Friday, November 20, 2020

Two Beauties From May, 1961

I have two really nice photos for you today! Let's start with this fun look at Tomorrowland, right outside the "Rocket To The Moon" attraction. Four out of five dentists agree that photos of Disneyland are better when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. It's scientific! The rocket looks great, and it's always nice to see the Richfield Eagle. You hardly ever see Richfield Eagles in the the wild anymore, but they thrived at Disneyland (small children are their primary food). There are other details, but I know you can see them as well as I can.

OK, well maybe this one isn't quite as special as the first photo, but I still appreciate this Skyway view (heading toward Fantasyland). I have a number of photos with orange gondolas right next to us, which can only mean one thing: conspiracy. I just haven't figured out what it is yet. We've got the "Alice" ride below us, and we can see Dumbo, and Skull Rock, and Storybook Land, and both "Fan 1" (the yellow and white striped tent in the distance) and "Fan 2" (the blue and white striped tent closer to us). What did I miss?


andrew said...

I don't think today's photos are working -- I just see a grey "no entry" type icon

stu29573 said...

Yup. They gone. Bummer.

TokyoMagic! said...

There are other details, but I know you can see them as well as I can.

Major, actually....I can't see them!

OK, well maybe this one isn't quite as special as the first photo...

Major, it's every bit as special as the first one. In fact, it's identical! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm even having difficulty leaving comments, for photos that aren't there! Sorry, you are probably going to get several similar comments from me. I think the trouble I was having, was only because I was trying to be a wisenheimer! That oughta learn me!

Major Pepperidge said...

Well guys... I checked my blog (at 4:30 in the morning) and the photos did not load, as several of you pointed out. So I got out of bed and logged onto my computer, where the photos load just fine. Maybe Google (my photo host) was having a temporary issue? Please let me know if you are able to see them now!

TokyoMagic! said...

Nope, no photos......just text.

Major Pepperidge said...

WEIRD! I can see the photos now! I'm not sure what to do about this.

Major Pepperidge said...

Well something truly strange is going on... when I click on the thumbnails, I just get a separate page with the thumbnails, and not the larger versions of the pictures. ARG.

Major Pepperidge said...

OK, I removed the old jpegs and replaced them with new (virtually identical) jpegs. It seems to be working normally now. But let me know if it isn't!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

I see them!!

TokyoMagic! said...

I see them, too! Thanks for fixing the problem, Major! I hope we didn't make you get out of bed too early, just to do it!

Wow, no line for Alice! It was probably a good day to go to the park, crowd-wise.

I wonder what that design is, on the shirt of the pipe-smoker in the foreground of the first pic? Maybe it's just abstract shapes?

Budblade said...

Well, extra thanks for getting out of bed to fix this major!

These pictures are well worth it. So much to see!

Anonymous said...

They're there! (With "their" thrown in just for fun) Every day is better with the Moonliner! This is the earliest version, with "steering vanes" that deflected exhaust in order to guide the beast. This was the same technology as the V-2 (A4) rocket that Von Braun developed. Since he (and Willy Ley) were technical consultants on the Moonliner, that makes sense. Later, this system was abandoned when gimballed nozzles became the rage.

Andrew said...

I had the same issue with my pictures once too, Major, but luckily it has never come back.

I agree with Budblade there is so much to enjoy in these pictures. I see what looks like a line of flags bisected by one of the Skyway bars; maybe it's just part of the treeline.

I'm up for a ride - or two or three or four - on Alice. Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Well, it was worth the wait. Both of these pics are equally great! Thanks for getting up early to fix it, Major.

Nanook said...


Ahhhhh... now I can see them. In the second image, the trees almost appear to be going on forever. (It almost appears more as WDW then DL-!)

Thanks, Major.

DrGoat said...

Yes, thank you Major. I can't get enough of Tomorrowland in the early sixty's. I really am drawn to the MC Modern look plus the space looks so sparse and open. The look of the Space Bar is so Alexander Caldwell.
Stu, sometimes I picture what the Moonliner would look like with those main landing 'arms' retracted up. I guess they would retract those when going to warp or the equivalent of.
Glad I came in a little late and missed the anguish of not being able to see the photos. Whew.
Thanks Major and everyone have a good weekend and be careful.
Do like looking through the bars of the Skyway. Makes it easier to imagine you're sitting there, floating over the park.

JC Shannon said...

Babushka alert, lower left, 1st picture. I had to go into the guest room to see if my Moonliner had guide vanes, and by golly it does. In this picture, you get some idea how big that bad boy was. In the second picture, the ticket booth for Alice is actually in use. Woo Hoo. As for the orange bucket, you see, the Ruskies used the orange bucket to spy on Walt. You can see Olga in the front of the bucket. "We will build bigger park with mouse and duck in Moscow." Olga later defected, cause you can't get Dole Whips in Murmansk. Spasiba Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, yay!

TokyoMagic!, well, 4:30 IS a bit earlier than I would normally get out of bed!! It’s strange to see “Alice” with no line - there are plenty of people in the park. I wonder why nobody is waiting to ride it? I can’t really tell what the design is on that buy’s shirt; it’s probably abstract, though it kind of looks like little boats too. But I don’t think it’s boats.

Budblade, the curse of waking up early every morning! ;-) And I do mean EVERY morning.

Stu29573, somewhere I’ve seen a very nice closeup of those steering vanes - I think it was a black and white snapshot. Maybe on Daveland’s blog? Not sure. Gimballed nozzles feel more “modern” and NASA-ish. I knew that Von Braun had been a consultant, but I didn’t know that Willy Ley was too.

Andrew, I guess the occasional technical glitch is to be expected in internet land. I see those teensy flags (bisected by the Skyway bars!), but am not sure where exactly they are. Maybe just over one of the Fantasyland dark rides?

K. Martinez, this technical issue was especially weird, because as far as I know it had nothing to do with me. I’m glad that replacing the jpegs with new ones seemed to do the trick.

Nanook, it sure would be interesting to be able to do a “now” image, to see the sprawl of houses, restaurants, mini-malls, apartment buildings, and (probably) darn few trees.

DrGoat, I wonder if there was one designer who was more skilled at futuristic (or even just “modern”) architecture? John Hench perhaps? Or maybe those guys were all so awesome that they could design a 19th century Frontierland one day, and then a 20th century Tomorrowland the next, and after that, maybe a nice Jungle outpost. I’ve seen artwork of the Moonliner with its legs retracted, and even did it myself for an April Fools piece back in 2007 or 2008 (I forget). Have a great weekend!

Jonathan, which Moonliner do you have? You’ve probably mentioned it here, but you know how that goes. It’s hard to remember everything! As big as it was, remember that the one in Tomorrowland was only 1/3 scale. A true full-sized Moonliner would have been an awesome thing to see. Supposedly Russia was going to build their own park that would outdo Disneyland, but as far as I know they never did. It would have been fascinating to see what they would have come up with!

JC Shannon said...

I have a TWA livery Moonliner. I got it on ebay, years ago. It is actually the same one you have. On the same line, I have been wanting a Monorail model, but the only ones I have ever seen are the ones from Walt Disney World. Of course, I, being old as I am, want a Mark I or II.

Anonymous said...

What did you miss in the second picture? Why, the Chalet at the end of the ride of course! :) KS

Melissa said...

May I introduce ya
To my floral stripe babushka?

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, there are beautiful models of the Disneyland Mark I Monorail (released around 2005), but these days they are kind of pricey on the collector’s market. There are also Schuco Monorail sets from the 1960s that are pretty neat, but again… expensive. I’ve never managed to get one because of the prices.

KS, oh yeah!!

Melissa, pleased to meet you, Ms. Babushka!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a freshly waxed Moonliner to start the day. Old Tomorrowland has a bright, fresh feel. Yesterday's tomorrow was going to be a good place.

Photo 2 really has it going on, most of my favorite stuff all in one shot. This instant of bursting out of the Matterhorn's nostril into the bright daylight and the riot of Old Fantasyland color is more than any photographer should be asked to resist.

Soviet agents working as Skyway CM's would telegraph Walt's movements by a special Morse Code where blue buckets are Dots and orange buckets are Dashes.

I see an odd row of "dotted things" above the treeline at the extreme left of photo 2. Are these things in Frontierland, or somewhere further afield? Maybe palm trees at the Hotel?

Thanks for your hard work on this post, Major, including the troubleshooting. Everyone, please have a good weekend.


Chuck said...

Glad I came back this evening. I knew you'd get it figured out, and you did not disappoint. You never do.

JG, those are palm trees, but they are too far north to be the Hotel. They look to be about due west of the Park (remember, the Skyway ran ESE to WNW), and the Hotel is mostly WSW of the Park proper (see here for reference). It was fairly common to line major roads going through orange groves with palm trees; the area around the former Norton AFB in San Bernardino was like that. I think it was done as a combination of a way to dress up the roadway and a way to orient yourself when in the groves, surrounded by shorter orange trees (although that last is speculation on my part).

You can see the Norton-area palm trees in the distance in the film Congo in the scene that is set at an airport in I think Kenya (Jimmy Buffet has a cameo as the pilot).. That entire scene was shot at Norton after it closed. My first shoot in the Air Force was in the passenger terminal used in the film.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, I am sure you are right. They have a lollipop look about them.

There are also some power poles off to the right for Ken.

I watched a Youtube about the construction of Disneyland, there was some amazing footage of Walt and the VIPs walking the site before construction start, wandering through the orchards and the weeds. Walt climbs up the base of one of the giant utility towers in what became the parking lot.

I have to go back and finish that video.


Anonymous said...

Chuck, looking again at the aerial in your link, there is what looks to be a fairly continuous row of trees on the east side of West Avenue. This is west of the circus tent and borders the Park backstage area, and then the row of trees extend north along that alignment, but has a few missing here and there in the row, which ends at the line of the Park north border.

Assuming that those trees in the aerial are palms, I wonder if the palms in photo 2 are those on West avenue?

Unfortunately, no shadows in the aerial to help. The two photos are not more than a year apart by filenames.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I actually wonder if they did have to sometimes wash the Moonliner. With a firehose? Not sure how else they would do it, as it is too tall for your average cherry picker. With the SoCal pollution, you’d think that the white paint would start to show some dirt. Most photographers on the Skyway were unable to resist the view, that’s why we have so darn many shots of it today! I wish I could decode the buckets, I’m sure it was something dark and bloody. The dotted things appear to be palm trees, but I don’t know if they are from the Hotel grounds or not.

Chuck, it didn’t take that long to fix the problem, but I still don’t really know what caused it. Gremlins I guess. I think you might be right about those palm trees being too far north to be part of the Hotel; in fact, looking at the photo you linked to the Hotel is even further south than I would have said, if asked! You’re right about roads being lined with those graceful palms. Or if you happen to be more out in farmland, they would be eucalyptus trees. Congo is not a film I am familiar with!

JG, years back, they unearthed a trove of incredible, high quality color film showing various aspects of the construction of Disneyland; some of it even continued into later years. I had a chance to see some of it at a VIP’s house, but my guess is that most of it will remain unseen by us mere mortals, unfortunately. Still, one of the tin box DVD sets has a nice half-hour segment with some wonderful highlights.

JG, I see the row of trees (in the aerial photo) that you refer to, they very well could be those palms! As you said, it would be helpful if they were casting long shadows, but the sun is practically right overhead.

Omnispace said...

Major, fantastic photos today! Can we say they are TGIF photos? I can't tell for sure but my guess is that the guy in the first photo is wearing tortoise shell RayBan sunglasses which is a very cool combination with that shirt.

That view of Alice in Wonderland reminds of my first ride as a kid with my Mom. She made the ride down the leaves so much fun by acting terrified every time we careened around another curve. Turns out she was actually terrified.

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, Chuck, JG, Major.....I think the palm trees we see in the distance are still standing. They are just about a mile away from the park. The street on the right in the image, runs north and south and is Palm Way. The street on the left runs east and west and is Palm Lane. We are might be seeing a combination of both sets of trees, in that 1960 pic, but probably most of them are the ones that run north and south.,-117.9392146,3a,75y,308.93h,109.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfViKXMkVDHY0ePxRrDYO6g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

TokyoMagic! said...

I should have mentioned that Palm Way runs off of/is perpendicular to Ball Rd. and is just one block east of Euclid St. Again, just about a mile from West St. and the western border of Disneyland.

JG said...

Tokyo, I think you are right! The current day palms are HUGE!

Thank you for that link. I also discovered the route of our favorite power line as it (now) skirts the park and the parking lots, it returns to the original alignment just west of the DH Frontier Tower.

Fun to look beyond Disneyland.