Monday, December 26, 2016

A Pair From November, 1955

Today I'm sharing two of the final three scans that I have from November, 1955. It would be nice if they were both from the same land or something, but what can you do.

First up is this ugly - but interesting! - photo, presumably take from the Disneyland Railroad just as it was about to pass behind Storybook Land. With the park being only a few months old, it is understandable as to why there are some very raw areas. The tracks for the Casey Jr. Circus Train are still exposed lumber - eventually they would be either clad in faux stone, or hidden behind lush landscaping. The little (temporary?) access road into Fantasyland is sort of interesting. I think the Skyway Chalet would eventually go right about where that mysterious container is.

Next, a familiar view of a Jungle Cruise launch as it returns to civilization. The afternoon sunlight makes for a lovely photo. Notice the Tahitian Lanai in the upper left; that would have been a great place to enjoy a leisurely meal.


Nanook said...


That first picture is certainly a beauty - loaded, such as it is, with very early Disneyland 'roughness'. It'd be nice if there were just a few more points to assist with a positive ID. Although, I think you just may have it nailed, Major.

And what's not to like in the second image with those two, identically-dressed brothers-? just waiting for the return of that lone JC boat.

Thanks, Major.

Medley said...

I agree; the first picture has such a beautiful roughness to it. It's that rough, raw look that makes early Disneyland so inspiring. It really was a patchwork quilt of Walt's hopes and dreams. It's so unique.

But the second picture is a favorite shot of mine. I have many pictures of my own taken from this spot over the years. The sparkling water of Jungle Cruise gets me every time.

I have found some black and white pictures of some relatives from 1958. Would you be interested in seeing these? No worries if not. I was given them and thought of this blog.


K. Martinez said...

The first image is a gem. What an unusual view from the SF&DRR. The barren landscape and open long view provided by the access road really make this picture special. It's photos like this that I find more interesting than the usual traditional shots. Thanks, Major.

Dan Heaton said...

I love the simplicity of the dock on the Jungle Cruise. It helps to make that such a great picture. I'm still amazed when I see photos of the early days of the park and recognize how less busy it feels compared to now.

Unknown said...

I was ready to say, "No, they must have put the chalet on that hillside to the right."
But a quick peek, as I do, at Google Maps says you're absolutely right: they plopped that sucker right down in the middle of the road. Everyday a new of info, if at all possible.

Anonymous said...

Love that JC picture. It appears Disney hired them young. They are standing in the 'unload position' ready to help guests out of the boat! 15 yeasr was me doing that! KS

TokyoMagic! said...

That road in the first pic still exists today, more or less. It just goes through a tunnel now with the that hill on the left extending up and over the tunnel. I wonder if that lone tree on top of the hill still exists today? I worry about two things.....trees and animals! And not necessarily in that order.

Anonymous said...

Wow, picture one is worth the price of admission to GDB all on it's own.

Back when Casey had wooden trestles, now that's old.

@Tokyo, this is the access road that comes through just past the Village Haus, correct? With the ingenious gates that open to block the walkway and close to block the view of the access when shut?

Somehow this feels to me like it's further east of that location, for some reason. Maybe this is a temporary construction access that was closed up after finishing the canals and the rock formation at the end of Casey and the canals, where Aladdin's cave is hidden? Is that a canal crossing the road gap in the center of the picture? I could study this for hours.

Thanks Major for some wonderful entertainment.