Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Mad Tea Party, 1960

I only have one photo for you today, but it will feel like a lot more! And isn't that what really matters?

SO... here's what the slide (from 1960) looks like in its unaltered form. Not so good, right? Which is why this image was skipped over many years ago.

But I am very happy with the way the restoration turned out! Yellows, blues, pinks, greens, and pretty much every other color have come right back. Looking at it here, I can still see some things I might fuss with, but... I'll sleep like a baby. 

As you may have noticed, I love a nice clear photo of the Mad Tea Party ride from above - the ride itself looks fantastic, but it's the people that are the real fun.

Four adults in a teacup makes for a tight fit. All those legs have to go somewhere.

One kid has his hand to his forehead, like he just can't take any more spinning, while a pair of kids hunker down in their teacup as if gangsters were shooting at them. Hat with ostrich feather at nine o'clock!

There are two kinds of people. People who believe that there are two kinds of people, and people who don't. Or maybe there are people who like to spin the teacup, and people who let them. Think about it.

I wanted to pan up  to the folks watching the teacups, or wandering in front of the Mickey Mouse Club Theater ("Air Conditioned"), with the Welch's Grape Juice Bar next door. Mmmm, ice cold grape juice, it's been a while since I've had the stuff, but it would hit the spot right about now. I wish I could make out the art on those posters flanking the entrance to the theater, but it's just too indistinct.

I hope you aren't too dizzy!


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, beautiful restoration job, Major! I think that teacup with the four adults in it, could have handled one more person. They could have sat on the chain that used to hang across the opening of the vehicles!

Nanook said...

I was thinking those two gals who were 'hunkering down' had confused the Teacups with a revolving fallout shelter - or perhaps they were merely practicing "Duck and Cover".

Who knew there were so many delicious colors hiding beneath that 'magenta wrapper'. Thanks for the great unveiling-!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Holy cow - I feel like I just looked at a whole roll of film! Some days, one image is enough.

I went looking for a closeup somewhere of those posters (as I'm sure you did, too), but it appears they changed them fairly often over the years and I wasn't able to find a single photo with that same poster in it.

Great restoration job!

Andrew said...

This picture is unrecognizable! Great job.

People should defintely wear ostrich feather hats more today. (Double points for this bright-colored version.) Hats in general back then had a lot more going for them than now.

DrGoat said...

Again, top notch job of restoration Major.
I can see a lot of the riders are using the 'hard right turn and pull as hard as you can' method. My parents insisted on having their own teacup. Spin as fast as you can didn't sit well with them.

Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks for the beautiful restoration of a beautiful picture, Major!
What a people-watching picture..there's almost too much to see.

I wonder if the kids hiding in the teacup are hiding from the passing lady with the pointed hat? "I'll get you, my pretties..."?
Just a thought... ;)

About the adults (maybe parents?) watching the ride...makes me wonder if some kids were scolded afterwards for being too hard on the cups or making their bro/sis cry on the ride..lol

The lady in red with the ponytail (and excellent black/red checkered pants or skirt) seems to be enjoying the hard work that her cup mate is providing to a good spin.

The colors and everything about the ride just make me wish my ofc chair was a teacup!

Clyde Hughes said...

Oh, and the four adult cup... maybe they are with the contortionist troupe who briefly performed at Disneyland. The ones that only the handlers disguised as rocks in the castle knew about...

JC Shannon said...

Great job at deredifying this busy photo. Who knew one snap could have so much going on. I am a sucker for the cups, cause I have so many memories of them. Remember, in those days, this was a thrill ride. What kid didn't want to make it spin as fast as it will go? I wonder if cone hat woman and Alpenhat guy ever met. That would be a match for the ages. I also wonder how many times a day some kid woofs his or her cookies after the ride is over. Thanks to Major for the one very neato photo.

stu29573 said...

When I took my grandkids to WDW, this was my grandson's favorite ride. All the high tech woderfulness everyehere and we rode this one four times...

Anonymous said...

The teacups are boss. Another ride mechanism found in lesser parks and fairs that Disney took over and made into something really special.

I always rode alone or with my Dad, my Mom would get sick. I had the privilege of making my nieces ill on their visit. Nearly barfing on the teacups is a right of passage, as the youngsters in the lower left can attest.

I hadn't noticed or recalled the festive lanterns around the perimeter, much like the ride has today. Did these come and go over time? Must go research this. The modern version of this ride is one of the few of the old ones that is improved in it's current location. The little house control booth is a cute idea and I'm sure that riders trying to get the "perfect shot" were delaying the load/unload, so the the fixed teacup for photo posing is a great addition.

The Disneyland Hotel lobby also has some fixed teacups in the lobby for restless kids to enjoy during the tedious check-in.

Also, props to Nanook for the very apt comparison to wrapping paper. I am envisioning this as one of those easter baskets wrapped in tinted plastic film, waiting for the Major's mad skills to reveal the goodies within.

Cheers all.


Melissa said...

Oh, wow, what an amazing restoration! Some of your best work!

I still have a lot of zoomed-in people watching to do, but I just had to call attention to the Mom at the right of the fourth picture, who is leaning against the rim, jacuzzi-style, while her three kids knock themselves out at the spinning wheel!

Melissa said...

I just spotted Snow White in the juice bar! Under the section of canopy with the bunch of grapes on the sign.

Melissa said...

The section framed by the lanterns and poles directly under the main juice bar sign has three of my favorite GDB motifs:
Kids dressed alike (wish I could see more of the smaller kid's pants)
Paper souvenir hat
Movie-star sunglasses (on the lady in the awesome red dress)

JC Shannon said...

Good eye Melissa, I totally missed that. I do believe that is Snow White!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, my theory is that they all had very tiny legs!

Nanook, I still practice ducking and covering every 10 minutes or so, no matter where I happen to be. You can’t be too careful! The Commies might drop a nuke, and I’ll survive under the nearest picnic table.

Chuck, yes I did look at other photos to try to figure out what those posters showed. I think I see Mickey Mouse near the top left, but it’s just too grainy.

Penna. Andrew, thanks! I’ve always wondered if they plucked tail feathers from living ostriches. Presumably they would grow new ones? I hope so, anyway.

DrGoat, I always tried to spin the teacup as fast as possible. One girlfriend got very mad at me!

Clyde Hughes, it’s great to have nice shots of the park, but I really do enjoy a good vintage photo with lots of people - a moment in time captured. The clothing, the expressions on the faces, hairstyles, it’s all fun. You can be sure that if anybody made a sibling cry, there was hell to pay. I agree, the black and red checkered pants are pretty cool! Glad you liked this one.

Clyde 2.0, all those contortionists and rock people… it’s like a Tim Burton movie!

Jonathan, It helps that this photo was a larger-format… what do they call it, 210 format? Not sure. Almost 3 inches square. And I’d say the Teacups IS a thrill ride, I know MANY people who refuse to ride it because it is too intense. It seems ridiculous, but spinning just doesn’t do it for a lot of folks. Oh man, just thinking about having to regularly clean up barf is enough to make me green.

stu29573, I believe it; I’m sure I’ve told the story many times, but my 6 year-old nephew loved the “little cars” (the Autopia) best of all.

JG, Knott’s had their sombrero ride that was basically a teacup spinner, but it does kind of amazing how many places just have teacups. Couldn’t they make them something less Disney? Bowls of chili? Shot glasses? Those lanterns show up in earlier photos, and seem to have vanished by the late 50’s. I love them though, and of course Disney added their own large plastic lanterns over the whole ride, it looks so good at night. Cool that the Disneyland Hotel has some teacups for people to sit in; I went to WDI once, and the lunch area had Skyway gondolas and Peoplemover vehicles that employees could sit in to eat. Imagine!

Melissa, thanks. I assume that parents always appreciate an attraction that lets the kids burn off some of that excess energy.

Melissa II, I’m not sure I’m seeing Ms. White. Is that her with the yellow cape?

Melissa III, those are all good details, and exactly why I love photos like these!

Jonathan, OK, I’m assuming that we are talking about yellow-caped gal. Seems odd that she would have to wait in line with “normal” people. She’s a princess after all!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just want to point out that the theater originally opened in 1955 as the Micky Mouse Theater, before becoming the Mickey Mouse Club Theater, and finally the Fantasyland Theater. The original incarnation often gets overlooked but its marquee can be seen here:


Major Pepperidge said...

Anon, thank you for the info; the middle picture at that link is one of mine!

Melissa said...

I'm pretty sure the yellow fabric is Snow's skirt; if you zoom way, way in you can also see a bit of her arms and blue bodice before the canopy blockx off her head and chest.

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa & Major, I do believe that's Snow White, but she is actually outside of the Juice Bar. The yellow part is the lower portion of her dress and we can see the dark blue bodice part of her costume above the yellow, with her arms on either side of that. She appears to coming out of the exit for Snow White's Scary Adventures. Were the attraction hostesses for that ride, still dressing up as Snow White in 1960? If so, then it is probably just a cast member in Snow White garb, going on her cigarette break.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh gee, Melissa....you beat me to it by two minutes!

Melissa said...