Friday, February 05, 2021

Two Beauties From 1969

Here are two very nice photos from 1969. Somebody had a good camera and a good eye! For instance, I love this beautiful shot of the bright-red popcorn cart located in the Plaza. 15 cents? This better be gold-plated popcorn! The Cast Member is enjoying the shade of that olive tree for now. I love the color and clarity on this photo. Is that an electrical cord underneath the cart? It looks like it's going into a drain, so perhaps not. 

Next is an equally-beautiful shot of a Omnibus at rest by the entrance to Tomorrowland. We can just see blue Peoplemover cars in the upper right! Looking through the windows toward the front of  the Omnibus, there is a single Dwarf from Snow White, chillin', but not illin'.

To our left we can see the foundational remains of the old Monsanto House of the Future (an old house of the future, interesting), with its waterfalls still splashing away.

And of course I have to zoom in on those wonderful mini-posters affixed to the side of the Omnibus. The first three are rather straightforward adaptations of their larger brethren, but I've always found it fascinating that the Storybook Land mini-poster went with a blue color scheme (rather than the classic yellow). I love seeing the example for the Santa Fe & Disneyland R.R. too.



Those Omnibus add cards , while done to look in the same style as the attraction posters were actually hand painted ( except for the Country Bear Jamboree added one 1972 - it was screenprinted) what’s interesting about that blue StorybookLand ad card poster is that most of the concepts for the StorybookLand attraction poster are done in the blues , whites and pinks . So whoever was deciding on the ad card posters must have been working from the concept art as a guide. In the traveling WDI exhibit ; The Architecture of Reassurance, a very refined concept of the Storybookland poster in the blue was featured ..... I’m not sure what the decision was that made them do it in the mustard yellow.

The scrollwork for the Disney park popcorn wagons were all hand painted until the early 1980’s when the graphics were screen printed onto a decal like material and applied that way. From up close the decals looked hand painted.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, you are right....these are two beauties!

Dopey can also be seen hanging out just above that waterfall. And there might be another Dwarf up there with him. Snow White can't be too far away. Unless she is over at Casa de Fritos, making tostadas (JC Shannon!).

K. Martinez said...

WOW!! The Popcorn Wagon pic is a beauty. It's popping with color. I wonder what character is cranking that barrel. A clown? Thanks, Major. Both photos are extra beautiful today.

JC Shannon said...

TM, tostadas or Princess wave, she's got my vote. Whenever I see a photo of the Omnibus, I always think of the Joni Mitchel song where she sings "I refused to ride on all those double decker busses all because there was no driver on the top." Words to live by. Ken, I think that is the harlequin clown. Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

Awesome! They even made a stand so the popcorn cart wasn't sitting on a slope.

Chuck said...


Favorite details in the second photo - the Mickey-ear wearing girl on the other side of the bus visible under the JC poster (Jungle Cruise, not Mr. Shannon) and the woman in the print dress behind the windshield, taking a picture of Happy.

It's fairly crowded for the era. It's 1969 - I wonder if the HM is open yet?

Nanook said...

@ Ken-
That is the famous Cretors, "Roasty-Toasty" man - undoubtedly a clown. I presume his snappy outfit was 'designed' by the folks at Disneyland.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Beautiful pictures!

“Fritos Brand Peanuts” —that’s a new one to me.

What’s the coordinating [popcorn stand] box for? Supplies? Garbage?

Thanks for the info, Mike! Where did those hand-painted posters end up? I hope you have some in your collection!

Thanks, Major!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Where’s Melissa?? I think I see three sailors...

DrGoat said...

The colors do jump right out at you. Really happy pics.
Yes, thank you for the info Mike. One of the many bonuses available here at GDB. Rarefied knowledge straight from source.
Andrew, one of the first things I noticed about the popcorn cart photo was the anti-roll stand.
Chuck, good catch with that girl with the ears.
Thanks Major. Good weekend everyone.

Nanook said...

That "electrical cord" must be a 'fuel' line (natural gas; propane) for the popcorn heater. (I don't think it uses electricity - at least not there, or then). I do spy a fire extinguisher. Mike... if you please.

Anonymous said...

Major, these are wonderful you-are-there photos.

I always loved the little characters turning the cranks, I remember watching them as a kid, fascinated.

Thanks for the back story, Mike Cozart. I prefer the blue scheme poster to the yellow, but they are both fine. Hard to believe that cart scrollwork was ever hand-painted.

That dwarf is "chillin' like a villain on penicillin". Thanks to my son for that.

Nanook, I doubt very much that the cord is a gas line, the box in the paving looks to me like a recessed electrical outlet grade box. Might be a water line if the cart had a hand-wash sink. Although the cart locations looked "ad hoc", I have seen drawings showing each cart location with utility stubs and clearances detailed out.

Having a series of those Omnibus posters framed in the hallway would be very nice.


Anonymous said...

The popcorn carts do utilize electricity via 220V GFI twist-locking connectors and receptacles. The permanent utility boxes used to hold double-sealed bags of unpopped corn, seasoning bags and collapsed popcorn boxes (in sealed bags of 25) but now that stuff gets wheeled out in a separate cart from Outdoor Foods storage whenever the employee opens a cart for business. (That wheeled cart goes back to Outdoor Foods storage at the end of the day.) Electricians rerouted power through the now un-utilized (!) utility boxes sometime in the ‘80s after I left the company’s employ.

When I worked at the park, an Outdoor Foods employee would carry bags of peanuts (do they still offer those?) while a lead would tag along with a “loaded” (bills/change) register drawer from Cash Control (I guess somebody thought that was easier than just giving the employee a bag of money to count into the drawer him/herself). As it took about twenty minutes to get the machine prepped and running, the lead would hang around for ten minutes or so to make sure it was operating correctly and to explain to customers that they weren’t quite ready to sell popcorn just yet.

The seasoned (!) popcorn people knew how easily arms could get burned by the equipment and would bring along a jacket (even if it was a warm summer’s day) if they weren’t working any of the carts on Main Street. (The costumes for that area had long-sleeves for both sexes.) Relief persons who moved from area to area “bumping” employees off to breaks or lunch usually brought along jackets as well.

I only know these boring details because the employment people used to purposely hire some pretty attractive young women to work Outdoor Foods and we sweepers felt it was our duty to make sure they were properly well welcomed several times each day! ;)


Kathy! said...

Nice photos today, Major. I'll take the popcorn instead of the peanuts and save 5 cents. Hmm, the popcorn clown almost looks Spider-Man themed, with his red and blue. He knew what was coming. I like the colorful skirt on the lady up top on the Omnibus. With no driver at the wheel, it's funny to imagine the bus just parked and people going in to use it as a place to sit in the shade.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, you’d mentioned that those Omnibus signs were hand-painted, which is pretty astonishing. I believe that there were two Omnibuses, so those signs had to be painted at least twice, and if they appeared on both sides of the vehicle, FOUR times. And they were periodically updated or changed too. Oh well, I guess that’s why it’s good to have an in-house sign shop! I’ve seen the blue concept art for the Monstro poster (in “The E-Ticket Magazine” I believe)… I personally think they made the right choice with the yellow final version, but of course that’s a matter of preference. It’s sad that the skilled craftsmen who used to be able to paint lettering and scrollwork so beautifully have all gone the way of the Dodo.

TokyoMagic!, ha ha, last night I noticed that there was another Dwarf over there, but I was too lazy to go back and change my text. Maybe the other five Dwarfs were nearby. Snow White was taking a cigarette break. Notice that there are at least two cast members in all white nearby, not sure if they are sweepers or ice cream vendors or what.

K. Martinez, both of these photos almost feel like somebody was documenting the subjects for a book, they’re so nice. And of course the fact that it was a bright sunny day doesn’t hurt. It does look like the classic clown is turning the crank in the Popcorn wagon.

Jonathan, wow, Steppenwolf, Gram Parsons (and the Flying Burrito Brothers), and now Joni Mitchell. I’ve always liked Joni, she has a sweet voice, but she takes no crap from anybody. I know somebody who knows her, I’ve always dropped hints that he should take me to meet her, but so far, no luck.

Andrew, yes, that metal support probably also helped keep the paving from getting saturated with dripping oil.

Chuck, I see the little girl! It’s always fun to see kids wearing those in the park, and not as common as one might think. And oh yeah! There’s another Dwarf, right up close! The slides are date-stamped “July, 1969”, so the Haunted Mansion wasn’t open just yet. Sorry, I should have been more specific with the date before.

Nanook, I wonder if Cretors ever used the “Roasty-Toasty Man” in advertisements, or if they made little figures for employees (awards and such)?

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, Fritos Brand Peanuts were made with 100% corn! It’s hard to explain. The nearby box contains another cast member, who would come out every half hour while the other one climbed in for a nap. I know someone who has some of those hand-painted signs, and LONG ago saw some in an auction, I sure wish I could have bought them, but it was before I had much in the way of “disposable income” (I was still in school). I thought I saved the auction catalog, but have looked for it since, and I guess I must have tossed it.

Lou and Sue, oh yeah, SAILORS, ha ha. I saw the guys in white and somehow didn’t make that connection. D’oh.

DrGoat, it is pretty nice to get some info from somebody who knows more than me. Granted, that is not saying much (because I don’t know much), but Mike knows a LOT! Imagine the carnage if the popcorn wagon broke loose. Everyone would have to dodge as fluffy, piping-hot popped kernels flew at them from every direction. Have a great weekend!

Nanook, I think that cord goes to Disneyland’s underground nuclear (pronounced “new-kew-lar”) reactor. I wonder what that flanged cylinder above the Omnibus step is?

JG, I don’t know when Disneyland started customizing their Roasty-Toasty figures, but I always loved seeing them as a Country Bear, or the Rocketeer. I know there were others, but none come to mind at the moment. I like the blue scheme of the concept for the Storybook Land poster because it is different from the familiar yellow version; and admittedly they already had another poster with a yellow sky for the Skyway. I hope that the villain on penicillin gets over his infection!

Huck, you sure know a lot about those popcorn carts! Thanks for all the info about the electrical systems and the utility boxes. I do wonder if peanuts have been completely banned from the park, due to those allergies? Maybe churros and big soft pretzels filled in the gap. Interesting that they would bring loaded cash registers out to the carts. How do I get one of those? I wonder how much they contained for making change? I never considered that cast members could actually get burned on the equipment, yikes. And I’ll bet those attractive young women didn’t mind the attention of so many sweepers! Thanks for the fun and informative comment.

Kathy!, I would probably go for the popcorn too. Somehow peanuts require more soda to wash them down! I hope to never see Spiderman in Disneyland; I like him just fine, but he doesn’t feel “Disney”, I don’t care who paid for the rights. I like the idea of people boarding the Omnibus, and the driver never shows up. How long would people wait?

Anonymous said...

Major P: The Outdoor Foods lead would bring out a loaded *drawer* to replace the empty one in the (locked) cash drawer built into the cart. The Foods people referred to it as a register (which it wasn’t) because at the end of each day somebody in Cash Control would compare the money contained therein against the amount of popcorn boxes (and bags of peanuts) used during the day. As it appears many folks can barely count now, I’d imagine they’ve moved on to utilizing actual registers at the carts.

Much like people in the Ticket Sellers (as opposed to the Ticket Taker gang at the Main Gate) office used to be the poor slobs who compared torn tickets with the turnstile count from each attraction and sent that tally to Cash Control each night, Outdoor Foods used to perform a similar task before that changed around 1977 or so. (I told you we talked with those girls a LOT and had to at least appear remotely interested as they told us about their work day!)

Many busy days, popcorn sellers would work transactions out of the cash in their pockets and sort it out into the drawer when things slowed down. Periodically, a lead would swing by and remove enough dough to revert the drawer back to the $100 the seller had started with.

Outdoor Foods would also have the seller take a pan and broom (you can see the orange broom handle popping up at the end of the cart) with them to keep the area around their feet and just in front of the cart clean until a sweeper could swing by and take care of any spills. (Female sellers typically didn’t have to wait long!) They used the same metal pans and “professional” lobby brooms we did unlike the poor folks at Coke Corner or Sunkist who suffered along with lame plastic pans and brooms that fell apart after a week. (We didn’t sweep lessee locations.)

Now that really *is* much more than anybody ever cared to know about whatever it was the topic started out to be! Whew!


Anonymous said...

@Huck, these are the kind of boring details we mostly crave. Thank you!

Also completely understandable that you would come about this information by being polite and welcoming to those attractive girls.

Major, I think my favorite custom figure is the Yeti, but they are all fun. Do you think that peanuts might no longer be served because the shells make a mess?


DBenson said...

On a family WDW expedition (mostly adults) in the 1980s my parents were immensely impressed with the spotless buses connecting the parks with the Dutch Something Hotel. Myself, I noted all the ads on the bus were for Disney Afternoon shows.

I was intrigued at how, outside of sponsored attractions, all the advertising hither and yon appeared to be for some kind of Disney product. Raw commercialism, yes, but it reinforced the idea you really were in Disney's World.

Back in 2019 visited Disneyland and enjoyed a box of popcorn. A little disappointed that the box didn't carry Disneyland art any more. Perhaps to avoid competing with the plastic buckets and collectibles.

Major Pepperidge said...

Huck, ah yes, I do see that you said that they brought a loaded drawer, and not a whole cash register! My way would be dumb. Gosh, the system in which Cash Control counted the used popcorn boxes and bags of peanuts (etc) seems clunky, I could easily imagine situations in which the count might be a little off for perfectly innocent reasons. I hope the cast members weren’t ever accused of thievery! Also, imagine having to count thousands and thousands of torn ticket stubs, talk about mind numbing. I suppose that with popcorn and peanuts being relatively inexpensive (in those days), $100 would be enough to keep them going. I wonder what they do now, since boxes of popcorn can be over $4 (for pennies worth of kernels), and even more if they come in one of those fancy commemorative boxes? My friend Mr. X worked as a popcorn vendor (among other jobs) back in the late 1960s, and a year or so ago he observed just how poorly-maintained the popcorn carts are these days. He said it was disgraceful! I guess they were very dirty, and he said that they don’t even cover them at night. Yuck!

JG, yes, as hard as it might be for non-Disneyland fans to believe, there is no such thing as a detail that’s too small to folks like GDB readers! And oh yes, there’s the Yeti popcorn cranker. I think there’s a Haunted Mansion figure (Host? Hostess?) as well. There’s probably a whole website devoted to those! Yes, peanut shells do make a mess, that is probably another good reason to stop carrying them. Meanwhile, you can go to Five Guys and the floor is covered in peanut shells!

Major Pepperidge said...

DBenson, I’m sure you have seen many vintage articles from Disney and in other places, all going on and on about the considerable effort that was made to keep the park spic-and-span and in good working order. During the dark Pressler era, they let a lot of those efforts slide, which not only looked bad, but resulted in injuries and deaths (the terrible accident at the Columbia dock, for instance). As a kid, I was aware of many of the product logos in the park (G.E., Monsanto, Goodyear, etc), and I definitely felt “warm fuzzies” for those companies for many years. It was shocking for me to learn that Monsanto had become so evil! Those darn plastic buckets; I guess people love them (and will wait in long lines for new ones). The Disney folks would have to be made of stone to not want that easy money.

Nanook said...

@ DBenson-
That name is the (Americana's) Dutch Resort Hotel, "The Dutch" as locals called it, was built in 1972. In 1986, Grosvenor Properties, Ltd., bought it, and changed the name to the Grosvenor Resort. It's now Wyndham Lake Buena Vista.

As crude a method as it sounds, counting popcorn boxes and soft drink cups was (and may still be) a tried and true method for tracking just how much product was sold in movie theatres. More disturbing however, was how resourceful theatre employees could be, by scouring the auditorium floor(s) for 'clean-looking' discarded containers and using those for "re-selling" soda pop and popcorn - thus, bypassing the daily count - and allowing them to pocket whatever money they could. Pretty crafty, huh-? if not illegal and unsanitary-! Well - not every idea can be a winner...

Anonymous said...

As our lockers were located right above Cash Control, the barber shop and, my personal favorite, the sock and panty hose vending machine (which I had occasion to utilize on several episodes after I’d driven to work directly from the beach only to discover I didn’t have any socks with me; thankfully, my work shoes were always in my locker), I witnessed a fair amount of comings and goings featuring canvas bags of torn tickets and Outdoor Foods people bringing cash along with a popcorn or ice cream cart’s (same deal with a balloon seller’s situation) tally paperwork.

Anyway, yes, the CC people did take on several daunting tasks daily although I was told that the turnstile/ticket comparison count only had to be in the general ballpark.

The popcorn sellers (and other Outdoor Foods sellers) had a “slide” (up or down, although I’d imagine nobody had much of an issue regarding taking in *more* money than a depleted stock count would indicate) of an odd amount of something like $11 per *shift*. Remember, a seller typically got bumped three times a shift (two breaks and a lunch) and the relief person didn’t bring or take any cash with them. Also, in the summer when minor casuals were working, there might be four people working the same cart during one day as minors could only work short shifts and couldn’t continue past 6:00 p.m.

Add in the fact that often junior would walk a mere two feet away from the cart and immediately spill the entire contents of his box of delicious popcorn all over the ground… so the seller would smile and give his folks another “free” box. They were supposed to mark those boxes and set them aside but often the helpful parents would toss them in the trash before that could happen. All of this stuff meant it wasn’t unusual for the figures to be off a bit every day. In all of my years at the park, I never heard of an Outdoor Foods person getting canned because things hadn’t added up—and that goes for balloon sellers who were new to the gig and accidentally let a good third of their stock literally slip through their fingers up into the skies over Anaheim.

As that initial $100 was merely to be used as change (back then every transaction was cash and they were taking IN money all day long), I’d imagine it was plenty.

But what do I know? ;)


Anonymous said...

Major, I seem to remember from childhood Frito bags with the SBC castle on them and sold in the regular markets.

Huck, what you describe sounds much like the "spill tab" that bartenders get. On a quiet night, some of that is shared with the heavy tipping regulars.

But what do I know ;)


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I sure knew (know) nothing about the Dutch Resort Hotels. I can only assume that guests are required to wear sabots, which can make for some sleepless nights. And OH NO, “clean-looking discarded containers”…! Ugh. Still, I have to admit that it is devious. Luckily I am one of those weirdos who rarely gets popcorn or sodas in movie theaters (or anything else for that matter).

Huck, why aren’t there sock and panty hose vending machines on every street corner?! I could see how those machines might come in handy for employees. The socks I mean! Just the socks! Are you telling me you don’t wear socks to the beach? ;-) Here’s my plan… sneak into Disneyland and steal a giant bag full of used popcorn buckets, and sell them on the black market for millions. I’ll figure out the details later. Who’s with me? I’d love to know how many customers a single cart might get on a busy summer day; I do remember seeing lines at popcorn carts at times. Maybe those were large families. Yes, the situation with junior dropping his box of popcorn was just the kind of thing I could imagine. I wish they’d given me a free ice cream bar when my date’s young son dropped his ice cream bar about two seconds after he had it in his hands; I handed him mine immediately, worried that he was going to cry. Maybe I acted too quickly! “He’s got it under control, that handsome and probably very smart guy!”, the vendor thought to himself. I’m glad to hear that (as far as you are aware) nobody got fired for slight variances in income versus box count. Thanks again, Huck!

"Lou and Sue" said...

I like the idea of people boarding the Omnibus, and the driver never shows up. How long would people wait?
Major, if I could step into that picture now, I would sit there for hours. Anyone want to join me?

Per Huck: Outdoor Foods would also have the seller take a pan and broom (you can see the orange broom handle popping up at the end of the cart) with them to keep the area around their feet and just in front of the cart clean until a sweeper could swing by and take care of any spills. (Female sellers typically didn’t have to wait long!)
Major, I would love to hear more about this, from Mr. X's point of view, too!

Thanks for all the great info, Mike, Huck, Nanook and all! And all the laughs from everyone! Great post, Major!

Dean Finder said...

In high school, friends who worked in theaters confirmed the stories of discarded fountain cups and popcorn boxes being reused. I stopped buying them afterwards, but the advice was to always order a clear drink like Sprite or 7-Up since they would show residue so a new cup was always used.

Anonymous said...

Coming to the party late and probably never noticed. I learned more about the popcorn wagon from Huck here than during my 8 years at the Park. As for matching tickets at the turnstile, that had to only be at the Main Gate. A number of E and Magic Key Tickets got 'palmed' at the turnstile of the attractions I was working to use at a future date by friends and family. I have a wad of them up in a box to this day hoping they have value. KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

KS, thanks for commenting! (I always look back at the last three days of GDB posts, watching for late added comments.)

BTW, I saw the Yeti Roasty-Toasty on YouTube - he's adorable!