Thursday, August 28, 2014

Murky Exit & Main Street, 1956

Here are two dark photos from November 1958, taken at the wrong angle (or wrong time of day). Avoid letting the sun backlight your scene, homies! 

The exit to Disneyland. Such a sad sight! What the hell, the sun is still up, why are we leaving so early?? Well, I have the feeling that our photographer was just arriving, and happened to take this picture as he/she walked toward the entrance. The multicolored pennants are a nice touch, as are the attraction posters (as always). If you look just to the left of the guy sitting on the stool, you can see the black light that could see the mysterious glowing hand-stamp in case you were going to return that day. When I was a kid I would always get my hand stamped even if I wasn't coming back later. 

What if you were really careful and didn't wash your hand? Would the glowing ink last until the following day?

Whew, this one is hard to see. But the Disneyland Band is around the flagpole, presumably for the flag-lowering ceremony. Lots of folks are looking on, and one fellow even seems to be saluting (though he may just be shading his eyes). What a nice tradition, one that makes Main Street feel more authentically "small towny".


Nanook said...


Who didn't get his/her hand stamped when leaving, even if knowing full-well they were not to return that day-? And those black light dyes were tough cookies. No doubt some remnants remained the following day - and certainly later the same day - even following hand washings. Although you'd never know it from the picture. That CM looks sooooo lonely: Not only has he nothing to do - there isn't a guest in site. Damn-! Why am I not there-??!!

Thanks to the good folks at Shannon Luminous Materials (still going strong since 1939), guests wrists could glow and colorful, multicolor waterfalls inside Rainbow Caverns appeared to do likewise, in one of the most unique and memorable attractions in memory.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

When I visit Disneyland Resort nowadays, I always purchase the multi-day park hopper. For the life of me I can't remember if you still have to get your hand stamped for re-entry on same day even with the park hopper. It's just so instinctual for me to get the hand stamped regardless. I think you still do need it for re-entry or same day park hopping though. Can anyone confirm?

Chuck said...

I can't confirm the current Disneyland hand stamp policy, but I do remember that at Cedar Point in 1973, they stamped everyone's hand as they ENTERED the park. I would have been four, and I remember bursting into tears at the way that icky ink felt on the back of my hand.

JG said...

The UV ink had a distinctive smell too. I could avoid washing the stamp part if I was careful enough, then I could preserve it until going to school on Monday so I could prove I had been to Disneyland.

Disneyland has always had excellent flag etiquette. Ceremonies are crisp and appropriate, historic flags are accurate to the era portrayed, etc. Brings moisture to my old eyes. Few people notice the refinements any more, too many Superbowl spectacles.


Nanook said...

The formulation for the handstamp 'chemicals' has clearly changed over the years. In the early days, it was obviously alcohol-based, and didn't appear to have any sort of "body" to it. The current chemicals have a totally-different odor and its image seems to dispaly a bit of three-dimensionality.

Either way, i'm just disappointed invisible blacklight dyes have not become a part of everyday skin accoutrements.

Irene said...

Yes you do need a hand stamp even if you are Park hopping or leaving to eat in say Dtn. Disney and then coming back to one or the other Park. However if you are an Annual Passholder and it is not busy, you do not need to get a hand stamp. On busy days I always ask if I need one. They use a kind of yellow ink now and no light is needed to see it.

K. Martinez said...

@Irene - Thanks for the confirmation. That's what I thought. I just couldn't remember for sure. The yellow ink does ring a bell with me.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that was definitely one of my favorite (though short-lived) souvenirs of my trips to the park. And yes, that cast member is a lonely soul. He decided to become a Maytag repair man, which was a bum move. "Shannon Luminous Materials", wow. There's a bit of trivia for everyone!

K. Martinez, I would assume that hand stamps are no longer necessary, but I'm sure we'll find out from other readers.

Chuck, man, that must have been some icky ink! The mere fact that it glowed under a black light made everything OK for me.

JG, I don't remember the smell (although I do remember the smell of some luminous paint that I had as a kid - sort of pleasant in a weird way). Since I grew up only miles from the park (for a while, anyway), nobody was that impressed that we had just gone!

Nanook, I would assume that the ink would be made more permanent and faster-drying as the formulas improved. In the old days they used walrus fat and saliva. By the way, I have seen tattoos that are only visible under UV light. For those who frequent raves, I guess.

Irene, thanks for the info! Yellow ink, bah. Don't they know how memorable that UV ink was for kids? And the cost has to be tiny.

K. Martinez, if I saw that it was just plain yellow ink, I would probably just not get the stamp.

JG said...

Love the old turnstiles compared to the ones they have now with the "pixie zing" noise when your ticket is scanned.

That annoying sound must ring in the nightmares of the gatekeepers now.