Interview with 20Ker Tim "Flounder" Hollamby
Tim worked 20K from various times 1985 and 1990. Besides being a jolly guy that many 20Kers reported being fond of, his claim to fame is being the founder of the infamous "Knights of the Black Spur"!
How did you get selected to work on 20K?
Well, Basically If you were a male in Westside attractions at that time, you were trained at 20K. Because we were an all male attraction. Interestingly Jungle Cruise was too until the lawyers got involved later on...
At what point in your life did you sign on? What years?
Young and stupid early twenties and now older and stupid mid forties.
Were there hazing rituals for new recruits?
Not unless you count eating at the Fantasyland Cafeteria.
Were the 20Kers a tighter knit group than other ride crews?
It was when I got there at first but as time went by a lot of the old guard moved on and by the time I left we were less tight.
What was your favorite section of the ride (i.e. Atlantis, the giant squid)?
Where the starfish at night were big and bright….Deep in the heart of ling cod. (Area just before reentering the dock area)…..Not really I just wanted to get my friend Eric’s silly saying worked in somewhere.
Were your friends jealous of your job or did they make fun of it?
Friends?...What Friends?......Oh sorry, no it wasn’t an adventure it was a job….And I have friends as long as they get their checks on time each month.
Did you enjoy your job? What aspect did you enjoy/dislike the most?
I loved 20K. It was the last time I really enjoyed anything about working at Disney….As time went by though it became where I cared too much about doing a good job and most of the other guys didn’t care at all…..Which in a word kinda sucked.
How seriously did people take their 20K jobs?
Very Seriously when I started less and less as time went by.
One particular individual was a real waste of skin but for the most part the guys were okay. It was okay because the waste got himself canned as they all do sooner or later. I’m not mentioning any names….there were some of the guys who felt the same way about me I’ll wager…..Onward.
Did piloting one of those subs fire up your imagination just like riding them did for the people below?
Once in a while you would get a little this really cool rush…
Did you get a kick out of seeing people and kids enjoy the ride?
Sometimes but also met some guests I would have loved to give a kick…..We all did.
Many people feel it was the best ride at Disney world, why do you feel the ride had such an impact on people?
It was unique and had a futuristic and yet historical premise and you got to wear a pretty cool costume and drive subs….What’s not to like?
Some people feel the ride was slow and boring and fake looking, what you think you think they’re missing that others clearly respond to?
They had no vision or imagination. Lets face it They probably went on to create TV shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars….lol…..Sorry gotta watch those insensitive male comments…comes from working where you could belch and scratch at work…..Ah the good old days…lol
Would you have been scared to swim in the ride tank at night? Did anyone do that? Or fall in?
Yup would not wanna fall in that lagoon water…Yuck.
What’s one crazy story you have related to the ride?
We once had a crazy woman strip to bra and panties and go swimming in the caverns after sneaking through the area doors….security carted her off after her parents said she had gone off her meds…Guests in the subs must have got an eyeful…too bad some of the guys told me she was 300 lbs and had a face that would scare God……shudder.
Any fun pranks people pulled to mix it up?
We liked to catch guys sleeping or doing stuff they should not have been in the caverns with flashlights…we called it Flashlight Monster…
Was there any legendary figure among the 20Kers?
Not really just a few legends in their own minds.
Did you come back to ride 20K after you stopped working there?
No, too depressing except for the last skippers picture.
Do you keep in touch with other 20Kers?
Not as much as I would like.
-Why do you think the ride was shut down? What was problematic about it?
In a word, politics.
How did you feel when you heard it was shut down?
Sad but not surprised.
What would you like to see done with the land eventually?
Ideally bring back an updated state of the art 20K…..like that’s gonna happen.
How do you feel when you peruse 20kride.com?
Its like seeing an old friend.
Have you been to the France or Tokyo attractions?
Nope but I did go to the sub ride in Disneyland and talk to some of their crew…that was cool.
Any other anecdotes you’d like to add related to 20K or Disney World in general?
20K was a unique part of Disney at a time when we were the best in our field…that unique quality is gone and probably never to return. Especially since none of the Disney family is involved in the company any more….Sad but such is life.