Friday, August 01, 2014

Friday Instamatics!

Here are a few more Instamatics, from my dwindling supply! It once seemed as though they would never run out.

I love this unusual sunset view of Tomorrowland! This appears to be yet another one in which the Peoplemover is there, but isn't actually moving yet. The lights embedded in the concrete Peoplemover track make me admire the planning that provided for the necessary wiring and (presumably) access points for maintenance. One of Mary Blair's murals can be seen, the colors altered by the reddish glow of the sun, while the Rocket Jets just look wonderful. To our right is the new "Adventure Thru Inner Space", man do I want to ride that!


Mickey Mouse leads the Disneyland Band down Main Street, past the Hallmark shop (notice the golden crown above the curved entrance). This is one of those odd overcast days in which the sky is just a featureless light gray - it's like living in a light box. Random thought: I am impressed that Mickey knows how to tie a bow tie.


I wonder how difficult it was for Walt's Imagineers to find working plans for a real steam-driven sternwheeler riverboat? That paddle wheel is all wood (or at least it looks like wood!), and kind of an impressive piece of carpentry when you think about it. I wonder how often it needs to be replaced? It's probably one of the primary reasons that the Twain goes down for maintenance so regularly.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

More Leftuggies (aka "leftovers")

It's time for another serving of leftuggies. Much like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

Over near the Red Wagon Inn, humorous "photo op" signs could be found - perhaps only for a matter of months in 1955 or '56; stick your head through the hole, let mom or dad take a picture, and voila! Instant souvenir. I wonder if they were moved around during the day depending on where the sun was?


This oddly-colored (and damaged) slide shows a view from the Skyway as you headed toward the Matterhorn, then through the nostrils, and out into Fantasyland on the other side.


Over on Tom Sawyer Island, we see this guy, standing near the log wall of Fort Wilderness. He looks like a cat waiting to be let back inside. Meow.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few from Knott's Berry Farm

I really need to get back to scanning some more vintage Knott's slides. But I still have a few scans ready to go! 

Like this one, showing a few hungry guests heading into the Gold Rush Grill. I guess the chicken restaurant can't feed everybody. The recipe for the Gold Rush Grill's "Pioneer beef stew" was brought all the way from Donner Pass. It has tender chunks of real pioneer in every bite!


Well, it wouldn't be a Knott's Berry Farm post without a photo of the sunken area where you could pan for gold. I don't ever remember noticing the dead tree adorned with what appears to be old coffee cans, coffee pots, little casks, and who knows what. It's like the most miserable Christmas tree ever!


I zoomed in on the kid at the sluice because I am curious about his interesting headgear. Is it an olde-timey football helmet, like the kind Harold Lloyd wore?


Or is it a leather pilot's helmet, in the style of Captain Midnight??


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Land of Adventure, March 13 1958

Here are a few from True-life Adventureland! It was March 13, 1958. Even though I have posted some slides from this lot before, I have somehow NOT included some fun info gleaned from Jason's Disneyland Almanac. March 13 was a Thursday, and park hours were 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM. The high temperature was 68 degrees. And get this: attendance was 3400 people!! WOW.

I love this little monkey temple (though the scruffy monkeys have vacated the premises). Inside the temple is something that resembles a golden Buddha. Looters would have stolen him, but he is protected by hungry crocodiles, poisonous cobras, and deadly spiders.


These natives have returned from the hunt, and have bagged themselves a lion (?). Lion tacos are their favorite! The huts are very tiny, but I suppose they only have to give the impression of a village for the few seconds that guests see them.


Let's zoom in a bit… on one of the very earliest Disneyland TV episodes, they showed a man subjected to the uncomfortable process of having his entire body cast. Apparently they did a cast of his head too, because they all happen to look just like him.


Ricky the rhinoceros loves to pop out and greet each passing boat before ducking back into the brush. Rhinos are silly that way!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Pirate Ship, 1956

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum! And if it is not too presumptuous of me, Arrrr! The old Chicken of the Sea pirate ship was a beautiful and functional piece of make-believe in the pre-1983 Fantasyland.  Here are three swell pictures of it from 1956.

In those early days, the words "Chicken of the Sea" had not yet been added to that red band on the bow. Not that it needed it, but something tells me that the powerful tuna consortium insisted that it be added - probably because of the zillions of photos being taken. Gotta make the most of that free advertising (even though they were paying Disneyland a sponsorship fee, I know). This is a lovely look at the details and excellent craftsmanship found on the vessel.


Now for a look at the port side, which was not photographed nearly as much as the starboard side. They're not that different really, except for that staircase, which all good pirate ships had. I assume that all of the rigging was as authentic as possible. I wonder how often it needed to be replaced?


And as always, the thing looked so much better when the sails were unfurled and the skull and crossbones flew from the main mast. "Throw down yer arms and give us yer gold!". I just wanted to say that.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Canoe Races! August 1969

If you're like me, there is nothing more exciting than a canoe race. The sound of engines revving, the smell of petrol and burning rubber, the thrill-a-minute danger… none of those things are to be found at a canoe race!

Actually I'm not sure if these two canoes are technically racing, or if they are just scrambling to avoid being plowed under by the Mark Twain that is bearing down on them. Still, it's a pretty picture, with the glassy river reflecting the light of the sunset sky, while New Orleans Square gleams on shore. If you look toward the left, the crowd is noticeably bigger - they all want to ride the still-fairly-new Pirates of the Caribbean.


Well, looks like those canoes have survived once again, as they skedaddle around the bend. Notice one of the canoes has a CM standing up in front, which is impressive (I suppose all that ballast makes it a bit easier). On shore, Chief Wavy (my unofficial name for him) just can't wait to salute the guests! He's a friendly feller. 


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Vegas at Night, June 1963

Sin City. Glitter Gulch. Sparkle Town. San Gamblino. Twinkleburg. These are just some of the nicknames for Las Vegas. Except for three of them that I just made up.

Let's take a time machine back to 1963 and see what's cooking on Fremont Street! Hint: it involves neon and blinky lights. 

Somehow I have accumulated quite a few night shots of the Fremont Street casinos. Check out Binion's  Horseshoe Hotel and Casino! Our photographer carefully waited until all of the sequential lights were fully lit, which is mighty neighborly of him. Unlike other casinos that lured guests with singers and comics, the Horseshoe was all about games of chance. Its luck ran out when it closed in December of 2009.


Vegas Vic says, "Howdy Podner!" (every 15 minutes) as he urges you to lose your money at the Pioneer Club. The 40 foot-tall neon cowboy can still be seen today, restored and part of the "Fremont Experience") - though his arm no longer moves and he no longer speaks.


The Mint had one of the more spectacular displays of neon signage, and that's saying something. Look at that impressive wall of red, with the name of the casino marked out in twinkling lights! The Mint is infamous for being the place where Hunter S. Thompson stayed (for one night) in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". In the 1980's it was sold to Binion's and became part of the Horseshoe (seen in photo #1) which, as I mentioned earlier, closed in 2009. 


Stay tuned for more night photos of Las Vegas!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Autopia Stuff, 1957

Here are two super nice vintage photos of Tomorrowland's Autopia! 

First we have this neat view from the Skyway as it approaches the Tomorrowland terminus. There's a whole lot of construction going on below; this slide was amongst a group that is dated "1957", but I wonder if this could actually be from '58, during the removal of the Viewliner, and the building of the Monorail/Subs/Matterhorn? Whatever the case, I like the flurry of activity below, along with a cement mixer and a "woody" wagon. In the lower right is the Yacht Bar in its original location (it would be picked up and moved when the Matterhorn went in). We also get a nice look at the Space Bar, with not much except an empty field in the distance. 


There's no construction going on here; maybe this was from earlier in the year. In any case I love the bright Kodachrome colors, especially the tomato-red cars. Bob Gurr's styling on these (Mark I's? Mark II's? Mark III's? They all look the same) is just perfect.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rocket to da Moon, 1960's

If you're gonna build a rocket, it might as well go to the moon. I don't want a rocket to Fresno (no knock against Fresno, I just don't want to take a rocket to get there). This first photo was taken by somebody who was about 25 feet tall, by the looks of it. That would make him tall enough for all of the attractions! Those red checkered sun screens make me feel like I just won a race. The lovable li'l Astro Jets is spinning and spinning, I always enjoy seeing it. 


This photo was taken by a normal-sized hu-man. I always assumed that this ride had a rather small capacity, yet I never see it with a large crowd waiting to get in. Maybe it was more of a "people eater" than I thought?


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More Snapshots From the Early 1970's

Here's three more fun snapshots from the early 1970's, starting with this oddball shot taken during a performance by the Disneyland Band. Maybe the photographer wanted to include the two servicemen who are fuzzily visible just above that blonde lady's head. 


There's the Haunted Mansion! Even after all these years I can't get over how wonderful that building looks - beautiful, and convincing in every detail. If I was a ghost, I would want to live there.


It's always fun to find an unusual view, like this one, taken aboard one of the Horse Drawn Streetcars. I love the craftsmanship that went into these vehicles. Look at the oak benches! And even the wood roof is a thing of beauty. There's an advertisement for Carnation (Fresh Milk and Ice Cream)… the ad to the left is indistinct, but I believe it is for the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland.