Monday, October 26, 2015

Outside Merlin's Magic Shop, August 1968

Walking through the arch of Sleeping Beauty Castle, you would find yourself in a courtyard with nicely-detailed buildings on either side of you. I loved the stylized, budget-conscious façades elsewhere in Fantasyland, but the fairy tale look of Tinker Bell's Toyshop (which would be behind us) and Merlin's Magic Shop (that's it, right in front of us!) are pretty great.

SO... Merlin's magic shop was quite a place. Not only could you buy magician's paraphernalia, you could also watch close-up magic tricks performed by the cast members in the store. As I have mentioned before, I coveted all of the Don Post rubber monster masks on display, and might have wished for some of the Adams products (joy buzzers, fake barf, ice cubes with flies, etc) too.

The park was busy on this sunny August day; notice the square Skyway buckets, and the cloth shades draped across parts of Fantasyland in an attempt to spare guests some of the direct sunlight. The orange sweater and yellow-green shirt are so late1960's!

After I initially wrote this post, I wondered if it would be possible to merge both of today's photos into a single image. Without much hope, I did the Photoshop "photo merge" thing, and in a matter of seconds, got a surprisingly great result! I could have cropped off the black shape in the upper right, but didn't want to lose all of the detail at the top of the photo. 


TokyoMagic! said...

That merge is pretty darn cool, Major! Hey, I think both of those Skyway gondolas are empty. What gives?

Chuck said...

I love the merge. I always get a kick out of people who end up appearing in both halves of the photo.

Great start to the day, Major! Thanks!

K. Martinez said...

It appears you had the urge to merge for today's post. Looks good!

I love the red-and-white striped shudders. on Merlin's Magic Shop. I wonder if they ever cleaned the plastic flowers in the window sill or just hosed them down along with the façade.

Anonymous said...

What a great combined image of a beloved little bit of Disneyland. From the many online photos of this little facade, it's popular with other people too.

Recently, I went through that little archway from Tomorrowland, it passes by the Snow White Grotto. It was the weirdest feeling, since it was probably 40 years since I had gone through before. Deja vu doesn't begin to explain it. I figure it's probably due to the accumulation of Merlin's magic in the vicinity, combined with some Steve Martin vibes, since he used to work in the store. I've felt it before in different places, and it never happens again in the same place. Life and the mind are odd.

The old Magic Shop now sells phony genealogy stuff, trying to make you think your ancestors had a coat of arms. If my family had armigerous symbols, it would probably be a mop and a bucket. Must be popular since it's been in the castle since my earliest memories, just in another location.


Matthew said...

"Urge to Merge." Nice one @K.Martinez! @JG, that is classic... "If my family had a coat of arms it would probably be a mop and a bucket." I may steal that but of course site you as the author.

What I enjoyed about the photos (and their merge) is that it appears that we used to still send letters to one another with the Disneyland Letter Box attached to Merlin's shop out front.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

TokyoMagic! said...

JG, my dad really liked this facade and photographed it multiple times over the years.

Matthew, believe it or not, that mailbox is still out in front of the shop today! I took pics of this facade just 3 weeks ago for a future "Then & Now" post. For a modern day comparison, here is one of the pics I took. I should have stepped back further to include the archway on the right, but it is always so crowded in that park now days! It made it difficult to get any kind of decent pic. Oh and that rope and green post in front of the shop is the entrance to the queue for Peter Pan's Flight.

Merlin's - Castle Heraldry Shoppe

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I was very surprised that the merge worked so well… the guy in the foreground was erased from history. As for the Skyway, hmmm… could it just be a coincidence that those are empty? I know that they sometimes let empty gondolas through. I assume that when the ride was down, they kept the gondolas at either station.

Chuck, do you see people who appear twice? I love that too! I only see “singles”.

K. Martinez, ha ha… “urge to merge” sounds very biological. I agree, the red and white stripes are great. They cleaned the flowers with magic, of course.

JG, your description of the “deja vu” reminds me of my first visit to Disneyland after living on the east coast for four years. It was amazing how different it felt, even though I don’t think that much had changed, really. I still loved it, of course! My dad fell for that coat of arms thing, we still have this book with the dumb “cut and paste shield”. I need to design my own! It will have robots and cute chicks! ;-) PS, I had to look up the word “armigerous”!!

Matthew, I wonder if those letter boxes are still at the park? They still sell postcards, so why the heck not. Or maybe everyone just tweets, IM’s, or emails their friends and family.

TokyoMagic!, you answered my question as I was writing my replies! I am glad to know that there is still at least one mailbox out there. Great picture... and hey, the shutters are still striped!

Chuck said...

Major, I've found at least four people who are coming through the archway to Tomorrowland who are also in the left side of the merged photo. And then, of course, there are the twins in almost the dead center of the merged photo, dressed identically and carrying matching Disneyland pennants.

Anonymous said...

Ha Major. Glad I can still stump people occasionally. I believe the emblems that were declared for my family were fairly succinct; "Argent, Stag Rampant Gules", entitled by assumption, no doubt, as our upper class contacts were direly limited.

I think robots and scanty-clad babes would be far more entertaining... and beer. Gotta have beer.