Sunday, October 01, 2017

Frontierland Pix, July 1966

Yeesh, todays photos were not just "bottom of the barrel", they were under the barrel. Feel free to skip them - I won't be upset!

Somebody managed to take a photo of their finger (hey, that's my trademark) while attempting to take a picture of "Chief Wavy" (as I calls him). The Chief is much lower on the embankment than he is today, you can barely see him through the shrubbery.

I've seen better photos of the Friendly Indian Village. Almost every other photo of it is better! The only real detail that interests me (and it's not that exciting) is looking beyond the village, through the trees; the train tracks ran there, and it appears that there is a meadow of green that is long-gone.

Over at the other Indian Village, things are bustling. There's the Indian War Canoes, and the Dance Circle. I kind of wish this village was still there, but it is possible that today's audiences would either not be interested or would find it exploitative. Who knows.


Nanook said...


I believe that "meadow" is actually a portion of the Trail of Tears Golf Course.

The Indian Village definitely existed in a 'different time'. With so little history being taught in school these times, and folks seemingly showing a complete lack of interest in anything lacking explosions, special effects, touch screens or extreme thrills - who knows just how an Indian Village could work today.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that second pic is very interesting to me. I have a pic from July 1966 that my dad took of the Friendly Indian Village from just a slightly different angle. I never noticed the dead animal carcasses hanging up in his photo until just now....after seeing them here in your pic. That stretch of grass where the train tracks used to be located is also very noticeable in my dad's pic. I'm assuming the tracks had been moved within that year. Or maybe late 1965?

If the "other" Indian Village had somehow managed to survive into the 21st century, I just bet that it would have been bulldozed last year so that it could be replaced by a Cantina, a Millennium Falcon or a Tatooine. Knott's added their Indian Trails mini area to Ghost Town in the early 1990's and the dance shows appear to still be very popular with guests today.

K. Martinez said...

The last last two pics aren't too bad. I never noticed the animal carcasses either until this pic. What's the twig like box-tray in the water for? Catching certain types of river life along the shore? Always appreciate any pics you share. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic!, I can imagine that if the "other" Indian Village survived it probably would've been turned into a Pocahontas Sing-Along. Just around the River Bend! And then it would've been bulldozed to be replaced by a Cantina, a Millennium Falcon or a Tatooine as you said.

K. Martinez said...

Forgot to add, that I'd attend a Native American cultural show or area if they did one today at Disneyland. Ain't gonna happen though. It isn't that kind of park anymore.

Chuck said...

I'd never noticed the fish trap (or maybe fish corral?) before, either. From this angle, it looks as though Shiny Boy and Wags the Dog's canoe is completely overgrown with vegetation, which doesn't make any sense in a riverbank Indian community with at least two boats. It's almost as though those people are rooted to the spot.

The deer are actually dancing to Ray Anthony's recording of "The Bunny Hop."

Nanook's comment has me visualizing a modern Indian conceived by Michael Bay.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, Thanks for filling in the blank about that contraption I was asking about. I figured it was for catching or containing something.

Deer dancing to Ray Anthony's "The Bunny Hop". Ha, ha!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, “Trail of Tears Golf Course”, oh boy! Your comment about touch screens reminds me of when I had the opportunity to talk to a prominent Imagineer, and he was telling me about concepts they had regarding “It’s a Small World”, and how, maybe, guests could use their phones for an “interactive experience”. I thought it was a HORRIBLE idea! Like I need to be on my phone even more??

TokyoMagic!, it’s funny, because I have recently scanned several photos in which I just noticed those carcasses, and figured that it was just a case of my typical lack of observation. The fact that you never noticed them makes me feel better! I know that many guests think the new north end of Frontierland is just swell; it certainly could be worse, but I wish that maybe they had added waterfalls and other features when the river was so much bigger!

K. Martinez, you are being pretty charitable; those pictures are pretty bad! I wonder if that trap would be used for something like crawfish? Or maybe just regular fish. Or maybe fish sticks.

K. Martinez, those days have passed - although, as you mentioned, I could see a “Pocahontas” tie-in, if that movie had come out more recently.

Chuck, I agree, the overgrown vegetation doesn’t make sense here - even though I kind of like the way it looks! Now I need to go to YouTube and find “The Bunny Hop”… maybe it will be familiar.

K. Martinez, I assume that the Native Americans baited the trap with something that would attract catfish or something. Maybe even turtles?

Nanook said...


One of the many things which made Disneyland great was the Imagineers ability to 'set the standard' by creating things which never existed before. "Copy cat" examples in every walk of life are easy to find. Good God - is this really the type of thinking that now flows through those [once] hallowed halls in Glendale-?? Let's see... we 'can't beat them' - so 'let's join them'-! The primary job of any "designer" should be to create entertainment experiences that 'lure-away' most folks from the real world - of which the smart phone is now one of the best examples of how technology can both create a 'useful tool', while at the same time completely destroying any semblance of a great society.

You would think the folks at Disney parks are already up to their eyeballs having to deal with 'lost' smart phones. Why encourage even more opportunities for just such occurrences while "pretending" to be 'cutting-edge'-?

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, you are right. Pocahontas would have moved in if the village had survived. And after that, I'm sure they would have shoehorned the Hunchback's "Festival of Fools" show in there, along with other possible movie overlays over the years, including "Frozen".....because "Frozen" belongs in Frontierland.

Nanook and Major, they don't even have to give people a reason to be on their phones during a ride. I have seen guests turn on their phones in the middle of just about every ride there is, including the "dark" ones where it really ruins the experience for others, like Tower of Terror, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Melissa said...

I remember visiting California Adventure in 2008, and there was this cave you went into and touched a screen concealed in the rockwork to find out what your spirit animal was. So you’re not wrong, Nanook! And K. Martinez, there was a Pocahontas musical show in Animal Kingdom with live performers and an animatronic tree, that was quite popular for a while.

Chuck said...

Melissa, they had that same show (or one very similar to it) on the Videopolis Stage next to iasw at Disneyland for a time back in the mid-'90s. I actually really enjoyed it. But then again, I'm also one of the weird ones who really enjoyed that film. Maybe if there had been more explosions...

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, there was something about the concept of using a phone in a ride that seemed like an older person’s idea of what a younger audience wants. Millennials love their phones! Therefore, they want to be on them 25 hours a day. It kind of reminds me of when I was working at a studio that was making new cartoons with an old character (the Pink Panther). To make him “cool”, they had him ride a skateboard and play guitar in a rock band. Zoiks. I think he wore a backwards baseball cap too.

TokyoMagic!, listen, the frontier got awfully cold. They could have Olaf speak with a backwoods twang. PROBLEM SOLVED! Man, I am good. This idea stuff isn’t so hard after all. And as for phones on the Haunted Mansion… I hate them so much!

Melissa, there is nothing more fun than a touch screen. That’s why I visit the local ATM all the time! There was a Pocahontas musical at Disneyland too, I think I have some photos taken by Irene’s brother. Stay tuned.

Chuck, Pocahontas is fine, but it felt like a live action movie plot, with the animal sidekicks shoehorned in because… well, it’s a Disney feature. Gotta sell that merch. I totally agree that more explosions would have helped!

Mark H. Besotted said...

And lest we forget, they spent a LOT of time developing an Indy show for Frontierland. No, for realsies.

Indy and Pocahontas, together at last.