Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Black and White Snapshots, 1962

The first of today's black and white snapshots is taken from the Skyway as our photographer was heading toward the Fantasyland chalet. If a person on the Skyway was armed with a camera, it was almost impossible for he/she to resist taking at least a picture or two - and why not? Guests had a unique view of the park. 

As you can see, we're above the lagoon where the pirate ship was moored. I always like seeing the little sandy beech where a chest full of treasure is in mid-burial. 

The gondola that was passing in the opposite direction had a shutterbug...

... and so did the one behind it.

Next we're not on the Skyway, but in another location that provided a bird's-eye view... the Swiss Family Treehouse. Down below is part of the dark and mysterious Rivers of the World. Stone ruins line the shore, and if you know where to look, you can see the top of the massive stone head that is covered in tree roots.

If you look carefully, you can see a number of submerged crocodiles to the left - they are just waiting to leap into a passing boat. The elephant goddess Ganesh can be seen in the upper right; evidence of a vanished civilization.


K. Martinez said...

The classic view of the Jungle Cruise was known as "Jungle Lookout" from the Swiss Family Treehouse. There was even a little sign for it. I believe the view and the sign disappeared when they built Indiana Jones Adventure. They ruin everything.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

In that Jungle Cruise shot, we can see a baby elephant in the elephant bathing pool. We can even see that "rock climbing elephant" that was the topic of discussion here, a couple months back.

Ken, thanks for saying it for me!

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh, and Ken....thank you for saying it on Monday, too! ;-)

Gnometrek said...

These are great photos. Amazing amount of detailed sharpness for B&W format. Thank you Major.

Budblade said...

Ok, did we get to much color yesterday that we had to have black and white today to balance it out?
I love the jungle cruise, no matter if there is color or not.
It kinda makes it feel like “newsreel” footage. You just have to read the captions in that old-timey voice!

Melissa said...

Mmm, Ganache.

Stefano said...

Black and white Jungle Cruise is neat, like an MGM Tarzan movie. That great stone head was modeled on faces at the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia; the temple in "Apocalypse Now" had similar faces, which got hallucinatory close-ups.

Years ago there was a New Yorker cartoon of a tourist sitting in the back of a Jungle Cruise boat, startled by a bedraggled man emerging from the foliage and saying "Kurtz is dead".

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I don’t believe I ever knew about the “Jungle Lookout” sign up in the Swiss Family Treehouse. Now I wish I had a photo of the sign! I truly wonder if guests today would be happier with the current Tarzan treehouse, or if the classic SWT would capture guest’s imaginations more.

TokyoMagic!, oh yeah! Way up there on the top edge. I’m OK with rock climbing elephants, but not OK with hang-gliding elephants.

TokyoMagic!, it’s kind of his mantra.

Gnometrek, I wish I had the original negatives for these, I’ll bet scans would really be crystal clear.

Budblade, there must be balance in the universe, grasshopper. We can have no joy without sadness, No light without darkness, no dessert without eating your vegetables. “News… on the march!”.

Melissa, sounds like you are very fondant of the stuff. (Hangs head in shame).

Stafano, I figured that the giant stone head must have been modeled on something real, but I didn’t know it was from Angkor Wat. Pretty neat. I love it when the New Yorker pokes fun at Disney parks!

JC Shannon said...

Ken is right, and thank heaven for all those shutterbugs who documented all the Disney goodness on film, so it is all not totally lost. I also love the beach scene at the Pirate Ship. It sort of completes the Fantasyland theme, so naturally they tore it down. Some of the best photos of the park are taken from the Skyway, so of course they tore it down. I am sensing a trend here. The B&W photos add a kind of Ansel Adams artsy view of the park. Let's not forget Steamboat Willie. Thanks Major

Anonymous said...

I always loved that little beach, clearly remember having to resist the urge to jump over that little stone curb and run out to see if I could pull out the shovel, or find it firmly cemented in place like King Arthur's Excalibur.

I knew if I did it, I would be escorted out by the ear.

Black and White for the Jungle Cruise does seem oddly appropriate. I don't recall the view sign, but it sounds like something old Disney would have done. I'll bet it was an "ad-hoc" addition during construction, someone found there was a great vista into the JC and made the sign. My favorites were the "Mind Thy Head" signs at the low branches. My Dad always had to duck there. That's partly how I knew I was grown up, when I had to duck there too. I was always amazed that every leaf on the tree was tied on by hand. What a lot of work.

I will go ahead and say it, I'm willing to trade a little sign at the view for Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Broken Ride Mechanism. It's a great ride when it works and the theming updates to Adventureland were quite good. I think it's more likely that the sign vanished in the ill-advised conversion to Tarzan, and I wish THAT wretched overlay would go away. Bring back the Robinson's, I say!

And now, just as luck would have it, a color view of the same vista appears on my screen backdrops. Must be a later photo since the climbing elephant is gone. The red leaves are so great.

"Great Stone Head" seems like a grunge band name, or maybe "Mistah Kurtz, he dead". Such an odd book that was. I go back to those books every so often, Heart of Darkness, Secret Sharer, etc. Nostromo is probably my favorite. Always find something there I didn't understand before. Much like the Jungle Cruise.

Thank you, Major.


K. Martinez said...


It's my mantra courtesy of TokyoMagic! If can be your mantra too! Because they really do ruin everything.

You asked for it! "Jungle Lookout" sign from Daveland Disneyland photo archive.

JG, The view vanished when Indiana Jones Adventure was built because the river was shortened by eliminating a bend (toucans/crocodile scene) and the newly built queue area filled in the area in between the Swiss Family Treehouse and Jungle Cruise thus removing the view. That's why I believe the "Jungle Lookout" sign was removed at that point in time.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

As long as ganache has been pulled out of the hat (something I know far too well, as I make it a lot) - how's about gouache, just because-?

Anonymous said...

@Ken, I didn't know that was the part of the river that got moved for IJ, makes sense now. Seemed to me like that view was looking more to the southeast, but I'm probably wrong.

I have to confess that as much as I love the JC, I don't have comprehensive recall of the scenes the way I do for some other attractions like ROA. It's sort of a big, green blur to me, punctuated by some favorites like the Lost Safari and the Elephant pool. This is why the IJ changes didn't bother me too much.

I did think the trashed camp scene was added in connection with Tarzan, since I don't recall that one from childhood, but I don't really know. Anyway, the JC seems to me like the one old original attraction that has taken the least damage to the original concept over the years, even if there were substantial changes, the spirit is still there. It's a must-see for me every trip.


Chuck said...

So, now I'm confused (which, sadly, isn't really news). I thought that the elephant on the rocks (that should be the name of a mixed drink) was a refugee mammoth from the World's Fair. If that's the case, how could it be in a 1962 photo? Hmmm...time to do some research. Quick, Robin - to the Chuck Cave!

JG, the trashed camp was added in 1976.

Chuck said...

Well, Daveland has three photos that clearly show old Rocky in place before or during the 1964 NYWF:


April 1963

August 1964

So...either that's not the right elephant or we've been the Disneyland publicity machine.

K. Martinez said...

JG, are you referring to the gorilla invasion of the camp scene? That scene was added in 1976 when the Jungle Cruise went through a major overhaul with several tableaus from WDW's Jungle Cruise copied over as well as some ideas not used for WDW's Jungle Cruise. I believe the gorilla invasion camp and lion's den (rock overhang) scene were copied from WDW's version of the Jungle Cruise which they already had in 1971 when WDW opened. The gorilla taunting the crocodile (now a cargo box) and the crocodile threatening the two toucans (because "toucans" are better than three-cans) were added during the 1976 overhaul too. Tarzan didn't come out to theaters and as an attraction until 1999.

Chuck, Perhaps they replaced the mechanics of the elephant with the NYWF Mammoth's mechanics? Or as you said, we've been had with more Disney malarkey.

Matthew said...

Great photos of the Fantasyland and the Jungle Cruise today.

If I may jump in here...
@K. Martinez - you are spot on in the 1976 rehab. This rehab brought us the Hornbill (not toucans) and Crocodile scene. The Safari Camp (Gorilla Camp (Invasion)). The Gorilla & Crocodile. The baboons were added to the falls before the African Veldt. The new lion's den (rock overhang) and in my opinion the destruction of the African Veldt)), and the Python & Water Buffalo scene.

What is also interesting to me is that you can see over to the African Veldt at that time from the Treehouse, but cannot make out any animals there from this photo.

As far as the Fantasyland photo is concerned... I tool loved that little sandy beach. To the right you can see a ships lantern connected on to the rock wall leading to the tables behind the ship... and another sign. Huh? I wonder what that said and if it as the same as the one out front?

Finally, to the left of the sandy beach you can see something that looks round near the rock wall behind the palm trees (appears argyle)... is that an outdoor vending car?

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

K. Martinez said...

Matthew/Amazon Belle, I guess my mind was confused about the hornbill vs. toucan, but I do remember a Jungle Cruise joke about toucans in that area. I think the hornbill is now in the upstairs queue of the Jungle Cruise boathouse unless something has changed since then. And yeah, I forgot to mention the python and water buffalo scene which I do like. While there always seems to be changes to the Jungle Cruise, I just hope they don't inject "The Lion King" or Dwayne Johnson movie into it.

Dean Finder said...

Didn't realize Disneyland was in black and white back in those days. I'd read somewhere that Disney worked in color all the way back to the 50s to be ready for the technology to catch up. Probably another of those things the PR department made up decades later.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, where would I be without the shutterbugs! Living in the gutter, that’s where. The loss of the Skyway is almost on par with the loss of the Peoplemover, it still kills me that they are gone. And I’m saying it here: these are lost Ansel Adams photos.

JG, I think any kid worth his/her salt would want to check out a treasure chest sticking out of the sand. I’ve always wondered if the “mind thy head” branch was a mistake, since it seems it would have been a trivial matter to raise it a couple of feet. But it’s hard to say without knowing the details, of course. Thinking of the future, I will there ever be a time when Indy is considered old and boring? I liked the Disney “Tarzan” movie, but have never felt that the Tarzan treehouse was very intriguing. I’ve never read any Conrad, even though I have some e-books. I’m too busy keeping up with the Kardashians.

K. Martinez, I don’t say that phrase out loud too often, but I admit that I think it a LOT. Thanks for the link to Daveland’s photo, man what a collection he has.

Nanook, ganache pulled out of a hat?

JG, ha ha, don’t worry, I feel like everyone who reads GDB remembers everything in vivid detail, while it’s all a blur to me. I was going to say that I thought that the trashed camp was added long before “Tarzan”, and I see that Chuck verfied that.

Chuck, Hmmmm! An interesting contradiction. I’ve put the photos away, now I’m wondering if I had the date wrong. Arg, now I need to look for them to see.

Chuck, I’m not sure where I heard the theory that the rocky elephant was a refugee from the NYWF. Did I just read it on another blog? Was it published in a book? I should have learned by now that there are plenty of bogus stories about Disneyland, both official and unofficial.

K. Martinez, three toucans makes a six pack! There’s too many changes to the Jungle Cruise for me to keep track of. Argh.

Matthew, thank you for all of the additional Jungle Cruise info! It makes me sad to think that the next major change to that attraction will involve Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I like him, but please keep him out of the Jungle Cruise! I have no idea what that argyle thing is; a mystery!

K. Martinez, I mostly remember the python and water buffalo scene because it is on a vintage postcard. I thought I’d read that the Dwayne Johnson stuff was officially announced, they just need to make the upcoming movie. Can it possibly be good? Hopefully better than “Rampage” or “Skyscraper”.

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone for the history of the Jungle Cruise, I really appreciate it.

I can't account for not remembering the trashed camp or the changes to the veldt, but I can plead that the other changes happened during the years I couldn't visit.

I try to make the toucan joke as often as possible, even on scout hikes where the nearest toucan was on a cereal box. In fact, I try to use as much JC humor as possible in daily life. It keeps me in contact with my Disney memories.

I think some of the reasons the JC tableau visual jokes are so effective (as opposed to the skipper patter) is that similar to the Haunted Mansion, there are enough safari and jungle stereotypes in the public consciousness to make them understandable and the boats move slowly so there is enough time for the situation to be understood by the viewers. Long Forgotten blog has a lot of discussion about Marc Davis' ability to create Haunted Mansion comic images that were immediately understandable, even when the viewer was in motion. The patter then supports this by supplying explanations and making it even funnier.

Maybe I'm all wet with this, but at least the yellow cushions float.