Friday, August 16, 2013

More Instamatics

As is the case with all of the Instamatic photos I have been sharing, today's examples are undated. They're still great pictures, but sometimes a date would be useful! For instance, in this first image we can see lots of neat stuff; I've always loved that lozenge-shaped Peoplemover sign. Mostly hidden behind it is the (lowered) Tomorrowland Stage; and you've got Skyway buckets (that appear to be empty), a beautiful 4-car red Monorail, and yes, pplmvr.

The next two shots appear to have been taken on a different day (who knows); over the edge of our Skyway bucket we look down on the Autopia and the Pplmvr (see what I did there?). The Pplmvr trains are sitting there, empty and still... the attraction hadn't opened yet, although it looks nearly ready.

The fact that the Pplmvr isn't up-and-running yet can help to date these to at least pre-July, 1967. Please write that down in your GDB journals, because it will be on the test. By the way... where is everybody? The park looks so empty. If this was May or June 2013, there would be thousands of people.


Nanook said...

Peoplemover lozenges; don't know why those wouldn't have sold. Seems like a natural Disneyland keepsake. Sounds much better than "Smith Bros."

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

We have officially entered TOMORROWLAND HEAVEN! New Tomorrowland Sky buckets, Peoplemover trains and signage, the Tomorrowland Stage, Autopia cars AND Monorail Red in the Disneyland Alweg Monorail System station? Incredible!!! I will be smiling all day long!! :-)

MRaymond said...

Tomorrowland heaven to be sure. I've never seen the park so empty as these shots (unless it wasn't open yet).
I don't think the PM is closed. With the park that empty, and the PMs never stopping cars, these may be lucky shots.
Pardon me while I imagine being there today.

Melissa said...

Tomorrowland on the move!

I love shots of Tomorrowland of this era from this sort of angle, even when there aren’t a lot of people to see. You get all those lovely layers’ and not-quite-parallel curving paths of the myriad forms of transportation; all cutting their way through the trees, rocks, pavement, water, and sometimes crowds of humanity; going their different ways yet somehow all in harmony. The gleaming concrete of the monorail beam weaves through the dark trees; the works of man and nature contrast just enough in color and texture to add interest. I love how the tracks fan out in each picture, like a giant reached down and trailed his fingers through the park. Then the visual theme is carried even further by the striped awnings and garbage cans, and the slightly curved, slatted benches. I’m not sure why it is, but for my money the Instamatic format captures this quality perfectly.

Did that Peoplemover sign spin around? It really looks as though it ought to have. The oddest things make strong impressions on kids. For some reason, one of my most vivid memories of 1980’s WDW Tomorrowland is these elliptical blue signs that were outside most of the attractions on the main drag. They remind me of the PM sign in this picture.

Nanook, I would use those lozenges. I'd call them "PhlegmMovers."

Melissa said...

OK, looks like I borked the link to that old Tomorrowland sign image. But, looking around at the Flicker page, I got the idea that maybe the photographer maybe didn't want people linking to it anyway. I found a similar one on another site:

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great pics of the hustle and bustle of 67'ish land of tomorrow.

Great busy images full of color and rolling/floating fiberglass.

Those lozenges would come in handy on a long hot day. The pectin is refreshing too.

The sign though does kinda look like those "blue pills" they talk about on TV so much these days. Those pills are a "peoplemover" of sorts as well. (from what I hear anyway)Viva Pplmvr.

K. Martinez said...

The last two images are definitely older than the first image probably by a month or so because the PeopleMover track-railings hadn't been installed yet.

Also Fantasyland Autopia still has it's Mark VIs while Tomorrowland Autopia has already moved onto the Mark VIIs.

@Melissa - Yes, the PeopleMover signs did spin around.

A Question: Older images show a red-striped awning for Fantasyland and a blue-striped awning for Tomorrowland.

Does anyone know when they painted the awnings of both Autopias to solid white? Was it at the same time they remodeled the monorail station which also had a striped awning?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Peoplemover lozenges don't taste so good, but they make you feel better.

Nancy, yes, these are Tomorrowland heaven!

MRaymond, so many of these vintage shots show an uncrowded park, it almost makes you wonder how they stayed afloat. Answer: those busy summers.

Melissa, all the layers and details are what made this Tomorrowland so amazing. It's a very optimistic view of the future, and unfortunately it has been diluted quite a bit since then. Yes, that Peoplemover sign did turn. The elliptical signs at WDW remind me of the TWA terminal at JFK (that's a lot of initials!).

Alonzo, you've discovered the link between Viagra and the Peoplemover!

K. Martinez, thanks for pointing out the Pplmvr railings, I hadn't noticed. It's interesting to see certain attractions "in transition". As for the awnings, I'll have to hope that somebody more informed will chime in!

Melissa said...

There were all kinds of grand plans for dignitaries visiting Tomorrowland after Vice-President Nixon's Monorail ride with his family.

One Peoplemover vehicle was to have been enclosed in bulletproof glass for Paul VI and his delegation from the Vatican, but the Papalmover never came to be. Foreseeing improved relations between East and West, the leadership of China submitted a proposal to use the red train during future state visits, during which period it would be known as the People's Repulic Mover. However, it was withdrawn in indignation when Zhou Enlai found out that Disneyland was considering a competing offer from the Big Red Marching Band of Cornell University.

Like the luxurious private train cars of Victorian days, the crowned heads of Europe would have ridden in the lavishly-appointed Monarchorail. The Marquis II train would have been identical to the Mark II, but painted a royal purple and with a little crown on top. The project was scuppered due to the dissent of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, who insisted on their own, separate Monacorail.

Just when they'd given up on the Papalmover (the working title of PopePaulMover didn't last long) a set of blueprints with a Vatican City return address arrived in Burbank, suggesting viewports be drilled in the bottoms of the Skyway buckets and the attraction renamed "The Holey See." The source turned out to be a low-level worker in a Communion wine warehouse with too much time and suspiciously empty barrels on his hands.

Of course, the private Hirohitopia limousine was kind of a non-starter.

Chuck said...

You're still my hero, Melissa.

Anonymous said...

That lozenge shape seen throughout is based on the "frame" of the Goodyear logo. See this link >>

The shape was used in the signage and also in plan view, the planters surrounding the PM track pylons (between the Mary Blair murals)have the lozenge shape when view from above. See this pic from Daveland >>

These planters might remain in "New" Tomorrowland today, or they might have been covered up with that weird blue rock, I can't recall for sure.