Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Monorail - October 1963

Here's a pair of photos featuring your favorite Monorail (as long as your favorite one is the blue Mark II). 

There was a light leak on part of this first one, so I had to crop it a bit. But it's still a swell image! I'm always happy to have some vintage (and highly collectible) people in any shot. Look at the way the mother (just to the left of the "S" in Submarine) is looking at her son, with his souvenir Zorro hat. Gramps (to the left) is in a hurry, as usual. Slow down, P-paw! The Monorail must have just arrived at the station, because the passengers appear to be disembarking. 

Random observation: the Santa Fe logo is dark blue (or black?) here...

... but it is a cheerful red on the actual Monorail train. Also note the General Dynamics logo to the left, in all its mid-century glory. 


Nanook said...


I think the Mother has just finished telling a very funny joke. She's doing her best to stifle a smirk (Yuck, yuck). I also like the spun blue/white nylon 'ropes' so common at swimming pools to separate the 'shallow' from the 'deep' ends; used here for an entirely different purpose - unless there was a hidden swimming pool right there at the entrance to the Submarine ride...

Thanks, Major..

Scott Lane said...

Zorro hat! Good choice little fella! I would have one (or 2) of those, myself, just a couple years after this photo was taken.

Melissa said...

I used to rush home from school to watch the Family Channel version of Zorro, so I wasn't sure I'd enjoy the older Disney version. But I watched a few episodes on Your e recently and liked it a lot.

Is that a lady Monorail pilot, or a guest in the cockpit? Not sure which side the controls are on.

JC Shannon said...

October of 1963, Kennedy was still in Camelot and all was right in the world. In one more month, America would lose it's innocence. The Mark I and II are indeed my favorites. I like all the colors. Very cool. Thanks Major, for the scans.

Stefano said...

As this is the "American Graffiti" era, it looks like the monorail rider in white slacks is about to add to the Tomorrowland moonscape. Major, I must confess that in adolescence I had to restrain a rowdy friend from doing just that as we rode the PeopleMover through the America the Beautiful waiting area. GDB stirs overwhelmingly positive memories, but a few guilty ones too.

Also wanted to tardily thank everyone who chimed in on the Cascade Peak bell yesterday; fascinating information!

DrGoat said...

Like the little stains and imperfections on the lower blue panel. You can even count the rivets. Really takes me back.
Melissa: Some shows age like wine, like Perry Mason.
Thanks Major.

Nanook said...

In the first image, I just noticed a Sweep in his typical all-white outfit, apparently clutching a popcorn or soft drink cup in his right hand, along with the broom or dust pan handle.

K. Martinez said...

Yeah, the rivets really do it for me. Bob Gurr was the Man! Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if she’s telling a joke to her 7 year-old, I hope it was from a Dixie riddle cup, and not a Redd Foxx album. Strange that they used that nylon rope in the queue; maybe it was just to evoke a subconscious association with water.

Scott Lane, I remember liking “Zorro”, but barely remember watching the show! I must have, though.

Melissa, Zorro is one of those properties that keeps coming back in one form or another - every decade or so we get more movies and TV shows. I’m pretty sure that’s a guest in the nose of the Monorail - that sure doesn’t look like a uniform!

Jonathan, it is strange sometimes to think of “before” November 22, 1963, and “after”, and just how different the world became.

Stefano, I can only imagine how quickly Disneyland security would escort a “mooner” out of the park! Maybe he would have even had to spend a few hours in “Disney jail”, to think about his transgression. Your chocolate M&M comment went viral!

DrGoat, I always wonder about the apparent dents in the metal panels. Since the Monorail is on a track, how did it get dinged up? And “Twilight Zone” might be my nominee for an “evergreen” program.

Nanook, good grief, how did I not notice the sweep??

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the corporate logos here, back when sponsorship was still a good thing.

Finding that I do remember the pool ropes, both here, and at the pool.

@Melissa, the lady is in the tail cone, not the piloting end. She will have a splendid view of where she has been, like all of us here at GDB.

A little sad that Mark II monorail didn't retain the conical "Chevy" tail lights featured on the Mark I. That detail really placed the monorail in the realm of plausibility for me, the design features were just extensions of the cars we already had. Sort of like the corporate logos. The future was just around the corner, all I had to do was grow up.

Thanks Major.


zach said...

I'm pretty sure that's the back of the Monorail where the guest is sitting. It isn't Yellow but I still like it!

I liked Zorro as a kid because he carved a 'Z' with his blade!

Nice pics today,


Steve DeGaetano said...

Remember--the front end of these Monorails had the Plexiglas dome on top for the pilot, and the side skirt flared back under it.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Oh, and Major, that Santa Fe logo looks dark blue to me. The black version was used on the SF&D steam trains. The real Santa Fe used both colors through the years.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I wonder if our positive associations with the old sponsors is mostly the nostalgia factor, or is there something more to it? It does seem like the park had quality sponsors - no half-baked companies selling questionable merchandise. I always loved the GE logo on the Carousel of Progress; my mom had an old yellow fridge from the 50’s in the garage - General Electric - and that thing just chugged along with no need for repairs. I’m sure it was horribly inefficient by today’s standards! She wound up selling it to the daughter of a friend who needed one for her first home. I’ll bet it’s still working!

David Zacher, yes, of course you’re right, for some reason I didn’t even think about which end we are looking at! Kind of makes a difference. And yes, the “whish-whish-whish!” of Zorro carving the “Z” was something millions of kids imitated.

Steve DeGaetano, did the Mark II have the tail lights as well? I can’t remember. Maybe that was just the Mark I version.

Steve DeGaetano, yes, it looks dark blue to me too. So Santa Fe used blue and black through the years, but was red used mostly at the park?

Melissa said...

Thanks for the Monorail info; you would think by my age I'd at least be able to tell one end from the other.

Somewhere I saw a screen test for an old B&W Zorro movie made by 20th Century Fox. Tyrone Power carves his Z, and the victim cries out in shock and terror, "Zanuck?"

I never got to fly on Eastern, but I really wanted to because of If You Had Wings. "You DO have wings. You can do ALL these things. Eastern: the wings of Man."

Steve DeGaetano said...

Major, I Googled it as was able to come up with a red version:

Nanook said...

@ DrGoat-
Another thumbs up for Perry Mason. I own the entire series [all 271 episodes of 'em] on DVD, and watch them on a continuous rotation. I've gotten very good at identifying locations in and around southern California, used so often for the series; not to mention the one interior set used for many, many, many of the "up-scale" homes seen throughout the entire nine season run.

@ Melissa-
The "Zanuck" Z is a famous clip. I DID fly many times on Eastern - back in the pre deregulation days - so it was all you would imagine it to be - in a good way.

Melissa said...

I end every weekday with Perry Mason on MeTV.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, who among us hasn’t made a Monorail mistake once in a while? That screen test sounds funny, was the actor who played the victim anyone of note? I was a fan of Western Airlines because I liked their animated spokesbird: “Western Airlines… the ooooooonly way to fly!”.

Steve DeGaetano, thanks! I like the red logo.

Nanook, I haven’t watched “Perry Mason” since I was a little kid, and I didn’t like it because it was a “grown up show” or something. Let’s face it, children are not the arbiters of quality TV!

Melissa, if only they showed “The Avengers” with Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg…

DrGoat said...

Watch Perry every afternoony at 5 and another episode at 6.
I always wanted to be Paul Drake.