Sunday, June 14, 2015

Random Pix From August, 1961

Today's photos are a bit murky, but they are unusual enough that they might still be of interest!

We'll start with this shot taken from a Nature's Wonderland Mine Train. After passing through the first tunnel that led to Beaver Valley, guests might have been startled to see the gopher from "Caddyshack" dancing overhead (along with his family).

From the spiel: "Them little marmots over the tunnel must be a-whistling to all you pretty gals! I can't say I blame 'em!". Listen, marmots, it is not OK to objectify women (but feel free to make fun of my mother in-law all you want). I had to lighten this one way up, but it looks fine. I guess.

Meanwhile, over in Adventureland... I always considered the Jungle Cruise and Nature's Wonderland to be cousins of a sort; excursions through a mysterious wilderness, with waterfalls, plants, and animals. This scene from the Jungle Cruise shows lions enjoying some delicious "Zebra al fresco". Mmmm-mmmm! Stripey. 

The animals sort of get lost in all of that foliage, which might be why this scene was later "improved" by taking place in the hollow of a rocky outcropping.


Melissa said...

Now I'm hungry for some Little Debbie Zebra Cakes.

K. Martinez said...

The Mine Train and Jungle Cruise were definitely cousin attractions considering they were both based on and/or influenced by the True Life Adventure series.

I'm pretty sure the rock outcropping/den was a scene element imported from WDW's Jungle Cruise since it was there first in 1971. At Disneyland's Jungle Cruise, the lion/zebra scene was later incorporated into the African Veldt scene which was added in 1964. Then in 1976 the rock outcropping/den was added when Jungle Cruise had a major upgrade.

I know there were distinct differences between the "Rainbow Caverns Mine Train" and the "Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland", but I'd be curious to know if there were changes made(scenes added, taken away or improved)throughout the 16 year history of the Nature's Wonderland version of the Mine Train. Or did it remain pretty much untouched until its demise.

Patrick Devlin said...

I think that is the tunnel portal still visible on the Big Thunder Mountain trail. It's the tunnel that debouches right to the foot of Big Thunder falls...

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I’ve never had those, but I used to love the Swiss Rolls!

K. Martinez, huh, I’d forgotten about the True Life Adventures! D’oh. And I had also forgotten about the lion/zebra scene that was at the African Veldt, though I certainly have lots of photos of it. The rocky den looks so artificial, I can’t say I love it. Your question about changes or improvements over the history of Nature’s Wonderland is a good one; I don’t recall reading about major changes such as the ones that occurred with the Jungle Cruise.

Patrick Devlin, I’m not 100% sure, but I think the tunnel you are referring to is a different one. I could totally be wrong, though!

TokyoMagic! said...

Those marmots were moved over to the abandoned Nature's Wonderland Mine Train that sat alongside Cascade Peak and remained there even after Cascade Peak was removed. I wonder what they did with the mine train when they removed it a few years ago? And too bad they couldn't have placed the marmots somewhere along Big Thunder when they recently upgraded it.

Tokyo Disneyland still has it's marmots: Tokyo Disneyland's Cascade Peak and Marmots

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I remember seeing the marmots by the wrecked train. Did they pop up? Or am I imagining it? I believe that the mine train in question is now being restored by the Carolwood Society; I think I saw a photo of it - completely hidden under a tarp.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic! again, I found a quote about the mine train, from the Carolwood Foundation:

"The Carolwood Foundation is proud to announce that in partnership with the Disney Archives, we will be bringing the last remaining Mine Train from Disneyland to Walt's Barn.

We intend to "restore" it however the extent of that still has to be determined. Cost and condition will be a big factor but we would like to restore it to original condition if we can.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates."

Dean Finder said...

I know that the Gophers will be back by the year 3000 at Luna Park on the moon:

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, those marmots did pop up and they also made noises. I think it was more of a squeaky noise rather than a whistling sound. Thanks for the info about the Mine Train car! I'm glad to hear that it found a good home. Too bad they had neglected it for so long! Too bad they tore out Nature's Wonderland altogether! I enjoyed that attraction every bit as much as I do the Jungle Cruise. :-(

Matthew said...

Patrick Devlin is correct. This tunnel is found to the left side of the exit of Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road. The tunnel then led out to the Rivers of America and under "Big Thunder" waterfall along Cascade Peak. This wast the second location of a "Back side of water" joke. If you look carefully, the rocks look the same, just painted to match Big Thunder Mountain R.R.

It is a shame that they did not rebuild Cascade Peak. There is no financial value of having a waterfall, but I can tell you that the sound, site, and kinesthetic of falling water added a lot to Frontierland, including a natural cooling system to the entire area. Dang hot now in that thar' frontierland. Friends at WDI if you're reading this, please consider bringing back Cascade Peak and it's gently flowing waters and raging falls. Thanks! : )