Friday, June 30, 2017

The Disneyland Band, 1956 & 1957

Today I have two very nice photos featuring the wonderful Disneyland Band! This first one is a real dazzler, circa 1957, with the Band working its way from the Hub down Main Street. They are wearing their short-lived (for some reason) blue uniforms, which look pretty great in my opinion. We get some bonus goodness with the new Monsanto house in the background, and beyond that, the Skyway tower atop Holiday Hill. For some reason the absence of the Matterhorn seems extra weird in this image.

Oh, and let's not forget the horse drawn Chemical Wagon, full of guests! I also love details such as the 1957 gate handout being held by the woman to our left.

This next one is from a different batch, and is likely from 1956, though it is undated. The red and white striped wall to our right is presumably surrounding construction of the Carnation Plaza Gardens, which opened on August 18th of 1956, so that helps. The Disneyland Band is following Vesey Walker like a bunch of baby ducklings; looks like they just marched from Frontierland (perhaps they'd performed on the deck of the Mark Twain), and are about to head toward Main Street Station.

The area just beyond Vesey looks so empty; of course this was pre-Tiki Room and pre-Swiss Family Treehouse. Not to mention that the Jungle Cruise's rain forest hadn't had much time to grow. But still! I think that's part of what I like about this angle - I don't think I've seen another picture quite like this one.


Nanook said...


You're not kidding about the angle of the second image. Very unique, indeed. But that first image is a real honey for all the reasons you cited. I particularly like the seemingly-odd structural supports for the Holiday Hill Skyway tower. (Perhaps the designers were expecting gale-force winds...)

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

These really are a couple of extra cool photos. The first image has all kinds of activity going on. And the mix of color is nice. It's like Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on television (not talkin' the DCA show).

In the second image just to the left of the Adventureland entrance it looks like the lookout tower of the Jungle Cruise' two-story boathouse building is slightly visible. I love it!

These are the kinds of Disneyland images I love. Unique angles and different takes than the usual. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Major, the Matterhorn is actually there in that first photo, but seeing the rare blue uniforms is so startling that you don't notice it at first glance. Or the second. Or the third.

Forgive me, but that second one looks Flags to me. That's not intended as an insult - it just that all of the detailed theming I associate with Disneyland is pretty much hidden away by foliage and that angle doesn't capture any of the visual wienies that were so carefully crafted by the Imagineers.

That said, on second glance, we still get a glimpse of a lot of familiar things through the scraggly trees. The Frontierland gate, looking more like a solid building in this photo, anchors the right side of the frame.

To the left of that, we can just see the gate to Adventureland. The thatched-roof structure behind the gate is the east side of the Adventureland Bazaar, and the tower of the Jungle Cruise landing to is hiding to the left of that.

Far to the left is the Adventureland-themed side of the Plaza Pavillion. Does anyone know - is the back side of the building industrial-themed so it fits in with the rest of the backstage area?

DrGoat said...

If I remember correctly, those structures were temporary to hold up the Skyway. They were explained in one of those great videos like this one by Tony Baxter. I watched his stuff and during browsing for others, I encountered one that had some comments on those structures.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, considering how spindly the Skyway tower was, I appreciate the extra bracing!

K. Martinez, yeah, even the first one is unusual as far as the point of view; there’s something about those blue band uniforms that I think look extra spiffy - maybe just because I am so used to the red or white ones. I spotted the Jungle Cruise lookout tower, and was surprised, since I think of the JC as being further away.

Chuck, not many people realize that the Matterhorn is covered in millions of chromatophores, giving it the ability to blend in to its surroundings, much like an octopus can. I get the Six Flags reference - it’s the lack of stuff that makes it look so weird to me. I think of the Plaza Pavilion as gleaming white and ornate, yet it looks like a Charles Addams creation here. Strangely, the backstage area is themed to French Baroque.

DrGoat, I have seen that video a bunch of times (so amazing!), but will have to give it another look later tonight. It kills me to know that there are hundreds of additional hours of construction footage that we will never have the opportunity to see.

Nanook said...

@ DrGoat-

Thanks for providing that link. I know it's out there, but keep forgetting to enmesh myself in it.

Unknown said...

Major, you misspelled the "the new Pepperidge house" in the background. It's all yours , baby!

DrGoat said...

You're welcome Nanook. I go back to those every 6 months or so to get my fix for the way things were.