Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Santa Fe & Disneyland RR Flyer, 1958

I love vintage paper ephemera from Disneyland! And today I am sharing one of my favorite pieces... this fantastic (and somewhat scarce) gate handout announcing the fabulous Grand Canyon Diorama ("Largest In The World"). I still love this feature SO much, it has always been a highlight of my visits to the park, even with the advent of faster, more technologically impressive attractions.

The flyer is 12.7 inches long and approximately 5 inches wide, and is printed on pink paper that resembles thin construction paper. It looks like the kind of broadside that might have been pasted on a wall or a fence over 100 years ago. The different fonts and ornaments are fun, and I always love seeing the Santa Fe logo on Disneyland items. 

A new addition was the locomotive #3, the "Fred Gurley" (a refurbished engine from 1894), introduced on March 28, 1958. The drawings are beautiful - I wish we knew the artist who did them. Some details are off, but in general they are very nice.  For some reason, the C.K. Holliday is labeled "the E.P. Ripley", and vice-versa. Also, note that the Holliday is pulling the passenger cars, while the Ripley is pulling the freight cars. Only nerds care about such things!

Another detail is the mention of Tomorrowland Station, which I believe opened in April - the fourth station after the addition of Fantasyland Station in 1956. So that can help narrow down the date of this flyer. 

I hope you have enjoyed this vintage Disneyland flyer!


TokyoMagic! said...

Such a nice piece of DL ephemera, Major! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love the diorama too. It's sad that it will now be closed to guests for such a long stretch of time. :-(

Nanook said...


According to my sources the Tomorrowland Station opened in April, 1958.

Great flyers, Major. Thanks.

K. Martinez said...

Wow!! This is really great! I love the artwork, fonts and little details. I also like that the flyer shows the three different types of trains you could ride. Bring back the Fast Freight to Disneyland! I want to stand up and yell "MOO!" from inside the cattle car. Thanks, Major!

Steve DeGaetano said...

A neat piece that still eludes my grasp! I love the artwork too, and it is fairly accurate.

K. Martinez, the Fast Freight still exists, but of course benches have been installed! You can still stand up, but you may raise the ire of a conductor.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I agree that this flyer is especially cool. I’m glad you like it!

Nanook, is one of your sources the fourth paragraph in today’s post? ;-)

K. Martinez, one of the things I love is that the park went to the trouble of designing and printing so many unique little flyers and gate handouts back in the 50’s and 60’s. Today they are mostly kind of generic. Also, you should always stand up and say “MOO!”.

Steve DeGaetano, these don’t come up a lot; think of the many thousands that were given out. Most probably went right into the trash. Arg!

Nanook said...


You can never be too careful.

zach said...

My father worked for Southern Pacific and a common practice in those days (the 50s) was to give employees a ride privilege 'Pass' that other roads would honor. So, we were able to ride the Santa Fe & Disneyland RR for free! I have a vague recollection of having one of those fliers in my 'archives'. If I do, Steve DeGeatano, it's yours. Warning, if I have it, it will probably be folded, spindled but not mutilated.


Chuck said...

This. Is. Awesome.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Wow, David, thank you! I'm not the kind of collector that fawns over the pristine--just to have an example is fine by me! I will send a copy of my book to you in return!

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful.

I used to have a reproduction poster of the transcontinental railroad in a very similar vein, not sure if it was really real, or a made-up thing, part of the '70's craze for Victorian style.

I saw a copy of the same poster used as a theme prop in Disneyland on my last ride on the DLRR, it was set up on a building just past the indian village as the train track passes into the area behind Big Thunder Ranch.


zach said...

Thanks, Steve, but I have your book. That's why I think you need the Flyer. Now, let's hope I have it!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, truer words were never spoken.

David Zacher, thanks for your cool comment… it must have been quite a treat to have those passes for the Disneyland RR!

Chuck. Thank. You!

Steve DeGaetano, man, if only my copy of this flier had been free!

JG, I would think that you could look up your poster online and see if there is any information about it. If you care! The fact that you saw the same poster at Disneyland makes me think that it must have been a repro of an actual vintage example.

David Zacher, you are a generous guy!

walterworld said...

My family and I will be rolling into Anaheim on Thursday afternoon for a family reunion. I made all of the arrangements back in August 2015, so I was somewhat upset to hear about the Star Wars land closures.

Bummer! I’d trade a ride on the railroad and one on the Mark Twain for all the Star Wars you can handle at this point. Similar to what TokyoMagic has experienced, ‘they’ have gradually ruined everything I used to love about Disneyland.

At least it’s been almost three years since I spent the bread to behold the latest ‘improvements/changes’.

For this trip I’m focusing on hotel/pool time and re-con of the surrounding areas (Linbrook Bowl anyone?)

Looking forward to a corn dog at The Little Red Wagon if it’s still there… Oh and also 17 family members splashing in the pool at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel, which is as close as you can still get to the old Disneyland Hotel ‘garden-hotel’ experience. Olympic Pool included! Check it out…

Thanks as always Major!

Anonymous said...

Hello Major. After my post, I realized that I could probably find the poster online, and here it is >>


It appears to be a reproduction of an authentic poster advertising the Transcontinental Railroad, and a natural for "background" use in Frontierland. There is a distinct resemblance in the posters you showed.


Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, I hope you had a great trip and that it wasn't too crowded! I agree with you, Star Wars Land just doesn't get me too excited, but I think that it's a generational thing. For younger folks, it is their "Disney", if you know what I mean. Hope you got a corn dog... wish I had one now!

JG, wow, that is a beautiful poster. I had no idea that the Disneyland "Nature's Wonderland" poster was based on a real antique example. Very cool.

zach said...

Not sure where to leave this comment for Steve DeGaetano. I couldn't find the flyer. I'm sorry but it was mistaken identity and not what I thought!