Friday, June 27, 2014

Pirates & Jungle Cruise, August 1970

Happy friday, everybody! I thought I'd start out with a great view of the entrance to "Pirates of the Caribbean", long before the elaborate bridges and staircases were added to help reroute the queue and allow access to the Disney Gallery (which was there from 1987 to 2007). 

I love seeing this area the way it used to look!

While this photo is a bit dark, it makes one feel as if the launches are about to enter mysterious, uncharted rain forests full of danger and beauty.


Nanook said...


There's nothing like seeing the original "midway" in front of the Pirates building. Crowds... what crowds-?

And as for the Jungle Cruise, that image conjers up one of the original spiels for the attraction, which stated, in part: "Now's the time to take that thrilling Jungle River Boat Ride - one of Walt Disney's greatest achievements. There's a thrill at each turn of the river..."

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I much prefer this view of POTC. They have really "junked up" Disneyland with so much clutter over the years......the bridge in front of Pirates, the tree house entrance in the middle of the Adventureland walkway, the Fantasmic stage in front of Tom Sawyer Island, the Astro Orbitor at the entrance to Tomorrowland, the giant wet marble in front of Space Mountain, and that elevated seating area that replaced the walkway that used to exist between Tomorrowland Terrace and the former PeopleMover station/Rocket Jet platform. Sometimes simpler really is better.

Chuck said...

Ahhh...THIS is the Pirates entrance that haunts my dreams.

As we usually visited in the uncrowded off-season (which in comparison to today's crowds would look like the "abandoned off-season"), we were able to literally walk right up to the doors of what looked like just another store and walk right in. In retrospect, it was like being able to step into one of John Hench's concept paintings, minus the ship rigging in the background and the flying nuns.

This picture amply demonstrates why they eventually had to add that bridge and sunken wait area - even in 1970, large crowds were jutting far into the open spaces of the Esplanade, causing pedestrian flow control issues between the New Orleans Square/Indian Village area and the rest of the park. While I decry most of the clutter and self-inflicted bottlenecks that TokyoMagic! accurately describes above, this is one that really makes sense to me from an operational standpoint. I dearly miss the old walk-up entrance, but I appreciate the effort to help facilitate crowd movement here while still trying to maintain the New Orleans atmosphere.

It's not evident in this photo, but does anybody know if the street-level line switchback area to the left of the entrance, sandwiched between the POTC entry facade and the Treehouse, an original 1966-7 feature or added later?

Chuck said...

I forgot a past tense form of "to be" in the last line of my comment above, but hopefully everyone understood what I meant.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Fairly certain the "overflow" switchback area was added long after the opening.

Anonymous said...

@Chuck, I may be respectfully disagreeing with Nanook, depending on what "long after" means.

I remember being shunted into this area on a visit with my parents and my uncle. Since he only visited with us once, I am fairly certain this was before 1973. So, if 6-7 years after opening is "long", but still over 40 years ago, then we're both right.

Anyway, that overflow dates to way, way earlier than the present three-dimensional solution.

Also, FWIW, I agree with you about the bridge solution, it really helps, is compatible in design and scale, and offers some shade and nice vistas while waiting.

I think Knotts should have done something like this at the train crossing in front of the mine train.


Nanook said...

@ Dear All-

I probably shouldn't have used the word "long". Undoubtedly, by 1973, the overflow queues were in place.

Orange Co Native said...

I remember in July 1969 waiting in line for POC and the line was rather long. The overflow switch back area between Jungle Cruise and the POC building existed.

Now I remember going to Disneyland in 1981 and there was no bridge. Then I did not go to DL again until 1988. I remember saying to the woman I was dating at the time that the bridge was not there when I was last here. I wondered at the time the date when they installed the bridge.

In terms of the Swiss Family tree house, they should put it back as Swiss Family and get rid of the Tarzan movie theme. Tarzan movie??? That was a minor film.

I've said before and I'll say it again, they need to de-pirate TS Island. Add some interesting, creepy things, but take away the pirate theme. I would like to see them rebuild and reopen Fort Wilderness to the public again. The abomination that is there now is a disaster. Home Depot railroad ties as fort towers...whew.

Nanook said...

Me thinks the "footbridge" outside of Pirates opened along with the Disney Gallery, in June, 1987.

Melissa said...

Love the girl in plaid and the sole red Mickey balloon both rising above the crowd. The symmetry between the girl, balloon, and streetlight to the right gives a lovely balance to the picture and draws your eyes above the throng.