Friday, July 11, 2014

Tomorrowland, August 1965

I feel a touch of sadness today as I post the last two slides from a large lot of stereo views that I have been sharing forever. There were some real beauties in the bunch, and today's examples are no exception.

This great shot of the Astro Jets is from August 28, 1965. Not only does the ride look neat, but I love looking at the vintage people. Even familiar details like the checkerboard sun shades and the (blurry) Skyway sculptures make me smile.

One day earlier, our photographer took this picture (from the Skyway?) looking down upon a large fleet of unused Mark VI Autopia vehicles. The Mark VIs were the first to run with the guide rail, for better or worse (depending on who you ask). They also showed a real change in design (the previous versions all looked essentially the same), with the distinctive "eyebrow" (but before the actual headlights seen on the Mark VIIs).


K. Martinez said...

So unusual seeing the new Skyway buckets in the same photo as the old Astro-jets. That possibility would only last for a year or so. All good things come to an end. Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I love the angle of the second shot. It's looks like a great big beautiful circle of vintage Autopia cars. Any of which today would fetch about $35,000 on ebay. Thanks for posting, happy friday GDBr's.

Chuck said...

Sad to see this lot end. The photographer knew what he or she was doing, and the color has been just fantastic.

Melissa said...

I wonder of the blue-and white stripey lady in the first picture is the wife of the blue-and-white stripey man in the second picture. They've gotten separated in Tomorrowland. Will they ever find each other before the sun sets on Todayland? Will the double-decker bus of their love become a Monorail of loneliness?

Nancy said...

These Astro Jets so remind me of the local carnival that comes through town every summer, seem very un-Disneyland like to me for some reason.

Love the Autopia cars (ending the series with A here, Astro and Autopia, like you have come back around to the start), looking so very modern in 1965, especially in comparison to the vintage look of the Jets which were just steps away.

Thanks also for these great pics. :-) Have a good day, everyone!!

Anonymous said...

The old Astro Jets did look a lot like the garden variety rides at the County Fair. An example of the limited budget of the old Tomorrowland.

Even the old Dumbo was similar. Their updated replacements certainly have splashed out in florid style, even though they still only go around and around and up and down.

Autopia has been on decline since that renovation I guess, every time they update it, riding is less enjoyable because your "Auto"nomy is restricted further in the name of safety.

The next round will probably do away with the throttle and steering so all you will be able to do will be sit and watch, like a Google self-driving car.


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, good point… I didn't even notice!

Alonzo, I don't know about you, but I would love to have one of those old Autopia cars! That would be awesome.

Chuck, I was sad to scan the last few, but at least there are more good ones to come from other lots.

Melissa, not only did they not find each other, but they vanished forever. These photos are the last record of their existence!

Nancy, it was an "off the shelf" ride, one just like it can be seen in one of my photos of the Steel Pier at Atlantic City. It's funny about the current Autopia cars… we have three varieties, none of them as cute or exciting as the ones from 1967. Have a great weekend!

JG, you have pointed out my own hypocrisy… if Disneyland put in a ride like the Astro Jets today, I would whine like crazy. But the fact that the old one dates back to the 1950's makes it wonderful. I still enjoy a ride on the Autopia, but admit that it would not kill me if they removed it, even though it is one of the few rides still around that was there on opening day.