Monday, July 21, 2008

Gazebo and Main Street USA, 1955

Here are two more photos from a small lot of 1955 slides... today's offerings are mercifully unaffected by the light leaks that mar so many of the others.

First up is this nice picture of the Gazebo in its original location just west of Sleeping Beauty Castle (see this photo if you really need to know where it was - - and if you can spot it!). I love this scene because it evokes so much nostalgia for bygone days of the early 1900's (idealized, of course), which is exactly what Walt Disney was trying to do. Looking at these photos today, the distinction between the 1900's and the 1950's has blurred into one big Norman Rockwell fantasy.


Once in a while I try to imagine what it would have been like to see some of Disneyland's famous sights - - the ones that we have become so used to that they barely register anymore - - for the first time, particularly in the 50's when it really truly was a brand new concept. Folks are living their typical 1950's lives, and now they are walking down a pretty convincing recreation of a street from their grandparent's day, only there is a fairy tale castle at the end!

Something about this photo, but the castle looks like it's a quarter of a mile away. Surely that's one reason why it wasn't built larger... the smaller size is a forced-perspective device to give the illusion of distance. Sounds reasonable! Meanwhile, some lucky guests are riding on the horse-drawn fire wagon (with the surrey just in front of it).

12 comments:

spajadigit said...

That gazebo picture is great! Isn't that where the Carnation Plaza ended up going?

tokyomagic! said...

Wonderful shot of the bandstand! For those that don't already know, that bandstand still exists and can be seen up close at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach. Unfortunately, they removed the raised foundation making the floor of it only about one step up from the ground. They also removed the gingerbread railing from the roof top, but it is still very recognizable and they have before and after pics along with a brief history explaining it's three different locations within Disneyland before they aquired it.

Chiana said...

Mmhm money was tight and led to a lot of compromises but fact is that castle was perfectly scaled for the site. Any smaller it wouldn't look impressive and any bigger it would be jarring. The Florida one is way taller but then so is its Main Street and the overall scale of the park.

I feel they overdo the colors and dressing it up these days to crazy extremes sometimes... it's like they want it to be punchier and "more." Anyone else feel that way? Well they can't make it better and they can't make it bigger. But what they can do that might be nice is to expand it along the sides. Perhaps a bit of that area they don't seem to know what to do with since House of the Future was removed, to make a more intriguing transition between Main St, Fantasyland, the Matterhorn mountain and Tomorrowland. Could work in some nooks or even a profitable "Banquet Hall" and it could pay off handsomely too. It's as tricky to describe as it would be to squeeze it in the park, but I can kind of "see" it.

As for being able to track the history of that bandstand, the knowledge some of you have blows me away!

And Major, I know light leaks and damage are a real bummer but plz believe me, if the pic is "neat" I'll like to look at it, warts and all. Sometimes imperfections remind one of the reality to it & to appreciate what we have more and all that. :)

Progressland said...

Off to the left in the Bandstand photo you can see a bridge. The railing looks the same as that of the bridge that's there today, leading to the Plaza Gardens Stage. I wonder if it's an Opening Day relic? I certainly never considered that that very bridge might have one time led to the Bandstand!

Davelandweb said...

Love the photo of the Gazebo - amazing it’s still around today with how many times it was moved around. Definitely a survivor. Rogers Gardens has sent me a number of recent photos for those interested: http://davelandweb.com/adventureland/

Major Pepperidge said...

Spajadigit, I think that the Carnation Plaza was a bit south of where the bandstand is in the photo, but am not 100 percent sure.

Progressland, I believe that these photos date from around the first week or so of Disneyland's opening (but have no proof).

And thanks for the link to your Gazebo pix, Dave!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

There are times when certain pictures of Disneyland of the past just hit the spot. This is one of those times. Thanks Major.

Matt Ross said...

(^) I couldn't agree more. That 2nd pic is my new desktop.

CoxPilot said...

I can attest to the fact that the Gazebo is exactly where Carnation Plaza Gardens stage and dance area. I spent many a night there. Actually, the Gazebo is to the rear of the Gardens where the restrooms and food counter ended up. The actual dance area and stage was much further forward. The stage backed up the trading post and the shooting gallery.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Amazing photos! Hey, I will check out that railing on the side bridge, I gotta get my Disneyland fix so I will be going this week! I'm printing the first picture and taking it with me :-) THANKS Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the great info as always, Coxpilot, I had no idea that the Carnation Plaza Gardens extended that far out.

And Vintage Disneyland Tickets, you are hardcore! You just came back from a week at the Florida parks and you still need your Disneyland fix. I haven't been since November of '96, and I think I actually live a little bit closer than you do.

CoxPilot said...

Found this photo on Matterhorn's blog (Stuff From the Park). It shows the same (I think) bridge.

http://www.matterhorn1959.com/blog1/44.
plazagardens.jpg

(put a 'return' after 44. so you'll have to take it out to follow the link)