Friday, September 09, 2016

Skyway & Tomorrowland 1956

Here are two more beautiful vintage Skyway photos (plus one zoom), circa 19 fitty-six. 

Man, do I love this first view! We're on our way from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland - there's the Yacht Bar, with "Tomorrowland Lake" (home of the Phantom Boats) to the right. That unimpressive hillock is Holiday Hill (or Snow Hill or whatever) looking very raw, with none of the landscaping that it would receive eventually. There's that Skyway tower on the hill - even after all these years, it is strange to not have the Matterhorn there!

In the distance (to the right) you can see the Richfield Eagle that graced the Fantasyland Autopia, and the Pirate Ship is there as well.

I wanted to zoom in on that funky area down below, with the loops of turquoise metal, the nautical flags, the olive-and-toothpick lights, and other mid-century weirdness. 

Next is this dream-like photo of the TWA Moonliner, pictured with its less-regal cousin, the lovable Astro Jets ("Astro Jets" is a cooler name than "Moonliner"!). While Southern California was certainly plagued with particularly nasty smog in the 50's, 60's and 70's, I am guessing that we are seeing seasonal haze, with a pinch of carbon monoxide for flavor!   


Nanook said...


More beauties, we have here-! Love the unusual first image. Depending on just when in 1956 that image was shot, we could be just out of eye shot of spying a Phantom Boat.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I like in the Skyway image how bits of Fantasyland like the Pirate Ship Restaurant and some of the rockwork of Storybook Land are visible in the distance. I can see a telephone pole too! Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

With its spinner arms down, the Astro Jets looks like some sort of planetary lander, matching the Moonliner perfectly.

Melissa said...

I can't help imagining the two gray-haired gentlemen in the Skyway bucket as a sort of live-action Statler and Waldorf, looking down and heckling the recently built park and attractions.

DrGoat said...

Love that last shot with the morning mist and very few people.

Tom said...

The first shot is my favorite: the Yacht Bar in its original position, barren Holiday Hill, raw Tomorrowland Lake, everything looking very fresh and new and bristling with possibilities.

I'd tell the photographer to turn his phone, but this one is best composed in portrait mode anyway.

We really need that Yacht Bar back.

Patrick Devlin said...

Nice shots, as always.

But Major, I'm deeply shocked that you would say that Richfield eagle is over the Fantasyland Autopia! Shocked, I tell you! That's proudly flying over the Junior Autopia.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, like so many photos from this early period, these have a quality - not sure I can pinpoint exactly what it is - that I find very appealing. As for the Phantom Boats, these photos are from the same batch as this post in which (unfortunately) the boats have already been mothballed.

K. Martinez, I guess I am going to have to start paying more attention to the presence of telephone poles! As of now I still look for babushkas.

Chuck, it would be cool if the lander that eventually was built had to spin around rapidly to take off!

Melissa, people were way too polite in the 50’s. They probably shouted encouraging stuff. “Atta boy, sport!”, and “Go get ‘em!”.

DrGoat, I always love it when there aren’t many people. BUT… I also like photos when the park is busy. Go figure.

Tom, it sure seems like that Yacht Bar would be easy to replicate, but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe with a few added greeblies it would work in Star Wars Land.

Patrick Devlin, you are right… 1956, I forgot.

TokyoMagic! said...

What are greeblies?

Patrick Devlin said...

Greeblies are the little parts from various model kits that miniature builders for movies attach to models to give a look of busy-ness and functionality.

I think my remark regarding the Junior Autopia sounded a little harsh when I meant it to be funny. Sorry about that.

Mark H. Besotted said...

Melissa, it probably went a little something... like this:

Statler: Well, it looks like the Phantom Boats died in the middle of the lake again.

Waldorf: I guess they gave up the ghost! Doh ho ho!

Statler: Hey, I can see a telephone pole in the distance.

Waldorf: At your age, I'm surprised you can see anything except a bright light down a long tunnel!

TokyoMagic! said...

Patrick, thanks for that info. You are answering all of my questions this morning! :-)