Thursday, July 31, 2014
It's time for another serving of leftuggies. Much like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.
Over near the Red Wagon Inn, humorous "photo op" signs could be found - perhaps only for a matter of months in 1955 or '56; stick your head through the hole, let mom or dad take a picture, and voila! Instant souvenir. I wonder if they were moved around during the day depending on where the sun was?
This oddly-colored (and damaged) slide shows a view from the Skyway as you headed toward the Matterhorn, then through the nostrils, and out into Fantasyland on the other side.
Over on Tom Sawyer Island, we see this guy, standing near the log wall of Fort Wilderness. He looks like a cat waiting to be let back inside. Meow.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I really need to get back to scanning some more vintage Knott's slides. But I still have a few scans ready to go!
Like this one, showing a few hungry guests heading into the Gold Rush Grill. I guess the chicken restaurant can't feed everybody. The recipe for the Gold Rush Grill's "Pioneer beef stew" was brought all the way from Donner Pass. It has tender chunks of real pioneer in every bite!
Well, it wouldn't be a Knott's Berry Farm post without a photo of the sunken area where you could pan for gold. I don't ever remember noticing the dead tree adorned with what appears to be old coffee cans, coffee pots, little casks, and who knows what. It's like the most miserable Christmas tree ever!
I zoomed in on the kid at the sluice because I am curious about his interesting headgear. Is it an olde-timey football helmet, like the kind Harold Lloyd wore?
Or is it a leather pilot's helmet, in the style of Captain Midnight??
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Here are a few from True-life Adventureland! It was March 13, 1958. Even though I have posted some slides from this lot before, I have somehow NOT included some fun info gleaned from Jason's Disneyland Almanac. March 13 was a Thursday, and park hours were 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM. The high temperature was 68 degrees. And get this: attendance was 3400 people!! WOW.
I love this little monkey temple (though the scruffy monkeys have vacated the premises). Inside the temple is something that resembles a golden Buddha. Looters would have stolen him, but he is protected by hungry crocodiles, poisonous cobras, and deadly spiders.
These natives have returned from the hunt, and have bagged themselves a lion (?). Lion tacos are their favorite! The huts are very tiny, but I suppose they only have to give the impression of a village for the few seconds that guests see them.
Let's zoom in a bit… on one of the very earliest Disneyland TV episodes, they showed a man subjected to the uncomfortable process of having his entire body cast. Apparently they did a cast of his head too, because they all happen to look just like him.
Ricky the rhinoceros loves to pop out and greet each passing boat before ducking back into the brush. Rhinos are silly that way!
Monday, July 28, 2014
Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum! And if it is not too presumptuous of me, Arrrr! The old Chicken of the Sea pirate ship was a beautiful and functional piece of make-believe in the pre-1983 Fantasyland. Here are three swell pictures of it from 1956.
In those early days, the words "Chicken of the Sea" had not yet been added to that red band on the bow. Not that it needed it, but something tells me that the powerful tuna consortium insisted that it be added - probably because of the zillions of photos being taken. Gotta make the most of that free advertising (even though they were paying Disneyland a sponsorship fee, I know). This is a lovely look at the details and excellent craftsmanship found on the vessel.
Now for a look at the port side, which was not photographed nearly as much as the starboard side. They're not that different really, except for that staircase, which all good pirate ships had. I assume that all of the rigging was as authentic as possible. I wonder how often it needed to be replaced?
And as always, the thing looked so much better when the sails were unfurled and the skull and crossbones flew from the main mast. "Throw down yer arms and give us yer gold!". I just wanted to say that.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
If you're like me, there is nothing more exciting than a canoe race. The sound of engines revving, the smell of petrol and burning rubber, the thrill-a-minute danger… none of those things are to be found at a canoe race!
Actually I'm not sure if these two canoes are technically racing, or if they are just scrambling to avoid being plowed under by the Mark Twain that is bearing down on them. Still, it's a pretty picture, with the glassy river reflecting the light of the sunset sky, while New Orleans Square gleams on shore. If you look toward the left, the crowd is noticeably bigger - they all want to ride the still-fairly-new Pirates of the Caribbean.
Well, looks like those canoes have survived once again, as they skedaddle around the bend. Notice one of the canoes has a CM standing up in front, which is impressive (I suppose all that ballast makes it a bit easier). On shore, Chief Wavy (my unofficial name for him) just can't wait to salute the guests! He's a friendly feller.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Sin City. Glitter Gulch. Sparkle Town. San Gamblino. Twinkleburg. These are just some of the nicknames for Las Vegas. Except for three of them that I just made up.
Let's take a time machine back to 1963 and see what's cooking on Fremont Street! Hint: it involves neon and blinky lights.
Somehow I have accumulated quite a few night shots of the Fremont Street casinos. Check out Binion's Horseshoe Hotel and Casino! Our photographer carefully waited until all of the sequential lights were fully lit, which is mighty neighborly of him. Unlike other casinos that lured guests with singers and comics, the Horseshoe was all about games of chance. Its luck ran out when it closed in December of 2009.
Vegas Vic says, "Howdy Podner!" (every 15 minutes) as he urges you to lose your money at the Pioneer Club. The 40 foot-tall neon cowboy can still be seen today, restored and part of the "Fremont Experience") - though his arm no longer moves and he no longer speaks.
The Mint had one of the more spectacular displays of neon signage, and that's saying something. Look at that impressive wall of red, with the name of the casino marked out in twinkling lights! The Mint is infamous for being the place where Hunter S. Thompson stayed (for one night) in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". In the 1980's it was sold to Binion's and became part of the Horseshoe (seen in photo #1) which, as I mentioned earlier, closed in 2009.
Stay tuned for more night photos of Las Vegas!
Friday, July 25, 2014
Here are two super nice vintage photos of Tomorrowland's Autopia!
First we have this neat view from the Skyway as it approaches the Tomorrowland terminus. There's a whole lot of construction going on below; this slide was amongst a group that is dated "1957", but I wonder if this could actually be from '58, during the removal of the Viewliner, and the building of the Monorail/Subs/Matterhorn? Whatever the case, I like the flurry of activity below, along with a cement mixer and a "woody" wagon. In the lower right is the Yacht Bar in its original location (it would be picked up and moved when the Matterhorn went in). We also get a nice look at the Space Bar, with not much except an empty field in the distance.
There's no construction going on here; maybe this was from earlier in the year. In any case I love the bright Kodachrome colors, especially the tomato-red cars. Bob Gurr's styling on these (Mark I's? Mark II's? Mark III's? They all look the same) is just perfect.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
If you're gonna build a rocket, it might as well go to the moon. I don't want a rocket to Fresno (no knock against Fresno, I just don't want to take a rocket to get there). This first photo was taken by somebody who was about 25 feet tall, by the looks of it. That would make him tall enough for all of the attractions! Those red checkered sun screens make me feel like I just won a race. The lovable li'l Astro Jets is spinning and spinning, I always enjoy seeing it.
This photo was taken by a normal-sized hu-man. I always assumed that this ride had a rather small capacity, yet I never see it with a large crowd waiting to get in. Maybe it was more of a "people eater" than I thought?
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Here's three more fun snapshots from the early 1970's, starting with this oddball shot taken during a performance by the Disneyland Band. Maybe the photographer wanted to include the two servicemen who are fuzzily visible just above that blonde lady's head.
There's the Haunted Mansion! Even after all these years I can't get over how wonderful that building looks - beautiful, and convincing in every detail. If I was a ghost, I would want to live there.
It's always fun to find an unusual view, like this one, taken aboard one of the Horse Drawn Streetcars. I love the craftsmanship that went into these vehicles. Look at the oak benches! And even the wood roof is a thing of beauty. There's an advertisement for Carnation (Fresh Milk and Ice Cream)… the ad to the left is indistinct, but I believe it is for the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Man, it drives me koo-koo crazy when I find a big lot of Disneyland slides, only to find that a large percentage of them were taken in one go, either during a ride on the Mark Twain, or on the Jungle Cruise, or, in this case, aboard a Storybook Land Canal Boat. In a lot of 35 snapshots, 12 of them are from that ride. Don't get me wrong, I love the ride! I just don't need so many pictures of it.
Anyway, I am attempting to put them more or less in the order in which they would be viewed if you were along for the journey. I think that cute little building up on the hill with the flagstone path is part of Alice in Wonderland's English countryside.
Ditto this thatched, timbered mill (I've always loved this, for some reason… maybe it's the addition of movement).
And this little church couldn't be any more picturesque. Somehow the addition of the little graveyard with its mini-headstones makes the place feel like it's been there a long time.
I'm not sure what this is… at first I thought it might be one of the Three Little Pigs' homes, but now I think it is even more form Alice's village.
J. Thaddeus Toad sure built himself a nice house! Notice Moley's cottage right down by the water.
Here's a closer look at Toad Hall, with its 9 fireplaces.
Well homies, you're just going to have to wait for part two!
Monday, July 21, 2014
It would be hard to not take a picture of the view below, as our Skyway bucket emerged from the darkness of the interior of the Matterhorn into the brilliant future, with Monorails and "atomic" submarines. Very atomic!
From ground level, things look pretty mellow. One would never know that in the depths of the ocean there would be the ruins of Atlantis, a giant squid fighting a killer whale, mermaids, a sea serpent, and all manner of other wonders to behold!
"Major Pepperidge, why are you including this photo of Schweitzer Falls?". Well, that's a good question, Billy. You see, sometimes grownups make mistakes. And sometimes, those grownups are too lazy to fix those mistakes. Now go make me another Manhattan, Billy. You remember how, don't you? Use two maraschino cherries, attaboy!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Little did Walt Disney know that by 1987, almost 75% of all Americans would live in forced-perspective Bavarian castles. I would say that that's ironic - except that I don't know what "ironic" means.
The remaining 25% of Americans spent most of their free time clinging to the sides of mountains.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
I always love a good set of "then and now" pictures. Hopefully you do too!
Let's start with this picture from Floresville, Texas (undated, but certainly 1950s), which is about 15 miles to the southeast of San Antonio. We're near the corner of C Street and 3rd, looking toward a sleepy street of small businesses, and the wonderful building housing Ballard Drugs. Hey, I need drugs all the time!
Former Texas Governor John Connelly (who was sitting in Kennedy's limo on November 22 1963) was born in Floresville; scenes from Robert Redford's "The Great Waldo Pepper" (1975) and Steven Spielberg's directorial debut, "Sugarland Express" (1974) were filmed there.
Here's a Google Maps street view, looking remarkably unchanged! Population nowadays… around 6,400. Ballard Drugs is now Wilson County Hardware, but otherwise it's still good old Floresville.
GDB reader "Nanook" should enjoy this shot of the Seattle Center Monorail circa August 1970. The monorail was built for the "Century 21 Expo" in 1962… over eight million people rode it during those six months!
We're looking up Pine Street, northeast-ish. As you can see, the monorail passes right overhead...
…which puzzled me, since the monorail is still in Seattle, but not in this photo. Where did it go? Wikipedia tells us that "…the south end of the line was a large station over Pine Street at Westlake Avenue that formed a lid over the street and a portion of Westlake Park. In 1988, the station was moved north a block with the construction of the Westlake Center shipping mall on what had been the right-of-way of Westlake Avenue". So that explains it!
I hope you have enjoyed today's "then and now" photos.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Today I have two especially nice photos for you! Because it's Friday, don'tcha know.
I love this September 1975 shot from the Tahitian Terrace, with musicians and performers on stage in front of a very convincing (but fake) tree. The TT must have been one of the best places to work! Awesome music, pretty hula girls, handsome fire dancers twirling flaming torches, and Polynesian-themed food. It all lasted until 1993, which means it's been gone for over 20 years. Phooey.
And from September 1963 we get this picture of the Flying Saucer attraction. I never get tired of seeing it! Check out the kid to our right… he is using all of his efforts to maneuver his saucer, for evil purposes I'm sure. The "flying tires" ride at DCA looks like a larger and dumber version of the problematic saucers - it seems that the "giant air hockey table" idea just isn't practical for an amusement park, even in 2014.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Here's a pretty picture of the Mark Twain, full of passengers, in the summer of 1960. Every one of those guests is a riverboat gambler. Don't fall for their slick manners, fancy clothes, and stories about dining with the Queen of India. It's all a bunch of malarky. MALARKY! Sorry, I get emotional.
For just $5000 a night, you can stay in that tiny shack. There are no amenities, and you'll have to find your own way over there (may I suggest an inflatable dingy?), and the jungle noises will drive you mad. Not to mention the dengue fever, leaches, and swarms of ravenous insects.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The planet may be running low on natural resources, but one thing we will never run out of is photos of Tomorrowland's Submarine Lagoon. Today's examples are all from August of 1969.
Huh. This one's not so great. But at least you get a good look at some of the fencing, of which a tiny bit still remains after all these years.
This one is also less than wondrous, but it's a view from the Peoplemover, which counts for extra points. There's another full pplmvr train across the way, and Balinese shadow puppets ride in the Skyway buckets overhead.
I don't know why I am so enamored of that crystal clear pool that eventually cascades over the subs, except that (as I've remarked before) I REALLY want to swim there. Just lounge around, sip a cool drink, and watch the World of Tomorrow go by. I'll invite Hef and the girls!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Today's photos, taken just after the sun had set, feel very dreamy and romantic.
Like this beautiful look at the castle, with the warm glow of the lanterns adding so much. I'm intrigued by the single light up in that upper-story window. Who's up there? Through the archway into Fantasyland you can see that the Carrousel is already brightly lit; presumably the twinkling lights in the trees will be turned on momentarily. It's one of my favorite things at Disneyland!
It's even darker, and the Keelboat is nearly lost among the dark foliage on the distant shore. I believe that the Keelboats stopped operating after dark, so this might be the last journey around the river for the day. You can see that there are a LOT of people in the distance - I think it's safe to assume that they are there in a massive line to see the newly-opened Haunted Mansion. Just imagine seeing that ride when it was brand-new, before you really knew much about it!