Monday, January 22, 2018

Pirate Arcade, 1971

Here are the last two scans of some 1971 snapshots that Mr. X gave to me. Don't worry, we have lots and lots more to come from him!

This example is one of my favorites, as it is a rare view inside the Pirate Arcade in New Orleans Square. The Pirate Arcade was home to a number of customized arcade games, including the three target shooters here. We've got the "Cap'n Hook" game, the "Cap'n Black" game, and "Freebooter Shooter". Some of these even included tiny "Pepper's Ghost" effects (dancing skeletons or some such spooky things). 

The portrait above the games doesn't really look like a Marc Davis piece to me... I wonder if it could have been done by Imagineer Colin Campbell? Of course it could be by somebody else entirely - chime in if you happen to know!

Meanwhile, here's good old "Fortune Red". I think he's brushed his teeth this month, just for you! For a small feel, Red would give you a card with appropriately piratey advice. As far as I know, Red is still in New Orleans Square.


Nanook said...


I believe the correct name was the Pieces of Eight Arcade, and in 1980, became the Pieces of Eight Gift Shop. I definitely spent my time in the Arcade over the years, and this is a great memory of it.

I still have a couple of Pieces of Eight silver doubloons available from the Arcade, where the heavily WED-modified MetalTyper machine was located. The Pirate Coin Stamper has come and gone many times over the years, and currently is no longer on stage - and possibly in a state of permanent repair.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I miss the Pirates Arcade, Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade in Bear Country, and the old Penny Arcade on Main St. I've been working on a future post about the Pirates Arcade and Fortune Red. Major, you are right, he does still exist. For the longest time, he remained in the former Pirates Arcade location even after it became the Pieces of Eight Shop, but he was eventually moved next door, just inside the entrance to the Royal Courtyard. This photo of him reinforces my memory of how he originally looked. Over the years, they have "dolled him all up" in captain's garb. I preferred the way he looked originally, which also matched more closely with the drawing of him that appears on the fortune cards that the machine dispenses. These are both two wonderful and rare shots, Major. Thank you, and thank you to Mr. "X" too!

Patrick Devlin said...

Nice images, today, that certainly rank up there on the rare factor, for sure. Thanks to you major and Mr. X for time and trouble.

Now you say "Fortune Red" does his work for a "small feel" but I swear I remember him being coin-operated. Well memory's a funny thing.

Patrick Devlin said...

Maybe it's just me but it looks like that change machine on the wall in the back ground of shot #2 wouldn't take dollar bills, just maybe quarters ('cause the shooters ran on dimes). I can certainly remember a time when machines didn't take bills, yikes I'm old. Was there a CM in the arcade for change?

K. Martinez said...

Wow! Both these pics are awesome! These are definitely rare shots of the "Pirate Arcade Museum" which it was called in the early INA guide books. It makes me wish that more people back then took more photos of the interiors of buildings like the restaurants, shops and arcades. Nowadays with all the Disney enthusiasts that are into the Disney theme parks on a deeper level they do take pics like these.

Such wonderful memories awoken. A BIG thanks to Mr. X and Major.

Patrick Devlin, I grew up with the huge Casino Arcade at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and I remember it being a dime to play most pinball machines and even some of the older games cost a nickel like the shooters or even a penny if it was really old. That was 40-50 years ago. I still walk through the Casino Arcade today, but rarely play the games anymore due to the price.

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, I miss the old Penny Arcade, Pirate Arcade and Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade too. When going to Disneyland it was the Starcade with its modern games that bored me, but the older and customized games at the other arcades always intrigued me.

Patrick Devlin said...

OH man! I'd kill to have been around when they sold off some of those machines from the Penny Arcade; I miss 'em to this day. And there was the great array of attraction posters lining the walls up high above the machines. Ah, well.

JG said...

Oh Major, these are a real find, very rare views.

I do remember this arcade fondly. I used to have one of the fortune cards too, but of course, no idea what happened to it, or where it might have been lost.

Like most of the others, I think the older arcade games were best. The Main Street Penny Arcade was the best arcade in Disneyland, with the mechanical baseball, where the players ran around the bases, the flip card peep shows, the "Show Your Vigor" electric shock endurance machine (unbelievable that they had this one). All just so cool, and now all gone.

@Ken, I agree, most of these machines, and the ones at Santa Cruz, were a dime to play. I remember one old one at Santa Cruz called "Bomber Mission" where you moved an actual wire crosshairs over a moving map (rolling scroll), long long before video. This one cost only a nickel, and as fate would have it, I was pretty good at it.

I was never any good at the modern video games, but there was one that I liked, very abstract and hard to describe, called Tempest. It is apparently still available in a PC Emulator version. Oddly, it's central dial gameplay was very similar to "Bomber Mission". Maybe that was the key.

When the price jumped to a quarter for video, I gave up arcade games. :(

Thanks for these, Major.



Yes! It be a rare shot indeed!
The location was called the PIRATE ARCADE MUSEUM from the 60's till sometime in the mid to late 70's when it became PIECES OF EIGHT ( and was mainly a shop) those "Roque Gallery Pirate Portraits" were done by Ed Kohne - of Haunted Mansion fame - to my understanding . When the "Museum" became "Pieces of Eight" the portraits were removed with most of all the games except Fortune Red , the coin stamp machine ( the postcard machine was moved into the Royal Courtyard for a short time- then removed since you could purchased the Marc Davis postcards inside .
In the late 90's three of the Pirate Portraits were return to the walls of Pieces of Eight , but today only one remains ( the one your rare photo)
About two years ago the original multicolor Sam McKim Fortune Red fortune cards were replace with a single "tan" color on a larger card. The descriptions were also slightly updated as the fortunes often suggested to guests to gobride a specific Disneyland attraction : many since long gone!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, in my INA guide for 1979 it is still called the “Pirate’s Arcade”. Unfortunately there is a gap in my gate guides (I wasn’t as interested in the 80’s) so my next one is dated 1985, at which point it was a shop called “Pieces of Eight”. So it changed somewhere in there!

TokyoMagic!, I am surprised that they didn’t change Fortune Red to look more like Barbarossa from the “Pirates” movies. Ugh. As is usually the case, they don’t seem to know what they have until they change (ruin?!) it.

Patrick Devlin, listen, pirates will work for money, or pleasure. (Meanwhile, the other day I caught a typo in which I referred to Wally Boag as “Wally Boat”).

K. Martinez, I’m sure many people wish they’d taken photos of so many things that they took for granted back in those days. I know I do! I keep forgetting to send you a photo of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk from around 1970 - you’d get a kick out of it, I’m sure.

K. Martinez II, yes, as a kid I was fascinated by the customized arcade machines at Disneyland. Is it possible that kids from later years were not impressed? Did they only want to play “Pac Man”?

Patrick Devlin, that would be amazing to own one of those beautiful machines! I saw a brief, tiny video of one of them in operation as it was being restored, but I’ll be darned if I can find it.

Anonymous said...

Patrick, there was no CM manning the change machine at the Pirate Arcade during my watch in the mid 70s. If one needed change they could always go to a nearby store. I always enjoyed going out into the street and hearing the Arcade...and the minstrels playing...when I was bumped from my unload position to crow control. KS

Melissa said...

That pirate portrait is pretty creepy! And Fortune Red is clearly the Dad of the red-headed wench from the Pirates ride.

Patrick Devlin said...

JG, I know TEMPEST very well: I used to have an arcade version in my living room many years ago. Yeah, I liked that game a lot and got pretty good at it. Long story about how it ended up there...


This may clear up the PIRATE ARCADE & PIECES OF EIGHT change over:

Pieces of Eight signs :
wall mounted sign #1 and suspended bracket sign ( installed 7-14-1980)

wall mounted sign #2 (installed 7-20-1980)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I used to have some of those “Fortune Red” cards, and at some point was determined to get one of each, but then I lost the few that I had. And I totally remember that mechanical baseball game you mentioned! So great. I wonder if any of those old games wound up in the Musée Méchanique in San Francisco?

Mike Cozart, thank you for the ID of Ed Kohne; now that you mention it, that one visible in the first photo does resemble a character that he painted for the Haunted Mansion. I wonder what happened to the “missing” portraits? I hate that they replaced the multicolored Fortune Red cards with a single boring tan style (or lack of style?). Yuck. As always, thank you for all of the great info!

KS, it sure sounds like you have a ton of wonderful memories from your time at the park! I might be just a little bit jealous.

Melissa, if Fortune Red is the father of The Redhead, she must have had a knockout of a mother!

Patrick Devlin, ha, you were one of those guys - you could actually have a real Tempest game in your living room! I was never that good at those games, sadly.

Mike Cozart, wow, more great details!


In regards to the Rogues Gallery Pirste portraits. I'm not sure how many there were in total in the Pirate Arcade Museum - it's possible there were only three to begin with . But in the late 1990's three pirate portraits were found in decorating storsgexwhen it was located off Ball Road in Anaheim . At the time they were trying to make PIECES OF EIGHT more "piratey" and swashbuckling worn looking and three portraits were re-installed . Over time to make way for more merchandise and shelving two of the portraits were removed and one the one remains on display currently .

Anonymous said...

Useless Disneyland Fact #56: The Cap’n Hook game utilized a two minute combination loop of a vocal-free version of The Elegant Captain Hook (presumably used when the Peter Pan feature was dubbed into different languages) as well as the more familiar vocal version… whether anyone was playing the game or not. It wasn’t TOO loud but it certainly added to the pirate vibe!

My brothers and I often played all the games in the Pirate Arcade Museum but I’d always take time to listen to that vocal-free edition of The Elegant Captain Hook and wonder why I couldn’t buy a record of it. It was also played at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant grotto area along with other instrumental versions of songs from the Peter Pan soundtrack (not rerecordings).

Anonymous said...

@Patrick Devlin. I had some info on a site where you could download a PC emulator that would run the TEMPEST game (and others) on a modern desktop.

I should search my mail to see if I can find that.

I correspond on another forum with a guy who is a 1980's tech nut, he is always posting vintage game and computer images. Very entertaining.


Anonymous said...

@Patrick Here is the link, because Google never forgets.

FYI I have not tested this or scanned for malware.


K. Martinez said...

@JG, I remember "Bomber Mission". I'm sure we both played the exact same machine. My favorite two pinball machines at the Casino Arcade way back in the day were "Jungle Queen" and "Mission Control". I'd play those two games over and over and over again. What memories!

Lots of great new information today from GDB readers. Thanks, everyone! And thanks again for this most unusual post, Mr. X and Major.

Anonymous said...

@Ken, that is amazing. I don't recall those pinball titles, but Bomber Mission is clear as a bell. Just so cool that we played the same machine.