Wednesday, November 04, 2020

A Pair From June 1960

The mighty Matterhorn was only a year old in today's first photo - you can tell because of the high snow line. I have no real proof, but it seems to me that the overall color of the mountain used to be darker too; it would make sense to lighten it to give a sense of aerial perspective (simulating the effect of atmosphere on far-away objects). Wave to the kid in the yellow Skyway gondola!

Notice that work was already needed on the bobsled tracks; twice a year, bear grease is applied to the metal to reduce noise and increase flavor. The broom is there to keep stray cats away.

Next is this nice view of Tom's Treehouse (on Mr. Sawyer's eponymous island). Folks are lining up to see Tom's luxury penthouse! I guess that's a water fountain in front of us? Handy for those hot days when you've worked up a sweat. The tree-trunk thing to the left of it is a mystery to me; I don't think it's a trash can. Maybe it's a place to put spent cigarettes?


TokyoMagic! said...

In that first pic, it appears that there might also be someone standing inside the tunnel on the far left, and nearest to the top of the photo. Although, it might be the way the light is hitting the rockwork inside that opening.

That's all I've got tonight.

Andrew said...

Just build your own Matterhorn.

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, that's amazing! I wonder if tall people can go on that? Some of the clearances look pretty low.

K. Martinez said...

Mmmmmmm! Bear grease. Great Matterhorn pic. Thanks, Major.

Andrew, that was an awesome video. If I had a lot of land I'd want to build myself a mini-Disneyland. Thanks for sharing that video.

DrGoat said...

I think you might be right Major. That thing could possibly be an ashtray. Wouldn't want anyone with a cigarette up in that wooden tree house.
Andrew, thanks for the link. That is amazing.
Nice Matterhorn pic. It seems like they got rid of a lot of the vegetation on the slopes since then. Possibly just took too much effort and irrigation to keep those upper trees viable.
Thanks Major.

JC Shannon said...

Major, not just any bear grease, Grizzly grease. It has a delicate flavor with berry notes and a touch of hiker. It is the preferred lube of ride operators the world over, and is great on toast on a frosty morn. I don't know what that log thing is, but I want it for sure. It would make a great addition to my Disneyland artifact collection. Thanks Major and thanks Andrew for the coaster film.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, you’re right, it does look like there is a person the tunnel to the far left, and maybe even one or two beneath the red/copper Skyway gondola that is just passing through the Matterhorn (those are harder to see and I am not as confident about them).

Andrew, wow, very neat!

TokyoMagic!, it does look like you could lose your head on that ride, but I remember feeling like that on the real Matterhorn years ago.

K. Martinez, I’d be happy just building my own Nature’s Wonderland! But a Matterhorn would be pretty neat too.

DrGoat, I’m sure you (like me) have also seen plenty of cigarette butts on the ground, might as well give smokers a place to dispose of their filter tips. I’ll have to look at modern photos to see if there are fewer trees, but just looking at this photo, it does look like there used to be a lot more!

Jonathan, grizzly grease is the best of course, but it’s expensive stuff. They might have been using “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Grizzly Grease!” instead - an affordable and healthful alternative. Made by Monsanto! I wonder if they made a cast of an actual log for that ashtray/trashcan whatever-it-was?

zach said...

The 'tree' like thing is an Ent, checking out the trees on the island. Pity the fool who stubs out a cigarette on his noggin.

That is one of my favorite views of the Matterhorn, never to be replicated so I appreciate these photos.

Is that an Alice leaf under the watermark?


DrGoat said...

zach, that tree needs to get back to Fanghorn quick. It needs a Entwash toot sweet.
Major, I checked out recent pics and it does seem to bare of vegetation on the slopes. I think lack of space for roots and irrigation maintenance must be the reason. Need to crank up the PSI of the system to get water up there, and that sometimes can be a problem.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Zach, I agree...that's a great view of the Matterhorn - anticipating the excitement of going through the Matterhorn's nostrils - with the bobsleds whipping around you.

Andrew, that's a cool homemade Matterhorn - thank you! I wonder if anyone in their family plays an accordian and can yodel??

Fun post, thanks, Major!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the best bobsled bear grease comes from the animatronic bears in Bear Country.

I love the maintenance shot of the Matterhorn. I thought they might be sweeping up grated cheese parings, since it is a Swiss Mountain, which accounts for all the holes.

Major, you are right, the rock color has varied widely over the years. The original dark gray that we see here looks sort of "flat" and unrealistic to me. Later paint jobs used warmer colors and more variations were added to give depth and realism. I seem to remember some of the rocks, down low where we could see them closely, looked like they had been painted with the "Zolatone" ( paint used in boats and pickup truck bed liners. Spotted, dotted, in a number of colors, and more brown than gray.

Seems like there were a number of very realistic "stump" trash bins on TSI, but IIRC, only there. The rest of Frontierland had the regular metal kind with faux logs painted on.

Thanks for these pictures today. Much appreciated.


Nanook said...

That Matterhorn shot is a real beauty, only enhanced by the maintenance project.

@ Andrew-
Thanks for the link. And just think - no need for a FastPass-!

@ zach-
That appears to be two, Alice leaves, if you look really carefully.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at the first photo again and I'm wondering if we have a construction photo.

Look down in the extreme lower left of the photo, the bobsled track is visible in two places, but it is a bright orange color, like a primer paint, and the ground under it looks bare and brown. Might be the bottom of the pond where the sleds splash down. Maybe this isn't maintenance activity after all, but still putting it together.

Major, how likely is your date of 1960 to be accurate? Could these be taken in 1959 and not developed till later?

Any thoughts?


Chuck said...

Left a comment this morning but it mysteriously disappeared.

JG, I'll buy your theory that this is a photo from the final stages of putting together the Matterhorn kit. Man, I'd hate to see the size of that box!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, that box was used to house the upcoming it’s a small world attraction. Walt wasn’t wasteful.