Thursday, September 13, 2018

Four Beauties From Frontierland!

Here are four more excellent slide scans, courtesy of a Mysterious Benefactor!

Ever wonder what it would be like if you were a fish and took a trip to Disneyland? Of course you have, what a dumb question, I'm sorry I even asked. Everyone knows that fish have bugged out eyes, and therefore everything looks kind of stretched and bendy. Nowadays they have corrective lenses, but in the 1960's NASA had not developed the technology to help fish everywhere (they were still stymied by "The Tang Conundrum").

Well, we've all learned a lot about fish and NASA and other things, so why don't we move on to this wonked-out view of the Columbia. Interestingly, this is how Ken Kesey saw everything.

And there she goes!

Now here's a very neat view; the file name tells us that this photo was taken from the roof of the Haunted Mansion! Pretty cool, I don't think I've ever seen another picture quite like it. And that's saying something.

From 1969 comes this early evening view of the old Casa de Fritos. While the Frito Kid was no longer seen in the park, some say that he still lived in the catacombs beneath the restaurant (Walt insisted on catacombs, much to Roy's displeasure).  On nights when there was no moon, park employees reported seeing a shadowy shape emerge from beneath the adobe building, and shamble along the river's edge. Ducks were reported missing the next day. If you listened closely, you could hear the jingle of his spurs and the distinct sound of crunching as he scattered crispy golden Fritos behind him.

Sorry to be so scary!

There are plenty more scans from the Mysterious Benefactor.


K. Martinez said...

The third pic is Disneyland perfection. In distance is the Tomorrowland entrance with Rocket Jets and the upper level of the Carousel of Progress Building. Even closer is the roof of the Enchanted Tiki room and towering above is the Swiss Family Treehouse. I always liked how it was right next to the Pirates of the Caribbean building. I also see a partially hidden raft for Tom Sawyer Island and of course the Mark Twain Steamboat starting its journey down the Rivers of America. There's so much more to point out. Disneyland was never better. The third pic is pretty fantastic in my opinion.

Thanks, Mysterious Donor and Major.

Chuck said...

Shame on you, Major, for such a harrowing post. I'll have nightmares about Ken Kesey for weeks.

steve2wdw said...

Love, love, love that third shot. So much to look at and from such a unique vantage point. So much of Disneyland's charm is wrapped up in this one photo. This one truly made my day....thanks for posting it!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Major, if you're not employed in some field involving creative writing, you should be! It would be a waste of talent if you weren't.

Anonymous said...

Re the third pic - Don't you just wish you could be in the park on a day like that? 10, maybe 15 thousand tops in the park. Quoth the raven, "nevermore."

JC Shannon said...

And I thought I had an overactive imagination! Great story, love it. I bet at summer camp you were a great spinner of spooky tales. What a great shot of the River. The only thing better than scans of Disneyland, are the witty comments from Major and the members of GDB. Thanks to the Mysterious Benefactor and Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, yeah, that one really is spectacular. More than once over the years I’ve seen that cupola on top of the Mansion and wished I could go up there for a look! There are probably maintenance people who go up there all the time and are very bored with it.

Chuck, Ken Kesey was sure an interesting guy. He was a great writer, and Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” is so fascinating. Part of me wishes I could have been on that bus, ha ha.

steve2wdw, I’m glad you like that one so much!

Steve DeGaetano, thanks for the nice words… other than blogging, I don’t do any writing, really. I like to knock out a fun paragraph here on GDB every once in a while, though!

Anon, amen! If I was walking around the park on that day (knowing what I know now) I’d be grinning from ear to ear all day (armed with a camera and tons of slide film).

Jonathan, I never went to summer camp! It’s one of those things I love to tease my mom about, because my three siblings all went to camp (at different times). There are hundreds of additional scans from the Mysterious Benefactor, so stay tuned!

zach said...

Tang Conundrum should have been a rock band! We could get 'wonked-out' to them in the 60's.

I still haven't been on the roof of the HM. If I could only find the stairs.

I think they moved that lamp post to Toon Town.

Fun perspectives with this batch. Thanks MB and Major,


Nanook said...


So much to see in the 3rd image, including the lack of real crowds. As far as the Frito Kid is concerned, this just shows what you know-! The lady with glasses is actually the Frito Kid in disguise - mingling-in with Guests-!! Beware, all.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Photo 3 takes the biscuit. That is simply wonderful. I could stare at this for an hour, or maybe it's been an hour already. Wishing I could just step into it, but then I would fall off the roof.

In the last photo, a British Secret Service officer disguised as Dianne Feinstein and the Duke of Windsor are winding up their visit to Casa De Fritos, which was a clandestine meeting place for MI-6.

Love that classic detail of the plaster chipped off the adobe. Knotts also employed this to great effect. It does occur on Mission architecture, but not as often as set designers think.

Thank you, Major.


Melissa said...

Secret Benefactor
Secret Benefactor
He's givin' you some pictures
And takin' a whole lot more

Matthew said...

WOW! What can I add that hasn't been said about slide #3. What catches my attention is no rails! No rails along the Rivers of America... just plants. No rails around that patch of grass in front of the Haunted Mansion. And the Mark Twain looks fantastic! I spy that little red, TNT barrel I used to sit on when taking the raft to Tom Sawyer's Island and the back of a keel on the Keel Boats.

Just one little question... I wonder what that "mountain shaped thing" is to the right of the River Belle Terrace and left of the Dominguez Palm tree? Huh. Any buddy have a clue?

Finally, I feel really blessed to have some friends over in New Orleans/Bear County (Critter Country) who took me up to the cupola. Those trees in front of the Mansion blocked most of the view... but I still knew it was special. Signed my name like those before me too.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

PS That Frito Kid story is creeping me out... just like the words on the side of the building creep me out, "Authentic Mexican Food."

Anonymous said...

@Matthew, that "mountain shaped thing" must be the Matterhorn, I'm sure.


JC Shannon said...

I agree with Steve, you are one of the kings of witty writing. Had you been in my Cub Scout Den, you would have been the star of the late night campfire.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

I don't know if you're kidding about that 'blob' being the Matterhorn, but the Matterhorn is just barely visible on the far left edge of the image. (I think it's the Dominguez palm tree, fluttering its fronds. Or Matterhorn Jr.-!). But, seriously... it is quite the mystery.

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, LOL, you're right of course. Unless they moved Cascade Peak.

Now that I look at it again, with an aerial photo for reference, I think maybe it is one or more of the row of trees behind Main Street, just looking mountainish.

It looks on an aerial like it would be behind or in line with Coke Corner. There are some trees in the backstage area behind Plaza Inn, but maybe not that tall. It's a mystery.

Is that the Grand Hotel then behind the Swiss Tree? I can see HoJo's and the office building pretty clear.


Chuck said...

There was a clump of relatively tall trees backstage between the Grand Canyon Diorama building and the Primeval World/New Administration Building. That may be what we're seeing.

For comparison, see here and here.

Either that, or it's the world's largest pile of modeling lichen.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

That is Wilbur Clark's Grand, née 'Crest' Hotel you see beyond the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Anonymous said...

@Chuck, near the architecture school at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, there's a tidal basin, salt water wetland.

There is a native weed that grows there that looks "exactly" like little miniature trees, they dry up like straw flowers and don't wilt, lasts for years. Students made clandestine visits to the wildlife refuge to cut these weeds to make trees for their model projects.

Of course, I never did this *cough*, nor did anyone I know *cough* do it either.

It's probably punishable by firing squad today.

I drove by a few months ago, the weeds are thriving.

I think you are right, these are trees by the admin building.


Matthew said...

@JG - I feel as if those eucalyptus trees would be further to the right just out of frame only because we can see the top of the Jungle Cruise trees and those may stick up higher. But that's only a "feeling."

@Chuck - That may make a little more sense to me... but boy those trees were big in 1986, and not knowing what year this is... I would think they would be smaller... but that seems to be the best guess so far (and just about the right place too).

It's still pretty much a mystery to me. But one thing that is not a mystery... is that child in the first image is definitely on a "time out" with his head against the fence.

Always your pal,

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, very cool. Thanks. And Chuck has solved the mountainous trees.


Major Pepperidge said...

David Zacher, ha ha, I’m always hearing a phrase and thinking it would be a good name for a band! “Fuzzy Pumpkins” was one from earlier today (they had fuzzy pumpkins at Michael’s craft supply store). I guess that’s too close to “Smashing Pumpkins”, though.

Nanook, that’s a real Anthony Perkins “Psycho” scenario you have cooked up there!

JG, the Mansion’s roof is nice and flat up there, you wouldn’t fall off. Diane Feinstein, I totally see her now! When I made my sugar cube model of a California mission, I tried to simulate the chipped plaster look (and did a terrible job).

Melissa, is that to the tune of “Secret Agent Man”??

Matthew, I love that there were no rails! Somehow nobody drowned (except for a few people who purposely swam in the river) in all those years. I think that “mountain shaped thing” is merely a tree of some kind, though it does look like Cascade Peak in a way. You are very lucky to have been up in the cupola! Funny that the bigger trees blocked so much of the view, but as you said, it would have still been special.

JG, it can’t be the Matterhorn… you can see one flank of the Matterhorn to the extreme left.

Jonathan, thank you; I have to do something to make the boring pictures a little more palatable. Otherwise nobody would ever check in!

Nanook, “Fluttering Fronds” is my new punk rock band!

JG, aaaa, you guys with your research. I never do research and look where I landed!

JG, yes, that tree might be backstage. I know there were a few large trees near the Admin building.

Chuck, hey, great minds think alike! Plus, I think just like you!!

Nanook, much like HoJo’s, I always like seeing Wilbur Clark’s Grand with the original sign.

JG, I think I know the exact wetlands you are referring to. Off of Madonna Road? I’ve been all over SLO, but I have never paid attention to any little tree-like weeds. Now I’ll have to look for them.

Matthew, I should have mentioned it, but the first two photos are dated 1968, while photo #3 is from 1969. Those trees had nearly 20 years to get bigger by the time you saw them in 1986. And I figured that the little kid in photo #1 was looking at ducks.

JG, yes, we can all sleep soundly tonight! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I saw Tang Conundrum open for Fuzzy Pumpkins at Bonnaroo in the '80's...

Great show.


Connie Moreno said...

I wish we could reply with a gif because I would insert one of a happy dance.