Monday, July 17, 2017

Nice Snapshots, 1971

Here are three more snapshots, graciously given to me by my friend "Mr. X"! He is pretty critical of his photography, but I think he did a great job, often capturing some unusual subjects.

It's always a pleasure to see the figure of the goddess Uti in her outrigger canoe - all the better to protect those who brave the oceans in search of fish. Until now I was not aware that one of Uti's hands held a torch. As you can see, United Air Lines was still a sponsor.

Next is this portrait of the old Penny Arcade, taken in the dazzling early morning sunlight. The orchestrion is right next to the entrance, while Esmeralda the fortune teller is front and center in her glass box.  You can even see a Mutoscope or two. I'd love to be able to walk into the Arcade circa 1971!

In the decades before "Fantasmic!", the Mark Twain continued to ply the Rivers of America after the sun set. It was the absolute best time to enjoy that attraction! The cool air, the lights and shadows that made everything beautiful and/or mysterious, the fierce blaze of the Settler's Cabin, the sound of soft Dixieland music wafting from New Orleans Square - so wonderful. And it must have been extra amazing if one happened to be on board once the fireworks started!

This next one really puzzled the hell out of me. "Main Street Confectionery"?? What happened to the Tobacco Shop or Magic Shop that would normally be next to the Main Street Cinema? I looked at my 1971 INA gate handout - no mention of a Confectionery. And it looked like the Emporium way down at the end of the street, on the left, which made no sense at all. At about the time my brain started to dribble out of my ears, Mr. X informed me that this photo is from the Magic Kingdom.


Stay tuned for more snapshots.


TokyoMagic! said...

And just to the right of the orchestrion is one of those machines where you could sit on the red vinyl cushions and get a foot "massage" as the footrest vibrated. They should never have taken those out of the Penny Arcade! Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade had a couple bear-shaped versions of those machines.

K. Martinez said...

Mr. X takes wonderful photos. The Uti w/Outrigger Canoe pic is especially nice. I really miss the old Tiki Room entrance. The Penny Arcade shot is really great too all brightly lit with sunshine. Just you mentioning about those evening cruises aboard the Mark Twain, makes me long for the old days of Disneyland. The Disneyland today belongs to another generation because I certainly am not feeling it. Thanks to Mr. X for his generosity to GDB readers and thanks to you, Major for continuing to brighten our mornings with your daily posts.

TokyoMagic!, I'm amazed at the memories you retain.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I hope you remember those chairs too and that I'm just "jogging" that memory for you!

Scott Lane said...

I was going to leave a comment but then TM and Ken said it all. So I won't bother.

Chuck said...

Major, I'm glad I read the commentary on the third photo or my brain would have melted, too.

I always preferred the Tiki Room at night simply because of how much more dramatic the whole pre-show area is at that time of day, magnified by the whole "Adventureland after dark" aroma.

I wonder how much longer the pre-show will last? While it's not intended to be, I'm sure it could be offensive to some Polynesians in a way that this haole can't easily see.

TM!, I had forgotten about the bear-shaped massagers until you mentioned them. Weren't there one or two in the entrance "lobby" of the Country Bear Jamboree as well?

Your mention of Teddi Berra's Swingin' Arcade reminded me that at least as late as the mid-'90s, there were still a few custom-made, custom-themed arcade games left over from the early '70s in place and in operation. The one that stands out the most in my memory was a Winnie the Pooh-themed photo cell target game. I don't remember the exact gameplay, but I recall Pooh was hanging by a balloon a la Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. Did we shoot at the balloon or did we shoot at Pooh?

The fascinating thing about those games was how the "targets" were on a lighted, rotating platter of some kind located inside the game cabinet and visible via angled glass against a colorful, painted or printed background using the "Pepper's Ghost" effect. The gun shot a beam of light, and "hits" were registered by some sort of photo-sensitive cells somewhere in the game. Nowadays, it's all done by computers, but I marvel at the ingenuity that went into developing those games with the technology of the time.

DrGoat said...

How I miss getting the crap shocked out of me on that one game where you had to hang on to those doorknob shaped things until the knight crossed the bridge to slay the dragon, if I remember right.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, After Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade closed, those "bear chairs" were moved over to the lobby of Country Bear Jamboree. Both of the chairs had a bear head that hung on the wall just above them. I'm pretty sure one of the bears was Liver Lips McGrowl. Was the other one Henry?

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, I don't remember the one with the knight, but I remember the machine with the large dial that said "Electricity Is Life" across the top of it. You had to hold on to two metal handles. The shocking sensation would continue to get stronger until the arrow went all the way around the dial and the two red light bulbs lit up and a bell went off. I can still recall what that sensation felt like in my hands and arms as it became more and more intense.

Unknown said...

OH why can't Fantasmic be just a few nights a week to allow for night time cruises on the river? I'll have to visit City Hall next visit and make 'em do it!

Anonymous said...

That morning shot of the Arcade really takes me back to my days as a CM on Main Street. The Arcade was true to its era then. And your discussion about the night trips on the River...yes they were really special. I particularly enjoyed working the Columbia at night in a full moon. By the settler's cabin, it really felt like true wilderness. KS

Nanook said...


As has been said many times here - Disneyland 'after dark' is a wonderful and unique experience. Thanks to "Mr. X" for reminding us just how great that is [or now, in some case] WAS. Well, at least the Main Street Arcade Welte Orchestrion was recently restored and is undoubtedly charming and surprising guests totally unaware such things ever existed prior to the days of digital encoding/decoding of music.

Thanks Major [& Mr. X, 'natch].

DrGoat said...

Tokyo, I remember that one too. The muscles in your arms would tighten up and it was difficult to let go. Good times! Loved the Penny Arcade.

Dean Finder said...

Technically, the orchestron is a digital music player. The rolls are binary (punched or not punched holes).

Major Pepperidge said...

Hey guys, I’m back! Sorry about the “radio silence”.

TokyoMagic!, they should have foot massage machines ALL OVER Disneyland. In the queues. In the ride vehicles. Everywhere.

K. Martinez, yeah, Mr. X took some good pix! I think it is clear that you and I share similar feelings about the Disneyland of today. Part of me is sad about it, but things change, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll just have to enjoy my memories of the park as it was. Thanks for your very nice comment!

TokyoMagic!, I don’t actually remember those chairs, but there’s one in the photo, so they really did exist.

Scott Lane, you could still comment, just do it in iambic pentameter.

Chuck, that darn photo really did drive me nuts. I’ve never been to the Tiki Room at night! Next time (if there IS a next time). Gosh, it never occurred to me that the pre-show might be offensive to some folks but anything is possible. The thing is, you can find somebody to be offended by ANYTHING. I love the idea of shooting at Winnie the Pooh in an arcade game. Run, you tubby little cubby! I saw some teeny tiny videos of some of the customized games that were in the Pirate Arcade, and they were really amazing. I wish larger versions of those videos were out there and available.

DrGoat, I have no idea what you are talking about, but electrocution is always good old fashioned fun!

TokyoMagic!, you mean bear heads as in “taxidermied” heads? That would be very weird.

TokyoMagic! again, I have always wondered if those “electrified” games ever caused something like a heart attack in somebody already prone to such a thing.

KS, oh man, the Columbia by full moon - must have been amazing.

DrGoat, now I sort of wish I had experienced that weird sensation.

Dean Finder, I never thought of it that way, but you’re right. Those mechanical instruments were “programmed” with a paper roll, almost like the old punch cards of the 60’s.

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, I forgot about that feeling. You're right, it did almost feel like you couldn't let go even if you wanted to until the current stopped flowing. I tried with a friend to just hold onto one handle while he held onto the other. The sensation wasn't as strong....that is until he grabbed my arm with his free hand and "completed the circuit." Such great fun!

Major, Yes, the bear heads above the chairs were like "taxidermied" heads, but they were two of the characters from CBJ. Now that I think of it, it is kind of weird and morbid. But then again, they did have Max, Buff and Melvin hanging on the wall of the theater show and also on the wall of the Mile Long Bar.

And I wondered the same thing about those "electricity" machines in the Penny Arcade. Maybe that's why they removed them? However, they were there for many decades. Maybe they actually prevented heart attacks! I remember there was a second machine that was identical except for the "face" of the machine which touted electricity as being therapeutic. I wish I had taken pics of those machines! I might have some video of them somewhere. If I knew they were going to destroy Teddi Barra's Arcade, The Pirate Arcade and the Main St. Penny Arcade, I would have documented them more thoroughly, darn it!

Nanook said...

@ Dean Finder-

Yes, "technically" you are very correct; but you know what I mean-!