Thursday, May 28, 2020

Main Street (and more), September 1983

From the team of Lou and Sue comes a group of photos that Lou took way back in 1983. September, that is. Lou didn't stray far from Main Street, except for the last photo.

First up is this Horseless Carriage. It's still so weird for me to see a carriage moving without horses pulling it! Those teenagers could easily walk to the castle, but they're playing it smart and taking a comfortable ride. The Sunkist Citrus House is to our left, it opened in 1960 and would be there until 1989.

The next two feature details of Main Street Station. The "Disneyland Railroad" sign is nice and all, but I still miss the "Santa Fe" signs, long-gone by 1983 (their sponsorship ended in 1974). 

I hope that someday they replace that awful old analog clock with a cool electric clock with an LED readout, just like watches in the 70's. 

I like this nice view of the Mad Hatter shop, with genuine 1980's people out front. The hats on display in the window are all very poofy, colorful, and large. I prefer something a little more tasteful, with mouse ears or perhaps made of coonskin.

You can't have a batch of photos from Main Street without a picture of a Horse Drawn Streetcar. The guests on board look like they're out of steam.

Meanwhile, over at the Fire Department... folks are loitering near the old Chemical Wagon. Two young ladies are admiring each other's shoes. Disneyland magic!

See? I told you Lou went to Tomorrowland. The days of "Sunshine Balloon" and "The New Establishment" were long gone, but now they had a hip 80's band to sing songs like "I'm So Excited", and "Shake It Up".

Thank you so much, Lou and Sue!


Nanook said...


As nice as the Disneyland Railroad sign is, it pales in comparison to the original Santa Fe logo. And as for those gals at the Fire Station, they're actually discussing the heartbreak of bunions and the perfect Dr. Scholl's product to ease the pain. (Unfortunately, we can't always be chatting about fashion-!)

Thanks Lou, Sue & The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I wonder if that band playing in Tomorrowland was Krash, Airplay, Pizzazz, or Gazelle?

These are some super cool '80's pics! Thanks, Lou, Sue and the Major, too!


These are great Disneyland 1983 photos! The last TRUE year of original Walt Disney Productions - as in 1984 Der Furer Eisner will take Control starting mass lay offs , forced retirements , dissolving entire Disneyland departments , canceling a New Tomorrowland ( Epcot Tomorrowland) , the Adventureland - Jungle Cruise volcano , Discovery Bay, and many other projects underway. It was also the year before Eisner forced Imagineering to come up with enough reasons for their existence ( WED came up with a list of 52 things that only WED Imagineering was capable of. Most imagineers do a symbolic “spit on the floor” when Eisner’s name is mentioned.
These pictures show the last of Walt’s Disneyland.

The first thing Eisner said to the imagineers at that first 1984 meeting at WED was “WALT’S DEAD”

zach said...

There are no fewer than 9 trash cans in the first photo. NO excuse for littering. I hope the horse doesn't 'litter'.

Men's shorts did not look good in the 80s. I had some of those socks, though.

Thanks Lou, Sue & Major


zach said...

Oh, Nanook, I agree about the logo. We were a Southern Pacific family and I used to feel guilty about liking that logo so much.

Mike, thanks for the in depth info. It's always appreciated.


JC Shannon said...

I love Main Street. All the vehicles and shops and people to watch. As usual Lou's photos are aces. Lou and Sue, do you have some snaps of New Orleans Square? I would love to see those as well. Thanks to Major and Lou and Sue. Celebrity alert, is that Denzel moonlighting as a base player?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think that the non-Santa Fe DLRR logo is pretty boring, it would be nice if someone with some genuine skill as a graphic designer could make something a little bolder. Also, I always love discussing bunions and other foot-related problems while at Disneyland!

TokyoMagic!, wow, how can a band name seem so “80s”? And yet all four of those are so awesomely 80s!!

Mike Cozart, wow, it sucks that Eisner forced retirements and mass layoffs. I’d never heard of the Jungle Cruise volcano. I did know about him asking WED to justify their existence, which also seems really crappy, although there are companies that do employee reviews where you have to tell them why they should keep you. Seems very cold-hearted. Walt was certainly dead by 1984; Thanks for reminding us, Michael. It almost seems like a variation on the old “I’M the sheriff around here now!”. He revitalized Disney film production, both live-action and animation, and I guess we got things like Splash Mountain and Star Tours, but we also got DCA, a wrong-headed disaster that took over a billion dollars to fix.

zach, I can forgive a horse for “littering”, but I’m not so forgiving for lazy people who litter. I had lots of white socks that went almost up to my knees, but I don’t think I had any black ones!

zach, that’s another great logo. I was actually planning a whole post having to do with railroad logos, guess I should move that into the “expedite” box.

Jonathan, Sue has sent me so many of Lou’s photos, there must be some from New Orleans Square. I know there are a few of the Haunted Mansion exterior. Now I need to go through the many “Lou and Sue” folders to see if there are NOS pix.

DrGoat said...

Nice pics Lou & Sue. '83 was a good year for us. Peggy (my wife) had moved out from Ohio in '81 when I met her. She had never been to the Park, so it was pretty exciting for both of us. I think we went in November.
Mike, Thanks for reminding me how much I disliked Eisner.
I do believe that two gals in that group by the Fire Department are taking a cigarette break. I guess that's a good place to do that.
Thanks Major and Lou & Sue.

Anonymous said...

Excellent photos from L+S. Again the era when I didn't visit, so these are good for me to see.

Mike, thanks for the sad info about Eisner. Never liked that guy, now I know why.

The train station in my home town was on the Santa Fe line. The Disneyland station felt just like home. I never noticed when the signs disappeared but the Park seems strange without them. I wish they could get them back, even without a sponsorship. But now, it's all about the benjamins.


Omnispace said...

Wonderful photos of Main Street! Yikes - the stripes on those socks! I bet they were even tubular. ;)

I've read some on Eisner. The story's basically the high energy media exec crashing into a homespun family business. It definitely didn't go well for everyone.

Nanook said...

@ Omnispace-

Your description of Michael Eisner, is as good as any. And, although he's definitely a bright guy, his biggest asset by far was Frank Wells. Wells' untimely death proved to be far more than Eisner could successfully handle, from which he never fully recovered. As a result, the company suffered greatly from that loss, too.

Melissa said...

This would have been around the time of my first visit to WDW.


I actually like the 1974 new Disneyland Railroad insignia - I guess because that’s what I grew up with. The new herald was created by graphic imagineer Rudy Lord. Rudy has a background in architectural graphics and created or art directed almost all signage used in the parks from 1972 until his retirement in the 1990’s. He is also known for creating the opening year EPCOT logo and Future World fonts. Rudy also directed the production of all park attraction posters from 1976 till the very last screenprinted poster in 1994.
The 1974 new DLRR logo isn’t as elaborate as the Wal Disney World version , but when it was created it was stipulated that the herald must include the castle silhouette. The Disneyland and Santa Fe RR herald was used in several variations on the locomotives and passengers - and some of those also featured a castle ( similar to the 60’s Magic Kingdom club castle)
The Santa Fe logo seen on the railroad station heralds is the Santa Fe contemporary logo - not a period themed logo. It would be the same if Black & Decker or McDonalds sponsored the railroad and slapped their modern logo onto the stations.

Today the 1974 DLRR logo is used only on a few of the passenger car drumheads ( “ banjo heralds”) and some of the holiday coaches. In the 1990’s the 1974 castle graphic was replaced with a intwined “DL RR” insignia featured on all station signage.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Two young ladies are admiring each other's shoes. Disneyland magic! LOL!

Nanook, my mom always said that if you wear uncomfortable shoes in Disneyland, your day/vacation is ruined. Of course, that was before those electric carts . . . but when your feet hurt, everything hurts!

Zach, I ALWAYS count the waste/trash cans in the DL or WDW pictures. Seriously. I wonder what's the most that have appeared in one picture??

JC Shannon, I do know the Major posted some of my dad's May 1984 NOS photos on GDB July 29, 2019. I will definitely keep an eye out for more. (I still haven't gone through all of my dad's photos and slides - there are many boxes full.) If I recall correctly, you LOVE NOS as much as I do - and also love the Blue Bayou Restaurant, too. If anyone else has anything they want me to 'look for' - either from DL or WDW, please let me know; or if there's a certain month and year, please tell me. I can't guarantee anything, but I'll then know what to look for - to scan and send to Major. I know a couple Junior Gorillas have requested trains - and I always scan those, when I come across any.

Mike, can you tell us anything more about that JC volcano?

Melissa, on your first trip to WDW, what was the highlight of your trip?

Thank you, all, for your kind words - which I'll pass on to my dad (who's doing great!). Enjoyed the laughs, too!


The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Kind of wild that Main Street once had actual vehicles driving up and down the street for people to ride. I don't think they do that anymore for WDW. Do they still do it at Disneyland? I'm asking as someone who's never been to the West Coast.

Chuck said...

Magic Ears Dudebro, I know that they were still driving vehicles up and down Main Street at DL first thing in the morning in 2009, because we got to ride the fire truck (only time I've ever done that). Can't speak to anything more recent from personal experience, although I seem to remember reading that's still a thing.


Disneyland operates the Main Street Vehicles from opening till about 2pm in the afternoon. With some exceptions the Omnibus operates till about 3-4 pm weekdays.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, it’s always nice when photos evoke personal memories, like the ones with you and Peggy, when you were courting! Those are the best. I have mixed feelings about Eisner, he did some great things for the company (remember, not long before he came on board there was a real worry that the company would be taken over, its assets sold off, etc), but he also made some major blunders that were ego-driven, or just terrible errors in judgement (such as building DCA on the cheap because they believed that Disney fans didn’t demand quality).

JG, I’ve seen photos of my grandparents (and my mom when she was very young) all dressed up at Union Station in L.A., about to board their train to the midwest, it looks so awesome. I wish I’d experienced that, though now I am spoiled by air travel’s speed.

Omnispace, the three stripes makes me think that they were Adidas socks! Back then I paid attention to such things. Adidas and Puma were where it was at - this was before Nike of course.

Nanook, I am sure that Frank Wells was an amazing guy, and once he was gone it seems like the company started going to hell, but I would love to know how he managed to keep the peace between Eisner and Katzenberg, and steer Eisner’s decisions toward things that were generally successful. He must have been a very skillful advisor/mediator.

Melissa, at this point and time, 1983 seems like “the early years” for WDW! Epcot was brand new, too.

Mike Cozart, I used to be an illustrator, and it was super frustrating to have a good concept, only to have it watered down or outright vetoed by certain art directors. I have no doubt that Rudy Lord was super talented (those posters that he did with Jim Michaelson are incredible), but I just find that DLRR logo to be pretty bland. That’s just me, though. My fondness for the Santa Fe logo seen on Main Street Station (and elsewhere in the park) is entirely due to its association with the park, I have no idea what the logo was in earlier years (looking at fliers from the 1910s and 1920s shows it looking much the same). I would never say that you are wrong for liking the 1974 logo, it’s cool for different people to like different things!

Lou and Sue, it amazes me to see women wearing heels at the park, it seems like torture. Maybe they were just used to them, I suppose. Hm, it never occurred to me to count trash cans in the photos, there used to be a whole website devoted to Disney park trash cans! If Lou managed to get old photos inside the Blue Bayou, that would be incredible - fingers crossed.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, I was going to answer your question, but see that good old Chuck has done an excellent job.

Chuck, thanks! It’s been a while, but a friend told me that when the crowds got too big (a common occurrence in recent years) they would have to stop running the Main Street Vehicles. So morning was a person’s best bet if they wanted the experience.

Mike Cozart, thank you!

Melissa said...

The things that I get most excited about thinking of that trip are all the different forms of transportation, and everything in Tomorrowland. Not just the attractions, but the design, too.

Dean Finder said...

They still run Main Street vehicles at WDW in the morning as well. I actually rode them to the hub and back an hour later when some stragglers got to the park on my last trip in January. It's nice to save a few steps on a long day.

I'm in favor of the Major's plan to put a digital clock in the tower. We all know Walt was a fan of blinking "12:00"

Maybe one of those ladies stepped in something when walking behind a horse-drawn streetcar