Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pirate Ship Construction, 1955

Ahoy, mateys! The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship was not ready for prime time when Disneyland opened in mid-July of 1955. It didn't start serving tuna sammiches until August 29. These two photos were taken sometime in the intervening weeks, while workmen scrambled to finish this icon of the park. Here you can see plenty of scaffolding, particularly at the stern-end, where so much of the ship's magnificent ornamentation would be. Looks like quite a bit of painting still needs to be done, even the mermaid figurehead is unfinished.

Here's a closer (blurrier) look!


TokyoMagic! said...

More incredible pics! I love the construction shots that you post, Major. It's fascinating to see an attraction or a land "in transition". And you nailed it when you called the ship an "icon". I've said it before and I will say it again....they NEVER should have removed it from the park. They should have restored it or rebuilt it at any cost. Shame on you, Disney!

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Just FYI...Captain Hook's pirate ship did get rebuilt at Disneyland Paris and supposedly the cannons, lanterns, tackle, etc. from Anaheim's ship were all saved and reused on the Paris version. I've posted a pic at

Anonymous said...

Great photos! Definitely not something I see every day. I wish I had visited Disneyland before the ship was gone.

What strikes me in the first photo, however, are the teacups. The chain metal fence and plain concrete (asphalt?) just looks so bleak. I like that they added some ornament at the top of the fence, but still....hard to believe it ultimately became the icon it did!

Brer Dan

Anonymous said...

August 29... that's when the stray cat population began hehe