Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Main Street, July 1971

I have grown to love photos of a bustling (but not too bustling) Main Street U.S.A. - in fact a really good Main Street picture is a thing of beauty; and in spite of the many changes to the park, Main Street still feels like it has the most ties to Walt.

There it is, on a beautiful 1971 July morning (maybe July 3rd, 47 years ago to the day?). It's probably going to be very warm, which explains why so many people are wearing shorts. Stripes were popular in the early 70's - I guess paisley was more "1967". Anyhow, I like the tasteful patriotic bunting on the lamp posts, the Horse Drawn Streetcar, and the touches of bright colors all along the street.  

Looking at the cast shadow from the tree on our right, this photo was probably taken just minutes before the previous one - possibly not long after guests were let in. It gets pretty congested as we look toward the castle. That must be a CM (in the ankle-length dress) heading straight for us.


Nanook said...


Horizontal stripes do seem to be the preference as seen here. Yes, I'm afraid paisley was so 'last decade', more or less.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Today's fashion prize goes to the blond-ponytailed girl in the clump of people to the right of the streetcar in the second picture. Red, white, and blue horizontal striped shirt with red, white, and blue vertical striped pants. Yipes the Fruit Stripe Zebra would be so proud.

K. Martinez said...

One of my favorite photos of Walt Disney in the Park is of him standing in front of the Souvenirs/Novelties facade (to the left of the Horse Drawn Street Car). In the B&W photo provided by the link, instead of "Souvenir/Novelties" it says "Novelties/Souvenirs" on the facade. Why it was reversed later on I have no idea. Also the little hanging Disneyland castle above Walt is gone by the time these GDB pics was taken.


I love Main Street pictures. I especially like the color palette used back then as opposed to the confectionery color palette of today's Main Street. These two pics are pretty wonderful. Thanks, Major.

DrGoat said...

That brown, horizontally striped shirt kind of resembles a 'surfer' t-shirt that were popular back then. '71 seems a little late but it could be. I had a red one.

stu29573 said...

You have one of the few documented pictures of the "Stripes" gang strutting down Main Street after having driven out their rivals, the "Plaids." After having established their territory, they pulled shenanigans such as not bussing their own tables at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and not waiting for the Alice ride to come to a complete stop before starting to get out. Fortunately, their rein of terror ended when they remembered they had to go home to feed the fish.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I can’t help thinking about my beloved “Hang Ten” shirts from childhood!

Melissa, now there is a woman who knows what she likes. And she likes STRIPES. I applaud her aesthetic and her courage.

K. Martinez, I love that photo too, and always wonder where that castle went! I would not be surprised if somebody has it in their collection. Interesting about the words being reversed in the “Souvenir/Novelties” sign. Glad you liked today’s pix!

DrGoat, I had plenty of striped shirts (and pants) in 1971 Huntington Beach (“Surf City”!), including the wonderful Hang Ten brand that I mentioned earlier.

stu29573, I can only be grateful that we no longer have trouble with the Stripes Gang or the Plaid Posse! I’ve heard that they snapped their gum a lot, and sometimes didn’t comb their hair.

JC Shannon said...

I personally have to give the Seventies Fashion Faux Pas Award to...The woman in the yellow pokadot dress. I bet when she goes to the beach, she wears a yellow pokadot bikini, an itsy bitsy one I'll wager. Main Street photos are the best. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

Ken, I completely agree about the Main Street color palette shown here. While "real-world" buildings of course did (and do) sometimes have more garish colors, these subtly harmonize with each other and provide a comforting, subconscious sense of unity that helps us buy into the illusion of reality. John Hench was an absolute genius.

Major, I loved my "Hang Ten" shirts, too. Do they still make those?

Stefano said...

Thanks Major, Main Street seems the best place to prepare for the Fourth of July, that "Music Man" ambience and all.

K. Martinez, one of my favorite Walt in the Park photos has him stopped on Main Street signing autographs for smiling visitors. It first appeared in the August '63 National Geographic issue and was used for years as the cover of Disneyland's souvenir magazines. The little hanging castle is still there in that picture.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, I agree with you, the woman in the yellow dress is easy on the eyes!

Chuck, I’ve probably mentioned it before, but not long ago I read an article online that stated that Main Street was originally “mostly browns and grays”. Whoever wrote that did not know what they were talking about! I suppose some people only notice colors when they are oversaturated. You are right, John Hench’s color design was genius. As for “Hang Ten”, they seemed to vanish for decades. Then my brother said that Kohl’s had Hang Ten shirts. I was so excited that I drove right over (even though I don’t like Kohl’s as a rule). Turns out the shirts were cheap and garish (white t-shirts with day-glo hues applied to them - though they did have the famous Hang Ten feet logo).

Stefano, I know just the photo that you are referring to - you’ll see the cover of that very guidebook on this blog soon! If you go to https://tinyurl.com/ychkcjt6 and click on the “SEE ALL PHOTOS” link, you can see a clearer, more complete version of that photo when you scroll through the selection.

JC Shannon said...

I found the photo of Walt in front of the shop. I have to confess, I never noticed the hanging castle before. I hope it didn't end up in a dumpster, it would be quite the trophy for any Disney collector.

Matthew said...

"It's morning in America." Well at least it's morning on Main Street U.S.A. in these photos. Wow! I couldn't agree more with all the comments before mine.

Melissa - I didn't even see the "Fruit Stripe Zebra Gum" girl... but wow! You are right on. She does win the prize.

JC Shannon - I completely thought Melissa would have given the prize to the yellow (or is it lemon?) with white polka dot dress woman. Her husband seems to be wearing a great shade of green shirt (probably wool, for those cold July nights in California).

Finally, I must admit that these photos show my favorite Disneyland attraction. The Horse Drawn Streetcar. I always ride it every visit. It's such a simple pleasure to ride down the street to the clip-clop of horse hooves and the clang-clang of the bell. No where else do I know (other than a Disney theme park) can you ride a horse drawn streetcar, on rails, down a street. Closes thing I can think of is Greenfield Village, and the Horse Drawn Omnibus Shuttle (found here: https://www.thehenryford.org/visit/greenfield-village/rides-at-greenfield-village/

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

K. Martinez said...

Stefano, I know that pic of Walt you're talking about. I have both the Nat Geo magazine and Pictorial Souvenir booklet that feature that pic. It's another great one. There's something special about pix of Walt in his magic kingdom.

Chuck said...

Major, I can confirm that the second photo was taken before the first photo. Not only are the shadows longer as you noted, but if you look closely in the first photo, you can see the woman in the yellow dress with her green-shirted husband and their two strollers in front of the Main Street Cinema.

Additionally, in the second photo, on the other side of the street next to the hitching post just before "Souvenirs/Novelties," there is a woman in a white skirt wearing a white, broad-brimmed had walking next to a woman in a light blue skirt. You can make them out in the first photo down the same side of the street by the third lamppost, just before the entrance to W. Center.

I think the guy in the long, green slacks and long-sleeved, light-green shirt walking past the long-skirted CM is probably also a CM. All the guests seem to be wearing short sleeves, and most of them are in shorts or skirts.

Aside from the shadows (which are a dead giveaway), the other thing indicating a morning photo is that the streetcar returning from the Plaza Hub is empty except for the CM crew, while the northbound one is full, indicating guests entering the Park rather than exiting.

Melissa said...

I did notice Lady Spotsalot, but for some reason Mrs. McStriperson just jumped out at me.

My childhood was also an endless parade of striped t-shirts, mostly red and/or blue. We went around looking like little French sailors.