Monday, August 27, 2012

The Mighty Matterhorn and His Pal Starry

Here are two more photos from December 30 1969, this time featuring the Matterhorn and the giant Christmas star that used to adorn the summit in the 60's and into the 1970's (supposedly the energy crisis of the mid-70's led to the star's demise). What a beautiful, bright and sunny day; just think, folks in the midwest might have been under several feet of snow when this picture was taken. That being said, the snow line of the Matterhorn sure looks like it is lower than usual. 


I love this second shot, taken from almost the same angle, as the sun has completely set and night envelopes the park. You can see the array of lights on the star, which look pretty great. I wonder if a new star could be built using energy-efficient LED lightbulbs so that it wasn't such an energy hog?


And by the way, thanks to some home movie footage that I had digitized, I can verify that the star did indeed turn!



21 comments:

K. Martinez said...

Great day and night comparison of the Matterhorn Christmas Star. I like the background sky and individual lights on the star in the second image.

I've been staring at the home movie footage of the rotating star. Thanks for posting it. I LOVE IT!!

Rich T. said...

That rotating star is, indeed, hypnotic! Love all these pics!

Check out the expressions on the folks along the bottom of the first photo...did one of the horses just loudly perform a natural function for them?

TokyoMagic! said...

Bring back the star, I say!

Davelandweb said...

First Wigglevision, and now movies - Major - you are way more advanced than I!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

From wiggle vision to shaky home movie! Now you're just spoiling us!
Too coolio.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Dave, jinx, buy me a coke.

210Frwy said...

Verified! Case closed!

Anonymous said...

Orange Co Native

Does anyone know when Disneyland stopped putting up the star on the Matterhorn? The last year for the star. Just curious and wondering.

Anonymous said...

Orange Co Native

Just read your comments Major. Mid 70's. Okay. Thanks.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, like you I especially like the twilight image!

RIch T, a number of folks do seem to be looking in the same direction, maybe it was a horse performance!

TokyoMagic!, Hear hear!

Davleand, I don't know about being more advanced, but it was fun to figure out how to turn a video clip into an animated gif in Photoshop. Turns out it's pretty easy!

Alonzo, you and Daveland are on the same wavelength for sure.

210Frwy, I think back to one particular bunch of comments…. "It turned!". "It never turned!". "I can guarantee that the star never turned". It's nice to get movie proof.

OC Native, I have read in at least one book (perhaps it was "The Nickel Tour") that the star was scrapped because of the energy crisis (according to Wikipedia one of the worst crises was in 1973), and I'll bet that was around the time it was discontinued.

Tom said...

I think early evening/dusk shots are my favorite, when the sky is deepening from blue to purple, and when all of the lights around Disneyland start coming on. That's the best.

I too would love to see that star back - and yes, LEDs would definitely solve the "energy hog" problem, not that we're in such a panic about it now as we were back in the mid seventies.

Nancy said...

Nice to have confirmation!!!

Now they need to do it again for those of us who missed it the first time!!! So cool tho that we can see it thru the magic of the movies :-)

I still say bring back the Star!

Nancy said...

I forgot to say how much I am loving that picture at dusk....gorgeous sky!! :-)

steve2wdw said...

I was never a fan of the star on the Matterhorn...that is until now! I never knew that the star rotated. I'll never look at another picture of the star the same way again. Thanks for "enlightnening" me!

Knott'sAfterDark said...

These are wonderful photos! That Sputnik-style star was such a charming detail! I did not realize until now that it was also lighted!

Hannahx2 said...

That movie is freakin awesome! Glad you could put the ol' debate to rest. And agreed, that twilight shot is a stunner for sure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Major. Your video confirms my distant memory.

And such excellent pictures too. Way out there...

My cup runneth over.

JG

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, I only wish that cameras were better able to capture that magic time of day back then… even this photo was quite dark.

Nancy, I'll bet a giant star would cost more today than you and I would ever imagine… still, it would be seen for miles around, especially at night!

steve2wdw, I'm glad you like the star now.

Knott'sAfterDark, the star reminds me of those cheesy 60's wall clocks (I would kill to have one today!).

Hannahx2, I had been told by another blogger that footage of the turning star was in his collection, but then some other home movies were given to me, and I had my very own proof.

JG, yes, this guy had a decent camera and lens, which seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

I can't even imagine how wonderful that star looked from the 5 fwy (or how many accidents it could have caused..?) Still, I would LOVE to see its return. I never even knew about its rotation; now I am in love! You might even say I have stars in my eyes...

Todd J. Pierce said...

This is one where everyone is right. The star rotated and then--maybe 69--the mechanism that rotated the star broke. So the star was stationary in its final years.

Chuck said...

I remember reading in Van Arsdale France's "Window on Main Street" him recalling an argument between two Disneylander's in the bar at the Disneyland Hotel a day or so after Walt's death in 1966. They were arguing about the star on the Matterhorn, which was not turning at that point, and one angrily said "If Walt were still alive, that star would be turning right now!" France says that Walt had actually given permission for the star not to turn before he had died, but the event was notable in that it was the first time he had ever heard the phrase "If Walt were still alive, then..."