Monday, December 07, 2015

Mad Tea Party & More, 1956

Today I'm only sharing one slide, but it's an oldie with some fun details. 

This slide is from a lot from 1956, and at first it seems to be an unremarkable photo of the Mad Tea Party teacups.

But if you look closer, you can see that Monstro is still under construction! Remember, the Storybook Land Canal Boats didn't open until June 16, 1956. Pretty cool!

Off to the right, a photographer (and his assistant?) stands with his large format (?) camera. Imagine the nice pictures he got with that thing! Is it possible that the gent is Mel Kilpatrick? He took lots of beautiful early shots of the park, many of which were later published by his daughter in a number of volumes.

Meanwhile, I wonder what that angled panel of wood was there for? 


Nanook said...


Root canal work.

Thanks, Major, for this great image.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Back when I was an AP holder my ten year younger girlfriend was really upset when I told her I can never go on those things ever again, NEVER EVER. She just could not understand.

Those are some really nice obscure elements. I’m glad you have a good eye.
Thanks Major!

K. Martinez said...

And in the background there's telephone poles too! Nice shot with some unusual detail. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

With the two kids alone in the teacup, I'm guessing they're taking shots for postcards and the guidebook.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Is it possible the park has not even been completed and the date of the photo is wrong? Because I can’t even make out one horse on King Author’s Carousel, and the park is almost completely empty, but for a few blue-collar types

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Silly me! “Disneyland will NEVER be completed”

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that is some serious dentistry!

Monkey Cage Kurt, I guess I am lucky, I can still ride the teacups; I especially like it at night when the beautiful lanterns are lit. Also, my girlfriend actually likes it when the teacups spin, so that is lucky too.

K. Martinez, ha ha, you love seeing those telephone poles! ;-)

Anonymous, that isn’t a bad theory, although I would think a postcard or guidebook photo would be better if it showed lots of people having fun (?). You never know, though.

Monkey Cage Kurt, this is definitely from 1956, since there are photos of Tom Sawyer Island under construction as well as Monstro. That isn’t the Carrousel in the background; it is one of the two snack bars in Fantasyland, known as “Fant 1” and “Fant 2”. The park was very uncrowded that day, but other photos in the lot show light crowds in Frontierland and elsewhere.

Monkey Cage Kurt, they should just complete it, already.

Blossom Nose Murphy said...

It's a well known fact that Walt Disney was a trailblazer when it came to interactive rides. Since the carrousel didn't have brass rings, that panel was a ramp allowing you to jump mount the horses while they are moving. Just like in the movies!


Anonymous said...

These are fun, I agree that the surroundings don't look like a typical day. That framework panel is an oddity and the crowd doesn't like typical visitors.

I like the kids in the teacup, but they don't seem to be the focus of the photographer, at least, not yet.

It's a weird pic.

Thanks Major.


Monkey Cage Kurt said...

We have a “Blossom Nose Murphy” here today. Awesome insider’s blog name! Wish I had come up with that one.

Thanks for clarifying those bits Major! I feel better now about my alleged carousel horse deficit. Still, it looks to be a photo shoot. I think our “anonymous” blogger may be right about that.

outsidetheberm said...

Gene Lester was a famous photographer who was known to document Disneyland pretty heavily - especially for Life Magazine. The short statured man near the camera looks a bit like him, though it's hard to tell. The camera is a match for his equipment of choice. I knew him briefly before he passed - he was so much fun to talk to. There's a famous Gene Lester photo of Walt Disney riding the Tea Cups with his wife and daughter. I think you just may have an extraordinary and historic slide there, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Blossom Nose Murphy, now that's a carrousel I would want to try!

JG, these photos do look unusual, but others in the batch look like a typical (though uncrowded) day.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I don't even GET the insider's name. What am I missing??

outsidetheberm, thank you for that info. I have heard of Gene Lester... I wish there was some way to confirm if it was him or not, but the slide isn't clear enough. Rats!