Monday, April 30, 2012

Two From August 1968

Everybody loves the Peter Pan dark ride in Fantasyland. Even Belgians! It's true. Just look at the happy expression on that little girl to our left. The boy in the foreground tries to impress her (and the other little girl) with his souvenir hat, resplendent with its purple ostrich feather.

We've seen plenty of photos of Storybook Land, because it is pretty awesome. But this one has something special: a guy wearing a "Here Comes The Judge" t-shirt! That phrase became popular with the airing of NBC's "Laugh-In", which debuted in January of '68.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Haunted Mansion, July 1964

The Haunted Mansion wouldn't open until the summer of 1969, but the impressive exterior of the house was the subject of many photos. I can only imagine how strange it was for regular visitors of Disneyland to see this big elaborate structure sitting there for years and years; it would be easy to imagine that it really WAS a haunted house. 

We've all seen haunted houses at other amusement parks, but nobody builds them like Disney. There is nothing cheap or half-assed about it! As a kid I always fantasized about exploring the Mansion after the park had closed - this was before I realized that most of the ride was actually inside a huge structure beyond the railroad tracks. To be honest, I still want to do that!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Anything Goes Saturday - Play Time

Hey kids, what time is it? It's "Anything Goes" time! And today we're going to be enjoying a few vintage pix of children playing around.

I love this one from 1961, featuring an elf behind the wheel of his unusual pedal-powered hotrod. It's pretty cool! The expression on his face reveals a laser-like intensity. Or he grew up to be Popeye. He's clutching something in his right hand, but even a serious zoom-in didn't help me to discern what it is. Perhaps it is the magical amulet that gives him his power.

It's equal time for the girls, from a slide dated December 1957. It looks more like the 4th of July to me, but we all know how unreliable the dates on slides can be. Two adorable girls are putting on a show, with an elaborate proscenium made from a bed sheet and crayoned paper. Linoleum provides the perfect surface for tap shoes to sound their tappiest. It looks like they are crammed into the laundry room or something, with a captive audience waiting to be entertained. The girl on the left has a pretty amazing (home-made?) satin outfit, complete with matching top hat, while the girl on the right sports a tremendous candy-striped bow.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wardrobe Department - Hey Ladies!

Here is the third in a series of posts featuring wonderful vintage photos from the Disneyland Wardrobe Department! Brought to you courtesy of Huck.

As I mentioned in the last Wardrobe Dept. post, I am particularly fond of the obscure costumes that Huck has in his collection. Like this first one, from the "Art of Animation" exhibit! Our cast member doesn't look that different from a typical college girl (maybe BYU) of the time, except that her skirt has a pattern of Disneyland attraction artwork.

Here's a closer look: it is hard to discern much, but I see Dumbo's Flying Elephants, Monstro (I think), one of Peter Pan's flying pirate ships, and what might be the Carrousel, or perhaps the ticket booth for Dumbo.

You might have seen hostesses at City Hall dressed like this back in 1969. Lemon meringue! Most clothing needs more ruffles, that's what I think.

And here's Sandy, in her Alice in Wonderland ensemble. If your a gal, and you had long blond hair, there was a job for you in Fantasyland! 

Never fear, Huck has more Wardrobe Department pictures for you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Merlin's Magic Shop & More, September 1963

Here's a wonderful photo featuring the top of a trash can. Boy oh boy, that is some trash can! You can travel all over the world and never seen another one quite like it. When you are throwing the wrapper of your ice cream sandwich away, do it in style! 

It's also a nice photo of Merlin's Magic Shop. The light is always on at Merlin's.

We can observe a fascinating phenomenon; the sailor is inexorably drawn towards the faux sailing ship. He doesn't even realize it, and yet his feet keep on moving. Why? Pheremones or something; possibly the Coriolis effect too. It's very complicated. I'd explain it, but don't want to confuse you. Thank you for understanding.

Meanwhile, to our left there is a tiny portion of a decorative roofline; any idea what that was part of?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eastman Kodak, NYWF July 1964

Welcome back to the New York World's Fair! 

Today I am featuring photos from the Eastmas Kodak pavilion. The name "Kodak" is associated with so many of the best times in people's lives... family gatherings, vacations, birthday parties, trips to Disneyland... you name it! Memories were preserved on Kodak film. I'm sure that Fairgoers from 1964 would have never believed that Kodak would be a mere shadow of its former self in 2012. It makes me a bit sad, to be honest.

Anyway, let's look at some images from happier times, when Kodak was one of the biggest,  most successful companies on the planet! The pavilion was distinctive, even at a Fair full of distinctive buildings! This row of graceful arches is topped with the five-sided Kodak Picture Tower, featuring giant (30' X 36') color prints made from 8" X 10" Ektacolor negatives.

The second level was an undulating "Moon Deck", a floating carpet of concrete featuring hills, valleys, and spires to provide interesting backdrops for all of the MANY photos you are going to want to take up there. Here's just one unusual view!

I like this shot highlighting some of the graceful spires that make me think of what buildings on another planet might look like.

And finally, a lovely shot taken at dusk! I have more pictures from the Eastman Kodak pavilion, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Around Frontierland, October 1967

The one-point perspective in this photo of the entrance to Frontierland just sucks you into the picture. Must....move....forward....   can't......resist.....gravitational.... pull! Resistance is futile, hu-mans. 

Here's another interesting perspective; the photographer was suddenly fascinated by the shapely young lady in the provocative outfit. I have to admit that she would have been hard to ignore. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Amazing Tomorrowland, June 1968

I'm grinning like a fool thanks to this wonderful photo of the Rocket Jets (and the Peoplemover). Now that's a Tomorrowland! I also like the lady in the screaming-pink dress, the buckaroo in his cowboy hat (or is it a cavalry hat?), and the friendly hipster in the foreground. Groovy, daddy-o!

The Autopia was still sponsored by Atlantic Richfield, and their emblem was this impressive eagle, wings spread as if in flight. It resembles a giant hood ornament. Do you think that this was saved when it came down, or was it destroyed? I'd like to believe that it sits in somebody's backyard.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Pair From May 1963

Here's a nice Skyway view of Tomorrowland; the sign for the Submarine Voyage is to our left, as is the Douglas Rocket to the Moon. The Douglas paint scheme has grown on me over the years! An ice cream vendor is doing brisk business; the line for the Astro Jets is short, and there is no show going on over at the Flight Circle. You can just see the Flying Saucers in the distance too. All in all this is a fun, busy photo! 

The peaceful Snow White Grotto looks great here; the beautiful princess stands near the source of a picturesque waterfall... hey, she actually is a little bit bigger than those dwarfs (contrary to the story that says she is the same size). Daveland pointed out that Dopey originally held a fishing pole, as you can see here. I can almost hear Snow White's girlish voice singing "I'm Wishing"!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Anything Goes Saturday - Around the USA

For today's "Anything Goes Saturday" I am presenting a mix of images from the U.S!

This young lady is enjoying a visit to Prairie Dog Town, Texas. Who knew that prairie dogs used conestoga wagons! It's still around too, much to my surprise. From what I can glean off the interwebs, Prairie Dog Town is in Lubbock, and was established in the 1930's. ; you can "... marvel at the cute critters with their intricate tunnels and listen to their unique bark that gave them the name Prairie Dog." It was recently named the 5th most popular tourist attraction in Lubbock. What are the other 4? I have no idea! 

I really love this 1956 photo of a mother and two boys marveling at the beauty of the city of Miami and Biscayne Bay. As one might imagine, the skyline has changed considerably in the intervening 56 years. About the only structure I could easily identify that is still there is the tower to the right, the "News Tower" (home of the Miami Daily News back then), which was built in 1925, and is now known as the  "Freedom Tower".  

Here's another wonderful photo, featuring a happy trio on their way to Catalina island. I especially like the gentleman's style! I am guessing that the picture was taken around 1950.

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Wardrobe Department!

Here is another post featuring vintage photos from the Disneyland Wardrobe Department, graciously shared by GDB reader "Huck".

All three of today's costumes are wonderfully obscure, which makes them extra awesome! Check out this ernest young fellow from the Mail Room (circa 1966)! He's all business.

Also from 1966 is this cute-as-a-button young lady from the "Lost Children" department. I'm going to go back in time and get myself lost. Hopefully mom and dad won't notice I'm gone!

If you left your beloved pooch at the Ken-L-Land dog (and cat) kennel, you might see this guy. He looks like a veterinarian, which inspires confidence. I won't leave Mr. Snuffles in the hands of just any shnook!  He also gets bonus points for looking like a dentist.

There's lots more of Huck's Wardrobe Department photos to come!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Knott's Selection

I seem to never tire of looking at photos of Knott's Berry Farm's huge locomotives; and this picture is no exception. I love the colors... a suitably businesslike blue-black, and vermillion and gold highlights. What a beauty!

And now for a different train altogether, here's "Old Betsy", taking a much-deserved rest after many years of hauling ore. You can still see her at Knott's today!

And lastly, let's watch people pan for real gold, for a mere 50 cents. As a kid, I treasured my little plastic vial with its grains of gold; In fact I still have two of them. The question is, what happened to all the others? Lost in the course of many moves across the country I assume.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Alice in Disneyland

Here's a fun photo featuring Alice and the White Rabbit, hanging out in front of the Red Wagon Restaurant (circa July 1964 and NOT 1974 as my original typo said). I was digging through a box of already-scanned slides, and didn't remember this image... I think it really is new to GDB. 

Alice appears to be addressing the crowd; I can't imagine what she would be saying; could she be encouraging guests to eat at the restaurant? Is she selling quality Amway products?  We may never know. What I do know is that she is cute as a button. 

And now for a repeat, keeping the "Alice" theme... here's a great photo (1960) of one of the wonderful caterpillar vehicles from the Alice in Wonderland dark ride, as it makes it's winding way down a giant leafy ramp. As of this writing, the exterior of this ride is a disaster, with ugly safety railings and tacked-on temporary decorations; hopefully somebody will come up with an attractive solution that will make the outside of this ride fun and amazing again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sea World Penguin Show, March 1966

There are 5 (or 6?) "Sea World" parks around the world (even one in Dubai), but Sea World San Diego was the first! It opened in 1964; today's pictures are from 1966.

How about a nice penguin show? Sure, why not! Penguins are the most lovable birds ever. Go on, name a more lovable bird. Parrots? Don't make me laugh! Canaries? All that tweeting drives a person crazy. Chickens? Delicious, not adorable. I rest my case, your honor. As you can see, there was a tropical (?) pool with everything a penguin could possibly need to make a fabulous show - that is, if they needed a slide.

It must be Chilly Willy's birthday, 'cause there's a cake. Anchovy and chocolate, probably. The party games involve making those penguins run some sort of obstacle course. They don't have hands so they can't play "pin the tail on the donkey", right?

Stupid seagulls! They're not adorable! They are rats with wings. Maybe they were comedy relief.

And finally: a penguin going down a slide. It was all worth it, wasn't it?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fantasyland, May 1964

Here's a beautiful photo from Fantasyland, circa May 1964. I love the vivid colors! Even the utilitarian Skyway tower is festively painted.

Sometimes I feel as if I should just put a moratorium on scans of Sleeping Beauty Castle photos. What can  I possibly say (or show) that hasn't been said or shown 8 zillion times before?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Wardrobe Department!

Here is the second post in a series of wonderful vintage photos from Disneyland's wardrobe department (courtesy of GDB reader "Huck")!

We're still hanging with the parking lot crew. They're good people. "Duty Now For the Future" is this fellow's motto (circa 1966). He's standing in that slightly awkward way that I like to do, staring at an imaginary airplane in the distance. Cinch up that belt a little more!

Another one from 1966... isn't she the cutest? When she's done with her shift, I'm taking her to Denny's for waffles.

By 1973, things had changed! "Jan" looks groovy in her orange, yellow, and blue. Comfortable sneakers help keep her cheerful during the hours on her feet. And her hat is awesome too.

Once again, many thanks to Huck for these wonderful photos. You'll be seeing some more real soon!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mystery Park, September 1979

Today's "Anything Goes" post features four photos from an unknown amusement park, circa 1979. It could be anywhere, and yet I get an east coast vibe from them.

Hmmm, a "flying elephant" ride; the elephant is dressed like a clown. It even looks like his ears are hinged to move. Dumbo? Well, almost! I wish we could see the pint-sized pachyderm's face to see just how much he was like his Disney counterpart. Meanwhile, this kid is giving the secret high sign, indicating that he is a Freemason.

This is like the Astro Jets, only they just scoot along the ground, whipping you 'round and 'round. Urp! Must have looked kind of cool when the headlights came on at night.

That's right lady, I'm looking at YOU. I can't quite tell what that ride is, except that it is another "spinner".  Maybe speedboats?

The "Bubble Bounce"! This was a popular amusement park ride - and might still be, for all I know. It was very similar to the Teacups, only there was one large turntable, with 8 (or so) vehicles that you could spin.  The lesson that I have learned today is that people cannot get enough of being spun in a circle! They'll pay over and over for it. But why?!

I know there's not a lot to go by, but if anybody knows where these pictures were taken, please chime in!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Disneyland Wardrobe Department, part 1

Today marks the first in a series of posts that will feature some wonderful vintage photos from the Disneyland wardrobe department! These images were graciously shared by GDB reader "Huck", who also spent lots of time and effort restoring the pictures from their original dark and grainy condition.

All three of today's costumes were worn by employees who worked in the parking lot (circa June 1969). And if you work around that many cars (and frazzled drivers), you want to make sure that you can be seen. Stripes to the rescue! Check out this cute Summer costume; we've seen a cast member actually wearing one like this before. Her name tag is right in the middle, which is unusual.

Here's the Winter version; presumably they were supplied with overcoats or rain gear when necessary (and it IS sometimes necessary!). It's nice to see that I'm not the only person who is constantly photographed with eyes closed.

Huck humorously pointed out how "Devo-esque" this guy looks! Those helmets are pretty cool, I wish I had one. This fellow will help you to get your vehicle in and out of the parking lot quickly, efficiently, and safely! You  can just tell.

Thanks (MANY thanks) once again to Huck! I have lots more great photos from him to share with you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chow Time, May 1963

After hours of walking to your favorite Disneyland attractions, and standing in lots of lines in the Anaheim sunshine, it's nice to take a break and grab a meal. If you're in Tomorrowland, you can grab a burger at the Yacht Bar Space Bar... it's not luxurious, but there is plenty of semi-shady seating. Most of you will recall this cute couple from an earlier post!

You can relive your youth by sitting at one of those tiny school desks, complete with a hole for your inkwell - I mean Coca Cola. Notice the Douglas rocket in the background!