Monday, March 15, 2021

Two Nice Ones From 1956

I have a pair of pretty nice scans for you today, from 1956. The early days!

Check out this pretty image of the approach to the entrance to Adventureland. This sure doesn't look like your Grandpappy's amusement park. I've always been fascinated with that bit of thatched roof to the right of the sign, sort of hovering there in a way that doesn't seem to make much sense. And yet... it manages to evoke strange and rustic architecture from exotic lands. 

To the right we can see part of a map, the sort that was placed at the portal to each "land", in case a puzzled guest had no idea what "Adventureland" would offer them. Wouldn't it be neat to have one of those in your collection?!

I wanted to zoom in for a closer look at Grandma and her three Grandkids (two girls and a boy). The girls have what appear to be paper "coolie" hats, while the boy wears a cowboy topper. Even at this not-very-great distance, everything is tinted slightly blue, it must have been a smoggy day. But it looks nice here!

Next we have this great shot of the façade of the Peter Pan dark ride. To the right of the central shield, on the "tent", it looks like Peter's shadow is out for a little adventure, without Peter! A sign tells us that admission is 35¢. No mention of "D" tickets, much to my surprise. Could you actually hand the ride operator a quarter and a dime to ride?



Great images. I wonder in any of those early entry map signs survived? I have never seen one for sale and know of no collectors with any. There’s probably a house in Santa Ana with them up in the attic crawl space and the home owners don’t know it.

Interesting there are no mention of tickets .....on the Peter Pan entry shields . Normally those signs read “ no cash accepted on ride”.

When you mentioned Peter Pan’s shadow on the attraction tent , I thought maybe you had discovered a long forgotten WED detail of Peter’s shadow painted onto the facade ..... but it was really just a banner shadow. I wonder why imagineer’s never thought of such a detail ..... maybe they did at one time.

JC Shannon said...

My all time favorite dark ride...ever. I still love it. Hanging the ships from the ceiling was pure genius. Anyone have 35 cents I can borrow? One of the coolest things in Adventureland is the entrance sign. I want it. Nobody wears hats anymore, except baseball caps. I personally look great in a deerstalker. Oddly, my wife won't let me wear it out of the house. Go figure. Thanks Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Cool, man! We can see the Jungle Cruise boathouse from the Plaza!

Is grandma wearing a "sheer" dress???

Isn't that a ticket booth underneath the Peter Pan shield? Couldn't you buy a ticket for the dark rides, at each of the ride's entrances? Maybe that sign is just letting people know how much they will have to pay once they get up to the ticket booth?

Great pics today, Major. Thank you!

K. Martinez said...

The pic of the Peter Pan façade is a beauty. Always loved the banner-and-shield motif of the original Fantasyland dark rides. Thanks, Major.

Stu29573 said...

Wow, that flag's shadow had me fooled at first too! I thought, "What a neat detail that I never knew about! I vote Major for honorary Imagineer!
Adventureland is always a winner! I wonder is Grandpa was also there, and off getting ice creams or something. We'll put that in the "Things We'll Never Know" file.
Happy Monday pictures!

Stefano said...

That Adventureland thatched thing looks like a giant version of the cone sunshades, something to protect the nice brown Gargantua from the tropic glare.

Although the ride was always known as Peter Pan's Flight, the facade and the beautiful attraction poster let it go with just "Peter Pan".

Thanks Major, straight on till morning!

Kathy! said...

Yes, paper souvenir hats! I like how it says Adventureland again on the building right after the sign. People needed to see something three times to remember. Looks like Gramps got his head stuck in the bamboo and the rest of the group are casually walking away. Good ol’ Peter Pan’s Flight was well worth the 35 cents. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

Another vote for Peter Pan's Flight as my favorite Fantasyland dark ride. Now I just have to figure out how many 'pop' bottles I need to return to raise the funds.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I’ve never seen the paper souvenir hats in those checkered patterns before! You learn something new every day at GDB!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm… much like Tom Sawyer Island, the Peter Pan Flight attraction was worded as non-possessive from day one to deep past my time at the park as riders weren’t supposed to *be* Peter Pan but rather were flying overhead through his world.

I’m not sure when the apostrophe snuck in. (Probably around the time the glitter-loving lunatics started running the asylum.)


Nanook said...

@ Huck-
The only non-possessives in the parks are the castles, the carousels and the island (Tom Sawyer, that is). All the other [person-named] attractions should be possessive. Peter Pan seemed to be the last hold-out, but those (proper) naming conventions have been around for at least 45 years.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I would be astonished if one of those map signs has survived over 60 years; it just seems like the kind of thing that nobody would have valued or wanted back then. But I’d love to be proven wrong! You do hear stories like your Santa Ana idea. I’m almost sure that I’ve read that they did not accept money for attractions, but I’ve always wondered about things like the Horse Drawn Streetcars, with their prominent “10¢” signs. Yes, it’s just a banner shadow, but it did make me think that it would have been a fun detail to have Peter’s shadow pictured on the face of the ride.

Jonathan, I think the Peter Pan ride has been the favorite of many over the years. It’s just so beautiful, and like you said, having the ships hanging from an overhead rail was brilliant. I wonder if Disney has done any other rides from an overhead rail? You don’t even necessarily have to be flying, it’s a cool way to move through an attraction.

TokyoMagic!, good eye, I didn’t notice the boat house! Somehow I would have imagined that the entrance to the Jungle Cruise would be farther away (though camera lenses can compress space). Yes, grandma was a real hootchie mama who loved to get looks from the boys! Hey, maybe you’re right, you might have been able to buy one of those little “roll” tickets from the booth. That makes more sense, really.

K. Martinez, it amazes me that the Peter Pan photo is from 1956, it looks so bright and clear and colorful. Thanks, Kodachrome!

Stu29573, what would really be cool is if there would be some way to have a Peter Pan shadow move around, as if it was flying to and from. But… how do you project a shadow? I can think of expensive ways to achieve the effect, but it wouldn’t be worth the cost for a little “Easter Egg” like that. I hope Grandpa was still around back then, maybe he took the photo.

Stefano, I always forget about “the Gargantua factor”, and should always consider it whenever I have a question about anything. Sanda would definitely appreciate a little shade sometimes, it makes perfect sense. That poster did shorten the names of all the Fantasyland dark rides, which seems logical since it was sort of a 3-in-1 poster.

Nanook, I do love the other Fantasyland dark rides, but there’s just something about Peter Pan that makes it rise above the others. I think I’ve heard that Shanghai is building a new “Pan” attraction, I wonder if it will be completely new and innovative?

Melissa, I am not 100% certain, but I think some of those conical hats were actually from flat strips of paper or perhaps some other fibrous material. Or maybe even plastic? I’ve never seen one in person, but they do appear to be a bit sturdier than the paper versions.

Huck, I checked an old brochure, and you are right, it does say “Peter Pan Flight”, NOT “Peter Pan’s Flight”. I never noticed. “Glitter-loving lunatics”, ha ha!

Nanook, the same brochure that I mentioned to Huck does say “Dumbo Flying Elephants”, “Mike Fink Keelboats”, and “Peter Pan Flight”, while others have the possessive, such as “Snow White’s Adventures”, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”. So they weren’t completely consistent even back in 1960!


MAJOR: I do remember paying for the several of the Main Street vehicles with dimes...... into the 1980’s. In 2015 for the parks’s 50th Anniversary in the Main Street Opera House , the DISNEYLAND STORY exhibit featured an actual cash fare box - from the red Horseless Carriage ( or Fire Engine .... I can’t recall which at the moment ) i think the guides even said “10 cents or A Coupon” ..... many years ago I purchased a batch of Disneyland signs and some artwork from a retired sign shop employee.... one of the many long time cast members forced to retire in the EISNER / PRESSLER DL Purge. In the collection was original artwork guides for the striping of the Fire Chemical Wagon , the Concord Stage Coach door vignettes and the Main Street vehicle cash box ink camera - ready art for the fares ( long sold off )interestingly enough there were price variants from 10 cents up to 25 cents . I don’t think the Main Street vehicles ever hit the 25 cent mark however the Main Street Cinema did! ( air conditioning is expensive !! )

Major Pepperidge said...

Kathy!, oops, sorry I accidentally skipped you! I keep forgetting to take a photo of my vintage paper hat; it’s in pretty bad condition, but you don’t see those very often. Also, it’s been flattened (sort of unfolded, though that’s not the right word), so it isn’t a cute cone shape anymore. They’re going to have to grease Grandpa’s ears with taco grease from Casa de Fritos so that he can dislodge his head from that bamboo. I know because it happened to me.

Mike Cozart, wow, I had no idea that the vehicles would take dimes well into the 1980s! I wonder if I saw that cash fare box? I might have just assumed it was decorative, or that the driver dropped torn ticket stubs into it instead of coins. Ugh, I hate that the people in the sign shop were forced to retire. No regard for people’s lives, or the pensions they were counting on, etc. I know a big collector of Disneyland Railroad stuff who was so disgusted with the treatment of some of those long-term employees that he sold off his whole collection and switched to baseball collectibles. Wow, the Stage Coach door vignettes, NEAT. Sounds like you got yourself some really amazing stuff.


MAJOR: I forgot ! Disney did use a overhead system similar to Peter Pan’s Flight but on a grand scale! ; EPCOT CENTER’s HORIZONS!!! What a fantastic attraction that was . Your vehicle glided past , through and over the elaborate scenes of future living in year 2076 but after you explored past visions of the future.

Dean Finder said...

@Mike Cozart - Horizons was the signature attraction of EPCOT Center. When it closed, EPCOT Center ended and Epcot (Eh, Put Crap Over There) began.

Nanook said...

I was off by 10 years. For some reason, Peter Pan was the sole holdout of the [now] Big Four Fantasyland-proper (sorry, Alice) dark rides to go full possessive in its name. It appears [in the Summer/Fall 1985 guidebook, anyway] as Peter Pan's Flight. Don't know if that was coordinated with building signage, or not. But from what I can find on-line, it appears the possessive name appeared with the new, 1983 Fantasyland. If so, don't know why it took an additional two years for the guidebook to play 'catch-up'; but as we know...

It was around that time (early 1980's) that my friend, who worked in Marketing [then] at WDW, gave me the rundown on the castles, carousels and TSI, with the simple rule that "The namesakes do NOT own the 'deeds', as it were". So.. The Sleeping Beauty Castle; The Tom Sawyer Island; The King Arthur Carousel. The 'The's' being optional.

Melissa said...

I know I didn’t have to pay to ride the WDW streetcar in 1983. But things may have been different out West.


Melissa : in 1982 both Disneyland and Walt Disney World did away with the coupon system entirely. So you correct - by 1983 guests had unlimited access to all operating attractions ( excluding shooting galleries)

"Lou and Sue" said...

Kathy, I'm still chuckling over your 'grandpa stuck in the bamboo' comment.

And now I can't stop picturing our Major with taco grease in his ears.

Dean, your "Eh, Put Crap Over There" comment is funny, too! I'm going to keep that one in mind, for future use.


JG said...

These are fine views for sure, sorry I am late.

The Adventureland entrance is similar to some pictures posted a while back, we can see the sign advertising the Plaza Pavilion off to the left. I wish we could see the whole directory sign to the right. Sigh.

While the original Fantasyland facades were obviously cheap, they were certainly creative and had their own charm. As a kid, I never noticed, and I am not sure I would have willingly traded today's fancy facades for the loss of the Tuna Boat.

Major, there are some moving shadow effects in Pirates of the Caribbean, but none of them fly. That would be a great addition to Peter Pan if anyone could figure it out. My thoughts on why PP is so popular; flying is an almost universal dream, so even flying in a pirate ship is preferable to sitting in a mine car, or crouching on a caterpillar.

Although I am a heretic and prefer Alice and the Caterpillar, or even Mr. Toad to PP.

Thanks for this fun post.


Melissa said...

Peter’s shadow appears as a projection in the extended queue of Peter Pan’s Flight in the Magic Kingdom. I *thought* I also remembered seeing it in the first show scene, but I can’t find video to confirm it so it must have been *Figment voice* my imaaagination!