Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two From November 18, 1959

Perhaps you have been hearing the rumors about the Submarine ride at Disneyland? About how the powers-that-be are considering its removal? Yes, it is just a rumor, but the thought of it being even remotely possible bums me out. In spite of the Nemo overlay, the attraction still feels like part of "Walt's Disneyland". And the subs were such a huge, amazing part of the 1959 Tomorrowland upgrade. Maybe nostalgia disguised the cheesier elements of the "voyage through liquid space" for me, but I truly looked forward to riding this attraction every time I visited the park. 

In this photo, you can just make out an unusual poster right near the sub's conning tower...

Here is a better look. Graphic artist extraordinaire Erik Nitsche produced a whole series of exceptionally beautiful posters for General Dynamics (sponsor of the attraction for the first few years); several happened to relate to submarines, nuclear power, and the sea, and at least four Nitsche posters could be found near the Submarine Voyage.

Those Indian teepees are nuclear powered as well. Once again, can this really be the middle of Anaheim? The train tracks passed just behind the teepees, not that you can see them here.


Connie Moreno said...

I don't see why they can't leave the subs alone and just update the "show". Phooey.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Awesome shot of the subs. Right click save (yoink). Hope it never leaves, Walt was so proud of the summer 59' expansion stuff.

Keep an eye on those teepees. Nuclear power in the wrong hands etc. etc. I once saw an episode of Get Smart where the Indians had an ICBM shaped like an arrow.

Rich T. said...

I've never seen that poster before! Thank you! I love the subs, but mostly as scenery, not as a great ride. All that real estate, including the showbuilding/Autopia area...enough for two new lands!

Such mixed feelings! I'd be happy if the subs stay, and I'd be happy if the lagoon stayed, the subs got a tribute in the lagoon, and something amazing grew up over the ex-Autopia/showbuilding. And by "amazing," I don't mean Avatar or Marvel.

Thufer said...

I am sad at hearing this rumor. You do offer us a view of the 'Grays'; but the loss yet again of this wonderful atraction is just depressing.
On a positive note od sorts, I just love that 'GD' poster. What a beautiful peice of art. I have never seen that before and have just been staring at it for several minutes.
Now, back to contemplate the Park without the subs yet again. Oh, the pain, the pain.

Melissa said...

Oliver Wendall Holmes's "The Chambered Nautilus" seems particularly appropriate here.

K. Martinez said...

What a beautiful shot! I love the newness and the absence of rock formations on the “shore” yet to be added to this section of the lagoon. The original Submarine Voyage was right up there with the Jungle Cruise for me. I don't really have a problem with current incarnation of the Subs ride itself. Children seem to love it and it’s much better than an empty lagoon.

I do have mixed feelings about the “Disneyland 59” area itself though. As much as I have a nostalgic attachment to this area, it has lost much of its luster to me. It could benefit from a remodel by demolishing the Autopia building and rebuilding the Subs/Monorail Platform/Station. Architecturally this area is shot. This area needs a more unifying style and theme. Poor Tomorrowland!

Whatever happens I hope the Autopia stays as it's the only opening day attraction left in Tomorrowland.

Major Pepperidge said...

Connie, I've always wondered how the subs would have been received if they had been closed for years and THEN reopened with a refreshed, improved, non-Nemo attraction.

Alonzo, now I want to watch the entire run of "Get Smart"!

Rich T., I met a guy who used to collect Disneyland attraction posters, but he eventually sold them off and had a huge collection of General Dynamics posters by Eric Nitsche, they looked incredible.

Thufer, it's a rumor after all, but even the possibility of it being true is a bummer. And I am glad you like the poster!

Melissa, any poem that uses the word "wreathéd" is OK, though points have been removed for the lack of "e'er".

K. Martinez, I guess I'm still jaded, I thought the sub photo was just OK. But I am glad that everybody seems to enjoy it! Your comment does help me to see it with fresh eyes though, so thanks!

Anonymous said...

That poster is awesome!
Do you have an original?

Bill in Denver

Major Pepperidge said...

Bill, I am sad to say that I don't have an original. I had an opportunity to buy a group of 4 General Dynamics posters, including this one, and I didn't get them. I'm still kicking myself!

Katella Gate said...


Thy learnèd wit is much belovèd by all... but I'm still taking points off for using the wrong accent.

Major Pepperidge said...

Katella, I used the same accent that was on the website that Melissa linked to... not sure I've ever seen the accent used on the words "learned" and "beloved" before! Not that those words show up in daily use very often.