Tuesday, April 11, 2017

More Freebies!

Today I am happy to share more scans of snapshots so generously given to me by GDB reader Irene! The photos were taken by her brother.

I love this first one showing the plaza outside the ticket booths; though almost none of the snapshots has a date, this is obviously from before DCA existed. Some of the parking lot can be seen to our right - I did not remember the walkway from which this photo was snapped. Even out here there are lots of benches! In front of us is a cute little information booth; I wonder if this has been repurposed and used elsewhere in the park since then?

Next is this look at the steps from the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet. The ride closed in 1994, so this photo obviously predates that; the surrounding trees have almost obscured it at this point! The chalet was finally demolished on June 14th, 2016 - 60 years after the attraction had debuted - and 22 years after it had closed.

Here's another undated, unlabeled photo; but thanks to the garlands hanging in front of "The Walt Disney Story", it is clearly Christmastime. Were all of those chairs there for guests who wanted to watch the Christmas parade? I like the two cast members to our left - I had a friend who worked on Main Street a few years earlier, and she wore a similar long dress.

Stay tuned - I scanned hundreds of photos from Irene and her brother!


Nanook said...


I should remember when that build-out of the area in front of the ticket booths took place, but memory fails me. (Someone here will know). The chairs pictured in the final image I presume were set-up for those folks lucky-enough to get chairs from which to watch the Candlelight Processional.

Thanks Irene (& your brother) and The Major.

K. Martinez said...

The built out park like area with benches in front the the ticket booths was added in 1980 during 25th Anniversary.

Chuck said...

I had totally forgotten about that built-out area, and I know that I passed it/walked through it dozens of times. Good thing that somebody invented light writing to jog our memories.

Those chairs are probably set up for the Candlelight Processional rather than a traditional Christmas parade; the seats in front of the Opera House would block parade vehicles and are oriented in the wrong direction. Of course, the seats in the foreground will be great for watching the procession down Main Street but will be awful for watching the Human Christmas Tree in front of the Train Station and whichever celebrity is reading the Christmas Story this year.

If this is the 1994 Processional, my wife and I have already staked out a spot hours in advance and are sitting on the curb about 100 feet behind Irene's brother, right next to the lamppost on the corner where the Emporium fa├žade makes a 45° angle away from Main Street, and chatting with a nice cast member assigned to the position as crowd control. Later, we'll be able to get intermittent glimpses of a spot-lit Peter Graves as he reads the Christmas Story between carols while clueless guests who had no idea this event was going on jam into the sidewalk in front of us trying to exit the Park and begin complaining before finally giving up and enjoying themselves.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think they also installed new ticket booths in 1980, at the same time that they put in that walkway. I remember when that entryway was decorated for the 30th anniversary in 1985. They had the Buick cars that were being given away that year, out on display. Thanks Irene, for more great photos!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ooops, I meant "GM Cars." Some of them were Buicks.

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, You are correct. New ticket booths were installed in 1980 along with the new walkway.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’m surprised you have forgotten something. You should have a photographic memory like me, it’s great. That way you remember everything, whether you want to or not!

K. Martinez, thanks!

Chuck (and Nanook), I was thinking “Candlelight Procession”, but as you said, they were pointed the wrong way if they were to view the chorale and the guest speaker. Maybe everyone stood and turned their folding chairs? Seems unlikely. I hope Peter Graves mentioned that he liked gladiator movies.

TokyoMagic!, were all of those changes aesthetic, or did they actually improve traffic and guest admittance? Please submit a full report (with footnotes) by 4 o’clock today.

TokyoMagic!, I used to drive an old Buick, so I forgive you! ;-)

K. Martinez, now that I’m thinking about it, I wonder if the new ticket booths had AC so that the cast members inside didn’t roast all day.

K. Martinez said...


Ha, ha! I loved that movie.

Forget AC in the ticket booths. With roasted cast member you can add some carrots and potatoes and have a complete meal.

Irene said...

I left really early this morning for a trip to see the Science of Pixar up at the Science Center in Los Angeles so only just now getting to today's photos. What a nice surprise to see my brother's photos up. Sure do miss that walkway and the way the entrance was before DCA. Also greatly miss the Skyway and that beautiful chalet. I was there shortly before it was ripped out and took some photos. By then it was completely overgrown and hardly visible unless you knew were to look.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I guess I missed the deadline of 4 p.m. for submitting my full report, so I'll just abbreviate it. I'm guessing that the walkway was partly for aesthetics, but it could have also served as a safe walkway for guests to approach the ticket booths.

Ken, Cast Member Stew! It's what's for dinner and it's Mmmmmm, Mmmmmm Good!

Sorry I'm posting this so late in the day, but I didn't have time to post it earlier. It's footage I shot while walking the entire length of that entryway, towards the tickets booths. It's from 22 years ago (1995) and shows the decorations for the park's 40th anniversary and also a special photo op that was set up for the new Indiana Jones attraction. I'm sorry that I don't spend more time focusing on each of those banners!

Disneyland Entrance - 1995

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm sorry that I "DIDN'T" spend more time focusing on each of those banners!

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I prefer my cast members to be fricasseed.

Irene, I have to admit that, as sad as I am to see the Skyway chalet go, it was just rotting away, mostly out of sight anyway. Still, another piece of Walt’s Disneyland is gone.

TokyoMagic!, you also forgot the footnotes! Watching your video, I can see that the walkway really did make for a nice (and safe) approach to the ticket booths. Those banners are something I’d never seen before. Also, your guitar playing for the music accompanying the video is very impressive! ;-) Did you shoot a lot of videos around that time? If so, have you continued to do so over the years? One of Irene’s photos shows that Indy photo op, you’ll see it one of these days. Thanks for sharing your video!

TokyoMagic!, I believe the word you were searching for was “durnt”. As in, “I’m sorry I durnt spend more time focusing on each of those banners”. I speak English good.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, yep, you speak it real good! Ha, ha. I did shoot a lot of video around that time. I'm glad to hear that Irene's brother took a pic of that Indiana Jones photo op, because I don't think I ever shot a pic of it....just video. I do have more video footage of just that set by itself. I haven't continued to shoot video of Disneyland. Once YouTube came about, I figured there was plenty of current park footage available out there......and better quality than what I was able to shoot. I am happy that I filmed the things that I did at the park back then, because a lot of it is no longer around. As for those videos, I've been slowly posting them on my blog (like the Light Magic-related videos this month) and I will continue to do so in the future. Since it relates to another photo from your post today, here is some footage I shot of the abandoned Skyway Chalet in Fantasyland in 1995. The landscaping around the building hadn't become so overgrown yet:

Fantasyland Skyway Chalet - 1995