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.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Storybook Land Snapshots, August 1968

Man, it drives me koo-koo crazy when I find a big lot of Disneyland slides, only to find that a large percentage of them were taken in one go, either during a ride on the Mark Twain, or on the Jungle Cruise, or, in this case, aboard a Storybook Land Canal Boat. In a lot of 35 snapshots, 12 of them are from that ride. Don't get me wrong, I love the ride! I just don't need so many pictures of it.

Anyway, I am attempting to put them more or less in the order in which they would be viewed if you were along for the journey. I think that cute little building up on the hill with the flagstone path is part of Alice in Wonderland's English countryside.


Ditto this thatched, timbered mill (I've always loved this, for some reason… maybe it's the addition of movement).


And this little church couldn't be any more picturesque. Somehow the addition of the little graveyard with its mini-headstones makes the place feel like it's been there a long time.


I'm not sure what this is… at first I thought it might be one of the Three Little Pigs' homes, but now I think it is even more form Alice's village.


J. Thaddeus Toad sure built himself a nice house! Notice Moley's cottage right down by the water.


Here's a closer look at Toad Hall, with its 9 fireplaces.


Well homies, you're just going to have to wait for part two!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lagoon and Schweitzer Falls, October 1962

It would be hard to not take a picture of the view below, as our Skyway bucket emerged from the darkness of the interior of the Matterhorn into the brilliant future, with Monorails and "atomic" submarines. Very atomic!


From ground level, things look pretty mellow. One would never know that in the depths of the ocean there would be the ruins of Atlantis, a giant squid fighting a killer whale, mermaids, a sea serpent, and all manner of other wonders to behold!


"Major Pepperidge, why are you including this photo of Schweitzer Falls?". Well, that's a good question, Billy. You see, sometimes grownups make mistakes. And sometimes, those grownups are too lazy to fix those mistakes. Now go make me another Manhattan, Billy. You remember how, don't you? Use two maraschino cherries, attaboy!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fantasyland, April 1987

Little did Walt Disney know that by 1987, almost 75% of all Americans would live in forced-perspective Bavarian castles. I would say that that's ironic - except that I don't know what "ironic" means.


The remaining 25% of Americans spent most of their free time clinging to the sides of mountains.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Then & Now, Texas & Seattle

I always love a good set of "then and now" pictures. Hopefully you do too!

Let's start with this picture from Floresville, Texas (undated, but certainly 1950s), which is about 15 miles to the southeast of San Antonio. We're near the corner of C Street and 3rd, looking toward a sleepy street of small businesses, and the wonderful building housing Ballard Drugs. Hey, I need drugs all the time!

Former Texas Governor John Connelly (who was sitting in Kennedy's limo on November 22 1963) was born in Floresville; scenes from Robert Redford's "The Great Waldo Pepper" (1975) and Steven Spielberg's directorial debut, "Sugarland Express" (1974) were filmed there.


Here's a Google Maps street view, looking remarkably unchanged! Population nowadays… around 6,400. Ballard Drugs is now Wilson County Hardware, but otherwise it's still good old Floresville.



GDB reader "Nanook" should enjoy this shot of the Seattle Center Monorail circa August 1970. The monorail was built for the "Century 21 Expo" in 1962… over eight million people rode it during those six months! 

We're looking up Pine Street, northeast-ish. As you can see, the monorail passes right overhead...


…which puzzled me, since the monorail is still in Seattle, but not in this photo. Where did it go? Wikipedia tells us  that "…the south end of the line was a large station over Pine Street at Westlake Avenue that formed a lid over the street and a portion of Westlake Park. In 1988, the station was moved north a block with the construction of the Westlake Center shipping mall on what had been the right-of-way of Westlake Avenue". So that explains it!


I hope you have enjoyed today's "then and now" photos.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Two Beauties for Friday!

Today I have two especially nice photos for you! Because it's Friday, don'tcha know. 

I love this September 1975 shot from the Tahitian Terrace, with musicians and performers on stage in front of a very convincing (but fake) tree. The TT must have been one of the best places to work! Awesome music, pretty hula girls, handsome fire dancers twirling flaming torches, and Polynesian-themed food. It all lasted until 1993, which means it's been gone for over 20 years. Phooey.


And from September 1963 we get this picture of the Flying Saucer attraction. I never get tired of seeing it! Check out the kid to our right… he is using all of his efforts to maneuver his saucer, for evil purposes I'm sure. The "flying tires" ride at DCA looks like a larger and dumber version of the problematic saucers - it seems that the "giant air hockey table" idea just isn't practical for an amusement park, even in 2014.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Twain and Jungle Cruise, June 1960

Here's a pretty picture of the Mark Twain, full of passengers, in the summer of 1960. Every one of those guests is a riverboat gambler. Don't fall for their slick manners, fancy clothes, and stories about dining with the Queen of India. It's all a bunch of malarky. MALARKY! Sorry, I get emotional.


For just $5000 a night, you can stay in that tiny shack. There are no amenities, and you'll have to find your own way over there (may I suggest an inflatable dingy?), and the jungle noises will drive you mad. Not to mention the dengue fever, leaches, and swarms of ravenous insects.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sub Lagoon, August 1969

The planet may be running low on natural resources, but one thing we will never run out of is photos of Tomorrowland's Submarine Lagoon. Today's examples are all from August of 1969. 

Huh. This one's not so great. But at least you get a good look at some of the fencing, of which a tiny bit still remains after all these years. 




This one is also less than wondrous, but it's a view from the Peoplemover, which counts for extra points. There's another full pplmvr train across the way, and Balinese shadow puppets ride in the Skyway buckets overhead. 


I don't know why I am so enamored of that crystal clear pool that eventually cascades over the subs, except that (as I've remarked before) I REALLY want to swim there. Just lounge around, sip a cool drink, and watch the World of Tomorrow go by. I'll invite Hef and the girls!