Friday, June 26, 2015

Instamatics - Beautiful Tomorrowland

Hooray, it's time for more wonderful vintage Instamatic photos - both from Tomorrowland. 

Taken (presumably) from the Skyway, we begin our gradual ascent above the Autopia load area; I love the "Richfield" lettering that would only be visible to somebody up in the air! And we get a nice shot of the Richfield eagle, too. You've got your Peoplemover trains, and the Monorail, along with the Matterhorn (you can even see the chalet), and "It's a Small World". I love this photo - nice job, Mr. X!

Here's another beauty, taken from a very unusual angle, with the Carousel of Progress to our left, some Seussian palm trees, and, dead ahead, the Rocket Jets and Peoplemover, gleaming in the afternoon sunlight. I know that Mr. X was patient and liked to take photos of the Rocket Jets when the rockets were UP - a wise choice. I am assuming that the bundle on the bench belonged to him. 


Nanook said...


What a great way to start off a Friday-! Both images are full of Tomorrowland goodness. The Richfield sign atop the roof of the queue area reminds me of a visit up to the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building. Looking down at Manhattan from that great height, one thing which used to stand out was (painted) signage atop the Macy's Department Store in Herarld Square declaring to all those looking down: Macy's - It's Smart to Be Thrifty. That's probably not how they'd like to be thought of today - but the late 1960's were a different time for retailing.

Thanks, Major (& Mr. X) for these great views.

D ticket said...

The bundle on the bench looks like strawberries in a box waiting to be planted.

Nanook said...

@ D ticket-

It really does look like a 'flat' of some sort of flora... Wouldn't that be a hoot if it was accidentally left out "on stage" when guests were present...

K. Martinez said...

Image 1: I love the gasoline pump next to the Autopia queue. With the Mark II Monorail Gold, original monorail station, Mark VII Autopia vehicles and the railings on the PeopleMover track this photo was probably taken sometime in 1968.

Image 2: I love that you can see the interior of 'The Character Shop' in the distance. Also, the 'Space Bar' appears to be closed. It's probably too early for it to be open yet. That's probably one of the Coca-Cola signs from the 'Tomorrowland Terrace' hidden behind the palm trees on the left. That's definitely got to be a flat of plantings accidently left out by a gardener.

Thank you, Major and Mr. X. There's just something special about instamatics.

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember the hard cover DL souvenir book that was sold throughout the seventies (and probably in the sixties too) mentioning a very old, multi-trunk Senegal Date Palm that was located in Tomorrowland. I think they claimed in the book that it was a hundred years old or more. Could that be the palm trees we see in that second pic?

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm referring to the palm trees in the foreground and on the far right.

Chuck said...

Wasn't there briefly a deal where your Disneyland admission included a trip to the strawberry patch next door? Maybe I dreamed that. Or just flat made it up.

I like Monorail Yellow next to the yellow PeopleMover train. This photo can only have been taken from a yellow Skyway bucket.

Nice way to start my day. Thanks, Major and Mr X!

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics today, Major. I especially like that you can see both the Tomorrowland and the Fantasyland Richfield eagles in that first shot.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Wow, these shots are awesome. Tomorrowland was so full of moving parts back then you can feel the movement and see the color.

Now it just seems like a crush of bodies, a bunch of store fronts and attraction entry doors.

I never thought I would miss a lazy susan filled with colorful fiberglass cars this much. Thanks for the memories Major and Mr X.

Melissa said...

Can't get enough of that Richfield eagle! I've always have a soft spot for advertising colossi. Far too few of them these days.

Thanks again, Mr. X., for these bright and shiny windows into the old future!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ha ha, Macy’s knew that a lot of people would see that sign, in spite of its unusual placement! Pretty cool.

D ticket, I guess that’s what I get for writing my blurb without looking at the larger version of the photo! Hey, I was in a hurry. It does look like a pallet of plants.

Nanook, since it appears that the park just opened, I wonder if gardeners were scrambling to finish a job? Or they might have just left it behind, as you said.

K. Martinez, it took me a second to find the gas pump you mentioned. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen another photo in which the Space Bar is all locked up like that, which is kind of neat. And yes, that is certainly a Coca Cola sign.

TokyoMagic!, wow, how did you ever remember that obscure description? It seems to fit; A “Senegal Date Palm”, who knew.

Chuck, I can’t tell if you are kidding or not! I have never heard about admission including a visit to the strawberry patch, but anything’s possible. Mr. X probably had yellow fever when he took that picture.

Pegleg Pete, oh yeah, there’s the other eagle!

Alonzo, the word “optimistic” really does fit the 1967 New Tomorrowland so well. That feeling has gone away with all of the regrettable changes. It seems amazing that the Imagineers can’t think of a way to make the place cool again.

Melissa, I wonder how large the eagle actually was? 6 feet tall? Bigger? It makes me think of that SImpsons “Treehouse of Terror” segment (“Just don’t look, just don’t look….”).

Chuck said...

Major - sadly, I was kidding, although picking berries on a visit to Disneyland is a much better idea than harvesting catfish on a visit to Disneyland.

Unknown said...

Pretty pretty.

Boy, you come late to the party and everything's already been spotted and explained. Let me just add that I think I can just make out "it's a small world" off in the far distance of the first shot.

Major Pepperidge said...

I thought that trout was the "catch of the day" when you could fish at Disneyland; though I guess catfish makes sense too; they could certainly live in that weird water, and it fit the Tom Sawyer theme.

Patrick, it is true, notice that some folks start commenting just after midnight (the posts always publish at 12:01 AM), so you literally have to get up early to beat them!

K. Martinez said...

Patrick, I've come late to the party before as well so I know what you mean, but there are still a few details I see in today's pics that haven't been mentioned yet.

Chuck said...

Major, I'd always thought it was stocked just with catfish (probably because the fishing area was at "Catfish Cove"), but this morning I've read they stocked it with catfish, perch and bluegill ( as well as trout ( They didn't introduce any kraken to the river until after the Pirates overlay in 2007.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, What I wouldn't give to see the Kraken crush the Mark Twain or Columbia with a boat load of guests. Oh, what a sight!

JG said...

@TokyoMagic... re: Senegal Date Palm. Yes, the rare tree is the one to the right in the picture. It was a multi-trunked palm reputed to be of great age. I recall the description you gave and recall another that mentioned the age to be over 70 years old.

I don't know how fast palm trees grow or how long they live, but it seemed like a noteworthy fact at the time.

It's weird that we remember that detail. I think there was an info plaque in the planter, or maybe in a guide book or something.

I don't think this tree is there anymore. Not sure if it was moved, or to where. I hope the Presslers didn't have it cut up for firewood to power the Rocket Rods.