Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lost Safari, June 1964

This first slide caught my eye as I was about to put it in the "don't scan" pile! It turns out to be pretty interesting. The Jungle Cruise had already had one upgrade in 1962, the Elephant Bathing Pool. Now in 1964, a new addition was in progress... notice that the now-famous "Lost Safari" scene is incomplete; the tree that would eventually hold four porters and one hunter is now only big enough for one porter! Also note the workers to the left and the right. Oompa Loompas!

Here's a slightly closer look... the porter on the tree is unclothed, allowing us to see some of his mechanical bits. Naughty! Both the Rhino and the tree are on some sort of rectangular supports. Rhinos are famous for trapping people in trees, threatening them with their poisonous horns, and then eating them!

Here's a look at the completed scene, from June 1969.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More '58 Fun

Here are a few more from the '58 family!

This is one of my favorites, a great shot looking back at the suspension bridge on Tom Sawyer Island. Mom looks like she's having a swell time! She has her Mickey Mouse "I Like Disneyland" flasher pin on. Sister's stripey shirt can just be seen behind mom, and junior is mostly concerned with not falling.

OK, this one might actually be from another trip. Doesn't that kid look a bit smaller? And yes, his outfit is completely different. Even if mom brought him something warm to wear at night, she wouldn't bring another pair of shoes. Would she? Anyway, the kid is pestering the wooden Indian out in front of the Tobacco Shop, maybe trying to pick his pocket. Crime doesn't pay! Look, the Indian's rifle still has the complete barrel.

I love this picture, presumably from the day after the trip to Disneyland. The kid still wants to wear his Donald Duck squeaky hat, even during a visit to the local playground. I have a hat just like it from when I was a kid!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Christmas Parade, 1959

You like-a da Christmas, eh? I like-a da Christmas! Especially when the real one is still many months away and I don't have to deal with it too much. (Insert frowny face).

Today's photos are from the 1959 Christmas parade. Man oh man, people loved to take endless pictures of the parades! I've got tons of 'em, and I may have to finally delve into that stack as my reserve of slides grows ever smaller. Forgive me.

Looks like Disneyland once again chose to celebrate the cultures from around the globe. That was an idea that just wouldn't die! Here we see the Japanese (I presume) "Wisteria" float, with its bonsai and rock garden and the wigged, powdered and kimono-wearing geisha. The kids hauling the float aren't working hard enough. Mush!

This must be the entry for China. That's a pretty modest float, reminiscent of what you might see in a small town parade! Look at all the little dolls on the float. Weird.

And last, but not least, is umm.... Sweden? Norway? Denmark? Oxnard? All I know is that I dig those red stocking caps. Looks like they are doing that dance where you clap your hands and then slap your partner. Always good for a laugh! They have Charlie Brown's Christmas tree (after it got a little love) on the float.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fantasyland, '58

Welcome to Fantasyland, 1958! Never mind the "57" in the file name, I screwed up.

Anyway, here's sis riding a pack mule... I can't quite read her expression. Maybe she's going to cry. Or laugh. Or she's just squinting in the sunlight. Who knows. The good thing is that if a spontaneous game of basketball breaks out, she can referee.

Here she is again, being the perfect big sis by patiently helping her little brother out of the Dumbo vehicle. Behind them is a Fantasyland eatery that I don't know the name of in spite of it being in a zillion photos. And might I also add: poster alert!

Yes, I see that same "pasted on" smile when I take pictures of my niece and nephew. They can't help it, they've been trained to do it! The kid is strapped onto his wooden horse, a white one from the days when they weren't all white. In fact, I've never really bought the theory that everyone wants to ride a white horse, somebody in Imagineering came up with that bright idea and they are sticking to it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Progressland & More, June 1964

You know it, you love it - the New York World's Fair! It was the next best thing to Disneyland. Except for Knott's. These are all from June 1964, and it looks like June Gloom is not exclusive to Southern California. I would prefer to be there on a day like today, although I admit that the photos aren't going to turn out as nice.

I've been hearing a lot about Walt Disney's "Progressland", let's go check it out! The fact that there are two naughty nuns in front of us is a good omen. The building is impressive during the day, and even more so at night when controlled lighting give the illusion that it is spinning (and changing color). Oh man, look at the line!

Now we're much closer to the building, but first let's stop and listen to the band concert; It's time for the big tuba solo. The conductor is completely ignoring the band, and frankly they don't even need him. Wave that baton around all you want little man, it's US that the chicks dig.

The World's Fair was frequently inspiring, but it was also educational. The Equitable Life building reminded folks that the population of the USA was increasing at a warp factor of eleven. By 2009 that number would increase by over 100 million (yeesh), for a grand total of approximately 306,000,000. But there's nobody quite like you!

The Eastman Kodak pavilion was famous for the five gigantic photo prints (yes, actual prints!) that appeared on top of the building - - at 30 feet by 36 feet, they were the largest photo prints in the world. The photos were changed roughly every three or four weeks. I'm sure many of you recognize this picture of Emmett Kelly. Junior! Yes, his dad originated the famous "Weary Willie" character, but Jr. did alright too. Eastman Kodak... "was looking for a suitable representative to appear at the company's Pavilion during the New York World's Fair. Emmett Kelly, Jr. met Eastman Kodak executives in their board room and wowed them with his mime performance. He was immediately signed up and became one of the top attractions during the World's Fair two year run. Kodak was so pleased and impressed by Emmett's success during The Fair, that they asked him to become a touring Ambassador of Goodwill for them."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Souvenir Slide Saturday

As part of my pathetic ploy to keep this blog going, I have once again delved into my old souvenir slides for a post. These are "Treasure Tone" slides, which I believe were sold for several years in the early days of the park.

This is a nice shot of the Disneyland Band, resplendent in their red uniforms. It looks like it was high noon, and they gathered around Town Square's flagpole for a brief performance.

You can tell that this is a very early photo of the Jungle Cruise loading dock, because the sign reads, "Adventureland". It was changed to "Jungle Cruise" in just a year or so. Some of the palms look pretty scruffy, presumably because they hadn't filled out yet after being planted.

And finally, a closeup of a headhunter who is not happy that we have trespassed on his territory. I'm not sure if the early native figures along the Jungle Cruise river are technically "animatronic", since their movements were limited at best. In an early "Disneyland" episode, you can see a man being cast in plaster for the natives (I think they used the same mold for all of them).

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Trip To Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Twelve

At long last, our 1958 trip to Disneyland brings us to Tomorrowland! I admit that it is my favorite land of all, which might seem like heresy to some.

There it is, looking like a mirage. But it won't vanish as you get closer like they always do in cartoons!

See what I mean? Now that's a moon rocket! Sure, the Saturn V actually launched people to the moon, but it didn't look as cool as the Moonliner. Disneyland's version was about 80 feet tall, but I seem to recall reading that it was a scale model of the proposed 300 foot tall rocket. Now THAT would be impressive!

There's something going on over at the Flight Circle! A curious crowd has been drawn by the whine of tiny gasoline engines. Let's take a closer look...

Hey, it's hard to take a clear picture from a moving Skyway bucket. But we can just make out four guys in white shirts, two of whom are actually performing at the moment. Looks like they might have model planes on wires, and they are spinning around in tandem. Didn't they get dizzy?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Random Thursday

It's time for another random selection of images...

These three guests have their triangular Guided Tour badges on. The boy looks like he has just been informed that he's going to military school. The nerdy-cute girl has a dreamy far away expression, which of course means she is drunk. And mom is still a little freaked out by that "Mr. Toad" ride.

By jings, there's a Pirate Ship!

Just look at that old bag. No, not the nice lady, I mean the shopping bag! I'll bet that there is at least one guide book inside. Save that bag, lady, it'll be worth something someday. She is fiddling with the rigging on the Columbia, and Rainbow Ridge can be seen behind her.

I'm not sure where our photographer was standing for this photo. There's a fence with barbed wire in front of us, and beyond the fence is the water tower for the Disneyland Railroad (that's the C.K. Holliday, too). Frontierland Station would be just out of the frame to the left, I believe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Freedomland, September 1960

We're headed back to the Bronx for some photos from Freedomland. Not the best pictures you'll ever see, but the place was only around for four years, so any photos are rare!

This dark picture was taken aboard the Northwest Fur Trapper's ride. I think I've quoted the guidebook before, but it bears repeating: "Ride a bullboat up the Columbia River, through a land infested by dangerous animals and warlike natives. Be careful - or you'll be caught in the crossfire of an Indian ambush." This photo was taken right during that horrific ambush, if you look closely you can see some Blurry Indians (enemies of the Iroquois) pointing their flintlocks across the river. Cool!

Part of "Little Old New York" was the waterfront, which "... beckons you to board one of Freedomland's tugboats for a cruise around the world's greatest harbor and on into the Great Lakes. Your voyage will take you past the glow of the Chicago fire to the sounds of fun and laughter at the dazzling new State Fair Midway just outside the Windy City." Wait a minute, you can see the Chicago fire from Little Old New York??

Here's another view of the waterfront, taken from Tucson Mining Company Ore Bucket. You can see just some of the "... dozens of charming buildings and friendly shops". Let's go get us some ropes and gunny bags!

If you're hankerin' for some BBQ, you could do worse than to stop by "the Chuck Wagon to sample a hearty cowpuncher's snack". The thing I find the most interesting in this photo is the family in the foreground. Mom appears to be a blond bombshell even after having four (?) kids. Good for her!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm, March 1963

I've got three Knott's views for you today!

First up is this great photo taken at the aftermath of the train robbery. A curious crowd watches as the undertaker (who looks to be about 18) brushes off the corpse of the bad man. They're about to cart the body away, and the desperado will be buried in boot hill, in a narrow grave just 6 by 3. Crime never pays!

Uncle Maynard feels like a kid again as he poses atop the Wells Fargo stagecoach, holding invisible reins and skillfully driving his team of imaginary fiery steeds. He has to get the mail to Denver by sundown, hopefully he won't run into any bandits!

And finally, a nice overview of the area where you could pan for real gold. I like the fact that they excavated a sort of "strip mine" area for you to walk down into just to make things interesting... it would have been much easier (and cheaper) to just build the thing at ground level. When it came to old-timey western flavor, Knott's definitely gave Disney a run for their money.

Monday, April 20, 2009

El Zocalo, September 1959

Here are two slides (plus one detail) from 9-59!

Junior is one happy camper, because dad just bought him something cool in Frontierland's El Zocalo. Looks like a deadly spear, the plastic tip made all the more lethal because it has been dipped in poison. That group of rough shacks with canvas roofs behind them held a treasure trove of Disneyland collectibles. Coonskin caps, peace pipes, toy guns, rubber tomahawks, plastic stagecoaches, and so on. Everything a person needs to lead a healthy, happy life.

What does that sign say? "In the early days of the Aztecs the focal point of all activity was the marketplace or El Zocalo. All roads led to El Zocalo and people for miles around brought baskets, pottery, glass and other wares to sell. During the development of the great southwest before the Gadsden Purchase, and down through the years the custom of El Zocalo has been preserved - - - and here in El Zocalo of Frontierland you will find the quaint and colorful products of Mexico." Now you know.

There they are again, in a similar pose. This time they are in front of the Pavilion Lanai, having just crossed over a mysterious bridge; I'm not sure I was aware that this little bridge existed until now!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Family In Disneyland

The faded slides in this lot are some of my favorites of all the Disneyland slides I have. It's not that there are rare views or anything... I think it's a combination of the early date, and the fact that this looks like the perfect Southern California family. Pretty mom, two kids (one girl, one boy), and dad always hidden behind the camera.

Here they are posing in front of the new Alice in Wonderland attraction, so we know that these are from at least 1958. Never mind that the image has "57" in the name, that was based on the only slide in the bunch that had a date written on it. Oh well! Anyway, I like those giant "Mary Blair" leaves. Mom is holding one of those old striped popcorn boxes, and junior is now wearing mom's Mickey Mouse flasher pin.

There they are again, at the top of Castle Rock. Just look at that kid, sticking his tongue out at us! Disgraceful.

Awww, how can I stay mad at this li'l captain? Sorry about the color, all of these have turned magenta to some degree, and my color-correction didn't improve things too much!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Knott's 1967

Here are a few Knott's Berry Farm images from 1967!

The first two are great (in my opinion) because they are classic Americana. An older couple has visited Knott's, and they both stop to have their photos taken with a genuine Indian chief. Check out his red and turquoise outfit! Far out.

Now it is grandpa's turn. He is telling the chief, "Beyond the great river and the burning desert is a land of many buffalo." Those guys and their buffalo, honestly! Or maybe he is just asking where the bathroom is. Love those beat-up old buildings, like the Knife Shop behind them. Is that thing up to code?

The Knotts version of a train depot is not as quaint or ornate at the Disneyland examples, but it is probably a lot more true to life. This photo makes me wish I could buy a ticket for a train ride circa 1967!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Trip To Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Eleven

Here are four more Frontierland photos from the Trip to Disneyland!

We're on Tom Sawyer's Island, and mother and son are exploring the winding trails, crazy bridges (suspension and pontoon style), caves, fortifications, and rock features. Tom found himself a peach of an island! That little girl is looking at us as if we have a lobsters on our heads.

Folks are loading up Huck Finn's raft for the arduous 4 day journey back to the main shore. One or two of them will need to be eaten along the way, but it's all in the name of good clean fun. Note the riverfront bandstand to the right, I believe that it was removed during the addition of New Orleans Square.

Just a nice, busy picture of the river, with the commanding presence of the Columbia. Is that raft flying a skull and crossbones flag? Perhaps that was a reference to Tom and Huck playing "pirate". Or river pirates. Not the guys from the Caribbean, though.

And finally, a lovely shot of the Mark Twain, in glorious "tilt-o-rama"!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Trip To Disneyland, July 1958 - Part Ten

Our visit to 1958 Disneyland continues through Frontierland...

Fans of the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad (I know you're out there) should enjoy the first two photos. Everyone else will hate them!

Here comes the C.K Holliday, approaching Frontierland Station; as you can see, the train track splits so that the passenger train can pass the freight train while it's stopped. If you didn't already know it was Disneyland, you might believe that this was a photo of a real narrow gauge train in a small midwestern town.

Our photographer snapped a second shot as the train resumes its course around the park. Looks like he snuck through some hedges for this perspective, and he leaned waaay out over the fence (barbed wire!). Lucky for him, only his left arm was torn off by the passing locomotive.

Still in Frontierland! Might as well take a look at the other steam-powered vehicle, namely the Mark Twain. It's amazing to realize that the Rivers of America is only 1/4 of an inch deep, isn't it?