Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Two From July 1960

Every futuristic city should have a snow-capped mountain placed just so for dramatic effect. It worked out so well at Disneyland. In this 1960 view, we can see such classic landmarks such as the Yacht Bar, the Flight Circle, the Astro Jets, the Skyway, and the stubby li'l 3-car red Monorail. 

Meanwhile, over in Fantasyland... hey, they have a snow-capped mountain too! Those must have been on sale at Montgomery Ward - one full book of Blue Chip Stamps got you 50% off. I think that's the Snow White dark ride at one o'clock, but I won't go on it because it's too scary.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Matterhorn Instamatics

I have a few precious Instamatic scans to share with you today... there are only a couple left!

We're used to the Matterhorn attraction, now that's it's been around for 60 years (if you can believe that). The mere idea of a roller coaster designed to look like an actual famous mountain seems nutty. My grandpappy told Walt he was crazy, and suggested a coaster that looked like a rutabaga ("They're a good source of vitamin C!", he exclaimed), but Walt held firm, and the rest is history. Sorry, gramps.

Here's an unusual late-afternoon shot taken with some of the "Alice" ride leaves in the foreground. The blue Monorail zipped by so fast that Mr. X barely caught it. And the Skyway moves back and forth without a care in the world. 

A different photo, probably from a different day (or even a different year). Look at those waterfalls go! Like most waterfalls at Disneyland, they are now a mere trickle. What else is there to say, except that this is a very pretty image!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Frontierland, July 1960

I always think of Tom Sawyer Island as a place where kids ran around, burning off some excess energy while Mom and Dad enjoyed the shade or strolled along a winding path. But as we can see in this photo of Castle Rock, adults enjoyed exploring the features of the island just as much as youngsters did - there's a traffic jam up at the top. 

I assume that this photo was taken from either the Mark Twain or the Columbia...?

This next one was definitely taken from the deck of the Columbia, with the new Cascade Peak in the background; the Mine Train is about to go behind that waterfall. The trail for the Pack Mules is to the right of the Peak, and of course the li'l Gullywhumper glides alongside us.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Christmas in Town Square, December 1998

Here are more slides from good old Mr. X; I've listed these as being from 1998, but that was X's best guestimate. The date isn't important! What IS important is how sunny and beautiful Town Square looks during this holiday season. 

The trees in the Square are getting pretty big, most of the buildings along Main Street can barely be seen - even the Christmas tree is half obscured. The Horse Drawn Streetcar looks like a popular ride this day!

Everything looks so vibrant in the morning sun, and the red accents from the poinsettias add a nice Christmas feeling. It's always a little strange to see people in coats and hats, but winter days can get chilly.

Wreaths and garlands are overhead, while more decorations adorn the Market House. If only I had a few night photos of this same area - but Mr. X generally arrived early, and left after a few hours.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Random Scans

Like the title of today's post says, I have a random assortment of scans for you.

We'll start with the best, this beautiful undated photo of a filling station and cafe, located at "Moqui Camp", which was near the Grand Canyon in Arizona (on the West side of Highway 64, near the South Rim entrance). I sure love this picture!

The building was originally constructed by Rudolph Kirby; as you can see on this old postcard, it was called "Kirby's Camp", and was a Union 76 gas station. Presumably that's the entrance to the Grand Canyon to the right.

I'm not sure when the name was changed to "Moqui Camp", but here's another old postcard view. At some point in the 1970's this building was torn down and an A-frame building replaced it (as a "Fred Harvey" lodge); it included a restaurant, a beauty salon, a curio shop, and a pool and tennis court. Even the A-frame is gone now (it closed in 2001), and the area has been cleaned and replanted so that almost no signs of its history remain.

Next is this April 1962 shot from Hollywood, California. This is from Selma Avenue, probably near the corner of Las Palmas looking Northwest. The distinctive brick building in the distance with the triple façade is now part of the Church of Scientology (on Hollywood Boulevard). The pointed tower just to the left of that is a former First National Bank, and now it is home to random businesses.

Here's a Google screen grab that is already out of date because of so much recent construction in this area.

And finally, let's all go hang out with James Stewart and Kim Novak in San Francisco. I've never personally seen the Golden Gate Bridge when it wasn't at least partially shrouded in fog; it sure looks pretty here.

I hope you have enjoyed today's random scans!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Big Thunder Construction, October 1978

I have two neat photos from October, 1978, featuring some construction views of "Big Thunder Mountain Railway". First up is this "establishing shot"; think of how many kajillions of similar photos were taken by this time - only now a new "mountain" was forming. Crazy. 

This was the first version of BTMR (there are others in Florida, Tokyo, and Paris), and Disneyland's is the only version that was built to resemble Bryce Canyon in Utah (all of the others are reminiscent of Monument Valley).

Here's a closer view - there was still plenty of work to be done. The ride wouldn't open until September of the 1979, almost a year after these photos were taken. In this photo, the angle is similar to the first example - I am unclear as to what all of the steel beams at the lower edge of the photo were for. Any ideas?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

More Frontierland, 1977

The supply of vintage Frontierland scans from our Mysterious Benefactor is not infinite, but there are still plenty left! Here's a batch, all from 1977.

We'll start with this scarce shot taken inside the canteen in Fort Wilderness. You could get sodas, and probably some snacks; there's a barrel that has dill pickles, assuming that it isn't a prop. Maybe you'd like to gnaw on a dried ham hanging from the rafters. Mmmmm, salty. The CM dressed very much the way I do on a daily basis.

The next three are from the towers of the fort, with bloodthirsty children aiming rifles at clueless passers-by. Hey kid, get a haircut! Who do you think you are, Peter Frampton?

Frampton doesn't care what I think about his hair, he just wants to aim at another guest. I assume that the box below the rifle played realistic gunshot sounds?

Oh no, if you thought little boys were terrors, wait until you see little girls! These two are working in tandem. "A little to the left... be sure you hit a large muscle...". Gruesome.

Let us move to something a little more peaceful. Like a family of deer down by the river. There's a buck, several does, and even a spotted fawn. Awwww!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Disneyland's 40th Anniversary, Continued

Today's post is a followup to another one that published on February 25th, with photos from Irene, Bruce and James on Disneyland's 40th Anniversary. Most of these are from the actual ceremony, which featured some Disney luminaries.

I'm happy to start with this particular image, because the man to the right of Mickey Mouse is none other than Paul Pressler. TokyoMagic's favorite person in the world. TokyoMagic probably has tears of joy in his eyes right now. Beauty and the Beast stand to the left, they became big stars just 4 years earlier. We can also see Meeko from "Pocahontas", Rafiki (from (The Lion King, released the previous year) holding a baby Simba, Jafar from "Aladdin", Roger Rabbit, Baloo, Minnie, and Snow White. No less than three enthusiastic Disney Ambassadors helped kick off the ceremonies.

The "Time Castle" is being craned into place under the supervision of Donald and Goofy instead of  licensed, bonded contractors.  Michael Eisner is standing next to Pluto. Roy E. Disney is to the right of Snow White. Mike Cozart or Chuck, do you show up in any of these photos?

Steady.... steeeaaady; we don't want another Time Castle tragedy. Hey, now I see John Smith, Pocahontas, Timon, Bert, and Mary Poppins.

Here comes Eisner! 

There's the Time Castle, snug in its grave. It seems that most time capsules that have been built with a real attempt to combat moisture and CHUDS (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) fail, and the contents are ruined. I don't have much faith in that fancy castle, even though it's pretty. It will be exhumed on Disneyland's 80th Anniversary on July 17, 2035. See you there!

To the left (our left) is an unknown gentleman, and then Marty Sklar, and Judson Green, President of Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts. Michael Eisner is heading toward the dais; behind Mickey Mouse is Roy E. Disney, Dick Nunis, Paul Pressler, John Hench (with the white cap), and another unknown person clapping happily. I'm wondering if that could be Dave Smith with the blue jacket and baseball cap, but it's anyone's guess.

There are more photos from this event, thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Matterhorn & Skyway, April 1969

The Legend of Fun Dad continues! Here are two more precious photos from FD, circa 1969. Tomorrowland, that is. The park is astonishingly empty in both of these pictures.

Here's an odd angle from the entrance to the Land of the Day After Tomorrow. William S. Burroughs sits on a bench to our left, thinking about weird things. I wouldn't have it any other way. The Peoplemover track has no colorful vehicles on it - perhaps the ride was down on that day. But the Skyway is chugging along! The "flying whale" sculpture is still a fountain in this photo (it would be turned into planters at some point). And we can just see the yellow and white striped roof of a souvenir stand.

Now we are standing on the upper level of the Carousel of Progress building, which gave one the strange perspective of being above the Skyway. Love the red, yellow, and turquoise colors of the gondolas. It's a disappointment that no bobsleds are visible on the Matterhorn, but I guess I'll just have to find a reason to go on with my life. 

Zooming in to the lower right, there is evidence of some construction being done - for what, I do not know. Beneath the yellow Skyway gondola we can see a sign, possibly telling guests that the Submarine Voyage (or the Autopia) is closed. The blue wings of the Richfield Eagle - Richfield's sponsorship of the Autopia would end in 1970.

Monday, May 13, 2019

GDB Thirteenth Anniversary!

It's GDB's Lucky 13th Anniversary! Well, technically yesterday was the anniversary, but I didn't want to celebrate on a Sunday, when all of you were resting. Plus it is just not cool to glom on to Mother's Day. I might as well mention that I have published well over 3000 posts without missing a day - the last time I skipped a post was in October of 2009.

Are blogs passé in 2019? Probably, but whatever. I am very grateful for my readers, and especially the commenters (you know who you are!) who help to make this a small but enthusiastic and friendly community. If it wasn't for all of you, I would have stopped blogging long ago.


The first of today's images is this nice one (dated "July, 1958") featuring the Tomorrowland Spaceman and Space Girl, hanging out next to the Skyway station. I've seen this specific couple in other photos; they seem to have worked together for a while. Maybe they got married and had moon babies.

Not sure what's going on with that little girl. There is a restroom nearby; let's just look at the passing Disneyland Railroad instead.

The Spaceman gets great wi-fi with that antenna; and the gizmo on his belt provides him with the latest Dodger game. I've always liked the cape on the Space Girl, with its rose-pink lining. It protects her from harmful gamma radiation.

I know we've seen plenty of photos (November, 1958) of the Mark Twain and the Keel Boats, but there is just something about this one; it's got great color, and is particularly pretty. It looks like Mike Fink himself might be piloting that Keel Boat  (now that he's retired from river pirating). I don't know if I've ever noticed the poles atop the boat, for pushing when it got stranded on a sand bar or snag.

Next is this great photo (circa 1963) of the Tomorrowland Skyway terminal; our photographer was gliding backward toward Fantasyland when she snapped this colorful photo. There's lots to look at here, with the queue going upstairs, all kinds of machinery, the little ticket booth below, And you can even see some Cast Members in the terminal - it sounds like working the Skyway was one of more physically demanding jobs for CMs.

Hi fellas! Thank you for your service!

Howsabout this neat photo of the interior of the Upjohn Pharmacy (from 1966)? Not a common view, you probably know. I wouldn't mind having one of those hanging lamps - is the design supposed to be a stylized poppy (or some other medicinal flower)? I wonder about that bust on the top shelf... it could be Dr. William E. Upjohn's likeness, though it's hard to tell based on the one photo I found of him. The clock shows a hand crushing a pill with mere thumb pressure... friable pills were a real selling point, apparently.

So many jars, so little time. I was hoping to clearly see a slimy, disgusting leech in that jar, but they were not swimming around. Presumably those little black things on the bottom are the bloodsuckers. Having spent time at many Minnesota lakes, I've had more than a few leeches stuck to me.


And finally, here's a 1963 photo of good old Aunt Jemima over near her restaurant in Frontierland. It appears to be late afternoon, but there sure aren't many guests at the plentiful tables. It's fun to see Auntie J., but I admit that it feels kind of cringe-y, these days - different mores from a different era. Don't worry, we still love you, Auntie.

That's it for today, friends! I've learned to not make any predictions about the future of this blog; remember when it was going to end after 1000 posts? That was about 9 years ago. I believe that I have enough material for at least another year or so - just in time to reach my 5000th post. When all of the slides have been scanned and shared... who knows. Not me!

MANY THANKS to all of you for 13 years of support, friendship, and encouragement!