Sunday, January 13, 2019

Smoggy Fantasyland, November 1958

Everybody has heard about the legendary smog of Southern California; both of today's photos show Disneyland looking especially afflicted by the mixture of automobile emissions and fog (it does get foggy in SoCal at times, some of you might be surprised to learn). 

There's the castle, with all of its color and details reduced to a blue-gray mass. That is some thick, chunky air! This is one of those rare examples of a vintage photo in which I don't wish that I was there that day. 

Poor Dumbo, having to fly through that crud! Hopefully some gentle breezes will come through soon, and there will be bright sunshine and blue skies.


Nanook said...


I'm wheezing and coughing-!! Oh my.

Thanks, Major.

walterworld said...

Never seen it...this bad... Bring on...Monday and...Blue Skies... Kirk out!

Melissa said...

When my sister and I went to WDW in 2011, there was a nearby brush fire you could smell from the resort. my sister had an asthma attack so bad that none of her rescue medications would work and we had to call the EMTs to come and give her oxygen and a nebulizer treatment in the hotel room.

stu29573 said...

You would think that all those pioneers building cities in valleys would have realized that not even a hundred years later, cars would be invented. Talk about short sighted!

JC Shannon said...

You can almost hear Timothy coughing and wheezing. Hopefully, this burned off later and a fun day was had by all. Even with all the smog, I still feel the warm fuzzies of the old Fantasyland. I think I'll go on some dark rides until it clears up. Last one to Peter Pan buys the oxygen!

MRaymond said...

Never trust air you can see.

K. Martinez said...

I've seen it like this as a youngster. Not pleasant for sure. Still there was fun to be had at Disneyland. At least the Dumbo riders seem to think so. Wheeeee! Cough, cough, cough. Thanks, Major.

Melissa, what a bummer that happened to your sister. I hope you two were still able to get some enjoyment out of your vacation.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I came for the burning eyes, but stayed for the wheezing and coughing!

walterworld, yeah, that day was particularly (no pun intended) bad.

Melissa, wow, I’m sorry your sister had such a bad reaction. You probably heard about the recent fires in California; on the worst days you could hardly see to the end of the street because of the thick smoke.

stu29573, those pioneers were planning for a future with lots of airships!

Jonathan, it is possible that this was just some morning haze - all it takes is a light breeze to blow it away and leave clear skies. There are a few other photos from this batch that (if I recall correctly) don’t look quite as bad.

MRaymond, but if I can’t see something, how can I trust it? I don’t trust ghosts because they’re invisible.

K. Martinez, as a kid I probably wouldn’t have noticed the air quality, I would have been so darn excited to be at Disneyland. Dumbo might be able to fly above the smog layer, so he’ll be fine.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I remembered the smog because my parents would constantly point it out. That and my eyes would burn sometimes. Up here we had smog, but not near as bad as Southern California did, so we noticed it very much.

Anonymous said...

Smog was usually a major factor during and near the summer months as the more direct sunlight turns the pollutants into ozone. When I saw the date of these photos being in November, I'm more inclined that a lot of this is haze and fog which permeated the OC area before it all became urbanized and fog less persistent, if not eliminated. For those of us who lived there in the late 50s and early 60s (me in the Valley), that brown stuff in the air was indeed a deadly concoction. I remember wheezing on my 2 mile walk home in the afternoons after the PE coach would make us run a lap last period of the day no less. Boy was I happy to move to the Orange Coast in late '63. The coastal breeze solved that problem. KS

Sunday Night said...

Anon, oh yes I also remember the smog during PE class especially after a lap around the baseball field.
Walt knew this problem well. Why do think he wanted us to get around in Monorails and People Movers?
The antidote for smog at Disneyland was to ride the Carousel of Progress. Clean air, clean house, clean world.

Warren Nielsen said...

I remember days like this when we visited my wife's family. We did the Disney-Knott's routine and were sure glad when we headed for home in the Northwest. Try to take a deep breath and our lungs would ache, and the constant eye stinging got pretty annoying, especially for Kai wearing contact lenses. The parks were fun as always, but chewing the air . . . not so much.


Melissa said...

@K. Martinez It was the same trip where I fell and broke my foot at the hotel. But the rest of the trip was awesome!