Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Trip To Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Seven

Here's more photos from 1958!

This first picture could have been posted with this lot... the "Alice in Wonderland" dark ride is to our left (you can see two of the Alices in this shot), and yes, that IS the Omnibus that has made its way into Fantasyland by(presumably) going around Snow Hill. I enjoy looking at the people as much as the park! There's mom (in her yellow blouse) and junior right in the middle of the photo.

Here they are on the other side of the castle, enjoying a break on this handy boulder by the moat! Mom is certainly all dressed up (ticket book in hand), and even junior has shiny black loafers on. No PF Flyers for him! And no dungarees either, only hoodlums wear those.

I love this wonderful angle showing the Skyway (love the colors that were used on those buckets) as it disappears over Snow Hill towards Tomorrowland. In the lower left, I think I see a ticket booth, and what appears to be a Viewliner structure of some sort - - not a station though. Me confused. We also get a nice view of the "olives on skewers" light fixtures!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mermaids and the House of the Future, June 1960

I always enjoy seeing the mermaids at Disneyland. Hello girls, I'll be right there... just let me take off my sneakers first... hope the water's not too cold. There are stories of guys jumping into the lagoon, lured by the siren song of the mermaids; which just goes to show you that men will do just about anything for a pretty girl!

Somehow the House of the Future doesn't look quite as unusual when it is surrounded by so much foliage - usually portrayals of "the future" don't include lots of plants and a nice green lawn. This reminds me of my grandmother's back yard in Encino, there's even a garden hose looping across the flower beds. I can imagine a very pretty neighborhood full of these plastic houses!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Main Street 1957

OOPS, I made a mistake in my blogger posts, so today's post is late. Sorry!

When you play a cool instrument like a saxomophone, you are bound to attract groupies. The lady from the Upjohn Pharmacy looks like she is just about ready to fling a garter at those dashing men. Look, that third guy to the right... Jack Nicholson! What a rascal.

This nice sunny shot shows the Horse Drawn Streetcar, with a guy who looks like he walked right our of the 1940's smiling goofily. In the back, Liberty Street is getting ready for its spectacular grand opening!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Yachtsmen, August 28 1965

It's 1965, and The Yachtsmen are tearing it up on the world's tiniest stage in Tomorrowland! Quite a crowd has gathered to hear them rock out. I am guessing that The Yachtsmen performed various Beach Boys and Jan & Dean numbers. "Sloop John B", "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena", stuff like that. Hey, maybe they even sang "The Monkey's Uncle" theme song, that movie came out in '65! Whoa whoa, she loves the monkey's uncle, yeah yeah!

Nothing shows off your San Tropez tan (or in this case, your Huntington Beach tan) better than an all-white ensemble! Just look at 'em, they must have spent quite a bit of time catching some of those Southern California rays. Go get haircuts, ya darn hippies!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Three From July 14 1964

Howdy, peeps! I've got three very nice photos for you today (plus and oldie but goodie).

Here's an interesting one... at first glance it is merely a slightly unusual look at the beautiful old passenger cars from the Disneyland & Santa Fe Railroad as the train waits at Frontierland Station. But as your eye travels to the right, you notice that the tunnel isn't entirely enclosed the way it should be. Instead, you can see those crossed red steel girders; this is because of the Haunted Mansion construction that was underway!

If you look at the photo below (yes, you've seen it before), you can see what it looked like from the outside. From what I understand, the two tunnels beneath the girders are for the portrait gallery (that's the tunnel on the right) and for the exit and the doombuggy unloading area.

From the same lot is the view of the river in Frontierland. To the left is the big green construction wall, hiding the New Orleans Square excavation work. Barely visible through the trees is Frontierland Station.

And finally, another view of the Rivers of America. A Keelboat, Canoe, and a Raft all add movement to the picture. I'm sure that many people tried to talk Walt out of the idea of having to take a raft over to Tom Sawyer Island, but it is part of what makes the whole experience so great!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New York World's Fair Potpourri

Photos from the 64/65 New York World's Fair aren't quite as beloved as those from Disneyland, but you are just going to have to suffer through a random batch today.

I'm sure that I would have loved the Sinclair dinosaurs; kids do love those big critters, after all. Everybody had probably seen paintings of what the dinos might have looked like when they were alive, or maybe even saw a huge articulated skeleton in a museum. But these full-sized fiberglass models really made you appreciate just how huge and amazing these animals really were! The kid with the souvenir cowboy hat to our right can't believe his eyes.

A helicopter prepares to land atop the Port Authority building. This building still stands, I saw it just last month when I was in New York, but it is in sad condition. Such a shame that it can't be restored and used for something.

Taken from the top of the Better Living Center, here's a nice panorama showing many landmarks of the Fair. See that humongous line down in the lower right? That's what you had to wait in to see General Electric's "Progressland" - which, of course, included Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. And trust me, you are only seeing a tiny portion of that crazy queue.

Here's a "photo op" over at the Chrysler pavilion. Yes, for those of you who have always dreamed of having your face on a license plate....?? The good news is that you are a VIP. The bad news is that you are a VIP junior, which probably means you can't use the secret bathroom or cut right to the front of all lines.

The Skyway passes high above the China Pavilion; the red and gold building was "constructed in Taiwan and shipped in pieces to the Fair, also houses modern Chinese products, a gift shop and a restaurant." I hope I can get a hamburger and a Coke in that restaurant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monorail! July 25, 1961

Here's one for all you parking lot fans! Remember that we are parked in section "H"; that's H for um... something Disney starting with H? We've seen the lad to our right in several previous photos, but this is the first time he's worn a civil war kepi (not to be confused with a "keppy kap"!). He looks to be in the confederate army, and instead of a rifle, he is carrying a striped cardboard tube that I believe held a rolled souvenir map (the one with the pink border - I have a rolled copy!). By tomorrow the map will be on his wall with thumbtacks in each corner.

You can only have one of the cars in this photo, so please choose your favorite and it will be delivered to your home.

This photo might have actually been taken upon arrival... looks like there is a crowd waiting to board a tram. Quick Henry! Take a picture of the Monorail! I always like these early shots, when people dangled their hands, arms, and other assorted appendages out the open windows.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Trip To Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Six

Here's part six of the '58 trip to Disneyland, and the second part within Fantasyland. For those of you who are keeping track!

I really like this first shot of Casey Junior returning home after an exciting (?) journey through Storybook Land. I have lots of photos of Casey, but not another one like this! One of my very smart readers pointed out to me that Casey's eyes are hollow cones, which provides the very simple and subtle effect that Casey is always smiling and looking right at YOU. Brilliant! It's sort of the same idea as the busts that watch you in the Haunted Mansion. Just visible at the upper right is the Skyway Chalet, and a Canal Boat can be seen in the dark cave below.

I believe that our photographer was standing in pretty much the same spot, but turned to his right to catch another circus train in the distance. The "patchwork quilt" landscape always reminds me of the 1933 Silly Symphony, "Lullabye Land".

And finally, the canal boat "Aurore" careens out of control as guests hang on for dear life. Hmmm, Aurore? Not "Aurora"? Sleeping Beauty didn't open until 1959, perhaps they hadn't nailed down the princess' name yet. Notice the lady in the yellow blouse and the little boy, who we saw riding one of Alice's caterpillars a few days ago!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Beauties from '56

I've got a couple of especially nice vintage photos for you today! They're from 1956, but they are crisp and crunchy.

Check out this great image of the Autopia! I love the very first Autopia vehicles... simple yet elegant. Tomorrowland had lots of empty space back in those days, as you can see. You do get a nice view of the berm, though! To the left is the lake that the Phantom Boats conked out on, presumably they had already seen their last day by the time this photo was taken.

Here's another super nice photo showing the ticket booths at the entrance to the park. This looks like a perfect day to go to Disneyland! What kind of outrageous prices did folks have to pay to get into the park back in those days?

Well, it's a bit fuzzy, but for the sake of argument, we'll say that adult admission plus a 10-attraction ticket book would run you $3.50. Forget it! Let's go to that nearby Alligator Farm instead, or to Knott's (which was free!).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monorail, 1960

You know, every talks about how cool Monorails are, but I have a better idea. If one or two rails are good, then a train that uses 14 rails is GREAT! Think about it, and weep that you didn't have this idea.

Speaking of Monorails, here is a nice shot of the "3-car red" as taken from the Skyway. It is about to pass over the queue for the Motor Boat Cruise (there's actually a line!). I have to admit that I am almost more interested in the view of Anaheim than the stuff that you can see in the park.

This one is dark and dreary, but it goes with the first one, so I'm posting it anyway... a sunset shot with the Monorail as it glides above the lagoon. Look, there's George Washington's submarine, I know it's his because he wrote his name on it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Four Rejects From July 14 1964!

Today's images are not from the "A" list or even the "B" list. Instead, they are from the dreaded "Z" list. But maybe, just maybe, they will bring joy to at least one person in the world.

Hey, there's a house up in that tree! I can just make out a Swiss flag, that could be a useful clue.

I enjoy photos of dead guys as much as the next fella. Like this tiny person wrapped in blue ceremonial bandages and set out to dry until he is people jerky. Walter Knott might have had him sit up and then lay down again, which would have been interesting.

Here's a somewhat blurry, rather nondescript photo of the Living Desert. Snore!

I promise you that there are dusty old bears in this picture, hiding in the shadows as dusty old bears are wont to do. You'll just have to take my word for it though, because they are invisible here.

Did these pictures make anybody happy? Maybe a prison convict??

Friday, March 20, 2009

Universal Studios

I have a soft spot in my heart for Universal Studios. Sure, my family went there occasionally when I was a kid. But I mostly remember looking at my Viewmaster Packet! I wore that thing down until it was only 2-D. Those were the days when there were props from "Land of the Giants", the lagoon had Lieutenant Commander McHale's PT Boat, and Alfred Hitchcock was the spokesman.

Thanks to my mysterious "6th sense", I can tell that this is a photo of Universal City. Oh, that and the giant sign on the hill. The sign is made of delicious milk chocolate with white chocolate letters. Yum. In the foreground, the stripey roofs of the Glamor Trams, which took you on a tour of the studio backlot in style and comfort.

The classic stunt show involved plenty of simulated mayhem. Breakaway chairs, sugar glass bottles, gunfights, fistfights, and the always-popular "man plummeting to his death" pictured here. I don't care what you say, even a controlled fall from that height is a scary proposition.

Andy Panda had not made a movie since 1949, but the Studio must have figured that somebody out there remembered him. Andy wishes that you were there with him, looking at that phony-baloney waterfall.

Even as a tadpole I remember being impressed with the realism of the studio backlots. It wasn't hard to imagine people really living and working behind those detailed façades of plaster and fiberglass.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walt Disney World Construction, May 1971

Who likes dirt? I do, I do! That's why I enjoy looking at these pre-opening photos from the Magic Kingdom. (Am I crazy, or did "The Magic Kingdom" once refer to Disneyland?)

This lady is standing somewhere in Fantasyland, but there isn't much to see. Those rough, unpainted plywood sheds behind her might have held tools or supplies or beanie babies. The Skyway's pylons look ready to go. In the distance, some of the Fantasyland buildings are still being partially framed. I'm not familiar enough with WDW to know exactly where the photographer was standing, or which direction he was facing.

Cinderella's Castel is just out of frame to our right, we can see the walkway that crossed the moat (that big muddy ditch in front of us). You can also see part of Main Street, and a tower that I presume was used to make time-lapse movies of the construction of the park, much like the ones made for Disneyland's construction.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Trip to Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Five

Yessiree Bob, today's three photos are among my favorites from the lot of 1958 images that we have been looking at over the past few weeks.

Look at this beautiful shot of the "Alice In Wonderland" attraction, which had opened in June of 1958! I see at least three girls in Alice attire helping guests in and out of their snooty caterpillar vehicles (one of them is admittedly hard to spot).

Oh man, this picture is even better! The lady in the bright yellow blouse and the boy sitting next to her appear in some other photos, so they are presumably the photographer's family. The two boys in front are interlopers (and commies). I wonder what the view would look like if I was up in one of the Skyway buckets?

The view would be just like this! Afraid of heights... so very dizzy... might throw up... look out below...

Once the vertigo passes, we can enjoy this view of Snow Hill and the dirt trails that criss-crossed the hill, including what appears to be "shortcuts" - - not sure if those were created by impatient guests, or landscapers (since they do look as if they've been somewhat maintained). In less than a year, the Matterhorn would replace this charming feature!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Trip to Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Four

Welcome back to our 1958 visit to Disneyland! Yes, we still haven't managed to get beyond Main Street, but I think that you'll agree that there are some gems in this batch.

Like this wonderful photo of the Horse-Drawn Chemical Wagon as it passes the Crystal Arcade! I love the bright red shirts and white suspenders on the "firemen", not to mention the wagon itself. And those horses are so tiny! Maybe they are ponies? Two ladies looking into the Crystal Arcade are wearing their beribboned straw hats (souvenirs?), and to the extreme left, a kid in a stroller. But he's wearing a Donald Duck hat, so we love him anyway!

What kind of a bus is that? Why it's an omnibus. It is sporting a banner for the new Grand Canyon Diorama, still one of my favorite things at Disneyland. I think I read that Walt Disney wanted to add a steam roller to the fleet of Main Street vehicles, and maybe even a Zamboni.

The Surrey cost a mere ten cents (or "A" ticket?) to ride, but even that bargain hasn't tempted any riders today. Same with the Chemical Wagon in the first photo, you may have noticed. To the right, the striped roof of the Plaza Gardens, where much music and dancing took place.

The Surrey again! I've seen it pulled by a pair of white horses, black horses, and now these guys. How many horses did they have for this one attraction? Or did they switch off from the Stagecoaches and Constoga Wagons as well?

This slide was actually placed in a special cardboard mount with a round opening! There's the legendary "White Wing", Trinidad himself. Before the rubber-headed characters took over, he was apparently quite a popular figure on Main Street!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Train Station and Town Square, January 5 1957

Here are a couple of beauties from nineteam fitty seven! They'll make you wish you were there.

We've got some bright sunshine, but those clouds are making me nervous... just a bit too much gray underneath 'em. Oh well, I'm sure we'll be fine. The E.P. Ripley is waiting at Main Street Station, City Hall just visible above the engine, while the brilliant yellow baggage car gleams in the late afternoon sunlight. And I have to mention the posters, whee-doggies!

Now we're inside the park, with a great view of the charming Town Square. It's supposed to be a typical American small town, but obviously a prosperous small town. Where's the bar and the pool hall, anyway? There are garlands on some of the buildings, this was taken just after Christmas, after all. Looks like there are cutout figures of carolers adorning the Emporium.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Back Side Of Water, August 1958

It's not often that you get to see the back side of water. Seems like we always see the same old boring front side. But this savvy photographer managed to quell his terror and snap a picture that would almost be postcard-worthy if it weren't for that giant noggin in the foreground.

See what I mean? Front side of water = snores. One of Einstein's earliest theories, since proven correct.