Sunday, January 16, 2011

Santa's Village, 1965

I'll bet you thought that Christmas was over, but you were wrong! In fact, tonight I'm going a-wassailing. Today's photos were kindly donated by the mysterious and secretive JG, from his own file of family snapshots, circa 1965. The real, genuine snow on the ground adds to the Christmas cheer. I can already smell the aroma of wet wool mittens.

Let's start with this cookie cottage, also known as the Good Witch's Bakery. Those flower-shaped cookies on the roof remind me of Burry's "fudge filled shortcake" cookies. What, no cute name like "fudgetastics"?

Here's the Easter Bunny's House; he doesn't require much room, so Santa leases the property to him for cheap.

Hooray! It's the legendary Bumblebee Monorail. The only adorable Monorail that I am aware of. I have 30 or 40 photos of Santa's Village, but no pictures of this ride.

Santa's House! St. Nick's magic has caused the mushrooms to grow to unheard-of sizes, not to mention the groovy colors. Children of all ages could visit Mr. Kringle here, and tell him what Nerf toy they wanted under the tree that year.

There's that Christmas Tree ride again (oh, and Bumblebee Monorail alert!). The tree has a very Rankin-Bass look to it. Oh man, imagine how cold it must have been up there, that's a lot of snow on the ground.

MANY THANKS to "JG" for sharing these great photos of a long-gone California attraction!!


TokyoMagic! said...

Yep, that tree definitely has a Rankin-Bass look to it! I really wish I could have seen this park in person. Thanks to JG for sharing your family photos with us and to Major for posting them!

Unknown said...

We have a park similar to this in Colorado -- the tree ride is the same and the Santa's house is similar.

No Bumblebee monorail, though.

Katella Gate said...

Unlike the Disneyland monorail, Mme Bumblebee and her sister monorail cars were neither silent nor smooth-riding nor fast.

My last visit to the park was in the early 70s, and I was pretty amazed at how noisy the mechanicals on the car were, just a loud grinding noise as the car moved. There also wasn't any suspension, so you got to feel every jolt in the track as it was transmitted from those tiny metal wheels, across the seat-rump interface and right up your spine to your brain.

Thanks JG, these pictures are nicer than most.

Anonymous said...

I went to Santa’s Village a couple of times as a kid. I have a memory of an Alice In Wonderland "hall of mirrors". Anyone else remember this?

Katella Gate said...

@Anonymous, Yes, I remember the hall of mirrors. As I recall,it was dressed up as a hedge maze. Some of the glass panels were transparent, and some were full mirrors. I do remember that the proportions were child sized (I don't think I could fit in it today -- In either direction), nor do I remember it being particularly big... 10' x 10' maybe. It was within a building with a glass window that let you watch the goings-on from outside.

I also don't think it was particularly difficult to get out of. I certainly don't remember coming across any skeletons while I was in there.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to repeat my comment of yesterday, January 15 here, and I'm going to keep repeating it until I get an answer:

'm a lawyer, and I happen to disagree with the unnecessary anti-lawyer comment. Why is that comment relevant here? Lawyers look at this blog too, you know, and maybe Major Pepperidge should show a little common sense before he allows people to post comments that are derogatory towards a profession and towards some of his readers. What do you think, Major? I'd like an answer.

Major Pepperidge said...


First of all, I am very sorry that you were offended by the comment posted yesterday. I don't condone leaving inappropriate comments, especially comments that are hurtful.

However, I am uncomfortable being put in the position of censor. Without question, the blog itself is mine, and I am responsible for what I write. If I personally say something that is offensive, I accept that I can be called on it. Believe me, I am constantly editing myself whenever there is a chance that a "humorous" remark might be interpreted as offensive.

As for the comments, they are open to the public, for better or worse. When reading comments on many other websites, I am often astonished at how disgraceful and ignorant they can be. Hiding behind the shield of anonymity brings out the worst in some people, and I believe that it is up to the individual reader to recognize those remarks for what they are and to not take them to heart so profoundly.

You may disagree, and that's OK. To make a point, I could have ignored or deleted YOUR comment. I don't like being criticized (and believe that I do possess at least some "common sense") - deleting certainly would be the easy way out. But out of respect to you and my other readers, it seems that a thoughtful reply is the best way to go.

I hope that my answer satisfies you and that you will continue to "tune in". "Gorillas Don't Blog" was begun for the sole purpose of sharing my collection of vintage photos of Disneyland, Knott's, World's Fairs, and other places that evoke fun and nostalgia.

Connie Moreno said...

Hey Major, these are great and many thanks to JG, too!!! Keep up the great work.

Chiana_Chat said...

Adorable pics, thanks to to the mysterious, secretive and it should be added, space-suit sporting and big-hearted JG. :)

JG said...

Hello Major: What a wonderful job you have done with my old photos. I can scarcely believe it, those scans were so foggy. The Major is a magician.

I don't remember much about this trip except being cold. For years my memory was that this place was the Santa Cruz location, but my friends here have put it straight.

These buildings are very elaborately themed, I especially liked the Easter Bunny House. Also could not even see the Bee Skep (hive) through which we entered the ride until Major worked his wizardry.

@KG, @TM, Thanks for the comments and recollections of your time here. I didn't remember the noisy rides, the maze, or the cookies embedded in the roof until you brought it up.

@Connie and Chiana, you are very welcome, and thank you for the kind words ;^). After this write-up I feel like an International Man Of Mystery for sure (straightens helmet).

Best regards.


Anonymous said...


There was a Santa's Village in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The fellow who owned the one in Southern California also owned that one.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I am very glad that you are pleased with the way your photos turned out!

SGV, you are correct about the Santa Cruz version; I think that he might have owned another one in Illinois (?).

Brianna said...

Great place... I think this idea is one great way to learn that Christmas is everywhere and anytime of the year. Actually for me the birth of Christ should be celebrated everyday in any ways. Thank you for the information about this place.

walterworld said...

Yet another excellent post!

Thanks for all you do Major.

P.S. I was thinking of saying something snide about Anonymous-Lawyer-Dude but your gracious reply (plus the fear of litigation) caused me pause :)