Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Mermaid Lagoon, 1966

When I heard that Annette Funicello passed away yesterday, I felt a real sense of loss that took me by surprise. Goodbye to our beautiful Annette. 

For a brief time (just the summer seasons for 1965 and 1966 - too brief!) there were Mermaids in Disneyland. Not Audio-animatronic merms either, but the real deal! I think they found them on a reef near Fiji; it was in all the papers. Let's face it, mermaids make everything better, and that goes double for Disneyland.  

Why take one photo when you can take two nearly-identical photos? This one is more centered because the photographer used a centrifuge. It's very technical.

The "George Washington" passes below, and the shadow of the Matterhorn moves, showing the passage of time like a giant sundial. And the merms are still there. Don't worry, they don't get all pruny. We miss you, mermaids!


Nanook said...

WOW-! Mermaids definitely attract looky-loos-! They're practically hanging over the railing.

And as for the third image: WOW, again. Such a great shot.

Thanks, Major.

Chiana_Chat said...

Strange when you think about it that today, a time when sexy model mermaids and action-angle military subs would actually be way more workable, popular and accepted with the public at large than the public of the straight-laced '50s and '60, Disney is not only not trying, they actually went in the reverse and changed it to a super clean 'n safe small children's theme.

These pics are pretty with the lagoon colors, fun with the peeps and the mermaids and neat-o in that noble aquatic adventure way unique to the Submarine Voyage. Thanks for scanning & posting both similar ones - and for more of the inimitable GDB commentary: the Matterhorn sundial this time and the George Washington jokes I'm recalling from a prior recent post!

Snow White Archive said...

Beautiful pics. That would be a heck of job to list on your resume. Not many can claim both mermaid and Disneyland cast member. A select crowd for sure.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Nice pics. My hats off to any of the girls who strapped on a clumsy rubber fin and sat in the Anaheim sun for $1.60 an hour.

It was anything for atmosphere in those days. Which is why we look back so fondly I guess. Thanks Major

RIP Annette, you will be missed!

Anonymous said...

How many dads suddenly became sailors once they boarded the subs - insisting that they grab a seat by a "starboard portal" - which just happened to be the best view of the mermaids??

And wouldn't a mermaid outfit create an interesting tan line?

Bill in Denver

K. Martinez said...

Nice Matterhorn shadow.

May you rest in peace Annette. Thank you for making my childhood memories a little more brighter.

Raimundo said...

I agree with Chiana_Chat, the Nemo setup is too cute. The original ride had a manly aura, and appeals to the masculine: strapping lads handed you aboard the sub; the captain's voice was full of authority; marine life battled it out beyond the portholes; lovely bare-bosomed mermaids floated by under the water; still lovelier mermaids frolicked atop the lagoon(bosoms sheathed).

Nanook said...

Let me join with everyone else to express my sorrow at the loss of Annette. From Mouseketeer, to star of beach movies. From singer of memorable songs, such as Tall Paul, Beach Party and Pineapple Princess, to the not so: Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and Cómo está usted (Rock La Raspa). And too, for being a perfect role model for all things Disney, and just an all-around great person - you will be missed.

PsySocDisney said...

I remember reading the account of a former DL mermaid and the process they went through to audition and train. Sounded dreadful unless you were extremely adept in water. If I remember right, their wrists and ankles were tied and they had to dive into very cold water and swim the length of the pool. Count me out!

D-ticket said...


Annette in Disneyland in 1958!

Nancy said...

Love the last image, really makes you see how big the lagoon actually was, the mermaids look so tiny! :-D