Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Nature's Wonderland, July 1976

Here's a trio of fun pix, taken during the Bicentennial year!

Let's start with this little girl - you may remember her as she was being hugged by one of the chipmunks. She's posing as if she is practicing at the ballet barre, just like I always did. 

A trio of tots has materialized! I love the Nature's Wonderland RR locomotives; it's heartbreaking to think that only one of the still exists (as far as I know), though that one is now in the hands of the Carolwood Society, and funds are being raised to restore it to its former glory.

Now we're aboard one of the plucky li'l trains. I love this especially colorful view of the Rainbow Desert with its geysers and paint pots - what a beautiful ride. It would close forever on January 2, 1977 - just five months after these photos were taken.


Nanook said...

Our favorite trio of siblings - with the gigantic belt buckle on one, and the wild pants and matching shirt on the other. (And I swear those must be a part of the Garanimals® line of clothing). As for the lass in the first image, she appears to me a bit more enceinte than about to pliĆ©. But you can't go by me - especially when under the spell of 'Ol Unfaithful and the Rainbow Desert-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, oh beat me to it with the Garanimals® comment! I even looked up the "alt code" for typing the "®" I guess it's a case of "Great minds think alike....." ;-) I do however, think that those might actually be Garanimals® pajamas on that little girl, and when she threw a fit that morning and insisted on wearing them to Disneyland, her parents just relented and let her have her way. I'm sure she was quite embarrassed once she got to the park and saw that nobody else was wearing their P.J.s.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
What - you mean to tell me you didn't wear your PJ's to The Park-?? That's half the fun.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, not my PJs, but I did wear my bedroom slippers to the park once. And boy, at the end of the day, my feet were killing me!

Chuck said...

Ahh, the final year of Desert Cruise. I rode it last a few months later, with no idea I'd never see it in person again.

If we were to rotate the camera about 90 degrees to the left on those first two photos, we'd see a stagecoach on display in front of the unused Pack Mule load area. It would also completely freak out the person holding the camera.

So, now I'm curious - how did the geysers work? Were they high-powered pumps akin to those used in a fountain show? Trained beluga whales hidden in an underground chamber? Did Walt get a four-for-one deal when he built Monstro?

Andrew said...

There's still a Nature's Wonderland locomotive out there? Cool! Is it the one that was laying ramshackle on the riverbank for years?

"Lou and Sue" said...

That little guy is quite the character - he never likes to smile for the camera. It sure would be fun to see a current picture of them together . . . I'd like to think that they now do family reunions in Disneyland, and take pictures all together, making more great memories . . .


Stu29573 said...

You know, now that I think about it, Old Unfaithful was actually extremely faithful. It never failed to erupt as the train chugged by! It's almost as if there was some sort of trip wire... Hmmmm. The best things about the Rainbow desert were the water features! (Of course, including the Rainbow Caverns). Nice shots today!

JC Shannon said...

My favorite extinct attraction. I live about two hours from Yellowstone, and every time I visit Geyser Basin, I think of the Mine Train, 'cause I saw Old Unfaithful first. My grandma loved the ride, as did my mom. Major is quite the dancer, I hear. He once danced the Black Swan, and rumor has it he was wearing Granimal tights. Thanks Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JC Shannon: Major’s interpretive dances will bring tears to your eyes.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’m sorry but that belt buckle should be at least twice as big. Solid brass, 2.5 pounds. With a bas-relief of a nitro-burning funnycar.

TokyoMagic!, I don’t know if I ever actually saw Garanimals, though I vaguely remember the commercials. “Garanimals are so matchable!”. As a boy I was never that concerned about whether my shirt matched my pants, maybe that says something about me. That girl’s outfit really does look like PJ’s!

Nanook, you’re confusing TokyoMagic! with Hugh Hefner.

TokyoMagic!, ay-yi-yi, bedroom slippers all day at the park, that sound painful.

Chuck, aw, now I wish I had a photo of the Stagecoach on display! Why would it freak out the photographer? Probably a “Meet the World…” reference that I’m not getting. I guess I always assumed that the geysers were just fountains, using pumps. Wasn’t there an article about Disneyland’s Mechanical Marvels or something, maybe in “Popular Mechanic” back in the 50’s? I think they wrote about the bubbling paint pots, and maybe the geysers too.

Andrew, yes, that’s the one. It looked pretty rough, but I’m sure those Carolwood guys will get it looking good as new.

Lou and Sue, the little boy is doing his very best Billy Idol face. Maybe he IS Billy Idol? It would be crazy to get contacted by somebody and for them to say, “Those photos you posted last week were of me and my family!”. I’d love it.

Jonathan, “quite the dancer”, yes that sounds about right. I’m not good, but I get people’s attention. I had to get those tights let out a bit, which cost a pretty penny.

Lou and Sue, amen!

Chuck said...

Major, I don't know about you, but if I was pointing a camera at three kids in 1976 and it suddenly rotated to the left 90° by the efforts of a random group of people 33 years in the future, I'd freak out. ;-)

Anonymous said...

A funnycar belt buckle and pajamas, a real fashion statement.

I wore crocs to the park one time, they were good on the Grizzly River ride in DCA, dried right out. Most of my recent visits have been in winter, too cold for crocs.

I sure miss the Desert Cruise. The little touches left in BT only make the loss more poignant.

Thanks for these pictures, Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I was completely missing the “Twilight Zone” aspect of your comment!

JG, if you really want to do things right, you’ll add a bowler hat to your PJ’s and giant belt buckle. Sort of a “Clockwork Orange” thing, only nice! I have never worn Crocs, they sort of fascinate me. Do you wear them with socks? Without?

stu29573 said...

Hello...(tap tap) this thing on? :-)

Anonymous said...

Major, I love my crocs. They are great to slip on to run out for the paper or take out trash.

I got started with them as camp shoes, they weigh nothing and are good to wear after heavy hiking boots on a long backpack. They also meet the scout camp requirement for closed toe shoes, without being really closed toe. Since I don't do scouting anymore, this isn't a big deal now.

I usually wear without socks, in my climate, this is a 3 season condition, as they are warmer than they look. Socks are welcome in cold, dry weather, but no good in the wet.

Due to the, ahem, casual look, I don't wear them off of the property except on Saturdays for errands etc. I bought olive drab green, not the brilliant Mario Batali orange.

Try a pair, I bet you will buy some.


Major Pepperidge said...

Sorry Stu! You know it’s been so long, did “Old Unfaithful” actually erupt in a magnificent geyser? Or did it just rumble and then let out a little “blurp” of water? Maybe I made up my own scenario (and watch too many cartoons)?

JG, I like the idea of a shoe that you don't have to worry about ruining on the rides that get wet (Splash Mountain of course); they kind of look like my mom's gardening clogs! I have some slip-on shoes, but they're more like sneakers. My brother has a pair of white crocs that he planned to wear when he went creek fishing, but... he hasn't been near a creek in years.