Friday, December 18, 2015

Two Beauties from 1957

Here are two very nice Kodachromes featuring a Disneyland that is long-gone. But not forgotten! 

We'll start with this fun shot taken as we prepare to board our car at the Junior Autopia. Those old vehicles were so great - even now they look sporty, though they have acquired a vintage quality, like an old Porsche. 

You can just see bits of the circus wagons that used to be displayed beyond the queue building. I'd always assumed that they were there because they'd been used in the "Toby Tyler" movie, but it turns out that the film wasn't released until January 1960. So I guess they were just there because they'd been used in the Mickey Mouse Club Circus, and various parades.

We've seen that vast expanse of dirt before, why didn't they landscape it? Imagine the dust kicked up on a day with gusty Santa Ana winds. *Cough*

Next is a great shot from Tom Sawyer Island, with a group of boys preparing to ambush unfortunate passers-by. This almost looks like a forced-perspecive shot from "Darby O'Gill".. they boys don't really appear any closer to us than the lady below them (though they certainly are), making them look like giants compared to her. Maybe it's just me.

In the lower part of the photo, guests are crossing the pontoon bridge, and you can see the suspension bridge in the background. Also... love the evocative signs! "SECRET PASSAGE TO CASTLE DUNGEON", "GIANT PUNCH BOWL", what kid wouldn't want to see those features?


Nanook said...


Some more lovely images. Who needs a center guide rail while tooling-around the Autopia-! And that group of 'young toughs', seen here in their formative years - prior to becoming full-fledged JD's-! (I wonder how many young guests looked in vain for the "giant punch bowl" hoping for a refreshing big gulp...?

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

The two boys on the left (second photo) are standing in the same position with their right legs bent and turned inward. I wonder if they are brothers and their posture is a genetic thing? Unilateral pigeon toed-ness?

Chuck said...

It's not commonly known, but that area to the right of the Junior Autopia was Disneyland's first "earth farm," where they grew fill dirt for the various construction projects across the Park. After the area was redeveloped, the earth farm was relocated outside the berm. My understanding is that Disney now buys their dirt from low-cost producers in China.

K. Martinez said...

I like the horizon in the first image. There are a few of my favorite things out there.

I didn't see "Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks With A Circus" until about ten years ago. I actually enjoyed it. The scene with the circus parade marching down the main street reminded me very much of Disneyland's own Main Street, U.S.A. with its parades all saturated with nostalgia. And I just learned recently that Kevin Corcoran "Moochie" passed away a couple of months ago on October 6, 2015.

The second image is a gem. What clarity! BEWARE! AMBUSH ROCK. Yeah, I can just see me cracking my head on that like I used to do at Fort Wilderness and the Swiss Family Treehouse, Mind Thy Head indeed!

"Darby O'Gill and the Little People" is one of my favorite live-action Disney films. I'm surprised they didn't try to do an attraction based on the "little people" in Disneyland's Fantasyland.

Extra nice set to day Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s funny, as I see the remainder of my collection getting smaller and smaller, I think I am appreciating “regular” photos more and more. That being said, I think today’s are better than ordinary! As for those hoodlums, I would not want to run into them in a dark alley.

TokyoMagic!, I noticed the similar posture too! It’s like they were ice dancers, ha ha. Or they were pigeon-toed. Kept them out of Vietnam!

Chuck, all of that Chinese dirt had to be recalled due to high levels of lead and melamine.

K. Martinez, yes, telephone poles! I think Julie Andrews mentions those in the song “My Favorite Things”. Isn’t it weird to think that Moochie is gone? Admittedly I mostly knew him from the “Swiss Family Robinson” movie, and even as a kid I thought he was obnoxious. But he had a certain kind of charm. Hey, I wonder if they’ll ever try to remake Darby O’Gill? When I was little, that phantom coach coming out of the sky scared the bejesus out of me.

Chuck said...

When my kids were small and I was out of town one St Patrick's Day, my mother-in-law thought it would be wonderful to buy a copy of "Darby O'Gill" and watch it with the kids. When my wife told me about it afterwards, my response was "What were you thinking???!!!" They didn't sleep a wink that night.

When I was in high school, I remember laying in bed one night, hearing the wind scream around the house in two different tones (I was on a corner with loose-fitting windows on both sides), and the only think I could think of was that stupid banshee. I didn't sleep a wink that night.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, it sounds like a dumb movie, but when I was in high school I took care of a house up on a hill (honestly!) owned by a local rich family. I cleaned the pool, kept the lawn watered, and spent the night there. Then I went to see a double feature of "Halloween" and "When a Stranger Calls" ("HE'S INSIDE THE HOUSE!"). It was hard NOT to see Jason's pale, masked face out the window!

Chuck said...

My dad talks about going to see a midnight showing of George Pal's version of "War of the Worlds" when he was 12. He went straight from the movie to his early morning paper route, and every little sound was a Martian waiting to pounce. One particular fire hydrant hiding in the shadows that scared the daylights out of him still stands out in his memory.