Monday, December 11, 2017

Main Street, December 1967

The word of the day is "festoon".

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so it's the perfect time to share some snapshots of Disneyland's Main Street during the Christmas season fifty years ago.

At first glance this doesn't look very festive, until one notices that the photo is framed by trees covered in ornaments, and that Main Street Station is bedecked in some modest (by today's standards) garlands. The driver of the Horse Drawn Streetcar is wondering where all the guests are. Guess they're more interested in that new pirate ride than some old horse. Progress? Bah!  


Disneyland is not just for kids, as these two fellows discovered. Mr. Blue Cardigan looks like he ran all the way from Main Street Station, and suddenly became aware of how uncool that was. First of all, who walks down the middle of the street? Not in America, pal! His buddy documented the whole sordid incident with his Kodak Brownie. 


Main Street looks wonderful, I love those garlands, bells, and wreaths. Notice the bells that festoon the light posts too. I also kind of like it when you see the guests dressed in cool-weather clothing for the few months that it gets down into the 60's and even (egads) the 50's. 


Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Rainbow Desert, 1957

Californians don't have to drive too far to visit a real desert - the venerable Mojave, just hours from Los Angeles. But you know what? It ain't no Rainbow Desert. (With that double negative, perhaps I'm saying that it IS a Rainbow Desert. What do I mean? Nobody ever knows).

I think I've seen some barrel catcus, and maybe some jumping cholla, but I've sure never seen a saguaro during my drives through the Mojave. As you know, saguaros have been voted "Most Popular Cactus" in "US" magazine for four decades in a row. Sorry, prickly pear! 

In the 1800's and early 1900's, most saguaros were killed for their oil, which was used in a variety of products (giving men's hair that glistening sheen, and keeping watches running accurately, for instance). When will we ever learn? Fortunately, they've made a comeback, but in the 1950's they were as scarce as ivory-billed woodpeckers. Which makes this tableau that much more impressive.


And here's a familiar view of strange rock formations sculpted by angry bees over many millennia. Note the little coyote, trapped in a hole by the bees so that he will raise their larva. You can see the pueblos perched precariously atop the buttes and mesas. How did they get to McDonald's? The McRib is back!


Saturday, December 09, 2017

Marineland of the Pacific

"Marineland of the Pacific" was a combination of aquariums and live marine mammal performances, located on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. Here are a few photos from Marineland!

First up is this image showing the entrance, with a sculpture depicting a leaping pilot whale and two common dolphins, with a shape to the right resembling a whale's spout (also forming the letter "M"). Very nice!


This next one is kind of a neat view - undated, but certainly from the 1950's. That mess of a construction zone in the foreground is presumably part of Marineland, though what part, I couldn't say. Because it is top secret. In spite of the clutter, Palos Verdes sure looks lovely. All that blue! 


I wish feeding my cat was this exciting. Of course it helps that the trainer is leaning dramatically over the water. One slip and the pilot whale will swallow him whole. Or at least that's what I would hope. What do you feed a pilot whale? Those little cocktail franks, Pop Tarts, leftover meatloaf, old bagels... pretty much anything, really.

If you look at the hillside in the previous photo, you can match up some of the features in this one.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Marineland of the Pacific!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Two Beauties, 1950's

While going through a small batch of slides, I discovered four or five "orphans"... single slides that were not part of larger lots. Some of them are very nice, though, and definitely worth sharing.

I love the color in both of these, but this first image (undated) is so nice. There's something about the angle and the apparent movement of the people that gives it an immediacy that is not always present in old photos. I feel like I am there!

It's 10:18 in the morning, and a beautiful day to be at Disneyland - blue skies, brilliant sunshine. And even from this vantage point (outside the entry gates) the park looks freshly-scrubbed and lovely.


Here is a closeup of those mystery doors, lightened as much as possible - they are definitely little rooms! No phones are visible though.


Next is this pretty photograph (also undated) of Sleeping Beauty Castle on another perfect day. It looks like our photographer was standing on the bridge that leads into Frontierland; I'm not sure what to call that body of water in the foreground - it's not really part of the moat, although it IS a part of the  "dark water" system that included the moat, the Rivers of America and the Adventureland's "Rivers of the World". 

Anyhoo, this one is nearly "postcard worthy", with the beautiful landscaping and interesting composition.


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Slides, 9-1-1 Continued

It's time for another installment of "Slides, 9-1-1!" (starring Kevin Tighe and Randy Mantooth). 

In this episode, Major Pepperidge races against the clock to restore some badly faded slides. Talk about exciting. I hope Dixie McCall shows up, rowr! Both of today's examples were taken after the sun had set, and the park was almost dark. This made for some special challenges in restoring them, but I am reasonably (though not completely) happy with the results. You might think that this first scan shows that amusement park that was built on Mars ("Bradburyland") in the 1950's, but you would be mistaken. 


So, there is the Submarine lagoon below us, and the Matterhorn with the Skyway, and even a Mark II Monorail at the station. I love this unusual view, with the twinkling lights reflecting off of the water; you can almost sense the coolness of the air and the less-frantic sounds.

I guess this was taken from a moving Monorail?! Where else could a guest be that was that high up without being on the Skyway or the Matterhorn?


This next one was absolutely taken from a moving Monorail, and that means we have to deal with some blurring. But it's a small price to pay!


Frankly, I'm surprised it turned out as clear as it did, in this low-light situation, and with the slower film speeds of the early 60's. That fellow under the "N" is gazing at the Monorail, you can bet that he and his wife rode that attraction. There's not much to say about this, except that I like the cool evening colors with warm highlights. And there's lots of posters, including two examples from the "Art of Animation" exhibit.


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

It's a Small World, July 1972

Today is the first day of the rest of your month. It is also the first day that I am sharing photos that are from one family's trips to Disneyland over various years, from around 1967 through to the early 1970's. There's a lot of them! And as I've said before (too many times), my appreciation for the Disneyland of the 70's has increased a lot. 

Today we're over at the "It's a Small World" attraction, which I still love. Yes, even that song! For some reason it doesn't seem to drive me crazy the way it does for so many others. Maybe my IQ is too low? Even waiting in line is OK. The fa├žade has so much going on, and the sight of the boats floating on that tourmaline-blue canal is wonderful.


Hi kids! Wave, damn you; wave like you never waved before. 


Good grief, who put that train there? Somebody has some explaining to do. Looks like the Ernest S. Marsh chugging through. I love that the train passes right in front of everything, right in the midst of the action.


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Moonliner, Tomorrowland - 1950's

Space Mountain is a pretty eye-catching sight in today's Tomorrowland, but I'm not sure it tops the old Moonliner for sheer "wow" factor. 

In this first photo, you can see how tiny the people look at the base of the rocket - and this version was only 1/3 of the size that the proposed "real" rocket would be, if we ever sent one into space and to the Moon. Now that would be impressive! Especially since the pre-1967 Tomorrowland was, for the most part, a low-level, one story affair. 

We can also see the Space Bar, the Skyway, the Flight Circle, and those unusual elliptical awnings to the right, providing shade for weary Moon travelers.


Some people don't notice the cockpit up near the nose, where brave and experienced pilots would control the rocket during its 500,000 mile trip (that's 250,000 miles each way)! It is also where he would experience the delights of a genuine Pillsbury Space Food Stick. Chocolate, or peanut butter? You can't go wrong.


I loved those things!



Monday, December 04, 2017

Mine Train & Cascade Peak, June 1963

Someday, when virtual reality is a regular thing, I hope that somebody creates a super-accurate ride-thru of the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland. Wouldn't that be amazing? 

Today's first image shows one of the li'l yellow Mine Trains returning from that amazing Wonderland. Boy, did they get their money's worth! Bears, battling elk, beavers building a dam, colored mud pots, anthropomorphized cacti, geysers, mysterious rock formations, and last but not least, rainbow caverns. I am so jealous of every one of those people!


Next is the lovely Cascade Peak, with multiple waterfalls cascading away, just like the ads said. 


Sunday, December 03, 2017

Town Square and the C.K. Holliday, October 1970

I'm still slogging through that batch of dark and dreary slides from 1970 - although at least the first of today's examples is not too bad!

See what I mean? I think I even see some of Henry Fonda's favorite, cerulean blue (these being GAF color film). Town Square looks great, as usual - and was a beautiful day to be in the park. As much as I love the more mature trees, they are definitely starting to block the view of the castle, even from the elevated vantage point of Main Street Station. 


If you shine a flashlight at your monitor, you might be able to tell that this is a photo of the C.K. Holliday. Man, those shadows just went inky black! But I can never get enough photos of the Disneyland locomotives, especially the two that were built at the studio. Notice the parking lot tram in the distance!


Saturday, December 02, 2017

Miscellaneous Expos

Here are some scans from various Expositions - otherwise known as World's Fairs (I'm not really sure why "exposition" is used sometimes, and not others).

I like this great photo from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, also known as the "Century 21 Exposition". It's a crisp and well-composed look at the amusement zone, called the "Gay Way". These small souvenir and food stands are more akin to a state fair, though that's not a bad thing. Cotton candy! Sno cones! Caramel apples! The three basic food groups, if I remember my schoolin'. That giant puff of cotton candy atop that one stand looks like it was fashioned from pink fiberglass insulation (and perhaps it was). I like the way it looks slightly dirty, as if it has been dropped into a puddle a few times. Mmmm, gritty.

Meanwhile, the cute little Sky Ride (sponsored by Union 76) makes the perfect accompaniment. 


Next we are visiting the "Expo 86", or The World Exposition on Transportation and Communication, held in Vancouver, British Columbia. The lovely lunar-module thingy (a 17-story geodesic dome) is the Expo Centre, which initially opened in 1985 as a preview center (centre?) for the Expo. FYI, this was the last World's Fair (or Expo) to be held in North America. The last Expo in the U.S. was in New Orleans in 1984 - the Louisiana World Exposition.

While this cool structure was slated to be torn down, the public rallied, and it still stands today as "Science World", with a 500-seat Omnimax Theater (theatre?), a "Futures Theater with push-button voting" (?), and a display of futuristic vehicles. 

The Sky Ride carried almost 10 million people over the course of the Expo!


And finally, here's a single photo from Osaka's "Expo 1970". Did I mention it was in Osaka? The theme was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind", and not "Cartoons and Candy" as I suggested. Their loss. I did a previous post with photos from Expo 1970 (see it HERE); like that post, I know so little about the structures and buildings at the Osaka Expo that I can offer no information. If any of you can chime in, please do so!