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!


Nanook said...

That's definitely unusual lighting inside the Golden Horseshoe. Undoubtedly, there's at least one zombie lurking about. Almost hiding in the background of the last image is the petrified tree - or stump, as Walt referred to it in his letter to John Baker.

Thanks to the M B, and The Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, you have great eyes - or a top-notch computer - to spot that stump! Major, you need to add your previous WiggleVision picture of it to today’s post. It’s worth repeating!

Thanks MB and Major! Hey, Major, is MB a real person that you are friends with? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Anybody else look at these photos and think, "You know, most of those folks are dead now"?

TokyoMagic! said...

Not only is the hunk of petrified tree visible in that last pic, as Nanook pointed out, but the anchor mounted to a slab of concrete is visible in the first two pics. I forget the story of that anchor, but it was moved to New Orleans Square (along the riverbank) years ago. Was that yet another anniversary gift that Walt gave Lillian, for which she replied, "Thanks, Walt....I know just where to STICK it!"

That construction wall in the background was definitely for Big Thunder's construction. In the second pic, you can see the concept art for Big Thunder, posted on the wall. I visited DL the very same month that these pics were taken and I took a close-up pic of that artwork. That pic can be seen here (just scroll down to the 10th image in the post!):


The interior view of the Golden Horseshoe looks almost exactly the same today ( well a few months ago anyway) except often there are trashcans with service tray holders placed between those two “ opera plant stands”.

That is definitely the first versions of the Big Thunder Construction wall. The sign billboard featured a replica of a Clem Hall Big Thunder overview concept. The sign graphics on this version was completed before the final name of the attraction had been selected and reads Big Thunder Railroad - another version reads Big Thunder Mine Railroad. Eventually those wooden signs were replaced with a coming soon attraction poster that was silkscreened at WED and eventually used at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Since the opening dates kept changing because of heavy rains in the late 70’s the posters could easily be replaced with new screened graphic dates over the old ones. I remember in the late 1990’s you could easily purchase one of those original silkscreened announcements posters for about used or mint for less than 200.00 a piece, but recently 2 sold at auction EACH exceeding 10,000!!!

Again Disneyland in 1978 had a very big impact on me. Fun to see images from this period.

Chuck said...

Pretty sure that was outdoor seating for any of the Southeast Frontierland eateries. Wonderful place to eat dinner after dark and watch the Mark Twain chug past. Great ambience for breakfast, too.

Speaking of...I'm hungry. Have a great day, everybody!

stu29573 said...

I sure hope that sweep wasn't taken to the Mousecamps and reprogrammed for not using "The Disney Point!"
Ah, Jean Lafitte's anchor... but don’t believe everything you read...

Andrew said...

I really like the MB's wide-angle pics. In the first shot, the kid's either asking where the bathroom is... or maybe where he can camp out for Fantasmic. Hey, he gotta get that first row view! ;-)


ANDREW: this is 1978 ....... “we don’t need no stinking Fantasmic!”

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, just curious, what’s your favorite attraction at Disneyland, and your least favorite (including extinct attractions).

zach said...

Today is Thursday, you know what that means, we're going to have a special guest! 🎶 MB is always welcome!



DrGoat said...

Really dig those first 2 pics. Lovin' that expanse of colored concrete slurry. With a nice utility trough. I think that fellow is asking where he can purchase a shrunken head, and the sweep is happy to show him.
Tokyo, looks like you had the time of your life in '78. Nice! Great time to be alive.
Went to the park several times in the '70s. 1980 was a big one too, hit 30.
Thanks Mysterious Benefactor, and Major.
Lou and Sue, don't mean to be an interloper, but what are your favorite attractions? For rides, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Mr. Toad are mine. Then there's Jungle Cruise and about 5 others.
For the last 20 years or so, I just love the whole of Main Street.
Thanks again M.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, you are not an interloper - and you have great taste in rides and attractions!



That’s really hard to answer because I like so many attractions for different reasons , but I’d have to say my top are PEOPLEMOVER , CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS, BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD and the MARK TWAIN.

Attractions I am not fond of ..... Anything PIXAR related inside a Magic Kingdom Park . Anything MUPPET inside a Magic Kingdom Park. I also despise shows( fireworks , Fantasmic etc) and parades that are too big and elaborate that they impeded the operation of other attractions or shut down too many areas of the park . Fantasmic is a great show —- unfortunately It ruins too much of the rest of the park etc.

In Florida I loved 20,000 leagues Under the Sea , Horizons and The World of Motion : basically anything I love they take out!

K. Martinez said...

Like Andrew, I love the wide-angle aspect of these pics. Thanks to Major and the MB.

Anonymous said...
>>Anybody else look at these photos and think, "You know, most of those folks are dead now"?"<<

@Anonymous, I often think of that when looking at old photos. Especially if they're from the 1950's.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks, Mike! I was curious to hear your point of view - especially having been directly involved with Disney. I noticed that you didn’t mention anything about Starwars, either way.

Update on my dad (Lou): He was tested and does have ‘the’ virus, but is doing fine, so far. Only had a low-grade fever for part of a day.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, aha, that sneaky petrified tree stump thought it could fool us. But we saw it! Who is John Baker?

Lou and Sue, eh, those Wiggle Vision things gave me (and probably everyone else) a headache. Maybe I could try to redo them some day so that they don’t induce seizures. And yes, I consider the MB to be a friend, though I haven’t seen him in person for years.

Anon, I didn’t think that so much about these specific images, but I have definitely thought that about plenty of other old slide scans.

TokyoMagic!, I think the “Long Forgotten” blog did a history of Jean Lafitte’s anchor - the most magical anchor in the world. I wonder if Walt ever gave Lillian a miniature train set for their anniversary? “I also got you this men’s bowling ball”. I don’t blame Lillian for being salty about it. Funny, I thought that the Big Thunder artwork was just a hole cut in the wall, so that we were seeing the landscape behind it! Thank you very much for the link too your own photo.

Mike Cozart, I assume that in 1978 (and prior to that) there was actual table service in the Golden Horseshoe, which would not require guests to clear their own tables? Thanks for the info about the Big Thunder construction wall and Clem Hall’s artwork. As much as I am into attraction posters, I can’t mentally come up with an image of what the Big Thunder silkscreened posters look like. (Googling…. Googling…) Ah OK, now I remember. Gosh, I wish I had acquired one for $200! But I was probably too snooty and only wanted the old original posters. Thanks!

Chuck, it does look like kind of a “general seating” area; very nice that there were some trees that could potentially provide some pleasant shade on a hot day. Happy Thursday to you!

stu29573, I think we have to give that sweep a break, since he was holding his broom in his pointing hand. No court in the land would convict him!

Andrew, that kid is just flustered, she (he? might be a boy?) had a premonition about the future of Frontierland’s shorefront and can’t believe what he (she?) sees.

Mike Cozart, I know people love Fantasmic, and I’m glad for them; I just wish I loved it too.

Lou and Sue, those are two good questions!

dzacher, I’ve been having a LOT of special guest photos lately. Lou and Sue, the Mysterious Benefactor, Irene, Bruce, and James, and others. It’s been great! I only have to share my own photos three days out of the week, making them last much longer.

DrGoat, “utility trough” that’s a new term for me. I am going to start collecting those. Nobody else even thought about it! Funny that you mentioned the shrunken head, those were always my favorite Adventureland souvenirs, and my grandma would never buy me one because she thought they were disgusting. Now I’m thinking about my own favorite and least-favorite attractions, I’ll have to do some real pondering!

Lou and Sue, that is for sure.

Mike Cozart, I had the feeling that the Peoplemover was going to be your #1, based on one of your old blogs! I share your opinions about the things you are not fond of, including Fantasmic, which IS fun, but as you said, it impacts the whole land in such a negative way.

K. Martinez, ha ha, I know you have commented on the potential demise of the people in the old photos. The crazy thing is that I think of 1978 as “not that long ago”, and of course it is over 40 years ago!! Aieeeee!

Lou and Sue, you missed it, DrGoat wanted to know what your favorite attractions are (were), and now I want to know too! Poor Lou, I am sending positive vibes in his direction; stay healthy, Lou!

Nanook said...

John Baker was the owner of the 'stump'.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, the Major's right - I missed your question to me (sorry about that) . . . here's my answer:

My MOST-favorite attraction/ride is POTC, and DL's is best (compared to WDW's)! And my favorite area is NOS - with the Blue Bayou being my favorite restaurant ever. I also LOVE Main Street at night - but miss the older shops. I do love the Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan's Flight (and Tiki Room, for nostalgia's sake). I can't handle the rollercoasters like I used to - but I love looking at the Matterhorn and watching everyone have fun on it. I LOVED Adventure thru Inner Space and the PeopleMovers. Also miss the Tahitian Terrace. (BTW, I'd love to hear other reader's favorites.)

Major, 1978 doesn't feel that long ago, to me, either. It feels like maybe 15 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Good pictures of my favorite Disneyland era.

I also visited around this time. I remember being disappointed that the Mine Train no longer operated. I do enjoy Big Thunder, but it is not a full replacement. The recent refurb is very nice, and I am glad they kept Rainbow Ridge.

Also around this time I visited the Golden Horseshoe and was fortunate enough to see Wally Boag for the one and only time.

I have always liked that outdoor dining area, but have only sat there once or twice, once for breakfast, I recall.

The young lady in photo 2 is certainly rocking that late 70's style.

My favorite lost attractions have to be the Mine Train, Keelboats, ATIS, Skyway, Swiss Treehouse, PeopleMover and the beloved Pirate Ship restaurant.

Current favorites are pretty conventional, Casey Jr, Canal Boats, Mr. Toad, Pirates, HM, IASW. I love Space Mountain and Indiana, but these are almost always disappointments due to breakdowns.

Most of my favorites now are due to past associations with parents and children, and less to do with the ride itself. I think this is partly a sign of age (mine) and weariness with the ordeal of a Park visit. It used to be a fun day or two, and now is so orchestrated with Fast Passes, lunch reservations (!), crowds and strollers, that "ordeal" is the correct word. It's a lot of work and money now for me to commune with my ghosts. The last two solo trips, I have left early, with valid FastPasses in my pocket.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their favorites.

Sue, please tell your Dad he is in my prayers. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Thanks Major for hosting the discussion. Best to all the Junior Gorillas.


Melissa said...

Thanks for the earworm, dzacher!

I know I'm not as experienced a parkgoer as most of the Gorilla Scouts, but I've found that custodial cast members often know so much more practical information about the parks than others!

If I was a painter, I would love to do a portrait of the woman in the black and white checkered dress at far left of the last picture. Her body language speaks a thousand words.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, being in Disneyland is not relaxing anymore, that’s for sure. I agree with what you said, and it’s not as much fun when you have to schedule your restaurant time, months in advance. Don’t even get me started on fast passes . . .

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers for my dad!

Anonymous said...

We were sweepers… no one ever referred to us as “sweeps.” Honest.

The sweeper in question is Gary Hammer and he is working Depot Dock. That area used to extend from the Twain/Columbia dock to the Frontierland station when the park first opened but was abbreviated to end at the Pirates turnstiles after New Orleans Square opened. Popcorn spills kept anyone working Depot Dock busy as there was a popcorn cart located directly behind the photographer.

The sweeper in the background is Vern Hoiland who, apparently, was the Adventure/Frontier foreman that slow June morning.

Now, I’ve done it… I’ve gone and named names! ;)


DrGoat said...

Lou & Sue, sending my best thoughts your way for Dad. Sounds encouraging....hang in there.
You're certainly right about the Park not being relaxing anymore. Last time I went back in 2013, it was like being in Grand Central Station at rush hour. It was so crowded in the Plaza for the fireworks, that a cast member had to lead a few of us out through a cast door that went behind the Penny Arcade side of Main Street and out through a some exit south of Adventure Land.
K. Martinez, I've got lots of photos from the '50s and I'm in a lot of them! But you're right, everyone else besides us kids are gone but not forgotten.
Anon., I always think that thought when watching all those great movies made in the 40s-50s.
Again, great post, great comments.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Am enjoying everyone’s comments!

Huck, that is so ‘cool’ that you know the sweepers! Please share more about your time working in Disneyland! Is it true you wore recorders to tape folks who got injured?? (Sincere question,)

Anonymous said...


We did not wear tape recorders (and neither did any other employees). :)


The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Seeing those pics of the Disney cast members reminds me of the episode where Roseanne visits Disney World. There's one scene where she's acting really obnoxious, throwing popcorn here and there, when a cast member comes up to her and politely informs her there are trash receptacles nearby.

Now, obviously, the scene is supposed to be funny because they show how the cast members are always polite and "happy"; yet nowadays, considering how much has been revealed about how little some cast members make, and also in light of viral videos of entitled women (aka: Karens) haranguing employees ("I demand to see your manager"), a scene like that sort of leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. That and some of the other things the actual Roseanne Barr has done IRL.

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, I'm so sorry to hear of Lou's virus status, but I'm glad to hear that his fever was only low-grade and only for part of one day. I am also thinking positive thoughts and sending them his way!

Anonymous said...

And the same comes from me Sue. KS

Andrew said...

I'll be praying for Lou, Sue.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thank you, everyone! Your kind thoughts and prayers mean a lot!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that is grade “A” prime trivia there!

Lou and Sue, I don’t think anybody can argue with your favorites. I’d have a hard time listing favorites because it changes, and there are rides that I like for different reasons. As I’ve mentioned before, I miss “Adventure Thru Inner Space” and “Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland”; Like you I love The Haunted Mansion and “Pirates”, and even “Space Mountain”. I miss the original “Submarine Voyage”, and of course the “Peoplemover”… I could go on and on.

JG, I like Big Thunder a LOT, but as you said, it’s not a replacement for a long, immersive, and beautiful ride like the old Mine Train. I wish I’d seen the old Golden Horseshoe show with Wally Boag, that would have been amazing. Yes, the “Skyway” is another one that I miss so much. I definitely have fond memories of moments on rides, or even in line for certain rides. My sister lost a shoe in the “Peter Pan” attraction, she swore the crocodile got it! I don’t remember what we did for her afterwards, did they sell shoes at the park??

Melissa, I can only assume that the earworm is from the Mickey Mouse Club, though I have no personal memories of it. I watched plenty of black and white reruns when I was a kid, but rarely watched the Mickey Mouse Club for some reason.

Lou and Sue, I see people on Facebook who go (or went) to the park all the time, and they seemed to have so much fun. I guess one’s state of mind plays a big part, no surprise there. I still want things to be the way I remember them, and that’s just not realistic.

Huck, WOW, so cool that you know who the sweeper (I thought “sweep” was the term, but you would certainly know better than I)! This seems to be some years before you worked at the park, but I am assuming they were still there in the 80’s? You even know the other sweeper, amazing.

DrGoat, the last time I went to the park, I had a good time until right around the fireworks and Fantasmic! The park got SO crowded - I’d never seen it like that. We were there on a Saturday, and could barely move, and after the fireworks had ended, we wanted to do a few more rides, but it was impossible to get to them through the thick crowds. We left early, which I can hardly believe, even now.

Lou and Sue, I’m all for Huck sharing as much as he can!

Huck, ha ha, I have to admit that I’d never heard the rumor about tape recorders before.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, oh man, Roseanne Barr. Something happened to that woman. I guess the less said, the better. Having recently spoken to a woman who has been a CM at different times going back to the 50’s, I have to wonder if employees today have any of the old “esprit de corps” that seemed to be the thing as late as the 80’s.

TokyoMagic!, KS, Andrew, and everyone else, I am glad to know that we can all be so supportive of Lou and Sue in this crazy time!

Lou and Sue, yes ma’am, we’ve got a good group here, no doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Our Major said, "This seems to be some years before you worked at the park, but I am assuming they were still there in the 80’s? You even know the other sweeper, amazing."

I worked at the park from 1975-1980… so I was almost certainly working the day these shots were taken. :)


Melissa said...

Not only did we watch the B&W MMC reruns, we had a bunch of the records, too. I used to love harmonizing along with Annette Funnicello on "How Will I Know My Love," and joining in the "yippee-yay, yippee-yi, yippee-yo!" refrain from the Spin and Marty song. A bunch of the old MMC serials are on YouTube now. Remember "Gold doubloons and pieces of eight, handed down to Applegate, from buccaneers who fought for years for gold doubloons and pieces of eight, pieces of eight, pieces of eight..."

Sue, I was so worried to hear of Lou's illness. Here's hoping things continue to improve with him; I hope hearing about how much the GDB crowd is enjoying his pictures will keep his spirits up. My oldest friend lost his brother (with whom we both went to school but hung in different circles) to the virus last week. In these uncertain times, membership in the Gorilla Scouts has been such a balm for the spirits.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's brother. That is so sad.

Yes, Melissa, you and everyone else have meant so much to my dad (and me) over this past year. I'm sure my dad won't mind me telling you, but sometimes, when I read [to him] the nice things that you and everyone has said regarding his pictures, I see tears coming down his face. He's not able to do much anymore, but he surely gets LOTS of joy out of GDB. He and I laugh together over the funny comments, too. It's a privilege to be a part of this group! Thanks, Major, for all your ongoing hard work that makes this possible!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Oh, Melissa, I forgot to mention . . . I believe it was you who also loved Delta Dreamflight from WDW's Magic Kingdom. If I'm correct, make sure you see Magic Ears Dudebro's post for today. :)