Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Alice In Wonderland, July 1958

Here are three fun photos overlooking the Alice in Wonderland attraction, which had opened only a month or so earlier (on June 14). Our photographer was standing on Snow Hill, and he was obviously mighty taken with this colorful panorama. This perspective was only possible for a few months, since Snow Hill would soon be replaced with the Matterhorn. They all have a nice chocolatey flavor, I think you'll agree.

This first view has a nice dynamic composition, with the Skyway passing diagonally overhead towards the distant chalet, while two caterpillar vehicles wind their way down the ramp...


...and this one is good too...


...so, which one is your favorite?!

16 comments:

spajadigit said...

I like the first one for its composition and the last one for revealing the entire outdoor section of this awesome ride.

Now that they've updated some of the effects in there, it's probably my favorite darkride in the park.

Katella Gate said...

I didn't know you could climb to the top of Snow Mountain! I thought that would be dienstlich verboten!

I also didn't know that the caterpillar ramp leading back down was painted light green on one side of the center rail, and dark green on the other!

But what I am most impressed with is that track is virgin! No nasty rubber marks left by years of wheel travels. So clean and pure, like the gentle snow falls on the alpine crest of... Snow Mountain.

tokyomagic! said...

Great photos....I love all three of them! I kind of miss the old version of Alice. I wish they had kept the upside-down room in the newer version.

Is that the rooftop of a Main St. vehicle in the bottom right corner of the second photo? I seem to remember seeing another photo somewhere showing them driving up that far. Am I remembering correctly?

tokyomagic! said...

Okay....I'm still enjoying your wonderful photos of one of my all time favorite dark rides, and I just noticed something else. In that third photo, the ride operator appears to be dressed as Alice! I think you posted a picture in the past of Snow White's ride operator dressed as Snow White. I don't remember them doing this. Do you know when they stopped? And does this mean Peter Pan's ride operator dressed as Peter Pan? Wendy??? And what about the operator for Mr. Toad??? Sorry, I'm just full of questions this morning. Your incredible photos have gotten me very excited.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Such sweet eye candy..... I like them all, but the last one is remarkable. That's too cool with Alice running the attraction! Great images, thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

I didn't notice Alice down there, but you are right, I see her with her pinafore! Pretty fun. Maybe she was just the "face character" and happened to be hanging out in front of the ride at that moment?

Amazon Belle, I have at least one or two other photos that show people walking on the hill, I think that it was only allowed for a very brief period, maybe a year or so.

And Tokyomagic!, that does look like a Main Street vehicle, but the only one I can think of that it might be (with that flat black roof) is the surrey.

Katella Gate said...

Is that the rooftop of a Main St. vehicle in the bottom right corner of the second photo? I seem to remember seeing another photo somewhere showing them driving up that far. Am I remembering correctly?

Yes, that's a Main St. Vehicle. In the earliest days, the Vehicles went from town square thru the hub, up between F-land and T-land (as seen here) and did a turn-around between Storybook and the Tomorrowland lakes somewhere.

BTW: Do any of those bodies of water in T-land have names?

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Gee, Major...

I like #3 the best...but they all have their merits!

I do love that Alice is in their!

Anonymous said...

While I can't speak for the other rides, I can attest that there were "Alice" costumes for the female operators.

mr wiggins said...

Great shots Major! #3 is my fave -- the Pirate Ship, Monstro, the Storybook lighthouse ticket booth, Storybook's Cinderella castle... and a wonderful view of the newly opened Alice. Hey, some of those sunburned kids roasting in that long, SLOWWWW queue on those hot summer days of '58 would've been me & my siblings -- going nuts with anticipation at riding Alice for the first time, mouths watering at the aroma of burgers & fries from the Fantasyland food stand nearby... it's a wonder our brains didn't 'splode. By '59-'60 it was no more hot daytime queues for me; I was an Alice connoisseur who knew that the best time for Alice was (and still is) night -- your eyes didn't miss half the interior details getting dark-adapted, and the lighting on the exterior of the ride was magical.

Re the Alice costume for the Alice operator, yes, you'd see them all the time in the first 40 years of the Park's operation.

tokyomagic! said...

Thank you to everyone for answering my questions. I LOVE these photos....and I love this attraction. As a kid, my favorite attractions were Carousel of Progress, Inner Space, and Alice In Wonderland....go figure, huh? Okay Major, after coming home from work and taking another long look at your spectacular photos, I'm now wondering if there is a second Alice standing behind the man in the black pants and white shirt (to the right of the green caterpillar full of guests). He looks like he is a ride operator as well, but the person behind him looks like she is also wearing a blue dress and pinafore. They wouldn't have had two Alices out there, would they?

Katella Gate said...

Ok, one last go-around on these Alice in Wonderland photos and I'm done.

Does anybody know the voltage that powers the carriage motors? D.C, right? How are the drive wheels arranged? Is one a drive wheel, and the other three idlers? Or is there a differential? or Two separate motors and two idler wheels?

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments, everybody!

KatellaGate, your questions are great ones... I know that The "E-Ticket" magazine did an issue featuring the Alice attraction, and it might answer a few of them. Mine's in storage so I can't look for you, unfortunately.

Chiana said...

okay I can't add much to the amazing comments unleashed here mmbut... looking at ssssnap & slide (hm like my back doing limbo?) #2, I'm struck by how the outside "leaves" area looks like it's an underwater aquarium kind of effect. Leaves just like those have been in aquariums, I had one. Aquarium gravel, same zany colors. Perhaps one of the initial designers was searching for creative inspiration, I mean think if someone told you to make that: It goes on leaves or maybe a cloud trail but they're not, and it's up off the ground but not on trees or grass or mushrooms, it's different. Tall orders these designers get! Then besides seeing the amazing movie, he saw an aquarium. Hmmm! Took off from there.

My fav is #1 for the reason you said Major. Dynamic space.

pixiegirltink said...

They're all great, but I think I like #1 because of the great shot of the Skyway, and #3 especially because it looks like Monstro is about to gobble up all those people!

Excellent pictures as always, Major Pepperidge

bigbrian-nc said...

WOW fantastic comments everyone, thanks for giving me all the great details to go back and look at! but number 3 is my favorite