Friday, October 05, 2018

Merms, August 1967

Happy Friday, junior gorillas! Why not spend a few minutes in Tomorrowland? What, you got something better to do??

For a few wondrous years (1959, and then from 1965 through 1967) there were real live mermaids in the Submarine Lagoon. How did they get there? Did they communicate with each other using a series of high-pitched clicks and chirps? What did they eat? Is it true that they gave off a soft bioluminescence at night? So many questions.

Meanwhile, look at how beautiful the lagoon (and the rest of the park) looked. Wowee! So bright and shiny and new. The yellow Monorail peeks out from behind the station, and Howard Johnson's is visible just to the left of the turquoise Peoplemover train. Would it be bad form to go and have some fried clams at HoJo's? I don't want to disappoint the merms.

Suggestion for krazy kollege kids: Pour bubble bath into the lagoon over near the waterfalls.

Suggestion #2: Don't get caught!

I'm zooming in, because why the heck not? It is well known that merms loved to wave (and be waved at). They learned the behavior from friendly fiddler crabs. If you look closely at the Monorail platform, you can see the CM in his gray jacket and cap - a pretty awesome uniform.

I assume there will be no complaints if I share a second image. Even merms (with their supernatural strength) can't wave all the time. Sometimes they have to comb their greenish hair, admire their reflections in a mirror, or play the lyre. Hey, I do all those things too!

We miss you, mermaids! Don't let Nemo keep you away, we'd love to have you back.

*I'll be flying home today! I'm looking forward to talking to all of you soon.


Nanook said...


Man 'o man - all that blue looks really cool and refreshing. It's just too bad guests couldn't go for a swim in that lagoon. And as for mermaid communication - I had always heard it was a series of 'snaps'.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I want to step right into these photos to experience the best Tomorrowland ever, but first I'll need to put on my swimmin' trunks. We've bit of both Monorail Gold and Monorail Red in today's pics too. Wonderful! Thanks, Major.

Steve DeGaetano said...

My mind always goes to the "mechanics" of things at Disneyland.

How and where did the mermaids enter and leave the water? How long was their shift? Could they swim freely, or were they restricted to the rocks? Did they have a break room to hang out between sets?

Chuck said...

Note the submarine cast member uniforms, which appears to be a variant of the US Navy enlisted dungaree uniform. I wonder if any off-duty Marines were CMs on that attraction...and how they might have felt dressing like that.

Steve, the mermaids were deployed via dry deck shelters (DDS) mounted on Ethan Allen and Seawolf.

JC Shannon said...

These wonderful scans are postcard worthy goodness. Truly the golden age of Tomorrowland. If I had a turquoise Peoplemover car in my house, I would probably live in it, so cool! I have always wondered, do mermaids eat fish or just have them as friends? Great stuff Major, thanks.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

The popular theory is that the mermaids changed into/out of their fins in that small boxlike covered area on the outer dock. If you go to Daveland (type mermaids in the search bar) he has several photos of a more tent like version on the outer dock.

Matthew said...

Great photos and great comments! I love the clear, smooth, water found in the wake of one of those General Dynamics' nuclear-powered submarines in the first photo. It must have just slipped by out of frame from the photographer... but the evidence is still there.

AND just look at that "World On The Move." Best Tomorrowland is right. Have a happy and safe weekend everyone!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Melissa said...

You'll be swell!
You can't fail!
Gonna have the whole Land by the tail!
Startin' here,
Startin' ow,
Honey, everything's comin' up mermaids!

Alonzo P Hawk said...


Didn't Ethel Mermaid sing that one??

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I worked for a guy who worked for WED before having his own architecture firm.

He said the highlight of Park visits was to try to meet the mermaids. Apparently he never got introduced.

The mermaids were deployed by submarine out to their island by hanging on, how they were brought back in is less clear, but probably by being towed into the show building where they could be helped out of the water.

I just barely remember the mermaids, but do reall their harps. For a long time, there was a loudspeaker on the mermaid island, I wonder if there was a soundtrack for their harp music.