Monday, May 28, 2018

Last Easter Parade Pix, April 1976

It's Easter on Memorial Day!

Just when we thought it would never end, it's time for the last photos of a special Easter parade from 1976. They weren't great, but there sure were a lot of 'em.

Hooray, there's the White Rabbit, who takes on seasonal work as the Easter Bunny; the pay is pretty good. I am jealous of his maroon coat and top hat. Meanwhile, Ms. Bunny is elegant in her old-fashioned dress.

Ladies in colorful dresses carry baskets full of fresh flowers while on the arms of characters (Pluto and Br'er Fox) who are on their best behavior.

Whoops, maybe they weren't on their best behavior after all! Pluto and Br'er Fox seem to be surrounded by a group of ladies who are giving them the business.

Colonel Hathi and his wife Helen (sure why not) have joined the festivities. Elephants love a parade.

What's going on here? Looks like a horseless carriage broke down en route and needed to be pushed along the entire path by no less than seven CMs. This is not a cost-effective mode of transportation.

When the Big Bad Wolf is around, you better believe that you'll need an Autopia CM nearby in case any huffing or puffing occurs. 

The Li'l Pigs don't seem very concerned that their old nemesis is so close; perhaps the BBW had become a strict vegan. Notice all of the hands reaching out to touch the piggy to the right!

And finally, you can't have an Easter parade without an Easter basket, can you? You'd think that there would be one or two Disney characters on board the basket, but we sure can't see them from this angle.

Whew! The parade is over. I can't say I'm too sad about it. Still, it was kind of fun.


Nanook said...


I'm kinda fond of that huge Easter basket.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I just noticed something in this set of photos that is confusing me. There are several cast members wearing what looks like the Space Mountain costume. There are three of them in that third to last pic (and maybe even a fourth one partially obscured by the Big Bad Wolf). And there are four more pushing that horseless carriage. Am I wrong about that costume being for Space Mountain, or could these pics be from 1977?

Melissa said...


Dateline: Disneyland, Easter 1976

The Easter Bunny is a basket case! He was late, he was late, for a very important date with his tailor to have his trousers properly fitted. Vertical stripes are supposed to be flattering!

Rainbow bucket hats are the new babushka. I do spy one bandana-babushka, right next to Mrs Hathi’s tail, on a young lady with an uncanny resemblance to the actress Kathryn Leigh Scott, probably best known for Dark Shadows.

Love the flower-toting ladies and flivver-pushing gents. They look like an escaped Gilbert and Sullivan chorus, except with more butts.

Also, the old-fashioned mouse ear balloons are so pretty. I can't say why, but they always seem to float just a little more artistically in pictures than round ones. Nothing against round balloons, which are also lovely.


Tokyo Magic: I noticed those costumes as well. From the they seem to have a similar cut as the Space Mountain costumes - which should be orange . In these images they appear burgundy. I wondered in they were the new Circle Vision costumes That went into use around 1977. In 1976 the circle vision costume for male and female were a navy blue and deep red. There was a new costume for circle vision in 1977 and again in 1983 ......and in 1984 for the attraction’s new sponsor ; PSA AIRLIBES came new costumes in the PSA color “California Zinfandel” which was a burgundy like color.

Other than that those costumes stump me -is the orange color showing up in the film as red?

Chuck said...

Bre`er Bear is hiding in plain sight in the second-to-last photo, mostly obscured by Practical Pig and a swarm of angry balloons. I think it's a little odd that Bre'er Bear and Bre'er Fox - characters whose prime pastime is trying to catch and eat a rabbit - are in an Easter parade.

Also note - just above BBW's head - another ominous face in the mountain. The Matterhorn is always watching...waiting...his hunger building...

I love Colonel Hathi's spats. And looking at him and Helen and how each elephant is in step with itself, I'm now amazed at the precision that had to be worked out between the cast member in the front end of the costume and the one in the rear. Yes, marching formations do it all the time, but even at the position of attention you can still see what everyone else is doing out of the corner of your eye and can either hear a drumbeat or someone calling cadence. These guys have no peripheral vision and the guy (or gal) in back may not be able to see anything but the back of the dude (or dudette) in front of them, and dimly. I guess with all of the ambient parade noise, they could tlk to each other to coordinate and not be overheard, or maybe they used some kind of mind link like the Drift in Pacific Rim. I think that's the more likely explanation. They're probably some sort of defense mechanism against the Kaiju Matterhorn.

Completely agree with Melissa - that version of the Mickey-ear balloon is just wonderful. Mine was blue. I can still remember how it tasted.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, everyone. And please - take a moment amidst the barbecues and fun to remember what the holiday is all about.

JC Shannon said...

I love the parade pics, the spectators are so much fun. Does anyone else have Easter Parade playing in their head? I love Judy. In photo #4, I spotted Rosie the Riveter "We can Do it" standing next to who appears to be Che Guevara. Or maybe I need more coffee. It is a bright sunny day and the birds are chirping, and a splendid time was had by all. Thank you Major!

Remember, the real heroes are the ones who never made it home.

Melissa said...

Chuck, my balloon was pink. It lasted for a few years after deflation.

I forgot to mention Fiddler Pig's jaunty middy in my fashion report. Hellooo, sailor!

Melissa said...

Y'know, the Matterhorn kind of looks like a paler version of Oogie Boogie's head.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if nothing else, that basket would hold a lot of eggs. Or Peeps.

TokyoMagic, I thought that it was an Autopia costume, but really wasn’t sure. These are definitely from 1976!

Melissa, the Easter Bunny has very muscular legs - he might be “juicing”. I wonder if Disneyland sells bucket hats anymore? They stood the test of time for a good 20 years, but maybe they have finally gone extinct. “More butts”. I saved one of those ear balloons when I was a kid, carefully untying the knot when the helium finally gave out. But I found the deflated balloon in a box a few years ago, it had warped and deformed. Angry tears.

Mike Cozart, while the color on these is not great, I don’t think it is so far off that orange is showing up as red. So I guess my assumption that the costumes were from the Autopia was way off? I love a good mystery, but we may never know the real answer!

Chuck, Br’er Bear has mastered the the art of camouflage, thanks to the thousands of chromatophores in his skin (much like a squid). It’s funny, years ago I compared the “scary face” on the Matterhorn to the ridiculous creature seen in the movie “It Conquered the World” ( I also was thinking about how tricky it must have been to coordinate the two performers inside Colonel Hathi (and wife). Maybe the lead person literally called out “One. Two. One. Two. (etc)” for the duration of the parade?

Jonathan, sadly, my knowledge of old MGM musicals is limited, though I do enjoy them. I KNEW Che Guevara went to Disneyland! Finally my theories don’t seem so crazy.

Melissa, mine was a sunshiny yellow.

Melissa, yes, I can see that. But I love the “cave bat” from “It Conquered the World” so much!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I believe you about the date! I think the guy in the first Big Bad Wolf pic is wearing an Autopia costume (blue and yellow).

Mike Cozart, is it possible that the Space Mountain costumes could have been finished a year earlier and they were trying them out elsewhere in Tomorrowland? I know that isn't likely. They sure do look similar to the Space Mountain ones. I took a pic of a Space Mountain costume in 1978 and it turned out looking more reddish than orange in the pic. I've posted the photo in the past. It's the fourth (and fifth) image down in this post:

Disneyland Trip - 1978



Image 5 and 6 do show a Autopia costume ( the blue and yellow outfit) . In image 5 you can see the mystery costumed cast members helping an Autopia cast member and a Submarine Voyage cast member pushing something. In image 6 many of the mystery costumed cast members are doing crowd control along the parades route ( some sitting to the right of THE BIG BAD WOLF and one knelling to the right of the Autopia guy)

In 1976 they may have been “breaking in “ new costumes for Space Mountain. But I think it is the new Circle Vision costume . Most of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland 1976/1977 costume changes used designs developed for Walt Disney World’s New Tomorrowland 1974/1975, but the colors were different for Florida . At this time ALL costumes for both parks were designed and prototypes made right at Disneyland ....and there have been cases of Florida costumes being given a trial run at Disneyland ..... an example in the early 70’s while new costumes were being designed for the Disneyland monorail cast members Disneyland used existing Walt Disney World monorail costumes at Disneyland ( the lime green and blue versions) they even featured Disneyland wardrobe tags.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike Cozart, thanks for that information!

Anonymous said...

I worked at the park from 1976 until deep into 1980, and the costumes in question are those worn (only) by Space Mountain ride operators. Back in September of 1977, I took a joke photo showing a male Bell employee (Chuck!) in his Circle-Vision 360 outfit while visiting my (Bell) girlfriend on her break. Yes, Chuck’s pretending to pour one of the new individual “barf dust” packets into his shoe. No, sweeper humor wasn’t particularly funny.


Chuck said...

I love the fact that this crowd is geeking out over mid-'70s Tomorrowland costumes.

You want to know the best time of day to ride Radiator Springs Racers or meet Anna & Elsa? You won't find that trivial stuff here. In fact - how did you find this site anyway?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I had to double check (I have screwed up before), but this time I am sure. I clicked on your link and was freaked out by the photos of your friend with another face pasted over hers.

Mike Cozart, ah, I got something right, at least. I will be of no use whatsoever in determining those other costumes. I love all this discussion about the costumes of the 70’s!

TokyoMagic!, if Mike doesn’t know it, nobody does.

Huck, thanks for that info, and thanks for the link to the photo of your buddy and the barf packet. What’s in those packets anyway?!

Chuck, yes, if anybody wants information relevant to now, they have come to the wrong place. They’re still welcome, however!


The “space mountain” costume was designed by costumer Tom Peirce in 1974. The same pattern was used on these other attractions:

WDW-introduced between 1974-1976

CIRCLE VISION (burgundy)
STAR JETS ( red)

DISNEYLAND introduced between 1974-1977
(In California the MALE Version of the costume is used, but a jumpsuit design is used for FEMALE) and Disneyland uses a two tone color scheme EXCEPT for Space Mountain
AMERICA SINGS ( red and blue)
MISSION TO MARS ( Blue - bright yellow)
ROCKET JETS ( black and red)

I have some actual costumes of the above and quite if fee of the original costume concept art for the pieces as well . Unfortunately I haven’t any documentation on the Circle Vision DL costume used from 1977-1983.

TOKYO MAGIC : I know the SPACE PLACE costumes were first made and tested to be orange and blue - to go with the Space Mountain complex color palet ( and tested at Tomorrowland Terrace and LUNCHING PAD prior to Space Place opening) Then the costumes were changed to PEPSI BLUE and PEPSI RED when Pepsi signed on to sponsor SPACE PLACE.

The 1983 CIRCLE VISION costume had a front pattern that seriously looked like a push button phone. The PSA Circle Vision costume may have been added as late as 1985 looked like slightly modified versions of the 1982 PSA classic flight attendant uniform ( PSA was know for its mini skirt attendant uniforms during the late 60’s and 70’s.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Those folks who are presently-concerned with wait times for Radiator Springs, or [GULP] 'meeting' Anna or Elsa, etc., should remember: "their time will come" - just you wait-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the "cut and paste heads" on my blog actually preceded the "white oval over the face." I used to take the time to cut out an alternate head and paste it over an existing one, but then I discovered it was much quicker just to put a white oval on top of a face for anonymity.

Mike, I took this pic of the Circle Vision costume in 1983: Tomorrowland - 1983.

Melissa said...

TokyoMagic!, thanks for the link to your school trip report. Although I loved my school trips to Darien Lake and Canada's Wonderland, living close enough to have school trips to a Disney park must have been pretty sweet.

I'm also really enjoying following along with the costume discussion. It was always my retirement dream to move to some little town with bus or rail service to Anaheim, and try to get a job at the Disneyland costume department. However, I don't think it's going to turn out that I get enough of my pension to make it possible. Oh, well, at least I get to compare the color and cut of Mystery Duds at GDB.

If that barf dust was anything like the orange grit they used at school, it smelled worse than the upchuck!


Tokyo Magic: yes!! That’s the “push dial phone front” costume!! Doesn’t look like a phone if you picked up the receiver!! Not also the tan- burgundy trim — the PSA also used a Burgundy color ...... making me wonder if this ARE burgundy costumes these cast members were wearing and not a in-correct color orange.
But more than likely they are just Space Mountain costumes .

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves a parade. Thanks Major.

@Chuck, I'm with you, the level of detail in these photo examinations is beyond imagining. I love it.

@Mike Cozart, TM and Huck, thanks for all the good analysis, it';s fascinating.

Major, there are plenty of blogs explaining how to manage your meet-and-greets and where to get vegan snacks at DL. Keep GDB weird.

@JC Shannon, my uncle said the same thing.


Anonymous said...

The CM looks like he has his time card in his back pant pocket. Perhaps he was to be released after the parade. KS

Melissa said...

So, it looks like there wasn't a rule about what color socks to wear with your costume? That seems odd for such a detail-oriented organization.