Thursday, August 07, 2008

Three from July 1960

If I was a bear, I would want to live in Disneyland's "Bear Country". It looks pretty sweet, with plenty of trees to scratch against, a stream full of trout, and no pesky hunters. I am always amazed at the convincing effect the designers achieved; I love that stream cascading down the hillside to the left. There are is a beaver dam (or is it two dams?) creating a nice pond before the water spills down into the main body of water.

Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed. I had a neighbor who liked to dress like a giant chipmunk, but that's another story for another blog. Anyway, this is one of the nicer Indian Dance photos that I have... that little girl to the right looks like my sister!

Once again, a photographer came down with a case of the Blurries. Who's that by the moat in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle? Why, it's Alice and the White Rabbit. Right after this photo was snapped, the rabbit pushed Alice into the water. He was tired of playing second banana to this crazy girl!


TokyoMagic! said...

I still miss Nature's Wonderland! Removing it just to put in another rollercoaster was an absolute crime. I have always thought Big Thunder was a lame substitute for Nature's Wonderland....and it is also very weak in the rollercoaster department....especially in comparison to the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. I think this time period was the beginning of the end for Disneyland. Fortunately, we have your incredible photos to remind us how wonderful this attraction was. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Okay a very long post, I hope you don't mind.

I love Big Thunder, it's richly detailed and it works great for me as a coaster (when properly maintained which all the massive money it's raked in for decades surely ensured *cough*). From its distinctive whistle to the marvelous rockworks and intricately woven track, in visuals, sound and motion it's among the greatest themed rides ever, anywhere. In the brilliant tradition of Matterhorn.

But. The one ride I'd love to see return the most is Nature's Wonderland. It's actually such a great contrast to Big Thunder that I don't see why Big Thunder and an enhanced Nature's Wonderland aren't worked in together around there. Ecology has never been more important for us and our children, National Parks are often described as having too many tourists, and the modern park could make it so great, better than the original if they tried.

It'd be the rich, peaceful and soulful ride, arm in arm with the action thrills of Big Thunder, cultivating excitement and interest in nature and what's now a fading Frontierland.

Oh and move Fantasmic! to the new park where it fits hand in glove and can give it needed attraction value. A Big Thunder / Nature's Wonderland Frontierland wouldn't need Fantasmic. So how about it Disney? That'd rock for both Disneyland California parks and you can do all that brilliantly.

Ah. I feel better hehe

Anonymous said...

Oh! The pics!

Put the first on me desktop Major if that's ok. It's so immersive... just like you say, it feels great.

Ah. Chipmunk? Are you sure? Sounds like he was squirrely hehe

That little girl is soo cute and the dancer looks amazing.

Major Pepperidge said...

Tokyomagic!, I like Big Thunder (for the same reasons as Chiana states), and think it's a really fun ride. But as I've said before, Nature's Wonderland is one of my top two "most missed" attractions (Adventure Through Inner Space being the other). It was a beautifully designed, immersive experience, the kind that I am afraid we will never see again at any Disney park. Thrills (or familiar cartoon characters) are the name of the game these days.

outsidetheberm said...

I'm pretty sure Dave has the picture of the White Rabbit assaulting Alice...

The Viewliner Limited said...

There are a lot of things we will never see at DL again Major, and I completely agree with you about your 2 choices of most missed attractions.

But I guess I would have to add the Viewliner and the Plantation House to the list of my most missed. And.... ahh! never mind, I could go on forever.

Great pics, appreciated as always.

Anonymous said...

The Viewliner on a sleek track that goes with its look and depots with a mid-century modern flair would be fantastic around the Calif. Adv. park.

TokyoMagic! said...

My main complaint with Big Thunder (other than the fact that Nature's Wonderland was removed for it) is that the momentum of the ride keeps being interrupted to go up yet another chain lift. Three chain lifts spread THROUGHOUT the ride? Poor design! Plus, the end of the ride is completely anticlimactic. I was a teenager when it opened and I love/loved rollercoasters, but it left me unimpressed....especially after all the hype it was given and after the incredible artwork that was on display in the Future Attraction Preview House on Main St. Maybe if we had gotten the Western River Expedition AND Big Thunder Mt. attractions intertwinded as was planned for WDW, then maybe that would have been a fair trade for Nature's Wonderland.

Anonymous said...

Hi TokyoMagic! I don't know if you'll catch this but here goes.

Yes my main beef is Big Thunder being alone out there, if it were accompanied by an enhanced Nature's Wonderland I'm sure just about everyone would find something to be delighted with in the rich range of experiences they'd offer between them.

The River Expedition was another possibility but I guess the rafts ride they put a mile away in C.A. pretty much took care of that idea. IMH a leisurely Nature's Wonderland would be even better there anyway as "twin" rides with a note of harmony but also intentional contrast...

Now, Rocket Rods, that was poor! I think that shows how richly done BT is by comparison. For the lifts, it might've been poor design by normal coaster standards but to me they gave it an element of surprise. But I do agree that there is something about the end that's anti-climatic. Too similar to Matterhorn...? It's a tad short on some things and needs a partner for the "deeper" side of wilderness, but otherwise I think it's a justly classic ride. :)