Friday, September 05, 2014

Red Wagon and Pavillion, November 1958

Today's photos were taken on a gray November day, but the images are so nice and vintage-y that I felt they were worthy of a Friday post.

Many of you know about the Red Wagon Inn restaurant, though not all of you know that there really was a red wagon. And here it is! For many years it could be found over on the east side of the Plaza; I'm not sure if it was ever hooked up to a team of horses, but there is something tickling my brain telling that I've seen a photo of that. Maybe not. Anyway, I think this is a pretty cool picture, in spite of the grayness.

Now the nice lady from picture #1 is on the other side of the Plaza, in front of the Plaza Pavillion. Look at all of that gingerbread detail! It's like an old-fashioned lace valentine. Even in November the flower beds were full of bright blossoms.


Nanook said...


Very nice. You can even see the street sign in the first picture: E. Center St. And the Upjohn Co. sign across Main Street.

Very nice, indeed. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Sorry it's pavilion, never with double L, unless it's the French pavillon. You're not secretly French are you? Or never double L like in million, you're not secretly a millionaire are you?

The red wagon is hooked up to horses on the poster, but this wagon is probably just a prop.

The first slide is such a great shot, it really looks like a small town in the Mid-West, and not at all like a theme park!

Chuck said...

I have to disagree, Anonymous. At the time this photo was taken, the spelling of the Disneyland restaurant was indeed "Pavillion." According to Chris Strodder's "Disneyland Encyclopedia," the second "l" was dropped around 1965.

Here's a photo of the original sign, taken in May, 1958:

And another one taken in the late 1950's showing the sign with the building in the background:

I second your assessment of that first photo - it's a beaut and doesn't look like it belongs in a theme park at all. With the clothing, that could be any Midwestern town's 1950's "Pioneer Days" celebration.

Steve DeGaetano said...

That wagon is a "prop" the same way the fire wagon, surreys and horse drawn streetcars are "props." It's fully functional.

The dress may be a little too modern, but convert that first photo to sepia tone, and you'd have a great reproduction of a pic taken at the turn of the century! Thanks Major!

K. Martinez said...

Good research, Chuck. It reminds me of other spelling variants in Disneyland. There's Mine Train "THROUGH" Nature's Wonderland vs. Adventure "THRU" Inner Space. Then there's King Arthur Carrousel (double-R) vs. King Triton's Carousel(single-R). The one I find most interesting is the change of "It's A Small World" to all lowercase "it's a small world". Researching the variant names at Disneyland is kind of fun.

So yes, "Pavillion" with a double L is appropriate for this article.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yep, these aren't half bad!

Anon, I am not French or a millionaire, and I certainly make my share of mistakes, but in this case I spelled "pavillion" the way that it was spelled on the restaurant's sign. See a post in which I remark on it here.

Chuck, I think it's interesting that the spelling was changed back to the more standard version in 1965… I wonder if they were tired of getting asked about it? There must have been a logical reason why it was spelled with the double L in the first place.

Steve DeGaetano, I can almost imagine that second picture appearing in an old photo album. You're right, the clothing throws it off a bit, but it's so close!

K. Martinez, I had forgotten about "carrousel". Wasn't "It's a Small World" always lower-case at the park? It is on the original poster, but maybe it was capitalized elsewhere.

K. Martinez said...

@major - Apparently it was, as is evident in yesterday's post. In the photo image the marquee reads "it's a small world", yet in your text you typed "It's a Small World", which is the way it's always been written in the guide books and publications in those earlier days. Go figure why they did it differently in the park compared to the guide books and various publications in those days. I learn something new everyday.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, even as I typed "It's a Small World" in my last comment, I wondered if somebody would point out the fact that I used capital letters! I have to admit that the "no caps" thing kind of makes me wince, but I get why it was done.