Inside the Magic: Featured Article

For a second time one of my creations was featured on In this article, Michael Gavin of Inside the Magic explains how I designed and constructed an original project based on “Guardians of the Galaxy!”  Having a second article featured on ITM is truly thrilling. I want to personally thank everyone at ITM who made that happen. I hope everyone enjoys the exciting article!
You can view the article HERE

E.T. Halloween Costume.

Small Projects


For Halloween 2018 I decided to go as the young boy Elliot accompanied by E.T. dressed as a ghost! Inspired by my favorite scene from Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T. I constructed an E.T. prop/puppet to walk around  with. The puppet was constructed using cheap and simple objects and materials readily available at any craft store.

ET started as a simple foam cone, stuffing and a white sheet. This is what excites me about building a prop; these everyday items will become a creature from out of this world! The stuffing will be shaped into E.T.’s head and mounted onto the cone that will act as a neck. A box of Reese’s was left on the table (perhaps to lure ET in).


The stuffing was shaped into E.T.’s head. Then mounted to the cone which will act as the neck. To create the shape of ET in the basket this small frame will be placed inside the basket with a sheet over it.


The E.T. frame inside the crate. The frame had to be elevated from underneath to match E.T.’s proper height.


E.T. frame inside the crate.


E.T.’s eyes were glued onto the the stuffing frame. In the film Spielberg talks about how the key to E.T. is his eyes. ET’s eyes are iconic and very recognizable. The eyes would be seen through small holes cut in the white sheet. Keep in mind ET is suppose to be a “kid” dressed as a ghost on Halloween.


The ET prop complete. As a nod to the film and with “Trick or Treat” in mind I added a box of Reese’s into ET’s hand. Inside the crate I had a small Bluetooth speaker to create the illusion that the creature was talking under the sheet.


I also added a light inside the crate. The light was painted so it gave off a blue/red glow, this created a space glow.


Finished costume on Halloween night! Elliot and ET (left) Gertie (right)


Home Attraction: UP and Over the Horizon

Personal Projects

(The following project was created for personal development only.)
Project Inspiration : Disney-PIXAR’S “UP” 2009
Goal: Immerse guests into Carl Fredricksen’s flying house.
Backstory: The story begins after the events of the film. Carl Fredricksen has turned his new home into a clubhouse for adventurers of all ages! Those who join the club can take a ride to the majestic Paradise Falls!
Outcome : To achieve the flying effect I constructed windows that guests would view a magnified screen through. This effectively simulated looking out of a real window.
Collaboration: On this project I collaborated with Cody Reanu to create custom animation inspired by Disney-PIXAR’S “UP”

Finished Project:



Construction Timeline:



03/02/18 – Construction began on what will become Carl’s clubhouse. This image shows the framework for the queue area and house interior.


03/02/18 – These walls will become a separate room that will act as a holding area for riders.


03/15/18 – The frame work begins on the windows of Carl’s clubhouse. This will be the attraction’s main illusion.


03/17/18 – Monitors will be placed inside these small boxes. Guests will view the monitor through a window. The glass in the framework of the window will be a magnifying sheet; this will magnify the monitor to give the illusion that guests are looking out of a real window.


04/03/18 – (Backside view) The framework for the two separate rooms has been completed.


04/07/18 – Framework for the walls around the windows has started being constructed.


04/07/18 – Window framework (second view)


04/11/18 – This will become the window that guests look out of while riding.


04/17/18  – The first room (Queue Room) has begun getting the first layer of paint. The color scheme is inspired by the colors of a sky.


04/20/18 – A pattern of stripes will be painted on the walls. The stripes were accomplished using painters tape.


04/ 21/18 – First section of stripes is completed.

Above is a test video of the magnifying window illusion: 04/23/18.


04/23/18 – Outside view of window being tested.


04/23/18 – Inside view of the window being tested.


04/27/18 – Stripes completed for queue room.


04/28/18 – The wood surrounding the queue room has been painted dark blue.


04/28/18 – Closeup on stripes.


05/06/18 – Interior walls for Carl’s clubhouse have been put up. The walls are built out of a mixture of wood and cardboard.


05/06/18 – Back view of the interior of Carl’s clubhouse.


05/13/18 – The wooden window frames that will surround the window guests view out of. The ride was inspired by the look of miniatures and doll houses.


05/15/18 – The wooden frames have been added to the left and right side of the window.


05/15/18 – Closeup of the window.


05/19/18 – The queue area will be covered with photos and postcards inspired by Ellie’s adventure book.


05/19/18 – One of the finished collages that will hang on the walls in the queue room.


06/05/18  –  These wooden board will be at the base of Carl’s clubhouse.


06/08/18 – A elevated platform was built to be installed by the viewing area in the ride. Shorter riders will be able to stand on this platform to allow them to see outside the windows.


06/15/18 – The pictures have been installed in the queue area.


06/15/18 – A small tribute to the heart of the film is located inside the exit path of the ride.


06/20/18 – A cleanup view of the near complete queue area.


06/27/18 –  These small pink wooden houses are used as tiling in Carl’s Clubhouse.  These small details enhance the story and overall experience of the ride.


07/02/18 – The interior of Carl’s Clubhouse begins to get props and details.


07/02/18 – The left side of Carl’s clubhouse is dedicated to Carl. Notice the silhouette photo of carl, his balloon salesman hat and the coupon for denture cream tucked behind the picture frame.


07/05/18 – The left side of Carl’s Clubhouse is dedicated to Ellie. Notice the bird tiles, flowers, silhouette photo and bird house.


07/10/18 – Overall view of Carl’s Clubhouse.


Original Animation Credit: Cody Reanu & Patrick Fragale.
Segments/Images from : Disney- PIXAR’S “UP.”
 How the custom animation was created. Speaking Credit: Cody Reanu.


(Disney & Pixar own all rights. Creative purpose only)

Home Attraction: Guardians of the Galaxy.

Personal Projects

(The following project was created for personal development only)
Project Inspiration : Disney-MARVEL “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2”
Goal: Immerse guests into the world of Guardians of the Galaxy!
Backstory: Inside the Galactic Arcadia, Star-Lord has created a game to train new members of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Outcome : This experience was designed to be part ride, part light show! I used a combination of lighting effects and custom animation to create a high energy adventure.
Collaboration: On this project I collaborated with Cody Reanu to create custom animation inspired by Disney- MARVEL “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2”


Finished Project (Ride through video) :

(“Lights on”) Behind the scenes tour of how the ride operated:




3/01/17. Construction Begins! All the lights, wood and paint was bought prior to construction. Everything is laid out and ready to begin the process of bringing the ride to life.


3/05/17 – The base for the “Arcade game” was laid down. Rising 7″ above the ground, this elevations allows the riders to see over the front wall. The chair was placed to get an idea of the height line for the riders. Soon this base will be walled in.


3/07/17 – The frame surrounding the base has began to take shape.

Below is a time lapse video of the framework being constructed.



3/15/17 – A backwards view looking at the frame that will surround the riders. An opening was left on the far left side of this image to allow riders to get in and out of the “arcade game”.


3/20/17 – This is a collection of paint samples for the arcade game. The colors needed to be vibrant and retro. I ultimately decided on the colors Blue and orange. These colors mimic the color scheme used on “Star-Lord’s” ship in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.


4/5/17 – These crazy shapes are designed to look like a computer chip. In the ride’s story the arcade game was constructed using alien technology, so the designs had to appear to be from another planet. The shapes were created using painters tape then were painted orange. Once dried the  tape would be removed to reveal the strange shapes.


4/6/17 – The tape has been removed and the shapes are revealed.


3/8/17 – The same design and color scheme was carried through the entire arcade game structure.




4/15/17 –  The entire front of the arcade game is completed with the color scheme. More construction will be built upon this structure. This section had to be painted and completed first before more could be added on top of it.


4/20/17 – The inside of the arcade game has began the paint scheme as well. Special effects will soon be installed into this area, yet again everything needed to be painted prior to this.


4/27/17 – Painting continues..



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5/02/17 – The arcade game’s base and frame has completed its paint job. The back section is complete. Another layer of construction will begin on the front to add the window that guests will be looking out of while riding.

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5/10/17 – The framework for what will become the arcade game’s window has gone vertical. The max height reaches 8′ from the ground up.

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5/ 20 /17 – The windows frame is completed and finished with the color scheme. The middle and top sections of the window are not painted. This is because they will have fake medal attached to them to give the structure a more arcade game feel.

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5/ 20/ 17 – This window was a challenge during the construction process. The window is 8′ in height and 8′ wide. A piece of wood needed to go across the entire 8′ window to frame in the view.  A piece that large could not fit through the door into this room. Ultimately I cut the sheet in half and re-attached them in the center on the back. This created the illusion of the wood being one solid piece.

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6/ 02 / 17 – These strange designs will be surrounding the room. The designs were inspired by 1980s art of outer-space / Sci-Fi concepts. These were constructed out of cardboard and would be painted with a chrome paint to appear to be much heavy and industrial then the material they are made out of.

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6/07/17 – A finished piece, hung in place inside the room. There will be five of these total surrounding the space of the ride. The ride takes place in the fictional “Galactic Arcadia”, an arcade from the 1980s. These designs have a retro feel to them, which compliments the world of Guardians of the Galaxy.


6 / 14/ 17 – More of these structures surround the room. All vary in sizes. The largest being 7′ tall and the smallest 3′ tall.


6/20/17 – Glow in the dark stars were added to the arcade game’s window. The glow in the dark stars were chosen for the retro space theme. Although there are better effects at creating stars, these fit the story; an 1980s kids arcade.

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6/25/17 – A complete view of the near complete arcade game structure.

Special lighting effects were used on the ride. To create the illusion of real stars fiber optics were installed into the front section of the game. Below is a time lapse of these lights being installed.
How: A small hole was drilled into the wood. The tiny fiber optics were thread through the hole. The fiber optics were fastened by gorilla tape on the backside of each hole. The fiber optics were then cut at the front end.


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7 / 01/ 17 – The front view of the fiber optic lights. Notice how some strands have been cut while others haven’t

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7/01/17 – The back view of the fiber optic lights.


7/10/17 – The bench that riders will sit on has been installed and painted to match the color scheme. Also the fan effect has been installed.


7/13/17 – More theming to the arcade! These banners were installed to give the arcade more of a rich theme. Also above the arcade window an image of the guardians has been placed. This image was to feature all the characters and was inspired by art typically found on vintage arcade games.

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7 / 25/ 17 – Construction is complete and the ride has began show testing. The screen could be seen through the opening in the window. This image was taken during lighting tests.

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7/30/17 – On ride photo.  The top section of stars are projected, the bottom section are the fiber optics. In the show lighting these two elements (projection/fiber optics) blend to create an immersive view of the stars in the cosmos.

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7/30/17 – On ride photo. The rides finale. Star-Lord has been reunited with his walkman and the guardians gather to thank the riders for helping rocket raccoon! (Animation in this scene Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!)


Original animation credit: Cody Reanu/ Patrick Fragale.
Segments from : Disney-MARVEL Guardians of the Galaxy MISSION BREAKOUT!
(Disney & MARVEL own rights to all characters. This project was for creative purpose only.)


Home Recreation of Peter Pan’s Flight.

Personal Projects

(The following project was created for personal development only)
Project Inspiration : Walt Disney “Peter Pan”: 1953.
Goal: Simulate the experience of flying to Never-Neverland.
Backstory: Guests fly alongside Wendy, Jane and Michael to Never-Neverland.
Outcome : To achieve the flying effect I constructed a chair that was able to raise up and down to simulate flight. This was achieved by using motors from an electric wheelchair.
Collaboration: On this project I collaborated with Cody Reanu to create custom animation inspired by Disney’s “Peter Pan”




Construction Begins. 4/20/15: The area was cleared and the base of what will become the nursery set is in place. The frame for what will become the window looking out over London is locked into the room base. The room will be built around the window.


The room begins to take shape. 4/25/15 :The walls were all framed out and are starting to come up. Walls will be on the left and right side, and front of room. The back will be left open to operate the flying seats and effects.


The ride car that will “fly” guests to Neverland 5/2/15:  I used a donated electrical powered wheel chair for the base. I built the frame of the bench and attached it to the base. Using the functions of the chair, I will be able to move riders up and down.


The room set being painted. 5/8/15: The room is framed out complete with a roof. The walls of the Nursery set will match the wallpaper found in the animated Walt Disney film Peter Pan.


The hand painted wallpaper. 5/10/15: To get the room to look like it does in the animated film required me to hand paint the wallpaper design. I did this by mapping the design with painters tape then selecting the colors that matched the ones used in the film.


Frame work on wheelchair “Ride car” 5/15/15: The ride car design took inspiration from the opening scene of the film. John and Michael build a ship out of their bed posts and sheets, to play make believe. I thought this was the perfect design to fly my guests to Neverland.


Finished Ride car. 5/19/15: The sail frame is complete, and ready to begin testing. A skirt was added to fully hide the mechanics of the wheelchair. From behind the chair I could operate its up and down movements.


Early testing of the effects. 5/26/15: A projection of Peter Pan’s shadow would come across the wall just before the ride car takes flight. This is an early test of that effect.

 This was an early test for a Tinker Bell effect. Using a scrim material I projected Tinker Bell flying back and forth spilling Pixie dust. The dim lit room and the scrim created the illusion that Tinker Bell was really floating in the room.


A cutout of Big Ben, painted with UV Paint. 6/5/15: The view outside of the nursery window will recreate the London skyline. Big Ben is printed on a foam board and cut out. Then painted over with UV lighting.


The finished nursery set. 6/21/15: The room is complete. The kids have been added into their bed. The thin black scrim above the kids will have Tinker Bell projected onto it. The focus is now on testing and animation before friends and family can ride.


View Outside the window. 7/2/15: The London skyline was rear projected behind the cutout of Big Ben. The clouds are cotton that I sprayed with glow paint. A scrim hangs in-front of the screen, with glow painted clouds on the scrim. This created a layered effect. Big Ben was in the foreground, clouds were in mid-ground and projection was in background. The finished result gave a 3D effect with no glasses. When the riders take flight, they will see Wendy, John and Michael flying outside the window.


The little details. 7/10/15: In the film John and Michael draw a pirate map on their fathers shirt. This is a replica of that map, along with the thimble that Wendy gives to Peter Pan as a “kiss”.


The details tell a story. 7/10/15:  I went to multiple antique stores searching for toys from the era of Peter Pan. These blocks matched the ones found in the film! In the film the kids father trips on these blocks after the “nanny” dog Nana just stacked them. Also I hid a PF on the left side for my name.


The pixie dust effect. 7/13/15: The pixie dust was a simple effect that was very convincing. Tiny pin holes were drilled into the wall. Amber colored lights behind the wall peeked through the pin holes, creating the effect of Pixie Dust!


Pixie dust effect (in show). 7/17/15: This is how the effect looked while on the ride. As the pixie dust began to shine the lights in the room dimmed. In this darkness the chair began to lift off the ground simulating the riders taking flight.


Star effects for Never Neverland. 7/23/15: After the chair lifted off the ground the screen changed to show Neverland. Tiny lasers created the starry dream world of Never-Land. At this point riders were off the ground and floating in a sea of stars.


Original Custom Animation Credit: Cody Reanu.
Segments/ Images : Disney’s Peter Pan.
Before people took flight on the attraction, a short Pre-show movie played. Disney fans will notice how this short film was inspired by the classic Walt Disney and Tinker Bell segment from the Disneyland Tv show.
(Disney owns all characters. This project was for creative purpose only)



Inside the Magic: Featured article

One of my creations had the privilege of being featured on In this article, Michael Gavin of Inside the Magic explains how I re-created my favorite Disneyland attraction Peter Pan’s flight in my own home. The project came to life with the use of innovative engineering, many trips to LOWES and a little bit of pixie dust. Being a loyal fan to the Inside the Magic site, having the chance to showcase my work to the Disney community was truly sublime.
You can view the article here.