Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Matterhorn & Skyway, April 1969

The Legend of Fun Dad continues! Here are two more precious photos from FD, circa 1969. Tomorrowland, that is. The park is astonishingly empty in both of these pictures.

Here's an odd angle from the entrance to the Land of the Day After Tomorrow. William S. Burroughs sits on a bench to our left, thinking about weird things. I wouldn't have it any other way. The Peoplemover track has no colorful vehicles on it - perhaps the ride was down on that day. But the Skyway is chugging along! The "flying whale" sculpture is still a fountain in this photo (it would be turned into planters at some point). And we can just see the yellow and white striped roof of a souvenir stand.

Now we are standing on the upper level of the Carousel of Progress building, which gave one the strange perspective of being above the Skyway. Love the red, yellow, and turquoise colors of the gondolas. It's a disappointment that no bobsleds are visible on the Matterhorn, but I guess I'll just have to find a reason to go on with my life. 

Zooming in to the lower right, there is evidence of some construction being done - for what, I do not know. Beneath the yellow Skyway gondola we can see a sign, possibly telling guests that the Submarine Voyage (or the Autopia) is closed. The blue wings of the Richfield Eagle - Richfield's sponsorship of the Autopia would end in 1970.


Nanook said...

The 'unofficial' Picture Spot on the upper Carousel of Progress always produces nice images. The "construction" in the final image is a kinda puzzlement, as it would seem there are guests on the Monorail load/unload platform, and yet there appears to be a construction wall and also a CM doing something-or-another to the Speedramp.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The palm trees with the famous Swiss peak. It's one of my favorite iconic images of vintage Disneyland. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Note the lights on the palm tree at left in the first image. Plus - trash cans that look surprisingly like ordinary trash cans.

In the second image we get a great view of Tomorrowland's Senegal date palm in the lower left.

Final image mystery - the guy in the bottom dead center of the photo appears to be wearing a US Navy N-1 deck jacket and a white officer's or chief petty officer's hat.

Hooray for FD!

Chuck said...

Wait - mystery solved. That's a Submarine Voyage cast member.

Andrew said...

The "weird things" that man on the bench is contemplating probably include how good that spot would look with a giant, Dumbo-like spinner ride. (It was his favorite; he just wanted another!)

A wild guess, but could the submarine lagoon be drained in the last picture? I'm digging the little atom on the sign!

Melissa said...

Fun Dad, Fun Dad,
He's our number one Dad!
His pictures are all un-bad;
The best that anyone had!

I wondered about that hat, Chuck - thanks for checking it out.

Not much to add. Yesterday's tomorrow was pretty awesome.

JC Shannon said...

Fun Dad has done it again. The first picture shows what a work of art the Peoplemover track is. Sleek, modern and graceful. Is there anything cooler than a turquoise gondola? Yes, a turquoise Peoplemover car. I wish I had a Submarine Voyage costume. I would wear it around the house when my gorilla suit is at the cleaners. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it does seem like they should have made that upper level a “Picture Spot”! And yeah, I just couldn’t figure out what that construction was.

K. Martinez, Disney used those famous Swiss palm trees. You know the ones I mean!

Chuck, I think a lot (if not all) of Tomorrowland trash cans were not decorated the way they were in other parts of the park. Maybe they felt that the gleaming steel was “tomorrow” enough. Even with your directions it took me a minute to find the guy in uniform. Good detective work on the cast member costume, I am sure I would not have remembered the khaki deck jacket.

Penna. Andrew, yes, the gentleman has had some prescription pills and imagines giant rocks busting through the cement. Reminds me of that great Stan Lee cameo in “Ant Man and the Wasp”… “Well, the 60’s were fun, but now I’m paying for it!”. Like you, I thought that the sub lagoon might be drained, but I think I see water if you look beneath the zig-zag roof to the right. The little atom is part of the General Dynamics logo!

Melissa, I can’t help it, I want to set your lyrics to the tune of the Doctor Demento classic, “Fish Heads”.

Jonathan, Fun Dad was like Weegee times two. Maybe even three! I’ve always wondered how the builders got that Peoplemover track to be so smooth and perfect. It really was a work of engineering art! If I had a Submarine Voyage costume, I would need to blow a bosun’s whistle whenever I entered a room (or store). Gotta keep things official!

Omnispace said...

I always considered the upper balcony of the Carousel of Progress to be the final act of the show. After seeing the model of Progress City, nothing was more fantastic than seeing seeing those futuristic ideas brought to life with the tremendous view of a beautiful Tomorrowland "on the move" - that wonderful tune still in one's head.

I'm pretty sure the second photo is taken from the Peoplemover. As a kid I was always amazed that the ride actually crossed over the Skyway.

zach said...

Great photos today! Very calming and colorful. I love DL in the quiet times but I also enjoy people watching. Aaaaah! Early mornings are still my favorite time of day to visit. And 1969 was a good year to visit, too.

No bobsleds but seeing the tracks from the CofP building is nice.

Thanks Major. Is there any cake left from the anniversary party?


Melissa said...

I love just about everything about the new WDW Skyliner, but even though the character designs on the gondolas are cute and probably add interest for little kids I have to admit I wish they were just cool solid colors in a shiny finish like the Skyway buckets.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Fun Dad had great camera equipment. These shots are so sharp and clear. Really fine work here, Major, thank you!

This is the Tomorrow (land) we all wanted, instead of what we got.

As always, I am in awe of the design and execution of the concrete PM track in photo 01. Also shows the spot where my astronaut profile pic was taken the year before. I was standing on the bench right where the youngster in yellow is standing. Note to self, must update the blogger profile, since my profile photo changed when Google turned off Google Plus. It must be too early AM for Space Man and Space Girl to come to greet the guests.

The man on the bench is probably waiting for someone in his party to come out of the Main Street restrooms, which are right behind the photo vantage.

I'm agreeing with Omnispace here, photo 2 is taken from the People Mover at the point where it crosses over the Skyway station. This event was part of the PM recorded spiel. It's a terrific vista that I never get tired of seeing, except now I can't see it anymore except in photos.

The exterior deck of CoP (I refuse to call it Innoventions) is one of the last elevated vistas of the Park, with the closing of Tom Sawyer's Treehouse. I have heard that this deck is now roped off for the fireworks and available only by expensive reservations. Yet another money squeeze. Still, probably reduces the giant stroller people camping there starting at dusk.

The construction in the last shots appears to be related to the planters around Autopia, which have been in a more or less constant state of flux for years, recently changed yet again. I wonder if they are reducing the planter area to improve traffic around the submarine queue? The sub lead is supervising like the work is his project.

Also wondering who scooped up the Richfield Eagles after their sponsorship ended? Maybe they will rescue Mickey from the slopes of Mt. Doom, I mean, the Matterhorn. What a yard ornament or man cave decor one of those would make.


Alonzo P Hawk said...

Ditto what Omnispace said. Love the full panoramic view of the whole dealio from the upper deck of COP!

I just saw on micechat how Tomorrowland is next on the construction block now that Star Wars land is soon open. Rocket Jets could possibly go back on their old perch and a new Tron Coaster could cover the whole land (not unlike Silver Bullit at Knott's).

Fyi: I prefer Giant Flaming Balls of Gas in Space Conflict Land to Star Wars Land but it might not fit well on T-Shits.

Melissa said...

I've read that WDW's Tomorrowland is getting a remodel to go with the Tron coaster currently under construction, but all I've seen so far is some walls painted orange. But keeping an eye on that may show what's ahead out West.


Remember when these images were taken the brand New Monorail Station has just been completed to accommodate the new MARK III Monorails - in fact I don’t think the station is totally completed yet in these shots - we should be able to see the far west-end of the Monorail -Sign/Marquee - and it appears to have not been reinstalled yet. And the pink barricade is temporary as well. The Monorail Costumes were also updated in 1969/1970 - while the outfit and colors were a new design the hats remained the same (Russian Military Crown Hats) however in the new blue base color. These would be used until 1975 when the Monorail Station received all new signage and graphics package and new two tone blue costumes. 1974/1975 also saw the removal of Santa Fe and ALWEG from the Monorails.

Major Pepperidge said...

Omnispace, you could be right about the photo being taken from the Peoplemover, I certainly don’t have vivid memories of that area AT ALL.

dzacher, I agree with you, I love the quiet times too, but a crowd brings a certain fun energy - up to a point!


JG, thank you for pointing out where your profile pic was taken! I would have never guessed. The Spaceman and Space girl might have moved on from Disneyland by 1969… I’m not really sure, but can’t recall seeing photos of them much past that time. As fun as they were, it is possible that they were considered too fanciful for a Tomorrowland that, at that time, was less cartoony. If photo 2 was taken from the Peoplemover, does that mean that a similar view could not have been taken by a guest on foot? I honestly don’t know, but I have other slides from about the same vantage point. The “money squeeze” stuff is understandable I guess - it is a business - but it seemed as if Walt was very concerned with giving his guests the best possible experience, and in a more egalitarian manner. The world changes though, whether we like it or not. Maybe you’re right, the construction might have been just for the planters.

Alonzo, hmmm, I am very trepidatious about potential plans for Tomorrowland, even though there is no question that something needs to be done. Moving the Rocket Jets back is a great thing! And a Tron Coaster sounds pretty cool. Guess I need to read the Micechat article.

Melissa, gosh, now I am really curious to see how they will place a roller coaster that moves through Tomorrowland, even in WDW. At Disneyland I wonder if they will do something with the old Peoplemover track?

Mike Cozart, interesting that they would open the Monorail station even if it wasn’t totally complete. I guess the sign was something that could go up pretty fast, after hours. The pink barricade looks like it is leftover from 1967. I don’t know why it matters to me at all, but I miss the ALWEG name at the park! Thank you as always for your great info.

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with Omnispace and JG. Because of how far over the Skyway that second pic was taken, it had to be taken from the PeopleMover.

Melissa and Major, I agree about the new Skyliner gondolas at WDW. They would have been much classier, without the characters on them. Let's just shove the characters down the everyone's throats, okay? While we're at it, lets "wrap" the Monorail trains every time we have a film or event to promote, even if it ruins the look of the vehicles and literally ruins their paint jobs. How long before they put characters on the PeopleMover vehicles at WDW?

I believe WDW's Tron coaster won't go over the entire Tomorrowland. I think it's being built on a new section of land, outside of the R.R. tracks, and next to Space Mountain (which was also built beyond the train tracks). Unfortunately, Disneyland doesn't have the luxury of all that extra space. I shudder to think of what it will look like if DL's Tomorrowland gets the Tron Coaster. Oh well, as Rolly said, "The Park Is Gone!"

On a positive note, these are beautiful pics of the best New Tomorrowland, ever! HOOORAY for Fun Dad! And HOORAY for Major, too!