Tuesday, June 18, 2019

On the Peoplemover, November 1976

I was delighted to find a batch of slides from 1976 - over 30 of them, and every single one was taken in Tomorrowland. That's super unusual! A lot were taken while the guest was aboard the Peoplemover, for better or worse. Let's all imagine that we are riding it!

It looks like we've just left the Peoplemover load area (with its always-rotating platform) for our journey above Tomorrowland; I like that we can clearly see the rubber wheels embedded in the track - the secret to our show, gliding movement. It almost seems like magic. Hello, Mary Blair murals. Down below, the crowds are light, but a steely-eyed security guard is still making sure that there's no funny business.

"Adventure Thru Inner Space" was one of my favorite attractions, and the Peoplemover gave guests a sneak peek into the queue area, where they could see the endless train of Atomobiles entering the Mighty Microscope - and then seeing them partially shrunk to the size of grapefruits as they moved through a clear tube. It was fantastic!

Stay tuned for many more photos from this batch; some are better than others, but I'm mighty glad to have them.

Monday, June 17, 2019

More Lou and Sue

Today I have more great photos from Lou Perry and his daughter Sue B. - these are from Tomorrowland, circa September 1977. 

What is there to say about the Peoplemover that hasn't already been said? It was smooth (with just the right amount of comforting rumble), quiet, and cool to look at. In this version we can see that the last car has the number 9 on it - a few years ago, two Peoplemover cars sold at auction for a huge sum. I wonder if they appear in this picture?

How's this for a beauty? This Tomorrowland is futuristic, but far from sterile. In fact, it is warm and inviting, with flowers, shrubs, palm trees to help make it feel alive. I just love this view.

Here's the Rocket Jets - I couldn't help noticing the arm that appears to be waving from that one rocket. Did somebody up there know Lou? Or maybe it was just that "hands in the air" thing that people do, like on rollercoasters. 

And last but not least, here is another look at what might be the best Tomorrowland of all. If I had any model-making abilities at all, I'd love to make a version of this section of the land. In excruciating detail! 

Many thanks to Lou Perry and Sue B. for sharing these fantastic photos. There's LOTS more to come!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Two Castles, September 1966

Disneyland has multiple graveyards, and several different trains, and more than one castle (which might surprise some folks). For instance, there's Cinderella's Castle in Storybook Land, perched high on a stony peak - because Cinderella was afraid of lizards. Who can forget the song, "I Freakin' Hate Lizards"? 

Pumpkin coach alert! 

I'm bending the definition of "castle" a little bit, but it's for the children! Over on Tom Sawyer Island there was Castle Rock - a geological formation carved by eons of wind, water, and bugs. Cinderella hated bugs too, remember? There's the song, "These Damn Bugs Are Annoying" that we all sang in grade school. 

You could live in Castle Rock, I suppose, but the nearby treehouse was much more comfortable.

Are there any other castles in Disneyland (besides Sleeping Beauty Castle, of course)?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Eastman Kodak Pavilion, 1964 New York World's Fair

Most of you know that I am a big fan of the 1964 New York World's Fair; if only I could have seen it for myself! But I just have to find enjoyment in vintage photos of the place.

One of my favorite photo subjects is the Eastman Kodak pavilion, with its distinctive "Kodak Picture Tower" that featured five giant photos (the tower looks square from many angles, but it was a pentagon when seen from above - or even when it wasn't seen from above). The photos were actual huge prints (30' X 36'); each one was lit with 6 million "candles". Exposure to the elements meant that these photos were replaced approximately every 4 weeks; and that means that most (if not all) images of the Picture Tower that I have display different photos. Which I love!

Here's one, date-stamped "June, 1964". There's a trio of Siamese kittens on one side, and boats on the ocean on the other.

Next we can see some flowers, and a little boy playing baseball. I wondered about the photos and where they came from, and one piece of publicity said, The pictures will be changed every three or four weeks while the Fair is open six months this year and six months next; consequently, there was a need for a great many special pictures for this part of the Kodak exhibit. That need set off the most extensive picture-taking project ever for Kodak's Photo Illustrations Division. People, places and things were photographed, with emphasis on the beautiful, the dramatic, the familiar and the unfamiliar. To provide the necessary pictures, Kodak's in-plant photographers covered the United States by caravan and flew all over the world.

You can see the same little boy in this brochure image.

A mother and son are attacked by seagulls in a charming beach scene, while collegiate chimpanzees clown for the camera on the other screen.

Another Kodak brochure showed some of the many photos that eventually wound up on the Picture Tower. There are the three kittens in photo #1, and the chimps in photo #3. I know I have another slide with the pretty bride, too. Eventually I'll have to dig out my other pictures of the tower and feature them here on GDB.

I hope you have enjoyed today's visit to the 1964 World's Fair!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Matterhorn Stuff, November 1958

I have a neat one to share with you today! As our photographer was gliding above Fantasyland (heading toward Tomorrowland) he snapped this picture looking toward the distant Sleeping Beauty Castle. But the interesting thing is that flat-topped pile of dirt in the lower right - early construction for the Mighty Matterhorn.

Who knew that dirt could be so fascinating! Just look at it. That is some grade-A soil right there, I tell ya what. Is it loam? Or clay? Or even silt?? If you are a fan of dirt like I am, the possibilities are thrilling. 

The low, striped structure against the castle is (I believe) restrooms. I know you will anyway, but please correct me if I'm wrong! I think that's where the Snow White Wishing Well and grotto were put in 1961.

We can also see the back of a sign, lower left-ish, that showed guests what all the hubbub was about.

I don't have a good photo of that famous sign, but "ElectroSpark" on Flickr does (image used with his permission) - along with hundreds of other beautiful vintage slide scans. Check it out, you can thank me later (all major credit cards accepted).

Imagine seeing this sign while walking past the pile of dirt seen in my photos - you'd have to be made of stone to not get excited at what would be coming to Disneyland in mere months. "Bobsleds - - in California? What the hey?". I think it's humorous to see that they list "Glacier Grotto" within the Matterhorn as a separate attaction, especially since the inside of the mountain was  basically a big empty nothin' for years. "Ice crystal caverns" were added to the ride (along with the abominable snowman) in 1978.

Thanks again to ElectroSpark!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Main Street, September 1960

I just scanned a small batch of slides from 1960; most of them feature a pretty blonde lady posing (presumably) for her husband, in various familiar locales. 

Uh-oh, it looks like there might be trouble. Grandma is not too happy that this young chippy is in her photo - who does she think she is? And dressed like that! G-ma is considering hitting her with her purse a la Ruth Buzzi. Violence is never the answer (this has been a public service announcement).

No husband worth his salt could resist taking a photo of his sweetie over in the Flower Market. I wonder if there was ever a plan to sell real flowers here? Even the heartiest of blooms wouldn't survive a hot day in a storage locker, and shipping live flowers wasn't an option. Fabric, wire, and plastic would have to do.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Pair From July, 1971

It's time for more random fun from Fun Dad! These are both from 1971 - earthlings were still landing on the moon (in Apollo 14)! 

The first photo is a fun (and scarce) look at the much-missed Tahitian Terrace restaurant. A pretty dancer has just emerged from a magical waterfall while a singer plays her ukelele; hopefully a steel guitar was part of the arrangement. What a great place to have a smoke and eat some teriyaki! It was Disneyland's own little corner of paradise. Notice that the guests wear leis.

Next is a more standard and familiar view from over Fantasyland (which looks especially verdant here). Hooray for the unfurled sails on the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship! We're passing above the "Fan 1" snack bar, and soon we'll arrive at the fanciful Swiss chalet.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm!

I have some very nice old Knott's Berry Farm images for you today, starting with this neat picture of the front of the ol' #40, the "Gold Nugget", built in 1881 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Chuggety-chug.

There's the little train depot and its pal, the water tower. Both are excited to greet their new neighbor, the Calico Mine Ride. I like the line of benches placed near the ticket booth for people who were "just looking". I'm surprised how close the parking lot was (to the right).

And here is one of Bud Hurlbut's cute little mine trains, looking so shiny and new. They aren't real steam locomotives, but it's hard not to love them just as much, given their history (nearly 60 years of use).

Here is a closeup of the sign for Chuck!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Scenes from Main Street, 1996

Who donated today's photos? I'll give you two guesses. No, I'll give you ONE guess. That's right, it's Mr. X! He handed me an envelope with strips of color negatives that are (probably) from 1996. For some reason I never could get the color to turn out just right, but I think that subsequent entries will be a little better than the jpegs I'm sharing today. Fingers crossed.

In any case, X was taking plenty of pictures back in those days, and his love of Main Street meant that we have some sweet images from that "land". Like this unuusal view looking view  toward the Castle; a horse-drawn streetcar is veering to our left, while most people seem to be working their way northward (it appears to be early in the day). It's interesting how the little island of greenery looks like a miniature field of wildflowers.

You can't fight it, but City Hall looks mighty nice, and suitably respectable here. There's a person on the steps holding something shaped like Mickey's head. But what

I thought that this third photo might have been taken pre-"Partners" statue, because I guessed that it was taken from the area right in front of the castle. But "Partners" was added in 1993. Maybe these photos are from much earlier than 1996? Unfortunately, Mr. X is not entirely sure.

More flowers! Lupen, I guess. With this photo I am officially announcing that this blog will now be devoted to lupens instead of Disneyland. So exciting!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Mark Twain at Dusk, 1950's

Dark Disneyland. It has an ominous ring to it; Ray Bradbury would have liked that. Whoever took these photos (and the rest of the pictures in the same lot) wound up with a lot of dark images. Read the instruction manual! But today's pictures of the Mark Twain still have a certain quality to them.

The final warm rays of sunlight on hit the front and very highest parts of the steamboat as it passes the ominous-looking Plantation House. Some of the ghosts from the Haunted Mansion probably lived in the Plantation House for a few years. We can barely see a sail from a raft to Tom Sawyer Island, too.

Sometimes cameras lie, and you know that the scene looked much lighter and brighter to the human eye. I can't help feeling a little envious of those passengers who get to see a still-unsullied frontier as the sun fades and the air is warm and still. A little banjo music wouldn't be a bad thing.