Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Leftuggies, January 1978

I might as well post two scans from January, 1978 - they're the last of their batch. But that doesn't mean that they aren't good.

For instance, this is a pretty nice shot of Skull Rock, with the curled prow of the Pirate Ship restaurant entering from the left. Just think what they could have done with this area for Halloween parties! They could have mist pouring out of the skull's mouth, "floaters" in the lagoon, and mysterious and ghostly sounds echoing from the grottoes. 

One detail that puzzles me is the ornate decoration within the red area....

... in this photo from 1974, the words "Captain Hook's" was there, and as far as I know, that's the moniker given to the ship until it was torn down to make way for the 1983 Fantasyland redo. If anybody has any info, I'd love to hear it.

Good old Town Square; a small group has gathered to watch the Disneyland Band perform at the flagpole. Science has shown that brass instruments sound 27% richer when played near a flagpole! Some say it's because of tachyons.


Nanook said...


From the angle in the first image, it looks as though the ship is heading straight for Pirate's Cove. Very nice. (Man, how I miss this area).

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Lovely, bright and clear pictures. I don't think I seen the pirate ship from those exact angles before.

K. Martinez said...


Daveland Disneyland Photo Archive has a couple of images from April 1977 that show that ornate decoration within the red area of the Pirate Ship Restaurant. Also, the last image he has of the "Captain Hook" sign in that red area is 1975.


Apparently that ornate decoration remained until the last days of original Fantasyland. Here is are a few deconstruction/demolition shots of the Pirate Ship Restaurant from Vintage Disneyland Ticket showing the ornate design during the demolition.




I'd say it was there from the mid-late 1970's to the end of original Fantasyland. Hope this helps a little.

K. Martinez said...

Nice Leftuggies today! I love the Town Square pic. Town Square has always been my favorite spot in Disneyland to sit, relax and people watch. After all it is here that guests are coming and going into the Park.

The Pirate Ship Restaurant pics are pretty awesome too! Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Just read your commentary a little closer. "floaters" in the lagoon. Ha, ha! Probably a few "sinkers" too. ;-)

Chuck said...

That first one is just...breathtaking. Thanks, Major!

Ken, thanks for digging up those additional reference photos. I don't consciously remember it with that later decoration, although it's possible from the bracketing you've done that it may have been there on my last childhood visit in October of 1976.

JC Shannon said...

Great uggies, I too miss this really cool place. Wonderful detail and a whole lotta fun. Thanks Major.

DrGoat said...

Good pics. And thanks to K. for those extra demo shots. That last one kind of tweaked my heart.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if the Chicken of the Sea mermaid had still been the figurehead, it would have looked like she was giving the skull a kiss on the cheek.

Melissa, you might be right, even if I have posted so many photos of the Pirate Ship!

K. Martinez, thanks for doing all of the research! I did a little, but not as much as you. I wonder why somebody made the decision to remove the name “Captain Hook’s” from the ship? I don’t have many brochures from the 80’s, but I wonder if they still referred to the restaurant as Captain Hook’s through to the end?

K. Martinez, with daily admission over $100, I doubt that many non-APs want to spend much of their day relaxing and “doing nothing”.

K. Martinez, in this case, “floaters” referred to floating corpses!

Chuck, there is no way I would have been observant enough to notice a change such as that decoration on the Pirate Ship. In fact, this is the first time I had ever noticed it!

Jonathan, one of my most vivid early memories of Disneyland is when I saw Skull Rock at night with the eerie eyes glowing green!

DrGoat, yeah, those demolition photos are harsh. I’m still undecided about whether to believe the story that they always intended to move the Pirate Ship to a new location. You know how they are….

Patrick Devlin said...

Very nice shots of a placid tropical lagoon. I assume Captain Hook's still served a tuna-heavy menu? I sure miss Skull Rock and want to go in my fantasy backyard fountain area.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a great angle on the Pirate Ship. Like so many here, I really miss this part of old Disneyland.

Major, I have never consciously recognized that change in the trim, I will take Ken's word for it, because I don't have the courage to look at the demo photos.

@Patrick Devlin, yes, the restaurant had a tuna-heavy menu. Daveland has some pictures of the interior with the menu boards. We always had the tuna sandwiches, held together with little plastic picks shaped like swords. Dad occasionally had the tuna burger, which wasn't much like a burger at all, but a hot tuna sandwich served on a bun. The best part was the little pie tarts, apple and lemon, maybe cherry. I remember when I finally got one all to myself instead of having to share because I couldn't finish it.

I have a scan of the paper placemat somewhere around, it's probably still posted, I think it was on "Stuff From the Park" blog. I have also seen the recipes posted.

I wish the modern habit of instagramming meals had been prevalent then, it would be so cool to see one of those plates now.

Thank you, Major.


Patrick Devlin said...

In addition ,I just noticed in Ken's supplemental shots (#1) the set of pipes in front of the ship that shot the water at the prow to create the bow wave and the illusion that a collision with the side of the lagoon was imminent. Wonderful shots but best viewed with a tissue handy.


I’ve mentioned this before on other related posts , but the story of WED(WDI) wanting to MOVE the ship is a miss understanding or myth. For the NEW FANTASYLAND of 1983 there were plans to keep the ship and use as a “ticketed play area” - remember new Fantasyland was being designed when Disneyland was still using the attraction ticketing system. After evaluation it was decided the original ship was in too poor of condition to save and re-use in the valuable space. So a rebuild was proposed built at a slightly smaller scale. But DUMBO killed this idea. If was anticipated during the Fantasyland re-do that Dumbo would be relocated to an all new area “Dumbo Circus” to the left of Small World. When this idea was shelved Dumbo was still
Planned to be relocated in a smaller circus themed area between Storybook Canal and It’s a Small World. There was no buget for this area (nor a few other design enhancements to new Alice in wonderland area) so dumbo had to stay in the heart of Fantasyland - but couldn’t remain where it was - it was placed where the Skull Rock Lagoon and Pirate Galleon were located .

Why couldn’t Dumbo stay in into original location? ; it didn’t fit in the skyway-Village house -Pinocchio attraction ( Pinocchio’s village area) and the main reason imagineers needed to keep this area cleared and open as it was intended to be one of two entry/ exit areas for the ( at the time green- lighted DISCOVERY BAY). And of course Discovery Bay was placed on hold by Michael Eisner....

So Dumbo and Eisner killed off The Jolly Roger & Skull Rock Grotto of Disneyland! Lol.

Graffer said...

Until I read further, I thought "But DUMBO killed this idea" was referring to Michael Eisner.

Eisner didn't start his own Disneyland demolition till a couple years later.

Melissa said...

Ouch, those demolition pictures are great and sad at the same time.

Did the post-Chicken-of-the-Sea-sponsorship version of the restaurant continue the tuna-heavy menu? The only menus I'm able to find seem to be from the sponsorship era.

Melissa said...

Nevermind - I found a picture at Daveland I had overlooked before.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, I know that there was an issue of “Disney News” that wrote about the menu on the Pirate Ship, and they definitely mentioned tuna recipes. YES, build a mini-Skull Rock in your back yard!

JG, I tried making my own tuna burgers based on the recipe that Kevin Kidney shared years ago (directly from a Chicken of the Sea advertisement). I tried it once following the recipe closely, and they were good (you have to like tuna, of course); then I tried it again and jazzed it up with some Tobasco, more lemon juice, and other stuff that I like. They were pretty tasty!

Patrick Devlin, yeah, those photos are hard to look at; just like the demolition of the rest of the old Fantasyland.

Mike Cozart, gosh, I guess my reading comprehension must not be so great, because I don’t ever remember hearing that WDI intended to use the Pirate Ship as a sort of play area. Strange that it was actually going to cost guests a ticket, though I suppose it probably would have been an “A” or “B”? I’d love to know what the design enhancements to the Alice in Wonderland area were supposed to be. Maybe a “Dumbo Circus” area would have been fun, if done right… it’s sort of hard for me to picture. If the Skull Rock Grotto “play area” was supposed to have structures for climbing, I’ll bet it would have been closed by now anyway; too much opportunity for kids to fall and hurt themselves (like Tom Sawyer Island).

Graffer, Eisner is so fascinating, because he did a lot of great things for the Disney Company - in a sense, bringing them into the 20th century. But then things started to go off the rails for some reason.

Melissa, I wish I could dig up the Disney News issue that I referred to earlier. I’m sure I still have it! If so I will scan the relevant pages for a future post.

Melissa said...

I wonder if any of the ideas for Dumbo Circus were later used in the design of Storybook Circus at the Magic Kingdom.

Nancy said...

I want to come to this party!! I think these are two of the nicest views ever of the tuna boat. Its beautiful colors are shown so nicely here!

Every time I see a view like this, I have to wonder again what they were thinking....

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Not sure which is a bigger shame: that Disney World never had a pirate ship, or that Disneyland torn down its own. Oh well. At least there's one in Disneyland Paris' Adventureland.

Melissa said...

WDW's ROI really could use more river traffic. Maybe an old-fashioned canal boat with a mule and muleskinner.

I grew up right close to the Erie Canal, and we'd take a canal cruise every summer. The muleskinners (the name is misleading; their job was to take care of the animals and guide them down the towpath) The teenagers who did that job on our cruises were half performer, dancing and doing acrobatics to break up his walk. All the passengers would gather in the big, window-lined main saloon, and between pointng out sights of interest the host would bring out his banjo for a sing-along of old-timey music.

I dunno. It's possible WDI couldn't justify budgeting for two CM's and enough mules to keep it going.


I loved the fact that Walt Disney World’s Rivers of America once had the two different riverboats. Despite being called The “Liberty Square Riverboats” and boarding oddly from
liberty Square as the steamboats are based on 1840’s -1860’s designs ......long after Liberty Square’s Colonial time frame. In early plans for the Magic Kingdom, the Florida Park was going to get a Riverboat AND their own “sailingship” many people who have seen the ship model
Appear on preopening models and other documentation assume it was another SAILINGSHIP COLUMBIA. It was actually going to be THE LADY WASHINGTON - a sister vessel that at one time sailed with the real Columbia sailing ship in the 1780’s. I’ve never heard as to why THE LADY WASHINGTON was never constructed.

Patrick Devlin said...

I grew up on the far left coast but I always knew what a mule-Skinner was, I suppose it was because so many of the nuns who taught us were skinners in their previous lives, or maybe something like that.

Chuck said...

Mike Cozart, I vaguely recall reading somewhere that the heat, intense sunshine, and rain of the Florida environment that resulted in the post-opening installation of a roof for the teacups and an extended shade awning for the HM queue also led to the replacement of the sailing ship with a second steamboat. The open, uncovered deck of the Lady Washington would probably have been a pretty miserable ride during peak season.


Chuck: that would totally make sense for abandoning The Lady Washington plans.

Anonymous said...

@Major, that is pretty cool that you tried that. I haven't tried to re-create the recipe. My fondness for tuna declined over the years, I guess. But, I bet if I had one now, complete with plastic sword, I would probably break down in tears of nostalgia.

@Melissa, I visited every year, sometimes twice a year, and always had lunch at the Pirate Ship, definitely after the change of sponsorship and don't recall any major change to the menu. In fact, I didn't realize the sponsorship went away until I started reading GDB 10 years ago. To us, it was always the Chicken of the Sea ship, right up to my final "childhood" visit in 1978 or 79.