Thursday, April 15, 2021

"Fun Photo", Tomorrowland 1959

Today I am happy to share a fun souvenir photo (or "Fun Photo") from Tomorrowland, 1959. I guess some stuff happened at Disneyland in 1959; a few new rides or something. But nobody remembers! GDB friend Grant McCormick has shared other photos (see some Halloween photos HERE) with us, and today's is especially charming.

There it is, a neat image of Grant and his mother Pat, who worked at the park back in the the '50's. Grant says, It was pretty cool having my mom work there during my elementary school years. I'd go to work with her often, especially during the summer, sometimes with a friend or two, and have the run of the park while she worked. Many ride operators knew me and would let me on rides for free. We'd have lunch in the employee cafeteria with costumed cast members. Walt himself would walk through sometimes to chat with the employees. Pretty neat stuff for a 7 to 12 year old kid. 

I'm not jealous, you're jealous! Like other collectors, I've tried to acquire as many different Fun Photos from Disneyland as possible, and it took me a long time to finally get one of the Submarine Voyage scene, even though it is apparently not considered one of the rarer examples (I think I have six or seven different scenes). In fact I only got mine last year. Grant's mom is lovely mermaid, she seems mighty surprised to see her son walking around on the bottom of the ocean. Hey, at least he's not watching TV.

Here's a look at a 1961 souvenir wall map to give you an idea of where these Fun Photos were taken. There were other photo opportunities throughout the park, including on Main Street, Fantasyland, and Frontierland.

Dave DeCaro (of Davelandblog fame) graciously allowed me to share an image from his blog, there's Grant's mom (the "lady in red") at the Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow exhibit. I never asked Grant, but I wonder if that striking red dress was a park costume? Or maybe the Crane Company provided outfits for the exhibit hostesses.

MANY thanks to Grant McCormick (and a special thanks to Dave DeCaro) for sharing these wonderful photos!


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, I LOVE that fun photo set-up. I wonder if guests could also pose behind those Sub portholes?

Thanks for sharing your personal photo and your childhood park experiences with us, Grant!

By the way, that "National Lead Color Gallery" listed on the map, sounds like a ton of fun! I wonder if they offered taste samples?

Chuck said...

I love the way Grant and his mom are facing the same direction the cut-out characters are facing. That's a nice attention to detail that often gets missed when folks stick their heads through cut-out holes.

That must have been amazing to have a mom that worked at the Park and be able to go to work with her like that, especially in that era. My mom was a volunteer guide at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, and I would go with her sometimes in the summer, on snow days, and for special events. Not exactly on par with Disneyland, but still pretty neat for a plane-crazy kid, and a fun memory of spending time with my mom at "work."

That's so cool that Dave DeCaro has a photo of Grant's mom. It doesn't totally surprise me considering the extent of his collection, but still a treasure.

Off-topic, but looking at the Fun Map (was there a Drudgery Map, too?) closely brought up a few observations. For some reason, my mind always wants to put the Astro-Orbiter where the Moonliner is and the Flight Circle right in front of the Flying Saucers. I think that's because I never saw this Disneyland and my brain is trying to put the spinner ride where the spinner ride I did see, the Rocket Jets, was and then move the Flight Circle accordingly.

A couple of questions came up, too. I know these maps weren't always 100% accurate in showing what was where. Did the Fun Photos display take up that entire section of the building as implied by the map, or was it just a section of the building? Additionally, across the street, it shows America the Beautiful as occupying the left portion of the building and the Art of Animation exhibit as taking up the round central section. Was the original Circarama theater in that left-most building as shown? I know in the 1967 Tomorrowland, that was just the pre-show area and the theater was in the round portion.

TM!, they did. There were several flavors of chips available.

Thanks so much to Grant and Dave for sharing these photos with us!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, leaded, unleaded, and ethyl?

I'm just now realizing that the National Lead Color Gallery, was formerly the Dutch Boy Color Gallery. After some research, I also found out that the National Lead Company owned the Dutch Boy Paints brand. I wonder why the gallery had a name change? "Dutch Boy Color Gallery" sounds much more inviting than the "National Lead Color Gallery."

K. Martinez said...

Love the Fun Photo of Grant and his mom. Very nice! Thanks for sharing with us, Grant. That's also cool that your mom is in that Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow photo. Thanks to you too, Major.

Stu29573 said...

Very fun pictures and memories! Working at Disneyland is clearly the cure for kids who don't want to get drug along to their parents' workplace! As my mom would say. "Grant is one lucky duck!" [Please note that we are in no way suggesting that grant is any type of waterfowl, lucky or otherwise.]
On another note (Bb, I think) The flight circle on the map mentions boats. Now instead of going through all that tedious typing into Google, I'll just say that I don't recall ever seeing a water section of the flight circle... Did I just miss it? Because that would be cool...

"Lou and Sue" said...

Grant, your mom had the COOLEST work place, and you had the COOLEST childhood! And what a COOL mom, too! FUN picture of both of you!

A few years back, I read a story about a kid who "grew up" in the Disneyland Hotel area, because his (her?) parent worked at the Hotel. He mentioned he was sad because he could never leave the Hotel grounds and was always wishing he could hop on the monorail or ride the tram into the Park, while his parent was working, but couldn't. I, personally, thought it would still have been fun to hang around the Hotel grounds because there was so much to do and the grounds were beautiful...but, Grant, your experience would've been sooooo much more exciting!!! Please share more stories - LOTS MORE stories!

On the map, that must be the proposed Edison Square, I assume. I had heard about it but never saw details; it looks pretty elaborate.

Grant, Dave DeCaro and Major - thank you for today's FUN post!

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, a couple days ago, you commented:
And that is a beautiful horse. All the farm horses had been replaced by tractors by the time I arrived, but Dad had fond stories of his work animals, and even some old pictures.

I meant to mention to you, the other day, that it would be fun to see some of your "old pictures," if you still have them and wish to share them...I always enjoy reading about your experiences...

zach said...

Thanks, Grant for sharing. It's fun that Dave DeCaro has a photo of your Mom, but, in a way, it does sound weird that some guy has a photo of your Mom, in the bathroom!

And to have spent days at DL because your Mom worked there is a dream. I felt lucky that I got to go to work with my Dad on the SP commute trains in the 50's to San Francisco and explore the city with him. I wouldn't trade that but it sounds like a pretty fun deal you had.

Let's all meet at Edison Square! I never noticed that on any of my maps. That would have made a cool 'Land'.

My thanks to Grant, Grant's Mom, Dave DeCaro and Major.


Nanook said...

GDB personal photos are the best-! I have to imagine being able to have [somewhat] free reign around the Park is every kids dream.

@ Chuck-
Yup... the original CirCARama theater did indeed just occupy what would later become the preshow area for the 1967 Circlevision theater.

Thanks to Grant for sharing.

JG said...

Grant, you had an amazing childhood, and a pretty mom with a good sense of humor.

Thanks for sharing your personal photos and memories with the Junior Gorillas. It's conversations like these that make GDB special.

Major, your posting of the old map is brilliant. Older fans like Nanook and me know where most of these things were, but it is good orientation, especially for a place like Tomorrowland that changed so radically.

Thanks to Dave too, for sharing from his encyclopedic collection.

@Zach, Edison Square would have been electrifying to see, but the ideas for a walk-through eventually pivoted into the Carousel of Progress, which I wish we still had every time I hear the Carousel theme in the TL background music track.

@Stu, I remember Cox having boats powered by the tiny engines, but not seeing them demonstrated at Disneyland. I wish Cox Pilot were still with us, because he would know.

"National Lead"... what a name for a consumer products company. Imagine that now.

Sue, thank you, what a kind thing to say. I found a few very old pictures recently, I would be happy to share them if the Major wanted to post them. The one with the horses is in really bad shape and I don't have the skills to improve them.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I do believe that I have seen versions of that “fun photo” with people looking out of the portholes. I wonder if I can find any online? There’s nothing like a crispy, cruncy piece of lead paint to nibble on!

Chuck, I would assume that the photographer attempted to get the subjects to face the right way depending on the scene that they were in - one of these days I’ll have to scan my collection of fun photos. I would have loved to be able to wander around the Air Force Museum, that sounds cool! I used to take summer classes at the William Penn Museum in Harrisburg, PA, and sometimes the classes ended after the museum was closed. It was alway fun to walk through the exhibits (toward the exit) with nobody around. Well, until two security guards accused me of stealing something (a giant dragonfly from a diorama of a prehistoric swamp) - no evidence, they just decided I must have done the deed. Like you, I still imagine old attractions in places where they weren’t - and I’m especially bad with some of the sponsored exhibits in Tomorrowland. I can’t answer your question about the Fun Photos display taking up the whole of that building, though I think that America the Beautiful did only take up that smaller square building, surprisingly. I could be wrong though!

TokyoMagic!, if only Disneyland had had a room full of fun, fluffy asbestos to play with.

K. Martinez, yes, imagine having a photo like that of a close family member, in classic Tomorrowland!

Stu29573, I have to wonder if there were kids that complained - “Do I have to go to Disneyland again? I want to study math and practice my piano!”. And yes, there was a small water feature in the flight circle, though it doesn’t show up in many photos. Look at my post from October 27, 2006 and you can see the water area!

Lou and Sue, it really does sound like the Disneyland Hotel had a lot going on back then, but I can also sympathize with any kid who wished he/she could actually go into Disneyland itself. It was right there!. I still remember a few times when my family lived in Orange County and we would go someplace close to Disneyland, and it was torture to know that we weren’t going to go in. If Grant has more stories, I’d love to hear them! I have a rare booklet all about Edison Square, I should scan it for the blog.

Lou and Sue, you know me, I’ll post just about anything here! ;-)

zach, ha ha, I don’t think that Grant’s mom was in the bathroom part of the Crane exhibit in that particular photo, although I think that there IS a black and white image with her (from behind) gazing at the wonders of a bathroom from the future. You definitely had a cool experience on the SP commuter trains, that sounds neat! Edison Square and Liberty Street both showed up on the “fun maps” for years, making them some of the most famous attractions that were never built.

Nanook, I agree, I love personal photos. Because… well, they’re personal! And thanks for the confirmation that CirCARama was just in the smaller square building.

JG, I was lucky to get some VERY high-res scans of almost all of the early Disneyland maps, some are several hundred megabytes apiece. It can be a fun thing to watch the changes in the park from year to year. I looked up the location of the “Fun Photos” area for myself, and then though that it would be instructive for the Junior Gorillas too. Even after all these years I’m a bit peeved that we lost the Carousel of Progress (and the Progress City model) to WDW, but there’s nothing to be done I suppose. And yes, “National Lead”… why not “National Radium’s Funhouse”? If you send me the photo of the horses, I’ll see if I can do anything.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I’m looking forward to seeing your collection of fun photos - and a photo of your giant dragonfly!

Stu29573 said...

I went to the October 27, 2006 post...and I couldn't see it. There DID seem to be some weirdness going on on the far side of the circle, though. I strained my bloodshot peepers to no avail.
But then, I remembered Dave Decaro. I searched for the flight circle and found many pictures water. I was just about to give up and just assume that it was all a myth, mythster, when I came to the last three pictures. They were of CoxPilot on the last day of the flight circle after his shift. And there, in all it's glory was... THE POOL! I had made an incorrect assumption that it traversed the whole circle. Also, since it was pretty far below grade (which water would have to be, I guess) It was really hard to spot in the other photos.
Somehow it's fitting that CoxPilot was in the best pics. I really do miss the guy.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, wait until you see how cool that dragonfly model is!

Stu29573, if you look at the far end of the Flight Circle, to the left in the outer blue area, you can clearly see an area that is a little water pond. The reflections of the people nearby help. It’s the best photo of the pond that I have seen, though I admit that I have not gone through all of Daveland’s pix.

Stu29573 said...

Now I see it! It's like one of those "Magic Eye" posters. Once you see it, you can't believe you missed it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Major for posting my memories.

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments.

TokyoMagic!, I wouldn't be surprised if the portholes could be used for additional faces. The whole family could get in on the fun.

Chuck, It was WAY cool having a mom that worked in the Park, but a close second is yours at the AF Museum. I was a plane crazy kid too but had to wait for the annual air show to get up close and personal with the WWII planes.

The building identified on the map as Fun Photos also housed the Crane Co. Bathroom of Tomorrow. Probably the reason that photo was taken since it was next to mom's exhibit.

K. Martinez, I loved playing with the interactive water fountains at the BoT exhibit. Probably the least remembered exhibit from the early Disneyland days.

Stu29573, Believe it or not there were times when mom DID have to drag me to work with her. Mostly after I'd been doing it a for several years and a friend wasn't able to go with me. Sometimes I would be bored and just hang out under a tree on Tom Sawyer Island waiting for lunch time or time to go home. Mom loved telling people I was the only kid she knew who complained about going to Disneyland. Ha! In reality I didn't complain very often.
Lou and Sue, Yeah, I was lucky being in that time and place with cool parents and the D'land connection.

Oh... the poor kid stuck at the hotel with the Park so near yet so far.

"Please share more stories - LOTS MORE stories!" More stories and pics to come. I promise. :-)

zach, I always thought it must have been strange for mom when someone asked where she worked in Disneyland. Replying with The Bathroom of Tomorrow would have gotten funny looks if they weren't aware of the exhibit.

Even though I didn't get there until 1970 I LOVE San Francisco!! You had an awesome deal being able to cruise around with your dad, especially in the 50s!

Nanook, I love the GDB personal photos too.

Free reign of the Park was the coolest, especially before it opened. I'd be first in line for the Matterhorn Bobsleds all the time (my favorite ride).

JG, Ain't it cool seeing other Junior Gorillas' family photos? I may not comment a lot but I'm here every day enjoying Major's and everyone else's pics and stories.

Finally... for any interested parties I have a few pics from a very special Disney related event that I've never seen anywhere on the net and a personal story to go with them. I'll be in touch with you Major.

Grant said...

Whoops... forgot to add my name to my post above. It's Grant, but you guys probably figured that out. :-D

JG said...

Cheers Grant! Thank you again!


Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, I’m glad you spotted it!

Grant, thank you again, and now I am SUPER curious about the photos that you hinted at (that you’ve never seen anywhere on the net)! I can’t wait! And yes, I could tell that the long comment was you, ha ha.

JG, ditto!

Sunday Night said...

Hello Grant. Do I remember correctly that you are the kid brushing his teeth in the House of Tomorrow promo film? Those water fountains at the Crane exhibit are one of my earliest memories of Disneyland, along with the 20,000 Leagues walk through.

Major - It is an odd feeling walking through some area that is usually filled with people when everyone is gone. Which makes me think about Open House at grammar school. So strange when all the kids are gone and a bunch of adults are strolling around. Just being there at night was weird. And To see my dad dressed up in a suit and tie (he rarely did) made it just plain bizarre!

Sunday Night said...

House of the Future, that is.

Budblade said...

It’s funny to me now. When I first started following this blog I just read it from the front page. Up till then I’d never seem a comment section that was worth the time it took to read. Just snarky and stupid people running off their junk.

This blog is truly great. The pictures are nice and often beautiful, but its the comments that really hit home now. I learn interesting stuff and hear wonderful stories. Everyone is respectful of each other to the point that they share their personal pictures and memories. The Major goes to great lengths to respond to everyone personally. That’s real class. I’m sure it takes a good bit of his time and more than a bit of money.

It’s a little weird to think of a mother being in someone else’s collection of pictures. But I bet every one of us is in the background of someone else picture, somewhere. And now those are all over the net.

So thanks Major,Grant,Stu, Lou and Sue, Tokyo magic, Nanook, K. Martinez ,JG, and all the junior gorillas out there. You help make the few minutes I spend here each day, great and fun

Grant said...

Sunday Night, Yep, I was Tothbrush Kid on a Disney TV episode. Good memory!

Here's a link to the HOF segment of the show. I come in at the :46 mark.

If you played with the fountains you probably saw my mom. Maybe I was there and we played with them together. :)

Major, email with pics and back story sent.

Kathy! said...

I’m late to today, but thank you Grant for the photo! I don’t have any Disneyland Fun Photos, though I’d like to collect a few. They seem harder to find than Knott’s Pitchurs (probably more collectors competing for them)! Thanks Major for the rest of the post, and everyone for the stories. About 10 years ago, a lone ~12 year-old girl came over and sat by me on the train at Disneyland (I was alone at the time too, waiting for a friend coming later). She said her mom worked there and she was waiting for her to be done for the day, and had been riding around the train multiple times. I don’t think the company is as accommodating to unaccompanied kids nowadays. I hope she or her mom didn’t get into any trouble.

"Lou and Sue" said...

The Major goes to great lengths to respond to everyone personally. That’s real class. I’m sure it takes a good bit of his time and more than a bit of money.

Budblade, I feel the same way you do about this blog. When I stumbled onto it 2 years ago and started reading everyone's comments, I instantly got hooked. We all have the Major to thank for setting the tone and taking the time to not only put all of this together - but to patiently put-up with all of us crazy folks who are having sooooo much fun, on his time and at his expense.

Budblade, any time you want to share a picture or story, we'll be here!

Grant, I'm now going to look at that HoF segment, again. I remember seeing it the last time we discussed it here - and I remember you were adorable in it!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Grant, yep, you still look adorable in that HoF segment! I hope you got all your adult teeth, finally. Did you see Daveland's blog post for today? In the last picture, there's a stray kid hanging out by a gardener on Snow Hill, in the late 50s. Wouldn't it 'be a riot' if that was you?!

Major Pepperidge said...

Sunday Night, hmmm, now that you bring up the kid brushing his teeth in the House of Tomorrow, my brain is tingling. That means it’s WORKING! Or partly working, anyway - not enough to remember for sure if that kid was Grant. Chime in, Grant! You are right, it is an odd feeling walking through an area that should be teeming with people, but it’s a fascinating experience. Once I attended an event at Knott’s that didn’t let out until very late, and we got to walk through Ghost Town - it was so quiet and empty! Really neat.

Sunday Night, I knew what you meant!

Budblade, aw, thanks for the kind words! I do try to respond to everyone, though I know that sometimes, later in the evening, I might miss some people. I do sometimes have to do other stuff! Including scanning photos and cleaning them up, or even writing posts for the future. But as a rule I like to acknowledge people’s comments. For me they are a big motivation - like you said, they are full of wonderful stories and memories. I’ve shared a couple of photos of my mom on this blog, it didn’t seem that weird to me! Again, thanks for the compliment.

Grant, aha, it WAS you! Sunday Night has a good memory for sure. Hey, was the red dress part of your mom’s “uniform”?

Kathy!, the Fun Photos are definitely harder to find than the Pitchur Gallery photos, though some are *relatively* common (the Matterhorn example seems to be the most common). Good luck in your search! I have a collector friend who showed me examples that I’d never seen before, which was exciting. I love your story about the little girl on the train; it reminded me of a time when I was on the train with my then-girlfriend, and two little boys just started telling us about all the cool stuff they’d seen and experienced, it was so cute and fun!

Lou and Sue, I am very glad that you found GDB 2 years ago, BUT… what were you doing for all those years before that?? I’ve been here for almost 15 years! You were probably listening to rock and roll music and playing those video games. And I wouldn’t do the work on GDB if it wasn’t fun for me (though I do sometimes suffer from a bit of temporary burnout).

Lou and Sue, now I need to look at Daveland’s post, I haven’t had time today (just got home).

Grant said...

Lou and Sue, Awww... thanks for the 'adorable' comment. And yes, coming up on 71 I still have my teeth, and hair. :)

That could be me in Daveland's photo. The coloring is right but I can't be sure. I keep hoping to see myself in some candid shot from the 50s or early 60s.

Major, I don't know if the red dress was a uniform. She was always big on fashion so I wouldn't be surprised if the dress was hers.

Fun fact: , if you notice her name badge says Crane Co. even though she worked for Disneyland.

JG said...

@Budblade, thanks for the shout-out! Very kind.

Everyone has great stories here, and the Major sets a warm tone for the visit around the stove here in the virtual Market House. Big thanks to Major and all the GDB Junior Gorillas.

Grant, I and looking forward to watching the videos later today.

Sue, I am going to hunt for the farm photos this weekend.