Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Snapshots, September 1971

There's something about today's snapshots that remind me of the 1965 Donruss bubblegum cards that I shared on this blog a while ago. Maybe it's their smallish size, maybe it's the white border. Or even the way the colors look. OR I am insane, which is a distinct possibility. 

Sleeping Beauty Castle looks pretty swell here, very summery and friendly. Ivy has swallowed nearly half of it, and the colorful banners add some nice accents. I can't believe I've never noticed before, but it appears that the tops of those banner poles are supposed to be medieval torches... did they actually ignite at some point later in the day?

Meanwhile I love the 70's fashions. Stripes! And that guy's orange-ish brown suit is awesome.

Next we have this nice aerial view of the "Patrick Henry" as it glides on its track through the lagoon, heading toward the waterfall that is the entry into the dark ride portion of the attraction. At the top of the image you can see lots of toylike Fantasyland Autopia cars, and even a Motor Boat in the upper right.


Nanook said...


Do you mean to tell me the submarines "glide on tracks-??!! Oh my - what's next-? Now you'll be telling me Tinker Bell doesn't actually 'fly' down from the Matterhorn. I'm so disillusioned...

Thanks, nonetheless, Major.

Nanook said...


I should have also mentioned the banner "torches" were added around 1965, perhaps along with the compass points at the front castle walkway-? And they most-assuredly lit-up - as they continue to do so.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Dark ride portion? You mean it didn't really visit the polar ice caps!! Wow. Next you'll tell me the mermaids were human girls from southern california making $1.85 an hour.

I like the blob o' color from the Autopia cluster to the north of the PH. Thanks for posting Major spoiler (no alert).

Chuck said...

You're not the only one having an "I never noticed that before" moment today, Major. I'd always assumed that the submarines' rear guide wheels were at the stern of the subs (my model railroading experience is subtly exerting itself here), but in this photo you can clearly see that they are farther forward underneath the hull. That makes sense - it allows the sub to make tighter turns without the track coming into the view of guests on the outside of the turn and thus spoiling the illusion.

Speaking of the illusion...does anyone know - were the subs designed with the intent that guests would sit back in their seats rather than leaning forward into the window? From the seats, you can only see the surface in the lagoon area, and the submerging effect is at its most convincing. Yet, I've leaned into the windows since I was a kid so I can get a better view, even though from that vantage point it was pretty obvious that we really didn't submerge. Plus I've always liked that current of cool air blasting back in my face; funny how I don't enjoy my car defogger drying out my eyes in the exact same manner. More of the magic of Disneyland, I guess.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, really? You mean to tell me the Subs don't actually submerge? I'm shocked.

What Disney should do is paint the submarines yellow and have Captain Fred narrate the tour, complete with Snapping Turks, Blue Meanies and Apple Bonkers.

Yes, these do look like Don Russ cards because of the white border and color tone. Thanks, Major.

Matterhorn1959 said...

The colors of the Autopia cars in the background in the second image is fantastic!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, one of my most important functions in life is to ruin the magic for everyone!

Nanook, jeez, I honestly don’t ever recall seeing flaming torches in front of the castle, but I am sure that you are right about them being there for so long.

Alonzo, it is true, you don’t really visit the polar ice caps, but the mermaids were real - hellish mutants created in Imagineering’s most secret laboratory.

Chuck, I’m not sure if I can consider those rear wheels an “I never noticed” moment, or if it would be more accurate to say that I never thought about it at all! But you’re right, they need to be able to work on track that makes tighter turns than those long subs would be able to make otherwise. I am pretty sure that the subs were designed for folks to put their faces up to the glass. I’ve never seen anybody just sitting back and chilling, but I’m sure it has happened. The cool air blowing at our faces was supposedly to help allay any potential feelings of claustrophobia - and maybe to keep the windows fro fogging too!

K. Martinez, OH MAN, a Yellow Submarine attraction, if done correctly, could be amazing! It would be tricky for sure; making it feel BIG would help. I really like this idea!!

Matterhorn1959, if only we could see them better… they’re so tiny. But thanks!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful set of pics today, Major. Thank you.

Also recalled reading that the ports were intended to be leaned into, there was a concern for claustrophobic guests. This fear is supposedly reduced by having something interesting to watch, so the port helps screen out the rest of the sub, takes your mind off the tight quarters... and moving air is supposed to help with that too. So as you said, Major, the moving air served a dual purpose of defogging and increasing comfort by distraction. At least that's what i read long ago, can't remember where.

I wonder if the ride was ever stopped due to guest reactions? If so, how did they get you out?

I rode this for only the second time since high school a few weeks ago. I'm not a huge fan of the Nemo overlay, but there's enough of the old game left for it to be enjoyable.


Steve DeGaetano said...

As kids, we always tried to spot the Patrick Henry...Since we lived on Patrick Henry Place (Liberty Canyon) in Agoura Hills.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

A friend of mine who likes the park but is no real Disneyland fanatic when on Nemo subs and said it was really stupid that they had such a big elaborate ride just so you could watch a cartoon. He never rode the old Submarine Voyage, so I had to tell him about it and show him one of the YouTubes. He said “Now THAT I would have loved to ride!”. It’s such a shame he will never get that chance. I kind of felt bad for him.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the torches didn't light up with fire, they lit up with light bulbs.

Monkey Cage Kurt, you mean to tell me that we're looking at a cartoon on the subs and that those aren't real talking fish?

Nanook, I was at the park last week and I overheard some people that were looking up at Tinkerbell's wire and asking "Is that a zip line?"

Nanook said...

@ TM!

I wonder if the mattress (yes, at one time at least, there was a real mattress, vertically-affixed to the 'wall' of the "hut") in fantasyland where the "zip line" ends. There's no magic here-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I think there was also a time when a couple guys held onto the mattress and "caught" Tinkerbell in it. We used to like to position ourselves in Fantasyland so we could see them catch her. I guess the old flying method for Tinkerbell back in the day was pretty much a zip line. I don't know what you would call it today with the mechanism that allows her to go forward and back. She's sort of like the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway now.