Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holiday Time at Disneyland

I'm dredging up more holiday-themed photos, including another rescan. If you just look at the thumbnails, this first one (originally posted in 2006) doesn't appear to be that different. But it's kind of blurry, and the colors are weird.

This one is much sharper, and I think the colors are a bit more natural (although they are still off, being from a magenta slide). I love seeing the old Chemical Wagon; it looks like it's taking on a load of passengers. Note the wreath on the window of Walt's apartment, as well as the painted plywood Dickensian (?) figures to the left. 

Here's a scan of a slide that I skipped years ago, for some reason; it is hand-dated "12-29-1956", and shows guests heading toward (and away from) Sleeping Beauty Castle under a  glorious blue sky. The castle has wreaths and garlands aplenty, and somehow looks bigger than usual to me.


Nanook said...


Yes indeed, there certainly are a whole bunch of people clamoring to get into [and out of] Sleeping Beauty Castle. (Must be the after-Christmas sale at the Tinkerbell Toy Shop. Uh - make that Fantasy of Disneyland Shop, back then..) And 'Butch' there, down front, is about to step off into [what's left of] the flower bed. That ill-mannered young soul-! Just who does he thing he is-? Bill Evans-? The nerve of some people-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The men's shirts are color coordinated with Sleeping Beauty Castle which makes the pic really come alive. The only thing missing is the 21st century Christmas castle bling. ;-)

For color alone, the castle pic is tops. Thanks, Major.

Stefano said...

Seeing Disneyland holiday pictures like these ( short sleeves in December!), and watching sunny Rose Parades on TV, probably convinced legions of people it was time to move to Southern California.

I love the park's movie-backlot proximity of different places; the Eucalyptus grove behind the fire station shelters the headhunters dancing the Watusi. I bet Walt could hear them from a rear window.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, judging by the wear on the edge of that grassy area, the ill-mannered kid is not the first to step where he’s not supposed to!

K. Martinez, I always make sure that my clothing is going to coordinate with my main destination! Heading to the Grand Canyon? Wear my orange shirt. Climbing Half Dome? Time to wear my gray jumpsuit!

Stefano, I’m sure you’re right, although realtors used similar tricks to lure people to California since the early 1900’s at least. I have very old postcards showing groves of orange trees laden with fruit in the foreground, while beautiful snow-capped mountains loom in the distance. And I believe I have read about how you could hear the Jungle Cruise sound effects from Walt’s apartment; maybe they got used to them? BTW, I just noticed that if you look through the window into Walt’s place, you can just see a Christmas tree.

JC Shannon said...

Colorful pictures and great subjects. I love the Firehouse, and I know it's common knowledge today, but I wonder how many guests knew Walt had an apartment there back in the early days? Seeing the kid in the Castle shot, reminds me of the clothes we used to wear in those days. Blue jeans, with cuffs folded up, black PF Flyer or US Keds sneakers and the requisite striped t shirt. We all pretty much looked alike. The kid in the photo is wearing dressier garb for his special day at the Park. Thanks Major, for the two winners today.

Anonymous said...

As always, enjoying the well-dressed people in the photos. The castle photo is an excellent shot, in spite of the odd centering. Seems like the young men might be the intended subjects, but they aren't cooperating. I was surprised at the flower bed, but seeing "1956", there was probably a fair amount of wear and tear in that busy first year until management got a handle on it.

The castle always looks bigger to me as you get closer, but always amazed at how small it really is. The design really provides "bang for the buck".

I seem to remember the TV show mentioning Walt's apartment in the Firehouse. That piece of knowledge seems to be part of my oldest memories about "back of house" Disneyland. I remember always looking up at that window as we passed by, both incoming and outgoing. I'll bet that if you couldn't hear the jungle sound effects, that he would have had them piped in on purpose, just because.

The Disney team of that era all seemed like such nice people and having the success to indulge eccentric hobbies like building personal firetrucks, firehouses, perfect scale model railroads, personal Rivers of America, Riverboats, and their very own New Orleans, isn't begrudged, because they shared all of them with the world. Their joy in screwball fantasies has taken palpable form.

Daveland (of course) has a fine segment on the apartment, it's kind of a surprise like the castle, to see how small it is. From experience with the "executive class", I can't imagine any of the Disney Top Brass today settling for such modest quarters.

Thank you, Major for this enjoyable post. I'm off to find clothes that will match my background. Fortunately, my office has plaid walls.


JC Shannon said...

JG, I love the look of Walt and Lillian's little scaled down fantasy apartment. It is very cozy and inviting. I would give my best pig to see it in person. If those walls could talk.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I wish the whole GDB crew could get a tour. What a get-together that would be.


(Still trying to decide which would be my best pig...)

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, that is a good question - my guess is that most people didn’t know about Walt’s apartment until the 1963 National Geographic made it famous. Whenever I see kids slightly dressed up at the park, I can’t help wondering if it was a Sunday. Or else their mom just wanted to be sure they always looked decent.

JG, I think that the slightly off-center composition is more interesting than a Wes Anderson, perfectly centered look. That being said, I love Wes Anderson movies! Gosh, I wonder if the old TV show did mention Walt’s apartment? There are many that I’ve never seen. It’s funny, I don’t have a big desire to visit the apartment. Maybe once upon a time I would have, but now that it is part of a tour, not so much. Plus much of the place has been redone, or Walt’s actual things were returned to the Disney family, so it’s not quite as much of a shrine as it once was. In my opinion! Remember that Walt was building a new, bigger apartment in New Orleans Square, but died before he could move in. Even he realized that the tiny apartment was too tiny.

Jonathan, think of how amazing it would have been to spend the night up there, and to wake up early so that you could look out over a virtually empty park! Cleaning crews and other workmen were probably here and there, but even so, it would have been great.

JG, if I was offered a personal tour, I would still take it! I’m not holding my breath, however.

Melissa said...

I wonder if the castle picture was taken from a lower angle, maybe by a child or other low-to-the-ground person?

The lady in the blue dress shading her eyes to look at us is quite striking. I love the way the wind is playing with her skirt.