Monday, August 31, 2020

Disneyland's 30th Birthday Parade, Part 3

Oh yaz, oh yaz, it is time for part three in a series of photos featuring the parade from Disneyland's 30th birthday. 1985, you know. These are from Lou and Sue of course!

The "Tomorrowland" portion of the parade is still passing by; as I mentioned the last time, I was kind of thrilled to see the old silver K7 Spaceman costumes (there was more than one in the parade). Most people had no idea that the "K" was a relic of the old Kaiser Aluminum Hall of Fame, the free (sponsored) exhibit that was in Tomorrowland for it's first decade or so.

Notice the float with mermaids and a Nautilus-style submarine (for some reason), as well as the people carrying those kooky wire and foam (?) orreries (models of the solar system).

The Little Pigs have joined some Autopia CMs who wave colorful racing flags.

Lay off the cough syrup, Little Pig. Also, don't be a fool, stay in school.

Lou was snapping photos as fast as he could! Notice the Big Bad Wolf is carrying a sign that says, "PIG STOP", one of the less-seen racetrack signs. There's the band dressed as submarine crew members (ahoy, maties!), and the man carrying his toolbox, I'll bet he spent most of his days repairing the Autopia cars. One is just peeking out from the left!

It really does feel like they got hundreds of employees involved in the parade, which is super fun. As I said before, this does not look like the most expensive and elaborate parade ever produced, but it sure looks like it would evoke a lot of smiles.

Another mechanic, along with his trusty toolbox. Look, a blue Autopia car was in the parade too.

Next is Fantasyland, with some jugglers to add color and motion. Snow White is riding a magnificent white horse, as a princess should. Some folks are wearing those large round badges, I wish I could read what they said. "Lose weight now, ask me how"?

Is Snow White looking right at us?! She's so pretty. Alice and the White Rabbit are behind her, as well as the Queen of Hearts. Looks like Alice is saying hello to a little boy sitting on the curb (is the boy recoiling?). And a pirate ship float with bedspread sails is on its way.

Why, it's Peter Pan and Captain Hook! Maybe Peter is helping Hook with his cravat?

Those two! They just can't get along. In this case I think Peter is being kind of pushy, no wonder Hook is so cranky. I think the pirate ship float is actually being steered like a go-cart. Notice the small speaker on the seat. One of the teapots from the mad tea party (used in other parades) is moving all on its own.

That's it for now! But there are more photos from this parade, coming up! Many thanks to Lou and Sue, as always.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Subs, June 1960

For a Snoozer Sunday, today's photos aren't that bad. In fact, they are fine. Just fine!

It's June, 1960, and the Submarine Voyage was still only a year old. The water still had that "new lagoon" smell. There's nothing better! One of the subs in the distance is mostly obscured, but it appears to still have its patriotic bunting in place. Folks are walking across that gangplank, heading toward the spiral staircase that took them into the belly of the beast. They will spend the next nine months submerged beneath the surface of the ocean.

Someone heading up to the Monorail platform took this view of these poor souls. Little do they know that at least half of them will be driven mad due to Claustrophobia - fear of Santa Claus. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Amusement Parks

It's time for some vintage amusements! YOU like vintage amusements, it said so in your dossier.

When Elvis Presley sang about a "Mystery Train", he was probably singing about this very train. "16 coaches long"? Yep, that seems about right! I wish I had some good solid information about where and when this photo was taken, but... no such luck. I just love the barren landscape, the candy-cane striped light pole, the "GOLF" sign (miniature golf I assume?), and of course, the yellow and red beauty of a locomotive hauling its load of squirming children. 

Seeing that arid surroundings make me want to say that this is somewhere in California, but it could just as easily be Oklahoma, Texas, or other places.

We at least have a date for this next one, "August 1967". But I don't have the faintest idea where this wooden Indian (holding a handful of cigars) would have been found. This scene is probably not very PC, but it's a record of a moment in time over 50 years ago. 

This last one is from July 1975, and was helpfully labeled, "Ontario Place". I thought it might be a photo of an Expo, but Wikipedia tells us that Ontario Place is an entertainment venue, event venue, and park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The venue is located on three artificial landscaped islands just off-shore in Lake Ontario, south of Exhibition Place and southwest of Downtown Toronto. It opened on May 22, 1971, and operated as a theme park centred around Ontario themes and family attractions until 2012 when the Government of Ontario announced that it would close for redevelopment. It has since reopened as a park without admission but without several of the old attractions. The Government of Ontario is currently considering further redevelopment of the site.

Now you know!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Beautiful Tomorrowland

Oh boy, it's vintage Tomorrowland. And this first photo is particularly beautiful, taken as the sun dipped low on the horizon. Everything was bathed in warm late-afternoon light, and the shadows were getting longer. It won't be long until the sky is blue/violet and the stars start to emerge. 

The Clock of the World must have been on the fritz, because it sure isn't 9:26 in the morning. I love so many details, like the tile base of the clock, or those towers in the distance, decorated with nautical flags. And I wouldn't mind moseying into the Hall of Chemistry for a look-see. I can't tell if this is pre-Skyway or not, but I think it might be.

Zooming in to the left, we can see a balloon seller in one of those spacesuit costumes that were not used for very long. For Melissa, notice the two girls in identical outfits - black tops, pink shorts, red socks, and the same little red and white caps! 

From another lot comes this wonderful shot (almost certainly taken from the Skyway queue) of the Tomorrowland Autopia. It's not as elaborate as it would be years later, but I'm sure it was still tons of fun. No guide rail! We also get a nice look at the C.K. Holliday pulling the freight train; this was long before there was a Grand Canyon Diorama to thrill guests.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Adventureland Pix

Here are four photo scans from the "Dream Team" of Irene, Bruce, and James! It is likely that these are from the mid-1990s.

First up is this nice shot of "Aladdin's Oasis", which had taken the place of the much-missed Tahitian Terrace. AO opened in 1993, and for a year or two they had a live show, featuring signing and dancing to accompany guests during their meal. But I guess it was not cost-effective, and eventually the show was removed, but you could still dine there. Then it became a place where guests could hear the story of Aladdin and Jasmine. It is now the "Tropical Hideaway".

I have never eaten at the Bengal Barbecue, but I've heard good things about the food there. I like a nice kebab! Can I get a side of babaganoush? (I just wanted to say "babaganoush"). 

I don't know if they changed signs at some point, or if they had several of them, all using the "Tiger with a thing in its mouth" theme. I remember TokyoMagic! telling us that this sign used to be for "Sunkist, I Presume".

And finally, here is a steel drum band performing next to the Bazaar. I gotta get me one-a them shirts!  I wonder why they needed to put these fellows behind a barrier? Were they trying to prevent a mosh pit from forming? "The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World" had a song by "The Steel Drum Band" (how did they come up with such a crazy name?!).

THANK YOU, Dream Team!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Black and White, January 1956

For some mysterious reason, I decided to scan all of the vintage photo prints of Disneyland that hadn't been seen on GDB yet. Around 70 of them! The quality varies a lot of course, but there are some good ones in the mix, I hope you'll agree.

Today's examples are dated "January 1956", so the park was only six months old. Just a baby! This first photo shows the turnstiles and Main Street Station - there are Christmas garlands and wreaths, so we know it's the holiday season (naturally the photos could have easily been taken in December). There is a sign for the ill-fated "Mickey Mouse Club Circus" to our left; it only lasted about a month and a half, closing on January 8th of 1956. There is also a hand-lettered sign (it almost looks like a child made it!) that is a little hard to read, but I think it says, "Your Guide Book - The Story of Disneyland - 25¢!"

I can never get too many photos of the wonderful old Stagecoaches. They sure were beauties; I wonder if their construction was completely authentic? It looks like the tough-as-buffalo-hide driver is wearing his oval brass employee badge. I'll have to look in David Koenig book, "The 55ers: The Pioneers Who Settled Disneyland" and see if I can figure out who this could be.

And finally... a photo of the Mark Twain! Nobody expected that! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

More Stuff From The Box

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for "more stuff from the box". What box? I'll never tell.

This brass Junior "G" Man badge  is one of variety of toy badges tied to a 1936 radio program hosted by Melvin Purvis, who was an FBI agent famous for leading the manhunts for Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger, and Baby Face Nelson. If you were a Melvin Purvis fan, you could have a badge for a "roving operative", a "chief operative", and then various ranks of "secret operator" including "lieutenant" and "chief". There was also a "girl's division".

Next are two badges from McDonald's featuring the Grimace and Mayor McCheese, denizens of McDonaldland. I don't remember how I got these, and assume that there are other badges featuring other beloved characters. The Hamburglar! Officer Big Mac! Captain Crook! Birdie! Or maybe not. 

Here's something different! Three tiny pieces of amber - roughly 1/2" in length - with insects preserved in them. I believe these are Burmese amber (as opposed to Baltic)... Burma has a LOT of amber, and a lot of tiny gnats and other critters got stuck in the resinous goo, so you can get pieces like these for pretty cheap. I took this photo on my light table, it came out pretty good!

The rest of today's items are from various World's Fairs, for better or worse. How about this lovely enameled (painted, really) brass bookmark from the 1939 New York World's Fair? It's in great shape, somebody didn't like to read much.

This pin is from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. "A Century of Progress"! The hanging badge shows the Travel and Transport Building, an Art Deco edifice that, at the time, had the "world's largest unobstructed room" for exhibits. A much-heralded feature was the "breathing dome" that could expand and contract with changes in temperature. As you can see, much of the support was on the outside of the building, with the load carried by cables attached to 12 towers.

And finally, a cheap souvenir pin and ribbon from the 1964/65 World's Fair, they probably sold hundreds of thousands of these at the time. I always find that blue and orange color combo to be very pleasing. If you happen to wear one of these to a job interview, you will get hired.

There's lots more stuff in the box!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Disneyland Hotel at Night, September 1983

Today's photos are from Lou and Sue... you know them, you love them! Back in 1983, Lou walked around the Disneyland Hotel property and took a series of rare night photos. The prints had turned pretty red, and I did my best to restore them; the results aren't perfect, but they are still worth a look, I think you'll agree!

I don't have much useful information to add, since I am not familiar with the Hotel from any era, much less from the 1980s, so for the most part the pictures will have to speak for themselves. If any of you have fun facts, please chime in.

Here we are at the entrance to one of the towers - not sure which one - you can see a crowd of people to the right, perhaps waiting for their turn to check in. Is that little vehicle what passed for the Hotel tram back then, or is it just some sort of service vehicle? Maybe they would drive you and your luggage over to the appropriate tower.

Chow time!

There's a classic view, with the iconic neon sign on top. The "D" was auctioned off in Van Eaton Gallery's "That's From Disneyland!" auction back in 2018  (jump to item #116 if you are interested) for $75,000. I've heard that magician David Copperfield bought it.

Not surprisingly, Lou's eye was drawn to the marina, with it's very large "lake" providing lovely reflections.

"Atari Adventures"? Was this some sort of video game arcade? I wouldn't expect it to be open to the elements like this. Does anybody know what this was? 

Notice the little lighthouse in the lower left, perhaps this was where guests could steer miniature RC Jungle Cruise boats around.

There's the cutest li'l tugboat you'll ever see; was it strictly decorative, or could it be used to rescue folks who didn't have the strength to muscle their pedal boat back to shore? Everything sure looks pretty with the combination of warm and cool lighting.

Jutting out from the right looks like what might be a bandstand. Did they have live music (perhaps big bands) playing here on summer nights? 

There are a couple of shots of this pagoda-like structure. A restaurant? Bar? Nightclub? Notice the speakers, which probably blasted death metal at high volume day and night.

I could imagine spending a long, hectic day in the park, and then coming back to the hotel for a swim, a nap, and maybe a nice dinner and cocktail. How civilized!

Waterfalls? Or fountains? I can't quite tell! I know there used to be some waterfalls that guests could walk behind, they were removed a few years back, sadly. I love how they used multiple levels for visual interest.

A big THANK YOU to Lou and Sue!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sunday, Blurry Sunday

Ordinarily I would consider today's photos to be fairly special, and worthy of appearing on a day other than Sunday. But... both of these are a bit out of focus, and that is a bummer. Yes, I cried, I'm not ashamed. 

First up, from May 1974 comes this unusual photo taken inside the old "Flight to the Moon" attraction, which was an update to the 1955 "Rocket to the Moon". Werner Weiss' always-excellent  "Yesterland" helpfully tells us that For the New Tomorrowland of 1967, Disneyland built a new, larger show building—again with two round theaters, but larger in diameter and with a fourth concentric circle of seats in each. Flight to the Moon, presented by McDonnell Douglas, opened August 12, 1967. The new version added an Audio-Animatronics “Mission Control” pre-show and moving seats.

I love this look at "Mission Control" with "Tom Morrow" (standing with his back to us) watching film of moon launches, which of course happened four or five times a day by this point. I have a memory of Tom Morrow turning around as if he was standing on a lazy Susan, it always amused me.

Next we're back in the 1950s, with a nice (but fuzzy) look at a plucky little Stagecoach bumping along a dirt trail that paralleled the riverbank. We know that this is no later than 1959, because that's when the Stagecoaches were removed. 

A few years ago, TokyoMagic! enlightened me about the fact that there were two different kinds od Stagecoaches. The classic "Concord" type, and then this kind, called a "mud wagon". These were more open, allowing better views of the landscape, and more air inside - always a good thing on those hot days.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Parade Time

For no good reason, I decided to share a few vintage parade photos. Anyone who doesn't love parades can write a 4 page essay. Single spaced, and you must cite your references.

The first two are from a parade held during a "Calgary Stampede" event held in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada, yo!) each year in July. There's rodeos, and concerts, and food, and chuckwagon races, and hopefully at least one puppet show (hand puppets, not those damn marionettes!).

Why, there's more cowboy hats than you can shake a stick at. I didn't expect horses to be in this parade, but I'll allow it. This time. If I didn't know better, I'd say those horses were square dancing! Do-si-do, promenade.

Just look at the crowds lining the street, the folks in the shady parking garage have the right idea though it would be nice to be on the rooftops too. Notice "The Beachcomber". Need to know more? One website sez: The Beachcomber was a Canadian chain of elaborate Polynesian restaurants in the same vein as other popular chains like Kon-Tiki, Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's. The Beachcomber reportedly was owned by Zane Feldman, the original owner of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. The Beachcomber burned down, and there is now an office building in its place. They probably made one a them fancy flaming drinks, amirite?

Sometimes I think those Canadians are plum loco. But not these folks, they've got style that won't quit. If Detroit sold cars like this, we'd put those foreign auto manufacturers out on their ears. I can't help thinking that the bison head is going to sing.

Next is this undated photo, but the photographer helpfully labeled it, Hazel Park, Michigan - it shares its southern border with Detroit! They still do an annual Memorial Day parade, so I'm going to postulate that this photo is from one of those. Walt Disney would approve of the children in costumes of the world. There's even a hula girl (maybe Hawaii had become the 50th State that year?)! A small but feisty herd of Brownies sit in the float with the planet Urf, protecting it as if it was a giant egg. Nearby may or may not be a white dove of peace.

Gimme that station wagon!

Doing a search of Hazel Park via Google Maps, I believe that this intersection at 24101 John R. Road and E. Annabelle Avenue is the location of the parade photo. Interesting that the building on the corner is still an appliance store.

I hope you have enjoyed today's parade photos!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Rainbow Ridge & Jungle Cruise, 1956

Here are a couple of nice photos from 1956. Sure, 1955 was swell and everything, but things really started shifting into high gear at Disneyland in 1956!

This first one is kind of interesting; the photographer was obviously trying to capture an image of the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train as it emerged from the tunnel (where Rainbow Caverns was), back to civilization. Rainbow Ridge, that is. Notice that the train is a beautiful dark green. I can't decide which I like better, the green, or the "Nature's Wonderland" yellow from 1960 and beyond. It's like trying to choose a favorite among my robot children - I love them all.

Zooming in a bit we can see that there is some lumber piled in front of what would be the Mineral Hall, and looking through the window there is construction mess rather than a fully-realized interior. I think that the reflections in the double doors show us framing for Casa de Fritos, which would be to our right. Do you concur?

This one is not quite as interesting, but it's still a fine look at the Jungle Cruise loading dock. Look at the line! Everyone wants to see those hippos and elephants. There's nobody in the upper story of the boat house, but there is a sort of shade cloth for the late-afternoon comfort of the folks who would normally be up there. We can also just see the roof of the Plantation House. 

Some folks have to wear a suit and tie to work, but these guys can look like this! Beatniks, probably. I do like that no two outfits looks the same, giving a more shaggy, authentic look to this "remote jungle location". The boat to the left sports the Union Jack, a tip of the hat to the days when there were British colonies everywhere.