Sunday, March 25, 2012


Today I am finally unloading two orphan images that need love and a good home.

I'm guessing that a lot of visitors to New Orleans Square walk right past the "Court of Angels" with nary a glance. Why is it called the Court of Angels? Was it named after Sir Albert Court? Because I don't see any angels. All I see is that statue of a little troublemaker with a horn (nice pantaloons, kid!). Detail of the day: real genuine gaslights.

It was usually hard to get good photos inside a dark attraction, but those Country Bears didn't move very fast. Of course Disneyland's CBJ is long-gone; if they had listened to me and switched from country music to death metal, I believe that it would still be with us.


TokyoMagic! said...

Bring back the Country Bears, I say! (And get rid of Pooh!)

Nice leftuggies today, Major!

Chiana_Chat said...

Alison Krauss and the Bear Country Reunion
...and you'd have had something!

Not only was Country Bear a better fit there than "Critter Country," I've a real soft spot for that show. "The bear band bears'll play now, in the good old key of 'G'. Zeke 'n' Zeb and Ted 'n' Fred and good ol' Tennessee..."

The "down home" charm went a ways in softening that something human and real, the Indians, had been replaced by machines.

Particularly nice vintage pic of the courtyard stairs there and y'know... I never noticed the lamps were genuine gaslights! But it "felt" right, so it did make a difference though I wasn't conscious of it. Attention to detail. :)

D ticket said...

The space was originally called Le Grand Courtyard and was based on one of Herb Ryman's concept paintings for New Orleans Square. The name was changed to Court Des Anges, or Court of Angels. There is a tribute to the left of these stairs to a castmember.

From Disneyland Detective:

"Musique Des Anges
Music Lessons
Vocal Instructions
Mme. Sally McWhirter

Sally began her career with Disney in the Disney Stores, Inc. in Indiana. Sally was promoted to District Manager before coming to work in Disneyland.

Here she was named director of store operations in 1995 until her untimely death in 1997.

She died at 40 as a result of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Sally sang with her church choir, which explains the plaque reference to music of angels and voice lessons. Her tribute is near this heavenly stairway, in the Court of Angels."

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, maybe if they changed it to the Pirate Bear Jamboree...??

Chiana, the main problem when you got back into Bear Country was that there was a whole lotta nothin'. Remember all of the asphalt (or slurry)? And the Jamboree was the only attraction for all of the land that Bear Country occupied. I like Splash Mountain (though I'm not crazy about getting my sneakers soaked) and Critter Country in general. However, I realized that there are lots of folks who miss the Bear Band a lot.

D ticket, thanks for the info about Sally McWhirter, I have never noticed the plaque. I'm trying to recall if you can hear the sound of voice lessons coming from the upstairs rooms when you are in the Court of Angels.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I think you might have something there, but they would probably need to throw in some Pixie Bears and Princess Bears first before top management would approve it.

Rusty said...

The Court of Angels used to be a quiet, cozy place that had a nice little bench where my wife and I would just sit. Now, bench is gone and more merchandise fills the spot. Such a shame. Couldn't they leave one spot void of plush toys and keychains?

Nancy said...

What a nice story about that little courtyard. Rachel and I always went up to the shop when they sold the art there (dont know if they still do, but I thought the last time we were there it was not open)

Country Bear Jamboree is fond to me b/c the first time I saw it was when Rachel had her first visit to WDW when she was 4. She was enchanted by the characters...still love that song, Chiana!! "I'm only part moose as it is!"

Anonymous said...

Bring back the bears!

JG said...

"we wrote these lousy lyrics, we also wrote the words"

Funny stuff. Also love WTP. What to do?

Court of the Angels, never heard it called that till I found the blogs. Now I know why. That sad story post dated my " era".

I will use that term with reverence, I wish Disney would too, by taking out the card racks.


Irene said...

I am also a huge fan of the bears and was saddened when they were removed. Pooh - blah.

Regarding Court of Angels. Most of the time it is peaceful and quiet. During the Christmas season they do sell merchandise there but after it goes back to normal. During the weekends for Mardi Gras celebration they use it as a meet n greet for Tiana and Naveen.

Chiana_Chat said...

@ Nancy, and that Teddi Berra was such a swinger.

@ Maj, true there was too much pavement, but winding around trees to leave space for nature is just too much to ask of any developer. Even in an area purposefully themed to "Bear Country."

A lot of it hasn't really been improved, including the expanses of slurry, they just added Splash Mountain in place of the hill that used to be the tunnel to the Indian Village, then later the den of the snoring bear and the Indian Trading Post. The rest was dubiously revised, except of course the fast food place.