Sunday, September 11, 2016

Near Misses

Sometimes a collector gets lucky and finds some really amazing images amongst the dross and dreck. And sometimes you just find dross and dreck! Today's images land somewhere in the middle.

I would absolutely love this first slide if it was in focus! Trust me, this looks better than the actual picture; Photoshop has some image sharpening tools that do amazing things. Anyway, in spite of the softness it's an interesting look (circa 1956) at Holiday Hill (with hiking trails) and the Skyway tower that stood on it. To our left is the Yacht Bar in its original location - when the Matterhorn was built, the entire building was picked up, turned around, and placed elsewhere. 

Also from 1956 (December 29th, to be exact) is this oddly blue-gray photo from the Skyway looking down on Fantasyland as we head toward the Chalet terminus. We get a glimpse of the backstage area to our left; it's as amazing as I always imagined! Isn't that door magical? To our right is an outdoor dining area - is that "Fant 1" beneath the striped tent? I'm kind of fascinated by the view of Anaheim (and beyond) in the distance.


Nanook said...


Oaky - so one is a bit 'soft', and the other a bit 'bluish', but in the quest for early Disneyland images, just who's to say what passes muster-? Holiday Hill seems such an oddity at Disneyland, as such it's always nice to see images of it. And a pre-Alice view of Fantasyland - also a treat - especially from this angle. I presume that 'row of tiny balls, atop skinny poles' which can be seen in the upper left corner of the image is a row of palm trees. Either that, or a stand of very tall lollipops-!

Thanks, Major, for the soft blue-gray.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think that man in the center of the first pic is telling the woman next to him, "I'll take the high road and you take the low road and I'll be in Fantasyland afore ye."

I see a slew of telephone poles in that second pic. I believe Ken is going to be in telephone pole heaven later today! :-)

Chuck said...

I was thinking she was saying "No, Harold - I will not climb up to 'Inspiration Point' with you! I don't care how blurry I am - this is a respectable place!"

Despite the softness or unnatural hues, I'm seeing a lot of details I'd never picked up on before. In the first image, there's that row of what look almost like college classroom desks along the side of the building. I'm suddenly reminded of the Baskin-Robbins we'd bike to when I was little, which had similar seating.

The back side of the Yacht Bar looks like it may have been open, or at least composed of a giant window, offering a spectacular view of...a dirt mound with canoodling couples cavorting under cover. And I'm sheepishly admitting I'd never noticed (or at least retained) that the central tower of the Skyway is actually a twin set.

In the second image, I'm drawn to the backstage area to the left. There's a covered table for employee breaks, a ladder for roof access, a stack of red signs, a giant access door for releasing the cleaning monsters at night, and a small yellow one that holds who knows what secrets behind its golden portal. Meanwhile, the line for Mr Toad is so long that it snakes around the side of the building. Sheesh! I think I'll grab a tuna burger and a Coke (or a Pepsi - I have a choice in 1956) and people watch until the line dies down.

Scott Lane said...

Mr Toad? Is that what all those people are doing by the wall? I thought maybe the bathrooms were out of order.

K. Martinez said...

Just a little correction That is not the original location of the Yacht Bar. The Yacht Bar was moved to its second location (first image) to make way for the Tomorrowland Viewliner Station in 1957. Originally it was facing in the opposite direction next to the Phantom Boats which I assume is why it was called the Yacht Bar. This image is most likely 1957-58. Definitely not 1956.

Anyway, I LOVE these images today. They're extra-special. The angle looking upward towards the Skyway with Yacht Bar to the left is very cool. And yes, in the second image, telephone pole heaven it is. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

It's striking how the Chalet was such a focal point back then. Really stands out! So sad to see that piece of history be demolished this year. KS

Unknown said...

Nanook hit the nail in my head with his first post, since I puzzled for a moment before I realized the second shot shows right about where Alice in Wonderland would be installed.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, as “near misses” go, these are better than most. If only that first one was crisp, it would be a total winner! Yes, that is a row of tall palm trees in the distance.

TokyoMagic!, it really does look like he wants to go over the hill, while she does NOT. Or maybe he’s just going to get a snack at the Yacht Bar?

Chuck, they used those “classroom desks” at other Tomorrowland eateries; I’m not sure I remember them from college, however. Maybe grade school! I do think that the sides of the Yacht Bar were open, no glass to impede traffic. Those red signs are for fire hoses - presumably they were only seen backstage. I do like the detail of the single umbrella for employee dining.

Scott Lane, imagine how awful it would be if all the bathrooms were out of order! Or don’t, it’s too gross.

K. Martinez, I think that the slide had a hand-written date of 1956 on it, but of course there is always the chance of human error.

KS, I agree, it seems amazing that the chalet had to go for something as far away as Star Wars Land.

Patrick Devlin, now I am wondering if that “warehouse” was greatly expanded for Alice, or if they just managed to squeeze it into the existing space.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

Good call. Originally the Yacht Bar was [essentially] facing the Rocket to the Moon & the Flight Circle. It was moved and 'rotated' about 90ยบ CCW to face the Tomorrowland Viewliner Station.

Chuck said...

Nanook - any idea how many cast members it took for them to lift, move and rotate it? Or is that a question for JG?

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

I think it was something akin to "How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb-?"

Unknown said...

For anyone who happens to wander back in here and to answer the Major's musings about Alice and the Existing Space (coming to a theater near you!) my brother Tom found this shot over at Daveland. Looks like Fan 2 was pretty hard up against the new castle extension.

JG said...

@Chuck, typically in construction, structure moving is done with trained monkeys at approximately 18 inches on center around the structure perimeter. The great apes are best choices due to their long arms and willingness to work for bananas. The work is coordinated with walkie-talkie radios and sign language.

In Tomorrowland, the gorillas were borrowed from the NASA space program and dressed in aluminum foil suits, similar to those of the space man and space girl, but the work took place on weekends and after hours, so none of them were ever seen by the public. The entire move took only a few minutes because the new foundation was completely prepared before the move began. The old foundation was removed by rolling up onto large spools, similar to methods used for telephone wire, and re-used as part of the construction of the Matterhorn in the following year. Waste not, want not.

Utility hookups are achieved by means of very large plugs for electrical and signal, while water and sewer are managed by means of connections similar to fire hoses. These can last the life of the building if carefully maintained. Most buildings are relocatable nowadays, but few people take advantage of this technology due to the continuing shortage of monkeys.

@Nanook: How many architects does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, he holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.

@Major, thanks for these extremely cool photos, rarely seen images of the past.


Melissa said...

Apes are not Monkeys!

/exits Pet Peeve Corner