Monday, March 03, 2014

Special Guest Photos - Disneyland's 40th Anniversary

Once again, GDB reader Chuck Hansen has come to the rescue and is sharing some of his personal photos; these date from July 17, 1995… Disneyland's 40th anniversary. 

If all streets had balloon arches overhead, there would be no wars. I like how the wind has made them  kind of wonky and Seussian. Just think, 40 years earlier, Walt Disney and thousands of other folks were in this very spot for the televised opening ceremonies.

I love the addition of the giant Mickey-shaped balloon; was this only used for a single day? As much as I am a fan of Mickey Mouse (and I really am!), I still would rather see one of those blow-up gorillas (like you see at auto dealerships). For obvious reasons.

Man, look at that crowd! I wish I had one of those birthday hats. Not as a collectible, just because they look so darn spiffy. AIEEEE! A giant Lady and Tramp are atop the Emporium... and they are HUNGRY.

Those red Mickey-shaped barrage balloons prevented attack by low-flying aircraft and V-1 bombs, probably sent by Knott's Berry Farm. And you thought balloons were just for fun (and for inhaling helium).

Thank you, Chuck! We'll have a few more photos from this batch, including some of Chuck and his wife. Then he'll be stopped for his autograph and pestered by paparazzi for months to come.


Nanook said...

Yes - Thank you Chuck for providing these colorful images.

Major - I understand your love for the giant gorilla balloons, but I prefer the giant-sized (is there any other kind-?) Paul Bunyan Fiberglass 'statue', designed originally holding an axe, but when employed at tire dealerships, the axe is removed so Paul could hold a tire in each hand. True genius.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, no fair, of COURS E those "muffler men" are the best! I was comparing apples to apples, i.e. giant inflatable rooftop monsters. And the gorillas win in that category.

Melissa said...

Sorcerer Mickey looks like he's got a bit of a stiff neck. The last time I stayed at the Pop Century Resort at WDW, there was a giant statue of the Tramp with his huge, slavering fangs right outside my door - not a very cuddly way to start the day.

I absolutely love the Don't-Mess-With-Me lady right above Chuck's name in the third picture.

"Keep snapping, shutterbug, and you'll find out how it feels to get a pointy birthday hat through the eyeball."

Thanks so much for sharing your memories, Chuck!

Anonymous said...

Chuck (and Major), thank you very much. Great images and memories.


Monkey Cage Kurt said...

The fiberglass Paul Bunyan I grew up with was a golfer. He was just off the 405 in LA County, somewhere between Carson and Hawthorne.

What a lovely day at the park it was this day. Digging those clouds and cerulean blue sky! It must’ve rained just the day before. Thanks Chuck!

Nanook said...

@ M. C. Kurt-

I remember that "re-purposed" Paul. His immense size certainly didn't stop him from making multiple guest appearances across the landscape-!

@ Melissa-

Good call on the Don't-Mess-With-Me-Lady. The image was so overpowered with the steroids-gone-wild frightening 'Lady' & 'Tramp', I didn't notice her scowling mug. (If looks could kill...)

K. Martinez said...

These are great! With the inflatables atop the buildings, the Emporium and Main Street looks so small in scale and very compact, which it is.

Those Mickey balloons remind me of the red balloons from the early postcards of Tomorrowland.

Thanks Chuck and Major. Looking forward to more of these.

Chuck said...

Thanks for all of the positive feedback!

I'll admit I was a little worried about that woman in the third slide right after I shot it, but then the air raid siren went off and the ack-ack started, people screaming and running everywhere. A fella wearing a white helmet with a big black "W" on it and an "ARP" armband blew a whistle at me and screamed "Git inside, ya blinkin' fool!" in a cockney accent.

As I dove for the doorway of the Disney Showcase, I looked up and saw a flight of brightly-colored biplanes flash past, with several flying elephants in hot pursuit. If it hadn't been for those barrage balloons and the quick scramble of the interceptors sitting hot alert in Fantasyland, engines spinning, things could have been worse - much, much worse.

Melissa said...

Chuck's a man who leads a life of danger.
To all at Disneyland he stays a stranger.
With every shot he takes,
An enemy he makes;
Odds are he won't live to see Tomorrowland.

Secret Agent Man, Secret Agent Man -
They've given you a number, and taken you on the Mark Twain.

Chuck said...

Melissa, you are my hero.