Friday, April 29, 2016

Two Beauties From Tomorrowland, September 1963

Remember when moon travel was glamorous? Now it's an every-day thing, and passengers don't even dress up. Jorts and flip-flops, for cryin' out loud! But in 1963 everyone still wore silver lamé jumpsuits, which is how it should be. 

This lovely photo of the elegant Rocket to the Moon is really somethin'; the thing looks like it is ready to leap into the heavens with the push of a button (a red glowing button, of course). 

Ach du lieber! Nothing says "The World of Tomorrow" like an oom-pah-pah band. Perhaps this is a  tribute to Dr. Werner Von Braun and the other German scientists who contributed to the U.S. space program (yeah, that's it). This octet is performing right next to the rocket; their vests are color-coordinated to match the entrance to the show building. 


Nanook said...


If the sight of that Douglas rocket doesn't make one want to 'suit-up', and head up into the heavens, I don't know what would.

And, Major, I think the feature of the oompah band which qualifies it for a Tomorrowland concert is the inclusion of the floor tom drum - on a wheeled tripod. It's just says 'space-age'.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

That's a beautiful shot of the Moonliner in Douglas livery. I'm saving a copy (with watermark, of course) for my own reference if I ever get around to building that Moonliner model.

I was going to make a "Green Acres" joke, but when I went to save the image I see you already have.

Thanks for a great start to the day, Major!

Kenneth Lane said...

So we're calling the rocket "Oliver" now? lol
Or should that be pronounced "Olleeverr"?

Chuck said...

"Olleeverr, Daaaahling."

Patrick Devlin said...

The TWA Moonliner livery gets all the love but that Douglas paint job is simply beautiful in that first shot. It looks like, too, that the landing gear tracks on the body of the rocket have a semi-circular chrome fairing at the top that wasn't present on the TWA version.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wonder if the oom-pah-pah band is made up of members of the Disneyland Band? Or if it was its own thing. As for that drum, I would kind of expect that the drummer would have it hanging from a strap, but… whatever works.

Chuck, yes, I never pass up a chance to honor one of the greatest television shows in history (right after “The Wire”, “Breaking Bad”, and “Small Wonder”).

Kenneth Lane, from now on that’s what I’m going to call it - in my head, anyway!

Chuck, are you Hungarian?

Patrick Devlin, I admit that I have warmed to the Douglas paint scheme considerably over the years. Hm, never noticed that chrome/metal thingy, I wonder why they bothered? Maybe that’s where the intermittent steam escaped from? I believe that the rocket didn't "steam" until the Douglas sponsorship.

K. Martinez said...

The Moonliner whether it's TWA or Douglas was one of the best early Disneyland weenies. What visual magnet draws people into Tomorrowland today? And with so many trees and foliage hiding much in the distant view and so many visitors now familiar with the park that they're already drawn to their favorite areas does that principle even apply anymore? Maybe. Maybe not.

Both images are great today, from the towering Moonliner to the color coordinated band and show building. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I remember leaning on the railing and looking into the pit under the rocket. There was a metal grating on the "floor" which was deeper than the ground level and it was covered with coins tossed in for luck.

So completely amazing to a pre-school kid. I was absolutely convinced it was real.


TokyoMagic! said...

That Om-pah band in Tomorrowland certainly is an odd sight. Now I'm wondering what song they might have been playing.

Chuck said...

"Also sprach Zarathustra."

K. Martinez said...

JG, I never heard of coins being tossed into the pit under the Moonliner. That's some cool bit of info you shared. Thanks!

Kenneth Lane said...

Chuck: As arranged by P.D.Q. Bach? ;-)

Chuck said...

I'd hope Disneyland would hire better-sounding musicians than that...but now that's stuck in my head. Thanks, Kenneth. No, seriously - thanks; "Indiana Wants Me" has been on constant replay since I heard it on the radio two days ago.

Kenneth Lane said...

Now, Chuck, any disneyphile should know the cure for getting a song unstuck from your head. repeat after me - "It's a world of laughter, a world of tears...."

There, sadly, has not been a cure found for getting THAT one out of your head.

Chuck said...

Mission accomplished, Kenneth.