Friday, December 18, 2020

1977 Christmas Parade

It's Christmas Parade time, 1977-style! These should help to get you in that yuletide mood. 

The Dapper Dans are in their "Fruitstripe Gum" outfits, I didn't think those were around as early as 1977. And what do you call those contraptions that they shake - chimes? Ring-a-ding-dings? 

Now we know it's the "Very Merry Christmas Parade", led by the classic wooden soldiers. Look at all that blue denim in the audience!

Who would you be more excited to see, Minnie and Mickey, or Santa Claus? I think it would be these two, for me. Mickey's at the tiller of the little electric runabout or whatever it's called. A ring-a-ding-ding? Jokes are funnier when they are callbacks, or so I've heard. Mickey bought one of those oversized candy canes, but he can take it home, crush it up, and make peppermint bark with it.

It's Mary Poppins herself, dancing on the clouds above the rooftops of London. Hopefully those penguins have lightening reflexes in case she falls, it looks pretty precarious up there.

It's always nice to see Jumbo Jr. (aka Dumbo) in the park. Those colorful monkeys are kind of scary, and remind me of the "Pink Elephants on Parade" number in "Dumbo", except that... well, they're monkeys. Casey Jr. Follows close behind.

And lastly, it's the big man himself, that jolly old elf, St. Nick! I hope he doesn't get caught on one of those wreaths. It wouldn't be a Christmas parade without him, but it also wouldn't be a Christmas parade without the marching toy soldiers (in the first photo), or the silly reindeer.

I hope you have enjoyed this 1977 Christmas parade!


Anonymous said...

Sorry to nit-pick, but your last sentence wasn't entirely accurate. While guests may have felt that the parade wouldn't be complete without the toy soldiers, the reindeer and Santa Claus, to every red-blooded male who worked at the Park the parade wouldn't be complete without the glockenspiel girls, who are just coming into view in the last photo. Ever wonder why there were so many (predominantly male) Cast Members suddenly working the parade route at the very end of the parade? It wasn't for Santa.


Another time for sure! Disneyland guests enjoying the daytime parade performance while other guests have decided to enjoy the rest of Disneyland . Fantasyland , the monorail , The Disneyland Railroad and Main Street USA remained accessible ! No guests in 1977 “homesteaded” a spot along the street and didn’t camp out 5 hours for the parade. Guests were not blocked from entering Tomorrowland or cattle herded away from Frontierland .....everything remained completely enjoyable during the day - during the night , during the fireworks and during a parade ..... unlike in recent years when I DREAD a parade or fireworks performance when Disneyland is transformed in 1939 Nazi Germany.

Great pictures of a wonderful long gone time in Disneyland’s history!

TokyoMagic! said...

We can also see Mrs. Clause sitting in front of that "Candy" house, just beyond the toy soldiers.

Major, don't worry about Mary Poppins. She is securely strapped to that weather vane in the middle of her float!

Thanks for these pics! I LOVE parade pics....especially from pre-1990!

TokyoMagic! said...

Correction....Mrs. "Claus," not "Clause."

JC Shannon said...

Well, it's impossible not to feel all Christmassy inside after today's scans. Mary Poppins is my favorite live action Disney flick, so she is the star of the parade for me. Sorry Nick. Lots of Yuletide goodness in these here photos, Major. Thanks.

Chuck said...

Ms. Poppins' float appears to be a reskinned drum from America on Parade. Why waste perfectly good infrastructure?

The monkeys look as creepy as the zombie pixies from SpectroMagic. To gaze into their dead eye sockets is to risk the loss our your immortal soul.

Favorite details: the little kid all in red to the left of Mickey's car, his reasonably-sized stroller that still eats a human-sized slot, the instamatic-weilding man behind the stroller, and the miscreant who has jumped into the street behind Mickey's car to shoot a home movie.

And, as Anonymous pointed out, no Christmas parade is complete without at least one Glockenspiel Girl. Ring-a-ding-ding!

Andrew said...

Since when did circus monkeys have their face painted? They remind me of the day-glo monkeys in Fantasmic that I saw at Hollywood Studios.

Budblade said...

Those colorful monkeys are the stuff of nightmares.

I just love to say Glockenspiel.

Stu29573 said...

I'd have to say (I mean literally "have to," it's in my contract) that the Toy Soldiers and the Silly Reindeer have always been my favorites! I saw them "in person" a couple of times at WDW. Fun!
Of course glockenspiels always make everything better!

TokyoMagic! said...

Make your hobby hubby.
Keep your hubby happy.
When he's a little chubby,
He's a happy pappy.
With glockenspiel!

DrGoat said...

Nice to see smiles on a lot of faces. I agree with Mike. Our last trip to the park was Dec. 16th-20th, 2013. Trying to watch the fireworks was a horrendous experience. It was so crowded in the square and on Main Street, and to avoid getting crushed, a cast member had to usher some of us out to the front via an employee route between Main Street and the Jungle Cruise. Bad choice of dates (no reference to Indiana Jones intended) to go to the park.
Think I'll just sit here until the Glockenspiel Girls pass by.
Thanks Major, great photos.

Melissa said...

There’s no Christmas like a Disney Christmas!

The Dapper Dans are playing Deagan Organ Chimes. Each chime plays the same note in three octaves. I don’t know if they still have them, but the chimes they used in the park when they first started performing were originals from circa 1900. I like how the feller in red is wearing his hat Chevslier-style!

TM! You should be on Madison Avenue! Give that kid the Glockenspiel account!

When you get drunk on regular booze, you see pink elephants. With absinthe, it’s green fairies. Fermented eggnog; cross-eyed reindeer. I don’t know what you have to drink to see rainbow monkeys in clown makeup, but I know I don’t want any.

DrGoat said...

Melissa, I think that might be Moonshine that would bring on the monkeys.

Tom said...

They had the Deagan Organ Chimes as recently 2008, I can verify that first hand. They went into great length explaining them to the crowd out in front of the Emporium on our visit that year. They chose one of my daughters to perform with them, which was awesome. Too bad I decided not to do any video that year. What was I thinking?

Irene said...

If no one else had, I was going to answer the question of the chimes. Yes, the Deagan Organ Chimes are still used. Even if I no longer go to Disneyland (haven't for 5 years now!)I know they still use them as I have friends who go and post photos and videos. Of course, at this time they are sadly silent.

K. Martinez said...

The Reindeer are my favorite part of the Christmas Parade and this version of the reindeer specifically. The new reindeer don't hold a candle to the more humorous and original reindeer presented here.

Love the toy like Casey Jr. Train too! Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

These reindeer and wooden soldiers really put me in the Christmas spirit! Sadly, we're missing the dancing Christmas trees - but our TokyoMagic was only a sapling in 1977 - and not quite a grown-up Christmas tree, yet.

Thank you, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, I was unaware of the Glockenspiel Girls, though I do see them now in that last photo! I can see their appeal, ha ha! Let’s put them right up there with Santa and Mickey & Minnie.

Mike Cozart, I haven’t been to the park in years, but I have two friends who chaperoned Grad Nite a few years ago, and they had some pretty bad stories about rude cast members barking at them to move, or telling them to not take photos of the castle (while waving a flashlight in front of their phone), or things like that. It was pretty shocking. I guess it’s another result of Disneyland becoming the popular after-work hangout for so many locals with annual passes?

TokyoMagic!, funny, I didn’t even notice the weather vane, somehow it kind of vanished against the Carnation building. But there it is! Even though Mary Poppins was strapped to it, I could still imagine her losing her balance if the float jerked to a stop (or start). I guess this parade business is harder than it looks!

TokyoMagic!, sometimes my typing fingers add the “e”, even though I know it shouldn’t be there.

Jonathan, hmmm, now I am trying to think; what IS my favorite Disney live-action movie? “Poppins” has to be right up there. “Million Dollar Duck” of course. The greatest of all is probably “Gus”, about the mule that played football.

Chuck, I think it is just good sense to repurpose a float from a previous parade. Thrifty! I wonder if “SpectroMagic” would have been more popular if it was about monkeys instead of fairies? You often see guests (mostly dads) stepping into the parade route to get the perfect parade footage. It looks like there’s a CM right next to the little kid in the red jumpsuit, but he’s looking the other way; otherwise he would have tazed the photographer right then and there.

Andrew, I guess it makes some kind of sense that circus monkeys would have their faces painted in clown makeup, but man it looks creepy.

Budblade, it’s those dead, black eyes, like Chuck said!

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, who is forcing you to say these things?? Let’s call the cops! Since I seemed to have the habit of going to the park in November for many years, I saw plenty of Christmas parades, and only watched them because of my date, but was always glad to have the experience when all was said and done.

TokyoMagic!, oh man, what is that song from? I can hear the tune in my head! “101 Dalmatians”?

DrGoat, it sounds like your last trip experience was similar to what my friend went through. I’m sure it is difficult and frustrating for cast members to control large crowds who have a tendency to stand where they shouldn’t, and who don’t want to move unless spoken to FIRMLY, but still… it seems very un-Disney. I wonder if the Glockenspiel Girls know how beloved they are?

Melissa, “Deagan Organ Chimes”, well, that’s a new one for me; I have literally never heard that name before. I sort of like them, but thought that they were an odd accoutrement for the DDs. Neat that they are genuine antique chimes though. If you can’t be saucy as a Dapper Dan, then you are hopeless. You have to drink fermented Gorilla Milk to see rainbow monkeys.

DrGoat, moonshine will do it too, but it might have side effects.

Tom, interesting that they actually explained what those things are. I’ve seen them playing them, and always wondered “What ARE those things?”. Very fun that your daughter got to perform with them!

Irene, gosh, it seems that everybody knows about the Deagan Organ Chimes but me. I wonder when they started using them? I have photos from the ‘60s that show the Dapper Dans without them, so they must have acquired them in the early ‘70s.

K. Martinez, yes, I’ve seen photos of the new reindeer, and do not understand why they felt they had to change something that worked so well for decades. Especially since the new ones are so bland. Oh well, seems to be the way things go.

Lou and Sue, Disneyland has had so many variations on Christmas parades, I wonder if the dancing trees were even in this 1977 version (even if TokyoMagic! was just a twig at the time)?

Melissa said...

They don’t use the chimes at every performance, so it’s not weird that you’ve never seen them in action.

I’m sure I’ve shared the story here before of being sick in the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas parade, and being told there was no way to get me out unless it was an ambulance-level emergency. I think situations like that were part of the reason for the Hub expansion and the “backstage” Main Street overflow entrance/exit corridor. I imagine it’s even harder to safely manage the parade crowds in the limited space available at Disneyland. Especially at the low staff-to-guest ratio we’ve seen in recent years.

Nanook said...

Gorilla Milk - A balanced protein breakfast for swingers I get it... [Oh, brother-!] I had no idea the world was burdened-down with even more 'questionable-tasting' instant breakfast drinks.

Thanks, Major.


One of the problems is that shows, parades and event entertainment gets too BIG for its location or area. It ends up affecting the atmosphere , landscaping or the permanent the ring of an area. THIS SHOULD NEVER BE THE CASE. And no fireworks shows should be shutting down attractions like the railroad and whole lands!! Parades and fireworks should enhance a Disney park experience .... NOT be the major draw. This happens in the Eisner -Pressler era (error??) when they decided parades and fireworks were cheaper - let’s say than spending money of new attractions and theme lands .... like the large “people eating” New Tomorrowland’s that Eisner waived off and new lands like Discovery Bay and in the 90’s Vulcania Bay etc.....

What happened to Walt Disney World’s hub area was DISASTROUS!!!! They took the beautiful, perfectly designed landscaping and smaller sub paths and gardens and turned It into a drive-in movie theater parking lot with a serious of crowd control cattle pens.

Light Magic , Fantasmic and many of the current fireworks shows and those tacky “forecourt “ projection shows done on the Castles and It’s A Small World facade cause these horrible crowd fiascos and leave guests with bad tastes in their mouth after being yelled at cattle corralled in mobs wasting great amounts of time.

In the 1980’s with the Flights of Fancy parade they realized the balloon floats were to big for Disneyland to handle and designers were removed that the parades had to be able to quickly come and go without altering the parade route .... now it’s the opposite : tear out beautiful gardens , landscaping.... ruining the facades of Main Street USA to put in fiber optic holes in everything ....

But let Tomorrowland rot away.

“....... they ruin everything”


I’m sorry : I’m seeing my phone is auto correcting things I’ll missing : hope what I said above makes sense!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, what you commented does make sense and is sooo true, sadly.

steve2wdw said...

I know the old trees kind of put everything out of scale, but these pictures definitely show how realistic Main Street looked back before their removal. Miss them.

DrGoat said...

Mike, Disney execs announced they would take pay cuts and Eisner said he would forego his salary this year. His net worth is 690 million. Chapek will forgo half of his 2.5 million dollar salary. They did not forgo their bonuses of at least 300% of their salaries along with an incentive of up to 15 million. At the same time they furloughed 100,000 employees. They put Scrooge McDuck to shame. They did offer to pay up to 100% of their health insurance premiums, so I guess that something. Times have changed as we all know.

Nanook said...

Regrettably, what you said makes perfect sense. Clearly, Disney is a victim of its own success, and they've [undoubtedly] spent tens - if not hundreds - of millions of dollars, attempting to cope with the never-ending crowds - with varying degrees of success as far as this [mostly-former] parkgoer is concerned. I can sympathize - up to a point; but once the overall guest experience becomes an 'also ran', you've lost me - and undoubtedly millions of other guests - whether they say so aloud, or not.

JG said...

1977 was my last visit for over 20 years. What a shock to return and find what the Park had become in my absence.

Parades, Fantasmic, and fireworks are purely an ordeal now.

Thanks for the pics Major, and everyone for the comments.

I want one of those monkey suits, though.


Melissa said...

I want one of those monkey suits, though.

Me, too! We can wear them to our Junior Gorillas meetings.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I first saw the chimes in some YouTube videos, and was really mystified by them! Wow, amazing that the park had no real way to get a sick person out of the park unless they had to take you away in an ambulance. Don’t they have a first aid station? You’d think that they’d have a back exit to a place where one might be able to exit.

Nanook, it might not surprise you to learn that I wish I’d tried Gorilla Milk! Artifical flavors are the BEST.

Mike Cozart, I suppose that is a real problem with always trying to “up” the productions. And in a way, I do applaud that they try to give the guests “more”, but when it affects the show quality for the whole park, maybe they’ve gone too far. It has bugged me for years that ToonTown had to be vacated for the fireworks (and now I guess even parts of Fantasyland close off). I agree with your assessment of the WDW hub area, it’s horrible. A drive-in movie is an apt comparison. My friend who got spoken to rudely by a parade CM never wants to go back again, and says she “hates Disneyland”. She has no idea why I like it, and I have to explain that I love what it used to be, not so much what it is NOW.

Mike Cozart, no spelling police here!

Lou and Sue, sad but true.

steve2wdw, those trees don’t block off too much in these photos, since they have lost most of their leaves, but when they were full and lush, much of Main Street (and maybe eve the castle) would be obscured.

DrGoat, gosh, my net worth is only 400 million, I feel so embarrassed. I guess it’s time to go on a strict budget. I understand that these are strange and unusual times, but the fact that the people who do the actual work (and “make the magic”) have to suffer so much is a shame. The “suits” will always be fine.

Nanook, yes, they have tried (successfully) to eliminate slow days and even “off seasons”, to the point where (pre-COVID) it was almost always crowded. Occasionally you’d see somebody on Facebook showing a normal-looking park, but that was the exception rather than the rule. I was really miffed when the park tried to make us feel bad for expecting to ride lots of attractions during a visit. They implied that we should be happy and grateful to do six or seven rides in a day - my worst visit ever was a six/seven ride day!

JG, gosh I didn’t know you had a 20+ year gap in visiting the park! The fireworks really were an ordeal - we finally found a good place to stay, right at the rope, and people would just worm their way in front of us. We’d tell them to get lost! So instead of enjoying the show, we spent the whole time trying to “protect our turf”.

Melissa, think how warm they’d be!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue and Major, sapling....twig? Ha, ha! I'd like to say that I was just barely a young sprout in 1977, but I guess your comparisons are more accurate! And I do believe they had the Christmas Trees in the parade, in 1977. They are pictured (barely) on the cover of an entertainment guide, from December of that year.

Melissa and Major, I got that jingle from "The Flintstones." It's from a TV commercial that Wilma does for "Rockenschpeel" brand food products. Major, the TV commercial in "101 Dalmatians," is for "Kanine Krunchies!" That's another great jingle for a fictional product. There is actually a Hallmark Christmas ornament this year, with one of the puppies from "101 Dalmatians" watching that commercial on TV. And the little TV screen lights up!

MichaelSar12 said...

Those monkeys ARE really creepy...