Monday, August 30, 2010

View From Snow Mountain, August 1958

Before there was a Matterhorn mountain at Disneyland, there was a semi-landscaped pile of dirt known as Snow Mountain. For a brief time guests were encouraged to hike it's winding trails or just sit on the benches at the top and take in the view. Matterhorn1959 recently had a great picture of these trails and benches.

In June of '58, the Alice in Wonderland attraction opened, and mere weeks later these photos were snapped by a photographer with a short right leg. The "Alice" ride is almost as fun to watch from afar as it is to ride, thanks to the elevated track that winds through the giant plants, and those fantastic caterpillar vehicles.

If you look very carefully, you can just see bits of one or two of the female cast members who wore Alice-style blue dresses with white pinafores.


Liddell said...

Ah Alice. It took 50 years to realize that the outdoor elevated track was dangerous to maintenance workers.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

That track is pure evil, a maintenance workers worse nightmare!

I agree that viewing this attraction is almost as fun as riding it. These two photos are great (even with the short leg angle) there's so much going on and things to see - Awesome post, thanks!

Matt said...

I love aerial views of the alice attraction, makes me wish the skyway was still there.

Rich T. said...

Awesome shots of my favorite ride! No wonder that trip down the leaf path used to be so fun: They haven't even installed those little metal "curbs" on the edges of the turns that guests have gotten used to over the years!

Man, I was hoping the new safety rails wouldn't ruin the experience, but the temp solution certainly does look like they're fumigating the thing.

Time for a complete rethink. The look and feel of the outside changed once already with the 1984 redo (It improved most of the ride, but I really like this original look without the out-of-scale real tree and shrubs.) If they must have safety rails, I hope they can completely hide them when not in use, or just re-think the whole leaf path idea: Maybe have riders twist down through a series of leaf tunnels, bridges and archways. Maybe add a few simple animatronics, like the hammer birds they installed outside(The Walrus, Carpenter and Dodo! Ooh! Ooh!).

Anyway, thanks for providing such a great view of the amazing original. The interior of this version was a surreal nightmare (in a good way), and the outside...pure genius.

Thufer said...

Oh my, the horror of no guard / hand rails on the vine. The horror of it all.

I would Walt have responded to 'THE LAW'?

Connie Moreno said...

What GREAT photos!!

JG said...

I always preferred the Fantasyland queue for the Matterhorn, since this ride was on the left for much of the wait. Much more interesting than the submarine lagoon, although that queue was often shorter since it was further from Main Street.

It was a neverending source of entertainment, hearing the upper door slam open and the soundtrack voice "wooohooohhoooohhooooooo!", then laughter and screams as the riders realize they are up in the air. Sometimes I hear that voice in my dreams.

I wonder if the design of that part of the ride took into account it's role as part of the "pre-show" for the bobsleds, or was it a happy coincidence?

Doesn't "matter" now.


Nancy said...

yep, this view never gets old

...and yep, they need to bring it back!

these are great :D

Anonymous said...

Based on history, I expect Walt would have responded to the horror of the handrail by blaming it on the communists!