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Jul 10, 2014
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I have been doing some research and detective work on the Singing Mushrooms and I've managed to uncover some interesting information.

I have obtained, through secret means, a fragmentary backstory for the Mushrooms. I will try to get the rest of it, but here's what I have so far. The ellipses denote missing text:

"Mr. A.M. Phibian, a once world renowned producer and talent scout responsible for the finding the most impeccable of music in the theme park industry, had reached the end of his froggy luck. The ever-popular musical crickets, formerly represented by Mr. Phibian, had found a new artistic outlet: finger painting, of all things, and once dazzling singing birds had migrated for the season against Phibian’s better judgment. Phibia...

Mr. Phibian searched high and low until he stumbled upon a farm and found a patch of mushrooms with voices the likes of which he had ever heard before. With an offer to become the next big singing sensation before them, Timmy, Jimmy, Lenny, and bob began rehearsing right away. The only problem they faced was the fact that all four mushrooms had rather high-pitched voices and they needed a low voice to round out their sound. The...
"

UPDATE! See this post....
 
Jul 10, 2014
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Here are some images of the Mushrooms being fabricated. All images are by courtesy of Kings Dominion:

One of the original 1970s Singing Mushrooms being painted or clear coated:

Ol0ELZJ.jpg


3-D rendering of Mr A.M. Phibian:

BWU4zs6.jpg


Foam casting (or C&C carving) of Mr A.M. Phibian:

sqDOSJI.png


The unfinished Mushroom shells:

xMLlsXG.jpg


1lHJSbP.jpg


xohLiH8.png


Freakish Mushroom eyes:

CoL6T2j.jpg
 
Jul 10, 2014
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Well that was fast! After further "research", I have found the entire official Singing Mushrooms backstory:

"Mr. A.M. Phibian, a once world renowned producer and talent scout responsible for the finding the most impeccable of music in the theme park industry, had reached the end of his froggy luck. The ever-popular musical crickets, formerly represented by Mr. Phibian, had found a new artistic outlet: finger painting, of all things, and once dazzling singing birds had migrated for the season against Phibian's better judgment. Phibian was in need of a new musical sensation and he needed them NOW. He looked everywhere, high and low, but Mr. Phibian simply couldn't find the kind of talent he knew he needed. City after city the frog visited and each time produced the same results: all croak and no musical talent. Where had all the natural musical talent gone? There had to be SOME untapped talent out there just waiting to be discovered… right?

Mr. Phibian searched high and low until he stumbled upon a farm and found a patch of mushrooms with voices the likes of which he had ever heard before. With an offer to become the next big singing sensation before them, Timmy, Jimmy, Lenny, and Bob began rehearsing right away. The only problem they faced was the fact that all four mushrooms had rather high-pitched voices and they needed a low voice to round out their sound. Then, one day, after the stress of rehearsing for countless hours, Bob got sick with a spore throat! Timmy, Jimmy, and Lenny tried rehearsing without Bob, but it simply wasn't the same and they knew they couldn't make this group work without their musical brother. Finally, two weeks later, Bob came to a rehearsal but seemed abnormally quiet. When Phibian asked him how he was feeling, the sound that came out of Bob's mouth was startling to say the least. Bob's voice was now a full two octaves lower than it had been before! Mr. Phibian had never seen anything like it, but spore throats apparently have a rather drastic effect on the voice of a mushroom and the quartet couldn't have been any more delighted! Suddenly, luck was on Mr. Phibian's side once again and the singing mushroom quartet had found their bass singer! reinvigorated with a newfound sense of passion and motivation, Mr. Phibian knew his singing mushrooms quartet was now ready for the big stage!
"
 

Lord Robert

"Not pet. Wingman."
Apr 18, 2014
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^Neat story.

I saw the Mushrooms last week and they were all in functioning order. Which is good news.
 
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I have known the names of the Singing Mushrooms since I was a kid. But I never knew which name belonged to which mushroom, and it seemed that no one else did either. I even recall, when I was younger, asking a supervisor at the park, with no success.

But after recent consultation with management at Kings Dominion, I have finally obtained the official answer. I present to you, for the first time on the internet, the correct names of the beloved fungi:

llpCWXB.jpg


The mushrooms, from left to right when facing the mushroom patch, are Jimmy, Bob, Timmy and Lenny, and the frog is Mr A.M. Phibian.

Many thanks to Tim and the amazing public relations department at Kings Dominion for actually pursuing this for me, and to Jason in Entertainment for providing the answer to my ancient, burning question. It's so strange to finally learn the answer to a totally trivial question that I've had for more than 30 years. Like so many aspects of the parks, and of our childhoods, there's something hugely important lurking behind the smallest and seemingly silliest of questions. Call me a weirdo if you want, but this means a lot to me.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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Okay, there is one thing I just have to say about the mushrooms that is in anyway negative.

The one thing that I hate with a burning passion about the new mushrooms is they have fake flowers around them. I hate fake flowers almost as much as I dislike Scott Gasparich. They are colorful, which is nice, but they are obviously fake, more so than Kim Kardashian's face. In pictures I have seen of the old mushrooms, they had real flowers planted around them. I was hoping the same would happen with the new mushrooms, but alas, it was to no avail.

I feel like if the colors are of a concern, they shouldn't be, pansies or violas could easily provide the same vibrant colors in the spring and petunias in the summer. And it would make them a whole lot easier to look at for me.

//end of shrubbery rant
 
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Jonquil said:
^ You are mistaken. For most of their earlier incarnation the Mushrooms were partially surrounded by artificial flowers.

The surrounding flowers must've looked shitty then too. Sad, I thought higher of it then. From what I've seen though, they were fake flowers that looked like real flowers, because they were good enough to fool me. The current flowers are not in anyway able to fool me.

Still, something needs to be done, the current flowers look fake, if they planted real flowers it would look more natural, AND the park would get shrubbery points.
 
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mlYhNcL.jpg


Z3EcjIr.jpg


As you can see, artificial. A slightly more natural style of artificial plants and flowers, but artificial nonetheless. The problems then, as now, are depth, drainage and damage: the bed is far too shallow to hold enough soil to support constantly-flowering plants; the bed does not provide sufficient drainage for the maintenance of live plants; and the care of living plants would possibly compromise the animatronic supports and mechanisms. The new Mushroom bed is perhaps even shallower than the original:

acjI7De.jpg


I think the new flowers look pretty, and certainly go with the colorful fantasy presented by the Mushrooms. As long as KD continues to maintain the flowers and swaps them out when they become faded or soiled, I think it's a fine æsthetic solution to the problem of decorating the bed, and certainly more attractive than the natural growing medium of mushrooms...
 
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You could actually easily grow some annuals in that thing. If the machinery of the mushrooms is a concern, all you have to do is raise the podium they stand on, so they're not under the dirt. If you add some draining holes on the backside of the container, it'll drain sufficiently.

Jonquil, I'd ask you to not try to understand my complete hatred of all fake flowers. They are impure and must be eliminated, I don't care if they look good, they are fake.

Also, there is ivy growing in the second pic.
 
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And I'll ask you to not try to understand my PSYCHOTIC NEED TO DESTROY ANYONE WHO DENIGRATES ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE SINGING MUSHROOMS!!!!1

And the ivy in the pics was fake, fake, fake.

I'm an artist, my dear. Artifice is my life. It is nature which disappoints with its decay and dying, and art which bests nature by being perfectible and eternal.
 
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Jonquil said:
I'm an artist, my dear. Artifice is my life. It is nature which disappoints with its decay and dying, and art which bests nature by being perfectible and eternal.

How dare you assume the art of floral culture is not authentic. Flowers die off , because they were not suited to survive the changing Enviornment. However, when the Enviornment becomes promising again, from the roots or seeds of its predecessor, they have a re-birth from the promise of a world a new.

Art fades. It stays around for some time, but it fades, and becomes boring and in-sentimental, and will never become new again, instead it is forgotten, gone for ever, and will never return.

Flowers are perrineal; eternal.
Art is annual; temporary.
 
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Vita brevis,
ars longa,
occasio præceps,
experimentvm pericvlosum,
ivdicivm difficile.
 
May 3, 2011
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Richmond, Va
I think the main issue is the fact that they have a lot more going on in them than they have in the past. They also seem to, for whatever reason, require more maintenance. They are also cleaned regularly which involves walking in the bed.

Yes they look really fake, but after the addition of many new planters and the front entrance enhancement, I imagine there is a good excuse to not incorporate real plants. Maybe they can find fake plants that are more real.
 
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Okay, now that I'm looking at this conversation again, I realize it's like the argument between Nicole and I over TIO, just I'm in the opposite place now. Jonquil, I still love the mushrooms, almost nothing will make me hate them. The fact they are surrounded by ugly, fake, and impure flowers is saddening, and if you wanted what was best for them, you would hate the fake flowers too. I know you know, that the mushrooms deserve better.
 
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