Thursday, June 14, 2018

Out Front, July 1972

We all remember the thrill of arriving at Disneyland, and the multi-step process of getting closer and closer. Step 1: See the Matterhorn from the highway before anybody else. Step 2: Enter the parking lot. Step 3: Hop aboard a parking lot tram. Step 4: Buy tickets at the li'l ticket booths. Step 5: Go through the turnstyles. 

Here we can see everyone's favorite Fun Mom heading toward Step 4. I love the brightly colored clothing that "pops" on this slightly overcast day.

One could argue that there were still two steps to go. Step 5: After passing through the turnstyles, stop in front of Main Street Station for a photo or two (maybe even posing with Mickey or Pluto if you were lucky). Step 6: Walk through one of the tunnels that pass beneath the train tracks, and emerge (finally!) into Town Square. Step 7: Do a little dance. Hooray!


Nanook said...


I think 'fun Mom' has finally met her match. That woman on her left would be right at home appearing on a present-day judge show. Just check-out her "two-tone" hair-! And the 60's flip. She's got it all covered. (My 'hair care professional' will get a kick out of seeing this).

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Gee, those people in line at the ticket booth aren't paying any attention to the painted white lines on the ground. The family in front of Fun Mom even look confused about the situation....."Do we go stand within the white lines like we are clearly supposed to, or do we go stand behind these people that obviously can't follow directions?" The situation might be throwing Fun Mom off a bit too, as she contemplates where she should go stand. And is she carrying EVERYONE'S jackets for the evening?

stu29573 said...

You forgot 8: Make a little love. 9:Get down tonight.
Wait- that song wouldn't come out until 1975...
Great pics today, though!

Stefano said...

Church Lady came to Disneyland! She's above Fun Ma's left shoulder. What must have been Enid's reaction, to the hell finale in Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and the Haunted Mansion séance, and pirates auctioning women....

Steve DeGaetano said...

Main Street Station's "clock sponsor" has changed from Timex to Elgin!

K. Martinez said...

The first pic captures the excitement and anticipation of a great day about to begin. I remember that feeling so well. Last time I stepped onto the Anaheim property, I passed right by the Disneyland entrance gates and didn't desire to go in. A cast member did invite me to step just inside the gate for a photo op though so I could say I was inside Disneyland that day. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! - Painted lines? We don't need no stinkin' painted lines.

stu29573 - Ha, Ha! You made me laugh hard and I needed a good laugh.

DrGoat said...

And step seven pretty much goes on for the rest of the day until utter exhaustion, then gaining second or third wind after food until the park closed.
PS That is an incredibly cool Aloha shirt that guy in line has on.

zach said...

I always considered the tram as the first 'ride'. I remember the anticipation and looking for the Matterhorn from about La Mirada. Thanks Major and the family that is letting us borrow their Mom. I appreciate her carrying my jacket.


Anonymous said...

Major, you have captured the essentials of the old entry experience for sure.

I'm curious, does anyone have a preferred tunnel entrance?

It seems to me that we nearly always entered through the east tunnel, emerging in front of the Opera House and Mr. Lincoln, and exited through the west tunnel after the long day. This is of course, the typical "keep to the right" pattern that was encouraged by the Main Street shop distribution.

In the original Main Street (Pre-Disney Store Eisner), the east side shops specialized in items you might purchase on the way into the park; film, hats, umbrellas, etc., while the west shops were more "souvenir" oriented; books, candles, vases, toys. Some of this distinction has survived, but the era of "all plush toys-coffee-cups-keyrings-all-the-time" has eroded it dramatically.

Pretty much the best way to navigate the ticket booth lines is to do the opposite of what the crowd is doing. There will be huge lines at the closest booth and moderate lines further away. This also applies inside the Park where attractions have multiple lines. From the air, the ticket lines probably resemble the negative space of the standard distribution function curve.

The last time I bought tickets at a ticket booth, I walked up to a booth with no wait, while 10 yards away the line was already deep. Of course, these booths today are rotated at odd angles, and it's less easy to tell how long the lines are. Maybe that's why they did this. But there's no reason to wait in line to buy tickets anymore when the major hotels sell them at desks in the lobby. Then the only line is the entry turnstile.

At least they have changed the annoying "Tinker Bell magic wand" sound effect of the card readers. The poor turnstile attendants must have heard that wretched noise in their dreams.


Melissa said...

If you look at Fun Mom’s side-to-side zigzag stripes and the up-and-down zigzag stripes of the man ahead of her at the same time, it's like those moments when your TV’s vertical and horizontal hold would go wacky simultaneously. (Add in Mrs. Zigzag’s Slightly Straighter Stripes, and your retinas turn into pinwheels.)

In other news, ding ding ding! It’s Matching Sibling Shorts Day, brought to you live from Madras!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the lady with the two-tone hair is in the same party as Fun Mom - I wonder if it’s a friend, or maybe a sister? We’ll see her in some other photos coming up.

TokyoMagic!, I didn’t notice the chaos, but you’re right, nobody is paying any attention to the lines. They should have given Snow White (or Goofy, or Pluto) electric cattle prods to induce people to behave! That’s what I would do, anyway. Maybe those are all Fun Mom’s jackets? She gets very cold.

stu29573, I appreciate K.C. and the Sunshine Band a lot more than I did back in those days! Therefore I will gladly accept steps 8 and 9.

Stefano, I think Church Lady is about to bust into her classic dance. Hands on hips, lots of thrusting.

Steve DeGaetano, oh yeah! Elgin doesn’t take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. I guess they took over sponsorship of the clock shop on Main Street too.

K. Martinez, one time (and only once), I was routed to some outer parking lot, and was told that we should board the Monorail to enter the park. Which meant that we started our day in Tomorrowland. It felt so weird to not begin by walking down Main Street! I think it set an odd tone the the rest of the day. So… why were you on the property if you weren’t going to go in?

DrGoat, wearing yourself out is part of the fun! As a kid I would get so tired by 1 a.m., but it was worth it. I went with a friend who had two young kids, and they were so exhausted that they burst into tears. They instantly fell asleep as soon as we got in the car.

David Zacher, I loved riding the tram! Still do, a little, though I guess nothing can be as exciting as something from one’s youth. Since my parents had a Buick station wagon, the person sitting on the correct side obviously had an unfair advantage in seeing the Matterhorn first.

JG, I think I usually just walk through whichever tunnel was closest - no real preference. I had never heard that the shops on Main Street were arranged with the thought of “Here’s what you might buy when arriving” (to the right as you headed up to the castle) and “Here’s what you might buy when leaving” (coming back the other way). That’s pretty fascinating. I was very surprised when I took my sister to Disneyland with her young kids, and the line to rent a stroller was enormous. Much longer than any of the ticket lines. But…. we needed one, so there was nothing to do but wait. I didn’t mind the Tinkerbell wand sound, but then again, I only heard it for a relatively short time. The CMs probably don’t even notice it anymore.

Melissa, Fun Mom was not afraid of bold patterns or colors. In another batch, she is wearing a hot pink pants suit! It’s pretty striking. Kids would always be able to find her in a crowd.

JC Shannon said...

Wherever fun is being had, Fun Mom is there to make it "funner". I also remember waiting in line with giddy anticipation to enter Disneyland. So many great memories. Thanks Major for the great scans.

K. Martinez said...

Major, A friend of mine recommended we eat in Downtown Disney and I also wanted to pick up some Disney pins so that is why we were on the Disney property at that time. We went dining and shopping, but didn't go into the the parks. That was a first for me and I was actually okay with it. I wouldn't have felt that way in the past.

Also, whenever I stayed at the Disneyland Hotel (during the Wrather ownership) I'd take the Monorail to enter Disneyland. I loved it. It was such a dramatic way to enter the park. With Tomorrowland now being a total turd and the Skyway and PeopleMover gone, entry via the Monorail into Disneyland is boring and lackluster. Back in the old days it was great. Now I prefer to enter through Main Street.

JG, I've thought about entry habits into Disneyland in regards to the east tunnel vs. the west tunnel. In the pre-Resort days I usually entered through the east tunnel because I usually walked from my motel along Harbor Blvd to the park entrance and the east tunnel was closest. Once the Resort era started and the parking lot was gone, I usually stayed at The AnnaBella and would walk to Disneyland through the Grand Californian Resort & Spa onto the plaza so I'd enter through the west tunnel because it was closer. I have always exited through the west tunnel regardless of which tunnel I entered at the beginning of the day.

Anonymous said...

@Major, re the shops mix.

Daveland describes this here >>

and has a rough diagram of the shops locations over time here >>

This was not a hard-and-fast rule (unlikely that anyone would buy a wurlitzer on the way in, imagine carrying that around all day) and it got looser over time.

@Ken, now that I think about it, the last couple of family visits, we stayed in the Disney properties and entered the west tunnel, but my family is not as rigorously traditional as I am.

My solo visits have been appended to professional events at the Convention Center and the walk from the Hilton is about the same either direction. It's a long haul after a day in the Park.

Recently I have exited using the monorail because I'm heartily sick of the crowds on Main Street after parades and fireworks. This also lets me skip most of Downtown Disney.


K. Martinez said...

JG, I like your idea of exiting the park using the Monorail. You're right! You do get to skip the crowds on Main Street and most of Downtown Disney doing that. That is a lot of crowd to walk through.

Also, I used to buy large objects at Disneyland and they'd have them mailed/delivered to my home because they were too large to carry. especially around the park all day.

Chuck said...

JG, "imagine carrying that around all day." I literally laughed out loud. Thank you.

Given a choice, we'll enter through the East Tunnel (I like looking across Town Square and seeing the morning light on the Emporium and Town Hall, plus I've always liked the path to the bathrooms to the right/south of the bank), but that's not universal for us, either. I can remember entering through the West Tunnel on more than one occasion, usually because we were parked on the west side of the lot or we were walking from Yesterland or, in later years, the Mickey & Friends garage or Downtown Disney surface lot.

We only entered on the Monorail once, the one time we stayed at the Hotel. I think we only left on the Monorail once, too, when we stayed at Vacationland for three nights. The line was just too long for us to wait, and we were young and the crowd was less crowded than it is today.

Oddly, I usually enter the Magic Kingdom through the West Portal. Must be some kind of coastal dyslexia going on.

I had totally forgotten about the "Tinkerbell wand" sound. Now I can't get it out of my head. I'll probably dream about Hangman's Tree tonight.

Chuck said...

...and a lack of proofreading has gotten the better of me again. I meant "we were walking from Vacationland." I only wish I could walk from Yesterland.

On second thought, I don't. If I could go there, I wouldn't want to leave.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, the fact that I have two or three sets of slides with Fun Mom and her family indicates that they were people of taste and distinction.

K. Martinez, I wondered if it didn’t have to do with Downtown Disney. I’ve been to DD a few times without going into the park… it felt wrong to not be walking through the gates. How many Disney pins do you have? I used to have around 30, but I sold most of them off. I love riding the Monorail, don’t get me wrong, it just feels like a trip to Disneyland needs to start on Main Street. Maybe that’s just me.

JG, I’ll have to check the diagram later, but am looking forward to seeing it. Did anyone ever by a Wurlitzer anything?? “Please show me your finest piano while my kids go to Tomorrowland”. Hm, perhaps nowadays it would be an advantage to skip crowded Main Street, I didn’t think of that.

K. Martinez, OK, now I need to know what large objects you bought at Disneyland! I never bought anything larger than a book or wall map.

Chuck, ha, you have a cinematographer’s eye - it would have never occurred to me to enter so that the sunlight would reveal the scene at its best. When we took the Monorail in to the park, it only made sense to take it back to the hotel… our parking spot was actual kind of a hike even from there, and there was no tram service. Don’t the turnstiles also play a bird chirp?

Chuck II, truer words were never spoken.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I think they replaced the "Tinkerbell's Wand" sound at the turnstiles, with something identical or very similar to the .99 Cent Store's bird whistle/chirp sound. I'm not sure which one would be worse to have to hear all day long. Although, as you mentioned in an earlier comment, I suppose after a while, they just automatically tune it the ticking of a clock.

Chuck said...

TM!, you know, I'd never thought about it before, but I guess I do tune out the ticking of a clock. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard my bedside clock ticking - ever. Funny how hearing can be selective like that. I'd always just assumed it was because it was digital.