Friday, August 17, 2007

Mark Twain, July 1958

Yep, there goes the old Mark Twain, churning up the water. Willy Wonka should have mixed his chocolate with a sternwheeler. Most of you will be surprised to learn that the Mark Twain is actually a clever special effect. The imagineers used an old magician's illusion known as "Sergeant Pepper's Ghost", which relied on a candle, an extra-shiny mirror, lemon juice, baking soda, and three pieces of aluminum foil. I'd explain it to you in more detail, but it's very scientific. It works so well that, to this day, most people actually believe that they are riding on a real boat.*

The Plantation House is just visible to the left, and the striped tent from Holidayland is just poking above the trees. I think that the bright yellow sign directs guests to the Indian Village.


I thought I'd throw in this image, taken the same day as the other one. It's not that thrilling, but once again you can see the Holidayland tent. Near the front of the castle is a smaller striped tent, is this the Plaza Gardens? I didn't know it was there in 1958...so I am a bit puzzled. And dizzy, so very dizzy.


*It would be cool if this wound up printed in a book someday!

10 comments:

Matterhorn1959 said...

In the second photo you are correct, it is Plaza Gardens. Also you can see the entrance to Adventureland with the large elephant horns on the sign.

I am waiting for that explanation of Sergeant Peppers Ghost. Does it include wearing of brightly colored military and band uniforms for the effect to be real?

Merlinsguy said...

I'm so sure it's Plaza Gardens, except it might predate Plaza Gardens and be that little tent you, or someone like you, published before that I mistook for Holidayland.

Graffer said...

In the 2nd photo, hiding behind the castle, you can see the 3 masts, mizzen sail and string of flags of the brand new Sailing Ship Columbia. It had just been christened on June 14th, 1958.

Anonymous said...

Hey Major -
Are you sure the second slide is from 1958? It almost looks like the iron frame work for the Swiss Family Treehouse is going up next to the Jungle Cruise. Anyone have a guess on what else that enormous tree-like structure might be if this is 1958?

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, I put the slide away (scanned it many weeks ago), but if I labeled it "July 1958" Then it must have been stamped with a date. I see that tree though...it sure does look like it could be the SF Treehouse! I'll see if I can find the slide to double check (I have no idea which box it's in though).

Gn2Dlnd said...

Thanks for clearing up something, I always thought the term was Sgt. Pepper's Goat, which I believed to be the dy-no-mite chewing goat on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Sis-BOOM-Baa!

Anonymous said...

Looking through some of our old slides of Holidayland, there was a massive Oak tree near the entrance to Holidayland. While this one in your photo looks incredibly large, maybe that is what we are looking at - and could be the answer to anonymous' question. Odd though - it just looks too big.

Anonymous said...

Another clue to the age of the photo (besides the hill in the foreground) is the old lookout tower on top of the Jungle Cruise queue building (far left, center). What year was that eliminated?

Major Pepperidge said...

According to "The Nickel Tour", that lookout tower was removed in 1961.

AND, I found the slide, which definitely has a date of July 1958. Maybe that tree is a huge pepper tree from Holidayland after all...

Chiana said...

So the mystery here wasn't Sergeant Pepper's Ghost, it wasn't Sergeant Pepper's Goat, it was Sergeant Pepper's Tree heha!