Friday, November 06, 2009

Phriday Phun!

Today we're going to leave SoCal and travel all over the country to see where other folks go for a good time.

Let's start with this July 1968 photo showing the wonderful entrance to "Gatorland", in Orlando, Florida. This park opened in 1949, and is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles. Why, I can practically smell it from here! This photo was taken several years before Walt Disney World opened, and I am happy to say that Gatorland is still around (happy 60th anniversary!). If loving gators is wrong, I don't wanna be right.


This entrance to "Pioneer Town" appears to be out in the middle of freakin' nowhere (dirt roads, y'all!), but that only enhances the appeal of this place. Wherever it may be. That's right, "Pioneer Town" was just too generic for me to find on Google. Is one of the flags on top of the false-fronted building a state flag? That might help. Readers, I challenge ye!


Well, maybe I lied about going all over the country, because here we are in Orlando (April 3, 1973) again for a peek at Walt Dizzy World's extinct "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" attraction. Oh man, just look at that totally boss Nautilus submarine! I feel genuine sympathy for the folks on the east coast; Disneyland's submarine ride has been Nemo-ized, but at least we still have it!


And lastly, here's a photo from February 1962, showing two cute little girls munching on popcorn as they "ride" their pumpkin coach. Looks like they are stuck in the mud. I don't know where this park was (and presumably it was an amusement park; the cheerful barbed wire was intended to keep non-paying kids OUT) - but it was just one of many kiddie parks with a "Mother Goose" or Fairy Tale theme.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are nautical flags

Matterhorn1959 said...

I like the horses are the aluminum ones from modern merry go rounds. The park may just be a city park as there were some city parks sponsored by Lions clubs for the local kids.

Nancy said...

awesome set today. those little girls riding the magic pumpkin could be me and one of my sisters!

you are sooo right, the Nautilus is sadly missed. luckily my daughter got to ride it once when she was 4 before it closed up

Gatorland looks very cool. ill have to try and visit it sometime

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Not to take anything away from DL, but this stuff is very, very cool. Nice pics. Show me more. :-)

Andrew said...

It is fun to see these other parks sometimes! You know, you really get to appreciate the superior level of detail in the decor and atmosphere of the Disney parks when compared to other local parks. But at the same time local parks can have a unique "neighborhood" like feel that can't be replicated.
Great pics, Major!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

So Gatorworld is still there, but do they still have that amazing entrance? Sure it's not Disneyland, but I wonder if that gator has the same dentist as Monstro? Thanks Major, nice round of photos!

Katella Gate said...

Re "Pioneer Town":

1. No state flags here.

2. Not "Pioneertown" up the road from Yucca Valley CA. (That started out in the 30s as an outdoor movie set that turned into a town of its own.)

3. The "P" at the start of "Pioneer" used to be the same height as the "R" at the end... then somebody got all fancy and decided to paint the P extra all... then discovered the R wasn't going to be so easy...

Major Pepperidge said...

Ha ha, nautical flags all over Pioneer Town, I love it.

Altho.... come to think of it they were all over the old Tomorrowland too, just for their color and movement!

TokyoMagic! said...

Love the selection of pics today, Major. I do feel bad for Orlando losing it's sub attraction. Again, if something better or as good had replaced it....but the Pooh cork playground just doesn't cut it. Now I want to check out Gatorland! I never had the chance to go to the Alligator Farm in Buena Park.

MUSEUM OF THE OBSOLETE said...

The Gatorland entrance was destroyed by a fire in November 2006.

Here is a picture:

http://www.clickorlando.com/2006/1106/10251776_320X240.jpg

RIP 1949-2006

Major Pepperidge said...

According to Wikipedia (the world's most accurate source!), "The gift shop and main offices were rebuilt as a two-story concrete block building, with a new concrete alligator's mouth, and opened on May 22 1008".

I hope that's correct!

Sunday Night said...

Every once and a while you need some non-DL photos to "cleanse the palate" before the next DL batch. These quirky local fun spots are always interesting.

Major Pepperidge said...

The new Gatorland building did NOT reopen in 1008. Can you guess what year I meant? ;-P

Anonymous said...

Pioneer Town....now that's a tough one to identify. All deciduous trees, no evergreens.....tan/black soil with short ground cover....flat landscape....have to guess somewhere in the upper Midwest. Big help that is.

I see they are equipped with traffic barriers for those high-capacity days.

I really wonder what happened to the Nautili(Nautiluses??) submarines. It would be beyond cool to own one of those.

Chiana_Chat said...

Neato. I like a lot of '50s / '60s stuff and these are neat "footnotes" (although my foots don't read let alone take notes). Particularly swell 20k Sub shot too. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not certain they're anything more than nautical-style flags. Most don't appear to match the real thing.

And, yeah, I was hoping for a secret message of some kind.

FrenchDisneyFan said...

Memories! Nostalgia!

I lived minutes away from GATORLAND, for 6 years, back in the 1980's, when I was working for the Big Cheese!

The Tupperware Headquarters are a drive away (Going towards Kissimmee) on that same side of Orange Blossom Trail ...

I guess you had to know! ;-)

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:

The 20,000 Leagues subs were basically left out to rot. They did ultimately sink one or two just off-shore at Castaway Cay (the Disney private island used for the cruise line) so that guests could snorkel out to them.

Beyond that I think they've all been buried/dismantled/tossed in a heap--if they are around, they've been exposed to the elements and are in disrepair (I've seen past satellite photos that show them).

Brer Dan
p.s. I enjoy these occasional forays to other amusement lands outside of Southern California

Brer Dan

Megan Reilly said...

The pumpkin coach is in a park in SoCal. I have pictures of myself playing on it when I was little. :)