Friday, May 15, 2020

Nice Tomorrowland 1956

Oh boy, vintage Tomorrowland, my favorite! Hopefully you like it too.

Let's start with this swell picture of Dan and Kay (their real names, thanks to a hand-labeled slide) in their powder-blue Autopia vehicle. What gives, Dan, couldn't you let the kid drive just this once? "Honey, I want to show you something I like to call 'road rage'". Kay didn't know it, but she was learning from the best. I suppose it is possible that she preferred to be a passenger; why work when you can get somebody else to do it, right?

There's lots of dirt in the distance, I believe that's where the Junior Autopia would be running soon.

I have other photos that are similar to this, but I never get tired of views of the fabulously mid-century Skyway terminal. Even with this "long" line I'll bet the wait wasn't much longer than 15 minutes.

I love how the otherwise severe architecture is set off by those playful, brightly-colored whirligigs and doo-dads. Folks dining at the Space Bar are to our right, some can be seen at the vending machines against the wall.


stu29573 said...

Dan is saying, "I'm gonna make real sure they have to put these on a rail! Watch me do a 360!!!" While Kay just says, " Not again..."
Ah, the Skyway. I guess it's neat that WDW has a version again, but the larger you make the cars, the less interesting the trip is, in my opinion. Once again, Disney completely forgot to get my opinion. Oh well, I'll have to keep my hindsights to myself and just be all smug...

K. Martinez said...

Ah! Look at all those wonderful telephone/power poles! I love it!

The only thing better is the kinetic Skyway signage with its colorful whirligigs. The original Tomorrowland Skyway terminal is quite beautiful in its own way. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Look - there are actual lines in the road...and people are actually following them! And a yellow curb in the Autopia "terminal." It feels really go-kart-y...without the speed.

I guess I never realized the original Tomorrowland Skyway signage included a giant kinetic sculpture. Rolly Crump, I presume?

Andrew said...

I'll happily wait in that line. Just think of what you will see when you do a 360 pan of the area around you.

I was thinking the same thing about the sculpture, Chuck! It makes you realize that if they didn't put the Tower of the Four Winds outside of it's a small world, than Tomorrowland would've been a solid second choice.

zach said...

I do like it, too, thanks for asking. Maybe Dan is the big brother and it was his turn?

My friend Steve is one of the reasons they put in the center rail. He couldn't bang them side to side enough.

Thanks Major


JC Shannon said...

I too, love the original Tomorrowland. The whirligigs, the Moonliner and of course, the unreadable Clock of the World. I like the guy in the car. Kids ride schmids ride, I'm drivin'. Woo Hoo!

JG said...

The autopia looks like it is running out in the country like a real road.

I see that Ken has noticed his power poles.

That is the best Skyway station, except for the Swiss one.

Thanks Major.


Nanook said...

Undoubtedly I’ve probably seen it before - but, I love the “To Fantasyland” portion of the Skyway signage. Someone should climb up there after hours and change it to read “To Oz”. That should fool a few folks-!

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, I have one photo in which you can see a kid in his pre-guide rail Autopia car, and he is clearly blocking traffic like a little brat. It almost seems like human nature made those rails inevitable! Interesting about your “the large your make the cars…” observation, I think it is apt. 3 or 4 people feels special, 20 people makes you feel like one of the herd.

K. Martinez, ha ha, you do love those telephone poles and wires! Whenever I find a photo of that old Skyway terminal I’m happy, I just love it.

Chuck, oh yeah, they were trying to give their guests a genuine driving experience. I always thought it was funny that adults, who had presumably just spent a lot of time driving to Anaheim on a busy freeway, would then want to hop aboard a little car and drive around Disneyland. But I get it, it’s different! I used to think that Rolly Crump had something to do with the Tomorrowland sign’s kinetic sculpture, but he didn’t join WED until 1959 (though he started with Disney as an in-betweener in 1952).

Andrew, this is why we need a virtual vintage Disneyland, so we can do just what you said… turn around in any direction and see the park as it was in any time period. You kids are good with computers, get right on that, won’t you?

dzacher, now that I look closer, the person in the cowboy hat is not an adult as I assumed, so yeah, he must be the big brother. He’s not going to let a girl drive! Your friend Steve must have become a demolition derby driver.

Jonathan, I have read some critiques of the early Tomorrowland, and I guess they are valid up to a point, but somehow I look at the same things and see something wonderful, while the critics see something done cheap and chintzy.

JG, yes, it is almost shocking to see that much open, undeveloped real estate inside the normal borders (or berm) of the park. But that’s what makes in neat too.

Nanook, well, they did list the Skyway as two attractions, the “Skyway to Tomorrowland” and the “Skyway to Fantasyland”, which always seemed a little sketchy to me. But hey, I’ll allow it!

Nanook said...

But just think how much more they could've charged if it really did go to Oz-!

"Lou and Sue" said...

My friend Steve is one of the reasons they put in the center rail. He couldn't bang them side to side enough.
Dz, I suppose you were egging him on?!?

Fun post, funny comments - thanks, all!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, they could charge at least two fitty!

Lou and Sue, i am sure that dzacher was the voice of reason, like Jiminy Cricktet.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, that’s not what I heard.

zach said...

I was the guy trying to stay in my lane. I took 'driving' very seriously.