek: The Next Generation, we're in the dark along with everyone else.

Maybe it’s a guy thing

It’s amazing how many emails we’ve received regarding Will’s search for the Bigfoot creator.

Or maybe I should refer to the missives as “emales,” given the gender of the various senders.

One came from a fellow who worked here many years ago.

Arte Bausman was the magician at Santa Claus Land long ago (see page 50 of our pictorial history book for several of his recollections).

In case you don’t have the book (yet), here’s a photo of Arte:

When Arte read about Will’s search for the Bigfoot creator, he dashed off this email:


Was reading the “blog” this morning and noticed your interest in meeting Philip Morris, creator of quality gorilla costumes and effects.

If you recall, Santa Claus Land has a connection with Mr. Morris and Morris costumes.

In the mid 1970s when the character costumes were beginning to show signs of wear, your Dad asked that I find someone to make new hands, paws and things of that nature to replace the ones which were wearing out. I contacted Morris costumes. They made very nice replacements for the park’s costumed animal characters. I remember ones for the three pigs and the big bad wolf. Most probably the bears, too.

As you’re aware, Phil Morris still operates Morris costumes in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to making and selling costumes, haunted house effects and other things, he produces “Spectaculars” for various circuses. I worked with Phil a couple of years on the Ronald McDonald Circus in Nashville.

Small world?? Arte Bausman

To which Will replied:

Ahh, yes. I also recall a gorilla suit that you had (or I think I do—wasn’t there a gorilla in The Great London Ghost Show?). Was it from Morris? I didn’t know that you went to Morris for replacements for the pigs, wolf, etc. I’d been aware of Morris Costume for many years. We’ve seen them at IAAPA for a long time. I got interested in meeting Philip because of his role in the famous Bigfoot hoax (that’s really what it is—-you won’t see it called that on network TV, though). I was surprised when I read that the identity of the perpetrator, as well as the story of how he purchased the gorilla costume and got “hints” as to how to make the arms longer, etc. from Morris.

That Bigfoot story is such a great piece of Americana that I just wanted to shake his hand and ask him about his recollections of it. I really find the whole thing fascinating.

Merry Christmas! Will

When I returned from Christmas vacation, a four-page article entitled “The Great Million Dollar Bogfoot Hoax” was left–anonymously–in my mail tray.

I guess I need to start a “Bigfoot” file in our archives…

Seven pretty birds

We can’t see all seven turkeys in this photo, but here’s the latest picture of Turkey Whirl:

Shouldn’t be long before these birds take flight for their new home in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Relocation notification

The Raven

Anyone receive a calendar for Christmas?

Maybe … a coaster calendar?

While perusing ’07 calendars at a Barnes & Noble last month, I nearly spit out my Hollyberry Ho Ho Ho and a Sprinkle of Nutmeg Latte.

There it was: a coaster calendar featuring The Raven as its May photo.

I could see a little thumbnail shot of The Raven on the back cover, as the calendar was one of those shrink-wrapped jobs so flipping to May was not an option.

There it was … a nice photo of the swooping turn over Lake Rudolph … with the standard identifying caption:

The Raven at Holiday World, Santa Claus, ID.


As in Idaho?

Oh, no!

Of course, once a mistake is in print, you’re stuck. And since their website says they’re Sold Out, you may not have much luck finding a copy of your own to snicker over all 31 days of my birth month.