Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Nice Fantasyland, September 1960

I love today's photos of the old Fantasyland, especially this first example, which really shows the variety of colors and patterns that helped to make this "budget" land feel fresh and lively, and might have even made guests feel like they were in an animated cartoon (OK, maybe that's a bit of a stretch). Hello, Skyway passengers!

Here's a slightly closer look at the façades for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Peter Pan. Eyvind Earle, the color stylist on "Sleeping Beauty", helped to design the look of these "medieval faire" pavilions.

Next is this "almost postcard-worthy" shot of Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn. With the water, trees, and flowers, it all looks very inviting.


K. Martinez said...

Actually as a youngster I thought Fantasyland was like one big Disney animated cartoon come to life. It was based on Walt's animated features after all.

The last pic of the Castle and Matterhorn IS postcard-worthy. Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Wonderful pictures, thanks Major! And what a contrast between the two . . .

The 1st pic is super-busy and over-loaded with color, while the other is peaceful and "subdued."

The last picture is mainly in blues and greens - very relaxing. The people are starting to sit down to relax . . . I feel like sitting down to relax . . even The Horn is sitting down to take a break, as you can see he's eyeball-to-eyeball with the castle.

Back to the first pic: When I enlarged it and looked closely at the people, the red-head with the white sunglasses in the foreground (bottom of pic), towards the left (with the blue-shirted husband and kids), looks like a John McPherson character from "Close To Home." Maybe it's just my computer.


Stefano said...

Beautifully detailed as the current Fantasyland architecture is, this version always brings a smile -- if you were a kid then, it didn't feel skimpy at all: the colors were appetizing, the dark rides delivered. Though the attraction has always been known as "Peter Pan's Flight", the façade and that nifty poster left it at "Peter Pan".

Possible bobsled sighting on the Tomorrowland side, just clearing the lift hill? Or part of the mountain?

DrGoat said...

Agree with K. 1960 was a good year for us at Disneyland. Ten years old and absorbing all the good Disney stuff like a sponge. Super busy and over-loaded with color is pretty spot on, L&S.
Thanks Major as always.

Andrew said...

These old Fantaysland pictures look inviting to us today, but the people stuck in bottlenecks between buildings in the hot weather would probably beg to differ.

Ahh... I like the little reflection of the castle in the last picture.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I guess I wasn’t as sharp as you when I was a kid, because I doubt I ever thought about why things at Disneyland were the way they were. I just liked them!

Lou and Sue, I think that those quiet, relaxing areas of Disneyland are important, and it seems that they are all being gradually removed to make way for more people. It changes the basic character of the park significantly. I’m not familiar with “Close To Home”, there’s too many TV shows to watch!

Stefano, I agree, I sure wasn’t aware of any cut corners or shortcuts taken when I was a kid, or even when I was a young adult. Fantasyland just had its own aesthetic that, to me, was so “Disneyland”. I think you’re right, that might be a bobsled over on the right side of the Matterhorn!

DrGoat, I wasn’t around in 1960, but it is plain to see (from vintage photos) that the park was maturing and evolving from its relatively humble early days into something truly amazing.

Penna. Andrew, while it can get hot at Disneyland, the weather is generally pretty mild - and usually without the humidity that I’ve heard so much about in Orlando! Fantasyland could get particularly crowded on busy days, there were so many attractions in a relatively small area.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I should have explained . . . John McPherson draws cartoon strips for newspapers, desktop calendars, etc. His people faces are very silly . . .


stu29573 said...


K. Martinez said...

Major, I don't think it had anything to do with sharpness. I was raised on Disney film and television starting from the early 1960's so I saw Disneyland as one big live-action version of Disney's live-action movies and TV shows with Fantasyland being the animated section of the park because of Snow White, Peter Pan and the like.

JG said...

I agree with the others here, I didn't perceive the Old Fantasyland, or anything else at Disneyland, to be cheap or unfinished. Part of this is undoubtedly from being young and not being able to notice the differences, but some of this is surely due to the fact that so much of it was completely new and there was nothing to compare it against.

In retrospect, it seems like the low-budget parts were unevenly distributed, in Fantasyland at least, since the Pirate Ship and Storybook Land (As I saw it) were highly detailed and well finished, while the dark ride facades and the FAN food service pavilions were comparatively simple and inexpensive, without being obviously so.

Old Tomorrowland pavilions and entry felt cheap across the board, but even then, the submarines and the monorail were very much bespoke designs. On the whole, the old Park felt pretty well worked out by the early '60's. I do very much regret the loss of so many quiet places to sit out of the way. Now that the Park is so much bigger, it is also much more tiring to visit because it's hard to rest anywhere.

Thanks for these fun photos, Major.


Melissa said...

Yeah, "It's not the heat; it's the humidity" might be a cliché, but sometimes clichés got to be clichës for a reason. I wore long pants and a dress shirt to Disneyland at the end of June, and I was warm but comfortable. I've been to WDW in *early*June and felt like I was melting in cotton shorts and t-shirt.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

Exactly what you said.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue… a comic strip! I would have never guessed.

stu2953, oy vey, I should have remembered!

K. Martinez, I was raised on those things too! Somehow Disneyland stood alone to me, even with the tie-ins to the movies that I loved.

JG, I guess you and I were on the same page. The areas just inside the castle, such as Merlin’s Magic Shop and Tinker Bell’s Toy Shop are also nicely designed, more in keeping with what was done to the rest of the land in 1983, which I think is interesting. I really wonder if they would have done that treatment to the whole place if Walt had just had the time and money. I’m almost glad that we had those early years just the way it was.

Melissa, I’ve heard so many stories about Florida’s brutal heat and suffocating humidity! It sounds very unpleasant, though clearly millions of people deal with it quite nicely every year.

Nanook, ditto!