Monday, October 10, 2016

On Board the Monorail, September 1972

Here are two more photos taken while aboard the Disneyland Monorail, circa 1972! We've got one of those sweet nose cone seats. (See two previously-posted photos HERE). 

As you can see, we are zipping along the beamway, with the vast parking lot on either side of us. Say, there's a tram! I've seen so many older photos of the parking lot that it is almost a suprise to see that bright yellow muscle car to the right. Dead ahead - the sign for the Disneyland Hotel, and the two towers - the Sierra Tower and the Marina Tower.

You can more clearly see the reflection of one of those classic paper bags...

... like this one. Only the one below is sad because it is empty.

Oh my goodness, we're almost there! I can practically taste it. It tastes surprisingly good. There's lots to enjoy about this photo, including the cars (a Pinto wagon, in classic "butterscotch"), the groovy people moving hither and yon, the Travelport, the palm trees, and oh yeah - the Hotel Monorail station.


Nanook said...


There's always something exciting about being in the 'nosecone' of the Monorail and seeing the parking lot spread out at your feet, while heading over to the DL Hotel and grabbing some nice alcoholic liquid refreshments at the Monorail Bar. (And why not-?)

I'm going to declare that "muscle car" to be a Plymouth Duster. And as much as I prefer "butterscotch" for that Pinto color, I'm thinking the real name was 'Medium Bright Yellow'. Boring-!!

Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Aside from the Duster we got 2 white beetles starting a conga line and gold on racing through the lot. Herbie musta been making a personal appearance that day. Looks like an AMX to the right of that.

Ford is well represented in the second photos with the LTD's and the previously mentioned Pinto wagon. Cool retro photos today including the shopping bag window rainbow.

Melissa said...

That bag reflection is wild!

The pea green car in the second picture is the same color as my parents' Plymouth Furie. That thing was so big both my sister and I could stretch out and sleep on the back seat together. Or, we'd sit on the floor boards and use the seat as a table.(Obviously before the days of child car seats. Today's kids may be safer, but where do they lay out their drive-thru meals?)

Melissa said...

Fury, that is.

Chuck said...

Major, I never realized the second installment of The Lord of the Rings took place at the Disneyland Hotel. I learn something new here every single day.

Those two white Beetles parked together reminds me of a story that was in the first volume of Mouse Tales. One day, the parking lot crew decided to route all of a certain color of Beetles (I think it was white) into the same section of the parking lot. Most of the guests were focused on getting into the Park and didn't take note of anything much more than which lot section they were in. The attendants had a lot of fun watching people trying to find their cars at the end of the day.

Alonzo, not disputing you at all, but from this angle, how can you tell the difference between an AMX and a Javelin? Is it the side windows? Or are you just familiar enough with the relative sizes of the cars to just know by looking at it? I know people who can look at a Mustang in low light or at a distance and tell whether it's a '64.5-'66 or "67-'68 just by its size.

Tom said...

Nobody is talking about the UFOs that are in the sky over the monorail station in that second shot. Or is this some kind of cover-up?

Anyway - great photos of very much missed parts of the Disneyland hotel. Love the nosecone perspective.

Patrick Devlin said...

Lovely shot of the big back stretch to the Hotel. It reminds me that I have on open question regarding how fast the Monorails went along that stretch. It seems (ha!) that I remember them going around 45 mph. These days I know they are limited to 30 mph, or thereabouts.

Melissa said...

Nobody is talking about the UFOs that are in the sky over the monorail station in that second shot. Or is this some kind of cover-up?

Explains why we see Men In Black so often in vintage Disneyland pictures

Anonymous said...

Wow, Major, these photos have the "you are there" quality. Of course, we all have to be somewhere, and this is one of the wheres I would choose, if I could.

I would try to cheer up that empty bag by framing it and hanging it over my desk. So many good memories of that psychedelic pattern. I'm going to keep torturing myself with the thought that I might still have one somewhere buried in a box in the garage along with my old MAD magazines and Batman comics.

I have never had a nosecone seat, I think this is as close as I will ever get.

I love hearing you guys wrangle over the car models, but I think that's a 1968-72 Chevy truck in photo 2 under the beamway.

cheers all


Anonymous said...

The Parking Lot tram is actually the hotel tram, which ran between the main gate and the D-land hotel. It's easy to recognize because it's only got two cars, unlike the p-lot trams which had five.

Anonymous said...

...and the RTD bus stop at the p-lot exit.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

From the available resolution and only really being able to see the rear, I suppose the car could be either a Javelin or AMX. But definitely no later than a 1971 model year.

And yes, JG, that is most-likely a 1969 or 1970 Chevrolet truck. It could be a 1967 or 1968. But definitely not later than a 1970. Again - the resolution isn't great-enough to see the changes made to the front grille and nameplate where we would discern the differences.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I used the word “butterscotch” in a generic way, not as an official Ford appellation. I clearly don’t know enough about cars to pretend otherwise.

Alonzo, I had totally forgotten about Herbie. Yes, I’m sure that’s him (one of those, anyway).

Melissa, your comment reminds me of the hours my siblings and I spent in the back of my parent’s various station wagons. Not particularly comfy, but definitely roomy!

Chuck, I was wondering if somebody would make a LOTR comment!! I think I’ve heard that Mouse Tale story, though I must have read it elsewhere (since I’ve never read those books).

Tom, I’m sure those are merely weather balloons. Very fast-moving weather balloons.

Patrick Devlin, smarter people than I will have to answer that question….

Melissa, how can I get my hands on one of the neuralizers?

JG, bags like that can be had on ebay for not too much money, if you really need one! Of course it’s not quite the same as finding one that you’d saved for all these years. I wanted to ride in the nose cone, but there’s always too much of a wait.

Anon, I just said it was a tram, I wasn’t specific! But thank you for the info, since I had no clue, admittedly. Seems a little odd that they would put the RTD stop way out there, but I suppose buses aren’t the most maneuverable things in the world.

Nanook, remember when CoxPilot used to try to find his car? I think it was a Jag, though I kind of forget. Of course he was no longer working at the park by 1972. RIP, CoxPilot…

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, thanks.

Years ago, in my project phase, I spent plenty of time studying magazines and parts catalogs and felt pretty secure in dating Chevy trucks, but that was a long time ago and the memory for details fade. I'm happy to be in the right decade now.

@Major, I never thought of buying a replacement. Now I can't think of anything else.


Alonzo P Hawk said...


I just said AMX because it's the snazzy-ier of the two. I would rely on the expert (Nanook)to confirm. Anyones guess at this point.

Nanook said...

@ JG & Alonzo P Hawk-

Without the help of [some] reference materials I would be as useless at car identification as Stevie Wonder. Without images of the front grille from those years of Chevrolet trucks, I couldn't do it, either. I have a very good idea for many vehicles, and in many cases can discern the minor changes marking the model year differences - but as far as being a walking encyclopedia of American cars/trucks - that I have to leave to the real experts.

(Although, with this car ID-ing thing going on as long as it has, I've definitely upped my game, to even my surprise). You can teach an old dog new tricks-!! Who knew-??

Chuck said...

Alonzo & Nanook, after a bunch of photo comparisons, I think that's a 1971 Javelin, the first year they stopped making the two-seater and transferred the "AMX" name to the premium models of the four-seat Javelin. The key detail is the raised ridge around the tail lights combined with the tail light design itself. The '72s had the ridge but also had a silver "egg-crate" grill over the lights.

I definitely didn't know that when I got up this morning.

Medley said...

God, I love reading your comments. It always brings back memories I haven't thought of in a while. My sister and I loved laying out on the floor of our parents car. My mom always packed up those travel games for us. Or those classic McDonald happy meals. Always on the way to Disneyland

Matt Gerhard said...

I believe I see a 1975 (or so) Lincoln Continental Mark IV in the second photo. Top car in the row on the right side of the picture.