Tuesday, January 05, 2016

"It's a Small World", September 1971

Here are two humble photo prints from September, 1971, featuring the façade of "It's a Small World". 

First we get a long shot taken from the Skyway; the park looks busy, but it's nothing compared to today's crowds. Look at all the trees! It's almost as if the attraction was built on the edge of a small forest. I've always been curious about the models built for this façade... I've seen photos of some that are not really like what the final version is; did they ever make a large, accurate model? 

For some years, the attraction was painted in various colors, starting with more blues being added. At some point the whole thing was covered in pastel hues, which I know many people liked. But for me, the original white and gold can't be beat.

Stroller alert! Run for your lives!


TokyoMagic! said...

Painting the clock tower in shades of blue and leaving the rest of the facade white was just weird. It made it look unfinished. I wonder what the thinking was behind that? I'm not saying the pastel colors were any better, but at least it looked more uniform. I was SO glad when It's A Small World and Space Mountain were both repainted white.

And that number of strollers is also nothing compared to today!

Chuck said...

That first one is a (small) postcard-worthy photo. Too bad you don't have the negative - that would really be something.

I love the uncrowded feel of the off-season. It looks like most of my family's visits when I was a child. I have a series of 110 prints of my sister and I meeting several costumed characters on the east side of Small Wold Mall, presumably as they were emerging from the Fantasyland parade route backstage entrance, and the crowds are no bigger than this.

Thanks for a great start to what I'm sure will be a great day, Major!

Anonymous said...

I miss the trees on the roof of IASW. I remember reading that this was intentional to emphasize the abstract, flat facade, while also giving the impression that the boats went into a fantasy, dream-like world.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I didn’t mind the blue quite so much, though I didn’t see the point. Probably somebody just decided that there was TOO MUCH WHITE! I used to follow some Disney websites that would put up regular photo updates, and I was so happy when the pastel box of crayons was being repainted back to its original color scheme. Remember, we have more strollers today because nobody eats Soylent Green anymore.

Chuck, yes, maybe that one would be good for a “Disneyland Hi-Lites” book! These very well could have been taken during the summer, but you’re right, the crowds seem so insignificant. Very cool that you have photos of you and your sister with characters; as I have mentioned ad nauseum, we somehow have no family photos at the park. And it IS a great day… we have rain here in SoCal!

Anonymous, I have never heard (or read) about the trees on IASW in that respect, but it sounds pretty right…. I think a lot of the transitions at the park are supposed to represent passing from a more rational “normal” world into a dreamlike state. It almost sounds like mumbo jumbo, but I believe that there really is something to it!

Anonymous said...

There are more and more strollers all the time, and bigger strollers too. Unbelievable that people push those things around. And "mobility scooters" too, now.

On our last trip a few weeks ago, we saw the first evidence of Disney trying to actively provide designated parking for these menaces, and enforcing it. This may have been going on for a while, it's just the first we saw it.

There were several scooters and strollers jamming the walkway near the Haunted Mansion, and the HM CM's came over to move them into the designated area a few steps away. Wondering what the guests thought coming out to find their vehicles gone. LOL.

The IASW area was designated in the area just beyond the queue as the walkway slides downhill under the trestle, maybe to capture some before making the jaunt into ToonTown.

The policy seemed to help traffic somewhat, but banning them outright, which would be great, really can't be done.


Monkey Cage Kurt said...

I’ve always been a bit indifferent regarding Small World’s color schemes, but I think you are right Major, the original white and gold leaf works the best. I will say though, I do like the façade best at night when sporting the Christmas lights. An absolutely lovely sight to behold.