Saturday, June 28, 2008

Main Street & Jungle Cruise, October 1963

Ah, the Crystal Arcade! When I think of the many many (P.S., many) hours I spent in there, weeping uncontrollably. Good times....

Actually, I'm not even sure what's inside the Crystal Arcade. Ancient crystal skulls of possible alien origin? Healing crystals for hippies? Flavor crystals? Or is the place just full of stuff? Plush toys, antenna toppers, lightup thingamabobs, keychains, and the like? It looks like dad means business, he has his briefcase with him. "Honestly, Roger, can't you leave your work at home?".

One Jungle Cruise boat has returned from its trip through the exotic tropical rivers of the world, only a few victims were lost along the way. There's a few more boats tht appear to be out of commission, while the boat that we are presumably going to ride in is to our right. Looks like a slow day in Adventureland... but it is October, after all. The kids are in school, and devil worshippers are busy getting ready for Halloween. That doesn't leave too many others!


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Neat shots from 1963, looks like mom brought double purses too!

Hey, those benches are interesting near the boat launch area, why where they there? I don't think I've seen those before, THANKS

Futurama said...

I was surprised that the boat in this picture has fixed lighting on the canopy for night excursions. At some point prior to 1989 skippers starting using a spot light that plugged into the boat's power supply.

Katella Gate said...

Dear Mr. Gorilla Blogger Man: It can be hard to tell when you're kidding, so if you're really puzzled about the goings-on inside the Mysterious Crystal Arcade here goes:

Walt set aside several areas in Main Street to provide maximum ambiance while providing minimal revenue: The Outdoor Flower Market (beautiful, but I doubt they sold enough flowers in a day to pay for the C.M's wages), the silent movie theater showing B&W Mickey Mouse movies, and the Crystal Arcade.

As the name implies the Arcade housed the turn of the (last) century equivalent of video games such as strength testing meters, games involving electro-shock endurance, and Nickelodeon peep shows. Background music was provided by wheezy carnival organs that cranked out such favorites as "Turkey in the Straw".

It was really a kind of retirement home for the old-time gizmos that Walt grew up with, that spawned the Tiki Room, and which Walt, in his divine innocence, assumed that others would be interested in as well.

Needless to say, when Walt died and Eisner's "Under New Management" policies rolled out, the original purpose of the space was doomed. The Nickelodeons were still charging a nickel, and that was going to stop, so the place was pretty much swept clean, and now is selling Mouse plush and candy.

The Accoutaneers have assured us that this "previously underutilized revenue generating space is now creating sufficient income to be on parity per square foot with other non-franchised, non-food sale-points withing the resort proper".

And the Accountanteers tell us that is a *very* good thing.

Maybe that's the speech they should have put on DCA's dedication plaque.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the great comment, Katella Gate! I was honestly not sure what the Crystal Arcade was for, but suspected that it was not always for selling plush toys and thingamajigs. I guess that maximizing profitability has changed a LOT of stuff at the park over the years... it improves the bottom line, but not the guest experience.

Westcot2000 said...

Katellagate-are *you* trying to be funny now? Or did you get your arcades confused? The Penny Arcade is now seating for Coke Corner and an expanded Candy Palace. The green elephant was added for the conversion and has a twin in Paris; so I guess you could say that Dumbo isn't the only elephant that Disneyland can thank Euro Disney for!

The Crystal Arcade had standard Disney stuff at the front and side for most of it's existence, but the glassblowers shop at the back was the highlight. Of course, all that's there now is the wall of plush--so you got the plush part right!

I think the book shop and New Century Jewelry are also considered part of the Crystal Arcade.

Anonymous said...

Major Pepperidge,
Funny comments on the slow day in Adventureland (i.e. kids in school and the devil worshippers are busy getting ready for Halloween..not leaving too many others). You have a good sense of humor and perspective.

Katella Gate said...

An Ode to Error:

Gadzooks! I was wrong
I was wrong all along
And have spoken with misplaced authority.

Let this glairing mistake
I have left in my wake
Be corrected with all due priority

I was well-near to bed
When I said in my head
"Let me check for Gorilla's New Postings."

But my heart turned to lead,
When I checked Westcot said
in a tone most gently unboasting:

"You’ve counted too few
Of arcades, there were *two*
Along Main Street's long bustling promenade"

So I started apace,
And my mind did retrace
Childhood steps up and down the old boulevard.

Upon introspection
(a grand word for reflection)
My memory snapped like a pistol

Westcot had it right
-Two- arcades to delight:
One for Pennies and the other for Crystal

To show my sincerity
I have the temerity
To express my repentance in verse

Though hardly a Shakespeare
The offering’s sincere
I suppose one could really do worse

Although I regret it
How did I forget it
And spout off with such imbecility?

Let it hope it was haste
That the error was based
And not shades of impending senility.

Westcot2000 said...

Very clever--but either way the end result was the same, unfortunately.

Connie Moreno said...

What's up with the benches? I've never seen that before!