Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Greatest Construction Show On Earth!

It's Disneyland ephemera time! I'm featuring a neat flyer, handed out during the massive construction project that would add such classic attractions as the Matterhorn, the Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail, along with the Motor Boat Cruise and improvements to the Tomorrowland Autopia. I would assume that these would have been given to guests in both 1958 and 1959. 

Walt, or one of his minions, realized that guests might be disappointed to find so much of the park behind construction walls, with bulldozed earth and steel beams instead of the immaculate place that had been written about so much. This flyer essentially tries to convince folks that it's not a bug, it's a feature.

Savvy collectors know that there are three different color versions of the flyer - it took me quite a while to find them all (though I can't help wondering if there might be other color versions out there that I've never seen). I think the blue example eluded me the longest. With my weird mania for completing a set of anything, it was extremely satisfying to finally get the three of them!



I have a pretty great quality blue one now. I had a grayish-Green version in ok condition I sold off after I got the blue. At one point I had salmon one that was folded in half - most if these I've run across are folded in half or have a substantial crease. Guests might have been excited to see the construction announcement, but the didn’t take very good care of these flyers once through the gate!

Nanook said...

... and also see in actual progress one of the most fantastic construction marvels of all time... Yeeesh - why stop there-? So, should I take it the 1959 'upgrade' is the 8th Wonder of the World-? Perhaps, not, but it's awfully-swell.

And congratulations on your achievement of attaining all three color variations-!

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

As my Grandma would say, they could sell snake oil to a snake.

Chuck said...

Interesting piece of ephemera...and a fantastic job of putting all three variants in one picture. Having played a bit in Photoshoppe over the years, I recognize the skill required to pull this off. I particularly like the shadows between the three variants. Well done!

stu29573 said...

Who knew "Alpine Grottos and Caverns" looked so much like the inside of a building! Isn't nature amazing?
Great stuff, Major!

Omnispace said...

Thanks for sharing! I like the little illustrations for each attraction. They look very much like the ones I remember in the guidebooks. They even mention the "futuristic Speedramp" in their descriptions!

DrGoat said...

I'm with Chuck. That second pic is picture perfect. Nicely done!
Congrats on having all three. Great objects to have, and so flat and wonderful. Completing a set of anything is a sometimes hard fought, but a marvelous thing to accomplish.
Thanks Major.

JC Shannon said...

If it were me, I can just hear my wife now. "Why do you have to have all three?" "They are the same thing." Me. "I dunno, I just gotta." Great stuff today Major, the art alone is worth it.

Anonymous said...

These are fun, and especially in all three colors.

Are they blank on the back? I do like the little vignette drawings.

If the Skyway could be advertised as two different rides, the "Skyway to Fantasyland" and the "Skyway to Tomorrowland", then the inside of the roller coaster can surely be billed as Alpine Grottoes and caverns.

5.5 Million was a substantial sum back then, definitely an eye catcher.

Thanks Major, ephemera are fascinating.


Nanook said...

@ JG-

Yeah - about $44,469,000 today. They definitely got their money's worth, however.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I was thinking, “I wonder if there’s a green version”? I can’t say I’m surprised that there’s another color out there, but now I have to look for one! All of mine have folds, they just don’t show up in the scans very well. I’m sure almost everybody immediately folded their flyers and tucked them in a purse or in their souvenir guidebooks.

Nanook, hey, if you’re gonna hype, you may as well overhype. My friend Mr. X told me that there about the three colors, but it looks like he may have been mistaken.

Melissa, snakes need snake oil more than anything!

Chuck, thanks! I did a version without the drop shadows, and decided I liked it better when the separation was emphasized. The “flat” version looked OK though. And Photoshop makes drop shadows easy with the layer “blending options”, though there are other ways of achieving the exact same look.

stu29573, I’ve always wondered if there was an original plan to have something more along the lines of the ice caverns that were added many years later? Maybe they just ran out of time and money, and figured they’d get around to it someday.

Omnipace, when I have time I’ll have to check and see if those little spot illustrations were used elsewhere. They do look exactly like the kind of spots used for older brochures and flyers.

DrGoat, the bane of every collector is being unable to complete a collection. I have lots of little collections of various things that are lacking one or two items, and I just haven’t been able to find the one that I want. There are some Roy Rogers tin “badges” given out with Post cereals, and I still need two or three, it’s driving me crazy!

Jonathan, ha ha, poor wives have to put up with stuff like that! An Imagineer who I am friendly with once showed me his garage with all kinds of neat things in it, and his wife just couldn’t understand why he didn’t sell all of it. That being said, my mom was the big collector in our family, I’m sure I got the bug from her.

JG, yes, these are blank on the back. And I’ve always thought that it was kind of a cheat to list the Skyway as two separate attractions, even though guests did need a ticket for each direction. And looking at the “CPI Inflation Calculator”, $5.5 million is the equivalent of around $48 million today - when you consider what they got for that money, it seems like a bargain.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ha ha, maybe we used different inflation calculators? Close enough, though!

Anonymous said...

Major and Nanook, 48 million would not buy the plaster job on the Matterhorn today.


Omnispace said...

When you think about it, this was an extraordinary project for the park with both the number of attractions and their scope. I'm not surprised if they ran out of money to complete the Matterhorn interiors. I vaguely remember what it looked like before the upgrades - just a jumble of barely disguised steel beams. I think the bottom was just dirt with grade beams. Would be great to see a photo of it.

Hey, maybe there was a different color flyer for each new monorail? Of course there were no pink monorails but the Red, Blue, Green, Yellow were the basic color groups.

JG - Why bother re-plastering the Matterhorn when you simply add chocolate sprinkles? ;)

"Lou and Sue" said...

"11-acre addition of amazing attractions"
Definitely some of the BEST acres of land that ever existed, and part of the reason we're all here on GDB, today!

Mike, when I read your comment about the other colors - I thought you were "pulling Major's leg." Am still wondering if that's the case.... You wouldn't happen to be an I Love Lucy fan, too, would you? ;)

Fun post, thanks Major and all!


Chuck said...

Omnispace, I like your theory on the flyer colors, but the Monorail only had two Mark I trains - Monorail Red and Monorail Blue - when it first opened in 1959. Monorail Gold debuted with the Mark II trains and expanded track in 1961, and Monorail Green didn't arrive until the Mark IIIs hit the scene in 1968.

Wish I could remember what the bottom of the inside of the pre-1978 Matterhorn looked like, but I think I was always looking at the bobsleds and the beams when I rode the Skyway. No memory of the ground-level surface survives.



No I’m not pulling Major’s leg about the other Greyish-Green color version of the flyer .Today I was told by a friend that there is also a actual grey version as well!!

Yes I love “I love Lucy”!!

In the book The Disney Mountains , Imagineering at its Peak, it says several times that the ice caverns, interior and even a “snow monster” was planned from the very beginning , but time had run out. After it opened the bobsleds were so popular as they were they just kinda kept postponing the Matterhorn’s interior finish. Until they needed to increase the attractions capacity in the 70’s they then decided it was time to complete it.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, you are probably not wrong!

Omnispace, there is no doubt that this project is one of the biggest and most impressive in the park’s history, particularly when you consider that all of it was achieved in a year or so. “Galaxy’s Edge” took about three years. Like you, I would love to see a good flash photo of the interior - maybe several! I only have the most fleeting of memories of it, pre-Ice Caverns. I wonder if it really did have a humble dirt floor? I’m unaware of different colors of flyers for the Monorail, but if any pop up, I’ll be bidding! Sadly, I will also probably be outbid.

Lou and Sue, I did a Google search, and not only does Matterhorn1959 have a scan of a greenish one on his blog, I actually commented on it, something like, “I’ve never seen a green one”! As usual, my memory is the worst. I can’t help wondering if the “salmon” one was just a faded pink one, but there’s no way of knowing.

Chuck, good point! I still remember when the Disney Store catalog had a beautiful Monorail model for sale. The Monorail Blue model was limited to something like 500, while the Monorail Red had an edition of 1959. I bought the red one because in my mind that’s the one I think of most, but I should have bought the rarer blue one.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart - OY VEY! A gray version too?? It never ends. So much for my brief sense of satisfaction. Sounds like the book "The Disney Mountains" pretty much supports my theory about the ice caverns, etc. Thank you.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike -


MAJOR: pink IS salmon. Paper manufacturers never used to use the word PINK : they always used SALMON. Just like in fashion years ago designers never used the world YELLOW .... they said GOLD.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Farm-raised [pink] salmon is naturally gray; the pink color is added. Wild salmon is naturally pink due to their diet which includes astaxanthin, a reddish-orange compound found in krill and shrimp.

I just threw that in for the heck of it...I just found it on the internet. For what it's worth...

Omnispace said...

Chuck - thanks for setting me straight. It was a tongue-in-cheek notion, but I did honestly forget there was just the blue and red monorails initially, (way before my time). We did have the Disneyland Monorail Game at home so I should have known better. ;)

Melissa said...

I’m sure almost everybody immediately folded their flyers and tucked them in a purse or in their souvenir guidebooks.”

My usual MO with any printed material from the parks is “Fold it, then stick it in my bag where it immediately gets soaked with melted sunscreen leaking from the bottle.” I never think to bring Ziploc bags.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, Oh OK! I guess I think of "salmon" as more of an orange/pink, but you're right, it's probably just "pink".

Lou and Sue, mmm, I sure would like a nice gray salmon steak, grilled on a cedar plank.

Omnispace, if you have the Monorail Game, then I already know that you and your family probably spend at least two hours every day playing it.

Melissa, I don't see many greasy sunscreen blobs on vintage flyers, but will sometimes see food stains, as if the owner took it out to look at it while they were enjoying their Pluto Burger.