Friday, February 28, 2020

Fabulous Fantasyland in Fifty Six!

I have a pair of very nice Kodachromes for you, undated but most likely from 1956. You can see that it was a pretty busy day in ol' Disneyland - it's kind of a miracle that the photographer managed to snap this picture without anybody else stepping in between the camera and the little family.  I'm sure you all remember the stylish mom and her two kids.

I'm including a few closeups for my favorite activity - voyeurism! Notice the "Fantasyland" sign with the map on it, for those who were unfamiliar with how the park was laid out. Seems like the land was not that big, but I guess it helped folks to get to a specific ride. A girl to the left has one of those lenticular Mickey "I Like Disneyland" pinback buttons. 

The lady with the green blouse is holding a 1956 guidebook - which happens to look almost exactly like a 1957 guidebook, but like I said, my spidey senses say '56. You're not going to question my spidey senses, are you??

I know, I know, this isn't Fantasyland, but it's still a nice picture from the same batch; it's a beautiful shot of the old Chemical Fire Wagon, drawn by two tiny white horses. "One's like snow, the other's more like milk...". To our right we can just see a bit of the fa├žade where one could view scenes of "International Street". Which was built, but only in the 11th dimension. In our dimension it never came to be.


"Lou and Sue" said...

In the first picture there’s a daring woman in short shorts, while all the others are in dresses. There’s always one in every crowd. And I see the back of Fred Mertz, too.

In the last picture, I like those black and white striped pants on the very right.

Fun trip back to 1956, thanks Major!


P.S. Happy 91st Birthday, Lou (dad)!

Nanook said...


All those folks just 'hanging out' around the Sleeping Beauty Castle. (What do they know that we don't-??) "Snow", "milk"-?? Oh, that's so 1956. I'm thinking more along the lines of 'Milkshake' & 'Fresh Linen'-!

Thanks, Major. (Happy 91st, indeed Lou-!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, I see Fred Mertz! I think he actually has a little bit more hair than Fred! And a very happy birthday, to Lou!!!!

Nobody has pointed out the strange man, holding a shovel and traipsing around on that hill in the background! So I'll point him out. LOOK AT HIM! THERE HE IS!

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! Are we possibly witnessing a murder cover-up?!?!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, possibly! My mind kept going to Raymond Burr in Rear Window!!! Maybe that's Grace Kelly up there on the hill (in drag), snooping around with a shovel, and trying to solve a murder!

I say that it was; The Wicked Witch, in the Dwarf's Cottage, with the Poison Apple!

TokyoMagic! said...

Or maybe it was Captain Hook, in the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, with a Hook?

Andrew said...

These are definitely action-packed pictures! Everyone's crowding the castle, with at least one person riding on shoulders (or maybe standing on the wall??) on the way into Fantasyland. They're going to spill off into the moat and be devoured by swans, for crying out loud! And with people standing up on the fire wagon, it doesn't seem to be anything but pure mayhem!

A happy birthday to Lou, as well. :-)

Chuck said...

Man, that sure is a peck of people!

Love the black-hatted, mouse-eared balloon just to our left of the subject family. Just to the left of that, a boy is holding something up to the sky. Wish I knew what it was (the thing he's holding; I'm familiar with the sky).

TM! & Sue, I was going to say it was Black Bart, with the revolver, in the Conservatory, but that won't be built until 1969, long after Bart's giant frame ceased terrorizing the quiet hillside town of Rainbow Ridge.

Sue, there's another daring damsel in the last picture. Find the right end of the park bench on the left side of the image, then move slightly up. She's wearing a red, spaghetti-strapped top. Scandalous! Almost made me miss the streetcar plodding up Main Street behind her.

Also, please wish your dad a happy birthday from us all!

Melissa said...

"One's like snow, the other's more like milk..."

Dadgummit, I just got that song out of my head! Now I'm gonna have to sing a couple verses of "The Lonely Goatherd" to get it out again!

Happy birthday to Lou!

Melissa said...

So many adorable vintage purses in that first shot. And a few of my favorite paper souvenir hats. Awesome vintage people watching material.

Chuck said...

Thanks, Melissa. Now I can't get "The Lonely Goatherd" out of my head.

At least it's drowning out seven of the nine voices telling me I must destroy humanity.

DrGoat said...

First off, that is a great first pic. Almost like it was choreographed. Looks like a scene from the Music Man.
Lou & Sue, I'll call your Fred Mertz and raise you with my Italian Grandmother to his right. Did a double take. Digging on that red beanie to Fred's left too.
Thanks Major, and Happy Birthday Lou! You're a lucky man.

JC Shannon said...

Great people watching photos. Love looking for celebs and time travelers. Happy birthday Lou! Sue, I spotted Ethel in the last photograph. On the left. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, wow, I’d like to wish Lou a very happy 91st birthday! I hope he knows how much people have been enjoying his wonderful photos. It is interesting to sometimes see women dressed daringly back in the conservative 50’s.

Nanook, I am just assuming that it was a particularly busy day, Disneyland’s second summer. It must have been encouraging to Walt to see so many people coming to his park. Also I only drink green milkshakes, and I’ve never seen a green horse!

TokyoMagic!, do you think William Frawley was actually a nice man, or was he a crusty old grump? I figured somebody would mention the mysterious “man on the hillside”!

Lou and Sue and TokyoMagic!, it seems weird for me to comment on your comments to each other. So I’ll just say, “hear hear”!

Andrew, I think that one guy might be standing on the little built-in benches that used to be along the bridge (and were recently removed). He looks pretty big to be on anybody’s shoulders! I’d sure love to ride on the old fire wagon, circa 1956.

Chuck, are you sure it’s not a bushel? Ten pecks equals a bushel, ten bushels equals a furlong, ten furlongs equals a plethora. It’s so easy to remember! I wish that was Black Bart on that hillside, that would be cool. I’m all for the red spaghetti-strapped lady!

Melissa, why not just hum Wagner’s Ring Cycle, that always works for me. I probably know “The Lonely Goatherd” and don’t know that I know it. I do know “The Lonely Bull”!

Melissa, these pix are great for vintage fashions, and you know that I always love seen all the souvenir hats, paper or other materials. It’s actually kind of amazing how many hats were probably purchased that very day.

Chuck, OK, I had to look on YouTube, I sort of know that song. I’ve never seen “The Sound of Music”! Those puppets remind me of “Eskie”, the former pop-eyed mascot of Esquire Magazine.

DrGoat, you’re right, it looks like scene from an MGM musical. Or yes, “The Music Man”! Italian Grandma is gesturing about lasagna, as she always does. I do kind of like those beanies, though I’m sure I’d look very dumb wearing one.

Jonathan, I would expect the area in front of the castle to be that busy in the morning, maybe when they first let folks across the bridge, but we can tell by the sun that it is now afternoon. I hope our little family had a good time in spite of the crowds!

Chuck said...

Thanks, Major. You've fixed my earworm. In fact, I think I may pull out one of my Herb Alpert LPs.

Tom said...

Awesome pics today! Every so often a new viewpoint will show up that will force me to drag out aerial views from past years. That first shot has some serious zoom going on, to make it look like the castle is that close to the curb. It sure does make it look crowded!

And the murder hill there on the left was taken out the following year I think, so they must have found the body. Unless maybe this guy was actually moving the evidence!

Great pics today!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, you can't go wrong with Herb! So many great songs. I can't help thinking of my dad playing one of his LP's when I was a kid (for some reason "A Taste of Honey" is the one I imagine, though it could have been anything), it seems like it was always a beautiful summer day.

Tom, interesting, it DOES look like the castle is much closer to the curb. Maybe it's just the lenses used, but I've seen photos online that make it look much further back. The buried body is one of Walt's "hard facts"!

Anonymous said...

That enormous pile of dirt, pardon me, landscaped berm, appears to be on the location of the Carnation Plaza music venue?

Major, you posted a photo of a circus sign on Feb 21 where this area looked to be behind a construction wall. I guess the wall has been taken down by today's photos?

The same photo shows an even bigger pile of dirt over where the Nature's wonderland Desert might eventually be.

I guess Disneyland was less complete than I thought back then.

I'm enjoying all the clothes and music conversation, but I don't know enough to contribute.

Happy Friday everyone and thanks for the pics.


zach said...

Lots to see today, Thanks Lou&Sue and Happy Birthday, Lou!

Kids enjoying their balloons, hats, lots of hats, I see Walt somewhat disguised near the boys balloon string. And Fred.

I never made it past the 5th Dimension, you know, where Jupiter aligns with Mars?

Who's to say that's not the Fool on the Hill? He is alone and nobody hears him.

It was hard to find the Lady in Red. Are you guys using a magnifying glass?

I see another guide book back there.

Anyway, happy Friday to all,


PS, Major P and GDB© are not responsible for any ear worms that may have occurred from this post.

Anonymous said...

Major, the International Street was constructed in the dimension where there was no letter "J".


"Lou and Sue" said...

I’m enjoying all the laughs today! Thank’s everyone!

JC Shannon, you’re right! That is Ethel. In real life they hated each other, and this proves it - seeing them apart.

I just got back from celebrating my dad’s birthday and read everyone’s birthday wishes to him. It was so sweet because, as I was reading your messages, he wanted me to tell him a little about each of you. Don’t worry, I only shared the good stuff. ;)