Local Seattle Business Helps Make Disney’s New  “Cars Land” Theme Area Come to Life

Disney’s Cars Land Theme Park is scheduled to debut sometime this year as part of a billion-dollar renovation launched by Disney.  Local Seattle business, Morel Industries, is scrambling to make sure the kids will not be disappointed.  Morel Industries, a 3rd generation Seattle Foundry located in SODO, is casting over 500 wheel-shaped finials which will be used throughout the theme park.

Most would assume Disney would look to Seattle’s software or other technology industry to help with the launch of their new theme park.  After all, Seattle is home to super-computer manufacturers and some of the most notable software companies in the world.  However, this time around, Disney needed help with a solution that only 3 generations of craftsmanship could resolve.  They needed bronze castings, a technology as old as, well, as old as the Bronze Age.  It turns out; Seattle is also home to one of the best companies in the world for this technology too!

Mark Morel, co-owner of Morel Industries, leads his family’s third generation company in to the 21st century combining centuries-old craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology.   To make the castings for Disney, Morel industries will start with CAD drawings which will then go through their rapid prototyping process.   Morel explains, “These technologies allow us to produce prototype samples in a matter of days, not a couple of months, as my father and grandfather would have done”. 

Part of the fast turnaround time is attributed to molding technology.  They use “Sand Mold Technologies” which allows them to quickly form parts in sand, based on laser-precise CAD drawings, and cast them.  “The best part is the technology is Very Green” says Morel.   He goes on to say, “The sand can be used over and over for thousands of other parts in the future, which eliminates the waste most foundries experiences in the past”.  Once, the first prototypes for Disney are ready, he can have them shipped over-night to Disney’s construction team for inspection the next day.

It turns out Disney is not their only high-profile client.  Kenworth Trucks, John Deere, and even the US Navy use Morel Industries to help produce their products.  When asked about the future of his business, Morel Explains, “We are hopeful.  Many of us are losing business to Chinese foundries, however we have seen a strong commitment by many of our customers to keep the work here in America… hopefully this sentiment will continue to grow”.

Morel Industries occupies a 20,000 foot warehouse and employs over 40 full-time workers.