Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dumbo's Flying Elephants, 1950s

I have a pair of so-so photos from what I believe is 1956 - possibly 1957 - featuring Dumbo's Flying Elephants. 

The first one is the best of the two, with kids being strapped in to their Dumbi - we don't want centrifugal force to fling them 50 feet, that would be bad. The little boy to the extreme left is bringing his balloon with him, I hope he manages to hang on to it. I love all the color, from the various umbrellas, to the hues on all of the soft-peaked caps that the elephants are wearing. Being 1956-ish, the trees around the Skyway Chalet are still small, so we get a good look at its beautiful design.

This second view suffers from a bit of blur, but it's nice to see the elephants in motion. Why aren't those kids soaring up into the air? You do see that sometimes, I never know if they don't understand how to make their vehicle ascend, or if they prefer to skim the ground. What do you think that hand is holding in the lower left?


Nanook said...

I like how the Mom in the first photo has dressed for the occasion by wearing a double string of pearls. And as for that hand - I believe it's holding the world's smallest retractible shade in search of a window.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, look at the line for the Skyway! I think it continues down the steps and might have some additional "switchback" queuing on the other side of those umbrellas.

The person who took that first pic (Dad?) obviously went and got into the Dumbo with the blue hat, where another child was waiting for him. That must be mom (as Nanook pointed out) in the first pic. So they had four kids, possibly. Or maybe their kid's friends or cousins were joining them on their trip to Disneyland.

I think the item in that hand, is a shoeshine cloth....because you never know when your shoes might need shining. Like after a trip to the newly opened Tom Sawyer Island.

K. Martinez said...

I always liked the candy-striped arms of the early Dumbo attraction.

In the first image, that tree planted on top of the cone shaped dirt mound looks peculiar. I Imagine when the trees filled in you wouldn't see the shape of the dirt mounds and it would seem like a natural rise in the backdrop.
Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

Dumbo, the Teacups, and Storybook Land. All great classics rides. Must rides for me. Such wonderful memories. It's a sunny day, and all's right in Fantasyland. Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

I like me some flying Dumbis with soft-peaked hats, so these pics are a win-win! (how cool kids talk)

As far as spinning around at ground level, I don't know about Dumbo, but you get some strong lateral (side-to-side) forces on an Astro-Jet ride that I enjoy just as much as the sense of height.

Chuck said...

That object in the last photo looks like either the backside of a ticket book or the front side of one held upside-down, but I can't seem to find a picture of one that looks quite like that (although at this resolution and with the sun glare there may be a lot of missing detail).

Ken, I noticed that tree, too, and was thinking the same thing. I'm also wondering if that peak survived the construction of Big Thunder Trail. Hmmm...dive into a Disneyland research rabbit hole or continue cleaning the garage? Life is full of such difficult choices...

stu29573 said...

I love the Sunday/Funday pictures! (That is the Sunday theme, right?) Fun Fact #534.765: The Dumbi's outside ears were slightly larger than their inside to assist in circling! Of course that's no longer the case, as they have all been equipped with GPS course correction technology.
By the way, years ago when the Fantasyland Expansion was going on at WDW, my wife and I got on Dumbo at night and found that on the highest level you could see right over the construction walls to fairly well lit areas! A couple of years later we went back and experienced the new area. Yeah, it got a thumbs up from us.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, HOW BIG is your garage?? Didn’t you start on it a couple weeks ago? ;)


"Lou and Sue" said...

One last question: Do Dubai Dumbi fly?

Chuck said...

Sue, it's not that big - only a 2-car - but it is that much of a mess. Like, 10 years' worth of "I'll get to it later" kind of a mess. And since we don't have a basement, it's become a storage unit.

We are trying to be methodical so we can find things later and don't want to accidentally throw away or donate anything we want to keep. And I have been at work all day the past two weeks and was out camping with the Scouts last weekend, so our time has been limited. But I think we'll be done today, and that feels good. It'll feel better when we can get through our rental storage units, but we have a good start.

I have also found a couple of things that I plan to share with the Good Major, so stay tuned.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ah, the classic pearl necklace. My sister is not a big jewelry person, but she still likes the pearl necklace that belonged to our grandma! Not to self: bring and eyeshade the next time you go to Disneyland.

TokyoMagic!, I am guessing that the Skyway was pretty new in these photos, though I have no proof of course. It would make sense that everyone would want to ride the new attraction! And now I’m wondering if mom (with the pearls) shows up in any other photos from this batch… I don’t recall right off the top of my head! Can’t you use a shoeshine cloth as an eyeshade? In a sense, you and Nanook are both right.

K. Martinez, I wonder how carefully those trees were planned out, or if somebody just pointed and said, “Eh, put one there maybe”? However they did it, it worked great!

Jonathan, you know me, I love a bright sunny day at Disneyland! Pictures always look best on days like that.

Andrew, now that you mention those hats, I wonder if they ever sold souvenir hats that looked like the ones Dumbo wore? They’d probably need a sign explaining what they were, but I kind of like them in a Dr. Seuss kind of way. I would love to know if the Dumbo ride and the Astro Jets spun at the same speed?

Chuck, I suspect that “ticket book” is probably right, but it sure is hard to ID. And I’m a big ticket book nut! I have a bunch of unused books, thanks to a friend. Don’t clean your garage, you’ll just throw away good stuff like that Thighmaster and the In-The-Egg Scrambler!

stu29573, er, sure, Sunday is for “fun” pictures, not for “bad” pictures! Yeah, that’s it. It’s a shame that the “flapping ear” technology didn’t really work out, because I like the idea. Especially if they flapped at a high rate like a hummingbird’s wings! You know, I never rode the Dumbos until quite late in the game, because I figured it was just like the Rocket Jets, and I liked being way up on top of that high platform. But I finally did ride Dumbo, and of course had lots of fun.

Lou and Sue, Chuck has a 7 car garage, and where is he supposed to put his priceless Bugattis during the cleanout? He can’t park them next to the pool. And you think you have problems.

Lou and Sue, are there Dumbii in Dubai??

Chuck, my sister and her husband finally did a massive garage cleanup, and it was incredible. They’d accumulated all sort of extra bikes in various stages of disrepair, extra dining room chairs in case company showed up, wetsuits (because they go to the beach a lot), and all kinds of stuff. By the time they were done they could actually park two cars in their garage! It was impressive. You should have the Scout troop clean your garage for you, and make a merit badge for just that purpose. Rental storage units, whenever I have one, I resent paying to store stuff that I probably don’t need anymore! Ooo, now my curiosity is piqued as to what you might share. I can’t wait.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Indubitably, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I like your idea of selling the Dumbo hats. They wouldn't need a sign to explain what they are from, they could just include a little Timothy mouse, sitting or standing inside the brim.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, DANG!

TokyoMagic!, They could have them in "five fun colors". Collect 'em all! As a fan of Timothy Mouse, I would love a hat with a little Timothy tucked in the brim.

Chuck said...

With or without the disco ball?

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, “without” in my case!

"Lou and Sue" said...

“With,” in my case!


Anonymous said...

I was one of those who preferred to have my Dumbo or AstroJet or whatever skimming the ground as a child. Maybe it was the heightened sensation of speed being that close to the ground or maybe because back then and still to this day I have a problem with edges and the like (but am oddly OK in an airplane window seat). I suspect that it's some still suppressed memories from a case of second story auto-defenestration when I was quite little.

Great photos, as always!


Anonymous said...

I remember loving this ride as a kid, and still do, as an old man.

My experience with landscape design is that the trees are very specifically located on the drawings, sometimes even dimensioned as to location, and then there is a requirement that the architect approve the final locations on site. Knowing WED level of detail, I can't imagine that these trees were randomly placed.

And that Chalet is beautiful, right down to the astrological clock and artificial flowers. Too bad it could not be saved.

Thanks Major.