Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tomorrowland Construction

We're getting down to the last few scans showing the construction of the New Tomorrowland. 

As usual, I am unclear as to what we are looking at, exactly - in this case it appears to be the "backstage" area of a show building. But which show?? Granted, it's difficult to get one's bearings when there are few clues. It's round, but I don't think it's tall enough to be the Carousel of Progress structure. Notice the worker (next to the column).

This next one is another mysterious round building, most likely taken on a different day than the first one. What in the world are those holding tanks to the left? I can't even imagine what they would be for. Coke syrup? Pressurized pixie dust?


walterworld said...

Great shots, but I'll be danged if I can pin them down location-wise either.

Especially the second shot with the oil(?) tanks or whatever in the foreground. Looks like it could have been a tear-down shot from the NYWF or something like that.

Thank you Major!

K. Martinez said...

Are these shots take from along the Disneyland Railroad tracks? It does look like the back of the Carousel of Progress to me.

In the first image would the furthest building be the construction of the new "Flight to the Moon" show building?

And then closer would be Carousel of Progress?

And even closer (front right in image), would the blue area be storage for the Skyway buckets? That's my guess.

Wonderful images today. Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I believe my guess is correct about the first image.

Here's an aerial shot of the area I was discussing from Daveland.


So this shot is right before entering the Grand Canyon Diorama.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken is correct about the location of that first image. Those blue panels were made of a metal grid or mesh, which allowed you to see the shadows of the Skyway vehicles hanging in the storage area when the lighting was right. And that dirt path that we see coming towards us in the photo was asphalted over and it still exists today. It goes up and over the R.R. tracks and connects to the road that goes around the perimeter of the park. They put a wooden gate across that path so when you go by on the train, you can't look in and see cast members or vehicles, but you can still see the second story of the old COP building and the former storage area for the Skyway. By the way, during the Tomorrowland '98 redo, those blue mesh panels were removed and replaced with a solid wall. I think that area might have become storage for the Rocket Rod vehicles at that time.

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. I have no idea about that second image. It's completely throwing me. I almost want to say that it would be the back of the Adventure Thru Inner Space/Character Shop building, but I don't know how a guest would be able to get that rear view of it. Major, I'm assuming these were taken by Mr. "X" when he was a guest in the park?

Nancy said...

Is that a crane sticking up in the foreground of the second view? It it is, that is one deep ditch!! This building reminds me of World of Motion at EPCOT Center, which of course is not at Disneyland.

I wonder if the small building on the right is a permanent one or just put there during the construction. I love a good mystery!! :-D

Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, yeah, those tanks really have me stumped. Whatever they held, there was a lot of it. No clue.

K. Martinez, they might have been taken from the DLRR tracks - many of the other photo were. As for specifics, I just can’t say! If that blue area was for Skyway buckets, then that is certainly the COP next to it.

K. Martinez again, I see what you mean!

TokyoMagic!, so those blue “screens” were not traditional walls? Funny that they were see through to some degree. Storage for Rocket Rod vehicles, oy vey! That poorly planned attraction was a curse, I tells ya. We’re still feeling it today.

TokyoMagic! II, yes, these were taken by Mr. X when he was a teenager. He did work at the park in the early 1970’s, but in 1966 he was still just a regular visitor.

Nancy, I don’t think that’s a crane, but on the other hand I don’t know what it IS. As for the smaller building in photo #2, I am guessing that it is permanent, but sometimes it can be hard to tell.

Tom said...

I'm putting my money on that second shot being the south show building. The "fins" on the outside match up with aerial shots of that time, and those tanks show up in a later aerial view, around 1970, in the backstage area. I'm guessing it was being gutted for Adventure through Inner Space. Not sure how that shot was taken, though, unless it was from backstage and down in a ditch or something...

Nanook said...


Gee, I'll have to come to the party late more often - most of the heavy lifting has already been done.

I think Tom has identified the second image correctly. (Could those tanks have been a part of The Flying Saucers-??

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I think the group has photo 1 nailed.

Photo 2 has me stumped, but I think Tom is on the right track.

There is no construction equipment or tool in either photo that I recognize for certain, but pretty sure the item in the trench in photo 2 is not a crane. Not much help.

Thanks for these puzzlers, Major.


Anonymous said...

@Nanook, it's possible that the mystery tanks were compressed air, I'm not sure the Flying Saucers used compressed air, but their lift came from somewhere, so...

My first thought was water purification or water softening, but that's a lot of water and the submarines are too far away (and have their own backstage area). Not enough fountains in reach to explain it, even the Matterhorn is a long way off.

I'm stumped.


Patrick Devlin said...

Nice shots and nice informational posts. I think Tom has pegged it on the second shot ID. I'd even go so far as to guess that the square opening on the left side is where the display "room" for the Giant Squid was attached. Yep, that big ol' cephalopod lived outside the big circular building.

As for the tanks, I used to work with pressurized air and fluids. Those don't look like high pressure vessels to me, and the outlet pipes, given their diameter, scream fluid transfer. So I'm guessing chilled water for swamp coolers serving all the adjacent buildings. They would have been moved by the time the '67 remodel was done, but their are still substantial chilling plants over on that side of backstage, just set back behind the Grand Canyon Diorama building. That's all guesswork, of course.

Snow White Archive said...

A bonus to following your blog Major is to go through the comments from loyal readers. Truly a knowledgeable bunch. I often learn more from your posts and their comments than I would perusing a book like Dave Smith's "Disney A-Z".

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, I’m not sure what you mean by the “south show building”, though I guess (as you say) it was near ATIS?

Nanook, I honestly don’t think that the Saucers used reserves of pressurized air, but it’s not a bad guess.

JG, Tom may be right, but we still don’t know what those tanks were for!

JG#2, considering that the water being used by the park was (presumably) city water, it doesn’t seem like it would need much in the way of purification. So mysterious!

Patrick Devlin, that would be very cool if that building is the shed that I’ve read about (the one that housed the squid). Chilling plants, hmmm. Something I know nothing about!

Snow White Archive, I agree, reading the comments is at LEAST half of the fun!

Chuck said...

Major, you are correct - the "south show building" is the building on the south side of the Tomorrowland entry "midway" that housed over the years and through the 1967 gutting and rebuild ATIS, the 20K exhibit, the Hall of Chemistry, the Hall of Aluminum fame, the Bathroom of Tomorrow, etc.

I agree with Patrick on the orientation of the camera - we are looking ENE from behind the easternmost part of the south show building. In addition to the rectangular hole that indicates where the squid was, on the extreme left end of the photo you can make out utility lines heading towards the ground. This corresponds with a line of telephone/power poles that ran backstage from behind the Opera House to behind the Red Wagon Inn. I think the rectangular building in the photo is part of the system that included the tanks to its left.

A great resource on the 20K exhibit is this website. It includes a detailed map of the layout of the attraction, and by looking at it you can get a good sense of where the squid was located and why that giant hole is on the left side of the building in the photo.

Great work, team!

Anonymous said...

@Major re: Water purification. You are correct, city water would be treated and safe to drink, and could be the source of the initial fill, but water used in fountains and pools requires some additional and continuous treatment to reduce or eliminate algae growth and particulates that fall in from the air (insects, dust, boogers). Otherwise the edges of the pools and things in them (animatronic fish and mermaids) will grow a green crust pretty readily.

Swimming pools (of which the submarine lagoon is a grand example) have elaborate filtration, pumping, and treatment machinery which is usually housed in a room or building remote from the pool itself, but in fairly close proximity. Typical public pools require pretty large rooms, 2-3K square feet, and those don't have waterfalls, mermaids and bubble curtain generators. Residential pools have similar equipment but at much smaller scale.

My guess is that the pool equipment plant for the sub lagoon is an epic facility. The lagoon might be a salt-water pool, but since everything in it is a model, it's probably similar to a hotel or public park pool with chlorination water treatment and diatomaceous earth filtration. There is a relatively new non-chlorine water treatment that is more saline-based, which reduces the hazardous chemicals kept on hand, but I have no idea if this was any part of recent upgrades to the Disney lagoons. We have used these in some recent residential and hospitality projects, but the equipment sizes and types are similar to chlorination.

Water clarity in the sub lagoon is extraordinary, and is a design requirement if the experience is to be consistently enjoyable. It's one of the constraints that has me marveling at the chutzpah of the Imagineers to even conceive such a ride, and probably makes it very expensive to run and maintain.

Also, since the Park was built on (a lot of) former farm land and the surrounding area was relatively undeveloped at opening, it's entirely possible that there were one or more private agricultural wells existing (or newly drilled as part of construction). Filling your own personal rivers at city rates might be prohibitively expensive.


Unknown said...

The first image is COP, with the blue grating being the storage area for the skyway cars.