Sunday, September 03, 2017

Frontierland 1957

Here are two nice (but not amazing) photos from Frontierland in its early days! 

The Rivers of America really sold the illusion of a wilderness in the middle of Orange County. As the years went by, more and more developments popped up, including some of the best attractions in the park. The Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain, for instance! But those additions also made a ride on the Mark Twain feel less like a journey in to the unknown frontier, and more like a sight-seeing excursion. That's not a bad thing, it's just different.

Here's a nice shot of the burning settler's cabin, before some of the trees started to grow so big as to block some of the view. Of course the large trees contributed to that "frontier" illusion that I was just talking about!


Nanook said...


Evidently the photographer of the first image was documenting The Attraction Loudspeakers of Disneyland®, by featuring this octagon-enclosed beauty on one of the Mike Fink Keel Boats. But then again, they managed to capture a nice shot of the Mark Twain passing Fort Wilderness.

Although the Settler's Cabin a-Fire is barely surrounded by 'a forest', I fail to see any telephone wires or poles-! (Gotta love those flames-!)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, A-ha! I was wondering if that first pic was taken from a Keelboat or a TSI raft, but I thought it was taken a little too far west to have been a TSI raft.

Major, with last year's destruction of the berm and it's 50-60 year old trees in the back/northern portion of the river, a ride on the Mark Twain today feels even less like a real journey into the unknown frontier and more like just an amusement park ride. Very sad! The people responsible should be ashamed of themselves!

Chuck said...

That first photo was taken on the east side of TSI. The tell-tale clues are the angled blockhouse on Ft Wilderness (there was only one, on the NE corner) and the trail/road along the river on the left bank.

And that is a mighty fine speaker, just like the kind Mike Fink had on his own Gullywhumper.

And after seeing the second photo, I suddenly have "Disco Inferno" in my head. Not sure why.

TM!, I understand that there was a plan to save many of those trees on the berm for relocation elsewhere on the property. Recalling problems with multiple band colors in 1954, they only labeled the trees to be preserved, marking them with pink bands. Unfortunately, the bulldozer operator was blind.

K. Martinez said...

The illusion of a wilderness, a sight-seeing excursion, small trees, large trees, medium trees, burning cabins, non-burning cabins, and the edge of a another galaxy! Everything is wonderful! I'm sorry, but the Disneyland today, I could just put a fork in it. I'm done. It says something when I enjoy Disneyland more on GDB than I do at 1313 Harbor Boulevard if that's even its address anymore.

Nice shots today! Thanks, Major. And thanks for continuing your awesome blog. It keeps my Disney passion going and is a great place to visit and chime in.

Chuck, That's exactly what the burning cabin needed. A mirrored disco ball and a soundtrack. And thanks for that info about the position on the Rivers of America. This morning, I don't know which end is up. I think the heat wave has baked my brains.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I like those octagonal loudspeakers, they look like they should be on the wall of a school, broadcasting important announcements during the day. I didn’t notice the lack of telephone poles, but now that you mention it, where are they?

TokyoMagic!, we’ve seen those octagonal speakers before, so I just assumed that all of the GDB regulars would probably know what they were. My friend Mr. X is so outraged at the whole truncated river that I think his head is going to pop. Of course all of the people online who were formerly worried about the changes now gush about how “great” it looks. It could look worse of course, but I don’t think it looks great.

Chuck, I kind of wonder if some of the curves of the shore have been slightly straightened out over the years - it looks extra curved here. Maybe it’s just the perspective, or the lack of trees. I ALWAYS have Disco Inferno in my head. It is inspiring to know that Disney hired blind bulldozer operators… I’m starting to think that he must have been promoted to be in charge of the color schemes on Main Street. ZING! I gotta million on ‘em.

K. Martinez, even with all of the changes at the park, I feel like I could still have a pretty good time if it wasn’t for the overcrowding. Many people don’t mind it (clearly), but I find it oppressive. I generally try to avoid crowds in my life, and certainly don’t want them when I’m trying to have fun (and maybe relax a little).

Anonymous said...

I'd like to revisit the park...but on my terms when it comes to the crowds. One of the great joys for me was those quiet periods...mostly in the evening when one could enjoy the beauty of the place. Luckily I worked on the Westside where one could really feel removed from urban Orange County. But now...when is there a time to go? January/February seems the likeliest. But with the operating hours of 10-7, it's not enough time to enjoy the place vs. the cost of admission. KS

Melissa said...

In Florida, the best viewing angle of the Haunted Mansion is from the deck of the Liberty Belle. It looks more like a real house from back there (especially with all the nonsense that's been built around the entrance in recent years).