Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Vintage Disneyland & Santa Fe Railroad Tickets!

Years ago, I shared some of my vintage tickets on the Vintage Disneyland Tickets blog (where else?) - one of my favorite Disneyland blogs, which has now gone the way of the dodo. Anyway, I figured that I could certainly share those same tickets here without too many complaints.

Both of today's tickets are for the Santa Fe & Disneyland R.R., and are quite scarce, especially in this never-used condition. Notice the "conductor's check" at the far right - this is the part that was usually torn off by the ticket taker.

Mr. Vintage Disneyland Tickets estimated that these are from 1957, and who am I to argue? Each ticket stub lists only three depots - Main Street, Frontierland, and Fantasyland. No Tomorrowland Depot, which opened in 1958. Love that "Globe" watermark!

Here is a pink version - both tickets are for adult riders, so I'm not sure if the color had any significance. Other than the hue (and the serial number) they are essentially identical. I still remember when these were offered to me - - I was not going to buy them; a good friend of mine told me that I would be crazy to pass them up. He was right!

I have a few additional DLRR tickets to share in a future post.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Vintage Black and White - 1955-ish

Here are two fun, early scans from large-format negatives! Let's start with this interesting photo of one of the Horse Drawn Streetcars resting somewhere backstage under a very humble structure; does anybody know where this location is? Of course my favorite detail is the two ladies in their Main Street cast member garb, probably eating lunch on the front seat. That's what I would want to do!

The next image, featuring the wonderful C.K. Holliday locomotive, is supposedly from 1955, though there is no proof; however, I do believe that it is very early, and you can see some red, white and blue bunting on the side of the freight car - possibly left over from opening day. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

So-So Sunday

It's Sunday, and that means that it's time to use up a few not-ready-for-primetime photos. I almost threw these in the "reject" folder (otherwise known as the trash), but at this point, I can't be too choosy. 

Both of today's photos are from November of 1955; this photo was presumably shot from the Disneyland RR, which might explain its blurriness. It's kind of an odd angle, looking back toward Fantasyland, with the sails of the Pirate Ship just visible over the hill. I've always loved the ornate and fanciful little Casey Jr. Circus Trains.

The "Court of Honor" was in Tomorrowland (it definitely felt like a temporary space-filler); from the air it was shaped like an eight-pointed star, and it held 48 flagpoles, each pole bearing the flag of one of the States. This was before Hawaii and Alaska! The flags were placed in the order in which each state was admitted to the Union. When construction began on the Astro Jets in 1956, the flags were moved to either side of the entrance to Tomorrowland.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Parade - Nogales, Mexico - May 4, 1958

Today I have some fun vintage slides from Nogales, Mexico, circa 1958. The slides are hand-dated May 4th, so... not quite Cinco de Mayo. But I assume that it was related in some way. Nogales is located at the northernmost border, right next to Nogales, Arizona.

This first photo shows a parade float with the Queen (queen of what?). I love the color, and the signs, and the busy crowds of people enjoying the festivities.

Hoo boy, both of these ladies are as lovely as can be!

This next photo was labeled, "Bevy of Beauties"; again, I love the color! Some of the señoritas to the left (not posing) look like they belong with group. Everyone is dressed so nicely, it makes me think of "Dapper Day" at Disneyland.

Here's another fun shot of the crowds; I'm sure tourism was (and is) a huge part of the local economy, which means that there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and curio shops.

And finally, here's a look at another float; I wonder if the waving lady is a local celebrity? Behind her a mariachi band adds music; behind the float we can see some men wearing elaborate feathered headdresses - I can only assume that they represented the indigenous Indian people of the region.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Nogales!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Kids and The Castle, 1957

Disneyland in the 1950's - - wow, what a place! I am continually charmed and fascinated by Walt's original park, especially during its first few years. Imagine being able to walk down Main Street U.S.A. toward the castle, circa 1957, knowing what you know now. My brain would probably explode from sensory overload!

I love this colorful photo showing two boys (we'll see more of them in upcoming posts), propped up by an antique horse hitch, in front of  wonderful Sleeping Beauty Castle. The trees still have that spindly look, the ladies wear skirts, and everything looks so darn clean. Both boys hold turquoise blue bags, possibly holding postcards - yes, let's say they have the rarest postcards, worth hundreds of dollars today! 

Even the umbrellas brighten the picture, like overgrown flowers. I can't explain exactly why, but I really get a kick out of this picture.

Closer to the castle, we see the boys (one wearing a sporty souvenir chapeau) posing for another picture, while some lady (not related, I believe) butts in with her little stinker. Notice the toddler near the middle of the picture, she (?) is wearing a Keppy Kap! Even though they were "one size fits all", I am still surprised one would fit on a noggin that tiny.

Here's a Keppy Kap, for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about:

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Vintage Postcards - Six Flags Over Texas

Hooray, today I have more vintage postcards from Ken Martinez! This time we'll pay our first visit to "Six Flags Over Texas", with more visits to come. Heeeeere's Ken:

Six Flags Over Texas, because "Texas isn't under anything"

Opened in August 1961, Six Flags Over Texas was the first successful theme park to open following the establishment of Disneyland. The six theme areas were based on the flags that flew in succession over the state of Texas; Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the United States. The park was designed by the firm of Randall Duell and Associates. Before the Six Flags project, Randall Duell collaborated with C.V. Wood on the design of Freedomland in New York. The first set of postcards feature the Mexico section of what would become the first of many Six Flags theme parks.

I find this card interesting because it shows different versions of some of the flags compared to what they look like today. Originally the park was to be named "Texas Under Six Flags" but the name was changed to "Six Flags Over Texas" because it was said that "Texas isn't under anything".

Gone long ago, the Fiesta Train ran from 1961-1978. Visitors boarded one of two  trains; "El Cho Cho" or "El Cha Cha" in sombrero covered vehicles pulled by trolley style locomotives. Various scenes along the route included dancing tamales and a bull fighting scene as seen in this postcard. By 1968 the ride was remodeled with new style trains and new scenes including a volcano of which I have postcards that I will share in the future.

Here's an image of one of the shops in the Mexico section. While the architectural detail isn't on the level of Disneyland, it is still effective in what it is trying to accomplish.

Here is what I assume is an interior shot of the shop shown in the previous postcard. Note the merchandise of which I doubt they sell at the park anymore. Like Disneyland, I'm sure it's all branded merchandise now.

Here we have a mariachi band performing on the streets of the Mexico section. It looks like a food establishment next to the band and the kids on the bench appear to be eating corndogs.

Because of the success of Six Flags Over Texas, non-Disney theme parks started pop up all across the U.S. and dotted the map by the time the 1970's came and went. It was within this golden era of theme park development that the coaster revival was born. Hope you enjoyed.

Information Source material:
The Great American Amusement Parks copyright 1975 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
The History of Six Flags Over Texas - www.ParkTimes.com

As always, a Big "Thank You" goes to Ken Martinez for all of his time and effort in putting together these fun posts. I knew basically nothing about Six Flags Over Texas, and look forward to more posts about it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beautiful Mark Twain, 1957

There are a number of iconic Disneyland sights; Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street Station, the Monorail, and of course, the Mark Twain. 

This first shot is a neat closeup as guests disembarked after their journey on the Rivers of America. I love the gingerbread detail. The "Twain" looks so authentic, I wonder how much it differs from the steam boats from 100 years earlier (other than the fact that it is guided by a track)?

Notice the bales of cotton in the foreground, and the patriotic bunting (including tiny flags up top)!

Here's another nice photo showing a busy river; the dock is piled with goods (including corn whiskey!), a Keel Boat follows close behind the Twain, and lots of guests can be seen on Tom Sawyer Island (and on the fishing dock). I don't remember noticing the paper lanterns strung in front of the Chicken Plantation before!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fantasyland Construction, 1983

A few years ago I acquired a small group of snapshots that were taken during the massive construction for the "New Fantasyland" that opened in 1983. Since New Fantasyland debuted in May, I am guessing that these are actually from sometime in 1982, for those of you keeping score. 

Since they are prints rather than negatives or 35mm slides, the quality isn't as nice as I would like. Most of the pictures in this bunch were taken from the Skyway, which continued to operate during this major refurbishment. Presumably this was one of those times when a Skyway ride was "round trip" from Tomorrowland and back again? 

Anyway, there's a whole lotta dirt and lumber to be seen; King Arthur's Carrousel is mostly hidden behind large tarps. Behind it is a large empty structure that will eventually house the new "Peter Pan" and "Mr. Toad" attractions. I have so few photos with Space Mountain in them that it is always slightly weird to see it.

To our right we can see the construction of "Pinocchio's Daring Journey", in the former location of the Fantasyland Theater. I love this "new" dark ride, though the lines for it are always short. How would you like to climb that spindly ladder? If you fall, you will only break 5/8 of your bones.

Stay tuned for more pictures from this lot!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Greatest Hits - Stagecoach!

Today I am revisiting two "classic" GDB images, featuring the wonderful Stagecoach! There was a lot of activity over in this part of Frontierland back in the 50's, including Pack Mules, the Mine Train, and the Conestoga Wagons; but I always love to get a good look at the Rainbow Mountain Stagecoach. which only lasted through to September, 1959 (closing, along with the Conestoga Wagons, as Nature's Wonderland began construction.

 This first view (first posted in 2010) is pretty neat; I'm sure that, these days, many folks would be surprised that this was a photo of Disneyland (though the spires of the castle give it away). Heck, I've seen photos of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship on Facebook, with comments along the lines of "Was this at Disneyland?". The colors are wonderful, with a deep blue sky accenting the warmer tones of Rainbow Ridge, and of course, the cheerful red coach pulled by four ponies. The fearless driver sports a rather impressive gray beard! Note the people boarding their mules in the background.

This next one is from 1955 (and was originally posted in 2008). This driver reminds me of Harry Dean Stanton, and who is cooler than that? Nobody! Kids infest the top of the coach, while a girl (I originally thought she was a boy back in 2008!) waves to us, wearing an adorably goofy smile. I love that she is holding her souvenir pennant - I need to keep my eyes on eBay to see if one like that ever comes up for sale!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Jungle Cruise, August 1970

Hoo boy, I seem to have stumbled upon quite a lot of Jungle Cruise images recently. And while I am trying to parcel out my remaining slides in small doses to make them last, today's examples were just too "meh" to bother.

When I was a kid, this scene of the baby elephant squirting the crocodile was one of my favorites. It is pure Marc Davis.

Real rhinos are pretty cool (and hey, their ground-up horns make a great aphrodisiac! Tell your friends!), but this photo is very far from cool. It is like Ralph Malph compared to The Fonz.

This is a coma-inducing photo of the African Veldt section...

... followed by a second view. Those lions look like they are singing in three-part harmony.

And finally (for this batch) I proudly present this murky and poorly-composed image of some natives just visible through the jungle's verdant growth.

Sorry about these!