Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Horse-drawn Vehicles

Today's photos are from a lot that was generally very dark for some reason. I never know if they had a roll of film that had been mishandled, or if they had the wrong aperture settings on their camera, or what. In spite of their flaws, they're still nice to look at.

I'm always happy to see the Surreys, with their bright yellow wheels. This one is so glossy and black that it could be used as a hearse in a pinch. Notice the couple standing on the little step at the rear of the Surrey! I've never seen that before. Either their party was too big, or they were being punished for snapping their gum. I prefer the second explanation.

The Horse-Drawn Streetcar is one of the most iconic sights of Main Street. The ride is one of those low-key, old-fashioned experiences that had never been enjoyed by most people in the 1950s. But it's the kind of cinema version of a small-town Main Street that Disneyland was meant to evoke. 


"Lou and Sue" said...

Well, if they were snapping gum, it wasn't gum purchased in Disneyland, that's for sure.

I like that guy's socks, in the last picture, on the right. Mr. Penguin socks??

I also see the 'Constable on Patrol,' back there, quietly doing his job - making sure there are no illegal gum transactions.

Nanook said...


The surrey is a lovely sight, to be sure. I'm a bit taken aback at seeing several guests just casually looking down into the moat from the drawbridge, without all the added 'safety' railings today's guests would encounter. It's amazing indeed that some of those ladies didn't end up in the drink-!

Major - never underestimate the degree of punishment to be dealt-out for any gum-snapping offenses. That shameful behavior leaves a blight on society if not dealt with in the proper fashion-!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Bekins van sighting! I know I saw the Bekins building with its original facade, but darned if I have any specific memories of it that way. Too busy pulling my parents up Main Street, I guess.

DrGoat said...

Why isn't that Sydney, Cyril Proudbottom's brother? They always have him pulling the funeral Surrey. It does have a fringe on top though.
Mom would never let us chew gum. Like Nanook, she viewed gum chewing as an abominable behavior.
Thanks Major. Really like that second pic, including the Penguin socks. I have a several pairs of Disney socks. I get them for Christmas from my sister. She knows what I want.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, the prepared Disneyland guest brought his or her own gum, chewed it, and dropped it on the ground as often as possible. That’s what I did, anyway. That guys socks are interesting, but I can’t quite make out what the pattern is. Officer O’Malley just can’t wait to hit a gum chewer with his billy club!

Nanook, seconds after this photo was snapped, every one of those people plunged into the moat. Nobody is quite sure how it happened, but one of the soggy guests cried, “Why isn’t there a railing to protect the children?!”. Nobody listened. As for gum, I used to get in trouble for chewing it in class, and I didn’t have enough to share with every student.

Chuck, I would imagine the Bekins building was the Global Van Lines building by the time you saw it, unless you’ve got some sort of “Twilight Zone” thing going on!

DrGoat, I’m not familiar with the Proudbottom family, so I don’t recognize Cyril’s brother. I only know the Kardashians. Why wouldn’t your mom let you chew gum? Was she afraid you’d turn into a hoodlum? I don’t have any Disney socks, but somebody gave me some Cap’n Crunch socks.

stu29573 said...

Ah, the Main Street drag races! Screaching tires, galloping hooves, snapping gum! You didn't want to get mixed up with those toughs, I tell ya! The people on the back of the "Death Surrey" are clearly there to add weight and traction! Good times!

JC Shannon said...

With Christmas coming up, I am making a list of all the Disneyland goodies I want Santa to bring me this year. I asked for a Mark I last year, but he said it wouldn't fit in his bag. Cause of the fins or something. But this year I am scaling back my requests and I just want a simple Street Rail System. A little elf told me Major is asking Santa for a Peoplemover again this year. Hey, we gotta get to work somehow. Thanks Major.

DrGoat said...

Major, Cyril Proudbottom was or is J. Thaddeus Toad's horse. Pulls his gypsy cart to nowhere in particular and breaks him out of jail.
I'm still asking for my full scale Adventureland Bazaar and Jungle Cruise ride in the back yard. Cross my fingers and throw a coin in Snow White's wishing well.

Sunday Night said...

As is often said here you sometimes see details that you never noticed before in GDB photos. For example, I never noticed that horse's head over the Bekins building until today.

I would definitely want to ride standing up on the back of the surrey. Can you image letting guests do that in today's world?!

Matthew said...

@Stu29573 - Oh my gosh that is funny! Not much time to comment today; however, when asked what my favorite attraction is at Disneyland my answer remains, "The Horse-Drawn Street Cars." I think it is because it is the only place I know of where you can still ride one. I remember so clearly, when Disneyland was still offering Guests a "Full Days Experience", sitting at Coke Corner, listening to Johnny Hodges playing piano, on a warm summer evening after the fireworks and hearing the clippety-clop of the horses hooves and the clang-clang of the bell. I was immediately transported to the mid west on a summer evening circa 1910. Thanks Walt for the moments of escape.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, I’ll ask Santa for a Tahitian Terrace, and I’ll set it up next to your Jungle Cruise.

JG said...

It's a good point about the horse-drawn vehicles, especially the streetcar. I remember riding the streetcar at some point, but can't say when. Pretty sure I did not ride the surrey.

The surrey pic is quite old, the map of Fantasyland to the left went away fairly early in history.

Chuck, I noticed the Bekins building right away today. I don't recall details of the facade, much less the horse head, but I do remember the van.

The horse head would interfere with using the projecting beam to move furniture into storage through the arched second floor door. Beams and doors/windows like that are a feature of old buildings in Amsterdam, where the stairs are too steep to move furniture up and down.

Having Bekins in Disneyland made the Park more realistic for me as a kid, much like Santa Fe sponsoring the monorail. The Santa Fe RR ran through Hanford and the red and gold SuperChief engines were a familiar sight to me as a boy before passenger traffic ended. Bekins had a big warehouse in Fresno that was visible from the freeway, so every trip north, we saw the big Bekins sign there. Those little details, connections to the bigger world made Disneyland feel real and possible.

I'm asking Santa for a Tuna Clipper with it's own Skull Rock Grotto.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody else remember the Bekins theme?

Bekins men are careful quick and kind
Bekins takes the load off of your mind!

Ok, that's all I remember...

DrGoat said...

Lou & Sue, Excellent idea. Floor shows, good food and friends. Then we can take JC's Street Rail over to the Majors Peoplemover, and we can all have some Dole Whip.

Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, there’s nothing more exciting than a drag race that reaches speeds of up to 4 miles an hour!

Jonathan, I would be happy with just a *piece* of a Mark I. Maybe one of those Cadillac tail lights that they used, that would be pretty cool. Wouldn’t it be cool to have the land and money to build a Peoplemover? Trouble is, you’d need something to look at from it. Not sure what to do about that part.

DrGoat, oh yeah, you’d think I would remember characters like Cyril. There was a time when I knew all that trivia. But I haven’t seen the “Wind in the Willows” cartoon for many years - the “Ichabod” part of that movie is aired all the time, but not “Toad”.

Sunday Night, oh yeah! I don’t think I’d ever noticed that horse’s head until Daveland had a good image of it. It’s a pretty cool detail! I noticed that the two standing on the back of the Surrey appear to be boys, for them it was probably tons of fun. And you are right, that would NEVER fly these days.

Matthew, I’m sure you are right, there can’t be too many (or ANY?) places where people can ride a genuine Horse Drawn Streetcar. I know they had them at Walt Disney World, do you happen to know if any of the other parks around the world have had them? My guess is that they never bothered. These days I would appreciate all the things you mentioned, the clip-clop, the bells, and all the sights and smells. But as a kid I was in too much of a hurry. I think I absorbed some of those stimuli without really being aware of them, if that makes any sense. Thanks Walt, indeed!

Lou and Sue, I hope Santa delivers!! I’d love to go over to DrGoat’s and watch some pretty hula girls for a while.

JG, I never rode ANY of the Main Street vehicles. Again… I was a dumb kid, just itching to get to the “good rides”, not realizing that I was passing up the chance to make memories that would last the rest of my life. Good eye on the beam that would have been used to help move heavy objects… I didn’t really notice it. But isn’t it cool that the Imagineers put it there? Folks have pointed out how the sponsors made Main Street feel more “real”, and I think it was true, especially when it was a company that had been around for so long, like Santa Fe, Coca Cola, Swift & Co., Wurlitzer, and so on. Ohhh, a grotto with your own Skull Rock, that would be nice!

Stu29573, I don’t remember it, but I’ll bet it’s on YouTube…

DrGoat, it sure would be amazing if I could somehow wave a magic wand and have all of the Junior Gorillas together at a Tahitian Terrace dinner and performance! And then, after a very pleasant evening of food and fun, I’d wave that wand and everyone could pop back to their homes, no hotels or long drives needed.

JG said...

Major, Don't feel bad about never riding the HDV's (Horse Drawn Vehicles). I didn't do so until I was grown-up on a solo trip just a few years ago.

I think I rode the fire truck with Mom and Dad once because they were tired on the way out.