Brandon Hardy is a Broadway artist. He creates props, puppets, and set pieces for Broadway productions. His inspiration comes from a “love for Imagineering.” He studied Disney’s art and design at the theme parks for years. Then, he worked to build his skills and understanding of the art and design, and apply them to his work. His dedication to his work is infallible, something that’s easy to see when he talks about his creations.
When you scroll through his Instagram, it’s full of viral art pieces. The Sleeping Beauty cake, the faux Fawkes the Phoenix, and these amazing Easter eggs are all pieces he’s created. Recently though, he unveiled his most ambitious piece to date, a Walt Disney World replica (with all 4 parks). Here at JustDisney we were so impressed, we reached out to ask him about the project, and boy did he deliver!
The Project’s Conception
Hardy started this project 15 – 20 years ago when Disney started selling toy monorail playsets. They had all of the sets setup at Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney. He thought they were so cool, and bought one in order to have his own monorail at home. He decided that he wanted to collect all of the sets, and then fill in the gaps with handmade models and other pieces he’d collected, in order to make the “most complete version of the parks that was possible.” Over the years, he collected as many sets as he could, and built a few more. At this time, most of the sets he owns have been discontinued, but he’s been unable to put them together.
Covid – 19
Broadway shut down in March, and Hardy knew he’d need a new project, something to keep his creative juices flowing while he was stuck in lockdown. He also realized that this was probably the only chance he’d have to make the Disney project a reality. So he got his glue gun, and started working on the mountains and buildings to fit between the sets he owned. He built the pieces in his studio, and set up the sections on a table, making sure everything fit together properly. For the past 5 months, he buckled down, and by 4th of July, everything was created.
Hardy says the project can’t be called a scale model, it’s more of a representation of the park. “Someone compared it once to the old ‘Fun Maps’ that exaggerate proportions but give you the feeling of the park,” It’s also not a “timeline specific” model. Some attractions have since been replaced, and others are just attractions he really wanted to feature because they’re his favorites. Some attractions he featured are Alien Encounter, New Fantasyland, Galaxy’s Edge, and the Sorcerer’s Hat (“which wasn’t my favorite, but I had the playset”). His EPCOT is the original EPCOT Center, it features the original Future World Pavilions, and there are no characters in World Showcase.
Hardy doesn’t believe this is the ending for his Walt Disney World model park. He’s already started working on more pieces for it. He believes that he’ll keep it evolving, just like the parks. All in all, the project is truly a work of art. Check out the gallery and video, and let us know what you think!