Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Snapshots, 1970's

I have a batch of square photo prints from sometime in the 1970's (the early part of that decade, it's safe to say). They're not the most amazing images, but still fun to look at.

Over on Tom Sawyer Island, General Andrew Jackson is in Fort Wildnerness's Regimental Hdqrs. Today he's being played by Ralph Fiennes. It's interesting to see how this scene changed over the years, see THIS PHOTO as an example. I can't tell if guests used to be able to get much closer, or if the photographer of this image just took a less-inspired picture.

This kid is just the right age to love the Autopia! It's a dream come true.

I love this photo, with Chipmunk Dale having a little fun with the security officer (who is playing along like a champ).

"Well, now that I've caused a little anarchy, I can take a break and meet a few of my fans".

Here comes at least six of the famous Seven Dwarfs! I thought that Dopey might be missing, but I can see one of his ears sticking out in the background. Notice that the Mad Tea Party has those ornate arches around it - I'm pretty sure I've been told when those were installed, but I can't remember now. That might help narrow down the date of these photos a little.

This isn't a great photo, but it shows one of my favorite scenes in the Jungle Cruise; the one with the happy elephant sitting beneath some waterfalls, splashing and spraying like an oversized baby. I think there was a part of me that wished I was right there with him.

There are more photos from this batch coming up!


Nanook said...

I'm certain I can arrange to have a 'meet-and-greet' with that Happy Elephant, so the two of you can enjoy the soothing, cooling waterfall. (Be certain to bring-along your trunks-!)

You're welcome, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I don't ever remember seeing General Andrew Jackson in Fort Wildnerness. How long was he there on Tom Sawyer Island. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

These have a very high You-Are-There Factor. Also pretty high on the Cute Kid Scale. Dale and his brother are the most fun fur characters.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Just a couple random thoughts I had while viewing these pictures (keep in mind that it's the middle of the night, as I'm typing this, so my thoughts may not make any sense, as usual):

1. All of us who lived through the 70's can personally attest and agree with Major that these photos are from the early 70's - based on the clothing and hairstyles. Have you ever watched a TV show or movie that's most-likely put together by a younger person - and they get the hairstyles and clothing screwed-up for the era they're portraying? It's annoying that "they" didn't consult with someone who was there, at that time.

2. In the photo with the 6 dwarfs (dwarves??), I chuckled when I saw that "Rest Rooms and Telephone" sign. Just change "Telephone" to "Cell Phone" and it fits today perfectly. I can't tell you how many times I've heard personal phone conversations coming from the bathroom stalls . . . there's just something not right about that. I have no idea if the men do the same thing ??

Major, thank you for posting these photos! It's great to see the kids having so much fun!


TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I took a pic of Andrew Jackson, back in the mid-1990's. Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen had already been removed by that point. I'm not sure how much longer A.J. was there. Could he have been in there up until the time Fort Wilderness was closed off to the public?

If they ever open up Fort Wilderness to the public again, they should put an animatronic Andrew Jackson in there. He could talk to guests, answer their questions, and pull his own ear off and then reattach it.

Chuck said...

Fourth photo, upper left background, behind the kid in the yellow shirt - there's a guy who appears to be carrying a radio/cassette player with perhaps an earphone cord across the front snaking towards his ear. That looks like an awkward way to carry a several-pound object that already has a convenient carrying handle, but the length of the earphone cord is probably limiting the range of where he can carry it. Must have been a really important game to him.

That has me wondering - I wonder how many people were starting to record the ambient sounds of Disneyland for their own future use and how many of those recordings survive today?

These definitely take you back to a time and a place and a set of emotions. Thanks, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, my friend and I started bringing our cassette tape recorders to the park in 1981. We recorded a lot of the attractions and even some of the parades!

Andrew said...

WDW's fort still has "peek-ins" with a sleeping guard and some people pumping the bellows, just no generals. But it's awesome that they still have the fort in the first place (even if it was closed last time I was there)! Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I remember recording the audio of TV shows before we got our first VCR.


MAJOR : that is actually CHIP - not DALE . Chip has a dark brown nose and Dale has a red brown nose . To remember we were told this:

Andrew Jackson was inside Fort Wilderness right until the end! Myself and a friend from WDI went and photographed every square inch of Fort Wilderness inside and out a few day before it closed. It was scheduled for a major rehab that had been postponed 2 previous times, however we felt something bad was up because several people who were on the Fort’s rehab team were now on other major projects .... and it was doubtful they were going to be back on it anytime soon. We kinda figured it wasn’t going to be rehabbed .... at least anytime soon. Of course the fort was left rotting and after some partial dismantling and altering the original layout it never was opened to guests again ( excluding the restrooms built into is East facing flank. Today along with the restrooms it’s used as a prop and prep area for FANTASMIC.

How do I despise FANTASMIC?? ..... let me count the ways ....

stu29573 said...

And here I thought Chip was "the sensible one."
Yes, I always go to the fort at WDW (and go through the escape tunnel!) because you just never know. Also, it's kind of fun to pop off a few rounds at those folks on Big Thunder!

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic! and MIKE COZART,

How in the heck did I miss Andrew Jackson at Fort Wilderness? Guess I didn't explore Fort Wilderness too thoroughly.

Stefano said...

Snow White herself is just visible behind Grumpy, and they are all just steps away from the Snow White attraction. I think I see the sign that was at the SW ride entrance, warning parents that small kids could have the daylights scared out of them (I was one of those kids).

Chuck, TM!, on the Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion blog there is a 1976 recording of the full Mansion show by a visitor. Interesting in that a number of tracks have been deleted since '76; also fun to hear a girl screaming her head off at the blast-up spooks.

According to DISNEYLAND: THE NICKEL TOUR, the wax Fort Wilderness figures were at Davy Crockett's Arcade for Disneyland's first year, available for posing with by guests.

JC Shannon said...

I read somewhere that when they drained the river they found over 200 cell phones. I'm with Mike, Fantasmic kinda ruins the whole illusion of an island on the river. Great snaps today, thanks Major.

DrGoat said...

K., I have no recollection of Jackson, not to mention Fess and Buddy, either and I know I reconnoitered it thoroughly a dozen times back in the 60s-70s. I guess my brain instantly disposed of it because it had something to do with history, which was too close to being in school. That certainly changed.
Unabashed fan of Chip 'n Dale. There are several features where they give Donald all sorts of grief. Some of the funniest Disney cartoons.
Apple orchard comes to mind.
Thanks Major, neat pics.

Warren Nielsen said...

Apple core!


Who's your friend?

And we all point to the Major.

Nah, just kidding Major. These are great today.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Some of my best memories of TSI were from around 1970 to maybe 1972 - playing "Tag" with my cousins on the island. Don't remember the figures being there, either (I was probably running around and having too much fun to notice stuff like that, I guess).

It sounds like someone needs to invent a simple string attachment for cell phones - attaching phones to either men's belt loops, or women's purses. Might make a fortune on that invention?!


Anonymous said...

I feel like a real oddball because I clearly remember the figures in the Fort. I was a little fuzzy on who Andrew Jackson was, and why he might have been in the fort. To my memory, the diorama looked more like the image in the Major's link than in today's photo. I remember looking at it several times, but without photos, hard to tell how the set dressings changed over time.

The escape tunnel was the best part.

Really fun pictures today overall, I like the kids with the characters and the car. Major, I think the arches at the Mad Tea Party were around '74-75 but that's a guess.

I've seen pictures of the JC elephant elsewhere on the Web where people think he is a real animal.

Thank you, Major and everybody.


Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
I have S•T•E•R•E•O recordings from September 11, 1981 - including the Main Street Electrical Parade. And as The Major can attest - they sound quite wonderful.

Major Pepperidge said...

Once again, Blogger has demanded that I divide my response to everybody into two files. There was just too much!

Nanook, I like wearing those old-fashioned wool bathing suits like they used in the 1890’s. Itchy, but so flattering!

K. Martinez, I sure never saw Andy Jackson there, but knew about him from a vintage postcard. I am a little surprised that he was still there in the 70’s though.

Melissa, I am not crazy about the Chipmunks in their cartoons, but I sure do like them at the park!

Lou and Sue, my guess is that most costume people, or directors, or whoever is in charge, probably don’t think that the general audiences know any better. “We told you it’s the 70’s, so …. it’s the 70’s!”. It’s like when “Happy Days” was in its final seasons, and I swear Tom Bosley just wore his daily clothes, including his glasses and his digital watch. If you’ve ever seen the Paul Thomas Anderson movie “The Master”, there’s a scene where Joaquin Phoenix is working as a department store photographer, post WWII, and I thought that they did a remarkable job making people look like they were from the 1940’s. Everything just felt right. And I’ve heard people talking on their phones in bathroom stalls, playing videos, and doing all kinds of other things. Yuck.

TokyoMagic!, it sounds likely that Andy Jackson was there the whole time, but I’d love to be able to confirm it somehow. “….He could talk to guests, answer their questions, and pull his own ear off and then reattach it”. I would like to see that, but… whaaaaat? Maybe he was called “Old Hickory” because he had a wooden ear?

Chuck, good eye! I would have never noticed that. I do know that there were people (Mr. X included) who would bring their bulky “portable” tape recorders to the park and tape their favorite spiels. Mr. X shared some of his with me, so I’ve heard them for myself.

TokyoMagic!, do you still have those recordings? I hope you’ve digitized them!

Andrew, I never knew about WDW’s Fort Wilderness (or is it Fort Clemens, or something like that?) had “peek-ins”. I love that kind of stuff!

Melissa, I did that too!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, you can see that this chipmunk has a reddish brown nose, it’s definitely Dale! Chip has a tiny black nose, it looks like he’s been to a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. Thank you for the info about Andrew Jackson in the Fort; I hope you still have all of those photos that you and your friend took, I’ll bet you captured some details that others missed. It kills me that they’ve taken the fort away, and it does give me some ill-will towards “Fantasmic”.

stu29573, is there such thing as a sensible chipmunk? I know people who go to the Magic Kingdom and do all of the things that they still have, like the Swiss Family Treehouse and the Fort. I wonder what else? Like you, they are just waiting for them to be gone the next time they go.

K. Martinez, maybe it was just one of those things, if you didn’t know where to look, you wouldn’t know A.J. was there?

Stefano, ah, I didn’t even think about how Snow White and pals were right near their ride. I loved that the Snow White ride was scary! I wished all of the rides were scary. Thanks for the heads up about the 1976 Haunted Mansion recording, I’ll have to go look for that. “Disneyland: The Nickel Tour”… great book!

Jonathan, they actually found over 200 of those antique “candlestick” phones, it was a real head-scratcher!

DrGoat, the vintage postcard that I mentioned to K. Martinez also showed the wax Davy and Georgie figures. I now own a neat souvenir photo of two little kids with the King of the Wild Frontier. I must have been a weird kid, my sympathies were always with Donald and not the Chipmunks!

Warren, ha ha, thanks!

Lou and Sue, I keep thinking that Lou was watching you burn off some excess energy and smiling to himself. Kids are like little nuclear power plants, you have to vent some of the excess safely on a place like Tom Sawyer Island. Then you’ll be calmer the rest of the day, you see. YOU should make that cell phone invention, and make millions!

JG, I think A.J. was a famous “Indian fighter”, something that hasn’t aged that well in today’s world. Maybe that’s why he was at the Fort? I wish I remember the escape tunnel, but I love that somebody thought to put it there. And yes, I’ve also seen websites that show that bathing elephant as an example of “animals at play”.

Nanook, the neat thing about that, and something I didn’t know for a long time, is how often they changed the Main Street Electrical Parade. So it’s nice that you have a good quality recording of how it was in 1981.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I've found it's easier to tell Chip and Dale apart by looking at their teeth. Chip's name is one syllable and he has "one" tooth (actually one section of teeth), and Dale's name is two syllables and he has two teeth (that are separated into two sections). The nose-color-thing can be a little harder to differentiate, at times.

I absolutely love chipmunks. Am waiting for them to pop up any day in my yard, from winter hibernation. I know a lot of people hate the damage that they can do to yards, but we don't mind. We love watching the wildlife in our little backyard. Except for the hawks that swoop through and take away some of the wildlife from our backyard.

DrGoat said...

But Major, Donald, the erstwhile lumberjack, deserved it for chopping down their tree. Ok, he exploded three times as he's riding the flying tree off into the horizon. That's a bit harsh.
Lou & Sue, yes, the island was magnet in those days. Except for the head bumping in the tunnel, of course. We loved the island, especially coming from the desert. It was like running in the woods, with forts and stuff.

DBenson said...

Always amused at how the old school Dwarf costumes clearly revealed guys looking out through a window in the hats. They'd wiggle the noses of the big rubbery faces; the clear contours of the wearers' heads and shoulders suggested they were doing something naughty inside the costumes.

stu29573 said...

But...but...I pronounce Dale as one syllable...Aaaaaarrrrrrggggg!

Warren Nielsen said...

Hmmm. Learn something new every day. I never picked up on the different colored noses for Chip and Dale. We always checkout out the teeth. Chip has one and Dale has two, so we knew that Chip must have 'chipped' one tooth off and lost it. At least that's what we explained to the kids so they could tell them apart. Well, actually, so I could tell them apart.


Nanook said...

Chip & Dale is how they are always referred: first & second. Chip = 1 [tooth] ; Dale = 2 [or more, teeth].

"Lou and Sue" said...

Stu: Then you have to refer to Warren’s and Nanook’s clever hints, below. ;)

"Lou and Sue" said...

Stu, btw, you are correct - as Dale IS officially counted as one syllable. But I pronounce it in two parts: 'Day - el'. Maybe we should stick with Warren and Nanook.

Anonymous said...

Just saw there is a new Disney movie called Jungle Cruise. Hmmm. We have had Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion. For the next one how about a film built around Carefree Corner?

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, I also recorded some of my favorite TV shows, years before we had a VCR.

Ken, Andrew Jackson was in a "peek-in" like the ones in Knott's Ghost Town, so you must have just walked past the window without looking in.

Stefano, thanks for that info. I'll have to go check out that site!

Sue, I always made sure that ALL of my cameras, including my digital ones, had a neck strap on them. I was always afraid of dropping my camera out of a ride vehicle and losing it, or just dropping it on the hard ground and breaking it. However, I suppose most people would not want to walk around with their cell phone hanging from their neck.

Major, I do still have my cassette tapes and I have transferred them to CD, but they are not in stereo, like Nanook's recordings!

I might have posted the link here in the past, but this very long post about WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, includes some pics of their "Fort Langhorn" peek-ins and also the fort's "Escape Tunnel" entrance and stairway: https://meettheworldinprogressland.blogspot.com/2011/11/magic-kingdom-tom-sawyer-island.html

stu29573 said...

As a kid, I recorded the theme to The Ghost and Mr. Chicken off of the tv. I then put the tape player under my train table where the haunted house was. I was very impressed with myself!

Melissa said...

"Chip & Dale is how they are always referred: first & second. Chip = 1 [tooth] ; Dale = 2 [or more, teeth]."

"Chip" also comes first alphabetetically.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I realized that I forgot to address your "Whaaaaaat?" in response to my comment about Andy Jackson pulling his ear off. I was thinking of the Mr. Potato Head animatronic at DCA, which pulls it's own ear off of it's head and then reattaches it. Well, at least it's supposed to work like that. There are many times when he malfunctions and drops his ear on the ground. Which make me wonder about this new Spider Man animatronic for the upcoming "Marvel Land" at DCA. It's supposedly going to "fly" through the air on it's own. Will it ALWAYS be successful, or will there be times when it falls to the ground and goes "splat"?