Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Castle Courtyard, July 1972

Here are some photos from Fantasyland, circa 1972, taken after walking past Sleeping Beauty Castle's archway and into the courtyard. We've seen the Castle so many times, each one of us could build an accurate scale model out of toothpicks and Elmer's glue. Let's do it! This is one of those photos in which the crowds add some nice color and energy to what would otherwise be a ho-hum picture.  What is that woman in the foreground wearing on her head? My #1 theory... it's a paper bag.

I'm not sure what our photographer was trying to capture in this view; maybe he was really into crenellations. Who wouldn't be? To our left is the entrance to "Geppetto's Arts and Crafts", to the right, "Tinker Bell Toy Shop". Just to the left of the Tinker Bell Toy Shop sign we can see the entrance to the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-thru.


Nanook said...


The woman in the first image is probably just wearing a nice scarf on her head, to go-along with her 1970's cool shades. And as for 'crenellations' - I tend to go for the whole package. I'm more a parapet man, myself-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

In some ways I like the "backside" of Sleeping Beauty Castle over the front view from the Plaza. I always found the setting more intimate and convincing.

I like the second pic and how the castle wall tapers downward towards the "To Frontierland" portal. It's a nice visual. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

That first pic also shows one of the two entrances to the Castle Candy Shoppe (just above the woman with the paper bag or scarf on her head). I always liked that little shop. Later, that same location was used for the Castle Heraldry Shoppe. Then they moved across the courtyard into the old Merlin's Magic Shop/Mickey's Christmas Chalet/Villains Shop and that space in the Castle became the "virtual experience" for the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-thru (for those who are unable to, or do not wish to climb the stairs).

Melissa said...

Is not bag; is BAGBUSHKA!

And you know the crowd in the second picture are castle fans - besides ogling the crenelations and parapets and buttresses, they're all wearing handsome prints.

Chuck said...

Turrets always do it for mw. I have a soft spot for places with a clear field of fire, but, really, any place you can pour hot oil from is all right by me.

stu29573 said...

Can I make my castle out of sugar cubes??? I actually did make an Alamo out of sugar cubes for a school project when I was a kid (all Texas youths have to- it's the law!The taffy John Wayne is optional.) and it didn't turn out too bad. Can you even buy sugar cubes any more? What was I talking about again?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, well OK, if you say it’s a scarf, then maybe it is, but I still like to think that it’s a paper bag.

K. Martinez, I agree, the courtyard area of Fantasyland has that closed-in feel that a medieval village might have had. It makes me think of the old “Hunchback of Notre Dame” movies, somehow.

TokyoMagic!, you know a store is classy as hell when they spell “shop” as “shoppe”. Thanks for pointing out the Castle Candy Shoppe, something I didn’t know about at all! And it is interesting to me that this is where they put the virtual experience for the castle walk-thru.

Melissa, why go to the trouble of all that folding and tying with a real babushka when you can wear a ready-to-go bagbushka? It’s waterproof, stain-resistant, and completely blocks all radio transmissions from aliens. And it’s true, for all the jokes about ugly 1970’s fashions, the people here look pretty snazzy, all things considered.

Chuck, don’t be afraid to use melted butter instead of hot oil!

stu29573, I made a model of Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (the Carmel Mission) out of sugar cubes! I was surprised how heavy it was when it was done. It didn’t look that good, but I think my grade was OK! I used part of a “L’eggs” panty hose container (a big plastic egg) to make the dome of the mission. Yes, you can still buy sugar cubes.

JC Shannon said...

Celebrity alert. In scan #1, all babushkas aside, is that Queen Elizabeth II in the blue hat comparing Sleeping Beauty Castle to Windsor? In scan #2 on the left side I spy Leonard Nimoy peaking at the camera. @ Major P. I would only use melted butter if I were being attacked by marauding Lobsters. Thanks for the cool scans Major.

Melissa said...

(the Carmel Mission)

And then, of course, you melted it down into a Caramel Mission?

I still have some of the photo-decoupage-L'egg's-Egg Christmas tree ornaments we made when I was a kid. They're great for filling gaps between branches.

Chuck said...

L'Eggs packaging made great craft materials, or even just basic toys. My grandmother gave my little sister and I an egg that we played with for years, and it was still at her house when my mom gave away all of our "Grandma's House" toys when we were in college. Still a bit miffed about that, as that included some good-sized toy cars, an Eastern Airlines airport playset that we'd sent in some (I think) Cheerios box tops for, a plastic Mickey Mouse statue, and a couple of 1970s Cedar Point maps (one that predated the Corkscrew and Gemini coasters). We weren't even asked about it beforehand, and the campus was just across town.

Melissa, I think Christmas ornaments made by kids are some of the most precious things ever. I have all of the ceramic ones I made in Sunday School in 1974 or 75, and we set up a smaller tree in our dining room that is decorated with nothing but ornaments and construction paper chains my kids made when they were small (my wife vetoed the Klingon-themed tree festooned with the entrails of our enemies).

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, nope, too much Elmer's glue! What I should have done was taken a hose to it, that would have been fun. The ants would have enjoyed it too. I think I did L'egg's Christmas tree ornaments too - we used starch and colored tissue paper if I recall correctly.

Chuck, the other thing we used a lot was empty cardboard containers for Quaker Oats. So many uses! Wow, that Eastern Airlines airport playset sounds pretty awesome. You know my love of airports! I still have a few cereal premiums, though they are probably from the late 80's. Ren and Stimpy giant underwear, or some such nonsense. My mom still has some of my kid-produced ornaments, she'll never throw them away!

Chuck said...

That playset was a lot of fun, although it was actually pretty simple. It came in a cardboard box that folded out to show the side of an airport terminal and tower on one side, while the rest of the box folded out to show taxiways, parking ramp, and an extremely short runway.

It came with three white styrofoam airplanes and stick-on markings that you had to apply yourself; I remember my mom helping me with putting on the long, thin stickers that had the purple and blue "racing stripes" and passenger windows on them. They weren't generic aviation shapes, either, but representations of three different airframe types actually flown by (or about to be flown by) Eastern. There was a 727, and L-1011 (which was just entering service), and a 747 (which Eastern leased 2 of from Pan Am while waiting for the long-delayed L-1011). They were all about the same size, so the scale was different for each one, but the window stickers were in scale for the particular airplane you applied them to.

As I said, simple, but hours and hours of fun for years of visits when we would go visit grandparents for a month or more while my dad was at some aircrew upgrade course or another.

Melissa said...

Growing up, we had only lights and homemade ornaments on the tree. It started as frugality when Mom and Dad had their first "Charlie Brown" style tree in their first studio apartment, and became a tradition. We'd make a batch of something new to add every year. I don't think there are more than a dozen left, though.

Anonymous said...

@Chuck "An extremely short runway"

Pilot: This runway is extremely short!

Co-Pilot: It sure is wide!

The story has it that the courtyard facade of the castle was originally proposed as the front entry in the original Herb Ryman rendering, and the design was turned around so the drawbridge would be the sole entrance. At least, I read this on the internet.

Really loving this thread with everyone's ornament and crafts stories. Every family should have a pencil cup made of a Welches' Grape Juice can covered with gold spray-painted macaroni.

Thanks Major.