Friday, January 25, 2013

Instamatic Autopia

Here is a pair of beautiful photos from the mid-1960's, taken while waiting to board the Tomorrowland Autopia. The colorful fiberglass Mark VII vehicles were introduced in 1967, and I would bet dollars to doughnuts that these photos were taken that very year. Today I am feeling partial to the yellow cars! Notice the Monorail pulling into the station in the background.

Even if there wasn't a Christmas star atop the Matterhorn, I might have guessed that these pictures were taken sometime during the winter months. There's something about the blue sky and the quality of the sunlight. And the fact that the people are wearing coats and sweaters!


Nanook said...

I enjoy the juxtaposition of the Matterhorn, Christmas star and the palm trees. Sooooo Southern Californian.

Chiana_Chat said...

Oh my. I love them. Nanook says why. Plus the color is so soft and warm in such a nice way :)

K. Martinez said...

I agree with Nanook on the juxtaposition. I love it.

Major - These photos were probably taken at Christmas between 1969 and 1972. These images show the “new” Monorail Station and Mark III Monorail Blue which didn’t debut until 1969. The last appearance of the Matterhorn Star was Christmas 1972. That’s as far as I could pin down the date with the clues in these images. I’d say these photos are more likely early-1970s than mid-1960s.

Melissa said...

I bet the ominous shadowy man in the first picture is married to the ominous shadowy lady in the second.

Katella Gate said...

It's when you look at pictures like this that you realize what an awesome place Disneyland is.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, when you put it that way, I can't help thinking of those very old (early 1900's) postcards that often showed orange groves full of fruit (hand tinted) with snow-capped mountains in the background.

Chiana, these really DO have exceptional color. It makes such a difference when the sky is a rich blue rather than the washed-out white that sometimes happens.

K. Martinez, thanks for the into… it's funny, I did think "Hmmm, that Monorail looks different", but didn't put it all together. I think my friend took most of his early Instamatic pictures through to about 1970, so you are probably correct.

Melissa, did they have ominous babies?

Katella, I agree!

Anonymous said...

I notice also that the skyway towers were remodeled for New Tomorrowland. The originals were a steel openwork, while the later design appears to be concrete.

Anyone know if these were replaced, or were the steel ones skinned over with plaster to look more solid?

The ones on the Fantasyland side seem to have stayed steel openwork.

Thanks Major.


K. Martinez said...

JG - Tomorrowland's only Skyway tower was replaced entirely in 1965 when the Skway switched from the 2-person round buckets to the new 4-person cabins for Disneyland's Tencennial Celebration.

The two towers in Fantasyland were upgraded during the Fantasyland remodel of 1983, but still had the same open frame steel structure.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I am ashamed to say that I had never noticed the change to the Tomorrowland Skyway tower. It's amazing how much I manage to miss, considering the amount of time I spend looking at vintage photos.

K. Martinez, you are full of useful info!

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

I have stars in my eyes for that beautiful Christmas decoration. "Goooo tell it on the mounnnntaaaain...."

If only the buckets were flying across the sky in these pictures. It looks a little too much like today's Skyway.

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Nancy said...

Beautiful! I am especially enjoying the bonus yellow Peoplemover train along with Monorail Blue, but I admit that the first thing that caught my eye was the Star! :)

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Robert Skyway said...

Looks strange with no cabins on the Skyway. In 1965 when they added the 4 passenger cabins,the old tomorrowland tower was removed.the new enclosed tower was placed 25 feet toward the matterhorn due to vonroll redesigning the ride the entire ride.