Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rainbow Ridge, 1957

I almost always have a special love for photos that give just a little taste of what it was like to be on a ride - particularly when it is a ride that is long-gone. Like this first image, taken while the photographer was sitting on the old Rainbow Caverns Mine Train. Notice that the train cars are dark green rather than the bright yellow they would be painted in 1960. The guy in front of us is soaking in some of the many details on the old-timey buildings.

Here's a nice view of Rainbow Ridge as seen from the Mark Twain. The Pack Mules can be seen, and the load area for the Conestoga Wagons and the Stage Coach is to our left.


Chuck said...

I very badly want to step into the second photo and turn to the left and see where that track coming out of the scaled-down mine goes.

I don't recall the rockwork behind the mule train. Does anybody know - was that replaced with the 1960 expansion? I seem to recall more of Rainbow Ridge off in that direction.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Cool pics! When I was a kid I remember thinking that the people living and working in Rainbow Ridge would get kind of crampt. The buildings looked kind of small.
Hope they do a better job of making them more visible when BTM refurb is done.

Melissa said...

The dapper man in the bow tie won't sit down because he's afraid of creasing his fancy trousers.

Debbie V. said...

I'm tagging along with Chuck.

Chuck said...

Debbie V. - I'd love the company, but I'm still trying to work out the mechanics. I just tried thinking, winking, double blinking, closing my eyes and jumping, and that didn't work. Once I clean up what's left of the shattered monitor, I'll let you know what my next brilliant plan is.

Debbie V. said...

Montgomery Scott - where are you when we need you?
Really - I just got my first smartphone last week. I swear it seems more miraculous that the Transporter. So we should have that by now too.

K. Martinez said...

The "on-ride" image is great with the conestoga wagon in the background. Very unusual view.

Referencing a GDB image posted on 3-18-12, the second image is a view taken from the top deck of the Mark Twain. The 3/18/12 image is to the right of this image. Is there a pic in your 1957 batch that shows to the left of this view?

K. Martinez said...

Chuck - The back of the house on the hill in the first image is where that track coming out of the scaled-down mine ends up.

Here's a few photos showing the mine track crossing over the Pack Mule/Wagon trails.

Hope that helps.

Nanook said...


I hope there's more room in your party, as these images are really trying to draw me in.

In the meantime, I'll run downstairs and take some solace by staring at the Stage Coach/Mine Train/Mule Pack combo attraction poster. It's hardly the same thing, but...

Thanks, Major.

Tom said...

Thank you for these pictures! This is my all-time favorite attraction, despite the fact that I never went on it. It's great seeing fresh new angles, particularly ones that capture part of the pack mules. Excellent!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I can't tell you how often I wish I could somehow step into some of these old pictures! Unfortunately, my knowledge of the details of Rainbow Ridge and that rock work you mentioned isn't great; but you are right, it seems as if that wall of rock went away when the ride was redone in 1960.

Alonzo, those buildings were really small! entire buildings have floor plans that are the size of a child's bedroom.

Melissa, don't you mean fancy PANTS?

Debbie V., bring me along too.

Chuck, what about wiggling? You didn't try wiggling! And it all has to be done juuuust right.

Debbie V., I am ashamed to admit that it took me a minute to realize who Montgomery Scott is. And I live in a house made of transparent aluminum!

K. Martinez, I did a quick look at my Rainbow Ridge photos and didn't see anything that solved the mystery completely. But the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the rocks went bye-bye when the Mine Train was expanded.

Nanook… that's one of the posters that I covet! I don't think I'll ever get one though… I am aware of one selling for over $10K not that long ago.

Tom, the Mine Train (and Pack Mules and Stagecoach) were all a part of Frontierland that really was something special. I get that things change and guests seem to want roller coasters; the real pity is that Disneyland was too small and something HAD to go.

Chuck said...

Thanks for the photo links...although they drastically reduce my perceived need to finish building a Wayback machine TODAY to get into that particular photo. I guess I'll finish it up tomorrow.

K. Martinez said...

Major - I always assumed the rockwork was taken out and replaced with an expansion of Rainbow Ridge and a Pack Mule trail reconfiguration of sloping trails to and from the loading area. In today's pic the trails are flat.

I wonder if the scaled down mine in your pic is the same building in this pic?

JG said...

@K Martinez:

In the picture posted in your 11:25 AM comment, the little blue house in the lower left appears to be the same one that was on the "far" side of the trestle in the early pics with the stone wall.

Referring again to 11:25 post pic, the "mine" tower seen on the hill in the center distance is visible in the earlier pictures as well, it appears to be approximately the "left-most" limit of the early Rainbow Ridge.

The buildings in front of it in 11:25, one labeled "Pioneer something", the blue gable cottage (Cafe, I think), the brown false front and the stucco front with arched windows appear to be built on an earth fill placed where the stone wall was formerly located. The mule track, formerly level, now is uphill across this fill. The train tunnel must go through here somewhere.

In the extreme right edge of your 11:25 pic, by the flag, is another arched facade which appears to be identical to one shown in center distance in the Major's photo 2 of today's post.

Comparing those two show how far Rainbow Ridge was extended around the "left", many new buildings were added. Most, if not all of these are now gone. The bits remaining after the rollercoaster upgrade are mostly in the far right of photo 2. For example, the "Rainbow Ridge Clarion" newspaper building is still in place, with typewriter or telegraph sound effects.

Very much enjoying the group analysis problem solving today. Thank you Major, and everyone.


Nancy said...

Really wishing I had that time machine working now!!

I just love everything about Rainbow Ridge. So happy to see it today. That second photo is gorgeous :*)