Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Knott's Berry Farm Selection

I need to scan more Knott's slides, but for now I'll use up a few odds and ends; I always love a visit to the old Ghost Town.

Here's a pretty nice view of the Calico Mine Ride, which had opened 1960 (one year before this photo was taken). Our photographer was standing on the upper balcony of the Calico Saloon. It's so great that we can still ride the little mine trains 60 years later - the attraction even received a nice upgrade in 2014.

If you want to make an impression, make sure to build your structure with a large waterfall cascading down. Frank Lloyd Wright knew it, and now you do too.

This old photo print has a pencilled note on the back, "Disneyland train". But WE know better, don't we? The "Ghost Town and Calico Railroad" had only been at Knott's for four years at this point, and it was a wonderful addition.

And finally, I love this photo of the side of the Calico Saloon ("Fancy Drinks"!). The wood on that little side addition looks fairly new, it hasn't weathered to a dark brownish-gray; I wonder if the saloon needed extra storage space? You can just see a yellow passenger car from the railroad to the extreme right. And look at that guy sitting on the bench! What a character. I'll bet he has an ace or two up his sleeve (or in his hat). I wish I knew more about him.

I hope you've enjoyed your trip to Knott's Berry Farm!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Live Shows at Disneyland

April 11, 1992 to April 30 1995

Here are five photos from the Dream Team - that's Irene, Bruce, and James. They feature photos from shows that were from the Videopolis stage; two different shows, that is. I've never set foot inside the perimeter of that theater, and certainly haven't see any live shows there... hopefully some of you have and can share your memories.

First up, it's "Beauty and the Beast LIVE". This show was first performed at Disney's Hollywood Studios in November of 1991, but five months later (April 30th, 1992) it came to Disneyland. Six shows daily, yo.

Clearly this would be an abbreviated version of the movie's plot, but I wonder if this is the opening number from the film, "Belle". There she is, with her nose in a book while Gaston makes a nuisance of himself. She doesn't love him, he's a big galoot!

This must have been one of the audience favorites, the ballroom scene in which Belle and the Beast waltz to the movie's theme song, "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. 

There is a review of "Beauty and the Beast LIVE" at, it's pretty critical of some of the choices made in this shortened stage version of the beloved story. 

This next one was not as easy to research; from what I can tell, the park held finals from The Disney Store "Circle of Trivia" contests annually for a few years, starting in 1994 (hey also did finals in 1995 and 1996 - and possibly beyond?). The proscenium still has the rose theme from Beauty and the Beast LIVE, although everyone on stage is in Lion King costumes - the Lion King was the new kid on the block in 1994, and I think that the stage show at the park was "The Legend of the Lion King".

As I said, I can find very little information about the Circle of Trivia, although Google Groups has preserved the text from a usenet newsgroup (remember those?) in which almost the entire 1994 show was written down for posterity. Read it HERE! I have learned that I am actually pretty bad at Disney trivia.

Thanks as always to Irene, Bruce, and James!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Casa De Doritos, June 1964

Both of today's photos were under-exposed, resulting in very dark images, even after some considerable Photoshoppin'. I could always lighten them more, but then the darks got gray and grainy, so I had to stop at a certain point. Still, they are worth a look.

Casa de Fritos... the House of Fritos! Like the House of Tudor or the House of Windsor. The building looks great, with blooming bougainvillea adding some brilliant color, and plenty of antlers (from Antlers 'R Us), always a classy touch. It looks like the flag of Texas is flying overhead, a detail that has probably always been there but I just forgot. Two CMs (sorry Huck, I like the brevity of "CM") are passing each other. "Done for the day, Rhonda?". "Yep, see you tomorrow, Jim". 

There is an urban legend that you may have heard: Somebody in the kitchen of the Casa de Fritos  decided to cut up some surplus corn tortillas into wedges and deep-fry them - thus Doritos were born. So nobody had ever thought to fry tortillas into chips before that? Besides, a fried tortilla isn't a Dorito, you need a flavorful powdery coating, such as "Nacho Cheese" or "Cool Ranch", or "Original Taco". But it's all over the Internet, so it must be true.

Our photographer panned to the left (just go with it) so that we can see the colorful seating outside the Casa, with each brightly painted table shaded with an equally colorful thatched umbrella thingy. And hey! There's Rainbow Ridge. Take a ride on the Mine Train during the day, and again at dusk, and again at night. You won't be sorry. I'd love to see a night photo with the strings of colored bulbs lit up, I'll bet that looked warm and inviting.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Mad Tea Party, August 1965

Here's a pair of slightly over-exposed (but still fun) photos of the Mad Tea Party attraction. The teacups were a-whilin' and a-spinnin', so there's a little blur to add to the sensation of motion. 

Three towheaded children are having a great time aboard their pale blue cup, but my attention is drawn to the impressive beehive 'do on the woman to the left. She picked up all the TV stations, even UHF.

What's more difficult, capturing bigfoot on film, or a spinning teacup? A question for the ages. I think it was first posed in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" (the scene where Chet Hamlet was playing bumper pool). In spite of the over-exposure, I do like the bright colors in these pix!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

A Selection From The New York World's Fair

Hey hey, it's time for another trip to the New York World's Fair! These are all from the Fair's second season in 1965.

As much as I love Disneyland's streamlined, sci-fi Monorail, I have a lot of fondness for the AMF Monorail that circled the Lake Amusement Area at a height of 40 feet, providing wonderful views. In this dynamic shot, the Monorail is about to zoom over the Meadow Lake Bridge that crossed above the Long Island Expressway. Notice the sign on the pylon to the right, "James Bond 007 Car".

Over in the Tranportation Zone you could ride an Antique Car (sponsored by Avis). It was designed by our old friends at Arrow Development, and was built at 5/8 scale. Top speed, a scorching four miles an hour. 

Here's an unusual view of the "crown roast" rotunda of the Ford Pavilion - our little family is standing somewhere in the northwest corner of the Fair looking across the Grand Central Parkway toward the Transportation Zone. I wonder if the family wants to go see Walt Disney's "Magic Skyway"? I always think about the New Yorkers who drove right through the Fair every day for over a year, it seems like it would be pretty hard to resist.

I know, I know, it's not very exciting, but hey, it don't cost nothin'. It's a view looking southwest along the Fountain of the Fairs toward the ubiquitous (but wonderful) Unisphere. The wooden A-frames of the Austrian pavilion can just be seen to our left.

The "Florida Citrus Water Ski Show" was new to the 1965 season, replacing "Wonder World" (a spectacle with hundreds of swimmers, divers, and music, in the vein of Billy Rose's Aquacade from the 1939 Fair). This was essentially the same show that people saw at the Seattle's 1962 Expo. I guess it's too early for  that skier to be Belinda Carlisle.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the New York World's Fair!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Two Nice Randos!

I have a pair of Leftuggies™ for you today. They may be reheated, but they are still delicious.

Let's begin with this shot looking down on Storybook Land (from a slide dated December 1958), with ol' Monstro himself, and a fairly long queue waiting to take a ride through the whale's digestive tract. This photo is perfectly fine, though not particularly interesting. UNTIL I noticed a detail at the top of the image...

Zooming in, we can see beyond the berm, and much to my surprise, the old Fantasyland Viewliner station is there, completely intact, as if it had been lifted (by crane, perhaps?) from its former location and placed backstage. I had always assumed that the modest little station had just been bulldozed after the Viewliner was closed on September 30, 1958. Why would it have been relocated, apparently unscathed, if it was just going to be torn down soon afterwards? I thought that maybe its bones could have been used for Tomorrowland Station, but that opened five months before the Viewliner closed. Maybe it's just me, but I find this to be a fascinating mystery!

Here's a 1957 photo of the Fantasyland Viewliner station in its original location; as you can see, it is inside the berm, and even inside the Disneyland Railroad tracks.

This next shot is dated "September, 1967", from a slide that was very dark. But a some fancy fiddling in Photoshop brought it back to something worth looking at. It's a neat shot of the New Tomorrowland, which debuted only two months earlier. From the Skyway we can even see beyond Disneyland's perimeter, with things like the conical Melodyland Theater, and the Crest Hotel (or maybe it had been renamed the "Grand Hotel" by this point?). To the extreme left is a building that has a red sign at the top, and many thin columns, not sure what that is.

There it is, an incredible achievement by Walt Disney and his Imagineers. There's so much going on! The Peoplemover, the Skyway, the Subs, the Monorail, the Autopia, folks walking down the ramp of the Carousel of Progress building, while more gathered around the stage at the Tomorrowland Terrace. What a place.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Few From Lou and Sue!

Today I have more photos taken by Lou Perry, shared with us by his daughter Sue B! 

We'll start with this great one from November, 1963... it's Sue with Pluto! Such a cute picture, Pluto won't let anything happen to Sue on his watch. I believe that "Peter Pan's Flight" is to our right, with "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" over Pluto's shoulder, and of course the Carrousel to our left.

The next two are from 1958. "Pre-Sue"! I love this postcard (or souvenir guidebook) worthy photo of the Pack Mules returning from their journey through the Rainbow Desert. All of the passengers are little kids. The faux rocks and wooden tunnel entrance are as familiar as old friends by now.

I wonder what sort of problems could be experienced on the mule ride, if any?

Next is this really nice shot of a Stagecoach entering the corral with the same rocks and tunnel entrance behind them. Whenever I see the little staircases on the Rainbow Ridge hillside, I have this mad wish that I could climb up and see things from up there. "Why, these buildings are tiny!". It looks like a mom, dad, and their child (partly obscured) had the whole top of the coach to themselves. 

THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Casey Jr. Circus Train At Disneyland Paris

It's time for more photos from Disneyland Paris, thanks to our friend Huck, who visited the park in 2016. 

Five of the photos feature mini-"billboards" or broadsides that give guests an idea of what to expect on the ride. Sorry, no inversions or zero-to-55 mph launches here. I didn't know what "En Voiture!" meant; Google translate says it means "by car". So... not by airplane?

As far as I can tell, guests walked past these signs in the queue. Do any of the rides at Disneyland Paris have long lines?

The graphics are borrowed from the opening titles for "Dumbo", which I always liked. "Du bon temps!" - "good time". Why don't they just make all the signs in Esperanto so that we can all understand them?

It's sort of interesting to see the circus train moving through a wooded forest of sorts. "Spectaculaire" obviously means "eyeglasses".

The airbrushy look isn't great; they did try to call me by trans-Atlantic cable to get my opinion, but I was at Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater and was much too entertained to respond.

The next three are views from the minimal line to board. The landscaping is very nice, and so different from SoCal. There's the train car for "Tigres du Bengale".

I'd like to think that these children will grow up with the same kind of fond memories of their day at the park as I had at Anaheim's Disneyland. The "menagerie" car (and the others) appears to be a bit roomier than the original Casey versions.

And finally, there go the "zebres et girafes". Mom brought a jacket just in case, as all good mothers do. 

A big THANK YOU to Huck for sharing these photos of Disneyland Paris with us!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Pair From September 1966

Here's a pair of nice views from 1966, on a sunny, beautiful day. Look at the blue sky! And low crowds. Maybe if I click the heels of my sneakers together and say "Take me there..." repeatedly I will transport to the front gates.

It's morning(ish), and our photographer took this swell photo of the exit turnstiles, with Main Street Station - complete with train! The Ernest S. Marsh, to be specific. I can almost hear the bell clanging and the whistle tooting. I guess those are the "Holiday Green" passenger cars (waiting to be corrected, ha ha)? 

So many of my shots of the entrance are from the 50's, it's interesting to see some of the later silkscreened posters, such as the "Primeval World" (near the tunnel), "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" (just to the right of Primeval World", and "It's a Small World", furthest to the right - an attraction that had only been open at the park for six months.

And here's an especially lovely view of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, as seen from the Skyway. You know how I love it when the sails are unfurled, and there they are in all their stripey glory. The water in the little "lagoon" looks surprisingly clear, normally I think of it as being somewhat turbid. The ship flies the Jolly Roger, and some other flag that I don't recognize. Any guesses? 

Another one of my peculiarities (there are so many!) is that I love getting even the merest glimpse at the dining area behind the Pirate Ship - maybe because I now wish my family had eaten there at least once. But no such luck. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Tomorrowland Views, November 1975

Today I am sharing the last three images (plus one closeup) from the lot of slides that were mostly taken aboard the Goodyear Peoplemover. It was fun while it lasted!

I believe that our Peoplemover train is just about to enter the roundabout platform for loading and unloading, but our photographer took one last picture looking down toward the Tomorrowland Terrace. Mmmm, rubbery hamburgers, my favorite. The nearby stage is in the "down" position, I guess Sunshine Balloon was on a lunch break.

Zooming in, we can see a group of folks gathered around a tour guide. They follow her around like baby ducks following their mama.

And now our photographer has returned to ground level for a last look around before our roll of film was used up. We're standing beneath the awning seeing in photo #1, enjoying some welcome shade. There's a n awful lot of short sleeves being worn in spite of it being November (of course these could have been taken months before, it's hard to say).

I choose to believe that the Peoplemover must have been the Photographer's favorite attraction. Why else would he or she take so many pictures on it and of it? I feel the same way.

I hope you have enjoyed these Peoplemover views!

EXTRA! EXTRA! GDB friend Mark Raymond generously shared this wonderful photo of his mother with the Tomorrowland Spaceman and Spacegirl, circa September 1962. He says that his mom is 5' - 7" tall, and as you can see, those spacefolk towered over her (having been raised in a microgravity environment, either on a space station or on the Moon). THANK YOU, Mark!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Hans, Otto, Ted, and Alice, June 1964

It's kind of surprising how many people took photos of the Matterhorn mountain climbers over the years. Sometimes the mountaineers are hard to notice until you see their red shirts. I believe that an announcement was played over the PA system so that people knew where to direct their gaze. I have no idea if the climbers are at much risk, but whenever somebody is that high up, I suppose there's always a small chance that something could go wrong.

I also assume that the climbers started their ascent from partway up the mountain, does anybody know if there was a doorway or hatch where they would emerge? Or did they actually start from the ground? Seeing footage of them rappelling down from the peak always looked like the most fun.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Grand Prix Raceway, November 1973

I've been doing my "Anything Goes Saturdays" for years, but I often have a hard time figuring out what to share this one day per week. Sometimes I just don't have anything that I think is that great in my folder of scans, or else I have some good stuff, but I want to mix things up as much as possible. 

Today, I found a series of five photos from The Magic Kingdom's "Grand Prix Raceway" - the Florida version of the Autopia. I almost always enjoy images of this attraction, so I'm hoping you do too.

First up is this picture of a lady buckling up (safety first!) before her record-setting circuit around the Grand Prix Raceway track. She has this secret push-button quantum thingy that disables the governor of the engine so that she can go nearly 50 miles an hour! 

Were drivers supposed to obey that racing signal (or whatever those lights are called)? If so, I am all for it - it adds an air of authenticity.

I think this was taken from the bridge over the track, as seen in the previous photo. There's the American Flag, and the Goodyear flag - Goodyear sponsored the attraction from opening day thru... well, I couldn't really find a date when their sponsorship ended. Possibly up until 1994 when the ride changed its name to the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. The other flags appear to be just solid colors or simple patterns, not flags of other nations.

One thing I enjoy about the GPR is the variety of paint styles. Racing stripes, flames, even lightning bolts. But no polka dots, because of THE CONSPIRACY.

We were only able to keep up with this woman by drafting (exploiting the slipstream created by her automobile). 

I realize that the GPR differed from the Autopia because it was based on the concept of a race, while the Anaheim attraction was supposed to be a trip along the miracle of the highway system. But still, a little more landscaping and just stuff to look at might have been a nice idea. How about some Gummi Bears, for instance? Or all of the U.S. Presidents cheering us on?

Well, we were the fastest ever, but we were disqualified because we used our vehicles built-in flame throwers, oil-slick dispersers, thumbtack droppers, and smokescreens. If they don't want us to use them, why do they put them in the vehicles??

I hope you have enjoyed your ride on the Grand Prix Raceway.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Neat Tomorrowland Views, May 1963

I have a pair of fun Tomorrowland photos for you, circa 1963. Let's start with this shot of the Tomorrowland Spaceman looming above all of the mere Earthlings (he was probably half human, half Lunarian). The man to our left holds his souvenir guidebook, it looks like the finger of his right hand is pointing roughly to where they were standing. Ethel Merman (with the straw hat) thinks Moonboy is quite a dish. And buzz-cut kid in the foreground is supposed to follow his family, but he takes one last look behind him.

The little boy in the blue shirt can't believe his eyes. "Mama mia!" (we don't know if spicy meatballs were mentioned, sadly). I believe the checkerboard awnings were placed over benches, though it might have been some spillover dining area too.

Here's a fun portrait of a nice lady in the garden area near the Monsanto House of the Future. She's sitting on one of those amorphous concrete seats, see another view of them HERE. Notice how a mini-berm and trees help to isolate this area from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park.

Displays give guests a taste of features that your future home might contain for your convenience and ease. A microwave oven, an ultrasonic dishwasher, pop-out sinks and cabinets, polarized plastic ceiling panels, a "cold zone" for irradiated foods, a hi-fidelity music system... what more could you want or need?