Friday, December 13, 2019

Very Merry Christmas Parade, Part 2

Here is PART 2 in a series of photos from our friends Irene, Bruce, and James, featuring a look at Disneyland's "Very Merry Christmas Parade". Date unknown. I suspect that these photos are older than the other examples from the Dream Team - possibly even from the late 1970's - but I just don't know for sure.

I guess I should have posted this one last week - but oh well. On the back of this float an nice old lady who may or may not be Mrs. Claus holds a tray of candy. LOTS of candy. Her whole darn cottage is made of the stuff. She has many fillings in her teeth. Closer to us, an merry elf carries a tray of sweets; at first I thought she might be tossing some into the crowd, but now I'm not so sure. On the back of the float we can see chef Chip (or Dale).  

This float looks like it was made of Tinker Toys; baby Chernabog would have played with the big version like this. Up on the float, partially obscured, is Stromboli, the villainous puppeteer from Pinocchio. He is controlling various girl puppets, including one that looks like she is dressed for the Golden Horseshoe Saloon (to the left). 

Next is the Agoura High School marching band. I've been to Agoura many times! I just did a hike in the hills a few weeks ago. The man in the tan sweater knows that all eyes are on him.

I wonder if the band was playing a Disney song, or a Christmas tune, or a song by Parliament Funkadelic? 

Br'er Fox has mended is mischievous ways, and instead of catching and eating Br'er Rabbit, he is happy to shake hands with the crowd. I need a yellow shirt with a green vest! Behind him we see Donald Duck and the lovely Daisy. Donald is a balloon vendor apparently. Behind the ducks is Goofy, at the wheel of his jalopy.

I like this colorful toy train (is he related to Casey Jr.?), pulling a load of presents just for me. Hopefully Santa brought me that "Pong" game that I can play on my very own TV (which will be in a separate box)! There will never be another computer game as exciting as Pong. 

Alrighty, that does it for part two. Stay tuned for part three, coming soon. Thank you as always to Irene, Bruce, and James.


Nanook said...


My vote is for Parliament Funkadelic (P-Funk). Maybe they were playing that Bootsy Collins tune - The Pinocchio Theory.

About the only clue I can see in the images (and it isn't much of one) is the Hallmark Greeting Cards Shop is still there; so the latest year this could be is 1984.

Thanks Dream Team.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wheeee! More vintage Christmas Parade photos! That elf looks like she's carrying a tray of baked goodies. Wouldn't it be great if she really was throwing the treats to the crowd? It would be even better, if they were "messy" treats, like cream puffs and chocolate eclairs! Am I right?

My brother and I had a Pong set from Sears, but unfortunately, that is something that we did not save!

Thank you to Irene and her Dream Team, for more vintage parade goodness!

TokyoMagic! said...

By the way, the packages being pulled by that train, contained balloons. At various times during the parade, performers would release the balloons from the boxes. The train was painted silver and blue and used again 3 or 4 years later in Disneyland's 25th Anniversary Family Reunion Parade.

Andrew said...

Goofy's jalopy is really run down. They're definitely not using that car as a Main St Vehicle!

TokyoMagic, I'm pretty sure that the treats being chucked were stale cookies left over from the Candy Palace. They were so hard that when they hit the ground, they just bounced right back!

Chuck said...

I've been wary of strange women who live in candy houses ever since one put me in a cage and tried to fatten me up. True story!

The float behind Goody's jalopy looks familiar. I know they reused floats from parade to parade, so I'm not surprised.

"Computer game?" Major, don't be silly - nobody has the room for their very own computer at home. I've seen them on TV and they take up whole rooms - sometimes entire buildings!

And if I had to guess a date for these photos, I'd pick, oh, 1978. Just a hunch. ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, maybe the stale treats even ended up giving someone a concussion! And that Goofy's jalopy vehicle was used in many of the parades, including "Fantasy On Parade," the year that I was in it. It was also used in the stage/arena productions of "Disney On Parade," which traveled the country in the seventies.

Chuck, I believe that float behind Goofy's jalopy was a part of a "Dumbo's Circus" unit in the parade, and that float had also been used in previous parades. I have a photo of it, but I haven't posted it.

DrGoat said...

Fun pictures for a Friday Major. Great crowd with nice shots of the Tobacco and Magic Shops.
Andrew, stale cookies? Let me at 'em.
Tokyo, thanks for that link to the 25th Anniversary Family Reunion. Great pics. Concerning the Adventureland unit, it's been a long time since I've seen belly buttons in a Disney Parade. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Leaving work early today to head down to the Tucson Winter Street Fair.
Must gird my loins as the crowds can sometimes get crazy. Probably why I'm rambling this morning. Good weekend to all.
Thanks Major, Irene, Bruce and James. Nice way to start the morning.

Irene said...

These photos sure do put us in the spirit of the Holidays! I didn't realize there were older photos like this in the album. I'll be interested in reading more comments from others who might be able to pinpoint the date on these.

Some of the little things I noticed. The young lady holding the letter G, her knee high socks have lost their umph. In the photo of Donald and Daisy I love the little girl on the left wearing blue waving to Daisy - one of those sweet Disney moments.

I'm going to Knott's Berry Farm today to soak in the Christmas spirit there while I'm still feeling up for it! The weather here today is going to be warm and dry- perfect :)

K. Martinez said...

These Christmas Parade pics are wonderful and definitely get one into the Christmas spirit. I know some don't like to waste their time on the Disneyland parades, but I do love them. Especially the Christmas parades. So much color.

Brer Fox has always been one of my favorite costumed characters. Such a humorous character.

Love the holiday train too. The simple geometric patterns and color make it feel like it's part of a "Babes in Toyland" kingdom.

Thanks Irene and Dream Team. Thank you too, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think I see Bootsy way in the distance of photo #4. I think that, based on when the “Very Merry Christmas Parade” ran, we had narrowed this down to something like “pre-1981”, but now I’ve forgotten!

TokyoMagic!, she should be throwing water balloons filled with chocolate pudding. Very thin, cheap water balloons. We had a Colecovision that had Pong, I wish we still had that thing!

TokyoMagic!, ah yes, now that you mention it I’ve seen the balloon releases from that train. And as soon as you said “silver and blue” I knew that you meant the 25th anniversary.

Andrew, I wonder if Bob Gurr had anything to do with Goofy’s jalopy? After all, he said something along the lines of “If it rolls on wheels, I probably designed it”.

Chuck, I was wondering what ever happened to your sister. Now I think I know. You’ll get a better look at the float behind Goofy in an upcoming post. You joke about computers, but I am old enough to remember thinking, “Why would I ever want a computer?”. And I also remember a guy buying a one gigabyte hard drive - I thought, “How could anyone ever need one thousand megabytes of storage space??”.

TokyoMagic!, I know I’ve seen that jalopy in other parade pix, probably from the 1960’s even. As you’ll see soon, there are some very circusy floats from this parade, I could never quite tell if it was a mashup of the Christmas parade and the Dumbo’s Circus parade? They seem like an odd mix.

DrGoat, my mom actually opens up packages of store-bought cookies and lets them get stale. She doesn’t like them crunchy. I’ll say, “Then why don’t you buy SOFT cookies?”, but there’s no reasoning with her. It’s gross. Hm, what’s winter in Tucson like? Do you get snow?

Irene, I think these are by far the oldest photos in those binders, as soon as I saw them I could tell that they were considerably older than the others, which seem to be at least 15 years newer. The little girl in blue looks like she waved to everybody! I wonder if she still loves a parade all these years later? Have fun at Knott’s!

K. Martinez, the last time I watched a Disneyland Christmas parade, my date was in tears she was so happy, so I guess that made it feel like it was worth it. Or maybe she was in tears because she wished she was on a date with somebody else? Glad you enjoyed these!

Nanook said...


I’m afraid many of us are “old enough” to have many a ‘computer story’ to tell. Back in about 1991, we got AutoCAD, which required a ‘custom-built’ computer to handle all its processing needs. One of its claims to fame was a large amount of RAM: 9 Megs-!!. No messing around here; they meant business-! My, how times have changed.

Now, about being moved to tears... it’s probably best left unanswered.

DrGoat said...

Snow only on the Catalina Mountains and the Rincons that straddle the north and east side of the city. Nothing on them right now. We get snow down here in the valley about once every 5 or 6 years and it last about 1 day. Average temp right now is about 68-70 or so during the day and upper 40s at night.
Just about right. Subject to change of course.

"Lou and Sue" said...

GREAT post today - thank you Major and the Dream Team! Lots of wonderful pictures, plus hilarious commentary. I had a stressful work day today and really appreciate the laughs.

Irene, please give us a trip report tomorrow. And DrGoat, please do the same. Would love to hear about all your fun today!

My first work computer was a Wang - in 1987. But I started working in an office in 1976, while in high school, and the equipment was really antiquated, back then. The copier required a large heavy pink roll of "tissue paper" that was needed in addition to the sheets of paper, for making copies. In the late 70's I worked in an office and used TWX, Telex and Quip machines. Does anyone remember those?! (I didn't think so.)

Pong! Wow, does that bring back memories. As a teen (pre-teen?), I remember watching late night movies with friends, then the TV test pattern would come on - followed by the national anthem. THEN, we'd really have some fun . . . we'd play Pong! If you were really good, you could make the paddle smaller and increase the speed. Simpler times, but great memories!


Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks for the great Christmas parade photos!
The colors are really outstanding
I'd say these 'reek' of 1982. :)
Just a hunch, but the hairstyles (with sideburns), tinted glasses on the band director, the jackets worn by onlookers, sweaters and vests, that (over)abundance of hushpuppies worn by the squatting onlookers all remind me of that early 80s period. Also, we don't see baton twirlers much anymore, so it might've been at an earlier time.
Maybe 1983... maybe...a parallel fashion universe.

Melissa said...

I agree with Ken on Disney Christmas parades. Ain't no Christmas like a Disney Christmas.

Once I lost z crown off my tooth just *looking* at a tray of Mickey-eared candy apples in the Magic Kingdom

JG said...

Hmm, will Baby Chernabog be the next guest appearance on "The Mandalorian"?

The train looks like Casey and Thomas the Tank Engine offspring.

I like Goofy's jalopy, I'm pretty sure I've seen that in a DL parade, sometime.

These are fine photos, Major. Big thanks to the Dream Team.