Monday, June 04, 2018

More Frontierland - February 1967

It's time for yet more vintage Frontierland scans (all of today's are from 1967), donated by a generous individual who shall remain nameless. I mean, he has a name, I'm just not going to tell you what it is. 

Before the vegetation grew so lush, there were more Native American sentinels watching from atop that hill - perhaps 8 or 9 individuals. And now it's down to only 2. You can't blame them for being suspicious.

At first I thought that there was nothing to see in this photo except for a glimpse of the railroad tracks in the distance, and some trees and rocks. But then I noticed the stealthy mountain lion - a rare variety that has developed a natural cloaking device, just like the Klingons use.

I can't help wondering if this nice shot of the Columbia is mis-dated. It looks fantastic, as always, but the bow is missing some of its ornate decorations, as well as the lovely figurehead. Of course it is possible that by 1967, the ship was in dire need of some serious repairs, and we're seeing it here before they've completed everything.

The next two images of the Columbia show the details that I was referring to. Either a crew member has fired a cannon on deck, or a passenger is vaping.

Here's an interesting view; man, the ship sure looks great when the sails are unfurled (even partially).

Stay tuned for more, more, MORE from Frontierland!


Nanook said...


Those are definitely some wonderful images of the Columbia. Maybe it's a fiberglass facsimile let-loose to ply the RoA as a cheap substitute-?

And, for the record, my vote is for 'vaping'-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Maybe it's not smoke, but rather the same fog bank that the "Incredible Shrinking Man" sailed through in the film with the same name. One of the sights along the river could have been a giant eyeball, peering at guests from behind the trees.


The Columbia was used for the press opening events on the day The pirates of the Caribbean opened in 1967 - was it possible the Columbia was temporality de-decorated to accolade the special stunts and pirate “siege” that took place on her decks??

Mostly likely however she was 95% done with a rehab and the park got busy or the Mark Twain had an issue so they sent the ship out - partially finished.

Melissa said...

Arr, lush vegetation be a double-edged sword.

Cat camouflage = catouflage. I'll never forget the first time I saw a tabby cat climb a tree and disappear into the pattern of the bark.

If it’s 1967, the “vapor” is probably some lady putting on a fresh coat of Aqua-Net.

There's always room for more Frontierland!

Stu29573 said...

Interesting Facts!!!

1. The rest of the band was sent after churros but mysteriously never returned.

2. The Klingons stole the cloaking technology from the Romulans, who stole it from the Tabbies.

3. This is a rare view of the Columbia SS (Super Sport), the stripped down, hot rod version of our favorite tall ship.

4. The last shot shows one of only seven documented instances of spontaneous human combustion (SHC) to occur at Disneyland.

Now you know!!!

JC Shannon said...

Love it, pic #1 and pic # 5 very postcardy, I never noticed that the Native Americans on the hill were reduced to two. You can't see it, cloaked don't ya know, but there is a Klingon K't'inga Class Bird of Prey parked on the tracks behind the Mountain Lion. I agree with you that Columbia looks good wth her sails unfurled. Happy Monday to all and thanks to Major P. for the great scans.

Melissa said...

The Romulans and the Tabbies are natural allies, with their single-minded ruthlessness and pointy ears.

K. Martinez said...

In ten days (June 14) is the Sailing Ship Columbia's 60th Anniversary. Of course it won't get the attention like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion or Enchanted Tiki Room always get on their anniversaries. I wonder if Disney will even acknowledge it in their media or at Disneyland. I doubt it when they have the "AP Churro Challenge" to promote during Pixar Fest.

Really great pics of Frontierland. Glad to hear more is coming. When it comes to vintage Disneyland, more is good! Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

I have it on good authority that Tabbies keep Romulans as pets, and are allowed to cross into the Neutral Zone with impunity.

Anonymous said...

And the mountain lion's prey (a rare purple deer) is in the lower left corner of the photo.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's the mountain lion that has his own personal spotlight (as seen in earlier GDB posts).

The Columbia is a great way to see the river, on my last ride, several years ago, they did the cannon shot signal to the fort, just past the Hungry Bear dining deck.

Obviously this was before the River was closed for remodeling, I hope they continue this tradition.

Since those lookouts were the friendly indians, maybe they quit worrying and went home over time?


Patrick Devlin said...

FYI JG they fired the swivel gun during the trip but we were, I think, a little past the fort's site and the CM said it was to frighten river pirates away, or hippos, maybe.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I like the idea that they would make a fake Columbia as a substitute for the “real” (but also fake) Columbia. Very meta!

TokyoMagic!, that is a very interesting theory. Yes sir, very interesting indeed! ;-)

Mike Cozart, I went on YouTube to watch clips from the 1968 special “From the Pirates of the Caribbean to the World of Tomorrow”, but the few shots of the Columbia were not helpful - you never got a really good look at the bow (plus the video quality is pretty dreadful). I’m sure most guests were not even aware of the missing decorations!

Melissa, I just went for a hike and saw (for the first time) a horned lizard. Very cute! And as soon as she skittered to the edge of the path where it was more gravelly, it was amazing how well she blended in. As for Aquanet, I remember girls using tons of it in the 1980’s to keep their “Flock of Seagulls” hairdos in place.

Stuart Powley, I don’t consider myself a Trekkie, and yet I’ve noticed that I do bring up Star Trek pretty regularly. Plus I have learned to speak fluent Klingon instead of Spanish or French. “The Tabbies”… were there aliens called Tabbies?? I don’t remember them. Spontaneous combustion used to fascinate me, especially when I’d read about how they found a pair of legs near a chair, and the rest of the body had burned like a candle.

Jonathan, yes, at one point there were perhaps a dozen Indian sentinels on that hill. But the trees got bigger and bigger, and then there were fewer and fewer guys. I feel like I should make more Star Wars references, but my love for Star Wars was never that great to begin with, and it is waning.

Melissa, again with the Tabbies!! I don’t recall ever hearing that name.

K. Martinez, is there really going to be an “AP Churro Challenge”?!? Yeesh. It would be nice if they did even a little ceremony for the Columbia - I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Jonathan, man, I need to go on Google Image Search, the Tabbies are driving me crazy.

Anon, purple deer used to be as common as passenger pigeons.

JG, I wish I had my own personal spotlight. Because I loved to ride the Mark Twain, I did not ride the Columbia until just a few years ago, and they fired the cannon, which was cool. I forget if it was supposed to be shooting at something in particular, or if it was supposed to be a salute of some kind.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, ah, the river pirates thing makes sense!

Stu29573 said...

"Tabbies" are cats. ;-)

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

I thought you were kidding about an "AP Churro Challenge"-! Silly me. And then Disney describes it as an "epicurean adventure". Wow, that's a hoot. There's little resemblance to 'epicurean' anything when it comes to the world of churros - even if the park touts them as "speciality churros". But I guess in Disney's mind...

Steve DeGaetano said...

With that Columbia picture, I've got to vote "rehab." There is a LOT missing from the bow; even the "hawser holes" for the anchor! (Not to mention the anchors themselves). There's a lot of other woodwork missing as well, and my spar-end lamps are also MIA.

Connie Moreno said...

Gosh those were great shots.

Patrick Devlin said...

I can't remember if there was a return "salute" from Ft. Wilderness back in the day when it was operational and the Columbia had offered its opening salute or greeting to the fort. Kind of a "Shave and a haircut" call and response performed in gunfire...

Melissa said...

*puts "personal spotlight" on shopping list*

Anonymous said...

@Patrick Devlin, I was so gob-smacked to be back on the Columbia after 40 years, I can't remember what the patter explanation for the cannon shot, but it might have been pirates.

They had a bit in the narration about Davy Crockett and Mike Fink playing cards in the no-longer-burning-and-now-hastily-re-built-cabin so pirates might have been the schtick, to tie into the TSI makeover.

The cannon shot was close enough to a high school memory, I'm happy to have it, but I'm not buying Fink and Crockett playing cards together. Some things just stretch credibility all out of whack.


Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that there doesn't seem to be anybody on board in the full-sail photo?

Nanook said...

@ Anon-

Look really-carefully. You'll be able to spy a few brave souls.

Melissa said...

Davy, Davy Crockett,
The song you can't unhear.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stuart Powley, I know that tabbies are cats, but since the word was put in context with Klingons…. it threw me off I guess.

Nanook, perhaps chefs have developed gourmet churros? “Soft shell crab with a dill butter and slivers of daikon radish”?

Steve DeGaetano, I never realized I wasn’t seeing missing holes! ;-) Do you think that photo was misdated and is actually from before the Columbia was completed? I’ve seen a few other photos in this batch that I believe were dated incorrectly.

Connie (hi Connie!), there’s lots more of those to come.

Melissa, thanks to efficient LEDs, personal spotlights are more popular than ever.

JG, I don’t even remember the Columbia spiel at ALL, which is weird, since I usually pay attention to such things. Davy Crockett and Mike Fink playing cards, huh? Seems like a stretch, though I like the idea of them having such a civilized friendship. The trouble with that cabin is that it was so tidy and boring that no story would be apt unless it was along the lines of “Nice people built this place and continued to bring niceness to the frontier”.

Anon, are you saying that it is infested with g-g-g-ghosts?!?!

Nanook, I like the ghost idea more, but yeah, there are some people on there… possibly just CMs, though?

Melissa, at least it’s a good tune, unlike “Let it Go”. OH SNAP.

Melissa said...

"Do you think that photo was misdated and is actually from before the Columbia was completed?"

You think it might be pre-Columbian art?

(I'm just gonna be over here feeding gourmet churros to the purple tabbies.)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone pointed out that among the missing bow items is the ship's figurehead?

Matthew said...

Catching up is hard... you all write some many wonderful things... but again... one blog at a time.

@K.Martinez -

Yes, actually, Disneyland did celebrate the Columbia's anniversary in 1988 when it turned 30. Charles "Randy" Bright, who started his career on the Sailing Ship Columbia, came out to re-christen the ship along with Ron Dominguez. The bottle of champagne they used didn't break... so they ended up spraying the ship with the agitated contents. Then Randy took the ship out and was the "Captain." I was selected (and completely humbled) to be asked play his "Hawkeye" for that trip. Here is a photo of the crew that day after that trip. A story ran the following week in the Disneyland Line complete with photographs of the re-christening.

@Mike Cozart, @Steve DeGateano, & @Major -

Photo #3. I'm going to return to the thought that the 3rd photo is mis-dated. We have seen another photo of the back of the ship on Gorillas Don't Blog where the same piece of evidence is missing thus indicating a possible earlier date than 1967. If this photo is taken from the Frontier Landing (Mark Twain Dock) then to the right side of the photo we should see Big Thunder Falls and Cascade Peak. This was missing from another photo... so my wager is mis-dated for sure. I would also wager a guess that the ship was not yet open to Guests and perhaps they were making test runs around the Rivers of America while they continued to prepare her for opening.

Once, while the ship was being completely re-rigged we made "dead head" trips (trips without Guests) all day so the crew could complete the work while the Mark Twain was in Fowler's Harbor. So to take her out without Guests was not uncommon.

@Patrick Devlin -

Yes, there used to be a return "salute" from Fort Wilderness. You can see that on video in the Disneyland 10th Anniversary on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Modern viewers will find it Walt Disney Treasures: Disneyland U.S.A. and Walt Disney Treasures: Now Your Host, Walt Disney.

I hope that answers some questions...

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Matthew said...

Found it! Mysterious Benefactor photo with missing Cascade Peak, from Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Always your pal,