Next on our tour, we head down a an incline that leads us from the tour guest money grab area to a functioning movie studio …below. On the way down we slowly pass our next animation.To activate these animations, we must use a special device, a genie!
Not a genie that comes out of a lamp and grants wishes, but more like what opens your garage door. State of the art…this tool is as important to a driver as a microphone is to a tour guide. These are the two must have items for tour to even make partial sense.
Right before we cruise directly in front of this mansion, I must light in on fire!
This is easily done by correctly pushing the open button on my garage door genie. A second button, there are two on this device, turns off the animation and probably will close your garage door… if you live close by.
These animations turn off automatically anyways!
A picture tells a thousand words…exciting!
This brings us to the studio fire department…it’s the real deal. Two fire engines sit proudly polished and ready to go just inside the departments large wood doors. More proudly sit the macho firemen, who Dennis tells me, love to flirt with our female guests when tram back up’s occur in this area of the World Wide lot.
This fire department ironically sits…one – hundred yards down from this constantly burning building.
Fire Men lift weights and flex as we peer in…
My guests have seen this act before. This fire department doubles for the TV show Emergency. The equipment has Company 51 proudly attached. When used in filming… actors who couldn’t put out a camp fire replace the men who can. It’s a union thing around here, some of my guests have worked on this show…
As we continue forward…off to the left of the Glamour Tram, Alfred Hitchcocks office sits silently…abandoned.
Next, we practice dropping off tourists and plucking a different group to load up. We exchange guests… we pick up all the one’s who just experienced the charm and wit of America’s most handsome individual…Mr Robert Wagner.
His life size wax doll duplicate and video tape make this visit seem all so real…
Drivers have four lanes to park and can pick any, to load and unload passengers. This process takes time… so trams can back up waiting… depending on how fast they are dispatched.
Often, trams sit just in front of Engine 51 headqaurters, blocking their emergency exit… as the vultures inside keep working out, …. keep on flexing boys!
Drivers practice safe use of wheel chocking in this area.That requires placing large rubber blocks in front of our front tires, so we have a reduntancie of safety in place. We aslo have our air brakes applied. This way we can assist loading guests aboard. It is here we find out which guide we will have for the rest of the backlot tour.
We our told by Dennis that often drivers make mistakes here… after loading the guests aboard the tram, often drivers fail to pick up the wheel chocks that they just put down. This can pop a tire if the tram operator continues to apply the throttle.
That is an embarrassing way to start the second half of any tour…we are lectured and… reminded. It is usually new hires that make this mistake…Beware!
Cross your fingers on what group and guide head towards your tram. This next part of the tour is the long haul part of the tour…
Written and lived by Donnie Norden…page 5
Read thephantomofthebacklots.com… it proceeds the Glamour Tram…stay tuned!