Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Entering the Park, August 1967

I'm not sure how adults felt when they visited Disneyland in the old days, but as a kid, was there anything more exciting? After waiting months and months, we were finally here - the car was parked in the vast lot, we had already taken a short ride in a tram up to the ticket booths, and in mere moments, we would be walking through the tunnels beneath the train tracks, and into Town Square. It really was the BEST THING EVER.

One thing that we didn't do was stop for a family portrait in front of the floral Mickey. At the time we were in way too much of a hurry, but now I wish we had done it at least once.


K. Martinez said...

You described the anticipation of Disneyland perfectly.

You can tell the woman is ready for her day at Disneyland. She's got her ticket book in hand and is good to go for her adventures in the Park. You just know she's gonna have a great time! Thanks, Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

Family portrait time: but Dad! I wanna go on the rides!

In hindsight it's nice that my Dad always had his Yashica 35mm camera loaded with Kodachrome 25 and that so many of his shots are still around. It's was a small price that I'm now glad we paid. That, and the first thing we did as kids on our yearly trip was to get a group photo taken so we could get our ride passes on courtesy of the MKC. The luxury of having a free ride pass in the days before passports and tickets being dropped it was the best wish come true.


Notice the Disney movie poster visible over the lady’s shoulder in photo #1 - for THE ADVENTURES OF BULLWHIP GRIFFIN released in 1967.

Those color coded ticket book signs above each booth stand out I’m my early visits to Disneyland like attraction posters and the trains pulling into Main St. Station .....

Nanook said...


Well, it may be 1967, but clearly 'flower power', and all the trappings of that clothing style, had yet to catch-on with these Disneyland guests - unless we're talking about that rather prominent "floral something-or-another" surrounding that womans left wrist. Was it merely to better blend-in with floral Mickey, or perhaps she was a spy and used the bauble to disguise a high-powered microphone-? I'm with Ken & Patrick on this one: It's time to head into the Park, straight-away.

@ Mike Cozart-
Extra, extra points for the one sheet ID-! Not exactly one of Disney's most popular films, but any film with Mike Mazurki, Dub Taylor, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, & Alvy Moore gets my attention. But even still, how did you recognize the graphic with so little to go on-?? (Now... if you can ID the poster directly behind that woman's head-!)

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Major, your description of the first moments of the trip are spot-on.

For me, circa age 10 and onward, Mom and Dad would stop at the Maxwell House Coffee shop and I would sprint to the Matterhorn. After my bobsled ride, I would re-join them and we would go straight to the Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Frontierland.

I don't remember much sequence after that, but we almost always had lunch at Captain Hook's pirate ship and dinner at the French Market, so Tomorrowland must have been the afternoon. We always seemed to take the train just from Tomorrowland to NOS, just enough to see the dinosaurs and get off for dinner.

It's funny that as I recall, the longest lines apart from the bobsled were the Jungle Cruise and the submarines. I don't recall anything else being a boring wait, age and the golden haze of nostalgia wash it all out. Even now, I don't much mind the waits since I am enjoying just being in the Park. So many attractions now have elaborate pre-shows that the waits don't seem too tedious. Worst is Peter Pan, I guess. That would be a good candidate for a Fast Pass.


Patrick Devlin said...

Thanks for the run-down on how the days played out, JG. It's funny but at the time we always took off from the parental units as sibling paired up or paired with a friend if one or more were in attendance. Just a couple of eight-year-olds, off on their own, something you probably wouldn't see today. But hey! It's Disneyland, it's 1963, and what could happen, really?

Stefano said...

It's almost 2 pm and people are just entering the park. Maybe they rested in the morning to be able to frolic till 1 am. For me it was park at opening, rest in the early afternoon at the Disneyland Hotel (pretending we were staying there ), and then on till closing.

Very good eyes, Mike Cozart! The discreet poster for "Bullwhip Griffin" contrasts with the big poster for "The Black Hole" at Space Mountain's exit, and two enormous posters for "The Black Cauldron" at the main gate --- both films still falling below box office expectations.

Melissa said...

I spot two young men in matching plaid shirts in the crowd scene! Right behind the lady in the orange-and-brown print, behind the lady in the yellow-and-white floral. Look at all those clean, white shoes, just waiting for a coating of fun dirt!

That white purse is just the right size for fighting off creeps, or maybe I've just been watching too much Laugh-In.

My sister and I were sci-fi kids, so we headed straight for Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom unless we got distracted by the streetcar. It was one of the first places we were let off on our own because Mom figured it was safe.

TokyoMagic! said...

Stefano, I was thinking the same thing about the time of day. Maybe they had already been in the park and were returning after a rest at their hotel.

Nanook, did the Tahitian Terrace have lunch shows? Maybe she got those floral wristlets earlier in the day at an afternoon show?

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, maybe she should go buy a few extra ticket books and hold on to them for 40 or 50 years! I’ll bet she and her family were going to head right over to the brand new Pirates of the Caribbean.

Patrick Devlin, you are so right; my family just didn’t take photos at the park, which seems so hard to believe. And yet, the only images I can find are examples that I took back in the 80’s. I sure wish I had some pictures of me back in the 70’s at least, or better yet, the late 1960’s…

Mike Cozart, I saw the poster back there, but could not ID it. I thought that maybe it showed Davy Crockett confronting a b’ar! “Bullwhip Griffin” is one of those films I’ve heard of, but have never seen.

Nanook, yeah, I always thought that ’67’s “Summer of Love” was the true beginning of the hippie thing. It’s kind of amazing to think that the Monterey Pop Festival had just been two months earlier, while Woodstock wouldn’t be for another two years. I noticed the woman’s corsage - could it have been a romantic gesture from her husband? Maybe she was with CONTROL - ladies can’t use a shoe phone, it’s not genteel.

JG, oh boy, if my mom and dad had wanted to stop to eat before we did anything else, I might have actually exploded. I like that they let you run ahead and do the Matterhorn first! Seems like wise parenting. I don’t remember ever doing anything more elaborate than grabbing a quick burger, when it came to meals. It might have been a money thing (four kids), I’m not sure. And I honestly don’t recall if we had a regular routine for the park, other than riding the Disneyland Railroad right away. After that, we probably went to Fantasyland. And then… who knows!

Patrick Devlin, I admit that if I had an eight year old, I would be reluctant to let him/her out of my sight. However, my mom let us have the run of Knott’s Berry Farm all the time, and I would have been about that same age. In those days, I really felt like I knew the Berry Farm like the back of my hand.

Stefano, 2 PM is bad enough, but sometimes we’ll see photos taken as the sun is setting, and people are just arriving. It’s not right! Can’t we pass an amendment to the Constitution or something? It seemed as if the park was always open until 1 in the morning when I was a kid (at least in the Summer), and now that just isn’t the case. I loved being allowed to stay up to such an incredible hour.

Melissa, white shoes are the best. And you can’t watch “too much Laugh-In”, there is no such thing. Sock it to me! I like the idea that somehow Tomorrowland was safer than the other lands in Disneyland.

TokyoMagic!, I have a BUNCH of photos of this family at Disneyland over various years - 1969, 1972, and maybe others. They sure loved going there. Interesting thought as to the corsage, I could see those being sold somewhere in Adventureland.


Major: I love BULLWHIP GRIFFIN. you should watch Film just to see the musical sequays to the next scenes - especially after San Francisco burns down and the Gold Rush Vision of what the rebuilding of the city should look like!! “Street Cars run on cables” a special warf for fisherman and a “golden bridge” .....a “knob” atop a hill. Very streampunk disney and a NO doubt a slight inspiration for Discovery Bay!

The uncle’s painted portrait that changes as his will is being read to the family at the start of the film is one of my favorite scenes in any Disney movie .

Melissa said...

I don’t remember ever doing anything more elaborate than grabbing a quick burger, when it came to meals. It might have been a money thing (four kids), I’m not sure.

We were each given enough for one (1) hot dog and one (1) Coke at Refreshment Corner, with the proviso that if we found anything cheaper we could keep the difference. Well, by one o'clock we'd need every millimeter of nutrition in that hot dog!

But yeah, pictures were so much more of a pain to take and get developed back in the day, I can remember only using a couple of rolls of film on a vacation, for the whole family.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick Devlin. Since I had no siblings, I didn't get to visit Disneyland with friends my age until I went with the high school group.

The only exception was in 2nd grade, my good friend got to come with us on one visit, but we were too small then to be let run around on our own.

I didn't get the Matterhorn freedom till I was about 10, big enough to ride by myself. Mom refused to ride the bobsleds because they were scary, and Dad would only ride because I couldn't go alone till I was as tall as Mickey's ears. He quit the bobsleds as soon as that happened.

I think they enjoyed the coffee time, since when I came back they were holding hands.


Anonymous said...

Amazing how simple photos out front stir up so many comments and memories. Great stuff!

WaltsMusic said...

We drove up from Chula Vista in 1967. I was just starting junior high. The anticipation, and who would first see the Matterhorn on I-5 as we approached from the south. It was my first time on It's a Small World and Carousel of Progress and Adventures through inner space! Have some of the trip on Super 8 film too! It was indeed "A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" for me.