Monday, June 30, 2014

Entrance and Castle, 1960-ish

I think it's funny that these three happy guests decided to pose for their first trip portrait waaaaay out in the parking lot. I guess it was a way to get almost all of Main Street Station in the frame, but man, you get a whole lotta asphalt too. This might be grandma (with babushka) and her two grandsons. Could the kid on the left be carrying an enormous camera case?

Once inside the park, they posed for another portrait in front of the castle. Hey, that's not grandma! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's a Sub, Bub

D'OH! I just realized that I set the "publish" time totally incorrectly! Instead of going "Iive" at the usual 12:01 AM, here it is after 4 o'clock in the afternoon and it still hadn't gone up. Arg!!

Here's a familiar view of the submarine lagoon circa 1960; one of the subs sits tied to the dock (even though it is on a track… I guess they still floated, sorta). I've always loved the idea of passing through the waterfalls when entering and leaving the "dark ride" portion of the attraction. Ingenious! Monorail tracks aplenty cross overhead.

Next, a view from a sub's porthole, looking at the briny blue. The water appears kind of turbid here… in other photos it looks much clearer. Not sure if that has to do with filtration or what. Anyway, if you saw this photo out of context, it could pass for a genuine under-the-sea glimpse, don't you think?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Special Guest Post - Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Today we have more photos from GDB reader/contributor Ken Martinez! This time we will be getting a look at a place near and dear to his heart, the Santa Cruz boardwalk (from the late 1980's). At night!  I've been there - once. The place evoked the old seaside amusement parks that used to dot the California coast, most of them now long gone; which makes Santa Cruz that much more special.

This first one is especially nice…. it shows the "Giant Dipper roller coaster and boardwalk at night with reflection in the San Lorenzo River". 

This is an interesting photo of the "Wave Jammer" ride… is that the same as the "Tilt-a-Whirl"?

There's the building that contains the Loof Carousel. Those seahorses on top remind me very much of the kind that were seen at Pacific Ocean Park - maybe they were made by the same people.

Here's a "… general night view of the boardwalk as it looked around 1984. (Jet Star coaster in background)". 

Another angle of the 16-car Ferris Wheel….

This one was really dark, but you can see a ride appropriately called "the Spider". 

This one is my favorite of the bunch! It is from the boardwalk "photo op" area, featuring a 4 year-old Kenny in 1964. The smile on his face says it all!

MANY THANKS to Ken Martinez for sharing his personal photos of the Santa Cruz boardwalk with us today!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pirates & Jungle Cruise, August 1970

Happy friday, everybody! I thought I'd start out with a great view of the entrance to "Pirates of the Caribbean", long before the elaborate bridges and staircases were added to help reroute the queue and allow access to the Disney Gallery (which was there from 1987 to 2007). 

I love seeing this area the way it used to look!

While this photo is a bit dark, it makes one feel as if the launches are about to enter mysterious, uncharted rain forests full of danger and beauty.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

You-Know-What, August 1960

I guess you can't blame photographers for wanting a picture of the Matterhorn. Where else are you going to see a thing like that? I mean besides Switzerland? And this one has a ride in and around it too, unlike that boring real mountain. 

It also has a basketball half court, a jacuzzi, a dirigible hangar, a sno-cone machine, a small theater that only shows movies about mountain climbing, a beauty salon, and a missile silo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nice Fantasyland, 1960

I've got two super nice photos for you, from Fantasyland circa 1960.

Let's start with this neat angle looking at the Pirate Ship. Something looks different here, though I'm not sure what, exactly. I enjoy the many guns trained on passing guests! It was to prevent roving bands of cats from boarding the tuna boat. Shiver me timbers!

And here's a nice (and unusual) perspective, taken from on board the Casey Jr. Circus Train. A barred car full of wild animals is directly in front of us. Don't feed them! Note the glimpse of the pirate ship at the top of the photo.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Donruss Bubblegum Cards, Part Five

Please chew a piece of Bazooka bubblegum as you read this post. Here are six more Donruss bubblegum cards from 1965!

Card #29: Western Mine Train crosses trestle over Bear River going through Nature's Wonderland.

I never knew it was called "Bear River"!

The same photo was used on this Fall 1960 issue of "Vacationland" magazine, and it sure looks more colorful.

Card #30: Disneyland Astrojet provides thrilling ride in Tomorrowland.

Whoever wrote these descriptions was no Hemingway.

Card #31: Indian elephants play in sacred wading pool as seen by passengers aboard Disneyland Jungle Cruise.

Card #32: Deluxe passenger train of the 1890 vintage leaves Main Street Station on the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad.

Card #33: Disneyland's Gonzales Trio entertain guests at Mexican Village in Frontierland.

I don't recall ever seeing the SeƱorita with a guitar before! I love her even more now.

Card #34: A Disneyland future attraction under construction for opening in 1967, The Haunted House.

I have heard that guests were allowed to enter the grounds of the Haunted Mansion for a brief time before the attraction opened. Or maybe these people were let in for the photo. Imagine how impressed they must have been. "If the outside looks this good, think of what the inside must be like!".

We're just over halfway through these cards!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mt. Cervino, August 1969

We all know that crazy mountain as "The Matterhorn" - - that's what the Germans call it. But did you know that Italians call it "Mt. Cervino"? Now you do. It's an interesting factoid, but I'm going to keep calling it by its more familiar moniker.

Let's start with this unusual angle (taken near the Plaza Inn?) looking across the lawn and plantings toward the artery that leads into Tomorrowland, and the yellow and white tent (souvenirs) where the old House of the Future used to be.

Like many old Ektachrome slides, this one has an odd yellow-orange cast to it. See the bobsled? I wonder if the ride used to go faster when it was just single bobsleds instead of two hitched together. 

Well, whaddaya know, it's Hans and Otto. They just love to climb! The top of Disneyland's Matterhorn is littered with empty oxygen bottles, as well as the frozen bodies of climbers who weren't so lucky.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Six Awful Photos from August, 1969!

I have started scanning a large lot of photos from August, 1969. There must be at least fifty slides in the lot - - maybe more. And some of them are very nice. BUT… some of them are "head scratchers".  What were they aiming at? Why did they feel the need to capture this scene? We will never know. Still, the more pictures you take, the better your chance is to get at least a few good ones. And this is from the days of film, when every frame was precious.

Let's start with this shot from Tom Sawyer Island, next to the suspension bridge. I suppose that little shack was of interest - barely. 

Also on the Island is this rushing brook, running from the top of a hill to the Rivers of America. It's a detail that is not often photographed, and now we know why.

OK, these next three really puzzle me. Part of the problem is the blown-out contrast, but even so…

I think this is part of the waterway that runs between the entrances to Frontierland and Adventureland and Main Street. It probably would be a pretty picture if it wasn't so washed out.

Nearby, another ho-hum view...

… and yet a THIRD try. Save your film for Tomorrowland, folks! It's worth it!

The sign above the entrance to Fort Wilderness might be a worthy subject, but this is just a bad attempt. Or maybe they just wanted a picture of Old Glory.

I hope you have endured these photos!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Corinne Loves Miniature Trains

Today we're going to visit and old friend… a little girl named "Corinne". She's appeared on this blog twice before; we saw her at Jungleland, and again at the Indio Date Festival. It looks like she had a swell SoCal childhood, visiting all of the local kid-friendly attractions. (No Disneyland or Knott's in the batch, unfortunately). 

In this first picture, Corinne and her mom (?) and pals (I'm guessing they aren't her brothers) ride a sleek blue miniature train. It's December 1959, but there was no label on the slide indicating the location. I was almost positive that this was from "Travel Town" ( a museum with 43 full-sized railroad engines, cars, and other rolling stock ) in Griffith Park (right near the Disney Studios), but how can I be sure?? I noticed the saw-toothed wooden detail in the upper left-hand corner, could that be part of the train station?

Eureka! After a brief Google search I found this vintage photo of the Travel Town station, and there's that same saw-toothed detail! Cool.

Just a few months later, Corinne and family headed up to Carpinteria, just south of Santa Barbara, to visit Santa Claus Lane. See an old post with photos HERE! At some point, a miniature railroad was added to circle the shops and restaurants at this roadside attraction. Corinne has her baby doll with her, which is pretty adorbs. 

We just might see Corinne again, someday! Stay tuned….

Friday, June 20, 2014

Teacups & Hotel, March 13 1958

Continuing with a nice bunch from March of 1958… I really love this great shot of a little girl (the slide is helpfully labeled "Susie"); the way her head just pops up above the rim of the teacup, her cute smile,  and her babushka (!). And how about that color, zowie! Kodachrome at its best. It must have been an off day, all the other teacups are empty. Either that, or the ride wasn't operational, but somebody let her pose for a photo - is that even possible? The Mad Tea Party isn't much fun if you are by yourself.

There's Susie again, at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel. She is proudly displaying her Donald Duck comic book… I wonder if it was a complimentary copy provided by the hotel?

Here's a better look at the cover, from the March-April 1958 issue. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Classic Frontierland

It's time for some more "greatest hits" - from Frontierland (both dated August 1957)  this time!

I love this fantastic photo of one of the Conestoga Wagons; it's in the corral where the Stagecoaches also loaded/unloaded. Pack Mules can just be seen in the background. The wagon looks so tidy, with its burnt sienna paint and blue wheels. The tools and boxes stuck on the outside of the vehicle add to the richness of the scene. I presume those are clydesdales hitched to the wagon? 

Here's another favorite of mine, taken from the top of a Keelboat, which is unique to my collection. The girl wears a "coolie hat", while the boy sports a train engineer's cap. Everything about this picture is awesome, the ropes, the wooden benches (already worn by thousands of butts), Fowler's Harbor in the distance, the speaker on the mast, and the wonderful folk art decoration next to the kids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Castle & Main Street at Night, 1960

Night photos are as scarce as hen's teeth in my collection. Of the many thousands of images, I don't know if I have more than about 20 or 30 nighttime pictures. So… today's offerings are a special treat!

As much as I love seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle by day, it becomes even more beautiful and evocative at night. The spires glow with warm pinks and oranges, with the occasional cool blue lights for contrast. For some reason this picture makes me thing of Colleen Moore's dollhouse at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (though I admit that they are quite different from each other).

There is nothing like Main Street USA when all of the "popcorn lights" are ablaze, the many signs are lit, and the shops beckon potential shoppers. Especially if you are lucky and the crowds are minimal - it is (I'll admit it) magical.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chuck Stuff!

For those of you who like old Disneyland ephemera, GDB reader (and pal) Chuck Hansen has shared these scans of some of his treasures from his personal collection. 

Let's start with his Annual Passport! He says, "I'm sure many of us have fond memories of getting these at the Bank of Main Street. We picked ours up on an uncrowded Tuesday in October - no line. Note that we paid for the absolutely cheapest AP we could - and we only paid for one parking pass"

So THAT'S what they look like! I've never had one.

More from Chuck: "1995 saw the debut of the last new E-Ticket ride at Disneyland - the Indiana Jones Adventure. One of the really neat details that the Imagineers worked into the attraction was the repeated use throughout the line queue of a "foreign" alphabet used by the people who had supposedly built the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Fortunately, they possessed a 26-letter alphabet and wrote in English, so all that was needed to decode the messages was a key.

As you exited the ride, hopefully a bit younger, richer, or wiser (although that never happened to me  thanks a LOT, Guy in the Third Row who couldn't keep his eyes to himself! Yeah, you know who I'm talking to), a CM or two would hand out cards with an AT&T ad on one side and the key to the Mara alphabet on the other side. Not only did this encourage repeat visits, it also helped pass the time while you were waiting in that inevitable line. I kept a card in my wallet just in case, and another lived in the glove compartment of my car for 12 years, although after some study you began to notice that most of the characters were just heavily stylized English letters and you didn't need the card anymore.

I found two distinct card designs in my collection. The first - which I have two examples of - is the one labeled "1995". This is the one that lived in my car and wallet, so I know for a fact that it was from that year because we left in October of 1995 and that car never returned to California. 

The second, with a more orange cast, is harder to place. It may have been from right when the ride opened - the code is harder to read on that background and might have been quickly replaced - or might have been from a 1997 visit. I really don't know; maybe you or one of your readers does".

Well, I don't know, but somebody out there does! By the way, I think I might have yet another decoder card… if I recall correctly, it features the giant snake terrorizing one of the transports. Wish I could find it.

And lastly, here is "…. a Blue Bayou reservation card from the summer of 1995. We went to the Park one Saturday evening to celebrate my wife's birthday, and I surprised her by pre-positioning a fancy outfit for her and my mess dress (tuxedo uniform) in a couple of lockers just outside the main entrance. Fully dressed to the nines, we then had a wonderful dinner in water-side seats at the Blue Bayou, followed by dancing at the Plaza Gardens. I was actually asked by the waiter if we were going to a prom… because, I guess, most high school lids wear rank and medals on their tuxedos. :-)".

Chuck is kidding, but I wear rank and medals on my clothing every day, for all occasions. I demand to be saluted, and prefer to be referred to as, "Your magnificence". 

THANKS to Chuck for sharing his Disneyland treasures!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, March 13, 1958

There's just something about this first photo of the Chicken of the Sea pirate ship. But what?? Is it that ominous sky, signaling the arrival of Sauron? Is it the angle? The color? The flavor (requires licking your monitor)? There are some answers that the world will never know.

Susie and her mom resist the urge to spin the wheel. I actually have no idea if the thing even turned, but my spidey senses me it didn't. Susie is bundled up, it must have been chilly. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Columbia, April 1987

The Columbia is an exact replica of the first U.S. ship to circumnavigate the globe. I learned that it was privately owned, and not a military vessel (to my surprise). After years of riding the Mark Twain, I finally took a ride on the Columbia a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. According to one mysterious source, the Columbia does not sail, but actually rolls on submerged wheels. I choose to believe this mysterious source!

Elsewhere in Frontierland, you might have noticed this rusting mine car that has dumped its last tailings many years before. The tracks and tunnel were all part of the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train, where a trestle bridge crossed above some fishing bears. I believe that the tracks and mine car are gone nowadays.