Friday, February 03, 2017

Frontierland, 1956

It's lucky that I appreciate old photos of Frontierland, because I have a lot of them! Here are two beauties from 1956.

As usual, the Mark Twain just looks great - how many spajillions of photos have been taken trying to capture what it was like to see this large, gleaming steamboat as it chugged along the river? I wonder if there was always some kind of pre-recorded narration played for people; the earliest that I have heard is from 1969 (I think), but that doesn't mean that there aren't older versions. 

Is the cave to the right part of Fort Wilderness' "emergency exit"?

There are only two slips over at the canoe landing - in just a few years there would be more. We can see about five cast members in their red long-sleeved shirts and tan vests as they help guests into a waiting canoe.

I've pointed this out before, but look at how high the berm is at this point - it is probably all of the dirt that was removed to make the big river.


Nanook said...


It's pretty hard to top the almost-natural beauty of the Mark Twain, unless one adds a couple of V-Wing Fighters to her bow-!

Actually, the magnificent pile of dirt has been strategically-placed to frustrate Ken, by obscuring the existence of any telephone poles-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, a hologram of Yoda walking around on the decks would be nice too.

Major, that cave was (at that time) the exit to Injun Joe's Cave. It eventually became the entrance.

Chuck said...

That first photo had to have been taken from the pack mules or a stagecoach (or possibly a beached keelboat). There probably aren't many photos of the Twain taken in that part of the river from that angle.

K. Martinez said...

What I really want to know is can the Mark Twain jump to light speed?

Speaking of the Mark Twain. that image is a beauty!

And yeah, what's with that pile of dirt behind the Indian Village that has unfortunately obscured the existence of my beloved telephone poles?

Thanks, Major.

MonkeyMensch said...

blah, blah, blah, my favorite Frontierland photos, blah...

Cool stuff, Major. "Four slips: No waiting!"

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook - “V-Wing Fighters”, is that a Star Wars reference? I honestly don’t know!

TokyoMagic!, how about putting a monkey in a Yoda costume and giving it free reign of the entire park? Thanks for the info on the cave.

Chuck, you might be right about the vantage point from a mule or Stagecoach. Or… maybe a Mine Train? Not sure.

K. Martinez, light speed used to be much slower, due to an excess of reversed-polarity tachyons. I’d explain it, but we’d be here all day! So yes, the Mark Twain could jump to light speed.

MonkeyMensch (Patrick?), I thought you would probably enjoy these!

Nanook said...


Yes, it IS a Star Wars reference. And don't feel bad, I had to look it up too, as I'm not all that up on my Star Wars references either.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wasn't that first pic taken from the southwestern corner of the river.....perhaps on the way to the Indian Village? I was thinking that Fowler's Harbor would be just out of view to the left of the person taking the pic. We can just make out a little slip of water in the bottom left hand corner.

Major, I like your monkey idea. They could do the same with a pack of costumed Ewoks and Jawas!

Anonymous said...

I think R2D2 should be the Mark Twain's astromech droid. "Light Speed to Endor..."

It's widely recognized that light from an oil lamp is slower moving than more modern light.

I believe the cave mouth in photo 1 is Injun Joe's Cave exit, on the easterly side of the island, the mill roof can be seen beyond. The exit from the fort was well-concealed and came out in the Castle Rock cave complex off to the right in the photo orientation.

I agree with Chuck, the photo is taken either from the Mine train or mule-back and is a rare viewpoint. This area now can't be reached without breaking the rules.

Fun thread everyone, thanks a lot.


Chuck said...

I'm going to have to adjust my initial assessment and agree with TM!. I got hung up on the idea of Injun Joe's Cave exit and wasn't paying attention to the year or any number of a bunch of little details.

The structures above the cave mouth are the western supports for the suspension bridge on the left and that little shack that I think is the pump house for The 3 Falls, the legendary headwaters of the Rivers of America. The wooden piles in the foreground are visible at the entrance to Fowler's Harbor in Dr Goat's photo from Monday.

I sincerely apologize to those I led astray today. I'll go stand in the corner for 20 minutes.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, thanks for clearing that up. I was going to respond one more time, but I had decided to let it go. Like Ana does. Or was it Elsa? Or maybe it was Cher?

Unknown said...

After the fiasco of my attempt at locating things yesterday I am a skoshi bit fearful of this, but I'm agreeing with TM! as well. My first guess (and it's only a guess) was that it was some little roof covering a map of the island display. I don't know where that idea came from, but it felt right this morning. Ah, the joys of photo IDs.

Unknown said...

Oh, and I think the lamp on the tallest piling at the mouth of the harbor shows the position of the switch changing from green to red when the switch has been thrown.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Two things I never noticed before: The Twain's port of registry is "Disneyland, CAL," while today it is "Disneyland, U.S.A.", and the additional "Mark Twain" lettering above the three little windows where the steam engine is.

We can also see how the Texas Deck got its name.

It's a great shot. I love the deep red-brown luster of the paddles.

Anonymous said...

@TM & Chuck, now I'm totally confused, but you are convincing me... :-D


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if I didn’t sort of know what an X-wing was, I would have had no clue.

TokyoMagic!, remember when so many Disney movies featured chimps? We need to bring them back.

JG, I’ve suddenly realized that what I need more than anything is for R2-D2 to wear a riverboat captain’s hat.

Chuck, I am pretty sure the photo was taken from Fan1.

TokyoMagic!, ha, I actually don’t know if it was Ana or Elsa who sang that dumb song (I’m one of the few people who apparently thinks that “Let it Go” is awful).

Patrick Devlin, lucky for you, no comment on GDB is legally binding.

Patrick Devlin II, does the lamp really change color depending on the switch?

Steve DeGaetano, wow, good eyes! I had noticed the “Disneyland U.S.A., which is present on a 1958 photo I just looked at”. I’m not sure if I recall noticing “Disneyland, CAL”. Also, WHY is it called the Texas Deck? Because it’s big? Because it has fire ants?

JG, total confusion is my nominal state.

Unknown said...

I think the lamp is an indicator. I can check and make sure, or maybe the next time I'm in the Park I'll stay around until after dark.

Anonymous said...

@Major, LOL.

I think the chief contribution to my disorientation is the shape of the rock outcropping around the cave.

This looks more like the exit end to me, but the other photo factors are compelling and my memories of the entrance don't reach back to this era.

There has been significant work between the photo time and my era, the rocks might have changed too.

This is so much fun.