Friday, January 24, 2014

Fantasyland, October 1962

Here are two nice images of Fantasyland circa 1962; the cloudy white sky acted as a giant light diffuser, eliminating harsh shadows (and, curiously, suffusing the air with a lemony scent).

I really like this photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle; this is one of those instances in which the people in the picture are a big part of the appeal for me. Just look at 'em! They're more fun than Sea Monkeys™.  The castle is undergoing some sort of refurbishment (take a look at this other one in 1958).

Zooming in a bit, you can see a few workmen; this is from the brief time that the castle was clad in aluminum siding. What were they thinking? I'm sure Walt would have preferred that guests never see scaffolding on the castle, but extensive repairs and repainting probably took many days, if not weeks. Notice that the lady to right has folded her brand-new souvenir guidebook in half. Bad, bad lady.

This one is nice too, with the Teacups, Skyway, Matterhorn, and a bit of the old fa├žade of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride". I know that the ground is actually concrete slurry that has been colored; but my brain keeps wanting to interpret the turquoise greenish-blue as a shallow pool of water. Stupid brain!


Nancy said...

Pretty pictures today. The scaffolding blends in pretty well, at least to me. I could hardly notice it until I read your commentary. :-)

The picture of Fantasyland is so colorful. I love the yellow herald shield shaped sign there to the left, and I dont remember noticing before that the Skyway's supporting structures are not only white. I DO learn something new every day!

Chuck said...

I'd never noticed the multi-colored Skyway supports, either. I wonder how ,long those lasted? Probably a bit longer than that large, shallow pool that limited access to the Mad Tea Party.

I would love to get my hands on the home movie that guy is shooting in the lower right corner of the second picture. It would be even more cool to watch it.

Anonymous said...

Aluminum siding on the castle...a tough sell because the material had to look "stone-like". But those tin men wouldn't take "no" for an answer and got Walt to pay for the Castle Special, which included spire upgrades and the 25 year warranty that guaranteed no fading. It's a much better deal than vinyl.

Very nice pics today Major - thank you!

Bill in Denver

K. Martinez said...

Those multi-colored Skyway support towers were there for the entire duration of the Skyway's history and operation. The Tomorrowland Skyway tower was also the same multi-colored style, but updated to the modern style used in WDW's Skyway when the 2-person buckets were changed to the 4-person cabins in 1965. Strangely the Fantasyland towers remained old-style until the end.

I loved that turquoise greenish-blue concrete slurry. I remember when riding the Skyway from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland, that "turquoise" slurry amplified the colors of Fantasyland. It was quite a dramatic transition from the white colors and grey slurry of Tomorrowland.

I love original Fantasyland. Thanks, Major.

Tom said...

I count no fewer than nine heads all turned in the same direction, looking at something off camera to the left. Was Davy Crockett making a ruckus at the shooting gallery or something?

Obviously it was more interesting than a castle refurbishment.

Melissa said...

The printed scrims they use nowadays really are pretty awesome. There are still SOME cases where technology serves art instead of the other way around!

I’m in love with that red middy-collar top. If there’s a life after this one, you’ll all recognize me at once because I’ll be the one in the sailor suit, babushka, and something striped.

That newly-poured pavement is so shiny it looks more like skating-rink ice than water to me, Major. It’s making every bone I ever broke from falling on ice (current count: 3) hurt. Nothing a giant cup of tea wouldn’t fix, though. Struck again at the Madhattery way the Skyway buckets blend in with the Japanese lanterns over the tea party.

My Other Grandma had a red, white, and blue plaid polyester pantsuit just like the lady in the foreground of the second picture, but her hair was completely gray by 1962, so no fear that that side of the family is haunting me, too.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, while I love our new (post-1983) Fantasyland, there was something special about the old version - it definitely was more colorful.

Chuck, I often think about the movies and photos that *other* people are taking in the background. Who knows, maybe that guy's footage appeared on one of the many DVD collections of vintage home movies that have been available through the years.

Bill in Denver, it's true that aluminum siding looked a bit weird, but it cut down on maintenance. It was definitely better than the New England shingled look.

K. Martinez, now I have to go look at post-1965 photos of the Tomorrowland Skyway to see how different the towers were compared to the old ones. Thanks for the info!

Tom, it's true, it sure looks like something was going on over there. Maybe a band was playing at the Carnation Plaza Gardens? Or a character was walking past?

Melissa, the scrims are definitely better than dark-green tarps. The first time I saw a photo of one I thought it was ingenious. And it probably costs a bundle to make them! Ouch, falling on ice… I refused to go ice skating a few months ago because I just knew I would probably wind up with some sort of injury. Are you sure your grandma never dyed her hair? Only her hairdresser knew!

Anonymous said...

I remember the painted skyway towers, the red color had faded to pink somewhat by the time I was noticing those details.

I'm not sure if the Tomorrowland towers were all new, or if that "solid pylon look" was created by overlaying metal panels over the old openwork. I can't recall ever touching one, which seems odd.

Anyway, I think it was done to be a thematic match to the new Peoplemover piers, but that's just a guess.


K. Martinez said...

JG - The Tomorrowland tower of which there was only one, was removed when the new 4-person cabins were added in 1965. The new tower matched those that were at WDW's Skyway and other later skyrides of its type elsewhere.

Details on Skyway here: