Friday, August 19, 2011

Entrance & Main Street, August 1959

To all who come to this happy place, welcome! Unless you're a hippie, in which case you can go to Russia and live with the other commies.

I love this first photo of the C.K. Holliday sitting atop the east tunnel entrance to the park. Mostly because I love the Disneyland Railroad in general; I could just ride that about four times in a row (except that the people I'm with never want to do that). Check out the banner for "Disneyland '59". So many wonderful attractions made their debut only weeks before this photo was taken. As somebody else pointed out on another blog, it is a bit odd that the "Skyway and Glacier Grotto" is heralded as a "new adventure". The Skyway had been there for 3 years; and what was Glacier Grotto?? Was it just the vast hollow interior of the Matterhorn?

Here's one of Main Street's "white wings", the sanitation workers who wore spotless white uniforms. What I wouldn't give for one of those helmets (or is it just a hat?)! This White Wing might not be smiling on the outside, but he is smiling on the inside. And that's what counts. These two men are posing in front of the Swift Market House, home of the world's fastest meats.

I wanted to zoom in for a closer look at some of those street lamp signs (which I covet), as well as the sign suspended over the street, and yet another banner.


Chiana_Chat said...

The Main St. Cinema is featuring Pearl White. That was one of the favorite flicks of the White Wings, after of course Snow White.

This guest in the 'shades must be a fellow sanitation worker from a long line of sanitation workers. That explains the proud stance, hand on the shovel that tool of the trade, and the simpatico proudly sombre countenances of the two gentlemen.

Barber shop. Lock shop (huge "YALE" key!). Nickelodeon cinema. Next would be Wurlitzer? That was a more convincing Main St...

"World's fastest meats" lol!

Chiana_Chat said...

^ For any folks who don't know, Pearl White was actually an actress. And a stuntwoman action actress at that! Most known for the serial, The Perils of Pauline.

The flick reference was just to play up a joke that didn't work to well did it? Meh.

TokyoMagic! said...

Glacier Grotto was the show building that the Skyway used to go through. Once inside, there was an ice tunnel that would rotate around you, creating the sensation that you were tipping over. Then audio-animatronic figures of Steve Austin and Big Foot would appear as you glided past the Munster's house and through Jaime Sommers' living room.

Chiana_Chat said...

*notes TM! needs a vacation almost as bad as I do hehe

Yea the Glacier Grotto is hype but in all fairness to listing the Skyway, it had been newly rebuilt. The pylons, cables, mechanics etc were new I think...? Kept the buckets but new ones were on the way for them too.

Christopher said...

If you are gonna call out the Skyway for not being "Brand New", then it's only fair to lump the Motor Boat Cruise in the same situation. The original Motor Boat Cruise opened in 1957 and boarded alongside the Fantasyland Viewliner. Originally, it ran more easterly than the later route we are more familiar with(thru approx where the Sub maintenance area is today). In '59 expansion, the boarding area and route where significantly altered with the additions of the Subs and Fantasyland Autopia.

It turns out, both attractions (MBC & Skyway) had very similar opening, upgrading, and closing timelines.

Katella Gate said...

This is all before my time, but I'm pretty sure that when the skyway went through the Matterhorn, you could originally see all the structure and chickenwire mess.

I'm going to postulate that "Glacier Grotto" was the tube that was built to conceal the interior of the Matterhorn to Skyway riders.

Connie Moreno said...

Dude, I am coveting that street lamp sign right there beside you.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, Pearl White was also Betty White's younger sister (wah-wahhh). I want that giant Yale key! And I wish I had what it takes to belong to the brotherhood of trash men.

TM!, Oh yeah! Now I remember it. I feel so foolish...

Chiana again, I'm not sure to what degree the Skyway was rebuilt...

Christopher, you are right about the Motor Boat Cruise, of course! Thanks for the interesting details.

Katella, I don't know about seeing actual chickenwire, but you could certainly see the interior structure. I didn't think that any grottoes were built to conceal all of that until 1978.

Katella Gate said...

Major, I was being playfully sarcastic with the "chickenwire mess", and I'm hoping a bona fide Matterhorn expert speaks up, but my recollection from photos is that when it opened, Matterhorn had some pretty crude square holes for passage of the skyway and the interior structure was plainly visible.

I think about this time (1960) money was found to make the skyway openings look more natural and construct baffles inside to hide the structure to the skyway riders (but not the Matterhorn riders)

Then the whole thing got a makeover in the late 70's with the snowman when all the mechanicals were enclosed.

JG said...

Major, My mental image of you includes you wearing one of those hats.

I will definitely ride the train with you four times around. I have wanted to do at least twice, but my family always wants off after a round trip.

It never occurred to me to want a sign, but now I do.

@KG, the Major is correct, the 1978 update to the Matterhorn enclosed the bobsled tracks and concealed the steel inner structure of the MH.

This link >>

has photos of the former "Glacier Grotto", and a shot of the 1962 map
identifying it by that name. All the Yesterland shots are taken after 1965 (by skyway bucket style, which changed in 64 or 65 dated by my own photos)and I can't remember what the MH inside looked like before that, but there may have been some "set dressing" inside to account for playing it up.

Wonderful pictures and memories, thank you.


Orange Co Native said...

Yes the Matterhorn was all open and you could see all the scaffolding and support beams. The mountain was all covered on the outside, but inside no. Sort of like a garage in older homes where you can see all the 2x4's of the structure.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yep, I remember riding the Skyway in the seventies prior to the 1978 "enclosure" and remember looking down at the bobleds going up the chain lift and seeing stairs, railings, support beams, etc.

Nancy said...

Disneyland '59...wish i had been there that! i just watched that episode on Wednesday as it happens.

i wonder if this is early morning, b/c if it is and the shadows behind trashman and company are morning ones, that means that the MK at WDW faces the same way as the original, as our shadows come from the right side of Main Street first thing after sunrise :-)
if this is right, i wonder if it was planned this way (tho i dont see how that would be a coincidence)

i so enjoy the signs and banners. wish as well that i had gotten to ride thru the Matterhorn on the Skyway. the Grotto sounds very cool.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nancy, I believe all the "Disneyland/Magic Kingdom" parks were planned and built to face the same direction (south)....not sure if that applies to Hong Kong, though....but definitely Disneyland, WDW's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland.

TokyoMagic! said...

I should clarify's the park's Castles that face south. I think this was done for the best possible lighting on the castle facades for picture taking.

Katella Gate said...

The Castle in Disneyland Hong Kong faces basically east because of layout considerations for the property as a whole.

Major Pepperidge said...

Katella, I think the Skyway passageways were originally kind of crude and more square. Not sure at what point they were made a bit more natural looking (if giant holes through a mountain can look natural).

JG, I wear one of those hats to keep out the Russian radio waves! Come on, let's ride the train. We'll sing "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" the entire time. Thanks for the Yesterland link!

OC Native, I only have vague memories of the Matterhorn when it was open inside. I like the current grottoes and the yeti, but do miss the old version.

TM!, that's sort of my memory as well.

Nancy, TokyoMagic! beat me to it; but the castles do face the direction that gives them the most sunlight for nice photos.

Katella, I'll have to go on Google and look for photos of the Hong Kong castle and see how different it looks in terms of sunlight!