Thursday, November 21, 2019

Frontierland '78

Great googly-moogly, it's time for more Frontierland scans (circa 1978), courtesy of the Mysterious Benefactor. 

What kid wouldn't love to his (or her) own treehouse, especially one as great as the one built by Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Joe Potter, and the rest of the gang? Of course I want to build a treehouse that resembles a mid-century masterpiece, complete with a cantilevered swimming pool. Please visit my Kickstarter so that I can live in unheard-of luxury.

Apparently some kid named "Tom Becky" just had to deface this beautiful tree. Well, Thomas Becky, this is going on your permanent record.

I wonder if Tom Sawyer Island saw a falloff in popularity in the 80's or 90's? Maybe that would partly explain the addition of pirates to attract otherwise-disinterested guests. That raft sure is packed.

I love this next photo - partly because it's just a lovely view of the Mark Twain, the River, and other landmarks in the distance. I also love it because the picture was taken from the top of the Haunted Mansion! The MB had another photo taken from there, I shared it about a year ago.

No collection of Frontierland photos would be complete without at least one closeup of the Mark Twain. It's the law!

Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor.


Nanook said...

That rooftop view is a real beauty. And boy... talk about a crowded Mark Twain-!

Thanks to the M B & you.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, the Mark Twain is so crowded in that fourth pic, that I think she's listing!

I like how in that same photo, we can see a couple of Skyway buckets, one of the waterfalls on the Matterhorn, and the abstract mural on the upper level of the Carousel of Progress!

Andrew said...

I think they should've actually named Tom Sawyer Island "Joe Potter Island." It would've had a much broader age appeal.

Chuck said...

Actually, Joe Potter was instrumental in building the treehouse on a different Tom Sawyer Island.

In the third photo, you can see the beginnings of hard times for TSI. The operations budget was already so strained that they had to resort to patching worn costumes for the raft CMs.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, my grandfather built me a tree house. It was a 10 foot square platform with the tree trunk in the center. It had a three foot wall all around it. You got in my using a trap door and a ladder that you could pull up. There was no roof, since the tree provided cover. I actually spent the night up there several times! As cool as Tom and Huck's tree house is, it can't beat mine!
Oh, and Thomas Becky later changed his name to Kilroy and went on a graffiti campaign in WWII that has sparked legends.

JC Shannon said...

Major, never apologize for wanting to live large, it's a noble goal. Pics of Frontierland are always welcome. These are all great. Thanks to the MB and Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yeah, I wonder why the Mark Twain was so packed! I’ve certainly never seen it like that.

TokyoMagic!, it’s listing, just like on opening day. Also, women’s high heels were sinking into the soft asphalt. They should put a square of soft asphalt in the park today so that women can experience what it was like on opening day. BIG IDEAS.

Andrew, I like “Joe Potter Island” more than the “Pirates Lair” that we currently have! And let’s not forget “Muff Potter”, Tom and Huck’s drunk friend who is framed by Injun Joe. YOU FORGOT HIM, DIDN’T YOU?

Chuck, yes, the late 70’s were a tough time for river folk, though I still think they could have splurged a little and used iron-on patches of Gene Simmons, The Fonz, or David Cassidy. Or Weezie Jefferson!

Stu29573, some friends of mine tried to build a treehouse, but with no adult supervision they didn’t get much farther than nailing a few planks to the side of a tree. Sounds like you had a pretty sweet treehouse! What a great grandpa. Thank you for the interesting history about Thomas Becky and his WWII service.

Jonathan, don’t worry, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being annoying about things!

JG said...

Big thanks to the MB and the Major. I really love the look of the Park in these photos. This was peak Disneyland for me.

I'm sure I am on that raft, somewhere... That blond guy with the western shirt sitting on the dynamite keg looks just like a classmate.

Major, that graffiti was probably left by Thomas a Becket. English spelling was not regularized until Johnson's dictionary.

I doubt that lack of knowledge of Twain's stories would contribute to a fall-off in visitors. TSI basically is the best, biggest playground known to Man, and any kid of any age would want to play there, whether they knew the stories or not. I'll bet most visitors now haven't seen the Orlando Bloom movies and don't care. I sure hope that play at this level isn't narrative-driven, at least.

The crowded river boat brings up building code questions of occupant load and required exits, etc. I wonder how (or if) the Mark Twain fits into those issues. I don't recall seeing those loading signs anywhere in Disneyland (Maximum Occupancy 50 persons), and there's no emergency exits for any of the boats anywhere but the starting dock. Unless you jump into the River and walk ashore like MacArthur.

Do any of our Junior Gorilla ex-CM's have any recollections of emergency exit protocols in case of fire, engine failure or other disasters on-board?


Anonymous said...

That's a packed MT. I can't recall what the maximum count was on the ship. Somehow 250 comes to mind. But the REAL listing would take place when the MT returned to the dock. On a packed ship so many folks would already be on the port side that it would list to that side...and we would have to be telling folks to look down and step UP to the dock. KS

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, upon taking a second look at that fourth pic, I think I can see Irene Dunne standing out of the deck! And I believe you just gave Disney an idea for their next million dollar money-grab. They will have that patch of soft asphalt like you suggested, but they will charge people $1,000 for the experience! If you pay $500 more for the deluxe package, they'll throw in a churro, along with an "exclusive" pin that says, "I stood on Walt's asphalt!"

"Lou and Sue" said...

TM! And keychains with bits of asphalt would sell for $100 each

JG said...

And on Main Street, there would be t-shirts, coffee cups, and stuffed plush pieces of asphalt for sale, and in Wookie World, you would be able to design your own piece of asphalt for $200 more.


TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, you are SO right! I really don't get those "Piece of History" pins! Whose to say that they aren't lying about those little bits of wood, paint or fabric inside the plastic bubble on those pins? I totally believe that they lied to us about the Main Street Electrical Parade light bulbs, which they sold back in 1998. They did NOT destroy those floats after the last performance at Disneyland. The parade went on to New York right after that, for the premiere of Hercules and after that, I believe it went to DL Paris or WDW....or both! Those souvenir bulbs that they sold to us, included the socket that holds the bulb and a little bit of wiring, too. I don't believe that they rewired every single parade float before sending them to New York. It is my belief that they sold us "spares" that they had sitting around somewhere backstage.

TokyoMagic! said...

JG, Ha, ha! You are SO right, too!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I never knew how great the 70’s were at Disneyland! I mean, I was there and loved it, but looking back, it was even better than I remembered. “Thomas Becket”, I believe you! Growing up, I had access to a set of Mark Twain books that belonged to my great grandfather - they were in a bookcase at my grandma’s. I loved reading those stories! It makes me sad that kids aren’t exposed to stuff like this. I do kind of wonder (now that you mention it) if the Mark Twain was up to ANY kind of code, and if so, would it be “grandfathered in” for later years? I’ve never had an emergency evacuation, and can’t decide if I’m happy about it or sad.

KS, that makes sense - everybody is in a mad rush to get off the Twain. I would just sit and enjoy myself until the jostling was over, and then walk off, tanned and well-rested.

TokyoMagic!, Irene Dunne had a habit of being on watercraft that nearly capsized. She was probably on that Keelboat - you know the one I mean! I like all your ideas for marketing soft asphalt, and am sure Disney will offer you a million dollar a year job.

Lou and Sue, I would buy one to enjoy, and another to keep “mint in package”!

JG, maybe Duffy the Bear could hold a piece of asphalt? Two dumb pieces of merchandising in one!

TokyoMagic!, I agree with you about those “Pieces of History” pins, but then again, they’ve made baseball cards with slivers of baseball bats and tiny pieces of uniforms. Disney didn’t invent it, but they sure did capitalize on it! And your thoughts about those Electrical Parade bulbs echo my own; I never bought any because I just had a weird feeling about them. They’re lightbulbs! There could be a warehouse full of identical ones that were never on a float!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, EXACTLY! At least you had that foresight about the bulbs. I was a sucker and believed that if the parade was going away FOREVER, as they said that it was, then it made sense that after the farewell season, that the lights would be removed from the floats and sold to guests. I have heard from cast members, that some guests brought back those purchased bulbs, during the last two "return performances" of the Main St. Electrical Parade at Disneyland. I don't blame them! Disney most likely lied about where the bulbs came from and they most definitely lied about the parade going away and never ever coming back. And they suckered me into buying more than just the light bulb. I also bought the key chain, pinback button and other "MSEP Farewell Season" merchandise.

Before typing my earlier comment, I had look up those "Piece of History" pins, because I couldn't remember what they were called. What came up in my search, was a 2014 Disneyland Resort "Piece of History" pin for sale on ebay, which supposedly has a tiny piece of the Swedish Chef's coat from "Muppet Vision 3-D." I don't get it! And I also don't believe it! That attraction was a movie. The Swedish Chef did not appear as a puppet or animatronic in the theater, he was an image on the screen. The attraction/film was also not original to California Adventure. It originated at WDW and had debuted there, back in 1991. The "Piece of History" pin was date 2014, the year that the attraction closed in Anaheim. What exactly is inside the bubble on that pin? Did they go and find the very same puppet that they used back in 1991 and then shred the chef's coat, just to use in those pins? I'm not buying it! The story OR the pin!

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, I WANT a stuffed plush piece of asphalt! One with a cute smiling face on it.

TM! It's so true what you said about the "farewell season" of the Main St. Electrical Parade. (How often have we heard about so-and-so old-fart-musician's final tour concerts . . . and then see them return in two years?!) And don't feel bad about purchasing one of those bulbs, my dad has one in his collection, too. Oh, well - it'll make a nice paperweight . . . along with my piece of Walt asphalt.



TOKYO MAGIC : I agree with you about what may actually be in those pins. However - as much as I hate the Muppets being a part of Disney, the Swedish Chef DID appear as a AA figure in Muppet Vision. He appears in the fake projection booth window in the REAR of the theater about the time the walls get canon-ball blasted.

I also hate to tell you collectors out there how many signed items Disney has sold that were NOT actually signed by who Disney claims signed the cel, C of A or Lithograph. Disney TOTALLY cheated buyers with signed stuff ( officially Disney forged) during the Ebay / Disney Auctioneers auctions .... a good example. Many of the Disney Gallery lithographs “signed” by Herbert Ryman and Sam McKim we’re signed ( forged) by several people at WDI when both artists became too ill to complete the stacks of lithos and art to be signed.
Disney Art Editions too sold many cels Serigraphs and hand painted replicas with “signed” certificates ..... all by people Disney had forging the signatures. .....

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thank you for that info! I am more than happy to be corrected, when I'm wrong! That just goes to show you how much I paid attention to that lame attraction. I love the Muppets, but I never liked that 3-D movie. I think it was tied with "Honey I Shrunk The Audience," for the worst 3-D movie, ever!

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Mike, now I have to go bid on that Swedish Chef "Piece of History" pin!!! ;-)

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike - It's sad to hear what Disney folks do (did) regarding forging signatures, but it doesn't surprise me. Thank you for the information, as I'd much rather know the truth - and I truly do believe you. I hope you have a "new secret identity," as Disney's henchmen now have you marked. ;)

Does anyone want to buy a Main St. Electrical Parade lightbulb, btw?

In the 3rd picture, I first thought that I saw one guy (towards the left side of the raft) wearing light-turquoise and white flowered PJ's (tops and bottoms) . . . but then realized that was two guys wearing matching shirts. Also, I couldn't help but notice that something looks really strange about the fit of the "seat" of that raft CM's pants. Pucker-butt.


Nanook said...

@ Lou and Sue-

It's properly referred to as: a skinny white boy, with no ass. (I know the feeling - no rumpus room).

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, I forgot to respond to your comment about the older artist's "farewell concert tours." LIARS! Just like Disney! I don't believe any of them anymore! I wonder if someone could successfully sue them for "false advertising." It's obviously a gimmick for some of them and I'm sure it works. I bet there are people who only buy tickets, because they think it is the very last chance they have to see them perform live.

JG said...

Some years back, after a seismic retrofit, the Golden Gate Bridge was selling "Genuine Rivets" ostensibly removed during the work. New girders were made up of laser-cut steel and didn't use rivets, so the old ones supposedly went as souvenirs. Needless to say, I did not buy one.

This seems vaguely like the Venetians plundering Alexandria to get the body of St. Mark for their Basilica. Buy a piece of the True Cross for your keyring.

Also, compare the Pirate Ship post of 11-22-2019 with the raft pilot in this post, "impressively sculpted sterns" were not a feature in Frontierland.


Melissa said...

"Tom Becky" was a little-known pseudonym of St. Thomas a Becket. Further up the tree, it says, "Better are the blows of a friend than the flase kisses of an enemy," but the Imagineers glued nylon leaves over it.

(miss mah gorillies)

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, I'm glad to see that you are back! We missed you!

Anonymous said...

What Tokyo Said!

Good to see you, Melissa.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa - Ditto what TM and JG said!