Sunday, September 13, 2015

Two From August 1969

The Monorail has just left the station in Tomorrowland, and has begun a curve that swoops back over the Submarine lagoon. Beyond the foreground rockwork is the holding pens for subs (I guess these were only used when the submarines needed servicing?). Look at the throngs of people! As I've pointed out before, August 1969 was a busy month for the park, what with a certain Haunted Mansion opening. 

I like how you can just see a Peoplemover car emerging from one of the tunnels in the background. And oh yeah, Skyway buckets, like paper lanterns on a string.

Richfield Oil was the sponsor of both of Disneyland's Autopias, and their logo, this giant eagle, could be found in front of each attraction's entrance (this is a view of the one above the Fantasyland Autopia). It looks like an automobile hood ornament. Richfield's sponsorship ended the following year, and these figures were removed. I have a super fantastic shot of the Tomorrowland eagle coming up!


Nanook said...


Oh- my, my... just who let all those people into the Park-? I mean - really-??!!

"Skyway buckets, like paper lanterns on a string." Byron couldn't have said it more graciously. And if we take a gander towards the skyline in the first image, we can see the construction crane jutting out above the Marina Tower of the Disneyland Hotel, now under construction.

I like the idea for a Richfield Eagle hood ornament. I'm gonna get started on one, straight-away-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

If the monorail has just left the station in Tomorrowland, then it would have begun a curve that takes it along Harbor Boulevard, not over the Submarine Lagoon. As for the PeopleMover emerging from the tunnel, it's actually heading into the tunnel. I also think the photo might be taken from a PeopleMover vehicle headed into the Autopia woods after leaving Carousel of Progress and Skyway area.

Both of these images are great! I wonder why they mounted the Richfield Eagle high above the Fantasyland Autopia entrance and low on Tomorrowland Autopia entrance? Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Can't get enough of that glorious giant Richfield eagle! And the rock work in the front of the first picture kind of looks like a stone lion.

Patrick Devlin said...

Great stuff, as always, Major. I look forward to shots like the first one just for the unusual angle. It shows the run-out area for the briefly considered "Gummi Bears Water Slide" attraction. At least I think that's what it is... Or did I dream it?

For what it's worth the Subs had maintenance done on a spur track that ended back near the Monorail switch. I think there even used to be a sign saying something about "Submarine Dry Dock", or some such, that was visible from the D&SFRR.

I'm guessing that first shot was taken from the Monorail only 'cause the Peoplemover support pylon is just visible at the right hand edge of the photo.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ha ha, my hack prose! By “Byron”, you mean Byron Allen from “Real People”? Thanks for pointing out the construction crane, which I didn’t notice.

K. Martinez, well, it looks like I got just about everything wrong! It’s funny, when I wrote the line about the Peoplemover train, I thought to myself, “It might be coming OUT of the tunnel…”. C’est la vie.

Melissa, I’ve always wondered if those Richfield eagles were destroyed, or if they wound up in somebody’s back yard.

Patrick Devlin, I like the idea of a water slide into the Sub lagoon… only we don’t need the Gummi Bears! I know that they did the major sub maintenance backstage (I have a photo of the sign you mentioned, it’s on my blog somewhere), but I was mostly wondering what that second dock was for. A holding area for extra subs in case of crowded days?

Nanook said...


"Hack" prose-? I think not. I've always considered your writing on a par with the World's great poets - in spite of it being in prose form. And I was referring to none other than George Gordon 'Lord' Byron, poet extraordinaire.

K. Martinez said...

Patrick/Major, I think at one time the maintenance area sign in back of Tomorrowland along the D&SF RR tracks said something like "Disneyland Naval Yard" and when it changed to yellow submarines it said "Disneyland Oceanographic Institute". I could be wrong, but that's what I think was printed on the sign.

Anonymous said...

The Submarine Voyage was designed to be most efficient with six boats on the show track and two boats stowed at the auxiliary dock (one boat was usually cycled to the maintenance spur, leaving a single submarine floating away at the second dock). On super busy days, Attraction bigwigs would often insist a seventh sub be cycled in over the objections of ride foremen who knew that actually slowed things down. Sheesh. Great photos, thanks!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha! Late last night I was trying to figure out where that first one might have been taken, but then I fell asleep in front of the computer! I am going to agree with Ken and say it was taken from the part of the PeopleMover that comes down low to the ground after leaving the Carousel of Progress. Major, while searching for your "Disneyland Navy Yard" pic, I even came across a photo of yours that shows the PeopleMover in the spot from where the first photo would have been taken:

And here's your previously posted Navy Yard pic which took a while to find because like Ken, I was pretty sure the sign read "Naval" and didn't realize it was actually "Navy":

TokyoMagic! said...

I should have stated that the photo would have been taken from the part of the track that the dark blue PeopleMover car is on and not the turquoise one (in that first link).

Anonymous said...

Max capacity on the subs was eight boats, run in "wolf packs" of three, three, and two. The "dry dock" in back really was a dry dock. Subs requiring maintenance were driven into the dock, the canal-style doors were closed, and the water drained out.

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, Excellent research. Thanks for posting the image links. I always got a kick out of passing that sign when riding the Disneyland RR.

Anonymous, You always post such cool information. I remember watching a MartinVideo on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarine voyage at the Magic Kingdom which kind of illustrated the same points you mentioned. Thanks for sharing it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know you meant Lord Byron! I just had to throw in a stupid reference to “Real People”, which hardly anybody would get.

K. Martinez, I think I have seen a photo of the “Oceanic Institute” sign, though I couldn’t tell you where.

Anon, thank you for the info! That answers some questions that I’ve had for a long time.

TokyoMagic!, yes, that appears to be just the right spot. There’s no reason that I couldn’t have done the same research - except that I’m lazy!

Anon, I don’t really understand how the subs were run in “wolf packs”… wouldn’t it make sense to just space them out as evenly as possible all day long?

K. Martinez, I wish more knowledgeable Anons would chime in with their inside knowledge!

Anonymous said...

Wolf packs were based on the fact that there were three dock positions, and all three would have the 38 passengers queued up to load when the three boats arrived. Since all three boats would be loaded and ready to go at about the same time, releasing them naturally created the group of three.

Patrick Devlin said...

Boy, you go to work thinking you've posted something clever and then come to find out some really astute remarks from folks who are paying attention. I don't mind being wrong 'cause that's when I do the most learning...

Anonymous said...

Major, thank you for these pictures, which make me really happy.