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Glass Art Remains Unique at Disney Parks

posted on October 19th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Right now, someone’s admiring glass art at Disney Parks. Yeah, glass is global — it’s available in our international parks. But there’s something special happening in front of a furnace at Walt Disney World Resort. Glassblowing and storytelling are combined to create a Disney Difference you shouldn’t miss.

Heat, gravity and human breath create art during glassblowing shows in the Crystal Art Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom Park. It’s mesmerizing. Glowing molten glass is gathered on the end of a blowpipe and then manipulated by hand by a master artist until it’s finished.

It’s as special now as it was when Walt Disney originally spotted it. Walt saw the potential of having glass art in a theme park, according to Rudy Arribas, president of Arribas Brothers. It’s the reason why the Arribas Brothers family business exclusively creates inside Disney Parks.

In talking with Rudy, it’s clear that Walt knew what he liked and he loved the work they were doing. Rudy says he wanted glass to be “special and unique” like the rest of Disney. So, he asked if they’d consider only doing business within Disney.

Now, guests watching and interacting with an Arribas Brothers artisan like Brandon Price usually end up wanting the piece he’s working on. They’re part of its creation, Brandon says. Personalization keeps it special.

Arribas glass shops can be found in Disneyland Park in California, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris in France and Disneyland Hong Kong. And they’re all different.

By the way, the Walt Disney World location was recently refurbished. Walt Disney Imagineering’s vision of the Arribas Brothers and their past is now on the walls. Be sure to stop in and enjoy this Disney Difference.

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disney Differences, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

13 Comments 1 Reply

1

Jackie from WA on October 19th, 2009 at 11:33 am

WOW! What an amazing experience! That will be a “must do” on our next trip! I LOVE the Mickey vase!!! =)

2

Allison from TX on October 19th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I love watching the glass blowing! Such a unique craft! I LOVE that Mickey vase, too! I’ll have to check them out on my upcoming trip in Nov, for a unique piece like that!

3

Krista on October 19th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

That is so cool! I wish I could do that.

4

Holly from MO on October 19th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

The Irish Dancers (North American Nationals)will be invading the Walt Disney World Resort in early July. I have always said that if the glass blowers would create an Irish dancer they would sell a ton! Everyone loves glass creations and all us Irish Dance families love to buy things that are unique Irish Dance items!

5

Todd from TX on October 19th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I have a mickey vase I purchased in January 2009…it’s one of my favorite Disney items.

6

Joshua on October 19th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

The glass blowing demonstration is always one of my favorite things to catch in the world. I have so much respect for this for of sculpture designing!

7

Debra on October 19th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I’ve been to WDW 30+ times, but have never stopped in to see the glass blowers. I will definitely do that on my next trip!

8

Eliel on October 19th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

I wish we had a gallery like this in Disneyland Anaheim, CA. This is really cool!

9

Karen from MA on October 20th, 2009 at 7:27 am

Wow! I can’t wait to check that out! I have never seen that on Main Street. We’ll be there next week…can’t wait! I love the blog too…

 

Thomas Smith on October 20th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Thanks, Karen. You’ll enjoy the show.

10

Christine on October 20th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Dang, was just at Disneyland on Friday, but didn’t read this till Tuesday…:( Next year’s trip will have to stop by to take a peek!!

11

Ed from TX on October 22nd, 2009 at 12:50 pm

We were at WDW two weeks ago and just stumbled upon Brandon working on a piece. It was fascinating. Even my kids were captivated. A GREAT, “hidden” attraction at the Magic Kingdom!

12

Aruna on October 23rd, 2009 at 3:18 pm

As a glass artist myself, although on a much smaller scale (glass bead making) it’s great to see this craft in the spotlight!

13

Michael from MD on November 11th, 2009 at 8:37 am

Very nice demo. Out of the pieces that you make do you ever use any other color techniques other then frited glass, such as bar, cane, or murrini?

13 Comments