Thursday, January 09, 2014

Dumbo, 1956

Here are some delightful views of Dumbo's Flying Elephants, circa 1956. These slides had turned rather pink, but thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, they restored quite nicely!

It's hard not to love this ride, even if you are sensitive to spinning attractions; just looking at it evokes a lot of pleasure. 

I cropped this one because we didn't need 30% more empty blue sky. Or did we? Oof, look at the crowds, Jiminy Christmas! In the foreground, Tex reassures us by looking like a state trooper. Could he have been a cast member who just happened to be walking past? Maybe he operated one of the Tom Sawyer Island rafts.


Melissa said...

OMG, it’s my Grandma again! Of all the places she could choose to come back and haunt me, how did it turn out to be this blog? (Not that I’m complaining, of course; I’m glad she’s having fun and visiting theme parks in the afterlife.) She even always drove like that, with one arm draped at that angle over the side of her convertible. Even though there was no roof on the car, she somehow still got uneven Driver’s Tan that way.

Knowing her, she would have tried to get a phelephant with turquoise blanket or pole stripes, but I guess you takes the phelephant they gives you.

At first Tex reminded me of the Warden from Cool Hand Luke and the Sheriff from O Brother, where Art Thou? But, Uncle Google tells me they both wore dark brown hats. Look just under the back brim of the hat and you’ll see a young Gary Busey squinting into the sunlight.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Flyin' an elephant here boss.

I wonder (or Oneder) if they sold that Dumbo on e-bay? They were only asking 30grand for a fiberglass phelephant.
Thanks for posting Major.

Anonymous said...

Continuing with the aeronautical theme of Flying Elephants, could Tex actually be a young Tom Cruise looking for his Top Gun?

Bill in Denver

Unknown said...

Counterclock-wise in the first photo, clockwise in the second. Hmmmm.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yikes! I wonder if they ever closed the gates back in those days. I heard how crowded the park was around the holidays this year and how they were actually over capacity at times. Scary!

Major, I believe that last pic is flipped (the Dumbos are flying in the reverse direction and Toad is on the right and M.M. Theater is on the left)

Tom said...

The picture isn't flipped, that was the old "Bluc Esuom Yekcim Retaeht" right behind the other, clockwise dumbo ride. They had to have two counter-rotating rides otherwise Disneyland would have spun itself right out of Anaheim and out into the ocean.

Love that first pic. Dumbo has never looked happier to be flying!

Melissa said...

And in the other version of Toad Hall, you obey all the traffic signals and end up in Heaven.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, your Grandma sure likes to show up in my pictures! As for Tex, he looks like he would be very comfortable holding a rifle. Gary Busey also likes to show up in my photos!

Alonzo, did they sell a Dumbo vehicle on ebay? Did it get any bids?

Bill in Denver, Tom Cruise is looking for Gary Busey.

Unknown, sometimes elephants change directions, everybody knows that.

TokyoMagic!, now that you mention it, I do wonder when the first closure due to crowds was implemented? I could re-flip the picture, but I'm lazy.

Tom, I've always loved that Dumbo was perfectly "on model" for those vehicles… although I think his head should be a bit bigger when compared with how his animated character was drawn. Maybe not!

Unknown said...

I wonder how long the "flapping ears" worked before they gave up on them.

Nancy said...

Dumbo always holds a special place for me, as it was the first ride that Rachel took on her first trip to Walt Disney World in 1994 :-) He always looks so happy!

Melissa said...

It's all fun and games until they go rogue. Good thing there's a lawman in the crowd.

Robert Skyway said...

In the one picture the Skyway is only a few months old. You can tell by the silver towerbatterys. In 1957 they started painting them a dark blue.