Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Storybook Land, December 1957

Ordinarily, I don't find much to get excited about when viewing images of Storybook Land. Don't get me wrong, I like Storybook Land a lot! But one doesn't often find photos that have anything unique in them.

This first one was taken as the canal boat passed by Cinderella's village. And Cinderella's castle. And Cinderella's Malibu RV. What's with the bright red "hair" in the foreground? I really have no idea what that is. Clown invasion?

Zooming in a bit, we can see that workmen in white coveralls are showing us what they think of us. I've seen a number of photos of Storybook Land being worked on during operating hours; doesn't this fall into the category of "bad show"? 

"The Old Mill" is one of my favorite Silly Symphony cartoons, and it (along with the Three Little Pigs) is one of the few animated shorts that earned a spot in Storybook Land. We can see two of the windmills from this vignette; perhaps the relative obscurity of this film made the scene expendable. It has recently been replaced with an elaborate miniature of the kingdom of Arendelle (from "Frozen", of course). It's hard to argue with the decision, given Frozen's phenomenal popularity; but I will miss those old windmills.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

1956 Casey Jr. & Tuna Boat

Today's images were shot in the gloomy gloom of the murkety murk! As you all know, when the sun goes down, spooky stuff starts to happen. Bevare the Wurdalak (obscure horror movie alert)!

I actually like this particular photo because of the otherworldly quality of the light. It almost feels as if  we are underwater, which I admit would be a surprising situation. Here comes Casey Jr. (Casey Jones Jr., to you), with his headlamp lit so that he doesn't run over any circus animals. There's nothing sadder than a squashed tiger.

Even the Pirate Ship has its lights on (some of them, anyway… the big stern lantern appears to be unlit). One could almost imagine how it would have looked if it had been decorated as a Halloween ghost ship. It's interesting to note that the sponsor's name, "Chicken of the Sea", has not been added to either side of the mermaid on the bow, or in the yellow oval up on the poop deck.

Monday, March 02, 2015

More Walt Disney World, December 12, 1975

Hey, let's get those "daily blog views" numbers up by visiting Walt Disney World! It works every time. 

Many people think that Cinderella Castle is taller than the castle at Disneyland, but that is only due to a  trick the Imagineers call "forced perspective". By placing tiny trees next to it, and only allowing small children to stand at the base, the castle looks much bigger. It is, in fact, a mere 11 feet tall.

"Major Pepperidge, just how many photos of that crummy 11-foot castle do we have to look at?". Only one more today, Grasshopper. You have to admit that this one is very pretty, and you get the added bonus of seeing the special Bicentennial logo. That's right, it was the 200th anniversary of logos.

Florida's Adventureland sure looks wildly different compared to the Anaheim version that I am so familiar with. It's kind of nice to see so much room, since Disneyland's is pretty narrow and can get congested in a hurry. 

Directly in front of us is the Sunshine Pavilion, done up in a Balinese style. Inside, you will find a version of "The Enchanted Tiki Room" show (which I think was originally known as the "Tropical Serenade").

The next two photos are from the Tiki Room's outdoor pre-show, featuring a pair of toucans named Clyde and Claude. You can just see them perched on the upraised arms of that spooky tiki.

Here's a wider shot of the same scene; I know that Florida's Tiki Room has undergone many changes over the years, at one point being replaced with the obnoxious "Under New Management" iteration; but the original show (albeit abbreviated) has returned, happily.

There are more Walt Disney World photos to come!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Matterhorn Climbers, August 1961

Holy smokes! There's an escaped gorilla on top of the Matterhorn! Quick Gladys, take a picture! Boy, the fellas back home will never believe this. We'll probably win the Pulitzer Prize and get to meet President Kennedy and Jackie.

While we're waiting for all of that excitement, let's go eat in the air conditioned Red Wagon Inn!

What a minute; are there TWO gorillas? And are they wearing red shirts and Tyrolean hats? This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Century 21 Expo, September 1962

Well, ladies and gents, ol' Major Pepperidge has been neglecting his scanning duties for far too long. Which means that I am somewhat unprepared on this "Anything Goes Saturday". Again.

SO… just because they are sitting on my computer, ready to go, here are the last few images of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (aka the "Century 21 Expo"), from a batch of stereo slides. They sound fantastic

No visit to the Expo would be complete without a photo of the magnificent Space Needle. I'm sure there must be somebody out there who doesn't like this "Jetsonian" edifice, and if so, I hope I never meet them, because they are clinically insane.

Oh, the humanity! It seems so funny to see those nearby hillsides covered in homes overlooking the Fairgrounds. Imagine the view at night, though. I love those "light poles" (or whatever they are) with the colored pieces of plexiglass, which combine to make other colors depending on the angle at which they were viewed.

There's the Alweg monorail… a real monorail, actually being used for transportation (just like the one in North Haverbrook)! It isn't as sexy as the one at Disneyland, but dammit, it's still there after all these years.

I think that blue-roofed structure is the Monorail station. An "ElecriCab" has just passed us (to our left); I guess we'll just have to use our feet like regular hu-mans and other schnooks. The kids in red coats are Boy Scouts, and they are just itchin' to do some good deeds.

Those graceful white structures have the look of a Martian cathedral (and I should know), or a futuristic city. The '62 Seattle Fair had a cozy, intimate feel to it compared to the gigantic New York Fair two years later; I wish I could have seen it for myself.

I'm not sure, but I think that might be it for my Seattle World's Fair photos (though there may be a few more in another box). I hope you've enjoyed your visit!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Golden Horseshoe Exteriors, July 1958

Loitering outside of saloons is generally frowned upon, but at Disneyland, it's a worthwhile pursuit. The people watching is top-notch.

At some point I will stop being amazed at how long the Golden Horseshoe continued to display flimsy cloth banners. A more permanent sign wouldn't be added for many years. Judging by the tri-colored bunting,  Grover Cleveland must have been campaigning here recently. It's the only logical explanation. How many other presidents shared a name with a muppet?

Zooming in a little bit, we see one well-dressed dude - maybe he worked with the pack mules? -   carrying his tartan thermos (full of rye whiskey, I'll wager) to someplace shady. A number of people are heading inside, with a GH employee following. Was he a bartender? Piano player? 

Any photo worth taking is worth taking twice. That's one-a-my rules. Can somebody please let me know if that crane thingy on the roof served any practical purpose? The guy to the extreme left really doesn't want to miss the show at the GH!

Just because I'm weird, I like to zoom in and look at the people from nearly 57 years ago! That one kid proudly wears his Keppy Kap, and his ticket book is in his back pocket. To our left, it looks like grandma and grandpa treated their granddaughter to a day at Disneyland. I'll bet gramps was game to ride the Matterhorn!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Donruss Bubblegum Cards, 1965

It's time for PART NINE of a series of 1965 Donruss bubblegum cards - the scarce "blue back" set that has larger photos on their fronts (read more about it here). This is the penultimate post… in other words, there will only be one more, and we'll be all done!

Card #53: Disneyland Mark Twain carries Frontierland visitors along Rivers of America.

Somebody glued cotton balls to the top of those smokestacks! The Haunted Mansion makes a special guest appearance too.

Card #54: Disneyland Indian Village features ceremonial dancing by the Rivers of America.

The photographer stood on stilts for this one.

Card #55: The Columbia is a full-size authentic replica of the first American ship to sail around the world.

It was also the first America ship to have a sno-cone machine.

Card #56: Disneyland's mighty Matterhorn mountain towers above the submarine lagoon in Tomorrowland.

There's the old Yacht Bar!

Card #57: Comical reindeer streets guests during the Disneyland annual character parade.

I love these crazy reindeer, designed by Bill Justice; my understanding is that they have recently been replaced with less-awesome reindeer.

Card #58: Mickey Mouse leads the Disneyland Band in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Sorry, Vesey Walker, you have been replaced by a rodent!

Card #59: Squid "attacks" shark in Disneyland's submarine lagoon as viewed by passengers aboard authentic air-conditioned submarines.

This has always been one of my favorite lagoon tableaus because it is so preposterous.

Seven more cards to go!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2 Views From the Hub, July 1967

All the best things in life have hubs. Let's see, you got wheels; they certainly have hubs (hence hubcaps). And… um… er… uh… I'm sure there are other things with hubs too, and that they are all awesome. 

Like the Hub at Disneyland! All of the other "lands" radiate outward from the central hub, like spokes on a wheel. Except for Toontown. And New Orleans Square. And Critter Country. But you get the idea.

Today's photos were taken by a photographer who stood pretty much smack-dab in the middle of the hub, where the "Partners" statue can be found today; I really like this neat shot looking down Main Street USA, toward the train station. It's almost a postcard-worthy shot, especially with the happy li'l family right in the middle. The street looks pretty busy, which makes sense in July. 

Pivoting to our left (while continuing to dribble the basketball…), we see the beautiful New Tomorrowland! Folks can't help being drawn toward the entrance, with the bright colorful flowers, the curved, elevated Peoplemover track (the turquoise Peoplemover trains are my favorites), and shiny metal walls, and the Rocket Jets. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Above the Lagoon - Instamatics

Unlike Gilligan, I haven't had much lagoon experience, and it really looks bad on my resume. In fact, the only lagoon that I have visited is the Submarine lagoon in Tomorrowland. Seriously, shouldn't that be enough? Look at it:

That is one awesome lagoon. It's got a Monorail going over it! That ought to count for something in this crazy mixed up world. Other lagoons can be swampy and inhabited by poisonous snakes and deadly shrieking turtles. Not this one (though it is occasionally a home to mermaids); now that I think about it, this is the best lagoon ever!

I like this next shot because you can see how the Autopia track divides the water into the "clear water" system to our right (the color of a beautiful tourmaline); and the "dark water" system to our left (the color of pea soup), which extends all the way through Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Frontierland. It looks more natural, and is also handy for hiding underwater mechanisms. PS, blue Monorail!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tomorrowland, August 1969

Let's start today off with a wonderful shot of one of the whimsical Mary Blair tile murals that used to grace Tomorrowland's main corridor. This one is the south mural; the two murals illustrated the theme of "The Spirit of Creative Energies Among Children". Look at that kid being creative on that bicycle; Or is he being a showoff? And the girl dangling from the balloon, should that really be encouraged? I think she should have used the theme, "The Spirit of Children Watching Television and Eating Snacks". This mural was covered over in 1986 when "Star Tours" was added. I wonder if we'll ever see it again?

Over at the entrance to the New Tomorrowland, one could find this unusual fountain, with water cascading from strange, amorphous shapes. Alien spaceships? I have always loved the silvery sculptural metal walls that grace both sides of the entrance, with their many angles and textures reflecting the sunlight.