Wednesday, October 31, 2018

All Hallow's Eve

I wasn't sure what to post for Halloween, so I just chose an odd selection of stuff. That's how I roll!

The first two scans are from our mutual friend, good ol' Mr. X, from some Instamatic negatives. These are undated, but I would guess that X took the pictures when the Mansion was still pretty new.

No haunted house is complete without a graveyard; the Haunted Mansion famously looks neat and tidy from the outside, so this graveyard is not especially spooky. Still, the Dearly Departed have been buried there, so... yikes. I wonder if X knew that these tombstones paid tribute to many notable Imagineers, or if he just liked the composition? "Rolo Rumkin" (Rolly Crump), "Francis Xavier" (X. Atencio), and "Master Gracey" (Yale Gracey). 

"Phineas Pock" could be heard in a vintage radio commercial for the Mansion!

I still love the beautiful and impressive exterior of the Anaheim Mansion, with its ornate cast iron filigree, stately columns (not visible in this photo), twin chimneys, and the cupola topped by a weathervane in the shape of a sailing ship (a brig? a sloop?). 

Moving to the other side of the country, here's the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion when it was brand-new. I've always wondered about the red windows, and the latest post over at "Passport to Dreams Old & New" had this info: The glass windows were originally red, but they were changed at some point early on. When the facade was rebuilt in 2016, they brought the red panes back, which I thought was a great touch. (I had no idea that the façade was rebuilt).

OK, I don't know what possessed me (pun not intended), but I wanted to see if I could take the previous photo and make it feel like a plausible night image. I'm not very happy with it, to be honest - at some point I just stopped working on it. I wanted the silhouette of the Hatbox Ghost to appear in the upper window, but it just looks like the Hatbox Blob.

Next is this flyer for a private party at Disneyland for members of "Local 324" - your friendly neighborhood retail clerks. The lucky ducks get to go to a private party at Disneyland on Halloween! How cool is that? These were the days when Halloween was merely a fun night (mostly for children), and not the gigantic behemoth of a holiday that it has become. Jiminy Cricket is wearing a pretty measly disguise.

Tickets were a mere TWO DOLLARS per person, and 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM is plenty of time to get into all kinds of trouble. Imagine how much a person would be able to do in five hours at a relatively uncrowded park? "Dancing plus Tiki Room", it's all I ever wanted.

Here's a photo of a classic Disneyland souvenir - one of my favorites! A portrait (similar to what might be found in the Haunted Mansion's portrait gallery) is mounted to a piece of cardboard. There's good old "Uncle William", he seems like a nice fellow. I'll bet he gave the best Christmas presents, and was always happy to see his nieces and nephews.

BUT... hold the item up to a bright light (or expose it to a blacklight, as in this photo), and Uncle William turns into a hideous demon, with horns and fangs and beady little eyes! The glow effect is simple, but effective. There is also an "Aunt Elizabeth" portrait for California, while Florida has its own unique glow portraits.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Kids in Disneyland, April 1969

Kids - t's always something with kids. They're tired. They're hungry. Somebody hit someone else. They need to "go". This is why I am a fan of robot children - they are obedient, and can lift your car when you change a tire. 

But I have to admit that the first of today's two photos is pretty cute... a gaggle of Fun Mom's children (and maybe an interloper or two?) are taking a break, and enjoying various snacks. There's three popcorn boxes, and three cellophane bags of what might be peanuts, or they might be spiced, roasted grasshoppers. The yellow and white umbrellas in the distance provided shade for the Plaza Inn.

Now we're in line for a mystery attraction - the Motor Boat Cruise queue building can be seen to the left, so perhaps they were about to board Casey Jr. or the Storybook Land Canal Boats? Red Sweater Mom has to carry that kid through the switchback queue, and the kid looks heavy. 

Some fun details are the two different shopping bags in the hands of the two older ladies, the little girl with the tartan plaid coat, and the cute Fantasyland information/ticket booth.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Above Fantasyland, July 1971

Today's first scan provides a look down into Fantasyland as seen from the Skyway; we are ascending from the chalet and heading toward the Matterhorn (sponsored by Ricola™ throat lozenges). It doesn't feel like we're very high up, and yet we can see into the land o' Tomorrow, including the Volkschlepper and the track for the Unirail. The snack stand known as "Fan 2" is in the lower right, serving up rubbery hamburgers and limp fries to happy customers. Add lots of ketchup, it'll be fine! Notice that the tables beneath the umbrellas have little stools to sit on instead of genuine chairs.

As I have pointed out in other early 70's photos, I am impressed with the bright (but tasteful) colors on the clothing. Greens, yellows, oranges, blues, and even puce. The Storybook Land Canal Boats are popular on this summer day.

Continuing on our journey, we've passed through Ricola™ Mountain and are well on our way to the Tomorrowland terminal. "It's a Diminuative Planet" gleams like a fantastic mirage. It can't be real! Meanwhile, the Motor Boat Cruise lulls guests into a dreamless sleep, from which they will awaken, refreshed and ready to go.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Storybook Land, 1957

Standing on the upper deck of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship provided a pretty good view of nearby Storybook Land. From here you can really see the "patchwork quilt" effect of the landscaping - supposedly at one point the rolling hills really were supposed to be a huge quilt, and the head of a giant would pop up along the way. While that would have been fun, I'm kind of glad that it wasn't built that way.

This is almost a "postcard worthy" scene, with Casey Jr., Cinderella's Castle, an two Canal Boats.

Did somebody say "Cinderella's Castle"? There it is again - in 1957 it must have been one of the taller structures in Disneyland, in spite of its miniature status. I've always liked the railroad bridge with its Romanesque arches. 

Just to the left of the castle, below the horizon, is Owen Pope's house - he took care of the horses, mules, and any other critters. It was the oldest building on Disneyland property, and was moved to another location (near the "Team Disney" structure, I believe) when construction for "Star Wars Land" commenced.

I figured you wouldn't mind a little zoom-in for a better look at Toad Hall.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Two Random Scans

I need to get to a-scannin' some more stuff for my "Anything Goes Saturday" posts. I literally chose today's images at random, but there might be at least a Pennsylvania connection.

First up is this 1959 photo featuring some cool old automobiles, parked next to a grand old brick edifice  with a red keystone and "P-R-R" on the roof - the Pennsylvania Railroad. I am not even sure what kind of building this is - it looks like a factory rather than a station, but it's hard to say for sure. After a bit of Googling, I couldn't locate anything that resembled this place. 

Looking at the giant many-paned glass wall to the right, it appears that a lot of the lower panes have possibly been replaced. Perhaps they were a tempting target for little boys armed with stones? Anyway, it's a bit frustrating to not know where this is, but I still like it as a photo.

At first I thought that there wasn't much in this picture (possibly from the late 1940's?) to help in identifying the location, but of course there is the sign near the center - "Mansfield Diner". There was a Mansfield Diner in (where else?) Mansfield, Pennsylvania. This website has some info about various business in Mansfield, including a photo of a Mansfield Diner.

Meanwhile, I like the sign to the left, "Servicemen Recreation Center WELCOME".

The sign certainly seems to be a match, and the brick building next door sure bears a resemblance. I think that the photo below is newer than my photo, which might explain the fact that the windows are considerably different. But the two lanterns by the front door are there, and the rounded roof overhang is there too. I think we have a winner!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tomorrowland, July 1959

Maybe it's just me, but the Autopia seems to have lost a little bit of luster over the past few decades. It's still kind of fun, don't get me wrong; and the scenery is pretty. Perhaps I'm just not a fan of the cartoony cars that were added in 2000, or the way-too-large queue building.

Anyway, this is a swell view of a corner of Tomorrowland that includes the Autopia (still no center rail!), the Space Bar, the Skyway terminal, and just a bit of the Rocket to the Moon building. We also see the Administration Building in the background.

One interesting detail is that there are Mark IV Autopia cars (the first four iterations looked basically the same), along with a few of the new Mark V versions. 

Here's a better look at a Mark V vehicle! These were apparently extremely heavy (300 pounds more than the Mark IV) and prone to leaking oil and breaking up the concrete.

Next is a "meh" photo of the House of the Future to round out today's post. Meh, I say!

Thursday, October 25, 2018


I spent a while scanning some old paper ephemera from the park, and thought I would post a few examples today. 

Let's begin with this 1955 table tent card thingy from the Golden Horseshoe Revue (presented by Pepsi-Cola). My theory (going back to the 1930's) is that the drawing of Slue Foot Sue and the beautiful show gals is by Sam McKim, although it is just an educated guess, really. The guy could draw!

Notice that the card says "Musical Review" instead of "Revue".  Heads will roll!

Open up the card thingy and we get something resembling a broadside from the 1800's, with a variety of fonts and olde-timey embellishments. No pointing fingers though, that's a disappointment! 

Wally Boag was there from the beginning, but at this point Judy Marsh was Slue Foot Sue. I've never been entirely clear about why Ms. Marsh was replaced by the lovely and wonderful Betty Taylor after only a year or so. Notice also that Donald Novis was still the "silver toned tenor"; he grew ill in 1962 and was replaced by Fulton Burley. Costumes were by Reniè, who won an Academy Award for her work on the 1963 Liz Taylor version of "Cleopatra".

Next is this newer table tent card thingy - from the 1960's (notice the mention of "Chicken of the Sea" tuna salad - CotS ceased their sponsorship at Disneyland in 1969. Rather than an ersatz playbill for the musical comedy show, it was a bare-bones menu. (Ironically, they did not serve bare bones. You had to go to Adventureland for that).

Inside were lyrics to some old classic songs... you could sing along as loudly as possible (preferably off-key) with a mouth full of tuna salad!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Nice Frontierland, 1969

Let's continue looking through the vast archive of vintage Frontierland scans, graciously donated by the Mysterious Benefactor! All of  today's images are from 1969.

Here's a pretty view of scores of yellow umbrellas, looking like giant flowers. I'm unclear as to where the photographer was standing - perhaps on the upper balcony of the Golden Horseshoe? There's the River Belle Terrace in the distance (formerly the Aunt Jemima Pancake House).

Nothing sounds more pleasant than moseying along the walkways of Frontierland in the warm afternoon sun, with Dixieland jazz (and the scent of fresh popcorn!) in the air. 

The scene (and the one above) reminds me of Christo's "Umbrellas" (1991) - over 1700 bright golden umbrellas dotted the hills along the I-5 through the Tejon Pass (a stretch known as "The Grapevine"). There was a sister installation in Japan that featured blue umbrellas.

Here's a photo of Christo's artwork, scrounged from the internet (although I did go to see them in person!). If you happen to drive this highway after a rainy Winter, you might see these same hills carpeted with orange poppies and purple lupin.

It's hard to see much through the olive trees (with twinkle lights!), but Casa de Fritos is partly visible in the upper right, with Rainbow Ridge just to the left of that. I like those rustic shades over some benches - and I really like the hat with the pink ostrich feather.

This next one is dated "August 1969", and shows a busy Rivers of America, with New Orleans Square looking like a big 1800's city! The Bertha Mae and a canoe both pass the Columbia as it takes on a load of passengers. I presume that the helicopter in the sky is heading to LAX from Disneyland's helipad.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Matterhorn, 1959

Like many people, I still love the mighty Matterhorn at Disneyland as it approaches its 60th year. It has an amazing place in history, it looks fantastic from a distance (up close too), and it's still a whole lot of fun to ride. The fact that it was designed with twin tracks seems amazingly forward-thinking - Disneyland geeks can argue over which track is better for months at a time (until the Doritos run out).

One of those same geeks might argue that this first photo is Matterhorn adjacent, and to that I say HA! (as I snap my fingers in front of that geek's nose). The massive mountain looms loomily, like Mount Doom. Dark and forbidding! Look at how tiny the people look in the lower edge of the picture. I'll snap my fingers in front of their noses too - just wait and see!

The Monorail track curves around the mountain, surprisingly close to the ground! I like the beds of bright alpine flowers that line the glacial stream - they didn't need to be there, but they looked good. It's kind of interesting to see the mini-berm with some scraggly trees that would eventually mask off the backs of those buildings.

Next is this more traditional view of the Matterhorn, with a single climber working his way up to the peak. Did the other one fall? I hope not. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Small World Meadow, January 1979

Let's jump right into today's first photo, which happens to be an fairly unusual view taken from the Disneyland Railroad (no Santa Fe anymore, boo) as the track curved past a grassy meadow. Grassy meadow?? Yes, back in the days before things like Toon Town, Big Thunder Ranch (RIP), and the Fantasyland Theatre (the tent version) existed, there was a fairly large swath of undeveloped land full of strange things like grass and trees. As you can see, it was kind of pretty! Sure, an Ewok or two would improve it, but beggars can't be choosers.

It's time to drag out the famous aerial photo from the book "Above Los Angeles". The image is from around 1977, and looking to the left you will note the not-insignificant chunks of land, resembling the kind of thing you might expect in Orlando rather than Anaheim. Is that a small pond in the middle of the field near IASW? Perhaps it was stocked with large mouth bass.

Next is a less-unusal shot featuring the It's a Small World building. This one has nice color and clarity, and you might have noticed that the façade is no longer principally white and gold; various shades of blue have begun to crop up in the center - a portent of the candy-colored pastels that would be added in just a few years!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Pair From 1971

If your life has been too exciting lately, you probably need to calm down. Congratulations! Today's photos will put you right to sleep. And best of all, they're not addictive.

First up is this fairly uninspiring image of the Disneyland Band performing near (or for?) the flagpole in Town Square. The composition is weird, the colors are strangely muted (maybe you left your dark glasses on again, did you think about that?), and somehow we don't get a good look at anything. That's not easy when taking photos in Disneyland, but by golly, our photographer did it. 

This one's not so bad I technically, but let's face it, it is boooooooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnng!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Provincetown, Massachussetts

It's time for some random vintage scans!

We'll start with this undated (but certainly 1950's) shot of an impressive 252 foot (and change) tall campanile in Provincetown, Massachusetts (Cape Cod, yo!). It's the Pilgrim Monument, built to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims, as well as the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620.

The tower was designed by Willard T. Sears, and is based on the Torre de Mangia in Sienna, Italy. Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone! It opened in 1910 to much criticism over the fact that the design had nothing to do with those early Puritans. Nevertheless, it has become a tourist destination, and some folks think it resembles a lighthouse, so it's all good!

Here's a neat aerial photo showing Provincetown and its harbor, with the Pilgrim Monument easily visible.

It's a good thing Jimmy Stewart can't see this photo looking down the series of ramps and steps that lead to the top. I feel an indescribable desire to drop stuff from here. Toy army men with plastic parachutes, for instance.

As an extra bonus, here's another photo of some mysterious location that I could not identify. It sure has that Massachusetts look to it. I spent more time than I'd like to admit looking for photos that might show those two buildings with their distinctive cupolas, but... no cigar. Any ideas?!

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Skyway, July 8 1960

Today's main attraction is this beautiful photo of the Tomorrowland Skyway terminal, with vivid colors that would make Matisse smile. I've had a theory that the colors used on the gondolas matched the popular hues used on automobiles at the time, though I have no data to back it up. Data requires effort, my least favorite thing! (Note: I composed this post before Mike Cozart's informative comment on September 21st, so go and read that if you dare!)

Children under 6 years old needed to be accompanied by an adult. Wheelchairs and strollers could not be accommodated, and yet (oddly) motorcycles and roller skates were allowed - nay, encouraged.

For comparison, here's another look at a scan that I posted a few weeks ago. 

Zooming in didn't reveal any surprises, but I did it anyway, because you know how I get when I'm in one of my moods!

Next is this view of the park (from April, 1973), taken from the Skyway! Man, that thing really went up high. 

In spite of the slightly fuzzy view, we can still make out some details. HoJo's! Nature's Wonderland! The Columbia (at the dock) and the Mark Twain (in Fowler's Harbor)! Ye Olde Parking Lot! And I think that the Disneyland Hotel miniature golf course is visible in the lower right corner. Do you see anything of interest?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Three From Walt Disney World, November 1971

It was the first Thanksgiving holiday at the Walt Disney World, and Mr. X was there to see the action! 

My poor scanner did not know what to do with this image - it came out weirdly purple and green, for some reason. But I gave it some candy, and then I got this beautiful twilight image showing the entrance to Tomorrowland. So nice! 

I had to make some guesses when adjusting the hues, trying to figure out the color of those walls - I think they were kind of aquamarine? Notice the coats and sweaters - even Florida can get chilly in November, I suppose. The palms in the distance still have that "just planted" appearance, and Tomorrowland has a ghost-towny aura, as if all the buildings are boarded up. If a tumbleweed rolled through, I wouldn't be too surprised. Was the Grand Prix Raceway the only Tomorrowland attraction open at this point?

Three sailboats huddle together for warmth after laying their eggs in the soft sands of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Don't you wish you could be there when the babies emerge? The man and woman to the left are trying to decide if they want to catch a brain-eating amoeba or whether they should just go ride "Mr. Toad". It's a real "Sophie's choice".

Concrete and glass make the blocky "Bayside South" building look like a fine example of Brutalist architecture. I'm sure the rooms were very cozy inside, though!