Friday, April 20, 2018

Beautiful Main Street, U.S.A.

Let's celebrate Main Street U.S.A. today! Why the heck not? As I have mentioned too many times before, Main Street is a land that I didn't appreciate that much in my foolish youth. It was only later that I came to realize what a beautiful creation it is. 

First up is this lovely photo (circa 1959) showing the Disneyland Band marching the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, the "Jams and Jellies" store, the Penny Arcade, and up toward the Candy Palace and Coke Corner, with (of course) the castle in the distance. Crowds are very light on this day in May, and nobody is walking in the street. Don't wanna get run down by a marching band! It's one of the worst ways to go.


Next we have this wonderful October 1961 image looking northward. Main Street looks so appealing! It is colorful without being crass. The trees are just the right size, too. I love the Surrey with its bright yellow wheels, and even the green trash cans spaced regularly along the curb. There was probably a bag of C&H sugar in that planter right in front of us!


Jessie the Cowgirl's mom enters from Stage Left, holding a camera. Take lots of pictures, lady! In the distance, men wear fedoras, ladies wear dresses, and there is a distinct lack of children.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Paper Bags from the Hallmark Communication Center

Hooray for more Disneyland paper ephemera! It is said that "One man's trash is another man's treasure", and I think that today's post shows that it is true. I have three paper bags from the old Hallmark Communication Center on Main Street (1960-1985) to share with you today.

First up is what I am guessing is the oldest of the three, partly because of the wonderful spot illustrations that include the Moonliner (so, pre-1966), and partly because of the color palette used. However, I would not be surprised if it is from around 1965 or thereabouts.


Next is this elegant version in stripes of gold and black. Very "Beverly Hills"! Thanks to a receipt still inside the bag, I can date this one to 1966. 


This third example seems to date from the very late 1960's or very early 1970's. It makes me think of the show "Laugh-In" (1968-1972) - you bet your sweet bippy! It also reminds me of the vinyl flower stickers that my mom put on the walls of the "kid's bathroom", instantly making the place very groovy.


Man, it's hard taking photos of stuff under a blacklight with just your phone! But so worth the effort, wouldn't you say? 


Stay tuned for more trash/treasures!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Frontierland, February 1967

It's that time again! No, not Howdy Doody Time - it's  time for more vintage Frontierland photos, from the MYSTERIOUS BENEFACTOR. All of these are dated "February 1967".

Some lucky photographer was allowed to sneak around the Friendly Indian Village and snap a few photos that mere mortals would never be able to take. Was the photographer dressed like an animatronic Native American? Or was he wearing a Hawaiian shirt, tan slacks, and brown loafers? 

In any case, he was able to take this unusual view standing behind the young Indian boy and his faithful pooch as they both look at the river. A canoe passes by, close to Tom Sawyer Island.. it sure looks like some of the passengers are noticing the photographer's Hawaiian shirt. 

I'm not sure I ever realized that the boy is holding a bow and arrow.


Same day (presumably), different angle... and there goes the Columbia. The Indian boy is not impressed. This is another neat view of the river that most people would never see.


How about a third view from inside the Indian Village? I'll do it, just for you, but don't tell anyone. Now we're back among the cluster of teepees, while peaceful Native Americans grind corn and... well, I'm not exactly sure what those two fellows are up to. Stretching skin over a small framework of some kind.


And finally (for today), yet another shot of the Columbia. There are LOTS of shots of the Columbia in this bunch! But the sails are unfurled, the sky is blue, and everything looks pretty darn swell.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mystery Parade, April 1976

A group of slides from April 1976 mostly consisted of photos of a parade - unfortunately. I'm not crazy about parade photos! But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Add a drop of red food coloring for pink lemonade, why don'tcha.  Anyway, most of these pictures are not that great, so I'm going to post eight in one post. 

Things start promisingly enough with the Dapper Dans. Not parade-related, but who cares. Straw hats, string ties, and goldenrod vests are the order of the day, while badass sideburns are optional. Maybe they are singing, "Back In My Honey's Lovin' Arms".


If a picture is worth taking, it is worth taking twice.


OK, now it appears that we are  really in parade mode, and we have an entirely different barbershop quartet. How many were there? These guys are wearing much fancier embroidered bronzy brocade vests, so they are clearly mom's favorites. 


I should add that I was going to entitle this post "America on Parade", due to the date - that parade debuted in 1975 (the year before the Bicentennial, of course), and there was a televised special on April 3rd of 1976 (the same month as the date-stamp on these slides). My primary memory of this parade is of the large puppet-like figures with oversized heads - and yet, there is not a single photo of those characters in any of my parade photos. What gives?

Meanwhile, Mickey and Minnie pass by (too bad we only see their backs!), decked out, perhaps, in Easter attire? Perhaps this is an Easter parade, and not America on Parade. 


Whoa, that is a crazy angle. Don't fall over, Snow! I call her "Snow" because we are friends. She has a basketful of lovely Spring flowers (from the Flower Market?), and a crown of flowers, supporting my Easter hypothesis.


You can't have Snow White without the Seven Dwarfs; they're right behind her. They look youthful and refreshed, as if they just came back from a relaxing Caribbean vacation. Too bad about the head blocking 1/4 of the image.


Pinocchio is nearly eclipsed by another head, but I think he is safe. For now.


And finally (for today), Alice has left Wonderland for a bit, and she brought Tweedledum and Tweedledee with her. Alice must have been on that same vacation as the Dwarfs, she is very tan!


There are more parade pictures to come - at least two more post's worth. Sorry!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Skyway Views, January 1978

Here are a few nice views taken from the Skyway in 1978!

We're on the Tomorrowland side of the Matterhorn, looking north toward "It's a Small World". But I find all of the stuff in front of it to be of more interest. The Peoplemover! The Fantasyland Autopia! Perhaps a smidgen of the Motor Boat Cruise! And to our left...


...say, there are constructions walls around the Matterhorn and its chalet/queue area. But why? Well, it's 1978, and that's the year that the much more open interior of the mountain was filled in; the glowing ice caverns were added, and a certain abominable snowman moved in. In addition, the bobsleds went from a single-car configuration to a two-car arrangement. 


"It's a Small World" had been in Disneyland for over a decade at this point, and it was a classic from the get-go. As we can see here, the original white and gold color scheme was already getting some changes, in the form of some blue accents. Nothing too drastic! 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Frontierland Views, June 1958

Every batch of slides will have a few better-than-average photos, some "decent but not exciting" photos, and a few that are hardly worth mentioning. Today I have two that fall into the latter category!

This isn't a terrible photo, by any means - it's just that we've seen a jillion pictures of the Burning Settler's Cabin by now, and this one doesn't stand out, really. I suppose one could admire the landscaping, which is still years a bit scraggly, having only been planted a few years earlier. And the cabin is blazing away cheerily. Otherwise... meh.


Next up is this photo of the landing for the Mark Twain and the Columbia; it's kind of a long shot, so we can't see too many details. I like the stacks of crates and casks, and there are a lot of bales of cotton. The small blue-green structure was known as the ice house. The Golden Horseshoe is way in the distance, as is the roof of the Red Wagon Inn. 


Saturday, April 14, 2018

British Airways Concorde - 1975

Today's "Anything Goes Saturday" photos should be fun for fans of airplanes - I have some neat shots of a "Concorde" - a British Airways Supersonic transport ("SST"), on display for curious onlookers at some unnamed airport; the slides are date-stamped "August 1975". One website states that this particular aircraft (the F-WTSA) appeared at the Paris air show in May of 1975, I suppose it is possible that these photos were taken there. 

Or, if the photographer was really lazy about taking his film to the Photomat, this could have been taken in October of 1974, when this SST embarked on a sales tour of the U.S. Pacific coast, which included Mexico City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Palmas. Somehow this seems more likely to me.


This was the fourth Concorde to be built (out of an eventual total of 20). In 1973, several trial flights were done, such as Toulouse to Iceland - 3,728 miles in 3 hours, 27 minutes. Concorde entered service in 1976 (though they had been testing them since 1969), achieving speeds of just over Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound), cutting travel time in half compared to standard jets. Plus they LOOKED COOL!


As many of you know, Concorde (no "the" article in front of it!) was a joint venture between British Airways and Air France (the Soviets developed their suspiciously-similar "Tupolev Tu-144" at around the same time). You had to have deep pockets to fly Concorde - a round-trip ticket would cost roughly $12,500 (adjusted for inflation). The aircraft could carry about 100 passengers.


All was not perfect, though; the aircraft were very expensive to build, very heavy, cost a lot to maintain, used lots of fuel, and the sonic booms restricted the number of airports willing to deal with the disturbance. 

In July of 2000, Air France flight 4590 crashed on takeoff after running over some runway debris (which punctured a fuel tank and blew a tyre), killing everyone aboard. It was the only Concorde accident with fatalities - until then it was considered one of the safest planes in the world.

The crash, the 9-11 attack in 2001, and the general economic downturn all contributed toward the eventual retirement of all Concorde aircraft on October 24, 2003.


I believe that the F-WTSA is currently on display at Orly airport Paris. It sits outside exposed to the elements, and has been vandalized by taggers at least twice; and of course it is showing the effects of water and age. I hope that it will be preserved for people to admire for years to come!


Friday, April 13, 2018

Views From The Sierra Tower, August 1964

Both of today's photos were taken from an upper floor (or possibly the roof?) of the Disneyland Hotel's "Sierra Tower", which was only 2 years old in '64. Do these qualify as "aerial" views? Maybe not. But they're still kind of cool.

Let's start with this one, showing the vast parking lot; the blue Monorail kind of blends in with blacktop (cloaking technology?!), but you can just see it as it pulls in to the station at the Hotel (the tracks had been extended to the Hotel in 1961). 


This zoom got pretty grainy, but you can just see a parking lot tram coming in from the right side. The colorful rectangles are the back of the "Disneyland Hotel" sign. The building in the distance with the cone-shaped roof is the Melodyland Theater, which had opened in 1963. It later became a church, but was eventually torn down in 2003.


A second photo is pointed more toward the park, with the mighty Matterhorn looming over all. We can also see a few taller landmarks, like Main Street Station, the Opera House, and the Douglas Moonliner. 


The yellow Monorail is zipping along the beamway through what was left from the old "Holidayland" picnic area, although that officially closed in '61. To the left is a structure that was part of the early construction for the Haunted Mansion. 

The Sierra Tower was renamed the "Dreams Tower" (pee-yew!) in 2007.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Presented By Wonder Bread!

I know a lot of Disneyland fans miss the old "Country Bear Jamboree" (closed since 2001); perhaps I was just at the wrong age to love it when I saw it (somewhere in my obnoxious teenage years). After my one viewing, I never went back, so I can't say that I miss it. But I know most people do!

Somebody took a series of photos while in the CBJ theater, circa 1979; by then the attraction had been in Disneyland for 7 years; debuting without a sponsor, Wonder Bread signed on in 1975. Wonder Bread, the softest, squishiest, most-fortified bread ever! While I generally prefer a good sourdough, whole wheat, or oat nut bread, the six year-old in me still loves some Wonder Bread once in a while.


I am posting these in the order in which they were taken (based on the number stamps), but that doesn't help much when trying to figure out what song the bears are playing. It might be the classic "Bear Band Serenade". Who can name all the bears? I sure can't!


I know enough to declare with 47% certainty that the bear just out of frame to our left is Henry, the host. And after 15 seconds of research, I can also tell you that the bear to our right is Wendell. Which means that the song "Mama, Don't Whip Little Buford" is what we would be hearing if we hadn't fallen asleep.


Uh oh - it's those guys again. Did I somehow mess up the order of the photos?


There's the "Sun Bonnet Trio"! Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah. They actually rise from beneath the stage, hankies in hand - which means it's time for some tears. The song is "All The Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down". 


I only wish that this attraction had survived until today so that it could receive a "Star Wars" or Marvel overlay!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Coming Soon!

Today's photos come to us courtesy of GDB friends Irene and her brother Bruce. All four of the images are related to the debut of the "Indiana Jones Adventure", which opened in March of 1995. If my math is correct that is 73 years ago (metric years, of course).

I love this first photo, taken from the old parking lot. I can't say I'm too nuts about those cars! Where's the fun, where's the style? They all look like they could have been owned by my grandparents.

In the background is the large building that contains the "Indy" attraction. It is painted in two shades of "go away green" (why, it's practically invisible!), along with what appears to be some sort of applied strips of faux stone texture. 


Here's a cool "photo op" scene set up in the plaza, in front of the ticket booths. You didn't even need to pay admission to enjoy this feature! In fact, why go in the park at all? Just stand out by the plywood cutouts for 8 or 9 hours, and then drive home. Nobody will complain.


Meanwhile, inside Disneyland... I hope you didn't have your heart set on enjoying the Jungle Cruise; it was closed while the river was rerouted, and a new two-story boathouse was built. This was one of several different signs to let folks know that they'll just have to come back in '95. We'll see pictures of a few more signs in an upcoming post, thanks to Bruce.


And finally... from this angle, the Indy ride looks ready to go, but that barrier shows that they still need to be sure that this ancient dig is safe for guests. This is a very nice example of Imagineering setting the mood.


Thanks as always to Irene and Bruce for sharing these neat photos!