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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Farewell PUSH the talking trash can

It appears PUSH the talking trash can will never again grace the concrete walkways of Tomorrowland, at least for now.  Several reports indicate a possible contract dispute led Disney to break ties with the performer operating PUSH and so the beloved walk-around character is no more.  Now Disney has confirmed the talking trash can is no more.

UPDATE (Feb. 10):  According to an Orlando Sentinel article, Disney says PUSH will remain in Tomorrowland.  Earlier, an apparent internal Disney FAQ gave talking points to cast members about PUSH's removal.  I'm sure there will be more to come on this. 

UPDATE 2:  Disney has confirmed PUSH is gone, according to a new Orlando Sentinel article.

But did you ever stop to wonder just how PUSH did what he did?  He was a fully mobile and fully interactive character.  He could carry on complete conversations with people seemingly on his own.  Well, of course, that wasn't the case, but it was pretty hard to pick out just how it was done.

Now that PUSH has been retired, I'll let you in on the secret.

PUSH did indeed have a handler/operator.  If you looked carefully around at the crowd, you just might spot a person standing somewhere within eyesight of PUSH wearing a hat, some sort of fanny pack or satchel and holding his hand up to his mouth for an unusually long time.  Yep, that's the PUSH operator.  I've had the opportunity to secretly observe this performance several times and I have to say the person(s) who operate PUSH are quite good at blending in and not being conspicuous.  It's hard to see from the above photo, but this person is wearing headphones so he can hear what's being said around the PUSH character.  He can then speak into the mic and talk with unsuspecting guests.

It's a pretty simple operation but was beautifully done.  Even after I figured out who to look for, there were several times I couldn't find the operator, he had blended in so well.

So it is with great sadness and regret that I say farewell to PUSH the talking trash can from Tomorrowland.  I can only hope that there will come a day soon when you might make a return.

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