Monday, February 25, 2019

Disneyland's 40th

Here are more photos from several large albums given to me by our friend Irene; the albums belonged to her brother Bruce, and many (if not all) of the pictures were taken by Bruce's friend James. There will be a test at the end of today's post.

It was Disneyland's 40th anniversary in 1995 (on July 17th, of course), and the park was very crowded, as one might expect. Why, another GDB pal, Chuck, was there with his wife! See some of his photos HERE and HERE.

This is the first of two posts; I'm sure many people stopped to take pictures of the special 40th anniversary decor - the logo happened to be very reminiscent of the one for the new Indiana Jones Adventure that had opened on March 3, 1995 to huge acclaim.

Yet more decorations above the tunnels, including spinning pictures of some of the most popular animated characters. I don't think Roger Rabbit would make the cut today, as great as he is.

I wonder if there were signs warning people that they could potentially wind up on television, just like on opening day (1955)? I hate to be unkind, but man, that multicolored gradient makes for a very unattractive background on an otherwise perfectly serviceable sign.

The calm before the storm! In fact, I can't help wondering if this picture was taken the day before, since there are so few people milling about. There's a cart full of mystery equipment , and the roped-off area where a golden, castle-shaped time capsule would be entombed.

Darn that tree! It's obscuring my view of all that smoke. And I love smoke! I guess that somebody was launching those "daytime fireworks" that I've heard about. Maybe it was Goofy, seen in the lower right with his hard hat on. That orange crane is there to lower the time capsule into its hidey-hole, where it will slumber for the next 40 years. I am assuming that it will be OK for me to dig it up myself in 2035.

Hey, that ain't Tinker Bell! Maybe one of the Yippies from 25 years earlier has returned to wreak more mischief? Or it's Michael Eisner himself, zip-lining from the top of the Matterhorn into a giant pile of warm churros. That guy knew how to make an entrance.

Just as we were gaining momentum, I must slam on the brakes; stay tuned for part two!


Nanook said...


I'd have paid big money to watch Michael Eisner zip-lining down into the cushy confines of the mattress strategically-placed at the castle's end of the line. In the meantime, I'd have rather seen the Christmas star-!

Thanks, Irene, and The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I had to work that morning, but I stopped by the park that afternoon to get some items stamped with the special 40th Anniversary postmark from the U.S. Post Office. I believe that's Indiana Jones sliding down on Tinkerbell's wire. He did that throughout the summer during the nighttime fireworks show. And that might be Randy Travis at the top of the Matterhorn. As Chuck pointed out in one of those earlier posts, he stood up there and led everyone below in a chorus of "Happy Birthday" (Randy did, not Chuck).

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, how about Michael Eisner glued to a rotating pole on top of the Matterhorn, and sticking his arms and legs out to make the shape of a "star"???

Chuck said...

The fourth photo may very well have been taken on the 16th. Note that the extra signage visible in the dayworks photo (it also shows up in one of my photos) isn't there. I think that the entire north side of the Hub was probably roped off until after the "time castle" dedication ceremony was over on the 17th; you can see crowds through the castle entrance and to the left of the castle. Shadows indicate that this photo was taken just before solar noon, which was at 12:57 PDT that day, too late to be setting up for a ceremony on the 17th (unless they were tearing everything down, which seems unlikely in the middle of the actual day of celebration). The security host to the right appears to be the same one walking behind me in this photo.

TM!, yeah, we got a late start that day and missed the scheduled sing-along. Randy was gracious enough to step in for me at the last moment.

Melissa said...

Oh, man, that signage is dated! It's screaming "1990's" so loudly I think I need to go put on a long, flowered dress and get a Rachel haircut.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Oh great a test first thing on a Monday morning! Just like high school. I even studied the wrong subject too (knott's berry farm). So instead of answering Indiana Jones and Roger Rabbit I put down Sad Eyed Joe and Elvira.

None the less these are great photos. Thanks to Irene for sharing and Major for posting.

The stress....where's my Play dough and crayons?

DrGoat said...

Especially like these, we were there in April that year (doing the early morning entrance thing) and got to be the first ones on the Indiana Jones ride. It had opened sometime earlier in March, but it was fun to run like hell to get there first. I suppose the best thing about that was I still could run like hell.
Thanks Major and Irene. That was a memorable 3 days.

Stu29573 said...

These make me feel old! Not because I was there (I was in WDW that year, though) but because the dated decor is so familiar (if not actually "good"). By the way, as best as I can remember the only celebratory thing going on at WDW that summer revolved around Minnie Mouse and Barbie...Don't ask. My five year old daughter loved it, however!

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

Only if Michael Eisner's arms and legs are festooned with Xmas lights-!


I actually attended that event with a friend of mine - we sat in the third row of chairs ( I’ve got lots of close up photos of the ceremony ) my friend and I (both of us worked fir Disney) got put on the invitation guest list by Paul Pressler’s secretary Teressa ( “T” Bone was her nickname - mine was Cozie) anyway we had no reason to be there other than just wanting to go. We didn’t know we were really suppose to be in the first row of standing guests , but we go there so early we just ended up sitting in the row of chairs later when the ceremony began - nobody ever even asked who we were or asked to see our invitation!!

The 40th time capsule was actually called the TIME CASTLE and there were two made with duplicate contents - one that went into the ground of the castle forecourt and the other went on display inside the opera house fir the duration of the anniversary.

I’m suspicious that when the time comes to remove the items from the ground , Disney will be cheap and just reveal the duplicate Time Castle !!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, from what I’ve heard, Tinker Bell used to hit those mattresses with some real momentum, so yes, it would have been funny to see Eisner crash into those.

TokyoMagic!, if you were a true fan you would have quit your job. I suppose it makes sense that they had Indy zip-lining down from the Matterhorn. Remember when he went to the Temple of Forbidden Chocolate in Switzerland? They should have had Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys on top of the mountain with Indy. Everyone loves him.

TokyoMagic!, he would be a mighty unimpressive star…

Chuck, yes, I can’t believe that the park looked that empty at any time on the actual 40th anniversary once guests were let in, certainly not in front of the castle. Imagine the crowds! Look at you, figuring out the time of day by the shadows! Carl Sagan couldn’t have done better.

Melissa, considering how nice some of the older graphics for the park could be, those signs are pretty bad.

Alonzo, there could be a test at any time! Nobody said that looking at this blog would be easy. “Elvira” is the right answer to almost any question, however. Mmmm, Play-dough, I can almost smell it.

DrGoat, while I didn’t ride “Indy” until long after it had debuted, the lines were unbelievable. And yet we didn’t really mind! For one thing, the queue is so interesting.

Stuart Powley, that is the problem with using graphics that follow the latest trends. It’s funny to look at album covers from the 80’s, with their New Wave style. And yet I still love it for that very reason. Minnie Mouse and Barbie at WDW??

Nanook, haven’t you heard? Eisner wears Christmas lights all the time now.

Mike Cozart, I think it’s hilarious that the Disney folks just let you sit there. It might have been a case of “They wouldn’t be there if they weren’t important, so we aren’t going to bother them”. Of course nowadays that would never happen. I’ve always wondered about that “Time Castle” - if you look at the history of time capsules, they are often ruined by water after years of being underground, and the Time Castle sure doesn’t look like it would resist the elements. I’ll bet you’re right, they’ll just unveil the duplicate castle.

Irene said...

My brother always tried to go to Disneyland on its Birthday because it is wrapped up with his birthday. His was the 18th and as I've said before we went to Disneyland in 1955 on opening day to the public for Bruce's 13th. So the 17th and 18th were always a really big deal to him. I have no doubt whatsoever that Bruce and James went to this and maybe Bruce even took these particular photos. I am guessing that maybe that area around the Time "Castle" was so empty because they had the area totally blocked off to guests. If you look to the left you can see people over on the walkway looking and people looking out of the castle archway. And another aside - at the time Roger Rabbit was Bruce's favorite character! He collected anything he could get his hands on that had to do with Roger. I still have his embroidered Roger jacket that I had cleaned. I wore it to Disneyland a few years ago when they brought Roger back for a special meet and greet over in DCA and wore it for the photo op. I was able to show Bruce those photos and he was so happy about that.

JC Shannon said...

Boy, do I feel old. I still remember my first visit to Disneyland in 1960. We moved from San Francisco to North Hollywood and we had all couldn't wait to go. I Google Earthed our old house on Lamaida Street, and it's still there, though it probably lists at an astronomical price today. These are some great shots, and many thanks to Irene for sharing them. Hey Major, In addition to wanting to engineer on the Mine Train, I would love to try my hand at the Matterhorn zip line, but I would look really bad in a Tinkerbell outfit.

Chuck said...

Just found a video summary of the 40th Anniversary celebrations, which includes highlights of that morning's events beginning at 2:12.

After watching that clip, I'm thinking that that the fourth picture was probably taken on the 17th as they were just finishing cleaning up all of the extra decorations, seats, loudspeakers, etc. set up for the ceremony. Note the "Do Not Open Before July 17th 2035" sign in that photo, with the time castle location looking just like it does at the end of the ceremony at the 5:20 mark.

MIKE COZART, would love to see your personal photos of the event here or on your blog some day.

Irene, I hope you can find Bruce and/or James somewhere in this video clip. Thanks again for sharing their pictures with us!

Anonymous said...

This is good stuff.

We must have visited with the kids sometime around this since I now recall Indiana Jones on the zipline. But we could not have been there in 1995 since that was a turmoil year for us. Maybe that special act preceded the anniversary or continued past it? Doesn't matter, it's fun to see it again.

Please put me down as another vote for the Eisner Christmas star as described above, especially if accompanied by a Paul Pressler meteorite.

Thanks Major, Irene, Bruce, TM, Chuck and everyone sharing their photos and memories. Really special post today. Yes MIKE COZART, please post your photos. I very much enjoy your blog and would love to see new posts.


Irene said...

Great video Chuck! No, I did not see Bruce or James even though I stopped it and looked at the crowd. Trust me, you would not miss Bruce at the Park when he was there for these things because he had the whole get up on - jacket with pins, a hat covered with pins, Mickey hands and so forth :)

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm sorry that I didn't include this link in my earlier comment. I actually forgot that I had uploaded this video of Indy zip lining over the park. I knew that I had this footage, but between my crummy videography and the the lack of the show soundtrack playing in the background (for whatever reason that was), I actually didn't think I had ever uploaded it to YouTube. It turns out that I did.....almost five years ago. Indy appears at the 1:55 mark: Indy & Fireworks - 1995