Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Disneyland In Black and White

It seems as if the vast majority of photos taken at Disneyland over the past 60+ years are in glorious color. But black and white film (and developing) was more affordable for some, and it does have a certain charm - like going through a box of family snapshots. Whoever took today's pictures must have had a nice camera (unlike my own Instamatic), and they took some interesting shots.

Passing through the Matterhorn was always a highlight, even before there were ice caverns and abominable snowmen. And upon emerging out the other side (Fantasyland, in this case), the colors seemed a little brighter. Not that you can tell here. OH SNAP!

I'm sure I must have noticed that the storybook atop Alice's mushroom had the words "A very merry unbirthday to you" on it before, but if so, I've forgotten it. 

Somehow we went from the Skyway to Main Street USA. The Disneyland Band must be partying in Cincinnati (think Van Halen in a hotel room), so a local high school or college band has been recruited. I wonder how they were chosen? Did they only come for a single day and a single performance? Did the Disneyland Band get a bowl of just green M&Ms?

Monday, January 14, 2019

River and Pack Mules, July 1960

Here's a fairly standard (or even below-standard) view of the Rivers of America, with a Keel Boat passing by, the Mark Twain filling up with unleaded, folks standing on the fishing pier, and waaaaayyy in the distance, a flock of Pack Mules clip-clopping by Rainbow Ridge and up into the hills that lead into Nature's Wonderland.

It's too bad our photographer wasn't using a stereo camera, that fence would have been a good foreground element.

Now we're aboard the Columbia, and are directing our gaze above the heads of the other guests so that we can see even more Pack Mules as they approach Cascade Peak.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Smoggy Fantasyland, November 1958

Everybody has heard about the legendary smog of Southern California; both of today's photos show Disneyland looking especially afflicted by the mixture of automobile emissions and fog (it does get foggy in SoCal at times, some of you might be surprised to learn). 

There's the castle, with all of its color and details reduced to a blue-gray mass. That is some thick, chunky air! This is one of those rare examples of a vintage photo in which I don't wish that I was there that day. 

Poor Dumbo, having to fly through that crud! Hopefully some gentle breezes will come through soon, and there will be bright sunshine and blue skies.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Guaymas Airport, Mexico - 1948

It's time for some more photos from my grandfather's stash. It's like I've invited you over to watch a slide show in our basement, while I drone on in a monotone voice for 2 solid hours.

In 1948 my grandma, grandpa, and mother (age 12) accompanied some friends to Guaymas, Mexico -  242 miles south of the U.S. border, in the State of Sonora, and on the coast of the Gulf of California. My grandpa did a lot of ocean fishing in those days.

First up is this great photo of the American Airlines terminal at Guaymas airport. Look at that beautiful sky! And the great old cars. 

Oooh, shiny airplane! I dunno, is it a DC-3? 

My grandpa mostly took blurry photos, and this one falls into that category. There's my mom, squinting in the bright Sonora sunshine. Love that great "woody" station wagon in the background.

Goodbye, airplane. Goodnight, moon. Goodnight, mush.

Here's where my family stayed, though my mom doesn't remember what it was called. Looks nice though!

And finally, there's my mom and my grandparents. It's kind of fun to see grandma and grandpa so young. Judging from the grin on grandma's face, she put that orange (grapefruit? pomelo?) on my mom's head, because why wouldn't she?

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Guaymas!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Main Street Station, 1958

Here's a very nice photo of Main Street Station as seen from the ticket booths, circa November 1958. Looks like there is a stiff breeze a-blowing. It amazes me that there is not so much as a garland or wreath on the train station. I suppose it is possible that whoever took these photos went to the park several times during the use of one roll of film, but I don't think too many people did that back in those days. Look at the prices, for gosh sakes! $4.25 for a "Jumbo" adult ticket book?? Outrageous.

Long ago we have speculated about the two empty (?) booths at the lower edge of the picture. Were they for security guards? Are they phone booths? Are they elevators that take you 1000 feet underground to Walt Disney's secret bunker?

On the other side of the turnstiles, in front of the floral Mickey portrait, a rather large group of folks poses for a photo. As always, you've got to love those attraction posters (I wonder who had the idea to make those in the first place?). Up on the platform, the Kalamazoo hand car (named after Dr. Albert Kalamazoo).

I love this sunny, blue-sky shot of Main Street with the classic garlands, wreaths and bells spanning the street, just like a real town. Disneyland's famous cleanliness is evident here - everything looks scrubbed and tidy. We can just see the front end of the Carnation Milk Truck peeking out from West Center Street. Notice how spindly those trees are!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Golden Horseshoe Revue, October 1963

I sure wish I'd seen the classic Golden Horseshoe Revue show, with Betty Taylor, Wally Boag, and Fulton Burley. But... no such luck. Which is weird, because the whole thing seems like it would have right up my dad's alley, with those old-timey songs and corny jokes. The next best thing is to listen to the old "Golden Horseshoe Review" album (with Donald Novis), if you can get it.

Today I have three pix taken during a performance circa 1963. Two of them are a bit dark; like this one. That's Betty Taylor on stage, looking adorable. Maybe she just finished singing, "A Lady Has To Mind Her P's and Q's".

Even the waitresses got in on the act! Or are they dancers, cleverly disguised? I've never seen another photo like this, and sure would love to know what they're singing! Mr. Buzzcut (he probably worked at NASA!) sure seems to be enjoying himself a lot.

And lastly, the saucy dancers onstage are almost lost in the darkness. Those flash cubes just couldn't get the job done!

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Adventureland Tiki, March 1959

I'm always happy to see this particular carved tiki figure - he seems to have lived in Adventureland for the first few years, apparently disappearing in the early 1960's. There's nothing more spooky than a vanishing tiki! I think he was acquired at Oceanic Arts in Whittier (it's still there after all these years). 

You'll see our buddy Nanook standing next to a similar tiki HERE; I thought it was the same exact one, but if you look closely, there are definite differences, which is kind of surprising - this is the first time that I've realized that there were two of these at the park. Plus there was a mini version in the Jungle Cruise, visible in one of the pictures at THIS POST.

Aaaaannnnddd.... here's a fairly unremarkable picture of a boat as it is about to vanish into the steamy jungle. Will they ever come back?!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Minnie and Main Street Station, July 1960

Wowee! Here we've been at Disneyland just a few minutes, and we've already met Minnie Mouse. We've got the pictures to prove it, too. It's like going to Hollywood and bumping into Audrey Hepburn, don't you think? It's hard to tell who's happier, the kids, or Minnie. 

Meanwhile, pants that only go halfway down your lower leg must have been a thing in 1960.

Panning upward, there's the Disneyland Railroad (with 4th of July bunting) at the train station. I love those old yellow cars, even if they weren't that great for sight-seeing. Minnie's ears are facing in the direction of some older fans. Everyone loves her!

It's not even 10:00 A.M. yet, they have plenty of time to do everything in the park. So jealous.

Monday, January 07, 2019

It's a Small World Mechanical Clock, April 1969

I have made no secret of my love for "It's a Small World" over the years. And as wonderful as the inside of the ride is, the outside is amazing too! Walt and his Imagineers must have anticipated huge crowds for IASW, judging by the sheer size of the plaza in front of it (some of which has been repurposed for other things); and thanks to the smiling, ticking clock, everyone in line gets a fun little show every 15 minutes. Like in this first image... it's the top of the hour, and things are starting to happen.

Whoa, where did all those kids come from? They're all dressed in costumes representing their native lands. I think I see children from Ireland, Brazil, and Hawaii, along with others I am less certain about.

Cowboy-like figures might be Argentina or Venezuela. There's a Venetian gondolier, and perhaps an Eskimo girl (?), while another girl in a kimono (carrying a parasol) heads away from us.

Hooray for It's a Small World! 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Indian Village, May 1966

Today's post has two fairly standard photos of the Friendly Indian Village, circa 1966. While there are many Disneyland features that were photographed a lot, the FIV has to be way up near the top of the list!

There it is... a modest gathering of teepees in a clearing by the river. You should practically know it by heart by now! 

As we moved further along, we can see that something is going on in the background...

... there is a construction wall, cleverly disguised to resemble stretched buffalo hides. Through the trees, bulldozed earth hints at a massive project; the railroad tracks were being moved further out, and the large "It's a Small World" building was underway.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Ohio State Fair, September 1969

Somehow, I wound up with a batch of photos of the Ohio State Fair from September, 1969. They are full of carnival ride goodness! Wikipedia sez: The Ohio State Fair is one of the largest State Fairs in the United States. The event is held in Columbus, Ohio during late July through early August. As estimated in a 2011 economic impact study conducted by Saperstein & Associates; the State Fair contributes approximately 68.5 million dollars to the state's economy. In 2015, attendance was 982,305, the Fair's highest 12-day attendance on record.

Below we can see the infamous ride "The Zipper" to the left, along with a good old-fashioned Ferris Wheel with only one couple riding. Maybe it was early in the day?

I had no idea what this variation on the standard Ferris Wheel was called, but Ken Martinez came to the rescue, thanks to his extensive knowledge of such things. Ken said, The first pic is of the Skydiver produced by Chance Rides as early as 1965. Note that the gondolas can spin!

Next is the famous Rock-O-Plane: The Rock-O-Plane is an amusement park ride designed by Lee Eyerly in 1948 and manufactured by the Eyerly Aircraft Company of Salem, Oregon.

Ken also helped to ID the Skyway-type ride: The sky ride at the Ohio State Fair is known as Sky Glider, the exact same name as the sky ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  As for this version of the sky ride, most of them are referred to as Sky Glider. Ken thinks that the Sky Glider was brand-new at the Ohio State Fair in 1969.

To the left is a double Ferris Wheel, and Ken said: The Double Ferris Wheel is called Sky Wheel also produced by Chance Rides and goes back as early as 1939.  I remember there was one at the Long Beach Pike and I've seen them at various county fairs.

In the lower left is a classic Tilt-A-Whirl.

I could go for a hot dog, and maybe some popcorn, and a large lemonade... followed by several rides that will spin and tumble my poor stomach! I didn't even ask Ken about the roller coaster, thinking it was of the standard "Wild Mouse" variety, but he said that he believes that it is a Zyklon/Galaxi portable coaster.

MANY thanks to Ken Martinez for his help identifying the rides! I have more photos from the Ohio State Fair, as well as photos from some other fairs; if you liked these, let me know and I'll post more.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Nice Tomorrowland

One of my favorite features of old Tomorrowland is the super-oddball "Clock of the World", planted right smack-dab in the center of the walkway as you entered the land. Nobody could miss it! I remember the first time I saw a photo of the clock (in "Disneyland: The First Quarter Century"); My monocle fell out! "This was at Disneyland??".

Dennis the Menace is obviously taken with the Clock too, and who can blame him. In the background is the CIRCARAMA show, sponsored by American Motors. I sure wish we could somehow see the earlier films from the Circarama/Circlevision attraction - especially the earliest, "A Tour of the West" - imagine how awesome it would be to see the West in glorious color from nearly 60 years ago. Even if they just shared the most forward-facing view. Hopefully it exists in the archives somewhere.

Now we've traveled through time to 1964, and forward in space a few hundred feet, turning to look back; the Clock would be just out of frame to our left. Now the Circlevision attraction is sponsored by Bell Telephone Systems (love that logo). Posters for the Flying Saucers and "Art of Animation" can be seen too.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Monstro & Skull Rock, October 1963

When you're at Disneyland, it doesn't take long for strange things to seem perfectly normal and OK. Not even worth a glance, in fact! There's a giant whale over there, stuck in that rock, and he's eating canal boats like they are M&Ms. But the guests don't even notice. The man carrying the large violet shopping bag (to our right) probably bought a stack of original animation cels for his daughter's room. One of Alice (from her time in Wonderland), one featuring the fairies from "Sleeping Beauty", and another from the fairly recent "One Hundred and One Dalmatians", with Pongo and some puppies. They were a buck apiece, but no price is too high for his kid! Keep the bag, sir, it will be worth a chunk of change to collectors someday.

In spite of my many photos of Skull Rock, it (and the surrounding area) is still one of my favorite things in "Old Fantasyland". While I do kind of wish that the skull was larger, I have no doubt that its size was carefully considered in relation to the Pirate Ship. Perhaps it was meant to seem farther away?  

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Views From the Plantation House, July 1960

Today's photographer took no less than seven photos from old Plantation House's outside dining area. I suppose it's not that surprising, given the first-rate view of the Rivers of America, and all of its rafts, canoes, and big boats a-coming and a-going. But seven pictures? Cool it, daddy-o!

So, there it is, a pretty familiar view. It's clear that this scene must have been truly amazing to behold for the photographer. "The neighbors are going to think we went to Missouri!". Frontierland looks pretty busy on this July day.

One raft waits to return to the mainland, while another is ready to head over to Tom Sawyer Island. 

And a fully loaded canoe goes scooting by, leaving barely a ripple on the already-glassy river. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

A Pair From March, 1959

Happy 2019, everybody! I hope this new year is a pip (as my grandpa would say).

I have two photos for you today, both from 1959. That's 60 years ago! This first one shows intrepid guests who have just arrived on a beautiful day in March. They parked so close to the entrance that there was no need to hop on a tram. Check out those cars. Judging from Old Glory, there was a bit of wind, but not enough to matter. 

The Disneyland Railroad is at the station, and looks very full. And as you can see, the Matterhorn is under construction in the distance, which is pretty neat.

From the same day comes this colorful and very nice photo of a Jungle Cruise boat (the "Yangtze Lotus") taking on a new load of victims. While this is a familiar view, I love everything about this image (except for the light leak at the top, perhaps). I wonder if the fellow with the red shirt and white pants is a skipper, or a mere dock hand?