Friday, November 13, 2020

Frontierland Shop Interiors

Most of us have seen more than a few Disneyland photos in our day; it's hard to find anything new to get excited about. But any photos of shop interiors are as scarce as hen's teeth. Maybe scarcer! I used to have a bag of hen's teeth. All of today's photos are from the Mysterious Benefactor.

I couldn't tell you which shop this first photo is from, but it sure is jam-packed with stuff. The man at the left has just discovered a tag with the name "Mittens" on it (because it was made from a cat, see? Keep up with me, son)! I think I've read that the original "coonskin" caps were made from rabbit fur. They have a stack of animal pelts right there on the counter! I'll bet you'd never see that today. Meanwhile, check out those wacky hats to the right.

These shop interiors are so dark that I assumed the photos were taken at night, but we can see through that doorway that it was broad daylight outside. 

"You should buy this one, it goes with your eyes". "Ma'am, my eyes are brown". "Listen kid, I got such a headache, and my break isn't for 45 minutes. You gonna buy it or what?". 

Well well well! A shooting gallery! Could this be the one that was toward the back of the Davy Crockett Arcade? If not I am very mystified. 

It's the same counter as we've seen in the first two photos, only the grumpy lady's attention has been diverted. We can make a graceful getaway. Unlike pictures from earlier decades, the fashions from 1978 are nothing to write home about.

Thanks as always to the Mysterious Benefactor for sharing so many great photos with us!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, all of these are from the Davy Crockett Arcade. Those wacky hats are bonnets, just like Half-pint and her sisters used to wear on "Little House On The Prairie."

I think you hit the jackpot for Mike Cozart. Those miniatures in the glass case are the Exinwest sets that he has mentioned in the past.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I forgot to mention that the large doorway, behind the saleslady in the first two pics, is the one that is located sort of between Frontierland and Adventureland. We can see the roof of the Enchanted Tiki Room in the distance.

You posted a pic of that doorway (from the outside, looking in), on June 1st of this year:

That pic was also from the Mysterious Benefactor. Thank you, Major and M.B.!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, one last tiny case anyone cares. The last time you posted pics from the inside of the Davy Crockett Frontier Arcade (Oct. 8th of this year), there was a man with the Summer 1978 guide in his back pocket. Now, this kid who can't make up his mind whether or not to buy the coonskin hat or not, has the same guide in his back pocket. This time, we can see the backside of the guide, and a portion of the title/logo for the film, "The Cat From Outer Space."

Chuck said...

On the countertop in the first and third photo are Breyer Stablemates 1/32 scale model horses. That product line is still being manufactured today.

Below, there is quite a collection of Native American dolls in the glass case. I don't see any Zuni fetish dolls, though. That was probably more of an Adventureland thing anyway.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, up until 1973, the Zuni fetish dolls were all hiding inside the ovens, over at the Carousel of Progress. But there might have been one in the bathtub, with cousin Orville.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! Trilogy of Terror??

"Lou and Sue" said...

Those rabbit pelts were popular for years. Around 1970, I purchased a few of them (still have them boxed away somewhere). One is zebra patterned, another's cheetah patterned, another white with a large black spot (cow patterned??), and also a few others. I used them on my bedroom dressers like you would use doilies. I never got rid of them because they reminded me of my fun trips to Disneyland. At that time, they were for sale - piled high - in large open trunks or treasure chests (if I remember correctly), on the floor. Poor bunnies, though. (Did they sell any rabbit "dishes" in Disneyland, or neighboring restaurants??) I never thought to buy a coonskin cap at I wish I had.

I forgot that guys used to keep hair brushes/combs in their back pockets. Now, it's cell phones.

LOVE the green-and-yellow-striped socks with the gold and black-striped gym shoes.


EXINWEST!! EXINWEST!!! Buildings can be seen in the front display case right under the animal
Pelts! And in the back you can see the red , white striped boxes of the sealed building kits. In the early 80’s the whole wall of shelves behind the U shaped counters were rows of EXINWEST boxes - by that time the line featured 14 “construction playsets of typical old west America” buildings and 14 accessories figure and wagon sets. I spoke with a product buyer from Disneyland years ago and they said the EXINWEST and EXIN CASTILLOS sets were some of the best selling non Disney toys at both DISNEYLAND and WALT DISNEY WORLD.

Disneyland had some of the highest prices on the playsets ....but today those high-end prices are considered bargains compared to what they go for today - a Covered Cavalry Wagon or Fire Wagon can fetch 800-1,000 and the rare POST OFFICE goes for about 1,500!

Exciting to see pictures of these favorite toys of mine at Disneyland again!

Anonymous said...

The kid on the left in the last picture would be most like me. Yep, go straight for the shootin' sticks! Can you imagine carrying a musket around the park all day? Heck, just getting on and off the rides would be a hassle! Of course, you could pop off a few squirrels and ducks (not to mention a tasty swan or tow) and have a great cookout in front of the castle! Yummmmmy!


In the 3rd image to the very far right on the end of the counter you can see three EXINWEST accessory sets .... in 1978 there were only 2 figure/town accessory sets a buggy ( caretta) and a Freight Wagon ( CARROMATO ) but there they are by 1980 the line double the selection of building and quadrupled the accessory sets.

The front display case has EXINWEST set up but Britains Metal Western figures in front of the Exinwest buildings.

DrGoat said...

Major. There is so much going on in these pics and the comments are so cool, I'm just going to get back to looking at those photos and reading. Just chock full of stuff to examine. One of those 'coonskin' caps was one of the first things my parents ever bought me in Disneyland, circa late 50s. My sister said I was just a pest until I got one.
Thank you Mysterious B. and big thanks Major.
Lou & Sue, and anyone that needs a laugh, check this food link out.

JC Shannon said...

I am a sucker for a gift shop. We have a ton of em here in Montana, and I check em all out every summer. My wife won't let me buy a coonskin cap though. She says if I wear it, I will be going out alone. Go figure. It's amazing the amount of money that some Disneyland vintage stuff goes for. Thanks to MB and Major.

zach said...

Oh man, I left my wallet at home. I would need an extra suitcase in this shop today.

If you aren't on a basketball court in the 70's you have no business wearing those red shorts and that top in public. I'll give his girlfriend a pass, though.

Thanks Major and MB.


JG said...

Major,as before, these are remarkable records of the old interiors and merchandise selection. Many thanks to MB for sharing these.

@Tokyo, THANK YOU for posting the links to the previous photos and identifying the Tiki Room through the door. I was pretty sure that today's photos were the reverse angle of the earlier post.

I am so happy for Mike Cozart, revisiting his favorite toys. That feeling is why we all visit GDB every day. Disney did have top shelf merchandise by other vendors back in the day.

@Chuck, the larger Breyer horses are visible on the wall shelves in the last photo. My daughter just found hers again while unpacking after a move. I remember it was expensive and she was so happy to have it.

Sue, I do remember rabbit pelts in many souvenir shops as you describe, rabbit feet too, on keychains, etc. I always wondered what happened to the rest of the rabbit, as rabbit meat was never in the store? Maybe these were raised somewhere abroad where rabbit meat was more common in the diet? I don't care much for rabbit, but it seems a shame to waste the little guys.

Also, one's level of personal "cool" was established by the prominence of the comb in one's pocket. I never carried one of those big ones with the handle like the young man in the pics, but you could probably guess that I was never cool in any way.

@Stu, lets grab a musket and go cook "beer can swan" over by the Wishing Well.

Major, thanks for a fine Friday beginning. I look forward to revisiting this thread to see the comments grow.


Melissa said...

Is that a Trilogy if Terror joke I see before me?!? (Big Dan Curtis fan here.)

I’ve never seen anyone in a souvenir sunbonnet in a vintage picture, so I’m guessing they didn’t sell that well? I had a couple as a kid - we went through the typical Little House phase many little American girls do - and I can’t say they’re as comfortable as they might look. They cover your whole head and neck and block your peripheral vision.

Pull up your right sock, kid! If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s uneven kneesocks.

I always feel kind of weird taking a picture inside a small shop. It feels like casing the joint or something.

Anonymous said...

No date given but definitely mid 70s. My time as a CM and it looks exactly as I remember it. Where are the Disney plush dolls? Shopping was expensive at the Park, but it did have diverse and interesting items themed to the land. The CM in the picture looks familiar to me but that was long ago. Back then, some guests would pay the general admission for entry and just enjoy the shopping experience. We CMs would receive annual shopping passes from management to hand out to family pre-Christmas for just that purpose. KS

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I'll have to agree with Lou & Sue.

The tube socks were Shirley in bloom that day.

Nanook said...


And let's not forget that 'Field Canon' in the first image. (Did those possibly use Bangsite-??)

Thanks to the MB.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great photos today, Major and Mysterious Benefactor. I know we say it every time a vintage photo of a shop interior turns up, but why oh why can't the park shops sell anything ineresting anymore?!

I was helping clear out my parents' house (they're downsizing) last month when I was in the States and found the coonskin cap I got at WDW in the '70s. I was going to get rid of it but my sister said she wanted it. Now I kind of want it back! I did hold on to my various Mickey Mouse ears and squeezy Donald Duck hat, though.

DrGoat said...

Nanook, I don't think that field cannon used Bangsite. The Bangsite cannons were usually a bit larger, but I could be wrong. My bet would be maybe caps were used to get the bang. Boy, would I love to use the time machine and snag some of that great booty all laid out there.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Pegleg Pete, I'm going to be nosey (because I'm now curious), but I will understand if you would rather not answer: Where do you live?
Btw, you made some good choices in hats!

DrGoat, thanks for that link!

I forgot to thank our Major, M.B. and fellow-Jr. Gorillas for a fun day of shopping!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue and Melissa, yes that was a reference to "Trilogy of Terror." Chuck set it up with his comment, so I couldn't resist.

Major Pepperidge said...

Sorry for my late response to the comments everybody… I was helping a friend move, and it took the better part of seven hours. UGH.

TokyoMagic!, I had the feeling that these were from the Arcade… though I probably realized it after I wrote this post! You know how I like to get a bunch of posts done way ahead of time. Good eye on the EXINWEST sets! Mike Cozart will be thrilled.

TokyoMagic!, yes, I could definitely tell that we were seeing some Adventureland thatched roofs out there. I didn’t know it was the Tiki Room though!

TokyoMagic! III, funny, I was thinking I should scan my copy of that very Summer 1978 guide and add it to this post, but I never got around to it. That lettering is very distinctive! I’ve never seen “The Cat From Outer Space”, is it OK? Or terrible?

Chuck, I definitely saw all of those horses back there, thanks for IDing the brand! The Kachina dolls are pretty neat, I hope they were actually made by Native American craftsmen and women.

TokyoMagic!, “Amelia” was definitely the segment of “Trilogy of Terror” that everyone remembers! It freaked me out as a kid. Amazing that it was made for TV.

Lou and Sue, YES!

Lou and Sue, I never quite understood what one was supposed to do with a rabbit pelt. Make it into clothing? Just enjoy how soft it was? I didn’t know that they sold them with cow, cheetah, and zebra patterns. I still remember going to 7-11 and seeing a fishbowl full of “lucky rabbit’s feet” keychains, and thinking about all the bunnies who died for those dumb things! I keep a microplane in my back pocket in case I need to finely grate some parmesan cheese or garlic.

Mike Cozart, there they are! I am so glad that the EXINWEST sets finally showed up. Somehow in my mine I was imagining a giant display, so I didn’t notice them in that case. Sounds like there used to be something like that, before these photos were taken. Amazing that some of those toys sell for well over $1000. It’s almost as bad as Disneyland stuff!

Stu29573, young boys just love toy guns! My dad (being in the military) had real guns, and he let me try to fire his revolver once. Looking back, it seems like a bad idea! But I must have been too chicken, or else he had the safety on, because I couldn’t pull the trigger hard enough.

Mike Cozart, I see those other EXINWEST sets. So neat!

DrGoat, I keep having this ghost of a memory about owning a coonskin cap, but am not 100% sure that I really did have one. Which is weird I know. Thanks for the link to Lileks, one of my old favorite websites.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, can you buy an authentic taxadermied jackelope? If so, you should buy several, because all the best homes have them. I don’t know why your wife doesn’t like coonskin caps - unless she is hinting that she wants one too?

zach, yes, I can only imagine how much money I could drop in that store. Just look at all that stuff! Not much of it is “Disney”, either, much to my surprise. I hate to say it, but I’ll bet plenty of guys wore that same basketball outfit out and about in those days.

JG, I can take no credit for these photos, except that I shared them for the Mysterious Benefactor! Like you, I am happy for Mike Cozart to finally spy his favorite toys in these vintage photos. Are you like me and still have a hard time thinking that 1978 is “vintage”? Even though it is over 40 years ago, ha ha. People certainly eat rabbits (I had some on a cruise ship once), but I wonder if there is some other use for the meat? Nothing comes to mind. I’m glad you enjoyed these!

Melissa, sunbonnets look goofy (to me), and as you said, the wearers have no peripheral vision. Of course it would be nice to protect yourself from the sun if you happen to be crossing the prairie. Maybe “real” ladies were still supposed to try to maintain milky white complexions.

KS, I forgot to put in the date, which I believe is 1978. Yes, NOT A SINGLE PLUSH DOLL! It’s hard to believe. Not one. I kind of love the idea of paying to enter Disneyland just to enjoy the shops. But… I would want to do at least one or two rides! The Disneyland Railroad or something. “Annual shopping passes”, cool!

Alonzo, uh… “Shirley in bloom”??

Nanook, I SAW THOSE CANNONS! Yes, Bangsite, that rarest and most wondrous of all the elements.

Pegleg Pete, whenever a podcast talks about some new merchandise event, I very rarely hear about anything that I actually wish I could have. But I admit that I am predisposed to love the old stuff. If I’m going to spend big bucks, I’d rather spend it on a vintage item. I think it’s sweet that your sister wanted the coonskin cap, it clearly meant something to her.

DrGoat, oh gosh, I guess I was wrong. I would have guessed Bangsite for sure. Maybe you’re right, those other ones just used caps. I can smell that gunpowder aroma! Still. the “bang” wouldn’t be nearly as impressive.

Lou and Sue, maybe I’m misremembering, but perhaps Pegleg Pete is from England? I can’t wait to find out I am wrong. You are welcome!

TokyoMagic!, some company made VERY accurate Zuni fetish dolls, I always wish I’d bought one!

Dean Finder said...

The 1970s, the decade style took a nap.

"Lou and Sue" said...

But the patterns were LOUD!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the good news is, "The Cat From Outer Space" has Sandy Duncan in it. The bad news is, it's no "Million Dollar Duck."

I'm also a little surprised that the "Amelia" segment of "Trilogy of Terror," was made for TV! I didn't know that someone was making "very accurate" Zuni fetish dolls. I want one! Hmmmmm....on second thought, maybe not!


MAJOR : yes - in these pictures - 1978 the counters and merchandise display is rather messy and way over done with too many lines of things giving a “swap meet “ feel. The number of product lines were thinned out and placed in other areas of the shop.

The EXINWEST display was much larger by 1980. In fact the whole wall of shelves behind the counter was ALL EXINWEST — the town series , deluxe town series and frontier series playsets. The front display case was a all EXINWEST display diorama with real sand and miniature garden center cactus. On top of the front counters at the corners were extra EXINWEST figure and wagon sets. The left display case was all Britains - from England -western and civil war metal figures and the Britains western wagons - on top of the case . That case also had Hauser / Preiser western - fur trappers Western historic plastic figures - from Germany. The display case facing the shooting gallery featured the Breyer horses and related toys - I think mostly aimed at girls.

So by 1980 somebody in merchandise really “cleaned “ up and organized the shop we ate glimpsing in 1978. This would make sense as in preparation for Disneyland’s 25th in 1980 many shops and buildings were refreshed and rehabbed for the Silver Anniversary.

Now if we get any inside views of the Tinkerbell Toyshop maybe we will see the EXIN CASTILLOS displays!!

Incidentally Walt Disney World Village toy shop feature a octagon shelf of EXIN CASTLES with a MASSIVE castle built from many many sets .... in the 1990’s when Disney was doing their OFFICIAL DISNEYANNA CONVENTIONS that massive Exin castle was sold at the MICKEYS ATTIC room of old props!!

Pegleg Pete said...

Sue, I grew up in Nashville and New Orleans but I moved to London about 30 years ago. I usually make it back to the US a couple of times a year, though, as all my family still live in Tennessee, Florida and Georgia.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Pegleg Pete...that's cool that you're in London! I've never been there but that is one place I'd like to see. Some of my dad's ancestors were from England - from Axminster and Somerset, to be exact. (A dear aunt took the time to research our family history, otherwise, I wouldn't know that, offhand.) Our last name "Perry" is English and means "dweller by the pear tree." I guess that's were we came from - from along side a pear tree. Thanks for sharing, Pegleg Pete!

Nanook said...

@ Pegleg Pete-
I love the fact this group is so continental-!! (Have you developed an 'accent'-??)

Chuck said...

TM!, I was hoping you'd take it from there. :-)

Mike, I had totally forgotten about that castle set-up at the toy shop at Lake Buena Vista Village. That was impressive. In fact, that whole toy shop was impressive.