Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Disneyland Hotel Instamatics

Good ol' Mr. X continues to deliver, above and beyond the call of duty, with more great images scanned from his personal Kodak Instamatic negatives. I'll keep sharing them as long as he keeps finding more!

First up is this nice shot of the Sierra Tower at the Disneyland Hotel - you can see that it has undergone its major expansion in 1966 (an additional 150 rooms) to the right of the elevator. Mr. X loved the Disneyland Hotel in these days.

Next we have this great shot taken from the top floor (the "Looking Glass Elevator" only had doors on the ground floor and top floor); Looking past the old 2-story structures, we can see the back of the red, yellow, and blue "Disneyland Hotel" sign. Beyond that, the parking lot, and the back of the "Pirates" show building. The Haunted Mansions cupola can be seen to the left, and though it is hard to see here, work was being done (tunnels beneath the railroad tracks, etc). And of course there's the Matterhorn, Sleeping Beauty Castle (looking so tiny), the Swiss Family Treehouse, and even the Moonliner. And HoJo's!

These negatives were pretty beat up - the image took quite some time to make it look nice. I thought I'd make this animated gif to give you an idea of what I was up against! The time goes by pretty quickly if you have some good music or an entertaining podcast to listen to. I hope you'll agree that the results were worth it.

Stay tuned for more Instamatics from Mr. X - many thanks to him for the gift of these wonderful photos.

Monday, November 18, 2019

"Partners" Statue dedication, November 1993

26 years ago (has it really been that long?), there was a special event at Disneyland - the dedication of the famous "Partners" statue. You know the one... with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, right in the middle of the Plaza. Irene, Bruce and James shared these photos from that day.

It was November 18th (a Thursday) to be exact. Were any of you Junior Gorillas there? This is kind of a neat photo, it appears that the front gate is being unlocked (at 8:15 AM), while CMs in purple and blue (bleah!) loiter near the floral portrait. Unless there is a barrier that we can't see, I'm amazed that there isn't a large crowd waiting to rush the gate.

November 18th was Mickey's 65th birthday; and the "Worldwide Kids Party" was a four day event in which the mouse (and the park) played host to 20,000 needy children from three continents. I think it's interesting that the article I found made no mention of the Partners statue, perhaps that was an unannounced surprise?

Darn paparazzi! 

Here we go, the ceremonies have officially begun, and right in front of the castle. The Disneyland Band is all dressed up in tuxedos, which is very appropriate considering the fancy occasion.

The "Fab Five" (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto) made an appearance. On the dais is Jack Lindquist, who was wrapping up his three-year stint as the President of the Disneyland Resort. To his right (our left) is none other than Roy E. Disney. Purple sweatshirts, guys? Really?

Roy E. Disney was Roy O. Disney's son, and Walt's nephew of course. I was a little surprised that I couldn't find footage of his remarks on YouTube, but I admit that I could have spent more time looking! I'm guessing that he did his entire speech in the form of a rap, with Jack Lindquist beat-boxing nearby. "Weeeeeell, my names Roy E. and I'm here to say, I like to rap in a G-rated way". Then he spun around on his head (there's a piece of cardboard on the ground that you can't quite see), I've heard it was amazing.

Practically hidden are Pinocchio, Pooh, Tigger, and Chip.

It's kind of cool to see the Partners statue down at ground level. I'm sure you all know that the statue was sculpted by Disney legend Blaine Gibson; copies of it are now in five Disney theme parks.

This was around half of the photos from this batch - I'll share the rest in another post.

Thank you, Irene, Bruce, and James!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

African Veldt, June 1970

Are you prepared for the intense blandness of today's photos of the "African Veldt" scenes from Disneyland's "Jungle Cruise"?? Can your mind withstand the sheer tedium? Pregnant women and people with heart conditions can look at today's post with no problems whatsoever.

Whoomp, there it is! Hooray for a reference to a hit song from 1993. The African Veldt, reminiscent of that famous scene in "The Lion King", with all of the animals gathered to celebrate the birth of Simba. Only in this version the lions are dining on a crunchy zebra. It's the trapezoid of life.

Perhaps all of these animals will be afflicted by "survivor's guilt", but I'm guessing they are mostly glad that the lions weren't eating them. Makes you think.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Great Western Bank, 1956

Today's featured scan required a little detective work, and it was very gratifying when it paid off! The photo is dated (by hand) "9-14-56"; folks from SoCal might remember the Los Angeles Forum (aka the "Fabulous Forum"), which was known as the "Great Western Forum" from 1988 to 2003 - and this is a "Great Western Savings" building. In doing some research, I eventually found a website (www.midcenturybanks.recentpast.org) that had some good information - the website has since vanished; but I did copy part of the page.

The website said that this was "Crenshaw Savings and Loan", and that it was designed by architect W.A. Sarmiento of the Bank Building and Equipment Corporation of America. "Its design, an inverted trapezoid over a transparent cube, closely resembles the design for The Firestone Bank in Akron, Ohio." Strange that I can find no mention of it as a Great Western, and yet... here's the photo as evidence.

I found a single good photo of that Firestone Bank in Akron... you can see the family resemblance.

The Crenshaw Savings (or whatever it was called) building still exists as a Chase Bank at 4401 Crenshaw Boulevard. Here's a Google screen grab; it looks much the same, though we can see that an upper story was added at some point. Strangely, the aforementioned website said that this structure was built in 1958 (Wikipedia also cites 1958 as the date)...

But the slide mount is hand-dated "1956" - TWICE (once on each side of the slide). This discrepancy might cause an international incident!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Two From Tomorrowland

When people corner you at celebrity-filled cocktail parties and ask you, "What's Major Pepperidge really like?", I hope you tell them that:

A) Nobody is allowed to look me in the eye (I only have one eye)
B) I always require a large bowl of green M&M's in my hotel room.
C) My haircut is based on Moe Howard's.
D) I especially love vintage Tomorrowland.

Speaking of vintage Tomorrowland, check out this beautiful photo from July, 1958. Wowee-kazowee! There ain't nothin' wrong with this one. Powered by baking soda and vinegar, the Moonliner produced more thrust than the Saturn V, meaning that a trip to the moon took mere minutes instead of 4+ days that Apollo required. The rocket looks especially dazzling against that rich blue sky.

Fun fact: the stars are there even during the daytime. The More You Know.

Next I have this photo from August, 1960. Suddenly there was a Monorail and a Submarine Lagoon where there used to be liquor stores and pawn shops. Progress! The Stephens-Adamson Speedramp is also progress - why walk when you can just stand there? Or better yet, lay down on the ramp? So relaxing. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

"A Visit to Disneyland", 1963 (Part 3)

Today I'm sharing the third and final installment of scans of a small children's book from 1963, "A Visit to Disneyland". 

That photo of Snow White with the Dwarfs and the balloon seller has appeared on everything from magazine covers to bubblegum cards - I can see why, it is pretty cute. On the facing page, the Carrousel always makes for a good photo opportunity. I was impressed to see that they even spelled "carrousel" with two r's!

There are two ways to view the charming miniatures of Storybook Land; the canal boats, and little Casey Jr. If both were hanging from a cliff and I could only save one, I would have a very tough time choosing!

Oh boy, Tomorrowland! Sometimes I feel as if the photos selected for this book were not necessarily examples that would excite young children - I love the shot of the entry to Tomorrowland, but wouldn't a picture of a kid on a Flying Saucer be better?

Spinning rides like the Astro Jets (or is it "Astrojets"?) probably looked like fun to a kid; The book gets -10 points for depicting Fantasyland's Midget Autopia as the actual Autopia! The emotional damage has been done and I will spend the rest of the day weeping uncontrollably.

We leave Disneyland for now, but not before enjoying a look at what might have been all of the costumed characters that they had in the early 60s, posed around Mickey Mouse's floral portrait.

Perhaps this book got you interested in reading (admit it, you watch too many cartoons); you might want to try another Whitman BIG Tell-a-Tale volume, such as "The Little Boy From Shickshinny", or "Tom Tucker and Dickie-Bird". Soon to be major motion pictures!

I hope you have enjoyed "A Visit to Disneyland"!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Previously Rejected

Here are two scans of slides that should have been featured on GDB years ago, but I omitted them for one reason or another - it's likely that I thought they were not interesting at the time. That's right, it's more "UNREJECTED" slides, even though I just did the same thing two days ago.

Here's a pretty, colorful shot along the riverfront - it's surprising what a difference bright sunshine makes for what might otherwise be a truly dull image. The Columbia seems to spend at least half of its existence at rest in Fowler's Harbor... does it require that much maintenance? The sails are partially unfurled, which is always nice. A raft scoots across the water to a landing on Tom Sawyer Island. The cupola of the Haunted Mansion is just visible through the branches of that magnolia tree.

Zooming in a bit, we can see that ladies' skirts were getting pretty short! Not that I'm complaining. I like the signs hanging from that wrought-iron post, including the new Bear Country. Looks like there's some Navy boys to our left.

And here's a lovely shot of the Matterhorn (from 1970), with the Plaza Inn's yellow and white-striped umbrellas, some Tomorrowland palms, and just general loveliness.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Rivers of America, October 1999

There are few things in this world that Mr. X loved more than the Rivers of America, back when the trees were big and lush and blocked out much of the rest of the park, so that one could pretend to be far from civilization. 20 years ago he took a series of photos that I will share today.

It seems almost like pure luck that he took these images featuring the north end of the River - an area that was drastically changed during the construction of "Galaxy's Edge". Past the dangerous rocks you can see the "Storyteller" scene.

Amusement park? Where? Maybe this was just a family's vacation photos of their canoe trip in Tennessee. Maybe the Mine Train tracks to the right would arouse suspicion, though.

Man, there sure are a lot of canoes today. It's like the 405 freeway (the funnest freeway of all) at rush hour.

Say, there's an Indian Village up ahead... I sure hope they're friendly.

Here's one last look at the River and all of those glorious trees!

Many thanks to Mr. X for sharing these photos.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Rejects... UNREJECTED!

Howsabout some previously-rejected slide scans? It's what all the kids are into. That and Lady Gaga. (How sad is it that Johnny Carson never got to do an Amazing Carnac joke about Lady Gaga?).

Let's begin with this photo of the entrance as seen from the parking lot, from a slide dated "7-12-58". What do those numbers mean? NOBODY KNOWS. The photo was snapped from inside a vehicle - whoever had the camera was excited to see Main Street Station. We get a bonus tram (or two), and the train station is bedecked in 4th of July bunting, and the C.K. Holliday is stopped at the station.

Also from 7-12-1958 is this photo from the deck of the Columbia. The photographer must have been standing on the shoulders of his wife to get this giraffe's-eye view. Keel haul the binnacle! Strike the grog!

Congratulations, rejected scans, you are now accepted.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Busy Day, September 1960

Yikes, I discovered a few scheduling errors when reviewing my list of drafts, and found that I didn't have anything for three days in a row, including today! I've moved a few things around, and also made a few "quick and dirty" posts so that there aren't any weird gaps.

Here's a typical photo taken in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle - you should have every detail memorized by now. QUICK: How many pointy towers are on the castle? I have no idea, and I have no intention of counting them now.

This 1960 view has nice color and energy; you may remember the leggy gal sitting behind the wheel of the Horseless Carriage! The driver let her sit there for just a moment, even though it breaks all international laws.

I love this shot of the busy Plaza/Hub area. So many people! And yet... not uncomfortably crowded. Blondie enjoys a drink of cool water, with no C&H sugar bag in her way for once (where do those things come from, anyway?). You can just see the House of the Future, hidden behind an orange tree loaded with fruit.