Tuesday, August 01, 2017

More Snapshots from 1971

Here are a few more nice snapshots, courtesy of Mr. X! He took these back in '71. Did you know that the last episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show" aired in that same year? Well now you do.

The good old Jungle Cruise; one of my favorite sights along the Rivers of the World is these rare long-nosed lions. Instead of favoring the grasslands and savannas, these lions prefer rivers and jungles. Yes, they are dangerous, but they take care of their young for their entire lives. 

Here's a nice night shot of the Golden Horseshoe; somehow I would expect the lights inside to be blazing, but perhaps a show was in progress. Note the cloth banners on either side of the doors... jazz legend Earl "Fatha" Hines was playing that night! Count Basie said that Hines was the greatest piano player in the world, and who am I to argue? I love that guests were able to see such prestigious acts at the park - just part of your basic admission.

Next is one of my favorites, a wonderful night shot of the Frontierland Shooting Gallery. It's super cool to be able to get a glimpse of the painted scenic backdrop to the endless rotating targets of bison, wolves, prairie dogs, and walruses. Shoot at them with genuine metal pellets! *PING*


Nanook said...


The Golden Horseshoe and Shooting Gallery images are really special, as most night images from Disneyland tend to be.

Thanks Mr. X [and the Major].

TokyoMagic! said...

Mr. X takes some pretty nice photos, I must say! I like how the Aurora Borealis is visible in that first pic. And I see a man with a cowboy hat in that last pic and it looks like he might be standing on the other side of the counter. Did the shooting gallery used to have attendants and if so, I wonder if they were ever struck by wayward pellets?

K. Martinez said...

Now that's the way a shooting gallery should be. With genuine metal pellets! Love how the target backdrop is visible. The lit torch lighting above the Frontier Shooting Gallery is awesome too. That photo is pure gold just for what's visible in it.

Thanks, Major

TokyoMagic!, Yes the "Frontierland Shooting Gallery" and Adventureland's "Big Game Shoot" had attendants, but I never heard of one being struck by wayward pellets. That doesn't mean it didn't happen though.

K. Martinez said...

Oops! I forgot to mention. Thanks. Mr. X. Your photos are always a special treat.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great photos today, Major (and mysterious Mr X). Thanks, as always. The nighttime shot of the Shooting Gallery is especially nice. I believe someone in the past has commented here that they, or someone they knew, worked at one of the shooting galleries back during the pellet era. I seem to remember them mentioning that it was a post pawned off on rookie employees, as richoceting pellets could be a real menace!

Chuck said...

It's the little details that made Frontierland feel so real. Not only do we have a cast member in a cowboy hat, we also have a guest wearing a cowgirl outfit and white cowboy boots. It doesn't get more authentic than that without dumping fresh manure in the streets.

DrGoat said...

Beautiful shot of the Shooting Gallery. Spent a lot of time there. Thanks Major & Mr. X. I think I'll call it White Cowboy boots and waste paper.

JG said...

I want that WASTE PAPER can.

I do remember a former CM commenting on the peril of staffing the shooting galleries.

Brilliant stuff, Major. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

That CM could have been me folks as I worked the Big Game Shoot during that year. And yes, with lead pellets (16 in a load) flying around, some did make contact on me and others...some whom were just passing by. The girl in the cowboy outfit is also a CM. KS

Anonymous said...

Yes, the shooting galleries utilized ROs. They stood on the same side of the counter as the customers (no fun standing in water all day), loading guns with BB pellet-filled tubes and taking tickets/making change.

The BBs did occasionally bounce off the metal targets back into the area but they’d lost nearly all velocity by that point and were pretty harmless. Sweepers swept them up along with cigarette butts and flash cubes from that long-ago era.

Two men painted both galleries (I’m wholly ignorant of the mysterious Main St. edition) each night. The water was drained and BBs retrieved (and reused) after closing, as well.

I really miss the sounds of the Adventureland and Frontierland shooting galleries. The pinging BBs, waterfalls, and target noises really added to what used to be so great about Disneyland.

K. Martinez said...

Anonymous, that's some pretty awesome information you shared there. Thanks! I remember well the sounds when passing by both shooting galleries as well and miss it too. Of course I miss a lot of things that used to be at Disneyland.

JG said...

@Anon 2, Thank you for the fascinating details.

PAINTED both galleries every night? Wow.

Also, "flash cubes", wow. Forgot those ever existed.

Lots of questions, if you don't mind.

I don't recall the water. Was this like a moat in front of the targets? To catch the BB's? Did you have to stand in the water? Is the CM wearing the hat in the photo standing in water?

What is the "Main Street Edition"? Was there once a Main Street Shooting Gallery?

I wish there was a recording of those sounds. I have a sound track album with a lot of attraction sound effects, but nothing of the shooting galleries.


Nanook said...

@ JG-

Good questions, all. I came across this info, posted by 'OogieBoogie' on MiceChat, also originally reported elsewhere...

There have been four "shooting galleries" at Disneyland: The Frontierland Shooting Gallery, the Main Street Shooting Gallery, the Davy Crockett Arcade, and the Safari Shooting Gallery. The only survivor -- and the only one duplicated at the other Disney Parks -- is the first of these. (Note: Teddi Bara's Swingin' Arcade was a game arcade, not a shooting gallery.) 

The Main Street Shooting Gallery opened in July 1955. This site proved inadequate to the demand, plus the gunfire seemed a bit out of place in this sophisticated urban setting, and the guns were gradually replaced with less lethal attractions, and it evolved into the Penny Arcade until that succumbed to the great Plush Invasion of recent years. 

The Frontierland Shooting Gallery was the response to guests' demands for greater firepower, and opened in July 1957. It occupied the space formerly known as the Miniature Horse Corral -- it was the horses that were miniatures, the corral was full-sized. September 1984 saw the closure of this, the last of the "real bullet" galleries. It was replaced the following March with an all new Frontierland Shooting Gallery -- today known as the Frontierland Shootin' Exposition -- using the new infrared weapons, synthesized digital sound effects, and amusing animation, thus eliminating not only the hazardous lead shot and lead dust, but the nightly repainting. 

Nightly repainting? Of course, how else could the attraction be "neat 'n pretty" every morning for the horde of fresh guests? Bet you never thought about that before, did you? 

The Davy Crockett Arcade was also in Frontierland, across the street from the big shoot-em-up in the part of the stockade that previously housed the Davy Crockett Museum. It featured new-fangled electric six-guns, and was popular with younger kids who couldn't see to aim the big guns even with a box to stand on. For some reason, the name was changed to Davy Crockett Frontier Arcade in 1985, but by 1987 it had been pacified and renamed Davy Crockett's Pioneer Mercantile. 

The Safari Shooting Gallery in Adventureland was the largest of its kind, and shots were heard for a decade starting in June 1962. During that time, it was variously known as the Big Game Safari Shooting Gallery and the Big Game Shooting Gallery. Interesting changes, as they did not reflect any change in the targets or the means of bringing them down.

I have to admit that even though I understand the reasoning behind switching over to the new infrared guns... I miss the old pellet guns they used to have. There was something satisfying in hearing that 'ping' of the b.b. as you hit the target. Also I miss the 6 shooter revolvers they used to have. Anyone else feel this way?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, one of these days I think I’ll have some non-Disneyland, Los Angeles history photos from Mr. X that might be fun, depending on the level of one’s interest. Whenever I have time to scan them!

TokyoMagic!, I was thinking the same thing about the Shooting Gallery employees… did they even have safety goggles or anything? Or was it just a case of, “Good luck, buddy!”? Definitely sounds dangerous.

K. Martinez, I agree with you! The last time I tried the shooting gallery, it was totally unclear as to whether I hit the target or somebody else did - I’m either a terrible shot, or there seemed to be no response to anything I fired at.

Pegleg Pete, I’m unclear as to whether those guns were basically like the pellet guns that any respectable teenager has fired at some time, or if they were something else. BB’s?

Chuck, FINALLY there’s another person besides me who wants manure in the streets of Frontierland! Most people just don’t get it. But I see that you do!

DrGoat, I need an entire white cowboy ensemble with plenty of embroidery and fringe!

JG, I wonder if any of those waster paper cans ever made it out into the real world? Maybe they were repainted first.

KS, there’s just something about those little white cowboy boots on that girl…

Anonymous, what are “ROs”? Just the thought of one of those ricocheting pellets heading toward my eyes is enough. I definitely remember reading (in “Vacationland”? “Disney News”?) about how the targets were repainted every night. You’d think they would get to be 3 inches thick with all the buildup. I totally agree with you about the old Shooting Galleries, they were all SO much fun.

K. Martinez, I can almost hear that metallic “ping”!

JG, my poor mom used to by flash cubes, which we discovered we could trigger by pushing a little wire on the bottom of the cube. By the time she needed to take a photo, we’d ruined them all. This is why I grew up on Devil’s Island. I think I’ve heard a recording that supposedly had the sounds of the Shooting Galleries, but it might have been mocked up… not sure.

Nanook, thank you for that great except!

TokyoMagic! said...

I just want to add some more info about the painting. I have a late 1970's newspaper article from the Los Angeles Times, about night maintenance at Disneyland. The article states, "Every morning at 5 a.m., a crew of professional painters - five men working at union scale - turns out to repaint the park's two shooting galleries. The job takes them half a workday. The crews use 1,500 gallons of paint a year on the targets alone." The article also mentions how it takes one man a full eight-hour shift to polish all of the brass on the carousel in Fantasyland. I do plan to post the full article on my blog some time in the future.

Major, I do hope that OSHA made Disney provide safety goggles for the cast members working in the shooting galleries. And it sounds like you were an incorrigible child! Did you find a way to trigger the bulbs inside of a FlipFlash too?

Anonymous said...

RO = Ride Operators

Even if they weren’t working a “ride,” Attractions employees were referred to as ride operators. I never met a Disneyland employee who would call him or herself a cast member back in the pre-Eisner days.

The shooting gallery (re)painters started long before five in the morning. As I said, they worked in pairs. Usually the same duo would repaint both the Frontierland and Adventureland gallery targets each night.

DrGoat said...

Nanook & Major, If I remember correctly, the Safari Shooting Gallery rifles had scopes on them.

TokyoMagic! said...

Anonymous, I thought 5 a.m was awfully late to start repainting the targets and sets if the park opened at 8 a.m.!

Anonymous said...

Yes...the Adventureland guns had scopes. And as for eye protection...well, I wore my sunglasses even at night. Only protection we were offered was ear plugs. There were some incidents in which that shot did cause injury. I was always thankful no one got hit in the eye (to my knowledge). And yep Major, those boots look mighty attractive to this day! :) KS

Anonymous said...

The Big Game rifles did indeed feature scopes.

No eye protection for the ROs although some chose to wear sunglasses during the day. There were decorative metal elements incorporated into the sides of each gallery to deflect potential ricochets. I never heard of anyone being harmed by a stray BB… and we swept up quite a few over the years.

Sweepers (on Monday/Tuesday crew) or graveyard custodial (the rest of the time) polished the brass portions of the carrousel. Sweepers also polished the brass plaques at the entrance of nearly every land each and every morning.

Nobody asked, but there you go anyway!

TokyoMagic! said...

KS Wears (Wore) His Sunglasses at Night! ♬♩♬

JG said...

@Nanook and the anonymi.

Thanks so much for all this detail. I know that Disney maintenance was legendary until Eisner and Pressler, as a kid, I remember my Dad talking about it. But still, daily repainting was crazy.

I must have missed the pistols, can't believe I wouldn't remember a detail like that. I remember the scopes on the Adventureland rifles, but I preferred the Frontierland arcade at Disneyland.

My favorite was the shooting gallery at Knotts. It was right outside the exit of the Mine Train and there were prairie dog targets that bobbed up and down. I could shoot a whole round just alternating one rodent to the next and hit them every time. The Knotts machinery was partly electronic even then, because their beady little eyes lit up red when you hit them. I won multiple gold foil stickers for marksmanship there, but never at Disney.

I seem to remember a similar one at Calico, the Knotts park out in the desert, but that might be conflated with another spot.

On my last Disney trip in March, I spent fifty cents on the Frontierland arcade. It was fun to find I am still a pretty good shot even with bifocals, but it just wasn't the same.

Thanks everyone, lots of fun today.