Friday, June 29, 2018

Random Tomorrowland

I have two very nice scans from Tomorrowland to share with you today. Let's start with this charming photo (from February, 1965) of someone's grandpa at the wheel of a Mark VI Autopia vehicle. He couldn't be happier! Love the fedora. I also really like the style of the Mark VI cars with their distinctive "eyebrows" (no headlamps, unlike the Mark V versions) - I believe that these were only in use for four years (1964-1968). The wide "mouth" reminds me of a manta ray. GULP.

Next is this undated photo of the Rocket Jets, taken in the early evening (still a bit of pink glow on the horizon). It's too bad that the rockets weren't up in the air, but even so this is a beautiful shot. We get some bonus Peoplemover action (barely), and I do love that blue lozenge-shaped sign that takes me right back to the Tomorrowland of my youth. 

Have a great weekend!


Nanook said...


The Mark IV's also look a little bit like late 1950's-early 1960's Thunderbirds from that angle. Gramps isn't the only fella wearing a snappy hat. That sailor [who may be puffing-away on a 'smoke'] is also wearing his cap.

Interesting the Goodyear sign is lozenge-shaped, as all my lozenges are sign-shaped. Go figure-! (Or is that 'Go Goodyear'-? Ouch-!)

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Both Tomorrowland pics are top notch today, but the pic with the man in the fedora driving the Autopia car is really cool. I like all the different cream colors of each Autopia vehicle. You described the Mark VI car style beautifully too. Thanks ,Major.


That carousel theater facing Goodyear/PeopleMover sign in the image was added in 1968. The PeopleMover closed for some time in ‘68 for several improvements like new push platens underneath the cars , the first version of safety bars and the switch-out of the warped ABS plastic body panels with more sun resilient fiberglass. A new PeopleMover storage and service building was suppose to have built alongside the MONOAIL/STEAMTRAIN storage area in anticipation of the TOMORROWLAND SPACE ADVENTURE/SPACE MOUNTAIN was suppose to begin construction , but that never happened and the existing PEOPLEMOVER “switchyard” remained behind the Tomorrowland Stage until the revised version of Space Mountain began construction in the mid 70’s.

Melissa said...

Picture #2 is a work of art. The shadows, the delicate colors, the soft glow in the sky and the lighted sign - gorgeous. The gloaming is such a lovely time in the parks.

And Happy Grampy is the bee's knees and the squid's elbows all rolled into one. He's just the kind of person Walt had in mind when he decided to build a place where adults could play right alongside children.

Chuck said...

Nanook, that sailor pretty much had to be wearing a cap since it's regulation to wear one in uniform outdoors (although they don't all look as snappy as his; good job, Seaman Snuffy!). I love the expression on his face, sort of a cross between deep contemplation and a Jack Benny "well!"

Mike Cozart, great info on the proposed-but-unbuilt PeopleMover service facility. I always thought it odd that the PeopleMover didn't have an on-track "roundhouse" of sorts when built.

By a strange coincidence, I just took an antibiotic capsule in the exact same shade of blue as that lozenge-shaped sign (although, sadly, it didn't have the same friendly glow). It did make me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside, and I had a sudden urge to buy a new set of tires. Not sure that Goodyear understood in 1967 the residual goodwill their sponsorship would continue to generate 50+ years later.

JC Shannon said...

All work and no play make Fedora Jack a dull guy. He is obviously not dull. I agree with Mellissa, adults can play right along with the kids. Magic. The golden hour photo is very cool. Two of my favorite New Tomorrowland attractions. With the rockets down like that, it kinda looks like a NASA launch vehicle on the pad. Happy weekend to all and thanks to Major.

dzacher said...

I can see why the photographer took the Rocket Jet photo! I can't remember ever seeing that angle and the cooperative lighting and sky. I say gorgeous as well.

Grandpa is certainly enjoying his ride but I know he might have had more fun if they hadn't yet added the center guide rail. I know I did. It seemed more like driving, trying to steer in your lane. But I never tried to smack the bumpers from side to side, no.

Great photos today!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I really like the look of the Mark IV Autopia cars, but kind of wish they had headlights - they make me think of eyeless cave fish.

K. Martinez, the first photo looks like it could have been used in a Disneyland ad, or a souvenir guidebook, to show that the park “isn’t just for kids”. Glad you liked these!

Mike Cozart, I remember you mentioning the troublesome ABS body panels… it must have cost a bundle to redo them all in fiberglass. I wonder what was different about the platens compared to the originals? Maybe they had a texture added to them. I’ve seen photos (and have an aerial I haven’t posted yet) in which you can see the unused Peoplemover vehicles lined up backstage.

Melissa, the only thing photo #2 needed is to have the rockets flying. But then I suppose we would have had a lot of motion blur? It might have looked cool anyway. I agree with you, Walt would have approved of photo #1!

Chuck, a sailor has to wear his cap even when he’s on furlough (or “off duty”, or whatever the correct term is)? I suppose as long as he’s in his uniform he has to complete the look. I’m unclear about where the Peoplemover trains went after Space Mountain was added. The “rounded end” diamond seems like a weird shape for a pill!

Jonthan, that guy reminds me of my paternal grandfather, who lived a simple (but good) life in Minnesota. When we took he and my grandmother to Disneyland, he had a great time! I miss him.

Clyde Hughes said...

What wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing them both.
I love the photo of Grandpa and the sailor, the old and the young, what a time capsule shot. Did you say that the open mouth of Grandpa reminded you of a stingray? ;-)
If only the cars' acceleration wasn't clamped down! Why, I imagine that Grandpa would give the sailor a run for his money, and they probably would both be puffing on cigs by the time they were done. :)
I can almost smell the wonderful world of grease around the autopia tracks.

The second photo - oh my yes, wonderful! The marker lights on the 'engines' of the rockets, as well as the indirect lighting and gentle gradients make this a pure work of art. The blue/turquoisish hues and tones, contrasted by the reds are top notch. "In the Gloaming".

Chuck said...

Major, yep - (proper) headgear is required when in uniform outdoors at all times. There are a few exceptions, like on flightlines - you don't want a hat sucked into a jet engine and damaging it - and on work parties in field/fatigue uniforms with the blouse removed.

In a combat outpost, things tend to be a bit more relaxed, so you'll see pictures of troops relaxing without hats, and generally speaking, nobody is going to get on your case if you're in your backyard at home without a hat. They're a lot less forgiving about pants, though.

Melissa said...

"They're a lot less forgiving about pants, though."

Donald Duck has never worn pants during his long career in the Navy.

Chuck said...

Melissa, sometimes people slip through the cracks. Supervisors tend to pay less attention to subordinates with Mickey Mouse jobs.

JC Shannon said...

In the Air Force, temp fixes on combat aircraft, in a war zone, was known as Walt Disney engineering. Also known as Mickyfixes.

Major Pepperidge said...

David Zacher, I agree, it is a beauty, and it makes me so nostalgic for the Tomorrowland of those days! I don’t remember the Autopia when it did not have the center rail, but in a way I can imagine the mayhem that would occur daily in today’s less responsible world!

Clyde Hughes, ha ha, grandpa reminds me of a panther! Wouldn’t it be amazing to drive one of the Autopia vehicles around without the speed limitations?? I need to buy one of the fiberglass bodies and somehow mount it to a Tesla frame. You earn 11 points for the use of the word “gloaming” - surely a first on GDB.

Chuck, thanks for the clarification. I suppose I would wear my cap at a jaunty angle, and that’s even better than not wearing a hat at all! I would think that if I was in a zone where projectiles were flying, I’d want the steeliest helmet every made.

Melissa, even “relaxed fit” pants don’t work on Donald. Maybe he needs to do the kilt thing.

Jonathan, I can’t tell if the “Walt Disney engineering” thing is a joke or not. I hope it’s real!

Nancy said...

Gorgeous view of the Rocket Jets. I think my favorite part is the Peoplemover lit up all pretty and the beautiful Goodyear sign. I love the park lights on before dark at dusk. *sigh* I could jump right into that picture!

Thanks, Major!!

Melissa said...

"Melissa, sometimes people slip through the cracks."

And others slip through the quacks.

(I'm just gonna go sit in the corner.)

JC Shannon said...

Major, I assure you, it is a maintenance thing for real. Mellissa, you are in rare form today!


MAJOR: yes : the first PeopleMover platens were made of Harborite - a treated marine plywood. The later ones were from a industrial grade fiberglass impregnated with a polyester resin. Probably pretty toxic back then!!

The PeopleMover switchyard behind Tomorrowland Stage was interesting as it worked with gravity - the top where the PeopleMover cars entered the area had motors and the sidings did not - once a train of cars entered its siding it coasted down gently . The the bottom had motors to direct the cars to the up-track that put the PeopleMover cars back onto the main line. One of the Spurs - the lowest one - featured a tailgate like bumper that could be lowered and a special trailer that the cars could roll onto and be driven by truck over to the cycle shop or paint shop depending on what needed to be done. The daily maintenance and PeopleMover car inspections could be done in the several of the side tracks designed for Maintenance people could walk underneath them to reach the suspension.


Anonymous said...

These are simply wonderful pictures.

People enjoying Disneyland and the scenic beauty of an artificial future that we feel cheated of, and now even worse, not only did we not get this future in real life, Disney added insult to injury and remodeled it out of existence entirely.

That rocket looks ready to take right off.

One detail that I never realized when visiting the PM was that the planters surrounding the track support pylons were the same shape as the Goodyear sign, rendered in plan view. I'm not sure if those planters survive in that shape or not, and the connection is lost since all the signs are gone.

Chuck, I can see how being sucked into a jet engine could damage a hat severely. I remember my visits to an Air Force facilities, there were always signs warning about dropped bits like screws and other debris posing a danger to engines. I can't recall the TLA (Three-Letter-Acronym) but it was very Air-Force-ish.

Major, "...eyeless cave fish...", shudder.