Monday, October 12, 2020

Adventureland, June 1960

Both of today's photos are from June, 1960 - though they are from different photographers. I figured it would make some sort of logical sense to place them together. 

First up is this view of two ladies about to enter Adventureland, with that familiar arch and scary carved mask. Or is it the shrunken head of a giant hitherto-unknown race that lives in the depths of the rainforest?! Yeah, let's go with that, it's much cooler. Beyond the pink bougainvillea is the purple cloud of jacaranda blossoms. I've mentioned this before, but there are streets in L.A. lined with jacarandas, and at certain times of the year, the fallen petals turn the streets into magical purple lanes. 

If you look closely you can see one of the carved tikis (just to the left of that woman's head); somebody on Facebook has what appears to be this very tiki, in rough shape, but they intend to restore it. What a souvenir!

This next one is from one of our "June gloom" days, with the heavy overcast that often appears that month - it's hard to complain, since it keeps the temperatures down. I love this look at the entrance to the "Jungle Cruise Boat Ride" queue, with the shield that looks like it was painted on the hide of some critter. You can see a cast member just beneath that sign. 

And there's the second Adventureland tiki, hewn from the trunk of a palm tree, and resembling one of the stern Moai from Easter Island -(exept that it's more colorful). I wonder if this still exists, perhaps in somebody's backyard, next to their kidney-shaped pool and barbecue grill? I'd like to think so.


"Lou and Sue" said...

In the 2nd pic, on the right, waaaay in the back - what is that? One of the hotels?

Fun tikis and skulls! Thank you, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

I always forget what year the Jungle Cruise boathouse went bye-bye, but this queue must have been fairly new, in 1960. In the same pic, the clean-cut guys in the white shirts (to the left of the tiki), seem to be checking out the woman in the white shorts. She isn't paying attention to where she is going, because she is too busy texting. That's a good way to accidentally fall into the rivers of the world....or the Rivers of America.....or a canal or lagoon!

Nanook said...

Those tiki's certainly look swell in these images. So swell, it seems a shame you don't see them used in more places - such as the White House, fer instance-!

Thanks, Major.


In the second picture it looks like everyone just left the set of MY MOTHER, THE CAR!! Is that Jerry Van Dyke walking away from us?? And Tokyo Magic : that girl in the white shorts is TOTALLY texting!

Andrew said...

I really like the Jungle Cruise entrance picture. I've only seen one or two good shots of that for some reason. And Lou and Sue, my random guess on that building will be the Plantation House. Thanks, Major.

Stu29573 said...

Ah, Adventureland! I've always considered it to be the most magical land of all (sorry, Fantasyland. You're nice, but you don't have shrunken heads). Ok, maybe NOS might edge it out now, but it's still close. I love the Tiki in the second pic! He seems to be saying, "Hey! Come ride a boat! What could possibly go wrong?" Great atmosphere today, Major!

DrGoat said...

Love that over the shoulder look back at the camera pose. So classy. Adventureland entrance photos are so entrancing. Makes you want to be there right now.
Nanook, Tikis would be great at the White House. There would be a bit of irony involved there maybe.
stu, I know this is a bit hard to believe, but the other day, I think I found one of my shrunken heads I bought in Disneyland in a box of my parents Christmas stuff in a shed at my sister's house. I will post a photo of it and put the link in the comments tomorrow. It's in really bad shape but I don't think I ever bought one of those outside of Disneyland.
PS, to the peanut gallery...I've been using Pinderest to post photos so others can see them, but if anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know.
Thanks Major. Fine way to start the week.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Speaking of walking and texting, a few years back I witnessed a young woman walking and texting in Chicago during rush hour. She proceeded to step in front of a moving bus - and the bus had to immediately swerve - missing her by inches. She never looked up and never knew what almost happened.

Andrew, your guess is as good as mine.

DrGoat, you found a hidden treasure - how cool!! I’m still going through boxes of misc stuff from my parent’s house and am finding all sorts of treasures - pictures I’ve never seen, diaries, etc. It makes you want to keep cleaning out stuff...

Chuck said...

I'm trying to figure out what that white-shorted woman in the second photo is doing that requires both hands. I initially thought maybe she was looking in a compact mirror, but that wouldn't require two hands (unless maybe she's reapplying makeup). I think the stronger possibility is she's looking at a ticket book.

Sue & Andrew, those are both pretty good guesses, but I'm pretty sure that background structure in the second photo is the backside of what was then Don Defore's Silver Banjo Barbecue in Frontierland (the blue-gray portion of the building in the center of this 1958 photo). The DL Hotel didn't get a tower until 1962 and there were no other high-rise hotels in the vicinity in 1960. The color and roof angle are wrong for the Plantation House and the camera is pointed in the wrong direction; the front of the thatched rood structure ran NW-SE, visible in this June 1960 aerial to the NW of the Jungle Cruise dock while the Plantation House was due west.

I found a May 1960 photo over at Daveland that was taken just a few feet to the left of where today's photographer was standing, and you can clearly see the tops of Adventureland/Frontierland structures in the background.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks, Chuck!

MRaymond said...

When I saw the second picture, I immediately thought of an old spiel while waiting in the queue. "We have an amazing venomous snake collection here at the Jungle Cruise. If you would like to see it, it's located in the thatching over your head. (Insert evil laugh)"

Melissa said...

I call sisters on the two ladies in #1. Maybe not twins, but maybe not NOT twins. Similar face, hair, and taste in tan skirts. Instinctive symmetrical posing. They’re on The Road to Adventureland, with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

So cool about your shrunken head, DrGoat! I wonder how it got in the Christmas ornaments? Did it get hung on the tree one year? ‘Cause that would be pretty neat!

Omnispace said...

I second liking the over-the-shoulder pose at the Adventureland entrance. Funny how the sweep totally photo-bombed it. There are many jacaranda trees lining the streets of San Diego as well, especially the area west of Balboa Park.

The Jungle Cruise line is always a source of consternation for me. It was usually so packed that we would often forgo the wait. Perhaps that's why we would try to get to Adventureland first thing in the morning. I hated the shuffle through the queue but the boat ride was always well worth it.

About that woman in the white shorts,not many remember the popularity of sliding puzzles that took over the mid 20th century. We had Huckleberry Hound with Yogi Bear, and I especially remember getting a large one from the San Diego Zoo on one visit. She could be deep into a numbers game.. Or, she's powdering her nose.

Anonymous said...

I think our lady is checking her camera to see how many shots she has left in her film cartridge through the small plexiglass window or is advancing the film. Almost looks like the camera has a flashbulb attached.

On another note, while I pine for the days of the 70s as being the best, I have to admit that this entrance is far superior to what we had when I was working as a skipper back then. KS

Anonymous said...

Wonderful stuff Major!

Wasn't the first tiki the one featured in the very first GDB post?

The tiki in the second picture is new to me. The thatch cover of the queue is the one my Mom hated for fear of (rubber) snakes.

I'm going to be contrary and say the blue building is the Plantation House. I think the Silver Banjo is more directly behind the camera.

The attractive lady in the white shorts has to be texting.


Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, that is the Great Wall of China. You can see it from space!

TokyoMagic!, most people remember where they were when they heard the news that the Jungle Cruise boathouse was removed. It’s like the moon landing, only the Jungle Cruise wasn’t on the moon (in case you didn’t know). Guys are going to check out women in shorts, that’s just the way of the world. I wonder who she is texting? Maybe she’s from the FUTURE.

Nanook, I agree, I would love to see more tikis around Adventureland. They could be carved by actual Pacific Islanders and such, and treated respectfully of course. A tiki at the White House is an idea so colossally great that I don’t even know what to say.

Mike Cozart, oh man, I haven’t seen “My Mother the Car” since I was a little kid! Did Jerry Va nDyke wear all white? Are we sure that’s not a sweep walking away from us??

Andrew, whenever a good photo of the Jungle Cruise entrance comes up on eBay, I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t win it! And you are right, the Plantation House was right next to the Great Wall of China. You know your Geography.

Stu29573, ha ha, go to hell, Fantasyland! You’re outta here! That’s right, I said “hell”, and I’m not sorry. Maybe I’ll say some other bad words too, you just never know. That’s what makes knowing me so exciting. “What will he do next?”. I actually have a hard time choosing a favorite land, because they are so different, like my robot children, but as I have said before, Tomorrowland (not current-day Tomorrowland) has always appealed to me the most.

DrGoat, if only both of those ladies were winking at us, it would be perfect. Or moreperfect, if there is such a thing. And I do want to be in those 1960s photos right now. Get me outta 2020 please. Wow, you found a shrunken head? I always wanted one, and I feel like I had one, but my brother says that my grandmother wouldn’t buy them because they were disgusting. Meanwhile we had plenty of other monster toys, so I don’t know what to believe. Still, VERY cool that you still have yours! Funny that it was in with the Christmas ornaments. As for Pinterest, I have no real experience with it, but I switched to Google Photos when I left Photobucket, and have been very happy with it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I take my mom for walks at a local park, and it’s amazing how often we have to move out of the way of somebody who is staring at their phone while walking, with no clue what’s in front of them. Stepping in front of Chicago traffic seems like Darwinism at work! I can vouch for Sue’s treasures, she has been kind enough to send some fun items to me. Thanks Sue!

Chuck, you don’t think it’s a camera? I assumed she was taking a picture of the group of people to the left. The guy in the gray sweater seems to be stepping toward her. The lady wit the red sweater draped over her shoulders has just seen a bug and can’t move because of fear of bugs, known as “bugophobia”. Hmmm, interesting guess on the Silver Banjo Barbecue, and that first link is pretty convincing. It does seem a little close to be the Plantation House, though that didn’t occur to me at first. Thank you for clearly spending some real time doing research and finding links for all of us!

Lou and Sue, hey I already said that!

MRaymond, was that really part of a spiel from the queue? I love it.

Melissa, thanks to you I am always looking for family likenesses, and for twins too, though I often miss twins that you manage to see. It’s your superpower! I hope Dorothy Lamour is waiting for Bob and Bing, and that she’s wearing a sarong.

Omnispace, aha, so you agree! I think the mysterious man in white is a sweep too. Or it’s Mr. Clean before he shaved his head. Both are possible. The jacarandas in bloom are one of my favorite things, we had a relative visit, and he just flipped when he saw the intense purple petals. I know what you mean about the Jungle Cruise line, and yet I am happy that the ride is still so popular after 60+ years. Oh those sliding puzzles! I had one that was a map of the United States, it was always such a triumph when I got it in order.

KS, the 70’s were great, that’s the era that I remember the best, but it’s funny, I still remember reading some forum, and one person said that it was the ‘80s that was the best! I’m not sure what age one has to be, but there is probably a time when a place like Disneyland really makes the biggest impression. 10 years old? Younger?

JG, yes you are right, that tiki appeared on GDB way back on the first post in May of 2006. It seems like that is an eternity… because it IS. Funny that your mom worried about snakes at Disneyland. I think I’ve mentioned an Aunt of mine who didn’t like to go outside at twilight because she “knew” that bats wanted to fly into her hair. Why they would want to do that is beyond me, unless she was storing insects in it. Well gosh, now I’m going to have to go back and look at Chuck’s photo examples again, I’m so confused.

MRaymond said...

Yes, that was part of the spiel from the mid 70s. Here’s another, a CM would come on the intercom and get everyone’s attention. “Can I get everyone to raise your right food, now stomp it down. Now your left foot, and stomp it down. Right foot again, stomp, left foot, now stomp. Thank You.”

He would come on again in about a minute to say he forgot to tell everyone that a venomous tarantula had escaped its enclosure but the stomping should have taken care of it.

Kathy! said...

Hooray for Adventureland! In the first picture, the tall foliage on the sides really sells the idea of coming upon a mysterious clearing in a jungle. The skulls on sticks give you a comforting sign of civilization. A piece of trash on the ground in the second photo? Oh my! Nice pictures today, Major.

Chuck said...

Now I think it's a camera, Major. Surprised that didn't occur to me, although to be honest, I was a bit distracted as my eyes were naturally drawn to other parts of her ensemble. She has a very attractive purse.

JG, I initially thought that, too, and was really confused by the color and contours of the background structure because they didn't match the Plantation House. It wasn't until I zoomed in on the aerial photo that it suddenly came to me that I was oriented incorrectly.

Note that the NW corner of the JC boathouse is in the upper left corner of today's photo. Looking at the aerial, the corner of the thatched covering just to the left of the tiki pointed east. That means the ticket booth pointed NE rather than north like I had always assumed. From this angle, the Plantation House would have been directly behind the ticket booth and hidden behind the trees.

"Lou and Sue" said...

MRaymond, I LOVE to hear JC stories and spiels!! Did you work at Disney, or do you just have a great memory? Thanks for sharing!

Stu29573 said...

Major, if you think about it, Fantasyland already contains Hell....Wild ride, anyone? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

MRaymond said...

A good memory. They made an impression on my 13 year old brain, although I did think that a JC Skipper would be a great job.

DrGoat said...

Melissa, I'm sure I would have tried to hang it on the tree and just as sure my Mom would have let it stay up for a maximum of 5 minutes before she took it off.


The “blue-gray” structure is not the Plantation House but the Aunt Jemima Pancake House ( this was Casa De Fritos FIRST location) and the south end of what will eventually become the Riverbelle Terrace around . The shorter peaked roof structure would be completely removed for The Riverbelle. This area was originally a dead end in Adventureland when the park first opened and latter was a junction into Frontierland .

Anonymous said...

Chuck, not trying to be a nuisance second guessing you, just fascinated by photo angles. When I first saw the photo, I thought it might have been the DH tower, not realizing how old the photo was. Based on my memory of the angles, and the era, the only thing it could be is the Plantation House, but the blue color is odd. Also recall that PH had an antebellum facade facing the river, and a Spanish adobe facade facing the railroad, maybe part of that was blue? But the aerial you linked seems like even PH is too far away. I'm stumped. Maybe there were backstage buildings on the site of the future POC or the Swiss Tree? BTW, I love how you can see all the boats in the jungle in the aerial photo.

MRaymond, I'm sure it was that piece of spiel that got my Mom wound up. I don't remember the CM's saying that, but it is totally in JC character and Mom was deathly afraid of snakes. I love the tarantula gag too. Much more "lively" than the newsreel soundtrack we have today.


Anonymous said...

@Mike Cozart, you were typing at the same time I was.

Thanks for answering the mystery of the blue building!


Major Pepperidge said...

MRaymond, oh those Jungle Cruise guys! I know that some of those queue spiels have escaped into the wild and can be found on YouTube, I wonder if the ones you refer to are out there? I’ll have to take a look when I have more time!

Kathy!, yes, by 1960 the plants had really had a chance to flourish, and Adventureland was lush and “wild” (meanwhile everything was carefully manicured of course). Don’t you have skulls on sticks in your neighborhood? Our are right next to the sign for the Kiwanis Club. And yes, I noticed that piece of trash, especially with the guy in white (who may or may not be a sweeper) treading right by.

Chuck, ha ha, yeah, that lady has quite a fashionable outfit, I can see why you were distracted. It’s a good thing I didn’t go into cartography, even with that aerial shot of Disneyland I have a hard time getting my exact bearings. But with your instructions, I am confident that you are right!

Lou and Sue, I think there used to be a podcast that was hosted by former Jungle Cruise skippers, I wonder if that’s still around?

Stu29573, good point!!

MRaymond, being a skipper looks like fun, but I’ll bet it is very tiring too. I wonder if I would have been able to do it??

DrGoat, ha ha, luckily my Mom probably would have left something like that up - IF I ever had one! There’s a guy selling a vintage Disneyland shrunken head right now on eBay, but it is a fake. This guy puts phony “vintage” Disneyland price tags on tons of generic items and sells them for big bucks to unwary buyers.

Mike Cozart, well gosh, I am all confused now. I thought for sure that it really was the Plantation House. I’m so dizzy!

JG, our friend Sue thought it might be the Disneyland Hotel tower - it’s not an unreasonable guess. You are right, the Spanish adobe part of the Plantation House was painted a lovely blue color, but that faces the wrong direction, we wouldn’t be seeing the blue side from the entrance to Adventureland. Ha ha, funny how the power of suggestion (the Jungle Cruise spiel) is so strong, your mom couldn’t think of anything but real snakes in the thatch!