Monday, February 20, 2017

The Plaza, 1997

1997. A time before we had telephones or airplanes or Pringles. A time when early humans communicated through a series of grunts and crude gestures. A time when... oh, 1997! Jeez, that was only 20 years ago. For some reason I was thinking 2,001,997 BC. Happens all the time.

Anyhoo, good ol' "Mr. X" has allowed me to scan more of his personal Disneyland photos. These aren't very "vintage", but they sure are pretty. And it is surprising just how much a lot of the park has changed in those two decades.

Look at this nice shot as the old Firetruck chugs past the old Plaza Gardens. Did I mention they were old? The landscaping sure is nice. Of course the Plaza Gardens became the "Fantasy Faire" in 2013.

Mr. X might have just pivoted to his right to take this photo of Horse Drawn Streetcar as it waits for more passengers in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The "Partners" statue would have been right behind him.

I hope you don't mind these not-so-old Disneyland photos once in a while!


TokyoMagic! said...

I miss the Plaza Gardens and those olive trees in the Plaza....and the pre-garish Sleeping Beauty Castle! These photos would have been taken right around the time when things at the park REALLY started to go downhill. Still, two very pleasant views today! Thank you Major and Mr. X for sharing these!

K. Martinez said...

I didn't like Disneyland in the 1990's, but I do like 1990's Disneyland photos. It's an era you don't see much on and even though I think it's Disneyland's worst decade, this is documentation of that period of time.

The Carnation Plaza Gardens brings home how much of Walt's Disneyland has been removed. Especially in the 1990's. The composition of these photos is very good. Mr. X is like the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, Mr. X and Major.

Unknown said...

Boy, these views belie their provenance, they could both be terrifically well preserved shots from the 70s. Are the olive trees gone? Darn it.

For what it's worth, they've toned down the pink on the Sleeping Beauty Castle, at least as of a couple of weeks ago. The stones looked a little bit more muted in color but I could be wrong on that. Progress!

Chick said...

Major, these bring back a host of unexpected memories and emotions despite their relative newness. These were taken just a couple of years after my APH year, and it still looks exactly like the Disneyland of my young married playground.

I am so glad I managed to get my wife to Disneyland before the Pressler Era really hit its stride. While there were changes from my youthful visits, there was still a huge amount of Walt's DNA still scattered throughout the park (it took them forever to clean up the residue after that explosion at the cryogenic storage facility) and she had a chance to enjoy that before they started tearing it out wholesale.

Patrick, it's good to hear that the castle has been toned down...unless that means they've just let the paint fade... :-)

Thanks again, Major Mr X!

Anonymous said...

A LOT of change in 20 years. I agree with Patrick that these shots could be circa 70s. Note that the place wasn't overrun by mobs of people. KS

Nanook said...

Yes, 'Chick', "pink fade" is a known issue with castles and even Disneyland isn't immune to this shocking condition. One can only hope the fading continues, returning the SBC to its former 'stately' glory.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, was this around the time that Paul Pressler really started making an impact? Or was it just a confluence of events?

K. Martinez, at least the 1990’s did not have the awful crowds that are there nearly every day now. But I know there were lots of problems with maintenance, as well as the closures of a number of attractions just to save money.

Patrick Devlin, it’s true, they really do look a lot like pix from the 70’s. That is very interesting about the repainted castle with more muted colors - I’ll have to find a picture!

Chick, it really does seem like there is less and less Walt in the park every year. I always wonder about that “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour - what is it, 15 minutes long? By the way, when I hear the name “Chick”, I think of Lou Costello in “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein”. “Chiiiiiiiick…. oh Chiiiiiick!”

KS, It is true, there have been a ton of changes - something I didn’t really realize until looking at a number or mid-1990’s photos.

Nanook, trouble is, many people LIKE the lack of chromatic subtlety. Golly, it’s cheerful!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, this was totally the time when Pressler was having a negative impact on the park. The major stuff was the axing of the Main Street Electrical Parade (1996), green-lighting Light Magic (1997), green-lighting New Tomorrowland of 1998, closing the Subs (1998), changing the Swiss Family Treehouse to a Tarzan theme (1999), closing Country Bear Jamboree (2001), and green-lighting California Adventure. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't he the one that was responsible for the shops carrying less and less unique merchandise. And wasn't he responsible for the cutbacks on maintenance and training that resulted in the Big Thunder and Columbia accidents? Oh heck, can we just blame him for everything that is wrong with the world?

walterworld said...

TM!: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes...sadly

Thanks Mr. X & Major

Phantomwise said...

Personally, I grew up with Disneyland in the 90's so I love photographs from that time period.

TokyoMagic! While I agree with most of your post, I think they were actually making a wise decision when they ended the Main Street Electrical Parade. It would have been MUCH cheaper to continue it, but they knew eventually people would have grown tired of it (and it was very dated by that time). Instead, they ended it on a high note, so people could have good memories of the parade. However, they did too well and anything that followed would have failed in comparison (that and Light Magic was...bizarre). I say this from the place of someone who was upset when MSEP left, but when I saw it again in 2002, was extremely underwhelmed. My nostalgia had made it seem better than it actually was.

I'm glad guests are enjoying its return, but I look forward to the future.