Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Town Square Ceremonies, Part 1

On April 8th, 1973 (a Sunday), "Mr. X"  went to Disneyland in order to see the festivities relating to the debut of "The Walt Disney Story" in the Opera House (temporarily ousting Mr. Lincoln). I don't ever recall seeing photos - with one exception - from the events that were performed in the Town Square area, so these are pretty neat. There were 10 photos; I will share 4 today, with more to come in future posts.

As you can see, it was a beautiful, breezy day; not a cloud in the sky. Town Square was busy, but not too bad. There are trumpeters atop the Emporium...

... and there were four more trumpeters on the roof of the Wurlitzer shop. The Disneyland Band performed at the base of the flagpole, while a gentleman to the left appears to be conducting the crowd. Maybe they were singing the National Anthem? Or perhaps they were just singing a classic song from an animated cartoon.

The Dapper Dans were there as well; they remind me of the Buffalo Bills, another barbershop quartet that gained fame singing in "The Music Man". 

Look at the trees in Town Square!

Now the Dapper Dans and some other folks in old-timey costumes ride a horseless carriage around Town Square as part of what I assume was a brief parade - more images of that are coming soon.

I think Walt would have enjoyed this party!


Graffer said...

The Dapper Dans look a lot in period clothing rather than their current Fruit Stripe gum abominations.
Another example of the new imagineers' "Turn up the color saturation dial - it makes it more fun!" beliefs.

Nanook said...


Some lovely images, indeed. Love the musicians on the roof.

Wurlitzer exited Main Street back in September, 1968, which was replaced by Walt Disney: Legacy for the Future - which itself moved to the Opera House as part of The Walt Disney Story. Presume by the time these images were shot, either the shop was empty or the latest 'attraction' - Previews of Coming Attractions had opened.

Thanks to Mr. X & The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, that's pretty neat that "Mr. X" went to the park for the opening of The Walt Disney Story. Did he go to the park for the grand opening of any other Disneyland attractions? I'm looking forward to seeing the other photos in this set. Thank you, Major and "Mr. X"!

Unknown said...

Ah, yes the Buffalo Billss whose performance in The Music Maninspired me and three friends to learn a couple ofnumbers from the film for performance at the company Xmas partyback in my college days. We sang "Sincere" and Goodnight Ladies, Maybe thePark's hiring...

K. Martinez said...

That's the Emporium colors I love. And those Town Square trees are just beautiful! Thanks so much, Major & Mr. X.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Exactly, K. Martinez. The Main Street color palette of the past was not only more realistic (thereby making the fantasy better), but also approachable and inviting, back when the Imagineers were made up of filmmakers and animators who had an intrinsic understanding of the importance of color.

Major Pepperidge said...

Graffer, you are so right, I really dislike the “Fruit Stripe Gum” outfits - so inappropriate for an 1890’s (or whenever) Main Street. It’s part of the “toonification” of many lands that I find so terrible. See: the Autopia cars. What the hell.

Nanook, I didn’t even think about the Wulritzer company still being there, but of course I have a copy of that Lessee list - because you sent it to me!

TokyoMagic!, I don’t think Mr. X went to any other grand openings, sadly.

Patrick Devlin, the Buffalo Bills! My dad used to listen to them all the time. I am partial to “Lida Rose” myself. Impressive that you and your friends were able to memorize those complex arrangements, which set the Buffalo Bills apart from the average barbershop quartet.

K. Martinez, amen!

Steve DeGaetano, it’s so strange how the colors used on today’s Main Street just feel wrong. Was there any research performed, or did they just use the cheapest paint they could find? I’ve heard stories of how Kim Irvine gained the appreciation of her supervisors by using leftover colors from other projects - or something like that.

Dean Finder said...

Late to the party, but my thought on the intense coloration of Main Street is a factor of time.
When Walt built Main Street USA, many people involved in the project had direct memories of streets like this, and an understanding that it should feel "real" in the details. By the 1990s, no person working on DL or WDW had ever seen a real street like this, so it became VictorianLand to them. The closest reference for them was most likely cartoons and films set in that time period with far more intense colors than real life.