Wednesday, June 27, 2018

More From The Parking Lot

"Hey, Major Pepperidge! Weren't we in the parking lot yesterday?". Why, yes we were, Timmy. But don't fret - today's photos were brought to us by Irene, Bruce, and James (long story!) They are undated, but I would guess that they were all taken not too long before before construction began on California Adventure (which was in 1998). 

Gosh, what's that strange pointy white building? It's almost comical how few photos I have with Space Mountain in them, especially considering that it has been there for over 40 years. The cars in the parking lot are not very inspiring, but I still have room in my cold heart for that Volkswagen minibus. Tram alert!

Imagine being able to park this close to the entrance. Or even closer, if you happened to be an early bird. Even though this was taken over 20 years ago, the cars don't look that different from what I might expect to see in any big parking lot.

This next one was taken from the western sector of the lot, looking toward the Disneyland Hotel. Bob Gurr famously said that the original Alweg monorail trains resembled a loaf of bread, and from this angle, the "Learjet" inspired Mark V train looks pretty loafy to me.

Many thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James!


Nanook said...


The Monorail does look a bit "loafy" - sorta like a loaf of Langendorf Bread. After all - "It's Oven-ly"

Thanks to all.

walterworld said...

Gosh that's a beautiful shot of the Monorail heading back to the Hotel. This was the same era when I first went back to the park as an adult, and it was good to still find things 'ok'. That is until they closed the Skyway, and then the PeopleMover, etc.

The old parking lot wasn't such a bad thing. I'd rather they kept that and put the DCA money into an even better Disneyland.

Thanks Major!


TokyoMagic: you are correct - for a time Disney character names were verbally associated with the parking lot section letter signs. I think the parking tickets may have done this as well. However for Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary the parking lot was revamped including new parking signs with the characters insge and name on the signs. The Disneyland Hotel also received new signage using the same font lettering as the parking lot. And also for the parks big 25th the main entrance was completely redone including all new landscaping , ticket booths , signage and two VERSATELLER 24hr Computer Bank Teller kiosks!!!

Chuck said...

Thanks, Mike, for that additional info. Imagine - a computer bank teller. Holy smokes - the Future is going to be amazing!

K. Martinez said...

That Space Mountain shot really does it for me. I remember many times walking the parking lot towards the Main Gate and my anticipation grew just by the site of Space Mountain inside the park.

I'm one of those early birds who goes by the rule "the early bird gets the best worms. During the holiday season in 1995 I was one of the first cars in line and was directed to a parking spot practically right at the entrance (closest to entrance) and it was kind of mind blowing to be that close. That was a one time thing as I usually stayed on Harbor Boulevard and walked across the parking lot to the Main Gate. Thanks, Major.

Walterworld, yeah, closing the Skyway killed it for me. I never thought of Disneyland the same after that.

Anonymous said...

That first shot is just to the left of the employee lot. I got that vantage look starting every working day. KS

JC Shannon said...

I for one, love lot shots. The cars of the time, the landscape changes and the Tram and Monorail. The Mark I, II and III are my favorite, loaves of bread or not. Thanks to Irene, Bruce and James and of course Major.

K. Martinez said...

Oops! Forgot to thank Irene, Bruce and James. Thank you! Always appreciate the photos you share with us here.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am unfamiliar with Langendorf Bread - it sounds like something you would buy in Minnesota.

walterworld, yes, I particularly like that third shot. Did you notice the woman’s “HBO” denim jacket? I was very excited at the prospect of a “second gate”, but the economy took a turn for the worse, and Eisner wound up building a cheap and unsatisfactory park.

Mike Cozart, ha ha, now there’s a “ready teller” at every grocery store or 7-11… it’s hard to remember a time when that technology was considered so miraculous!

Chuck, I would prefer it if the bank teller was a robot, but I guess we can’t have it all.

K. Martinez, I always liked the contrast of Space Mountain and the Matterhorn - one so “realistic”, the other so graceful and futuristic. The effect is even better at night. My family never parked close to the entrance - in fact we rarely got to the park early, but I looked forward to riding the trams, so it was OK!

KS, I guess that, nowadays, many employees have to park off-property to be shuttled in? I like what you experienced much more.

Jonathan, I would be very happy to have MANY more parking lot photos! But they aren’t that common. Another thing subject that, if I knew then what I know now, I would have taken myself.

K. Martinez, hopefully Irene tunes in today.

Irene said...

Here I am - tuned in! Haha. I am surprised you never heard of Langendorf bread. It was a staple back in my day. They started in the Bay area but expanded and there was a bakery in Bell Gardens. It was Hopalong Cassidy's favorite bread - he told us so and his picture was on it, so it must be true. Here is a link to a great old movie about Langendorf bread I found:
Regarding today's pictures that James probably took - these were the kind of photos in the album that when I looked at them I just went ho hum. But seeing your commentary on them and all the comments, I now realize there is more than meets the eye at first glance here. So glad I passed them on to you to be appreciated by others.

JC Shannon said...

I don't remember Langendorf, but I do remember Annie Oakley, A.K.A. Gail Davis doing Wonderbread commercials with Tagg, A.K.A. Jimmie Hawkins during the show. The "red yellow and blue balloons" line delivered with such aplomb and sincerity got me every time. Or maybe I just had a 7 year old crush on her. What boy doesn't love a blonde Cowgirl packing a .44? Good memories.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Irene and Major, the Parking Lot, and the commentary that it spurs, is always welcome.

I remember Langendorf bread, but not that slogan. The monorail in Seattle is most loaf-like of all. Waiting for a garlic version.

I never got to park up front, we were usually down behind the power lines. Maybe because we stayed at the Magic Lamp (now the soon-to-be-destroyed Annabella) and went in the Katella entrance. Later, we stayed at the Jolly Roger, but I think we still went in the south gate most of the time.

Most of our recent visits have been at Disney lodging, so we just walk over. We did park in the structure once on an early arrival, and rode the shuttle over. It's a nice experience now, especially compared to the old hike across the asphalt.

It's funny how you can get sentimental about an experience that is distasteful at the mall, but wonderful at Disneyland. Proof that anything about Disneyland can be a precious memory.


K. Martinez said...

Irene, I remember Langendorf Bakeries, but that's probably because I am from the Bay Area.

I just spent half an hour watching that video. I obviously have a lot of spare time today. While watching it, I was having flashbacks of early DCA exhibits by Mission Foods and Boudin Bakery. Yikes!

Nanook said...

@ Irene-

I was gonna 'edge-E-cate' The Major about Langendorf Bread, but you did that for me. Thank you, again.

K. Martinez said...

JG, They're destroying the Annaella!?! That was my go to place for lodging in the 2000s. Bummer!

Melissa said...

Yeah, it's amazing how much the parking lot pictures contribute to the you are there feeling. I guess it's because all the fantasy elements inside the park are missing and all you feel is the anticipation, that was so unbearable as a kid. The Magic Kingdom parking lots were all renamed at some similar point, too, with a Villains section and a Heroes section and whatnot. I always stay on property and take the Disney buses anymore; now that free parking at the hotels is gone, I imagine more people will leave their cars at home.

The Langendorf bread movie was so cool! It makes me WONDER which brands I grew up with were regional rather than national. And I guess all bakeries really are German; so much for stereotypes. (I remember saying when they opened the Jolly Holiday Bakery, who ever heard of a British bakery?)

I remember being so impressed with DCA when I first visited in 2008, but then again we were on an educational program and had a tour guide, so we probably weren't shown any of the cheesier stuff.

Anonymous said...

@Ken, I saw in the press recently that the Annabella and a couple of contiguous properties will be demolished and consolidated into a much larger 5 star high rise resort hotel with multiple towers.

All the big brands (Hilton, Marriott, Starwood) are moving in with multiple properties.

Disney is adding another hotel which will span the area between Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel. Basically building on the current parking lots by the Paradise Pier hotel and the Downtown Disney lots, demolishing the theater and the ESPN Zone. There will be thousands of expensive rooms added to the market in the next 5-7 years.

No word on anything affordable like the Annabella or the Magic Lamp, although the Marriott Courtyard and Hampton are available in the $120-150 range.


Chuck said...

"I liked it better as a parking lot." - attributed to John Hench, 2001

JC Shannon said...

"Disneyland is a work of love". "We didn't go into Disneyand just with the idea of making money". Walt Disney. Where, in heaven, are ordinary families supposed to come up with the kind of money needed to stay in luxury condos and
5 star hotels? Just sayin'.

Nanook said...

@ JC Shannon-

This is where the conversation would devolve into a discussion of Capitalism reaching its inevitable level of self-destruction - if left unchecked. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, but the following sentiment certainly applies: Societies that fail to control the forces of Capitalism with cannibalize themselves from within until they die. Food for thought.

JC Shannon said...

@Nanook - Well spoken my friend.

Nancy said...

On my first trip to Disneyland, California Adventure was brand new. I have never driven there, just taken the shuttle since we dont rent a car. On our third trip, I remember going to my friend's car as she was staying over for the 50th anniversary weekend with us. It seems like we walked forever, and I of course had no idea where we were going. Where is the parking lot now?

Major Pepperidge said...

Irene, maybe I’ve just forgotten about Langendorf Bread. Heck, I’ve forgotten tons of other things! If Hoppy liked it, it must have been good. I think one of the reasons that the photos made less of an impact in the albums is that there are hundreds and hundreds of them right next to each other. If you take out just a few of the best, they really pop!

Jonathan, I do love the Wonderbread wrapper with its colored balloons, but I sure don’t remember Annie Oakley or Tagg. Maybe this was before my time? I do love a blonde cowgirl!

JG, the love for the Disneyland parking lot can only be explained because of its proximity to the park. Everyone knew that they were in for a fun day, even if they were in a sea of cars under the hot sun! At the mall, the best you can hope for is an Orange Julius (do they have those anymore??) and some nice pants from Macy’s. SNORE!

K. Martinez, I really only have fond memories of trucks and signs featuring the Sunbeam Bread girl, chomping into a thick slide of buttered bread. As a kid it made me want bread SO MUCH! Does anybody else remember those ads?

Nanook, who knew that bread would be the subject of today’s comments?!?!?!

K. Martinez, now you will just have to stay in the Presidential Suite at the Disneyland Hotel like the rest of us slobs.

Melissa, I wonder if the fondness for the parking lot is unique to people who were kids at the time? Adults probably were less impressed. Or maybe I’m wrong? But as I have mentioned, the sight of the Monorail zooming past, the Disneyland RR chugging into Main Street Station, and even the tram approaching our parking lot section, all contributed to our increasing excitement. As for the Langendorf film, it was awesome. Of course I could spend all day watching movies on!

JG, I’m going to have to check out all of that hotel info - I admit that I haven’t followed park news as greedily as I used to. I’m curious about the 5 star high rise resort with multiple towers. How is that going to work?? I’m glad to hear that thousands of expensive rooms will be added to the Disney property, such good news! ;-)

Chuck, John Hench was a wise, wise man.

Jonathan, the strange thing is that, no matter how high they raise prices for anything, people continue to show up, in ever growing numbers. Imagine what it’s going to be like when Star Wars Land opens? Wherever the exact opposite part of the planet is from Anaheim, that’s where I want to be. Unless it’s in the middle of an ocean.

Nanook, it does seem as if the checks and balances that used to be in place to help keep things under some semblance of order are being eradicated on a regular basis. What to do??

Jonathan, I always get nervous when things start to tip-toe toward political discussions!!

Nancy, there are a few different lots, but the big many-leveled parking structure that many people use is over to the north west of the park. It would be a pretty long walk from there to the front gates - though some people do it. The best thing about it is the way each level has it’s own exit, so that you can easily get on the 5 freeway.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, there are other factors driving the resort development beyond Disneyland.

The Anaheim Convention Center just opened a 400K square foot additional hall, they will be able to handle two or three major events simultaneously.

One of my professional associations has the annual convention here every 3rd year or so, and one of the two alternate locations is Orlando, the other is Nashville (Opryland). The theme parks are a big draw for the conventions, but the conventions create their own ecosystems too.

Whatever the causes, big changes are coming to the resort area.