Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Previously Rejected

Here are two scans of slides that should have been featured on GDB years ago, but I omitted them for one reason or another - it's likely that I thought they were not interesting at the time. That's right, it's more "UNREJECTED" slides, even though I just did the same thing two days ago.

Here's a pretty, colorful shot along the riverfront - it's surprising what a difference bright sunshine makes for what might otherwise be a truly dull image. The Columbia seems to spend at least half of its existence at rest in Fowler's Harbor... does it require that much maintenance? The sails are partially unfurled, which is always nice. A raft scoots across the water to a landing on Tom Sawyer Island. The cupola of the Haunted Mansion is just visible through the branches of that magnolia tree.

Zooming in a bit, we can see that ladies' skirts were getting pretty short! Not that I'm complaining. I like the signs hanging from that wrought-iron post, including the new Bear Country. Looks like there's some Navy boys to our left.

And here's a lovely shot of the Matterhorn (from 1970), with the Plaza Inn's yellow and white-striped umbrellas, some Tomorrowland palms, and just general loveliness.


Nanook said...

Ships that circumnavigated the globe are entitled to extra R&R - hence the reason The Columbia is often seen 'luxuriating' in Fowler's Harbor.

Thanks, Major for more 'unrejections'.


That girl with her back facing us in the first picture appears to be a MILE LONG BAR cast member. What is she doing? Checking her cel phone? She has a purse or shoulder bag of some kind.

The second shot with PLAZA INN patio shows how open it was - today the hedges and filigree railing around the terrace seating blocks the views of Tomorrowland, the castle and Main Street . I guess it doesn’t really matter I suppose because in 2019 the only thing you’d see would be mass crowds, people fixated on their cel phones , strollers and clumps of people wasting their Disneyland visit lining up along the curbs 6 hours before the parade or fireworks start.

TokyoMagic! said...

I was going to ask if the dress on that lady, could be an employee costume. Thanks for the confirmation, Mike!

From the shadows in that last pic, it appears to have been taken in the early morning. Seeing all the people on that pathway heading towards Tomorrowland, reminds me of all the times we got to DL in the morning and headed right to Tomorrowland, first thing, along that very same path!

Chuck said...

Look at all that non-revenue-generating space. What an incredible waste.

Andrew said...

It's odd seeing a picture of the river where it's separated from the midway (Is that word taboo for DL?) by just a simple railing - now I think there're planters and Fantasmic infrastructure, and I know how much everyone on here loves Fantasmic.

Chuck said...

Andrew, your observations are very keen - both of the photos and of the sentiments of this particular crowd. :-)

If you look at even earlier pictures, I don't think there's even a railing, just a simple chain separating guests from the "natural-looking" riverbank. I have no idea how 1950s people didn't die several times a day without modern safety equipment. Oh, the humanity!

When this photo was taken, there was a gradual rise up behind us to the buildings of New Orleans Square, without all of the terracing installed to facilitate Fantasmic! viewing. I personally think it looked better that way, possibly because that's the way the Imagineers originally designed it, but also possibly because that's the Disneyland of my youth and nostalgia often has undue influence on opinion. :-) The current configuration breaks up that eye-pleasing rise, but it also breaks up the crowds, turning it into smaller teeming masses of people instead of one big, swirling cesspool of humanity.

I think most of us actually like Fantasmic! as a show, but what we dislike is how much we've had to give up for something that's fun to watch a couple of times and then fades into what is essentially a river parade that attracts huge crowds to a section of the Park that used to be simply magical at night but now requires a crowd-control device from Soylent Green to fight your way through to get to the Haunted Mansion. It's unfortunate that they didn't have the real estate in 1992 to give it its own amphitheater like they have at WDW.

Anonymous said...

You know, those rafts sure do scoot across the water quickly, considering they never actually use their sails. If they ever unfurled them, they would probably go supersonic! The sonic booms would be a bit distracting, I think.

JC Shannon said...

I forgot that the mini was still popular in the 70s. I am loving all the space as well, it's nice not to have to fight the crowds. The little girl in pink is pulling off the Sinatra look quite well. I am going to hit POTC before the lines get too long. Thanks Major.

Stefano said...

If there was a GDB when the first two pictures were taken, one of the few things we could have faulted the park for was the replacement of the original river border, all reeds and plants and flowers, with this stone and iron railing. That lush border was at least some barrier: at Knott's, the Cordelia K lagoon and Fiesta Village lakes had none, the pavement just ended in water.

I wonder how the NOS Magnolia trees are faring, so evocative of the South; "Cut the moonlight and Magnolia, Scarlett", as Rhett said in "Gone With the Wind". Magnolias are distressed and dying all over the Los Angeles area, probably because of drought.

Anonymous said...

I love these pictures.

Thanks for confirming the young lady in costume, she looked familiar, and that's why.

Major, I think I read comments here that Columbia was a sort-of overflow ride, even at the beginning, and only ran weekends in the summer. I guess that accounts for why my last two rides were forty years apart.

@Stu29573, that's funny.

@Stefano, I agree, the natural border was much better, and progress does not equal improvement. Quoting Lord Wellington: "Must we have progress, are things not bad enough already?"


Anonymous said...

That's a rare costume indeed though one I can immediately recognize. If the first shots were taken in September '72, I will hazard a guess that it is after the final volley of crowds over the Labor Day weekend. It was amazing how quickly the crowds would disappear after that date. Essentially the very next day. The best time to visit the Park and enjoy the Summer parades and fireworks was the week after Labor Day. After that, Summer season officially ended. Boy have times changed. It's full-bore all year long now. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that lazy ship only circumnavigated the globe once, how many naps does it need?

Mike Cozart, interesting! I thought that the young woman’s outfit was unusual, but it was 1972, so that seemed par for the course. I thought that she might have a ticket book in her left hand, but if she’s a CM, that makes no sense.

TokyoMagic!, yeah, I think that photo #2 was taken earlier in the day. When I got old enough to decide, I would go to Tomorrowland first, and it would probably be the last “land” I visited too, but when I was a kid we tended to go to Fantasyland. Against my wishes!

Chuck, if they charged people to sit in those chairs, it would be a real game-changer.

Andrew, I have never heard any of the main roads referred to as “midways”, but hey, it doesn’t hurt my feelings at all! I can’t speak for the other Junior Gorillas, but I personally am not that big a fan of Fantasmic. I rate it as “fine” but “skippable if you’ve already seen it once”.

Chuck, yes early on there was only a slender chain, it’s almost comical how much they trusted people to be responsible show a bit of common sense. I hate the way the Frontierland/NOS area has been terraced and completely dedicated to that nighttime show; if nothing else it has done away with any illusion of Frontierland as a “real” place. Now it looks like an amusement park. And when it happens to be near showtime, forget about it - it’s the last place I want to be. I can see how the Fantasmic! show gets some added value by being on the Rivers of America, but as you alluded, the effect is has on the place during the time that the show isn’t being performed is too significant. Many will disagree I’m sure!

Stu29573, I’ve heard that engineers are considering adding sails to jet fighters so that they will go even faster!

Jonathan, I’ll be that the mini was gaining more main-stream acceptance, instead of just being worn by young, daring women. Hot pink was Sinatra’s favorite color!

Stefano, it’s funny, I feel like I forgive things at Knott’s that I wouldn’t at Disneyland. In the older days, Knott’s just felt more funky and organic, they didn’t have the huge money that Disney did. It’s part of what made it so lovable. I expected more at Disneyland, and for most of my life they delivered. So when they started cutting back on things like maintenance it really made an impact. As for the magnolias (I love those trees!), my guess is that the ones at Disneyland got water even during the drought. They might be attacked by any number of pests though, like that “glassy-winged sharpshooter” that is decimating so many plants.

JG, the park definitely seems to operate the Columbia like an overflow ride, though I doubt that Walt intended it to be so. He wanted that busy river. I like Lord Wellington’s sentiment!

KS, wow, so cool that you can narrow down the date that way, I love it. The way you describe it, I can see myself marking a day after Labor Day, heading to a wonderfully uncrowded park, and soaking it all in.

Chuck said...

When I was in college, I used to skip class the Friday before Labor Day and take my girlfriend to Cedar Point. Summer hours and attractions and no crowds - it was awesome. I think it may be part of why my girlfriend agreed to marry me.

Anonymous said...

Looking at these photos, I can't help but feel that the original park had more of a botanical garden aesthetic to it. At least in this area of the park. Especially in the last photo. There's just so much wide open space with areas of unadulterated greenery and landscaping. Doesn't feel the least bit commercial. I can only imagine that the area has now since become cluttered with additional buildings.