Friday, December 15, 2017

Wonderful Tomorrowland, September 1973

Oh boy, do I love today's photos! Who knew that the 1970's could look so great? 

For instance, feast your eyes on this first example, with that beautiful "New Tomorrowland", still looking amazing even though it was 7 years old. There is no such thing as too many photos of the Peoplemover, and you can see yellow, blue, aqua, and red examples here. The entrance fountains have been converted to planters at this point. And the people! They all stepped right out of a Sears catalog, with those groovy fashions and bold patterns.

What are those large paper tags hanging from so many people's clothes? Presumably some sort of pass - perhaps an early version of a passport that allowed folks to ride any attraction they wanted? I also love the outfit on the gentleman to our left - perhaps a sort of proto hip-hop fashion? Pretty awesome.

Next up is this lovely shot, from somewhere around the plaza (in front of the castle) looking toward Tomorrowland. I don't believe I have any other photos taken from this angle. What's all that grass doing there? It isn't generating any income, that's for sure. 

Perhaps those people just came from riding "Adventure Thru Inner Space" and they are now on their way to ride the "Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland". The lucky ducks.


Nanook said...


Groo-vy, indeed-! Those hang tags are a mystery. (Perhaps all those folks are merely examples of human luggage, and those are their tags). It's definitely a crowded day in Tomorrowland.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Being these photos are dated September 1973, the 'New Tomorrowland" will lose it's first attraction, the "Carousel Of Progress" on the 9th of that month to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Love the second pic for it's greenery and futuristic PeopleMover. Such a warm and welcoming future. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

In the "off season," the Magic Kingdom Club used to offer it's members those "Unlimited Passports" that would allow guests to experience as many attractions as they wanted (except arcades and shooting galleries!) There was a time when they had a string for tying around a belt loop or a button hole so that you didn't have to whip it out every time you went on a ride. In later years, they got rid of the string. Some upper level manager jerks were probably already sitting around a table and figuring out how much money they could save by eliminating the string. It was common at that point for people to go to the souvenir stands at the entrance and buy a pinback button or a small plastic pin to attach the passes to their clothing.

These pics are two more examples that I would like to be able to step into and just stay there forever. In that first pic, you can see that the crowd near the PeopleMover track is watching the DL Band, which is kind of hidden, but you can just make out a couple of their hats and the horn of one of the brass instruments sticking up above the crowd. Mr. "Thigh-Length Leather Jacket Man" and his girlfriend are standing on the Tomorrowland planter's bench seat in order to try and see the band.

That grassy lawn in the second pic is just the perfect spot to put some large ugly brownish-orange rocks, don't you think? Someone thought so, anyway.

Scott Lane said...

I didn't think the MKC Passports started until later but didn't the tours give out something like that?

Either way - great pics, Maj!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Awesome display of the best land/era and wild fashion statements. Plaids, flowers power, hippie macrame hand bags and pleather jackets.
By far the cat with the rolled up jeans and the Chuck Taylors with red laces is their king. He's cooler than Johnny Bravo.

I agree with Tokyo Magic on stepping out of this world and into that one (time/place). Kinda like the Twilight Zone classic "Next Stop Willoughby", minus the nasty jummping off the train/suicide thing to get there. Next stop classic Tomorrowland! I think several of us GDBr's might make that our "Happy Place" to get lost in.

Chuck said...

I love that grassy knoll. It may have only generated revenue for the groundskeepers who maintained it, but it added a bit of "breathing room" that was one of the touches that set Disney Parks above so many others.

Wow - sharp eye on the band, TM! I can only add a Mickey-ear balloon sighting to the same photo.

We had MKC passports (attached to our clothes with safety pins provided by my ever-thrifty mother) at the MK in '79, but I know we never had them at DL from '71-'76. Not saying they weren't a thing in those days, but I would be surprised that my parents wouldn't have taken advantage of them if they'd known about them.

Nice set, Major!

Anonymous said...

Re the tags: My guess is that it's a Sunday, and Sunday meant mix-in party tickets in which group guests could come in after three, and enjoy passport-style admission to rides. Official closing time was 7, but non-mix in guests in the know could stay till midnight.

Pegleg Pete said...

Two great shots today, Major – thanks. And both of them feature a glimspe, however slight, of the Mary Blair murals!

Melissa said...

Stripes and plaids and florals and stripes going the other way and native block prints and floral stripes and herringbones and zigzags and graphic tees and leather and wool fringe and OMG IT'S THE SEVENTIES! It has never been more the seventies. What a beautiful melange of everybody being happy together!

The second picture is framed so beautifully by those soft, green branches. Usually Tomorrowland pictures are all go, go, go, but this one is exceptionally peaceful.

I assumed the people with tags were all Minnie Pearl's cousins, gathered for a family reunion. Boy, were they in for a surprise when they found out they'd gotten the wrong Minnie!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, maybe the tags mean that those people have agreed to become soylent green.

K. Martinez, all those smiling folks have no idea that the CoP would be going away soon!

TokyoMagic!, I feel like I’ve seen other variations on “all you can ride” passports from various years - though I don’t recall ever seeing one of those tags on eBay (or anywhere else). Good eye on spotting the Disneyland band. I told Tony B that he should put in some quicksand, but he thought brown rocks would be better. Go figure.

Scott Lane, I sure don’t know, but it sounds like TokyoMagic! does… it seems hard to believe that all of the people with tags (in the first photo) are on tours.

Alonzo, I really do wonder, if by some miracle we really were able to go back to that 1973 date, what would be the most surprising? Probably something that doesn’t even occur to us at the moment. Maybe everyone communicated via a series of clicks and whistles. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Chuck, I’m glad your mom did not carry a stapler in her purse. Or maybe she did! While we never had those passports, I do remember having Magic Kingdom Club books, in which any ticket could get you on to any ride. And on “Navy Nite”, you could go on any ride as many times as you wanted. In those days of ticket books, it seemed like heaven!

Anon, I have never heard of those mix-in party tickets! Something new to me, very cool.

Pegleg Pete, oh I’ll have better shots of those murals for you one of these days!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I had the feeling you'd like these. For some reason, I don't have that many pictures that really show off what I think of as "70's fashions", even when the photos are from that decade. Perhaps those styles did not last as long as I always thought they did? Minnie Pearl, I love how she turned that price tagged hat into a lifetime-long gag!

TokyoMagic! said...

I don't know for sure that the Magic Kingdom Club was offering those Unlimited Passports as far back as 1973, but my family went in June of 1971 and we had an unlimited ticket of some kind that came with a string for attaching to our persons. I also know that we didn't go on the Guided Tour that day and that we were at the park all day, rather than being a part of a special evening mix-in group.

Major, I have a pics of my brother and I wearing those tickets, but the "face" of it only shows in one pic. I'm going to send you that pic to see if you have that particular ticket or have seen it before.

(Melissa, I don't think we were part of the 1971 Minnie Pearl Family Reunion either!)

Anonymous said...

Those tag tickets could also have been related to a private party through the MKC. Main gate would allow entry at 3-4 as previously mentioned. There would be no hard close of the park, we would continue operating. However, at the attraction turnstile, we were supposed to stop allowing guests in without the pass at 7. Most regular guests seemed to observe the rules and the ticket booths were closed. However, no one was ushered out of the park. They could stay and continue to spend money on food and merchandise. Back in those days the park was only so busy and most day guests had seen it all by 9pm while the party would continue till midnight. KS

Unknown said...

Lovely shots today with great color. Was there much adjustment on your part our were the pics in that good of shape? Int's interesting to see that the fountains on both sides of the entrance have made the transition to planter status from their former flowing waters: too bad I, like so many others here, love me a good flowing water feature and lament the loss of any of them, sniff...

Chuck said...

Major, she didn't carry a stapler - it was a nail gun.

I remember heading towards Main Street and the car at the published closing time on a 1976 visit and noticing that people were still coming in and attractions were still operating. I asked my dad what was going on ("can we stay?") and he told me it was a private party and that those people didn't even have to use tickets to ride anything. I was so jealous, I think I actually turned green.

I vowed that someday I would return to Disneyland with the power to ride any ride I wanted as many times as I wanted without having to surrender a ticket each time. And you know what? I did.

Still looking for that next lifetime goal...

Anonymous said...

I worked at the park for just under six years in the ‘70s and never heard of a mix-in that didn’t allow regular customers to stay and use tickets past the posted closing time. We used to tell people we thought were extra nice or looked like they were visiting from far away about the later closing.

The whole purpose of a mix-in was because the private party (sometimes more than one smaller organization) numbers alone didn’t justify keeping the park open late. The rides cost what they cost to operate whether it was a 5K or 80K day so, of course, people could stay and keep using what tickets they had and, more than likely, keep buying food and merchandise.

It is true that Ticket Seller (Main Gate and in the park) shifts ended at the posted closing time, so we always mentioned that people should buy additional tickets before then in case they decided to stay.

Perhaps Anonymous is thinking of the Christmas Passes permanent and permanent part-time (talk about a convoluted term) employees used to get. The idea was you’d give these things to friends and family who’d enter the park and do some Christmas shopping. Those passes only offered admission but if folks had old tickets… well, let’s just say my friends used them to visit Disneyland and go on rides. Same deal with signing people in at the Main Gate.

Anyway, great photos. I sure miss Alpine Gardens. Damn you, Tony Baxter!

Anonymous said...

We would continue to man the turnstiles during the evening, checking for drinks and other issues as standard. And while not refusing tickets, we'd mention that the park had a soft close at 7 for the private party. As folks used their tickets, the number of them coming in would rapidly dwindle off. Never seemed to be a problem. Try that today! KS

Anonymous said...

Major, these are amazing pictures. Really "you-are-there" moments, and photo 2, such a rare angle.

I had an outfit almost exactly like the fellow with the burgundy pants and garish shirt. Thankfully it's long gone.

So much to love here, especially the comments.

Thank you.