Friday, October 19, 2012

Instamatic Pix

Today's first classic Instamatic picture is this interesting view of the old Motorboat Cruise dock (sometime in the mid-1960's), sans water. I can only guess that it was empty for routine maintenance. The water appears to be about 3 or 4 feet deep here when full. Is that contraption to the left part of the track that guided the boats? If so, how did the boats get from the docks to the track, and then "hook on"? I don't have any other photos like this, so it was a welcome discovery!

I can't tell if this is the Fantasyland Autopia or the Tomorrowland Autopia, but either way the photo was taken from the Disneyand R.R. as a single turquoise car passed by, with a father and son enjoying the ride. Notice that the steering wheel is on the right... I don't think I flipped the negative by accident, but you never know.

The Painted Desert is beautiful, but unforgiving. You don't want to be caught out there with no H2O, for sure. Thankfully, we have discovered this oasis, with cool water bubbling up from an underground spring!


Nanook said...

Another batch of some unique shots. Thanks Major.

Am not certain for how many years, but for the late 1956 Tomorrowland Autopia remodel, they reconfigured the boarding area & roadway with two sides to increase its capacity. The boarding changed so half the guests climbed into their cars on the left side, and the other half, on the right side. To handle the expanded ride capacity, 40 new Mark IV Autopia cars were built, but with the steering wheels on the right side. Thus bringing the total Tomorrowland Autopia vehicles to 79.

And for the re-opening of the Fantasyland Autopia on June 6, 1959, its boarding area and track had been changed to accommodate greater capacity, also using cars with both left & right-hand steering wheels.

Chiana_Chat said...

The bottom pic was the private pool of Bob. He was a cool cat.

Neat-o peek at the Motor Boat Cruise! It's great for everyone's safety how they're able to make a convincing waterway with relatively shallow levels.

Rich T. said...

What great shots -- I've always wondered what the Motor Boat Cruise tracks looked like! The boats being used on the ride entered the load area in a straight line, so they never left the track while operating. I believe the docks seen here are for atmosphere and maintenance. My best guess is that there was some kind of guide post which could be lowered on each boat, and employees put on the ol' hip waders to push the boats on and off the tracks.

I'm pretty sure that's the Tomorrowland Autopia.

And that's one lovely view of the Painted Desert! Is that a little coyote down by the water's edge?

TokyoMagic! said...

I was also wondering what that was on the rocks down by the edge of the water in that third pic. I thought maybe it was a Kangaroo Rat or something similar, but Rich T. might be right.....maybe it's just a little coyote.

And yes, that should be the Tomorrowland Autopia. You can see the fencing for the Tomorrowland Train Station in the lower right corner of the pic, so maybe this was taken while the train was temporarily stopped.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Indeed a rare look at the Motor Boat Cruise (miss it) or waht we used to call the Watopia.
Great pix, keep em comin'

K. Martinez said...

That's definitely Tomorrowland Autopia as TokyoMagic! And Rich T. mentioned.

That blue Autopia car was boarded on the left-side loading area next to the Submarine Voyage. It traveled through all three “loops” of the Tomorrowland cloverleaf just before arriving at this point. That background track is also back part of the three-loop cloverleaf.

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

What beautiful, unique shots. I wonder if remains of the Motor Boat track are still submerged. Anyone know? I'd be happy to dive in and find out myself. :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, all thanks go to my pal who gave me all of his old negatives! THANKS for the interesting info about the reconfigured Autopia, I never knew about that. I wish there was a diagram of the different types of Autopia cars with their names…. I generally don't know if I'm looking at a Mark IV, a Mark V, or whatever.

Chiana, I think that might be a little desert fox.

Rich T., I think there is an issue of the old "E-Ticket" magazine that is all about the Motor Boat Cruise, I'll have to go back and read it to see if they give the kind of detailed info I need.

TokyoMagic!, you must be remembering the kangaroo rat from the Living Desert movie! I am pretty sure that it is a little fox.

Alonzo, I've got lots more from this bunch, including some real beauties.

K. Martinez, it sure seems like the consensus is that it is the Tomorrowland Autopia! That's what I suspected, but it just looked different with all of that grassy landscaping.

…But It Wasn't Always That Way!, I don't know the answer to your question, but if I had to guess, I would say that the track has probably been removed.

Snow White Archive said...

Sometimes the wealth of knowledge and information that's shared in the comments about DL's past is almost as good as the pics you post GDB. Great stuff! Really like the Motorboat Cruise pic.

Vaughn said...

As I remember the motor boats It seems to me that the boats went straight through between parallel docks out of view towards us to the right of the picture and then swung around to their left into the area of the track we see and heading away from us towards our left in the picture in those tracks we see. I think those perpendicular docks were used to park the extra boats that were not being used, on slower days and after closing and such.