Monday, November 25, 2013

Tomorrowland Snapshots

Here are two terrific vintage snapshots of Tomorrowland, probably from the late 1960's. 

Crowds are pretty heavy in this first shot, with the Carousel of Progress mostly out-of-frame to our right, and the entrance to the Autopia mostly out-of-frame to our left. The Skyway station is almost dead ahead, and of course the wonderful Peoplemover glides silently overhead. Because this is a photo and has no sound.

I'm not sure if this was taken on the same day as the previous image, but it is possible; just a pivot to the right and there's the Carousel of Progress again; loads of folks are waiting to get in, while others are emerging from the top level (where the amazing Progress City model could be seen); guests had to walk down that inclined ramp which afforded some nice elevated views.


Nanook said...

Tomorrowland at its finest. It truly is "a city on the move"

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

And just below the Skyway station we can see the sign for The Mod Hatter hat stand......GROOVY!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Between skyway, peoplemover, richfield sign and the clothes on the guests this first picture have very golden (yellow)feel about it. Busy day in a fun corner of the park. Nice shots.

It's like "clue" Disney style. Col. Mustard with the churro at the mod hatter.

Melissa said...

The yellow Skyway bucket so close to the matching yellow Peoplemover train gives the impression of a mother duck with her offspring trialing behind.

And it draws my eye to all the yellow shirts in the crowd below. Dig the dude in plaid shorts striking the Captain Morgan pose on the bench at the left.

What better illustration of the concept behind the CoP could there be than all those overlapping steel spiral ramps (stairs?) going around and around, taking people where they want to go?

Look on the bottom level of railing, right above the girl who's standing on the pavement, wearing blue shorts and a floral top. There's a girl in a white shirt; she has a long, brown ponytail, and she's standing kind of behind and to the right of the man in the blue shirt and gold watch with his left hand up by his face.

Is she wearing a floppy white sun hat, or is that some Monday morning babushka for Auntie Melissa right when she needs it on a freezing New York winter morning?

K. Martinez said...

Love all the lines and shades of blue on the Carousel of Progress' outer curved wall all framed in white. It was a great big beautiful tomorrow.

@Melissa - You're right. The first image sort of reminds me of a ducks-on-a-string pull toy I once had as a child where the lead mother duck and baby ducks where connected on string that you pulled along.

Extra nice set today. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

It's like "clue" Disney style. Col. Mustard with the churro at the mod hatter.

I was sorely tempted to buy the Haunted Mansion Clue™ board game, but I don’t know enough Disney/board game weirdos to play it with IRL. However, you’ve inspired me to brainstorm an “Extinct Disneyland” version of "Clue."

1. The Flower Mart
2. Monsanto House of the Future
3. Carousel of Progress/America Sings
4. Adventure Thru Inner Space
5. Tomorrowland Skyway Station
6. Pirate Ship Restaurant
7. Rainbow Ridge
8. Country Bear Jamboree
9. Swiss Family Treehouse

1. Tahitian Terrace Tiki Torch (Candlestick)
2. "E" ticket that gives you paper cuts (Knife)
3. Tom Sawyer Island fishing pole (Lead pipe)
4. Brown-painted toy rifle (Revolver)
5. "Disneyland" (not "Disney Parks") shopping bag (Rope)
6. Dish of Carnation™ brand ice cream that gives you an instant ice cream headache (Wrench)

1. Davy Crockett (brown token)
2. Zorro (black token)
3. Tomorrowland Spaceman (silver token)
4. Darkwing Duck (purple token)
5. Sub Lagoon Mermaid (green token)
6. Doc (red token)
7. Roger Rabbit (white token)
8. Tiki Room Barker Bird (blue token)
9. One of the Three Little Pigs (pink token

(I know one or two of the characters aren't completely extinct, but they used to be seen all the time and now are trotted out for special occasions once or twice a year at most.)

Secret passages are renamed “utilidors.” (I don’t care if there really were utilidors between the relevant attractions.)

The “Stairs” where the answer cards are kept will be, of course, the Carnation Plaza Gardens.

Instead of “Mr. Boddy,” the victim will be different with each gameplay, and will cycle through characters from lost shops and attractions:

1. Tom Morrow
2. Sam the Eagle
3. Mike Fink
4. The Frito Kid
5. Native American Ceremonial Dancer
6. The Wonderful Wizard of Bras

(No point including the settler with the burning cabin. Kind of an open-and-shut case there.)

Melissa said...

Hmm, I guess since Rainbow Ridge still exists as part of BTMRR, Room #7 had better be changed to Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.

Melissa said...

And I've made too many characters. I guess that's why they call is "brainstorming."

Tom said...

I was always intrigued by that random scattering of squares (I think they are lights) on the bow-tie overhang on the top deck of the carousel theater. By far, that was my favorite attraction to see as a kid.

I'm always hoping to come across a picture of the COP with my family in the frame somewhere; for some reason my folks weren't much into taking pictures then.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, as you probably have guessed, I particularly loved these! There are a few more from the series coming up.

TokyoMagic!, oh yeah, I see it now. It IS groovy!

Alonzo, all the yellow/mustard/gold reminds me so much of the 70's. My mom's kitchen appliances and washer/drier were "harvest gold", a color that did not age well!!

Melissa, if only Captain Morgan wore plaid shorts. It's surprising to me how few good photos I have of the Carousel of Progress building, considering its size and location. It took me a minute to find her, but I think that girl is wearing a babushka of some kind!

K. Martinez, this was one of the very best eras for Tomorrowland, no doubt about it.

Melissa, I wanted to play the Disney version of "Trivial Pursuit", but everybody assumed I would slaughter them. Then I got to actually play it with some people, and I was TERRIBLE at it. I couldn't believe how much DIsney trivia I didn't know. I should turn in my Disney Fan uniform. The Sub Lagoon Mermaid killed Davy Crockett in the Flower Mart with a Tiki Torch! Man, it has been a long time since I played "Clue", and I think we used to play a short, cheater version of it when I was little. Just like I do today with "Monopoly".

Tom, I agree, I think those squares are where lights were. I would flip if I found a picture of me (or anyone in my family), since I really don't have any from visits!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

It would take more than a paper cut to take down mike fink (king of the river). But if I remember my hist-o-ree he was powerful lactose intolerant, that ice cream might just do the trick.

Anonymous said...

@Tom, yes, the rectangular elements on the ceiling of the Carousel are light fixtures. I think the reason the pattern is so odd is that since different kinds had different projection patterns (straight-down, wall-wash, area flood, etc.) maybe they were located with the illumination end in mind, not the pattern they were creating. It really is haphazard and, to me, is a distraction in an otherwise spectacular design. On the other hand, it might have been purposefully random, like confetti.

The idea of a show with a revolving audience wigged me out, since usually in a play, the sets move. A brilliant reversal and really the only way to do the Animatronic set pieces. What a loss we have suffered to have this attraction vanish.


Melissa said...

My mom's kitchen appliances and washer/drier were "harvest gold", a color that did not age well!!

We had a dishwasher that came with three front panels you could switch out of you redecorated your kitchen. The only problem was, they were harvest gold, avocado, and coppertone, so it still got outdated just as fast.

Nancy said...

I am not so good at Disney trivia as I think I should be, either. :-)

But I know what I like, and I LOOOOVE these pictures! Need that time machine really bad this week!

Nanook said...


I believe the future of recessed lighting was supposed to be 'randomized'; and Disney was right there at the forefront-! Knowing myself, as I do, I should've been bothered by the non-linear patterns, at total odds with typical fixture layouts. But for some reason, I always appreciated the seemingly random pattern of those recessed fixtures.

I guess only a select-few Imagineers would know if the pattern served a definite purpose, or was as would appear - random.

Unknown said...

I agree with others -- that first photo really gives you a feel for the warmth and fun of the place, especially during what I regard as the "Golden Years" (mid to late 60s). I guess I never noticed, but the Skyway goes UNDER the Peoplemover track while approaching the station. Just shows how creative they were in squeezing so much into the space that was Tomorrowland.

Although Walt and others bemoaned being "hemmed in" at Disneyland Anaheim as it grew and property values skyrocketed, it certainly forced the best and most innovative use of what space they did have. I look back, and the closeness, the relative intimacy, of Disneyland is actually a "plus" -- it meant there was always plenty of action, of movement, of other people all around. A real sense of excitement. Standing in Tomorrowland, in particular, there was just so much going on! I remember as kids we'd come thru the entrance from the Plaza, and we could hardly contain ourselves -- there was so much excitement and so much to do! The Peoplemover and the Skyway buckets always in motion overhead, the Monorail zipping in and out, the Rocket Jets whirling around; then near the Lagoon you got submarines and bobsleds and Autopia cars! Looking back at your photos, I'm amazed at how they were able to weave all of it in and create a kind of pleasant but exciting harmony.

We usually visited in the Summer, when Disneyland was always crowded, but even at other times of the year I imagine the place rarely had that forlorn, semi-deserted look that some amusement parks had. I remember visiting Marineland of the Pacific and Japanese Village & Deer Park (in Buena Park) when both were well past their "heyday," and you kinda got the feel that they were on their way out. Sadly, that's what happened to both before long. But Disneyland was always a place that you felt you never had enough time to do everything and to take it all in!

Major Pepperidge said...

Unknown, thanks for your great comment… I think that a lot of your memories of how you felt at the park are very much like my own. As a kid, a visit to Disneyland was pretty much the ONLY excuse to stay up to one o'clock in the morning, and even though we were exhausted by the end, we hated to leave!