Thursday, March 29, 2012

I heart the 80's, continued

Visiting the 1980's was so much fun yesterday, I've decided to continue the 80's theme today.

If you were at Disneyland in 1982 and wanted to see all of your favorite Fantasyland attractions, you were out of luck; the entire land was in the midst of a thorough makeover. The stylized "Medieval Fair" look would be replaced with rich architectural details that really did evoke a fairytale village. The sign below was atop the construction walls, and gave a tantalizing glimpse of what was to come. Scenes from the revamped attractions were displayed on those round panels; they resemble collector's plates from the Danbury Mint (or wherever).

There's Cyril the horse and his friend Mr. Toad (who appears twice!).

Peter Pan and Captain Hook rumble while Wendy goes for a swim.

Snow White shakes a leg with Doc and the six other dwarfs.

And for the newest Fantasyland dark ride, we see a scene from Pinocchio. The Blue Fairy seems to have asked her teenage sister to fill in for her.


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, thank you for posting these, Major! I never took a picture of that sign and have always wished that I did. Your post today takes me right back to 1982. Could it really be 30 years ago?

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Earlier in 1982, there was a simpler, less colorful sign announcing the New Fantasyland. It was eventually replaced with this version. I'm pretty sure I did take a picture of that one.....I'm going to go digging for it!

Rich T. said...

Waiting to see what would be revealed when the sign came down was like the longest Christmas Eve ever! New Fantasyland was one of the best long-term investments Disney ever made. I still think its the soul of the park.

K. Martinez said...

I remember visiting that year. Living in the bay area and the fact there was no internet back then, I didn’t have a clue about the New Fantasyland. It came as a shock to me when I arrived at the park to see the heart of Disneyland gutted like that. The Fantasyland I grew up with my entire childhood and early adulthood was gone. It was definitely worth the payoff when I visited the following year. This was about the time the Disneyland experience peaked for me. While there have been many great individual attractions added since then, I was never quite as enchanted with Disneyland as a whole as I was back then.

Nanook said...

Rich T is exactly correct by describing the New Fantasyland as both the soul of the park and one of the best long-term investments Disney has made.

Attending the re-opening of Disneyland's most enchanted land was fun, exciting and emotional all at the same time. Watching the drawbridge lowered and the portcullis raised for the first time since 1955 reminded me of images from that moment on The first day, when hundreds of curious and excited kids ran screaming across the bridge and into yet another world of make believe Walt had brought to life for all the world to enjoy.

On that day in May, 1983, I of course, traversed the course at a "more dignified" pace. But what I discovered was no less exciting and in fact filled the senses to exploding - merely being surrounded by just so much. (Not to mention the updated & new attractions-!) It was then, and remains still, Disneyland's most personal and treasured "land".

Thanks to all who made that happen. And thanks too, Major, for bringing back so many memories.

Vaughn said...

My wife and I went to the Grand Re-Opening on our honeymoon in 1983. We had the special tickets and everything; awesome! It was better than I had anticipated. My only disappointment was the loss of the Pirate Ship and Skull Rock.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I'd love to see your photos of the first sign… not sure I've ever seen what it looks like. Now I'm wishing I had more 80's Disneyland! But lucky you, I was just given some very nice 70's Disneyland…. real beauties.

Rich T., I remember the ads in the paper mentioning the New Fantasyland, and hoping that it would resemble the illustrations. As it turns out, they did a fantastic job!

K. Martinez, the dark days before the internet…. that's why I subscribed to "Disney News". I've seen photos of Fantasyland when it was completely destroyed, and it is heartbreaking.

Nanook, WOW, you were there for the opening day! Neat. Even with the loss of the Pirate Ship and Skull Rock, I love the place.

Vaghn, I hope you kept some good souvenirs of your 1983 visit!

Chiana_Chat said...

Cool! Never saw that wall. I did see the Disney News with the illustrations just like you said in the comments above Maj. 'Twernt that old then, but old enough to pour over every detail.

The Fantasyland remodel is quite possibly the best major project the company did there post-Walt, a genuine improvement overall of high quality and lasting appeal. Wonder why they dropped the next phase after the highly successful debut of phase 1? Caught Budgetitus?

I look forwards to seeing the '70s pics you mentioned and any '80s you may have or come by is also perfectly welcome. :)

TokyoMagic! said...

Looking forward to seeing your 70's pics, Major. I will look for my pic of the earlier sign. I think I need to do another vintage trip report because I also went to DL on the opening day of the New Fantasyland....and took pictures too!

I do like most of the new Fantasyland, but I still don't understand why the pirate ship and skull rock had to be sacrificed. I've said it before and I will say it again...they should have found a different spot to relocate Dumbo!!! So there!