Wednesday, April 10, 2019

More Great Frontierland Scans, 1977

Here are six fun photos from Frontierland '77, courtesy of the Mysterious Benefactor. As I have mentioned before, these photos were taken by an official Disney photographer (presumably for potential publicity use), and in many cases there are multiple views of the same subject. 

This kid looks a little bit bewildered as he emerges from Injun Joe's Cave (on Tom Sawyer Island) - he was 20 years old when he entered (notice the "Notre Dame" shirt), and now he is seven! Inside the cave were wonders such as the "bottomless pit", which used to have an artificial echo effect for people brave enough to make any noise in that scary place. I'm not sure how long that feature was present.

Ya see, Timmy, when a photographer uses a tripod, he or she can get nearly the exact same photo over and over. I don't want to imply that the man and woman were too chicken to go into the cave, but... they were chicken.

Let's move on to the old fishing dock, shall we? Guests couldn't rent a bamboo fishing pole and catch real fish anymore, but it was still a nice place to take in the view and set a spell.

Take two... the lanterns make me imagine how nice it would be to sit in that very same spot at night. The trouble is, Tom Sawyer Island closed at dusk, and guests were rafted back to the mainland.

Thanks to the energy crisis of the 70's, the Burning Settler's Cabin stopped burning and mostly just smoldered. The real natural gas flames were gone, replaced by a smoke effect (which was so wimpy that it isn't even apparent in this photo). The dead settler was still there though.

A few wisps of stage smoke try (but fail) to impress! A fire effect similar to one used in "Pirates of the Caribbean", using mylar film (or whatever) and orange lights simulated flames seen in the windows - again, not visible in these photos.

Thanks to the MB!


Nanook said...


Turns out dead settler's were completely unaffected by any sort of energy crisis, and found the entire "crisis" quite relaxing, as can be spied in these images. I took several naps, myself, during those turbulent times.

Thanks to you, and the MB.


Have any of you seen what has been done to the Mark Twain Riverboat dock passenger shelter?? It’s now covered seating for the nearby snack stands! Another casualty to the devastating “operation stardust” . So much of the park’s details, landscaping and carefully planed attraction entrances and being shitted on In order to squeeze in GALAXY’S EDGE!

Melissa said...

Thank you once again, Myster Ben E. Factor! Great pictures made even better by the Major's narration.

I think that settler's just resting; he's pining for the fjords! He heard a discouraging word somewhere! He gazed at the moon till he lost his senses!

TokyoMagic! said...

That couple next to the cave entrance were chicken, but were they disjointed? The way the dead settler looks in that last pic, I'm going to guess that he was at least, partially disjointed.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh, and Mike....I've seen the photos! Just dreadful! As Rolly said just last year, "The park is gone!"

Melissa said...

My honeymoon was quickly o'er,
My sweet young bride was disappointed.
I got her to the cabin door,
And suddenly became disjointed.
We shared a kiss and said, “I do;”
Our hearts began to quicken.
No sooner was the wedding through,
I was a big, disjointed chicken.

Stefano said...

Thank you Major and MB! I loved this cavern as a kid, raunch and all -- a weisenheimer friend referred to it as "You're In Cave". While I would never have been dumb enough to jump off a moving ride, I confess that on a quiet day I did leap into the bottomless pit, with Injun Joe's bloodcurdling scream echoing ( courtesy of Lucille LaVerne's "Snow White" witch vocals). It's about 5 feet deep. And those dark passages you had to crawl through, the fossil imprints on the walls -- all great stuff.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, studies show that napping increased by over 30% during the energy crisis! Catching 40 winks increased by 15%, while snoozing jumped by 26%. No reliable data on siestas could be found.

Mike Cozart, no I have not seen the Mark Twain load area, and I don’t think I want to; I looked at MiceChat’s latest Disneyland Update, and it was heartbreaking. What a crowded, ugly place the park has become. Apparently lots of people still love it anyway…

Melissa, we all pine for fjords at some time in our lives. Usually our late teens. The settler dug his own small fjord at the river’s edge (not really visible here), but it just wasn’t the same.

TokyoMagic!, that couple looks a little woozy, but I don’t know if “disjointed” would apply! I thought that the settler in photo #6 was just really, really relaxed.

TokyoMagic!, I guess I need to find those photos now - at this point how much worse can it get?

Melissa, nice bit of prose, and you also earned 57 points for using the word “o’er”!

Stefano, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of somebody jumping into Injun Joe’s bottomless pit! I guess it was so dark in there that a person couldn’t tell? Funny that they just reused an old woman scream for the murderous Joe.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Bill is wearing his new Arrow shirt.

I loved Injun Joe's cave. The cave was a one-way trail and today's photo is the exit, so maybe the couple in pic 2 are trying to decide to walk around to the other side to enter, or maybe recovering from the terrorizing experience.

@Stefano, was that you?

Ha, the fossils in the walls. I had forgotten the fossils. Now I am one.


JC Shannon said...

I loved exploring TSI as a kid, I think mom turned us loose to get some well deserved rest during a long day. Anyhow, we sure had fun. These are all great snaps, and remind me of how much fun you can have with a little imagination and a whole lot of kid energy. I had to work off my pancakes somehow. Thanks to the MB and Major P. for the memories.

Anonymous said...

I see the peace and tranquility an admission ticket could buy at the time and just sigh. And that's what I thought before I read Mike's comments. :( KS

TokyoMagic! said...

I forgot to comment on the "artificial echo effect" for the bottomless pit. Does anyone remember the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-thru having that effect? There was a hole in the wall to yell into and then you would hear your voice echo. Right next to the hole was a window in front of what looked like the inside of a castle turret (I think it was painted to look like it was made of bricks). It really had no connection to the story of Sleeping Beauty, but it was a neat little interactive effect.

Anonymous said...

@TM, I don't recall the echo in the TSI bottomless pit, just the Injun Joe scream.

But I do recall the bottomless pit with an echo in SB castle.

It was a window into a cylindrical shaft lined with bricks, like the inside of the turret. It seems like it was lit with purple lighting to look creepy.

That was a long time ago, with the original dioramas, not the later ones.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I realize that the two photos show the exit, but doesn’t that seem like an odd place to put that descriptive sign? I still think that couple was too scared to go in.

Jonathan, it really is true, Tom Sawyer Island was a place where people made their own adventures for as long as they wanted. Then they could raft back to the rest of the park for the rides!

KS, yeah, after looking at a recent post on MiceChat, all I could think about was the loss of the quiet places that are no longer there.

TokyoMagic!, gosh, I sure don’t remember that. But of course I remember the scene in the movie where Briar Rose keeps yelling into a hole in the wall. Just screeching and screaming. Now it all makes sense.

JG, what a strange thing to add to the castle, and yet… that’s what makes it great. We could use a little more strangeness at Disneyland.

Sunday Night said...

Welcome to GDB after dark.
When I think of the bottomless pit I see a gum wrapper inside it. Why that particular memory is stuck in my brain I have no idea. TSI was really fun. It would have been fun to pay extra to have an evening walk around lead by one of the island police (they were dressed like guys on F-Troop) culminating with a nighttime meal of chili at the fort and a final nighttime run through the escape tunnel!

Melissa said...

The thing I remember most about the caves on Florida's Tom Sawyer Island is that the floor tilted and the roof got lower as you went deeper. It was truly disorienting, in a really cool way.

Major Pepperidge said...

Sunday Night, somehow I wouldn’t mind if people throw spare change into the bottomless pit, but trash is just wrong. I always wished that the island stayed open at night, but you know that too many people would use the cover of darkness for all kinds of mischief.

Melissa, do you know if the caves at the Florida TSI are pretty much the same as always?

Melissa said...

Sadly, I haven't gone back into the caves as an adult.