Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! (Or, if you don't observe Christmas, have a bitchin' Monday. It's all good). I have two photos from December, 1969 - 48 years ago - with a slightly pepperminty flavor. And if you put your nose right up to your monitor, you will smell the subtle scent of pine. 

Our photographer was approaching the end of Main Street U.S.A., with the INA Carefree Corner to the extreme right. The gentleman in the foreground is wearing a straw boater - he has to be a cast member, don't you think?? Or maybe he is just the coolest guy ever. I love the little bright spots of color - a popcorn wagon and a horseless carriage.

The subject of the photo was (presumably) supposed to be the Matterhorn, topped with a gigantic light-up star. Garlands, ribbons, wreaths, bells and ornaments make for some tasteful Christmas decor.

Meanwhile, Sleeping Beauty Castle is similarly festooned with relatively subdued adornments. It's not dripping in lights and ice crystals - I don't really mind the overload of today (at least at night), Notice the white-flocked trees springing from the moat!

Aaaaand... just because I had this slide already scanned, here is a fun non-Disneyland scan from Christmas morning, 1949. Two cute kids pose in front of the Tannenbaum, complete with icicle ornaments and a miniature train at the foot of the tree (that's right, trees have feet). to the right is the tiny Sentinel television, clearly much more important than the small radio on top.

They might have watched "Colgate Theatre", "Captain Video and his Video Rangers", "The Lone Ranger", "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts", "The Life of Riley", or "Texaco Star Theater" - to name but a few.

I hope each and every one of you has a warm and wonderful day today!


TokyoMagic! said...

I think Elvis is stepping up onto the curb behind Mr. Straw Boater. The kid leaving the popcorn wagon even appears to be following him. Maybe he was going to ask for an autograph?

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Major....and to all the fellow GDB readers out there too!

Nanook said...


Christmas is finally beginning to feel as if it has officially arrived: The Xmas Star atop the Matterhorn and a white Christmas in the Puget Sound. (The odds of that occurring are around 7%).

But those moments are in danger of being upstaged by that kid sitting at the foot of the castle bridge with his rather extended-length yellow socks and short pants. (Did he wear his football uniform to Disneyland-??) And also in that classic Christmas scene with that giant goose head-? sticking-out from the top of the barn, as a part of the train layout. And then there's that [either] 10 or 12 INCH-! Sentinel tabletop television set, also vying for the grand prize in the upstaging department.

Thanks, Major, for these swell images. And a Merry Christmas to you, and to all the GDB-faithful, who also *plus* this blog by taking the time providing 'colorful comments' and great information about not only all-things Disneyland, but way, way beyond that.

walterworld said...

Mr. Straw Boater is just trying to recruit someone else to buy into his schemes. He was most likely put off at the next sandbar...

D ticket said...

Merry Christmas Major!

Scott Lane said...

Merry Christmas one and all!

K. Martinez said...

The last pic of the two kids and Sentinel television is tops. There's something special about vintage Christmas family pics.

Merry Christmas to you Major and to all the fellow GDB readers!

Melissa said...

Springing from the moat, springing from the moat, we shall come rejoicing, springing from the moat.

The man in the straw boater is okay, but check the girl in the purple dress and white boots under the blue umbrella! She's all ready to sing backup for Prince.

Hey, military types: what's the uniform on that guy in the white hat coming out of the Castle? Marine? That clear, crisp shot of the castle against the pale winter sky is absolutely beautiful. It's snowing again here, which makes me appreciate it even more.

I think my Grandma's living room was painted that same shade of blue when I was really little. From the pristine state of that Christmas tree, I can tell the family doesn't have a cat.

The happiest of holidays to the Major and to the whole GDB community.

Unknown said...

A Very Merry Christmas to all and sundry GDB types and to the Major who gives us all daily gifts year-round. Here's to a Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

The guy in the white hat is not military - he's a Disneyland Security officer in the old security costume, commonly referred to as "Security Blues." In later years the shirt was a lighter shade of blue than the one here appears to be, and they were generally short sleeved. Notice that the costume included white spats...

Dean Finder said...

Maybe the Disneyland security officer was there to keep more trees from jumping past the chain railing of the drawbridge.

That Christmas tree brings up a lot of memories. In the early 1980s, we still got long-needled fir trees some years. We also had those milky plastic icicles, gold glass ornaments, and large bulbs after they became unfashionable. I don't recall the white flocking, though.

JG said...

Best of holiday wishes to the whole GDB crew, as Nanook points out, a veritable online encyclopedia of minutiae, Disney and other. Highlight of my day, most days.

Fascinated to see the big star on the Matterhorn as late as 1969, I remember this ornament pretty clearly but it seemed there was an online debate about when they stopped putting it up, the consensus I recalled was around 65 or 66, like stopping for the 1967 Tomorrowland. Thanks to the major, we have video confirmation of my old memory that it rotated, at least one season.

Strangely, I don't recall the white trees in the moat. I do definitely prefer the older subtler decorations in comparison to today's "blowout" treatments. The older look somehow made the Park feel more like a real place, the decorations were like the ones in our home towns, or maybe a fairly elaborate house design like the "Christmas Tree Lanes" in the valley towns where I grew up.

Today's decorations are so elaborate and "bespoke", it's obviously more than any ordinary place or citizen would be able to do, and so feels more artificial. At least to me.

The gent in the straw hat is definitely a CM, his name tag is visible in the closeups.

Thank you, Major.


Anonymous said...

1969. My first year as a CM on Main Street. Yes, it was once like this. And we didn't seem to be lacking in decorations but compared to the over the top of today it looks rather sparse doesn't it? And the crowds? They mostly showed up AFTER Christmas! That gent in the straw hat was also Security...for Main Street. Happy Holidays!! KS