Friday, May 22, 2015

Two Beautiful Instamatics!

I'm getting down to the last of the wonderful vintage Kodak Instamatics that were so generously given to me by "Mr. X"... most of the remaining examples are pretty darn nice! 

Like this one, showing the Matterhorn as seen from Tomorrowland (right near the Yacht Bar). The "snow"-capped peak gleams against a blue sky; colorful Skyway buckets travel to and fro, while a tomato-red Peoplemover train passes on the track above. The guard rails have been added to the Peoplemover cars, but there doesn't seem to be anybody on board for some reason. Notice the climber on the Matterhorn, as well as the single bobsled just below him.

I love this picture!

This next one is pretty neat too, and a very unusual angle (taken from somewhere on the ramp outside of the Carousel of Progress, I suppose?). It's cool the way the Disneyland Peoplemover really moved up and down some considerable grades - it wasn't all flatness. Below us is the Autopia - at first I thought some sort of construction was going on, but now I can see cast members and riders. In the lower right is Tomorrowland Station.

Another surprise is just how green and lush some parts of Disneyland's Tomorrowland are... the future doesn't have to be sterile shiny metal and white concrete.


Nanook said...


That first image is easily post card-worthy. And I keep forgetting the Peoplemover 'beamway' actually arches-over the Skyway cables as they descend into the Tomorrowland Station.

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

my favorite sky buckets! :-)

notice how shiny the pavement is in the first can see how it reflects the people's clothes there. must be really slippy if it ever rains in Southern California!

i love my Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland, but I must admit that this one has the edge for me. cant wait to get back there.

thanks for these sunny views, Major!

K. Martinez said...

That spot of chairs and tables directly under the red PeopleMover is where I used to always sit when dining on my Moonburger from the Tomorrowland Terrace. I loved that spot because I could watch the bobsleds careen down the Matterhorn and the Skyway buckets entering and exiting the mountain.

And speaking of the Matterhorn, there now appears to be a round skyway bucket, a square skyway bucket and some old bobsleds stashed away in the Matterhorn by the Abominable Snowman. Even the numbers on the vehicles are referencing significant years in the Matterhorn's history.

Wonderful photos today! Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I love the rocket on the Richfield sign in the third photo. It looks like something straight out of "Jonny Quest" or "Thunderbirds."

Beautiful pair today, Major. What a great way to kick off the Memorial day weekend. Thanks!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I could try to re-describe these but what's the point. A perfect 10 on both. And stuck the landing too major.

Happy friday and safe weekend GDBr's!

Anonymous said...

The Yacht bar went away with the 1967 New Tomorrowland.

Those cool Peoplemover ups and downs were the reason linear motors were NOT used at Disneyland. The Peoplemover in Florida is dead flat, so the original concept linear motors could be used.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I forgot that too, until the last Instamatic photos that I shared, in which “we” are above the Skyway cables. TokyoMagic! reminded me of that funky arrangement!

Nancy, I wonder if the pavement WAS slippery on rainy days? You’d think they’d plan for that, but then again, we’re talking about SoCal, so maybe not.

K. Martinez, I have seen that video of the new yeti; he moves really well! I miss the old glowing ice crystals; the idea that the yeti has been grabbing passing vehicles for years is great, but I do think they might have made the wreckage a little more artful and less like a trash heap. Or maybe not, what do I know.

Chuck, yes, it reminds me of the rockets I used to see on the old science fiction novels that my mom read when she was a girl; they were all in a book case at my grandmother’s house, and I would always look at them.

Alonzo, happy Memorial Day to you too!

Anon, you are so right, I blame my error on society. The linear induction motors in Florida are certainly much more “futuristic”, but those ups and downs added a lot to Disneyland’s Peoplemover, IMO.

K. Martinez said...

Another difference in the PeopleMovers I found interesting is that Disneyland's had roof-covers on each individual vehicle, while the Magic Kingdom version did not, but instead had the entire track pathway roof-covered.

Major - I'll miss the old growl. The new one just doesn't sound the same to me. And if I remember correctly, wasn't the Frank Wells tribute "Wells Expedition" in the same location as the flowing ice crystals? I'll have to check out youtube.

K. Martinez said...

I meant glowing ice crystals, not flowing.

Melissa said...

Oh, there are people in that red Peoplemover train, all right. they're just crouched down at a better angle for smoochin'.

Love the little blond girl on the left under the Peoplemover tracks. She looks like a real-life Alice!

Gorgeous color and light in today's shots. Really makes me want to play hooky from the office and go have some fun outdoors!

Anonymous said...

Oh, these are splendid. Thank you, Major.

One of the striking things in memory is the beautiful garden of the autopia / PM / monorail area. I always enjoyed that quiet PM ride through the woods.


TokyoMagic! said...

K. Martinez, the numbers on the vehicles went right past me when I first saw that footage! Thanks for pointing that out. I get the #59 and I guess that middle one is a #15, but what is the #72 signifying? Were there major changes to the Matterhorn that year?

I agree with Major looks like a big old pile of trash. I do like the idea of having the vehicles in there, but I don't think it was executed well. Also, why do we only get to see the abominable snowman from the waist down now? It's that way with all three of the new Yeti animatronics. :-(

Chuck said...

Finally had a chance to watch the video Ken posted. In a static shot, I kind of like the "jumbled up pile of trash" look, like what a real yeti might do with his collection, although I can see how it wouldn't come across that way as you're zipping past in a bobsled. My favorite detail is the alpenhorn.

I'm also getting a kick out of the hapless vehicle numbers. The #59 and 15 are obvious nods and the #7 sled in front was obviously not so lucky after all, but I'm not sure what the #72 bucket signifies, either. Year of birth of the lead Imagineer? Debut of the Main Street Electrical Parade? The Watergate break-in? I don't know.

They're also funny on another level - according to Chris Strodder's "Disneyland Encyclopedia," there were never any more than 42 gondolas.

I also like the new animatronic effect, especially the way his "beard" waggles as he shakes his head, although I have to agree with Ken that I like the old growl better.

K. Martinez said...

I'm pretty sure the #72 is in reference to the year the Matterhorn moved from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland (INA guide books).

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, the birth date of the Imagineer sounds like a strong possibility, because I just can't believe that they would accidentally put a '72 on there instead of a '78. I do like the advanced animatronic that is being used now, but it confuses me as to why they would want to change the original face. To me that would be like changing the face of the auctioneer in Pirates of the Caribbean when they upgraded him a while back. The part about not being able to see the Yeti's legs or feet now is also bothering me.

Anonymous said...

Operationally speaking, the Matterhorn moved from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland in 1978, the year of the major rehab (tandem sleds, finishing the interior, computer system-controls, addition of "Harold").

I'm a dope: What is the significance of #15?

There were more than 42 skyway cabins. 42 was the max that would "on the cable" on the busiest of days.

K. Martinez said...

Here's the Yesterland Matterhorn page supporting 1972 as the year the Matterhorn Bobsleds listing moving from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland and where it remains to this day on Disneyland guide maps.

K. Martinez said...

Anon - Perhaps #15 is in reference to this year because the scene was added this year.

Anonymous said...

Thank you K Martinez. I wasn't arguing your 1972 date. My 1978 date referred to when the Matterhorn was handed off to Fantasyland's Operations department, the reason being Tomorrowland had gotten a new ride (Space Mountain) in 1977.

Chuck said...

Anonymous - I think #15 is a reference to this year's rehab.

And thanks for the correction on the number of buckets. It makes a lot of sense to have spares (although 30 spares seems a bit excessive to me :-) ).

TokyoMagic! said...

Anonymous and Chuck, I was assuming the same thing about #15. I know Space Mt. now has a '77 reference in the queue somewhere, but I believe there is also an '05 in there as well (the year it reopened after it's major overhaul and the replacing of the entire track).

K. Martinez said...

Anon - I never thought you were arguing my '72 date as we posted at the exact same minute so I didn't see your comment yet. If I find data supporting my statements later, I usually post it to backup my comments. And lately some of my statements have been wrong.

That's very interesting that they handed the Matterhorn Bobsleds over to Fantasyland because of the Space Mountain addition to Tomorrowland. I never knew that, but it does make sense. Who knows. Maybe #72 is still in reference to something else. Thanks!

BTW, anyone notice that the bobsled with the original 1959 paint scheme in the video actually looks nothing like the original bobsleds.

Anonymous said...

It's a MkII sled painted to look like a MkI

Nancy said...

K.Martinez, thanks for that cool shot of the vehicles captured by the Abominable! love it :-)

Debbie V. said...

I just happened to watch a great video of the new Matterhorn this morning and loved it. I can never pin down what I like about it but it's perfect (well okay almost - no buckets going through now). It's amazing that it still holds true.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, the roof covering the track makes more sense in an area where rain is expected so often. I wish they had kept the old growl… you could hear it from outside the ride, and it just won’t be the same. That’s a good question about the Frank Wells tribute; it would be kind of weird if it’s been removed.

Melissa, Security made sure that there were no make-out sessions with a strict “shoot to kill” policy. These Instamatics took some time to clean up in Photoshop, but it was worth it!

JG, me too; it’s one of those experiences that can’t be fully described.

TokyoMagic!, I wondered about the numbers, but didn’t think about them very much! I didn’t know that all 3 yetis were seen from the waist up. What a weird decision.

Chuck, as you know, Nixon was Through in ’72. Only he wasn’t! It took a few more years. 42 gondolas, that’s a bit of trivia I’d never heard! The beard waggle is known as “secondary animation”, and it does add a certain life-like quality to the animatronic.

K. Martinez, I am positive that “72” refers to the year Shaquille O’Neal was born!

TokyoMagic!, it seems weird to me that, of all things, they would pay tribute to the year when they decided that the Matterhorn was in Fantasyland rather than Tomorrowland. But you can never tell with those wacky Imagineers. I can only assume that they changed the face so that it is easier to see (?). But they could have just painted Gibson’s sculpt, in that case.

Anonymous, I still remember how excited I was to hear that they were adding an abonimable snowman to the Matterhorn. Such a great idea.

K. Martinez, those guides seem to make it pretty clear that the “move” took place in the early 70’s. Thanks for doing the research! And your theory about the #15 makes sense.

Anonymous, it is surprising that it took so long to make the Matterhorn “officially” a part of Fantasyland operations.

Chuck, wait, where did you see that there were 30 spare Skyway buckets? Was that on a web page? It does seem excessive!

TokyoMagic!, the Imagineers should just throw in random numbers and then watch us Disneyland fanatics try to make sense of them!

K. Martinez, why are you always arguing with everybody? ;-) Honestly, I kind of wonder how they justified putting the Matterhorn in Tomorrowland at all. It always felt more “Fantasyland” to me. If it wasn’t built at the same time as the Monorail and Subs, I wonder if that wouldn’t have heppened. Also, if you hadn’t pointed out the bobsled, I would have never noticed that it wasn’t one of the early versions.

Anonyymous, thanks for the ID!

Debbie V, the AA figure certainly moves amazingly well; I am curious to see how the thing looks in person.

Chuck said...

Major, sorry - the "30 spare buckets" quip was a reference to the gondola #72 in the new tableau. If they could only hang 42 at a time and they had at least 72, then I figured there would have to be 30 spares. Which would be silly. Sort of like my attempted joke, which seems to have fallen flat - flatter than the PeopleMover track at WDW.

Debbie V. said...

Chuck I just rode that flat track, aka TTA, at WDW last month and loved it. No cool music, no cool narration, but still stirred up some memories. Tomorrowland in WDW is not bad, just not right. We also saw Carousel of Progress, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it has been pretty much left as is. I know people complain, but I was glad I got to see it. Just a few people - maybe 12 in the whole audience.