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Echo Lake Apartments

This week's column is by reader request.  Nick York emailed me with this question,

I was just in the Studios last week and noticed a mailbox between Hollywood and Vine and Prime Time Cafe.  It's right where the gate/stairs are to the upstairs apartment looking area.  I was wondering if you could tell me the significance of the names on the boxes (if they are like some of the names on Main St) and what the upstairs apartments represent.

Nick's instincts were correct, there is indeed signifigance to these mailboxes.  If you happen to walk over to the mailboxes, you'll see 10 mailboxes with names on them and like so much in Walt Disney World, these names have a hidden meaning behind it.


The names on these mailboxes pay hommage to the Imagineers that helped create the Disney-MGM Studios.  The Imagineers listed all had some role to play in the creation of the park.  If you can't read the names on the mailboxes, here they are...

Apartment 101: Polk/Olson
Apartment 102: Hamilton/Gray
Apartment 103: Mr and Mrs Kilankowski
Apartment 104: Roberdeau - John Roberdeau Drury
Apartment 105: T. Kirk
Apartment 201: Beyer/Quinn
Apartment 202: Vais
Apartment 203: Dietzel/Benson
Apartment 204: Empero/Zovich
Apartment 205: Mr and Mrs D. Yanchar

So who are these people?  Our friends at 2719 Hyperion blog were able to decode many of them

Apartment 101: John "Robin" Polk (found listed in credits for Expedition Everest); John Olson (Designer and Field Art Director)

Apartment 102: D. De Gray designed graphics for WDI from 1981 to 1984

Apartment 103: Joe Kilankowski (Senior Architect)

Apartment 104: John Roberdeau Drury (former Design Director)

Apartment 105: T. Kirk - Tim Kirk (Design Director and brother of Steve)

Apartment 201: Steve Beyer (Senior Concept Designer)

Apartment 202: An artist by the name of Lei Vais produced four pieces of work for the then Disney-MGM Studios

Apartment 203: Barbara Dietzel (Was quoted in a 1989 New York Times article about the Prime Time Cafe)

Apartment 204: Tami Empero; John Zovich (WDI engineer, chief engineer of EPCOT)

Apartment 205: Mr and Mrs D. Yanchar - Dave Yanchar (Currently works at WDI on Tokyo Disneyland projects)

The following residents remain unidentified: Hamilton, Gray, Quinn, Vais and Benson.

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About this column

Ever seen something in Hollywood Studios and wondered why it was placed there by Disney's Imagineers? Matt Hochberg leads you on a regular look at the hidden details in Hollywood Studios and explains why it's there.


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Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 by
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