Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Pair From August, 1963

I have two somewhat random images for you today, starting with this shot taken just inside the gates (notice the ticket booths on the other side of the chain link). Right in front of us is a nice sign (in classic "Disneyland style") for a "New T.V. series on NBC",  Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. The popular Disney program had moved to NBC in 1961 to take advantage of the growing popularity of color televisions - since this slide is dated August 1963, I wonder if this is a case of a roll of film taking months to get developed? Either that or they just left the sign up for a long time. 

The photographer inadvertently captured an actual murder taking place... that small child is being strangled by two other kids! 

Next we see the lovely Flower Market. Think of the amazing aroma of all those silk and plastic flowers!

As requested by Monkey Cage Kurt, here is a closer look at the "World of Color" sign, from a different photo that I posted back in 2007. This one is from November 1964, so I guess they did leave the sign up for a long time.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Classic GDB - Main Street Station

Today I am re-sharing two lovely photos of Main Street Station - both from 1957, and both featuring a nice look at the amazing attraction posters that line the fence near the Mickey floral portrait. 

This first one was originally posted in March, 2009 and was hand-dated "January 5, 1957".  There's the E.P. Ripley,  under a beautiful sky with the yellow passenger cars (or at least the Combine); those things might have been slow to load and unload, and they didn't provide the best seating for optimal vistas, but they are still my favorites just to look at. 

Posters, posters! "Space Station X-1", "Rocket to the Moon", "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", the rare "Tri-level" Frontierland poster... wowee. 

This next one was posted in August of 2009, and once again we see the E.P. Ripley, this time accompanied by his li'l buddy, the Kalamazoo hand car! The color in this one is especially fantastic. Everything looks so crisp and neat. And there's an über rare "Art Corner" poster (I've only seen one with my own eyes), a "Main Street Station" with its unusual lilac background color, "Storybook Land" (one of the most iconic posters, imho), and the "Astro Jets". So awesome!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Frontierland Shore, August 1963

For those of you who thought that last Sunday's Jungle Cruise pix were lame, you ain't seen nothin' yet! The same lot yielded these uglies from the shores of Frontierland. You have been warned.

I guess those are deer. Who knows. You can barely see them. I wish they were monkeys. Why can't I have monkeys in Frontierland? Disco monkeys, especially.

This one is kind of fuzzy, but I was surprised to see the Indian "sentinels" still standing on the hillside behind Chief Wavy. For some reason I thought that they had been removed by 1963. So that's something.

I admit that I like this moose. What's not to like? He is dignified, but not snooty. And he is open to new kinds of music. He likes everything from Sinatra to Skrillex. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano is a historical landmark dating from the days when the Spanish settled much of California. Capistrano is the seventh of the 21 famous California missions, and was founded in 1776.

It is largely in ruins thanks to earthquakes and neglect, although the oldest building still in use - "Serra's Chapel", built in 1782 - still stands. Capistrano has been a popular destination for tourists for decades. I think my only visit was for a school field trip! Here are some vintage images, undated, but surely from the 1950's.

Some of you may have been to the mission in recent years, and it sure doesn't look like this anymore. By now development has encroached, and those trees are mostly gone. I love the presence of a liquor store just yards from the picturesque entrance to the grounds!

Even this little entry arch has changed since these photos were taken... presumably the old one was damaged in yet another earthquake, possibly the 1971 San Fernando quake (which I still remember vividly!).

Father Junipero Serra is a familiar name to California schoolchildren; he was the Franciscan friar & priest who helped found the first nine California missions. Surprisingly, the chapel in San Juan Capistrano is the only extant structure in which it is known that Father Serra celebrated mass.

This last photo is my favorite! The central fountain is certainly picturesque, and is surrounded by lots of ladies (and one boy, as far as I can tell). These white doves are always in evidence, though Capistrano is most famous for the annual return of migratory swallows that have flown 6000 miles (from Argentina). St. Joseph's day (March 19th) is listed as the day the "miracle of the swallows" occurs. 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to San Juan Capistrano!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Two Beauties from March, 1958

Here are the last two scans from a bunch of slides taken on March 13, 1958. All good things must come to an end, darn it. I'm not crying, I just got something in my eye. 

Say, what's that speedy little train doing here? Why it's the Fantasyland Viewliner (in Tomorrowland)! The icy-blue version seems to have been used (or at least photographed) less often than its salmon-colored sibling. Just visible through that spindly tree is the bridge that crossed Tomorrowland Lake... I'll bet that was fun to cross. I am puzzled by that curb in front of us, seemingly placed there just to trip over.

I love this nice clear shot of one of Frontierland's rarely-photographed critters, a wild stallion that looks like he is surveying his domain, making sure that all is right and good. I've always jokingly called him "Stormy", and that name seems especially apt as he stands beneath that moody sky.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Vintage Postcards - Six Flags Over Texas, Part II

It's time for another installment of vintage postcards from GDB pal Ken Martinez! Today we'll be "visiting" Six Flags Over Texas for a "part two". Here's Ken:

Six Flags Over Texas - Spain

In an earlier post I featured the Mexican section of Six Flags Over Texas in its early years. Today's postcards feature the Spanish section which represents the time when Texas was part of the Spanish empire. The area was quite small and opened with only one attraction. It was one of six themed areas representing Texas history with the other sections being Mexico, France, the Confederacy, Texas, and the United States.

An original attraction at Six Flags Over Texas, the Burro Ride only lasted two seasons. During its existence it was the only attraction for the Spanish section when the park opened. The attraction was removed to make way for the world's first log flume ride.

During the journey on the Burro Ride, guests were guided by a host dressed as a Spanish Conquistador through Palo Duro Canyon. The entrance to the attraction was a replica of the ruins of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, the first Spanish mission of Texas.

Casa Magnetica opened in 1962, during the park's second season. It was similar to Knott's Haunted Schack and the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, but with a Spanish theme. This part of the house is known as Don Juan's Dining Room where illusions of gravity were demonstrated.

"El Aserradero" (the saw mill) was the name of the first log flume ride in the world. To most guests it is simply referred to as the log ride. Built by Arrow Development and introduced at Six Flags Over Texas in 1963, it became so popular that a second flume was added in 1968. As with Disneyland, Arrow played a big role in developing rides for the park in its early years.

Here we have riders plunging down the drop of the world's first log ride. Since then flume rides have become a staple in the amusement park industry.

Well, that was the Spanish section back in the early days of America's first successful non-Disney theme park. Today, Six Flags Over Texas has changed much and the only attraction left from the early days of the Spanish section is the log ride. Hope you enjoyed another visit to Six Flags Over Texas of yesteryear. More to come!

Information source material:
The Great American Amusement Park, copyright 1976 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
The History of Six Flags Over Texas - www.ParkTimes.com

THANK YOU, Ken Martinez! I look forward to more installments from Six Flags Over Texas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Vintage Viewmaster Scans - The Plaza Inn

Here are some more scans from vintage Viewmaster reels; today I decided to feature the Red Wagon Inn/Plaza Inn.

This first one is the earliest, when the place was still the Red Wagon Inn. Notice the weather vane - I never have before! I wonder if it is in somebody's collection. They might not even know that it is from Disneyland. Anyway, the landings and architecture are very harmonious and lovely, like something from a movie.

On July 15, 1965, the restaurant became the Plaza Inn, though it was much more than just a name change. It looked pretty much the same on the outside, but the weather vane has been changed to a rooster. I don't covet that one so much because I was frightened by chickens as a child. Those beady little eyes!

I've seen other photos that show pretty ladies (usually in yellow dresses) out front, greeting guests. Which is unusual... did any other restaurant have anything like that? Those little girls are hoping that she has matches so they can enjoy their Marlboro cigarettes (unfiltered).

NOTE: Hey! I will be out of town starting today,  and as usual I won't have much access to a computer. Sure, I'll have my iPad along, but have you ever tried to do much typing on an iPad? It's no fun! Time to buy a Bluetooth keyboard.

Anyway, I'll be gone until Sunday evening, but there will be new posts every day, so keep on checking in. Have a great holiday weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Country Bear Jamboree at Night - November 1971

Yes, it's time for more of those awesome night photos from the Magic Kingdom, taken by Mr. X during the park's first Thanksgiving season (when WDW was only a month old). 

I have two images featuring the exterior of the Country Bear Jamboree, which was an opening-day attraction, and is still going strong today. As you can see, it was presented by Pepsi & Frito-Lay (Hey Klondike!). I can think of no better meal than a giant bag of Fritos and a liter of Pepsi.  

I thought I'd zoom in to try to see the interior a little better, but the results weren't great.  All I can really make out is what appears to be paintings of pastoral scenes. Tex is wondering about all the hubbub, while the lady behind him is wondering about Tex. Yep, he's single! Go for it, Ella.

Here's a second shot. I have never personally been a big fan of the CBJ, though I acknowledge that it is beloved by many. And hey, Marc Davis was a genius, so I am probably in the wrong!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two Instamatics

Oh man, the supply of these awesome vintage Kodak Instamatic photos is getting low! After over 200 images, we are down to the last 20 or so.

Here's a lovely shot of the happiest clock in the world, caught by "Mr. X" as the parade of mechanical children from all over the globe march past the familiar tick-tock face. This one was previously a reject due to many small abrasions, but the new scanner did a nice job of cleaning it up!

Meanwhile, on a somewhat gloomy winter day, we spy a Horse-drawn Streetcar passing through Town Square, clippety-clop. I can't think of much to say about this one, except that I like it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Beautiful Disneyland, August 1962

Ooops, at the last minute I realized that I didn't have a post ready for today. Rather than post the usual near-rejects and leftuggies, I went into my folder of scans featuring images that, for some unknown reason, I skipped when I was scanning the rest of the lot years ago.

Walt Disney wanted his park to be a beautiful place; things were a bit rough in the first few years, but by 1962, much of the landscaping had had time to flourish. In this first photo, this lady has not even stepped inside the gates yet, but there are zillions of zinnias and roses to soften that prison-like chain link fence. Dad thought it would be the perfect backdrop for a portrait of his lovely wife. (I realize that the pink flowers are probably not be zinnias, but I liked the alliteration. So sue me!). 

In the background, Kal Kan's Ken-L-Land.

Meanwhile, how about this lovely scene? I could be wrong, but I think this might be the pond and landscaping near the Monsanto House of the Future. Is that the striped awning of the Carnation Plaza Gardens in the distance?

Man-oh-man, I love water features. Fountains, waterfalls, ponds... they all add so much beauty and serenity somehow. Imagine living in your ultra-futuristic home with this view from your front step!

Well whaddaya know, after I wrote this post I found the old scan of the second photo (from 2008). The rescan is better!