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Arrow Development, Disney and the Disneyland POTC Ride

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Poison Quill
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 4623
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Arrow Development, Disney and the Disneyland POTC Ride Reply with quote

Did you know that much of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland was manufactured right here in Mountain View CA?

It's true! I came across this information when I started researching the history on my carousel horse. Here's the story in a nutshell:

Two WWII mechanics named Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon came home from the war and in 1946, they opened up a machine shop at 243 Moffet Blvd in Mountain View CA under the name Arrow Development Company.

Arrow produced carousels for small local children's parks. Among them was the 1948 carousel that my horse is from, that eventually ended up in Happy Hollow children's park in San Jose, CA. Here is a photo of that carousel from the 1960's:

When Walt Disney began making plans for the original Disneyland in Anaheim Ca, he worked with Morgan and Bacon to develop some of the original and best-loved early rides at Disneyland. Among them were the Tea Cups, Flying Dumbos and Mr Toad's Wild Ride. The most impressive of the rides produced in this tiny shop was the Matterhorn.

Disney made many trips out to the Mountain View machine shop to check on the progress of the work as it was moving along. Eventually, he bought 1/3 of Arrow Development.

Here are photos I took last week of 243 Moffet Blvd, the original site of Arrow Development Co. It looks like it hasn't changed much, and the building is now being used by C & C Body Shop. The guys working there were very enthusiastic when I told them I was interested in the buildings history and were quick to tell me they knew about Arrow Development and that Mr Disney had been there many times:

Next, Arrow expanded into a new location at 1555 Plymouth Street in Mountain View. It was at this location that parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride were produced!

*Photo of the site where the POTC ride was produced coming soon!*

Here is a link to a brief article on Arrow Development:


Here is a terrific article about the making of the ride, and there is quite a bit of information on Arrow Development in it:


Here is my carousel horse, which got me started on researching Arrow Development. I've had him since the 1970's when the horses on the Happy Hollow carousel were replaced by fiberglass sea animals. He's made of cast iron and has the original Arrow factory paint from 1948. Notice the big letter "A" on his chest!

Last month, Happy Hollow auctioned off parts of the park equipment, in preparation for a major renovation. Among the items auctioned were 5 of the iron horses. Happy Hollow chose one to keep for their collection.

Here are photos of these horses in storage and in preparation for the auction.


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