Thursday, April 30, 2020

Frontierland Pix, June 1978

It's time for another set of photos from the Mysterious Benefactor - featuring Frontierland, as always. These are from June, 1978.

The "white wings" have given way to industrious "sweeps" (also clad in all white) who patrol the park and pounce on litter and spilled popcorn in a trice (maybe two trices if it's a busy day). Not only do they keep the park clean, they'll be happy to help a guest who is looking for the good place to eat. Or maybe a bathroom. Notice the other sweep in the distance.

Popcorn! What did I tell you?! But our sweep just chuckles to himself. "People, gosh they're great!" (whistles a merry tune). The girl in the striped shirt is flummoxed, but we'll never know why. Maybe she coulda had a V8.

I'm wondering if the wooden wall in the distance is there because of construction on Big Thunder? After all, that ride would debut in September of the following year. There's guests at that little ticket booth, I can't read what the sign says but I thought it was for the NWRR. I guess they could just be buying ticket books, or betting on the ponies. 

Here's an unusual photo taken inside the Golden Horseshoe; somehow the flash just made it look extra spooky. There's probably a zombie behind the stained glass.

Now we're back out in the sunshine, with only a minor bite on our leg. Nothing to worry about *cough cough*! Those cheerful yellow umbrellas will make everything OK. Was this just general outdoor seating for multiple eateries, or was it for the River Belle Terrace (or some other restaurant)?

Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

More Road Work, October 1963

Back in February I posted a photo of Main Street USA undergoing some sort of extreme maintenance, possibly having to do with the improvements or changes on the Streetcar tracks. Here are two additional photos showing more views of that work.  I wonder if they were able to make the new pavement blend in with the old, or if the repairs remained obvious for a long time? The truck to our right has a small crane on top of it for some reason.

Guests who'd heard about Disneyland's legendary tidiness might have been a little dismayed at the disarray, but hopefully the work didn't ruin their good time. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Disney Gallery

Here's another fun batch of photos from the Dream Team of Irene, Bruce, and James! Today's batch features the Disney Gallery (formerly in the space where Walt's New Orleans Square apartment was going to be), and an appearance by Disney Imagineer and Legend, Tony Baxter. I was unable to figure out the date of this event, unfortunately.

Tony B. was going to be there for four hours! That should give you plenty of time to have him autograph the cast on your left arm. 

"The Art of Indiana Jones Adventure", I guess that should place this in 1995 (when that attraction debuted) or shortly thereafter. 

It's nice to get a look at the old Gallery space again; I kind of miss it. Now it's a fancy place for VIPs to spend the night. Hey, there's Tony! I realize that we can only see five people in line, but none of them are young folks, much to my surprise. Of course there was Indy merch available for purchase, but I wonder what else was there? To the right is a framed print that may or may not be pirate-themed. Apparently you could have your item gift-wrapped if you wanted.

This fellow is asking Tony to inscribe his piece of paper (?), "To my greatest friend in the world to whom I owe everything including most of my money". And he has to do it! It's the rule, and nobody can break the rule. I met Tony once (humble brag), and he couldn't have been nicer.

Many thanks to the Dream Team, as always!

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Magic Kingdom, December 1978

Back in 1978, Lou Perry was at Walt Disney World, and having a swell time, I'll wager. But you know Lou, he didn't go anywhere without a camera, and he took quite a few photos of Cinderella Castle. I wonder if this was his first visit to the Florida park? Sue B. will have to let us know. If I was a betting man, I'd wager that he'd been there before.

This first shot is a Skyway view - if we could look down a little more we'd see the Grand Prix Raceway.  And we can see all the way to Liberty Square and even Adventureland.

Crane? I don't see a crane. What are you talking about?

This one looks like it could be right out of a guidebook or magazine ad. "If you want photos that look like this, don't buy GAF film!". 

It's funny, Cinderella Castle resembles my summer cottage on Lake Como. George Clooney and Amal love to come over and play Yahtzee and listen to my old Doctor Demento tapes. "Fish Heads" is a particular favorite.

Now we have a better look at what's hanging from the crane (I told you there was a crane!); why it's a li'l basket with what I assume are two painters. Even the nicest castles need a little sprucing up sometimes.

Imagine the views these fellows enjoyed. Hope you brought a camera (with Kodak and not GAF film) with you!


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Dumbo, May 1978

Dumbo had some hard knocks in his early days, but once he discovered his ability to fly, life was good. Nothing like making lots of kids happy (and some of them nauseous) every day! Not many people know that when this attraction first opened, it spun at such a rate that guests experienced up to 7 G's. Sure, they passed out, but that was all part of the fun. 

This pig-tailed girl looks like she might be having second thoughts, but it's too late. Let the screaming begin.

"Wave at the camera, Abigail! Wave to Daddy! Come on, wave at the camera! WAVE YOU LITTLE NITWIT!". Mom's tired, but we've all been there. What she needs is a nice relaxing ride on the Peoplemover to soothe her jangled nerves.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Chicago at Night, December 1965

A while ago, Sue B. sent me some slides to scan... photos taken by her father, Lou Perry, back in late 1965. Lou loved to take pictures, and this time he got some great, unusual shots of downtown Chicago on a wet and cold night.

This first one looks like a scene from a movie, with the Christmas lights reflecting on the wet pavement. The famous Marina Towers can be seen in the distance. I love the signs for clothiers and record stores.

Stanley Green's was a deli on State Street, between Monroe and Adams that (as far as I can gather) was there from 1965 thru the mid-1970's. To the left is the elegant Palmer House hotel, now owned by Hilton. 

There's snow on that car! Somehow I would think there'd be a lot more of the white stuff in December, but maybe '65 didn't get those big snowstorms.

I love this shot of two men decorating a Christmas tree in the front window of the Brunswick Building on West Washington Street!

Here's a nice photo of the Brunswick that I found online.

And... another great photo, featuring Karolls, makers of men's clothing. They closed in the 1980's.

There are more fun Chicago-area photos from Lou and Sue coming up! Many thanks to both of them for sharing.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Two Beauties! October 1964

I have two extra-nice pix for you on this fine Friday, starting with this postcard-worthy photo looking toward the America the Beautiful building with its classic mid-century wavy awning. This was during the brief period in which a model of a Telstar satellite "orbited" above the building on that long boom. I'm going to quote one of my own blog posts from way back in 2012: Telstar 1 and Telstar 2 - virtually identical - were built by AT&T, Bell Laboratories, NASA, and the British and French postal services, and transmitted some of the earliest trans-Atlantic television images. Neither satellite is functional any more, but both are still in orbit!

Let's zoom in a little, just because we can! And by "we", I mean myself and the Queen of England, who is very familiar with Photoshop. Behind the Clock of the World you can see those ruffle cloth shades that used to be strung across parts of Tomorrowland's main walkway.

Next is this pretty photo of a vehicle winding its way along the beautifully landscaped roads of the Midget Autopia. If you've ever seen similar rides at other amusement parks, they sure didn't look this lovely. "Elevation 144 Ft."? No wonder I feel lightheaded. Main Street Station says that the elevation there is 138 feet, in case you were wondering.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Motor Boat Cruise, May 1978

Ah, the simple pleasures of the Motor Boat Cruise! Sit in your sporty fiberglass boat, lean back, and relax. Fall asleep if you prefer, it won't make any difference - except that you'll miss some pretty scenery along the way.

I really like this first photo; it's like the photographer managed to get a nice composition in spite of him/herself. The trio of boats, with the yellow Peoplemover overhead and a sub or two in the background all add up to some grade "A" fun. I'm not sure I ever noticed the light on the bow of these boats; is it half green, half red?  

I should have probably posted this one first, but it's too dark. So strange to see Space Mountain in the distance, it shows up so rarely on GDB!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Random Pix

I have four random snapshots, courtesy of Irene, Bruce, and James (aka "The Dream Team"). 

Let's start with this look at the mural as seen from the queue of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" (possibly from 1995). There's Toad standing on the back of his horse friend Cecil; Standing in front of Cecil is Moley, Ratty, and MacBadger, while the evil bartender "Mr. Winky" (!) twirls his mustache. To the right you can see Toad driving his car straight into the flames of hell. As a kid I loved these Fantasyland murals... and I still do.

Next there are two snapshots showing the fa├žade of "It's a Small World" from the days when it was painted in candy colors. Pinks, lilacs, pale oranges, yellows, and the occasional bit of blue; there are still people who prefer this color scheme to the more classic white and gold, which just goes to show you something something. This angle lets us see the track that the little clockwork children travel on during their once-every-fifteen-minutes march.

Man that sure is colorful. Admittedly there are tons of Mary Blair concept pieces that show IASW in saturated colors. The story goes that she ultimately thought that white was the most "joyful" color, but I can't help wondering if the fact that white didn't fade and need constant repainting might have had something to do with it as well?

I initially thought that this might be a photo of one of the old castle dioramas, with Sleeping Beauty's three fairies hovering overhead, but it's hard to ignore the two Dickensian St. Nicholas figures, as well as other Christmas decor and presents. Perhaps this was in the "Tinker Bell Toy Shop"? I like the backdrop, which appears to be a copy of an Eyvind Earle background painting from "Sleeping Beauty".

Thanks to the Dream Team for today's photos!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Monstro of the Future

I've scanned a few slightly oversized slides recently - nothing special, but still worth a look. Mr. Trilby is all by himself with Monstro - quite an honor. The famous whale blinked during the photo, just like I always do - it just makes him seem more human. Er, more down to Earth. I mean, he's not human, and he swims in water, but you get it

For Halloween they should have Monstro's teeth covered in blood. Or replace him with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

I think I first learned about the Monsanto Home of the Future in the 1980 book, "Disneyland: The First Quarter Century". At the time I thought I knew Disneyland pretty well, so it was a shock to see that strange building, somehow managing to be futuristic and mid-century at the same time, hovering above that lovely pond. There's a chance I might have seen it with my own eyes when I was a tiny child, but I have no memory of it at all.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Random Pix, 1950's

Here are two 1950's photos that aren't the best things in the world, but I'll give them a good solid "C". Maybe even a "B-".

First up is this too-dark shot of the old Bekins Van in Town Square. I wonder if the artwork featuring three galloping horses is one that Bekins actually used in the early 20th century? That gentleman will tell you that he remembers when the ice truck would come by, and he and Spanky and Porky would ask for chips of ice to lick on a hot day. Then they'd go to the clubhouse ("No women allowed!") and talk about soap box racers and how pretty Miss Crabtree was. 

The peeling broadsides advertising the Golden Horseshoe Revue add an aura of authenticity. Notice that Judy Marsh and Donald Novis are listed. Judy Marsh was replaced by Betty Taylor sometime in 1956 (according to the D-23 website). Donald Novis was the original "Irish Tenor", replaced by Fulton Burley in 1962 due to Novis' poor health.

Next is this photo of the El Dorado Hotel in friendly Rainbow Ridge. The mythical city of El Dorado was a "golden city", and the hotel certainly looks golden as it is bathed in the last rays of sunlight. I have no evidence that this was a winter day, but I feel it in my bones! Speaking of bones, if you squint really hard, you can just make out a few grave markers to the left of the chapel up on the hill.

Say, not bad for a B-!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Jungle Cruise 1950's

Today's slide scans are the photo equivalent to a bowl full of soggy cereal. But sometimes I'll eat soggy cereal! I'm not proud.

If this first one was a little sharper, it might have been ready for prime time, but it's just a little fuzzy. Still, it's not a total loss; I envy those folks on the boat, about to vanish into the endless rain forest. All those leaves absorb a lot of sound, so all you hear is the thrum of the engine, and the various shrieks, hoots, and squawks of the animals.

Speaking of animals, here's a crummy photo of the bull elephant's mother in-law, surrounded by flowers.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

At The Cabin, 1954

Today's photos were just three of many found in a box of images from the 50's, but I found these particularly appealing. 

I love the warm light, and the cabin (I assume it's not this family's regular home!), with a wall full of pennants. Notre Dame, the Red Sox, Dartmouth, Fordham University, the New York Giants, West Point, and even one for Nantucket Beach. The low angle of the light almost mimics a campfire - it reminds me of a Reddit group called "Accidental Renaissance". It also reminds me of the paintings of Georges de la Tour. I don't know why it matters, but I somehow like knowing that these photos were taken on July 14th, 1954.

Here's a beautiful painting by de la Tour, from the L.A. County Museum of Art, it's always been one of my favorites. "The Magdalen With The Smoking Flame". Nice chiaroscuro, wouldn't you say?!

The 48-star Flag is always a fun detail; Grandma rests her hand affectionately on Grandpa's head. 

There's a few kerosene lanterns in case of a storm; I see a paddle mounted on the wall, so canoeing might be on the schedule tomorrow. Or they'll go fishin' and catch a few walleye! 

I hope you've enjoyed these vintage pix.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Tomorrowland, July 1959

I have two extra nice Tomorrowland photos for you today, both from July 1959. The Matterhorn, Monorail, and Subs were all brand-new, but you'd never know it from these pictures - none of those attractions are in evidence at all. Which makes me wonder if these were actually taken much earlier than their date-stamp indicates. But there are some things we'll never know.

Man oh man, what a scene! So much color, and there's just enough people to make the place feel alive and energetic. 

What's in the little boy's hand? Did he rip the pigtail off of some poor girl? Major Pepperidge does not approve of such behavior. Those nice people to the left are pausing so that Dad can get a good shot of his wife and kids in front of all that kooky Tomorrow-ish stuff.

From the same photographer comes this wonderful image with the Moonliner looming over the Cox Thimble Crome Flight Circle. Too bad we can't see our old friend CoxPilot. 

Yes, little girl, you should definitely spend $1.50 of your hard-earned babysitting money on a souvenir hat with an ostrich feather. You won't regret it.

I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful pictures of Tomorrowland!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Special Guest Photo!

I have a SPECIAL GUEST PHOTO for you today, courtesy of long-time GDB friend Patrick McGilligan. See some of his previously-shared photos HERE and HERE.

Patrick says that this photo is from May of 1977; that's him manning the shovel, and he's with his friend Jeff. They are standing on the little sandy beach next to Captain Hook's Pirate Ship in Fantasyland, trying to take some of that pirate treasure! Somebody didn't do a very good job of burying it.

I don't think that guests were really supposed to be on that beach, and I asked Patrick about it, but he doesn't recall if he and his pal snuck over there. Maybe they just ambled on over, not thinking it was off-limits! At any rate, they weren't thrown in Disney Jail and fed only churros and water.

As most of you know, the Pirate Ship would only be around for another five years; it was torn down sometime in 1982.

Here's a previously-posted (from 1961) image to give you an idea of where the little beach was. As you can see, to the left (near the lady with the pink shirt) it would have been pretty easy to step over those low rocks and make off with the cursed treasure.

Many thanks to Patrick McGilligan for sharing his fun photo!