Friday, July 18, 2008

Don't Kill That Bar! 1956

OK, I feel like a dope, I forgot that yesterday was Disneyland's birthday. So, happy belated birthday, Disneyland!!

Here are two scarce vintage photos of the mechanical bear that used to grace the shores of Frontierland. In this first shot (taken from the bow of the Mark Twain), you can see that he is preparing to leap down upon the Stagecoach for a bite to eat. No, he doesn't want to eat the people, silly! He's looking for a pic-a-nic basket. The door has been removed from the Stagecoach, improving the view but increasing your odds of tumbling out and being crushed by those cheerful yellow wheels. Some fun! Nobody's riding shotgun in this photo, but that is because this particular driver's nickname was "Stinky".

From slightly further away, we catch one last glimpse of the bear as he oinks at us angrily. Or maybe he's just trying to be friendly, who can tell with a bear?


spajadigit said...

Oh, that's awesome.
I wish they grab those guys out of the warehouse and bring them out of retirement- set `em up over in the Grizzly Rapids area of DCA. That place needs something cool...

Anonymous said...

I love that little bear. I don't remember seeing him in person, but I've seen footage of him on one of those old "Wonderful World of Color" episodes....or maybe it was the old "Disneyland" televison series, but he was attached to some mechanism below that allowed him to turn around and "run" away. The Winter 1996 issue of "E Ticket Magazine" also featured an article that showed some photos and diagrams of the mechanism and how it worked. At that time, they said some remnants of his track and mechanism still existed on the ridge past Cascade Peak. I wonder if they still exist today or if they were removed when Cascade Peak was demolished. I agree with spajadigit....they need to bring back some of those beloved animatronic critters!!!!

Anonymous said...

I like bars. Okay maybe I don't have much experience with the animal kind, mbut they're big and... furry. Yeah that's a good sign isn't it? That's what Han Notsosolo said when he saw that Wookie. "Aw he's big and furry, he's gotta be good." So Chewy stuck.

Where are we? Oh Disneyland. Happiest place on that planet... Earth isn't it? I think. I can't be sure sometimes. But when I see that place, I know I've got the right planet.

53 years. Gotta admit, I forgot too. Despite so much change and ownership by humans owned by the money they made up and who have little imagination and too often have tacky taste, still the visions and spirit of Walt and all the people past and present trying to make something special of the place can be seen and felt, from memory of the past living in images to much of the place today. May that spirit survive for many more years to come!

And I'd be riding up there with the driver Stinky. Not because I have a dead nose but because the view would be great, and I'd only have to smell him when there was a cross-wind hehe

Anonymous said...

I just had a great idea. Take out the stuff in Inovations, put back the moving theatre seats and install a bunch of classic Disneyland things – sort of like the Carousel of Progress but with different Disneyland eras. We could put that bear in there! Audioanimatronic Walt gives dedication speech …Excerpt from 3-D Mouseketter movie shown at Fantasyland Theatre…Real Atomobiles travel across the stage with neat lighting effects like the old ride, Rocket to the Moon (theatre seats react like the old ones did)….And for you folks born in the 70s…a bit of America Sings! I can think of lots of neat stuff.