Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tomorrowland, May 1984m

It's time for another selection of photos from Lou Perry, from the dynamic duo of Lou and Sue! This time all the images are from Tomorrowland - May 1984. over 36 years ago, believe it or not. These had turned slightly reddish, and my efforts at restoring the color were not entirely successful - if I had to give my work a grade, it would be a B-. But... it was the best I could do!

First up is this view looking beneath the PeopleMover track out toward the Plaza. Rolly Crump's swirling yellow and purple flower beds were still dazzling nearly 20 years after they debuted. Notice the entrance to Frontierland across the way, with its own colorful flowers.

Here's one of the Mary Blair tile murals (the south mural) that graced the main corridor in Tomorrowland many years. I'm sure some guests would have been surprised to learn that this particular mural would be unceremoniously damaged, and then covered up just two years after these pictures were taken. The north mural managed to hang on until 1997.

Next we have a nice view of the old Rocket Jets platform - is there such a thing as a bad view of this feature? We've also got the PeopleMover trains moving along the track. At first I thought the ride might be down for maintenance (or whatever)...

...but this second photo shows that they were indeed moving. Lou obviously wanted to capture the Rocket Jets in their "flight" position. I tried adding some cyan to the sky with the "color adjust" tool, and I admit that it didn't work so well.

No photographer worth his (or her) salt can resist the rather incredible view of a genuine submarine gliding quietly through the blue lagoon (or it would be blue if I knew what I was doing). 

Lou took another shot of the Sub Lagoon, and I tried emphasizing the blues, but as usual the results were only partially successful. 

And hey, why not take a third photo, for good luck? 

The next two might technically be from Fantasyland, but who's keeping score anyway? Besides Chuck, I mean? By now the Matterhorn bobsleds were twinsies, with very '80s colors of orange and raspberry. Did the doubling up result in a slower coaster experience? Or maybe even a faster one?

Aye caramba, I am embarrassed by my inconsistent color restoration. Sometimes ya got it, sometimes ya don't. Another set of tandem bobsleds go streaking past, it won't be long before the final splashdown through an Alpine stream.

MANY THANKS to Lou and Sue!


Nanook said...

Ah - Mary Blair... how we miss your beautiful creations-!

Thanks to Lou & Sue for sharing these images.

TokyoMagic! said...

These photos are all BEEEEEAUTIFUL! That first photo looks like it's from a professional ad for Disneyland. Or it could be a freeze frame from a DL commercial or promotional video. You have the three young adults on the left, all captured in mid-stride. The woman is laughing and at least two of them are holding Mickey Mouse balloons. I bet they had a swell day!

Also in that same pic, you can see one of the lamppost plaques/signs for Donald Ducks 50th birthday (just to the left of the many in the red hat).

Thank you Lou, Sue and the Major, too!

Chuck said...

Too embarrassed by vivid memories of wearing a long-sleeved shirt, rolled cuffs, and short shorts to keep score today. What were we thinking?

In 1993, I bought a pair of mid-thigh workout shorts and wore them to a group run with the other lieutenants in my unit. I got teased for my long shorts ("Are you going boxing, Chuck?"). Eight years later, I wore the same shorts to a PT session as an ROTC instructor, and my cadets teased me about how short my shorts were ("Sir, aren't your legs cold?"). Fashions change so fast I can't keep score there, either.

The only thing I can keep score of with confidence today is Lou's photography. Today, he's earned nine out of nine possible points, plus extra credit for sharing with the entire class. And I'll give him one more for only photographing the red and blue Skyway buckets; with their white tops, they add some patriotic flair. 'Merica!

Stu29573 said...

We've become so spoiled by Lou's photography skills and Major's restoration skills that we expect perfection! (And usually get it)
These are noble efforts, however!
I especially like the subs and the bobsleds. I hear that Kim is pushing for the bobsleds to be painted blush and lavender and the mountain to be a glittering tower of gold! You can't beat that!
Thanks, Loe, Sue, and Major!

Andrew said...

I would love to ride the Peoplemover and then see America Sings. I did that in 2018 at Magic Kingdom with the Carousel of Progress. I could watch that show and the Country Bear Jamboree all day...

My unenlightened brain thought the Matterhorn was Cascade Peak at first glance.

Don't stress yourself out too much over the colors, Major. I think that your "worst" restoration efforts are still in the top half of quality as far as DL images go on the internet.

DrGoat said...

What Stu said. Every photo Lou took that we are lucky enough to see, has that particular presence about it. You're right there.
In that first shot, I like that those two are carrying their Mickey balloons ala side saddle. Not getting away from them by golly.
Submarines, Bobsleds and lampposts, all in their natural environment. Just doesn't get much better.
The destruction and replacement of Mary Blair's murals was a transgression that I will never forgive (along with others).
Didn't get into the habit of wearing shorts. Grew up in the desert here in Arizona. Only the brave or stupid wear shorts out in the desert, which is where we spent most of our spare time. Legs are too skinny anyway to look good in them.
Chuck, I hope you were nicer that the ROTC instructor I had way back in my school days. ROTC was mandatory, so we all had to take it.
Those were interesting times in my life.
Thanks Major and thank you Lou & Sue. Never disappointing.

Melissa said...

What beautiful composition in all these pictures! I mean, the OG Imagineers didn’t make it difficult to take a good picture, but these are composed particularly well. I especially like how the first one is framed with the curving line of the PeopleMover track support above and the railing below.

I agree with Andrew - the Carousel of Progress and Country Bear Jamboree are must-dos. Also the Hall of Presidents and Tiki Room.

As for the Matterhorn sleds, everything’s better when it’s twinsies!


When these pictures were taken the NEW World Premiere CIRCLE-VISION THEATER was doing soft openings of AMERICAN JOURNEYS and would test WONDERS OF CHINA from EPCOT CENTER during that years Grad Nites before finally having its grand opening July 4, 1984.

MAJOR : at first I thought maybe the PeopleMover Thru The Fantastic World of TRON was also closed - but in the first Submarine Lagoon image you can see guests riding inside the Turquoise PeopleMover cars. In that same image , DEAD CENTER is a rare view of the Monorail Station’s sign “arrow” from the monorail station’s 1977 overhaul . ( but newly revised to removed all mention of the now obsolete “E” ticket)

1984 was the start of a incomplete NEW Tomorrowland who’s Imagineering project name was called “EPCOT TOMORROWLAND “ . Besides bringing EPCOT Circle Vision films to Disneyland , MAGIC JOURNEYS 3-D was added to the a Space Mountain Stage and a NEW Carousel of Progress was being developed for Tomorrowland with a EPCOT HORIZONS ending on the upper floor and a expanded show building - the new show was going to be called THE CENTURY OF PROGRESS and even had a new theme song written called “Here Comes Tomorrow ( There Goes the Past”) another part of the EPCOT TOMORROWLAND was EPCOT POLL added to the exit of Circle Vision and a new attraction replacing Adventure Thru Inner Space called “SIMULATOR JOURNEY” ...... this was also going to be part of the unbuilt TRON ARCADE at EPCOT CENTER that was canceled . The NEW “EPCOT “ TOMORROWLAND renovation was derailed because of the SIMULATOR JOURNEY as more money was funneled to it’s development into becoming STAR TOURS.

So even in 1984 “ STAR WARS “ killed a whole NEW Tomorrowland like it did again in 2019!!!

A interesting note regarding the CENTURY OF PROGRESS attraction at Disneyland : after guests exited the final “future” act guest took a Speedramp to visit the “rest of the family” living is a desert reclamation city , a Ocean floating city and a Space Colony ..... all duplicated sets from EPCOT’s HORIZONS .... The PeopleMover guests would get a preview of the desert future city scene but also be done to look like it was a transportation system being used in the city itself!

Oh the FUTURES that might have been.....

Thanks Lou and Sue for sharing these great glimpses into Disneyland 1984.

JC Shannon said...

Did someone give Lou a camera to play with in his crib? Were his first words "What shutter speed would be best here?" TM hit the mark perfectly, these look like promotional photographs and could have been used as adverts. The Nautilus pic is nothing short of postcard worthy. Major, you obviously stayed up into the wee hours on these color restorations, bravo. I will keep this window open all day, so I can feast on Lou's work, bravo Lou. Thanks Sue for sharing these.

zach said...

Thanks to Lou and Sue and Major this fine day. Excellent subjects today. A+ from me.


Anonymous said...

Major, this is fine work by any measure. Showcasing Lou's work for all of us to enjoy. Thanks Lou and Sue.

Thanks TM and Mike Cozart for pointing out things that came after my last visit, and that were gone before I could return, like the Donald tribute and the monorail sign.

I also notice that the Goodyear sign on the PM became a rectangle at some point. Never knew about that. The original was that odd shape of the Goodyear logo.

I am hoping that someday, Tomorrowland will be tuned up in keeping with it's importance to real life. Sci Fi escapism is fine for entertainment, but no one believes there was, or will ever be, a Black Spire Outpost.

The glimpse of a beautiful possible future was the best part of the real Tomorrowland, and the world needs that today more than ever. And also we need the Mary Blair murals back.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I still hold out a glimmer of a hope that they will restore those murals someday…

TokyoMagic!, I agree, except for my poor job of color restoration, that first photo is really nice. I love seeing pictures where guests are laughing, and always wonder what it was that made them react that way. Lou took a TON of pictures during the “Donald’s Birthday” celebration, we’ve seen some of those lamp post signs before, and we’ll definitely see them again.

Chuck, I guess back then those short shorts were just “regular shorts”. I have a photo of myself in the late 80s with shorts like those, it’s embarrassing. A girlfriend once bought me some shorts that she described as “boxing shorts”, and I guess the description was apt, but they were made of some satin material. I mean really shiny. I never ever wore them! Lou did a nice job, that’s for sure.

Stu29573, well, I am a little disappointed when I can’t restore certain photos. For some reason I have a much tougher time when they’ve turned yellowish or orange, which was the case with these. Red I can deal with, and luckily (?) that’s the most common issue. You know, if only those submarines had some gems and gold paint on them! Blush and lavender, that would certainly be BOLD!

Andrew, for sure, I could at least ride the Peoplemover all day (maybe taking a little nap occasionally). I am a heretic who was not the biggest fan of the Country Bear Jamboree, though I acknowledge that it had its legions of fans. For some reason it just never clicked with me the way the old original Carousel of Progress did. Maybe the waterfalls made you think of Cascade Peak? It’s OK, we all have those moments!

DrGoat, I wonder if it was a windy day and that’s why those folks are carrying their balloons close to their bodies? I can’t think of why else they would do that. Unfortunately there are no flags or banners in any of the photos to give us another clue. I still have confidence that they could restore those tile murals if they gave a darn. The space themed murals that they have now are uninspired, I think a LOT of Disneyland fans would love to see the return of those iconic works of art. I used to wear shorts more than I do now; my best buddy convinced me that it was idiotic to wear shorts when hiking - there were too many things (poison oak, ticks, and thorny stuff) that want to hurt you. Wow, I don’t think I knew you were in ROTC.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, Lou knew what he was doing; I think Sue described him as a “semi-professional” photographer. Seeing today’s photos makes me miss our good Tomorrowland that much more. I wish I remembered if there was any appreciable difference in sensation when the Matterhorn bobsleds were singles.

Mike Cozart, thank you for the historical context! We can see guests on the Peoplemover in those Rocket Jets photos too, if you look closely. While I was never super crazy about the “World of TRON” segment of the Peoplemover ride, I would sure love to be riding that attraction and experience TRON now. Thanks for pointing out the Monorail sign! “Magic Journeys”, I definitely remember seeing that film; there was a scene with fish swimming, and you’d see everyone in the audience reaching out to try to touch the 3D fish! It was pretty cool. I wonder if that film is on YouTube? Probably not. Gosh, that “Century of Progress” attraction sounds pretty cool, and I like that the name was a throwback to the 1933/34 Chicago World’s Fair. I think I would have loved that one. As always, you are full of the best info!

Jonathan, Lou’s first word was “aperture”. Kind of amazing. I thank you for your kind words, but am still not really happy with my work on these pictures. If I adjusted one thing, something else would be off - and so on, and so on. I finally had to say “good enough”.

zach, glad you enjoyed these!!

JG, I’m happy to report that Sue has sent me even more scans of Lou’s photos, we have enough to continue with his pictures for months. All thanks to her hard work. Good eye on the rectangular Peoplemover sign - I prefer the old “lozenge” shape, but you are right, it echoed the Goodyear logo, and they’d stopped sponsoring way back at the end on 1981. I hear you regarding Sci-Fi, and yet, I’d love to see a film that captured the optimism about the future like guests experienced at various World’s Fair in the 20th Century - utopias in which all of the world’s ills would be solved, and life would be comfortable and rewarding for all. A dream!

DrGoat said...

Major, I didn't pursue it any further. I had other priorities at the time. Didn't think Vietnam was the right place to implement them. It was informative (except you had to cut your hair pretty short), but I had a lot I wanted to do back then in the states. My Dad also did not think it was the right fit for me and knowing what he went through during WWII, I followed his advice. He probably didn't want me to come back in a box, like he saw many of his buddies have to do.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, when I was in my 30s my dad said, "I wish I'd encouraged you and your brother to go into the Service!". This was news to me. My dad found the Navy very rewarding, even though he had to go to Vietnam for two years. But like you, I had other priorities. Even I wonder what my life would have been like had I followed in his footsteps, but that's just one of a number of paths that my life could have taken along the way.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Was busy all day and couldn't respond any sooner, but I was reading everyone's comments from my cell (cell phone) throughout the day...

Andrew, I, too, for a split second, thought that was Cascade Peak when I viewed these this morning on my little cell phone - tho I was the one who scanned and sent these to the Major originally. (So don't feel "unenlightened.")

JC Shannon, I laughed when I read your comment:
Did someone give Lou a camera to play with in his crib?...
A while back, while going through some of my dad's pictures, I came across one that I didn't recognize - it was a black and white photo of part of a bedroom, with a small bed. I asked my dad if he could identify that picture and he said, "That's a picture I took of my first bedroom." I'll have to find that photo, again, and get it to the Major...

Major, yep, photography was my dad's hobby, but he was always getting asked to do weddings and parties, etc., so it turned into a weekend side-job, too.

Major, you are VERY humble, but I must say your work is FANTASTIC - as you've rescued a lot of my dad's pictures. (The biggest challenge, that I have yet to send to you, are many, many WDW slides from the first year it opened - they are badly faded. *sniffle, sniffle*)

In the first shot of the Matterhorn, am I seeing Fudgie the Whales' tail, behind the waterfall??

I'll be eating lunch with my dad tomorrow. At his place, "family" can reserve a private dining room and eat together - which is great, in spite of all the Covid stuff going on. I'm looking forward to sharing everyone's WONDERFUL and FUN comments with him - THANK YOU, ALL!!

Anonymous said...

Briefly… the original bobsleds were faster and provided a much smoother ride than the tandem sleds from WDW’s Space Mountain that replaced them. Of course, we also lost that fantastic view of Main Street at the top of the lift when the mountain was (essentially) enclosed. I always thought the snowman thing was lame.

I was working at the park when the Matterhorn rehab took place and we employees were guinea pigs for a couple of weeks before it was determined there were some pretty serious issues with the gauge of the track and the “new” vehicles. As many of you recall, the park had to delay the opening of the updated Matterhorn and handed out free Disneyland admission tickets to everyone who entered the park while the situation was being rectified.

Seems I worked a lot of Extension shifts (which included circling the Matterhorn, periodically) around that time as I recall talking quite a bit with some pretty aggravated MAPO guys watching the repairs take place. I’m sure Mike Cozart knows for sure, but the boys from Glendale intimated it was some kind of a metric vs. imperial measurements situation with the tandem sled wheels.

I rode the thing a couple of dozen times both before and after the “fix” and we all thought it was somehow even bumpier and a lot less smooth *after* it was finally given the OK to open. It was bad at first with the tandem sleds and then somehow even WORSE when all was said and done. I got the feeling Nunis just wanted the ride open, period.

Let’s not even mention the latest sleds which are just possibly the most uncomfortable ride vehicles ever inflicted on an unsuspecting public.



Anonymous said...

@Huck, always enjoy your insights.

I have wondered off and on, if the various modernizations of the Matterhorn over the years have been related to seismic strengthening of the structure.

All the changes seem to point to this; enclosing former openings (increasing lateral load resistance of the "walls"), reducing sled speeds (less stress on the rails and anchorages) etc. Seems like there could be a lot of structural steel hidden in those changes.

Although the change to tandem sleds was stated to speed up loading...

After all the Mountain is over 60 years old now like me, and I could use some structural rehab.


Chuck said...

DrGoat, I tried to not be that guy; I'd had my fill of jackasses with more power than maturity during my abortive nine months at the Academy (Air Force, not Starfleet)(I flunked out). One of the nicest things anyone ever wrote about me came from one of my ROTC cadets at the end of a 5-week, basic-training-like, summer training camp: "You were a teacher in a land of tyrants." Mission accomplished.

It's funny, Major & DrGoat - I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't pursued a military career like my father.

TokyoMagic! said...

Huck, I remember the "New Matterhorn" having problems! It was supposed to open on May 27. I went about two weeks later for a daytime junior high school "Grad Party." I was very disappointed that it wasn't open for that trip. I remember at one point, we saw that they were running the vehicles with people in them, so we ran over to the entrance to get in line. Unfortunately, they told us that it was open only for cast members, and that they were still testing out the ride. I want to say that it didn't finally open to the public, until sometime in mid-summer, but I can't remember for sure.

I wrote an entire blog post about that DL trip and my frustration with the "New Matterhorn" not being open yet. If anyone is interested, I posted it back in June of 2011. Here is just one photo from that post. I snapped this pic while riding on the PeopleMover, and it shows the employees testing out the brand new ride bobsleds. Huck, are you in this pic, by chance? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Well, TM!, while I do see a lot of white clothing on those bobsled riders, I’m thinking those aren’t sweepers taking a break from talking with all the cute outdoor foods girls to get tossed around on the newly compromised Matterhorn during their lunch. ;p