Friday, March 13, 2015

Beautiful Tomorrowland, March 13 1958

Today I am featuring only a single slide… but it is a real beauty! It's a great look at Tomorrowland as seen from the Skyway, from March of 1958. 

Granted, we're only seeing a fairly small wedge of Tomorrowland, but who's complaining? One of the things that always amazes me is just how much of Anaheim is still undeveloped, even after Disneyland has been there for nearly three years. It's almost all farmland and trees. Almost directly below us is the Yacht Bar (to our right), and you can just see a sliver of the sign for the Viewliner in the lower left. The  graceful Moonliner dominates the view, and looks extra great against that lovely sky. 

Notice that construction for the new Administration Building is well underway in the background; this is also where the Grand Canyon Diorama was built. 

Let's zoom in a bit to the left; the Astro Jets are at rest… I wonder if they were even operating that day? Attendance was so low on this particular day that it is rare to see lines for anything. The little red-roofed ticket booth looks like might be unmanned. The old Space Bar appears to be behind those construction walls, so you're just going to have to get your hamburger someplace else.

Here's a better look at the construction zone. I love the old cars and trucks! To our extreme right we can see a corner of what I believe is the old Art Corner building. The flags in the foreground are mysterious as to their origins, though I'm sure you all recognize the flag of the country of Java.


Nanook said...


What a wonderful image. And once again - where are the guests-??

I'm afraid the resolution is a bit 'vague' for vehicle identification, with the possible exception of the orange truck - which appears to be a 1948-1954 Chevrolet truck. It's too hard to see the telltale signs to pinpoint the exact year.

And as for those flags on the Yacht Bar - they appear to be the precursor to the infamous "State of Confusion" flag, (or more-accurately: abstract banners) famously on-display on the pre show area of the America the Beautiful Circlevision 360 Theatre, beginning in 1974. And, oddly enough, what sounds like the typical Disney "gag", was actually created by the Bell System-!

Thanks, Major.

MRaymond said...

I'm always surprised that Disney didn't try to buy up all the land around the park. I guess he learned that lesson when he bought that chunk of property in Florida.

Chuck said...

The flag of Java. Simply brilliant.

MRaymond, I've read that Walt wanted to buy more land but couldn't get the financing for it. He also tried to get a "Disneyland Recreation Area" designation applied to the vicinity to provide some protection against what he referred to as "cheap Las Vegas-style development," but was unsuccessful there as well.

It would have been interesting to see what the place would have looked like had he been successful, although if he'd had all the land he wanted to play with there may have never been a Project Florida, or at least not on that scale.

It would also have been interesting to see what the place would have looked like if he'd had everything painted in shades of chartreuse and puce, but that's a different topic for a different time.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Looks like a rather stormy day, the wind is not only whipping those flags, but also the distant trees are bending quite a bit. That may account for the lack of attendance. I love this shot. The clouds really add a lot.
Thanks Major!

K. Martinez said...

I love a shot like this because of the rare unusual angle and view of the back wall. I'm a fan of views of the back walls of Disneyland. It's like a peek behind the curtain which I love to do.

The walkway area between the Matterhorn and the northern exhibit building is a favorite of mine because it still reminds me of 1960's Disneyland of my youth. The contrast between the rugged Matterhorn Mountain and smooth outer wall of the Tomorrowland building hasn't really changed in all those years. It still has that 50's- 60's vibe to it.

I'm glad Walt didn't have the money to buy up all the land around Disneyland at the time. It forced them to be more creative with the space they had. There's also something about transitioning from an urban landscape to an oasis of color and wonder in such a short step. It heightens the fantasy for me.

I love WDW, but there's sort of a blessing to the Disneyland Resort's compact size and design. You don't have to wait for a bus to get to another part of the property. It's very doable.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Gee, what a fantastic photo. Thanks so much for sharing it! Nitpick: the Grand Canyon diorama is actually adjacent to the employee lockers/(former) Cash Control/(former) Barbershop building. The Primeval World diorama is attached to the Ad building.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yeah, this was a day with exceptionally low attendance. As beautiful as the pictures look, it might have been chilly and/or windy. I didn't expect an ID on the trucks, though you gave it a valiant effort! I kind of had the feeling those were "made up" flags, especially when you see the one with the coffee cup!

MRaymond, I'm sure he would have loved to buy all that land, but money was a real problem back then. That's why Disney did his "Disneyland" TV show… ABC owned a large chunk of the park for the first few years until Roy wisely bought out their share.

Chuck, it IS fascinating to think of how different things would be if Walt had been able to buy, say, double the amount of land. Or more! Just think what might have been achieved, even in just his lifetime.

Monkey Cage Kurt, yep, it looks stormy and windy, I'm sure that's a large reason why the attendance was so low. But it sure is pretty!

K. Martinez, I love those peeks backstage as well. Wow, I am surprised that you are glad Walt couldn't buy more land! Yes, they had to find creative ways to use the limited space, and you make some good points. But still! Now that I think about it though, we wouldn't have had the stretching room for the Haunted Mansion, because there probably would have been plenty of room to build it someplace where it would not be necessary to go under the tracks. Same with the trips down (and up) waterfalls in "Pirates". Now I'm all befuddled!

Anon, thank you for the clarification.

TokyoMagic! said...

By going up the waterfall, Major? Sorry I couldn't resist. A SKELETON GHOST!!!!!