Tuesday, December 31, 2019

1961 Gala New Year's Eve Party Flyer

What can I post on New Year's Eve? I know! How about a vintage flyer for the December 31, 1961 "Gala New Year's Even Party"? This is an uncommon piece of ephemera.

There's Baby New Year (1962), just waiting to make his debut.

Here's what the piece looks like when completely unfolded. I'll include some closeups so that you can read the fun details.

For six hours, you could ride as many attractions as you liked, without those bothersome ticket books. A ride on the Mark Twain at 1:30 AM? Yes, please. And it would be even more fun with hats and noisemakers. I assume that the "surprise midnight spectacle" was a unique fireworks display. It would be hard to choose among those musical acts, but I think I'd go listen to The Spacemen - though the Firehouse Five would be tempting, as well.

You don't have to drive all the way to Anaheim to purchase your advanced tickets (you'll save 50 cents buying them ahead of time); just go to Wallichs Music City, or Desmond's, or use the Liberty Ticket Agency. 

It sure sounds like it would have been a fun time for all. Speaking of which, I hope that all of you have a fun New Year's Eve!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Bank of America Brochures

Let's look at some wonderful vintage Disneyland ephemera! Today we'll check out two brochures from Bank of America.

Here's the front cover - notice the 1955 copyright at the bottom. It's an early one! 

Unfolding the first four panels, we get a map of California, showing some of the many B of A branches in the State, especially in the large cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. To the right, a nice line drawing of the Main Street branch, the color of liver. Yum.

This section advertises Bank of America money order certificates - note that they are unique to Disneyland. I've only seen a few of these pop up on the collector's market over the years, so they must be very rare. I'd love to have one of each (or better yet, 1000 of each)! There's more nice line art too.

In the 1955 version of this brochure, there is a simple cartoonish map of the park, divided into five "lands" by color.  Looking at the list of shops and attractions, I see a few interesting details; under “Main Street” I’m wondering about the “Random Parts” Jewelry and Tobacconist. Under “Frontierland” the Buckboard is listed as a ride, though I am still unsure if it ever really was - it must have been for a very VERY short time if so. There’s an Arboretum under the “Adventureland” listing. And “Tomorrowland” has “Stratosnak”. Great name! 

I isolated the little spot illustrations because I like them so much.

In 1956, Bank of America released an updated version of the brochure; one side is exactly the same as the '55 version. But the other side features this really wonderful map! I left my usual watermark off of this scan (multiple scans needed to be stitched together) for your viewing enjoyment.

I hope you enjoyed these Bank of America brochures.

Sunday, December 29, 2019


Both of today's photos are perfectly fine... they're just very common views of a much-photographed area of the park.

From 1961 comes this shot of the old Sub lagoon. The word of the day is "blue". I think this is the "Skate", rounding the bend, passing beneath the Monorail track, and heading toward the tunnel (with its waterfall curtain), where the submarines dove to crushing depths.

This next one is also from 1961, although it is from a different photographer and a different batch of images. It's awfully similar to the first one, even though the sub is a bit further along its journey. The surface of the water has a crinkled look, must have been breezy that day; the smattering of clouds is a nice touch.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm, August 29, 1959

Today, amusement parks will often have actors walk through the place, in costume and in character (much like the "Ghost Town Alive" that Knott's does during the summer months, or "Galaxy's Edge" at Disneyland). But Knott's had lots of local characters back in the day.

These fellows look respectable enough, I guess I don't have to worry about handing over my small leather bag of gold dust. I was just on my way to the assayer's office! The guy to the left looks like a sheriff, only he doesn't have a tin star, so I guess he's a local rancher. The hombre to the right looks resplendent in his mariachi hat, ruffled shirt, gold string tie, and red jacket. 

If any of you Knott's aficionados know anything about these two men, I'd love to hear it!

Next we have a prosperous couple out for a stroll with their young baby. I'd love to know what kind of conversation one might have had with them! We saw a similar couple on GDB way back in 2007. Maybe they would try to drum up business for the Bird Cage Theatre. Behind them is the Livery Stable, made from real liver.

This hard-working prospector is panning for flakes of gold, but it looks like all he has is a few cigarette butts. It's better than nothing! He has surrounded himself with rounded river rocks to ward off angry crayfish. Good luck to you, crazy prospector.

I have more Knott's for you, whenever I get around to scanning more slides!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Previously Rejected!

That's right babies, it's time to rescue some previously-rejected slides from obscurity and give them their time in the spotlight. Looking at them now, I'm not really sure why I skipped these, because I've certainly shared stuff that's a lot worse over the years!

This first example is from October of 1959, and it's a fun general view from inside Tomorrowland. There's the wonderful Astro Jets; all of the blue rockets are low, and all of the red rockets are soaring up high. What does it mean? The 3-car Monorail Red is at the station, and Skyway gondolas dangle overhead. As is often the case, the people are half the fun.

This slide is date-stamped "January, 1967", showing the 1966 Christmas parade; this is from the days when parades passed through New Orleans Square - there's Frontierland Station in the distance. The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs are entertaining the crowd with some proto-hip hop dancing.

Hey, there's that cool sign outside the not-yet-open Haunted Mansion, inviting ghosts to come and "retire" in the stately house in Anaheim, California. I wonder what was in those striped tubes the lady his holding? Genuine animation cels from "101 Dalmatians" or "The Sword in the Stone"? Two other women hold pink-striped shopping bags - I only own a very small postcard-sized one of those.

And for the final selection, here's an August 1961 shot looking through the moose-antlered gate of Fort Wilderness in the late afternoon. You can have all kinds of fun exploring the rustic fort, or you can just relax and enjoy a cigarette. Ah, that sweet, sweet smoke that satisfies and is never harsh! In fact, 4 out of 5 doctors recommend Andy Jackson cigarettes (or "Andy Jacks") for their patients. 

I hope you have enjoyed these previously-rejected slides.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Fantasyland, November 27 1964

Today I have three more scans of vintage slides, graciously shared with us by "1937Fan". These pictures were taken by her Aunt (who took the photos in 1964). It's hard to resist taking a picture of Dumbo as he happily soars through the air. You wouldn't think that he would be able to fly, but the aerodynamics of an elephant's body might surprise you.

Here's a beautiful photo of Skull Rock and the surrounding tropical lagoon, with a hint of the dining area to the left.

A second photo makes it look like the Chicken of the Sea mermaid is going to grant the Skull's wish and turn him into a prince. This feature proves that there is no such thing as too many waterfalls.

Many thanks to 1937Fan!

As of this writing, I think I will be home tomorrow, but I'm not 100% certain!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

It's a Bali Hai Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Instead of sharing photos of living rooms stacked with presents, with a noble fir decked out in lights, tinsel and ornaments, I decided to take a trip to San Diego, California, to the Bali-Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island. It opened in 1953, and is still going strong today - over 2.5 million Mai Tais served!

In this first photo (circa 1961) we can see "The Goof" on the roof. What is the Goof? According to the Bali-Hai website: Early matchbook covers revealed that the “Goof” head was prominent on the earlier franchises in Balboa and Corona del Mar, and was subsequently transposed to the San Diego restaurant. However, the actual meaning of the head, i.e. “the Goof”, still remains a mystery.

Here's a closer look at this fearsome (or friendly?) fellow.

At the entrance is this fun photo of two ladies admiring "Mr. Bali-Hai", also known as the "Big Opu".  Again from the website: On two of the early matchbook covers from the Balboa and Corona del Mar franchises, the cover reads next to the big fat guy, “Watch out for the Big Opu at….” In Hawaiian, Opu means stomach. Perhaps, the original character idea was that he was fat from eating such good food at the restaurant. I love seeing him dressed up as Santa! Christmas in paradise.

Years ago, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily restored Mr. Bali-Hai, and he blogged about it. It's super interesting! Read about it HERE, and follow the link to additional photos.

Meanwhile, here's a late addition to this post - a wonderful vintage postcard showing the interior of the Bali-Hai Restaurant, with fun-loving folks learning a little something about Polynesian dancing.

No matter where you live or whatever your beliefs (or lack thereof!), I hope that all GDB readers have a warm and wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Very Merry Christmas Parade, Part 4

Can it be Christmas Eve already? Guess I'd better hit the stores, I haven't bought anything for anyone. I can always give $1000 bills to everybody like I always do and make it easy. 

Today I am sharing the final "Very Merry Christmas Parade" photos from Irene, Bruce, and James - my guess is that these are at least from the early 1980's, and possibly even the late 1970's. 

Balloo and King Louis have been reduced to wearing frilly tutus; but hey, it's still showbiz, and they're going to give it their all. Behind them is a float with the ringmaster from Dumbo, along with acrobats (I think).

Next is this monkey (one of King Louie's minions?) with a hula hoop. Monkeys love Wham-O products! I like the cute little girl happily waving in the background.

"OK, Mark and Ron, we're going to need you to ride your extra-tall unicycles all the way down Main Street - but you have to hold hands the entire way". "Why?". "JUST DO IT, OR YOU'RE FIRED!".

The dogcatcher is loved by nobody! Why can't he just let Lady, the Tramp, and their rabid friends alone? You can see that some of the pooches have already made a break for it.

Based on the smiles of the faces in the crowd, this was a popular routine. It seems like it would be quite a thing to control at least 10 dogs in the middle of a parade, but it must have worked. 

Next, it is Dumbo himself, in a burning firehouse. He's not worried, since he can soar to safety at any moment. There's some clowns with buckets to put out the blaze; what are the odds that some of the buckets contained confetti to throw into the crowd?

The parade is over, folks! What a show - it used dozens and dozens of floats, and  hundreds of performers, all with props and costumes - Disney did not cheap out with this parade. Pretty impressive. 

Many thanks to the Dream Team for these wonderful vintage photos of the Very Merry Christmas Parade! And I would like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. 

I am still out of town, but look forward to reading your comments when I can!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Fun Snapshots, August 1969

Happy Hanukkah! I recently scanned a bunch of vintage snapshots, and will share five of those today - all from August, 1969.

Here's Nat, posing with one of the Three Little Pigs. BUT WHICH ONE? All we know is that he is not the perpetually-angry Practical Pig, who (let's face it) can be a little too preachy. But not this fella; he'll build his house of straw or sticks so that he'll have more time to have fun with you.

The warm summer weather has cause the glaciers on the Matterhorn to melt at an accelerated rate. And that means roaring waterfalls to cool passing bobsled riders.

John Jr. loves Frontierland, and enjoyed the performance at the Indian Dance Circle. But now he's checking out the Indian Village, with its variety of Native American dwellings. I believe that Imagineer Sam McKim was responsible for the designs on the teepees (based on research). Behind John Jr. is a delicious bison; the cutest li'l bison ever

Here's a familiar view of Fantasyland as seen from the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. Look at how congested it got back near King Arthur's Carrousel! Ay caramba.

And finally, it's the good old Columbia, looking suitably dignified and impressive as a fresh load of passengers prepare to board.

Stay tuned for more vintage snapshots!

FYI, as of today I will be heading out of town, and my participation on the blog will probably be affected. But I will check in when I can, and of course there will be new posts for you every day!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

it's a small world, Holiday Overlay 1998

Our friend Mr. X took today's photos during a trip to Disneyland - holiday season, 1998. It looks like it couldn't have been a more perfect day - brilliant sunshine, vivid blue, cloudless sky... and if this was November or December, it might have even been a little bit chilly. It could also have been 95 degrees.

Most noticeable is the multicolored paint scheme still being used at this point. Many people loved it, but I was not one of them. It wasn't the end of the world, though! In my recollection the fa├žade was actually a lot more colorful than it appears in these pix, I think the bright sun washed things out to some degree. I wasn't sure if that planter with the poinsettias and leaping dolphins was still there, but a quick look at Google Maps satellite view tells me that it's still present.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New York World's Fair, 1965

I may as well post some scans from slides of the 1965 New York World's Fair on this "Anything Goes Saturday". It'll be a nice respite from Christmas overload.

Let's start with the best of the bunch, this great look at the Chrysler pavilion over in the Transportation Zone (naturally). Ford and GM had spectacular pavilions that received a lot of press, but Chrysler's looks like it was a lot of fun, with many wonderful features. Like a giant 80 foot-long automobile. A puppet show. A "metallic menagerie" of critters made out of car parts. A 1,000,000 horsepower engine that you could walk through (watch out for the dragon inside!). And that colorful rocket, repainted in oranges and pinks for the '65 season.

Also in the Transportation Zone you'd find "Space Park", with a display of various rockets, satellites, jet aircraft, and other stuff that captured the public's imagination during the Space Race. To the left is an Atlas-Mercury launch vehicle, then a Thor Delta rocket, and a 110 foot-tall Titan II rocket is to the right of that.

I'm thinking about trading in my Piper Cub for that X-15. Sometimes you just need to get to 7-11 really fast. Those four day-old hot dogs aren't going to eat themselves. OR MAYBE THEY WILL?!

This wavy wonder is the Hall of Nerds. Oops, I mean the Hall of Science. Ha ha! I crack myself up. Would you like to learn about "Biological Wonders"? "Color and Chemistry"? "Atoms for Kids"? Then the Hall of Science is for you.

Next to the Science thingy is the crown roast Ford Rotunda - it really does resemble the skeletal remains of some giant creature. Which makes it very cool. Saunter over there and enjoy a ride on the "Magic Skyway", designed by Walt Disney and his Imagineers.

I hope you have enjoyed today's World's Fair photos!

Friday, December 20, 2019

A Pair From January, 1962

I have a nice pair of photos for you today, from sometime in January, 1962 - so, 57 years ago, give or take a few days. Let's start with this sweet image of the Mark II Monorail Blue. "Old Bluie" I calls it. It's got a bubble dome! It's got a rotating amber light! It has the Santa Fe logo (in red), and the ALWEG name on the side! ("Alweg" would be a swell name for a pet, don't you think?). If it has a cup holder, I'm sold. I like the criss-crossing beamway, along with the "S"-curve for added excitement. If only there was a transparent tube for the Monorail to pass through so that it could go underwater. I have big ideas, I tell ya. BIG.

Here's a zoom-in, for a look at the lucky passengers. Babushka to our left!

Next is this lovely view of the "Garden Apartments" at the Disneyland Hotel. Why they are called the Garden Apartments is beyond me. Maybe they were built by Sir Albert Garden. Various tropical and even desert plants surround a reflecting pond that is perfect for throwing pennies into. You know it happened. What a pleasant place to stay during your three-day visit to Disneyland.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Christmas in Tomorrowland, November 1958

There's just one photo today, but it's a goodie! Take a look at this beautiful view of Tomorrowland during the 1958 holiday season. The land even got its own flocked tree - a friend for the Moonliner. I love the color an clarity of this image. Even the sun/moon sculptural element atop the Clock of the World is sharp and crisp.

If you're like me, you like looking at the people in these vintage pix as much as the park. The lesson here is to dress your kid in bright red, so that if she wanders off she will be easy to spot.