Thursday, August 02, 2007

Monorail and the Parking Lot

Arriving at Disneyland was an exciting thing, especially as a child. Many people remember looking for the Matterhorn from the freeway, entering the vast parking lot, seeing the train station and perhaps hearing the train's whistle. One of the most exciting things for me was seeing the Monorail as it glided across the parking lot, on its way to the Disneyland Hotel.

In this first image, folks are waiting patiently for a tram, while others appear to be heading to their cars. In the background the roof of Main Street Station is visible. Love that bright red, 4-car Monorail!


And here we are, about two years later. I believe that this was taken from the hotel parking area?


For those of you who care, I touched up the sky in this image...after restoration, it had turned a sickening greenish-gray. Photoshop to the rescue. Now it's more purty, and that's all that really matters!

EXTRA! EXTRA!
I thought I would post this photo in order to help solve a controversy that has torn our nation asunder. This is a picture of the Dumbo attraction, circa 1955. Unlike nearly every other photo I've seen, Dumbo's ears are clearly in the "down" position. I don't know if they were captured in mid-stroke or if they were just frozen that way, but at least this shows that they did move at some point.

14 comments:

7 said...

Actually, a closer look shows not all the ears are down. The Dumbos on the right seem to have their ears in a more horizontal position. Perhaps the ears did not flap in unison.

dreemfinder said...

Second photo was not, I believe, taken from the hotel parking lot but from the south end of the DL lot looking northwest.

The hotel is off to the left (Monorail Red is "on Hotel Approach" as the old narration said). The green building glimpsed on the right is Pirates' show building.

Interesting trailers there...

Tannerman said...

Gotta love retro monorail shots!

Anonymous said...

Great Dumbo shot! Thanks for finding this and posting - it helps a lot. Do you know the date? Looks like about Aug of 1955. Now, if we could just locate some movies showing the ears were actually in motion! Thanks so much - appreciate the effort!

Major Pepperidge said...

While undated, the Dumbo photo was almost certainly taken no later than August 1955 (another slide in the bunch shows that the Pirate Ship is still under construction).

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the Dumbo photo and my guess is there's a cam offset on the center spindle with tension followers that lift the ears thru cables.

What that mumbo-jumbo means is that the ears lift and fall only once per revolution, and are at their highest the same spot (say the 12 o'clock position).

Again, thanks for the postings.

Katella Gate

Anonymous said...

Katella Gate - Love your theory, and it would certainly work. My only thought is this: It seems that seven of the ten elephants have their ears in the down position - while three appear mid range to me. If the system you describe were in place, wouldn't the elephants oppposite the side with the 'down' ears be in the 'up' position? Maybe you could explain? --- And then we can move on to curing cancer.

sundaynight said...

There appears to be a sailor taking a movie in the bottom right of the photo so somewhere film exists!!!

sundaynight said...

I checked the opening day film. Just as we are about to see the Dumbo ride (a costumed Dumbo character seems to be running towards it) the camera cuts to somewhere else! If the person in costume could have run just a little faster we could all sleep better tonight.

sundaynight said...

The second pic of the parking lot is really wonderful. It appears to be in the early evening just as the sun is going down. Some of the cars have already left. Perhaps they went off site to get dinner. Hoped they remembered to get their hand stamped.

olddisneylandfan said...

For all of the complaints about the Mickey & Friends parking structure, I have to admit today's tram-and-parking-structure is a much better experience than the old flat lot, despite my nostalgic affection for it.

sundaynight said...

I loved the old lot. Wherever you parked you could see the front of Disneyland and right then you start to think about the fun you are going to have. I think it built anticipation. Then as you got closer the Monorail might sweep by and you knew you had arrived. Then at the end of the day there was a long walk or perhaps a tram ride but always a walk lit only by the parking lot lights. You find your car, turn around and you look back one more time. And there is Disneyland, still lit up and beautiful and you remember once again what a great day you had. And if you’re a kid you fall asleep in the station wagon back seat all cozy with the car heater going and don’t wake up until you are back home.

Major Pepperidge said...

sundaynight, I have to agree that the parking lot was a part of the whole experience back then. It might be hard to explain to somebody who never saw it. I don't hate the parking structure, I'm just nostalgic for the old days.

old timer from the park said...

It's real simple guys. The ears were air driven. When the dumbo was high, the ears ran slower. When the dumbo was low, they went faster. Later, the air lines were getting old, and they decided to give it up when the ride was re-furb'ed.