Monday, June 04, 2007

Aerial View, September 1961

If I owned a bright yellow airplane in 1961, I would have definitely flown over to Anaheim for a bird's eye view of Disneyland! It's too bad that it isn't a bit clearer, but the view is still great. You can see homes and other developments beginning to encroach on the Happiest Place on Earth. I want to live right next to Disneyland so that I can complain about the fireworks at night! There's still a surprising amount of farmland right nearby, including some where DCA is today.

Let's take a closer look. You can see the bright blue oval of the Flying Saucers attraction (it had opened only a month before this picture was taken), as well as the snow-capped peak of the Matterhorn. There's no "It's a Small World" yet, but there is the striped tent of Holidayland. I believe that the long building at the upper left corner of Disneyland is the roundhouse, even though it isn't round (please correct me if I'm wrong, folks). The desert from Nature's Wonderland is also visible. According to Donald Ballard's book about the Disneyland hotel, 1961 was the year that the Monorail "connected to Hotel's Monorail Station". He also notes that this was the year that a minature golf course, 50-tee driving range, and 18-hole golf course were added (the golf course was removed ten years later for the addition of the marina and the Marina Tower). I can't see the miniature golf course in this photo, anybody know where to locate it?


walterworld said...

Love those aerial shots! Was this the only one in the series?

The mini golf course is directly to the left of the Holidayland tent, across the street and right below the patch of green.

Many of the current and former motels can be seen in this view, including what is now the Anaheim Plaza Hotel (former Chart House) with it's still-extant olympic sized pool. I'll be staying there in a couple of weeks. It's located in the lower right hand corner of the second pic.

Thanks for the great post!

Merlinsguy said...

Nowadays, they could take these shots from the moon.

Anonymous said...

You're close on the roundhouse. The long structure you're pointing out is actually machine shops and lumber mill. The original 'roundhouse' is actually just to the right and perpendicular to this structure (running east/ west instead of north/ south). Not as easy to see, but there. You might also note the first, original monorail barn north of the Matterhorn, just outside the berm. Great aerial photo!