Friday, June 30, 2006

Indian Village, August 1958

I sure love this early view of the Indian Village! Are those wigwams or tipis? I'll answer my own question...according to Wikipedia, a wigwam is a domed structure, therefore these are tipis. One thing that occurs to me is the wonderful landscaping that was achieved at Disneyland. When you see certain photos, it is really pretty amazing how many hills and valleys were carved out of those flat orange county groves.

Anyway, I like the lady sitting on the bench, exposing her gams. Maybe she was trying to flag a passing stagecoach.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mark Twain Loading Dock, January 1959

The Disneyland marching band prepares to board the Mark Twain, while guests disembark from their journey around the Rivers of America. In the lower right, Vesey Walker chats with two guys...maybe they are demanding to see his ticket. Christmas garlands are still on some of the buildings in the background (is the pink building, to the right of the Golden Horseshoe, the Aunt Jemima restaurant?). I really like this busy, colorful image from 1959!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mariachis, August 1958

Kodachrome, we loves ya! Here's a beautiful colorful photo of mariachis performing in Frontierland (whatever became of the little bandstand?) I wish I could tell you more about it...Dan Goodsell has a later photo on his A Sampler of Things blog showing mariachis, apparently from the 1960's. So obviously they remained there for many years. If anyone can add info, please comment!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fowler's Harbor

Here's a nice, early shot of Fowler's Harbor...I guestimate that it is from 1957, based on other slides in this lot. The harbor is one of those neat little areas that goes unnoticed by most visitors, but I've always loved the level of detail on display. Wonder what's being built behind the buildings (over to the left)? By the looks of the haphazard shape, perhaps it is framing for some eventual rockwork.

There are some men in the harbor (including one in a rowboat) that seem to be investigating something. Maybe they are just tending to the landscaping!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rocket to the Moon, 1958

Here's a great photo of the Rocket to the Moon...I never get tired of looking at this attraction! And as an added bonus, the high-angle views taken from the Skyway allow a look at the back stage areas, as well as the undeveloped farmland that surrounded the park in those days.

if you look to the right of the rocket, you can see what I believe is the Dominguez ranch house. The Dominguez family owned and lived on 10 acres of orange grove-covered property, which was purchased by Walt Disney in 1954. Check out the latest issue of The E-Ticket for the interesting details!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fantasy on Parade

With the exception of the Main Street Electrical Parade, I generally don't have a lot of interest in the parades. And I usually have even less interest in *photos* of parades. But THIS parade is very interesting indeed. Yessir. What pageantry, what showmanship! And oh yeah, take a look at the scantily clad babes. The second slide is dated 1965, which is the year that the classic "Fantasy on Parade" made its debut. I would imagine that, back then, Disneyland would be about the last place you would expect to see bare midriffs and navels. After all, Barbara Eden was not allowed to show her navel on "I Dream of Jeannie", which also had a 1965 debut. I think that each photo features the same lovely ladies, don't you agree? Anyway, I just like the pictures, so there.

Incidentally, I will be in New York City for the next four days, so this will be my last post until Monday the 26th. Have a great weekend everybody!


As much as I love the other "lands", there is something about the blend of science fiction and world's fair futurism that makes the old Tomorrowland my favorite. Space travel may become an everyday reality, but I doubt it will be in rockets as stylishly cool as the Rocket to the Moon.

You can see an Autopia car on display, and the WenMac Flight Circle is sort of visible in front of the rocket. I think that some of the Hobbyland souvenir stands are over to the right, there seems to be a lot of people checking out all the neat merchandise. The signage, light fixtures and decor all evoke an optimistic dream of the future that the Tomorrowland of 2006 is lacking.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Alice in Wonderland, August 1958

The "Alice in Wonderland" attraction did not debut until June 14, 1958. Here's a nice photo of the exterior, taken less than two months after its opening. It was certainly a wonderful addition to the original dark rides...I would rate it as my second favorite (after "Peter Pan"). It's pretty cool the way riders emerge from the interior portion of the attraction, winding through the twisty path, which is high enough to afford a nice view of Fantasyland (especially at night). Then, surprise!; you go inside for one last bit of madness.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cascade Peak

This is a nice shot of Cascade Peak with the Mine Train going past the waterfall (is it called Big Thunder Falls?). I admit that this is not the most amazing photo, but I do like one tiny detail...on the horizon, just to the right of the center, you can see a building under construction (it's hard to make out through the haze). That is the facade of the Haunted Mansion! Man, I sure wish I had a closer shot of it as it was being built, but for now this is the best I have. According to, the Mansion (and by this he meant the house itself) was completed sometime around the end of 1962, so perhaps this slide was taken during the spring or summer of that same year.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules (1958?)

The happiest mules on earth set out on another journey through the treacherous (but beautiful) Rainbow Desert. The little girl waves happily to her parents while younger brother (in front of her) concentrates on the business at hand. If ya gotta ride a mule, this is the place to do it! In the background you can see the dark-green Mine Train cars filling up with brave passengers. By 1960 they would be painted yellow as part of the revamped "Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland". But you already knew that, didn't you?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Casa de Fritos, August 1961

This is one of the very few photos of Casa de Fritos that I have come across. Who takes a picture of a restaurant when they're at Disneyland? Well, a few people at least, thankfully. I like the colorful tables and painted thatch umbrellas. I'm starting to think that I need a new scanner in order to glean more detail from these slides. We'll see!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Disney Artist's Exhibit (1955?)

I've been away from my home computer for a couple of days, sorry about that! Here's an unusal look at something that I've never seen before, a temporary exhibit of Disney art for sale. This is from a "souvenir" slide, which I would ordinarily ignore, but I thought that Disneyland fans might find it of interest. The slide was in a box (which I found at Pasadena City College's swap meet) labeled "Main Street - Disneyland", "10 Mounted Color Slides". No maker's name or anything. Anyway, the color is pretty good, though the focus is soft on most of them. At least they are quite different from the later PanVue slides. And they appear to be very early, there was one other box of Tomorrowland slides, and there is no skyway pictured.

This "Artist's Exhibit" looks like an early version of the Art Corner. Since it is from a Main Street collection, I am wondering where the exhibit was located. Looks like it might be somewhere over where the Mickey Mouse Club circus was? If anybody has any info, I would love to know.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Castle scaffolding, October 1958

I've seen a number of slides showing Sleeping Beauty's Castle covered in scaffolding. Somewhere I've picked up the idea that this was due to the addition of the "walk through" scenes (those little dioramas featuring highlights from Sleeping Beauty), though why would that require exterior scaffolding? You can't view them anymore...I've heard theories ranging from terrorist concerns to teenage vandals (and the always-problematic lack of wheelchair access).

A few the lower right hand corner you can see a guy who seems to be a driver of one of the Main Street vehicles (which one?). There's a couple walking by, the man is wearing his yellow "Keppy Kap", and the woman is carrying her souvenir hat. Why is that trash can placed right where everyone will take a picture of it? And finally, it's nice to see how neat and tidy the castle looks with it's well-manicured landscaping.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Garden & Waterfall

Here's an unusual look at the underside of the Monsanto House of the Future (from 1963). There's something about the waterfalls and pools under the house that is vaguely reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" in Pennsylvania. Or am I just nuts? ;-)

Of course the house was removed in 1967, and the King Triton fountain (what's he doing in Tomorrowland?) was placed in the remaining pools.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Rivers of America

Once again I was inspired by Matterhorn1959's "Stuff From the Park"'s an early view of the Rivers of America (the slide is undated). There's the Mark Twain, and of course the Keelboat (I believe it's the Gullywhumper), and you can see a fraction of one of the canoes as well as the raft to Tom Sawyer's Island. I never bothered to ride the Keelboats, thinking they would always be there to try during a future visit.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Liberty Street

After seeing Matterhorn1959's slides of the Hills Bros. Coffee House, I remembered this slide (dated January 1959). It's not the most exciting photo in the world, and the view of the Hills Bros. storefront is nowhere near as good as his. But if you look to the right you can see a rare view of the temporary "construction wall" announcing Liberty Street, "Grand Opening 1959". It really does seem odd that they had so many plans for this area and yet not a single nail was hammered home (as far as I know). Did the park's guests wonder why this construction area was so mysteriously quiet? I've seen photos where the sign announces "International Street" (Grand Opening 1957), and I'm pretty sure there are photos with "Edison Square" as well.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Motor Boat Cruise, 1957

Here's an early look at the thrilling Motor Boats. Whoo-hoo! Dan Goodsell had some photos on his fun "A Sampler of Things" blog (go back in his archives to May 31), they inspired me to find some of my own slides of this attraction. Ya know, I don't believe I have EVER heard anyone say that they miss the Motor Boats (though I'm sure there are people that do). There was just not much to it. It was like the Storybookland boats if you tore out the beautiful miniature buildings. Hey, what's that guy doing on the rocks at the right? Probably there to come to the rescue in case guests were accidentally swept into the dangerous rapids. You can see the Tomorrowland Skyway station in the distance, in spite of the slide's soft focus.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Living Desert

I posted this photo because it is interesting to compare it to the one at davelandblog. The angle is almost identical! It is amazing how lush and green the desert looks in daveland's image, there must have been a rainy spell. At first I thought that the coyote in daveland's photo was gone, but he just jumped to another rock. And the antelope (antelopes?) have rearranged themselves. Does anyone know if the Mine Train operated after dark? Or was it another Frontierland attraction that "closed at dusk"? The Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland is near the top of the list of extinct attractions that I miss the most, it seems likely that we'll never see anything like it again.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Skyway & Snow Hill

So many photos were taken from the wonderful Skyway ("See Disneyland from the Air!" sez the attraction poster), and that's definitely a good thing. In this particular shot, we are heading towards "Snow Hill", the future site of the Matterhorn. I've seen other photos in which guests are walking on the hill, guess they climbed it "because it's there". OK, I have lots of questions for you experts! Is that the Fantasyland Autopia at the right of the photo? There appears to be a Richfield eagle like the one commonly seen in front of the Tomorrowland Autopia. Also, any idea what that curved wall is for at the bottom of the photo? I always enjoy views that show how undeveloped Anaheim was in those days. Farmland everywhere. This is an attraction that I miss a lot, and am still not entirely clear on why it was removed. Was it because it could not easily be made handicapped-accessible? Were lawyers worried about falling customers, or maliciously dropped pennies? Had ridership decreased dramatically? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Chicken Plantation

I don't see too many photos of the old Plantation house restaurant...this is yet another undated slide, though I guestimate that it is from about 1958 - - the plantation was removed in 1962 as part of the eventual New Orleans Square construction. I am curious as to why a giant "open" sign was necessary. To the right you can see the watering tower for the Disneyland & Santa Fe RR (it's hard to see at this size, but there is a train peeking out next to the tower). I'm not too sure what that is to the left of the first I assumed it was Frontierland Station, but it doesn't really look like the photos I've seen of the station. What else could it be, though? You can also see the riverfront bandstand, which might help date this photo...anybody know when it was removed? I'm pretty sure "The Nickel Tour" says, though my copy is in a box somewhere!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Arriving at Disneyland, August 1961

There's a lot going on in this photo, with the tram full of people, the Monorail speeding overhead, the Disneyland Railroad with the bright yellow passenger cars, and so on. Love those posters on the Monorail pylons! I can almost feel the August sun beating down, but as a kid there was no place I'd rather be.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Damaged Viewliner photo

Finding this slide was a heartbreaking experience....if it wasn't so severely damaged, it would be one of the best images I own! There's the red Viewliner at its station, and I love the women in the skyway bucket waving happily at the photographer. In spite of the significant damage, I thought that folks still might enjoy the photo. I've provided a detail of the slide as a bonus!