Friday, October 24, 2014

Flying Saucers, August 1966

I don't have a lot of good shots of the Flying Saucers left in my collection (that is to say, ones that I haven't already posted). So I am always happy to find one, especially when it is as fun as this one. A mom and her daughter look like they are having a great time as they skitter across the giant air-hockey table. Or maybe they are sort of stuck there against the edge - I've read that that could happen to people.  With the impending doom (in January) of "Luigi's Flying Tires" over at DCA, it seems pretty clear that this unusual ride system was just not practical for a busy theme park.

Meanwhile over in Fantasyland… a happy lovin' couple (high school sweethearts I'll bet) are enjoying each other's company as much as they are enjoying the park. Notice the little bandstand to our left, which doesn't seem to have been there for very long.


Nanook said...


That is a very swell picture of Mom, daughter and Flying Saucer. And extra points for Mom's cool 'shades'-!

The Lovin' Couple looks a bit old to be in high school, but being as it's 1963 - all bets are off-!

And the little bandstand has made an appearance, or two, on the GDB pages before - although I couldn'a sworn it was located elsewhere. But you can't go by me - I used to place the 'cart before the horse'. Oh the times I used to have, yuk, yuk-!!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I hadn't heard! So the crappy Flying Tires attraction is going bye-bye? Gee, what a waste of time, space and money that was. When will that company ever learn? Has there been any announcement about what will replace it? I hope it's replaced by something as wonderful as what replaced the Maliboomer!

That's interesting how there appears to be a line on the ground (in the slurry?) in front of the couple in that second pic. I wonder if that line was supposed to represent the border between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland? I know the couple is pretty close to the Matterhorn in that pic, but wasn't the Matterhorn designated as a Tomorrowland attraction back in 1963?

TokyoMagic! said...

Or is it 1966? Sorry Major, I was looking at the "file name" for that last photo and saw 1963.

Chuck said...

TokyoMagic! - I'm certain you're correct that they hadn't moved the mountain yet. I had (perhaps still have...somewhere) a 1971 Disneyland Guide that shows the Matterhorn still in Tomorrowland.

As an interesting aside (perhaps interesting only to me), I noticed as a kid that guides from later in the 70's showed the border of Fantasyland farther to the east, yet the same size area was still shaded blue for Tomorrowland as in the earlier guide. Check out this Spring 1976 guide at Vintage Disneyland Tickets to see what I mean:

Chuck said...

Here's the equivalent map from the Fall-Winter 1971-72 Disneyland Guide:

Nancy said...

i love the lighting on these two. The floor of the Flying Saucers looks a bit pastel in places where it reflects the sky. Most pictures I have ever seen of this ride have been from the "other angle" where all you see is a big expanse of floor and too bright sunshine. That little girl's expression is so cute (reminds me of one I took of Rachel once).

Love the look of Fantasyland here as well, again beautiful lighting with the sun, lots of green trees and the it shines on them with the long shadows. Such a pretty picture. :-)

Thanks for a great set today!

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Thanks for the links. Who knew Imagineering was trafficking in Gerrymandering back then-?

K. Martinez said...

Great Flying Saucer pic. I'll give Disney credit for giving "Luigi's Flying Tires" a try. I love the concept and while riding it was so-so, visually I loved the attraction and how it fit into Cars Land. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I didn't mean that the couple was *still* in high school! Just that they had probably been together since then. Yes, the little bandstand has appeared a few times before, though I can't recall if it was in this exact spot or not.

TokyoMagic!, yes, they finally had to admit that it is a turkey. I have heard no announcement about what will replace it. I should have mentioned that the two photos were not from the same lot - I have no idea if the line between the two different kinds of slurry marks the border between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

Chuck, I wonder why they kept the blue shading beyond the border the word "Fantasyland" on the 1976 guide? All of my guidebooks are in a box at my parent's house, so I can't dig through them and see how they've changed. Thanks for the links to Vintage Disneyland Tickets (such a bummer that Tim no longer blogs).

Nancy, that little girl is pretty cute! This is another case of "How come nobody in the family wanted to keep these photos?". There are a few more from this set, and everyone seems so happy - yet these wound up on ebay.

Nanook, Fantasyland just wanted those extra votes, not to mention the additional tax revenue.

K. Martinez, I was excited when I heard that they were going to try to do a flying saucer-type ride again, but when I started seeing early footage, I wondered why they made the vehicles so enormous. They must be at least twice the size of the old saucers, which were apparently hard enough to control. Add all that weight and mass and the problem would probably be compounded. It was probably a liability thing, but it's a bummer that they couldn't make small, sprightly, zippy little vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Note too how popular those old saucers were with the line(s) in the background. I was always one of those kids waiting oh so impatiently for their turn. Yep...a bummer for sure that they will now have disappeared...again.

Melissa said...

Looks like all the saucers are jammed in that picture! Oh, well, Mom and Adorable Kid are having a good time, anyway.

Chuck said...

Major - poking around on the Interwebs, it looks like they kept it that way for all of the subsequent editions that were printed in the same size from 1972 to the end of 1976. My guess is that someone decided that, because the border move was such a minor change and all of the critical visitor information was on the foreground black layer of ink, it wasn't worth the cost of changing the background color plates.

It would have been cool if they'd marked that blue area across the Fantasyland border with something like "(Territory claimed by Tomorrowland)."

Here's some additional links to the guidebook over the years...

Fall-Winter 1972-73 (the earliest I could find with the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland DMZ):

Fall-Winter 1976-77 (the last one done in that size and style):

I wish I had time to track down some of the earlier ones for comparison, but I'm already late to fetch the brood from school as it is.

And you are so right - updates to Tim's VDT blog are sorely missed.

K. Martinez said...

I always thought of the Matterhorn area as the thematic crossover or meshing of both Fantasyland and Tomorrowland due to the Autopia, Monorail and Matterhorn and Skyway overlapping and crossing the border. I never thought there was a hard border between the two lands back then. Nowadays it seems they have it more defined with the European setting of a Bavarian village and Swiss peak. Still the Monorail passes through Fantasyland.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

Now - if we could only resurrect the Skyway so it too could pass through both Tomorrowland & Fantasyland...

K. Martinez said...

@Nanook -

If only. I never failed to ride that attraction when visiting the Park (unless it was closed). The Skyway removal was a turning point for me with Disneyland. The aerial attraction really affected the look and feel of a large area of the Park and it was something that always seemed to be there. I never felt quite the same about Disneyland after its removal.

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, it's funny, because I have seen photos in which the line for the Saucers looks pretty reasonable. But I know that it was also a low-capacity ride, so looks can be deceiving.

Melissa, I choose to believe that the photo caught those other saucers in mid-crash!

Chuck, I suppose you are right, and who would even notice back then, anyway? Only crazy fans! I always kind of wondered why the Matterhorn was EVER considered part of Tomorrowland; maybe it was just easier to lump it in with the other 1959 Tomorrowland additions. Thanks for the additional links, you are working too hard! ;-) I have tried to contact Tim fairly recently with no luck, so I guess he has gone "off the grid" as far as his previous blogger life is concerned.

K. Martinez, I agree that the border between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland did not seem like a hard line. The Motor Boat Cruise sort of bleeds into Tomorrowland, and the Skyway and Viewliner had stations in both lands. You're right about the Monorail, I'd forgotten that it goes right into Fantasyland.

Nanook, I want the Skyway back SO MUCH.

K. Martinez, I'm the same way, I always wanted to ride the Skyway, without fail. Kissed one of my girlfriends for the first time on one of those journeys! It was a real jolt when they removed it, and the explanation in "The Nickel Tour" is so flippant and unsatisfactory, I always used to wonder what the real story was. By now I think I "get it".

JG said...

Like many fanatic fan people, I wondered about why the Matterhorn was first placed with Tomorrowland when thematically it is more suited to the Northern European Fantasyland. I remember wondering about it as a kid.

My two cents of pure speculation... The Matterhorn opened in 1959 in the big upgrade of many Tomorrowland attractions, submarine, monorail etc. and so it was lumped in with that group in the guidebooks and only later it seemed incongruous to have it there, so it was moved.

A mountain on wheels...