Monday, October 30, 2017

Storybook Land, 1961

Whenever I look through a new batch of slides and find a large group of images from Storybook Land, I usually cry, and yell, and roll around on the ground kicking and whining. But today's examples only elicited a few sniffles! I love the attraction, but photos tend to be all very "samey".

This first one is the best, showing a be-hatted hostess, seated on top of her canal boat, in mid-spiel. It doesn't look very comfortable up there, but she can see if her passengers are up to any shenanigans. All Storybook Land hostesses were proficient in judo, karate, and Krav Maga, so you'd better be on your best behavior.

Mr. Toad sure knew how to live. Look at that mansion! At least nine fireplaces, and that means plenty of s'mores for everyone. For some reason, Toad Hall was always one of my favorite miniatures (well.... second favorite) - maybe because I secretly wanted to live there.

Cinderella's Castle sure looks nice, but it's lonely up there. She has a great view of the fireworks every night, however! 

So... here is my favorite part of Storybook Land. Geppetto's Village! It might help that "Pinocchio" is my favorite animated feature. Even so, I love the winding street, the slightly skewed buildings with their peaked roofs, and even the bridge with the guard gate to keep out bandits and marauders. 


TokyoMagic! said...

The Skyway off in the distance in that last pic, looks like it's in perfect scale with the miniatures....well, the village anyway. Maybe not the Alps.

I'm glad they put Toad Hall back into Storybook Land, but I wish they had left it in it's original location. Agrabah just looks so out of place in the European-themed Storybook Land.

Nanook said...


Babushka alert-! And you just know "Grandma" was on 'her best behavior', as she brought-along her Kodak Brownie Starflex Camera to capture all nine of those fireplaces-! (Let's just hope she loaded-up the camera with Kodachrome Film, and not any of that "nasty" GAF-!)

Thanks, Major.

DrGoat said...

Wanted to live in Toad Hall, wanted a gypsy cart, and more importantly wanted a horse named Cyril that would break me out of jail. And go nowhere in particular of course.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I agree with Nonook. It's a monday Babushka Bonanza!. No offense to the lovely lady but it reminds me of Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire (singing matchmaker matchmaker).

I love the shot of Gepetto's village and how the forced perspective/angle of the shot makes the sky buckets look in proper scale.

Not very samey at all. Nice post. Thanks.

Chuck said...

No pumpkin...and it's almost Hallowe'en.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Agree with Tokyo magic....note to self read all post throughly and not by the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading method.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Sadly, one of the few Disneyland attractions NOT at Disney World that I really wish was. Seriously, Disneyland Paris has a Storybook Canal Boats. Why couldn't we?

Oh well. Our Fantasyland may not have as many classic rides, but at least we have a mine train. I'll gladly be satisfied with the mine train. :D

Anonymous said...

Storybook Land, whether from Canal Boats or from Casey, is simply my favorite thing in Disneyland. My earliest Park memories come from this ride. I always ride both when I visit, even though it's odd for an old man to ride these alone.

I'm just fascinated by the little models, it's so cool. I want my own in the back yard.

I have mixed feelings about Agrabah and the Frozen town, Agrabah is a bit big and overwhelming, but I'm glad they are updating the ride a little to keep it fresh.

I was sorry to lose the Old Mill, but even as old as I am, I don't remember that film at all, except from snips in specials. I'm glad they kept Toad Hall, even if scaled down and relocated a bit, it would really hurt to lose that, especially with the life size version so close.. I think Disney has treated this well when compared with Tomorrowland or TSI debacles. I keep expecting a miniature Johnny Depp figure to show up somewhere.

I've always maintained that the Matterhorn design as a mountain was intended to tie-in with Fantasyland and not just an enhanced roller coaster. I cite as evidence the forced perspective view seen here, as well as the views over Merlin's Magic Shop. It just seems right to have it there.

Thanks for these pictures, Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, it’s funny, I almost said something about how the Skyway buckets appeared to be in scale with the Matterhorn, but then I thought, “Eh, nobody will care!”. Shows what I know. I agree, Agrabah doesn’t fit - it’s a beautiful miniature, but looks so out of place.

Nanook, oh believe me, I noticed the babushka. A “Kodak Brownie Starflex Camera”… is there no end to the minutiae that you know?! And YES, down with GAF!

DrGoat, Toad Hall would have been nice, but I think I dreamed of living in one of those upstairs rooms on Main Street.

Alonzo, I barely remember Mrs. Doubtfire, what was the “singing matchmaker matchmaker”? I agree that the photo of Geppetto’s village is especially nice.

Chuck, I think 1961 might have been “pre-pumpkin”.

Alonzo, great minds think alike!

The Disney Dudebro, that Fantasyland mine train ride does look pretty awesome. It does seem hard to believe that with all of that land, there was no room for a Storybook Land-type attraction. Maybe they thought it was too old fashioned for the new park.

JG, I don’t think it’s odd for an adult to ride Storybook Land. In a way, grownups can appreciate it more than kids, as a work of art. Kids hopefully get lost in the little houses and scenes via their imaginations - which is pretty awesome too. My gosh, I feel like I’ve seen “The Old Mill” so many times, it felt totally appropriate for it to be represented in Storybook Land. However, I do realize that most people aren’t quite as geeky about animation as I am. You might be right about the Matterhorn’s relationship to SL as being intentional. I wish I could find verification, just because it would be cool. Glad you enjoyed these!

Melissa said...


Melissa said...

Storybook Land always reminds me of The Borrowers Aloft,where the Borrowers went to live in a model railroad village. And the CM costume with the crisp apron and bonnet, is one of my favorites from that era.