Friday, January 12, 2018

Two Instamatics, December 1969

Here are two random photos, courtesy of (you know him, you love him) good old Mr. X; both of from December, 1969. In just weeks, the world would graduate from the 60's to the 70's! Cue the disco music.

 So much for sunny Southern California - with that gray sky, it looks fairly bleak and chilly. Or at least the SoCal version of chilly - Mr. X might have had to put on a sweater! Oh, the shame of it. But in spite of the cold, I still love this view, with a buttercup-yellow Peoplemover heading uphill - or is it heading downhill? It's so hard to tell the front from the back - what they needed was a bubble dome. I think it's cool that the Peoplemover was able to go up some fairly gnarly gradients - presumably as evidence of its practicality in real-world situations. Down below, candy-colored Autopia vehicles huddle together for warmth.

There's the Fred Gurley - old # 3 (actually old, dating from 1894!) is chugging into New Orleans Square station. It looks great! The surrounding buildings are not as ornate as the ones found in NOS proper. What do you expect from the area right next to the tracks? I wonder if they have any function other than being decorative. Are there offices in them?


Nanook said...


Do I detect little raindrops 'hanging' from the Peoplemover railings in the foreground-? And, Major, you just know the "New Orleans Trading Company" building is disguising something within its four walls. But what-?

Thanks to you & Mr. X.

Chuck said...

In 1969, the New Orleans Trading Company building housed the Anaheim offices of am auction house specializing in bridal sales.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great shots today. To think at today's prices (at auction) the bodies alone of that huddle of Autopia cars would make a right nice retirement fund. They now sell for (in most cases) upwards of 10k each for a shell to put on the homemade go-cart of your choice.

Looks like the 1970 murk (from thursday) has followed us back in time to 69'.

Thanks for posting, happy Friday everyone.

K. Martinez said...

That yellow PeopleMover is heading downward after crossing over the Skyway path and now over the Autopia area.

I love the Richfield billboard out in the Autopia cloverleaf, but don't ever remember seeing it in person. I probably didn't pay attention to something like that when I was a child since Richfield ended its sponsorship in 1970.

Thank you Major and Mr. X.

Anonymous said...

That Peoplemover might not be moving. When it rained, traction between vehicle and motor wheels fell to zero, and the attraction went 101.

MonkeyMensch said...

It looks a bit like there's a blue shirt riding in the last car of the Peoplemover. Could it be a CM keeping an eye on things until it gets a bit dryer? I dunno...

Melissa said...

The color film is the only thing keeping that train shot from looking like something you'd see on

Steve DeGaetano said...

The Gurley photo has me slightly baffled; the ground, even between the rails, almost looks like cobble stones; or some other type of paving. I always thought three track here was the usual rail laid on wooden crossties with gravel ballast.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, oh yeah, there ARE raindrops on the railing! As for the New Orleans Trading Company hiding something, I wondered if it disguised any “Pirates” stuff, but it seemed so far from the entrance. Those boats do travel a long way, though…

Chuck, those days are over!

Alonzo, I wonder how much each of those fiberglass bodies cost to make back in the 60’s? Probably a tiny fraction of what one would cost to create today. I know somebody who was restoring one of those Autopia vehicles, putting it on the chassis of a golf cart, and supposedly I was going to get to drive it around the parking lot when it was done, but it never happened, sadly.

K. Martinez, yes, I was kind of surprised to still see the Richfield sign there in 1969, even though I knew that their sponsorship officially ended the following year; I just thought those signs were long gone.

Anon, interesting, I did not know that. I thought that the bottom of the Peoplemover vehicles was textured enough to provide traction in the rain, but clearly I was mistaken!

MonkeyMensch, I’ve never heard of a “blue shirt” before!

Melissa, I am very familiar with… awesome site.

Steve DeGaetano, I wonder if there was so much “cross traffic” over the tracks that the gravel ballast would have been a messy problem? I had a girlfriend who helped decorate NOS for Christmas, and we went to the park to take photos of her work - I was astonished that the cast member let us cross the tracks, with no proof that we weren’t just regular guests (which we were, I guess).

The Disney Dudebro said...

If there's one good thing about cloudy days, it's that they make the colors look all the more brighter in contrast.

Anonymous said...

Useless Disneyland Facts #46, 212 & 177: The New Orleans Trading Company “building” (and the one next to it) are façades. If one were to travel though the walkway (and the gate) at the far right (where one can make out “Import”), he or she would find the Pirates show building on the left (nearest a door leading to the Burning of the Town section of the ride) but would otherwise simply be near the service road which surrounds much of the park.

To the left around the Pirates show building would be where extra or out of service Main Street vehicles were parked. The Mill would be down the service road to the right (a little ways, actually) and, at the time, the Magic Kingdom Club house trailer would be about located something like a hundred yards away at about two o’clock.

When that photograph was taken, the only facility in that NOS façade was the Pirates (and part of the Mansion) sound room down in the basement (there is nothing but support beams above the ground; it is truly built like a movie set). I don’t know why the Mansion sound was split between that location and the service area in the Mansion itself (located next to the attic) but that was eventually remedied and all HM sound is now generated from the Mansion itself. Of course, back then all sound came from tape loops so perhaps it was easiest to simply have as many of those cart machines together as possible.

More than everyone ever wanted to know… but there you have it!


Major: PeopleMover YELLOW's actual called FIESTA YELLOW . By the time this picture was taken ALL the PeopleMover cars had been completely overhauled ( during 1968) the advanced technology of adding the color into the final "skin" of the ABS plastic failed and after the attraction's first summer the the exterior bodies were left warped and mal-formed in the hot California sun. The ABS test was a failure and the PeopleMover bodies were replaced with traditional fiberglass. The PM cars also received the first of the safety bars - to visually detour any guests from leaving the vehicles ( but this was not impossible) and the original wheel to platen contacts were replaced with a stronger traction material .

The real reason for not operating the PeopleMover during "inclement weather" wasn't because of the vehicles ability to climb or descend graded on the wet - but the danger of evacuating guests on wet sloping and swooping PeopleMover beam ways .

Nanook said...

@ Anon-
I suspected that “building” was merely a facade for a part of the POC show building. (For as they used to intone on the Universal Studios tram tour: “Facade is French for false front”. Yes, thank you for our daily French lesson). For this group, anyway, I believe, “Useless Disneyland Facts” is an oxymoron-!

@ Mike Cozart-
“Fiesta Yellow” sounds like the latest color for a KitchenAid mixer. (You can see where my head is at. Don’t ask).

Thanks to you both for all that “useless” information. HA-!

Major Pepperidge said...

The Disney Dudebro, I know what you mean; sometimes you get sort of the same effect while wearing dark glasses.

Anon, your “useless facts” are always welcome around here! I love all of those minute details that are not written about elsewhere.

Mike Cozart, I had heard of the actual color names of the vehicles, but I was being poetic! Or as poetic as I am able, which isn’t very. Do you know if ABS plastic was tried for the square Skyway buckets too? I always sort of associate the two together, even though I know that they were years apart. Thanks as always for your great info.

Nanook, I would imagine that the amount of room needed for the sounds of POC and the Haunted Mansion has been greatly reduced over the years. I wonder what that space is used for now?