Thursday, April 24, 2014

Special Guest Photos!

Once again, I am happy to present some photos from Ken Martinez, who has contributed many fun photos from his personal collection in the past!  All of these are from a 1981 ("pre-Eisner"!) trip to Disneyland. 

He has also kindly written brief descriptions to accompany the photos, so I will let him do the talking. "Sub rehab - This was only one of two times I ever saw the submarine lagoon drained. The other time was in prep for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage." I never get tired of seeing the waterless lagoon!

"Space Mountain - I loved this view of the area with the open air Space Stage and Space Place restaurant integrated into the Space Mountain complex. Notice the blue shade strips providing shade over the seating area for the Space Stage? It was all so perfect IMO".

"Small World Plaza - Notice how empty it is? That's the old pre-Eisner off season for you". Yeesh, it really is empty. Wow.

"Rocket Jets - I like this one for the action and the Goodyear sign showing the shoe w/wings logo".
Love. This. Ride.

"Matterhorn Mountain - I like this one because it caught the bobsled coming around one of my favorite curves on the Fantasyland side. Notice the skyway is closed. If I remember correctly there were strong winds that day". Hmm, I never thought about the Skyway closing when it was windy, though it makes sense of course.

"Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - with a mine train coasting around the corner after release from 3rd and final lift. The ride was only 2 years old in this pic". I can almost hear the pressure-cooker chuffing sound!

THANKS to Ken Martinez for sharing these great photos from his personal collection with all of us here at GDB!


TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, you are right....the Space Mt. complex was perfect.....that is, until they ruined it by enclosing the Space Stage for the Magic Eye Theater.....not to mention the unspeakable acts they did to it for the '98 Tomorrowland.

I love that unspoiled view of It's A Small World....BEFORE they junked up the area with all of those ugly Light Magic towers. They really should just leave things alone, IMO. ;-)

Thank you for sharing more of your personal photos with us, Ken!

Nancy said...

Well said, TM. I am also of the philosophy that less is more in some cases. When the extra stuff ends up taking away from the magic, they have messed up :-(

My fave is the Space Mountain picture....the dreamy colors in the sunshine....just gorgeous!!

Thanks for sharing these, Ken!

Chuck said...

These are wonderful, Ken!

I still prefer the black & grey subs to the explorer yellow schemes. Looking at this, I just realized I'd never seen the subs below the waterline before, which made me realize that even with that huge open lagoon, the imagineers managed to create a ride environment where you feel as though you're on the only sub traveling on this adventure through liquid space.

I never saw Tomorrowland exactly like this - we moved out of CA before Space Mountain was finished and moved back in the early 90's - but I have to agree that the pre-"Magic Eye" layout is just gorgeous. And with the low crowds evident in the photo, I bet they had the speedramps running all day long.

The iasw plaza photo shows why my family liked to vacation in the off season - virtually no crowds. There was a down side, though - you had to plan around park closure dates and there was always at least one major attraction down for rehab.

I've got mixed feelings about Eisner. I loved the parks before he got involved, but he (along with Frank Wells, Jerry Katzenberg, and a host of unsung lesser executives) did manage to save the company from being broken up and actually become highly profitable. Unfortunately, part of increasing profits inevitably included increasing guest numbers and guest spending, and even without the later impact of Paul Pressler's influence, that still would have inexorably changed the guest experience many of us fondly remember.

Great stuff today. As always, thanks for sharing, Ken!

Tom said...

Any set that has a glimpse of the Peoplemover is aces in my book.

And Tomorrowland, with the McDonnell Douglas logo up high and the pre-steampunk color scheme. Awesome! Great pics!

Monica said...

I used to dream of one day getting married on that Space Stage! Way before the Disney weddings of today.

In the end, we got married in a church...but we honeymooned at Disneyland!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, every time I wander over to the IASW area I am surprised by those huge ugly light towers and how the feeling of "openness" is no longer there. It might be because of the 1,000 strollers, though.

Nancy, you are so right, it can be a balancing act. A big part of design is knowing what to leave out.

Chuck, I know you've seen photos of the subs below the waterline on this very blog! Or maybe you missed those days. There was a period in which I didn't get to go to the park as much as I wanted, and that's when big changes really become noticeable. As for Eisner, I just read Marty Sklar's book, and he is clearly a big fan of Eisner's. He says lots of good things about him. On the other hand, he has some negative words for Pressler.

Tom, I didn't even notice the Peoplemover in that one photo!!

Monica, I know that WDW does weddings, but do they do them at Disneyland? I'm sure that if you are willing to pay big bucks, the answer is YES!

Chuck said...

Major - you're right - I HAVE seen the subs below the waterline on GDB before. In fact, some of my favorite GDB entries involve a drained lagoon.

What I really meant was "I've never seen the subs below the waterline IN PERSON before." Hopefully that clarifies why I was so startled this morning with the realization of how cleverly the Submarine Voyage is laid out.

Marty Sklar's book is on my reading list. It'll be a nice change of pace to hear positive things about Eisner again after about 15 years of bad press.

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, You and I are on the same page when it comes to the Magic Eye Theater being installed at the Space Mountain complex. It really ruined the fresh open air and canyon garden feel to the area. I remember picking up my tray of food at the "Space Place" counter and carrying it up the ramp to the dining area overlooking the Space Stage. Orange brick everywhere. What memories! I also love the single clean pylon to the right of the entrance before they added a second pylon to the left for the Captain EO signage. The opening of Space Mountain in 1977 was about when Disneyland reached its peak for me.

Nancy, This is my favorite photo out of today's post as well. I'm glad you like these.

Chuck, I too preferred military grey subs. These were taken on a weekday in the off season (October). Of course it couldn't have been on a Monday or Tuesday.

In my mind there are two Disneylands. "Disneyland 1955-1984" and "Disneyland 1985-Present". The dividing line was about when the Eisner regime took over. Since I went yearly to Disneyland from 1963 to 2005, I noticed the defining change immediately. I do think Frank Wells and Jeffery Katzenberg were great for the company. Eisner, I'm still not so sure. It was in the 1990s that I found Disneyland to start the serious decline. I do think that things have greatly improved though for the resort as a whole though since the 50th.

Tom, I love a photo with the PeopleMover in it too. Especially if it's the original glorious color scheme. Glad you enjoyed these.

Monica, I know quite a few people who spent their honeymoon going to Disneyland.

Major, Thanks again for allowing me to share.

Thank you all.

Melissa said...

So much movement in those action shots!

hamjenkinsIII said...

Those space mountain ramps... Can't stop thinking of them.

Forgive me since my searches have came back fruitless on this somewhat unrelated matter:

The walkway ramps that are currently in Starcade were part of what? Peoplemover, Space Mountain or just Starcade double level stuff? Any idea when they showed up?

Thanks in advance. Big of fan of the blog and the KMart series!!

TokyoMagic! said...

@ham, the ramps currently in the Starcade are Speedramps that used to take people up to the second level of the Starcade where more video games could be found along with some air hockey tables. Along the back wall of the upper level, there were several windows that the PeopleMover cars would pass on their way into Space Mt., giving the guests aboard a quick look into the Starcade. There were also two open doorways in the huge glass walls (now covered over with black paper or tarp) that led out onto the upper level of the Space Mountain complex.

hamjenkinsIII said...

Thanks for the info TokyoMagic! Srsly super helpful.

So the Space Place restaurant was located where the pizza port seating area currently is or was it on the second level as well?

Thanks again in advance.

TokyoMagic! said...

@ham, the actual Space Place restaurant was located directly behind the current Space Mountain Fastpass machines. If you look closely, there are rear-lit panels with stars on them, those used to be the menu boards and the counter that you ordered from was just below that. The seating for the Space Place was where the current seating for Pizza Port is, but there was additional seating on the second level, but only on the eastern half of the second level.

TokyoMagic! said...

Weird. I tried answering hamjenkins' last question earlier and I got a message saying the comment had to be approved....which I have never seen on your blog before, Major. I will try it again here:

@hamjenkins, The Space Place restaurant was located behind the Space Mountain Fastpass machines. If you look up at that wall, there are rear-lit panels with stars on them. Those used to be the menu boards for the restaurant, and the counter where you ordered your food was right below that. The seating for the Space Place was located where the Pizza Port's outdoor seating is today, but their was additional seating located up the ramp on the second level (but only on the eastern half of the upper level). I hope that info helps.

hamjenkinsIII said...


This is amazing info. Thanks again and I'll be looking for the those menu boards.