Tuesday, March 03, 2015

1956 Casey Jr. & Tuna Boat

Today's images were shot in the gloomy gloom of the murkety murk! As you all know, when the sun goes down, spooky stuff starts to happen. Bevare the Wurdalak (obscure horror movie alert)!

I actually like this particular photo because of the otherworldly quality of the light. It almost feels as if  we are underwater, which I admit would be a surprising situation. Here comes Casey Jr. (Casey Jones Jr., to you), with his headlamp lit so that he doesn't run over any circus animals. There's nothing sadder than a squashed tiger.

Even the Pirate Ship has its lights on (some of them, anyway… the big stern lantern appears to be unlit). One could almost imagine how it would have looked if it had been decorated as a Halloween ghost ship. It's interesting to note that the sponsor's name, "Chicken of the Sea", has not been added to either side of the mermaid on the bow, or in the yellow oval up on the poop deck.


Chuck said...

Wow, these are murky and foreboding. It's like Nosferatu in color - a very tiny bit of color.

I usually like to imagine how the Pirate Ship would've looked decorated for Arbor Day, but your suggestion is good, too.

K. Martinez said...

Wow! Kind of unkempt looking. Grease spots and dirt on the pavement. And on Walt's watch too. I'm shocked, I tell you! Just shocked!

It's really weird seeing the Casey Jr. track so low to the ground here. I always got the impression it was on slightly higher elevation. So there must be a gradual climb in the track when it reaches the Canal Boat loading side as it travels above the "Storybook Land" floral display.

Very interesting images today. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, don't forget that time that Nosferatu visited the tuna boat. Unfortunately he brought his swarms of rats with him. But it was all in good fun - he was wearing a Keppy Kap and carrying a balloon.

K. Martinez, it *does* look kind of run down, and this is from when the park was only about six months old. And Casey Jr. certainly makes a climb, I think it eventually goes along the top of that ridge to our right. What is that, 15 feet or 20 feet higher?

K. Martinez said...

I was being somewhat sarcastic. It doesn't look too bad. It's just that sometimes vintage photos contradict the Disney doctrine of being spotless and clean. I remember things like seeing overgrown weeds around the base of the Matterhorn and a broken Character Shop sign in the past before Eisner came onboard. Disney parks have always been the best maintained theme parks, but they have never been perfect, even in the Walt era.

Anonymous said...

The Casey pic is very disorienting. It looks like there have been some major changes to the track grade over the years. The picnic grotto behind the pirate ship was well below the tracks.

The photo location is almost in the middle of what would become the grotto a few years later, and the track was definitely above head height in that location.

I am pretty sure the grotto was dug down lower than the main concourse out in front of the pirate ship, this could have been disguised by ramping the walkways, easy to do subtly since they were almost tunnels (enclosed on both sides by fake rock). But then steps would have been needed on at least one of the pier entrance/exits to the ship, which I don't recall seeing.

Conversely, the train track could also have been elevated a little bit. It's clear that major work was waiting to be done in Storybook land since the tiered gardens, which now have stone masonry retaining walls, are supported by timber lagging and piers in the photo.

Maybe the entire railway was re-set on an embankment, looking at Google Earth now, the railway is definitely higher than the concourse beyond. A ramp leads up to the Casey load area, and embanked planters transition down to the concourse around Dumbo.

Fun to see these old favorites in their original state.

Thanks Major!