Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Disneyland In Black and White

It seems as if the vast majority of photos taken at Disneyland over the past 60+ years are in glorious color. But black and white film (and developing) was more affordable for some, and it does have a certain charm - like going through a box of family snapshots. Whoever took today's pictures must have had a nice camera (unlike my own Instamatic), and they took some interesting shots.

Passing through the Matterhorn was always a highlight, even before there were ice caverns and abominable snowmen. And upon emerging out the other side (Fantasyland, in this case), the colors seemed a little brighter. Not that you can tell here. OH SNAP!

I'm sure I must have noticed that the storybook atop Alice's mushroom had the words "A very merry unbirthday to you" on it before, but if so, I've forgotten it. 

Somehow we went from the Skyway to Main Street USA. The Disneyland Band must be partying in Cincinnati (think Van Halen in a hotel room), so a local high school or college band has been recruited. I wonder how they were chosen? Did they only come for a single day and a single performance? Did the Disneyland Band get a bowl of just green M&Ms?


Nanook said...


The first shot features both Fan 1 & Fan 2. Let's chow-down at both of 'em-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Traveling through the Matterhorn via The Skyway was like passing through the portal between two worlds. There was nothing like it anywhere. Thanks, Major.

Stefano said...

Black and white photography brings out some details that might be lost in the usual Fantasyland color riot, like those two rooftop floodlights aimed at the Matterhorn. Major, I recall that first-version Alice book as reading "A Very Merry Unbirthday" on the left page, and "...to you!" on the right.

K. Martinez, I agree that the slowly and smoothly moving Skyway through the Matterhorn was one of the biggest amusement park thrills anywhere. Let's see if a ride on a Millennium Falcon can top that.

Melissa said...

I never noticed a picture of the Disneyland Band with majorettes before. Anyway, I'm glad they switched from those black uniforms. RFK is enjoying the music under the Wurlitzer store canopy.

That first shot is a great "You Were There" moment.

JC Shannon said...

It's funny, when people look at historic photos, they picture the world in black and white as well. Alice in Wonderland is my second favorite dark ride. It is a dark ride, unique among most. Multi level with parts outdoors for all to see. Go ask Alice, I think she'll know. The band is wearing some very spendy uniforms, they must have come from an affluent school. Major, I think they are playing Panama! Thanks for the pics.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I will order the Beef Wellington, and you can have the Lobster Newberg!

K. Martinez, I never thought about it quite like that, but passing through the Matterhorn really was like passing between two worlds.

Stefano, good catch on the floodlights. Gosh, I see so few views of the Alice ride from the other direction that I didn’t know that it said “…to you!” on the other page. Makes sense though! I haven’t really read about the Millennium Falcon ride, is it a simulator ride like “Star Tours”? I hope not.

Melissa, I don’t think that’s the Disneyland Band; I think it’s a guest band. RFK was always a fan of organ music, especially the song “Baby Elephant Walk”.

Jonathan, it is a funny thing about viewing the past through black and white photos. The slides I posted the other day, showing my grandparents and mother in 1948 in color, were amazing to me. Imagine if we had color photos of events like the Civil War, or the migration westward. I agree, the use of two levels on the Alice ride is a stroke of genius. Plus I love that this version of the attraction is unique to Anaheim. From what I’ve heard, “Panama!” is the kind of song that today’s revamped Disneyland Band *would* play on the 1890 Main Street.

TokyoMagic! said...

I really like those first two pics of Alice. They look kind of dark and moody.....almost film noir-ish. And that first one really does capture the feeling of what it was like suddenly emerging from the Matterhorn. I miss that!

Is that drum major walking backwards or is he about to collide with those Glock Girls?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, the drum major is moonwalking. JEALOUS?

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm VERY jealous! That guy was SO ahead of his time. Now if only he was grabbing his crotch and screaming.....while wearing just one sequined glove......and drinking a Pepsi.

Anonymous said...

The 3D aspect of Alice makes it stand out, I also enjoy going back in again after having been out. I can't recall if the original version did that or not. I think the recent renovation has been good. I notice and approve that they did away with the video projection faces and went back to more traditional figures.

Originally, the skyway didn't need abominable snowmen, you could watch the bobsleds and the steel beams covered with concrete fireproofing.

Yes, Major, to everyone's disappointment, the Millenium Falcon ride will be a simulator on the order of Star Tours. I read that the other "E" ticket attraction in Wookie World will be a "trackless" ride (similar to the ill-fated Carsland Tractors) with a "Rise of the First Order" theme. The whole thing is shaping up to be a recycled, repackaged bale of whale fur.

Thanks for these pictures, B&W is a nice chagne of pace.