Thursday, December 21, 2017

In the Plaza, 1956

Good old Kodachrome has done it again, with these two views - over 60 years old, but with colors that look fresh and immediate. Some of you may remember the two boys in this first photo - you've seen them HERE, and HERE. This time, they make an appearance with Mom while passing through the Plaza (or Hub, as they say in Sweden). 

As you can see, there is some work being done to our left - construction on the Carnation Plaza Gardens, which would open in August of '56. There is a structure just over that striped wall - I think that someone mentioned that it was the building that contained Rainbow Caverns, though I could be mistaken. It's interesting also to see that berm dividing Frontierland from Fantasyland - a friend of mine mentioned climbing that berm on his lunch breaks, and looking down into Nature's Wonderland. If only he'd taken photos!

This was a busy day! I love details like the men with fedoras and Panama hats, and ladies in 50's-style skirts. They look like extras from a movie. Sleeping Beauty Castle looks pretty neat here - even though it is considerably smaller than Florida's counterpart, forced perspective does a good job of making it looks taller. Some folks have suggested that SBC needs to be enlarged, but I disagree - it's perfect the way it is.


Nanook said...


It's so much fun to see the 'unfinished look' behind what was becoming the Carnation Plaza Gardens. You don't usually think of that pile of dirt encroaching on the SBC in that way, but at that point in time, that's just what was there. I presume it was part of the excavated dirt from the SBC moat that ended-up over there, rather than as a part of Snow Hill.

As for the present size of The Sleeping Beauty Castle, you just know there are folks at the current-version of the Walt Disney Company who are chafing [or is that chomping or champing-?] at the bit to "+" the castle. But as you say, Major, It's practically perfect in every way-!

Thanks, Major.

Graffer said...

Sleeping Beauty Castle is also so much nicer in the original muted non-garish color scheme. Not to mention the gold bling and the gradient colored roofs. Modern imagineers believe that turning up the color intensity dial makes things 'more fun'.

Chuck said...

There has to be something right about Disneyland's SBC since they cloned it for Hong Kong DL.

I think that structure behind the wall is part of the Carnation Plaza gardens complex. I believe the Rainbow Caverns show building was behind the next berm and a bit more to the left, although I could be mistaken. It's happened once or twice before. I think it was twice.

That horse is wearing a hat, like Frou Frou in The Aristocats.

Melissa said...

Look at the crisp, white blouse on the ladies and young misses in the second picture! If I wore a white blouse to an amusement park, it would look like camo fatigues by lunchtime!

K. Martinez said...

They (Disney management) better keep their hands off Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is perfect and still my favorite castle.

So all those kids in the two pics are now senior citizens and the adults are either very old or dead. Time marches on but Disneyland still stands. So far. Thanks, Major.

Chuck, When seeing the horse with the hat, I was also thinking of "Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet". Too-ra-lay, too-ra-lye, too-ra-loo!

Also, they are changing the SBC Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland to be taller, larger and more elaborate. Apparently they weren't that impressed. I'm okay with that because it will keep Anaheim's castle unique. Just leave the original castle in Anaheim alone.

Chuck said...

Ken, I missed that announcement. Looking at the concept art, I'm not impressed. I'm in agreement with you, though - I prefer that Anaheim's version be unique and left alone.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think you are probably right, the “mini-berm” was almost certainly from the moat… why truck it far away when they need a hill right there? I should have added that there are a TON of awful concepts presented by “fans” on the internet, so the castle idea is no worse than some. (For instance, how about replacing Lincoln with an animatronic Walt Disney, who would not only talk to you, but you could ask him questions? Ugh!).

Graffer, why don’t they just cut to the chase and paint it day-glow, like they’ve always wanted??

Chuck, it IS a bit surprising that Hong Kong didn’t insist on something much larger and grander. Look at what they did in Shanghai. You could be right about that structure being part of the Plaza Gardens… maybe I need to consult a vintage aerial photo.

Melissa, yes, wearing white is just asking for it. I don’t generally spill food on my shirts, but I will if it’s a white one.

K. Martinez, oh man, I had not heard that they were going to actually alter the castle in Hong Kong! I agree with you, who cares what they do there. Just leave the Anaheim version alone. Unless they really want to erase “Walt’s Disneyland” in every way possible - which sometimes seems to be somebody’s goal.

Chuck, now I have to find that concept art. Are they going to put the current castle up on cinder blocks?

Major Pepperidge said...

OK, I saw the concept art. The new castle will be hideous. Absolutely no sense of elegance, taste, or subtlety. Unbelievably awful. But by gum, it's big!

Anonymous said...

My Dad had a straw hat almost exactly like the one Mr. Yellow Shirt to the right is wearing.

This is the only castle, and will always ever be the only castle.

Thanks Major.


Anonymous said...

Useless Disneyland Facts #203 & #48 (and possibly #121): The structure behind the striped contruction wall is the food service building for Carnation Plaza Gardens (be sure to get yourself a two-scoop Fantasia ice cream cone when they open for business!). Beyond that would be the glorious Custodial Services edifice (ha!) and beyond THAT (and slightly to the left/west) would be the covered spur/storage area for the Mine Train cars. There were three doors from the train storage area that lead directly into the Rainbow Caverns show building… at least there were three when I worked at the park during the ‘70s.

Fun photos… thanks for posting them! Merry Christmas, folks!

Sunday Night said...

Welcome to GDB After Dark. The twinkly lights are on. I get a melancholy feeling hearing the Mark Twain in the distance. It's been a long day so I'm heading over to the Sunkist shop on Main Street for a refreshing orange juice. Then a quick trip over to the Magic Shop to look at stuff I can't afford and then the long drive home.

Speaking of the Carnation Plaza Gardens, what did they do with all the tables and chairs - the tables with the red design on top?

Thanks for the details Anonymous! Around here those kind of "useless" facts become gold information! Your Disneyland memories are much appreciated!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, my own dad had a fondness for shapeless “bucket hats”, though admittedly he wore them only when fishing. And as much as I admire Cinderella Castle in Florida, the original Anaheim castle is the one that is closest to my heart.

Anon, PLEASE continue with the “Useless Disneyland Facts”! Thank you.

Sunday Night, if only I could step into the picture you’ve evoked in my brain. And ditto on the Magic Shop… my brother and I would gaze at the monster masks and Randotti glow skulls until we were dragged away.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, the monster masks, twinkly lights and the long drive home. Another detailed memory, lost in time, brought back by GDB.

Thank you Major and Sunday Night.