Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fantasyland Pix from Lou and Sue

It's more treasure from Lou and Sue! This time we're in Fantasyland, circa 1992. It's kind of shocking to think that 1992 was 27 years ago, but that's what my room-sized supercomputer tells me.

There is a charming Alpine-themed Skyway chalet in that thicket of trees, but you can barely see it. If nothing else, I guess one can imagine the dark European forests where witches eat lost children.

There's the Skyway chalet again, and you can see several gondolas through the branches if you look carefully. I sure miss the color and movement of this attraction. The Skyway only had another two years before it was closed forever.

It might be interesting to compare Lou's photo to this one that I posted years ago, it is from 1961.

I don't ever recall seeing this "Gypsy wagon" before - it is very Pinocchio-esque. Is it anywhere in the park today? Among its wares were plus animals (of course), lollipops and other candy, coffee mugs, something that might be a Tinkerbell wand, and probably lots of other vital supplies.

Also from 1992 is this shot of the top of one of the castle "wings". "Peter Pan's Flight", "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride", and the Alice ride are all housed in this structure.

Thank you as always to Lou and Sue!


Nanook said...


RIP, Skyway-!

And... in the last image - see the spires and blue roofs on the SBC, Ms. Irvine-? That's what it's supposed to look like. See how easy it is-?

Thanks to Lou & Sue

K. Martinez said...

I believe that is "Stromboli's Wagon" and it has been there ever since I can remember from New Fantasyland forward.

These are wonderful shots of Fantasyland. I always looked out for those potted fake plants on the Skyway Chalet whenever riding it. Thanks Sue and Lou. Always exciting to see your photos appear here.

K. Martinez said...

Forgot to mention, on the west side of Fantasyland there was that whole Pinocchio sub-theme going on with Pinocchio's Daring Journey (dark ride), Gepetto's Workshop (shop), Village Haus (dining) and Stromboli's Wagon (souvenirs) clustered together.

On the East side of Fantasyland it was the Alice in Wonderland sub-theme area with the Alice in Wonderland (dark ride), The Mad Hatter (shop) and Mad Tea Party clustered together.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

The orange Skyway gondola in that first pic looks like it's stuck up there in the trees. Or maybe oleanders aren't the only carnivorous plants in Disneyland.

Like Ken said, that wagon is supposed to be Stromboli's. As for it's location, it would be just out of view (to the left) in that first pic. I believe it's still there.....unless the demolition of the Skyway Chalet and the creation of an entrance into Star Wars Land (just around the corner) displaced it.

stu29573 said...

In their quest to cram as much merchandise in a location as possible, Disney created the least convincing "wagon" that I've ever seen. That thing is almost as wide as it is long!

Andrew said...

I also love the fake potted plants! It's cool how secluded the chalet was. Definitely more imposing and easy to find when it first opened, I guess. I'm assuming it was a cool feeling to "emerge from the trees," seeing most of Fantasyland spread out before you.

Stefano said...

There was something about the Skyway and fake plants... in the Tomorrowland Skyway station, the waiting line curved past a big vat of plastic plants, apparently several types of phony Philodendron. The vat was there for years, the foliage always well dusted.

On the Fantasyland rooftop, that must be the floodlight which cast such a bright Alpenglow on the Matterhorn. I remember a cold winter night at Stromboli's wagon: it had a space heater under the roof and friends and I parked there a few minutes for some warmth.

Melissa said...

I like the guy in the first
picture striking the "You must be this tall" pose.

JC Shannon said...

These are great shots. The chalet in the trees, cool in the shade of the afternoon. Very nice. I miss a lot of rides, but the Skyway was a must ride at every visit and a place to sit down and enjoy the sights. Thanks to Lou and Sue and Major for the great memories.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, listen, when the only paint you have is a tube of ultramarine blue, you gotta do what you gotta do. (A poem!).

K. Martinez, I have probably walked past that wagon without even registering it! Thanks for the info. Sue is scanning photos like a demon, I’m falling behind.

K. Martinez, until you had mentioned the sub-theme idea, it had never occurred to me, but the evidence is there! Pretty interesting.

TokyoMagic!, it’s so strange to see that Skyway gondola emerging from the forest - I wonder if the overgrown forest was a case of not dealing with the landscaping, or if somebody made a decision to let it get to that point?

stu25973, I know what you mean, but I suppose I have to cut them some slack for the sake of the poor CMs inside who wouldn’t have room to move otherwise!

Penna. Andrew, for a long time I hoped that the Fantasyland Chalet might be converted into a restaurant or something else useful, it was a bummer to see it being torn down a few years ago.

Stefano, wow, I did not know that there were ANY plants, real or fake, in the line for the Tomorrowland Skyway. Funny that they never dusted off the plastic flowers. Yes, I believe that light shone upon the Matterhorn.

Melissa, just as long as he isn’t pointing with one finger!

Jonathan, it kills me that almost all Skyway rides have been eliminated, even at non-Disney parks. I always loved the experience of gliding above the hubbub, and at night it was a totally different thrill.

JG said...

Thank you, Lou and Sue, this was a fine little corner of Disneyland before the removal of the Skyway. The Chalet was a genius piece of Architecture, far excelling the station at the other end of the line.

@Andrew, yes the trees gave it a special hidden feeling until you burst out into the sunshine swinging over Casey Jr. But the carnivorous trees did make off with the occasional guest.

Major, I have just used my room-sized supercomputer and checked the authoritative GoogleEarth street view of Disneyland and it shows that Stromboli's wagon is still tucked into a niche near the passage to Frontierland. It is well to the east of the new Wookie World entrance. The area of today's photo looks much the same with more food and drink stands in the form of medieval pavilions added.

Looking at the aerial, there is quite a No-Mans-Land between the DLRR and the Fantasyland. Almost enough space to have some more Nature's Wonderland desert, but this is the feeble rambling of old age. There is a vehicle service access from the Theater Backstage area into the space behind the Red Rose Tavern and Rancho de Zocalo. This is still there, but part of it is now a tunnel under where the Chalet used to be. Or maybe it has always been a tunnel and now we can just see it. Another tunnel under the DLRR leads to backstage.

The castle roof always fascinated me. It was one the few (and the best) of the backstage glimpses available in the old Park. A good chance to imagine the nuts and bolts of the dark rides, which are basically just big warehouses, as opposed to the supermodern robot factories of today's sophisticated attractions.

Well, I have lost the Skyway, but have gained Google Earth. By the way, use the perspective view to look at IASW, you can gain a new appreciation for the "set-piece" design of that facade, and another giant warehouse behind it.

Thank you Major. Lots of fun today.


"Lou and Sue" said...

It appears the orange gondola refuses to work today. He's sitting in the same place in both pics 1 and 2.

Major, I HAVE to keep scanning 'cause we DON'T want you to retire. Ever.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, I forgot about the medieval tents that were set up next to Stromboli's souvenir wagon. They put those up across the entrance to the old Skyway station, blocking the steps. I'm not sure about today, but they used to sell mostly bottled water and drinks and I think they also might have sold some fresh fruit. The tents used to also block that sign post that held the Skyway sign. They removed the hanging sign of course, when the Skyway closed, but they left the post with the scrolling ironwork at the top and even that little bird in the circle. That can all be seen really well in that first photo. The post (minus the hanging sign) remained standing until just a couple years ago, when the post was cut off a few feet above the ground, probably in anticipation of the station's removal. I wonder if they at least saved the decorative top portion of it?

As for those tunnels. The one under the Skyway station has been there since the Skyway was built. The one further out, under the train tracks, was added when the DL Railroad tracks were bumped out to the north for the addition of It's A Small World. Before that, the DL Railroad used to run right behind Storybook Land. If you look at Google Maps, the road that runs east and west, directly behind Storybook Land, is even labeled "SF & DL Road" in honor of the fact that the Santa Fe and DL R.R. tracks used to be in that spot.

I forgot to thank Lou and Sue, and the Major too, for these images!

Kel said...

Here's the area today... really, all you can see is the old set of steps that went up to the Skyway entrance. GMaps Area

Chuck said...

Well, everybody's said everything I wanted to say, except maybe to point out the pine needles on top of the Pan/Toad/Alice building. Also note the little door on the roof side of the Pan facade. I hope that isn't how you get up onto the roof.

Thanks again, Lou, Sue, and Major, and the same goes to the rest of you lovable rascals for your always entertaining and educational commentary!

JG said...

@Tokyo, my memory is consistent with yours about the snacks, these were mostly water juice and fruit. I remember that on one of our later visits with small kids, we were pleased to see that non-fried snacks were available, a change from prior visits.

@Chuck, I doubt that little door is to get out on the roof, more likely the reverse, attic access into the concealed space over PP.

My guess is that there is a roof hatch, or even a full height door (and more than one) to step out on these roofs, somewhere over near the castle. I have seen people on the castle battlements before, looking oddly huge against the forced perspective. There are now strict OSHA workplace safety rules for roof access that have undoubtedly made some changes in the backstage arrangements.


Jason Schultz said...

I don't have an authoritative opening date for Stromboli's Wagon, but I can say that it does not appear in the June 1985 Your Souvenir Guide (or earlier), but does appear in the January 1986 edition.