Friday, November 25, 2011

On Board! September 1961

Here are a couple of fun "you are there" photos, placing you on two classic Disneyland attractions in 1961!

Check out this wonderful and unusual photo taken aboard one of the Nature's Wonderland Mine Trains as it crosses the trestle bridge. Typically folks took photos looking off to the right, where you would see a group of bears scratchin' and fishin'.

Howsabout a slightly zoomed view? In just a few seconds, the train will pass beneath an "natural arch" bridge (one that pack mules crossed). Extra points earned for the magnificent purple ostrich feather that all hats should have (I propose a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution).

In this shot taken from a Matterhorn bobsled, I can practically feel the spray from the glacial waterfalls, and the extreme centrifugal forces as you careen around the edge of the mountain!


Katella Gate said...

Honestly Major, either my eyes have suddenly gotten better in the last few months... or the level of detail in these photos has gone up.

Beautiful and exciting! I actually get nostalgic for "Disney Days" around Thanksgiving. We were east-coast transplants living in SoCal, and so Thanksgiving was just us five. Back in the early 70's, we discovered that the park was almost abandoned, so we'd go to the park on Thursday, and maybe have our turkey on Friday.

That era came to an end in the mid-80's I'd guess, when people stopped cooking.

Major Pepperidge said...

Katella Gate, I think it's mostly just a case of the original photographers having better cameras and maybe a better "photographer's eye". So many old slides were unfortunately taken with cheap cameras and cheap lenses.

I'm glad you enjoyed these!

Orange Co Native said...


That photograph could have been taken only this year. Those colors are so vivid and the photograph is so clear. It was taken with at least an SLR 35mm camera or possibly a medium format camera. If it was a slide, you would know if it was a medium format because the slide would be larger(Approximately 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches).

One of my favorite attractions from the past. The Mine Train.

A question for anyone who can answer it. I have always read and heard by Disney imagineers being interviewed that the audio animatronics on Mine Train were problematic due to being outside, exposure to the elements etc... and that was another reason why they closed it down. If that is the case, how come the animatronics on the Jungle Cruise are not problematic for being outside and some of them immersed in water as well, which would cause more problems I would think. It doesn't make sense to me.

Can anyone provide an answer?

Orange Co Native said...

I like the Matterhorn as well.

Connie Moreno said...

Ooooh, those are soooo COOL!!!

Nancy said...

they often seem to say an excuse that is obvious double talk....

beautiful images of that beautiful train!

Douglas McEwan said...

Everytime I walk past the west side of BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN and see the stubb that remains of that Bear Country bridge so gorgeously captured here, it makes me sad. I miss my Nature's Wonderland and Rainbow Caverns. The Rainbow Caverns were one of my mother's favorite things in the whole park. It was her "Must-Ride".