Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Small World, June 1970

Here's a nice trio of photos featuring "It's a Small World". IN COLOR! 

In spite of the many MANY photos that I have seen featuring the outside portion of IASW, I still enjoy the stylized façade, the whimsical clock (doing it's thing in the photo), the endless stream of boats loading and unloading, and of course the famous topiaries.

This is a familiar angle on the massive exterior, white and gold and looking like a giant pop-up sculpture. I'd love to know the thinking behind that huge plaza in front of the attraction when real estate is so limited in Anaheim.

What do you think, was this picture taken from the Disneyland Railroad? It's a nice counterpoint to the other two photos, looking back toward the Matterhorn. Look at the large crowds in the distance!


Andrew said...

Hey hey hey, for the first time ever I'm the first comment!

My hypothesis about the expansive plaza is that it was used for testing out the cannons from the Columbia.

stu29573 said...

The original IASW is so cool! WDW kind of got the short end of the stick with their version (cruddy show building, no clock, then cruddy clock, no topiaries) At least the WDW version has the "flooded rooms" instead of the regular trough. Is it enough to make up for the other things? No.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Stu, I agree! DL's IASW is an ATTRACTION!, while WDW's version seems like an after-thought. "Oops, we forgot to make room for that doll ride, so we'll squeeze it in here - between a snack shop and a toilet."

Andrew, I love your hypothesis! (BTW, Major gives out cash prizes when you're the first comment! Nanook's pretty wealthy, thanks to the Maj.)

I like the angle on the first pic - and with the clock kids doing their thing. The second pic has some fun clothing - especially the colorful orange shirt; and I like the polka-dot shirt in last pic. The view on the last pic is unique.

Did anyone else see the Yahoo article last night? "Key DIsney Parks Executive Exits Amid Lackluster Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Attendance."


JC Shannon said...

Celebrity alert, Clark Gable in the brown flower shirt. To which Major P. will reply, "Frankly Jon, I don't give a damn!" Hey to Lou and Sue. From what I have read, 'lackluster' is putting it kindly. Stephen King ruined topiaries for me back in the 70s. You can't watch 'em all you know. Thanks Major.

Anonymous said...

There was a "It's a Small World Stage" that I think made use of the plaza area. In 1976, I'd graduated high school and saw that Elvin Bishop would be playing at Disneyland so a classmate and I went to see them and enjoy a day there. Elvin's group played at the Small World Stage and we saw both shows that night. I'll never forget the 2nd show - the "B" side of one of his singles was "Slick Titty Boom" and someone was calling for it - only done at the 2nd show and Elvin yelled "You can't say that, this is Disneyland!" before the band launched into it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Penna. Andrew, that is certainly an interesting theory!

stu29573, with all of the room that they had for the Magic Kingdom, it is weird that some rides got less spectacular versions. Some of it must have been budgetary, but when you have a parcel the size of Manhattan, I wonder what they were thinking. I’ve never experienced the flooded rooms, but it does sound pretty cool.

Lou and Sue, I looked up that article, I had never heard of Catharine Powell before. Why do I get the feeling that she was the “sacrificial lamb”? I find it hard to believe that the whole “Galaxy’s Edge” debacle was her idea. Still, she’ll probably get a $20 million dollar severance package, so… you know.

Jonathan, who knew Clark Gable enjoyed amusement parks? Not me! I’d love to go to Disneyland now that they have “lackluster” attendance, and yet… I can’t seem to motivate myself to actually go.

Anonymous, yes, I have some photos of that Small World Stage. I wonder if the management at Disneyland was aghast at Elvin Bishop’s use of “the t word”? Maybe he never played there again?

JG said...

Some special angle views here. Definitely a view from the DLRR. The massive plaza does seem a little under-done, but they fixed that somewhat by adding the merch shop.

I agree, Major. Never get tired of the original gold-and-white scheme, symbolic to me of the paradise to come where all people everywhere are united in friendship.

The "spumoni" scheme of the '90's had to be tried, of course. But there is no nostalgia for it in me. The Christmas version done only in lights is appropriate and short-lived.

An interesting feature of today's classic head-on shot is seeing the souvenir stand to the right done up in shades of blue. I didn't think this tweaking of the exterior came until much later.

Also good to see the queue in the original configuration, although I think the reversed version does work better. Has anyone attended since they modified the queue area to avoid crossing the parade route? It looks nice from Google Earth.

Thanks Major. A lot of fun today.


Melissa said...

Kung Fu Elephant! Hi-YA!

K. Martinez said...

I like IASW's facade and load area at WDW's Magic Kingdom. One thing I don't care for is when an attraction gets cloned and looks too similar to its counterparts else. Variety is good and I like Florida's version because it is the most unique among all of other versions at the other parks. And I love how some of the seating in Pinocchio's Village Haus overlooks IASW's load area. You can dine while looking over the boats floating by or while passing by in a boat you can wave to the people dining above. I think both IASW attractions at DL and WDW have their own unique assets. Variety and variation is good.

My fav pic today is the third one looking towards the Matterhorn from the Disneyland Railroad. Always loved that vista. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

@ Lou and Sue-
Thanks to The Major, you can picture me as Scrooge McDuck-! (In fact, I was so busy 'counting all my money', I'm just now getting around to commenting). Ahhh, the 'struggles' of being so wealthy.

Matthew said...

Hi Major! Regarding your statement, "I'd love to know the thinking behind that huge plaza in front of the attraction..." This is simply my guess. You come from the narrow Matterhorn Way into a large expanse to vista where you can take in the entire It's A Small World large scale facade. I mean if that area was narrower you wouldn't be able to see the entire expanse of it. I mean just look at picture #2... It's beautiful!!!

Finally, looking over picture number one... I love the color of that water. I know that the bottom of the trough is painted but boy does it look cool and inviting.

@Nanook - That is exactly what I thought when I read Lou & Sue's comments... you diving into your money and counting, and re-counting it. Enjoy your day my wealthy friend!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, the funny thing about the multicolored version of IASW is that early concepts did show portray it as much more colorful, either because of paint, or from colored lights. There are lots of Mary Blair color comps that also show it as even MORE colorful than the pastel version that was finally realized. As for that souvenir stand, it occurs to me that it resembles the Fantasyland buildings in WDW a lot - probably no coincidence.

Melissa, I need to speak to you about a feature film deal!

K. Martinez, I agree that it seems pointless to have the same rides with the same features in multiple parks. Even if they have similar rides, make them different enough that they have their own qualities! I remember when Cars Land was a hit, and folks in Florida were very upset that they weren’t going to get a carbon copy. Don’t they want their own wonderful thing? I never realized that some seating at the Village Haus actually overlooked IASW’s canal. I like that third pic too!

Nanook, considering how rich you are, you have managed to remain humble. But you do like to wear very expensive suits all the time.

Matthew, you might be right about all that area being used so that guests get a proper look at the Small World façade. But MAN, that’s so much real estate! I dunno, maybe an acre all by itself? Seems wasteful, but… like I said, your theory sounds likely. And yes, the blue water looks so good; like most boat (or sub) rides at Disneyland, I used to have dreams of swimming (or at least floating on a raft) through the ride!

JG said...

Major, I agree, I have some replicas of those early design sketches hanging on my walls.

I think the final exterior shows a restraint and elegance that was undoubtedly refined through several generations of design effort, while the color and exuberance was retained for the interiors prior to the finale.

The gold and white just lifts the whole design up out of the earthly world somehow, while making the colors more precious.

And I would love to float through it on an inner tube, or whatever is used nowadays on those "lazy river" pools.


Melissa said...

I'm positive I saw some horrible, grinding gears and chains under the water in WDW's iasw when I was a kid. The thought of innertubing through it is... nope. I'm keepin' ALL my appendages in the ride vehicle, thankyouverymuch.