Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two Bridges, September 1961

I know, today's post is pretty lackluster... I promise to do better tomorrow!

Here's a photo taken (presumably) from the Mark Twain, looking towards Tom Sawyer Island. We can see two of my favorite features on the island, the floating-bobbing-undulating pontoon bridge, and the swaying suspension bridge. Did pontoon bridges like that ever exist, really? It's obviously a popular feature; and look at all the souvenir hats!

The suspension bridge closed for what seemed like a year or two, and I feared that it would never come back, but thankfully it has.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Red Wagon Inn & Plaza Pavilion, 1957

When it was time to eat at Disneyland, you could grab a burger at the Tomorrowland Terrace or one of the small window service Fantasyland eateries. Or you could head back to the hub and enjoy a nice lunch, with waiters and waitresses who brought your food to you while you let your aching feet rest.

I think I would have gone to the Red Wagon Inn myself...

... although the Plaza Pavilion would have been pretty nice too!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Disneyland Hotel, January 1962

I never had the pleasure of staying at the old Disneyland Hotel, but I sure wish I had! These photos are from January 1962, definitely the "off season"; and these appear to be taken just as the sun was going down.

The landscaping still looks pretty good, but just imagine how much more lush it will appear when the days grow longer and the temperature warms up! The guy in the blue sweater is checking out the scenery, while a sparrow takes a sip of water at the bottom edge of the picture.

It must have been pretty chilly, nobody is willing to brave that inviting looking pool! All of the folding chairs are empty too. I guess the cabanas were there for changing or something (couldn't you just do that in your hotel room?)...

Well, there are a few brave souls, anyway! Once you're in the heated pool, you get used to it, and it feels fine. Getting out isn't so fun though. This would be a great place to take a break from standing in line and braving the crowds at the park (which presumably closed fairly early in January)... the kids could burn off some excess steam, everyone would go and eat dinner, and then get some solid shuteye before heading back in to Disneyland the next day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tahitian Terrace, September 1962

Here is a series of slides (with more to come!) showing the wonderful Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland! Stouffers sponsored several restaurants throughout Disneyland, including the Red Wagon Inn and the Plantation House. In June of 1962, a new restaurant opened capatalizing on the popularity of all things Polynesian. It would be another year until "The Enchanted Tiki Room" debuted, making Disneyland a prime destination for tiki freaks!

In this first photo, we get a fine look at the entrance, with all of that wonderful signage. What I wouldn't give for a chunk of that façade! I believe that the Stouffers sign did not stay there very long, but I could be wrong.

Smile for the camera! Alright, don't, see if I care. There's the waterfall that would part, allowing performers to emerge...

Now that's more like it! Waitresses are rushing to and fro, and lovely dancers in grass skirts and flowered leis dance and sway hypnotically. Just visible to the right is a sliver of the Jungle Cruise loading dock.

Looks like this solo dancer is doing something quite a bit more engergetic than the graceful hula dance. I can almost hear the pounding of the drums!

I have a few more photos from the series, which you'll see in a few days.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lazy Wednesday - Again

Yep, I admit it, I am one lazy SOB! Which is why you only get one slide today. But it is from 1955, and it's a great shot of the moon rocket! Happily the photographer did not chop off the tip of the rocket, something that tends to happen all too often. Anyway, I found a small group of glass-mounted slides that are in pretty awful condition - faded, splotchy, dusty and possessed by demons. DEMONS!!!

What I'm trying to say is that this one took some work to bring back, but I think it was worth it. Believe me, I could have easily spent another half hour on it, if not more. There are one or two others that have so many mysterious orange spots that I am contemplating giving up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Town Square, October 1967

If you're in the mood to relax at Disneyland, then you should definitely take the time to explore Main Street U.S.A. And Town Square is the heart of the place!

Vesey Walker and the Disneyland Band look splendid in their white and gold uniforms. They've gathered 'round the flagpole to play Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady", and an appreciative group listens nearby.

This little motorized Fire Truck doesn't have the pizzaz of today's giant vehicles, but I guess that's not really the point! Hopefully nothing bigger than a medium sized chicken coop ever caught fireback in the good old days, because that's about all this one would be good for. Nevertheless, it would still be fun to ride on.

Look, it's Harold Lloyd himself driving one of the Horseless Carriages! Somehow he is going to wind up hanging from the top of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, I just know it. I wonder if the small crowd gathered to the right is listening to a tour guide?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Adventureland & Fantasyland, September 1959

From 1959, here are two nice images from stereo slides.

First up is this shot of the Jungle Cruise loading dock from back in the days when the launches still had their striped canopies (not canapés). Guess all the kids were already back in school, because it looks pretty peaceful; the line is just not that crazy. I like the way they use those funky bamboo fish traps as crowd barriers!

If dad had been born thirty years later, he could have auditioned for the role of Kramer on "Seinfeld". The ladies are workin' their cat's eye glasses for all they are worth. The Pirate Ship behind them looks like it is sitting in a swimming pool, no wonder it was eventually remodeled (beautiful) into the scenic cove that many of us remember!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Montreal Expo, 1967

Today we'll take a little detour so that I can share some slides from "Expo '67" in Montreal! It is not as fondly remembered as the '64 New York Fair, but it was attendance was huge - - according to Wikipedia, "...It is considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with over 50 million visitors and 62 nations participating." Zowie! We'll see if any of my readers care!e

First up is this photo of the German Pavilion. "A glance at the striking silhouette of the German Pavilion inevitably invites a closer look. Its roof, supported by eight steel masts, of which the highest soars 120 feet into the sky, is made of a steel net lined with a 100,000-sq. ft. translucent plastic skin." Skin, cooooool.

Look at them funny trees, ma! Why, that's the Canadian Pulp and Paper Industry Pavilion! Whoo-hoo, did somebody say PULP? I'm so there. "Forests affect Man and his World profoundly. Paper, for which the forests produce raw material, is the principal tool Man uses to record his thoughts." Paper, I remember that stuff. I think I saw a picture of some on my computer.

And it only makes sense that more Canadian fun would be nearby, namely the Canadian Pacific - Cominco Pavilion. Visitors to this pavilion "... will see a completely new dimension in the art of motion pictures. Francis Thompson and Alexander Hammid, who produced an outstanding award-winning film for the New York World's Fair, have used a new multi-camera film technique and spent 18 months traveling across Canada to produce a charmingly humorous film on Canadian youth against a background of some of the country's most beautiful scenery."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Knott's Selection

Let's check out some Knotts stuff today, OK?

Starting with this souvenir "Good Luck" token that I found in a box (along with 4 others just like it!). This is one that I brought home myself, I think there might have been a machine that dispensed them in the blacksmith's shop. Coulda been someplace else though. There's "Whittles" the grizzled-but-friendly miner, he was a "mascot" of Knotts Berry Farm for a few years.

From March 1963, it's Old MacDonald's Farm. Ever have a hankerin' to pet some goats? No problem! It's all good here at the farm. I like the fun design of the barn! That old lady is giving us the eyeball, I'll bet she was a school teacher; she didn't put up with any foolishness.

Now it's September 1975, and we're standing at the edge of the lake. The small sidewheel steamer is named after Walter Knott's wife Cordelia, and it looks like it would be a mighty nice way to see the sights. I wonder if this lake was really only knee deep?

Among the many shops is the Candy Parlor. I wonder what they sold there? Maybe pencils or something. The landscaping makes this a peaceful scene, with a pergola covered in bright pink bouganvilla to the left, a rose garden, and a lovely fountain.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ford's Magic Skyway, September 1964

Hooray for the Magic Skyway! A World's Fair attraction that I wish I could have experienced in person.

Here we're looking up at the rotunda (an echo of the one that had been in the Chicago World's Fair, and was later moved to Dearborn Michigan - and it burned down in 1962); the curved pylons look like the rib bones of some giant critter. There are two tunnels protruding from the building, each one containing a late-model Ford, on its way to a trip through time. Dinosaurs, cave men, the creation of fire and the wheel, what more could a person want.

Looky, looky! A helimocoptor! It's probably headed towards the Port Authority building (which still stands today), where helicopters landed on the roof.

The venerable Ford Mustang was introduced at the World's Fair... who knew that Mustangs would still be manufactured more than 40 years later? This one is a convertible - see how smart I am? Ford originally estimated that sales of the Mustang would be around 100,000 in the first year, but in its first 18 months, one million were built.

Folks had to wait in extremely long lines, but once they were inside, even the queue had plenty to look at. Here is another look at one of the "International Village" models (always with a few Ford cars sprinkled about). This particular village looks like New England; who knows. In the background are several gleaming Fords... my knowledge of automobiles is pathetic, so I will venture a guess. Is that a Galaxie 500? Or maybe a Fairlane?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random Thursday

I've got four random photos for you today!

First up, the Mine Train emerges from beneath a tunnel, while pack mules ply the trails above. I'm trying to figure out where this photo was taken from... does anybody have a guess? I believe that Cascade Peak is to our left, so perhaps our shutterbug was aboard a Keel Boat.

The Fred Gurley is waiting at the station while quite a few crazy people are already leaving the park. What gives! It's hard to tell, but the clock on the train station appears to say 4:45.

Here is a picture of the little Bavarian cottage that I live in, and where I produce all of the very best posts on this blog. The bad posts are written at my other home in Van Nuys.

Things are quiet on the river today! I am reasonably sure that this photo was taken while the park was open, but there is not a soul to be seen. Any moment now, I expect fleash eating zombies to emerge from the water, hungry for brains.

And finally, I would like to join my bloggy brethren in encouraging you to check out John Delmont's new DVD, "The Secret Tour of Disneyland".

I watched it in its entirety one weekend (it's almost 2 1/2 hours long!), and found it to be well photographed and charmingly hosted by John's daughter Lauren. And best of all, I learned about more than a few Disneyland secrets that I had never heard of before - I didn't think that was possible! For those of you with steel-trap memories and a sharp eye, keep a lookout for images that have appeared on this blog, as well as Matterhorn1959's and Daveland's.

You can take a look at some of the footage at's store HERE.

And you can watch it on YouTube as well, click the link HERE!

I really think that Disneyland fans will enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pacific Ocean Park, September 1959 - Part Two

We're back in Santa Monica, circa 1959, for a continuation of our visit to POP.

This lad is checking out one of the legendary Banana Trains, from one of those attractions that I wish I could have experienced! According to the official guidebook you'll "...Cross a beautiful waterfall, then board a gay Banana Train run by a carefree beachcomber. You'll see cannibals, monkeys and other inhabitants of the South Sea jungles. You'll have an exciting ride up the side of the mountain and into the heart of a volcano. You'll encounter a tropical storm and go through an exotic land lush with tropical planting -- all aboard the Banana Train."

Dad and son pose by the sign post extolling the wonders of the "Deepest Deep" (that arched building just visible in the background). "Join the hunt through the darkness of a subterranean lagoon for a beachcomber who 'disappeared' years ago and the treasure he left behind". Those pesky beachcombers, they're worse than bears.

Well, I don't have the foggiest idea what this is! There just isn't that much info out there. If I didn't know better, I'd have guessed that this was Freedomland. It looks very "Frontierlandy", and I'm not even sure where something like that would have been located. Help!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Century 21 Exposition, August 1962

Howsabout a little change of pace? Today I have three images from the 1962 Fair in Seattle, officially known as the "Century 21 Exposition".

In this first view, we are overlooking the amusement zone of the Seattle fair, known as the "Gay Way". I know. There are plenty of off-the-shelf carnival rides, the kind that spin you around and around. You can see a "wild mouse" roller coaster in the distance, while in the lower right there are "games of skill" where the lucky ones will win a giant plush animal. Anyway, it's a great view of a festive area, and I like the way the city of Seattle comes right up to the edge of the fair.

Next we are looking up at the impressive, iconic Space Needle. At over 600 feet high, it provides a breathtaking view for miles around. Don't ask me what those doo-dads are in the foreground, because I have no idea!

At the base of the Needle is this giant mosaic mural, I can't find a thing about it (despite the three souvenir guides that I own!). Those kooky abstract expressionists, ya gotta love 'em.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Main Street Coin Shop

Today I have two very nice Main Street photos (plus one detail); they are undated, but are pre-1959, since you can see the Gibson Greeting Card store - it became the Hallmark Card Shop in 1959. I suspect that they are from around 1957.

If you were not in too much of a hurry and were willing to explore the nooks and crannies of West Center Street, you would pass that red wagon to the right (it's in front of the Swift Market House, but might be the vehicle that gave the Red Wagon Inn it's name) to the Coin Shop and the Pen Shop.

If we zoom in, there is a smiling lady with her giant shopping bag. What could be in it! I love the giant Indian head penny hanging over the door, and wish I had it in my collection. My coin collection, that is! I wonder what those displays in the window are, it's just too difficult to discern what they show.

Surreys aren't the only vehicles to have fringe on top, the Horseless Carriages do too. The driver is cleaning cotton candy goo from the seat so that the next guest doesn't ruin his seersucker suit. Town Square is peaceful today, crowds are light. The Bekins moving van (non-motorized) is back there, and there is some sort of mysterious metal scaffolding next to the Fire Station. Wuffo?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chow Time, April 1962

Sometimes you have to stop your endless quest to ride as many attractions as possible, and take a break for a hot dog or burger. Studies have found that burgers, 'dogs, fries and a cola provide exactly the nutritional punch to your body that you need to stay upright for another 10 hours.

If this guy puts ketchup on that hot dog, then we will know that he is a commie spy. No red-blooded American puts ketchup (catsup?) on a hot dog! Look at that kid to the right, he is wearing a dress shirt and a tie! And the little girl to the left is dressed like she is going to a cotillion.

Everyone is all smiles now that their tummies are full. Just don't go on the teacups right away, or you'll just have to go eat again. You know what I'm talking about. The girl to our right looks like Mamie Eisenhower, shrinkified.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Main Street '56

I've got a trio of Main Street images for you today!

First up is this photo taken aboard the Horse Drawn Streetcar. Yep, that's a horse's butt alright! And what's that mysterious thing that looks like a taxi meter in the upper left? Anyway, this is one of those "you are there" photos that I get such a kick out of. Main Street looks pretty uncrowded, this must be during the off season. Not a child to be seen!

With those ladies sitting on the benches in the foreground, it would be easy to mistake this for a photo of some real small town City Hall. But we know better! There is a sign with a couple in front of it (to the left), any clue what that is? And there is another small sign at the base of the second column from the left directly in front of City Hall. Another illegible mystery.

Sorry that this one is blurry... it's getting dark, but people seem to be lining up to ride the two Horseless Carriages. Don't the vehicles get put away when it's dark? Meanwhile, the lights have been turned on, making Main Street one of my favorite places to be in the park.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fantasyland, September 1966

Today I have an assortment of Fantasyland images, circa 1966.

We get a good look at the Caterpillar ride vehicles from the Alice In Wonderland dark ride in this photo; I think it's safe to say that these are my favorite of all dark ride vehicles. Yes, they even beat out Peter Pan's flying pirate ships. The kid in the front seat looks just like Opie!

Next we have two bird's eye views, including this shot looking down on Storybook Land. Love the lighthouse (and am glad that it is still there today!), it was a magnet for strollers apparently. Monstro looks mighty fine in his formal black and white paint scheme.

A few seconds later we pass above Captain Hook's Pirate Ship and wonderful Skull Rock. The landscaping and use of waterfalls really added a lot to the visual appeal of this much-missed icon. In the distance, the massive "It's a Small World" building gleams. You can see that the clock is doing its thing!