Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Storybook Land

Storybook Land was designed with three extra spoonfuls of charm (sifted), and it is still awesome today, in its quiet way.

This first picture is from August 18, 1965, for those of you who need to know. Ol' Monstro sits with his mouth open all day just waiting for things to sail in - a surprisingly successful strategy.


This next photo is from August 17, 1965. Yes, our photographer went to the park two days in a row. What kind of crazy person would do that?? Meanwhile, it occurs to me that Monstro is probably perfectly proportioned, and yet there is a part of me that wishes he was about four times as large.


Back to August 18, and a view of a canal boat returning from its harrowing journey through the peaceful English countryside ("Alice in Wonderland", "Mr. Toad"), a Tyrolean village ("Pinocchio"), a French town (home to Cinderella's castle), and other places that exist in the world of fantasy.


14 comments:

Rich T. said...

Love Storybookland. Love Monstro. Love the Canal Boats. Love Casey Jr. It's such a serene little getaway. I really hope they keep resisting the temptation to put something more "commercial" in that spot.

"Uh-oh, it looks like we've just been swallowed by Monstro." Just once, I'd like to hear one of the boat operators scream really loud at that point.

K. Martinez said...

To me, the whole Storybook Land area with its two attractions (Canal Boats/Casey Jr.) is one of the great gems of Walt's original kingdom.

When it comes to charm it's second to none.

Thufer said...

Without apology, I have always loved the Canal Boats of the World. From the days of the 'brown ditch' to the Stories as displayed today; this stands above all other rides as truly the great get away! I have felt that this attraction has put the 'Happiest' in the 'Happiest Place on Earth'.

Melissa said...

There used to be a car wash shaped like a giant blue whale in Niagara Falls, near where I grew up. If I recall correctly, you drove into his mouth and out under his tail. The first time I saw Monstro, it brought back such fond memories of Willy the Whale!

Nanook said...

Willie the Whale has a decidedly more 'inviting' expression than Monstro. Heck, he's practically smiling - and his teeth seem to have been tamed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/agenbyte/5354727913/

Hannahx2 said...

I love the sense of continuity in this area from the Pirate Ship, to Skull Rock, to Storybookland, to Casey Jr. Lots of different stories but they blend and flow together so well to make a land of pure fantasy. The other attractions are/were great too but this one strip is golden to me.

Major Pepperidge said...

Rich T, I think that Walt's fondness for miniatures is reflected in Storybook Land, and I think that a lot of people (like me!) share that fondness.

K. Martinez, has there been a Casey Jr. or Canal Boats at any other Disney parks? I guess I need to Google it.

Thufer, the ditch must have made for an interesting ride experience! Can you imagine? In a way I wish they could expand the waterways and add scenes without removing others.

Melissa, what an awesome car wash! I would never go to any other. Do you have any idea which came first, the car wash or the whale at Disneyland?

Nanook, thank you for the link!

Hannahx2 you are right, that area was so perfectly realized, especially when Skull Rock was added. I love today's Fantasyland, but boy, do I miss the best parts of the old Fantasyland!

Melissa said...

I'm pretty sure the car wash wasn't built until the 1970's.

Rich T. said...

Major, Disneyland Paris has both rides, but they're a bit different. Casey's gravity-controlled, like a slow roller coaster, and the Canal Boats are completely automated with no human host. Also, I think you enter through the Cave of Wonders tiger mouth instead of Monstro.

K. Martinez said...

Major, Rich T. is correct on all accounts. The canal boats load from a rotating platform. It also has the Emerald City, Fantasia's Night on Bald Mountain and other different scenes.

I dread that someday the Anaheim park may change the canal boats to be automated like in DLP to cut labor costs. The human hosts are half the charm to me.

Here's a photo set of DLP's Storybook Land I found.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterpanfan1953/tags/lepaysdescontesdef%C3%A9es/

Anonymous said...

Orange Co Native


How come the cast members for Storybook are now dressed in khaki outfits which I think is more appropriate for the Jungle Cruise. It is as if these cast members are in the wrong land. The women use to wear an outfit similar to Alice In Wonderland at one time. Something which was much more appropriate for Fantasyland than Khaki pants and shirts which is what is worn today. Mistake in my view.

Anonymous said...

Major and others, I am a big fan of the miniatures in Storybook land. My earliest Disneyland memories are of the canal boats and casey jr. I credit these rides in particular, along with Disneyland in general with my choice of profession in architecture. I have always loved the little models. This little area is just a gem which I hope never changes. Some quiet and peaceful experiences have to survive.

Thank you for the good experience and the photo links also. Very kind.

JG

Nancy said...

A favorite of mine, as some said a nice getaway on a busy day!

Christopher Mercaldo said...

I love the look of the old Monstro! So different than the much more mild mannered Monstro of today.