Monday, July 29, 2019

New Orleans Square, May 1984

It's time for a SUPERCOOL MEGA-POST from Lou and Sue! Sue sent these to me recently, thinking that it would be fun to see them after the discussion about the "One Of a Kind Shop" (see it HERE) - Lou took two nice photos of the exterior of that shop, with its typical eclectic clutter of items on display.

Here's the first of those pictures, complete with no less than three large ceramic dogs. I guess those things might have actually been popular as decor?? The Shaggy Dog can sit by the fireplace. The binnacle is pretty cool, and would look perfect in my 1000 square foot master bathroom. Or the ship's wheel, with plenty of genuine grime - er, I mean "patina" - on it. It even looks like they had one of the ornate cast-iron benches that were used throughout Fantasyland, though this one is a sober black instead of polychromed.

Oh man, more ceramic dogs, as well as a fox, a duck, and that silly owl; there's also a sundial, and of course a cool antique baby carriage. I have no idea what to do with an antique baby carriage, but by golly, I want it. Imagine what oddball items were inside the store!

The rest of this mega-post consists of some really wonderful photographs of New Orleans Square, circa 1984. Like this view along Royal Street, with the "Blue Bayou" to our left, and "Cafe Orleans" to our right.

Similar, but different!

I believe the windows overhead are (were?) part of Club 33. You know, the restaurant that most people will never see in their lives! (You know what? I'm OK with that). "Le Gourmet" is to our left - full of rare and wondrous cooking gear. Like a version of Williams-Sonoma I guess.

Here's a nice look at some of that beautiful wrought iron that gives New Orleans Square so much of that authentic ambiance.

Lou took two lovely photos of the old Court of Angels, before it was blocked off for the revamped Club 33, and even before it was painted in over-saturated colors that look like an amusement park, and not like a 300 year-old city - you can see some images of that over at Daveland's website.

And a second view; I always wanted to run up that flight of stairs and barge in to whatever was at the top. Someplace snooty, I presume!

And finally, I love this great shot of the old entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. It always seemed to amazing - one moment you were walking through the bright sunshine of New Orleans Square, the next you were in a bayou at nighttime, with soft music, mysterious splashes, and of course, hovering fireflies.

MANY thanks to Lou and Sue for sharing these fantastic photos of New Orleans Square with us! Part of me wanted to split them into multiple posts, but Sue has shared so many scans with me that I am falling behind. An embarrassment of riches!


Nanook said...


Wow - Such a cornucopia of NOS goodness-! Major - perhaps the selection of ceramic menagerie characters was the inspiration for Wheel of Fortune's infamous ceramic Dalmatian, which contestants could choose as part of their 'shopping spree' back in the early days of the game show...

Say it with me now: NO Crowds-!!; and just that smattering of strollers - of the normal variety. (I'm just gonna go park my 'rumpus room' on one of the steps of The Court of Angels, and enjoy all the imagineering goodness prior to its corruption).

A big thanks to Lou & Sue for starting the week off with a bang.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh, I love these photos! I was going to Disneyland a lot in 1984, so I had to look for myself in the pics. No such luck, however!

I remember when the Royal Courtyard looked like that, with the overflow of merchandise from the One of a Kind shop. That courtyard connected the shop with the Pirates Arcade Museum. Although by this time, the arcade had already been replaced by the Pieces of Eight Shop. The oval sign for that shop can be seen in the fourth pic down from the top. The shop's facade is a peach or pinkish color.

The Le Gourmet Shop space used to open up to the Court of Angels, but since the Court of Angels has now been closed off to the general public (thank you very much, Kim Irvine!), the doors inside the shop have been closed and sealed. The Le Gourmet actually moved to the One of a Kind Shop's space, after it closed. And then Le Gourmet closed sometime in the late nineties.

I miss THIS Disneyland so much!

Thank you so much, to Lou and Sue and the Major, too!

Chuck said...

When I was around 8 years old, I was absolutely fascinated by ceramic dogs. Not sure why; maybe it was because we didn't have any pets bigger than a hamster at the time or maybe it was because my step-grandmother had a ceramic dog and we didn't.

My parents were doing a lot of marathon furniture shopping at the time since we had moved into a new, larger house, and my little sister and I were dragged from furniture store to furniture store and left to our own devices while they were trying to find the perfect dining room set. We'd wander around looking for ceramic dogs, giving them names, and petting them. A Disneyland ceramic dog would have probably made my head explode.

Thanks, Lou & Sue, for a record of NOS as it was meant to be: uncrowded and unsaturated, with smokers wandering around and sharing lighters.

Stu29573 said...

Wow, these are SO COOL. I'm always amazed at how much they were able to do with a fairly tiny footprint. Just an aside (as opposed to a Fun Fact) my current blues and rock band is called "Court of Souls." It was inspired by the Court of Two Sisters in NoLa, and, more directly, the Court of Angels at Disneyland. It SO stinks that it's blocked off now...

JC Shannon said...

Nothing says you have arrived, like a ceramic dog or two. New Orleans Square is my favorite place to wander after dinner, in the cool of the evening. A binnacle is a great addition to any over sized WC, in case you get lost finding the shower. Lou, those are some great shots of the Court of Angels, too bad that is the only way us poor folk can enjoy it anymore. Many thanks to Lou and Sue and our very own, Major P.

DrGoat said...

I'll echo the sentiments of Tokyo in missing the park like this. One of our most precious photos my wife and I in better times was taken of the steps of the Court of Angels. Had so much fun on our trips to the park in the 80s. Wandering through the One of a Kind shop and the Disneyland Gallery above the Pirates attraction. Picked up some of my favorites items around then in that Gallery.
Thanks Lou and Sue and the Major of course.

K. Martinez said...

I prefer the "Pirates of the Caribbean" entry without the fancy dancy bridge. Now that you mention it, I don't remember seeing hovering fireflies in the bayou setting anymore. Are they gone, or am I blanking them out? It was a wonderful magical effect at the time.

Speaking of sheep dogs, That's Chiffonn, Francesca Andrassé's Brataslavan sheep dog (actually English sheep dog). That's the one Wilby Daniels had a crush on. Not the dog, Francesca.

Another great set of pics. Thank you, Major, Lou and Sue.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know, these are some of the best photos of NOS that I have, especially from the 80’s. I don’t watch “Wheel of Fortune”, so I am sadly unaware of the famous ceramic Dalmatian. I remember somebody on a podcast saying that the name “Court of Angels” is incorrect, and yet, that’s what everybody seems to call it. I wish I could find what that person said WAS the “right” name.

TokyoMagic!, yes, these pix show the park as I really remember it - from when I was old enough to drive there myself, and could spend a random day enjoying all that the park had to offer, with no security checks, no insane crowds (though it did get crowded in the summer), and plenty of attractions that have since closed.

Chuck, we had a neighbor on the east coast that had a ceramic dog (an Afghan I think) next to her fireplace, I always thought it was odd! But, clearly, there was a consumer demand for them. I love the memory of you and your sister petting them and giving them names.

Stu29573, you actually have a blues & rock band?? Wow! Do you guys perform very often?

Jonathan, what I really need is a ceramic dog in every room. And judging by the selection available at the “One of a Kind Shop”, that would have been very doable. One of the things that stinks about the loss of the Court of Angels is that I would wager that the Club 33 members don’t care about it much, except as a way to access the new elevator.

K. Martinez, I agree about the bridge. I guess that the crowds brought on by “Fantasmic!” made the bridge a necessity? The attraction is such a “people eater” that I’ve rarely seen long lines outside the building. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve been there, maybe that happens all the time now! I figured that the sheep dog was supposed to be a callback to “The Shaggy Dog”, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen that movie that I couldn’t remember the name of the dog.

JG said...

Many thanks to Lou, Sue and Major. New Orleans Square has always been my favorite part of the Park, and these photos show why.

It is amazing how the designers packed in so much detail and variation in such a small space, and how much it all resembles the real Vieux Carre', in spite of having crooked streets, which the French Quarter does not have. Even today, I wander through in both directions uncertain if I have seen it all.

The loss of the public Court of the Angels is second only to the loss of the Pirate Ship and grotto, and adding insult to injury, not tearing it down, instead making it part of a place only the elite can visit. Like Dr. Goat, I had some great photos taken there, but since I can't find them, memory will have to do. @Stu29573, I have seen the Court of the Two Sisters, and the band name is awesome.

@Tokyo, Chuck and everyone, let me echo your good memories.

When I was younger, I always wondered about the One-of-a-Kind Shop. Having an antique store in Disneyland seemed weird to me as a kid. Then, much later, in my first (only) trip to the real New Orleans, we stayed in a hotel on Royal Street, and right across from the hotel was a huge elaborate and expensive antique shop. Turns out that NOLA and Royal Street in particular is a huge hotbed of antique shops, so no wonder that Royal Street in NOS had to have one. And now it's gone. Another piece of brilliant theming lost to the keyring-tee-shirt-coffee-cup-plush-toy shopping.

And ceramic dogs. There must be something particularly "Southern" about this accessory. Some years back, we rented a quaint little house in Bardstown on a trip to Kentucky and the rooms were all decorated with ceramic dogs of various sizes, colors and breeds. Never saw that done before.

Thanks Major, great start to the week!


stu29573 said...

We like to play once or twice a month. Enough to pay for the hobby, lol!

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
Undoubtedly you're correct about those fellas 'sharing lighters". But studying the image, it sure looks like the fella on the right is grabbing another cigarette - in spite of already smoking. (Perhaps there was an audience participation, "live production" of Now Voyager taking place at The Golden Horseshoe, [it was a well-kept secret], and the guy on the right was merely rehearsing the Paul Henreid part - albeit a bit muddled in his technique-?)

I'm afraid the days of 'ceramic Dalmatians' on Wheel of Fortune disappeared back in October, 1987 for the syndicated version, or June, 1989 for the network version. Although one still remains as a part of the 'set'; and depending on the 'theme', those with an eagle eye can often spot it.

Anonymous said...

This is how Walt envisioned NOS. It was a unique enclave filled with interesting shops. In fact, folks would pay general admission to the park and just shop for the day.

Working the turnstile, taking tickets at the entry door on quiet days, was interesting. Many would just pass by without peering in...and a few even asked if it was worth the cost....85 and later 95 cents for and E ticket. In reply I'd tell them even I would pay the price and I get in free! KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

Stu, you play the bagpipes in a blues and rock band?!?!?!?! **

We also LOVE this area! - eating at the Blue Bayou (my favorite restaurant ever) and then wandering around the shops and court yard afterwards. And POTC is my favorite DL ride - I still remember the excitement when it first opened.

I have never been to Club 33, and now have no desire - especially since they took over the court yard that Walt designed for everybody. imo that's a slap in the face to everyone else - especially with the high ticket prices.

I never had a ceramic dog, but I did have a life-size ceramic cat (in the 80's) on my brick fireplace hearth - which my cat knocked over and broke. Of course.

Thank you, Major, for fixing these pictures. You did a beautiful job correcting the color, as they had turned a goofy orange.

I'll pass on everyone's kind comments to Lou. It means so much to him that you're enjoying his pictures!

Seriously, Stu, how can we hear your music? Would love to! What instrument do you play, or
do you sing?

** Newbies: Refer to our 7/26/19 Comments


TokyoMagic! said...

Knott's had a life-size ceramic dog in front of their Candy Parlor for many years. I have a picture of myself in a stroller, parked next to it and then another picture taken a couple years later, with me "riding" it. Unfortunately, the dog disappeared in 1984, when they revamped the "Market Place" area outside of the park.

I guess ceramic animals in general, were a thing. My aunt and my grandmother both had large white ceramic elephants, which they got at The Akron in the early seventies. They have a flat surface on their backs and they are tall enough to be end tables. I now have my grandmother's and my aunt still has hers. My aunt also had a ceramic zebra that was a little bit bigger than a cat. That also came from The Akron, but unfortunately, she got rid of that one some years ago.

stu29573 said...

You can do a You Tube search for Red River Revolutionary Party Band and find a couple of things (old name of the group...a bit too long, lol!) Also you might find some stuff on Google for Code Blue (original name) 508 Park was a CD we put out. I play bass. Sing a bit.

Chuck said...

Nanook, maybe they're actually passing microfilm. Disneyland was a well-known hotbed of espionage activity right up to the end of the Cold War.

TM!, those elephants you describe were known in the military community (or, at least the Air Force airlifter community) as "Saigon elephants" because that's where dads brought them back from. They were as ubiquitous in friends' houses as the zabuton tables from Japan and the giant, wall-mounted, wooden fork and spoon sets from the Philippines.

We never had a set of Saigon elephants because my mother didn't like them and didn't want any...that is, she didn't want any until May of 1975, when they suddenly became unavailable for some reason. After we normalized relations with Vietnam in 1995, she changed her mind again.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I truly don't remember seeing people smoke at Disneyland. Was is allowed? I remember everyone smoked everywhere , back then- in restaurants and planes, etc. - so it probably wouldn't have stood out, if they did so in Disneyland.

I'm surprised that the Court of Angels wasn't turned into another souvenir-sales area . . . they could've fit in A LOT of light-up blinking spinning roses to sell there. They missed out on profiting from that space - which would have helped them get out of the red.

TokyoMagic! - We haven't seen your KBF stroller/dog pictures yet. As a reminder, the GDB membership agreement, that WE ALL signed, included the following clause: Section 2B, Line 4: Submission is mandatory of all childhood Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Studios photographs and/or slides, to Major Pepperidge, within 30 days of signing of this agreement, via email, facsimile or Certified First-Class U.S. Mail.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I’m sure the curved streets of NOS were made that way for the same reason that streets are usually curved on movie backlots - they can’t go on for miles on a backlot, and the curves actually provide a nice element of discovery as the guest explores. Clearly Disney now values monetizing a space for well-heeled clientele over providing a quiet and beautiful space for the average guest. Those bums! For a minute I thought you were saying that you had seen Stu’s band perform, but I got the name mixed up. I wonder if the actual antiques stores of New Orleans are picked over? It always seems as if you have to get out of the big cities to find some real treasures. Now that I think about ceramic animals, my dad brought home two knee-high glazed earthenware elephants from Vietnam, they are still in the living room and den. He always called them “BUFEs” (Big Ugly F****** Elephants). Military guys!

stu29573, cool!

Nanook, don’t you know that smoking two cigarettes is twice as nice as smoking one? It was proven by science and stuff. By Isaac Newton or maybe Einstein. You know, one of those cats! Man, that ceramic Dalmatian is news to me, though I’ve never been an avid game show watcher. Except for “Match Game” of course!

KS, jeez, it seems hard to believe that folks wouldn’t know about “Pirates” by 1984. Did they live in a hole in the ground? Not that I’m judging!

Lou and Sue, I have never eaten in the Blue Bayou, though I’ve always wanted to. The people I’ve been with never want to take the time or spend the money. I’ve heard the food isn’t as good as one might hope, but I almost wouldn’t care, as long as I got a table near the water. Ha ha, cats love to break things, that is a fact of life. Yes, please pass all of this on to Lou, it’s so nice to know that seeing these on the internet makes him happy!

TokyoMagic!, it’s like some sort of conspiracy. Wake up, sheeple! Does the picture of you next to the Knott’s dog have a mysterious white oval over your face? ;-) I guess large movie-accurate Marvel and Star Wars figures have taken the place of ceramic animals. Ha ha, it sounds like those ceramic elephants that your aunt and grandma had were similar to the ones my dad brought back from Vietnam, although is are very colorful.

stu29573, I will have to check out the YouTube songs/videos!!

Chuck, ha ha, see my comment to JG! The only other thing I know my dad purchased was a rosewood writing desk for my mom, which she still has. It’s half English in style, half Asian. I wish we had a giant fork and spoon set!

Lou and Sue, smoking was absolutely allowed at Disneyland, though at some point smokers had to do their thing in designated areas (like near the old Motor Boat Cruise queue). Now they have to not only leave the park, but apparently have to go all the way out of Disney property. I don’t like smoking, but that seems kind of mean; can’t they at least provide some place with a fan or vent that wouldn’t bother non-smokers? “Membership agreement”, ha ha!

Jason Schultz said...

Major, according to what I have read, the Pirate Bridge was created in 1987 (when The Disney Gallery opened) because Industrial Engineering thought there would be an issue with guest flow in New Orleans Square when Splash Mountain opened. This was a Tony Baxter project.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

The Akron-!! Wow - talk about 'slumming'. I can't remember if their first location I ventured into was the one on Sunset, or the one on Sepulveda. That made shopping at White Front seem downright luxurious. (And let's not even talk about shopping at Fedco-!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I didn't know that the ceramic elephants were a military/Vietnam thing! It's interesting that you mentioned 1975 as a date when they were no longer available. My mom admired the ceramic elephants that my aunt and grandmother had and wanted one, but we didn't have an Akron near us at the time. My aunt went to her Akron to get one for my mom, but they no longer carried them. However, they did have a much smaller tabletop version, so she got that for my mom. I believe this was around 1975 or so.

Sue, ha, ha! I think I somehow managed to avoid signing that agreement. Major knows if I were to ever handed over personal family pics, they would be riddled with white ovals!

Major, yes all pictures of me have white ovals over my face! But now that I'm thinking about it, white is kind of plain and boring. Maybe I should be using a yellow happy face symbol. I guess the large ceramic elephants were even more of a thing than I remember. So the ones your mom has are colorful? Again, the large "end table-sized" ones were mostly white, but the smaller tabletop one that my mom had was mostly green.

Nanook, I remember The Akron that was located on Sunset Blvd.! It became a Circuit City. Actually, I think most of the Akron locations became Circuit City. I also remember White Front! There was one located very close to The Akron that my aunt shopped at. They were both on Hawthorne Blvd., in Torrance. I always thought of the Akron as more along the lines of a Pier 1 Imports or Cost Plus, but maybe I'm not remembering it correctly if you are saying they were "below" White Front! They finally did open an Akron closer to where we lived and I have two woven baskets that my mom purchased there in the late seventies, back when baskets were a "thing." Oh, and here's something....I bought a pocket calculator at The Akron. It was for an accounting class that I took, back in 1984. It is not a solar version, it runs on batteries. I have NEVER changed the batteries in it, but yet it still works with the original batteries that came with it.......35 years ago! Can someone explain THAT ONE to me? I even checked it just now to see if it was still working and it came right on! Cue the "Twilight Zone" theme music.....

Melissa said...

Late to the party, but ceramic dogs always make me think of the movie "Life With Father." I guess they must have been A Victorian Thing, too. The shop windows remind me of a less spooky version of the old Haunted Mansion attic.

The Court of Angels pictures prove what I keep saying to the people who are amazed at how Galaxy's Edge f"like a real place:" the whole park used to be that way!

Melissa said...

That should read "feels like a real place." Large fingers, tiny mobile keyboard.

JG said...

@Jason, thanks for the info about the Pirate Bridge.

I like it, it's a very good solution to a difficult problem and improves the queue experience quite a bit, especially in the summer.

I regret that it obscures the entrance so the views are not as clear as the original look, but to me, the benefits, including the great view back out toward the River, outweigh the disadvantages.

@Major, you are right, the curved streets make it appear bigger because you can't see the ends.

@Chuck, I'll take "Events occurring in May, 1975" for $800.00.


Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

And your statement sums up just exactly what's wrong with the current 'design' direction at the parks today: believability.