Sunday, August 26, 2012

Souvenir Sunday

I always love looking at vintage Disneyland ephemera; particularly paper ephemera. Gate handouts, maps, brochures, tickets, and stuff like that. GDB reader Steve Stuart (aka "Nanook") was kind enough to share some scans of some wonderful gate handouts from his collection!

1960 saw the opening of the fabulous Nature's Wonderland, one of the best Disneyland attractions of all time in my opinion. Everyone who entered the park received one of these beautiful flyers heralding the arrival of this new experience. It resembles the old circus broadsides that could be seen in the 19th century, with the wonderful engraving (probably an ink drawing, but humor me) and the creative use of a variety of typefaces. I would imagine that this was not easy to do in the pre-Photoshop era! Even the combination of cornflower blue and brown works so well.

On the reverse of that same flyer is an additional mention of the new and improved America the Beautiful in Spectacular CIRCARAMA. Even the Art of Animation exhibit is included! I wish I could go back in time and see these attractions when they were brand-new.

1958 had its share of new attractions as well, including the Columbia sailing ship, the Alice in Wonderland dark ride, and the Grand Canyon Diorama. Happily, all of these are still around to this day! 

MANY THANKS to Steve Stuart for sharing these wonderful items with us!


Chiana_Chat said...

Love love love the Nature's Wonderland flyer!

Those 1958 newbies were absolute classics (to be followed by another crop in '59!). The Alice drawing is, appropriately, quite whimsical. :)

Thanks Steve Stewart / Nanook!

Nancy said...

These are beautiful!

Thanks for sharing!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

As lame as they seem today the first two are some of my favorite removed attractions. Both were simple but unique. Thank goodness the 3 attractions on the last one are still there.

Thanks Major and Steve.

keeline said...

That 1960 NWRR design is directly inspired by an historic one from 1869 for the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad. This includes the overall layout and hand-drawn lettering around the image. Indeed, you can see a replica of the 1869 version on the DRR. I have several versions of this image. Here's a small one.

K. Martinez said...

Nature's Wonderland after the Skyway is my second favorite defunct attraction.

Beutiful Flyer! I love the two-color "Rainbow Caverns" font style at the bottom of the flyer.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, while I love that '58 flyer, it seems to me that the drawings on them are not quite as confident and "decisive" (or graphic) as we are used to seeing on Disneyland items.

Nancy, Steve gets all the credit!

Alonzo, I don't think those attractions are lame at all, especially Nature's Wonderland, which really reached some level of brilliance (in my opinion) that no other ride has ever achieved. Of course, kids these days with their rock music and interwebs might disagree!

keeline, thank you for the image of the vintage poster, that is very cool! I always suspect Ward Kimball's influence whenever I see something vintage train related at the park... I wonder if he had anything to do with choosing that particular layout to emulate?

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I love that blue-and-brown combo as well! I would never have thought that those colors would work together, and yet there it is.

Melissa said...

I didn't realize the Alice dark ride was that old.

Nanook said...

I always figured the Nature's Wonderland flyer was based more on reality than the extremely clever minds of the Disney Studio. The Transcontinental Railroad flyer keeline provided clearly shows that - in spades, as it turns out. Thank you keeline-!

And let me join the growing list of folks who have a special place in their hearts for the Nature's Wonderland attraction. It's not only the best former attraction at DL, but one of their best, period. Starting with the load area (Rainbow Ridge), the ride "vehicles", its vast layout, extensive use of water, flora and fauna, intermingling with other Frontierland attractions, indoor (climate-controlled) and outdoor settings, first use of an A-A (audio-animatronic) figure, and topped-off by black light water dyes - no less - nothing has ever really approached it.

Is it any wonder those of us who were fortunate enough to experience it still harbor such positive feelings-? Okay - now I'll get off my soapbox. Thanks Major & keeline.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Sadly I agree with you major. To describe NWRR to anyone born after it closed (who grew up with BTMRR)and they think it odd anyone would miss it. It does amaze me that Sam (a younger person), although never having seen it firsthand, has spent so much time building such a detailed replica. Check it out.

keeline said...

Since the 1869 Union Pacific Transcontinental Poster is fairly famous among railroad fans, I would think it highly likely that Ward or another rail fan would have proposed it as a model.

One thing that is curious to me is that every image I see of the poster seems to be from the same damaged copy with certain letters painted in and other problems. It seems like some others should survive. If there is just the one, where is it now?

One of the things that really appeals to us about the Mine Train is how much detail they put in that was unnecessary for the type of ride it was. In some photos you can see the Stephenson valve gear under the boiler. In a real steam locomotive this would be used to control the timing and application of steam to move forward or backward and control the amount of steam in each stroke. It is controlled by a vertical lever called the Johnson Bar. Since the Mine Train "locomotive" was pushed by the electric mining locomotive under the tender shell, this sort of thing was a detail only ardent train buffs might notice.

SundayNight said... ride the NWRR at night with the spotlights on the mechanical animals. Love it! So much fun.
I have a vague recollection of visiting the Art of Animation. All I remember is that I really enjoyed it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, yep, the Alice ride is an oldie! Of course it has been altered considerably from the original version, but it's still one of my faces.

Nanook, I just assumed that the flyer was based somewhat on circus graphics, based on nothing! And it drives me crazy to think how many more times I could have enjoyed Nature's Wonderland if I hadn't been such a stupid kid. BUT… at least I got to see it.

Alonzo, I have described Nature's Wonderland to my young niece , and she thinks it sounds pretty cool, but then again, she's super awesome! Just as the Disneyland of my youth is the best, I think that the park as it is today will always be the best for her.

Keeline again, that is interesting that you always see the same poster. Perhaps only one example survives. I have seen your blog with photos of your amazing model, and I just assumed that you had experienced the ride and wanted to relive those days. Now I am extra amazed to learn that you never did see the real thing! If only I could shrink myself down to ride your version.

SundayNight, OH MAN, you said it; I never rode NWRR at night, but it must have been incredible. On the "Yesterland" site they describe what happened when the fireworks started if you happened to be on the Mine Train… a dream come true, practically!

keeline said...

I'll be 45 this year and I did ride the Mine Train before I was age 9 or so. However, as with most memories at a younger age, they are more fleeting and it is from photos, drawings, sounds, movies, and ride artifacts we have collected that I draw most of my knowledge. Kim and I have long been planning a model of the Mine Train in HOn30 scale (1:87 with 9mm gauge tracks) but construction has been delayed by a number of factors. One of these is the space for the model was taken up by a wicker cockpit (7x7 ft) originally made in 1969 for a Tom Swift film that did not get made. That is the space we had originally allocated for the two-part Mine Train model.

No doubt the photos you have seen are the work of another, younger, modeler, Sam Towler, who has done some spectacular work in On30 (1:48). If he isn't an Imagineer some day making the kinds of attractions which bring us back to the parks, many of us will feel that Disney is not all that it could be.

Major Pepperidge said...

Keeline, you are right, I mixed you up with Sam Towler, my apologies! I should stop and think before I type.

As a kid I always fantasized about building an insanely detailed model train layout, and Nature's Wonderland would certainly be an amazing layout to copy!

Anonymous said...


I had a replica of that Transcon poster when a kid. It had the damaged part replicated as part of the design. I just assumed it was done to "look cool", but now, I think it was part of the original, maybe only one did survive.

It tickled me to see that real RR poster re-used at Disneyland years later as part of the Frontierland theming.

Not a big train buff, but I do enjoy heavy equipment in general.

Thank you Major, a very cool set of paper goods.


Douglas McEwan said...

I actually still have one of the third flyer seen here.