Sunday, September 15, 2019

Murkety Murk, September 1966

I have a fairly large lot of photos from September, 1966, and most of them are very nice. But there is a small number that are weirdly dark. I don't know if it's a case of having the wrong aperture setting, or (in some cases) were they taken through a tinted window, or what. Whatever the reason, it's kind of a bummer, because a few of these would have been really interesting if they didn't look like The Shadowlands. 

Trust me, I lightened this one WAY up, and it still takes place in some weird "day for night" world. I think this might have been taken from the Monorail, which might fall into my tinted window theory. And as nice as it is to see the Disneyland Hotel in the distance, I am very curious about the little construction zone that we can see in the lower portion of the picture. Being 1966, I wonder if it had to do with New Orleans Square?

I can only assume that these photos were actually taken before September of '66, since the New Tomorrowland would have probably been under heavy construction. Do you think this could be another photo taken from the Monorail? 


"Lou and Sue" said...

The darkness gives these pictures an eerie look and feel - like the skies we get in the midwest when a thunderstorm is just starting to brew - the kind with tornadoes and hail.

It does look like a window reflection in that first picture.

Murky, but interesting.


Nanook said...


New Orleans Square opened on July 24, 1966. So those 'sheds' seen in the first image could be left over from the NOS construction - or not. And is that not a white construction fence we see in the second image paralleling the entrance Speedramp up to the Monorail-? Not to mention what appears to be a very tall white "wall" placed in front of the Monorail station/entrance to the Submarine Voyage-?

TokyoMagic! said...

I vote for both of them being taken from the monorail, specifically the tail/rear compartment.

I was also wondering about the tall wall! (♫♪ He's my all! ♪♫)

TokyoMagic! said...

And the Yacht Bar appears to be missing.

JC Shannon said...

Even a dark picture is better than none. The Sub Lagoon is one of my favorite sights. Maybe they were doing repairs on the Subs, that would explain the wall. The Skyway gondolas look pretty empty as well. Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

It's a huge stretch, but is it possible the walls could be the beginning of the New Tomorrowland construction? Was the Monorail even open during the work?

Chuck said...

That first photo looks like it may have been taken from the train after it passed the Frontierland Station, possibly while going through what's now the tunnel behind the Haunted Mansion. Remember that for years, after the construction of the house in 1962 but before the construction of the show building, there was an open framework there that allowed you to look towards the parking lot (see here for reference). Pretty sure we are looking at the early stages of construction for the Haunted Mansion show building, or perhaps the open area awaiting approval of the final design before construction.

Chuck said...

Nope - going to agree with the Monorail consensus for that first photo. I forgot that the Monorail originally crossed the fenceline at the north end of the parking lot (see this 1963 photo for reference). Definitely NOS-related construction, though.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, maybe there was going to be a tornado! I agree that the curved reflection has to be from the Monorail. I’m unclear as to whether the windows were tinted, or if our photographer just had his settings all wrong.

Nanook, of course the date stamp on the slides could be from weeks (or months) after the pictures were actually taken, as you know. I wonder if that construction wall was part of the very earliest work being done for “Tomorrowland 1967”?

TokyoMagic!, duly noted!

TokyoMagic!, don’t blame me, I was asleep.

Jonathan, gosh, the Skyway gondolas DO look pretty empty, though the red one to the left has at least one passenger (probably two). Come on people, that Skyway isn’t going to be there forever!

Penna. Andrew, I agree that the white wall probably has to do with the New Tomorrowland.

Chuck, I hadn’t considered the DLRR, but I suppose it is possible. I don’t ever remember seeing a photo from this vantage point; I guess it depends on which train a person was on, but as a rule they seem to try to point guests toward the park and away from the berm and parking lots. Was construction for the Haunted Mansion show building already underway in ’66?

Chuck II, ah, that photo is very helpful!

JG said...

Major, I love both photos, this is good stuff, and thanks for the work in tuning them up for publication.

Major and Chuck, I think photo 1 is the "corp yard" for the combined Haunted Mansion and POC/NOS construction, since the monorail track ran right through this area, refer aerial photo from Daveland (date 1962 or 63). Chuck, your photo is even better because it's in color, but the train wasn't running at the time of the photo, you can see the track route is covered with formwork in the area of the tunnel through the POC.

This open construction area persisted for some time as the construction of NOS wrapped up, the HM show building ramped up. Depending on the time the photo was taken, the train may have been shut down, since the POC did not open until March 18, 1967.

If taken from the monorail, this must be south of the Haunted Mansion area since the monorail never gets that far north. It is remotely possible that it is taken from DLRR through a gap in the trees, but the DLRR route is always behind the monorail, and the monorail beamway would be seen in front of the hotel. Also the reflection or flare at the top seems like it was photographed through glass, which isn't possible on the train.

Photo 2 is definitely taken from the monorail as there is no PeopleMover here yet. Nothing else had such a vantage point. The construction wall for Tomorrowland 67 can be seen beyond the beamway in the center photo. The Yacht Bar is already gone, as noted and the series of short sharp curves in the beamway have been straightened to allow for the longer monorail trains. Other photos we have seen of TL67 construction show that there was little effort to close off views of the work as is done today, only to barricade out guest traffic. Those other photos show that the monorail, submarines, and the Skyway stayed in operation during the work. The monorail station is still the original design, apparently it was remodeled toward the end of the TL67. work. Some random blog on the internet says TL67 opened July 2, 1967. So that was a big year for Disneyland.

So. Much. Fun.

Thank you.