Thursday, March 05, 2020

Skyway Views, November 1958

Here are two pix taken from the Skyway in the last weeks of 1958. They have a bluish cast, I can't tell if that's just because of the film that was used, or because of the smog/haze filtering the light in a particular (no pun intended) manner. It's not important!

This first image allows us to look down on the new Alice in Wonderland attraction (it'd only been open about 5 months at this point). We're heading toward the Skyway Chalet in front of us. How many other attractions can you see in the distance? At the very bottom of the picture we can see just a little sliver of early construction dirt for the Matterhorn.

The Skyway was so much fun that our photographer rode it a second time. This time we're headed toward the Tomorrowland Skyway terminal, with the Yacht Bar below us (and more Matterhorn dirt),  along with the Moonliner, the Astro Jets, and the Space Bar.


Nanook said...

Talk about your haze-! Matterhorn dirt - a pretty rare commodity these days. And in the other view: the Space Bar and the Yacht Bar.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Sooo much to see in that 1st picture! That bench in the lower left corner looks so lonely and out of place - but it would be a good spot to sit to watch a mountain grow.

Thanks, Major!


K. Martinez said...

The first shot is a beauty and I don't mind the haze/smog. It makes the image look dreamlike.

In the second shot, the Disneyland marquee can been seen on the far right at the edge of the image. Thanks, Major.

Andrew said...

You can see the back of a sign in the second picture that I'm going to guess held the famous "new for '59" concept illustration.

The first picture has to be one of the most commmon DL views, but unlike the castle or Chicken of the Sea, it never gets old because it's so different every time - like when we're really lucky, we get to see a Main St. Vehicle.

Chuck said...

Love that first one. I didn't remember that the Rabbit Hole portion of the Alice ride (the part where you go "down...down...down;" I'll have Kathryn Beaumont's voice in my head all day, which I am OK with) stood out so far from the second level of the building. Note that there's no Cheshire Cat perched on the walkway side of the hole yet; presumably that was added with the 1984 rehab?

I gaze upon the glorious, original, non-CalOSHA-compliant outdoor track with a heavy sigh.

It appears that the mushroom ticket booth is sporting a rare Alice attraction poster with the word "Fantasyland" at the bottom.

One final detail - that gorgeous, striped garbage can.

Ken, sharp eye! Thanks for pointing out the marquee - I'd totally missed it. Plus - power lines and telephone poles!

Thanks, Major, for a great start to the day!

JC Shannon said...

What do you see when the smog rolls out? UCLA. It's an old joke, but a good one. Even particulate pollution can't hide the beauty of the Moonliner. I can just hear the Imagineers "You want to build a the park?" "Yep." Walt replies, grinning ear to ear. I agree with Ken, these do have a kind of dream-like quality. Thanks Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, the Cheshire Cat in the rockwork and also the little "hammerhead birds" on top of the rocks, were added later than 1984.

It's too bad the round Skyway buckets didn't have a wheel in the center of them, for making the vehicles spin!.

Stu29573 said...

It's interesting (at least to me...but I sometimes find dryer lint interesting) that the "automotive fog" actually helps screen out the travesty of the outside world (great band name, by the way). It's kind of like an "ultra-berm." (not as good band name). The only problem is that my eyes sting a bit looking at these...

Stefano said...

The Matterhorn will be open and yodeling just seven months after these pictures were taken. It took nearly that long to fix the mountain when a small chunk broke off recently. And the fact that the Alice ride building could be successfully grafted on to the original structure--- they could do anything in those days, and do it quickly.

zach said...

Interesting that our photographer captured Skyway vehicle #36 on his/her round trip with different people.

I can see a tiny Alice there by the booth 'when she was just small'.

Fun, hazy images today,


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yeah, somehow even with so many more cars, the smog is rarely as bad as it was back in these days. Thank goodness for catalytic converters and unleaded gas!

Lou and Sue, I like that the Disney folks put a bench there, even though it might not initially seem like a place that people might want to sit. “Any port in a storm”! And as you said, it would be neat to be able to watch as the Matterhorn was being built.

K. Martinez, let’s just pretend that the photographer put Vaseline on the lense, and that it was actually a sparkling clear day! Oh man, I didn’t notice that marquee way off in the distance (and almost lost in the haze).

Andrew, these slides are from the same batch that showed that “New for ’59” sign months ago, so good for you for putting it together. We didn’t get any Main Street vehicles this time, but you can see one of the “Alice” CM ride operators in her blue dress and white pinafore.

Chuck, the Alice attraction is one of those classic dark rides that I hope never goes away; I love the surreal, not-too-scary nightmarish quality. It’s just right! I noticed the lack of Cheshire Cat and wondered when that was added, just like you. And yes, I miss that great old winding track; as a kid it was such a fun/scary thing to look like you were about to plunge off the edge of a leaf, only to turn at the last moment. So brilliant. I think it’s funny that they used a “Fantasyland” version of the Alice poster up on the mushroom where the lower portion probably couldn’t be seen by guests, while the non-Fantasyland version was often seen elsewhere. I think I’ve only laid eyes on two of the rare “Fantasyland” versions over many decades.

Jonathan, yeah, this was an especially nasty day, which surprises me, because usually November gets a little breeze to get rid of the crud. For years I would go to the park in November for the low crowds and cooler weather, but those days are long gone.

TokyoMagic!, jeez, I didn’t even remember that they had the hammerhead birds outside. Those are the sorts of little touches that I wish they would do more of! Your spinning Skyway bucket comment is funny, I can’t help thinking of something unscrewing and the bucket dropping to the ground. An “E” ticket!

Stu29573, ha ha, we all remember the Prog-rock band, “The Travesty of the Outside World”. Some members wound up in YES or Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. I’d rather have the view of the motels and billboards than the smog, but that’s just me!

Stefano, a chunk broke off of the Matterhorn? Man, I really am not following Disneyland news anymore. Maybe the abominable snowman threw it. I wonder how many people realize that the dark rides actually go into the “wings” of the castle?

dzacher, it’s the old #36 conspiracy that I just made up! It IS pretty odd that the same gondola shows up in both photos with different people. I love it when I can see the Alices (just one this time, sadly) working the ride.

Anonymous said...

Great views of the Harbor strip when it was still farm land, and the Tuna Clipper before Skull Rock.

I think there is a little bit of Nature's Wonderland desert visible almost "Beyond the Blue Horizon", which was again a popular song about the time of these photos.

"Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me
I see a new horizon
My life has only begun
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun."

Enjoying the very period graphics on the wall by the Yacht Bar. I think Dad had a shirt, or maybe a tie, with a similar pattern.

I usually rode the Fantasyland side of the Matterhorn, for some reason. Standing in the line across from the rabbit hole exit meant you heard the Goofy cartoon "woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" sound effect four times a minute, until your brains were mush. I think this sound effect is the Disney version of the "Wilhelm Scream" since it is everywhere in everything. I keep waiting to hear it in Star Wars.

I agree, Chuck, Major and Tokyo, the Cheshire cat and the birds are good additions to Alice, which we could use more of across the Park, and I don't even mind the modern reconstruction of the track too much. The huge tree that is there now goes a long way to soften the safety-conscious renovation. Saving that tree was a stroke of genius, as it was moved in the 1980's work from an original location near Hook's Pirate Ship. It would have been so simple to just cut it down and they didn't.

As far as the haze goes, during my years working in SoCal everyone said, "never trust air you can't see."

Thanks Major and everyone.


Melissa said...

Early Construction Dirt would be a great band name.

I've always loved Alice's toadstool ticket booth.

stu29573 said...

I saw Alice's Toadstool Ticket Booth in concert!