Friday, February 21, 2020

Interesting Fantasyland View, 1956

Today's primary image is from sometime in 1956, taken on the walkway (and lawn) in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle on a beautiful, sunny day. As you can see, a brave knight (with requisite pageboy hairdo) was relaxing on some leftover castle bits. But why? I have no idea! There was no 1956 Disney movie featuring knights - the 1953 film "The Sword and the Rose" might fit the bill, though I've never seen it. Maybe it was as simple as "We have a medieval castle, people expect to see knights".

Favorite detail: the bobby pin holding the knight's hair away from his face. Just like in ye olden days! Second favorite detail: the sign indicating the way to Professor Keller's "Feline Fantastics" (Wild Jungle Killers IN ACTION). Originally part of the ill-fated Mickey Mouse Club Circus (which closed on January 8th of '56), George Keller's trained animal show continued under the big top from February 19th through September 5th. Some say his big cats were tranquilized until they were docile, which just seems like good sense to me.

Here's a previously-shared photo looking down from the Skyway. It's the back side of the sign.

And finally, I might as well throw in this classic view of the Castle and the bridge that crossed the moat, leading guests into Fantasyland.


K. Martinez said...

Today's images are a 10+.

I love seeing pics of something I've never seen before at Disneyland or an angle I've never seen before that provides a rare and unique view. The first pic is especially a gem. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

What a wonderful view of the signage for the relatively short-lived Prof. Keller's show. And paired with the reverse angle, one really gets a feeling of being there.

I believe bobby pins were just coming into their own, right about the same time as knights were all the rage-! Love the Disneyland themed 'apron'.

Thanks, Major, for these truly unusual views.

TokyoMagic! said...

That first pic is such a great photos! And since we are all pointing out things we love about it....I love the knight's pose! I also love his wig, which looks like one of Snow White's wigs that was discarded after it went limp. And I really love how someone (probably in the landscaping department) was unfurling that roll of white wire fencing and when they got to those "leftover castle bits," just abandoned the project and left the fence still rolled up, right out there in the open, for everyone to see.

Chuck said...

I hate it when I'm building a castle and order too much crenellation. I never know what to do with the leftovers.

Judging by the presence of both the Skyway to Fantasyland and the Skyway to Tomorrowland (both visible in a single frame in this rare view), these photos were taken between June 23rd and September 5th 1956.

Note the steam rising from the Mark Twain in the distance in the re-run photo from the Skyway. And Ken's favorite high-tension power lines and the Dominguez Palm put in guest appearances as well.

In the last photo, I can juuust make out Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara next to the bridge. Or maybe that's Natalie Portman. Hard to tell at this resolution.

Great and interesting set today, Major! Many thanks.

stu29573 said...

It't time for a "Stu's Fun Fact!" (Crowd groans) "Professor Keller's Feline Fantastics" was originally "Professor Keller's "Feline Fanatics" but people got tired of being handed those little tracts from the lions. Nobody likes a preachy lion.

DrGoat said...

Major, wonderful pics today! Never experienced Prof. Kelly's show.
We didn't get to the park until '58-'59. Probably wouldn't have remembered it anyway. The park looks so sparse from the Skyway. Amazing. What a view.
Prince Valiant with a bobby pin. Never thought I would get to see that. It certainly does look like a cast-off Snow White wig, TM.
Fantastic primal pics Major. Big thanks.
PS Found no info on where the Frito Kid vending machine ended up.
One rumor is that John Stamos bought it for his home. Funny thing, couldn't find that link again when I tried to re-visit it later. Hmm.
Best pic I found was this one.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Jethro Bodine?!?!

stu29573 said...

Wasn't he a brain surgeon? Or Double Aught Spy? Or Hollywood Mogul? He rings a bell....

DrGoat said...

I think I saw him out at the see-ment pond guys.

JC Shannon said...

I'm thinkin' that tunic would make a dandy addition to my Disneyland collection. Ah, the good old days when you could drug wild animals for the enjoyment of families. The show was before my time or at least I don't remember it. I gotta say though, me thinks Lancelot looks a little bored. I bet he's wishing he had taken that aluminum siding job instead. Thanks to Sir Major for today's scans.

Tom said...

I absolutely love that first shot. What K. Martinez said up there: new angle, different view. I particularly enjoy seeing views of the park before the Matterhorn, before the House of the Future, while the park was still doing its best to grow wild and woolly weeds to cover up the vast stretches of untamed land. Just amazing!

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, ditto! As you are well aware, most photos are more or less the same subjects from the same angles, so anything different is welcome. And in that first photo’s case, it’s not just different, but also records a forgotten feature from the park.

Nanook, I wish his bobby pin was the kind that had a little blue plastic flower on it, like my sister wore when she was a young girl! Not long after this photo, he got a curly perm.

TokyoMagic!, I wonder if that knight was sometimes the Tomorrowland Spaceman? Just a hunch. Do you think he spoke with words like “forsooth” and “odds bodkins”? That’s how you know you’re in the Middle Ages! I agree with you, that looks like a cast-off Snow White wig, there was probably a greasy pile of them in a corner. Isn’t that roll of fencing odd? Who signed off on that? It looks terrible.

Chuck, you can always place pieces of castle around your yard, and add some throw pillows. I noticed the steam rising from the Mark Twain, as well as a 3rd plume of steam that must be from the Twain’s whistle? I can almost hear it! Love seen the Dominguez Palm, I wonder what they’ll do if it ever finally goes to heaven? Replace it with a clone? I see Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara, AND Natalie Portman, so there.

stu29573 (not skipping you), yes, they handed out Jack Chick tracts, which are somehow amusing and insane at the same time.

DrGoat, I know a guy who has a rare Professor Keller postcard that is autographed by the Professor - he even drew a roaring lion. What a treasure! If you were a true fan of the Prince Valiant comic strip, you would know that he preferred hair nets, which also helped when he was a part-time food preparer. I would be astonished to learn that Stamos has the original Frito Kid vending machine. I have a faint memory of somebody showing up on the Antiques Roadshow with a different Frito Kid item, I wish I could find something about it online!

Lou and Sue, I watched plenty of “The Beverly Hillbillies”, but why are you invoking the sacred name of Jethro Bodine?

stu29573, ever feel like you don’t know what anybody is talking about?

DrGoat, all I cared about was Ellie May and her critters.

Jonathan, I kind of think I’ve seen parade photos with medieval knights or trumpet players wearing similar tunics, but as usual can’t find any evidence on short notice. I hope people stopped to chat with Lancelot and maybe have a picture taken. On the other hand, he was probably making enough money to own a small house in Orange County, so he was doing OK.

Tom, I’m with you, I always like seeing the pre-Matterhorn Disneyland, especially if we can see the hill where it would eventually go. Hard to believe that the Matterhorn has been with us for over 60 years now! I have the feeling that the weeds served the same function as painting something “go away green”, they hoped that guests just didn’t notice.

Atom said...

Fantastic post! I'm assuming we are getting a peak here at Holiday Hill?

This is the first I've seen of any left over castle bits... I wonder if a little seat was tucked in there?

"Lou and Sue" said...

He played a knight on the show, too. :)

Nanook said...

Also visible is the Swift’s Chicken Plantation House (or Plantation Restaurant).

"Lou and Sue" said...

Stu, my comment from 10:11 AM was directed to you. (Not sure I was clear.)

Major, your knight picture is a GEM! That costume ranks right up there with that DL balloon vendor you posted years ago - he was dressed as a combination Pinocchio and clown (BIG bow tie). I think we need to locate this particular knight and ask him to join GDB - he'd fit right in, as he DEFINITELY has a sense of humor to don this outfit.


Stu29573 said...

Sue, I figured it out! And since you mentioned it, I remember that he did...and the guy actually looks a lot like him!

Nanook said...

@ Sue-
Yes - the costumes for the knight and balloon vendor bear [an unfortunate] strong resemblance in terms of oddness. (Please do not share them with Miss. Kim; as in her hands, only a miracle can save the recycling of them from a horrendous outcome-!!)

Chuck said...

Major, I think you're right about the third plume being the whistle. Either that or the Weber grill the crew used to have going up on the Texas around lunch time.

The Twain's whistle is something you never forget. My wife and I stayed at the Vacationland Campground for several days in June of '95, and on at least one day we went back to our tent in the early afternoon to, um, er, to take a nap. Anyway, you could clearly hear the whistle from the campground. It was awesome.

Melissa said...

Weeell, doggies!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, you could be right....that guy might have doubled as the TL Spaceman. I'm taking a second look at that photo and wondering if the guy was embarrassed to be wearing that outfit? He is looking the opposite direction from those people on the sidewalk next to him and completely ignoring them! He might have been thinking something like, "Just two more hours until I can go clock out and end this humiliation!"

"Lou and Sue" said...

Just a couple more observations:

That lady walking behind the knight has 2 different purses and 2 different shoes ??

The knight looks like he’s wearing a paper plate on his chest, and his right hand looks ‘sore.’

DBenson said...

Speaking of obscure walk-around characters, early Disneyland episodes would show a Scottish terrier and a French poodle -- both big, two-person costumes -- in parades. They don't appear to be Disney characters and I don't think narration ever identified them. Maybe additional ice show costumes?

Anonymous said...

Seeing that knight, my first thought was John Cleese in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" attacking the wedding party in his own "particular idiom".

Really wild stuff today, Major.