Friday, November 25, 2016

Monorail Stuff, June 1963

I've always thought it was neat the way Walt Disney's lifelong fascination with trains - old fashioned steam locomotives, particularly - evolved into an interest in other forms of transportation. Like trains of the future - streamlined, quiet, smooth-riding monorails!

Here's a neat photo of the Mark II Monorail Yellow (Gold?) rounding the curve on its way to the station at the Disneyland Hotel (just above it you can see the back side of the hotel's sign). This attraction seemed to capture people's imaginations at the time - there was really nothing else like it. And it really felt like the future! 

Notice the Richfield gas station in the distance (behind some trees). I'm guessing there will be some challenges for you car nuts out there.

Next is this photo taken from aboard a Monorail as it passes above the vast parking lot. Is that a Chevy Impala I see? I've always liked those. 


walterworld said...

I think this must have been taken from the stairs leading up to the Monorail platform...and what great fun it was to be going up those stairs!

The Old Disneyland Hotel was so much fun...

Thank You Major

walterworld said...

The only problem is that if you saw Monorail Yellow pulling up and you were only on the stairs at this point it was mostly certain (with exceptions) that you would miss that (Yellow) monorail... Good thing another one (Green?) may be rounding the bend at any minute...

Nanook said...


Well, we have a lot of cars here. The two down front are a blue/white, 1962 Oldsmobile, and to its right a white, 1963 Chevrolet. And I'm just too excited at seeing the Disneyland Hotel Valet Parking sign to ID any other vehicles-! But I will say this - I don't spot a single 'foreign-made' vehicle among the bunch; although I can't quite say the same when scanning the autos in the main parking lot.

And speaking of the second image (was I-?) the foreshortening produced a lovely effect making the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship almost looking as though it was sitting next to the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I think that second pic was actually taken during that very short period of time that the COTS Pirate Ship was docked in the moat of Sleeping Beauty Castle. ;-)

I think I'll go post that statement on a Vintage DL Facebook page but without the little winking face.

Budblade said...

There is a vw bug in the hotel parking lot. Near the center. You can just see its blue top

K. Martinez said...

Not that anyone cares, but The Mark II and III yellow monorails were always officially referred to as Monorail Gold.

In addition, Chris Strodder's "Disneyland Encyclopedia" also refers to the yellow monorail as Monorail Gold.

My favorite part of riding the monorail was always along Harbor Boulevard and along the long straight stretch across the parking lot where it could pick up speed before arriving at the Disneyland Hotel. Great pics as usual. Thanks, Major.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, I agree, this was certainly taken on those stairs. Don’t all hotels have a monorail?

walterworld II, I’m unclear as to how far they would have had to go… you don’t think they could have at least jogged to the station to catch the Monorail?

Nanook, I just found another slide with a different sign in front of the Disneyland Hotel; but I’m not going to tell anyone what it is. Might as well make it a surprise!

TokyoMagic! they should have little radio controlled motor boats in the moat. Or Phantom Boats, even better!

Jon Stacey, it might just be a pregnant roller skate. (Anyone? Anyone?).

K. Martinez, I will probably continue to call the Monorails by incorrect names, but that’s just how I roll. Like the way I spell “It’s a Small World”!

Unknown said...

Boy I had a little "Huh?" moment looking at the second picture: there's a '61 or '62 red Bel Air down there in the bottom left but no Matterhorn! But after some diligent research I believe the majestic slopes are just out of frame to the right. Phew! All's right with the world.

K. Martinez said...

Major, Since you had a question mark after "Gold" I felt compelled to answer and confirm. And besides, I know next to nothing about cars. I try to stick to what I know.

And because I worked myself up into a foaming frenzy about the names of monorails, I neglected to appreciate the beauty of the power poles and power lines present in the first image. They are beautiful!

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

Go for it-! And then see if you can work-in a backstory about the black swans and tuna sandwiches...

@ Jon Stacey-

You are SO right. This is what happens at 12 midnight when one really has to look very, very carefully - and I often don't. Thanks.

@ Patrick Devlin-

That's a 1961 red, Chevrolet - I'm gonna say a Bel Air, as there appears to be some side trim, which was only available on the Bel Air model. But that could just be an illusion.

Anonymous said...

I notice the Richfield gas station sign, which looks to be just south of the Hotel. Was this station tied in with the Hotel as part of the Richfield sponsorship, or just coincidence?

I really like the foreshortening of the monorail as it comes around the turn, adds to that impression of speed. I always wonder what the ride would feel like at full tilt, just never enough room to really "open it up".

Thanks Major and the audience for a wonderful group of holiday pictures and comments.


Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, yes, you can see the Skyway buckets heading “uphill” toward the Matterhorn.

K. Martinez, I would be disappointed if you were not enjoying the various power lines and such!

Nanook, I do get a strange kick out of seeing wildly inaccurate “facts” on the various Disneyland Facebook pages. In 20 years, they will be indistinguishable from truth.

JG, I believe that the Richfield gas station was there in an “official” capacity, though I don’t know if it was through the Hotel, necessarily. They were early sponsors of the Autopia and “The World Beneath Us”, as you know.

Matt G. said...

I spy an early 60s, black, Lincoln Continental hiding behind the second monorail pillar in the first picture. Behind the first pillar looks to be a '56 or so, red and white Buick of some sort.