Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Special Guest Photos!

Hey howdy hey, today I am happy to present some photos that are from GDB reader/commenter Chuck, who generously scanned them and allowed me to post them for your viewing enjoyment! This is the first of (hopefully) a number of posts featuring his pictures.

I'll start with this one, from later part of 1976; Chuck and his little sister are wearing their brand-new mouse ears and cool t-shirts. They are at a campground near Disneyland… Chuck wasn't sure what it was called, but I know there used to be a KOA near the park. Little sis looks like a live wire!

Now we're jumping all the way to July 17, 1995… Disneyland's 40th birthday. I'm not sure I've ever seen a photo with those balloon arches before. Look at how busy Main Street is! It's funny, if there is a special occasion at the park that will probably draw large crowds, some folks really want to be there - they love the energy and the spectacle of it all. I tend to want to avoid days like that, but acknowledge that I'm weird.

And lastly (for today), how about this beautiful night shot of The Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland?  This one is from 1998, and it looks great - so different from the Anaheim version. I love all of the lights everywhere, in a myriad of shapes and hues. Has this land changed much in the intervening years?

MANY THANKS to Chuck for sharing photos from his personal collection!
Stay tuned for more in upcoming posts.


Nanook said...


Thanks so much for sharing. Balloon arches are the best-!

K. Martinez said...

Chuck - The first image of you with your sister is great.

Was that Vacationland campground that you stayed at? In 1986 when I went to Disneyland with some friends, they took their RV and we stayed at Vacationland which was an RV park and part of the Disneyland Hotel complex. That was the one and only time I did that.

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing more of your photos.

Pegleg Pete said...

Nice photos, Chuck. Thank you for sharing them with us!

Chuck said...

K. Martinez - I did stay at Vacationland both with my family in the mid-70's and with my wife in the mid-90's, but the campground in this photo was across the street, on the east side of what was then West Street.

At this campground, we climbed up to the top of a slide/jungle gym complex that was themed like a railroad caboose and were able to see over the fence into a backstage parking area where Disneyland floats were stored. I can clearly remember seeing the giant eagle float from "America on Parade." I was fascinated with backstage magic as far back as age 7.

I wish I could remember the name of this place. The entrance building and offices, which were almost right on the street, were still standing as of '95, although the place was closed by then. I'm assuming that Disney had acquired the property as they were planning the resort expansion that eventually became Downtown Disney. I think this particular property is now under the parking lot east of the "Mickey & Friends" parking structure.

Melissa said...

I remember those late-1970's side-ear-style hats from the New Mickey Mouse Club!

The rims around the Mickey ears in the parade balloons are cool. I wonder if they're a style thing, or to keep the ears from getting too bulbous at that scale.

The shot of Tomorrowland looks pretty much like the last time I saw it last winter, only with less clutter at ground level from carts and temporary/semi temporary structures selling things.

Thanks for the awesome pictures, Chuck!

Chuck said...

Melissa - I'd never noticed the "ear rims" before. I'm guessing it was a style thing; if you zoom in on the large red balloon in the background, no rims are visible, suggesting that the "front" of that balloon was facing the Plaza...or possibly that it was of a different design.

Nancy said...

So fun! Thanks much, Chuck, for sharing them with us :) Looking forward to seeing more. I can never get enough of a Disney park

Chuck said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments! I'm glad everyone's enjoying them, and am especially glad to give back to this community. The real thanks, though, go to our host, whose vision and tireless efforts have given us a daily smile or two for so many years. Thanks, Major, for letting me contribute!

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes, all three of these are great shots! I know the campground that you are talking about, Chuck...but I can't think of the name of it either. Vacationland and KOA were across the street from it. I also remember that after it closed, the main building remained, but the driveways were fenced off and the property was used for storage of DL props, parade floats, and even the "Mouserail" (the remnant of the old Monorail car that was converted into a ground vehicle) was parked back there for a while.

I think I remember those balloon arches. Wasn't that the same day that they had placed some large inflatable Disney characters on top of some of the Main St. buildings and a giant "Happy Birthday Disneyland" banner on the side of the Matterhorn? And didn't Randy Travis appear on top of the Matterhorn to sing happy b-day? If not, then I'm just going crazy.

Major, WDW's Tomorrowland exteriors haven't really changed much since that last photo was taken. Their Tomorrowland was destroyed in 1994 (four years before Anaheim's) but for some reason, their remodel job is just a tad easier to stomach. They didn't slap brown, gold, bronze and copper colors on everything like they did in Anaheim.

Thank you to Chuck for sharing these with us and to you, Major for posting them!

Chuck said...

TokyoMagic! - While I can't definitively say that you aren't going crazy, I can confirm your memories of that day. :-) I have more slides taken on that date that I'm sharing with the Major - stay tuned!

Major Pepperidge said...

I am very glad that everybody enjoyed these so much! And it's nice to take a little bit of a break and show somebody else's stuff. Thanks Chuck!

Anonymous said...

Chuck and Major P, thank you very much for sharing your memories with us.

Very grateful.