Thursday, July 10, 2014

Frontierland, 1960

Here are a few nice ones from good ol' Frontierland, circa 1960. 

The long-gone Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland was a wonderful attraction that (apparently) outlived its popularity. Would guests eventually appreciate the unique charms of this massive, detailed experience? We'll never know! Those Imagineers came up with so many fantastic touches, like being able to go beneath a waterfall; the entire ride really was very much like a train version of the Jungle Cruise in many respects.

Not far away, the Pack Mules were packin' them in. Kids mostly, by the look of it. Cast members wore white hats so that you knew they were good guys. 


Melissa said...

The return of Babushka Thursday! And there was great rejoicing!

K. Martinez said...

It does make you wonder if the Mine Train could've been saved. The Calico Mine Train is still operating and from what I understand, had a pretty decent upgrade this year. Anyone seen the rode version yet?

Nowadays the casual visitor to Disneyland doesn't even have a clue the legendary Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland and Pack Mules even existed at one time.

Extra nice images today. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a restored MTTNW that circulates into and around the roller coaster version. Sort of the way the Monorail, Autopia, and once upon a time, the People Mover, used to do.

One ride for the teens and adults, another for the youngsters, and old guys like me who just want a slow meandering tour through the woods, sharing the same wilderness.

The Rivers of America manage this nicely, too. Each watercraft gives a different viewpoint of the same scenery and sets, for a different audience.

I'm sure that part of the BTRR creation was the connection between Fantasyland and Frontierland to improve guest circulation, but this still could have been possible, perhaps a ravine or a cave, etc.

So many of the newer Disney attractions, especially those in California Adventure, are just "set pieces" that don't interact much, if at all, with other attractions, little of the 3D interpenetration of the old rides.

(I'm thinking Grizzly Falls, in particular)


K. Martinez said...

@JG - You are so right. All the new attractions seem to be set pieces that don't interact, overlap or interconnect with other attractions. It seems to be a thing of the past.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I'm just glad that the angels weren't sore afraid.

K. Martinez, I love thinking about how they might have upgraded the Mine Train, but the average guests wanted roller coasters. It's just the reality of things, even though you can ride a roller coaster anywhere. But where else would you get a themed experience like Nature's Wonderland?

JG, it feels like the days of integrating many rides together (as in Tomorrowland) are long gone. Especially "after the fact"… it MIGHT be doable if they started from nothing. Still, the money involved would be exorbitant, as much as I would love to see it done. I'm sure you've seen the artwork when Indy was conceived, it would have combined the Disneyland RR, the Jungle Cruise, a roller coaster, a jeep transport ride, all in one huge space (at one point anyway). We only got the jeep transport ride.

K. Martinez, great minds think alike!

Melissa said...

I would love to see a restored MTTNW that circulates into and around the roller coaster version.

Sounds a bit like the original Thunder Mesa concept for WDW.