Monday, March 23, 2020

New Orleans Square & Swiss Treehouse

We'll start today's photos with this shot of New Orleans Square; as you can see, a high-tech, maximum security rope is blocking our entry. NOS debuted on July 24, 1966; so even though these slides are date-stamped "September1966", it's safe to say that the actual date is from before July 24th. There is a person, just visible to the extreme right, maybe he's a Disney employee.

Even from this angle, it's easy to appreciate the beautiful job the Imagineers did in creating their version of The Crescent City, with its meandering streets and ornate wrought iron. Who could walk past without wanting to explore further? "Pirates of the Caribbean" wouldn't open until March of '67, so it's interesting that for its first eight months, there were no real attractions except for the quaint shops and restaurants.

I can never have too many photos of the old Swiss Family Treehouse with its original red foliage. Maybe the leaves are red because the attraction was a "people eater". You're welcome. 

Zooming in a bit, we can see the massive "air roots" that helped to support the stairs and rooms, as well as the ingenious plumbing system that any self-respecting kid could stand and watch all day.


Nanook said...

NOS - just burstin' at the seams waiting to welcome its first guests. Can't we start exploring it now-??

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

That first picture is beautiful - my favorite ‘land’! Even the walls are painted to look historical. Major, that’s not a rope - it’s barely a string!

Thank you, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

It looks like the second pic was shot, while standing on the border between "lands." Or maybe the photographer actually had one foot in New Orleans Square, and the other foot in Adventureland!

Melissa said...

Pointing Man reminds me of the Pointing Boy from this recent post. This fells has more if a "J'accuse!" vibe going on, though. "That man sold me a box of popcorn, and it was stale! STALE, I say!"

Totally postcardworthy shot of new NOS. Relaxing just to look at.

stu29573 said...

The treehouse looks very strange to me with its red leaves. I dont thing the WDW version ever had them. You could be right, maybe they were to make it stand out as an attraction? Regardless, nice stuff today!

Andrew said...

Your prediction of the red leaves denoting the Treehouse as a people-eater is hilarious, if only a bit macabre. However, only the true people-eating trees have purple leaves. If only they could also fly...

K. Martinez said...

Love the Creole Café/now Café Orleans shot. Nice how it captures the sunlight. Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

New Orleans Square is so a favorite of mine, especially at night. You can imagine yourself strolling around the French Quarter for real. I remember climbing around the tree house as a kid and imagining myself as a castaway on some remote island. I thought the attraction was a must do. Great pics today, thanks Char.

DrGoat said...

Also one of my favorites spots to meander around. Trying to remember if that cozy little alcove that is now a Club 33 only spot had been built in '66. Many nice memories of that place.
Looking at the treehouse pics, I can almost hear Swisskapolka. That's one of those fundamental sounds incorporated into my DNA.
Looks like that fellow has a clipboard. Would love to see what's on that thing.
Thanks Major, nice Monday pics.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know, the street looks so inviting! I want to step over that rope an be a real nuisance.

Lou and Sue, yes, notice all those streaks of dirt, and the way the lower parts of the walls look like they’ve splashed up muddy rain water over decades. I wonder if it still looks like that, or it maintaining that look was too much effort?

TokyoMagic!, I assume the photographer was trying to capture as much of the treehouse as possible, while still getting some nice activity in the foreground. He/she did a good job!

Melissa, that guy is pointing like Donald Sutherland at the end of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”!

stu29573, you’ve seen lots of pictures of the tree with red leaves! I wonder if there are large ficus trees that really do have reddish leaves like that, though; If not I think it’s an interesting choice, not expected at all. I’m sure you know that they later just used green leaves. And yes, I don’t believe the WDW version ever had the red leaves.

Andrew, flying purple-leafed trees, almost sounds like a Lovecraft story. Yog sothoth!

K. Martinez, I just found two old Creole Cafe menus that I own, I’ll have to scan them and put them on the blog one of these days.

Jonathan, I feel like New Orleans Square was an early example of the kind of thing they did in Galaxy’s Edge, with an immersive world, lots of convincing detals, and walk-around musicians. It’s funny how they seemed to lose their way for so long.

DrGoat, I don’t know why, but the fact that they closed off the Court of Angels to the general public in favor of the wealthy Club 33 members really rubbed me the wrong way; it was a sign that the folks at Disney had changed their priorities in an unfortunate direction. I remember going to NOS and walking around with a girl I was dating, she had a job decorating it for Christmas, she worked all night for many nights. It was fun, she was so proud of what she and her co-workers had done. And YEAH, what’s on the clipboard??

Nanook said...

That clipboard contains the list of children "who were naughty"-!!

Chuck said...

Oh, how I want to be in that first photo.

I wonder if that's just some random guy who had a clipboard and thought "I wonder if this will work..." as he stepped over the rope.

I work with a retired Air Force guy who managed to get a ride out to an aircraft carrier on a small launch during Desert Shield because the guy he was with said "follow me and pretend like you belong." They stepped into the launch, it pulled away from the dock, and then they realized they were riding in a launch with Cher. As in "Sonny and..."

When they got to the carrier, the escorts realized they weren't part of the group and were about to get in some serious trouble, but some random lieutenant commander walked up, took charge of them, and proudly gave them a really nice tour of the ship.

Andrew, do those trees have one eye and one horn, too?

Anonymous said...

Wear a lab coat or a yellow vest, a hard hat, and carry a clipboard, you can go anywhere

I'm sure he's part of the design team checking for completion of missing items.

Very nice pictures today, Major.

I've often wondered if the red leaves were inspired by Photinia bush, where the new growth leaves are bright red and turn green when mature.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, are you saying that the man is SANTA?? He looks good, very trim.

Chuck, I can’t imagine a guest would bring a clipboard, but then again, people brought things such as portable tape recorders, so I guess a clipboard isn’t out of the question. And I agree, if a person can look confident enough, they can probably just stroll into areas that they don’t belong. I want to meet Cher! Also cool that the Lt. Commander didn’t go nuts, and was nice enough to give them a tour of the ship, maybe he was proud of it and wanted to show it off.

JG, I wear all of those things at once. Lab coat, yellow vest, hard hat. Plus a sash that says “MAYOR”. My mom has a plant in her backyard that has red leaves, I have no idea what it is though. And she has a hedge that when you trim it, the leaves first grow back a distinct red, and then turn green as they mature. Maybe there’s lots of plants that do that?