Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Pacific Ocean Park, September 1959

Today I'm posting the last of my Pacific Ocean Park (POP) slides! I'd almost forgotten about these four.

I've seen quite a few photos of this trumpet-playing, diaper-wearing statue, but can find no information as to who he's supposed to be. A character from a fable or fairy tale? To our left is the Westinghouse exhibit, featuring a nuclear submarine display, a modular home of the future (er?) and Electro the love bot from the 1939 New York World's Fair.


I'm refunding your money, because I make a lousy tour guide. What the heck is this attraction? Kind of a dragon-y monorail thing. Is it the back end of a Sea Serpent train? Who knew that dragons had faces on their butts?


Here's a detail of the exterior of the Magic Carpet ride. King Neptune sez: "Fly with me on the Magic Carpet and we'll relive enchanting moments from famous fairy tales as we soar above delightful scenes from such childhood favorites as 'The Nightingale', 'Hansel and Gretel', and others." Well OK!


And finally, here's part of a happy family walking along the International Promenade. Neptune says it's ..." like taking a trip around the world, for here you may enjoy the finest in food, beverages, and merchandise from many different foreign countries". Just like EPCOT!


Here endeth my collection of POP slides. I sure wish I had more!

17 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

Could that be the Pied Piper in the first pic?

Major Pepperidge said...

I thought of that, and it could be, although the instrument appears to be more of a horn. Little Boy Blue? I guess the Piper makes more sense, enticing children (and everyone else) to follow him.

Anonymous said...

Awesome

Chiana_Chat said...

Y'know when you see a place like this, it's hard to imagine it all being gone. There's so much put into it. Oh reworked, changed, upgraded, what have you but all wiped out? Usually for nothing to replace it, many - most - failed parks wound up piles of junk on dangerous deserted lots or something of use to no one for years or decades... Was that the best folks could do with all that? Ah well, water well under the bridge and out to sea now.

Thanks for the money back gee you're a good egg in my book. But you can keep the change for furnishing the fun slides. ;)

Chris Merritt said...

Hiya Dave -
The "Diaper" guy I have no concrete (ahahaha - get it?) info on - but I always assumed he was a "Pied Piper" of sorts myself. Park art director Fred Harpman had no memory of it when I asked him.

The Dragon is the "Dragon Monorail" for the ill-fated kiddie-land Fun Forest, and the guy climbing the rope is not from the exterior of the Magic Carpet Ride, but rather, the Magic Shop - which adjoined the Davy Jones Locker Fun House...

I'm just sayin'!

Andrew said...

Nice post. This looks like a very cool place!

In the Dragon Monorail picture, I would venture to say that the dragon face is at the front of the monorail, and traveling towards us, and that man in the white shirt is sitting precariously backwards. It looks like there is only one other passenger on the whole train, unless there is also a small child blocked from view.

But I've never seen this ride either, so what do you think?

Major Pepperidge said...

See, I TOLD you I made a crappy tour guide. Thanks for the corrections, Chris! The Dragon Monorail didn't look like the artwork for the Sea Serpent ride, but I couldn't figure out what else it could be. And let's just say that the statue is the Pied Piper.

Andrew, yes, I did think it was the front at first, but then I saw artwork of the Sea Serpent ride, which looked totally different from the front - so it must be back. Or so I thought!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Great pictures Major. This place has special memories for me. When I was a paper boy, I won tickets to go to POP. I was 12 years old at the time. A whole school bus load of kids went. That would be 1959. Amazing to look back at these pictures. Thanks for the memories.

jedblau said...

Great post!

Chiana_Chat said...

Well luckily I didn't need a guide to spot Ori Pizza there. Urp. Scuze me. Love pizza.

So I guess we'll just have to say that's the Pied Piper in the 1st pic. I'd just have to say he blew too hard. Phew.

Katella Gate said...

I'm afraid I'm late to the party so all I can do today is agree...

Do a Google image search for Pied Piper, and the statue is consistent with a lot of later interpretations of the character (Renaissance cloths, musketeer hat with plume, clarinet-trumpet hybrid instrument.)

The only two other horn-blowing guys I can think of is Poseidon (or Triton his minion), both of whom are depicted blowing conch shells, and the Archangel Gabriel, who shall sound the final trumpet announcing the end of the world, the raising of the dead, the coming of Christ the Judge, the exaltation of the virtuous, and the damnation of the wicked.

Not my first choice for theme park statuary, so let's just all go with the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

As for the Chinese Dragon monorail, I think that's the front of the locomotive, with a tour guide turned around delivering a spiel to a single, disinterested, no-fun-at-all, middle management type.

In the last picture, you see a sign for "Ori Pizza" on the building on the left, and a pavilion on the right. In Rome, it's not unusual to have a seating area or pavilion set up away from the Restaurant for al fresco dining when the weather is good.

I never visited this park (my family was Disneyland snobs going WAY back), and nice, clear pictures of the place are always welcome. Just to see how the other half lived.

Nancy said...

these are great...

still seems odd to see something like this in the middle of town, with the brick office-type building there on one side and the mythical Pied Piper there on the other!

Nancy said...

i do have a question..

the photo of the dragon monorail...how could that have been taken, i wonder? its like someone was standing right on the tracks or something!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, I can only assume that the photographer was standing on a load platform, but my knowledge of POP is practically nonexistent.

ElectroSpark said...

Yeah - no kidding these are cool. I never get any POP slides. The main restaurant was an MCM lover's dream.

Chris Merritt said...

There was a Western-style fort that ringed the perimeter of the Kiddie Land that you could walk through. Likely the guest took it from that vantage point...

Anonymous said...

The tv show "The Mod Squad" Oct. 1968 Episode: "Bad Man on Campus" filmed at POP.