Monday, December 10, 2018

Columbia & Pirate Ship, April 1969

Disneyland's two big sailing ships are featured today! You know 'em, you love 'em, you can't live without 'em.

It's a gray cloudy day - like living in a light box. These are both from the month of April, so I guess it stands to reason that SoCal would have what passes for weather. The Columbia is the only one of the two ships that actually moved; and I suppose it is moving in this photo, although it is barely making a ripple in the fairly glassy water. Not to mention that I don't really see anybody aboard. Maybe it is a ghost ship? There was still a fire in the stove! The meals were on the tables, warm and uneaten! It's as if the entire crew and all of the passengers just vanished.

The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship was immobile, but it feels considerably more lively. Five (or so) visible passengers hint at others, unseen. The cannons look like the mouths of old candlestick telephones. "Hello, central?". There's not much to say about the ship that hasn't already been said, except that it looks great as usual. 

Check out the fashions on the ladies! Colors and patterns ruled in 1969.


K. Martinez said...

"Oh, a sailor's life is
The life for me
How I love to sail o'er
The bounding sea
And I never, never,
Ever do a thing about the weather
For the weather never
Ever does a thing for me!"

Nice ship pics today! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I want a suit made out of the psychedelic print on that Disneyland bag in the second pic. Heck, I'd even settle for just a shirt made with that print.

Stefano said...

Thank you, Major, for a fine start to Monday: a view of the less-often seen Rainbow Ridge buildings, a reference to the ghost ship Mary Celeste, and the lush original border of the river. With the Haunted Mansion only 4 months from opening, this is Disneyland at its best.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, you are in a musical mood this morning! I picture you swinging from a lamp post like Gene Kelly in “Singin’ In The Rain”.

TokyoMagic!, I think that there have been shirts made with other bag designs (the classic green bag with the individual “land” logos?). It seems like a no-brainer to make a shirt with that colorful bag pattern. Maybe they’re afraid that it’s just a bit too much? Heck, I would wear one.

Stefano, I had a book of spooky stories when I was a kid (I think it was called “Strange But True”) that related the story of the Mary Celeste. I particularly loved that one! And oh my gosh, can you imagine how different this scene would look in 4 months? Thanks for pointing that out.

Matthew said...

@Stefano... you described it beautifully.

Now, in the Summer of 1988 I believe it was Dave Pincek and Mark Fleitcher who asked the entire crew to go down below the decks and hide as they brought the Columbia in to the Frontier Landing without a crew aboard... whispering over the microphone... "Ghoooost Shiiiiip."

The Columbia may have just backed out of Fowler's Harbor. According the S.O.P., Hawkeye would move to the back of the ship so as to ensure we didn't bump into any other river traffic. Once the ship stopped he would return to the forward mast and take his rightful position atop the bellhousing, waiting for the track switch to be moved back to the Main Line and ensuring both river lanterns showed "Green" indicating main line. Guests would not be on board for this procedure. Columbia's first trip of the day would always be a "dead head."

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

JC Shannon said...

The Columbia pic is a gem. As Stephano mentioned, the Rainbow Ridge view is great and a bonus for sure. The Pirate Ship is a cartoon come to life. Like the Casey Jr. Circus Train, highly stylized and fantasy cool. The woman on the left has an outfit on that reminds me of Bert's Jacket in the chalk pavement sequence. Bold, yet tasteful. In the first photo you can almost hear the couple on the shore saying "Where are all the people?" Two great ones today Major, thanks.

Chuck said...

I remember being fascinated as a kid with the idea that there were two sailing ships in Disneyland. I always wanted to see the two of them sailing together, or maybe engaging in a running gun battle. I didn't realize one of them was on a track and couldn't give anyone a broadside while the other was actually just a ship-shaped, tuna-scented building. Mmmmm...tuna. Hey - lunchtime!

Melissa said...

Hello, Central, give me Doctor Jazz!

I seem to remember one of my grandmothers having a red, white, and blue striped pantsuit like the lady in the second picture..

Major Pepperidge said...

Matthew, ha ha, I love that prank on the guests. Too bad they can’t do a “Haunted Columbia” for Halloween. And your theory about the Columbia backing out of Fowler’s Harbor makes a lot of sense. Where were these green (and presumably red as well) lanterns located? Thanks!

Jonathan, I have never been clear if the ship was supposed to look like Captain Hook’s ship from “Peter Pan”, but it sure bears a resemblance. Or was it just a classic pirate’s galleon, as if from a Howard Pyle illustration?

Jonathan, funny, with Rainbow Ridge so far in the background, I didn’t even think about it really. Still, I’m always happy to see that little mining town. That woman’s striped outfit makes me think of a candy or popcorn box, or yes, Bert’s famous jacket.

Chuck, maybe it would have been cool if one of the other Disney parks had a pirate ship that sailed their river - and if it looked like the CotS ship, so much the better. Ha ha, a “tuna-scented building”. We need more food-scented buildings. Flamin’ Hot Doritos! Bacon! Thai food! I would gain weight for sure.

Melissa, thanks for the link to that great song! I’ll never forget when my grandma picked up the phone (this must have been in the 1990’s, and automatically said, “Hello, central?”. That’s what I was thinking of when I wrote that. Meanwhile, your grandma must have been very patriotic.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Yes - thanks for that link. I've always enjoyed the line often used in older movies, prior to direct-digit dialing: Hello, Central - give me.... I think it was first used in a popular song form 1901, entitled: "Hello, Central, Give Me Heaven". A similar sentiment was also used during WWI, in a 1918 song popularized by AL Jolson - "Hello Central! Give me No Man's Land".

Deb said...

I always loved the design of those bags. I used some for schoolbook covers.

Anonymous said...

@Tokyo, I would totally wear an Aloha shirt in fabric of that bag pattern.

I was just thinking about that bag pattern this week after it popped up on my desktop background, and how easy it would be for Disney to make bank on bringing it back as a fabric, or on dishes and mugs, etc. We can't be the only people nostalgic for it. With my luck, they will introduce it with Johnny Depp's face worked into it.

Those rock benches were remarkably comfortable, you can see the wear patterns on the "stone" after just a few years.

Major, if the Pirate Ship wasn't moving, then how is it that there was always a bow wave?

I'll bet the Columbia was also secretly powered by tuna. Disney was noted for re-using ride mechanisms after all.


Matthew said...


I apologize for the delay. The lanterns were located at the entrance to Fowler's Harbor on top of a pier pylon and along the water line. You can see both lanterns in the green position here from Daveland.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle