Monday, May 14, 2018


I decided to try my hand at rescanning and improving some old, old scans, with some success!

Here's a photo featuring the brand-new Fantasyland Skyway chalet, circa 1956... the whole thing has a reddish-brown tint. Yuck.

Well, that's a bit better! The trees surrounding the chalet are so small that we can really see what the building looked like. Just beyond the Dumbo vehicles we can just see the "storybook" sign announcing the new Skyway. Well-dressed guests are on their way to check it out!

Here's one that is dark and dreary...

... restoration brightened things up pretty well, though not as much as I'd hoped. Still... it's an improvement. It's kind of interesting to be able to see behind the buildings where some of the Fantasyland dark rides are housed.

Zooming in, we can even see a single pirate ship vehicle from the "Peter Pan" attraction sitting among dumpsters and piles of random junk. 


Nanook said...


In addition to "... must be "this tall to ride on...", they also needed to be "well-dressed". Things were more serious back in the 1950's. That second shot is a honey - being able to see the area behind Peter Pan's Flight & Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - prior to the addition of Alice. And there's even a sliver of 'Snow Hill/Holiday Hill' for good measure.

Melissa said...

It's a new wonderful world of color! Beautiful scans.

K. Martinez said...

The Skyway Chalet in the first image fascinates me. I always thought of the Skyway Chalet as being on a hill when in fact the structure was built at the Park's ground level and the entry part of the building has its entryways built at the second level with large mounds of dirt and walkway/stairs created to give the illusion that it's on a hill when in fact the boarding level is really no higher than the other Skyway terminal in Tomorrowland. Great illusion.

Love both pics today for their unique views. Thanks, Major.

Stefano said...

Excellent restorations--- the images have gone from cheap Anscocolor to rich Metrocolor. The Skyway view here is one of the few places the Disneyland fantasy slipped a bit; but knowing the black light wonders crammed into these prefabricated 60 X 100 foot sheds makes up for any lapse.

JC Shannon said...

Great scans today, love that midcentury garb the adults are wearing. I began to drool profusely at the photo of that Peter Pan ship. I was thinking how great it would look in my living room. Thanks Major.

Anonymous said...

Golly, I remember these pics from the first post. The back-of-house shot before the SBC was fully themed sticks in my mind. Really amazing to see these re-worked so well, and a great choice of images.

Thanks Major, a good start to the week.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I want to walk into one of those open bay doors behind the dark rides and see what’s happening.

Melissa, thanks!

K. Martinez, yes, until the trees filled in, you really can see how tall and gangly that building was. It’s still super cool though.

Stefano, oh boy, “Anscocolor” did not age well at all; I’ve spent way too much time trying to fix faded, yellowed images from that film. I know what you mean about the “ugly” backstage views from the Skyway, but as a kid I loved seeing those forbidden zones. And (based on the zillions of photos I have taken from the Skyway), most people seemed to focus on the stuff like the rides and other stuff.

Jonathan, I agree, one of those pirate ships would be quite a souvenir!

JG, while some people have gone back and read the older posts, I think a lot of the regulars didn’t discover GDB until it had been around for a few years; this is how I rationalize my “cheat” posts like today’s!

Nanook said...

@ Stefano-
I'm uncertain if your comment... the images have gone from cheap Anscocolor to rich Metrocolor was meant to be a joke, or not - but if so, I got it.

For those not in "on the joke", the early days of Metrocolor utilized Ansco film - essentially Agfa - and it wasn't until later they dropped Agfa film stocks, and as with everyone else, chose to use Eastmancolor negative and duplicating stocks. 2oth Century-Fox's DeLuxe color and MGM's Metrocolor could not be referred to as Eastman Color, as neither lab followed the prescribed processing guidelines exactly as outlined by Kodak - hence the 'personalized' names.

@ Major-
I wouldn't worry too much about 'cheat posts', as you can always re-post images upside down. No one will be the wiser-!

zach said...

Wouldn't you know it, I couldn't read the blog since Thursday and you had a party! I hope there's at least one piece of cake left. I will leave my thanks here.

I have enjoyed this blog for years but, unlike DL, it doesn't change. I find the same amusing, informative and witty commentary every day.

Thanks, Major, for your dedication and to everyone for the commentary.

Now, where's that leftuggie cake...


Patrick Devlin said...

Golly, Major, it isn't just the disastrous "pinkies" that you can do nice restorative work on! You should open a "Photo Rejuvenation Spa" for tired ol' ektachromes who want to feel young again.

Nice shots today of just the sort of thing I'd point my camera at back then.

Anonymous said...

Fess up, Major! You rescanned them as well, didn't you?

The new versions look great, though. It's like the difference between viewing an historical presentation and actually being there.

Stefano said...

Nanook, I didn't know the technicalities, and the info is appreciated. I was thinking of MGM, which in 2 years went from the iridescent Technicolor of "Singin in the Rain" to the rather miserable Anscocolor of "The Long, Long Trailer" ( though fans of "I Love Lucy" will enjoy that movie).

The later Metrocolor at its best was very good, however; the warm pastel tones of "Light in the Piazza" is a fine example.

Nanook said...

@ Stefano-
That's a very-accurate way to describe Metrocolor - when at its best, could look quite lovely. Singin' In the Rain still employed the 3-Strip Technicolor camera, so was prone to the slight 'red' color fringing of that "recording" method. However, the latest DVD/Blu-ray versions of the film returned to the original camera negatives (OCN) for mastering, and each color record was digitally-corrected for shrinkage and the fringing of the red record was also corrected. The Blu-ray is nothing short of spectacular.

Nancy said...

great job, Major!

The Swiss Chalet has always been a favorite location of mine. Beautiful colors on this one :)

I find it fascinating to see what's backstage. Its like Tony Baxter talks about in Stories, Secrets and Magic, how when you walk into Disneyland you buy into the illusion and the magic. You go through a doorway into a ride, never thinking about "where" the ride actually is. Its just in there.

Thanks for such nice views today!

JC Shannon said...

@Stefano, you are a movie efficianado. Do you remember TODAO, in SouthPacific? Your excellent post reminded me of the many cinema innovations of the 50s and 60s. The Long Long Trailer is a midcentury classic, and I haven't seen it in years. It is my hope that they will all be restored before it is too late. "Glorious Technicolor, breathtaking Cinemascope, and Stereophonic Sound." We should get Major to work on the restoration.

Sunday Night said...

It's amazing how digital technology can "open up" areas in transparency film revealing hidden detail. Great job on these rescans Major. Thank goodness we had the Skyway for those wonderful behind-the scenes" views.

And since I didn't get a chance to post on GDB's birthday, I want to add my thanks for giving all of us so much daily enjoyment over the years. I'm here every day! And thanks to all the Disneyland fans that post and share here as well. Such good company.

Those pictures of Phantom Boats and the space couples! Wow!!!!

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Well these photos certainly make Disneyland look less magical, what with its wooden signs, chicken wire framing, and clear view of the backstage area. Thankfully, Disney has done a much better job preserving the magic by obscuring the ordinary.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was pretty sure you’d have some input on those different kinds of film! I’m not that worried about cheater posts!

David Zacher, thank you!

Patrick Devlin, these actually were “pinkies”, but I did a lousy job of color-correcting them 10 years ago. Now you know.

Anon, yes, I DID rescan them - that’s why I called the post “Rescans”!

Stefano, whoa, it sounds like you might give Nanook a run for his money when it comes to film knowledge!

Nanook, I love that “Singin’ In the Rain” has been restored using the original camera negatives… I may have to shell out some dough to see how good it looks (although I thought it looked good when I saw it many years ago).

Nancy, it is true, we aren’t supposed to think about what is going on backstage, but I think MANY Disneyland fans have seen CMs disappear behind some random door, and would love to see what’s back there, however mundane.

Jonathan, I remember reading about the movie “Oklahoma!”, and how it was actually shot twice, once in Todd-AO, and in CinemaScope, so that you can actually watch two slightly different versions of the film.

Sunday Night, I agree, I’ve used Photoshop for many years, and feel like I probably use about 1% of its capabilities. But I keep learning and improving. Thanks for the kind words!

Anonymous said...


That will teach me to go straight to the amazing photos without first reading the title. At least, I hope it will.