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A behindtheears look at Disneyland
Have You Seen This Cast Member?
Harvey, one of Disneyland's newest and most popular cast members, is missing. The diminutive landscaping department employee, after mysteriously disappearing from Tom Sawyer Island, has not been seen in more than three weeks.
Harvey, you see, isor wasan all white, floppy-eared, pink-eyed dwarf rabbit. This past spring, the park's Horticulture department released the then-months-old bunny on the island to help keep the vegetation in check.
Cast members who caught sight of the critter couldn't believe their eyes. Says one attractions host: "At first, we thought, "How the heck did he get over there? Can rabbits swim?"
Co-workers teased anyone who reported seeing a white rabbit on the island, asking if the animal was wearing glasses and carrying a pocket watch.
Employees only discovered the truth when they called Horticulture to see if they should capture the rabbit. They then learned that the little fellow was supposed to be there. Cast members soon named him "Harvey."
He was supposed to stay just on the north end of the island, beyond the barricade that keeps guests away from the once-burning cabin. At first, probably out of curiosity, Harvey would venture into the shrubs lining the fence. Then, as he got used to the visitors, he began wandering farther out into the open. Late in the afternoons, he'd go as far as the cemetery behind Fort Wilderness, and finally out into the fort and barrel bridge areas.
The more Harvey warmed up to guests, the more attention he attracted. "The guests loved him," says another employee. "He'd even pose for pictures."
Now those photographs and our sweet memories may be all that remain of him. "Harvey is going to be missed, especially by some small children who are annual passholders," the worker continued. "They would come by and bring fresh vegetables to feed him. He was so tame, he would follow the Tom Sawyer Island security officers around and allow guests to pet him. But the guards always made sure, by gentle warnings, not to pick him up."
A quick check revealed that Horticulture doesn't know what happened to himor won't tell. Initially, some suspected that Harvey was taken off the isle for a check-up. After two weeks passed, that idea seemed unlikely. Others theorized that, however absurd, someone smuggled the rabbit off the island.
Now, many fear the worst: Harvey is in the big carrot patch in the sky. One theory says that he was found dead apparently of natural causes. The more sinister possibility, though, is that Harvey's demise was intentional. Rumor has it that management was afraid that the adorable critter was getting too friendly with the guests, and if a guest got scratched or bitten, or found him dead, they might be traumatized. So, rather than catch the animal, workmen may have poisoned him with some bait.
Time, hopefully, will bring his true fate to light. We implore anyone with knowledge of Harvey's whereabouts to step forward and share the truth, even if just to put our minds to rest.
In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with Harvey's family.
You can write to David atthis link..
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David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.
After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999); all titles published by Bonaventure Press.
He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.
You can contact David here.
Click here to go to David's main page for a list of archived articles.
Visit MouseShoppe to purchase copies of David's books. (Clicking on the link opens a new window.)
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