Tuesday, March 13, 2018

More Frontierland Scans, 1965

Here are three more graciously-donated scans from a man of mystery! They are all dated "February 1965".

Thanks to the long afternoon shadows, we can tell that the first two images were taken (moments apart) from the deck of the Columbia as she passed Rainbow Ridge. Happily, there is a little yellow Mine Train visible, as well as the charming Pack Mules and adorable little ticket booth. 

The family that entered from our right in the first photo has altered course for some reason - I'm guessing that the entrance to the queue is right next to the ticket booth. Is it still a "queue" if there are no people in it? The Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland is a walk-on. Notice the drinking fountain (resembling a tree stump), right out where nobody could possibly miss it. 

Here's a pretty view looking across the big river toward Tom Sawyer Island and the old mill. A raft is loading up with passengers to our left, while other folks wait for another raft just to the right of the mill. We can just see Tom's Treehouse, as well as the top of Cascade Peak in the distance.


Nanook said...


It sure is hard not to love these images. We can spy the painting of Cascade Peak appended to the front of the Nature's Wonderland - Rainbow Ridge - Pack Mules & MIner's Outfitters building, off to the left of the Ticket Booth. And what can I say about all the action taking place over at TSI-? Take me back, please.

Thanks, Major.


That Frontierland wilderness panorama will be destroyed FOREVER now that vertical completion of GALAXYS EDGE is well underway. I think WDI/Disneyland management will regret that Star Wars themes were not in its own park. Sadly I fear Star Wars attraction expansion will continue to EAT UP original Disneyland .

K. Martinez said...

The last pic reminds me of the wonderful Frontierland/Rivers of America panorama fold out in the August 1963 National Geographic magazine.

Nice set today. Thanks, Major.

Jonathan said...

As usual, great snaps. We once brought my grandma to disneyland with us. I remember she liked the Mine Train because it was something that anyone of any age could enjoy. I always liked Rainbow Ridge, especially the houses on the hill. Thanks Major."My Kingdom for a time machine!"

Stefano said...

I am marking the passage of time on Tom Sawyer's Island by those two pine or spruce trees behind the old mill. In yesterday's photo they look just transplanted. Here they are flourishing, and in 2018 they tower over the island, maybe higher than Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Just 40 days to Arbor Day.

Anonymous said...

I love that picture of the River, it looks so real.

Could not mistake that view today for anything other than a theme park, which sort of defeats the purpose.

Thanks Major and the International Man of Mystery (who I suspect to be Captain Nemo).


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have always wondered if somebody salvaged that painting you referred to; what a cool artifact to have. I’ve heard that Bruce Gordon and David Mumford liked to save bits and pieces of rides. Or it could have been Tony B.

Mike Cozart, amen! With the sheer amount of anticipation from the Star Wars fans (and there are a LOT of them), it almost feels like a no-brainer to build a whole park themed to SW. Different “lands” could represent different planets, etc.

K. Martinez, as soon as you mentioned that photo, its image popped into my head. I must have looked at that issue of NG a thousand times over the years.

Jonathan, my family made lots of trips to DL with the grandparents, but I was a little kid, so I didn’t even pay attention to what they liked! I do remember my grandpa laughing while riding the Matterhorn - he did like a good roller coaster.

Stefano, you sound like my friend “Mr. X”! He loves those old Frontierland trees, and was mighty upset when so many of them were removed. In fact he doesn’t want to go back until the new or remaining trees grow a lot - maybe that will take years!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, yeah... I am torn, because I do like "Splash Mountain" and "Big Thunder Mountain RR", but having them along the riverfront does turn a believable frontier into - well, a very nice amusement park. Meanwhile, I can never reveal the mystery man's identity!


Nanook & Major: both David Mumford and Bruce Gordon were not at WED yet when Nature’s Wonderland was dismantled. I was friends with the imagineer who designed all the graphics and color schemes for THUNDER RIDGE. He said (most) of the Rainbow Ridge town buildings were saved in a staging area backstage in Fantasyland behind Casey Junior untill it was determined which buildings would be reused on Big Thunder. Originally it was thought that some could be used for the Flash Flood town of Dry Gulch/ Tumbleweed in Florida .
- but all new buildings had to be constructed. Also Disneyland’s Thunder Ridge townsite was originally to have geysers like Florida - so one re-introduction of the mining town was a late thought.

Anyway , while the old Rainbow Ridge buildings sat backstage awaiting their future, the signs and decorations and been striped and “salvaged” by castmembers , employees , vendors , construction workers etc........and maybe some imagineers......so many of those signs and structure details are or WERE out there!!!


I’m sure everyone here knows that the original Rainbow Ridge building that were re-used for Thunder Ridge were totally rebuilt a few years ago during the 2 year major Big Thunder Mountain overhaul. So none of the Thunder Ridge (renamed RAINBOW RIDGE again) has any Walt era pieces left to it.

Melissa said...

I remember she liked the Mine Train because it was something that anyone of any age could enjoy.

Which, according to Uncle Walt, was one of the main reasons for building the whole damn thing in the first place.

The man of mystery is clearly Secret Agent John Drake, possibly AKA Number Six. Why else the fascination with islands?

Anonymous said...

@Melissa, now I can't stop seeing that huge white ball scooting across the water.