Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Entrance and Castle, 1950s

I don't know if you can tell, but I sure love Disneyland in the 1950s! Even something as seemingly mundane as this photo from the parking lot looking toward the entrance has a certain je ne sais quoi that would vanish after a few years. 

Here's a family portrait taken in front of the old ticket booths, with Main Street Station so close you can smell it! It smells like fresh lumber and paint, FYI. The C.K. Holliday is loading up passengers in those freight cars, just like cattle. If you look closely, there are people standing in the open-topped cars to the right. The conductor is carrying a book entitled, "To Serve Man", and he keeps licking his lips. Weird, but I'm sure it's nothing. There are some signs out front, but the focus is a little soft, all I can read is "Disneyland: Open Every Day". The bottom part probably says, "Despair all ye who enter here".

Here's a good photo from the castle forecourt, bustling with people who dig Pat Boone, noodle casseroles, gelatin desserts, and Ozzie and Harriet. 

Some of you may remember those blonde girls. They're all enjoying an ice cream bar (purchased at the vendor's cart, out of frame to our right). I see at least three souvenir booklets that were given out at the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry.

They look a little like this! That "not quite square" shape is accurate, I have always liked that the designer went nuts.


Nanook said...


Ahhh... It's all still kinda fresh and mostly-new. But, I'm distracted by all the period styles. Extra points for the girl's hair-do in the first image, standing behind the ".com". Also, the 'stylish' temple on the lady's sunglasses frame. (It goes so well with her 'string of pearls').

Thanks, Major.


I just wish Disneyland was a bit more clear on its operating hours back then.

TokyoMagic! said...

In the Castle pic, one of the girls in the group is "double fisting" ice cream bars. I suppose she could be holding one for the photographer. That's probably her excuse, anyway.

In the Main Entrance photo, I think that sign reads "Disneyland: Open Every Day Except One." Management liked to keep people guessing. ;-)

JC Shannon said...

Those girls are the winners of the Cam Nelson look alike contest. Monsanto, Smonsanto we wanna go on the Teacups. Last one to the Moonliner buys the Sunkist. Great scans today Major, thanks.

Stu29573 said...

Upon looking at the castle battlements, I wonder who they were expecting to attack? Ice cream weilding little girls? Reptillian train conductors? Encyclopedia salesmen? Tis a mystery.
Of course now the pink and purple walls are obviously there to keep out designers with good taste.
Monsanto might have changed our DNA a bit, but they sure were cool!
Great pics today!

DrGoat said...

Nothing like a Disney version of an Eskimo Pie before storming the castle.
Speaking of hair-do, I like the do on the half-head gal, left front in the third pic. Straight and then curled, like one of those thin crepe ribbons you make curly by running along the edge of a scissors.
Great Monsanto image, very colorful entrance to draw you in. Those amorphous man-shaped figures emerging from the giant test tubes remind me of the Metal Men comics from the 60s.
PS The name Eskimo Pie will soon be "retired" next year.
Nice old pics Major. They do make me feel a bit younger for a moment.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, that girl’s frizzy ends are an interesting look, I assume her mom spent a while with little curlers (or a curling iron?) to achieve it. Worth the effort? And the lady with the sunglasses looks pretty spiffy!

Mike Cozart, you know what would help? More signs!

TokyoMagic!, I’d like to believe that the girl holding two ice creams was holding one for Daddy, but you never know! I like the idea of the Disneyland management being openly hostile to guests who want to know when the park is open. “If Mickey Mouse had lips, I’d tell you to read them!”.

Jonathan, I don’t know who Cam Nelson is (was?). Probably a famous juggler. Yeah, that’s it. “Last One To the Moonliner Buys the Sunkist” was a hit song by Dionne Warwick.

Stu29573, they were certainly worried about reptilian train conductors, as we ALL should be. Also enraged evil fairies, such as Maleficent. I still think it’s interesting that Sleeping Beauty wasn’t released until January of 1959 - a full 3.5 years after Disneyland opened, and yet they named the castle after her.

DrGoat, I once dated a woman who had a young son, and I bought him an ice cream bar at a vendor right by the castle (which he promptly dropped). It’s a nice tie to the past! The girl with the frizzy ends also has some blonde highlights, maybe she spent some time at the beach. I’ve heard of the Metal Men, but don’t really know anything about them. Maybe they’re made of metal? I don’t really buy Eskimo Pies, but I will sort of miss them. No sense in having a name that denigrates some people though, so it’s OK!

Nanook said...

@ JC Shannon-
Kam Nelson - there's a name you don't hear everyday-! Touché.

Major- she was a "Teen Magazine" model; but her real claim to fame here is her role as a 'featured dancer' and co-host of the Groovy television show, broadcast on KHJ-TV Channel 9, live, on weekday afternoons, in Los Angeles, from 1967-1970. It was primarily shot on the beach in Santa Monica - just north of the Santa Monica pier. (Television at its finest-? Probably not; but...)

Anonymous said...

The old freight train seems to tell guests they will be treated like cattle. Took about 50 years before each day in the park was sufficiently crowded for guests to agree! ;) KS

Nanook said...


HERE you can see her real claim to fame; (and not from the Groovy show).

DrGoat said...

Major, the Metal Men was a DC comic book series in the 60s. They were metal superheroes composed of different metals like iron, platinum, gold, tin mercury. A sort of different take on superheroes. My uncle turned me on to the Lord of the Rings trilogy about 1964 and after that my interest in comics faded. I did read LOTR before the Hobbit, but after reading the Hobbit I re-read LOTR and with a little backround concerning Hobbits, I enjoyed the second read a lot.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, “Kam Nelson”, not a name that is familar to me, even a little. I don’t know if I’ve heard of the Groovy program either! Love the name. Sort of a local “Hullabaloo” I guess. Thanks!

KS, you aren’t kidding! One of my best friends had never been to Disneyland, and she finally went about two years ago. “Never again!” I believe was her reaction. Way to go, Disney.

Nanook, she has a San Tropez tan! I wonder if that red Japanese bridge is at the Huntington Gardens? if so, I think it is now a natural wood look.

DrGoat, I was always kind of jealous of my friends who grew up with an interest in comic books; I was never really exposed to them. I liked MAD magazine! I’ve told this story before, but my buddy used to ride his bicycle up to Jack Kirby’s home (in Thousand Oaks) and Jack would draw the Hulk or Captain America for him on a large piece of newsprint paper (my friend was probably 8 or 9 at the time). I think his mom threw those away eventually, if you can believe it. I can’t remember if I read The Hobbit before LOTR or after, but nowadays I always read them in order.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I got your email last night about today's post being only for the boys - "no girls allowed to comment" - but I'm choosing to ignore it!

On behalf of Melissa, me and our fellow-female-junior-gorillas: The mom of those ice cream girls is wearing a really cool skirt! Great pattern!


JG said...

I love these pictures.

Thanks Major.

Best to all for New Years!


Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I can’t believe you broke my “no girls” rule! The internet truly is a lawless wilderness. But seriously: I invite more women to chime in. All are welcome.

JG, Happy New Year to you!