Wednesday, September 06, 2017

A Potpourri of Snapshots

Today I am sharing four random snapshots, courtesy of GDB reader Irene and her brother (who took these photos). None of them are dated, but they are all likely from the mid-1990's.

First up is this photo of the Alice in Wonderland attraction, as seen (presumably) from the Monorail. I'm surprised it came out as clear as it did! As a kid I loved going down that winding vine pathway, with the feeling that our vehicle was about to plunge off of the edge. The old mushroom ticket booth was reduced to mere decoration (and storage, I'll wager), with a storybook-style sign on top. On one website, somebody wrote in amazement that the tree we see here is an actual living tree!

I have no idea what's going on here! There's a sign hanging in front of the Golden Horseshoe, announcing a "Mayoral Debate", while some performers stand nearby. The "young lady" in the frilly dress is having a good time; sometimes a person just wants to look pretty! Does anybody remember what this was all about?

This is a nice shot of the temple exterior from the Indiana Jones Adventure; it is a pretty convincing recreation of an archeological site that had once been swallowed by the jungle, to be forgotten for centuries, and now subject to intense scrutiny. This photo might have been taken before the attraction actually opened.

And finally, here's a look at old Cascade Peak; it had seen better days - I've seen photos as late as 1996 or 1997 in which the waterfalls were still roaring, but in this picture they've been shut off. Hey, those pumps cost money to run! If they were going for an abandoned look, then they succeeded. The peak was torn down in 1998.

Thank you to Irene and her brother!


Nanook said...


The shot of Alice looks so overgrown, and a far cry from its early [and not so] early days. And boy, them 'gals' in Frontierland sure am purdy-! I'd vote fer 'her' anytime-!

Poor Cascade Peak... I can't go on.

Thanks to all.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yeah Nanook, the Cascade Peak photo made me sad!

The lady in the first pic looks like she's trying to stop the caterpillar vehicle by dragging her foot.

Thank you for sharing more of your brother's wonderful pics with us, Irene!

walterworld said...

Cascade Peak looks so forlorn. It only had a few years left until global warming sealed the deal..

K. Martinez said...

The Alice shot is jarring here on GDB because I'm so used to the more open treeless look. It's even got a lawn here.

I've seen that show several times in front of the Golden Horseshoe, but I forget the gist of it already. I must've zoned out whenever I watched it.

That is a nice temple shot even though I always thought it strange that the style and coloring was different than the Cambodian ruins it was across the river from.

Yeah, Cascade Peak was neglected. They ruin everything.

Thanks to Irene and her brother for providing so many nice pics from an era you don't get to see many photos of. Again, your brother has a great sense of composition. Very nice.

fromnabulax said...

The group known as the 'Laughing Stock' would perform several times daily in front of the Golden Horseshoe. They had as I recall two rotating skits. One involving a supposed mayoral election, the other involving the mayor trying to marry off his daughter, usually played by the tallest and bulkiest male member of their troupe in drag.
Three male guests would be pulled from the crowd, they would be blindfolded and questioned to see which would be the most likely future husband for his daughter. One of the three would have appropriately goofy answers whispered in their ear by another member of the troupe to assure maximum hilarity.
When the blindfold was removed from the winner of the bride, he would see the massive mountain of maleness in drag and even more laughs would ensue.
I used to go to the park often enough and being a natural ham that I became known as a willing participant in the sketch and would be pulled from the audience quite often.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it is a little surprising to see how verdant the front of the “Alice” ride is. I suppose they were trying to evoke an English garden? It was amusing to read the website that was surprised that the tree was real, and not made of fiberglass and vinyl.

TokyoMagic! I have more sad pictures of Cascade Peak, so… something to look forward to! It’s hard to tell, but it looks like even in the 90’s the female “Alice” ride operators dressed a little bit like Alice.

Walterworld, I think that Cascade Peak probably had less than a year before it would be razed.

K. Martinez, I never noticed (or knew) that the Indy ruins were right across the river from the Cambodian ruins. The Indy ruins look Indian to me. I guess you could argue that the river represented the “Rivers of the World” (the Amazon, the Nile, the Mekong, the Ganges, etc) so that we would expect to see ruins from different parts of the planet. But… maybe not right next to each other.

fromnabulax, thank you for solving that mystery! Lots of good info. I’ve heard of the “Laughing Stock”; but I don’t think I was ever aware of anyone performing in front of the Golden Horseshoe in the manner seen here. It looks very similar to the kind of things they’re doing at Knott’s nowadays. Very fun that you participated!

Irene said...

I'm happy to see someone gave a great explanation of what is happening outside the Golden Horseshoe - Laughing Stock Co. One of my favorite things to watch. They used to perform outside all the time while Billy Hill and the Hillbillies performed inside. Then several years ago the Hillbillies were booted up the trail to the Ranch where they performed on too large of a stage and Laughing Stock was moved inside. The "girl" in the picture is Sally Mae, daughter of the major. I also recognize the performer, John Eaden, who still works at Disney. Has for many years. He is still doing Laughing Stock. Also he was the lead Billy as part of the Green Team. Mostly people know Kirk Wall as the lead Billy (Blue and Gold Team)but he did need to take some days off :) Whereas Kirk and the some of the other Billies landed over at Knotts as Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, John still leads the other version known as Billy and the Hillbillies. They mostly perform at a fair up in Washington and occasionally in a park in Pasadena. Neither group can use the word Hill in the name as that name, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies is owned by Disney. John's group performed as Billy Hill and the Hillbillies just recently at D23. John is just the sweetest guy ever. Another sad note (besides the fact that Disney got rid of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies a couple of years ago) is Disney also made Laughing Stock get ride of Sally Mae! There was a guest who complained constantly and loudly that a cross dressing man had no place in a family theme park. Finally they caved and Disney told them to ditch Sally Mae or the whole troop would be axed. So, so sad because Sally Mae was the heart and soul of the act. "She" was the joke and so, so funny. Now Laughing Stock has new, reworked skits that involve a real woman. They are OK and something nice to watch while sitting in the Golden Horseshoe, but no where near as funny. Another side note. Ken Parks, who came up with Laughing Stock in the first place and was also one of its performers (his Sally Mae was the best one) and he worked backstage in entertainment, is now vice-president of Entertainment over at Knotts! He's the one who developed the Frontierland "game" thing they did a few years ago - the precursor to what is coming to Star Wars Land - interactive whatever with live performers. He brought that concept to Knotts and it is "Ghost Town Alive" which just finished its second successful year! He has come up with a lot of the new shows you now see at Knotts and is currently working on Scary Farm. So there you have it - probably more than you ever want to know. Also shows you how much time I have on my hands LOL.

TokyoMagic! said...

Irene, do you remember when Disney made them get rid of the Sally Mae character? I wonder if they would cave to such pressure today? I hope not! Although, I heard that they didn't extend the Golden Horseshoe Revue's return engagement back in 2013, because people complained that it was too risque. Some people really need to lighten up!

Irene said...

Yes I do! It was major sadness and disgust for us fans. I haven't renewed my Pass for Disneyland and it expired last December and I know Sally Mae was gone before I left. I do remember it was after the whole Bruce Jenner/Kaitlyn Jenner thing and that's really what sparked the whole mess and this particular person causing problems. So yes, they caved recently. Disney is very much into political correctness.

TokyoMagic! said...

Irene, thanks for answering back! Wow, I had no idea that they were doing shows out in the street up until just recently. I must have just always missed them. That is sad that Disney would cave to that kind of pressure. I would have thought that the "politically correct" thing to do in this day and age, would have been to be more accepting and inclusive. I don't like Disney very much these days.