Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Above Fantasyland, November 1958

SoCal had an invasion of a billion "painted lady" butterflies this year (it was a nice invasion!). Well, in 1958, they had an invasion of giant carnivorous "voodoo" moths. They were a nuisance, because they would sometimes swoop down, grab somebody, and carry them off to their mothy lair. You've probably read about it. President Eisenhower made a famous speech in which he proclaimed, "Moths are totally gross!". All of today's photos were taken by an unfortunate guest who was on his way to the larva lair.

Here's the first moth's-eye view (notice the metallic blue moth leg in the lower left!) from above Fantasyland; it's all pretty familiar stuff, including Monstro, and Casey Jr., the snow-peaked mountains of Storybook Land, and even the pony farm in the distance. In the lower right there are trees and shrubs... I think this is the edge of the area where the Matterhorn would be plopped in less than a year.

Those moth legs sure are strange. Say, now we're looking down on a little rest area right next to the "Fan 1" snack bar. The little ticket booth for the Skyway, often obscured by trees, is visible to our right. The addition of those cloth awnings that provided shade for diners was probably very welcome. 

The woman to the right has never seen such a large moth in her life. Thank goodness they aren't interested in babies - too small to make a good meal.


Nanook said...


Just over three years old, and where are the guests-? Frankly, I don't care; I just want to plop down at that souvenir stand in the first image and go on a shopping spree-! (As long as I can steer clear of Mothra-!)

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, how did the film get retrieved from the larva lair?!


TokyoMagic! said...

The Larva Lair is where the giant carnivorous "voodoo" moths held their annual "Moth Ball."

Look at the extended queue for the Skyway! We can see the switchback of posts and chains extending from the Skyway ticket booth, all the way back behind the snack bar!

Chuck said...

Those awnings were part of Disneyland's defensive measures against the voodoo mothpocalypse. The Matterhorn was actually built as a way to hide an unsightly, gigantic can of Raid.

Andrew said...

The teeth of Monstro are totally gnarly! Also, are you sure that "Fan 1" was just distributing rubbery hamburgers? I'd say that there's a good chance they were also giving out weapons to fight against the invasion - in return for free food! Of course, all guests had that unpleasant memory erased once they left the dome.

Gnometrek said...

The man to the right of the last scan is doing is best interpretation of Rodin's Thinker.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing Godzilla showed up to battle those giant moths! Unfortunately, he stepped on Edison Square and wiped it out completely! Fun Fact #12584.25- The Matterhorn was supposed to be Mt. Fuji, built in tribute to the big lizard dude, but due to a mix-up in blueprints and world maps they got Switzerland instead of Japan! Godzilla was so upset that he never returned to Disneyland...

JC Shannon said...

Everyone in these very cool photos is so well dressed. I feel frumpy in my sweats and sneakers. Actually, no one dresses up in Montana much, for special occasions we wear our good boots though. That is a great shot of Storybook Land, I love that attraction to this day. Pesky moths, I hope nobody is wearing wool. Thanks Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

@JC Shannon

That very moth invasion led to the great Southern California wool shortage of 59'. Between that and skyrocketing cedar prices it was quite a mess for years to come.

Monstro seems quite unfazed, yawning as usual.
Nice photos of the bowtie bonanza. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, looking at “Jason’s Disneyland Almanac” (which gives the attendance numbers for every day), it is sometimes astounding to see that certain days only brought in a few thousand people.

Lou and Sue, the film was occasionally thrown out of the lair along with the accumulation of bones.

TokyoMagic!, oh yeah, that IS the extended queue for the Skyway! Good eye. Just shows you that some days were busy enough to justify the addition of the cloth shades.

Chuck, the Matterhorn held so many things; the basketball court; a giant can of raid; Roy Disney’s apartment; a missile silo; it was a versatile mountain to be sure.

Penna. Andrew, if you happen to be named “Monstro”, gnarly teeth are probably a good thing. I can almost guarantee that Fan 1 had hamburgers, though I can’t say how rubbery they were. For some reason I don’t have fond memories of the food at Disneyland, but I was a kid, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.

Gnometrek, it almost looks like he has a little dog in his lap!

Stu29573, you know… it would be cool if Tokyo Disneyland had a Mt. Fuji coaster, where you would be threatened by a Kaiju of some sort (in case they can’t get the rights to Godzilla”! Now I want that ride more than anything.

Jonathan, instead of wearing sweats, why not wear a track suit, like most of the rich gentlemen who are getting their Escalades and Porches scrubbed at the nearby car wash? Apparently it is an acceptable form of casual wear. You can still have your good boots; with proper care they will last you a lifetime.

Nanook said...

I couldn't tell you if the food at Disneyland was any good, or the greatest on earth, 'back in the day', but Fan 1 (& 2) were two of the many eateries that served both Pepsi and Coke... 'back in the day'.

Nanook said...

And just to add a "drop" of chronological question to the date of these images - two attraction posters can be seen underneath the shades. Clearly the Disneyland Hotel poster is on the left; and what gives every indication of being the Matterhorn poster on the right. I haven't the vaguest idea the timetable for erecting AP's in preparation for an opening, but.

Major Pepperidge said...

Alonzo, notice that this is when polyester started taking hold! Monstro is never phased by anything, he’s the boss.

Nanook, what if you MIXED both Coke and Pepsi? Would that be breaking some international laws? In theory one should wind up with the perfect cola.

Nanook, I was thinking that it was a Columbia poster, but I can’t say for certain. Interesting that at that resolution it leaves me puzzled!

JG said...

It looks so bare without Skull Rock Grotto, just some pampas grass and the walkway.

I don't recall seeing those fabric shades at that location so far around by the Skyway stairs. I think some must have been taken out as the trees grew.

Also interesting how the FAN snack bars looked so similar to snack bars at the fair, other amusement parks and even roadside stops. For some reason they remind me of the giant plaster oranges that used to line Hwy 99 up and down the valley. Now of course, we can't have anything so pedestrian at Disneyland.

This thread has to be one of the top ten "come for the comments" thread.

Cheers all.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, your "nearby car wash" comment reminded me of a conversation that one of my cousins overheard and texted to me, a couple years ago, while eating lunch in southern California - where he lives. I never deleted it, so this was the (true) conversation:

Mom: How many classes are you taking this semester?

Daughter: Two. If I take more than two, my week is just way too busy.

Mom: That's true. I want to get the car washed today.

Daughter: Let me call to see how long the car wash is taking.

[ so then she called ]

Daughter: It's taking about 45 minutes. Maybe we should rent a car while it's being washed so it doesn't interrupt our afternoon?

Mom: Yes, call Enterprise. See if they will pick us up at the car wash.

[ they then left on their merry way!]