Thursday, September 10, 2020

Scenes from 1998

I have some 22 year-old photos of Disneyland, courtesy of Mr. X, who personally took these images. The scans are from negatives, those always give me trouble, but I think they came out OK.

Miniature trains are a staple of many amusement parks, but Casey Jr. is special. For one thing... just look at it! Like an oversized toy. But a ride on a train is enhanced by something fun to look at, and that's what Storybook Land has. I wish I was riding the Casey Jr. Circus Train right now!

Here's an unusual shot, taken aboard one of the Horse Drawn Streetcars. Just above the riders are a series of advertisements for restaurants and attractions - presumably much like something a person might have seen back at the turn of the last century.

Next is this photo of a framed poster for the Disneyland Railroad, as seen at New Orleans Square Station. These elaborate serigraph (silkscreen) posters were created by Rudy Lord and Jim Michaelson, and must have been incredibly laborious (and expensive) to produce. My Bicentennial version came with a note saying that over sixty separate screen were used. Compare that to the more familiar attraction posters that might use five or six screens.

I found a better image of what is generally known as the "1977 version". I can't help wondering if the poster in the previous image is a reproduction printed using the less expensive 4 color lithograph method, or if it is one of the genuine serigraphs?

And finally, here's a nice portrait of the Columbia as it magically moved along the Rivers of America without the sails being unfurled. Some say that thousands of sentient minnows push the large boat, but I think that might just be a crazy rumor.

MANY THANKS to Mr. X for sharing more of his personal photos! There are many more to come.


Nanook said...

The 'advertising' detail images from the Horse Drawn Streetcars is a real treat. And doesn't the Columbia look beautiful as she glides along the Rivers of America-?

Thanks to Mr. X, and you, for sharing.

"Lou and Sue" said...

The picture of the inside of the horse drawn streetcar gets my vote as today’s best! What a unique shot! The rest of the pictures all tied for 2nd place, as they are wonderful you-are-there shots. (The last one could be a postcard.)

Thank you Mr. X and Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

I want to take a walk along the old Nature's Wonderland Mine Train tracks (last pic), and go exploring in that tunnel!

Thank you, Mr. X and Major!


That Disneyland Railroad attraction poster on the Frontierland Station platform was an original screenprint ( there were actually two , one on both sides) in 1997 the last of the WED /WDI silkscreen division in graphics was cleared out after having been shut down. WDI sent one of each poster and sign from their storage to WDI art collections and all other posters and signs for attractions that still existed at all other parks were sent to their on site WDI SQS departments ( Show Quality Standards) at Disneyland, the giant stash of posters were mostly stolen by imagineers who were based in Anaheim. Some however did make it on display : Carnation Plaza Gardens has all new posters put on display in a slightly renovated area - however the posters were literally mounted onto foam-core and then screwed into the frames - with no glass or plexiglass protection. In the following months the “open faced “ posters were dented , smeared with ketchup packets , poked at, drawn on and
Some were partially peeled off at the corners by guests hoping to take it home. The posters included SPACE MOUNTAIN ‘77, MARK TWAIN ‘83 , DUMBO ‘83, SNOW WHITE ‘83, PINOCCHIO ‘83, PIRATES ‘82, JUNGLE CRUISE ‘76, SMALL WORLD ‘93, SPLASH ‘91, AMERICAN JOURNEYS ‘84, BIG THUNDER ‘79, DL RR ‘77.

Other posters sent to Disneyland that were obsolete ( removed attractions or marked with sponsors no longer active ) and the extra back stock of posters were all stolen by imagineers at SQS.

In preparation for Disneyland’s 50th , the two actual Disneyland RR posters at Frontierland station were removed because of moisture/water damage and replaced with digital reproductions , today there are no silkscreened posters on display to guests at the park . Even the few 1950’s and 60’s posters from RED ROCKETS were removed a few years ago.

The Sailing Ship Columbia has its sails unfurled once for a short time when new. Ray Wallace , the Columbia’s architect and designer said the first time the Santa Ana winds blew the ship was almost blown right out of the water!!!

Ray Wallace

Chuck said...

While I love the shot of the Columbia, I desperately want Mr. X to pan right so we can get a look at the soon-to-be-removed Cascade Peak.

I had forgotten about the ads inside the streetcars until seeing this. Nice touch.

Thank you, Mr. X and Major!

Budblade said...

Those Disneyland railroad signs are gorgeous. Mike Cozart’s message that they are gone breaks my heart. We just have to make due with the digital ones for now.

I heard that the Columbia was pulled by the incredible Mr Limpet, but I guess on his day off they need the minnows.

Thanks Major and Mr X for the great pictures once again.

Andrew said...

I was just reading how the Casey Jr. dragon car that is often said to be a former carousel chariot was actually made by using a mold from a calliope that was purchased for use in the Mickey Mouse Club Circus and was later sent to WDW's Fort Wilderness.

Thanks for the awesome pictures today, Mr. X.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I believe that earlier Horse Drawn Streetcar adverts were a bit more colorful and interesting, but I’m still glad to have a picture of something so rarely seen. I wonder if there are still “ads” in the Streetcars?

Lou and Sue, I’m glad you like the Streetcar photo. The rest get “participation awards” - little trophies about the size of a Dixie Cup!

TokyoMagic!, I want to walk through that tunnel and magically find Nature’s Wonderland on the other side!

Mike Cozart, thank you for all of that info! I’m amazed that they treated those beautiful silkscreens so casually. Why not put plexi over them at least? I feel like the posters were not really valued as beautiful works until years after these photos were taken. I remember first seeing attraction posters in some early Howard Lowery auction catalogs - they were only shown in black and white, so I often had to imagine what the colors were really like. One of the biggest surprises was the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea poster, I did not think it would have those browns, and the hot-pink lettering, and then the beautiful aquas and violets in the middle. Imagineers might have stolen many of those posters, but from what I’ve heard, the company had planned on having many of them destroyed. If that’s true, I’m glad that they survived in the hands of people who loved them instead of getting burned or shredded. I can’t imagine being ballsy enough to actually try to peel off a poster from its foam-core backing at the park! I’m not surprised that no silkscreened posters are on display, especially when even less-rare examples can fetch $10,000 and up at auction. And really, the repros do the job pretty well, unless you get right up to them. I’ve seen a number of photos of the Columbia with its sails unfurled, but I’m sure you are right, if there was any wind, it would be a real problem!

Chuck, oh trust me, Mr. X took lots of photos of Cascade Peak. I’ve posted a bunch of them! See a few HERE and HERE (there are more, but those should give you a general idea).

Andrew, yes, I have read the same thing; the dragon car does look like a chariot from a carousel, maybe that’s where the confusion came from? Or else it’s yet another example of misinformation just because it made a good story.

Stu29573 said...

Thanks Mike for the answer to the question that I hadn't typed yet! I was going to say, "I wonder if the Columbia under full sail was ever problematic due to the additional "thrust?" We now know the answer is "Yup!" I would think the Pirate Ship under full sail would also have quite a bit of stress on it. Sails may look great, but they also tend to do their job! Great pics!


MAJOR, everyone, the posters I mentioned above were the later ones from 1976 and after. They were normally inventoried when the WED/WDI silkscreen group was still active... Disneyland sign shop would keep a small number of each on hand as needed. If they required more, WDI would allocate more but the main inventory was kept at WDI. When that division of graphics ( visual communications) was disbanded there was nobody really left to monitor those things and WDI sent the remaining inventory to the respective parks.

Now the earlier posters 1956 - 1972 were also stored by the sign shop and referred to as GATE POSTERS. There was once storage cabinets between the wood shop and sign shop where those were stored. Rolls of these posters shared the lockers so you would see a cabinet labeled “ SKYWAY - AUTOPA - ROCKET JETS “ or “ HAUNTED MANSION - PIRATES - BEAR BAND” and inside would be a rolled “log” of each attraction. Now the story of Disney tossing the posters out is a myth .... there were some cabinets labeled “ Poster Morgue”. These were posters left of removed attractions or posters with obsolete sponsors on them . THESE posters were not thrown out but sometimes used as paint masking , paint mixing and sadly sometimes torn into small pieces and used like a dust pan to sweep up wood shavings from the mill shop next door. In the later part of 1987 The Disney Gallery In New Orleans Square was given all the original 36” x 54 “ posters left in those poster storage cabinets with the exception of several dozen. The Disney Gallery sold that vintage stock of posters for $300.00 each. There were not as many as people think - there were no Rocket to the Moons or Casa De Fritos or Flying Saucers .... those posters were done in small batches and had been used up decades ago. But there were some SPACE STATION X-1’s , 20,000 LEAGUES EXHIBIT, DISNEYLAND HOTELs and SKYWAYs- and lots posters from the 1960’s - at least posters having there 3 or 4 production runs into the 60’s like ALICE, MONORAIL, MATTERHORN , AUTOPIA etc. and attractions that were new in the 60’s and still operating into the 80’s. The Gallery continued to sell the original posters into the mid 1990’s - by then the selection had dwindled to INNER SPACE , SMALL WORLD, AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL ( both versions) PEOPLEMOVER, ROCKET JETS , DUMBO, DISNEYLAND HOTEL , PRIMEVAL WORLD , and a few others . Eventually the Gallery’s remaining stock was sent to the OFFICIAL DISNEYANNA CONVENTION’s MICKEY’S ATTIC shop where props and used park items were sold to convention guests. But this time the posters were marked down to 25.00 each ..... until they were bought up!

Walt Disney World would often sell their original attraction posters when all new poster frames would be installed and “fresh” new posters installed into them . The used posters would be sent to The Kings Gallery in Fantasyland or The Disneyanna Shop on Main Street . And the cost??? Is everyone sitting down?? 100.00 unframed and 150.00 framed!! ( some frames were damaged beyond salvage upon removal) most of the major posters were snatched up by cast members , but many went to lucky guests who happened to be lucky to visit the shops those days!!

DrGoat said...

I guess I'll make it unanimous. The streetcar ad pics are uncommon and so neat to have an image of what your eye rests on while you're having a relaxing ride.
That railroad poster just jumps right at you. Always a favorite. How can it not be. A little bit circusy, in a good way.
We always used to ride Casey Jr. and the Storybook Canal rides, no matter how old we were. Warms the old heart thinking of the times we had with Mom and Dad riding all the more tame, 'sentimental' rides. They used to let us kids do the more strenuous ones by ourselves. I think Mom rode the teacups once and that was it for her.
Thanks for the info on the posters Mike. That kind of stuff makes my day.
Hey Major & Tokyo, wait for me. I've got a flashlight!
Thanks Mr.X and Major.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Shame that Disney World didn't have the Casey Jr. Train or the Storybook Canal Boats. I think I mentioned that in a previous comment long ago, and someone pointed out that such attractions had become old-fashioned and out-of-style by then. Which would be a good point...if they didn't decide to create similar attractions for Disneyland Paris. Then again, the point of many DP attractions was to look as great as the park.

JG said...

Casey and Story Book Land Boats are hands-down my favorites of Disneyland. Like Dr. Goat, I always ride them, usually alone, and think of Mom and Dad. I hope it isn't weird for an old man to ride them by himself, but it's Disneyland after all.

Andrew, thanks for that interesting bit about the calliope. Always wondered about that. Either way, it is a great story.

Train posters; that one strongly resembles a period ad for the transcontinental passage. Knowing the depth of research that Disney was capable of, I'm sure that was an influence. Sad to hear the decline of the poster department, but always grateful for info from Mike Cozart.

Streetcar ads; I had forgotten these. I assume that today, the ads all feature Johnny Depp or Jack Skellington.

I'm up to explore that tunnel, wait up guys. This one was "themed" inside, IIRC, with a rock liner, not the exposed galvanized pipe like the one back by IASW on DLRR.

Major, I thought the Columbia was propelled by Injun Joe's Ghost. Now I have to play the "Boston Come All Ye" again. Good thing I have "Songs of the Sea" on my office I-tunes.

Thanks Mr. X and Major for the pics, and everyone for comments.


Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, why didn’t they just fill the hold with 100 tons of gold bullion? Or even beef bullion? Then the ship would never tip over.

Mike Cozart, ah, I see. So those posters that you mentioned (I’m cutting and pasting here: SPACE MOUNTAIN ‘77, MARK TWAIN ‘83 , DUMBO ‘83, SNOW WHITE ‘83, PINOCCHIO ‘83, PIRATES ‘82, JUNGLE CRUISE ‘76, SMALL WORLD ‘93, SPLASH ‘91, AMERICAN JOURNEYS ‘84, BIG THUNDER ‘79, DL RR ‘77) are all actual silkscreened serigraphs? Many of those are examples that I have not necessarily seen closeup. I do have a Jungle Cruise ’76, and even though it is linen mounted, you can see that it had a rough life. Maybe it is one of the ones that was peeled off of some backing at the park! I remember reading (in “The E-Ticket” I believe) about how some posters were torn into pieces to be used as makeshift dustpans. Somewhere I read (or maybe was told) that Wally Boag had a bathroom where he’d used original attraction posters as wallpaper, including the “Rocket to the Moon” poster. Now THAT is some pricey wallpaper! I know at least one regular reader to GDB has a few posters that he bought at the Disney Gallery for a few hundred bucks apiece, talk about a good return on your investment. I bought two posters from the Janzen brothers, a “Peter Pan” and a “Skyway” for $300 each. I can only assume that they got them for less than that and were selling them at some sort of profit. Gosh, those WDW attraction posters seem to be so rare, the thought of being able to buy any of them unframed for $100 makes me want to weep.

DrGoat, hopefully most people in those streetcars were enjoying the views of Main Street, and not reading those ads! I wonder if the DLRR poster is based on a vintage poster? Or perhaps it is all original. My mom and dad sort of stopped going to the park when the kids got older, though my mom did go back when she was in her ‘70s and enjoyed it. My dad would go on everything, and so would my grandpa. The ladies tended to like to avoid anything to spinny or scary. For tunnel exploration, you bring the flashlight, and I will bring the peanut butter sandwiches.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, I think you’re right, they didn’t want to put in any slow, old-fashioned rides at the much newer WDW, although they did have those Swan Boats for a while. Even those didn’t last that long. On a crowded day I’m sure many people would love to have a slow, relaxing ride to enjoy.

JG, I was listening to a podcast recently where the hosts lost their minds watching the Disneyland 1955 opening special, and Art Linkletter referred to the Casey Jones ride as the “Casey Jones JR. ride”. Meanwhile, that’s what the sign says right in front of the ride! “Calliope” - even though I know it’s pronounced “kuh-lie-oh-pee” my brain wants to say “kally-ope”. Stupid brain! Maybe the ads will be updated for things like Disney+ or for the timeshare program. Injun Joe’s ghost, I haven’t heard that one before, but now I’ll be scared, thanks a lot!

Nanook said...

Let's not forget a Carousel of Progress AP which I bought at the Disney Gallery for $300.00 (less 35%). I was told that was the last one WED had - don't know how true that was; but that was the line. (I may have been the person The Major was referring to as the "... regular GDB reader..." who bought a few posters at the Disney Gallery.

JG said...

Major, it seems like the purpose of podcasts is to have people lose their minds.

There are apparently regional differences in pronunciation of Calliope, and that may depend on the type of device referenced. IAccording to the interwebs, in NOLA, both versions are used, to refer to different things. Cally-ope is used for the steam organ on a steam boat, and Kah-Lye-o-pee used for all other meanings. Of course, NOLA has a lot of odd local pronunciation quirks, like Chartres as "Charters" & c. fun stuff.



NANOOK: well they were probably selling you the (last) Carousel Of Progress the Gallery had. I too bought my Carousel of Progress , Storybook Canal and Grand Canyon Diorama from the Disney Gallery during the first few days the real posters went on sale. Over time I bought a few others there as well. For attraction poster collectors in 1987 the Disney Gallery’s set price of $300.00 across the board was a deal for some posters but very very pricey for others. I bought my first original attraction posters from a few sources around the 1985-1987 period and was paying 50.00 a price for Sailing Ship Columbia , PeopleMover, Peter Pan’s Flight ... and 45.00 for It’s A Small World!!! So when the word but that the Gallery was selling them at 300.00 bucks a poster ..... that seemed crazy....for many posters at the time but reasonable for a few like Submarine Voyage and Alice In Wonderland. The last real attraction poster I bought was at the Disney Gallery cast sale held inside one of the closed America Sings theater : it was the rare green and great Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln poster ( the dollar bill Lincoln it’s called) they had a few - all had minor tears in them and guests were not buying them so they marked them down!! I think it was 100.00 but I can not recall.

I bought another batch of original posters from a retired Disneyland Construction Manager Secretary... she said when construction started on Splash Mountain two paint shop project trailers were being cleared out so the Splash teams could use them and they came across rolls and rolls of old attraction posters - the paint crews had them to use as paint masks for buildings etc ( so sad!!) during this time the 50’s and 60’s posters were considered ugly looking and the crew laughed simple old graphics but she said she thought they were great and was allowed to take them home as long as they were out of the trailers!! Another group I got came from a gentleman who retired from Disneyland Hotel marketing - he started in 1968 and retired in 1994.... he said they had a clerical closet with attraction posters stocked in it and they used them all the time for press events and other decorating at the hotel. That’s how I got a 1967 Pirates poster and Swiss Family Treehouse!!
Those days a long long gone!!!

Nanook said...


Love these stories. I only own four AP's, but my prize (which I got for free - okay - in exchange for some work) was a mint condition Frontierland Tri-Level AP. I hate to think what that's worth these times-!

Melissa said...

It’s the little touches like the streetcar ads that made Disneyland such a different, immersive experience. There was no detail too small to make the effort for.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
How true. I'm afraid what now passes for "little touches" are anything but 'little'. Subtlety is now a dirty word.


The four Disneyland horse drawn streetcars still feature the clerestory after cards which were typical of real horsecars in the 1800’s and even into the transition into electric streetcars. In 2005 all revised ad cards were installed into three of the four . For some unknown reason one horsecar still uses the older version ( it may have been the Horsecar that was painted all gold for the 50th) the newer ad cards feature slightly altered versions of older ads like The Mark Twain and Disneyland Railroad , but also new signs were added for The Emporium, Plaza Inn, The Disney Gallery and even Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.