Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aerial View, August 1964

Here's an odd one! Mixed in with a bunch of non-Disneyland slides was this photo, taken from a passing airplane! Somebody was quick on the trigger and captured the park from its western edge. It's blurry, sure. I should change the name of this blog to "The Blurry Blog"! But you can see the Matterhorn, Cascade Peak, and the Douglas Rocket to the Moon, no mistake about those.


If we look over here to the right, you can see the Haunted Mansion's exterior building, already completed and driving kids crazy for years. When is it going to open?? But more interestingly is the construction (beyond the train tracks) of what would be the rest of the "show building". Does anybody know specifically what those two parallel passageways were for?


In this closeup of the right edge of the photo, you can see the red and white striped sails of the Pirate Ship, and many utility buildings. Presumably storage, lumber facilities, and offices.

13 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

WOW! L-O-V-E these pics, Major! The angle looks pretty low....could these have been taken from a helicopter that was landing or taking off from the heliport at the hotel?

I would also like to know about those two passageways! Could they have just been infrastructure for the corridors that would eventually lead to and away from the show building and they were just built in advance like the facade?

Chiana said...

Those "passageways" look like they are both part of the same open area of the underground ride part of the Haunted Mansion, divided by a support wall, which may or may not go further in than we can see...

Interesting pic, thanks as always Major :)

james said...

I know that when you walk down the portrait gallery, you are walking beneath the train tracks, I'm quessing that the twin corridors are to accomodate the omnimover ride system on it's continuous loop through the show.

Anonymous said...

That is correct. It's the transition between the interior park area and the "show building".

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great photo, I feel like I'm flying in a helicopter! I've seen the "passageway" in photos before, but always in Black & White, very cool to see it in color! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I own a set of blueprints for the attraction, so I can tell you exactly what the tunnels are for. The passageway on the right is indeed the portrait gallery. The wood studs that face you in the photo is the wall to your right above your head as you walk into the large loading area room. This area above the two passageways is the tunnel for the train tracks you enter just as you leave the train station in New Orleans Square. The passageway on the left is for the exit tunnel and the doombuggie unload.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

I am with TokyoMagic! on this one. At that hight, it is definitely a shot from a LA Airways helicopter. Great unique pic. Thanks Major.

Westcot2000 said...

I'm surprised to discover that the berm tunnel was always there. The tunnel may have been widened for the eventual Haunted Mansion. The current tunnel contains the Portrait Hallway, an office/vehicle service area and the unload area.

If that same wall is still there I would guess that it is the back wall of the office area.

Anonymous said...

In my youth I did more-than-my-share of sneaking around backstage in the 60s & 70s. I have vague memories of the grey buildings in that last close up...

The one on the right was the staff shop, where sculpting and casting of the early set pieces and human figures were done. I remember seeing the miniature sculpts of some Jungle Cruise icons on a shelf along the south wall. Also spotted the Mickey Head-in-the-Space-Helmet used for the dedication of the New Tomorrowland.

The smaller building with the brown door was storage. When I visited I saw a spare drum head for the giant bass drum and -- just sitting collecting dust along the north wall -- an Honest-to-Betsy Viewliner. Before I snuck out I took a moment to sit in the front cab.

Ah, youth.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for all of the great info folks! Yes, a helicopter makes much more sense, I have to admit.

Anonymous, your story is amazing, who knew that the Viewliner survived even into the 60's (or perhaps 70's??)!!

Kevin Kidney said...

This is fascinating! Great insight and great photos, blurry or not!

Joe Cardello said...

The above posts about the two passages are correct, and no, that area wasn't widened. It was created when the main facade was built, but the area behind it remained an empty lot for years. Then came the design of the show building, which fit into that space.

Anonymous said...

I can remember riding the train through the "tunnel" open to the outside world....girders and all.