Monday, September 23, 2019

Black and White, 1962

I'm using up the last  three black and white snapshots from 1962 - these were better than average, so I'm sorry that there will be no more. 

From the Skyway, we get this view looking down on the Monorail station and Submarine Voyage load area, with the Autopia and Tomorrowland Station in the distance.  

This is kind of a cool look at the tunnels that passed through the Matterhorn - not only can you see some of the interior Skyway supports, but there's a lift hill to the left, and that rustic wooden fence so that CMs wouldn't accidentally plummet to the ground.

This one is a heart breaker, because it would have been so cool if not for that mysterious stain marring a large portion of it. Such a bummer!

I attempted to fix the problem in Photoshop, with limited success. Even with the flaws, I like the image of a single bobsled careening through an icy cave, with the riders silhouetted against the bright sunlight.


Nanook said...


There is a lift hill, 'surrounded by ice sheets', of a sort. That last one is a heart breaker, but evidently there was some sort of polka dot attack.

Thanks, Major.

Graffer said...

I like all the activity in the 1st photo.
In fact, I like it even more than I did on August 13, 2018.

Andrew said...

That rock work "theming" is a measly attempt to hide some of the support structure - the crossing beams are super obvious!

"Lou and Sue" said...

ANY pictures inside the Matterhorn are GREAT to see! Thank you, Major!


K. Martinez said...

The last pic is a gem, even if it is flawed. Such a wonderful capture and super rare view. I wish there were more photos of the Matterhorn interior before they revamped it in 1978. Thanks, Major.

Nanook, maybe that polka dot attack was Disney's early attempt at a snow blizzard.

Graffer, ha, ha! I thought that photo looked familiar.

Andrew, the interior of the Matterhorn pre-1978 was indeed very primitive and you could even see the coaster structure throughout while inside the mountain.

Stefano said...

Major, marred and restored, that bobsled photo is fantastic, like some brain probe memory was photographed.

The original Matterhorn interior was pretty grungy -- I recall that in the early '70s, some stalactites near the top of the lift were affixed with duct tape--but it was always a great ride. Some things are missed post the 1978 revamp: clacking uphill, the unnerving look down into the tangle of tracks and beams; the views of the park after clearing the lift hill, especially on the Fantasyland side; the thrill factor amped way up riding at night, there was no lighting at all inside and the lower you got, the darker it was, very disorienting. Though the coaster successors had more detailed theming and effects, they couldn't match the Matterhorn's sensory impact.

Anonymous said...

My clearest memory of the Matterhorn is my grandmother getting off and taking a "nerve pill."

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have tried to figure out what happened to that photo. Over and over!

Graffer, it is all part of my plan.

Penna. Andrew, I’ve always wondered if there was a concept (back in ’58 or ’59) of having the inside of the Matterhorn more finished than it wound up being. With all that they built for the 1959 Tomorrowland improvements, it wouldn’t surprise me if they just couldn’t afford to do more.

Lou and Sue, yeah but that last one! I know you are crying (like me) but are trying to put a brave face on it.

K. Martinez, the fact that it is such a rare view, and is the only photo in the batch with spilled root beer (?) on it, tells me that I am being punished by a vengeful spirit.

Stefano, wow, stalactites fixed with duct tape! That’s some z-grade upkeep right there. Was that to keep water from getting in? Couldn’t they afford some Bondo or spackle? It’s as if they sent some kid with no experience to “patch it up” with whatever happened to be laying around. I wonder if the dark inside of the old Matterhorn was a partial inspiration for the Space Mountain “indoor coaster” idea?

JC Shannon said...

These all have a film noir look to them. I like the Monorail photo, there is a lot going on there. Bob's Monorail even looks good in b&w. The woman in the Skyway Bucket is smiling because her rowdy kids are in a bucket by themselves. Thanks to Major for today's goodies.

JG said...

The Mountain Nostrils at their best. I don't recall the wooden rails, but they look great.

Yeoman's work on the damaged slide, Major. Thank you.

I am in fear that one day the Matterhorn will be closed and turned into a static display too expensive to renovate and too intrusive to tear down.


MRaymond said...

I have a few 1977 Matterhorn shots and seeing all the exposed lumber is a little spooky. I always tried to see the bottom of the Matterhorn from inside the Skyway.

Matthew said...

The second, third and fourth photos show us "Glacier Grotto." Something that we all commented on in the June 14th post

I love all these comments about looking down from inside the Matterhorn. I was 9 years old the first time I rode a roller-coaster and it was the Matterhorn (thank you Greg Shepherd for making me go!). I will never forget going up the hill and looking down (at what I recall dirt and @MRaymond - said exposed lumber and steal supports). I remember seeing other bobsleds racing around too.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, ha ha, what in the world was in those pills?!

Jonathan, if only the men were wearing suits with wide shoulders, and fedoras. And shoes with spats. They’d all have shifty eyes, and would be ready to punch anyone for a smart remark!

JG, I wonder if those rails are actually wood! Maybe they are audio animatronic wood. I can’t say that the repaired slide was a success, but it looks better than the one with barf on it (sorry, hope you weren’t eating lunch).

MRaymond, I love the ice caverns, and the abominable snowman, but I do miss that odd sensation of the vast dark interior of the Matterhorn.

Matthew, ah yes, I remember our talk about Glacier Grotto. It’s a lovely name for an un-lovely feature. Reminds me of my old apartment complex, “Windward Isle”, a gray ugly battleship of a building. The first coaster I ever rode was a tiny one at a fair (possibly the Orange County Fair), and it was part “spook house” part coaster. I loved it!

Nanook said...


Those pills were probably 'Miltown' - a part of the arsenal of "Mother's little helpers" beginning in 1955, "... it rapidly became the first blockbuster psychotropic drug in American history, becoming popular in Hollywood and gaining fame for its seemingly miraculous effects..." (I'll just bet-!) Did I hear someone say it's martini time-??

stu29573 said...

Actually it was valium. Not sure that's any better!

Nanook said...

@ stu29573-
Drat-! I was gong for a classic 50's "cure".

TokyoMagic! said...

Those last two pics are super neat-o! The lady in the Skyway bucket looks a bit like my grandmother, when she was younger. Just below and to the right of that bucket, there appears to be a cave with a staircase for employee access. I don't think I ever notice that while riding the Skyway, but I do remember wooden stairways within the mountain and I remember those wooden railings everywhere.

That rockwork above and below the bobsled in that last pic, almost looks like paper-mache.....not too realistic. But I guess when you were going past it at high speed, it really wouldn't have been that noticeable.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have never heard of “Miltown”, but I know the Stones song, “Mother’s Little Helper”! My dad told me that when he was in college every person he knew took benzedrine to study all night.

stu29573, I wasn’t sure if Valium existed for that long, to be honest.

Nanook, yes, somehow a mystery drug is more fun.

TokyoMagic!, I would love it if we had a photo (another photo?) of your grandmother! I seem to remember seeing a doorway when passing through the Matterhorn - I’m sure I imagined something wonderful behind it. It was probably a staircase or boring break room. Yeah, that rockwork looks really phone, I think they wrinkled heavy metal foil and painted it.