Tuesday, March 27, 2018

More Frontierland Scans

Today I have another very nice selection of scans graciously donated to GDB by a mysterious benefactor.

First up is this very neat shot (from 1965) taken from the tracks of the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train, with a tunnel framing a view of the Columbia as it happened by. Since this was probably shot by a professional photographer, it is possible that he/she was allowed to walk the tracks, which is something the rest of us could only dream about.

I can't tell if the side of the Columbia is only partially painted, or if it is a trick of light (i.e. reflections?). It seems unthinkable that Walt would have let a half-primered boat sail his river.

Also from 1965 is this interesting shot of Rainbow Ridge, with the Mark Twain's paddlewheel churning away in the foreground. 

It's a new year (this one is dated January, 1966), and the shores near the Friendly Indian Village look pretty swell. The rock formations and cacti to the right of the meese seem like a recent addition, possibly related to the construction for "It's a Small World", which would open nearby in four months.

From April, 1966 we have this swell shot taken in front of the Golden Horseshoe Revue. I wonder where those people bought that cool vintage clothing? The cat's-eye shades on the woman to our left must have cost a fortune. 


Nanook said...


All of these images are wonderful, but The Friendly Indian Village is the nicest of the bunch.

Thanks to the "MB" and you-!

K. Martinez said...

Perhaps the Columbia is suffering from "white Skyway bucket" syndrome.

All of these photos are rather nice in composition. I love the shot of the Columbia from inside one of Cascade Peak's tunnels. The Golden Horseshoe Revue is another nice shot with it's gold & white signage and red "Pepsi-Cola Presents" logo. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

That shot through the paddlewheel fascinates me. It looks like it may have been taken aboard the Twain, but the photographer would have had to have been standing on the extension of the main deck that juts out alongside the paddlewheel, next to the connecting rod that turns the wheel. This area isn't accessible to guests, and I can only imagine the safety equipment needed to keep the photographer from falling overboard.

There is always the possibility the photographer stood on the shore of TSI and used a zoom lens, but (in my opinion, anyway) the image doesn't look compressed enough and too much is in focus or near-focus for that to be the case.

However they were taken, this is a nice set today, Major! Thanks again to you and your secret benefactor.

Anonymous said...

I think the shot of the Columbia was taken frm the rear car of the mine train. The tunnel is the one that separates Cascade Peak from Bear Country.

Anonymous said...

It's clever that Disney used tunnels on the mine train to change scenes, much like blackouts are used in movies to change times or locales. Tunnel #1 took you from "civilization" to Beaver Valley, tunnel #2 from Beaver Valley to Cascade Peak, Tunnel #3 from Cascade Peak to Bear Country, the "natural arch bridge" from Bear Country to the Living Desert, and finally Rainbow Caverns. Fun stuff.

Patrick Devlin said...

Mmmm, good Frontierland shots, and a Happy Tuesday to all.

I think that the Columbia's appearance is just reflected sky light and a little reflection, too, of the far shore.

I don't think, ChuckThat the photographer was outside the railing when shot #2 was taken. If one looks at the rear of the Mark Twain there is a fair bit of room back at the far aft of the main deck. Granted the shooter would have had to scoot back along next to the running engine to get there (and probably need a CM's permission at any rate) there is enough room, it appears, to get the shot.

And is that the remains of the old stage road at the right edge of shot #3? It looks a little narrow but is in the approximately right location...

Anonymous said...

Very cool pictures today, Major. Always glad to see more meese.

I agree that the paddlewheel shot was taken from a catwalk location and probably required special access. Didn't you say that the Mystery Benefactor had a Special Dispensation?

The tunnel picture must be taken from pretty far down the river, to have the fort visible from that angle. At first, I thought the photo was reversed. The paint finish is a trick of the light, I think.

In the Golden Horseshoe picture, see the couple in matching Madras plaid, very stylish.

@Anonymous #1, good observation about the tunnel transitions, I had never considered that before, but it's certainly the right analogy. The tunnel transition is used a great deal in Disneyland; Monstro the Whale, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and of course, the ultimate 3D movies, Pirates and the Haunted Mansion.

The cinema parallel is why so many of these old attractions were so successful, and conversely, why so many of the newer ones are not.

Thanks everyone, a great start to the day.


Chuck said...

Patrick, I just found a photo detailing that area on the Twain, and I believe you are correct on the photographer's location. The pictures I found earlier this morning didn't show that there was decking there, and I made a bad assumption. I'm ashamed to admit it's been too many years since I looked back there myself.

I think that may be the trail for the Pack Mules in the third photo.

Chuck said...

Okay, so the link I shared didn't show just the photo I was referring to. Scroll through the pictures and you'll find it - definitely plenty of decking there for a photographer to stand on.

JG, don't forget the tunnel transition that sets up all of the others - under the Berm and onto Main Street at the entrance. And re: the newer attractions - why use tricks from the movies to enhance an immersive, three-dimensional experience when you can just show a movie? ;-)

Jonathan said...

Great pictures, I love the many different ways people find to photograph the Mark Twain, and any pic of Rainbow Ridge is cool. The Indian Village is so cool and a family favorite. Gotta love the meeses. Thank you Major for the great pictures. I had a Madras shirt in '66 too. Loved it.

Patrick Devlin said...

Having given the Mark Twain shot a second look I didn't notice the first time that it appears to be at the loading dock and the engine would just be "idling" along in its 'hold the dock lines' taut mode. Still more, it shows how cozy the near side of Rainbow Ridge was to the dock back in the day.

Chuck said...

Patrick, again, I think you're right. You can see how close everything was in this 1962 photo.

JG, the first photo would have been taken from the tunnel portal to the left of Cascade Peak in the photo I linked above. The Fort Wilderness alignment makes sense when you see it from above like this.

Patrick Devlin said...

Ah, I think you're right, Chuck about that being the Pack Mules' trail in the third shot. I was picturing the traffic on the road as coming towards us but it's really going away from us and about to visit the Living Desert before crossing the Natural Bridge.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
it's interesting the first linked picture (from Disney) showing the close-up of the paddlewheel has such poor contrast. And then take a look at the image from today's post, which is quite stunning. My, how the mighty have fallen.

Melissa said...

Yes, the framing and the Dutch angles on the first two shots are super-cool.

Mrs. Cat's-eye reminds me of "Maxine" from the eponymous line of Hallmark cards.


Matthew said...

That third shot with the pack mule trail leading out to the Living Desert is just the way I remember it. The moose with the plants and water dripping out of its' mouth in that little corner of Frontierland... riding a mule. THAT I will never forget! I must have been 5 or 6 years old. It was near dusk so the orange glow would have been filling that neck of the woods.

What great photos! And that second photo... Wow! I've said it here too many times to count, but that corner was the furthest corner you could walk to. The edge of "civilized" Frontierland. From there... you had to EXPLORE via Mine Train, Sailing Ship, Steam Ship, Pack Mule, Keel Boat, or Indian War Canoe. It was truly the edge of the frontier... of Walt's park in Anaheim. : )

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, gosh, I that one might rate #4 out of 4 for me! But hey, nobody’s wrong. I’m glad you like the FIV!

K. Martinez, it really does look like the Columbia is only partially painted, and I can’t figure out why that would be. I believe that all of the photos contributed by the mysterious benefactor were taken by a professional photographer, so that would explain why most (though not all) are pretty good.

Chuck, I admit that I was wondering how this photograph was captured. Could have been shot from a Keel Boat? I would not be surprised if the photographer had access to places mere mortals were not allowed, but even so, that’s a kooky angle.

Anon, that is certainly possible! I just like to imagine that he was walking the tracks of the Nature’s Wonderland Mine Train because that’s what I wish I could have done.

Anon, it is true; I think that tunnels are used similarly for the Disneyland Railroad as well. It’s an interesting psychological effect - possibly reinforced by years of TV and movies.

Patrick Devlin, I suppose that a very glossy paint job would reflect light that much, but it is still such an odd effect. As for the old stage road, I have no idea!

JG, the mystery benefactor donated the scans, but did not take the photos. He was not even born in 1965! I also thought that perhaps the first photo was reversed, but I think it is OK. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I started reading more about the similarities between cinema techniques and theme park attractions - it’s a fascinating subject.

Chuck, you are right, there seems to be plenty of room back there to stand and take that very angle seen in #1.

Chuck again, instead of tunnels, I wish they had just dumped a lot of water on people to let them know that they were entering a new scene.

Jonathan, all credit goes to the mysterious benefactor!! But thank you for the nice words.

Patrick Devlin, you may have never seen this, but at times they will get the paddle wheel up to full power before releasing the dock lines, enabling the Mark Twain to do a “wheelie”.

Chuck, thank you for the informative link.

Patrick Devlin, you guys are much more aware of how things were arranged or how they moved than I will ever be.

Nanook, actually a lot of the scans have very dark shadows, but Photoshop can sometimes bring back some of the details that might have otherwise been lost in those inky blacks.

Melissa, wow, who knew that “Maxine” was popular enough to actually have a name! I’ve seen cards with her image, and didn’t even register that she was one of Hallmark’s star characters.

Matthew, ah yes, the Pack Mule trail, that must be what we are seeing. How I wish I had gone for rides on that attraction. It must have been so cool seeing Frontierland from that completely different perspective. So glad that you enjoyed these!

Melissa said...

Who was that mysterious masked donor, anyway?

*cue "Lone Ranger" music*