Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Nice Skyway Views, May 1969

I love today's fabulous Skyway Views, from 1969!

The sun is setting, and the big shadow of the Matterhorn is cast across the Fantasyland Autopia. People mover tracks and Monorail tracks criss-cross. In the distance, the always-magnificent façade for "It's a Small World", with the Richfield Eagle silhouetted against it.

Let's look at the Peoplemover, just because I want to. Sigh. Looks like the guys working the Autopia got to wear cool red windbreakers (a lá James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause") on a chilly May evening.

Here's a second shot taken 30 seconds later (just a guess!) looking down on Skull Rock and its lagoon (the dining area is partially visible). I've always loved the little grotto behind Skull Rock, with "natural" stone arches, tropical plants, and sparkling waterfalls. Monstro has appears to have been freshly scrubbed and polished too!


Nanook said...


Tomorrowland is definitely ... a World On the Move. And that Monstro is certainly displaying quite the Simoniz Shine.

Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

Lovely shots of a time in the Park of which we all have cherished memories.

This has never occurred to me before: was the water for the Pirate Ship and Skull Rock part of the Dark Water system? It probably was, but I don't know. This is the sort of thing I love knowing about.

Chuck said...

The lamp hanging in the dark passageway between Monstro and Skull Rock looks very similar in shape and light color to the candle lamps carried by cast members in Neverland sequences in ABC's "Once Upon a Time." While the show takes characters in a different direction than in the films and stories we're familiar with, they do throw in a lot of intentional nods to the Disney versions of many of the classic stories. I'll need to start watching for oblique references to the Disney parks.

Anonymous said...

On the far left, you can see the sail-style red and white canopies of what was a secluded are rarely used guest eating area. When I worked Summer evenings, I'd buy a roast beef sandwich and drink in the pirate ship, and then kick back under the canopies for a quick but quiet lunch break. Memories.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Blue Peoplemover, Gold and White IASW and So Cal Smog. Your makin' me homesick today Major. Thanks for posting, these are gems.

Scott Lane said...

"Sigh", indeed, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Perfectly said, Alonzo!

Such memories of dining at Skull Rock Cove. I ate(my tuna sandwiches and red Jello desserts) in that grotto right up to the year before its destruction. Another tradition blown out of the water. Ha ha. Thanks, Major.

Tom said...

Very serene, these images. Tomorrowland looks busy, but in a casual sort of way. And I love that shot of Skull rock et al. Don't think I've seen this particular angle before, looking straight down the pathway to the grotto. I can practically hear the falls and smell that Disneyland water. Can I borrow someone else's memories since I never got to experience this area personally?

Anonymous said...

And there's the Global Van Lines building in the background of the first picture. I was 18 and 2 months into being a CM. Memories indeed. KS

Matthew said...

Wow that 3rd shot is fantastic. I love that it captures that wonderful detail, that I remember so vividly, of the waterfall on the right side near Monstro. That could have easily been left out, but the fact that it wasn't is pure Disney design/art direction. @Tom I must agree... I too can hear the falls and smell the water.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Matthew said...

PS - @ Patrick Develin I do not believe this was part of the "Dark Water System." I am no expert but I can recall from my youth a blue dye that was used (compared to the green dye to hide what's underneath). If you look closely next to Monstro you can see a small retaining wall that separated the lagoon water from the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Again, I am no expert... but that is what I recall.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

I have no recollection of that little passageway/grotto at all. Now I feel cheated, empty, kind of disappointed about my life.

Great pics Major! They make me feel a little better.

Anonymous said...

Just perfect shots today, Major. Photo 3 looking right down the tunnel is perfect alignment. Dozens of photos of this little complex have been posted, but this is the view that really shows the relationship of the design details. You can even see the transition from the pebble concrete paving of the cove dining to the blue "slurry" of the main walkways.

@Patrick, on one of the Major's recent Skull Rock posts, someone (former CM) described the pumping plant and internal fittings of the rockwork here. The pumps were behind the little door on the opposite side of the skull. His description sounded like they powered only the Skull Rock waterfalls.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, just because they both live in the sea, I always assumed that Monstro used Turtle Wax!

Patrick Devlin, I don’t know the answer to your question… if only I had all of my “E-Ticket” magazines with me; they did a whole article about the various water systems in the park.

Chuck, I have never seen “Once Upon a Time”, is it worth watching? I know they mash up characters from every Disney movie, including Ariel and Anna (or is it Elsa?).

Anonymous, thanks for sharing your great memories! I am jealous. It must have been lovely.

Alonzo, hey, we’ve still got smog, come on down, you’ll love it! Glad you liked these.

Kenneth Lane, I find myself sighing a lot more these days, with all of the changes going on…

K. Martinez, tuna sandwiches and red jello, sounds OK to me! Especially if the jello has a dollop of whipped cream on it. I think that the folks who decided to tear down that area never realized that it was such an important part of the Disneyland experience.

Tom, I know what you mean, but compared to today, the park looks positively deserted in these pictures.

KS, at first I thought that the building was the “roundhouse”, but you’re right, it is the Global Van Lines headquarters.

Matthew, I have come to the conclusion that water features are a super important way to add beauty, movement, pleasing white noise, and maybe even some cooling mist; one of my favorite parts of “Pirates” is the grottos with the underground waterfalls. So nice!

Matthew again, I suspect that you are right, though I still wish I had my E-Tickets to see if they write about the Pirate Ship lagoon.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I with you, I honestly don’t ever remember going back there, or even eating at the “Tuna Boat”. WHY?!?!

Anonymous, I had forgotten about that other post, but you make good points; the Skull Rock lagoon probably was isolated from the other water systems.

Dean Finder said...

Is that the Casey Jr. train at the right edge of the last photo.

Major Pepperidge said...

DeanFinder, yes it is!

Nanook said...

@ Patrick Devlin & The Major-

The water in Skull Rock Lagoon is an example of one of the Clear Water Systems in the Park.

Chuck said...

Major, my youngest introduced the show to me on Netflix recently, and now I'm Hooked (and yes - the pun is intentional).

The premise is that a bunch of storybook and fairy tale characters (including those from several classic Disney film properties) have been cursed and transported to a small, isolated town on the Maine coast with new identities and backstories and no memory of who they really are. An outsider arrives and people begin to "wake up." The story flashes back and forth between what happened in the storybook world past and related or parallel events in the present in our world, and a larger narrative unfolds across several seasons.

Half of the fun is trying to figure out who everyone is. The writers take the original stories as a guideline, but the show takes the premise that the stories as we know them aren't entirely accurate, and they throw in so many twists and turns that it keeps things very interesting.

They also take great care to not overdo the Disney cross-references. They are there, but they are subtle, and they aren't done in a way that has you scanning every frame in search of them to the detriment of following the story.

I'd recommend you check it out. I've been binge-watching for the past couple of weeks and will be sorry when I run out of episodes.