Monday, October 07, 2019

Four From Lou and Sue

I have five wonderful photos from Lou and Sue - Sue has been slaving over a red-hot scanner!

The first two are from 1987; I believe that '87 was the year that this bridge walkway was added - and it looks like "Pirates of the Caribbean" was still closed at this point. Remember when they added "The Fonz" to Pirates? Controversial! In the distance you can see a fellow heading down the stairs from the new Disney Gallery, which was a place I always enjoyed exploring.

Here's an interesting pre-Fantasmic photo of the south end of Tom Sawyer Island, with some mysterious work being done. Perhaps that was a temporary stage for some musical performance? What's up with the targets? The Columbia is swaddled in black tarpaulins, something I've never seen before.

On to 1988, and this picture of two balloon vendors. Do you want a classic Mickey ear balloon? Or a space-age mirror-finish mylar version? I've made my decision... classic all the way.

Also from 1988 comes this lovely picture of the entryway into the Land o' Tomorrow.  The Peoplemover would still be with us for years at this point, though they'd been repainted white (with colored stripes) in '87. Such a great scene.

Thanks so much to Lou and Sue!


Nanook said...

Yes, 1987 was the year of the opening for both the Disney Gallery and the bridge/walkway out in front. It appears one of the twins-? has confused one of the lampposts with a tiki god, or is doing a rather poor job of hiding in a game of hide & seek. The Columbia is draped in black, as it's in mourning for the continuing destruction of TSI, preparing for the opening of Fantasmic! in another five years.

Thanks to Lou, Sue and The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think that lumber on the River Stage was for the "State Fair at Disneyland" promotion. They probably had people shimmying up those log posts in a race, throwing axes at those targets, and using those chain saws to saw through that log on the stage. Such dangerous stunts to be having the guests perform! ;-)

What is that kid doing at the base of that lamppost, in the first pic??? Maybe he just saw the show on the river and he's going to shimmy up that lamppost?

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Thanks to Lou, Sue and the Major, too!

Melissa said...

Hey, looks like they're building a Target store on Tom Sawyer Island!

Andrew said...

The Pirates bridge reminds me of the Magic Kingdom entry tunnel when it's shown so wide-open like this.

These are all great, but the last one is definitely the best!

DisneyChris said...

I can confirm that they had people climbing up those log poles during State Fair. I saw it in person back in the day. It wasd a sort of stunt show they did throughout the day. They also have logs on the river and they did log turning.

Stu29573 said...

The target was for the short lived "interactive experience" when they outfitted the Columbia, Mark Twain and Revenge with real firing cannons! Guests were encouraged to take potshots at the targets. Alas, it all came to an end when guests discovered they could take potshots at pretty much anything. Chaos reigned! The Revenge was sunk and soon forgotten. On still nights, after hours, you can still hear the far off sounds of cannon fire and sometimes glimpse the shadowy form of a forgotten tall ship in the distance...

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if it was a lot colder, I would think that the kid in photo #1 had his tongue stuck to that lamp post. It IS a pretty weird pose, now that you mention it.

TokyoMagic!, I never knew that logs could be so much fun. Shimmying you say! They should have chased guests through the caves with those chain saws for an experience that they would never forget.

Melissa, it was probably the first Target store! (Actually, I recently heard that Target, Walmart, and K-Mart all started in 1962).

Penna. Andrew, I suppose those arches do resemble the kind that guests walk beneath when entering the Magic Kingdom. It never occurred to me before!

DisneyChris, I vaguely recall the State Fair promos, didn’t they have a Ferris Wheel installed near Main Street Station? Perhaps that was for a different promotion.

Stu29573, now that’s an experience that I would love to see. Real firing cannons with real ammo! If a canoe happened to be passing by at the time, well… that was their problem. (What is “The Revenge”? Did somebody drink the river water when they weren’t supposed to?).

Stu29573 said...

The Revenge was the sunken and then completely forgotten third ship on the Rivers of America. Don't ask anyone about it. They have completely blotted it out from Disneyland history (much like the zombie incident of 1987).

Grant said...

I never saw that show but I see a full band is set up behind the poles. Cool. Looks like a pedal steel, keyboard, drums and lots of amps and monitors. I hope they didn't do the target shooting thing when the band was playing.

Reminds me of all the bar stages I've played on with a dart board behind the band. I always feared the night a drunk patron would bet his buddy he could hit a bullseye while the band is playing.

JC Shannon said...

Great shots, Lou and Sue have the eye. Maybe the kid is trying to pull a Flick. Stuck! Stuck! The last photo is a gem as well, the flowers and Tomorrowland living in harmony. Love it. Thanks to Lou and Sue and Major P. for all this goodness.

JG said...

I'm in the minority opinion here, but I think the Bridge over the Pirates is an excellent addition, improving traffic flow and the Pirate queue experience at the same time. The only downside is obscuring the front of the building, which is very handsome, a semi-replica of the Cabildo in the "Real" New Orleans, I believe.

The little boy might be hiding from his dressed-alike brother (who is looking at the closed-off arch) and parents, who are probably up on the bridge. Might be Dad who is looking over the rail, "Get up here now, you kids!"

I wonder what was being done on the Columbia that required such secrecy? Was this the installation of the imaging sonar and sea-to-air missiles? Also wishing no one ever had the idea to build a stage at that spot on TSI.

Mom and Dad bought me a classic Mickey balloon once. it lasted from the Hub to the motel. I untied it from my wrist when I got inside, it bobbed up to the ceiling and popped when it hit the "cottage cheese" finish (complete with sparkles). No more balloons for me.

I do recall that the Fresno Fair had similar "mouse" balloons, the character name printed on the balloon was "Swissy Mouse". A cheap knockoff, but maybe one of Mickey's European cousins. These were double balloons, the mouse was inside a larger clear balloon, quite a challenge to fill and tie, I suppose.

I read recently that the "white striped" PM scheme was intended to coordinate with the current monorail style of that era, which was mimicking the WDW trains. If that was the intent, then it didn't work on me. Any photo of the TL entrance undefiled by the Astro-Orbiter is fine.

Thanks Lou and Sue, and Major. Very nice pics today.


Melissa said...

JG, my pink classic Mickey ears balloon from my first WDW trip lasted for YEARS after it deflated; I kept it and my ticket pinned to my bedroom wall for as long as we lived in that house. Must've been made of Flubber or something.

Melissa said...

The white striped PM cars kind of look like sneakers.

Matthew said...

1987 was a good year. State Fair was in full bloom during the Fall.

@TokyoMagic! is correct. It was indeed a lumberjack show... complete with shimmy. The floating log in front of the stage (with the white stripes and either end and one in the middle) was used for log rolling. Two lumberjacks would compete. You can also see a small ladder on the right side so the loser could climb out of the river.

Major, your recollection is spot on. There were two Ferris wheels installed... one on the train tracks in front of the Main Street Station (the trains did not run at this time or were scheduled for rehab) and one at the Hub. Which made us say, "Didn't Walt say, 'Yeah, and what would make it perfect Herbie, would be if you put a big Ferris wheel that would block that castle thing you drew.'"

Finally, two things occurred around this time it was about this time aboard the Columbia. First the rigging was being completely redone (which if you look it appears to be a tangled mess so I think that is what was happening). Ray Wallace and his team were involved in the re-rigging and at one point (I think because Fowler's Harbor was being redone, we had to "Sail" the Columbia around the river while it was being re-rigged. The tarpaulins you see were used to cover skill saws and other pieces of 20th century equip used in the re-rigging. Along with that they replaced the deck of the ship too (I think at the same time).

Here is Ray's obituary.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Matthew said...

PS @JG - I too was thankful for the bridge. Depending on who you believe, it was created specifically for the opening of Splash Mountain (and also the Disney Gallery). Why you ask? I was there they day I received a radio call to send my Guest Control crew to the front of Frontierland and Adventureland in order to block it off so no Guests could enter the lands. The line for Pirates of the Caribbean had grown so long it reached the river and was stopping the crowds from moving past it into Bear Country. Needless to say, I was called a lot of names that day as we held people back for 15 minutes so the mess could be straightened out.

Always your pal,

"Lou and Sue" said...

First Pic: Maybe that kid is hiding because he stole the 5th picture that Major mentioned at the beginning of this post. ;)

Third Pic: That little girl on the right must be related to the grandma in the teal sweatsuit, as they have the same posture.

Last Pic: Maybe that grandpa is related to them, too.

Lou took pictures of the DL State Fair - I'll eventually get those to the Major to post.

Am on a short lunch break now and gotta run. Thank you, all, for all of your info - especially on what was happening with that target area and with the Columbia. I wasn't at DL that year, and my dad had no idea why the target was there. He was just snapping shots of anything and everything.


JG said...

@Melissa, I'm glad your balloon was worth it, so cool that you kept it for so long. That story balances balloon karma, at least from my point of view.

@Amazon Belle, thanks for that information about the Columbia. It's a favorite of mine and I'm glad they keep it up. I keep fearing it will close someday because of the expense.

The bridge connection for Splash Mountain makes sense, it must have had crazy lines when it opened. We didn't visit until several years later and the lines were really long even then. On my last couple of visits, the bridge has worked very well as an overpass and also as part of the POC queue. I especially like the tree-filled well with drinking fountains in the center.

Thanks everyone.


Kel said...

Space-age Mickey balloon all the way! In fact, I'm almost 100% sure my mom bought me one of those in 1988.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Someone needs to tell that kid it needs to be below freezing for his tongue to stick to that pole. If not it's just kinda gross.

My theory (and I full of em, and slim jim's) is that over the years of wear and tear they might have had a shortage of certain color PM cars to make full train sets. Solution, paint all of them white and re-stripe as needed.

Great photos, thanks Lou and Sue and Major for posting.

Melissa said...

The log-rolling show sounds awesome, and it brings back a memory I had nearly forgotten. For those of you who didn't grow up watching Canadian TV in the 1980s, I give you The Log Driver's Waltz.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, er, um, OK?

Grant, I’m guessing that Deep Purple was going to blow out some speakers in Frontierland! It’s the only explanation. You actually played at places where the was a dart board behind you?!? Talk about a bad idea.

Jonathan, yes, Flick is exactly who I was thinking about. And I never tire of photos of the entrance to Tomorrowland, especially when the Peoplemover was still operational.

JG, you’re crazy! Sorry, I just get emotional. I understand the need for the bridge in front of “Pirates”, I just don’t like the way it looks. But it’s entirely subjective of course. Ultimately I’m not going to lose any sleep over it! You’re “hide and seek” theory is a good one. I have no idea if October of 1987 was rainy, but perhaps the tarps over the Columbia were simply to keep the rain off of the repairs. Who knows! “Swissy Mouse”, eh? They must have spent about five seconds coming up with that name! You might be right about the Peoplemover coordinating with the Monorail, but if so, it was kind of pointless. It’s not like pants going with a shirt.

Melissa, I kept a yellow Mickey ears balloon for years in a box, but it reacted with some other plastic (or rubber) object and kind of melted. I was very disappointed!

Melissa, YES.

Matthew, what the heck, sometimes on TV I’ll see those competitions where guys chop at trees (those axes must be incredibly sharp!), or throw logs, or do log rolling, and it’s sort of fun for 15 or 20 minutes. Then it’s cartoon time. I suppose a Ferris Wheel is OK if it was only temporary. Then we just enjoy the novelty, but don’t miss it that much when it goes bye bye. Thank you for the information about the re-rigging of the Columbia, that is super interesting! Thanks also for the link to Ray Wallace’s obit, sounds like he lived quite a life.

Matthew II, I guess I always assumed that at some point, the lines for “Pirates” had calmed down. But I am sure that during those busy days, guests could easily find themselves way WAY outside the front doors. As I said to JG, I understand the need for the bridge, but am not crazy about the appearance. Others love it, I have no doubt.

Lou and Sue, oh there’s a secret 5th picture! But you can only find it if you are pure of heart. Both the old lady and the little girl are in a “chimpanzee” pose. Poor gramps is having to stand up to pose for yet another picture, and he’s had just about enough!

JG, sure… I’m happy for Melissa too (tears streaming down my face). And Matthew’s info about the Columbia was very interesting! I’ve had good luck with Splash Mountain, the lines have never been that bad. Maybe people don’t like getting soaked (I really like that ride, but don’t like being wet for the next couple of hours).

Kel, really? Maybe it’s my age, but nothing can replace the colorful, classic Mickey ear balloons. Mylar versions surely will keep forever though.

Alonzo, sometimes ya just gotta lick a light post. It’s part of life. Oh man, your theory about the Peoplemover makes a lot of sense, but I hate it if it’s true! “Why maintain all those colors when we can save money by making them all the same!”. Oy vey.

Melissa, ah, those Canadians love their animation! Thanks.

Dean Finder said...

The kid hard heard that if you shake a lamppost, churros would fall out, like a pinata.
I think the paint style on the PM cars was also to give it more of a Star Wars look, to coordinate with the new ride.

Melissa, thanks for that video. In the early days of the "Adult Swim" late-night programming blokc on Cartoon Network, there was a show called "Oh Canada!" featuring all NFB animated shorts, including this and the iconic "The Cat Came Back."

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa - LOL re the target store! "Expect More. Pay Less." Or maybe it's more like their official-unofficial slogan: "Expect More (work). Get Paid Less." Maybe Target would be a good fit for today's DL?I?

DisneyChris and Matthew (Amazon Belle): Just curious, was the lumberjack show fun to watch? It sounds a little dull - but maybe if it had some humor it would've been fun to watch?

Stu29573 - I love your reason for the target!

Major - please close your eyes for the next couple sentences - thank you. JG: I love that entrance area by POTC. It's especially beautiful at night, with the pretty lights on the trees and all - nice atmosphere while standing in line. (The last time I was on the POTC, two years ago, the line filled the entire queue area, and then some.)

Major - ok, now you can open your eyes. Thanks for the explanation as to why I can't find that 5th picture. BTW, did you find my email I sent you today - with Lou's pictures of the 1958 viewliner?


Major Pepperidge said...

Dean Finder, I am going to try that lamp post/churro trick the next time I go to the park. It better work! Hm, your Star Wars theory also makes sense - the answer could be a combination of your theory and Alonzo’s.

Lou and Sue, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from TV, it’s that it takes diff’ernt strokes to move the world. You like the POTC entrance, and I’m not so crazy about it. It’s OK! And I did not receive any pictures from you with the Viewliner, honest.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I like your idea of adding a chainsaw chase to the caves on TSI. They could have demented versions of the Disney princesses be the ones running around with the chainsaws.

I have never been a fan of the bridge in front of POTC. I guess as a stand-alone piece and placed somewhere else, it would be okay. I just don't like how it blocks the original facade of the attraction. I also think it makes the area look more cluttered than if they just had a regular switchback queue out in front of the building.

When Knott's opened their Log Ride (50 years ago), they had people performing "log rolling" stunts in the splash-down area of the ride, for the first few weeks or months of operation. I remember watching them perform that very first summer.

I was working at Knott's when they started selling those mylar balloons with Snoopy on them. This was right at the time they struck the deal with Charles Schulz to start using Snoopy in the park. It was also before Disney started selling mylar balloons. I remember noticing little things like that, which Disney copied or "followed suit" on. Knott's was also selling churros before Disney was. Not that it's a big deal, but it did get my attention at the time, because I wasn't used to seeing Disney copying their competition. And then of course, they copied Knott's Berry Farm's Log Ride with Splash Mountain.

TokyoMagic! said...

I just noticed in that last pic, that the renamed "World Premiere CircleVision" theater is showing "American Journeys."

Chuck said...

TM!, there are also some thematic echoes of Knott's Berry Tales in Splash Mountain and Cedar Point's Frontier Trail in Big Thunder Trail/Ranch (or were, before Ewok Alley).

Thanks for a great post, Major & Lou & Sue & everybody who commented!