Friday, September 21, 2018

The Skyway and More

I have two beautiful photos of the good old Skyway for you today. Why did it ever go away?

First up is this nice example from May, 1961. We've just left the Tomorrowland terminal and are on our way toward Fantasyland - we're ready for a tunaburger. Parts of other attractions are visible, such as the Richfield Autopia, the Disneyland Alweg Monorail station, and the Astro Jets.

If you weren't paying close attention, this next photo might seem to be a zoomed-in look at the first image. But it's entirely different (dating from October, 1962). At the risk of holding up the line, I personally would insist on riding in an orange gondola because it's the best color. Mr. Yellow Monorail makes a special guest appearance in this week's episode.

I'm not sure if I've ever noticed those drinking fountains before...


Nanook said...


I think the second image is my favorite. That pair of drinking fountains is the His & Her model - that will be all the rage in the future...

Thanks, Major.


It’s interesting that the 1956 -1965 “round” SKYWAY cabins were painted in period DITZLER Automotive Fleet Finishes. Disneyland guests may have seen these SKYWAY colors used on delivery vans, truck cabs, taxis , buses, limousines and city utility vehicles. Ditzler was bought out a many decades ago by PP&G ( Pittsburg Paint & Glass) by the time the aluminum SKYWAY cabins were replaced with the lighter and larger capacity “ Bob Gurr designed Fiberglass cabins WED/MAPO had to turn to new Fiberglas marine color finishes. But orange cabins were available on SKYWAY ‘56 and SKYWAY ‘65!!

Chuck said...

In the first phto, under the tree to the left, two probably unrelated people are pointing out the wonders of Disneyland. Or maybe they're telling their companion to look up in the sky at a bird or a plane or a frog. Does that tree still stand?

And, in front of the Skyway pylon, a map-carrying woman confidently strolls through Disneyland in the buff. Truly a different time.

K. Martinez said...

I remember sitting on my mother's lap in those round Skyway buckets while my older sister sat in the other seat. I was so little, but the memory has stuck with me even to this day.

It's cool to see both Richfield eagles in these pics. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

The roof treatment of the Tomorrowland Autopia queue area is interesting...

JC Shannon said...

The Skyway is always a crowd pleaser. One of the few changes I liked was the conversion from buckets to the fiberglass gondolas. Far more sleek and modern, in my eyes. I am always amazed at the size of the crowds in those days, it makes the park look so much bigger. Thanks to Major for the snaps.

zach said...

Ah, one of my favorite areas and my favorite Monorail Yellow. The Santa Fe insignia is not as clear as I would like. I do not like being mooned by the Richfield Eagle though.

Notice the drinking fountain tree got a little bigger. I wonder if I ever got a drink there?

Extra points for spotting a Bobsled?

Happy Friday, all,


Anonymous said...

The tree has grown a bit between the two photos.

@Chuck, I don't think that tree is there anymore, TL67 introduced a lot of multi-trunk palm trees, and most of those are gone too. That planter area now looks to be part of the Autopia area, behind the crowd fence.

@Mike Cozart, thanks for the paint information, always love that kind of detail.

@Ken, I have only a "negative memory" of the round buckets, that is, I remember the square ones as a "new change", but no clear memory of the old ones. I'm guessing I made my first ride much as you did.

@David Zacher, good eye to spot the bobsled, I had to go back and squint.

Thank you, Major. I would always want an orange bucket too.


Anonymous said...

The lady in the orange bucket in the second picture has wings! Photographic rules say not to put your subject in the dead center, but that first picture looks great with the Matterhorn right in the middle.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, maybe the drinking fountains were “regular” and “menthol”?

Mike Cozart, any idea why they used Ditzler colors, of all things? Why not GM or Ford? Whatever the reason, thanks for more very interesting information, I have never heard today’s tidbit before! I’ve noticed that the colors on the Skyway vehicles, even from 1956 to ’65 evolved a bit, but that would make sense.

Chuck, many people don’t realize that public nudity (or “nudism” as some called it) was actually fairly common in those days - there were even special tickets for nude people. I know that I was naked all the time in the early 1960’s. I was a baby though.

K. Martinez, gosh, I have no idea if I ever rode on those early “bucket” gondolas. Cool that you still remember your experience! And good eye on seeing both Richfield eagles.

Anon, from the air those square blocks spelled out “R-I-C-H-F-I-E-L-D”! I never thought about it, but from the ground they just made an interesting pattern of light and shadow.

Jonathan, the old buckets were cute, but the new ones were definitely roomier and more comfy. And as Mike Cozart tells us, they were lighter too.

David Zacher, unfortunately the Monorail is just a bit too far away, but isn’t it nice just knowing that the Santa Fe logo is there? And I am ashamed that I did not point out the bobsled, which ALWAYS means extra points!

JG, it’s kind of amazing how much that tree grew in 1.5 years! And I agree, the tree is long gone. The Skyway is on my “most missed” list of attractions. I’ve always wondered if Disneyland’s original buckets went on to live at another theme park?

Kathy, those darn wings, it was so hard to find clothes that fit! I wonder if that first photo still works because the Matterhorn is where the viewer is headed? Maybe not though, because it is headed there in photo #2 as well, and that was has a more pleasing composition.

Nanook said...

@ Mike Cozart-

Love the info about the paint colors of the original Skyway buckets. It should be noted, tho, that the company is actually PPG - Pittsburgh Plate Glass - that, in spite of their rather early foray into the paint business.

Thanks again for the info.


Well Disney DID use GM and FORD colors since DITZLER was an official aotomotive company paint supplier since the 1920’s. If you had car damage and paint repair in 1960 for your FORD STARLINER or your CHEVROLET IMPALA it was painted with DITZLER paint!! DITZLER FLEET FINISHES were colors developed for non personal passenger vehicles - but you could order your car in those finishes if you wanted.
On a side note Disney used DITZLER on railroad cars , signs, buildings and vehicles like Big Thunder Mountain locomotives for Disneyland and Walt Disney World and continue to use PPG finishes.

Melissa said...

What, what?
Eagle butt!

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, the coatings manufacturing arm of PPG is still called "PPG", while the glass and glazing arm of the company has been renamed "Vitro Architectural Glass".

Both of these are mainstays in my business.

There is no logic to the world of corporate branding.