Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Tale of Two Shipies

Little did Charles Dickens know that, 158 years after he wrote "A Tale of Two Cities", some dumb blogger would make a really dumb pun from the title of his classic novel! Maybe he would have become a dentist instead. 

After 1958, Disneyland had two big sailing ships (although only one of them actually moved); this November, 1959 photo shows the new Columbia in the early evening (or even late afternoon, since it gets dark so early at that time of year). Some lights are on over at Tom Sawyer Island... my guess is that they had already rousted all of the island's visitors (it closed at dusk). I admit that, as a kid (and even as an adult) I wanted to be able to explore and play on TSI in the dark!

The other ship was, of course, the static-but-beautiful Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. This photo is rather dark, but it is always nice to see this ship with all of its sails unfurled. I've seen so many pictures taken from roughly this same angle that it takes a little more effort to appreciate the layers and layers of detail tucked into this one small corner of the park.

In the distance is an orchard of some kind. Walnuts? Oranges? Avocados? sometimes it's hard to believe that Anaheim was once a farming community.


Nanook said...


You ain't kidding about the level of detail extolled-upon both of Disneyland's ships pictured here. Just two more reasons why Walt's park wowed just about everyone who steped foot into it. (I know there is another 'boat' tooling-around the park, somewhere - but I'll be damned if I can remember just where - and if it has a name...)

And as for crops native to Orange County - forget about walnuts or oranges... you just know at one time it had to be the Tang Tree.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Look at all of the layers! It's just like an ogre.

I believe that's actually a grove of truffula trees in the background.

Nanook, I think the boat you are trying to remember is the Wendy over at the Motor Boat Cruise.

K. Martinez said...

What a beauty! The Sailing Ship Columbia looks so majestic there docked at the Frontier Landing. That alone does it for me. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, obviously you are referring to that little outrigger seen from the loading dock in the Jungle Cruise. As for the Tang tree, I had forgotten about how important they were to the local economy in the 50’s and 60’s. They have since been replaced by Jarritos trees!

Chuck, now I feel bad that I guilted you into commenting! ;-) I was hoping Nanook was referring to the more obscure names like “Bold Lochnivar” or “Nelly Blye”.

K. Martinez, when you think of the level of most amusement parks in those days, a sight like the Columbia must have been pretty striking.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Rather a pity that Disney World doesn't have the sailing ship Columbia at the Magic Kingdom. I guess it wouldn't have fit the theming of the park? Either that or no space?

Chuck said...

Disney Dudebro, a Columbia-looking ship did make an appearance in some of the Magic Kingdom concept art, but after operational experience in the Florida heat and sun that led to the awning in front of the Haunted Mansion and a cover over the Mad Tea Party, they probably had misgivings about a boat without any shade at all for guests. The general consensus here in previous discussions is that's probably what led to a second riverboat instead of a tall ship. I agree, though - it would have fit in very well with Liberty Square's theming.