Monday, February 29, 2016

More Fantasyland Construction Photos

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

Today I have the last of my photos showing the construction of the "New Fantasyland", probably taken in 1982. It was fun while it lasted.

It's a mess down there! Look at that lumber. Actually, those are some nice looking planks! Cement mixers, a porta-potty, drain pipes, and dirt a-plenty. What do you think that strange three-legged wooden thing is that is leaning near the Skyway sign in the upper left? There's a Chevy pickup in the lower right, possibly with tanks of welding gas in the back. "WHAT of welding gas?". "Tanks". "You're welcome! HA HA HA!".

And finally, here's what you would see if you had walked through Sleeping Beauty Castle from Main Street... an attractive and gluten free construction wall with an illustrated sign (which lit up at night... see the tiny lightbulbs?). You can see some of those round vignettes from Disney animated classics HERE.


TokyoMagic! said...

The first photo shows a good view of that concrete foundation around the Skyway support tower, which wasn't present in the early years of the Skyway. That second pic really shows the angulation of the Skyway cable over Fantasyland, which I don't think I really noticed before. Maybe when the Carousel was closer to the Castle, it blocked most of the view of the Skyway from the Castle forecourt.

Nanook said...


That "three-legged" (I think it's really four) wooden thing is a mystery. It's hard to determine if it's part of the construction or as-yet to be finished permanent piece of the New Fantasyland.

And perhaps those tanks are Oxy-Acetylene, for cutting or welding steel.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I'm really disappointed they removed that port-a-potty after the construction was complete. The ambiance just hasn't been the same since.

MRaymond said...

I am always surprised that the Skyway remained open during the FL construction. If that happened today, Micechat would be full of daily updates and Youtube would get a new video every day.

K. Martinez said...

"New Adventures for your favorite Walt Disney Characters"? Yeah right! You tore down my childhood Fantasyland.

MRaymond and All, The Skyway was operating with guests on it during the construction of "Disneyland'59" and "Tomorrowland'67" too. The main Skyway tower (before Matterhorn) was propped up with 2x4s at least according to Tony Baxter. Here is some footage from this hour long video presented by Tony Baxter at the 2011 D23 Expo.

The Skyway portion starts at 25:21 and again at 47:14 into the video. Of course the whole presentation is pretty cool.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I wonder why that footing was added to the Skyway support tower; I would imagine that the metal lets go into the ground a good 10 feet (or more?). “Angulation”, that’s a new one for me!

Nanook, I agree, it probably actually has four legs, but I still can’t tell what the heck it is. Those tanks are full of helium… construction workers love talking to each other in squeaky voices.

Chuck, when you think about it, it was its own kind of dark ride.

MRaymond, to be honest, I’m surprised that I haven’t found many many more photos of this construction. Think of the thousands of people who got such a great bird’s eye view - armed with cameras.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, the teardown was a harbinger of things to come. Do you know if Tony Baxter did a similar presentation for last year's D-23 Expo? Personally, those would be panels that I would want to see in person if I was at the Expo.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

"You tore down my childhood Fantasyland." Ahhh - that's the rub. You and I might feel that way. (And with the exception of "losing" the Pirate Ship & Skull Rock - blasphemy-!!), ain't it really better-? It's a tough call.

Anonymous said...

Major, I'm sorry to say that I can't offer any speculation on the four-legged (three-legged) mystery gadget. It looks like it is framed of wood and possibly built on site, not purchased made up, but no idea what for.

The pictures are very interesting. Was that concrete footing on the tower visible in the finished work? I don't remember it one way or the other. You are right though, in modern work, the foundation piers might be 10-20 deep depending on soil conditions and current codes. But the old codes did not require elaborate earthquake provisions the way today's standards do, so that pad might be all there was.

For instance, many of the (concealed) foundations for the Golden Gate Bridge are comically small in comparison to modern standards, yet the Bridge continues to stand. Fortunately, most of the smallest ones are hidden in excavations and can't be seen by the public.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am generally OK with the New Fantasyland, though, like most people, I am not happy about the removal of Skull Rock and the Pirate Ship.

JG, I am now wondering if that mystery thing is the framework for what would become a decorative chimney. If you know what I mean. When clad with fake stone (or whatever), I can imagine it when placed atop a roof. I am surprised to hear about the small foundations for the Golden Gate Bridge; I remember seeing a diagram of how far the cables are sunk into the hillsides at either end, and it was pretty impressive. Maybe by today's standards it is not that great though.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I like the "New" Fantasyland. Technically it's superior, but it's the original that resides in my heart and childhood memory. When they took out the Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and tore down the old Fantasyland to replace it with the new Fantasyland, I knew then that the Disneyland I grew up with was being chipped away. That was the "Walt" era, the Disneyland of our generation's childhood. I also still have a strong fondness for the old Fantasyland color palette.

Major, I'd have to look that up. I'm a D23 member, but I never have the right timing to go to one of those events.

Chuck said...

Even with those small foundations, the Golden Gate Bridge still managed to survive the 9.0 earthquake in "San Andreas." Of course, those foundations weren't terribly effective at protecting the bridge decking from a container ship being dropped upside-down on them, but that's really not a fair criticism since it was only designed to handle things that can actually happen...