Friday, January 23, 2015

Pack Mules and Skyway over Holiday Hill

I'm sure that the pioneers of olden days would be surprised that, in the future, children would want to ride mules for fun. Chances are good that many of these suburban kids had never seen a real mule before, much less had the opportunity to ride one. My family always opted for the Mine Train, but I sure wish that I had seen Nature's Wonderland from the gently swaying back of one of the patient, gentle animals.

Lifting kids all day will get you in awesome shape! Notice the little girl with the white cat's-eye shades… she loves her new pal, and he loves her.

I wish this one was a bit sharper, but that's what happens when you take pictures from a moving vehicle. Drunk. In this neat pre-Matterhorn image, our Skyway bucket is heading toward Fantasyland; the highest tower is perched atop Holiday Hill, which is criss-crossed with trails and landscaped with trees and shrubs (and weeds). It's hard to believe that the Matterhorn Bobsleds would open a mere seven months (roughly) after this photo was taken.


K. Martinez said...

For seeing Nature's Wonderland, I thought the Mine Train was better since the Pack Mules skipped the Living Desert and Rainbow Caverns. It was long ago, but I mostly remember trails and trees. It was still pretty cool to ride an animal-powered attraction at Disneyland.

When My uncle took us to the park back in the late 60's early 70's, my cousin and I would ride the Pack Mules and Mine Train back to back. Nature's Wonderland was all Frontierland was to us back then. Lucky for us, my uncle always seemed to have a generous supply of 'E' tickets on hand.

Nice Skyway image. Still wish I was born just a little earlier to experience pre-Matterhorn Disneyland. Nice pair today. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Always nice to see a picture of the largest audio-animaltronic attraction ever built at Disneyland.

I wonder if those glasses enhanced the three-dimensional effects in the ride. "Look out - that bush is coming right at us!"

TokyoMagic! said...

We rode the Burros at Knott's many times, but never rode the Pack Mules at DL. Like you Major, my family just always chose the Mine Train.

After seeing the pic showing two of the cast members helping little ones on/off the animals, I'm now wondering what the age or height limit was for this attraction. It seems kind of dangerous for a very small child to be riding alone.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, the train surely was the best way to see Nature's Wonderland, but I sure wish I had experienced the Pack Mules at least once. Rainbow Caverns was my absolute favorite part of the Mine Train ride, it was admittedly the main thing I wanted to see. It always went by too quickly! Do you think your uncle might have bought extra E tickets at the booths around the park, maybe while you guys were on a ride?

Chuck, now I am imagining an attraction with robot mules! With attacking bushes! YEAH!

TokyoMagic!, I don't think I even rode the Burros at Knott's, darnit. And my family went to Knott's WAY more than Disneyland. It seems like the height requirements for the mules allowed for kids that were pretty young. I assume they were held on by some sort of belt? You're right though, if one kid fell, he/she could have really gotten hurt.

K. Martinez said...

Major - My favorite parts of the Mine Train Ride was both the Living Desert with its cacti, bubbling paint pots, geysers and balancing rocks and the Rainbow Caverns in all its black light splendor.

My uncle probably did buy the 'E' tickets while we were on rides, but I think he brought some of them from previous visits. He was known as the fun and generous uncle of the family.

Anonymous said...

I have no memory of the Disneyland mules, but I'm pretty sure I rode the mules at Knotts. Mom would never ride a mule, and the folks really liked the mine train, so maybe that's why I never rode the Disney mules. I recall the Knotts mule scenery was much less elaborate, so I was sent off on my own.

Mom rarely rode the Knotts Mine Train either. She definitely did not like the explosions and collapse at the end, even though she knew it was fake.

Rainbow Caverns was the real topper of the Mine Train, which was a trip with a lot of experiences, from forests and waterfalls to deserts and coyotes. It was a great little ride, no explosions, no rock falls, just the beautiful glowing caves and the Les Baxterish woo-woo soundtrack.

I remember later being disappointed that Carlsbad Caverns did not have music like that.