Friday, February 14, 2014

Tomorrowland, November 1972

Here's a fun photo, taken near the silvery portals at the entrance to Tomorrowland (and beneath the soaring track of the Peoplemover - one blue pplmvr vehicle is just visible). The first thing that catches my eye is the grown man wearing mouse ears. You don't see that every day! I can imagine him as one of the original Mouseketeers all grown up. And in desperate need of attention. "Remember me? I'm Dickie! I used to tap dance and do magic tricks!". But he was probably just one of those "young at heart" visitors that you see at the park all the time. 

Goofy is nearby, and I love the attitude of the tiny child in the lower left, looking delighted and maybe just a bit apprehensive too.

This photo of the subs during a lagoon rehab is pretty swell. It looks like the workers haven't yet placed all of the seaweed, coral, giant clams, and anemonemonemones where they belong. It makes me sad to hear the rumors of this ride's demise; even with the known negatives (relatively low capacity, and the sheer expense to maintain it), it would really sadden me to see it gone - especially if it isn't replaced with something truly amazing and unique, like the subs have been for so many years.


Anonymous said...

Ah, the Tomorrowland entrance fountains. Designed as white noise barriers to Main Street, USA vehicle noise, etc. -- oh, how we miss them. All the early drawings of Tomorrowland have water/fountains at the entrance to accomplish the same goal.

I still remember the sad day the '67 fountains were turned into planters for good. Drat.

Melissa said...

The last time I was at WDW, I got myself the classic mouse ears hat because I never got one as a kid. I even got my name embroidered on it.

even with the known negatives (relatively low capacity, and the sheer expense to maintain it)

That was half the appeal for me: the sheer chutzpah of building something so ridiculously ambitious just because it’s cool and amazing and impractical. People look back on that kind of stuff generations later in wonder and amazement, not at the efficiency of our double-glazed windows. Who’s going to look upon our touch screens, ye mighty, and despair?

Melissa said...

I love how the main group of people in the first photo is framed by the arch of the Peoplemover track, and it leads your eye straight to Goofy like a giant arrow. From this angle, it looks like the flying buttress on a Gothic-style cathedral.

It's been a hard hat night, and I've been working like a dog.
It's been a hard hat night, and I been draining this here bog.
I’m gonna fix all the subs, and then I’ll give ‘em a scrub,
And it’ll be alright.

You know I work all day, replacing clams and refurbishing,
And it's worth it just to hear them say my ocean looks like the real thing.
So, why on earth should I bawl, ‘cause when we’re through with it all,
It’s gonna be OK.

When it's full, everything seems to be right.
But, when it’s drained, I’m feeling my schedule is tight, tight, yeah!

It's been a hard hat night, and I've been working in the smog.
It's been a hard hat night; all the drains are getting clogged.
But, when I fill the lagoon, and have it ready by June,
I’m gonna feel alright.

K. Martinez said...

Wow, look at those silvery portals. Loved the fountains. So sad that both Tomorrowlands in Disneyland and Magic Kingdom lost their water elements at the entrance early on.

Is that a Monorail I spot just under the PeopleMover vehicle?

The underwater walls at the Submarine loading dock remind me that there are those cool seashells and starfish that you see when departing on your journey.

Melissa, It wasn't until Disneyland's 50th Anniversary that I finally bought myself classic mouse ears with my name embroidered on them. I bought my coonskin cap long before I bought those mouse ears.

Beautiful set today. Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Oh poop I'm not supposed to wear my mouse easy as an adult! Well I never was trendy when it came to fashion. I guess I'll have switch back to my red white and blue bicentennial sun visor.

Sad about the subs. This photo looks like the one's on MiceAge today. :-(

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, I wonder how much white noise those little fountains produced? A busy day at Disneyland has an awful lot of racket. But I still like them better as fountains than as planters.

Melissa, I never remember having a pair of mouse ears, and then… I found a photo of myself at about age 3 , standing with my older brother; we're both wearing them! I'm debating whether I should share that picture on GDB.

Melissa part two, you have obviously been inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America!

K. Martinez, I can't tell WHAT that is. It sort of (kind of) looks like a Monorail, but something's not quite right. What else could it be? Zooming in doesn't help; maybe if I look at the original hi-res scan it will become apparent.

Alonzo, I didn't say you weren't supposed to wear them! It's just no something you see often; then again, you see all kinds of people wearing all kinds of crazy hats at the park. It's all good! (I'll have to see the pictures on MiceAge).

Anonymous said...

Major, you blew your cover! Do you realize how easy it would have been for you to post the "ear picture" and keep the ID's anonymous??

I vote "YES" for letting us see...your brother!

Bill in Denver

Anonymous said...

The fountain water splashing down on the volcanic rocks actually created a quite successful sonic "screen" as one entered Tomorrowland. Not a complete racket, but certainly enough to create the feeling of entering a new area... Which I think was always one goal of all the pre-Baxter Tomorrowlands.

Chuck said...

Were there adult-sized hats available that far back?

My wife and I picked up "classic" ears on our honeymoon at WDW in '93, but they were just a tad small for our heads. We wore them anyway, but it was a struggle to keep mine on at times (and I wasn't about to wear hairpins).

A few years later (1997, maybe?), I remember finding the adult sizes, but I'm not convinced that we just weren't looking in the right place back in '93.

Anybody out there know for sure?

Anonymous said...

Fountains often have unexpected consequences. Tall ones like the old entry units are subject to even a mild wind blowing water around. It's surprising how big a mess a fountain can make if you aren't thinking about that when designing the surroundings.

I saw one this weekend which was quite tall, sneaked into a narrow planter in front of a window. The day to day breeze splashes water all over the window, leaving hard water stains on the glass, and pushes spray out into the sidewalk, where there is a big yellow plastic cone like the grocery store "Wet Cleanup" so passers-by don't slip. Just like the designer intended it, I'm sure.

They are also costly to maintain and operate, prone to mechanical failure and are vandalism magnets.

I often see them planned into new buildings without consideration of these factors and then removed later after the Owner tires of damages to surrounding finishes, slip hazards lawsuits, etc.

But properly done, they can be wonderful, like the old Skull Rock.