Monday, July 10, 2017

Adventureland Panoramas

It's time for more photos from GDB reader Irene, and her brother (who took these photos)! I think that today's examples were taken around the time that "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" debuted, or (more likely) just before it actually oopened in 1995. 

Irene's brother took zillions of snapshots, but a few were taken using special disposable cameras that took extra wide panoramas. They're pretty striking! It's like watching lots of old 3:4 aspect ratio movies, and then suddenly watching something in Panavision. 

This first image is a nice overview of how things looked as you entered the queue from Adventureland. The level of detail in Indy's queue is one of the most impressive things about the ride, and that's saying something. Even at this early point, one feels drawn toward that mysterious temple in the distance.

Not only can we see evidence of an archeological dig in progress, but those fearsome cobra statues hint at some of the surprises that wait inside.

When I originally composed today's post (weeks ago, believe it or not), Adventureland's "Tropical Imports" shop was one of those features that managed to survive relatively unchanged over the past 20 years. Then it was announced that the old location would close a few weeks ago to be converted to stroller parking, and a new Tropical Imports shop would open next to the expanded Bengal Barbeque, all in an effort to reduce congestion that has plagued the area. So... that makes this photo extra cool!

Many thanks to Irene and her brother!


Nanook said...


Panavision - and then some-! The aspect ratio appears to be abut 2.9:1; a far cry wider than the final film iteration of Panavision - 2.39:1. It's fun to view Adventureland this way.

Thanks Irene & bro-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I bought a few of those "wide angle" disposable cameras back in the nineties to get some panorama shots of Tomorrowland before they started destroying it for the hideous 1998 remodel job. Unfortunately, I never used the cameras anywhere else in the park.

These Adventureland panoramas turned out very nice! I really like the last one. It's too bad that beautiful tree to the left of the Tropical Imports building has now been removed.

A great big thank you to Irene, her brother and you, Major!

Irene said...

Isn't it a shame that Tropical Imports is now stroller parking! Sigh. But even before that they were no longer selling themed souvenirs but mostly food snacks, fresh fruit, etc. And those lush trees, all gone. I remember in my final year at Disneyland (2016, I no longer have a Pass) they removed a huge, old tree on the bridge near the fake tree with the stairs to Tarzan's Treehouse. All of a sudden it seemed so barren. My brother absolutely loved Indiana Jones. He got to walk the ride once. He poured over the details of it, spoke with Tony Baxter about it and built a diorama model of it. He loved building models of rides. As I've said before, these photos take on new life on your blog - so much better than just stuck in the photo album.

Scott Lane said...

Particularly tasty offerings today, Major. Thanks to Irene and her brother for sharing!

Chuck said...


I took some panorama photos at Disneyland with one of those disposables back in the '90s, too. I recall one in particular of my wife and the 1994 Christmas tree, but I have no idea where it went (the photos didn't fit well in the photo album).

Oddly enough, I still have the camera; Model Railroader published plans around 1994 for converting a Kodak wide-angle disposable into a pinhole camera for model photography. Never made the conversion, but I still have all of the parts in my train stuff. I really do have a lot of junk I have no reason to hang on to...

Unknown said...

Is all of that detailed theming still present in the queue area? It doesn't seem possible, but then again I do my best to avoid the courtyard area and get right inside of the temple.

DrGoat said...

Still have our Indiana Jones certificate and passport they gave out for doing the ride. May of '95.
Hope they will still sell rubber shrunken heads at Imports. A must for any kid.

K. Martinez said...

Wonderful panoramic images. I love the vertical temple shot. Who'd think to do that with wide screen? Nice story about your brother touring IJA with Tony Baxter too. Sounds like your brother had a blast.

Thanks for sharing your brothers images and his story, Irene. Very generous of you.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, when I wrote today’s post, I thought “I wonder if Nanook will have something to say about my Panavision remark?”!

TokyoMagic!, do you still have those panoramic Tomorrowland photos? Hopefully you have shared them on your blog (or will share them). That tree was removed because it was offensive.

Irene, I wish they were building “Strollerland” instead of “Star Wars Land”. There are one or two photos of Tony Baxter among your brother’s albums; if only we could see his diorama model of Indy! Thanks so much for sharing these great pix.

Scott Lane, all credit goes to Irene and her brother!

Chuck, is there some reason why a wide-angle disposable camera was more suited to be a pinhole camera than an ordinary disposable camera? I’ve seen some remarkable photos taken with that kind of camera - none from Disneyland however!

Patrick Devlin, I honestly couldn’t tell you if all of those details are still there - like you I wanted to get through that long queue and on to the ride as fast as possible.

DrGoat, I’m not sure I know what that certificate looks like. Now I have to do homework, thanks! ;-) All children need a rubber shrunken head at some point in their development.

K. Martinez, I agree, the vertical shot is very unusual. It seems like those cameras took generally sharper, better photos than the more common disposables that people used - not sure why.

Chuck said...

Major, you could make a pinhole camera with either the standard or the wide-angle version of the camera, but the wide angle lens was better suited for the close-in distances associated with model railroad photography.

Within a year or so of the publication of that article, Kodak changed the design of their disposable cameras to incorporate a saw-toothed contact point between the film winder and the film spool, which required them to produce special film cartridges with spools with a matching set of teeth. This effectively prevented anyone from re-loading a Kodak disposable camera produced from around 1995 onwards.

Despite this change, I still used to pop open disposable cameras and turn in the film by itself, keeping the camera. I just wish I'd asked for some of the spools back.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Irene and Major, thank you for these terrific pictures, and in such a unusual format too. This is one of my kids' favorites, proving my thesis that everyone's favorite Disneyland is the one they saw when very young.

@Patrick Devlin, Major and Chuck, I think at least some of this theming survives, I had a chance to study the queue area from above in the JC queue recently. I confess, that like you, I have usually ridden this one with a FastPass and have just run through the outer fringes before fetching up in the underground maze. Most of this area passes in a blur trying to keep up with my kids.

The last trip, in March, the JC skipper was making cracks about "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Broken Ride Mechanism". I had Fastpasses that expired twice while the ride was broken, twice. I was given passes good on any other ride, which I used on the Haunted Mansion, confirming my thesis that everyone's favorite Disneyland is the one they saw when very young.

I've seen pictures of the stroller parking area, I think this is overall a pretty good idea since there are plenty of opportunities to buy cheap plastic junk on Main Street.

But I'm scratching my head over the remodeling of the shops into the Bengal Barbecue when there is a perfectly good abandoned Tahitian Terrace restaurant right across the way? I keep hoping that some functional use can be found for that area, it's a shame that it just sits. Maybe it will become shops. I used to love the rubber snakes, never bought one, but had a lot of fun waving them around at the girls.

Thanks everyone.


Anonymous said...

It's such a shame to see much of my Adventureland fall away to accommodate the masses of people and SUV like strollers of today. And why the Terrace remains vacant is a mystery to me. It added so much vibrancy to the land. KS