Friday, May 13, 2016

Rediscovered Treasures - Tomorrowland

Oh boy, vintage Tomorrowland! My favorite. Both of today's photos had been rejected long ago due to the fact that they had turned so magenta that I was unable to adequately restore them at the time. But that was then! I've taken a crack at them again, and thanks to the wonders of technology I managed to make them presentable. 

Howsabout this lovely shot of the Clock of the World, from August 13, 1955? The park had only been open for a month; Tomorrowland was famously behind schedule, and much of it really didn't open until August. The Dutch Boy "Color Gallery", Richfield's "The World Beneath Us", the "20,000 Leagues" walk-thru, all debuted that month. Other attractions would open as the year progressed. So, this was a minty-fresh place, and it looks like it. To our left is the Circarama building, while the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry is to our right.

Thanks to Jason's Disneyland Almanac, I can tell you that the August 13, 1955 was a Saturday. The park was open from 10 AM until 10 PM, and the high temperature was a comfortable 80 degrees. Attendance was 17,928. Two days before, Richard Nixon and his family had visited the park.

This one still appears slightly funky, but trust me, it's so much better than the original slide. I love this shot of the mighty Matterhorn (just look at those waterfalls!) with the Skyway buckets, the Monorail track, and the adorable mid-century architecture of the Yacht Bar. Sweeeeeeeet!


Nanook said...


Tomorrowland really does look 'minty fresh'. And looking at the image as it now appears, no one would have ever thought it looked otherwise. It really looks nice. Oh to be there on that day-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Speaking of minty-fresh, I spy the Double Mint Twins in that second pic!

Chuck said...

I can confirm that these pictures are still minty-fresh.

Now...anybody know the best way to clean saliva off a monitor?

Alonzo P Hawk said...

These are a couple of pips for friday the 13th. I can almost get a whiff of that new park smell from pic #1. The variety of hats runs the gambit of tam o'shanter to ball caps to classic fedora, lest we forget grandma's straw fruit bowl gem. The hot dish staring at the clock to the boy scout in uniform make people watching all the more interesting.

Had the hall of chemistry survived till today would it be renamed the Walter White Hall of Chemistry?

Pic #2 is no slouch either (don't under estimate yourself judge, your a tremendous slouch). More hats abound, the Yacht Bar on display and the conjoined twins in blue are keeping up a pretty good pace. Even the striped shirt kids are trying the togetherness thing.

All in all these are a great start to the next decade. Thanks for posting Major. "Good" luck to all GDBr's today.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have read that some people think that the early Tomorrowland looked “boring”, but imagine being able to explore all of those oddball sponsored exhibits. I would love it.

TokyoMagic!, they have fresh minty breath, but they swear like sailors.

Chuck, it is important to have an independent source of confirmation! I recommend Brawny paper towels for your cleaning needs.

Alonzo P. Hawk, oh yeah, it’s Friday the 13th! I didn’t even notice. I love seeing hats in old photos, but admit that I’m kind of glad I don’t have to deal with hats for the most part. And these days, I think Monsanto would be a worse sponsor (public relations-wise) than Walter White. Slouching is what I do best!

Anonymous said...

Seeing the monorail beam snake around the front of the Yacht Bar makes me think. When Tomorrowland was rebuilt in 1967, they must have straightened out the beam's S curve that dodged the Yacht Bar. So even though the Monorail was outside the construction zone, the attraction would have been closed for at least part of the New Tomorrowland's construction period.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the Clock of the Future worked? I've seen countless photos, but I have no idea what the clock was saying.

MRaymond said...

Nice. What is the date on the second picture? I would guess sometime in the 60s since there are more pairs of shorts than skirts. When did the Yacht Bar close?

K. Martinez said...

I love the flag towers along the Tomorrowland Corridor. Nice set today. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous, the monorail beam was indeed straightened out for the new Tomorrowland.

Anonymous, I'm assuming the "Clock of the World" is showing 1:00 p.m. according to the 24 hour military time cycle.

MRaymond, the Yacht Bar closed September 6, 1966 to make way for the New Tomorrowland and Tomorrowland Terrace. This photo represents the Yacht Bar's second location as it was originally located 75 feet away next to the old Phantom Boats before the Viewliner was built.

K. Martinez said...

Anonymous, I forgot to add that the white ring containing the numerical hours 1-24 rotated and the ball above North America showed the minutes. The map always stayed in the same position. If you wanted to figure out the time in other parts of the world you walked around the clock to see were the vertical lines matched up to the hour in the 24 hour cycle. Notice the ball is set on the west coast of the United States. Hope that answers your question.

K. Martinez said...

Anonymous, Here's an image of the back of the "Clock of the World". It shows 8:00 p.m. in Great Brittan and part of western Europe. The sun and the moon sculpture rotated as well so perhaps the entire top of the clock rotated. The map remained in the same position.

Sorry for the multiple posts to explain it.

Tom said...

Wow, these shots are postcard-worthy! I've never seen that spiky death-sphere of a sun look quite so burnished and golden. The flags fluttering, the rocket ready to launch... looks like a perfect day.

Bonus of getting the doublemint twins in the second shot, despite the motion blur.

Very inviting!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

That Matterhorn pic is definitely one of those “love to step into” shots.
REAL NICE STUFF! Thank you, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, now I want to find two good aerial photos that would show the Monorail beam to see if we can determine whether that curve was changed or not…

Anonymous, I was going to explain the clock, but I see that other commenters have already done it!

MRaymond, I believe that the slide was undated, but iI would guess it’s from 1962-ish.

K. Martinez, ah, that answers the question about the Monorail beam. It seems like building those tracks is so expensive that the park will do anything to avoid changing them these days. Thanks for answering those questions for people, including the detailed description of how the Clock worked.

Tom, it does look pretty good! I wish I had had the foresight to keep the “before” version of the photo so that you guys could see how bad the color was pre-restoration. Unfortunately I didn’t, and this is after restoring dozens and dozens of images.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I do love that one, and was glad that it turned out looking as good as it does!

MRaymond said...

I checked my assortment of aerial shots I've collected from the web and the kink near the Matterhorn was removed for the TL67 installation of the Peoplemover. It became a smoother turn and parallels the PM.

Nancy said...

Beautiful views!! I love the colors. Disneyland doesnt get any better than this! :-D