Friday, April 16, 2021

Town Square, August 1966

Here's a nice pair of photos from 1966, taken as the sun was setting, and the Disneyland day was ending for many guests, as evidenced by the large crowd heading through the tunnel out toward the parking lot. Why would they leave when there was still hours and hours of fun to be had? I'm guessing that the mom and dad with the two cute kids was buying balloons to take home, not to carry around in the park.

It's neat that the E.P. Ripley happened to be there for us to get a good look! 

I can't tell if this picture was taken moments before the first one, or moments after. You can see the mom and one of the kids to the right. The balloon vendors know that kids are naturally drawn to the sound of dozens of balloons bumping and squeaking. Maybe we could take one last train ride around Disneyland before we go home?


Thursday, April 15, 2021

"Fun Photo", Tomorrowland 1959

Today I am happy to share a fun souvenir photo (or "Fun Photo") from Tomorrowland, 1959. I guess some stuff happened at Disneyland in 1959; a few new rides or something. But nobody remembers! GDB friend Grant McCormick has shared other photos (see some Halloween photos HERE) with us, and today's is especially charming.

There it is, a neat image of Grant and his mother Pat, who worked at the park back in the the '50's. Grant says, It was pretty cool having my mom work there during my elementary school years. I'd go to work with her often, especially during the summer, sometimes with a friend or two, and have the run of the park while she worked. Many ride operators knew me and would let me on rides for free. We'd have lunch in the employee cafeteria with costumed cast members. Walt himself would walk through sometimes to chat with the employees. Pretty neat stuff for a 7 to 12 year old kid. 

I'm not jealous, you're jealous! Like other collectors, I've tried to acquire as many different Fun Photos from Disneyland as possible, and it took me a long time to finally get one of the Submarine Voyage scene, even though it is apparently not considered one of the rarer examples (I think I have six or seven different scenes). In fact I only got mine last year. Grant's mom is lovely mermaid, she seems mighty surprised to see her son walking around on the bottom of the ocean. Hey, at least he's not watching TV.

Here's a look at a 1961 souvenir wall map to give you an idea of where these Fun Photos were taken. There were other photo opportunities throughout the park, including on Main Street, Fantasyland, and Frontierland.

Dave DeCaro (of Davelandblog fame) graciously allowed me to share an image from his blog, there's Grant's mom (the "lady in red") at the Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow exhibit. I never asked Grant, but I wonder if that striking red dress was a park costume? Or maybe the Crane Company provided outfits for the exhibit hostesses.

MANY thanks to Grant McCormick (and a special thanks to Dave DeCaro) for sharing these wonderful photos!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

More Disneyland Paris from Huck

Here are more photos from our pal Huck Caton, from his 2016 visit to Disneyland Paris! All of these are from "Alice's Curious Labyrinth". 

I've always liked the strange creatures from the Tulgey Wood, including the bread-and-butterflies, rubber-bulb car horn "ducks", the "spectacle bird" (my name for him), umbrella-bodied vultures, and "toolie birds" such as this hammer-headed individual. 

My favorite character from the 1951 "Alice" movie is the Cheshire Cat, with his insane grin, his purple and pink stripes, and his habit of vanishing, leaving only a floating smile and pair of eyeballs.

Say! There's those car horn duck thingamajigs now! They're bigger than I expected. Looks like Disneyland Paris could invest in a power washer.

The hookah-smoking Caterpillar is a pretty great character too, he's right up there with the Cheshire Cat in my book. His curled slippers look mighty comfy. The giant leaves look just like the examples seen outside the "Alice" ride in Anaheim going back to 1958. 

I believe that this owl is another denizen from the Tulgey Wood - he has an accordion neck. I wonder if this maze figure's neck expanded and retracted?

At the center of the labyrinth is this large floral portrait of the Cheshire Cat himself, complete with moving googly eyes. I made an animated gif from two consecutive photos so that you can see for yourself.

THANKS to Huck Caton! There will be one more installment, coming when you least expect it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Main Street, October 5, 1984

It's time for more '80s goodness from Lou Perry, courtesy of Sue B. (his daughter)! This time we have some nice shots of Main Street, U.S.A.

Lou headed out to the park on October 5th, which was a Friday. In the background is the Main Street Lockers, and just to the left of the doorway is a parked antique automobile. I don't think it's a "Gurrmobile", but can't say for certain. I wonder how long that was displayed there? It's a nice touch. I love the two mouse-eared kids on the Horse Drawn Streetcar.

Here's the same Streetcar (the #2), but with a different load of passengers. Two CMs are communicating with a series of clicks and squeals, much like dolphins. The Corner Cafe can just be seen in the background, to the right. Notice the sign for Donald Duck's 50th Birthday celebration as well.

It's yet another Horse Drawn Streetcar. Lou loved 'em! The Motorized Firetruck is almost entirely eclipsed by the Streetcar.

The Town Square Cafe (with the yellow umbrellas) can be seen here; it is the site of the old Hills Bros. Coffee House. Business is booming! Somehow it makes me happy to see so many people riding the Streetcars, I feel like the last few times I went to the park, there were only a few guests on board.

Pretty horse! If only he could talk, he would sound just like Allan Lane (the voice of Mr. Ed).

The young lady in white refers to her iPhone as she and her father walk with some newly-purchased merchandise. What could it be? In the upper right we can see Mary Poppins in her "Jolly Holiday" costume kneeling to talk to a little girl. 

And finally (for today), here's a nice shot of a Horseless Carriage - another Main Street vehicle full of passengers, with more waiting for the next opportunity. 

There are 14 more photos from this batch of Main Street images! MANY THANKS as always to Lou Perry and Sue B. for sharing these great pictures.

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Pair From January, 1961

January, 1961; the sun has been having a hard time cutting through the overcast sky, and the temperatures are low. That pink-shirted settler has the right idea... that burning cabin looks mighty cheerful. I'll bet he wishes he had some marshmallows! "I'll just lay down right here and enjoy the comforting heat". Even the plants on Tom Sawyer Island look kind of sad and limp. They need their Wheaties.

This next photo must have been taken just as the sun had set. Any warmth from the sun is gone, and now the evening will continue to cool off, until any people foolish enough to stay outside turn into blocks of frozen meat. Don't worry, they'll be reanimated the following day! 

Hello, Fred Gurley (the locomotive, not the man himself)! I wish I was taking a 1961 trip on you; I always look forward to that Grand Canyon Diorama, personally. They should add another diorama, this time with the Snake River Canyon; guests would see a certain motorcycle stuntman in his Rocket Cycle, soaring through the air. Inspiring!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sub Lagoon, 1960s

Where can a guy find a good lagoon these days? Say, there's a good one in Disneyland! It's the color of a blue topaz gemstone, which is always a plus. 

This first view is my favorite because the composition included more stuff to the right, such as the curving Monorail track, and some Skyway gondolas going back toward the Tomorrowland terminal, and even a bit of the Autopia queue and the Space Bar.

Oof, that air is thick and chunky style; I'd like to be charitable and call it "haze", but - - it's probably just good old smog, in those leaded gasoline, pre-catalytic converter days. Still, let's pretend that it gives the images a dreamy quality - because we are lightheaded from the fumes. There's practically no line for the Subs!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Vintage People

I sure do love me some vintage people! Let's look at some fun old photos, shall we?

This first example is unmarked and undated, but the boy is wearing a very swell Hopalong Cassidy sweater, so I think it's safe to put this one in the "1950s" category. How much would that sweater be worth today? I can't decide if this family is home or if they are in a rented cabin. I'll say it's cabin, with a lake full of walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and maybe even some muskies... perhaps even a few wily crappies (!), just a short walk from their front door. As the sun sets, the lightning bugs come out, and the mournful cries of loons echo across the water as everyone settles in for dinner. If the fishing was bad, they resorted to canned chili.

Here's another undated example, but somebody wrote "Mary and Mom" on the slide mount. I wish I knew where this was taken, but no such luck. I'll bet Mom looked a lot like Mary 40 years ago. What do you think, is Mary still in her teens? I like the details such as the flower garden, the swingset, the laundry drying on the line, and the modest bungalows that might be postwar. I think the green leaves in the foreground are from a Bird of Paradise plant. 

It's some lucky girl's birthday, and her friends look on with envy as she holds the most beautiful doll ever seen by human eyes. I'm guessing these girls are (mostly) around seven years old, what do you think? The party really got going a minute later, when the birthday girl received a carton of cigarettes. The girl in blue is wearing a Cinderella wristwatch!

Like so:

Friday, April 09, 2021

Tomorrowland, September 1968

Welcome to Tomorrowland. A place where humans are harvested for Soylent Green (try the new "spicy nacho" flavor), and where Replicants run amok. It's the coolest!  

Let's start with this nice view of the Tomorrowland Terrace, where the burgers glow in the dark. Don't ask what the special ingredient is (hint: it isn't "love"). The future can be cold and intimidating, so the Coca Cola signs are comforting. Continental drift has moved Switzerland close to Anaheim, which explains why we can see the Matterhorn so clearly.

This next photo is a real stunner! So much STUFF! The Matterhorn and Skyway, the Monorail and Peoplemover, The Tomorrowland Terrace Stage, and of course all of the people adding color and fun to the image. This one would be Postcard Worthy™ - if postcards were square. 

I love the vivid hues of some of the clothing - bright yellows, vivid reds, vibrant greens, radiant blues. 

And just when you thought things couldn't get any better, you can actually see TWO bobsleds on the icy slopes of the Matterhorn, making my Nobel Peace Prize a virtual guarantee.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Here is a photo of DrGoat's childhood toy, Robert the Robot (from Ideal)! The internet tells me that this toy came out in 1950. DrGoat took great care of it, even retaining the original box with it's fun graphics (he also has the "remote control" and the instructions sheet). Notice that Robert's eyes would light up and his arms would swing back and forth. Just like me. What an awesome toy! Apparently Robert had a son, there he is leaning against the box.

Thank you, DrGoat!

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Knott's Berry Farm, February 1969

It's time to take a break from Disneyland and head about 4 miles to the northwest - to Knott's Berry Farm! 1969 style. It's the Chickeniest Place on Earth™. 

First up is this lovely view of Calico Square, as seen from the Calico Mine Ride. It looks so inviting! The Ghost Town and Calico Railroad is resting, emitting puffs of steam (is the whistle blowing?) next to the water tower that is actually filled with boysenberry juice. I love old views of Knott's when it still had so many big trees - their removal is a real loss, although Eucalyptus trees are known for dropping large branches when you least expect it. Widow makers.

Here's a look at the General Store, where you had to be a General to shop there. It seems like a bad strategy, but it worked. I don't think I ever really noticed the ruined upper stories of some of the buildings, but I sure like seeing them in these photos. Angela Lansbury (to the right) likes it too.

And no set of Knott's photos is complete without seeing Handsome Brady and Whisky Bill. The ladies love 'em, it is plain to see. Even the little girl in pink can't resist Whisky Bill's curly hair and wavy beard. Grandma just remembered something that happened between her and Bill years ago! 

I need to post more Knott's photos.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021


I'm continuing to discover slides that I did not scan many years ago, for one reason or another; but the images are finally getting their time in the spotlight!

From September 1969 comes this photo of a nice lady posing in front of City Hall. Some of you long-time GDB readers might remember this charming woman from other places, such as Knott's Berry Farm, Santa's Land, and yes, other Disneyland photos. I am wondering about the sticker on her sweater. Some kind of pass? Look, there's nobody sitting in any of the chairs in front of City Hall, we can take our pick!

It looks like Pluto snuck up on Red, as he is prone to do. He can't help it, he's a bird dog. Red is mighty happy to see him! I personally enjoy seeing the folds on Pluto's knees; you can imagine how the costume was stored on a shelf, maybe with the head above it in its own cubby. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to walk over to the souvenir booth in the distance and spend all of my money.