Sunday, November 13, 2016

Das Jungle Cruise, July 1958

I really like the first photo from today's Jungle Cruise extravaganza. Can two photos be an extravaganza? No? Well, never mind then. I still like the first photo!

There is something to be said for the post-Indy Jungle launches, looking relatively weathered and worn by the harsh elements of the tropics. But how can you not love the old versions? The hulls are gleaming white, the awnings are candy-striped - they look like giant toys (and in fact, toy versions were made and sold). Even the jungle looks kind of tidy.

That being said, I do think that the "jungle" of today is a pretty impressive thing.



This second photo is a bit less fun. I prefer a little activity if you know what I mean; it's easy to imagine that the inhabitants of that grass shack skeedaddled into the rainforest at the sound of the approach of outsiders.


13 comments:

K. Martinez said...

With the quality of today's photos, it's pretty close to an extravaganza. The first image is AWESOME!!! Jungle Cruise is and always has been my favorite all-time Disneyland attraction. It's an original headliner and totally of the "Walt Disney" era of the Park. And yes, while I love the weathered launches and overgrown jungle of today, the candy-striped awnings of the early launches are special whether red, green or blue striped. Thanks, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with Ken, that first pic is pretty darn awesome. Just look at that unruly guest standing up in the boat! Who or what was he trying to film? I'm going to assume it was a movie camera because it looks pretty large. I like the second pic too. It's amazing to see so much sky above the jungle from that vantage point.

Nanook said...

Major-

Ken gets my vote, too. The first image has just enough intrigue to make it fun. I believe you can even see the backside of the Plaza Pavilion restaurant. TM! - that guy, who should know better, and "be seated while the boat is in motion", definitely is holding a movie camera.

Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

A coupla photos ya just wanna crawl into. Nice ones, Major!

Chuck said...

Interesting to note the changes in the Jungle Cruise launches in just a few short years. When you compare today's photo of the Mekong Maiden and her unnamed sister and Nanook's 1958 photo of the Orinoco Adventuress with this 1956 photo of the Nile Princess, you can see that a large, fluorescent light bar has been added just above the canopy at the bow and on both sides of the boat.

I wonder if that was the only night lighting in those days? More recently, I recall the skippers having a spotlight to use in conjunction with the built-in attraction lighting.

This is what happens when you expose Chuck to three historic Jungle Cruise posts in less than seven days...

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, your attention to detail over a span of time amazes me. I knew of the fluorescent light bars above the canopies but wasn't aware they weren't always at the bow on both sides. Now I'll be paying more attention when looking at the Jungle Cruise launches through the years. That's why I love Disneyland. I learn something new about the place all the time. Thanks!

Patrick Devlin said...

Maybe the fruit-laden boat in the second shot is a propitiatory gift to the airplane gods from some long-forgotten cargo cult in the jungle. I might be reading a little too much into it...

I like the flip-flops on the cast member in the first shot. I've seen a few pictures from the 60's with the cast members in a different style of sandal, too. Different times...

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I do like that first one a lot. So nostalgic! I ride the Jungle Cruise every time I go to the park - one time it was closed for some sort of refurb, and it was a bit letdown. Glad you liked today’s pix!

TokyoMagic!, jeez, I didn’t even really notice the standing guest. What a buffoon! Doesn’t seem like there was much to film at that point - maybe Trader Sam?

Nanook, here’s another thing I never noticed; see the out-of-service boat to the left, and see how there is red below the waterline. Do you think they used that to judge when a boat was full? The boat full of guests shows none of that.

Scott Lane, this was definitely one of those “peak Disneyland” eras.

Chuck, gosh, it’s hard to believe that the fluorescent bars would provide sufficient lighting, but what else would they be there? Good eye! Yes, now they use spotlights - I like riding the Jungle Cruise at night, because your imagination fills in so much.

K. Martinez, it’s true, even after all this time I still learn new things, which is amazing. It’s also fun to read Facebook and see how folks have completely garbled or changed history!

Patrick Devlin, maybe it was a CLUTCH Cargo cult? Flip flops would never do at the park these days. Bare toes are just waiting to be stepped on; and yet there are many photos from this era in which you see sandals or huaraches or something like that.

K. Martinez said...

Major, People have definitely garbled Disneyland history. Even Disney has garbled Disney history.

Anonymous said...

We used spotlights during my 'tour' as a skipper in the mid 70s. And there was a combination of low background lighting in the Jungle, as well as the canopy fluorescents on the boat, for illumination. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I'm sure you are right - there seems to be some disagreement as to the official opening date of the Haunted Mansion, for instance. And while this isn't a case of garbling, it disturbs me the way the company has eliminated C.V. Wood from its history. Put him into some context, but don't just erase him because you don't like him.

KS, thanks for the insider info! So were there actually strategically placed lights in the jungle? In my memory it was pretty black wherever the spotlight was not pointed, but it's been a while.

Anonymous said...

Major...The lighting was subtle in selected areas...like the veldt and treed expedition, the native village, Cambodian ruins and such. The trick was to do it without it being noticed. The fluorescents helped to conceal it. KS

Anonymous said...

Boy, do I remember the fluorescent lights, I noticed the lack on the older photos but forgot to mention it. Our first trip on the JC in the dark was kind of disappointing since those lights weren't very good, but that was probably 50 years ago. I'm sure it's better now. I seem to recall the skipper having a hand light because it was a lot like the one my Dad used.

The JC has always been a house favorite, except for the "Jingle Cruise" overlay. The concept might have been cute, but the execution was heavy-handed and lost it's little charm quickly.

JG