Thursday, April 17, 2014

Knott's Ghost Town

Hey. I love vintage Knott's photos as much as the next guy. Maybe even more. But aye caramba! These dark, gray, murky photos of the Ghost Town, while OK, feel kind of oppressive. Like a layer of volcanic ash has settled over everything. I hate when that happens! Somebody needs to use a light meter (hint: it's not me). 

That guy to the left has a brightly patterned (Hawaiian?) shirt, but it does little to cut through the gloom.  The blacksmith's shop is to our right, when I was a kid there used to be an actual blacksmith in there banging away on white hot iron rods, making horseshoes. Goldie's can be seen, along with the kicking leg in the side window. 

"Mommy, why do we need a flashlight during the day?"
"Well, honey, I think it might be The Rapture. I hope you've been good."

I love the way the two kids are checking out the wooden Indian!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Special Guest Photos

Yo yo yo! Today I have four more photos, generously shared with us by Chuck Hansen. These are from a 1995 trip to Disneyland (see some previous images from that day HERE and HERE).

As usual, I will be using Chuck's own words to accompany the photos, since he did a better job than I ever could: "The first two are of that big steel-and-concrete structure built to protect Holiday Hill from further erosion. The first is a bit overexposed and slightly soft. I've included it for the view of the climbers on top but won't be disappointed if it doesn't make the cut". It made the cut, Chuck!

"The second one is a much better exposure, but I shot it about a half second too late - you can just see a climber rappelling behind an obscuring tree".

"The next two are of BTMRR, taken about a second apart. The first picture appears to present a quiet, almost pastoral scene with only a hint of the screaming mayhem that's about to occur. Interesting how pictures can convey a mode completely different from what the photographer experienced when there's no sound".

"The second image shows more action, although I wish I'd caught it a half second later. I am pleased to report I did not get any vomit on my while taking these pictures". Yes, that is something to always be grateful for!

Many thanks as always to Chuck for sharing these with the GDB community. There is more to come!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Skyway revisited

It's that time again… time for some more repeats! Today I wanted to feature the Skyway in some form or other. At first I thought I would shoot a video of my interpretive Skyway dance, but realized that it would take too much bandwidth. So you'll have to make do with these photos. 

This one was originally posted way back in 2008 (though the photo is from 1962), and is a beautiful view of the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet. The fanciful Swiss cuckoo clock architecture is so appealing, it seems a real shame that this couldn't have been repurposed; at the very least it could have been a nice place to meet princesses. We'll miss you, li'l Skyway station! 

This next one was also posted in 2008 (the photo is circa 1960), and is a pretty spectacular shot of Fantasyland as seen from a Skyway bucket that has just left the Chalet for its trip to Tomorrowland. There's a lot to see! It's one of my favorites, and I'm happy to be able to re-share it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Main Street, August 1960

I am hoping to make your Monday nicer by posting today's lovely photos of Main Street USA, circa 1960. 

Let's start with this image that is different from anything else I have, which makes it pretty special! We're looking at Main Street Station above some beautiful rose bushes. It hardly feels like an amusement park at all. Notice the sign for the new "Nature's Wonderland" over to our left. 

And here's a nice shot of Main Street, looking beautiful and vibrant (but not too vibrant!). I've always loved the color choices that were made for the various buildings back in those days. A Surrey is coming toward us, and would look funereal except for those bright yellow wheels. And the Omnibus just passed by - don't you want to run and jump onto the platform, and run up to the top level? To our right you can see one of the cool signs that adorned the lamp posts for a few years...

… Here's an image of one just like it (not mine, unfortunately); as you can see, it's for the Art of Animation Exhibit in Tomorrowland. It's a mini-poster!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Walt Dizzy World, November 1980

Whew, I am still trying to get through the boring slides from a lot of 1980 Disney World views. SO… I am sharing eight of them today, in order to get inside the Magic Kingdom for the next post.

First up… the Monorail and the Contemporary Resort. Somehow in my mind I  think of the A-frame structure as being taller and narrower and more A-shaped. Still, there is something about it that I love.

There's the Contemporary again, across Bay Lake. Space Mountain is the only other notable structure visible. A lone sailboat glides across the lake, just like the ones you saw in all of those old ads!

Now we're atop the Contemporary, looking toward the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The Monorail track and a topiary menagerie are in front of the train station (complete with train). Not much else is visible except for a sea of trees.

The Monorail again; the whole area looks so relatively undeveloped. Any idea what that waterway/canal is in the lower part of the photo? It looks like a boat just cruised by.

Don't want to take the Monorail? Then take a ferry, whydon'tcha. This one is headed straight for land, or it is turning around for some reason.

This one is nicer than the rest; good lighting, yet another Monorail, and a glimpse into the park beyond. There are the Star Jets, Fantasyland, the Skyway, the Peoplemover, and (of course) Cinderella Castle.

Florida's Space Mountain opened in 1975, and all these years later it is still an impressive structure. Apparently John Hench lobbied fiercely for the structural steel to be seen on the outside so that the wall inside would be smooth, allowing for better viewing of the star projections. Way to go, Mr. Hench!

And lastly (for today), another look toward the castle. The Star Jets are up and spinning! You can just see where the Hall of Presidents is.

Hopefully the next batch will be more interesting! No promises though.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mystery Photos

Hoo boy, I am waaaay behind on my blogging. What the heck am I going to post for today's "Anything   goes" Saturday?? 

Well, I went through my miscellaneous scans, and decided that my brilliant readers might be able to help me to identify the locations of some subjects. But BEWARE! These are especially tricky, and may cause madness to those foolhardy enough to attempt such a thing.

This first one is kind of neat; a road segues into a long uphill climb, part of an unknown bridge to... someplace. This might be in Florida, since I seem to wind up with lots of slides from there - plus there's the palm trees. The house to our right needs a fresh coat of Sateen Duraluxe paint, but the clean laundry is hanging in the sunshine to dry. I'll bet the driver of that automobile is thrilled to be behind that loaded truck.

There aren't many clues in this photo; the ferry boat looks pretty standard. But neat! And we sure don't get much in the way of landmarks. Who recognizes that stumpy pier or that featureless gravel parking lot? The highlight for me is that red station wagon with "Phillips 66" emblazoned on the side.

Hmmm, can this be a scene at some university, perhaps? It has a "back East" vibe to it. The tiny sign out front is illegible, unfortunately. Why would somebody take a photo of this building unless it had some dark and bloody history? Maybe this is where Benjamin Harrison first played foosball. I sure do love that two-tone, red and white car. I'm going to have my rich daddy buy it for me, because he buys me anything I ask for! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beautiful River, October 3 1956

The Rivers of America takes up a surprising percentage of the park, but it's worth it. I've switched my lunch habit of eating in crowded Tomorrowland to heading over to a far corner of the Hungry Bear, where I can sit in the shade and watch the ducks get ground up by the Mark Twain. 

I love this first picture, with the river looking especially vast and blue. Everything is gleaming under a clear sky and bright sun. Usually I associate a sky like that with February or March, but this is from October. A raft is just casting off from Tom Sawyer Island, I hope they don't hit a snag along the way or get boarded by river pirates. 

It appears that Tom Sawyer Island is much more popular with boys of all ages. I can't deny that I still want my own island full of secret caves, mysterious trails, a swaying suspension bridge, and all of that fun stuff!

This one would be super nice too, except for the slight blur. A Keelboat glides past the Swift Plantation House; in the background we get a view of that unusual bridge that went over the waterway separating Frontierland from Adventureland.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shapshots, 1976

Here are some more of those snapshots circa 1976; they're printed on that odd textured paper that was popular at the time. I hate it! But what are ya gonna do. These are not especially great, but it's something to post, so…

Main Street USA is a-bustle with guests. They've all shown up to ride Space Mountain, but they are nearly a year early. There it is in the background, still under construction. In fact, I think I see at least one worker on the conical roof. Note the signs celebrating the Bicentennial year.

Oof, the quality of these prints is not so good. Still, the flowers at the entrance to Tomorrowland are nice, as is the glimpse of the Mary Blair tile mural in the background.

In theory, I love a parade. All I can see from here is the tops of the Dapper Dans' heads, but that's good enough for me. My little brother had a pair of red jeans like the ones that kid is wearing (he also had some "harvest gold" jeans). Two girls share a wheelchair, which is odd.

That menagerie of crazy topiaries (seen from the Disneyland RR) is safely contained by the boxwood wall. Thank goodness. Nobody wants to be gored by a topiary bull.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Adventureland, 1956

I love this first shot showing an early Adventureland. Anybody need a hat? Or perhaps a woven handbag? Buy a handbag and put a hat in it. GENIUS! Guests are headed to the souvenir stand (I see Keppy Kaps! And a rare and wonderful paper fan) that sends your gifts and fruit anywhere. I'm more interested in an ice cold drink. Not soda either. Maybe a nice orange juice or grape juice (Welch's, I'll wager). Or perhaps a Carnation ice cream bar, perfect for a hot day.

Nearby, a Jungle Cruise launch returns to civilization, although they lost three or four guests along the way. Plenty where they came from!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Snapshots, 1976

I have a few small lots of old snapshots that I am scanning to share here on GDB; today's are from 1976. There's nothing super exciting, but I still enjoy them.

The color must be way off in this picture, because the Columbia appears to be a strange "refried bean" hue rather than its typical "burnt sienna" orangey color. Why not just make it a nice sparkly green metal flake and be done with it? (Metal flake colors are my favorites!)

It's the Bicentennial, and none of these people are wearing red, white and blue. What gives? In fact, they look positively drab for the mid-1970's. I like the fact that the end of Tom Sawyer Island is still untainted by the Fantasmic stage.

Here's a pretty nice shot of New Orleans Square. The guy in the white shirt to our right is stunned. "It's so beautiful!".