Friday, March 22, 2019

Teacups & Pirates, April 1969

Here are two fine photos from Fun Dad, my personal hero. There aren't too many left from him, and I am hoarding them like Scrooge McDuck hoards money. Still, the day will come when they've all been posted, and then what are we supposed to do with ourselves? It's back to motorcycle gangs, I guess.

I have plenty of photos of the Mad Tea Party attraction, but none that look quite like this. Fun Dad got right up to that beautiful chain link fence to capture the colors and patterns of Old Fantasyland. The teacups themselves are in tasteful pastels, while the turntable of the attraction is a swirly of red and yellow. Lanterns are overhead, with various familiar sights in the distance such as the Dumbo ride, "Fan 1" (seemingly shuttered), the Skyway chalet, and that mini-berm separating Fantasyland from Frontierland. The Fantasyland Theatre is showing "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree", the first in a series of popular animated featurettes featuring the hunny-loving bear.

Next is this nice shot of the entrance to "Pirates of the Caribbean". As is so often the case in Fun Dad's photos, the people milling about are half the fun. Who is your favorite? The lady with the plaid skirt (to the left) is carrying a souvenir wall map, which is always cool to see. 

It's strange to see the way the façade used to look, when guests just strolled up like they owned the place. I believe that the bridge/walkway was added around 1987 in conjunction with the opening of the upstairs Disney Gallery. 

I hope you have enjoyed today's photos!


Nanook said...


It's funny for how long a time a simple recipe of scalloped, painted wood trim, along with chain link proved more than adequate to surround the Mad Tea Party without feeling a need to "+" the look with a design considered more 'up scale'. As for the second image, I think my favorite group of folks has to be the four lads - who appear to be on the road to becoming clean cut fellas, but still bare some resemblance of their former selves: 'young toughs'. (Watch out, ladies-!)

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I wasn't aware the Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree had had a run at the Fantasyland Theater. Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day had just won the Academy Award for Best Cartoon Short Subject and I believe would shortly replace it; I know it was showing on my first visit in 1971.

I am sometimes struck by how short hairstyles remained for most men as late as 1969. Despite what modern programs trying to depict "The '60s" like to portray, this photo proves that longer hair took a while to take root. The guy with Plaid Skirt Woman could pass for pretty much any of my dad's Air Force co-workers from as far back as I can remember.

K. Martinez said...

What Nanook said. I love the fencing for the Mad Tea Party. And I've always loved the bright red and yellow pattern on the turntable too. I also preferred the Pirates of the Caribbean facade without the Caribbean Bridge and stairway to the Gallery. It's probably due to the fact that it's what I grew up with when visiting Disneyland.

I wonder what hunny tastes like? Thanks, Major.

P.S. And if we had to get Pooh, I still would've preferred "Pooh's Hunny Hunt" from Tokyo over what we got.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, mmmm, scalloped wood, with all of that nice cheesy sauce; a real comfort dish. I wish they’d surrounded the Mad Tea Party with barbed wire so that nobody gets any funny ideas. I think my favorite is plaid-skirt gal.

Chuck, by 1969 I think that Academy Awards were not very common for the Disney Studios, I’m sure they were proud of their Winnie the Pooh success. Why not show it in the Fantasyland Theatre? My guess is that all of the original Pooh featurettes eventually played there. And I agree, you have to get several years into the 70’s before you start seeing the hairstyles and fashions that are now general thought of as “70’s styles”.

K. Martinez, the Mad Tea Party almost seems like it was designed to be seen from above. BY UFO’S?? Just like those etching in the Nazca Desert. Maybe Erich von Däniken helped to design it. He did have something to do with a theme park in Switzerland. I understand the need for that “Pirates” bridge, but don’t really like it. And yeah, I wish we’d gotten something more like what Tokyo got when it comes to Pooh attractions.

JG said...

Really enjoying the Fun Dad goodness of these views. The guy had a knack and good equipment.

Agree completely about Old Fantasyland. WED managed to squeeze all the benefit possible out of plywood, paint and humble materials like chain link and rebar, "Some Imagination, eh?" to quote Fantasmic. In my experience, anybody can be an artist with an unlimited budget, the skill comes in when means are limited.

The teacup photo must be early in the AM, since the snack bar is still closed, but both are clearly before the crowd.

I didn't know that Pooh won an Oscar. He's so modest for such a famous bear. I enjoy the Pooh ride, but wish we could have had it and the Bear Jamboree.

The Pirates building has such a classic facade, loosely modeled on the real-life Cabildo in New Orleans. The original entrance meeting the ground is a little abrupt to my taste, I must be in the minority for liking the bridge and the underground courtyard addition. It's a brilliant design that puts a lot of queue in the shade, which is great, while permitting traffic flow over it. Also a great spot for photographs. The cozy scale is spot-on to my senses. It's a fair criticism that it blocks the original front, but I think it's an acceptable trade off. I don't like the curved stairs to the Dream Suite, and wish that area would either be open to the public, or have the stairs taken down.

The four guys look like they are about to break into song.


Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

'The Media' seems to get most everything wrong these days. I've argued before on these pages, that what is often thought of as "The 60's" didn't even begin to rev-up until early 1964 - you could even tie it to the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th of that year. And clearly, as with everything else having to do with fashion, hair styles, etc., where one lives also plays a large part in when "the current craze" becomes 'de rigueur'.

You can be certain when Sears started featuring clothing with flowers and other "hippy" styles, that look was essentially on the way out - but yes, even Sears was "hip" - if but for a mere moment.

stu29573 said...

Ah yes, this was the Pirates that I rode in 1973! Imagine my surprise as a kid to find such adventure behind what looked like a store front! WDW's Pirates just don't measure up...

JC Shannon said...

Nanook, right you are, the media portrays the 60s as one big Woodstock. I remember it differently. In 60 through 64, it was crew cuts and conservative clothes. Later, the thing was Mod clothing and long hair, starting with the British invasion. In 66 when The Monkees show premiered, I and my classmates all sported flowered shirts, hip huggers and big wide belt buckles within a few months. Not to mention Beatle Boots and suits without lapels. We were so hip. After 68, it was a blur of Hendrix, spilled bong water and rolling papers, and there went western civilization as we knew it. Great Fundadyness today Major.

Chuck said...

JG and Ken, I like both Pirates entrances. There's the nostalgic feel of what it looked like when I was a kid, and the fun of walking into what looked like just another shop only to find a Louisiana bayou, but I have no memories of waiting outside in the hot sun since we only visited once during the peak season and, since I was 2.5, no memories of waiting in line for anything have been preserved (I was probably sleeping in the stroller anyway). As JG notes, the new entrance does a good job of hiding the crowd, keeping it in the shade, and keeping their view fresh and moderately interesting rather than just weaving back and forth and back and forth out in the open.

Nanook, you're right about different places having different styles. I moved to a small town in Oklahoma from suburban Ohio in early 1985. I had cut my hair short (about like the guy with Plaid Skirt Woman) in 1983, and most of my male classmates in Ohio had gone to shorter hair by '85 as well, following the styles of the time (although in my case I just got tired of looking shaggy).

The guys at my new high school hadn't gotten the memo about the change in hairstyles, and I came in for a lot of criticism about needing to let my hair grow out. The irony is that by our senior year, most of my classmates had hair like mine.

Anonymous said...

I spent many hours over the years taking tickets at the turnstile when the entrance was like this. Having only the right set of doors open indicates that it was a slow time with just rear load being operated (as per SOP). Because all the action was behind the doors, sometimes guests would come up to me and ask if the attraction was worth the E ticket price. I told them even I would pay it...and I worked there! KS

Alonzo P Hawk said...


I don't know but it looks more like Babushka lady is about to brandish a rolling pin (from her wicker purse)and go after those 4 thugs. They look like trouble and appear to be led by an evil ginger who may or may not be Eddie Hodges.

Anonymous said...

@Alonzo, I think you are right, the little one is eyeing that lady like she just called him out.

The lady in blue to the left is trying to get her husband to intervene and settle things down.

It's gonna be a rumble in the jungle in a second.

@Chuck, agree completely. Shade is essential there now. I think the addition of Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Broken Ride Mechanism caused some rearrangement of the side queue since there used to be a big void back there that would swallow hundreds of would-be pirates.

My two cents on style. The media tendency to divide the world by generations and by decades is a natural outgrowth of the human tendency to name everything so we can discuss it. But, my experience is like most writing here I think, the prime examples of the things that distinguish a particular style or decade usually aren't widespread till it's almost over. It might be more sensible to say the '60's style ran from '65 to '75, etc.

Also, if you are worried about the world ending, move to Fresno, because everything happens there 20 years later.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, yes, Fun Dad was a gift from above! I think we can thank old-fashioned studio craft for the authentic looking detail in New Orleans Square - by then Hollywood had been reproducing historic buildings for decades. I didn’t think about the teacup photo being early (as an explanation for the snack bar being closed) - seems possible. Pooh won an Oscar, but he had Sacheen Littlefeather accept for him. Cabildo in New Orleans, I’ll have to look that up. I agree that the building seemingly going right down to the ground with no sidewalk looks a little odd; wonder why they did it that way?

Nanook, “American Graffiti” was supposed to take place in 1962, but of course everyone thinks it was “the 50’s”. And I am sure that all of those classic songs that we heard on the soundtrack were still played regularly in ’62. Sears “hippy” fashions were the best!

stu29573, ha ha, it’s true, that façade doesn’t give much of a hint of the wonders within.

Jonathan, with the benefit of hindsight, the 60’s and 70’s seems pretty great. I happen to be pretty fond of the mod fashions, and even the early hippie fashions. It’s fun to look at LIFE magazines of the early 70’s to see what was hot as far as clothing styles went. Of course folks still had the Cold War, and Vietnam, and Watergate, etcetera, but we tend to forget the bad stuff and remember the good stuff. Thank goodness.

Chuck, the “Pirates” bridge is very functional, but I am not crazy about it. That’s just me though. Like you I have no memories of waiting in the hot sun; maybe by the time I actually rode it, the lines weren’t that long (or at least got us inside the building).

KS, wow, people didn’t know what “Pirates” was? Seems like everyone has always known! Interesting that the single open door meant that it was a slower day.

Alonzo, Babushka Lady had a lead weight in her purse; she would “kabong” anyone who gave her any guff. Watch out, hoodlums.

JG, now I’m wondering if the Babushka Lady could have actually been related to the boys. The shorter fellow might be listening to his Grandma. Anything is possible! Shade is overrated, and if you are like me and always wear a pimp hat, you bring your OWN shade with you. And as it happens, I AM worried about the world ending. Fresno, here I come.

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm oh so late to the party. I read this post last night, but then forgot to comment before going to bed, not that I have very much to add. I also prefer the original look of the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance. I think the bridge just junks up the area and also blocks the view.

I wonder what Babushka Lady is carrying in her heavy-duty, striped plastic souvenir Disneyland bag with handles? A home-cooked fried chicken with sides, perhaps?

Nanook, the lady on the far left in the POTC pic, is wearing diamond print hostess pants! I'm assuming that she also wears them when she gives smart dinner parties. What I want to know is, how they got them to fit inside a box of Cracker Jack?

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, ooops.....make that the far right, for Checkerboard Britches Girl.

Anonymous said...

One other thing...the next set of doors to the right of the open entrance is for the Mint Julep Bar. Many times one summer when I was working CC, I'd duck into the Bar through the door and get one for free from my future bride to be. :) KS

Melissa said...

I remember the teacup ride at Canada's Wonderland was built on a slant m, so the spectators could see the pinwheel pattern of the platform while it was running.

Melissa said...

I very much still had the feeling of "just walking up and walking in" to both Pirates and the Haunted Mansion in California. I mean, I can see that it was much more so in Ye Olden Dayes, but compared to the more elaborate Florida entrances it still feels a lot more, "Oh, what's this? Let's go in and find out!"