Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Casey Jones Jr., 1956

I'm so glad that Casey Jr. is still chugging along in Disneyland! I occasionally hear rumors that Storybook Land is in danger of being removed (which wouldn't surprise me at all, these days), but I feel that this simple, charming attraction is sort of the living heart of Fantasyland. Rip it out and replace it with some crass movie IP, and the effect would be significant.

In this first scan, Casey is about to pass in front of the newly-opened Skyway and the beautiful chalet (unobscured by trees). It all looks a little bare at this point, but we know that the plants will grow, and the trees will mature. 

One of my favorite details on Casey is his cone-shaped eyes, which always give the illusion that he is looking right at you no matter where you are. Genius!

And how about this colorful, postcard-worthy photo as Casey Jr. successfully conquers that steep hillside? I love the patchwork-quilt landscape, a combination of plants, flowers, colored rocks (or glass pebbles?), and those funny "X" shaped "stitches".


Nanook said...

"...details on Casey is his cone-shaped eyes, which always give the illusion that he is looking right at you no matter where you are." Yes, it's Disneyland's own Mona Lisa-! And as for the 'patchwork quilt' - that too, is sheer genius.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

More happy pictures of adorable Casey and folks having fun! Thank you, Major!

Does anyone know: What are the threads (stitches) in the flower-quilt made of? Rope?

Something I had to share with all of you . . .
My friend mentioned, tonight, that some of the stores in my area opened an hour earlier this morning (and yesterday morning?) for the seniors to do their shopping before the stores opened to the general public. That was very kind of the store managers, of course. During that first hour, enough seniors showed up to wipe out the T.P. section. I'm a senior and can think of several lessons to be learned from this, but I'll let you folks tell us what can be learned from this (but PLEASE keep your responses fun and kind, as I don't want our Major kicking me off GDB for starting any generational wars on his blog).

On that happy note, maybe I'll hit one of those stores early tomorrow morning, before I go to work - and wipe out the banana section. ;)


TokyoMagic! said...

Poor little Casey needs his nose wiped, in that first pic!

Sue, lets the lesson that, "The early senior bird, gets the worm"?

TokyoMagic! said...

Or is the lesson that, seniors should show up at that store early, buy up all the T.P. and then sell it on the street corner at a 100% mark-up?

Chuck said...

"One of my favorite details on Casey is his cone-shaped eyes, which always give the illusion that he is looking right at you no matter where you are."

That's no illusion, Major - Casey is always watching us...waiting...and watching...and plotting...until the opportune moment to strike. As Disneyland is turned into an apocalyptic wasteland, his time may have finally come. His only weakness? Toilet paper. I hope you're stocked up...because if not, it's probably too late.

Sue, I'm not sure what those stitches are made of (Fiberglass? Aluminum? Mithril?), other than to say it's not rope today. I remember noticing (and this is more than 25 years ago) that the "stitches" themselves don't actually go underground. They appeared to be anchored to the ground, but the white part doesn't submerge. I hope Mike Cozart can chime in with the real answer and prove that my perception was way off, which I am totally cool with. At least we'll have the right answer. :-)

TM!, you gotta fund retirement somehow.

stu29573 said...

It encourages me a little that Casey and Monstro are IPs, but I know what you mean. Storybook Land is the most huggable places in Disneyland, and now Disney seems uninterested in hugging (except if it involves selling plush).

Sue, people just have to remember that seniors are "regular" people!

JC Shannon said...

He's iconic, genius in design and beloved by millions. They better not mess with Casey. That said, I love all the "toilet humor." Get it? Anyhow, in addition to TP and bananas, our store is out of sugar and flour as well. I have this picture of everyone going back to the 19th century, baking biscuits and pastries from scratch and keeping a supply of corn cobs in the Loo. Yikes.
I read somewhere that the stitches were made of depleted Uranium and goat cheese, but don't quote me on that. Thanks Major.


The patchwork “stitches” are made from aluminum rods with a FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) exterior that is from a mold sculpted to look like a rope or giant thread. I assume the “stitches” were probably made the same way in these pictures but with steel structural rebar rather than the aluminum used today. The “stitches” are different looking now than in todays images - I’m not sure when the design changed to the current ones.

A note about Casey Jr. : a week or so ago someone mentioned the story of how both the 2 row seat chariots removed from King Arthur Carrousel was used to create the open-air coaches to Casey Jr. Train. I think over time the real story was misunderstood and retold by Disneyland ( I’ve even heard official DL tour guides mention this story ) It is as you guests not true. The open coach designs of Casey Jr. ( designed by Bob Gurr) used the typical popular look of Carousel chariots as inspiration for the train car’s look. They were sculpted and casted in Fiberglas in Goodyear industrial casting rubber for use in the park.

Technically once Walt removed the chariots from King Arthur’s Carousel and replaced it with ALL horses it became a MERRY-Go-ROUND.
Merry-go-rounds feature all animals - usually horses . a Carousel includes animals and some form of bench seating, chariots or rockers .... this Is to “CARRY US ALL” ....the early french origin of a “Carousel”

DrGoat said...

Put a smile on my face this morning. Thanks Major.
I agree. Casey, Storybook land, and I'll add the three dark rides in Fantasyland comprise the heart of Disneyland for me. Fermented decades ago in my little brain.
Sue, I got to the baby wipes last week before people figured out how handy they are.
I guess if you live long enough you get to see stuff that you wouldn't think you would experience. This was not on my bucket list. As far as what can be learned from this, I'm not overly optimistic. Just hope rationality prevails. I tried to think of something fun and kind...I think I fell short, but I have been catching up on Johnny Carson skits on Youtube. And various Netflix series. 'The Repair Shop' calms my nerves nicely. The nature of my job, which I refuse to retire from, is perfect. I work with four other people, we all have separate offices, and we don't deal with the public.
Thanks again Major, as always.

zach said...

I find these scans calming. Casey's constant stare isn't unnerving but comforting. This is important since we haven't entered the TP wars yet.

It took awhile but Casey and the Canal boats (and the Skyway, to an extent) became a perfect example of multi layered, enter-twined rides plusing each other.

Dibs on the cage!


Melissa said...

That second picture is 10% patchwork, 90% WHEE!

Meanwhile, my friend can't get baby wipes and is having to use cut-up sheets on her actual baby. And I've been giving myself insulin injections with no alcohol for a while now. Suddenly that wartime rationing makes even more sense.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, when I went to the Louvre years ago I was surprised that they had the Mona Lisa’s “squirting mouth” feature activated. Curse you, Leonardo!

Lou and Sue, I always thought that the “stitches” were made of bent wood, or possibly plastic, but I never really knew. I would never ban you from GDB! Everyone is concerned about how this virus and all the shutdowns are affecting us, and I agree, I hope that in general we try to be kind to others and not let panic set in.

TokyoMagic!, haven’t you ever seen a train with a mustache before?

TokyoMagic!, for some reason I decided to hoard paperclips, and it turns out nobody wants those. I feel so dumb!

Chuck, they should definitely change Casey’s eyes to “angry eyes” (like Mr. Potato Head), so that he’s always scowling and making guests feel like he hates them. His boiler will run on just about any fuel, you’d think that a roll of TP would turn just fine. I always assumed that the stitches had stiff wires that were sunk deep into the ground so that they wouldn’t blow away on a windy day. Who knew that giant stitch technology would be so complicated?

stu29573, yes, obviously Fantasyland is almost all Disney IP; while Disney now owns Marvel and Star Wars (and the Muppets), I feel like the addition of those properties to Disneyland makes the park feel less “Disney”. Others disagree of course, and the second Disney bought Lucas properties, they were on board.

Jonathan, I’m trying to think if Disney has ever produced a working model train version of Casey Jr. in HO scale or whatever. It would be neat to build an even MORE miniature version of Storybook Land!

Mike Cozart, the aluminum and fiberglass makeup of the stitches is logical, those things will last forever out in the elements. The old stitches appear to be made from some flat material that has been bent, which is why I thought it could have been just slats of wood, bent, nailed, painted white. Or plastic/fiberglass. I had always wondered about that rumor about the chariots being used for the coaches, especially since I believe that there are 3 Casey Jr. trains at Disneyland, and there wouldn’t be enough to go around. So I assumed that there had been a casting made at the very least. I’m sure stories like that become so frequently repeated that nobody even thinks about them anymore. I have never heard that “carry us all” etymology before!

DrGoat, WDW has removed their Snow White and Mr. Toad dark rides, and there have been rumors about the removal of some of the Disneyland versions. That would really hurt, and would be more pieces of “Walt’s park” gone forever. Little by little it is all being altered or removed; how will they do the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tours? I seem to be able to keep myself busy, I always have projects I can work on. The hard part is dealing with my elderly mom, who refuses to listen or do anything she is asked to do (or not do), no matter the reason.

dzacher, in a way, Casey’s gaze reminds me of a child who wants to make sure a parent is watching when they do something special. He’s seeking our approval!

Melissa, “wartime rationing” is a good comparison. I guess one can get a lot of wipes out of a cut up sheet! Not an idea situation though. I hope you are doing OK with all of the craziness.

Melissa said...

TokyoMagic!, for some reason I decided to hoard paperclips, and it turns out nobody wants those. I feel so dumb!

Now I don't feel so bad about my two Mason jars of paper clips. I might need them someday!

Matthew said...

@Mike Cozart - Storybook Land and Casey Jr. were not my attractions, but I do remember the stitches having steel rebar just visible above ground the last time I rode it (June, 2019). I thought they don't want the white portion in the dirt... maybe the water and dirt would stain it.

Regarding Casey Jr's eyes... what a wonderful detail. I personally always enjoyed his Engineer Cap / Headlamp. Great photos today Major. Definitely bringing cheer to us all.

Lou and Sue I learned yesterday that my local store had no garlic. Huh? I wonder why they sold out of garlic? Is there some remedy that was put on the internet and I missed it? WAIT - A simple search showed me that garlic contains Alliin, which helps the immune system fight germs. HUH? Well that explains it... Got enough T.P. start buying garlic.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Melissa said...

Amazon Belle, the virus is obvious turning people into zombie vampires, as in the Vincent Price classic The Last Man On Earth.

Matthew said...

@Melissa - So true... so TRUE! ;-)

Always your pal,

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
Apropos of nothing (oaky, twins - or very likely), you should look at this...

Melissa said...

Nanook, awesome!

"Lou and Sue" said...

On the way home from work tonight, I stopped at a different food store, just to see if they had a couple items I could use (eggs, sour cream . . . things I forgot to buy, the other day). It was like walking into a Twilight Zone episode. That store wasn't crowded, the shelves were almost all full, and they had everything. Almost like everything instantly went back to "normal." Maybe, this store really is in the Twilight Zone. Bananas piled on top of bananas (though they were green ones); fully stocked with garlic (whole, and cut-up in containers--I thought of you, Matthew); pallets of TP(!); some paper towels; AND lots of bottles of water(!), etc. When standing in the check-out line, the woman behind me stated that she had gone to a number of other stores and couldn't find what she needed; she was in disbelief, too, at finding this fully-stocked store.

Regarding my earlier story about the seniors clearing out the TP, the lesson I wanted to share ('tongue in cheek'): 'Youth and beauty' cannot beat 'experience and treachery.' Or something like that. ;) (I love everyone's fun responses, btw.)

DrGoat, I work in a small office, too, so hopefully I'll be able to keep working through all of this, too.

Chuck and Mike: Thank you for the "stitch" info. (JC Shannon - "goat cheese" - hahahaha!)

Melissa: That's awful about the alcohol! I'm glad you still have a sense of humor through all of this.

Now I'm going to sit and watch my green bananas turn yellow.

Nanook said...

@ Sue-
"Bananas as an investment".

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, I guess bananas really are important to all of us junior gorillas, right?? ;)