Monday, October 08, 2018

Submarine Voyage, July 1959

The title of today's post is "Submarine Voyage", but the stars of the first photo are the members of the family who have just completed their exciting voyage through liquid space. But first I will point out that they are about to pass beneath the exit ramp from the Monorail platform above them - did people walk down on their own, or was there a speedramp? Spiny, leathery plants retrieved from the surface of the planet Mercury are planted nearby.

I'd say that little boy had an amazing experience! Maybe he's talking about the wacky sea serpent that was the grand finale. It looks like he is wearing a miniature six-shooter in a tiny leather holster from a sort of bolo tie thing, while his brother (? behind Dad) might be wearing a similar tiny pistol on his hip. 

This second shot almost feels like an "oops", but I like the view of the distant Autopia cars crossing the Lagoon.



The first Monorail Station had two Speedramps- one going up and one going down...theses were Stu Adamson Company Speedramps before GOODYEAR bought the Speedramp name and the rights to the system. Goodyear had already been supplying the rubber tredways for the Adamson Company. Goodyear also had a freight Speedramp they nick-named “THE RUBBER RAILROAD”.

Nanook said...


A Speedramp up... and a Speedramp down... (Thank you, Mike).

I had the same thought you did about the possible 'weaponry' as wardrobe for these two lads. As a youngster of the same age, I seem to remember "packing heat" in public on several occasions; but back then I doubt I was given a second glance. (It probably had something to do with my Sheriff badge-!)

Also - we can catch a glimpse of a four arm Perey Turnstile in the second shot - a rare model for a Disney park.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

There would be one long Speedramp just going up, and one even longee coming down, and one more leading nowhere, just for show!

K. Martinez said...

Love both of today's photos. Great unusual angles that show the queue and exit areas for the Submarine Voyage. I love rarely photographed areas of Disneyland like these. Wish more photos of the attraction queues we taken back then. That's what makes today's pics 5-star to me. Thanks, Major.

Melissa, If only I were a rich man.

JC Shannon said...

I think dad in the photo is looking down at his son's six shooter bolo tie and wishing he had bought one for himself. The landscape does look like part of the set from Forbidden Planet. In the oops photo, next to the Autopia, you can see what looks like "ghost twins". "Come play with us Danny". Great photos of two great attractions Major, thanks.

Anonymous said...

What Ken Martinez Said. Love seeing these otherwise hidden parts of the old Park.

As I recall the Monorail speedramps, they didn't offer the "foot massage" provided by those on the People Mover, but maybe that's my memory being old.

Thank You, Major.


K. Martinez said...

JG, from what I can remember, you could still get the "foot massage" from the Monorail speedramps. I just put my feet along the side edges of the belt and got the foot massage that way. Sometimes it would hurt though.

Just noticed the cast member/ride operator through the porthole of the Triton sub in the second image. Also love the red-white and blue bunting on the submarine dock. Very cool!

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

... and one more leading nowhere, just for show! It almost sounds like the description of the "Staircase to Nowhere" (originally called the 'floating staircase') at the Fontainebleau Hotel, in Miami Beach, infamously designed by Morris Lapidus. Just LOOKIE HERE. In actuality, the stairway merely led to a small coat room.

Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks for the great pics!

In the first photo, the two boys with the baseball caps seem to be going in the wrong direction. Makes me wonder if that old gravitational pull or tractor beam is pulling them back to the sub? It only works on kids. The little tykes with the guns are evidently immune to the beam's powers, quite possibly because of all of the lead in their guns (which is known to resist the beam's powers). He may be smiling because of the mermaids...

That turnstile is pretty slick (in the 2nd photo). It kinda makes the photo!

In that 2nd photo, my eyes seem drawn to the boarding apparatus (?) just next to the white-belted sailor. Is this a boarding ramp? Is there a good shot of how boarding was executed on the subs?

About those speedramps... was there also the opposite? The slowramps? You kinda have to wonder if that exists in an alternate universe...

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, interesting! The reason I asked is because I can understand having a Speedramp that goes up, but going down, you’ve got gravity working for you. But I guess Walt didn’t want to be cheap!

Nanook, even a tiny toy gun such as those would be cause for much alarm these days. I know that I used to have a cork “pop gun” from Disneyland when I was a kid. A “Perey Turnstile”, huh? Maybe they used that style back in the early days, and switched over to the vertical sort later.

Melissa, they should have had Speedramps EVERYWHERE. Walking is for chumps!

K. Martinez, these are unusual angles, though perhaps not exactly the most thrilling photos! But it’s OK as far as I’m concerned, because they’re still fun. Why would the edges of the Speedramp hurt?! That red, white and blue bunting has to be left over from the opening of the subs, don’t you think?

Nanook, of course there is at least one “staircase to nowhere” at the famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose! I took the tour many years ago, it was fun.

Clyde Hughes, maybe the kid left his own tiny gun in the sub! “How am I supposed to defend myself against varmints if I don’t have my tiny gun?!”. I still remember leaving my wallet in a Rocket Jet - they let me go back and get it. And yes, I assume that the “boarding apparatus” spanned the gap between the dock and the sub so that guests didn’t plunge to the bottom of the sea. I must have at least a photo or two of people boarding or disembarking, but I have no idea where they would be.

Major Pepperidge said...

OOPS, how did I miss Jonathan and JG (and more K. Martinez)??

Jonathan, you could be right, in those days they made some pretty cool toys for kids! Just look at a Sears Wishbook from that era. Where are the ghost twins??

JG, I remember the slight rumbling of the Peoplemover, but have no memory of the Monorail Speedramps, sadly.

K. Martinez, again, why would the Speedramp hurt your feet? Wasn’t it just some rollers under the rubber ramp? And yes, I always like getting a glimpse of the CM driving the Subs!

Matthew said...

@ Mike Cozart - I sooooo appreciate you! Your knowledge of Tomorrowland is incredible... and now I have to ask... did the monorail ever just have a stairway... on either side (up or down)?

I love reading everyone's comments! Thank you for making my Monday morning so much fun here in Newport Beach, California.

@ Clyde Hughes. Yes, that is the boarding apparatus (I'm sure it has a more technical name like loading ramp). Our friend Matterhorn 1959 over at his blog "Stuff From the Park" has a delightful read about, "Setting Your Course On the Submarines" published by the Disney University (training manual). Check it out here. You will also learn about the "FUDGE signal." who knew (besides Mike)? ;-)

Finally, I love the boys excitement in the photo... and I bet he is telling dad about everything he saw under the sea! And yes, that turnstile and shiny stainless steel poles caught my eye too Nanook!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

JC Shannon said...

Major, look to the right of the dark post in the foreground, in the background next to the short monorail support. Spooky!

Clyde Hughes said...

@Amazon Belle - thank you for the link! I wonder if the website stripped the question mark out. (For the interest of those who wish to follow that link, insert a between 'search' and 'q' in the URL.

That's cool about the signal references.
The old 'FUDGE' signal was what the fish or mermaids gave to the pilot to unlock the food hatch on the sub. ;-)
Then, they went to saltwater taffy. Well.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Matthew: thanks!
The 1959 Monorail Station used two SpeedRamps for the entry and exit.
The 1969 New Monorail Station used a Speedramp up only and a paved exit concorse ramp.
K.Martinez: it’s very possible the 1959 Stu Adamson Speedramps did NOT provide a “foot massage” as their system used metal rollers to move the rubber tredway. When Goodyear bought the Adamson Company they improved the technology by using of course GOODYEAR rubber tredways and replacing the metal rollers with GOODYEAR rubber industrial wheels - the same used on their freight RUBBER RAILROAD. - these Rubber tire rollers are what was probably providing your “foot massage”
GOODYEAR SPEEDRAMPS were used at Disneyland on Monorail Station 1969(1) PeopleMover (4) Carousel of Progress (1) Space Mountain (2) and Haunted Mansion (1).
For a short time Goodyear marked their Speedramps “Goodyear-Adamson” SpeedRamp -Eventually dropping the “Adamson” altogether .
GOODYEAR SPEEDRAMPS were available in almost any length and three different widths and three different style rubber-handrail ballaustrades ( enamel finishes or stainless steel ) stainless steel and white enamel tended to be the most popular.
SPEEDRAMPS were another feature that added exciting movement to TOMORROWLAND helping to keep it “A World on the Move”

Matthew said...

Thanks Mike! Great information.

Always your pal,

Anonymous said...

@Ken and Mike Cozart, thanks for the clarifications. The Haunted Mansion speedramp slipped my mind. Probably because I am always transfixed by "Little Leota".


Nanook said...

Ah-ha-! I Knew there were 'twin' Stephens-Adamson Speedramps in the original configuration, I had just momentarily forgotten when the change took place - and 1969 seems about right. (I presume one reason for the change was to allow wheelchair access to the loading platform).

Do we know if the circular, rotating rubber entrance/exit platforms (as featured on the Peoplemover, ATIS, etc.) were also Stephens-Adamson/Goodyear 'circular Speedwalks'-? Yes, let's not forget the Speedwalk models.

Again, the level of detailed knowledge shared on this site is both, so fascinating and so informative. Thanks so much.

@ JG-
Hurry back... hurry back. Be sure to bring your ... death certificate-!


Yes SPEEDWALK was the name Goodyear used for a time on the horizontal / level version of SPEEDRAMP. It was a lightweight passenger version of the freight RUBBER RAILROAD.
I don’t think I the loading turntable was Adamson as Goodyear was making several sizes of industrial “passenger” turntables as early as the 1940’s........ in fact Goodyear has developed a Peoplemover system that used both the rotating load turntable and a SPEEDWALK load-unload belt ...... the whole system was VERY similar to the Disney PEOPLEMOVER ....but not as gracefull or versitale . But it makes me suspect there is a untold story of the Goodyear 1950’s peoplemoving system and the Disney PeopleMover and the fact Goodyear sponsored and supplied parts for the Disneyland version......did Disney and Goodyear collaborate on the Dusneyland version???
In later years Dunlop was supplying replacement parts for the Disneyland surviving SPEEDRAMPS - I don’t believe Goodyear manufactures SPEEDRAMP , SPEEDWALK or RUBBER RAILROAD but my supply parts.

Nanook said...


Often more questions than answers. But again, thanks for more info.

Melissa said...

Major, my sister dropped her wallet in the Haunted Mansion once. She had to wait in the exit crypt while ALL of the doombuggies cycled around. She had "If you would like to join our jamboree..." running through her head all week.

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, I have been known to walk backward on that ramp (when the ride isn't crowded) just to prolong that experience.

The Long-Forgotten blog has such interesting expositions on this figure, it's iconography, and history in the attraction.

The miniature figure and it's eerie message from beyond reminds me of the prologue to "The Waste Land".

Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.

[I have seen with my own eyes the Sibyl hanging in a jar, and when the boys asked her “What do you want?” She answered, “I want to die.”]

—Petronius, Satyricon

The mythological backstories of the Disney attractions could be the study of years and years.