Sunday, August 21, 2011

Boring Sunday Post

Every once in a while, I will post some photos that I consider to be underwhelming. And in most cases I will get at least one or two nice comments along the lines of "Hey Major, these aren't boring!". But today I give you two truly unexceptional photos. They were scanned and ready to go, and I might as well just get it over with and use them.

Toad Hall from Storybook Land; I love 'em both. But this grayish image does neither of them justice. Even the cast member in the background looks bored. The only interesting detail I see here is the Romanesque bridge that is covered in ivy, unlike earlier views.

A Dementor has just left Disneyland, having sucked all of the joy and life out of scenes like this. I swear if I was involved in maintaining this ride, I'd be so tempted to place a little plastic skeleton somewhere.


Chiana_Chat said...

lol I so agree. What the heck?

The '70s were nuts about ivy. But really. Could Ivy be far enough away from a scene of miniatures?

What's that odd little sign in the 2nd? And ack, the '70s thing for avocado green. But really, paint the old windmill avocado green?

Most things were great at Disneyland in the '70s but looks like we spotted one thing that wasn't. ;)

Chiana_Chat said...

Hey Nancy, pursuant an earlier comment of yours: Skull Rock was fairly small, maybe 5 feet in height (the skull itself). It was well designed though as it felt right in person. Not some overpowering massive thing, like it was in the movie. Something more approachable, which was great 'cause you walked right under it to go around to the shaded eating area for the tuna boat. The eating area was just disconnected enough from the boat that you could also just sit there as a patio. The shade made it a great spot for taking 5 in the day and the lighting made it lovely at night. The Maj posted some amazingly fine night shots; the skull was also well lit with a dim greenish light inside so it had just the right slight shade of cool creepy. :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, the ivy was distant enough to just read as "green stuff in the background", I think. The odd little sign reads:

"Dream Castle"
"Cinderella's Chateau"
"French Village"

I don't think the windmill is avocado green, it just looks that way in the photo, which has an overall greenish cast to it.

Thanks for your reply to Nancy's question, which I guess I missed somehow!

Vaughn said...

I don't think that cast member is bored, it looks like she is checking her left hand to see if she broke a nail during all the excitement of the rapids they just shot out of, up around the corner, just out of sight.

Vaughn said...

In fact you can see her on the microphone telling everyone to calm down and reassuring them that those folks thrown from the boat will most assuredly be picked up by Disneyland Search and Rescue!

Major Pepperidge said...

Vaughn, I think she's checking her watch to see when her shift is over, so she can get to some serious drinking.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, your commentary takes the "boring" right out of these photos!

Chuck said...

Major, I think the photographer caught the morning of the 29th of February, 1968.

Due to a programming error in the new computerized control system (programmers had forgotten to take into account that extra day in Leap Years), the generator providing color services for northern Orange County shut down for nearly 11 hours before an emergency crew could get it going again. Similar events happened in Tacoma, WA, eastern Wisconsin, and Altus, OK.

Startled authorities noted the problem immediately after sunrise and called for help. There was an attempt to reroute color from the South County color plant, but Orange County historians may recall that South County didn't convert from AC color to DC color production until 1972 and their antiquated rectifier equipment was unable to keep up with demand. There was plenty of excess color capacity in LA County, but an ongoing dispute between the two counties stemming ultimately from a 1923 battle over water rights that by 1968 had extended into an inability to cooperate on any issue dealing with utilities prevented any assistance from that quarter.

The trickle of color coming in from South County and an emergency airlift of red and yellow from Travis AFB north of San Francisco were enough to keep essential color services like traffic lights in operation but left everything else in a sort of washed-out, gray-green hue.

The North County color plant finally came back online at 11:49, and by 4 pm things were beginning to look normal. Things could have been much worse if not for the heroic efforts by the crew at the North County plant. Ironically, most of them were fired in 1970 after a major scandal erupted involving color siphoning and wonen's lingerie.

You can read more about this event at

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks TM!

And Chuck.... whoooeeee! I'll have what you're having! ;-) It's all the little details that make your story (or IS IT??) so great!

JG said...

Major, I am constitutionally unable to find photos of Storybook Land dull or uninteresting, although, I agree, I would enjoy placing little visual jokes here and there. I envision tiny overflowing garbage cans in the alley of the tiny village, or cars on blocks in Gepetto's street.

At the time these photos were taken, I had not seen the Disney version of Mr. Toad, only reading the original book, so the model of this Toad Hall was just a building to me. Later, after the movie came out on VHS and the new Toad Hall exterior was put on the ride, it all ties together very well.

Same for the old mills. I was too young to remember the films and never saw them until they were re-run on the Disney channel in the '80's. These little models were pretty much a blank to me till then,now very special, especially after the treatment at the Disney Family Museum in SF, where the film is highlited as a milestone in technique.

I do not recall the little signs at all, the discovery of which has really made my day. Which proves that nothing is so dull that someone even duller could find it exciting. Talk about a fun thing to collect, I want the whole set.

@Nancy, sorry you missed Skull Rock, Chiana's description is spot-on. One of the best parts of the grotto was the isolation from the midway, the sound of the waterfall was quite loud and kept out the buzz of the crowd. It was a great place to just rest. There was a stone bench at the back edge, which backed up to the Casey Jones track right above, but you didn't know it because of the heavy plantings. This can be seen in old aerials.

My family used to sit at that bench for lunch, cool and in the shade. Blog-Friend Thufer has mentioned how this place was special to him also for the same reason.

There was a lot of design value crammed into a little area right around Casey, Canals, and the Pirate/Skull combo. Nothing like it remains.


Anonymous said...

I wish there were more places to sit and rest at DL. There used to be some attractions that provided a respite from walking around all day. Places like Carousel of Progress, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the DL RR, and the best of all at night...the People Mover.

CoxPilot said...

Skull Rock was a fav spot for me to rest and have a bite of lunch. Also: a good rest spot was a bench between Frontierland and Carnation Gardens. It was under the trees and faced the little stream which led from the castle to under the bridge to Frontierland. That place was especially nice at night.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I am surprised that you hadn't seen "The Wind in the Willows" until the VHS era! I know that I saw it as a child, but always favored the film it was paired with - "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"! Still a favorite, actually. And the old mill... well, I was a cartoon nerd, so I knew about that Silly Symphony. I'm still dying to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum. Someday...

Anon, I was just looking at some photos from 1956, and there are SO many benches around Main Street and the hub. And quite a few people are using them too. I'm sure that today's geniuses figure that if people are sitting on benches, they aren't spending money on food or merchandise.

CoxPilot, I still remember the feeling I'd get being near Skull Rock at night. It was spooky and beautiful at the same time. I'm sure folks who never saw it wonder what the big deal was. You just had to be there!

Connie Moreno said...

Looks like you got your two comments...and then some!

Chiana_Chat said...

Life gave us lemons so we made lemonade Connie lol