Friday, May 25, 2018

Beautiful Tomorrowland, August 1967

I am always extra glad to be able to bring you nice photos from Tomorrowland, and today's examples are real beauties. As I have noted in earlier posts, these were probably taken in early July, if not sometime in June, even though the date-stamp is from August.

There's that distinctively non-futuristic Matterhorn mountain, with Hans (or is it Otto?) clinging near the top like a bug. To our left, the Monsanto Plastic Pad, soon to be relegated to Yesterland™ (as of December of '67). In the middle, behind the tree, you can just make out the small tent that I believe used to be part of the Monsanto exhibit, though it was converted to a souvenir stand. To our right... the Peoplemover.


For you fans of vintage people-watching, check this one out! The lady in the Chartruese outfit has just come from the future, directly from a Devo concert. Whip it! Two sailors (to our right) enjoy ice cream bars; they are probably on leave from Long Beach Naval Base! 

The Mary Blair mural on the south side of Tomorrowland seems to have been photographed far less than the one on the opposite side of the corridor, so it's nice to get this angle. Overhead, the still-riderless Peoplemover vehicles sit, apparently motionless until the ride debuted on July 2nd.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Three Blasts From the Past

I hope you love reruns of "Welcome Back Kotter", or "Star Trek", or "Friends", because I am presenting three "reruns" today. They're pretty good ones though, just like the episode where Kirk has to battle the horrible *Gorn!

Boy oh boy, there's lots going on in this view of the northermost edge of Fantasyland (circa 1958). I originally posted this one 10 years ago. In the distance is the little Fantasyland train station, complete with a departing train. There's the Midget Autopia (slightly left of center), and the striped tent of the Junior Autopia (slightly right of center).


This second photo was also originally posted in 2008; it is a 1966 view of the Plaza (sort of). The Plaza Inn is out of frame to our right, and the Monsanto House of the Future is back there, not long for this world. Just lift it up with a crane, put it on a flatbed truck, and move it to my 2000-acre ranch, won't you?


From 1960 we get this neat view of the sailing ship "Columbia" as it begins its cruise along the Rivers of America. Who knew that a sailing ship would churn the waters so much! The best part of this photo is the stately Plantation House in the distance. I would love to sit out on the veranda, eat a quiet lunch, and take in the scenery!


I hope you have enjoyed today's repeats.

*Spoiler alert: Kirk defeats the Gorn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Disneyland Souvenir Guidebook, 1965 - Part 1

Today I have the pleasure of presenting PART ONE of a series of posts featuring scans of a 1965 Disneyland souvenir guidebook. One of the nicest guidebooks that was ever produced! It was a break from the designs and layouts of past editions, and it introduced a bold, fun, very 60's style, along with a ton of truly wonderful photos.

This guidebook was scanned entirely by longtime GDB reader "JG" (you know him from the comments); I know that it took a lot of his time, so I am very grateful that he wanted to share it with all of you. Due to the sheer number of pages in this particular book, I will be dividing it up into four posts.

First off, I thought I would include a scan of the front and back of the rare mailing envelope for these books (from my own collection). It's in several eye-popping shades of pink. Pre-psychedelic! My envelope shows a lot of handling wear, but I honestly don't remember ever seeing another one. 


And now, on to the cover! Multicolored lettering was in vogue at that time. And there's Walt - this would be the last guidebook to be produced in his lifetime. The painting of the castle and Mickey leading the Disneyland Band has a distinctive look - I would bet dollars to donuts that it was painted by illustrator Neil Boyle, who produced a lot of work for Disney around this time.


Here's one of Neil Boyle's album covers, with the vivid,  painterly, energetic style that he was famous for. On a personal note, Mr. Boyle was kind enough to sponsor me when I (fresh out of school) wanted to join the Society of Illustrators, even though my portfolio was not very inspiring!


It might be a little awkward to view a two-page spread one page at a time, but I'm sure you can handle it! Opening the cover, you are presented with a colorful, very simplified map of the park. Love the spot illustrations.


How about a nice forward from Walt? Or Marty Sklar, at any rate. It makes me smile either way.


Our visit begins (as they always do) with a trip down Main Street. Reading the text, one gets a sense that the theme of a turn-of-the-century midwestern town was very important.


I love how the layout resembles a wall covered with green wallpaper (probably flocked), covered with an assortment of framed photos, including the Omnibus, the Flower Market, the Train Station, the Plaza Pavillion, and a rare interior of the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor.


Next we see the Disneyland Band marching past, a Main Street crowded with various vehicles, and concept art to show the inside of the new Plaza Inn.


Along with a general view of Town Square, there is a painting (also by Neil Boyle, I believe) of Mr. Lincoln, a photo from the Grand Canyon Diorama, and the interior of the candle shop.


We're going to be exploring the park in a counter-clockwise direction, so once you've arrived at the hub, take a hard right into Tomorrowland. Enjoy that aerial view, along with that crazy "Atomic Googie" lettering. 


Switches, knobs, dials and buttons, along with reel-to-reel tape are all suitable graphic embellishments for our technological future. Look at that beautiful photo of the Monorail!


This page gives us a rare view inside the "20,000 Leagues" walk-thru... there's Captain Nemo's pipe organ. Flying Saucers. Astro Jets, and Submarines, wowee.


And we get another rare view inside the "Rocket to the Moon" attraction, along with climbers Hans and Otto, the House of the Future, and Bobsleds splashing down.


Pretty amazing, don't you think? And this is just part one! Many thanks to JG for his scanning efforts, and for sharing these jpegs with us. Stay tuned for part two...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fantasyland, 1959

Who loves vintage Fantasyland? Well, you are in luck if you raised your hand. K. Martinez, please spit out your gum!

Here's a hazy view of Fantasyland, on an amazingly sleepy day at the park. Monstro is chomping away at those canal boats. They should have made it so that his jaws actually opened and closed for each boat, using thousands of pounds of force. Talk about exciting! I love the little lighthouse ticket booth (by now the circular porthole window has been added). In the distance is the Motor Boat Cruise, the Monorail track, and some of the Fantasyland Autopia.


The Kodak film stock adds to the vintage appearance, somehow accenting anything that is turquoise in hue. Timothy (from Dumbo) waves his lash angrily at a passing Skyway bucket. Try decaf, Timothy. 


Monday, May 21, 2018

Frontierland, August 1979

Today's first photo is more interesting than it might appear to be at first glance. It shows the famous "Burning Settler's Cabin" on Tom Sawyer Island; but this is 1979, smack-dab in the middle of one of the energy crises that the U.S. experienced. The natural gas flames were turned off, and fire effects similar to those used inside "Pirates of the Caribbean" were used.


Here's a closer view; The poor settler is still there! Those flames really do look like some orange light bulbs (reflected on some fluttering plastic?). Some smoke effects help a little bit...


... but it sure looks wimpy when compared to this 1962 photo!



Here ya got yer typical photo of the Friendly Indian Village; those trees feel much more on top of everything, it's kind of odd!


Compare it to this 1958 photo.


I used to think that this scene from an Indian Burial Ground was on the western shore of the Rivers of America. But thanks to the amazing "Long Forgotten" blog (read all the posts, it's worth it!), I learned that this scene was on the eastern shore of Tom Sawyer Island. Check out HBG2's excellent and extensive post HERE.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Aboard Main Street Vehicles, August 1967

Here are two "Sunday quality" (in other words, "not great") photos, featuring views from on board two Main Street vehicles. 

Perhaps the most exciting part of riding the Horse Drawn Streetcars is when two streetcars pass each other in the middle. Be sure to stick your hands, arms, feet and legs outside of the vehicle! The horse has seen it a million times, and is not interested.


Next, we are aboard one of the horseless carriages; this affords a better view of a busy August day; maybe the number of guests is proportional to the number of people who have decided to walk in the street! I recently watched a video taken aboard the Omnibus, and I don't think I could handle driving one of those vehicles. People just stand in the street without a clue, even when they hear the "Aaa-ooo-gah" horn. Nevertheless, I like this colorful, bustling view of Main Street.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ella Goes to Hollywood, Part 2

Today I am continuing our look at a series of photos following a nice lady named Ella as she toured Hollywood back in 1962. See part one HERE.

Since I have no definitive order for these photos, I'm winging it. So I'll begin with this photo; Ella has met up with some friends in an unknown location (it could be Hollywood Blvd near the corner of Van Ness...). We don't see any of these people in any of the other photos, for whatever reason. There are two men in uniform, and the lady on the left wears a USO arm band.


Now Ella is standing at the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine, near such landmarks of the time as NBC Studio, CBS Studio, and the Pantages Theater. To the right we can just see a bit of Hody's restaurant...


... here's a vintage postcard, probably from roughly the same time period. Sorry about the scary clown! Hody's had several eye-grabbing billboards on their roof over the years. A Howard Johnson's  restaurant replaced Hody's around 1970.


Ella is still on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, only now we're looking north along Vine, with the American Airlines building in the background.


Here's a vintage postcard... to the further up Vine is the famous Capitol Records building (which we will see soon!). Notice the Howard Johnson's to our left.


Nearby is the historic and beautiful Pantages Theater, just a block east of Vine Street. It was the marquee's movie listing that helped me to date these black and white photos to 1962! If you look carefully you can see the famous Frolic Room, a Hollywood dive that had been around since the 1930's. 

Here's a nice color photo (scrounged on the 'net) from about two years later...


"Judgment at Nuremberg" was a big hit, released in December of 1961. It had an impressive cast, including Judy Garland, Burt Lancaster, Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich, "Best Actor" Oscar winner Maximilian Schell, and... William Shatner!


Down at one corner of the Pantages was this USO office. Is it just a coincidence that the woman in photo #1 was wearing a USO arm band? 


Just around the corner from the Pantages (that's it on the left), on Argyle Street, we get this view of the wonderful Capitol Records building. Completed in 1956, it is sometimes known as "The House That Nat Built", because Nat King Cole sold so many records for the company. 


And finally, no visit to Hollywood is complete without a visit to Grauman's Chinese! You know, where "Star Wars" would premiere 15 years after these photos were taken. The theater is "cooled by refrigeration", which is OK by me. "West Side Story" is playing... it won 10 Academy Awards.


Here's a vintage postcard, for those of you who can see in color!


Ella stands near a display of Academy Award winners throughout history, but she only has eyes for the famous footprints, handprints, and signatures of the biggest stars in Hollywood.


Like Red Skelton! Red was an incredibly popular comic actor in movies, and in 1962 "The Red Skelton Hour" was among the most-watched television programs.


So... are you up for yet a third post of Ella's adventures in Hollywood?


Friday, May 18, 2018

Sailing Ships to Rockets, July 1966

Walking through the entry into Frontierland transported guests back to the 18th century (more or less), when America was still expanding into the untamed West. The U.S. was also exploring the globe, and the country's first ship to circumnavigate the globe was the good old Columbia Rediviva. (Nevermind that Europeans did it some 270 years earlier!).

Here's a pretty view of Disneyland's Columbia, with sails at least partially unfurled as it headed into the wilderness. GDB readers pointed out those lanterns at the end of each yard, a very cool detail! A raft waits for the Columbia to pass before heading back to the shores of Frontierland.


Next we zoom from the 1700's to the far-flung future of the 1980's, with this swell photo of the "Rocket to the Moon" attraction. Notice the Flying Saucers off to our right, and the Space Bar to our left. 


Zooming in, we can see the white globes inside the entry to the Rocket to the Moon ride - the globes had educational displays. Way in the distance is the Melodyland Theater, and "Wilbur Clark's Crest Hotel" looms upper left. Wilbur Clark was a big deal in Las Vegas (owning the Desert Inn, among other things). He died just a month after this photo was taken, and the name of the hotel was eventually changed to the "Grand Hotel". 

It's amazing to think that everything in this photo was about to undergo big changes, with construction of the "New Tomorrowland" about to get underway in a matter of months.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Skyway in Black and White, August 1956

Today I am sharing scans of four nice black and white snapshots from August, 1956. Part of me wishes that they were color slides, but we have to take what we can get.

The Skyway had only been open since June 23rd of '56, but it is clearly a hit with the guests. Nearby is the Richfield Autopia, with the Space Bar to our right.


Now we're high above Storybook Land and Monstro, with Professor Keller and his Fantastic Felines performing inside that circus tent.


Continuing on our way, we are approaching the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship in its ce-ment pond.


And, swiveling our noggins to the left, we see a very busy Fantasyland, with Dumbo's Flying Elephants, the Mickey Mouse Club Theater, and a smidgen of the Mad Tea Party.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Liberty Square, November 1971

If you look at the very first souvenir wall maps that were sold at Disneyland in 1958, you'll see two side streets that branch off of Main Street U.S.A. One was "Edison Square", and the other was "Liberty Street". Neither one was actually built in Anaheim, though their concepts lived on. Edison Square morphed into the "Carousel of Progress", while Liberty Street became "Liberty Square" in the Magic Kingdom.

I love this beautiful shot of the Drum and Fife Corps, marching in the brilliant November sunshine. The flag is known as the "Grand Union Flag", and it indicated that the second Continental Congress still hoped for a reconciliation with Britain. 

Mr. X did a wonderful job with this photo. I think it might even be "postcard worthy"!


Meanwhile, crowds gather outside the Hall of Presidents. Richard Nixon was President when the park opened. He was not a crook! I love the look at the people and the way they dressed in 1971... let's classify this one as "souvenir guidebook worthy".


And finally, I don't think I'll get many complaints for this nice view of the Haunted Mansion, set back from the riverbank. Look at the queue, extending out of the picture to our right. 

I think that might be a haunted rowboat to our left!