Friday, July 31, 2015

Nifty Pix From Fifty Six!

I love today's first photo, featuring the original Autopia! A Shirley Temple lookalike rides with her mom in a sleek white sports car along the guide-less miniature highway. Hey mom, let the kid drive, for crying out loud! That vast empty field behind them is a strange sight to behold; I can't quite get my bearings to figure out what might be there today.

The Carrousel in Fantasyland (pre all-white horses) looks great from any angle - even this weird one. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vintage Main Street Viewmaster Scans

A long time ago, I thought I would try to scan a whole bunch of vintage Disneyland Viewmaster reels, or at least the most interesting frames from those reels. I made it through most (but not all) of my Main Street packets before I started to go crazy! So... that project is on the back burner until further notice. 

But I still have some scans that might be fun for you to look at; that way you don't have to spend the time (years) and money (lots!) that I spent acquiring my collection. First, here's a nice overview of some of the different kinds of packet covers. 

At the top are the extremely rare single-reel and two-reel packs. 

The next row shows a common "S-3" (third Sawyer style) packet; then there is a scarce "D" packet - these were only sold inside the park, and have different views compared to the S-3s; and then there is an "S4" packet, with an attractive full-cover image. The "E-Ticket" magazine referred to these as "parchment packs" because of what looks like a little strip of parchment in the upper right.

In the third row, we start with a rare "swing out" packet, that was supposedly only test-marketed in a few places in the US. GAF acquired Viewmaster (and became the official film of Disneyland), as we can see on the middle packet. Note the addition of Primeval World. And third is a later GAF packet. There are some other minor variants, but these are the basics.

Let's get to the images! I love this one, showing a horseless carriage heading down Main Street. I don't think I've ever noticed the drivers of these cars wearing dusters and driving caps like this fellow. The Sunkist Citrus House is just behind them. Mmmm, lemonade popsicles!

Eat your heart out, Fellini. What in heaven's name is supposed to be going on in this photo? 

Here's a nice shot of Town Square, with good foreground elements to help give that 3-D effect when you are looking through your vintage viewer (I can almost smell the Bakelite!). Good old Vesey Walker leads the Disneyland band at the base of the flag pole.

If you enjoyed these, perhaps I will share more!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln - Gate Handout, 1965

It's time for another fun piece of Disneyland paper ephemera! In this case it is a flyer, given to each guest as they passed through the gates of the park (along with their complimentary INA guidebook).

This is from 1965, when "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" was still playing to amazed crowds at the New York World's Fair; Walt seemed to be in a particular hurry to show off his Audio-Animatronic triumph at Disneyland... Mr. Lincoln debuted on July 18th of 1965 - the tenth anniversary of the day that the general public was admitted to the park. I have always wondered where this show would have gone if the Opera House wasn't already there for the taking.

The handout resembles an old-fashioned broadside that might have been seen a century before; I love the variety of fonts, contrasting large, ornate lettering with smaller type. And the addition of a pointing hand is always a plus!

At the bottom of the flyer, we see that the new Plaza Inn was going to open that same summer.

There must have been many thousands given to guests, and yet these flyers seem to be rather scarce. I am very happy to have one!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nice Walt Disney World, November 1974

Here are more pictures from The Magic Kingdom in Florida....

This first one is similar to another that we saw not long ago; it was taken in the morning, obviously before guests were allowed in, which gives us a great Edward Hopper-esque view of a deserted amusement park. I see a single cast member in the middle of the street, way down toward the castle!

Our photographer hot-footed it over to Adventureland to see the still-new "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction, which had opened only about a year earlier. It's so weird to see no people around!

This image is a little bit to the right of the previous one. I have no idea what any of those other buildings are (could that be a train station in front of us?). Can anybody help?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Circarama Theater & Telstar

There's only one picture today; but it's a pretty nice one. From the legendary stash of Instamatics comes this nice shot of the Clock of the World, with the wonderful "Circarama Theater" (home of "America the Beautiful") in the background. The "Bell System" logo makes me happy, for no logical reason.

It's hard to ignore that strange thing protruding from the top of the building; it is a model of "Telstar",  an early communications satellite that Bell Labs helped to build. Actually, it resembles both "Telstar 1" and "Telstar 2", launched in 1962 and 1963 respectively. They are still in orbit today (though inactive)! 

Apparently the "boom" that the satellite was on would rotate, which is pretty cool. Photos of this feature are not common, so it was fun to find this example. If I knew anything about 3D animation, I would have tried to replicate how it might have looked.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Snapshots, September 1968

I admit it... today's snapshots are pretty snooze-worthy. But it's Sunday... the day with the least-amount of readers. Where do you all go? 

This one is almost too mundane to write about! Three nice folks take a break on a bench at the entrance to Tomorrowland, next to the swirly flowers (designed, as it turns out, by Rolly Crump). Look at that other photographer, he thinks he is a great fashion photographer. "Come on, work it baby! Yeah!".

Why take one boring photo when you can take two?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Inglewood Train Station, 1969

A few years ago I found this photo of a very cute little train station in Inglewood, California (part of Los Angeles). It almost looks like a dollhouse version of a train station; there must not have been a lot of passenger service. 

A knowledgeable pal of mine passed along some info: "That's the Inglewood Santa Fe station that opened in 1887 and was demolished in 1974 after it suffered irreparable damage in a 1972 fire... it's so cool to see your depot photo in glorious COLOR!"

My friend include two vintage photos... this one must be from the 1950's. The slightly-crooked telephone pole amuses me.

Here's another angle - undated.

These slides had the specific date of "April 22, 1969" written on them; something was going on, as this huge locomotive (painted a devilish red!) was there. 

The Santa Fe 1010 is (according to Wikipedia), "... a 2-6-2 type steam locomotive built [in 1901] by Baldwin Locomotive Works for Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway". In 1905 it was used as part of a one-time, record breaking passenger train that went from Los Angeles to Chicago (2,265 miles) in a mere 44 hours and 55 minutes! That was 13 hours faster than the previous record.

The 1010 was donated to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, and you can see it there today!

EXTRA! EXTRA! GDB commenter Chuck has kindly gone to the trouble of merging the two photos into one (because I was too lazy). There's some funkiness with the car hood, but otherwise it came out quite nicely!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Special Guest Post!

Hey Folks - for those of you reading this after November 2016, I thought I would mention that, due to a flurry of spam comments associated with the original version of this post, I decided to delete it and repost it in an effort to stop the spam. Since I didn't want to lose the comments, I will just copy/paste them at the end of the post. Spammers suck! On with the post:

Today I am happy to feature more photos from GDB friend Huck Caton (who shared those amazing Disneyland wardrobe photos from a few years ago - those things wound up all over the internet). Huck has been digging through boxes, and he has uncovered a bunch of his own personal photos, both of the park as well as some "backstage" photos from when he worked there. Awesome! 

We'll start things out with a bang with this rare photo of the Motor Boat Cruise when it was briefly given a "Gummi Bears" overlay in 1991. Part of the "Disney Afternoon" slate of cartoons, the Gummi Bears always seemed like an odd thing for Disney to acquire (in my opinion); I admit that I never watched a single episode. I was more of a "Duck Tales" guy!

While I had been aware of this overlay, with plywood "flats" of the Gummis and their homes, I did not realize that it was only there for 8 months (from March 1991 to November 1991). No wonder pictures of it are hard to find! 

I was also surprised that this was before the dreaded Paul Pressler era, when budgets were slashed to the bone,  rides were closed, plush dolls were sold in every location - all in the name of increased profits (it worked, too). Perhaps he isn't as entirely to blame for the precipitous drop in quality as I had always assumed? 

Next is this image of the Autopia entrance sign; poor Tomorrowland has gone through some rough patches, and this sign, while not terrible, has a strange 1950's vibe that just didn't fit with the rest of the land. I wonder if the popular "Blast to the Past" promotion (1988 and 1989) had anything to do with this retro style?

I've never seen this sign before, which is cool; Huck thinks it looks awful, but I have to admit that I like it! Look at how those arrows are part of the cloverleaf design. And the colors remind me of the costumes that some cast members wore. Presumably this is dated earlier than the previous photo; notice the small bit of the Autopia marquee that is visible, with its very 1970's colors.

Here's the costume I was talking about - a parking lot attendant, circa 1973.

Many thanks to Huck for sharing his photos! There's lots more to come, so stay tuned.

Here are the comments!

Nanook said...

Me likes the Autopia sign, too. The design sort of co-opted the arrows from the Disneyland Hotel attraction poster, and turned them on their ears - (or is that sides-?)

Sorry, the Gummi Bears is just downright creepy. It would've been more at home in a Santa's Village location than at The Happiest Place On Earth. So its short life was a blessing.

Thanks, Major & Huck-!

Chuck said...
The painted flats and relatively primitive artwork of Gummi Glen reminds me of an outdoor version of an early-era dark ride, only scarier - much, much scarier.

Thanks for sharing, Huck! These help fill in my understanding of what Disneyland looked like during the Dark Ages (i.e., the 17-year Nochuckinpark era). Looking forward to seeing the rest of the collection!

Melissa said...
Thanks for sharing your photos, Huck! These are some really great shots!

It's amazing how that beautiful older trash can in the first picture highlights how hastily-put-together the Gummi Glen façade looks.

Nanook, of all the things to do to the Motor Boat Cruise, turning into "Gummi Glenn" should have been way down on the list. I just hate it when Disney does things that are so obviously cheap; small wonder that the Motor Boats closed forever after this.

Chuck, you are right, they are very much like dark ride flats - at least the glowing black light paint (in dark rides) adds a dreamlike element that was completely missing from Gummi Glenn.

Melissa, for some reason that trash can looks (to me) like it should be right outside the Haunted Mansion.

TokyoMagic! said...
I remember that Gummi Glen overlay, as well as the "Rescue Rangers" overlay on the Fantasyland Autopia which included more plywood flats.

Major, that Autopia sign is from 1998. The new sign is the only thing that attraction got as a part of the "Brown Tomorrowland" redo. I think it's all they could afford with the Paul Pressler/Michael Eisner budget. Then shortly after that (I'm not sure which year because after the destruction of Tomorrowland in 1998, I took a break from going to the park for a while), they bulldozed the sign and the queue and built the monstrosity that stands there today.

TokyoMagic! said...
P.S. Notice the brown/copper railings in the queue on that first Autopia pic.

TokyoMagic! said...
I'm still studying these pics! In that first Autopia photo, also notice the Rocket Rod vehicle on the old PeopleMover track near the upper right corner of the pic (behind the copper pole).

Anonymous said...
The Gummi boat pics have bracketed my last ride on the Motor Boat Cruise. I couldn't remember the years for sure, but now I'm pretty sure my Disney hiatus lasted from 1978 +/- (my last visit on my own without Mom and Dad) and 1991 had to be the first visit with my wife and kids. 

I remember these awful plywood signs all over the Motor Boats and the Autopia, I remember thinking they were weird and not up to the Disney of the past. But the programs were running constantly on the Disney Channel and the kids loved them. 

The Motor Boats were a great ride for little ones, quiet and restful for the parents and the kids can pretend to drive the boat. Good memories.

Thank you, Major and Huck.


TokyoMagic!, man I hate that gigantic Autopia queue structure. It is SO massive and out of place, it overwhelms everything near it. It probably cost a fortune and is completely unnecessary. 

TokyoMagic! II, yes, I see them!

TokyoMagic! III, good eye! I didn’t notice the Rocket Rod up there. 

JG, I’m sure that the kids did love the plywood signs; but there’s no reason why they couldn’t have built something that appealed to adults and kids. Well, there IS a reason… they didn’t want to spend the money. Why did they use Gummi Bears - a property based on a popular candy - and not Duck Tales, based on the classic, highly-regarded Carl Barks “Uncle Scrooge” stories? If they had done a quality job with sculpted, 3-D elements, it might have actually pleased Disney fans.

Anonymous said...
@Major, I think that the Gummi Glen improvements coexisted with the DuckTales Afternoon Avenue, which, according to Yesterland was fairly shortlived. 

I remember visiting a Duck Tales themed Baloo-Bear "meet and greet" on that same first trip and being amazed at how cheap and sleazy the construction was. 

The Baloo building was located near what is now the underpass to Toon Town. There were a lot of superficial decorations and doo-dads with the Duck Tales characters, but no real attractions. It seemed to be mostly shows in the amphitheater behind Storybook Land.

I don't know if Toon Town was in development yet or not, it seems that came several years later, but since our next visit was in '99 we found Baloo gone and Roger Rabbit in residence. I'm kind of fuzzy about that whole period.


Nanook said...
The Gummi Glen opened on March 15, 1991 and then returned to the Motor Boat Cruise on November 10th of the same year - Thankfully.

TokyoMagic! said...
JG, do you remember if the Baloo meet 'n greet was on the other side of the berm and the train tracks? For some reason, I have a memory of a large building (probably temporary) sticking up on the other side of the tracks with "Studio" and a number painted on it to make it look like a soundstage. I know Toontown wasn't built until '93, but I'm wondering if the underpass had already been constructed. I don't have a clear memory of that area. We looked around the little town they built in the Small World mall area, but we didn't go into the Baloo meet 'n greet.

JG, Jeez, I don’t recall ever hearing about a Duck Tales presence in Disneyland; but it would have been during that troubled period that you mentioned. If Baloo was there, it must have been a “Rescue Rangers” tie-in, don’t you think? That was a super-popular show that I never watched. Maybe it was just a “Disney Afternoon” thing. I need to look it up.

Nanook, I am assuming that the public response to Gummi Glen was not positive…

TokyoMagic!, wow, that is a very interesting memory! Another piece of Disneyland history that I have never heard of - doubly amazing since it is so relatively recent. But there was definitely a period in which I did not follow what was going on at the park as much, because all the news seemed to be BAD. I wish I could see photos of the area that you described! It definitely sounds like a sort of proto-Toontown.

Dean Finder said...
I've read somewhere that Eisner got fixated on Gummi Bears when he saw that his son was eating them constantly. Not exactly an the basis for a lasting set of characters.

TokyoMagic! said...
I just checked Yesterland and there are a couple pics of the "Disney Afternoon Avenue." Behind the photo of one of the Beagle Boys, you can see a row of miniature buildings. I think I remember buildings along both sides of the walkway. It also states on the Yesterland site that, "The area under the train tracks that was Baloo’s dressing room is now the underpass to Mickey’s Toontown." So I guess I was remembering correctly....sort of. I wonder when exactly that area under the tracks was excavated. I'm assuming that they were planning a definite expansion of the park beyond the berm in that area, but I wonder if it had already been decided that it was going to be Mickey's Toontown at that point?

Dean Finder, that sounds about right. Eisner seemed to put great stock in whatever interested his son, and (according to Tony Baxter) would ask his opinion on attraction concepts to see if they met with his approval. 

TokyoMagic!, huh, this is all new to me. Amazing. I honestly don’t remember any of it except for the Gummi Glen thing.

TokyoMagic! said...
Wasn't Splash Mt. originally going to be called something like "Zip A Dee Doo Dah River Run" until the spawn of Eisner saw the model for it and muttered "Spalsh Mt." and Eisner made them call it that?

Major, some of the buildings for the Disney Afternoon Alley were "interactive" like the buildings in Toontown. The ones that I remember specifically were the could go inside of it and pose for pics behind the bars. Also, guests could ring the bell on the schoolhouse. You are right, it was sort of a mini-prototype Toontown. I actually liked it better than Toontown. At least it went away in less than a year's time. Toontown is still with us 22 years later!

Chuck said...
I was just reading about Eisner & Splash Mountain last night in Sam Gennawey's "The Disneyland Story." The book quotes Tony Baxter in a 1995 "E-Ticket" article, saying Eisner was fixated on getting synergy with the upcoming film "Splash" at the time (1984) and, having just arrived as CEO, didn't yet understand the timeline involved in creating a major attraction. He insisted that the word "Splash" be worked into the title and even suggested an audio-animatronic version of Daryl Hannah waving at people at the end of the ride. While that idea was fortunately abandoned, Baxter credits Eisner with coming up with a much better title for the attraction.

A potential problem with this story is that "Splash" was released on March 9th, 1984 and Eisner didn't become CEO until September, although Baxter may have misremembered specific details (perhaps Eisner was thinking of an impending video release) rather than the overall timbre of the meeting. This was a rather significant meeting, as it was one of the first (perhaps THE first) between WED and Eisner, and both Splash Mountain and Star Tours were greenlighted in the same session. With so much going on in one event it's definitely understandable that some details could become muddled, especially after more than 10 years' passage. It's also possible that he was misquoted by the original interviewer.

Anonymous said...
@Tokyo and @Major.

Now that you mention it, I think the Baloo event might have been in or on the far side of the underpass. I seem to remember walking up hill coming out. It was themed as a dressing room, the visit with Baloo was "between takes", so a sound stage exterior theme makes sense. I don't remember much about the building except that the indoor queue hallway was lined with T-111 plywood (a cheap residential product) and that it all had a crass feel, unlike anything I had ever seen in Disneyland. This makes sense in retrospect since it was all planned to be temporary.

I don't recall any of the other related events except the stage show, which was a welcome relief to tired parent feet, this was a new phenomenon for me. I should go find our pictures, I'm sure they're in an album somewhere. Pretty sure we have pics of the kids with Baloo after an hour in line... My wife is much better about keeping up with that sort of thing. All my pics from youth are in cardboard boxes in the garage.

We enjoyed ToonTown quite a bit on subsequent visits, I think it's nice to have an area with events suitable for the very youngest. Let's face it, a lot of Fantasyland can be pretty scary to toddlers. I wish ToonTown had more trees and was a little less "relentless". It's so heavily themed that it makes me a little dizzy. I skipped it completely on my last visit, too hot, too crowded, etc., but the memories are good.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

GDB Greatest Hits - Tomorrowland

It's time (yet again) for some "greatest hits"! Let's head over to Tomorrowland, shall we?

Look at that cute li'l 3-car red Monorail! It's like a puppy version of the later, longer, sleeker versions. This image was originally posted way back in 2006, but the photo itself is from December of 1960. As you can see, there is a low construction wall in front of us, though I haven't the foggiest idea of why it is there. Is that the Midget Autopia to our left?

Here's a neat photo (posted in 2007) showing the longer, sleeker Monorail I mentioned before; this time it's the yellow one, heading in to the Disneyland Hotel station. Look at those lucky ducks in in the front of the Monorail! Someday I need to make sure I ride up there. Just visible in the background is the dome of the Anaheim Convention Center, while a hotel tram waits below. (The photo is from 1969).

What a spectacular view of Tomorrowland, as seen from a Skyway bucket as it heads toward the Tomorrowland station; You've got your subs, and the Monorail, and some Autopia, as well as a smidgen of Astro Jets, and even the Disneyland Railroad. Look at all those trees outside the park!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Frontierland Views, August 1969

For some reason, our photographer felt so inspired by this rough-hewn log stockade that he had to take a picture of it. Logs! Well, I'll be! Antlers were apparently a popular decoration on the frontier. They really do warm up the place! Note the large stone counterweight that operated a secret escape door (or something). I'm not sure exactly how this worked, to be honest.

Just on the other side of the stockade you would find the Plaza Gardens, and, I believe, some baños!

Over on Tom Sawyer Island, a small graveyard with a few humble headstones reminds us that life on the frontier was tough. I've always wondered if the names on the stones were taken from history: "Thaddeus Walker", "Eliza Hodgkins", "Rufus Finley", "W. Pierre Feignoux", and "Wing Lee" (not the one from Knott's Berry Farm?!?) are among the dearly departed.

The graveyard still exists, though it is all dirt, and lacks any sense that it has been there for many decades.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New York World's Fair

Hooray for the 1964 New York World's Fair! 

You can't have too many pictures of the "Tower of the Four Winds", situated in front of Walt Disney's "It's a Small World"! The composition is kind of neat, with half of the tower reaching up toward the sky, dramatic clouds in the distance. Somehow the photographer resisted the urge to place the tower right in the middle. I just love it. 

On many occasions, Rolly Crump has stated that he hated the way the finished tower looked, because engineers made some of the supports thicker (in case of high winds), supposedly ruining the light, airy appearance that he desired. 

Well, Rolly, I'm here to tell you that it looks wonderful anyway!

One of the more distinctive buildings at the Fair (strong words!) was the IBM pavilions giant "egg" - some say it was meant to resemble the type ball from "Selectric" typewriters). The real novelty was the way powerful hydraulics lifted grandstands (the "People Wall") holding some 500 guests up inside the ball. What an amazing sensation that must have been!

There they could watch a presentation created by Ray and Charles Eames (wow), using 14 slide projectors. It was called "The Information Machine". 

To the right is the Equitable Life Assurance pavilion, with its famous (and depressing) 44 foot-long electronic display that showed the rapidly increasing population of the planet Earth.

Insid the DuPot pavilion, two theaters showed a musical revue entitled "The Wonderful World of Chemistry". After that show, guests were entertained by "Chemical Comedy" ("Live action is combined with tricks on film") and "Molecular Magic" in which extraordinary properties of man-made materials were displayed. According to the souvenir guide, one of those demonstrations involved a performer holding a piece of red-hot metal that had been dipped in a "thin chemical film". Impressive!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fantasyland, July 1958

Today I continue a series of slides from July, 1958; in theory I am posting them in the order in which they were taken. (Eventually it seems that my plan doesn't work so well).

Anyhoo, we're in Fantasyland this time... the photos are familiar subjects, but nicely done. This first one is kind of an unusual angle, with the Flying Dumbos attraction, either ramping up, or slowing down. I don't see any passengers, which is odd. As usual I get a kick out of Timothy (one of my favorite animated characters) cruelly waving his whip in order to get Dumbo to perform. 

The Skyway looks great (orange bucket! orange bucket!) vanishing into the distance (where the Matterhorn isn't). And the stripe-sailed Pirate Ship looks fantastic.

Well, maybe the Dumbo attraction wasn't operating this day, because, once again, there aren't any people riding it. You'd think that the elephants would be grounded, if that's the case.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sub Lagoon

Here are two "leftuggies", featuring the Sub lagoon! Sort of.

We'll start with this one (from 1962), a portrait of three pals as they relax on the rocks that surround the lagoon; It doesn't look like they are waiting in line (the load area is all the way on the opposite side, after all). But if you are going to have your photo taken, it might as well be next to one of the Kodak "picture spots". The little kid to the right wishes he could dive into the water (I know I always wished I could). The Skyway looks neat from this perspective.

I was curious to see what was on the sign to our left, so I zoomed in and tried to improve it a bit. I didn't get "CSI" results ("Enhance!"), but you can see that there were recommended compositions from the fine folks at Kodak, who probably knew a thing or two about taking pictures. The one on the left almost looks like a "What not to do" example, with so much sky.

This one really should go into the "rejects" folder (otherwise known as the trash), but HEY, it was already scanned, so I might as well use it.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Viva Las Vegas

I still haven't decided on a new scanner (I've had other fish to fry), so today's photos are things that I just happened to have already scanned. They're not the most amazing vintage Las Vegas images ever, but hey... it's Vegas!

I love this first image, showing the classic Stardust Hotel, from September 1958. Wow, what a façade!  The foreground looks appropriately desert-y (I wonder what behemoth of a casino is there now?). The parking lot is full of beautiful American cars. 

The marquee touts the "Lido de Paris". "50 Stars! Exciting Acts! Gorgeous Girls! Direct From Europe In All Its Glory". In the lounge, you could enjoy Billy Daniels and The Happy Jesters.

The photographer returned to the same spot later, for this night shot. I'm sure this is a poor representation of the true dazzling splendor of the real thing.

The next two are from January, 1962; this time we're over at another classic hotel and casino, the Flamingo. My mom and dad honeymooned there! My mom says they had fun there, and yet they never returned to Glitter Gulch.

Why not take a photo of the Flamingo from an unattractive angle? The cylindrical tower was covered in lights, which was quite a sight at night, and was a real landmark along the Strip.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Random Randomness

Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland!

I don't have anything extra-special planned for this extra-special day, but I DO have a couple of nice random views, starting with this fun photo (circa 1956), taken over near the Plaza Pavilion, I believe. A group of guests are dressed in their finest 1910-era clothing. My guess is that they belonged to the "Horseless Carriage Club", a group that visited Disneyland in the early years, even driving their flivvers up Main Street. 

The guy with the cigar looks like a character actor, he has panache! He and his friends appear to have spotted something that does not meet with their approval!  

Next is this nice shot of the E.P. Ripley, in an undated slide that is almost certainly from the 1950's. I'm not sure exactly where our photographer would have been standing; it looks like the parking lot is beyond the berm, so the train might be in that area between Adventureland and Frontierland.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Love a Parade, January 1965

For many weeks, I have been sharing some weirdly dark and murky photos. They weren't a total loss, but I was looking forward to the day when they were done. WELL... they're done! Not that I won't have other murky pix. 

Anyway, today's photos are, surprisingly, from that same dreary lot, only they turned out OK. Check out this one, featuring the a marching band (but not the Disneyland Band) strutting around Town Square. What was the occasion? It appears as though a lucky kid has been plucked from the crowd to march alongside the drum major; could that be his mom, looking on (to our right) in the red sweater? The short gentleman in all white resembles Vesey Walker, but I can't tell. I thought Vesey had retired by 1965, but it turns out that he was at Disneyland until 1970.

I had my doubts about this photo being taken around the Holiday's of 1964/65, but you can see bells in the tree to the extreme right, and on the street light to the left.

Ah, the beautiful baton twirler! What could be more American? She looks like she walked out of an MGM musical. Notice the little kid, I really do think he's waving to the woman in the red sweater. Also, notice the Global Van Lines building, I miss its distinctive shape.

And here's a closeup, just for fun.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mine Train, August 1961

I never seem to grow tired of photos featuring the Mine Train and the little town of Rainbow Ridge. Maybe it's due to the level of detail (there's lots to look at!), or the sheer charm of it - wouldn't you want to live there? I don't know. But I do know that I love the little yellow mine train; it looks like some lucky kid has been allowed to sit in the cab!    Jealous

Up above, we can see a team of pack mules passing by... somehow I never realized that they passed in front of at a few buildings, even way back there. The scale is kind thrown off a little bit, but who cares. 

I know we've seen plenty of pictures of the geysers and bubbling, colorful mud pots in the "Living Desert", but this one seems especially nice to me. The composition is pleasing, and I like the slightly subdued colors; it's as if we are looking at a photo that is 54 years old!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Miscellaneous Souvenirs!

While digging through some random boxes, I dredged up a number of odd pieces of amusement park ephemera, and thought it would be fun to share some of it with you today.

Readers of this blog might already know about my love of Jungleland, USA; it is long-gone, but when I was a very small child, my grandparents took me and my brother to Thousand Oaks to see the lions, tigers, seals, giraffes, goats, and all manner of critters. Many years later, coincidentally, my family wound up living in Thousand Oaks, and for a while, the abandoned remains of Jungleland were visible from the nearby highway. I was delighted to find this fun business card!

"Frontier Village" was a charming little Western-themed amusement park in San Jose, California. I might dedicate a future post to it (by scanning one of their souvenir guidebooks). The park closed in 1980, sadly. I found this lithographed tin tray at a junk shop in San Jose when I was visiting my brother (who lived there for a while), and paid for it, cackling greedily the whole time, while pitying the poor schnooks who had somehow overlooked this treasure. 

The colorful image shows the "Lost Dutchman Mine Ride", which was (I am told) one of the most-loved attractions. Judging by the blacklight effects, it was a cross between Knott's Berry Farm's "Calico Mine Train" and Disneyland's "Rainbow Caverns". There are some photos of the attraction at this site.

In Florida, there is a little park called Walt Disney World. Not many people have heard of it, but it has its charms. In 1970, the Florida Citrus Commission sponsored the Enchanted Tiki Room, as well as the "Sunshine Tree Terrace" (where guests could get snacks, drinks, and treats); the Orange Bird was created (by Disney artists), and a costumed character could often be found at the Sunshine Tree. I'm not sure exactly when this button was given out, but I've had it for a long time. 

When the Florida Citrus Commission severed ties with the Disney folks in 1987, the Orange Bird went away. But, somehow, the character found some sort of weird fame in Japan. They love their appealing cartoon characters! Taking note of this fact, ol' Orangey returned to WDW in 2012.

I hope you have enjoyed today's souvenirs!