Friday, July 15, 2016

Construction Walls, 1966

Today I have three more photos taken during the construction of the "New Tomorrowland", taken by my pal "Mr. X". In the title of today's post I dated these to 1966, but who knows, it was just a guess. 

I love this first one, taken along a curving pathway that appears to be skirting the edge of the entrance to Tomorrowland (notice the Matterhorn just to the left). I'm amazed that the construction walls are so low, affording an easy view for guests who wanted to monitor the progress.

In the background, the Peoplemover track curves into the unfinished "America the Beautiful" building.

Looks like the pathway continued quite a ways into Tomorrowland; maybe you could still catch a ride on the Skyway? The wall is much higher here, but we can still see the upper platform where the Rocket Jets would eventually go (the gantry appears to be nearly complete), while the level below that is where guests would eventually board the Peoplemover.

The Carousel of Progress building looks like it is pretty far along; the abstract blue mural looks like it's done and all of the embedded lights on the top level are lit up. My guess is that the inside is in much rougher shape. But they wasted no time in getting the GE logos up!


Nanook said...


Let's hear it for "medium-height" construction fences-! Oh the things one could see (and document), if one were of such a mind (and had a camera...) And as long as we're at it - who knew 'pink & orange' were the colors for the future, at least where construction fences were concerned.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Imagine what that must have been like for DL guests to see the New Tomorrowland going up. I wonder if anyone was lamenting the loss of the old Tomorrowland back then or if this one looked just too exciting and promising?

Those lights on the Carousel Theater building look like they are turned on.

K. Martinez said...

In the first image a Skyway Bucket is visible too. Even the roof of the Tomorrowland Terrace is visible in the second image. And I do miss the old orange colored gantry lift. Love the original abstract blue mural of the Carousel Theater complimented by the GE logo in the third image.

Speaking of low construction walls, I don't' care for the way they cover up the scaffolding in the parks these days with the large tarp or fancy scrims or whatever it is they are using draped or hung over the attraction scaffolding they are working on. Personally I find the regular exposed scaffolding less distractive.

TokyoMagic!, Since Disneyland was only 11 years old I'd imagine people weren't as set about Disneyland or as attached to attractions as they are today. In the first 15 years, Disneyland was always in a state of rapid and massive change, though I do remember one reader lamenting the loss of the 20,000 Leagues Exhibit.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I suppose that the orange and pink colors could be interpreted as “cheerful”, maybe they didn’t want the area to look drab with all of that construction going on. I kind of like it because it seems so “Summer of Love”. Yes, imagine what one could have captured with their cameras if they were able to go to the park regularly!

TokyoMagic!, I’m sure there were people who missed the old Rocket to the Moon, and maybe some other stuff. Of course back then there was no internet for people to vent their anger 24/7. As for the lights being on, I mention that in my writeup!

K. Martinez, those scrims or tarps are probably necessary these days, as they not only cover up the construction, but also keep any potential debris from flying into the crowd. I can’t say I’m normally too crazy about scaffolding, but of course at Disneyland I am nosy and want to know what’s going on! You make a good point about how, by 1966, the park was only 11 years old; but I’ll bet that even then there were locals who went more often than most, and who were distressed at the destruction of the old Tomorrowland.

Tom said...

This was the time when "A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" could be taken quite literally. Love that we have glimpses into the pristine construction phase of the amazing new Tomorrowland! And as a bonus - dig those groovy threads!

K. Martinez said...

Major, I'm sure in the old days when they were closed two weekdays per week they had the time to do the work without worry of guests being in the park. Not so anymore. So yeah, I can see your point.

Anonymous said...

These are so much fun. Thanks Major and Mr. X.

Back then, we didn't need to climb on a parking garage to see what was going on.

Those scrims over scaffolding required now by industrial safety; protection against dropped tools, reduced distraction etc. Some communities require sound absorbent blankets as well to reduce noise from hammering and cutting operations. Taller walls are a similar response to requirements.

In Europe, these things are often solid panels with images of the facade-to-be printed on them. What I've seen in recent Disney construction looks like an thorough effort to hide the mess with nice pictures, at least an attempt at good relations.


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, Oh no! I see comments posted at times about something that you have already mentioned in your post, and now I've done it! That will teach me to read and comment on your posts at 2 in the morning (or later!)

Ken, you are right. The park was constantly changing back then. They were also replacing attractions with new ones that were just as good, if not better than what had been there previously. Unlike today when we get substandard replacements.....or no replacements at all. :-(

Dean Finder said...

It appears orange and pink were the colors of tomorrow, or at least Tomorrowland. WDW's Tomorrowland Terrace used similar colors in its outdoor seating area a few years later:

Also, am I the only person who's bothered by the non-symmetrical lights on the CoP exit?

swafun said...

I remember this well. It was so strange seeing the Monsanto facades being replaced with "updated" architecture. And yes, the construction walls were low...something that would never happen in the world of Today...excuse me...we're talking about the Future and Tomorrowland...this was a BIG deal back then!! 😉


I think TokyoMagic and MajorPepperidge probably have it right: The park was fairly young and anything that replaced something old was probably so fantastic to quests and far better, it didn't phase people.

The first time I recall anyone ever saying they wished Disneyland still had something was regarding the Carousel of Progress...but several years after it was already relocated to Florida. When big Thunder was under construction I recall people lamenting the fact that the Nature's Wonderland was closed, but at the same time being pretty excited about Big Thunder on it's way.

Today it's all you hear: "I wish they kept...", Remember when that was...", "why did they get rid of....", "what used to be in ....", "What are those beam-ways for...", "how come that's not open...", "why is nothing in there...?", "didn't they used to have....."," is this ever open...?"
"are all the figure finishers for JUNGLE CRUISE blind? and have they ever even see at least a picture of a real animal to use as a guide??..."

Oh, wait....the last comment was heard from just me...

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, it really was an amazing time at the park, although we lost Walt Disney before the New Tomorrowland opened, so that definitely put a damper on the mood.

K. Martinez, you are probably right; I need to look at my copy of “Jason’s Disneyland Almanac” to see when the park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

JG, I hadn’t thought of the sound-absorbing properties, but you’ll see in future posts that there are “QUIET!” signs around the construction area, which I think is fascinating.

TokyoMagic!, it’s not a big deal, I might not read what I wrote either, except that I can’t figure out a way around it.

DeanFinder, they also used orange and pink at the Chrysler pavilion when it was repainted for the 1965 New York World’s Fair.

Jon Skinner, I can only imagine how exciting it must have been, especially to somebody at just the right age… I certainly remember new things being added to the park when I was growing up (like Space Mountain) and what a big deal that was.

Mike Cozart, I definitely recall the general feeling that we were going to miss Nature’s Wonderland, but I have to admit that I was very excited for the new thrill ride. As I’ve always said, I do like “Big Thunder”, but there will never be anything like Nature’s Wonderland again. And yes, all of those “I wish” and “Remembers” have definitely been said by me. Ha ha, your comment on the Jungle Cruise animals is awesome!

swafun said...

Mom had some friends who had not visited the Park in years. They decided to go on "The nice ride through the Painted Desert" and were they surprised! "We didn't expect -- or remember -- it being a roller coaster..." they said! LOL!!

swafun said...
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swafun said...

Major...Mom, having been a Hostess on the original TWA Rocket to the Moon was amazed by all they were doing in '65. "I know Walt would have loved this..." I remember her saying...oh, to have been Mom and remembering what it was like having Walt around the original Tomorrowland, circa '!! I was jealous of my own Mom!! LOL!! 😉

swafun said...

Mom had some friends who had not visited the Park in years. They decided to go on "The nice ride through the Painted Desert" and were they surprised! "We didn't expect -- or remember -- it being a roller coaster..." they said! LOL!!