Monday, August 31, 2009

DLRR & Rainbow Ridge, November 1960

This lucky lady (wife of Bashful George) was allowed to have her picture taken with one of the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad's crew. Is he the engineer? The fireman? Mr. Choo choo pants? They are on the Ernest S. Marsh, at that time the newest of Disneyland's locomotives; it debuted in July of 1959. I guess they are standing (?) between the train's cab and the tender (where the diesel fuel and water was stored).

The lady still has a hankerin' to ride another train, so howsabout the Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland? As is so often the case in vintage photos, the line for this attraction is practically nonexistent. Hey, there's my poster!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Sunday!

Random sundays are like a box of chocolates - if you leave it in the sun it will melt. Just go with it, OK?

Here's a nice 1965 shot of the old Disneyland marquee that greeted guests for many years. And it was very handy, because what if you had no idea where you were? Kids may have spotted the Matterhorn from the freeway, but once you passed this sign, the excitement in the air was too much to bear. Notice the tiny airplane above the "n"!

From 1960, we have this photo of the audience inside the Golden Horseshoe theater. It's a packed house! I wish I had one of those paper Pepsi cups (assuming they were unique to Disneyland).

And finally, from 1958 comes this weirdly-colored slide; it was faded and red, but I liked the view with the kids on the Fire Truck, the Omnibus, and the lady with her shopping bag (I always want to know what's inside!).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Couple from 1960

Let's start with an odd one: we're looking down from... what? The Monorail? And there beneath us passes one of the Disneyland and Santa Fe locomotives. It's the C.K Holliday, pulling what looks like one of the relatively new sets of cars that allowed better viewing of the Grand Canyon Diorama. We also get a peek at that little backstage building, although it is impossible for me to say what its function was. There are a number of what I think are CO2 tanks so that everyone's sodas could be nice and fizzy.

And here's another slightly different angle (from a Keelboat? A raft? The lower deck of the Mark Twain?) looking towards the Indian Village and where the Canoes loaded.

Friday, August 28, 2009

NYWF Unisphere, September 1964

I know, I know, most of you don't much care for the World's Fair photos. But you'll just have to indulge ol' Major Pepperidge and his many eccentricities!

The wonderful, iconic Unisphere was the symbol of the Fair, and I have to say that it is pretty cool. In no particular order, here are three photos of the giant globe.

This one looks like late afternoon, and those tiny pipples milling around the base gives a great idea of the size of the Unisphere. It's BIG, goshdarnit. See the pipples? And those three large orbit rings supposedly represent the orbits of Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn, and Telstar (the first active communications satellite). Once again, Ham the space chimp gets the cold shoulder. Notice the helicopter in the background, and the tiny moon, it almost looks like it is orbiting the Unisphere!

Here's a much more colorful view, looking through the avenue of multi-hued flags...

... and one more lovely shot!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Disneyland Hotel at Night, June 24 1966

I've posted many thousands of images on this blog, but only a tiny fraction of those are night photos. Understandable really, but when you get a nice one, it's always great.

Here's an interesting night shot overlooking the Disneyland Hotel, circa 1966. In the background you can see the glowing trail left by the Monorail in this long exposure. The Matterhorn is clearly visible, as is the Rocket to the Moon (which would be demolished only 3 months after this photo was taken). Is that the castle to the extreme left?

At the bottom, you'll see plenty of construction going on at the Disneyland Hotel! Thanks to Don Ballard's website, I can tell you that in 1966 the hotel "...underwent a $5.5 million expansion. The Tower Building was expanded to almost twice as big and the Plaza Building was added to the Hotel".

Presumably that's the Plaza Building looking only about half finished. Hey, there's my hammer!

You can see a daytime photo of some construction from this same era here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Plantation House, June 1959

The Chicken Plantation was a landmark feature of Frontierland for the first eight years of the park's existence. When you saw it from the front, it had the look of an antebellum mansion. But this photo shows it from the back (or "Hacienda") side. As you can see, it shows a more southwestern influence, with whitewashed adobe instead of columns and ornate cast iron. Photos from this perspective are relatively scarce, so even though this one is a bit wonky, it's worth a look!

This one is from the same lot, and shows a lone Indian Canoe skimming along the Rivers of America. From this angle, you might not even guess that this photo was snapped inside one of the most popular amusement park in the world; the Imagineers have done an impressive job of evoking the frontier.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Four From Knott's, September 1969

I've been digging through my box of Knott's Berry Farm slides (yes, only one smallish box of 'em) to see if I've missed anything good. There is one group from 1969 - you've seen some of them before (here and here) - that I decided to scan. You'll see lots of buildings and other features that I had previously deemed "too boring". But since then, I have grown to appreciate the Ghost Town, especially considering how much of it has changed or been lost entirely.

Here's the Fire Department, and for some reason I do have memories of this particular building from my childhood. Mostly of those wrought iron gates! The red box mounted to the left front of the building looks like a modern fire alarm (?); now that I think about it, has there ever been a fire that has gone through Ghost Town? The whole place looks like it would burn in a matter of minutes.

Not many people know that Santa Claus once tried his hand at being a prospector. Obviously he had an eye for the ladies! Some of you may remember the redhead. Anyway, everybody is having a swell time. The ladies hold various vintage Knott's flyers, can you recognize any of them?

This little shack appears to be down in the "pit" where you could pan for gold. I don't know if it had any function except perhaps for storage.

Boot Hill is a place that we always ran to, mostly to feel the heart still beating beneath the grave of one unfortunate resident. Such a cool idea, simple and evocative. Behind them is a brook (from a spring that gushes from the rocks), and beside that rests an Indian family. Walter Knott certainly seems to have had respect for native Americans, showing them as people instead of bloodthirsty killers. Ahead of his time, in more ways than one!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pacific Ocean Park Monday

I'm in the mood for some refreshing sea air, so let's go to Santa Monica and visit POP!

I love this first picture, showing folks strolling along the "International Promenade". That domed structure in the background predates POP by many years (as it was part of what was just called "Ocean Park"). Just to the right of the dome is the building that held the Magic Carpet attraction ("... relive enchanting moments from famous fairy tales as we soar above delightful scenes from such childhood favorites as 'The Nightingale', 'Hansel and Gretel', and others"). I'm not sure what the crazy building is in the right foreground; let's hear it from the experts!

This kid looks pretty darn happy. A little too happy if you ask me! He holding a munchie, possibly an eskimo pie. Judging by those wooden tikis, he's on the bridge that took you out to the South Sea Island where you would "Cross a beautiful waterfall, then board a gay Banana Train...". Thank goodness it wasn't a broccoli train, I don't care for broccoli.

If you were wondering about the "beautiful waterfall" mentioned in the previous paragraph, then wonder no more!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mad Hatter & Monstro, July 1965

Today's two photos were a bit on the dark side... left in the toaster just a bit too long. But they are still a good way to pass a few seconds!

Here is a familiar trio; the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and Alice herself! This lovely Alice looks familiar, and it turns out that both photos were taken in July of 1965.

What can I say? Yet another photo of Monstro. He eats boatloads of guests all day long and never gets full. Like potato chips, you can't eat just one!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Adventureland and ?, November 1960

Here are two photos of a man (I'll call him George) who was more than a little camera shy. Trust me, there are several other photos in which he appears, always facing to our left. He doesn't want us to see the three teardrop tattoos that he got in prison, indicating the three people he has killed.

Anyway, here's George surveying the exotic environs of Adventureland. To our right is a souvenir stand full of all kinds of tropical goodies. Mostly woven hats and handbags are visible here, but I can only imagine what unique treasures could have been found there as well!

This one baffles me a bit; I am assuming that this photo was taken on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel.But I really have no idea! If anyone could chime in with some info, it would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, George is still too shy to look at us and smile.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rainy Tomorrowland, 1971

I don't bring you very many photos from the 1970's, but today's first example is a primo specimen!

It's late afternoon on a winter's day; a brief downpour has just passed through Anaheim, but the sky is now bright blue with some clouds still scudding across it. The Matterhorn is sporting its seasonal starry topper, while the rectangular Skyway buckets move silently overhead. It's very unusual to see the Disneyland crowd so bundled up, it seems that everyone is wearing an overcoat or jacket. The wet pavement adds an interesting look to Tomorrowland.

This lady clearly does not believe in smiling for the camera. You'd think she was at a funeral, fer cripes sake. Perhaps her plastic rain bonnet is too tight? Actually, she reminds me of my elder relatives in the midwest; lovely, kind, funny people, but at first glance you might think they were meanies.

Uh oh, maybe the rain hasn't gone completely away just yet...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clock of the World, 1955

There's just one photo for you today, kids. But it's got quality. Quality up the ying yang! It is from a small batch of glass-mounted oversized color slides from 1955, each of which has required a considerable amount of color correction and cleanup.

When this grandma was a little girl, she would have never imagined seeing such a crazy clock like Disneyland's classic "Clock of the World"! Just think, she was certainly born in the previous century, before automobiles and televisions. I used to think of all the changes my own grandmother saw in her lifetime. Anyway, Tomorrowland looks very small and unfinished here, but I would give my eye teeth to be able to see it the way it was back then!

To see the other slides from this lot, click here and here!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1960 Fantasyland

Today's slides were a nasty shade of magenta, so I have attempted to color-correct them as much as possible. Sometimes they turn out great, sometimes not so great. These are sort of "eh".

Nevertheless, this first one still manages to evoke lots of nostalgia as we see Dumbo flying around in the original Fantasyland! The vintage clothing and hairstyles contribute a lot to the old fashioned flavor.

This nice lady (and her cat's-eye shades!) has got to be a kindergarten teacher. I feel it in my bones! "Good morning, Miss Kirby...". Anyway, she has just finished riding the Alice in Wonderland attraction, which explains the giant pink mushroom. I hope.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More 1964 New York World's Fair!

Today I've got three beauties from September 1964 featuring the New York World's Fair.

We're over in the Transportation area, and this photo was taken from the roof of the "Transportation and Travel" pavilion (the one with the green moon dome that some of you might recall). There's a lot of stuff in this photo! To our left is the playful and colorful Chrysler pavilion, with the Hall of Science seen in the distance. The distinctive circle of curved pylons marks the Ford pavilion, home of the "Magic Skyway". You can see the sign for the Avis Antique Car Ride, and Sinclair's Dinoland. In the right foreground, the curved roof of SKF Industries' building can be seen (they made ball and roller bearings!).

Our photographer panned to the right, and we can now see Shea Stadium way back there. The Beatles had performed their legendary concert there just a month earlier! You get a slightly better look at Dinoland, and to our right is the giant tire Ferris Wheel sponsored by US Rubber.

And finally, a lovely shot looking up at the colorful, transparent plastic panels that spanned the roof of the New York State pavilion.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Disneyland Snapshots, December 1964

Here are four humble snapshots from December 1964, slightly faded and yellowed, but that just adds to their appeal in my opinion.

First up, we are looking across a sea of little fiberglass cars towards the Monorail Station (yellow Monorail up ahead). Strange to see so many Autopia autos sitting unused; I would have assumed that the attraction was down, but then we have the next photo...

... and there is a nice view (taken from the Skyway) looking down on the load area for the Autopia. Not exactly a long line!

Still aboard the Skyway, we're heading right towards that mountain! Passing through the Matterhorn was always a particularly fun moment, seeing the speeding bobsleds pass by and hearing the happy screams of the riders.

Junior has his mouse ears on, I hope they don't fly off during the trip down the icy paths! In fact, he looks pretty young, I wonder if he just barely reached the height requirement.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disneyland in Black and White, 1959

A few months ago I posted some nice photos of a family having a good time at Knott's Berry Farm (take a look here if you want to). Today I am sharing some of their snapshots from Disneyland.

Here mom and the kids posing in front of a teepee in the old Indian village. Junior is squinting in the sunlight the way I did in 90 percent of my childhood photos. Mom and junior still have their Guided Tour stickers, sis seems to have removed hers.

Sis is getting safely strapped onto her Pack Mule... mom is there as well, but apparently junior opted out of this ride. Behind them you can see a Conestoga Wagon; this would be the last few months of that attraction's existence. They were discontinued when Nature's Wonderland was added!

Poor dad, didn't he go on ANY rides? Here is the terrible trio in their spinning teacup; the crazy designs on the sides of the cups remind me of Rolly Crump's style, although I have no idea if he had anything to do with them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Century 21 Expo, Seattle - August 1962

I've got puh-lenty of slides from various World's Fairs to share, so today I am posting four more from the Century 21 Expo in Seattle. This fair looks like it was relatively small in size, and yet it inspires strong memories in the folks who were able to see it.

First up are these soaring, open arches, part of the six acre United States Science Pavilion. The arches are designed in what was called "space gothic" architecture (pretty cool!) in the official guide book, which is in keeping with the Fair's theme, "Man's Life in the Space Age". The colorful plastic panels gives them an "Eames" quality that I like.

Here's an odd one showing some of the Fair's many vendors, in this case "Teleflora" and "Budget Rent-A-Car". Guess you could send mom a bouquet with the note, "Having fun at the World's Fair!".

There's the Washington State Coliseum. This building enclosed the state's theme show, a dramatic concept of 21st century man's environment presented in a unique cube structure rising above the Coliseum floor. On the floor level are industrial (RCA, General Motors, etc.) and governmental exhibits.

Here's the International Fountain, "symbolizing man's effort to ascend to the heavens and to explore the reaches of outer space".It was the product of an international competition won by two Tokyo architects. The jets of water could shoot up to 100 feet into the air. Behind it you can see the "Boulevards of the World", the "shopping center of the Fair". "Stores, stands and kiosks displaying the goods and gifts of a dozen nations line the gay and colorful thoroughfare..."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mark Twain, June 1959

Today I have two exceptionally nice photos featuring the good ol' Mark Twain. Starting with this "postcard worthy" image! The Twain is waiting at the dock in front of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, and appears to be unloading passengers. In the foreground, a lone kid (rolled up jeans, black sneakers, red socks) is fishing for trout. Place a rough straw hat on the boy and even with his modern clothes, he would make a convincing Huck Finn!

I have to admit, this one is almost as postcard worthy as the first! We're standing on Tom Sawyer Island, waiting for the next raft to take us to the mainland. The gleaming white steamship is passing us (almost silently except for the splashing of the paddle wheel), looking like something out of a dream. Is that Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher waiting at the dock?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two from Knott's, 1950's

Here are two undated photos of Knott's Berry Farm; undated, but certainly from the 1950's, maybe even the early 50's.

The covered wagon is carrying a full load; I envy the two boys who got to sit up front with the driver. Looks like they are on a paved roadway, and in fact the wagon wheels appear to have rubber on them (?). Guess it made for a smoother ride, anyway. Does anybody know if the covered wagon's route had any special features just for them? Or was it a simple ride around the park?

I have no idea what that thing is, but it has sure has big wheels! I think I've seen something kind of like it used for irrigation; at any rate, it's impressive, and gives kids something to climb on. Notice the cacti growing on the roof of the building in the background!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


It's time for another helping of chocolaty poster goodness.

Check out this beautiful poster celebrating "Nature's Wonderland", definitely one of my "most missed" attractions! The poster is rather scarce, you won't see too many of these around. The design features four scenes surrounded by a little chugging mine train and tracks. "Beaver Valley", "Olympic Elk", "Bear Country", and "Living Desert" harken back to Walt Disney's hugely popular series of "True Life Adventure" films. It's like getting four posters in one! If you look at this picture, you can see signs that were mounted on Main Street's lamp posts, each with one of the four vignettes seen on this poster.

It's hard to believe that the attraction has been gone since 1977; of course the folks who are old enough to have seen it in person tend to remember it vividly. And those who never experienced it, but have seen photos and film of it, wish that they had.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Frontierland Snapshots, December 1964

I recently found a small stack of color family snapshots from Disneyland, dated December 1964. There's something appealing about their slightly faded colors, the white borders, and the little printed-on date. I guess it reminds me of digging through boxes of my own family's snapshots, which I did for hours when I was a kid.

Today I want to share three from Frontierland! The Mark Twain. It really does look like some kind of wedding cake.

Like most people, I tend to head for the top deck when I ride the Twain. But some day I want to try to restrain myself and sit up at the front of the lower deck, where the water seems to be practically at the same level as your feet.

The burning cabin is really blazing here; imagine how it must have looked at night! The small channel on the shore was almost certainly used by maintenance crews, and it looked like the place where the unfortunate settler probably pulled his own boat (the Indians must have scuttled it) onto shore.