Friday, November 06, 2015

Wonderful Tomorrowland, 1957

Hot diggity! It's Tomorrowland, circa 1957, in clear, colorful Kodachrome. Doesn't it look great? Everything is so neat and tidy. I wish that we could see into the foyer of the Rocket to the Moon attraction, but those shadows are impenetrable. My impression is that the exhibits therein evolved over the years. 

The rocket itself is impressive as always; it just wants to leap into outer space! At its base, crowds of people are gathered... I wonder if this was their prearranged meeting place? "Synchronize your watches; we'll reconnoiter at the base of the rocket at 1500 hours!". To our right is the giant compass rose of the Flight Circle.

Let's be nosy and look backstage. There's the old Dominguez home (with the Spanish tiled roof), which served as the administration offices. In the upper right is the massive shed that was part of the Main Street buildings, including the Opera House. If you look carefully to the right of the Dominguez house, there seems to be something that resembles a boat (?).

From the same group we have this crooked photo of the Astro Jets zooming in circles; to the left, the old Art Corner building, and to the right, the Skyway tower on Snow Hill.


Nanook said...


I can't remember the last time I 'reconnoitered'. Probably about the same time I 'frolicked' Those were good times - although not as good as the time these folks must be having. What a fine Tomorrowland this is.

Thanks, Major. for sharing.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think I see some people in that first pic that are "traipsing"!

Chuck said...

I never noticed the attraction posters mounted on the "tripod" sets of "swizzle stick" lights before. Not sure which one I want more - a poster, or a swizzle stick.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I love the DL & Santa Fe RR poster in the last shot. Me wants one but don't have the oodles of cash$$ it would take to get one.
Nice Post, Thanks. Happy Friday GDBr's

K. Martinez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K. Martinez said...

Although I don't remember it in person when visiting the original Tomorrowland in the 1960's, one of my favorite features is the abstract shapes on the façades of the north and south exhibit buildings facing the Flight Circle. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Let's take a Rocket to the Moon!
Our rocket's leaving very soon!
Blast off from Disneyland today,
Courtesy of TWA!
Every Space Cadet should know
One thing to do before they go:
Visit the restroom just in case,
'Cause there's nowhere to go in space!
Make sure your hands are washed and dried,
Or they'll slip on the OVERRIDE.
Brush your hair and comb your teeth;
Make sure your underpants are clean,
In case your spacesuit’s… underneath
Should rupture into smithereens.
Fear not the Star-Behemoth Men,
Nor vaporous Venusians;
Why, sulphur-based Cyclopeans
They fear us more than we fear them!
(Of course, they're scared of the Venus Vapors)
From what you read in the Cyclops papers.)
So, finish up that churro, lad!
Uh, no, it’s not because there’s bad
Airsickness on our rocket, no!
We’d never, never let you go
If there was but a single problem!
Any questions? We can dodge ‘em…
I mean, my lovely secretary…
Ouch! My loyal… Sweet Jesus and Mary…
My clever assistant… ow, holy cats!
Now, what the heck was wrong with THAT?
Will sign you up for our departure,
While I get ice bags for my ribs.
See you on the moon soon, kids!

Matt said...

I always love seeing images from old Tomorrowland, only wish I could have seen it in person.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, reconnoitering has fallen out of fashion, what with the tweets and the facebooks and the dot coms and all.

TokyoMagic!, I think you mean “prancing”!!

Chuck, we have seen those before, but I think they vanished from Tomorrowland within the first few years.

Alonzo, yes, that is one of my favorites, and one that I don’t have. I’ve only ever seen one for auction, and a friend bought it (he has since sold it to a very rich man). One of your fellow blog readers has one, though!

K. Martinez, yes, it is as if Alexander Calder and Henri Matisse were in charge of decorating that part of Tomorrowland.

Melissa, WOW! (And welcome back?). What an awesome piece of verse. It reminds me of Roald Dahl. I like the sulphur-based Cyclopeans (though they probably don’t smell so great). Is this pure poetry, or did you have a tune in mind when you wrote this? My brain keeps trying to turn it into a song, but it can’t quite manage.

Matt, me too! Even when it became dated (by the mid-1960’s), it still exuded more charm and optimism than the Tomorrowland of today.

Anonymous said...

My TWA rocket...


Alonzo P Hawk said...


Roses are red, violets are blue, the best thing this friday, is a new poem from you. :-)

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Once again - pure poetic goodness-!

J & E said...

Does anyone know what happened to the old Dominguiz house? I know the Pope House is slated to be relocated with Star Wars Land taking over the backlot area north of Frontierland.

Major Pepperidge said...

J # E, the Dominguez House was finally torn down in 1966.