Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, 1956

Today we're focusing on the much-missed Fantasyland Pirate Ship. I loved it best when it was sponsored by Chicken of the Sea, largely because of their wonderful mermaid! She appeared on the stern of the ship and served as the fanciful figurehead, as seen here. It's also nice to see the ship with the red and white striped sails unfurled… many times they are either furled or missing altogether.

No, I didn't zoom in, this is actually a different photo. Although if you look at all three of today's pictures in rapid succession, it reminds me of cinematic editing. 

OK, now I zoomed in, for a better look at My Favorite Mermaid (how can that not be a 60's TV show?). She's waving a wand, which means she must possess magical powers. When Chicken of the Sea stopped sponsoring the restaurant in 1969, the mermaid swam home and Captain Hook took over.


Melissa said...

"Ask any mermaid you happen to see:
What's the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea!"

Who has the cojones to rhyme "see" with "sea?"

Isn't she lovely, though? And perfectly on-model, From her diamond-crusted gown to her Veronica Lake hair. I've always thought of her wand as a single-pronged version of Neptune's trident. Monodent? Unident?

Also love how the round Skyway buckets echo the shape of the crow's nest as they pass. Caw!

K. Martinez said...

Mermaids everywhere; Peter Pan's Flight, Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant, the Submarine Voyage and "It's a Small World".

The removal of the Pirate Ship restaurant is one of several sore spots for me due to the creation of Fantasyland '83. Beautiful set today. Thanks, Major.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Someday that mermaid’s going to be my girlfriend!

K Martinez, I also greave for the loss of this beautiful icon of vintage Fantasyland. It’s one of those things that could someday be resurrected though, like the Moonliner. But it’ll take someone with a great respect for the Walt days, and a lot of creative clout at the company. Someone like Lasseter could pull it off, as long as he doesn’t attempt to make it a CG projection or something.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I have been tempted to test my sculpting skills to see if I could make an acceptable copy of the mermaid frieze on the stern of the boat. But the more I look at it, the more I know I probably don't have the chops!

K. Martinez, I still don't entirely buy the story that they originally intended to move the ship, but that it fell apart unexpectedly. It just doesn't ring true.

Monkey Cage Kurt, on those rare days when the park allows guests to wear costumes, it would be cool if a woman dressed as the COS mermaid! Maybe it's too obscure these days.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

That WOULD be cool! But I don’t know how she’d get around. A wheelchair maybe? Hey, then she wouldn’t have to wait in all those long lines! I think you may be on to something here. I’m guna get started on my Chicken of the Sea mermaid costume right away.

Melissa said...

It'd be a great costume for someone who already uses a wheelchair. Or you could cheat it with something like this McCall's pattern.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought the mermaid looked like Tinkerbell's cousin, which might explain how she got the job of Pirate Ship Mascot, an insider recommendation.

Great pics of a long-gone favorite.

Somehow, after my recent visit to Disneyland a few weeks ago, I am missing the missing things less. I still enjoy seeing the old pictures, but the memories don't tweak me the way they used to do.

Maybe I'm finally grown up. The thought makes me sad, but it might be true.

Thanks for the pictures, Major. I always enjoy them.


Melissa said...

It can't be a coincidence that the Ariel figurehead outside the Little Mermaid ride at WDW is in the same pose.

Major Pepperidge said...

Monkey Cage Kurt - how about roller skates?! I was actually thinking of something along the lines of the McCall's pattern that Melissa links to.

Melissa, a mermaid costume could certainly work for somebody in a wheelchair… otherwise your pattern would be ideal.

JG, I know what you mean; when I go to the park I have a perfectly fine time; the changes mostly upset me *in theory*. Well, maybe a bit more than that when it comes to the removal of a ride without replacing it (like the Skyway). But I'm glad that you can enjoy yourself more when you go to Disneyland!

Melissa, is Ariel holding a thingamabob?

Connie Moreno said...


Chuck said...

Saw a school production of "The Little Mermaid" last month that used those same patterns as the basis for the costumes. Worked beautifully, and there weren't the mobility issues of a 1960's mermaid skirt.