Friday, December 01, 2017

Monstro the Whale, May 1958

Monstro the Whale is still gobbling up Disneyland guests by the boatload after more than 60 years, and he shows no signs of stopping. That's just how angry he is!  I like this nice angle as he devours one of the canal boats ("Lady Guinevere") - meanwhile he almost completely eclipses the Pirate Ship with his bulk. 

To the right, between the tunnel and the tip of Cinderella's Castle, is a mountain peak. At first I thought it was Cascade Peak, until I realized that it wasn't built until two years after this photo was taken, AND there is no way it would be seen in that position. We're just seeing the back of the Alps or Dolomites or whatever those mountains are that provide a stunning backdrop for Geppetto's Village.

I always thought it was too bad that The Magic Kingdom in Florida never got a Storybook Land of their own. Imagine if they had made their Monstro twice as large - or bigger! By the late 1960's it might have been considered too tame or old-fashioned for the soon-to-be 1970's crowds.

It's funny to see a lone stroller parked near the trash can, as opposed to the fleets of strollers seen nowadays.


Nanook said...


You're certainly correct about the great angle in that first shot. Funny, when I spied those "alps" in the distance of the first shot, I was convinced the photographer just happened to be utilizing a super-duper-lens, and we were actually seeing the real Matterhorn in Switzerland/Italy. Okay - it's the other direction - but still...

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I always enjoy seeing the little lighthouse in its original paint job, location, and function.

While I appreciate and miss the old rockwork that let you get within spitting distance of the boats, I can also appreciate the desire for more separation between guests and potentially-dangerous situations. On my kids' only visit to SoCal, the youngest, five years old at the time, managed to fall into almost every single body of water we encountered in San Diego - the harbor at North Island, the tidepools at Cabrillo Point, and a fountain in Balboa Park. I'm fairly certain that he would have managed to fall into the Storybook Land canal, too, had the rocks been this low.

K. Martinez said...

I love seeing Cinderella's Castle and the "Alps" Matterhorn type peak on the horizon. It's like a mini-Disneyland in the distance. I also like the Casey Jr. tunnel rockwork and being able to see through the train tunnel to the other side. Both of today's pics are really cool. Thanks, Major.

The Disney Dudebro said...

Yeah, it's rather a shame that Disney World never created its own version of the Storybook Canals. On the plus side, at lest our Fantasyland has a mine cart coaster ride. Of course, it doesn't help that the line for those are often three hours long. :(

Melissa said...

Monstro! Monsty, baby! It's been way too long!

Good peoplewatching in the second photo. The fellow on the bench looks a bit like Dick Martin to me, so I'm assuming Mr. Tan Shoe is Dan Rowan. They're headed off to Tomorrowland to scope out the News of the Future. And the two littlest kids in their stripey legwear! Too adorable.

Anonymous said...

Casey and the Canal Boats, the single best attraction combo in Disneyland. I just love the whole little complex.

These are excellent pictures too, thanks Major.

The rocks have been re-worked several times over the years to move the crowds away from the water. I have a great 1965 picture of my Mother and I in one of the boats, taken by Dad, who must have been standing right on the rocks. Anyway, you can't get to that vantage point anymore, it's a flower bed.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I guess that guy wasn’t using an Instamatic with a plastic lens…

Chuck, ha ha, I used to fall in water all the time too. I didn’t WANT to, but it just happened. But it never happened at Disneyland, thank goodness. At some point a round “porthole” was added to the door of the lighthouse, must have been not long after these photos were taken.

K. Martinez, yeah, these pix are not the most exciting things ever, but they are just good solid classic Disneyland.

The Disney Dudebro, yikes, three hours, that hurts.

Melissa, Dan Rowan is smoking a cigar someplace where he won’t bother people, because he was just that kind of a guy. I used to love the “News of the Future” gags!

JG, it is true… early on, you could probably lean out and give Monstro a pat if you wanted to. But you would lose a hand! Now they don’t want dummies to scratch their names into his thick hide.

Dean Finder said...

I think Walt Disney World didn't get the Storybook Canal Boats because they had the Swan Boats