Friday, July 31, 2020

Some Beauties From The 50's

Here are some nice pix from the 1950's... if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say 1956, or possibly 1957. 

First up is this really wonderful shot of the Rivers of America. It almost feels like it's from an MGM movie, there's so much activity. You've got Huck Finn's raft making the crossing, heading back to the landing near the Plantation House, by the looks of it. There's the short-lived riverfront bandstand to our right, and the Mark Twain, looking as grand and ornate as ever. A Conestoga Wagon can be seen on the distant shore, too. Love those barren hills, maybe they've been scrubbed by hydraulic mining techniques. There's no Cascade Peak yet.

This one was labled, "Thelma and Old Boat". Old Boat? Outrageous! 

Now that I think about it, I would expect to be able to see Skyway cables (or even a few gondolas) overhead, but I guess it's possible that they are just out of frame. One of Casey Jr.'s smokestacks is just visible to our left, and some of you will be happy to see the telephone pole and wires! 

I'd like to give all my readers a heads-up for a great new post over at the wonderful Long-forgotten blog. HBG2 shares some recent discoveries regarding Ken Anderson's early story concepts for the Haunted Mansion, including tons of images. It's really fantastic! Do yourself a favor and go check it out, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

More DLP!

It's time for another installment of photos from Disneyland Paris, graciously shared with us by GDB friend Huck Caton. He took these during a 2016 trip to the park, and took many pictures of Storybook Land, though there are images of other parts of the park too.

Meanwhile we continue our journey along the canals through Storybook Land; here's Belle's village from "Beauty and the Beast". 

If you look closely, you can see Belle herself sitting by the fountain, singing and reading books (Phhh! Books! Give me video games) while two puzzled sheep look on.

More from Belle's village. I don't remember if there was a scene of her dancing across a stone bridge, but I'll go with it. Too bad it's hard to make miniature waterfalls and roaring streams that look convincing.

This one had me baffled for a moment, but we can see characters from the 1985 movie, "Return to Oz" - a film that I personally like very much, even though it is very dark and sometimes unsettling and even scary, for a Disney release. I loved the way they made the characters (the Tin Man, Scarecrow, etc) so faithful to artist W.W. Denslow's portrayals. Very cool that they included this in DLP!

Looks like our tranquil voyage through the land of fairy tales is just over...

Hey, look! A Train! The "Disneyland Railroad" in Paris has four 4-4-0 steam locomotives - three built in 1992, and a fourth built in 1993, by the H.P. Phillips Company. Except for some cosmetic variations, they are essentially identical. I was pleased to learn that their train goes through a Grand Canyon Diorama. Apparently the train also passes though part of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and other attractions as well.

Here's a sign for the Casey Jr. Circus Train, or... well, you can read the French version for yourselves. It looks like Huck didn't actually ride Casey, but he took a number of photos of various signs. Just like a true Disney park fan would do!

These signs remind me of the title cards from "Dumbo", with the rococo carvings and fonts that evoke a turn-of-the-century circus.

That's it for this time! You're just gonna have to wait until the next time, because there's lots more from Huck. Many thanks to him!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

1959 Gate Handouts

I've been scanning some old gate handouts from the 1950's and into the 1960's - some 14 of them. As a collector I love finding as many different examples as possible, but I realize that you, the GDB viewer, might not be quite as interested to see so many variations on a theme. But I believe that each of you has what it takes! 

First up is this rare yellow handout, from "Winter/Spring" 1959, which I believe means "late 1958 into 1959". This one has been folded, but I have not found a better example to replace it.

Among the advantages of taking a guided tour is the intriguing "scenic train ride in a 'private car' of the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad". The "Lilly Belle" passenger car wasn't hatched until 1976, so I wonder what they meant?

A "jumbo" 15-coupon ticket book was just $3.25 - the equivalent of about $37 today. The "$6.85 Value" was the equivalent of around $60, so the savings was significant.

"Plan a group outing at Disneyland"?? Let's do it! We'll all meet in Town Square by the flagpole at 10 A.M. Be there or be square!

Next is this undated example, in surprisingly good condition. It's hard finding these without folds, or especially without many tears, since the paper is rather thin. I think that these were handed to guests as they paid for parking, so presumably this person just placed the flyer on the seat and did not carry it into the park.

The use of ticket books was a stroke of genius; folks no longer had to purchase a ticket for each attraction, and the "A", "B", and "C" tickets probably encouraged folks to try out rides and attractions that they might have otherwise skipped.

"Fantasy In The Sky", every evening at 9 PM. Explosions make me cry. 

Stay tuned for more "IMPORTANT" gate handouts!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Adventureland Construction Signs

It's time for more fun photos from the Dream Team - Irene, Bruce, and James! All of today's photos feature signage from around Adventureland, where most (if not all?) attractions were closed during the construction of the Indiana Jones Adventure, which opened on March 3, 1995. 

This first one is my favorite, informing guests that the Jungle Cruise was temporarily suspended (notice placed there by the Adventureland River Authority). This sign included a fun painting with elephants cleaning and inspecting boats, while the explorer from the "Lost Safari" (and two of his bearers) confers with some hard-hatted gorillas carrying blueprints. 

I am assuming that one of the paths through Adventureland was completely blocked by this massive wall (no humans could have built it without alien help!). The sign suggests another path, but it might be a trick. I have trust issues.

Here's another sign informing guests that the Jungle Cruise was closed. I'm glad to know that he has left his collection of shrunken heads nearby; buy one and hang it from your rear-view mirror. Maybe spray it with Old Spice, it might smell a bit funky.

And finally, in case people have not gotten the message yet, here's one more sign to let people know when all of their favorite jungle attractions would be up and running again. Hard to believe this was 25 years ago!

THANK YOU, Irene, Bruce, and James!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Disneyland 30th Birthday Parade - Part 1

Today is the start of a multi-part post featuring photos from Disneyland's 30th Birthday parade, taken by Lou Perry (and shared with us by his daughter, Sue B.) back on March 8th, 1985. I honestly don't remember seeing photos from this parade before! There is something kind of charming and ramshackle about this parade that I enjoy very much. I am posting these in the order in which Sue put them.

Photo #1! Lou found a primo viewing spot on the steps of Main Street Station overlooking Town Square, where he could watch the various floats, vehicles, and performers as they emerged from the backstage area in between the former site of the Hills Bros. Coffee House (called the "Town Square Cafe" at this point), and the "Mad Hatter" shop. 

I get the feeling that some of these vehicles, such as the Motorized Firetruck and the electric runabout (a favorite of Walt's) might have had guests recruited to wave flags and signs. 

Or maybe some of the old-timers were former CMs that worked at the park back in the early days? I notice a sign over the archway to our right, "Prize Winners Center", what was that for? Publisher's Clearinghouse? 

So much to see! The runabout is carrying a woman (I wish I could read her name) who was the Grand Marshal, retiring that very day! A cute idea. You've got Pooh and Tigger, too.

Thanks to that mouse-ear shaped sign, we know that we will be treated to floats and vehicles with a "Frontierland" theme. I have no idea what that white object with the red and blue things is supposed to be.

Dale (the chipmunk) is riding his hobby horse, while a variety of Frontierland CMs push the big sign. 

Those look like Jungle Cruise skippers, so I guess we've left Frontierland and are now "in" Adventureland (I think things are out of order, but that's just the way it is). The pretty ladies in bright dresses remind me of the dancers in "Saludos Amigos", though there probably isn't really a connection.

Baloo and King Louis have joined in on the fun. Note to self: make necklaces out of fruit. If there is no fruit around, use cold cuts.

Baloo looks uncharacteristically bashful for some reason. Maybe his tum-tum is not feeling so good.

Whoops! We're back to the Frontierland portion, with Br'er Bear and Dale. A quartet of CMs in "native" attire look like they're having fun (the girls do, at least).

In the foreground, a buckboard with bales of hay carries some musicians. There's goofy, with his buckskins that have extra long fringe. Chip waves to an astonished two year-old.

Well, that does it for today, I hope you had fun so far. Never fear there are LOTS more photos of this parade to come, thanks to Lou and Sue! 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Mark Twain Sunday

Hoo-boy, I like today's June 1960 photos of the Mark Twain just fine. JUST FINE! But, you know... *SNORE*. The day was nice and sunny! And we get a slight glimpse at the old Frontierland Station to the right.

Plus there's the Plantation House to our left, its days were numbered by 1960 (though it still had two years to go). I think we can see the poles that supported the big "Holidayland" tent, peeking up above the treeline in front of the Twain. 

Hey, I did it! I wrote some stuff!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Boardwalk, August 1962

Today I have six vintage photos from a mystery boardwalk - possibly New Jersey's Wildwood Boardwalk? I know somebody out there will know! The quality of the photos leaves something to be desired, and yet there is still much to enjoy.

This kid is having so much fun in his sporty red convertible. If only there were some groovy chicks for him to pick up! They would not be able to resist. 

How about a "Hygrade's" beef frankfurter? For some reason, I find that name to be strangely off-putting. Maybe they were delicious. 

Oh boy, a tiny boat ride that goes around and around! Who needs Space Mountain? For one thing, Space Mountain doesn't allow you to ring a little bell with all of your might (and kids hopped up on cotton candy and soda have a lot of nervous energy). 

The sign in the background, "....DA CITY" may or may not be a hint as to the location. Note to self: buy a pith helmet.

Fun-A-Rama, that should have been the name of this blog. I blew it!

Ah, the Scrambler, named after Sir Albert Scrambler. It's a classic spinning ride that really gets those g-forces going. Another clue: the "Hotel Albion" in the background. It's a common name for hotels, but I think I've got it. I literally solved it as I am writing this blog entry! Asbury Park, New Jersey! That's probably young Bruce Springsteen in between those two girls.

Looks like these folks are about to board the world's smallest Ferris Wheel. Still fun, I'll bet.

You can see the little Ferris Wheel in the background, as well as what might be a very basic merry-go-round, with a thrilling helicopter ride in the foreground. 

I hope you have enjoyed your trip to the shore!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Adventureland, June 1964

I am very fond of today's photos from Adventureland, even though they are a little bit subdued. With the exception of the Jungle Cruise and the Swiss Family Treehouse, Adventureland gets short shrift from photographers, as a rule. 

First up is this great shot from just outside the Adventureland entrance. Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room was added a year earlier, changing the entrance drastically. I love so many details, such as the sliver of Main Street (the Plaza Pavillion) encroaching on the jungle to our left. There's the wonderful attraction posters (oh how I wish I had one of those) in their bamboo frames. Uti is standing in her flower-festooned outrigger canoe, while Jose the barker bird (in his red plumage) can be seen.

Just a little further into Adventureland, we find a mysterious tiki (partly hidden behind those signs), standing beneath a jacaranda with its beautiful purple blossoms. One of my favorite sights around SoCal is certain streets lined with these trees in bloom.

Dad decided to sit this one out and watch the bambino; I wonder if the three ladies to our left are related?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Skull Rock and Pirate Ship, July 1969

Somehow, with all of the many photos that I have seen featuring Skull Rock, I never get tired of it. It's just so cool! Wouldn't it be amazing to have a pool in your backyard with your very own skull rock with gushing waterfalls? It looks like our photographer was standing on the poop deck (heh heh) of the Pirate Ship, which is actually a rather unusual angle. We love you, Skully.

The Peoplemover makes a special guest appearance just for me. Well, OK, you too.

Oh that Pirate Ship, it was the subject of many photos, but this one is extra nice. There's my favorite mermaid, pointing her wand in the direction of a big school of tuna. Which is mighty neighborly of her. The sails are unfurled, and that's always the best look in my highly controversial and outrageous opinion. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Keelboats, 1950's

Huzzah for the plucky little Keelboats that used to ply the Rivers of America. They scooted past canoes, steamboats, and ducks - just because they could. I've always liked the decorative painting on these boats, they look like an authentic 18th century piece of folk art. I'm noticing that there is not brass gun mounted at the bow at this point. But there's a bell to ring. Ding ding! 

This is that early Frontierland that I like so much, with those slightly-scraggly hills and lack of rides and structures.

This one still features a Keelboat, but it's not so great. Look at all the people crowded on top! Maybe I'd ride it twice, once on top for the view, and again inside just for the solitude (as I wept silently to myself).

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Flower Market, September 1958

Today's scans qualify as "LEFTUGGIES"™, photos that were left over from a previously-scanned batch. Now they are finally being warmed up, seasoned, and served with a nice lemony hollandaise sauce. 

As you can see, we are standing in the Flower Market (circa 1958), where everything is edible. I mean, technically you can eat those flowers. Don't blame me for whatever happens afterward. Adjacent to the market is the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor; a father and son are sitting at a table, but they aren't eating ice cream. I think Dad is doing a SeƱor Wences routine.

And... a second view of the market. I think we all discussed the possible date that the flowers were added to West Center Street - 1958. And if that is correct, then maybe that explains why it still looks relatively sparse compared to later photos. Still, it's pretty! I love the light-up milk glass Bell Telephone sign (can you find it??).

Monday, July 20, 2020

Magic Kingdom Club Posters

The "Magic Kingdom Club" was a program hatched in 1958 by Milt Albright. The D23 website says: Companies and organizations primarily near Disneyland and later Walt Disney World could offer memberships to employees, which gave them discounts at the parks. The club published Disney News, later The Disney Magazine, before that magazine went national. The club ceased operation in 2000. 

This first item is a small poster, possibly sent out to companies that participated in the MKC program. Examples like it might have been pinned to a bulletin board in the company's lounge or lunch room. In 1959, folks could really take advantage of value pricing and enjoy all of the fabulous new additions to the park. You know the ones I mean! Interesting that instead of the "Submarine Voyage", that attraction is just called "Undersea Voyage". 

This one is undated, but I would guess it is from the early 1960's; obviously the Monorail was routed to the Disneyland Hotel by this time, so it's from 1961 or later. Play a round of golf! Sit in your hotel room surrounded by wonderful mid-century modern furniture? Buy lots of ticket books and save them for 60 years so that you can sell them for a fortune!

HEY! Scott Heinz sent a scan of his 2002 Magic Kingdom Club card. Now we can take his membership number and pretend to be him (be sure to wear a monocle to make it seem legit). As I said to Scott via email, I wasn't sure if the MKC still existed. Thanks Scott!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Bad Pix

It's July 19th. We all remember it as the start of the Franco-Prussian War, and the date of the infamous Chappaquiddick incident; not to mention the start of the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. But it is also DrGoat's (real name: Peter) birthday! Thank you to Sue B. for reminding me. Happy Birthday, Peter! Now I feel like I need everybody's birthdays so they won't feel left out.

Being Sunday, I'm afraid today's photos aren't much to accompany a birthday, but it's nothing personal I swear.

This first one was taken from the Disneyland RR in June, 1974, from Frontierland Station (I was amazed to learn that it wasn't renamed "New Orleans Square Station" until 1996), and we're looking toward the French Market. So I guess we can be grateful that this is not one of the many "usual views" that we see so often. 

There are plenty of empty tables, let's do the "Grand Circle Tour" and then eat lunch there!

This next one was taken from the Disneyland RR during the brief period that it could fly over Tomorrowland in May of 1963. You all remember! The sub lagoon is below, and a submarine has bumped into some mysterious, curved object. It might be the long, eel-like neck of a plesiosaur, thought to be extinct for over 20 years. Some theorize that the Loch Ness Monster could be a plesiosaur, and I believe it.