Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Disneyland's 30th from Lou and Sue

Here is a series of photos from Lou Perry and his daughter Sue B, from Disneyland's 30th anniversary - 1985. It seems so long ago now! 

This first one is from near the ticket booths, looking back toward the parking lot. No DCA yet! It's so strange to see that walkway through the lot - somebody once mentioned when it was added, but I've forgotten, as usual.

I am curious about those red/orange things on either side of the walkway, as if there was shaded parking for some lucky people? Notice the car in the distance - if the stars aligned, and you had your rabbit's foot and four-leaf clover, it could be yours.

The logo isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, but I'll give it a pass. Hey, it was the 80's.

The organ (or caliope?) pipes remind me of the instrument that Captain Nemo played in "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea With Squiddy and Friends".

More organ pipes! They were part of the "Countdown Clock", which was also part of the "Gift Giver Extraordinaire". I'll bet a lot of readers have at least a few of the pins that were give out by the thousands - I did, until I sold them on eBay for 20 million dollars.

In just three minutes, 38 more guests entered the park. Math - it's your friend. There sure are a lot of men loitering near the clock, what's that about? Maybe they just like stuff with gears.

Another six (ish) minutes have elapsed, and almost 100 more people have walked through the gates. Why, this place is minting money! It's funny, I went to the park in 1985, but I have no memory of seeing this stuff at all - though I do remember me and my friends looking at our pins. Even then I was all about the merch.

There are more photos from Disneyland's 30th! Thanks as always to Lou and Sue.


Nanook said...

I remember all this stuff better than I would like to admit. Those "red/orange things" [tents, of a fashion - I believe they were] helped to maintain cleanliness on the half-dozen or so cars parked beneath them - a part of the 400 vehicles to be given-away during Disneyland's 30th anniversary year. (What - you didn't win one, Major-??!!) All of my friends and I did.

Thanks to Lou and Sue, and the poor car-less Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Those were GM cars that they were giving away. I have a DL/GM flyer that they were handing out at that little booth, visible to on the left in that first pic. Every 30th person that passed through the turnstiles was given a gift. I wonder if those people who were loitering could have been watching the counter closely and trying to judge when they should go through the turnstiles. On a very slow day, I think it would have been possible to start counting after the light bulb and bells and whistles went off at one turnstile and then after the counter counted off another 29 people, rush through one of the turnstiles and win a prize.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, every guest was given a ticket as they passed through the turnstiles, which showed what number guest they were and also whether they were a winner or not. The prizes that were given were as follows:

Every 30th Guest - A Disneyland Unlimited Use Passport (a one day ticket).

Every 300th Guest - A Mickey and Minnie Plush Toy Collection.

Every 3,000th Guest - A DL 30th Anniversary Commemorative Wristwatch.

Every 30,000th Guest - A 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier CS 4 -Door Sedan or Pontiac Sunbird LE.

Every 300,000th Guest - A 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera LS Sedan or Buick Century Custom Sedan.

Every 3,000,000th Guest - A 1985 Cadillac Sedan De Ville.

The pins that you are remembering being given away, were from the following year. They left the Countdown Clock up and continued to give prizes away through 1986. The most common prize was one of those cloisonne pins, featuring a different "land." I don't remember what any of the other prizes were. I don't believe the car giveaway continued past 1985, but I could be wrong.

I have a "future post" in the works about a 1985 trip to Disneyland. I visited many times during 1985, but the only pics I took of the Countdown Clock, show that I was there on February 20th. I also have my special turnstile ticket which shows what number guest I was on that day. Doing the math, it looks like roughly 343,000 guests passed through the turnstiles between my visit on Feb. 20th and the time that Lou and Sue's pic was taken of the Countdown Clock, on March 8th. If anyone is interested, I just posted a scan of my special turnstile ticket from that day, and also a list (with pictures) of the prizes that were given away that year. Both of those can be viewed here...just scroll all the way down through the post to the last two images!

Andrew said...

I never knew about that parking lot walkway covering until now. Just goes to show that there's always something new to learn! The "Gift-Giver Extraordinaire" looks like it was a lot of fun, too.Q

JC Shannon said...

Ah yes, Reagan was the Prez, disco was dead, dusty rose was the color, and big hair ruled the day. Amid the chaos, there was always Disneyland to comfort us. It seems like yesterday, but I guess that's what happens when you get old. Thanks to Lou and Sue and Major P. for the trip to the past.

K. Martinez said...

1985 was the first year of Eisner's influence on Walt's original park. Videopolis opened that year as “the first, fastest, and finest" (first attraction completed under Eisner; fastest construction project completed and finest dance facility of its kind). It was the beginning of the end of the Disneyland I knew and grew up with.

Still, 1985 was a great year at Disneyland as everything was intact and unknowingly at the time it would be the last summer for "Adventure Thru Inner Space" and the original "Country Bear Jamboree". Things would never be the same after that.

I remember the "Gift Giver Extraordinaire" very well and I didn't win a thing. Wasn't expecting to either. I was more preoccupied with what awaited me inside the gate. Ironically, It would be a few years at the Disneyana Shop that I would buy the complete set of 30th Anniversary cloisonne pins that were handed out at the gate.

Thanks Lou and Sue. I always enjoy your photos. You capture the era so well.

And thank you too, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, I bet the Major didn't want to win a car. He probably wished he was the "300th guest"!

TokyoMagic! Thanks for adding the info and brochure link! I never thought to dig through my dad's paperwork to see if he even kept his.

I can't believe there's a lady in thin heels in that last picture, as this isn't the 50's. (Are there any other women out there, imagining the pain, too?!)

Thanks, Major, for posting these, and for everyone's comments! I'll share this post with my dad tomorrow - as he's enjoying GDB, too, and everyone's fun and kind comments.


Nanook said...

@ JC Shannon-
I’m uncertain if a blatant tie-in with GM can be considered a ‘comfort’; but I do get your sentiment. Back then, there was still plenty of DL goodness to enjoy. Unfortunately, my feelings are more-closely aligned to Ken’s thoughts - although I do have two copies of the Videopolis 45 record. (Mea culpa - given to me by a CM).

JG said...

Thank you, Lou and Sue. Pictures from the era when I couldn't visit. I have never seen these walkways or the clock before.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, who needs another Cadillac? Those things are gas guzzlers. Plus, how do I get it home, I arrived in my Ferrari.

TokyoMagic! ha ha, I love the description of how people would try to time their entrance to win a prize - it would have never occurred to me, but I’ll bet you’re right, MANY people must have tried that trick. The day that Lou took these photos probably would have been a good one… 100 people in 6 minutes is not a crazy rush of people.

TokyoMagic!, you can see into the future?? I look forward to your post about a 1985 trip to the park. So wait, those famous pins were given out during the year of Disneyland’s 31st birthday?? Was this one of those instances where they celebrated an anniversary for well over one year (kind of like the 50th)? Lou took some photos of the big prize, a Cadillac Sedan De Ville, looking suitably shiny and alluring. Thanks for all the info!

Penna. Andrew, the covered walkway was that year’s “Space Mountain”!

Jonathan, you mean Rappin’ Ronnie? And for me, disco never died. I remember having a ridiculous 80’s pastel shirt of greens, yellows, pinks… I looked like an Easter egg. A girl I liked wanted it, and I wound up giving it to her!

K. Martinez, ah, I didn’t think about the Eisner thing. I have no personal memories of Videopolis, but it seems like young people have fond memories of it. “Adventure Thru Inner Space”, oh man. Miss that ride so much. I guess the pins that I thought were 30th anniversary were actually 31st anniversary? I had them all, including the ones with sharp points that were replaced with “safe” versions. None of them are hard to get.

Lou and Sue, I would have put that Mickey and Minnie plush collection right in the garbage. In fact I would have thrown it away as soon as they handed it to me. Plus critters? No thank you. Just give me cash. Money, money, money. Say thanks to Lou for me!

Nanook, there was a Videopolis record?? Is it disco-tastic?

JG, I know this was during your years in outer space!

JG said...

You got me, Major.

I spent several years in Sigma Draconis and only came back in the '90's.


Chuck said...

Thanks for sharing these photos, Lour & Sue (& Major, too). Like JG, this was during a 17-year period I call "the Dark Ages," a sad era that featured a Chuckless Disneyland. I'm suffering through the Second Dark Age as we speak - ten years and counting. When, oh, when will the darkness end?

JG, did somebody steal your brain again?.

Bu said...

Lots of memories here in this "parking lot". The only cars given away from this display were the four giveaway models- depending on your "count number." The rest of the cars under the tents were a promotion for GM with the latest and greatest GM models. I think we had at least 20 different models including a giant van upholstered in blue velvet that we nicknamed "the LUUUVVVV van". Problem was....everyone thought that EVERYTHING was being given away. There were four kiosks...used as a pre-internet marketing ploy...where you would sign up to get a free GM road atlas...which was actually a really nice road atlas. You filled out the card, and not only would you get an atlas in the mail, you got a phone call from your local GM dealer trying to sell you a car. Guests thought that the filling out of these cards was your entry into the was like a FEEDING FRENZY when we replenished the cards. People were filling out tens of the days before databases and whatnot...they would receive lots and lots of atlases. When the dealers called people, guests thought that they were WINNING a car. Sooo much confusion! The crescendo of the promotion was when GM merged with Hughes and had multiple private parties over a weeks time. Not only were the GM/Hughes employees treated to cars outside the berm...each land had it's own themed GM cars displayed for their viewing enjoyment- plus a free meal...AND the admission was free. The GM partnership was a big deal due to EPCOT and whatnot. They sent execs in from NYC to supervise and administrate the "showroom" at the main gate. They built a little office out there for them (orange booth things in the photos) and there was an information booth where you didn't get Disneyland guidebooks, you got GM product info. The lurkers outside the counter (nicknamed Guest Grabber Extrordinaire) were just that. This was the early days of annual passes. The lurkers would time their entries. Quite frankly it was not a great scene with quite unsavory types who purchased annual passes for lurking privileges and winning prizes. It wasn't that hard to guess how to time your entry actually. One multi-generational lurking family who came everyday to lurk (they must have quit their jobs to lurk) finally...after months and months...won a bottom of the line GM Chevy Economy car.

Major Pepperidge said...

Bu, thank you for another fun comment full of great memories and details! I love your description of the pre-internet scam to get the road atlas. Somebody must have not made it clear on how to enter the contest if so many people messed it up. I’d be disappointed if GM called me only to tell me I was getting an atlas (no matter how nice it was). Do corporations still pay for private parties at Disneyland? Boy, that would be the way to go. I also love your description of people who gamed the Gift Giver! Even getting the bottom of the line car is not a bad deal!