Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Knott's Train and Calico Mine Ride, October 1967

How'sabout two great images from Knott's Berry Farm? You gots it.

I love photos taken from this angle looking down into Calico Square; the photographer was standing in the queue for the Calico Mine Train (smart man) and noticed how neat this looked from a giraffe's-eye view. The locomotive (one of a pair) is something that I never get tired of! Bad news though... you can't buy a Zima at the Calico Saloon.

Now we do the old switcheroo, and look up at the Mine Train from Calico Square. I did it just by wiggling my nose (which explains the xylophone noise you heard). The little ticket booth to our right was recently removed for some reason, but otherwise this attraction is very much like it was way back when. Thank goodness.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stereo Images in 2D

Man, stereo photography is pretty great. One image for each eye bone creates the illusion of depth. It's just like being there! But... it's hard to share that experience with others. I've tried to make animated gifs that flicker quickly from one picture to the other, with limited success. Too jittery, likely to induce seizures. You'll see one of my better attempts in an upcoming post, but until then you are stuck with plain old 2-D photos. Sorry!

This first picture is from July 17, 1968. A significant and fun day, unless you suffer from triskaidekaphobia. As the Monorail headed through the massive parking lot (now DCA!), our photographer managed to capture a surprisingly clear image. Look, in the distance you can see the space-age Anaheim convention center. The flying saucer design was not just cool to look at; in case of a nuclear attack, it could fly to the moon.

Over at the Tomorrowland stage, near the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea walk-thru attraction, a lucky person might have seen any number of wonderful bands. Like legendary big band leader and clarinetist Woody Herman and his Swingin' Herd! Not to be confused with his Thundering Herd or his Third Herd. I have quite a number of photos of Woody playing at the Plaza Gardens in the early 70's which you will see in future posts.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Murk McGurk, October 1967

For some reason, several of the images in an otherwise very nice lot from October 1967 are rather dark and murky. Did somebody reverse the polarity of some tachyons? Was it a gypsy curse? Was Venus transiting the sun? Could this be the massive flea infestation of '67?

Anyway, I am not going on any of those Fantasyland rides. Way too dark and creepy. You just know there are ne'er do wells loitering in the shadows. Normally this is such a happy land, so it feels extra gloomy.

New Orleans Square... maybe a storm's a-brewin'. Some of the haunted ambiance leaked out of the yet-to-open Haunted Mansion, and hundreds of push brooms were needed to sweep it all back.

As a rule I would want to be heading in towards Tomorrowland, but in this case I am glad that we are heading away from it. Moon dust everywhere. Did you know that the moon smells like gunpowder? It's true! Read about it here. See what you learn when you least expect it?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

SATURDAY - Covered Wagon Souvenirs

Years ago (o my children), if you happened to be driving west on Route 66, and were just on the outskirts of Albuquerque, NM, you would have happened upon this roadside souvenir stand. Covered Wagon Souvenirs, that is! 

One can only imagine what amazing souvenirs were to be found inside the shop. Navajo blankets, silver and turquoise jewelry, pottery, postcards, maybe even a snow globe or two. I wonder if the "largest covered wagon in the world" ever actually stood separate from the shop as we see in this postcard, or if somebody took some artistic license. This shop was displaced when Interstate 40 changed everything, and the shop was moved to a place called Old Town Plaza, where you can still find it today.

I'll bet the seat of that old flivver didn't get hot at all on a summer day. Nope. Look at all that nothin' in the background. What's that gizmo with the large wheels to the right? Some sort of grinder (corn? sorghum? coffee?) I'm guessing.

I wonder if this stagecoach was a genuine antique? If so, it's amazing that at one time artifacts like this were valued so little that nobody thought twice about letting one sit in the hot desert sun every day. Or maybe it is just an old movie prop. I love the metal Kodak sign, unceremoniously nailed to a log. How much would it be worth today? 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Covered Wagon Souvenirs!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Conestoga Wagon and Mules, September 1959

Today I have two excellent vintage images from Frontierland! Starting with this great shot of one of the Conestoga Wagons. This ride wouldn't be around much longer, because it just wasn't economically feasible to travel all the way to Oregon and back. Makes sense now that I think about it. A handy shovel (to the right) was used for... "emissions". Notice all of the frontier equipment strapped to the side of the wagon; an axe, a washboard, various digging implements, and so on. I'm sure that this ride was bumpy but fun.

Speaking of fun, what's more fun than a mule? Nothing, that's what. How cool would it have been to take a leisurely trip through Nature's Wonderland! I wonder how long it took compared to the Mine Train. Of course the mules didn't go through Rainbow Caverns because mules are notoriously claustrophobic. 

Say, that lady on the right is holding stuff... 

Well, she has folded her souvenir guidebook in half, so points have been deducted. But what the heck is that thing showing somebody on a bicycle? A rare gate handout? Anyone? Bueller? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hostesses with the Mostesses

It's time for more vintage photos from the Disneyland Wardrobe Department!

All of today's outfits were worn by Disneyland "hostesses". I assume that a hostess would escort important Disneyland guests throughout the park. Sort of like the Ambassadors, only they didn't travel as much. Please let me know if I am mistaken!

This first costume is from April 1966. Our hostess looks very demure, and somehow reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy (in spite of it being 1966). All she needs is a pillbox hat. The purse contained nunchuks, because you just never know.

Now we've moved to June, 1969.  This outfit seems to anticipate the red, white, and blue bicentennial craze of the mid-70's. But you don't have to salute her unless you want to. Her purse was full of buckshot. Wham!

Look at how different this particular costume is, even though it is the winter outfit for 1969. Completely different from the one worn just months before. The black gloves are an interesting touch. In her purse? Delicious caramels. 

Thanks as always to Huck for these wonderful images!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New York World's Fair, May 1964

I was lazy today, so I just took the first four scans from my '64 New York World's Fair folder and posted them in order.

This fella is pretty happy to have just arrived (via train)... and I don't blame him. Just think of all the wonders he will see! Plus he can eat a waffle with whipped cream and strawberries. Oh man. Anyway, I can't remember what that tower just over his shoulder is called. It looks like it is made up of stacked folding chairs. To the right of that you can see the RCA building. Just past the moon berry is the dome from the "World's Fair Pavilion" (which would become the Churchill - as in "Winston" - pavilion in 1965); The tower of the Coca Cola pavilion is just visible, and beyond that, General Electric's "Progressland"!

Aw yeeeeaaaahhhh! Looking across Grand Central Parkway, we see an awesome view of the Ford pavilion. The vast rotunda is surrounded by 64 100-foot pylons, resembling some strange alien skeleton. In the curving hamster habitrail, several of the converted late-model Fords glide smoothly toward what I believe is the end of the "Magic Skyway" ride.  Most of you are already aware that the ride system became the basis for Disneyland's "Peoplemover".

Right near the Ford pavilion, you'll find the Lowenbrau Gardens. According to the invaluable nwyf64.com, The brewers of Lowenbrau, a Bavarian beer, have reconstructed an open-air Bavarian-style restaurant set in a village square. The square is surrounded by five buildings, including a bell tower and gate. Three of the buildings are service areas for the restaurant. Every now and again, Lowenbrau's brewery wagon, drawn by four massive horses, can be seen in the street outside, or traveling about the fairgrounds. So now you know.

If the Lowenbrau horses and the Budweiser Clydesdales got into a rumble, who would win? Yes, of course they would be using pool cues as weapons.

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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Twain and Columbia, November 18 1959

I love it when photos are dated to the very day the photographer visited Disneyland. In this case, "November 18 1959" is written on each slide. With a little help from Jason's Disneyland Almanac I can tell you that, in spite of the fact that it was almost Thanksgiving, the temperature reached a pleasant 77 degrees. Attendance was a mere 5,678 - sounds like the perfect day to visit. Initially, this first photo seems like nothing too special; but what's that big pile of dirt to the right of the Mark Twain? Why, it's the very early stages of construction for Cascade Peak!

The photographer pivoted his body like a cyborg (because he was a cyborg) to the west, where the Columbia rests in Fowler's Harbor. That lazy Columbia is always resting in Fowler's Harbor! I think it needs a haircut and a trip to the Marine recruiting center.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dancing Waters, Disneyland Hotel - Sept. 1966

These photos are kind of a snooze, but I might as well post them anyway. For years, visitors to the Disneyland Hotel could watch a performance of "Dancing Waters"... colorful fountains synchronized to music.

This is way better than that "World of Color" over at DCA! Oooooo, orange.

The "Dancing Waters" show was discontinued sometime around 2007 (please correct me if I'm wrong), and the little amphitheater was razed in August of 2010 for the massive refurbishment of the Disneyland Hotel.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

SATURDAY - Hither and Yon

Today's "Anything Goes" installment consists of a somewhat random assortment of images from around the USA.

Let's start with this photo of the old entrance to Honolulu International Airport. Isn't it adorable? In the days before airplanes routinely flew across the Pacific Ocean nonstop, Honolulu was the place to land. Which made it one of the busiest airports in the world. Now? Not so much. While this slide is undated, it has to be from between 1951 and 1962. I know, I know, Hawaii didn't become a state until 1959, but I am still counting this as "from around the USA". Deal with it!

Here's what you will see today. 

And now, a mystery for all you smarties to try to solve! This street is somewhere in Texas (notice the sign for the "Texas Power & Light Co."... but where? I sure have no idea. In the past you guys have amazed me with your ability to identify what I thought would be an obscure street in the middle of nowhere. Can it happen again?!

Now we'll head east to York, Pennsylvania (located about 20 miles south of Harrisburg, the state capital). As you can see, a fair of some kind is going on. The large brick building in the background says "York Fair"... bingo! The York Fair claims to be the country's oldest, tracing its roots to 1765. According to Wikipedia, ....In addition to typical fair attractions, such as rides, games and contests, it also wins local recognition for hosting many (usually country) musical artists, such as Alabama, Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Weeeee doggies!

I hope you have enjoyed flittering hither and yon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Clock of the World, 1956

Oh boy, vintage Tomorrowland! I never get weary of looking at it. Here's a sweet view of the Clock of the World (I think it says it is 3:53), America Motors' "Circarama", and the TWA Rocket to the Moon.  So nice!

Here's another view; in both photos the guests are wearing sweaters and coats, so let's just say this is winter, in spite of the bright sun and vivid blue sky. Go watch Circarama's "A Tour of the West", where it's nice and warm inside! 

As far as I'm aware, "A Tour of the West" is a lost film, though it could still be sitting in a film storage vault somewhere. I'd love to see it!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jungle Cruise, September 1966

I know we're supposed to wave "goodbye" to each boatload of Disneyland guests as they vanish into the jungles of Adventureland, but I never do. I love those people too much. Each one of them has a story, and at least one of those stories is interesting. When a boat returns safely, I fall to my knees and praise the heavens. In other words, I like drama.

I've always enjoyed the strangeness of this scene; a pride of lions is feasting on their latest kill, a juicy delicious zebra. It's OK, it's the Circle of Life! But all of the other animals sit there, staring like spectators at a baseball game. Maybe it's time to head for ze hills.

A strange, giant yellow and orange striped amoeba is about to envelope the photographer just as he was going to snap a photo of the "lost safari". I saw that happen in "The Blob", and it is no joke. Hopefully the skipper has a CO2 fire extinguisher nearby, that'll teach that blob a lesson that it won't soon forget.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fun in Adventureland, September 1959

For the third day in a row, we're looking at pictures from 1959. Normally I try to mix it up a bit more, but a life of debauchery has caused me to lose my grip. For instance, if I didn't know better, these two ladies appear to be posing with a giant chipmunk! Not again. Wait, let me rub my eyes with my curled up fists, like they do in cartoons. Yep, still looks like a giant chipmunk. Oh well, the important thing is that it is all consensual; and hey! this is America.

There's old Smiley. He's not really smiling, he's singing "Mack the Knife", which was a hit for Bobby Darin in 1959. That is one talented crocodile.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Alpine Views, November 18 1959

"Alpine Views" sounds a lot more exciting than "yet more pictures of the Matterhorn", doesn't it? I'm sorry if I mislead you, driving you to a life of drink and drugs. "El Zocalo", the Mexican-themed cluster of souvenir stands, can be seen in the lower left. The Frontierland Shooting Gallery can be seen to the right.

There aren't too many places you can stand in Disneyland and not see the Matterhorn; Here it looms loomily above the hub and the Main Street Fire Truck.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Frontierland, September 1959

Hmmm, somehow I screwed up this post and set it to publish at 10:48 in the (late) morning. Glad I caught it before then! Sorry for the delay.

Here's a cheerful look at old Frontierland, with the shop that sold Pendleton Woolen Goods right in the center. Did you know that The Beach Boys originally called themselves The Pendletons? No joke! You can look it up at your local liberry. Not too long after this photo was taken, The Beach Boys made Pendleton wool plaid shirts a fashion craze.

I particularly love this photo of a charming "Casa de Fritos" hostess. Her tray reminds me of the ones that "cigarette girls" in old movies carried around in nightclub scenes. She has Fritos and Cheetos (but no Doritos). Notice the ticket booth (and awesome sign) for the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train ride in the background.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's a Small World, June 1969

Yeah, yeah, I know. As much as I love the elaborate façade of "It's a Small World", I feel like I've seen enough pictures of it to last me a lifetime. AND YET... to be honest I'm still not really sick of it. Look, it's like a giant popup book, or a crazy paper sculpture. It's sponsored by the Bank of America too, and America is where I happen to live.

I propose that the Imagineers release hundreds of feral monkeys into the ride for an added sense of surprise. Disney Company, please send a large check to "Major Pepperidge" (they know where I live, they've been scanning my thoughts using microwaves for years and years).

Saturday, July 14, 2012

House of 1000 Animals, Lake Placid, New York

If you happened to be in upstate New York (in the beautiful Adirondacks), you could have taken a detour to the "House of 1000 Animals" (founded in 1915) on Route 86 near Lake Placid. This oddball roadside attraction was a sort of zoo, but you could also buy the furs of the wonderful animals that you would see there. Apparently there were lots of minks, some bears, deer, a mountain lion, a llama, a few monkeys, a chupacabra, and other assorted critters. If I was driving by, I would definitely want to stop and see what was going on.

In this picture you can see some of the black bears, which were able to climb a series of ramps and steps up to some platforms. You could even feed them - always a good idea. My favorite trick is to make them grab a marshmallow from a string around my throat. Hilarious!

Deer? Rats of the forest if you ask me. Hey, so THIS is the home of Buster Bear, I always wondered. He owes me $40. I realize that Lake Placid is near Canada, and I have nothing against Canadians (hey, Justin Bieber is Canadian, and he is totally rad!), but why is the Canadian flag on display?

Could that be Buster Bear himself? We can't see his eyes, and I would only be able to tell by that twinkle that only Buster possessed. After this, let's head over to the Chimpanzee Chimp arena. Chimps are 80% water just like us!

At some point the name changed to St. Nick's Animals (you can see part of the sign for Ausable Chasm, which was not far from Lake Placid). I need a full-length mink coat for job interviews, but unfortunately this roadside attraction seems to have closed in 1980; from what I can gather, there is now a restaurant (and/or a gardening center?) in this location.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the House of 1000 Animals!