Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More "New Fantasyland" Construction

Man, there is nothing worse than an old Fantasyland, am I right? Tear that sucker down! Today I have two more snapshots (probably from 1982) showing some Skyway views of the carnage. 

There's "It's a Small World", still open... we can just see part of the pathway that led back to it in the lower right corner. To the left is the empty channel that normally held the Storybook Land Canal Boats. That square white container is where the Apollo astronauts were temporarily quarantined after their missions. I think. Don't want to catch any moon viruses! A bit to the right (and up) from that is a fenced-off rectangular area that once held seating for folks who wanted to relax and watch the boats go by. Presumably this is long-gone.

These are in no particular order, clearly; once again we are looking down upon some of the new dark ride exteriors, including "Pinocchio's Daring Journey". I think a portion of the "Village Haus" is also part of this group. I am kind of fascinated by the jumble of stuff on the ground, like those wooden "hutches". Not sure exactly what they would have been for - but it probably involved those troublesome Apollo astronauts again. 


Nanook said...


Out wth the old, and in with the new. Yep - that's how we roll these days. "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot". Well... it's not that bad here, and in some ways a nice change; but, still-!

And, Major - you ain't kidding about those annoying astronauts. (Wasn't there a Little Golden Book entitled Those Pesky Apollo Astronauts-? I thought so.

Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

Oof. My brain hurts. I had a devil of a time figuring out where Storybook Land had gone. It looked like the area across from the loading dock was covered with a wild bunch of scrubby forest. It took some intent staring to realize that was just the tops of a tree located on the near side of the canal. Whew. Now I need to go to bed...

Unknown said...


I've randomly read your blog multiple times over the years, and throughly enjoyed everything I've seen. Just a couple days ago, though, I decided to go through your blog and read a number of posts. I really love seeing old favorites in all of your slides, and enjoy your commentary. Just wanted to thank you for what you do, and your obvious passion for our favorite park.

Also, I really love these shots. Crazy to think that there was once a place to just sit and watch the Storybook boats float along. Feels like you can't even stand by Monstro and glance around without being trampled these days!


K. Martinez said...

That second shot is the "Village Haus" and a shop. I remember the restaurant as "Village Inn" when it first opened in 1983. "Pinocchio's Daring Journey" would be just out of view to the left. Always love construction shots of Disneyland. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I remember that too. Wasn't it originally sponsored by Sun Giant? Someone recently told me why they changed the name from Village Inn to Village Haus, but now I can't remember what the reason was. Damn, short term memory loss!

TokyoMagic! said...

Now that I think of it, wasn't the Market House on Main St. sponsored by Sun Giant at one time?

Anonymous said...

Hello Major, these are really unusual pictures, always enjoying construction shots.

The "hutch" structures in the second pic are field-fabricated drawing board stations. These are common in construction so the field crews can lay out the "blueprints" on a desktop surface. These examples have little roofs to keep rain and heavy dew off the drawings, which are usually taken in at night.

Typically these structures are knocked together quickly by the framers at the earliest start of concrete work (when formwork lumber is first available on the site) and then demolished at the end of the project and carried off as trash. I have a long one (no roof) in my garage as a workbench, salvaged from a project many years ago.

The two in the photo are arranged to make an "L" shaped "workstation" for the construction superintendent to use in layout and checking details between drawing sets. No Herman Miller furniture for him. The drawings can be seen on the desks, with loose items (pieces of 2x4 or sim.) laid on them so they don't blow around in the wind.

The framing details are interesting. Easy to see now how so many of the complex roof forms are just "pasted" onto the main framing.

The photo vantage point is interesting, there is no structure of sufficient height in that location now. The angle is such that it might have been shot from Casy Jr. load queue, but that's not tall enough. The photographer might have been on the now-removed Skyway tower, or elevated on a piece of construction equipment like a Skytrak.



K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, Yes, the Village Inn/Haus restaurant was first sponsored by Sun Giant. I remember getting a large salad there opening year (1983) called the "Pleasure Island" which consisted of a bed of mixed greens sprinkled with raisins, dates and nuts and topped with raspberry yogurt dressing. It was pretty good. And yes, I think you are correct about the Sun Giant/Market House connection. I just can't remember which year the sponsorship took place for that specific location.

JG, awesome information about the "work station". It adds a whole new layer to today's post. Thanks!

TokyoMagic! said...

JG, that is very interesting! Your info made me go check a similar construction photo that I had taken, to see if those small structures were there. They aren't present in my pic, and actually, my photo is even more similar than I remembered it being. It is taken from almost the exact same spot with just a slightly higher angle. After comparing the two shots, and noticing only a little progress with one of the rooftops and that center tower, I'm guessing that I must have taken my photo just a few days before the Major's photo was taken.

Village Inn Construction - November 1982

Anonymous said...

@Ken: Glad that helped.

@Tokyo: I agree that your pic is undoubtedly earlier, by a month or more. The cylindrical items in both pics are metal ventilation ductwork, usually stored on end to minimize dents and damage. Some rectangular duct has been delivered in Major's pic. This makes sense, since HVAC rough work is scheduled after pickup framing in the interior.

In your shot, the ducts look just delivered and no wall sheathing is in place. In today's GDB photo, the work in progress looks to be cutting plywood wall sheathing for the front wall of the tower. The plywood is laid out on sawhorses to the left for cutting.

The roof over the restrooms beyond is fully sheathed, complete with fake dormer, while in your pic, it's skeletal framing.

Also, the trees in Frontierland are green in your pic, and gold in the Major's. Some time has passed between these images, although not a lot of visible construction.

Fun stuff.


Anonymous said...

@Tokyo, plan tables are usually mobile, dragged all over the site to wherever they are needed most, and moved to allow unloading or material stockpile.


TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I forgot about the use of raisins, nuts and sunflower seeds in some of the menu items!

JG, You are right! The time between shots had to be a matter of weeks or months and not days. I didn't notice those trees that had turned color!

Mark H. Besotted said...

Nanook, you can quote Joni Mitchell all you want, but remember a lot of the fan community still feels betrayed since they tore down a parking lot to put up Paradise (Pier).

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I really do like the revamped (1983) Fantasyland, but it is such a shame that they couldn’t save Skull Rock and the Pirate Ship. If they HAD saved those, it would be just about perfect.

Patrick Devlin, I see what you mean… it DOES look like Storybook Land has been abandoned for years. And inhabited by flesh-eating zombies.

Medley Apple, thanks for your nice note! I’m glad you like what you see (and read). One of the great pleasures of vintage photos is seeing a park that looks like a place one could relax. I don’t think that happens anymore.

K. Martinez, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at the VIllage Haus… it has been closed, if I recall.

TokyoMagic!, I’m glad your questions are for Ken, because I don’t have a clue!

Anonymous, I suspected that those hutches were for something like viewing blueprints, but thank you for your very detailed description. They definitely look “knocked together”! I am sure that the photograph was taken from a Skyway bucket, as are almost all of the pictures from this group.

K. Martinez, how the heck do you remember a salad in such detail over 30 years later?!?!

TokyoMagic!, thanks for the link, I’m sure I looked at your photos before, but it is nice to revisit them. You’re right, I only note some minor differences, though who knows how many days had elapsed. In those days I get the impression that things moved along pretty fast compared to today.

JG, wow, I am surprised that you estimate a month’s difference… again, it just seems like the pace of construction was very rapid in those days. Now projects take 3 or 4 years, rather than a matter of months, and that Fantasyland upgrade was a pretty significant endeavor. But you obviously have lots of experience with such things (unlike me!), so I bow to your professional knowledge.

TokyoMagic!, how can you forget about raisins, nuts, and sunflower seeds? It’s like forgetting your own name!

Mark H. Besotted, from now on I am going to mentally insert the word “pier” into “Big Yellow Taxi”!

K. Martinez said...

Major, well I did forget about the sunflower seeds, so it's not 100% recall. Other than that, I remember details vividly on a lot of trivial things and events from the distant past. Now if it's something truly important like people's birthdays and anniversaries, forget it. I'm SOOL.

Anonymous said...

@Major, thank you.

My estimate of the time between photos is based strictly on the color change of the background trees which goes from summer green to full autumn yellow. That doesn't happen overnight, even in the Magic Kingdom.

I agree that construction progress seems slow between the photos. No telling why. Might be related to the unforeseen issues found with the existing construction.

Disney in particular has a good record of fast-paced production which is only possible in private construction with good architecture and more or less unlimited funds.

Based on construction drawings I have seen and unlike most projects today, the artistic concept and construction details were well-worked out in advance. it's the coordination of these items along with contract arguments over cost and scope that delay most projects.