Friday, August 03, 2007

Opening Day In Frontierland!

Today I have a nice publicity still from Disneyland's opening day celebration (courtesy of Merlinsguy). Many of you have probably seen the kinescope of "Dateline Disneyland" (available on DVD) which does a pretty good job of capturing the excitement and chaos of that infamous event. Most accounts describe opening day as a "disaster", but I would give somebody's big toe to have been there in person!

In the background is the rarely-photographed home of Willard P. Bounds, Blacksmith and U.S. Marshall. Merlinsguy said that in the early days, a cowboy named Eddie Adamak made and sold souvenir lariats using rope and a drilled, spent bullet cartridge, so that everybody could twirl their lassos like real cowpunchers. To the right you can see the horse corral. To the extreme left you can see the shadow of one of the TV cameras.

I thought I'd get some screen captures of the Frontierland segment of the TV broadcast. After Walt's dedication, Ronald Reagan introduces us to Frontierland...the stockade's gates are opened, and a parade of cowboys, Indians, wagons and horses rush inside. Soon, Davy Crockett and Georgie Russel are introduced by Art Linkletter, and they sing a rousing rendition of "Old Betsy", Suddenly they are joined by escapees from a production of "Oklahoma!". All the men are wearing buckskins, all the women have calico dresses and bonnets, and boy howdy! They dance up a storm.

Thanks again to Merlinsguy for contributing this great photo!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great images! thanks Merlinsguy.

Fess Parker is a hoot.