Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Orleans Square Shops, September 1976

If only I had more slides featuring wonderful New Orleans Square! I love it; it feels so intimate, and the details are impressive. It's a little world of its own. 

Today's images date from 1976, and show two shop façades. This one is "Laffite's Silver Shop". My Summer 1976 gate guide (no longer sponsored by INA, apparently) says that Laffite's has a "Wide selection of silver gifts. For person wear and the home, engraving facility for personalizing". In case of a vampire attack, this is where I plan to hide! And while I'm there, maybe I'll buy a little case to hold my business cards ("Major Pepperidge - GorillaCo Incorporated"). Classy.

Next we have this shot of "Mlle. Antoinette's Perfumerie". "A complete line of select perfumes and the services of a perfumer to blend unique fragrances, to your choice". I wonder if they carry "Hai Karate" gift sets? 

Look at the beautiful cast iron - it is a different pattern than the cast iron on the Haunted Mansion. I wonder how many different patterns were used throughout New Orleans Square?  Even the lamps, arches, signs, and columns around the doorways are awesome. These slides are a bit washed-out, but one can be sure that there is not a trace of bright blue or purple, like you might find in some places today. A+ (and two smiley faces), Imagineers!


TokyoMagic! said...

Does anyone know what is sold in the the Lafitte's space today? I hope it's not pins, plush or princess paraphernalia!

Major, I prefer Canoe. Canoe Canoe?


Lafitte's Silver Shop had two entrances one across from the Blue Bayou and the other between Cafe Orleans and Crystal Arts. In the 1980's the shop was coverted into " La Petite Patisserie" and sold coffee, hot choccolate, softdrinks,strawberry tarts, chocolate eclairs, napoleons,apple strudel, and cream horns (i'm looking at a photo of the menu sign) The doorway seen in this post still exists, however the service window side was completely removed and sealed up (along with a merchandise bay window between Cafe Orleans. With the recent poor design and rape revisions to New Orleans Square to make Club 33 as unique as a gym membership, there are now no longer any traces as to where this shops main entrance was.

Interestingly the Lafitte's Silver Shop sign (the main shop entrance one) hung in the entry hall to the Disneyland Sign Shop offices until the bracket supporting it fell almost hitting two custodial workers. After that ALL the old signs on display were removed.

K. Martinez said...

Nice photos! I love shop façade images of this area. New Orleans Square at one time was perfection. How could they have screwed it up so badly?

Thanks, Major.

outsidetheberm said...

I'd love to hear an explanation for the deplorable design decisions regarding New Orleans Square in recent years. It's nearly a crime. Are there designers on record for the woeful results?

Unknown said...

Major -- Great shot of Lafitte's Silver Shop. I was just talking with a CM of Mlle. Antoinette's from the early 70s this weekend, and commenting on how there are very few shots of the NOS shops from the 60s and 70s.

Mike Cozart -- Thanks for the clarification on the location of the shop. Many of the early NOS shops (Le Gourmet, Le Forgeron, Le Chapeau, etc.) are very rarely seen, so it's nice to be able to put them into context.

Anonymous said...

outsidetheberm - Wasn't it Kim Irvine that was responsible for the recent NOS and Club 33 changes? I know we have her to thank for ruining It's A Small World. Shameful.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I know that you are all about Vinylmation!

Mike Cozart, thank you for all of that great information! I wonder what they did with all of those old signs? Did they sell them on ebay?

K. Martinez, I have to admit that I always wondered who would buy fine perfumes or genuine antiques at Disneyland; that being said, I was glad that those stores were there.

outsidetheberm, just like so much of the rest of the park, it feels like the soul is being removed from the park piece by piece, to be replaced by bright colors and shiny things.

Brad Abbot, I thought about sending these to you, but figured they were long after your interests.

Anon, I hate to point fingers, only because I know that people like Kim Irvine don't necessarily have the freedom to do what they want. If they figure out how to use colors left over from some other project, that makes them heroes in the eyes of their bosses, because they are always looking to save a buck. I once had a chance to talk to an Imagineer, and started to think that his job sounded very depressing, with all of the obstacles that he had to deal with every day.

Chuck said...

I nearly applied for an Imagineering creative position in '97, as my initial AF service obligation was expiring. Growing up, that had always seemed like THE ideal job to me, but I talked myself out of applying. I guess I was afraid of rejection, and I was about to be promoted, and I enjoyed my then-current job, and...well, you know how those things go.

I doubt that I had the skillset they were looking for, but so much of what I have read about the last 20 years or so there, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much asd I thought I would at the time. But I still can enjoy the solid hits they manage to make despite the limitations...without the headache of trying to develop them myself.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I get the feeling that there is not much job security at WDI; I've known a few long-time employees that were "let go" unexpectedly. Maybe it would be worth it to have "Imagineer" on your resume though?

Unknown said...

I've worked at three separate positions making miniatures, models and prototypes in my life. The sum of them were the best jobs I've had. The bad part is that when the project wound down you would be unemployed and that always hurts. On a couple of occasions I managed to find a new project to get on board with. It's great exciting work but the down times suck.

The Last time this happened (a redesign of the Orion Space Capsule) I went off and found steadier emplyment.

Chuck said...

You worked on Orion?! I am in awe.

I spent a few years working with satellite communications programs, and until then I didn't understand the boom-or-bust nature of the business and how quickly you lose the highly-specialized skills necessary in satellite and spacecraft design and manufacture. Delaying production or stopping and restarting the process can have enormous repercussions on schedule as the people who work the line need to find alternate employment to continue to feed themselves and their families and may not be available when you think you need them later.