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Surfin': On the Radio at Disney

07/18/2008

When I was a kid back in the late 1950s, I was a big Disney fan, an unofficial Mouseketeer and my dream was to visit Disneyland.

When I was old enough to drive a car and do road trips, Number One Ed (N1ED) and I took a heck of a detour after weekending at the Rochester Hamfest in New York and visited Walt Disney World in Florida. On four subsequent road trips, I revisited Uncle Walt's World in Orlando; one time, I also made it to the Left Coast and fulfilled my childhood dream by visiting Disneyland.

My daughter just returned from a 46-day, coast-to-coast road-trip. One of her stops on the trip was Disneyland in California and I have been waxing nostalgically about my Disney theme park adventures.

Waxing thusly, I recalled working the Walt Disney World Amateur Radio Club station WA4ABQ when it was celebrating Walt Disney World's 20th anniversary back in 1991. My daughter was thrilled when she heard me exchanging 59s with Mickey Mouse himself!

I also recalled that during a one of my Orlando road trips, I worked through the club's 2 meter FM repeater that was reputedly located on top of Space Mountain (or was that just an urban legend?). The WA4ABQ call sign is now kaput. It seems that the Disney Emergency Amateur Radio Service's WD4WDW is its replacement; WD6MM is its Disneyland counterpart.

Surfin' the 'Net, I discovered some interesting radio references related to Disney's East and West Coast operations.

Mouseplanet.com reveals the various radio operations (including ham radio) at Disneyland in its article "Scanning the Entertainment at Disneyland."

"Decoding the Disneyland Telegraph," by George Eldridge, N6RVC, an October 2000 QST article that is now online, describes how the author used his knowledge of Morse code to decode the clicks and clacks of the telegraph sounder located at the Disneyland New Orleans train station.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, prefers Daffy to Donald, but would revisit Disneyland in a heartbeat. To communicate with Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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