Friday, April 04, 2008

Not Disneyland, September 1960

Here's five from Freedomland! Nothing that'll make you stand up and shout, but hey, Freedomland pictures are rare.

We're heading towards Fort Cavalry, presumably the entrance to the area known as "The Great Plains". Stagecoaches, Mule Rides, and Borden's Farm (with the Mule-Go-Round) are in store for these folks. The sign reading "Fort Calvary" demonstrates one difference between Freedomland and Disneyland: it looks like it was designed by an untalented 11-year old. Even the misspellings of Tom Sawyer Island had a charm about them that is absent here.


I am guessing that this is part of "The Old Southwest", possibly the "Santa Fe" area mentioned briefly in the 1962 guidebook. Buy something at the Magic Hut, why dontcha.


In "San Francisco" you might see an authentic Chinese junk...


...the San Francisco area itself isn't terribly convincing. The details feel chintzy, unlike Main Street USA (at that other park). Something tells me that the Disney boys would have done a much more impressive job. But don't get me wrong, I would give somebody else's front teeth to be able to experience the Earthquake Ride!


We're back in the Old Southwest. Are your feet tired yet? Then take a ride in a Tucson Mining Company Ore Bucket. All of their buckets are suitably rusty looking. And Freedomland had a "double Skyway", which I have to admit is pretty impressive. Behind the Ore Bucket building is where the mules were freshly painted and oiled each day. Beyond the borders of the park lies some marshy-looking land that feels pretty different from Southern California.

10 comments:

Progressland said...

The whole place seems kind of industrial, like C.V. Wood thought there was some sort of template he could apply to create another Disneyland.

Chris Merritt said...

"I would give somebody else's front teeth to be able to experience the Earthquake Ride!"

Me too!

Magic Hut my butt!

outsidetheberm said...

Always love those Freedomland shots. At some point we'll locate some of ours. Thanks for posting!

Daniel said...

Fantastic shots! I agree that the signage is lacking in comparison to that OTHER park, but otherwise it seems as well designed to me as the photos I see of early Disneyland (I never got to experience either). San Francisco doesn't look like San Francisco--but neither does it in Disney's California Adventure. I think it's just a tough one to pull off without lots of hilly land.

I think what amazes me the most looking at these is knowing it's completely gone! Freedomland is packed at the time of these photos...

You have to wonder whether there were ever any backroom talks near the end with Disney to see if they would buy them out. I could imagine that, egos aside, the planned investment into Florida would have prevented them going anywhere--but I wonder if they happened.

Brer Dan

dreemfinder said...

Great shots, as always.

Cannot WAIT to see the wall-sized April 1st picture. Absolutely Brilliant!

and finally...

Cavalry = Good Guys in Blue who arrive in the nick of time;

Calvary = A place to worship Jebus.

And while I'm at it...

Etcetera = 'And so on and so forth';

EKcetera = nothing.

Major Pepperidge said...

Did I write "ekcetera" somewhere??

I'm mad at myself for writing "cavalry" correctly in one place, and then spelling it "calvary" in another. Trust me, I know the difference, but what the heck, I'm not perfect. I'm often posting these things at the very last minute!

Anonymous said...

I rode the "Earthquake" ride and it was, indeed, the only memorable ride at Freedomland. But one moment of terror soars above the rest. At one turn, the top of a trash can pops up and we see a Chinese man who has been hiding from the destruction. He speaks what I hope is genuine Chinese and then goes back in hiding. I think this was meant as un-PC comedy relief, but it scared the hell out of young me. Decades later, having lunch with a co-worker(at Disney World, no less), I was reminiscing about Freedomland and my friend starting to recall a shock trauma of her youth. You guessed it-- that surprising man in the trash can.

jedblau said...

GREAT shots and thanks to Anonymous for the memories of the Earthquake ride. I rode the Tornado ride when it was relocated at Great Escape in NY (now closed) and paid the operator $20 to let me ride it 2x with the lights on so I could take photos.

Matterhorn1959 said...

The San Francisco section of the park though not entirely themed to San Francisco still looks great! And I am jealous of Jed who got to ride the earthquake ride.

walterworld said...

Jed...Can we expect those photos sometime soon? Hope so...