Thursday, March 11, 2021

Entering the Park, September 1968

I have two crisp, clear beauties for you today (circa 1968)! Starting with this nice photo, as we approach the ticket booths. I guess those barriers might have helped prevent guests from being flattened by inattentive drivers looking for a parking space. The Monorail beamway passes overhead, and the support pylon is decorated with genuine attraction posters ("Nature's Wonderland" and the Peoplemover). If we hurry, maybe we can board the train waiting at the station.

This next one was actually taken hours before the first one - it's only 10:38 in the morning, we have a whole day ahead of us! Where to go first? Are you one of those folks that sticks to a tried-and-true formula, such as always walking down to the Plaza and going counter-clockwise? Or are you a free spirit who goes where the wind takes you?


Nanook said...

Crisp and clear - indeed. I'm particularly fond of the display of stripes in the second image: vertical and horizontal - no waiting-! And some 'semi-tall' hair to celebrate the era.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I'm heading for POTC and then the Jungle Cruise. Did any of you Jr. Gorillas work at the JC, at this time? If yes, I'll look for you and your boat...

For those of you who appreciate JC humor, I just read a story that made me chuckle...

A past skipper purposely drove his boat right up behind the boat ahead of him for the entire cruise and spewed out each of the punch lines to all of that "lead" skipper's jokes, much to the amusement of his own riders. The "lead" skipper complained to his boss when he reached the dock, and the boss told the 2nd skipper to back off and go slower. Soooo, the 2nd skipper followed orders and took his next boat on a 53-minute cruise, covering lots of Disney topics and answering rider's questions, while 6 JC boats were backed up and crawling behind him. That would've been a fun boat ride!!

JC Shannon said...

Pancakes at Aunt Jemima's, followed by a free for all in Fantasyland. Peter Pan was my all time favorite. Lou and Sue, a JC skipper was on my dream job list, as was Monorail pilot, and Sub Captain. The Holy Grail would have been a Mine Train engineer. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

Hang a left at the Hub, work through Adventureland & NOS, hit a watercraft, then Fantasyland (through the castle gates, of course), Tomorrowland from the north, then a couple of loops around the SF&DL RR, get off at Frontierland/NOS, hit the mine train in the late afternoon and then the Park closes at 6 because it's the off season. I'd call that a good day.

Stu29573 said...

I, unfortunately, have no memory of what order we did Disneyland in, but at The Magic Kingdom we hang a left at the hub and hit Jungle Cruise, the on to POC and around that-a-way!

DrGoat said...

Like Chuck, it's was always left at the hub. Follow the faint strains of Swisskapolka like a rat following the Pied Piper. Back then I think I felt like Pinocchio on the best version of Pleasure Island. No bad ending.
I assume people are born either vertically inclined or horizontally inclined. Need more research.
Thanks Major, good step right in photos.

zach said...

We have stripes and flowers today. Tom Selleck seems to be checking out the flowers on Semi-tall haired lady's dress.

We almost always go west at the corner into Adventureland to NOS, Pirates and Mansion, after that it varies. We try to do Peter Pan every visit.

Speaking of the Peoplemover, I love it! There, I said it.

Thanks, Major. I'm gonna hang out in the first scan and wait for the Monorail to glide by.



From the time I was old enough to go off by myself I usually got to invite a friend along on our Disneyland trips. Except our winter/ Christmas time trip - that was family only. But a normal visit would start with my parents getting coffee and or a light breakfast - this would always be before rope-drop. By the time the rest of the park was open my friend and I would race to big thunder and hope it was operating ( in its early years it was constantly down or breaking down because it was so new) we would ride that as many times as we could .... then as the lines started to get longer we’d go to pirates then mansion ....and usually try to get a second trip thru mansion. Then we’d take the DLRR to Tomorrowland and do Space Mountain and PeopleMover .... after that we’d go on whatever was near before meeting up with my parents for lunch. Usually after lunch we would do a few attractions with my parents and sister and her friend. Then break off again until dinner.

We always had those early Magic Kingdom Club passports - and would have a colored string with a painted metal clasp - you would just hold that up to the ticket taker and you’d go thru - it was unlimited. The park was still using tickets at this time.

Now if I was time traveling to Disneyland 1968, I’d definitely have to do Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland several times .....and a visit to Skull Rock Grotto , but other than that I’d probably never leave Tomorrowland!

I’ve never mention before a dream I had that I was in c. 1967 Tomorrowland and I realized I had my Cel phone and it’s digital camera - I tried taking pictures of the PeopleMover Go Go Goodyear animated scene pods .... and my camera wouldn’t work - the security code to unlock it didn’t work and I couldn’t see the screen .... it figures!!

Today’s pictures are so bright and clear - exactly the way you would imagine a Disneyland 1968 visit!

Anonymous said...

Major, these are really great photos, very sharp and clear, good color, etc.

Really brings back the feeling of entering the old Park.

Back in the day, Mom and Dad would stop at Hills Brothers for coffee, while I raced ahead to the bobsleds. I would come back for them and we would turn left for the Pirates and the Haunted Mansion, JC etc. then do the River and TSI. Then whatever we could fit in Fantasyland before lunch at the Pirate Ship. Afternoon was IASW and Tomorrowland, then back to NOS for a second run at Pirates and HM. Then back to the motel via the Bookstore and the Flower Mart.

With my family, I just follow the kids, usually to Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain, then to Star Tours and back again. Those seem to be the ones they like most because the rides were new when they were little kids.

By myself, I tend to follow the route I took with Mom and Dad, except working to avoid the West side during Fantasmic, and the east side during parades. Parades are a great time to ride Pirates and the HM over and over. Recently, since there is no longer a bookstore or flower mart, I have taken to riding the monorail out and having a nitecap at Steakhouse 55 or the Grand Californian.

Who's with me?


Omnispace said...

Major, thanks for the wonderful sunny photos today. I always wondered if Time occasionally went backwards at Disneyland. Some of our days there seemed to go on for pretty long!

Zach, I noticed the same couple, though instead of Tom Selleck I was thinking that guy looks like Sean Connery in Zardoz, (sans the pony tail). That would explain the time vortex.

Mike, I remember as a kid being mesmerized by the same animated Goodyear pods, as well as the similar displays in Monsanto. No worries about the photos, (I can't use my cell phone in dreams either), but does it mean there's no actual documentation of those pods?

I think we settled into going around the park clockwise but that may have been because of how quickly Jungle Cruise would get busy, and also Pirates and Haunted Mansion were the new and coolest things to see. Hang around that part of the park (Tom Sayer Island, Mine Train)for lunch at Blue Bayou. Late afternoon visits to busy Tomorrowland were a breeze with the high-volume CoP, Peoplemover, Circlevision theater, and Adventure Thru Inner Space.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I dunno man, that lady’s hair looks pretty darn tall to me! I guess, like everything, it is relative. Who knows what she’s hiding in there. Maybe a whole picnic lunch (verboten in the park!).

Lou and Sue, I don’t think I ever went straight to Adventureland or New Orleans Square first; in my memory we always went to Tomorrowland first. But I admit that my memory is not reliable! I love the story about the JC skipper who was being such a pill, but have to wonder if he knew it was his last day and didn’t care? One boat taking 53 minutes means a lot of people had to stand in line a LONG time! I’d love to know!

Jonathan, oh, you’re one of those cool people who is so laid-back that you can take the time to enjoy a nice breakfast first! I could never wait that long, and in fact have never had breakfast in the park. I do love Peter Pan though, such a beautiful attraction. Funny, I just had a conversation with Sue about how I would choose to be a Mine Train engineer if I had my choice.

Chuck, I like everything about your agenda, except for the part about the park closing at 6:00! In my memory, every visit meant that we got to stay up until 1:00 AM, which would have been unheard of otherwise. We’d be beyond exhausted, but it was always the best. Even now, the park often closes at 9:00 PM, which seems so early to me.

Stu29573, I will accept Magic Kingdom answers in lieu of a Disneyland memory. It is now going into your PERMANENT RECORD.

DrGoat, wow, I’m surprised how many people went left at the hub! I thought many people were like me and wanted to hurry to Tomorrowland. Funny, for a second I was thinking of the Swisskapolka as a Matterhorn song. Those Swiss had a big influence on the park (don’t forget Von Roll too)! I know I have worn shirts with horizontal stripes, but don’t ever remember wearing vertical stripes. Officiating a sporting event is not in my nature.

zach, Tom Selleck is saying, “Seriously, you want to go left at the hub??”. He can’t believe such craziness! I am waiting for ONE other person to say they went right instead of left. I’m holding my breath until it happens. Who doesn’t love the Peoplemover?? If somebody doesn’t like it, I don’t need to know them.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I envy the people who lived close enough to the park to be able to go when they were teenagers. That never happened for me, but it would have been so much fun! Not that I didn’t have fun with my family, but there’s just something about being set loose without adult supervision. I would definitely have wanted to be there at rope-drop, right up front. Funny that you had to do Big Thunder first due to technical reasons. Pirates and Mansion, for sure. I know plenty of people who stay at a nearby hotel, and go home for a few hours in the afternoon. I understand the wisdom of such a move, but I don’t think I could bear it. Why am I napping when I could be in the park?? And yes, with a time machine and hindsight, there are lots of things I would ride and visit over and over, knowing that they would vanish forever. I’d have to buy a good camera and tons of slide film, of course. I don’t know if I’ve had a dream about having a cell phone, but I have definitely wished that I could go back in time with a more modern, light-sensitive camera to capture the old dark rides, and “Rainbow Caverns”, among other things. Everyone would wonder what that strange little device is! “Oh, it’s just a cheap gizmo from China”, I’d tell them, so that they would lose interest.

JG, I like the idea of the folks stopping for coffee and a Danish while they let the kids burn off some steam. “We’ll meet you in front of the castle in 90 minutes. Don’t be late!”. Wow, I’m looking at the list of attractions you were able to do “before lunch”. Just two years ago (or so) you’d be lucky to get that much done in an entire day. I had such a huge fondness for “Adventure Thru Inner Space” (which we called “The Eye Ride”!) that I know I would have been champing at the bit to do that as soon as possible. It makes sense that, as a parent, you’d let the kids decide what they want to do. Part of your joy is in seeing what makes them happy and excited. Gosh, I’ve never been to the park solo, I am really not sure what I would do if I could do anything I wanted! What a conundrum. I’m not much of a drinker, but I’d definitely go to Steakhouse 55 or the Grand Californian (or Trader Sam’s). I’ll even pay for the first round!

Omnispace, I definitely spent some long days at the park, but they never seemed TOO long. Well, I take that back, once I went to the park three times in one year, and that third time felt like a bit too much of a good thing. I enjoyed myself of course, but you start to fall into a routine. I don’t know how people go every week (or more!), but hey, more power to them. I dress like Sean Connery in “Zardoz” all the time, I get looks! I wish I had a better memory of the Goodyear diorama pods. The only one I think I recall is of a jet’s wheels touching down on a runway. I guess you are yet another vote for “clockwise”, maybe I have some form of dsylexia??

Nanook said...

It was Tomorrowland or Fantasyland for me, right outta the gate.

And as for truly BIG hair... HERE ARE A FEW.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, l’m with you! But, if we’re going back to 1968, we’ll be sitting in the parking lot for that Grand Californian nightcap, I think,

Major, that skipper said everyone on the dock applauded when the boats arrived...and he didn’t lose his job, thank goodness.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ha ha! Think of the hairspray! Think of the damage to the ozone layer! My mom had some pretty big hair when I was a kid, but she had nothing on the ladies in those photos.

Lou and Sue, we can just bring a flask with us and make our own nightcaps. Oh who am I fooling, I always have a flask on me. I'm glad that the skipper didn't lose his job, but I would imagine that his supervisors had a few choice words for him. Like "mellifluous", or "perspicacity", those are two very choice words.

Anonymous said...

Lou and Sue and Major in 1968 we can go to the Monorail Bar in the DH, or maybe to Chao's, if they were open then.

I've been told that the tiki drinks there were very strong and a favorite of CM's after work since it was right across the street.


DrGoat said...

Lou & Sue & JG,
I guess today you would have to go to Trader Sam's for those strong tiki drinks. I quit about 25 years ago but my wife said they were very yummy on our last trip in 2013. Some concoction with vodka and Canton, a ginger liquor. I had a tiny sip and it was pretty good.
But if we're talking 1968, I'd be glad to join you.

JC Shannon said...

County me in, guys. I want one of those paper umbrellas in my grog as well.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Dr. Goat and JC, see you there!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, we went to the right and did Tomorrowland first, then went around the park counter-clockwise. And after the addition of Space Mountain, that was always the first attraction we went to. I do remember after Big Thunder opened, that we would head there first for a while, but the novelty of it being new wore off pretty quickly, since I didn't really care for it as much as Space Mountain or the Matterhorn.

I'm seeing more of Sean Connery than Tom Selleck, in that man. And besides, if that was Tom Selleck, he'd probably have a table set up there, just inside the entrance and be trying to get people to sign over their houses to him.

That big-haired lady kind of has an "Elvira" thing going on with her hair parted in the middle of the head, the bangs in the front, and her "knowledge bump" in the back. I bet she could hide a certain kind of device in her hairdo, just like Deborah Harry did in John Water's Hairspray. Sonny Bono could even help her with it.

Melissa, where are you? I was waiting for you to call out the lady and her half-of-a-daughter, who are dressed in matching outfits (in front of the Mickey flowers)!