Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Frontierland Fitty-Six

Here are two more from a small set of glass-mounted slides. These aren't the most exciting images in the world, but their age helps a lot!

The Dance Circle was always a popular draw back in those days - children seemed especially fascinated by the show. Here's a hoop dancers; according to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge), "North American Hoop Dance is a storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to 30 hoops, which are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, or formations, representing various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. It is generally performed by a solo dancer with many hoops." This fellow was probably just getting warmed up.

Tom Sawyer Island was newly-opened in '56. The necessity of taking a raft to get there didn't hinder its popularity - if anything it made the place more interesting because you couldn't just saunter over to it. While it has suffered some unfortunate changes in recent years, it is still a fun place to visit.


Nanook said...

Oh my - the color of the Dance Circle slide is outstanding. And as far as the Hoop Dance is concerned, it has nothing on the Hula-Hoop - about to debut in two years.

Thanks, Major.

Graffer said...

Perhaps the water color was dyed brown back then or it came from the original clay bottom of the Rivers of America, but the Mississippi mud color sure looks better than today's horrible blue-green dye that is used throughout the park.

steve2wdw said...

It's amazing how "real" photo #2 looks. Between the muddy water, the bare riverbank, and the lack of barriers between the guests and the river on the island, this could really be the somewhere along the Mississippi.

Melissa said...

I love the hoop dance! I have SUCH a crush on Nakotah LaRance, who's been the world champion hoop dancer six times. This competition video is on the long side (seven minutes) but shows some of his amazing skills with the hoops. This music video only has maybe three minutes with the hoops, tops, but more of Nakotah being all handsome and sexy.

Can't comment too much on the dancer in the Disneyland picture, since he's all bent over, but he certainly has got some shapely arms and legs going on there. The tweener girls directly behind him are watching veery closely.

I haven't been to either Tom Sawyer Island in years, but I used to find that the anticipation of the raft ride enhanced the whole Tom Sawyer experience. I would find myself slipping into the role of Huck Finn floating down the river with Jim. Does everybody read those books in school like we used to? I know there's been controversy on and off over the years, so maybe it's not part of the collective conscious like it was when I was younger.

K. Martinez said...

The muddy Mississippi look is great in the second image. I wonder if the two boulders at the bottom of the pic are real quarry rocks or Disneyland went all fake from the beginning.

When I first crossed the Mississippi River over 35 years ago, I was shocked at how wide it was. It gave me a new perspective on what a river was.

Tom said...

I can never see too many pictures of old Frontierland, particularly the Indian village and the dance circle.

The spaces seem wider and more open in part, I think, due to the fact that the vegetation wasn't nearly as lush.

It is interesting that the water in that second shot looks like an actual muddy river.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that first one restored nicely, unlike the second one, which still looks a bit weird. There's a bit of satisfaction when I manage to make a pink slide nice and "normal"!

Graffer, I do wonder why they decided that blue-green is better… it is certainly less authentic looking. Maybe they get a deal!

steve2wdw, it is true, early views of Frontierland really do amaze, especially when you consider that the location is in the middle of Orange County.

Melissa, I guess I never thought about hoop dancers having ardent fans!! But hey, why the heck not. You really DO have a crush! ;-) He probably is sad that people love him for his looks and not for his mind. Just kidding! We read Huck Finn in grade school, and it kills me that so many of today's teachers (or their students or the parents) can't seem to contextualize the book's subject matter and language.

K. Martinez, I have wondered about those rocks as well! My guess is that they are man-made, but if so, they are very well done. I haven't seen the Mississippi up close for a long time, but do remember it being amazing.

Tom, I think that there are so many more rides crammed together, and with the busy streets of New Orleans Square right on the river, it feels a lot more "settled" than it used to.

Snow White Archive said...

The island looks so small from this angle.

Wouldn't want to fall off the raft into that muddy water.