Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Storybook Land, March 1958

Storybook Land is a lovely, peaceful little ride that has been a part of Disneyland since 1955. When it opened it wasn't really finished, lacking the beautiful miniature scenes that are so familiar to many nowadays. It has had a few changes over the years, but to me it manages to feel almost the same as when I was a kid.

Toad Hall is one of my favorite scenes; at one point it was entirely removed, and replaced with the Sultan's palace from "Aladdin". But eventually Toad Hall was added in a different location. Here you can get a pretty good look at Moley's house, beneath the gnarled old tree.

Almost hidden in the shadows lies the Dwarf's cottage.

Geppeto's village is another favorite of mine... from my favorite Disney animated feature!


Connie Moreno said...

I never appreciated the beauty of Storybook Land until I was an adult. But then you already know I was a stupid kid (Remember the House of the Future? Sheesh...)

Great photos.

Thufer said...

If only the entire world was as along these canals. Oh well!

JG said...

In my world...this is the entire world, the parts worth keeping anyway.

Time with my parents, my friends, my family and kids...with these stories in this place. Hard pressed to want any more than this.

Thanks Major. I still owe you those pics of SBL. Maybe this weekend.


Chuck said...

I remember reading in 1965ish Disneyland souvenir guide stuck on a shelf in my 3rd grade classroom that the tree over Ratty's house was actually an inverted grape vine root. I remember at that moment being in complete and utter awe at the skill of the craftsmen who built the place in being able to see something like a vine root in a completely different context.

Since then I've learned that that's really what modeling is all about - fooling the viewer's eye into thinking they're seeing a fully-detailed, full-sized object - but the knowledge of how the illusion is created doesn't detract in any way from the art. In fact, it increases my appreciation of it.

As always, thanks for sharing. Your blog and a Skype moment with the family are the high points of my day!

Chuck said...

Just noticed something. The second tier of rockwork behind Gepetto's Village looks grossly out of scale behind the snow-capped foreground mountains. Has this been redressed with another tier of scale snowy peaks?

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I didn't even notice that out-of-scale rockwork! I was too focused on the Village. Of course eventually the Matterhorn was in the distance, which looks great. Daveland has a picture on his site showing the way the scene looks now, I will link to it and hope the entire link appears:


Chuck said...

Looks like it's overgrown with ivy today. I'm guessing that's the back of the rocks that Monstro's embedded in.

I'd never noticed it myself, either - always too focused on the details. Now that I know that it's there...it still doesn't bug me.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I think that the rockwork has actually been entirely rebuilt (like Monstro himself)... it kind of resembles the kind of rocks you might see in Peter Pan now.

Chiana_Chat said...

Gosh the then & now. Now they look like models with their bright plain blue and green roofs. Then those buildings had a more realistic range of shingle and wood roofs.

Major Pepperidge said...

You're right Chiana, they look like IHOPs now! Guess they decided to go more "Toontown" rather than the realistic look that Walt loved.

Chiana_Chat said...

IHOPs! You are actually, frighteningly correct!

I suspect we're seeing lower budget care. Some other pictures show a lot of intricate painting detail on some of the buildings has been crudely painted over. Snap decisions by unfamiliar lower paid management and accelerated, even lower paid workers. "Okay a repaint in X hours. Paint what? The buildings. What colors? Repaint what was on there. It'd take how many hours?! Never mind. How much can you see going by in the boats anyway. This is a storybook land... so let's get some attractive cartoon color in here." That kinda thing maybe. It's still incredible and beautiful and other areas are upgraded from how it was in the past, but looks like those miniature scenes, which require skilled talents, may not have been maintained with the same craft$man$hip.