Thursday, February 21, 2019

Aboard a Keelboat - March 1977

Today I am posting a series of slide scans from the Mysterious Benefactor; the photographer was aboard a Keel Boat in 1977 (these photos were taken for possible publicity use), so the perspective is pretty unusual. I can only think of a single slide in my collection taken on a Keel Boat.

What do you call the guy who mans the controls? The rudder man? The pilot? The cap'n or skipper? I'm going to call him "Fred" until further notice. Fred is good at his job, and he likes it. 

Our fellow passengers are in all six photos - a nice lady with a camera who doesn't seem to ever take any pictures, and a young lady who may or may not be related. You decide. Camera Lady sports a rather plain badge that lets everyone know that she is a guest.

Whoa, this one got really dark. We can just barely see some rocks from Tom Sawyer Island, and the ghostly white shirt of a gentleman.

It's so strange to see the Hungry Bear restaurant in the distance, since it absent in so many hundreds of my own slides. I like eating there for its proximity to the river and the great views - or at least I used to. Any idea what that tags worn by the lady and the girl were for? Was it a sort of passport?

I've only heard a single live recording of a Keel Boat spiel, and the cap'n was pretty jokey on that occasion. I assume that this attraction was probably serious in the early days, and the jokes were added later, much like the Jungle Cruise.

I believe that Fred is pointing (with one finger!) toward the Friendly Indian Village at this point; other theories are welcome.

Oh man, we've rounded the bend, and now the sun is in our eyes. From this angle we can see the distant meese along the shore; he's in the water because meese breathe through gills. I learned that on Animal Planet. 

We miss you, Keel Boats!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Plaza and Frontierland, 1961

Here are a couple of fun photos of a mother and her two boys enjoying Disneyland in 1961!

The day was overcast, and the slides had turned slightly bluish, so the park looks rather cold and gloomy. That won't get our trio down. Here's mom and her boys posing in front of the wonderful Omnibus. Who ever heard of a bus with an upstairs? It also had a basement, but you don't see that in photos. To the extreme left, two girls (wearing souvenir hats) climb the steps to the upper level - I hope there's room for them.

Note to the mom: Elton John called, and he wants his glasses back! She looks great though, I admire her daring sense of style. Note that the Moonliner is covered with scaffolding, just like in this 1958 photo; perhaps the TWA livery is being removed (it became the Douglas Moonliner in 1962)? I based the 1961 date on a previously-posted photo in which we can see a man holding a '61 guidebook, but I know that they sold guidebooks from previous years until they were out of them. So perhaps these photos are from 1962.

I don't recognize the bag that the younger boy is holding - it might be from the Market House on Main Street. I wish I could see it better!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

WDW Postcard Folder, Part 3

Hey hey! It's time for the third installment of Warren Nielsen's scans of a vintage Walt Disney World postcard folder. See part one HERE, and part two HERE.

It's amazing to think that the Haunted Mansion was only five years old at this point (the Florida version, I mean). Were guests as familiar with every detail of this ride back then the way they are today? It is well known that many sculpts show up as different characters throughout the ride. The guy playing the lyre is also a "Julius Caesar" type at the table where a ghostly birthday party is being celebrated. The trumpeter also appears as the lady blowing out the candles in the same scene. 


What are the odds that people could see the back side of water in two Disney parks? And yet, it is a fact.

Liberty Square looks so impressive here - like a Hollywood backlot colonial Philadelphia. Thanks to the Fife and Drum Corps, fifes became more popular than electric guitars in the 1970's. Would I lie?

Walt Disney World was much more than just an amusement park, and golf courses were a major enticement for people seeking a complete vacation destination.

I love this cinematic shot of Main Street during an afternoon parade. Hundreds of people line the streets in the most orderly manner - almost as if there were bleachers, though I know there weren't.

I love Disneyland's train station, but the one is Florida definitely kicked things up a notch. It almost looks like an old time casino, or the home of an important dignitary. Love the train too (is it the "Walter E. Disney"?).

You know, golf is nice and all, but what about foosball? I don't think I'll get an argument when I say that foosball is the greatest sport in the world. The fact that the IOC still hasn't included foosball for the Summer Olympics is a travesty.

There's one more installment of vintage Walt Disney World postcards from Warren Nielsen!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Old Mill and Rafts, May 1966

In spite of my many photos of the Old Mill on Tom Sawyer Island, I am always happy to see it. Viewing it from this angle, there seems to be more stone than I remembered; I thought it was primarily weathered wood (except for that chimney, of course). Considering how often this feature was photographed, people must have found it more interesting than it gets credit for. And it is very pretty, with those vines growing all over it, flowers (narcissus?) growing by the water, and the little mill pond, full of laughing millipedes. 

Having to take a raft to Tom Sawyer Island is mighty impractical, but it sure is fun. I hardly ever board a raft in my daily life - no more than twice a week. Look at how lush and verdant Frontierland is! Also, notice the Keel Boat peeking around the bend in the distance.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Canoes and Cascade Peak, July 1960

It's SNOOZEVILLE, daddy-o! Population, us. Sometimes I wonder... is it better to post nothing new on Sundays, or to post images like the ones today?

Well anyhow, there's a canoe, scootin' along so easily in spite of the dozen (or so) passengers aboard. The could try to paddle to the sea, but they'll never get there. Cascade Peak is brand-new at this point; I can't quite tell if I can see a blurry big horned sheep near the top of the photo, or if it's just a bit of rock.

Next is another view of Cascade Peak as seen from the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train. Gotta love those waterfalls!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A Selection From the 1964 World's Fair

Once again I am delving into a folder of rather old scans from the New York World's Fair that I never posted. But that doesn't mean that they are bad! 

For instance, I love this shot of one end of the General Motors "Futurama" building - it looks like the saucer section of the U.S.S. Enterprise (Captain Picard's spaceship, that is). The structure is just plain massive. Lots of people took photos of the 10-story canopy at the opposite end of this 3 acre building, but this end, not so much. Official press describes this as "...a domed pavilion in which General Motors automobiles and other products are displayed. Atop the pavilion is a rotating time-and-temperature indicator".

Chrysler's pavilion was also mighty impressive, with the giant "1,000,000 horsepower engine" in the distance - one of many wonders to be seen. The odd tower structure just to the right of the giant engine is a 35-foot tall "Autoparts Gazebo". To the right, the red "parasol" sweeping up to an 82-foot tall tower is part of the SKF Industries building, while the white building to our extreme right is the Transportation and Travel Pavilion. The lamps in the foreground make me think of golf balls, teed up for a giant.

If I don't post a photo of the Unisphere, they will take me away. Luckily it looks great!

We're looking across the placid Pool of Industry (with the Fountain of the Planets erupting) at the Bell System pavilion - another massive structure... 400 feet long, covered with lightweight Fiberglas and [resting] on just four pylons. Look how tiny the people appear!  Next to it rises one of the tallest structures at the Fair, a 140-foot microwave tower through which TV shows originating at the Fair are transmitted.

I have lots more photos from the 1964 New York World's Fair to come.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Two Beauties - April 1958

Oh yeah, I love a good photo of the old Stagecoaches, and this one is pretty sweet. with that dramatic sky and the late afternoon sunshine casting a warm glow over the scene. That is one of the "mud wagon" types of coaches, as opposed to the "Concord" type (it could exceed Mach II!) that was also in Frontierland. This attraction was closed in September of 1959.

Next I have this pretty neat picture of the Columbia in Fowler's Harbor, in the early stages of construction. This was just mixed in with a lot of otherwise fairly ordinary slides, so it was a nice discovery. It's hard to believe that this pile of lumber would eventually become the graceful and beautiful square-rigged sailing ship that we know today.

Let's zoom in a little. I wonder if real shipwrights were employed for this project, or if movie industry prop/set builders were so skilled that they could do this sort of thing in their sleep? 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Parade & Subs, July 1971

I'm down to the last pair of slides from a July, 1971 batch. They make for an odd couple, but I don't think there will be too many complaints. 

First is this shot of a parade in progress; I'm a little discombobulated; would the castle be to our left? I was thinking that the trees in the center were part of the hub. (Fun fact: "hub" is shortened from "hubbabubba").

Zooming in, we can see Alice, along with her pals the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, while the Walrus loiters in the background, probably eating some baby oysters. A groovy marching band with red jackets and white pants follows close behind.

Notice the guy in the tree!

And here's a familiar view of a Submarine (the "Skate") emerging from the dark ride portion of the Submarine Voyage attraction. I love a good waterfall, and this has the main cascade, along with smaller baby falls next to it. The Peoplemover raises the score of this photo by 22.7356933 percent!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm

Here are the last few scans from a series of badly faded & damaged slides of Knott's Berry Farm. In spite of their many flaws, I think they are still worth a look.

The first two show the wonderful Calico Mine Train building - certainly one of the grandest and most impressive things ever to be built at Knott's. Scenic railroads had been a feature at amusement parks for decades, but Bud Hurlbut pulled out all the stops for this one. 

This next photo was taken mere moments after the previous example; look for some of the same people, if you are in the mood. I have no idea why the color is so different, but it is what it is. I like the placement of the bench to the right - who wouldn't want to relax, and take in the people, the mine trains coming and going, and the waterfalls?

This very crude and rustic cart was displayed somewhere on Museum Lane (near the Bird Cage Theatre). Constructed from rough-cut tree branches and large wooden wheels, it was probably pulled by oxen or burros. I wish I knew the story behind it - how ancient is it? Where was it found? Who built it?

And finally, we're over at the popular seal pool, next to Old Mac Donald's Farm. If there's one thing I know about sea lions, it's that they are noisy as heck. The only way to shut them up is to feed them pieces of sardine or anchovy. This one is threatening to ring a bell - he probably does it 1000 times a day, like an obnoxious little kid.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Disneyland In Black and White

I'm using up the last three scans from a small group of black and white negatives, probably from the 1950's. The black and white makes them feel more artistic somehow - maybe these are lost negatives from Ansel Adams! Let's just say that they are so that I can sell them for half a million dollars.

Here's our pal Dumbo, before he had plastic surgery to hide those unsightly ear hinges. He had to do it, Hollywood is so superficial. Shortly after this photo was taken, he went on to star in "Dumbo II: An Elephant Never Forgets". Action aplenty!

I've always assumed that Dumbo's trunk is curled to hold a magic feather - was there ever an intention to add such a feather? Or are we supposed to use our imaginations?

This next one is an unusual shot from inside one of Fort Wilderness' towers. Rifles mounted near the narrow windows allowed pre-video game kids to pretend to shoot at baddies below. A freak accident in 2001 caused a little girl to somehow lose most of a finger when it got caught in the trigger of one of the rifles, and that was the end of this feature.

The Skyway added plenty of visual interest wherever it ran, with bright colors and constant movement. Note that the striped sails are unfurled (the exception rather than the rule, it seems), so it looks extra great. I love how clear this photo is.