Monday, February 03, 2014

Frontierland, April 1987

Here are three nice photos from 1987, all taken in Frontierland.

The Bertha Mae looks great here as it glides by with only the pilot aboard. I wonder why there are no passengers? At some point this Keel Boat was painted a shade of soft blue-green that looks suitably antique - like something you might see on an old pie safe. The lush greenery of Tom Sawyer Island and the glassy ripples of the river add to the tranquil ambiance. The Keel Boats would remain in operation for another 10 years, closing forever in 1997.

Big Thunder Ranch was home to the "Happiest Horses on Earth". How can you tell if a horse is happy? Wait, don't tell me, I'm not sure I want to know. This area was hosted by Hunts, makers of Sloppy Joe mix and catsup (or ketchup) - horses love both of those things.

And lastly, another good one, this time featuring an "Explorer Canoe". In spite of the many hu-mans paddling, the elegant vessel seems to move through the water effortlessly.


Snow White Archive said...

Really like the photo of the Bertha Mae. You mention a "tranquil ambiance" and it has it. The pic actually feels much more like a painting than a photograph.

Chuck said...

I agree with SWA above - I think you sneaked in a George Caleb Bingham painting on us just to see if we were paying attention.

I'd never noticed how the mast on the Bertha Mae leans to the rear of the boat. I'm sure it's the cumulative effect of 30 years of holding a yard aloft, but it actually gives the vessel a slight feeling of speed.

The canoe in the third photo looks like it's about to swamp over the port gunwale. I think this may be why they eventually implemented a strict two bag (plus carry-on) baggage limit.

Nancy said...

Such a pretty picture of the Bertha Mae. I have never really noticed the beautiful details of the shutters before.

The only time I ever visited the inside of Big Thunder Ranch was when they had the 50th anniv. merchandise for sale there on that wonderful July 17th in 2005. The three times we have been to Disneyland there has never been anything permanent in that space.

The canoes definitely look like they are going to sink! Always wanted to take that ride. If they are on a track like the Jungle Cruise, for example, are they that low in the water even when empty?

Major Pepperidge said...

Snow White Archive, the Keel Boats were another attraction that added richness to the park even if you didn't ride it. Which is awesome.

Chuck, I think that this "Jolly Flatboatman" is a woman! Also, not many people know that the Bertha Mae was supercharged. As for the canoe, I thought the same thing… man, that thing is low in the water!

Nancy, I have to admit that Big Thunder Ranch is something that I look at as I walk past. I don't even know if you can still go in and pet animals or not.

Chuck said...

Nancy - the canoes are not on a track. Same thing is true with the rafts and was for the keelboats.

I have read that at one time the surest way to get a long and meandering raft ride was to loudly insist within earshot of the attending cast member that the raft was on a track.

Melissa said...

I was going to say that you can tell a horse is happy if he isn't kicking you at the moment, but some horses are probably happiest when they ARE kicking somebody.

Big Thunder Ranch was probably Hunts's attempt to break away from tomato-based sauces and into ranch dressing. That's why the horse on the sign is a gray instead of a chestnut.

Nancy said...

Thanks, Chuck. I did not know that for sure. Hopefully the next time I get to Disneyland I will get to paddle a canoe for myself!