Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Special Guest Photos!

Today I am very happy to be able to share some photos that were generously sent to me by Sandi Rosner Baldwin, who was a cast member when Walt was there at Disneyland from the mid 1960's - and beyond! It was really fun to correspond with Sandi and hear a little about her days at the park.

This first photo is from 1967, with Sandi in her "Alice in Wonderland" costume, which she wore working the "Alice in Wonderland« attraction. She said, The other themed attraction that you wore a costume was for  "Snow White’s Scary Adventure".  For the  Peter Pan attraction we wore our regular Storybook costume. Most of the attractions in Fantasyland  were mostly operated by females,  King Authors Carousel  and Casey Junior Circus Train were operated only by male cast members.

This next one is from 1968, and Sandi is wearing her Storybook costume having a fun shot on a Carousel horse.

Also from 1968 Sandi is working as a ride operator for the Storybook Land Canal Boats. She said, ....we worked hard, but we never thought of it in that way. We had so much fun and did so many crazy things, that you couldn't possibly do today. We took pride on how we looked and how we greeted our guests, we were always smiling.  I remember my cheeks were sore at the end of the day from smiling so much.  Yes, indeed it was a very special time with very special people, who most of us are still in contact with today.  

Here's a very dark one with Sandi working Storybook Land again.

Here she is, looks like she's tearing a ticket out of a ticket book! The Storybook costumes in the 60, 70's were also used as the Fantasyland costumes for the girls.  Remember I mentioned that Alice and Snow White had their own costumes as well as it’s a Small World, which opened in 1966, the last attraction that Walt Disney dedicated. The Storybook/Fantasyland costume colors for the girls were, Pink, Green, Yellow and Blue.

And here's Sandi in the 1980's! The photo of me in the 80's was taken during the Teamsters strike when I returned back to help out. Actually, it was fun working with my old friends that have long left the company or were now working in management. The costume in the 80's as you can see has been updated and now used on all the attractions, except “it’s a Small World".

After a break, Sandi returned to the park: I came back to the park 13 years ago and I'm currently in Guest Relations.  I have wonderful friends today as well, but the mid 60's, 70's and early 80's were indeed the Golden Years ...I was very fortunate to be working at the park during it's golden era, however, every era has something special that makes it Disney. 

MANY THANKS to Sandi Rosner Baldwin for graciously sharing her photos and personal memories, it sounds like she has had many wonderful experiences in her years with Disneyland and continues even today. 


Nanook said...

Personal photos are always the best. Sandi, you're definitely 'working your hair' in that 1st Alice image. Oh my-!

Thanks, Sandi for sharing your memories with us.

Melissa said...

Hi, Sandi! Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and memories. I especially love the composition of the first shot, with the giant Wonderland Flora.

I've always thought the Alice/Storybook costumes of that era were cute as a button, with those crisp, white pinafores. And Sandi looks particularly lovely in them. Babushka power!

And hats off to you for aiding in the union effort; May Day is when most people around the world celebrate workers' rights and achievements in labor activism, and it's been sad not to see those gatherings able to happen this year. I hope you are able to return to Disneyland soon and keep making magic for all those guests.

And thank you to The Maj for providing us with a glimpse into a classic CM experience.

TokyoMagic! said...

Awwww, what wonderful pics.....and narrative, too!

After looking at that second to last pic, I'm now wondering how many guests did NOT have their ride coupons ready (as requested by the posted signage and recordings playing in the queues) when they got up to the turnstiles? That would get very tedious, very quickly, if you had to tear out EVERYONE'S coupons for them!

That last pic shows how the lighthouse/ticket booth, which had been out in front of the attraction for more than 25 years, was moved across the canal, next to the flowers that spelled out "Storybook Land." It also had it's stripes painted out at that time. I believe it wasn't moved back to the "mainland," until the nineties.

Thank you so much, Sandi, for sharing your personal photos with us!

Chuck said...

Ahhh, you had me at "Alice." Been a fan since before preschool, when my mother read me both of the original books many times in our afternoon story hour.

That must have been a fun time to work at the Park. And it says a lot about the cameraderie and espirit de corps of the era that they reached out to you to help during the strike and that you remain in touch today.

I think it would be fascinating to come back to work at Disneyland a couple of times under different management regimes to be able to compare. And with your deep base of experience of the Park, I think Guest Relations would be an ideal place to work.

Thanks, Sandi, for sharing these!

TM!, I had no idea the lighthouse had been moved twice. See what you miss when you don't visit for 17 years in the pre-Internet era?

K. Martinez said...

Wonderful pics, Sandi! I especially love the pic of you tearing out a ride coupon from the ticket book. Sounds like you made the most out of your time at Disneyland. Thanks much for sharing your personal photos with us.

Andrew said...

These were really great photos, Sandi. Man, if you got sore from smiling so much during the day, than that's the sign of a true Disneyland employee! Thanks again for sharing!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Sandi - you are wonderful! Thank you for sharing your pictures and stories! More, More, More! And what "crazy things" did you do?!

Thank you, Major, too!


Anonymous said...

Melissa wrote, “And hats off to you for aiding in the union effort; May Day is when most people around the world celebrate workers' rights and achievements in labor activism, and it's been sad not to see those gatherings able to happen this year.”

While this is a not the place to delve deeply into the issue, you have mischaracterized Sandi’s actions back in 1984. She was not aiding in keeping unions strong (ride operators were Teamsters), she was a scab who crossed the picket line to help crush the workers’ efforts to make the company negotiate in good faith.

As it turned out, many union employees (some of them my friends) lost their jobs and/or seniority due to the actions of people like Sandi when the work stoppage failed.

Most people in the know believe the failed strike of 1984 forever changed the park and the relationship between management and the workers who interact with the public every day.

DrGoat said...

Thank you for sharing these gems. I must have seen you back then and probably fell in love, like I tended to do with Disney girls dressed up in Disney garb. Went to the Park a lot in the 60s, great times.
Thank you Major

Melissa said...

Thanks for the correction, Anon.

zach said...

Thank you, Sandi, for sharing part of your Disney life with us. You did what so many of us wished we had done.

It was fun visiting the park at that time and I'm sure CMs like you helped to make it that way.

Thanks again,



TOKYOMAGIC brought up a good point: while today we are very nostalgic about using ride ticket books and coupons they were a massive pain-in-the-ass. Disney was one of the last companies to hold on to them as long as they did. Even before officially doing away with the ticket system , Disney was already phasing them out with the JIMINEY CRICKET TICKETS ( one ticket good for any A-E attraction) your ticket book could literally be used for all E tickets if you wanted. Also the unlimited ticket was out selling the A-E books in the final years . This was a card ticket you would pin to your clothes and eventually a colored string on your wrist with a colored metal clamp that would change daily.
I remember the frustration of people NOT having their tickets ready and having to find them for their party — or a group off people for say The Matterhorn, and one person in the party is short an E coupon . One time I remember being in line with some friends at Tomorrowland Autopia and removing my C Coupon in advance and somehow losing it before I had to turn it over !! I remember the castmember pulled us aside and I ran over to the Tomorrowland ticket booth to buy a C coupon! A funny memory about that is while I was in the ticket booth line ( yes of course there was a line ) a man had taken his shirt off and a security guard cane over and explained that he had to put it back on.

I also remember when the attraction lines would get held up as castmembers had to empty out the collected ticket bins. When Disney announced the discontinuation of the tickets few guests were sad to see them go , but were more concerned about using up or getting reimbursed for unused tickets from previous visits.

I can imagine all the stories and excuses from guests cast members had to deal with regarding tickets!
A few good things about the Ticket system was that it did help disperse guests throughout the park and make then see or ride attractions they might have missed.
And when you had to physically had over a coupon you enjoyed that attraction that much more!

JC Shannon said...

Great photos and narrative from a great Disneyland Cast Member. I bet I saw you myself once or twice. Thanks for making the guest experience better by being you. Thanks Sandi and thanks to Major for sharing.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the 60’s hairdo is part of what makes that first photo so fun!

Melissa, I can’t help thinking of the photos we’ve seen showing the Alice attraction when all of the CMs who operated it were blonde women in the blue dresses and white pinafores. So many Alices!

TokyoMagic!, I couldn’t remember if the guests were supposed to tear out their tickets, or if they were supposed to leave them in the books for a ticket person to tear out. You’re right, doing that 1000 times a day would be tedious, and might even cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Thanks for pointing out the lighthouse, which I knew had moved once, but did not know it had moved twice!

Chuck, I have not spoken to a lot of CMs from those days, but the few I have communicated with had nothing but good things to say about their days at Disneyland. They made friends, and often made life-long connections that helped them later in life. Based on what I’ve heard recently, things are pretty different for employees. That isn’t to say that it’s all bad, but just not the super positive experience that it used to be.

K. Martinez, Sandi initially sent me two photos, so I was very glad when she found a few additional images to add!

Lou and Sue, I would be happy to share any more stories or photos from ANY CM!

Anon, I feel like I should have asked Sandi if she wanted to keep the mention of the strike in the post (though she did review my text beforehand), I know (and completely understand) how sensitive these things are to people who were involved. Look at that 1941 animator’s strike - even today tensions can be high when that is discussed, and it was almost 80 years ago. I appreciate that you acknowledge that “this is not the place to delve deeply into the issue”, because I have my own definite opinions about such things - just not on GDB.

DrGoat, ha ha, gosh, I still have memories (30 years ago? More?) of certain female CMs who were so pretty!

Melissa, I still appreciate your comment and the spirit in which it was made.

dzacher, I’ve always wondered, if my family had managed to stay in Huntington Beach until I was old enough to work at Disneyland, would I have applied for a job there? I think so!

Mike Cozart, the ticket books are something that I miss, and don’t miss at the same time. I agree, they would add a lot more hassle for both guests and employees. As you said at the end of your comment, it is interesting to think about how folks might ride an attraction they would have otherwise skipped because they had those extra “A”, “B”, and “C” coupons? And maybe the massive crowds caused by the AP’s wouldn’t have happened (though of course they could have had ticket books and annual passes at the same time). Interesting thought about how people might appreciate a ride more when they had to exchange a precious ticket to ride it - I’ll bet that’s true. Funny that you mentioned the guy taking off his shirt - I’ve always thought that was such an odd thing to do at Disneyland. “Man it’s hot. Well, here goes!”. Even when it’s little kids with their shirts off. Weird.

Jonathan, I wonder if I saw Sandi at the park when I was a young ‘un too!

Melissa said...

I remember the days in between ticket books and Fastpasses; there was still a lot of incentive to ride those formerly A-B-C-ticket attractions. If the line was too long at the headliners, you just went and rode some less crowded stuff and came back when the line was shorter. And while I don't have the crunchable data available to compare, it seems to me like the standby lines at the headliners moved a lot more quickly without FP's. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go tie an extra onion to my belt.

Irene said...

This is a wonderful post. Nice to hear from someone who worked in that time frame at the Park. One of my great regrets is not applying for a job there. I really wanted to - my dream was to be a guide and wear one of those cute plaid outfits. But my parents were against it and talked me out of it saying it was too far to drive (not really) and that they really wanted people who spoke another language for that type of job, etc. They pushed me into a business atmosphere because that this what was expected of young girls back, not a frivolous job at Disneyland. Be that as it may, in my alternate universe I will say I worked there and did marvelous hahaha


Major: oh the guy in the Tomorrowland ticket booth line that security told to put his shirt back on was probably in his 30’s. I was only in 6 grade at at the time - but seeing an adult being told to put their clothes back in by security stood out in my memory.

In the mid 1980’s I remember a girl at the front entrance they wouldn’t let in because she had massively torn jeans ( her fashion style a cross between a punk-rocker and a Mod) I’ve also seen people ( guys) who had t-shirts with offensive sayings or questionable images on them security made them wear inside - out!

One could do a whole book today called “yeah- they really wore that to Disneyland!!”

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Sandi for sharing her personal photos and memories. I appreciate it.


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I agree, the ticket books did exactly as you said, it spread folks out, maybe took some pressure off of the bigger “E-ticket” rides, and let people experience those A,B, and C ticket rides, In the late 60’s a C ticket would get you on the Rocket Jets, the dark rides in Fantasyland, and the canoes in Frontierland. A B ticket could get you on the Keel Boats, Casey Jr., or the Motor Boat Cruise. And the A tickets could get you on the Main Street vehicles and King Arthur’s Carrousel! All good stuff.

Irene, given your family’s history with the park, I’m surprised that your parents were against you working at Disneyland of all places! It’s not like it was a seedy bar. Did they really want people who spoke another language? I’m sure that is always a plus, but I am sure you could have been hired. Ah well, it sounds like you did pretty well for yourself. Still, it’s fun to think about what might have been.

Mike Cozart, yes, I’m sure I would have remembered somebody taking off clothing at the park! I still remember a goth couple at the park, and the girl was wearing a fairly see-through top. Not that I was complaining! But I was a little surprised that the infamous gate security were OK with it. Torn jeans seems like it wouldn’t be that offensive, unless it showed a lot of butt or something (possible I know). I like your idea of that book, if only we had tons of photos for it!

JG, yes, thanks to Sandi!