Thursday, August 02, 2018

Two 1958 Disneyland Fliers

I recently scanned a small stack of vintage Disneyland fliers that were probably handed out to guests as they paid their exorbitant 25-cent parking fee. This way they could figure out which ticket book plan would be best for the family as they rode the tram toward the entrance. There are lots of different variations on these fliers, and I am missing many of them, but I still like the ones that I do have.

Both of today's are from 1958; this first one has a "January 1958" date on the back - it's for the Winter season (which might explain why this light-blue variation is very scarce). I always wondered why Dumbo was dressed in a kilt and tam o'shanter, and then Matterhorn1959 described him as a "thrifty Scot", which makes perfect sense. 

More fun for less money? To heck with that, I want to spend more money and have less fun! 

I used to wonder why anybody would buy a "Big 10" book, but perhaps that extra dollar per person really made a difference in a family budget back in '58. The adult "Jumbo 15" book cost $4.00, which equals roughly $35.00 in today's money. If you had a family of four (like in that awesome illustration), it would cost the equivalent of well over $100 to go to the park - I could see how that might be a burden for some.

Or maybe you were one of those weirdos who wanted to do Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in a single day. I can't even imagine.

The park was open every day, but you only had 9.5 hours to do everything you wanted to do. That was probably sufficient in those pre-Matterhorn, pre-Submarine Voyage days.

This next one has an "April 1958" date, and the color has changed to green - appropriate for the Spring season!

I guess it isn't too surprising that the prices hadn't changed in just a few months - everything is just the same as the previous example.

Once again, the hours were 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM - unless you went on a "DateNite" saturday. That's for me! More night hours means more fun. And, it seems like back in those days, parents left the park with their cranky, tired children by 8:00, leaving plenty of room for the die-hards!

I hope you have enjoyed today's scans.


Nanook said...


I've always loved the 1950's stylized drawings representing a "typical American Family" - especially with their decidedly-svelte 'frames'.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

"Open Every Day All Year 'Round" in the Winter? I wonder when they started closing the park on Mondays and Tuesdays in the off-season?

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

It seems the Monday/Tuesday closings are a bit erratic. Following summer, 1955, the Park was closed on Mondays - only, except certain times coinciding with the Winter and Spring breaks. Although following Summer 1957, the Park continued to be open 7 days a week - with some odd exceptions that included days other than Mondays - on February 4th & 19th, 1958, fer instance. (Maybe the "Open every day all year 'round" got rescinded by February-?) But by April 10, 1958 - the date of the second handout - the Park was open 7 days a week until September 15th, when it appears the Park began its Monday & Tuesday closings in earnest.

Stefano said...

Very enjoyable scans, Major; the flyer graphics might have eased the spending anxiety. Not having been there in many years, I wonder how the company prepares visitors for the sticker shock of today. The prices in these flyers didn't seem to raise much for the next decade; this is from Richard Schickel's THE DISNEY VERSION, published in 1968: "The average expenditure is $6.50 per person per visit --making a day at Disneyland no cheap excursion for the family."

The weirdos who did Disneyland and Knott's the same day included the E-Ticket's Leon and Jack Janzen. I remember in one issue they described how in the early '60s they would hit the big Disneyland rides in the early morning, head over to quieter Knott's for the middle part of the day, scurry back to the Magic Kingdom for the nighttime excitement.

JC Shannon said...

I really like the graphics in older Disneyland pamphlets. So mid-century cool. The family walking together speaks volumes about the era. Dad with his bow tie, fedora and pipe, Mom in her Don Loper dress and the kids smartly dressed and eagerly anticipating a day at the happiest place on earth. Talk about graphic genius! I also love the tam and kilt on Dumbo, not every elephant can pull that off. Major is now my new mid-century guru.

K. Martinez said...

I like Dumbo's little Scottish outfit or whatever country of origin it's from. Cute! Thanks, Major.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

25 cents? Why that's only half of 50 cents. What a bargain! But boy, could you imagine one day what would happen if parking at the Disney parks was not only much more expensive, but that they would be greedy enough to charge guests parking overnight at the hotels. Why, that would be insane!

Anyway, very interesting fliers. A nice look into what Disneyland used to offer back in its infancy. Thanks! ;)

Anonymous said...

Major, Disney has certainly mastered the art of "More Money, Less Fun" of which you speak.

Park entry is eye-wateringly expensive and once inside, you can barely move around because it's elbow-to-elbow, cheek-by-jowl with everyone else spending more money and having less fun.

These are fun brochures. I remember once packing for a Disney trip, seeing Dad put a $100 bill in his wallet. I had never seen one before. He said the weekend would cost "almost" that much for the three of us. I was stunned, I was also about 9, so a little after these brochures.

Now you spent twice that much in the first 15 minutes in the Park, not counting parking, lodging, meals, etc. It's really nuts.



When did Disneyland start using the slogan “The Happiest Place on Earth”? It’s way more sophisticated than the 1956 slogan “Acres of Fun!” ......that’s so 1940’s sounding!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, that spot art is pretty classic!

TokyoMagic!, I see that Nanook has already answered your question in the next comment. I wonder if the decision to have the park closed Mondays and Tuesdays was more for financial reasons, or if it was mostly because they decided it would give them two full days for meticulous upkeep?

Nanook, thanks for all of that info!

Stefano, it seems hard to believe that people would be caught unaware when it comes to Disneyland’s high prices, but I guess there are still folks who don’t look at the internet very much. What seems really astonishing is that the park seems to be preparing itself for the opening of Star Wars Land by warning folks who have not purchased tickets ahead of time that Disneyland may have to regularly turn guests away. Can you imagine coming from Wisconsin, having one day to do Disneyland, and having to go home (or go to DCA)? As for doing Knott’s and Disneyland in one day, I could almost understand doing them in one day if you were a local - or I guess if you had very limited time and just had to see them both. Remember, Knott’s was free admission until 1968, believe it or not.

Jonathan, while I’m sure that many families went to Disneyland with kids in tow, it is interesting to observe that in the 50’s I have many images (possibly from the off-season - kids in school) where it’s mostly adults, and kids are pretty scarce. In a way I feel like that shows what a success the marketing was - people didn’t view it as a “kiddy park”.

K. Martinez, maybe it isn’t Dumbo, but his Scottish cousin, Hamish McJumbo.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, it seems that folks are happy to pay any additional fees Disney throws at them, so I guess I can’t blame the company for raking in some additional millions. It’s definitely a change from the old days, though.

JG, I listen to several Disneyland-related podcasts, and I used to love trip reports. But nowadays I rarely wish that I had been able to go when I hear about their experiences, the necessity of using “Max Pass” (additional money for less lines), Fast Passes, rising prices, events that I don’t care about, etc. I really could deal with the prices, but find the crowds so soul-crushing that it robs much of the former joy of going. Yes, there are the odd days here and there when lucky people find that it isn’t so bad, but as a non-AP, my opportunities to go are limited by a number of factors.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I don't really know when they started using "The Happiest Place on Earth", but I see the phrase on the 1956 gate handouts with Tinker Bell on the cover. I have one handy 1955 brochure, and it doesn't have that slogan.

Melissa said...

That family is just a little tooo happy.

Melissa said...

"I really could deal with the prices, but find the crowds so soul-crushing that it robs much of the former joy of going."

Sad but true. It can be really hard to even see the sights when you're simultaneously fighting through a crush of humanity. And when the crowd gets all frustrated, frazzled, and cranky, it can be hard not to catch that mind yourself.

I remember back when they were first rolling out Fastpass+ at Walt Disney World, some quote came out of the company saying that the average guest only managed some ridiculously low number if attract per day - four or five or something like that.

Anonymous said...

@Major, I haven't had to deal with MaxPass yet, but I suppose I will buy one, just to make a visit worthwhile.

The way I felt during the last visit, the time in the park was more about "just being there", than going through a lot of attractions. Most of the ones I really liked before were gone, and many of the rest were broken that day.

I do the old Fantasyland dark rides, Casey and the Canal boats, IASW, POC and HM, ride Mark Twain, JC, DLRR, and maybe Big Thunder and Star Tours if I can get a fast pass, and skip most of the rest. On the last visit, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Broken Ride Mechanism, and Space Mountain broke while I was in line. I got passes after waiting, which I then took to POC and HM. Rode those 4x each during the parades, but now the pirates are wrecked. The visit was not really a good value, if I had family with me, I would have been irked.

I do enjoy just hanging out and looking at old familiar scenes, remembering good times past, but 300$ is a lot to just reminisce. I can do that looking at GDB.


JC Shannon said...

@JG All my all time favorites! Just add the Moonliner and Submarine Voyage. I come to GDB every day to relive those priceless memories. My mom always said, "change is constant", but I don't have to like it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, it must be whatever Dad is smoking.

Melissa II, I suppose that folks who go to the park all the time grow accustomed to the way things are now, but I just remember the last time I went and wanted to eat something after the fireworks and Fantasmic. Every eatery was packed, every counter had long lines. You could barely move through New Orleans Square, and the rest of the park was bonkers. It was not any special night either. We finally gave away our Space Mountain fast passes and went home.

JG, I don’t know, I think it kind of stinks that they charge a pricey admission, and then provide the option to pay another $15 per person if you actually want a good experience - otherwise, wait in the long lines and to hell with the cheapskates, seems to be the message. From what I’ve read on Facebook, some people are energized by the throngs of people, and enjoy sitting on a bench and watching them all go by. Good for them! It’s not for me, however. The annual passes changed everything in profound ways that I don’t think they anticipated.

Jonathan, the vintage photos remind me of why I loved Disneyland so much!