Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pirates Façade, October 1970

I think these are the final two scans from that cursed batch of GAF slides!

As much as I complained about them, they weren't a total loss. I don't have too many photos of the original entrance to "Pirates of the Caribbean", before the 1987 addition of the Disney Gallery, and the the bridge/walkway that (I guess?) eliminated the backups that used to occur on busy days.  So, in spite of the murkiness, I am glad to have this photo.

Next is a familiar view of the waterfalls that spilled into the Submarine Lagoon - a simple, but very clever device that simulated your sub's dive into the mysterious depths, and its return to the friendlier, less sea-serpenty shallows. 

I know I've said it more than once, but as a kid I always wished I would be allowed to lounge around in that tranquil pond just above the falls, sipping an ice-cold lemonade while laying in my inflatable floaty.


Nanook said...


That shot of the Subs is a beauty. Good 'ol Joe Fowler undoubtedly had his hands all over this one.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I love how clearly you can see the spray on the water! Both very atmospheric shots today.

Scott Lane said...

Beauties! And not a murk to be seen in that second pic.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

It's 1970 all of Southern California was "Murky" until the AQMD (Air Quality Management District) made the air crystal clear and sweet smelling. Not to let the subpar GAF slides totally off the hook either but these are both unique shots and well worth the effort. Thanks for murking my day. It beats feeding the kids/dogs and going to work. At least delaying for a few anyway.

Chuck said...

I didn't realize the submarines were articulated.

Stefano said...

And after the Sub lagoon lounge, a siesta in the apartments above the Pirates entrance, the French doors of which are enticingly opened.
The facades of most Disneyland rides give the visitor a good idea of what is in store for them, but the Pirates portal, though very attractive, really doesn't.

K. Martinez said...

The pic of the empty PeopleMover tracks reminds me of how the tracks have been sitting there for nearly two decades while the attraction has been long gone. I really wish they'd remove it. It's like urban decay in the world of the future.

All they'd need to do is take down a section at a time so as not to disturb too much at a time and within a few months it would be done. In fact they could've taken it down when both the Subs and Autopia were closed a while back. But they didn't. It really bugs me.

I love the Pirates of the Caribbean pic. I much preferred the building in its pre-bridge/walkway days. Thanks, Major.

Ha, ha! That was a good one, Chuck!

MonkeyMensch said...

Hiya all and nice shots Major. Thanks.

It's hard to stand at the threshold of the Pirates entrance and try to imagine the pavement running straight down to the water's edge from there. One simply needs a good imagination cap I think.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I wonder how much Admiral Joe had in this ride? I think he was more of a “get things done on time” guy, but perhaps on something like the Subs he would have more to offer.

Melissa, “atmospheric” is one way to put it! ;-)

Scott Lane, eh, there’s still murk, it’s just not as bad as the worst of the GAF photos.

Alonzo, it is pretty astonishing to see shots of L.A. in the 70’s, and just how awful the air could be - you could barely see the end of a block. Yuck.

Chuck, just like real subs… Walt wanted authenticity.

Stefano, that might be because (and this is just my theory) the ride starts as a lovely trip through a moonlit bayou. It’s only when you “accidentally” go shooting down that waterfall into the caverns that you find all of the pirates.

K. Martinez, it really does seem kind of disgraceful that they are just leaving the decaying remains of rides that have been gone for 20 years. I’m sure it’s all about dollars.

MonkeyMensch, they sell imagination caps on Main Street, $39.99. They light up and have all your credit card information stored in them.

Anonymous said...

Been a long time since I manned the turnstile or CC there at Pirates as it was configured then. I was training on the JC that month having transferred from foods.

They did an amazing transformation of the area to keep people moving. KS

Melissa said...



I always liked the look of the Pirates bridge , however as much as I loved The Disney Gallery , I hated those two curved entry stairs leading to the upper balcony - it looked hokey .