Monday, May 06, 2013

Magenta Slides from 1956

Delving back into a box of previously rejected slides (rejected because they had turned magenta), I spent some quality time with Photoshop in an attempt to restore today's offerings.

The Bertha Mae keel boat is featured in this first photo, as it glides past Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island. The island looks very raw in '56. Check out the guy in blue who has climbed out onto the side of the boat for a better view; I'm pretty surprised that he was allowed to stay there! 

Over near Sleeping Beauty Castle, we can see that the low fencing doesn't seem to be keeping guests off of the grass. Any idea what that sign was for to our left? All I can see is "...ARK". Obviously the sign had something to do with an aardvark, that much is clear. Notice that modest Christmas decorations can be seen on the castle.


Nanook said...

I'm afraid folks were a bit more self-reliant back in 1956, and wouldn't think of blaming others for their own misjudgements.

Aardvark, you say-? I always thought the sign gave directions to the little-remembered off-leash dog park, Bark Bark.

D-ticket said...

Directions to Holiday Hill or Snow Hill Park?

Melissa said...

That fence looks pretty cheesy by Disney standards.

Still, things just haven't been the same since the bean counters shut down the Hall of Aardvarks.

K. Martinez said...

I don't know what it is, but I always get a kick out of seeing those power lines just outside the back of the Park. With raw Tom Sawyer Island and primitive low fencing, I just love early Disneyland.

Tom said...

You did a really good job on these slides, considering the fact that they'd gone magenta.

The Earth must have been at perihelion that day; the sun seems harsher than usual. Even the lady in red near the castle thinks so. Probably why the grass is all dried up.

JG said...

I think the castle picture may have been taken before the Snow White Grotto construction, the landscape and path configuration looks simpler and "different". Brown turf in Disneyland? Unthinkable!


Nanook said...

"perihelion". I love learning new words. Nice. Thanks.

The Snow White Wishing Well and Grotto didn't open until March, 1961, several years after the image was shot.

Katella Gate said...

Clearly the sign indicates the Aardvark Stroller Park. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Snow White Archive said...

Wow! This was just 5 years before the Grotto, but the area looks totally different than in some of the pics you've posted from the early 1960s. Excellent archival image!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I agree with you, but I still think it's surprising that the captain (pilot?) didn't tell him that he needed to take a seat. And don't you mean "Bark Park?"

D-Ticket, I suppose that is possible, though I don't think I've ever heard of Snow Hill Park. I really wish I knew the answer!

Melissa, back then it was just "Great Moments With Mr. Aardvark". And I'm sure that the fence didn't keep anybody out; I'm almost sure I've heard that folks would bring picnic lunches and then try to eat them on the grass in areas like that.

K. Martinez, it's details like the ones you mentioned that are why I love these vintage views so much.

Tom, thanks! Perhaps if I was willing to spend a bit more time they would have looked even better, but I'm happy enough with them. And you have left out the possibility of nuclear bomb tests, they did those all the time back in the 50's!

JG, the brown turf looks like my neighbor's front yard (they let their dog do its business out there, yuck).

Nanook, now you need to use the word "perihelion" 10 times tomorrow - that way it will truly become a part of your vocabulary.

Katella, it's bad enough having aardvarks, but aardvarks pushing strollers? There oughta be a law.

Snow White Archive, now I need to go back and see what that spot looked like in other photos. You should do a blog post about how it looked "before"!

D-ticket said...

The pile east of the castle was called Holiday Hill (in HolidayLand-between FantasyLand and Tomorowland), and then Lookout Mountain, but in December '56 a toboggan run with artificial snow was added, and the name changed to Snow Hill. Your slide is dated around that period, so I assumed that the sign might be directing guests to Snow Hill Park.
Anyway, this whole sorry mess was soon cleared away for a proper mountain called the Matterhorn with a thrilling bobsled ride through and around it.

Bill Cotter said...

I believe that sign was for "Concerts in the Park", back when there was a bandstand in that area and the Disneyland Band performed on a scheduled basis. I have a nice shot of it showing people seated on benches watching as the band played. In it all of the people seated are older; the younger ones were ff enjoying the rides!

The Aarvark Park was a later addition. :)