Monday, April 25, 2016

A Pair From 1956

Today's photos are both full of sweet, juicy 1950's goodness. They have also been fortified with iron and nine essential vitamins and minerals.

This first one is kind of neat, taken from the Skyway as we (presumably) head toward Fantasyland. I like seeing the castle from this unusual angle. In the lower right is Holiday Hill; below us is a mysterious dirt path, and a wall to prevent guests from wandering back there. I believe that the path once led to the short-lived Mickey Mouse Club Circus.

Next is this nice shot of the Mark Twain heading out through a very raw and rather barren landscape. The warm tones of the colors really amps up that vintage, nostalgic feel. I wonder if the boulders that are scattered about were man-made, or if they were found on property during excavation? Or maybe they were purchased at "Just Boulders", right up the street.


Nanook said...


It's hard to believe sometimes the Park ever looked this "unfinished" - complete with utility poles. I wonder if the stand of eucalyptus tress seen way in the distance of the first shot is on-property, running along the berm line-?

And who doesn't love a circus-? Unless you happen to be "one of those" who is frightened of clowns....

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

The angle on that first one and its placement in a seemingly remote, hilly terrain really belies the design influence of Neuschwanstein Castle.

I believe the boulders were originally acquired for the catapult attraction planned for Fantasyland. They lobbed a few test rounds into Frontierland from the castle courtyard to check the ballistics, but ultimately decided against the attraction. It's too bad - it would've rocked.

K. Martinez said...

The first image almost reminds me of a studio backlot. Almost. I'm just too familiar with Disneyland to know that it isn't. Both images today are winners in my book because I love seeing the first year(s) of Disneyland. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Holy cow, Ken - you're right! The hills, the dirt roads, the scrubby vegetation, the incongruous architecture, the temporary walls and the distant haze - it's all there.

Mark H. Besotted said...

I think I read something in one of Korkis's books about "Just Boulders." If my memory is correct, Walt was very disappointed that they wouldn't sell him gravel, or even medium-sized rocks, so he spent more and travelled further to go to "Sedimentary, Metamorphic, and Igneous Unlimited" in Pasadena. They filled all of Disneyland's rock needs, until the disco era.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the park was not beautiful yet, but somehow I love seeing it in this unfinished state. As for circuses, I remember going to one when I was a kid (some small circus on the east coast), and I expected to hate it, but it was a lot of fun.

Chuck, it’s Neuschwanstein with extra smog. Just the way King Ludwig wanted. A catapult attraction, what a great idea! Of course I like to send the heads of my slain enemies back over the walls, but that’s just me.

K. Martinez, it definitely looks like a backlot; so many movies were filmed on various ranches around SoCal that this very well could have been one of those.

Chuck, I used to live in Thousand Oaks (home of Jungleland), and was so surprised to learn that MGM used to have a backlot out there; “Gunsmoke” was one of the shows that filmed on the lot.

Mark H. Besotted, trust me, it is not easy to sell only boulders. Customers are so demanding! That’s why they finally had to merge with “Just Lightbulbs”. Now they’ve cornered the market on boulders and lightbulbs!

Nanook said...

@ Major-

Don't forget "Just Shades"-!!

And please count me in with those who love seeing the Park this way, not simply because it looks so different from what most folks remember, but also this stands as a perfect example that not everything has to 'come out of the gate' as a shiny example of perfection. However, given time, money and creativity, it can grow into a unique thing of beauty. And in the case of Disneyland - Walt, supported by a staff of brilliant and unique individuals, created a 'theme park' that literally changed the world for family entertainment - and beyond.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

If memory serves there was a Boulders Emporium on the corner of Ball and Brookhurst just a few blocks west of the D-land build site. But I’m pretty sure even they had to ship them in from elsewhere. I recall reading that it was a big part of the reason Walt chose this part of Anaheim.