Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Disneyland's 40th Anniversary, Continued

Today's post is a followup to another one that published on February 25th, with photos from Irene, Bruce and James on Disneyland's 40th Anniversary. Most of these are from the actual ceremony, which featured some Disney luminaries.

I'm happy to start with this particular image, because the man to the right of Mickey Mouse is none other than Paul Pressler. TokyoMagic's favorite person in the world. TokyoMagic probably has tears of joy in his eyes right now. Beauty and the Beast stand to the left, they became big stars just 4 years earlier. We can also see Meeko from "Pocahontas", Rafiki (from (The Lion King, released the previous year) holding a baby Simba, Jafar from "Aladdin", Roger Rabbit, Baloo, Minnie, and Snow White. No less than three enthusiastic Disney Ambassadors helped kick off the ceremonies.

The "Time Castle" is being craned into place under the supervision of Donald and Goofy instead of  licensed, bonded contractors.  Michael Eisner is standing next to Pluto. Roy E. Disney is to the right of Snow White. Mike Cozart or Chuck, do you show up in any of these photos?

Steady.... steeeaaady; we don't want another Time Castle tragedy. Hey, now I see John Smith, Pocahontas, Timon, Bert, and Mary Poppins.

Here comes Eisner! 

There's the Time Castle, snug in its grave. It seems that most time capsules that have been built with a real attempt to combat moisture and CHUDS (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) fail, and the contents are ruined. I don't have much faith in that fancy castle, even though it's pretty. It will be exhumed on Disneyland's 80th Anniversary on July 17, 2035. See you there!

To the left (our left) is an unknown gentleman, and then Marty Sklar, and Judson Green, President of Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts. Michael Eisner is heading toward the dais; behind Mickey Mouse is Roy E. Disney, Dick Nunis, Paul Pressler, John Hench (with the white cap), and another unknown person clapping happily. I'm wondering if that could be Dave Smith with the blue jacket and baseball cap, but it's anyone's guess.

There are more photos from this event, thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, you are right about the tears in my eyes, but I can assure you they are NOT tears of joy! I wonder if Roy E. Disney was still happy with Eisner's performance at this point, or if things had started to go sour by then.

Despite a couple of people that are in these pics, it's still nice to see photos of the ceremony from that morning. I did not get to the park until later that afternoon. However, I was there for the park's 50th anniversary ceremony, and had to look and listen to Eisner, but I think Pressler was already working at The Gap by then.

Thanks again to Irene & Co., for these pics!

Nanook said...


That "unknown gentleman" is none other than Bob Penfield - 'the last Original 55er to retire from Disneyland'. He began working at the Park on opening day - on the Carrousel - and finished-up in facilities supervision 42 years later. And yes, he even has a window on Main Street: "Club 55 School of Golf - Bob Penfield Instructor".

Again - thanks to Irene, Bruce & James... and ye Olde Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

By the way, that looks like a smaller, redesigned Baloo costume. I had never seen Rafiki holding a baby Simba before. I wonder if it was a puppet that he could manipulate? Jafar also appears to have "Iago" perched on his shoulder!

K. Martinez said...

Where's Kim Irvine? Why isn't she there?

Good to see Roger Rabbit though? "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" was one of the best films produced under the Eisner regime. That's just my opinion of course.

Thank you, Irene, Bruce, James and Major. Very interesting and unusual pics today.

Nanook said...


And the other "unknown" person on the far right is Ray VanDeWarker - another opening-day employee, and member of the Original 55er, or Club 55er.

Melissa said...

It's always exciting to get more pictures from the Dream Team, and these don't disappoint.

I've always thought Belle's costume looked like a lemon meringue pie.

I'm always startled by Roy E.'s resemblance to both Roy O. and Walt. I mean, I know that people look like their relatives; it's just that the elder Disney brothers' faces have become so iconic. I'm grateful to the Maj and the Gorilla Scouts for identifying the other humans present.

I know Pocahontas has some serious issues, but Meeko has always been a favorite of mine. I love how his paws are just human hands in black gloves, because raccoon.

Goofy's had so many head injuries, the hard hat is just a formality at this point. He and Donald should start a thing-burying business and call it "Duck & Cover."

Andrew said...

I too am curious what the'"time castle" will look like in 2035.

That "40 Years of Adventure" logo sort of looks like the logo for Islands of Adventure, one of the Universal Orlando theme parks.

Jason Schultz said...

Major, if you went to dig up the Time Castle today, you'd be disappointed (it's stored off site).

I also think that's Dave Smith seated with the baseball cap.

Irene said...

When I came to these photos in Bruce's album (and another ceremony which I won't mention at this time - keep you all in suspense), they were the ones that gave me the idea of giving these to the major!

Amazing, I didn't even know half the people in them so a big thanks to all of you who do. Pressler gets a huge thumbs down from me but I am not so against Eisner. I think he did a lot of good at the beginning of his stint - he just stayed too long at the ball. I did not know until I went on my one and only cruise on the Disney Magic back in September of 2012 and took the tour that it was Eisner's idea to have cruise ships and to have them look like the old, elegant ships of the 30's. I appreciate that because many, like Princess cruises, look like huge, ugly boxes.

And yes KM - I agree about Roger Rabbit being one of the best! Too bad that except for the Baby Herman shorts there was nothing else done with Roger (unless you count the ride in Toon Town). I understand about all the copy rights, etc. and find it amazing that they got everything approved for that film that they did!!!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, after the relative disappointment of “Pocahontas”, Roy might have started to have his doubts about Eisner. I used to have a bunch of quarterly reports from the Disney company around this time, and it was interesting to see lists of so many projects that never came to be after an economic downturn. I wonder what Pressler is doing these days? He didn’t last that long at The Gap as far as I know.

Nanook, aha! I have heard of Bob Penfield. I certainly would have never figured out who he was in the photo! Thanks.

TokyoMagic!, I noticed the baby Simba and Iago on Jafar’s shoulder, but just assumed that they were static props. I would love to know if they were puppets controlled by the main actor!

K. Martinez, Kim Irvine heard there was a sale on paint; baby blue and maroon. She bought all of it, such a deal! (I feel guilty saying something mean about her but… the colors at Disneyland are often terrible these days). I would be happy to see Roger Rabbit getting a little more love; maybe some new animated short films.

Nanook, Ray VanDeWarker?? That’s a new one on me!

Melissa, I suppose there are worse things that looking like a lemon meringue pie. You can definitely see a resemblance to Elias Disney in Walt, Roy O., and Roy E. It’s kind of amazing, and yet, I can see a resemblance to my paternal grandfather in my own visage. Meeko and Flit were fine, they just felt shoehorned in to a movie that was otherwise a Broadway musical on film. “We’ve gotta have something for the kids!”.

Penna. Andrew, I had to look up the “Islands of Adventure” logo, and I can see the similarity. So many logos from that era (Duck Tales, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones) used that orange-to-white gradation. I wonder why that became a “thing”? Laziness?

Progressland, ha ha, somehow I’m not surprised! It seemed hard to believe that they would leave that elaborate thing underground. I think somebody said that there were TWO Time Castles, but perhaps there really is just one?

Major Pepperidge said...

Penna. Andrew, I meant to say “orange-to-yellow gradation”!

Irene, I know which other ceremony you are talking about! I agree that Eisner did many great things for the Disney company… Ron Miller also did many great things, but the company almost fell victim to a hostile takeover in the pre-Eisner days. It seems that the death of Frank Wells was a real turning point. Thank you for sharing these fun pictures!

JC Shannon said...

Irene, Bruce and James have done it again. Thank you for sharing these historic photos. I am always amazed at the level of expertise of the GDB crowd. Goofy has donned a hardhat for the ceremony, and is not wearing my favorite hat, and Minnie has on her Sunday-go-to-meeting ribbon. All is right with the world. Thanks to Major as well.

Chuck said...

Major, I am in all of these pictures. If you pan waaaay to the right, just out of frame you'll find my wife and I riding a parking lot tram. Still regretting our late start that day...

Irene, thanks as always for sharing Bruce's & James' photos!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Dream Team for these historic photos. Fascinating to see the festivities.

This sort of thing always just went over my head, I wouldn't be patient enough to sit still for it. I'd be off after 3 minutes to do something else. I'm glad you guys were patient enough to stay to take pictures.

It's odd to me that this era produced a series of really great movies that are still enjoyable (Pocahontas excepted) and yet was also so destructive to the Park, and that with few exceptions (and years later), few of the movie properties were well-implemented as attractions.

To me, this shows a real imbalance in the creative staff, or in management, or both.

Major, I've noticed that "consistency" in the logo designs too. I've always put it down to conscious choice, the designers were trying to make the designs have a family resemblance, modeled on the Indiana Jones movie logos because that was "hot". The compass rose backer seems iconically related to that series too, at least to my eye.

Progressland comment is interesting, when I saw the photo of the toy castle in the hole, my first thought was "that was removed from there the same evening after closing". If the contents of that "time capsule" are really buried in the Park, I'll lay odds they are not stored in that container.

Thanks Major, Irene, Bruce and Jim for an enjoyable thread.


Anonymous said...

Ray graduated from Anaheim High School. Ray was one of the original cast members of Disneyland. He started work before the gates opened in 1955 as a Jungle Cruise Captain. Walt Disney would often ask Ray to give him a spin around the lake before the park opened for the day. Ray also appeared as "Catfish Jones" on the Mickey Mouse club show. He retired in 1996 after 41 years of distinguished service. You can see a window in his honor on Disneyland's Main Street above the Mad Hatter's Hat Shop.

Ray passed on in 2016. He was well known around the Park by the time I arrived in the 70s. KS

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Hey. A chud's gotta eat. I think those well done burgers at the Carnation Pavilion might actually get them above ground and satisfy.
I hope they put a portion or two of Soylent Green in that time capsule
for a snack.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, we are all lucky that there were fanatics (armed with cameras) who went to the park so often back in these days - and that Irene was nice enough to let me share them with you.

Chuck, ha ha, based on what little I know about you, it seems hard to believe that you would sleep in on a day like that! But I also know that “stuff happens”, as they say.

JG, it’s funny, you can’t tell that the park was probably extremely crowded that day - based on these photos, it looks very calm and nice. If I happened to be there, I would probably force myself to sit through the whole ceremony, but I would be thinking about the empty lines throughout the park. I agree with you that a lot of folks were influenced by the “Indiana Jones” logo; the compass rose reminds me of the “True Life Adventures” somehow. And yes, I really wasn’t surprised that the golden castle was not left in that hole in the ground.

KS, oh interesting, I seem to remember reading that Walt had a favorite Jungle Cruise skipper, I wonder if that was Ray? “Catfish Jones”? Another Google subject! I would give anything to be able to talk to one of those original “Club 55” guys in depth.

Alonzo, I’m afraid that CHUDs only have a taste for human flesh. You know how it goes! Who knows though, maybe Soylent Green would fool even the choosiest of eaters.


MAJOR: there are two Time Castles - throughout the anniversary guests visiting the Walt Disney Story could view a duplicate castle and a listing and samples of what is contained inside - a copy of the plaque used to seal the tile at the time was also kept on display .
I am not aware of what became of the duplicate Time Castle or its contents.

I was actually at that exact ceremony - a friend and I are seating in the first few rows of chairs in the Hub area. While we both worked for Disney, we were not invited to the ceremony - but we were seated with a great view once everything started after set up. I’ve got sone great
Close up shits of the ceremony - but I’m gonna have to really dig to get them .
I guess we were dressed nice enough and had our ID badges on so they must of thought we were invited! -lol!!

Nancy said...

Mickey Mouse will be the best looking one at the 2035 unearthing of the Castle......the rest of us may look a little different than we do today!

very cool views,Major. we were at the 50th Anniversary but could get nowhere near this close to the action during the ceremonies. hoping Im still around in 2035!

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, so there ARE two Time Castles. Very cool that you got some good photos of the ceremony - if you ever think you might want to share any of your photos (from that event, or any other)… well, I can always use some good content!

Nancy, maybe there is a warehouse full of glass tubes with floating, unconscious clones of Mickey. IT COULD HAPPEN! Hey, at least you were at the 50th ceremonies, I sure wasn’t.