Friday, April 24, 2015

Parking Lot, July 1967

If you're gonna build yourself a Disneyland, you have to have a place to put cars. It's just a fact. Early maps of the park say that there are "100 acres of parking". If only everyone drove unicycles to Disneyland, Walt would have had more room for cool attractions.

A strange thing happened... visitors (mostly children, I'm guessing) developed a fondness for this 100 acres of asphalt and automobiles. It represented the first tantalizing steps into Walt's kingdom; there it was, just a few hundred feet away! You could hear the train's bell and whistle, and see the Monorail zooming by - it was very exciting. Speaking of Monorails, today's photos were both taken from the "highway in the sky", circa 1967.

Zooming in a bit, we can see one of the trams in front of the ticket booths, full of guests. If you look to the extreme right and left, we can see folks already leaving the park (the clock on the train station looks like it says 5:00). Why?? You're not going to stay until it gets dark and all the lights come on? 

Now we're looking south from the Monorail track that crossed in front of Main Street Station, gazing across the lot that is occupied by Disney California Adventure. There's the old Convention Center, looking like a flying saucer; and a yellow Monorail makes a cameo appearance.


TokyoMagic! said...

Oooh, I see a yellow Mustang in that last pic. Ha!....that's the ONLY car I can identify!

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey, what's going on on the far left of that first pic? I wonder if that was a passenger drop-off and pick-up area. I see at least 4 plywood cut-outs on the ground that appear to be painted like policemen.

Monica said...

I remember parking in the old parking lot. (Not 1967 old, but old)

I have never understood people that leave the park any time during the day. We've taken our kids since they were babies - We never left the park for naps or hotel swim breaks. We paid for a DAY in the park and we stayed all day. If they needed naps, they took them in the stroller! :)

MRaymond said...

We would take the RV to Disneyland. My dad didn't mind buying snacks all day but 4 kids and two adults will kill a budget at dinner time. Dinner time meant a trip to the parking lot for some KFC or a pasta dish. And RVs always got great parking.
If grandpa was with us we were going to the Tahitian Terrace so no RV was needed.

K. Martinez said...

The Mark II Monorail Gold gliding by the flying saucer is cool, as are the power line towers standing like sentinels over mid-20th century Anaheim.

To the right of the flying saucer (Anaheim Convention Center) is now the Anabella Hotel where I stay these days during my four-day visits to the Disneyland Resort. I have nostalgia for the old parking lot, but do prefer what's there now. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Oh, you're not kidding about that moment when you first catch sight of the park through the trees! You almost can't let yourself believe it's real until then!

I live in a pretty hippy-dippy granola upstate NY college town, and you actually do have to watch out for unicycles in the crsswalks during Spring and Summer. (Not that it counts as Spring here yet; it's been snowing for the past two days.)

Steve DeGaetano said...

We would leave the Park to grab dinner. In addition to getting a better meal at a cheaper price (usually at the Jolly Roger), my parents and grandparents could get a cocktail. Then we'd simply head back to the Park to enjoy the rest of the evening!

K. Martinez said...

Most of my visits to Disneyland as an adult have been by myself. When younger, I visited the Park all day which in summer meant from opening at 8:00 a.m. to closing at 1:00 a.m. As I've gotten older, I go from opening and after watching the fireworks, I leave. I just can do it like I used to.

Whenever I've taken family or friends to Disneyland, we usually left during the mid-day to go somewhere else to eat and take a break returning in early evening. It's a lot different when you have children or budget considerations.

Since the property became a resort, I park hop regularly with my 3-day parkhopper pass and spend some time in Downtown Disney, but stay the entire day on the resort property.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, there’s the VW Microbus in the first photo!

TokyoMagic! again, I can’t read the lettering on those “traffic cop” signs, but it very well could be a drop off zone.

Monica, even when we lived close to Disneyland (only a few short years), we always made the most of our visits and stayed as long as we could. I’m sure it was the first place I was ever up until 1 in the morning!

Raymond, that actually sounds like a pretty cool way to go. I assume that, if anybody wanted to, they could just duck out to the RV for a quick nap. As a kid I would have loved KFC for dinner! Today, not so much.

K. Martinez, wow, four-day visits! I’ve never done more than two - and that was only one time. My grandpa always wanted to take us to the park and stay in the Disneyland Hotel for a few days, but he got too ill and it never happened.

Melissa, wow, it must be EXTRA dippy, if the college kids are actually riding unicycles! Are there mimes as well?

Steve DeGaetano, I’m sure my dad would have loved a cocktail, but it just seemed like such a hassle to leave the park and then come back. So… it was burgers at the Space Bar (or wherever).

K. Martinez, yeah, I usually don’t stay until closing, but the insane fireworks & Fantasmic crowds have a lot to do with it. The park becomes a place I don’t want to be at that point. I guess all those other people don’t mind though!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, Major! I did see that VW Bus, but I wasn't sure if that was technically what it's name was or not. I am SO not into cars, but I do like looking at the vintage ones. Where's is Nanook? He'll be able to identify a slew of them!

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, I guess I didn't look at the other cars very closely last night. There are at least 6 VW Bugs in that first pic. HERBIE!

Anonymous said...

For us, if not a break at the Jolly Roger, it was at the Swiss Chalet for an early dinner, then back to the Park for the evening. Since we lived only 10 miles away, we would at times drive up and park at a then vacant lot on Harbor where the Space Age Motel is (was?)right outside the Parking Lot fence. From there we could see Tinkerbell's decent and the Fireworks for free. It was so much simpler then.


Melissa said...

We used to go back to the car at lunchtime to eat bologna sandwiches at Darien Lake, but we always had to roll the windows up because of aggressive seagulls.

(Major, luckily we've been spared a mime invasion so far.)

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagic!

Nanook took one look at all those cars and immediately got the horrible feeling one of them was his, but couldn't remember where it was parked. It completely clouded (what's left of) his brain and he went straight off into slumber land. That 'tonic' failed to work, as he merely dreamed of parking lots full of cars. Horrors.

K. Martinez said...

Major - I agree. The nighttime crowds have become too much for me to enjoy the park. These days, after the fireworks, I'm back at the hotel. Strangely, I enjoy Disneyland more in the daylight than in the evening. Especially the morning hours.

As for multi-day visits, when I come all the way from up north, it's only worth it to me if I stay multi-days because of the cost and effort. Sometimes I might visit another park like Knott's and Universal or go to visit a place of interest in the L.A/Hollywood area if the trip is a day longer.

Melissa - I remember eating bologna sandwiches in the car with my family when we'd visit the local amusement park or zoo back in the 60's/70's. My sisters would always fight over the Cragmont Sodas (Safeway brand)about who would get the cream soda. I'd always settle for orange or grape soda.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, me too, I just don’t have a brain for cars. The girl I’m dating is WAY more into them. And yes, there always seems to be VW Bugs in vintage parking lot pix!

KS, those are some great memories! Living in Huntington Beach, we were not exactly next door to the park, but if we went to a local high school and climbed the bleachers at night, we could see the fireworks, waaaaaay off in the distance.

Melissa, seagulls, ugh. They’re as bad as pigeons, or maybe worse, because they are smarter.

Nanook, wouldn’t it have been cool to see your own car??

K. Martinez, it kills me, because I used to love night at the park. It just seemed so quiet and beautiful, and the heat of the day was gone. Frontier land was especially awesome, I still get very nostalgic for the way it used to be. Morning is good too, though, if you want to get a lot done in a short amount of time. Cragmont soda, I don’t remember that at all! I don’t think my mom let us drink much soda until we were teenagers.

Nanook said...

Oh, Major-

Cragmont Soda was the Safeway store brand. I think at one time, an 8-ounce can would sell (on sale) for something like 13¢ each. It was as poor a substitute for any flavor of the 'real thing' as you would imagine. (Oh, those "fine" folks at Safeway-! As if). Many eons ago they used to sell a house brand of beer: Brown Derby - it was equally (if not more so) awful.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook - It was definitely soda on a budget. When you had five thirsty kids on the road, it did the job. And you are correct that the flavor wasn't so great.

Anonymous said...

Major...we lived in Costa Mesa. The folks still do and when I visit them there are times some evenings where we can hear (but not see) the fireworks. Sure brings back those memories.


Melissa said...

I was at a conference in Costa Mesa once. I thought I heard fireworks but I didn't realize they were the Disneyland fireworks.