Monday, January 21, 2013

Parking Lots!

Now that DCA has had a major refurbishment and upgrade, people might not be quite as nostalgic for the old parking lot as they once were. But for those of us who remember, it was all part of the experience. 

This first photo, from August 1963, was very dark, and I've lightened it as much as I dared. It almost looks like one of those old "day for night" shots that you used to see so often in movies with that deep blue sky. The Matterhorn still catches the sunlight; you can see the striped roof of a tram and the masts of the Columbia, but the real stars are those wonderful vintage automobiles. I love love love all of the two-tone examples! And at some point I grew to love old station wagons a LOT.

Two years earlier, somebody snapped this picture while aboard a speeding Monorail. I hope you will forgive the motion blur! I presume that the Disneyland Hotel is over where those distant palm trees are. Check out the vintage bus  too. This angle mostly shows how darn big that parking lot was!


MRaymond said...

Station wagons, the way you moved a family before minivans and SUVs. The parking lot was part of the experience, the anticipation was extreme for a kid. COMMON GRANDMA! MOVE IT.

Anonymous said...

Heard in the Monorail during the second photo -
"Dad, I think I see our car!!"

Bill in Denver

Debbie V. said...

Thank you Major - parking lot pictures bring back that excitement of the day to come. Is that a stand of eucalyptus I see to the right of the electrical towers? I miss the sound of the rustling leaves and the smell....

K. Martinez said...

I remember many times in the late 70s and early 80s walking through the parking lot at 6:30-7:00 a.m. to get to the Park which opened at 8:00 a.m. It was empty and I was one of the first to always get in.

Walking through the parking lot and arriving at this time with only a few guests is a thing of the past. Last summer when I arrived at this time, there were already healthy lines forming at the gates. How times change.

Anonymous said...

Thufer doesn't comment much anymore, so I will weigh in for him.

We love the old parking lot!

Many memories begin and end here.

Thank you Major.


Hannahx2 said...

Oh the parking lot... another element of classic Disneyland I never got to experience. It goes on forever don't it? I love these shots as much for the sweet cars as for the unique angles. Glad these folks decided to snap these pics :)

Debbie V. said...

I forgot to mention the best part of the parking lot - waiting for the TRAM - our first ride of the day. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach now - sunshine!

Nanook said...

Major- The first picture is awfully swell, just as it looks right now. It's very dramatic with the sky & clouds providing the ultimate backdrop to offset a sea of 'late model' motor vehicles. And has rightly been previously-noted: heightens the anticipation which is about to unfold. Can't wait to purchase my Big 15 Ticket Book-!

K. Martinez said...

Nanook - I remember purchasing those Big 15 Ticket Books. What memories! I also remember getting an additional 5-Ticket Book which contained all "E" tickets.

Nanook said...

K. Martinez-

I believe the "all E ticket books were also Magic Key Ticket Books and were also given out to employees holding Silver Passes, back in the day of ticket books.

Orange Co Native said...


It is rather interesting that one can see the masts of the sailing ship from the parking lot. Something that one would never be able to do today.

Boy I would love to have my pick out of one of those automobiles in the first and second photos. In just 10 years by 1973, most of those cars would be long gone.

I bet the tree off to the left in the parking lot in the first picture was an original tree from the days of the orange groves.

Photographs, photographs. They capture a moment in time for us to see 50 years later and beyond.

Major Pepperidge said...

MRaymond, my family had two station wagons, both Buicks, those things were beasts. I still remember laying down in the back, looking up through the slender "clerestory" windows.

Bill, I'm sure I would have been looking for our car, and would be disappointed at not finding it.

Debbie V, those eucalyptus trees are part of a stand that was there as a windbreak back when the place was still an orange grove. And I LOVE the smell of eucalyptus trees!

K. Martinez, that was back in the days when getting to the park early wasn't a necessity. My last visit, I got there for "rope drop", and was there with hundreds of others.

JG, hopefully Thufer is OK. Thank YOU for commenting, though!

Hannahx2, I am always happy to see pictures of the parking lot, which is kind of weird, but it's true.

Debbie V, I definitely looked forward to the tram in the mornings, and the evening trips were a sort of official "it's over" moment.

Nanook, I love photos when the sky is dark and cloudy, but the foreground is bathed in sunshine. The Big 15! Did you know that at one point they sold a 20-coupon book? I wish I had one of those.

K. Martinez, I think I have one of those 5-ticket books, but they might be more like the old Magic Kingdom Club books - the tickets could be used for anything.

OC Native, you, me, and a bunch of other people would love to have their pick of those cars!! So awesome. Even the humblest of them looks so great.

MRaymond said...

@Major Two boats come to mind for me. First is a Chevy Biscane wagon with the "tail gunner" rear seat and an early van, a Chevy Greenbrier with a Corvair engine. Love to have the Greenbrier today just because its unique.

Major Pepperidge said...

MRaymond, I'll have to look up the Chevy Greenbrier!