There’s no telling how the two are connected just yet, but for those who just can’t wait any longer, we’d like to introduce you to Wallace, the newest person of intrigue in Disney’s alternate reality game (ARG), ‘The Optimist.’
We’ve already meat Amelia (@storyorbit) who is on a quest via Twitter and her blog at storyorbit.com to learn more about her grandfather Carlos and the stories he would regale her with about his experiences with Walt Disney and the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City and his short story, ‘Orbit’s Story’ which was possibly optioned for a film and theme park rights.
Now there is Wallace (@dcartography), the unofficial cartographer of Disneyland. Wallace describes his art as depicting ‘Disneylands past, Disneylands future, and Disneylands that never were or might have been.’ And to be blunt, his work is downright beautiful (you can see his gallery here). As luck would have it, prints of his art are all sold out, but you can still view his images which seem to be limited to portraits of attractions Disney developed for the 1964 World’s Fair in addition to a portrait of Walt with other Imagineers going over plans for the attractions at his table 31 at the Tam O’Shanter.
As beautiful as his art is (and I would seriously love the opportunity to purchase a print or two), it’s the Carousel of Progress (or Progressland as it would have been known at the fair) that’s the most intriguing. At the top of the poster reads an intriguing little caption: ‘Three Bells Start Our Revolution.’ A Google search turned up completely empty on the phrase so I’m beginning to think there’s just a bit more to it. For example, if you take the first letter of each word, you almost have ORBIT. Perhaps it’s an anagram, a fancy clue, or just nothing at all — just one more element in the intriguing game leading up the Disney D23 Expo.
And speaking of the D23 Expo, Wallace says he will be there and invites everyone to say hello. For those not going or wanting to get an extra moment of Wallace’s time to see what he can share, he’ll be holding a live chat on August 6 at 9:30 pm ET/6:30 pm PT which can be accessed by link he will share via Twitter.
As far as progress on the game goes, speculation continues to be rampant, although there’s a lot of focus on many anachronisms being spotted. That said, one popular theory is that the game is leading up to promotion for Disney’s Tomorrowland film which is said to involve a strange event at the 1964 World’s Fair introducing a parallel universe and perhaps alternate timelines, which may lead to these apparent anachronisms. Given that The Optimist is a joint venture between Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Studios, it may very well be that Disney is taking the term ‘alternate reality’ a bit more literal than originally thought.