Thursday, December 06, 2018

Fantasyland From Above, November 1958

It's time for two familiar views... photos taken from the Skyway; I wonder what percentage of my collection falls into that category?? We're above Fantasyland, perhaps a mere 30 feet above the ground.

One of the first things I noticed in this series of photos (there are others that will be seen in future posts) is just how blue and smoggy the air is! In those heady days of leaded gas and no catalytic converters, SoCal's atmosphere could be pretty chunky. Anyway, there's the Dumbo ride, along with the "Fan 1" snack bar beneath that striped tent. The seating areas have been covered with makeshift cloth shades, which I am sure were appreciated by the diners (not that there seem to be many of those).

Look at that steep berm separating Fantasyland from Frontierland!

And here's a look at those spinning teacups. The ride operator is chillin' in the shade of his control booth - I can't tell if I can see his employee badge, or if he has something in his shirt pocket. 

Stay tuned for more smoggy views, comin' up!


Nanook said...


'Smog' in the Fabulous Fifties-? How can such a thing be possible-? Although it's probably just an employee badge on that CM, it's more fun to imagine it's a slide ruler.

Thanks, Major... (cough, cough, cough).

TokyoMagic! said...

Boy, oh boy! This certainly would have been a good day to go to the park. Just look at how many of those tea cups are empty. And there is even an empty Dumbo vehicle. Did they do "smog alerts" back in the 50's? If they did, maybe that is what kept people from going out. Remember how the schools would let us go out for recess, but we weren't allowed to play anything too "strenuous" during those alerts? And remember how your lungs would hurt when you attempted to take a deep breath in?

K. Martinez said...

Just looking at those teacups brings to mind a favorite song sung by Thurl Ravenscroft from "Springtime For Pluto" .

Oh, spin, spin, spin without questioning,
Spin thy cloak for evolutioning,
Hang, hang in suspended animation,
'Til comes the call for alteration.

Thanks, Major.

TM! - I remember my eyes would burn real bad from the smog.

zach said...

We Northern Californians would anticipate the smog when flying in to LAX. Not judging. From this view the young park looks a little like a carnival. Still not judging!

No Tea Cups for me anymore. Even if you promise not to spin the darn thing. I'll do Dumbo, though, with my wife or grand kids.

The crowds remind me of getting in at rope drop.

Love it, thanks Major,


Tom said...

And just a few paces behind the snack bar is the show building for the Rainbow Caverns mine. It's still difficult for me to accept the juxtaposition of the Rainbow Caverns with Dumbo, but the picture doesn't lie - it's right there.

Love angles like these! Thanks again for sharing!

JC Shannon said...

Smog, leaded gas, cigarette comercials, ash trays everywhere. It's a wonder any of us made it out alive. TokyoMagic, I remember smog alerts at school, we pretty much ignored them at recess, we were a tough bunch. Z, Fantasyland did have more of a carnival, fair atmosphere in those days. Last one on the teacups gets a plain one! Thanks Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

JC, reading your comment took me back (just for a fleeting second) to my childhood, when the color of the vehicle you got mattered very much! I never wanted one of the pale yellow teacups! Yuck! I was never a fan of the color yellow! Now having said that, if I could go back in time and ride in the old yellow Monorail, or a yellow PeopleMover car, I'd be ecstatic!

Nancy said...

Cool views today. I agree with the early park days reminding one of a carnival. I always think that when I see these old pics, everything is so sparse and spread out.

Is there still a food stand there now near Dumbo? Rachel and I ate in a place in Fantasyland on our first trip there in 2001,and I wonder if it might be a place that is where this was.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the Cleaver family never had to deal with smog, so it must have been an urban legend or something. (“Leave it to Beaver” was a documentary series, right?).

TokyoMagic!, I do like the empty nature of the park, but that air really does look unpleasant. I don’t know if they did smog alerts back then… I kind of think not? I could be wrong though. When I lived in Pasadena for a number of years, the smog was REALLY bad; something about the way it is surrounded by mountains just kept all the crud in.

K. Martinez, was “Springtime for Pluto” something done for a Disney record? I suppose it is possible that “Pluto” referred to the planetoid and not the cartoon dog. And he did a lot of non-Disney stuff. 23.6 points for the word “evolutioning”.

David Zacher, somehow, even with many more vehicles, the air doesn’t seem to be quite as horrible for as many days as it used to be. Of course there are still those days with the awful yellow/brown layer. I still enjoy the teacups; I know that spinning rides are a real problem for many though.

Tom, I agree, that just feels like the wrong location for Rainbow Caverns, and yet it is correct.

Jonathan, I don’t ever remember a smog alert at school, but we were not far from the beach, maybe it just didn’t get that bad there. And you are right, the old Fantasyland was supposed to have a more “medieval faire” theme.

TokyoMagic!, how can you not like pale yellow? It’s the color of butter, and baby chicks! My grandma’s old ranch house in Encino was pale yellow too, maybe that’s why I am partial to that color. I always associate it with good things.

K. Martinez said...

"Springtime for Pluto" was a 1944 cartoon short featuring Mickey's dog Pluto.

So, for future reference, where's the redemption center for my earned points?

JC Shannon said...

Hey Ken, I once got points for using the word egregious in a sentence, and I'm still waiting for my pay-out!

zach said...

Ken, It's in the rear of the S&H Green Stamps redemption center. Tell them The Major sent you.

Chuck said...

You can really see how little space there was between the teacups and the carrousel. Can you imagine the bottleneck that would cause (along with the carrousel's original position relative to the show buildings) today?

Nanook said...

@ David Zacher-

I had heard the location was in the back of the Blue Chip Stamps redemption center...

Melissa said...

My favorite people-watching subjects today are the two super-casual dudes in the yeller teacup just right of center. Nothin' but chamomile tea in that cup. They're so mellow, their hearts only beat once every six minutes. They're so chill, they can carry milk in their pockets to keep it from spoiling. They're so calm, their sweat is 37 percent Klonopin. If they hung any looser, they'd have to move to Toulouse. They're so laid-back, they make Dean Martin look like Jerry Lewis. They're gonna hafta get Snow White to come and kiss them so they can wake up enough to get off the ride.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook and David Zacher,

Now you guys are confusing me. Is it in the rear of the S&H Green Stamps redemption center or the back of the Blue Chip Stamps redemption center? I'm still looking for where I parked my "Wayback" machine so I can get back there just in "time" to redeem those points.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

I'm beginning to think it was at a Plaid Stamps redemption center. Oh, brother-!

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, hm, somehow you are familiar with an obscure song from a 1944 cartoon! You can redeem your points at all Woolworth’s stores.

Jonathan, oops, I think I gave that million-dollar payout to an imposter.

David Zacher, I don’t know why it mattered when I was a kid, but I always liked S&H Green Stamps better than those Blue Chip Stamps. Not that I ever redeemed them for anything ever!

Chuck, you make a good point, it would have been like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. But… but… we lost the Pirate Ship and Skull Rock!

Nanook, OH MAN… I should have read ahead!!

Melissa, I feel like you are trying to get something through to me, but I just don’t get it! Does it have to do with ice cream sammiches?

K. Martinez, you need 1000 Blue Chip Stamps to get a single S&H Green Stamp. That’s why I STILL insist on being paid exclusively in Green Stamps. You can keep your Bitcoins and your Krugerrands.

Nanook, if there really was such a thing as plaid stamps, they would have been my favorites.

walterworld said...

Melissa: Loved your commentary!

Last I remember 'redemption' stamps they were S&H Green. That's all I recall because I was way young then!

Thanks Major. That's another fine post you've given us!

Anonymous said...

In my years of working in the LA basin, I've come to appreciate the LA adage "Never trust air you can't see."

Now, visiting regularly again after two decades or more away, I am pleasantly surprised at the improvements.

@Tokyo, only the yellow cushions float.

Mom collected both Blue and Green stamps, but as I recall, the green ones lasted longer in the marketplace. Places offering the blue ones just became more and more scarce and the redemption center closed. Pasting them all into books was my job, and as I recall, some of my first college dormitory housekeeping items; lamp, coffee percolator etc., came from stamp redemptions. I'm not really sure when it all ended.

Brilliant post and conversation, everyone. Thank you.