Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More Christmas at the Disneyland Hotel

Here are four more snapshots from the Dream Team. Who is this fabled team? Irene, Bruce, and James, that's who. 

Today's photos are mostly a mystery to me... they are undated, but probably from the mid to late 1990's. And they are from the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel from the Christmas holiday.

Large plywood "fun photo" scenes were set up along various pathways, each painted with an elaborate backdrop featuring some of your favorite Disney characters standing in the snow, getting chilblains and frostbite. Just hop into the picture and have your picture taken. Instant Christmas card! I see only six dwarfs, it looks like Bashful is missing. Makes sense when you think about it.

I am normally not crazy about plywood flats ("Gummi Glen", anyone?) - I'm OK with them in the dark rides because it's traditional and gives some vintage charm. In later rides ("The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh"), it just feels like they cheaped out. However, given the very temporary nature of these backdrops, and the fact that that they seem to be well-crafted, I think they're a fun bonus for visitors.

It really surprised me that I could find no record of these photo setups online, or even a mention of them. This one has Donald, Mickey, and Goofy on separate levels (sort of a multiplane idea) so that you and your pals could stand right there with them, instead of merely in front of them.

The penguins from "Mary Poppins" are at the North Pole, for some reason. I call shenanigans! Perhaps they just jumped into a chalk painting of the North Pole for funsies?

Thanks as always to Irene, Bruce, and James!


K. Martinez said...

Yeah! Penguins at the North Pole. Anything's possible at Disneyland! At first look, I thought it might be some Peculiar Penguins until I enlarged the photo and saw they were the penguin waiters from Mary Poppins. Of course I could've read the description, but I tend to open up the photos first.

I have never seen images of these particular photo ops holiday cutouts. Some of them are actually very nice looking. Thanks as always for sharing, Irene, Bruce and James otherwise known as "Dream Team".

JC Shannon said...

I like these festive little scenes, they are flats, but at Christmas thats fine. I looked at the penguins and now I can't get Jolly Holiday out of my head, I don't mind though, its a great tune. I think any one of these would look good on my front lawn. Maybe Santa in a red Skyway gondola would look good as well. Thanks to Irene Bruce and James, and of course Major P. Great scans of the Ho Ho Hotel!

Melissa said...

These pictures are making me so happy! I love going to Walt Disney World in December and taking a day just to look at the decorations at all the deluxe resort Hotels.

Having worked in an art museum and knowing the general public's predilection for taking pictures of themselves in, er, "naughty" positions with statues, I'm gonna guess there are some snapshots out there of people doing unspeakable things to that bent-over Donald in #3.

Irene said...

Fabled team, Dream team - Wow! Never thought I'd see my name associated with those terms :) Thanks. So sorry now I never went over these photos with Bruce so that he could give me his input on them.

zach said...

I think I saw that Seven Dwarfs scene spray painted on the side of a freight car. I could be mistaken. Memorizing the names of the seven is on my list of things to do.

+1 for chilblains.

We rarely got to the Hotel side of the park in my youth so I never saw these. I'm glad he thought to take photos of his invisible friend in front of them.

Melissa, you crack me up! Haha! See what I did there?

Merry Christmas, all.


K. Martinez said...

Melissa, You gave me a good laugh which is the perfect way to start the day. Thank you!

Melissa said...

+1 for chilblains.

For decades, my sister thought "chilblains" was just a nonsense word I made up.

Anonymous said...

Fun stuff. Thanks to the Dream Team and the Major.


TokyoMagic! said...

These are all great. I don't mind flats either, when they are used for a temporary overlay for the holidays or other occasions. I remember some photo ops like this inside the park, for Disneyland's 40th and 60th birthdays.

Did the artist that painted the Penguin set-up, give the North Pole sign a penguin beak? Maybe it was the same artist that did "version one" of the cover art for "The Little Mermaid" when it was first released on VHS?

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I think that those penguins from Mary Poppins are pretty peculiar, so you are right on both counts. I wonder if Don Ballard (Disneyland Hotel scholar) knows when these cutouts were used?

Jonathan, as a kid I had the Mary Poppins soundtrack album, and listened to it a lot, even though I didn’t see the movie until many years later. Not sure how that happened exactly. It was in heavy rotation with my Jungle Book record and my Peter Pan Storyteller album.

Melissa, I’m glad these pictures make you happy! And now that you have put the idea into my head, I can only imagine the rude things guests would do. Look at Sleepy in picture #1! He’s in big trouble.

Irene, not everyone can be on a Dream Team. I wish Bruce could see how much fun people are having with these photos. Maybe, somewhere, he is keeping track.

David Zacher, ah, the Dwarfs are easy! As a kid I used to try to memorize all 50 states and other random stuff. I always forgot Maryland (sorry, “America in Miniature”). I don’t know what chilblains are, but I think it is close to lycanthropy (do I get another point for that word??). Like you, I never spent time at the Hotel.

K. Martinez, Melissa does that all the time!

Melissa, maybe you made your sister up!!!

JG, speaking for the Dream Team, you are welcome. We would three-peat, but I don’t know what it means.

TokyoMagic!, this is the kind of detail that I was almost sure that you would have remembered, or even photographed yourself. I have definitely seen the photo-op setups for the 60th, but am not sure I recall the ones for the 40th. And… what IS that thing sticking out of the “North Pole” sign?? That Little Mermaid VHS cover was probably one of the greatest “scandals” of that era.

Chuck said...

Thanks, TM! - now I can't un-see that. Yeesh...

And, as always, many thanks to the Dream Team!

Melissa said...

In the order I memorized the Dwarfs' names, Sleepy comes right before Sneezy. So, if I go too fast and get tongue-tied, there are six Dwarfs and one of them is Sleazy.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, imagine how sad LeBron James was when he was not accepted into this Dream Team.

Melissa, that reminds me of The Seven Duffs from Duff Gardens. Sleazy, Queasy, Surly, Edgy, Tipsy, Dizzy, and Remorseful.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, you are welcome! ;-)

Major, I must not have made it over to the Hotel at Christmastime, the year that these pics were taken. I would have taken pics of them if I had seen them! I am now remembering that the photo-ops for the 40th also included some ride vehicles. There was one with plywood flats of Alice, the Mad Hatter and possibly the March Hare, with a Mad Tea Party vehicle in the foreground. There was another one that had a plywood flat cutout of a compass, with a Dumbo vehicle in the middle of it. I have pics of both of these and will post them at some point. I am also now remembering some plywood "flat" photo-ops for "Beauty and the Beast" when it was released in theaters (1991) and for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" when it was released on VHS for the first time (1994). I have pics of those too.

And I remember the Seven Duffs! That is such a great episode. I gave my brother a bottle opener in the shape of one of the Seven Duffs. I bought it at Universal Studios several years ago and now I'm wondering why I didn't buy one for myself!

Melissa said...

Duff beer for me,
Duff beer for you,
I'll have a Duff,
You'll have one, too
Duff beer for me,
Duff beer for you...

Nancy said...

I want these!!! Great views today :D