Sunday, July 22, 2018

Not Repeats, I Swear - June 1963

Today's photos will probably evoke a powerful, disorienting sensation of déjà vu. But don't worry! You're not going koo-koo-bananas - it's just that these scans look exactly like scores of others. I believe that this first example was taken at one of the "Kodak Picture Spot" locations? 

There were no Picture Spots in the middle of the Rivers of America, however! It's not that the pictures are bad, they're just kind of there, like a low hum.


Nanook said...


In spite of what may be an example of "the same thing only different", what's not to love about The Rivers of America, The Mark Twain AND Cascade Peak-? Works for me.

Thanks, Major.

Gnometrek said...

Perfectly tranquil images of Walt's vision come to life. Thank you Major. I could take this voyage a thousand times.

Chuck said...

There's a reason there are so many pictures of the same things from the same angles - the Imagineers designed the scenes to be viewed from those angles. And based on the sheer number of nearly-identical images taken by countless guests over the years, I think they knew what they were doing.

I'll be happy to see images like these any day. I don't even notice the hum anymore.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, oh I love the Mark Twain and the Rivers of America (and Cascade Peak) - but good grief, I have SO many photos just like todays! I’m glad you liked them, though.

Gnometrek, there is something to be said for tranquil scenes at Disneyland, especially since they are not so easily had in 2018.

Chuck, you may be right - I never knew if they really did design these particular vistas to be extra camera-worthy, or if they walked around after everything was built and decided “Here’s where we can place a Kodak Picture Spot sign”.

K. Martinez said...

I like the first pic of the Mark Twain passing Cascade Peak. That was a classic view that's now long gone. And then you have the Indian Village with the boy and his dog along the shore. That is no longer at that location. This is the Rivers of America of yesteryear. I never dreamed in all the times I went to Disneyland that Disney would drastically alter it. For that reason, I appreciate these pics all the more. Thanks, Major.

JG said...

Major, I'm not sure if all of the Kodak spots were initially designed as such, but there's plenty of evidence in the form of architectural drawings and concept renderings that certain viewpoints were heavily studied by multiple artists. Case in point, the entry of Tomorrowland 67. So, yes and no.

Also, I'm convinced that many of the key Imagineers were students of mythology because so many of the scenes and even the core concepts of attractions were based on these themes, deeper than just the base story of "Snow White" or "Tom Sawyer". For instance, there's no prominent tree house in any of the Tom Sawyer stories by Twain, much less one with three fountains of water coming out the roots, but the World Tree Yggdrasil in Norse myths fits this description to a "T". We are now witnessing the old stories fading away into myth, they will last only as long as they are remembered. Posting these photos help.

Shiny Boy and his Dog are the eternally vigilant guardians of the Rivers of America in the immortal Tír na nÓg Disneyland that lives on in our memories and the pages of GDB.


Melissa said...

I have seen the old Mark Twain,
But I'd like to see her again.
And I still find it illustrative
To view a camp of robo-Natives.

JC Shannon said...

Can't get enough Rivers Of America, Columbia, Mark Twain, Keel Boats, Canoes, Rafts, all great. The illusion of a river somewhere in America, is the Frontierland star attraction, in my opinion. I love the fact that the Imagineers took the time to pick the perfect place for the best photos. Thank you to Major for these very cool photos. Keep 'em comming.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, you make a good point, we will never be able to get images even close to these two photos anymore. Now I feel guilty that I didn’t appreciate them more! ;-)

JG, much has been made about how Disneyland was designed to by people who were essentially movie makers rather than amusement park designers; so it makes sense that they would be very aware of certain “scenes” and their impact on a guest. Imagine walking through those tunnels and emerging into Town Square, music playing, the smell of popcorn in the air, the train whistle blowing…! Or, as you said, the entrance to Tomorrowland was clearly designed with its total effect in mind. Now that I think about it, Chuck is probably right - the Imagineers were fully aware of how it would be to stroll from the Plaza into Frontierland to be presented with the beautiful Rivers of America and the Mark Twain. Meanwhile, I had never heard of the Yggdrasil myth, very interesting! Same with Tir na nÓg.

Melissa, welcome to Westworld!

Jonathan, I agree that the illusion of an actual “big river” is pretty amazing, and was even more so before so much development was added. I’m sure you’ve seen me pointing out how incredible certain scenes are, when you consider that the photographer was standing in the middle of Orange County. Like THIS POST.