Thursday, April 05, 2018

Nature's Wonderland Ad, Los Angeles Examiner

Here's something a little different! My friend Mr. X has (once again) gone above and beyond the call of duty and generously gave me this ad that he had personally saved from the June 26th, 1960 "Los Angeles Examiner". I was blown away. X was especially excited to have me scan this and share it will all of the GDB readers, and I am very happy to do so today.

I had to combine 14 individual scans using Photoshop's "photo merge", and it worked pretty well - only a few minor glitches along the edges, but overall it is nice. There it is... nearly the entire width of a two-page spread! Back when newspapers were a lot larger than today, too. Sure, there's some celebrity news (along with photos of Judy Holliday, Miriam Hopkins, Lana Turner, and, um... Joan Weldon?), but the Nature's Wonderland ad is what overwhelms your eyeballs. 

NW had debuted about a month earlier (May 28th, 1960), but by June, school was out, and the park was almost certainly very busy. I love the artist's rendering of the battling elk, along with the Pack Mules, and the Mine Train passing over the trestle bridge.

Let's not ignore the many wonderful spot illustrations - I love 'em so much. Look at that Autopia vehicle, going about 95 mph! And the Submarine, slicing through the water at a precarious angle. Davy Crockett's twin brother Skyler takes aim at the Shooting Gallery, and - for just a moment - I thought that the guide on the Storybook Canal Boat was shooting at Geppetto's Village.

So much awesomeness. The jitterbugging "Date Nite" couple, the Flight Circle airplane plummeting toward the ground, the fearsome giant squid, the crazy House of the Future, and more. Notice that one of the bands playing on Date Nite is "Johnny Ukulele and his Hawaiians" - I've never heard of them before.

Don't worry folks, Disneyland is open 'til midnight every day! Plenty of time to enjoy Fantasy in the Sky, Slice in Wonderland, the Keystone Kop Quartet, the Mad Tea Party and even the new "Art of Animation" exhibit in Tomorrowland. 

Look at all the extra stuff - Mountain Climbers, the Gonzales Trio, Mermaids, Singing Shoe Shine Boys, the Court Jesters - holy moly. Maybe there isn't enough time.

I hope you have enjoyed this cool vintage ad!


Nanook said...


So much goodness to see here-! I, too, enjoyed the "Flight Circle airplane plummeting toward the ground", but I wonder where "Slice in Wonderland" was located... Good times for sure, back in those days.

Thanks again to Mr. X - and you.

Melissa said...

Guys, guys, I had this dream that Dr. X and the Major showed us a newspaper with more stuff in it then I had ever seen before. GOOD stuff. GREAT stuff. Not a bad piece of stuff in the whole collection of stuff!

So... much... stuff...

Melissa said...

Seeing the Ben-Hur review in the paper made me think of the old Marx Brothers gag:

GROUCHO: I play any kind of a role. I eat it up like that! I played a part in Ben-Hur once.

AGENT: What part did you play, sir?

GROUCHO: A girl, she played the part of Ben.

AGENT: And you?

GROUCHO: I played her.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, it's a shame that we lost such an iconic attraction. On the other hand, the attraction that replaced it was 20 percent cooler!

Also, at least old memories of Disneyland's past like this will be referenced in cartoons such as this:

K. Martinez said...

I can imagine Dick Wesson's announcer voice as I read the header "There's always something NEW at Disneyland! NOW for 1960 The Exciting NEW World of NATURE'S WONDERLAND!"

Man! What a beauty! I love stuff like this. Not only the spot illustrations but a beautiful rendering of Nature's Wonderland. Even though not accurate, it's still great. Just looking at all the wildlife incorporated into the illustration is great. There's a coyote, mountain lion, bears, battling elk and more. Also love the perspective. Again, what a beautiful ad!

If you're a fan of the 1954 sci-fi classic "Them!" you'd know Joan Weldon played Dr. Patricia Medford daughter of Dr. Harold Medford played by Edmund Gwen. Fess Parker was also in "Them!" and when Walt Disney saw him in the movie he gave the role of Davy Crockett to him. At least that's what is said.

Dr. Patricia Medford: Look! Held together with saliva!

DrGoat said...

Holy cow Major. That is pretty darn wonderful. The individual illustrations are just perfect. Thanks M.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is [insert superlative here].

Thanks Major and Mr. X for all this hard work and foresight.


Melissa said...

I love how the lines of the spot illustrations suggest motion, even for attractions that aren't strictly transportation.

And let's face it: You name your kid "Johnny Ukulele," and he's pretty much doomed to lead a Hawaiian band.

Melissa said...

"I wonder where "Slice in Wonderland" was located..."

Is that that thing where you get a slice of toast made from Wonder® Bread?

Patrick Devlin said...

Boy, I feel a little bit like a Disney rookie because I can't make sense of two of the venues for the Date Night bands:
The Space Bar: Automat style snacks with outdoor seating. Where sould a band have set up>
The Pavilion: Wouldn't there have been some interference with band playing just nearby at the Plaza Gardens? Maybe they played inside or back even farther towards the Tahitian Terrace?

Well I'm just lost today, but thanks to Mr. X and the major as always. Nice work.

K. Martinez said...

Patrick Devlin, Johnny Ukulele and his Hawaiians played at "The Pavillion" on the Adventureland side next to the Jungle Cruise. This was a couple of years before the "Tahitian Terrace" and "Enchanted Tiki Room" were built and opened in 1962 and 1963. The "Plaza Pavilion" and "Tahitian Terrace" were the result of splitting up "The Pavillion" to have more complete theming and appropriate menus for each "land" even though they continued to share the same kitchen.

As for the band set up at the Space Bar, they played up against the building facing outward towards Tomorrowland's Flight Circle with the dancers on the outer edge of the Space Bar.

Also Big Band orchestras played in the south exhibit building next to the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Exhibit" entrance. At least that's what I remember from seeing photos and reading about it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, “Slice in Wonderland” was Lewis Carroll’s third “Alice” book, in which Alice goes golfing (badly) in Wonderland.

Melissa, after reading your comment, I thought, “Did I say the word ‘stuff’ a lot?”, but I only used it once!

Melissa, if the Marx Brothers fought the Ritz Brothers, who would win?

The Disney Dudebro, well, I don’t know if I would say that “Big Thunder” is necessarily “cooler” than Nature’s Wonderland. It’s a roller coaster, so it’s faster. But Nature’s Wonderland had an awful lot of cool things.

K. Martinez, yeah, Dick Wesson’s voice is so completely associated with “Disney” in my mind. “The Wonderful World of Disney!” (tinny horns and a harp in the background). One of the things I liked about this ad is that, somehow, I had never seen a representation of it before, as far as I can recall. I haven’t seen “Them!” since I was a kid, so perhaps I need to revisit it one of these days.

DrGoat, I can’t decide which is better, the big illustration, or all of the little ones.

JG, you’re welcome!

Melissa, I always wonder who was chosen to draw spot illustrations like those. Sometimes you see Disneyland ads with surprisingly crude artwork, and other times they are very nice.

Melissa, if I was named “Johnny Ukulele”, I would play the saxophone just because I’m not gonna play by their rules!

Patrick Devlin, I would answer your questions, but I see that Ken Martinez has already done so! I’m sure that the bands would not have interfered with each other - a staggered schedule would have taken care of that.

K. Martinez, thanks for answering Patrick’s questions!

Jonathan said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, what did I miss? What great scans! Mr X is one of those forward thinking people who saved only the best. I'll bet he bought Apple when it was buck a share. I picture Dad and Mom sitting in the breakfast nook reading the Examiner and planning a trip to Disneyland while sipping Maxwell House. I love the art work and the evocative discriptions. All the classics, Rainbow Ridge perched on the hill, the TWA Moonliner standing proud. All was right with the world. Thanks for the great memories Major.

Melissa said...

“Did I say the word ‘stuff’ a lot?”

Oh, no, I just like the word "stuff!"

Anonymous said...

Probably this guy?

SkyMagic said...

Hmm. The spot art sure looks to me to be the same ones that used to be in the guide books from the 60's and 70's, like this one here:

Back in my early teens I spent many, many hours studying those...

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, Mr. X saved a lot of stuff, but he got rid of a lot of stuff too! He told me about a stack of “Pirates of the Caribbean” posters that he once had (a rare variety, not the large silkscreened version) that he tossed out. They sell for many hundreds, if not thousands, today! Love the description of your folks planning their next trip!

Melissa, it’s a good word, I probably do use it too much…

Anonymous, it has to be him! Funny, I just imagined Johnny Ukulele would be a nerdy white guy.

SkyMagic, they sure look like they were drawn by the same illustrator (which is cool - I want to know who it was!), but most of them appear to be a little bit different! Still, I love the INA books and their artwork.