Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Kneat Knott's! - November 1960

Today's vintage Knott's Berry Farm images are cool because they feature subject matter that you don't often see in photos.

Like this one, showing the interior of a print shop, complete with printing press. It's fun looking at all the details, like the visors hanging on the wall (I can't tell if they have green eyeshades), the old portraits, a can of ink, and so on. That press is a cast iron beast; I'll bet it still works!

Now we're at the blacksmith's shop (I've never seen an interior of that before). Our smith wears a sort of clip-on microphone, presumably as he explains the art of making horseshoes. "You get this metal super hot and hit it like a crazy person! Any questions?". How many places needed to employ a full-time blacksmith in 1960? Lucky for him, Knott's had lots of horses and mules, and even a few burros. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

More "Classic GDB"!

For today's reruns, I thought I would choose a theme: the Omnibus! Double decker vehicles are awesome. Why not a triple decker? Bob Gurr, I've got ideas. 

Here's a lovely shot of the Omnibus up at the Hub (when does it stop becoming the Hub and start becoming the Plaza?).  It appears to be waiting to take guests from Tomorrow and take them back to Yesteryear. In 1974 the Peoplemover was still going strong (with its original colors), it's kind of neat to see them juxtaposed like this. Note the cold-weather clothing on the guests. (Originally posted in 2011)

Here's another unusual angle showing an Omnibus as it attempts to run over those two hoodlums who are brazenly walking in the middle of the street. The people on the top level are in for a treat.

I suspect that this photo was not actually taken in June (you know how that goes), but the weather could be a case of SoCal's famous "June Gloom". Hey, if you look really carefully, you can just see the Carnation truck in the distance.

Now an Omnibus waits in front of Main Street Station; there's a popcorn wagon (behind the Horse Drawn Streetcar). And beyond that is the building with the "Liberty Street" sign. Notice the red, white, and blue bunting, banners, and flags, possibly leftover from the 4th of July!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Two From September, 1971

It's a "Cavalcade of Mediocrity"! Brought to you by Pepsodent tooth powder.

I admit it - "mediocre" is too harsh to describe this pretty, pastoral scene. In fact, the more I look at it, the more I am inclined to give it a thumb's up. I think our photographer was at the Indian Village, near the location where the "Golden Bear Lodge" (now known as the "Hungry Bear" restaurant) would eventually go. 

OK, this one is mediocre. The color is weird, and there isn't much to see. I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk, CA

Happy 4th of July! 

I hope all of you will be enjoying your picnics, barbecues, fireworks, and days at the shore.

Speaking of days at the shore, today we're going to head up to Santa Cruz, California (about 75 miles south of San Francisco). It  now has the oldest surviving amusement park (the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk), which dates back to 1907. I'm sure GDB pal Ken Martinez will have some info to add to this post!

I absolutely love this first beautiful photo - those Kodachrome colors just pop! I also love the many variations of beach umbrella designs; it made it easy to locate your spot on the sand from far away. Monterey Bay looks like it is full of blue dye (just like my hair, har har). Don't you wish you could step into this image? To our left is the Boardwalk, with the famous "Giant Dipper" roller coaster.

Here's an unusual view taken from out in the bay (from the back of a whale). The Giant Dipper was built in  1924, and can reach speeds up to 55 mph. It is one of the most popular coasters in the world, having thrilled over 60 million riders. Wow! 

And finally, one of the concessions along the boardwalk was this "Skee Roll" establishment. Skee Ball machines have been around since 1909, and are still found in many carnivals, arcades, and even popular restaurant chains (we used to play Skee Ball at a Shakey's Pizza Parlor when I was a kid). This place is doing bang-up business. I wonder what prizes you could get when you redeemed your precious strip of paper tickets? 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Santa Cruz!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Vintage Tiki Room Flyer

It's time for some awesome vintage Disneyland paper! You've probably seen this one elsewhere; if so, you'll just have to suffer through it again.

I love this gate handout/advertisement heralding a new attraction, "Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room". It's an entirely new concept in family entertainment, yo. This was one of the very first pieces of Disneyland paper ephemera that I acquired, and I still think it is neat. I love the two-color artwork, and the photo of the guests. I guess nobody has informed that couple that pointing is impolite. Does anybody know if Marty Sklar wrote the blurb?

On the obverse is this neat ad for the new "Below Decks" exhibit on the Columbia; which means that this flyer is from 1964. The waving sailor reminds me of Ned Land from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"! 

About two years ago I was at a collector's show, and found a version of this handout without the Tiki Room ad on the other side. It's just blank. Which is kind of cool! And best of all, this version was UNFOLDED, which is practically unheard of.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

More From July, 1958

Today's first photo is a beauty, featuring the brand-new Columbia sailing ship. Doesn't it look great? Back when I scanned this, I experimented with some different settings, and the colors have a softer, almost "silvery" quality compared to most of my other scans. I really like it, but occasionally some weird things would happen in the darker areas. So... I've gone back to my old settings.

I love the glimpse of people over on Tom Sawyer Island, and the canoes, mostly obscured by rushes. 

Now we've left Frontierland and moved on to Fantasyland. The old "medieval" façades are so great; I love the post-1983 look, but there is something about the graphic, low-budget appearance of the original Fantasyland that I find very appealing. 

To our right we can see some of the pirate ship vehicles from the Peter Pan dark ride, while the Mad Hatter shop is dead ahead. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Walt Disney World, November 1974

I have a small group of Walt Disney World slides from November, 1974; that's pretty early in the life of The Magic Kingdom! 

This first one is a mystery to me; where are we? You can see the spires of Cinderella Castle in the distance. To our right is, perhaps, a Monorail station? Or the Transportation and Ticket Center? You sure see lots of topiaries in older photos of WDW, are they still as prevalent? That's four questions in one paragraph, which feels so wrong. I should just make up "facts" - if I sound like I know what I'm talking about, nobody will question me.

I almost used Photoshop to correct the wonkiness in this photo, but ultimately decided to leave it alone. It's not even nine o'clock yet, we're going to have the whole day ahead of us! The Florida Mickey portrait uses a more modern iteration of the mouse - I kind of like that it is different from the Disneyland version. The population sign says 25,000,000.

The flags show that it was a windy day, in this photo from the platform of Main Street Station. 

Did they do a "rope drop" back in those days? I don't know how else anybody would get a picture of a completely deserted Main Street. It will be 9 o'clock in just six minutes, and I'm sure that's when folks were allowed to start exploring, riding, eating, and spending.

There are only 10 more in this batch!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two From Fantasyland

Today I have two "leftuggies" for you, both featuring Fantasyland!

Let's start with this one from October, 1970; from this angle, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship is a jumble of masts, spars, rigging, and sails. As usual, I prefer it when the striped sails are unfurled. The Skyway buckets move to and from the Matterhorn, and a glimpse of the façade of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" can be seen in the lower right. I really like this busy, colorful photo!

This next one looks like it is from the same lot as the previous image, but it is actually from July, 1967. Looking over the side of the Pirate Ship, guests were met with this impressive scene of whirling teacups, the spinning Carrousel, the castle, and (in this case) considerable crowds. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Wonderful Mark Twain, December 1957

It is always a treat to find a rare image of a seldom-photgraphed feature from Disneyland. Today's image isn't one of those!! 

Almost as good (to me) is a photo like this first one, of the Mark Twain. The Kodachrome colors are so vivid and saturated (that sky is as blue as can be!), the sunshine is bright, and the focus is perfect. Those lucky passengers are in for a treat as they navigate the Rivers of America.

Off to our left is a Keel Boat, moored near Fowler's Harbor. To our right, Castle Rock, and even Fort Wilderness. There is nothing particularly fancy about this photo, but I love it so much.

Here's a second shot, looking East. I am kind of amazed at how many photos I have with the Disneyland Band performing on the Mark Twain, but it stands to reason that folks would be even more likely to take a picture if something special was going on. 

The Dixieland bandstand can be seen to our right, with the Golden Horseshoe; to the left, Rainbow Ridge!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Living Desert, August 1969

Hoo boy, it's time for some more snooze-tastic images from August of 1969. It's not a total loss, because they are from the old "Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland" attraction, but we've seen similar photos many (MANY) times before.

This is a typical (but OK) shot of the buttes and mesas, sculpted by eons of wind and water and aliens. There is NO way that "natural" arch happened without the intervention of little gray people! And the fact that we can see a geyser through the opening is no mere coincidence - it is a message from the stars.

These colorful mud pots are arranged in such a way as to indicate a landing area for flying saucers. There have been probings a-plenty here, let me tell you. Prove me wrong, internets... prove me wrong!