Friday, April 28, 2017

Dramatic Disneyland, May 1958

It seems as if my own personal memories of visits to Disneyland involved warm sunny days without a cloud in the sky (with one recent exception!). But today's photos show a dark, stormy sky that makes me want to head for the root cellar in case of a twister. 

I particularly like this shot of Tomorrowland - clouds courtesy of Douglas Trumbull - I expect glowing UFOs to emerge from them any moment. Notice that the Administration Building is under construction, and it looks as if the Space Bar (to our left) is also undergoing some major work. 

Meanwhile over in Fantasyland, a few brave souls are still enjoying their day in spite of the gloom. There are some empty elephants at the Dumbo ride, and there are plenty of teacups available in the background. 

Zooming in a little bit, we can see a workman to our right, painting an awning I suppose. To our left, early work on the "Alice in Wonderland" attraction has begun. Notice the Skyway heading over Snow Mountain!


K. Martinez said...

Fantasyland looks so dingy in today's post. I've visited Disneyland on days like this many times. Have also been in Fantasyland when it was more empty than this back in the 1970's in the Fall during the off season when there still was an off season. I remember one time it being cold, extremely windy and the park practically empty. Back then, I would've never imagined the off season would mostly disappear from Disneyland. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


That first image is a real gem. Ohhh... take me back, dear time machine-! And the threatening sky only makes the potential visit even better. (Gotta love the tri-level attraction poster just plopped-down in the planter, as if a rare variety of flora).

In actuality Major, I think the "workman" in the third image is actually a stilt walker...

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

The first view, Tomorrowland, is delicious!! It has that diorama feel that I love so much! I expect to see Godzilla walking into view any moment now out there in the distance.....

Double your pleasure....TWO ticket booths sighted in a single view of Fantasyland!!

I love a good thunderstorm. Great way to start the day :-)
Thanks, Major

Chuck said...

I wonder if the teacups were even open when these were taken.

Lots of goodness here, but I think my favorite detail is the man in the khaki shirt in the bottom center of the second photo, hold hands with his son as they are about to walk out of frame. That just warms my heart.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, for some reason this lighting does make Fantasyland look not only gray, but dirty. I have occasionally seen folks on Facebook post recent photos showing the park looking much less crowded, but those are definitely the very rare exception rather than the rule, and it is usually due to inclement weather. Meanwhile, even some rainy days have been very crowded!

Nanook, it would probably be a handy skill for a workman to be able to walk on stilts!

Nancy, hmmm, I should have tried a “tilt shift” experiment, but I didn’t think of it, and today I’ll be away from my computer. Seems like the effect works anyway!

Chuck, it is certainly very possible that the Teacups were not working; or maybe this photo was taken right at that sweet spot when the previous riders had left, but the new riders hadn’t boarded their vehicles yet? Thanks for pointing out the dad and his son, it is a great detail.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I've been on rainy days where it definitely remained crowded. Lots of guests would still line up for the attractions in yellow rain gear. I imagined they were yellow slugs that came up to the surface during the rain. I love Disneyland in the rain. One of the most magical scenes I remember is seeing all the boats covered with open umbrellas forming a canopy as they came out of the "it's a small world" show building.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these are cinematic skies for sure.

I've only had a few visits with rain, including the one this past March 2017. I was surprised that it did not dissipate the crowds as much as I had hoped, but they did thin out a bit as people gave up and went home. I had a raincoat with me (Be Prepared) and was not inconvenienced too much.

It is a different experience since so much of the Park design just "assumes" good weather. Eating at the French Market patio for instance. Not so much fun in the rain.

I understand the teacups stop because the spinning floor gets too slick. For some reason, the canal boats were stopped, but not IASW. Now, the monorail still goes. When the open window cars were used, it was stopped too.


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, ha ha, I can't help thinking of the slimy banana slugs that are up in your neck of the woods. I'm glad we don't have those down here! I also like the mental image of the umbrellas opening as the Small World boats emerged into the rain.

JG, I always thought the teacups closed in the rain because it was an outdoor attraction and people didn't want to ride it when it was pouring - but the slick deck makes sense too. Interesting about the Monorail from the days when the windows could open!

KS - for some reason your comment did not publish, though it was emailed to me. Weird. Anyway, I bow to your expertise as far as that building is concerned (and everything else, come to think of it).

DrGoat said...

Dibs on shotgun in that time machine Nanook. Personally, I love cloudy dreary days. Love the cool breezes that come with them. In Tucson, cloudy, dark days are a treat, especially during the so-called Monsoon season in June-July. Actually we are having one right at this very moment. It's glorious.