Tuesday, June 15, 2021


It's time for more rescans! One was worth the effort, while the other... perhaps not so much. But hey, it won't kill you to look at it.

First up is this kind-of-dark closeup, an unusual photo of a sign that was next to the Birch Bark Lodge in the old Indian Village. I originally posted this way back in 2006.

There, that's better! The "wig-was-i-ga-mig", remember that for Scrabble. I love the informative and educational sign, with details on how the lodge was built, and even how the windows operated. You could go home and build one yourself! You can see the lodge and the sign in THIS photo (sorry about the crummy and small jpeg, Photobucket is holding my pictures "hostage", and I'm not willing to pay them their new and more expensive subscription rate).

Next is this scan of a slide date-stamped "4-1974", featuring a raft heading to Tom Sawyer Island and a crowded New Orleans Square beyond. The image has a yellow cast, and could be brighter.

Like this! Brighter, crisper, and with better color in general. I'm happy with it, but... it's not a drastic improvement.

Holy Toledo, look at that crowd! I might guess that this was from the first summer that "Pirates of the Caribbean" was open, but this was seven years after that event. Even the Haunted Mansion had been open for five years. I guess it was just one of those super-busy summer days.


TokyoMagic! said...

Nice rescans, Major!

In the zoom-in of that last photo, it looks like a lady near the left side of the pic has Crystal Gayle length hair. On the other side of the pic, a young couple is standing and admiring the poppies. Poppies will make them sleep. Sleeeee........oh, never mind!

Chuck said...

As much as I love the way the original layout looked on uncrowded days, this is exactly why they needed to build the bridge in front of Pirates.

TM!, immediately after this picture was taken, it started snowing.


In the zoom-in shot Brer Fox can be seen near the tree. The congestion in front of Pirates had been a big problem for years ... And several solutions had been developed including a few variations of a bridge. But a BIG concept was the extension of a new riverboat landing relocated to New Orleans Square. A new “levy” extension with a static side - wheeler Riverboat restaurant helped to recreate the feeling of the busy port city of the 1850’s.

But disneyland waited till the late 80’s in preparation of Splash Mountain to do anything about it.

I loved The Disney Gallery , but the two curved stairs leading to the upper front entrance always looked busy and hokey. I also love seeing the realistic roof lines of New Orleans Square that Fantasmic totally destroyed.

Good work major!!

Melissa said...

Nice rekerjiggerificationizing, as always!

Melissa said...

TM!, when I was a little monster all I wanted was to grow up and be just like Crystal Gayle! (Then I got gum in my hair and had to get the dreaded Dorothy Hamill cut.)

Nanook said...

It definitely is crowded but, I never thought of April as being a part of "...those super-busy summer days." But you can't go by me - I thought the Birch Bark Lodge was a super-nice bread box.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, ha, ha! And then everyone made it to the Emerald City, safely!

Melissa, it might have been for the best. I bet Crystal Gayle gets headaches!

JG said...

Major, it’s good to see these old friends again. Nice work.

Peak NOS and a memory from when Disneyland tried to be educational, and succeeded.


JC Shannon said...

I love the Birch Lodge plaque. There is a campsite somewhere up north near Glacier, where you can stay in a cold cabin or an indigenous tipi if you are feeling adventurous. I think a birch lodge would be a great addition. That's a lotta bodies in NOS, even for Disneyland. Someone must have spotted the Major exiting Club 33, and they all want an autograph. I hope he brought a Sharpie. Thanks Major. Could you make it out to my pal Jonathan?

DrGoat said...

Nice pics of the Lodge sign. I'm sure I read that all the way through when I was a kid (not). Really cool to see it in the flesh, or metal as it were. In your bonus photo, it looks like it had seen better days, or did they make it look like a shambles for a reason.
That is one heck of a crowd.
Thanks Major, great work as usual.

DrGoat said...

I've got to say, I would take that crowd any day of the week over the one we endured on one late December eve, crowded onto Main Street and the plaza for the nightly fireworks. Thousands of tired, not in the greatest mood people, half with double wide strollers. I think I've told the tale of having to be rescued by cast members and detoured out behind between the jungle ride and behind the west side of Min Street.
Yeah, at least that 1974 crowd was probably on their best behavior.
Mike, I loved the Gallery when it was up those stairs. Got a couple of my most prized Disney items there. The steps were hokey looking but the destination was worth it.
Thanks M and all

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, jeez, that young lady really does have long hair. To the point that I’ll bet it could be a problem sometimes. I knew a girl who was very proud of her long hair, but it was nothing compared to this woman! When I was a kid, I had no idea why poppies would make anybody go to sleep, it seemed so random.

Chuck, but… but… I don’t like that bridge! I see what you mean, though. It’s too bad they couldn’t have had a queue that went through some kind of caverns or tunnels, sort of like “Indy”.

Mike Cozart, wow, good find on Br’er Fox! The static side-wheeler concept sounds very much like something they did in Florida, though not for the same reasons. They should have added a slide from the top of the Swiss Family Robinson. I miss the old Disney Gallery too.

Melissa, I wish I could remember the book, but there was a children’s story where a character put his/her gum behind his/her ear at night. Maybe it was Violet Beauregard from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? So my little brother decided to put his gum behind HIS ear. My mom tried peanut butter, vegetable oil, etc, and finally had to cut the hair to get that sticky wad out.

Nanook, ha ha, listen, in MY part of the world (top secret), April is PEAK SUMMER! We also celebrate Christmas in August.

TokyoMagic!, why did snow make them wake up? Why did those monkeys fly? Why did water make the witch dissolve? So phony! Worst movie ever! (Just kidding).

JG, I definitely liked the riverfront area so much more before a certain fireworks show came along.

Jonathan, hmmm, I hope they include some heavy blankets for the tipi. My sister went someplace (I forget where) and stayed in a yurt, she said it was surprisingly comfortable. I admit to attracting crowds wherever I go, but mostly because I wear a cape and monocle, and have my pet black panther on a leash.

DrGoat, I think the lodge sign was supposed to look like it was painted on a stretched buffalo hide. I’m not sure if they used actual leather (or an artificial version of it), or if they just cut wood in the shape of a buffalo hide, but I’m sure the weathered look was intentional. Or maybe not!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, I never noticed the roof lines 'til you mentioned it, now. Sad they ruined it.

The Disney Gallery was another great feature of NOS. Always cool stuff on display. I loved stopping up there, but I don't recall buying anything from there - now I wish I had.

Major, you have an ocelot AND a black panther??

Grant said...

The last time I was at Disneyland (almost 8 years ago!?!) it was that crowded on a 100 degree day. Makes me wilt just looking at the photo. On the plus side the evening was a perfect 75. :)

zach said...

Yeah, what Melissa said.

DrGoat.. and the other half of the stroller people had their kid on their shoulders! Sorry I sounded so mean but I just had to get that off my chest.

Sue.. Look for the Major's you tube of them purring together in harmony.

I dragged that tiny jpeg to my desktop and it miraculously became full size. Take that, Photobucket! I think that guy stepped in 'something'.

Thanks, Major


Chuck said...

I think the Pirates queue was one of those "lessons learned" sort of things for WED; "Note to self - hide as much of queue indoors or in shade as possible." They actually could have put a large portion of the queue underground in that big huge hole they originally dug for the wax museum, but the design went a different direction.

You know, they could have saved a bunch of money if they'd just foregone the ride portion and made it all queue. It worked for the Swiss Family Treehouse!

TM!, I just read a few weeks ago that Crystal Gayle does get headaches from all of that hair. I am also probably the last person my age on Earth who didn't know she was Loretta Lynn's sister.

Anonymous said...

Major, we should meet up and walk our pets, I'm sure your cats would get along with my anteater. I'd offer a time, but there is a crease in my pocket watch.


Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I guess I need to take a look at the roof lines of NOS today, since I am unaware of any big changes. But there must have been some! I have an ocelot, a black panther, a lynx, and a tiger. They all live together in peace and harmony.

Grant, yeah, I once went to the park with my brother in August - he hadn’t been in a long time, and I brilliantly said, “Let’s just GO!”. It was the hottest day I’ve ever experienced at Disneyland, and was so crowded that I think we only managed to get on six attractions.

zach, I’m trying to imagine how crowded it must have been for DrGoat to require “rescuing”, since I’ve seen Main Street around fireworks time SO jam-packed that one can barely move. And yes, you can still get the decent jpegs if you drag them off the computer, for those who just want to click on the link and take a look, it’s less than great. Don’t ever use Photobucket, people!

Chuck, I don’t think any Disney ride had ever attracted the crowds that “Pirates” did, so Im sure you’re right - it was a lesson that had to be learned the hard way. I wonder if they fully learned it for Florida’s version, which was only a few years later? I’m ok with an “all queue” ride if it’s as interesting as Indy’s! Though some of those old effects are long-kaput. Someone needs to tell Crystal Gayle that she can actually get her hair CUT, thus eliminating any problems. I’ll bet Loretta has told her the same thing.

JG, anteaters are cool! I’ve always wanted a pangolin myself, but the local pet store is always out of them.

Anonymous said...

Chuck and Major, agreeing about the Pirates queue. There still isn't a good answer for it.

On my last visit in 2017, the line stretched over to the Haunted Mansion and back again, and looped over the bridge and back. I thought the latter was dumb since it blocked half the width of the bridge, whose whole purpose was to provide a route around the POC queue, at least so I thought. I usually don't mind the wait since there is a lot to look at along the River, as long as it isn't too hot.

The revised queue with the pit full of trees is well-designed, IMHO, especially with drinking fountains etc. I love that feeling of being below-grade with a big tree overhead. Too bad it is such a short part of the wait.

One trip years ago with my parents, we were in the POC line, and suddenly the line sped up, everyone started walking fast with no resistance. We were thrilled that maybe we were getting a jump ahead. But what happened was the CM managing the line opened doors to a long narrow queue extension down the side of the building beside the jungle, so our wait did not get shorter. Those queue features are what cause unrest. At least that side excursion is in the shade.

Chuck, I never thought of the Treehouse as "all queue", but you are right. This was an instance of the old "walk-through/peek-in" attraction type that both POC and HM were originally planned to be, more like a vertical Knotts Berry Farm Ghost Town. Easy to see how that would not have worked with the more ambitious tableaux in those attractions.


Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me that my experience with the side yard queue was just about the same time as the picture in today's post.

Bu said...

Birch houses! I am inspired to build a small one- it's finding those sheets of birch bark! In Norway we would build tiny birch bark houses for little homemade wooden trolls- we had a birch forest as the sheep LOVED birch leaves! That was hard work- the farm work, not the cute little troll houses. Another story, another time. The picture of the crowds at first gave me a bit of PTSD. Imagine trying to get through that malaise with a dolly of 8 zillion ice cream bars and frozen bananas...well maybe not a zillions...but hundreds. Also: hard work. I'm not sure if they still have the overflow queue on the side of Pirates between the treehouse? There was a line outside of these giant barn doors, and then when you saw those barn doors open...then it was REALLY busy...when there were crowd control people and stanchions and ropes in front then it was even more crazy...and if the crowd control people weren't on-deck ready and the guests would make their own line (a single one....snaking everywhere with no rhyme or reason...) that was TOTAL chaos. When you couldn't actually FIND the end of the line...that was like a 4th of July crowd in April...hence...the photo: chaos. I enjoyed the Disney Gallery, but did not enjoy the stairs or that bridge- aesthetically. I thought It was horsey and spoiled the architecture. I'm not sure where Disneyland International moved too when they got moved out. Those were very pretty offices in prime real estate. I was only around for a few years of that "river show"...but I was around for when the summer concerts were going on the stage on Tom Sawyer Island. That required a lot of set up and "roping" too. It was actually a very pleasant evening to sit outside and hear people like Patti Page, Pearl Bailey, and other "old school" types. I am hearing that they took out Magnolia trees (which the scent when it bloom was so sweet) and other trees. That was a Walt thing- there is a story about him talking about the park going by in years and everything would be more beautiful because the trees would finally get to a good size. But I got all crazy when they replaced the original Japanese Elms on Main St. with smaller size more in scale trees. The elms were only supposed to reach a certain size...but they got bigger and bigger and you couldn't see the buildings any more. I think there are some pictures out there when they did that. My knickers were in a twitch and my supervisors were like "uh...there he goes again..." I was a rather opinionated young chap.

Anonymous said...

@Bu, the side yard queue is still there, somewhat modified for Indiana Jones, and inserting an elevator tower to provide wheelchair access to the Disney Gallery/Dream Suite.

You can still tap on the windows that open into the interior queue and scare the folks on the inside who forgot they had just walked by those windows on the outside.

I always enjoy your comments and perspective, really brings that photo to life.


Anonymous said...

A busy April in 1974....that's Easter break time. A couple busy weeks at the park back then giving most of the "C" status CMs more hours. I looked at the 4th photo to see a CM up front in a canoe and I have my suspicions who it is too. But it's too far out to zoom in on to prove it. Darn...because he's a FB friend of mine too. As for the opening of the back barn doors to add more crowd capacity...yes...it was perverse fun to open the doors and ask guests to walk all the way down and back to where they were to get the extension of the lines. Some of us went into a 'Pied Piper' routine to make them laugh and follow us. The Pirate outfit was perfect for that sort of character. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Pirates queue go that far. Happily. I don’t mind being in the revamped line, but I just miss walking straight in from outside. I realize that this is a pretty minor thing! Funny about the CM opening up those line extensions - I guess it was too good be true when you started walking faster. You could think of any walk-thru attraction as “all queue”, couldn’t you?

Anon, I’m sorry to hear that! ;-)

Bu, I assume that gathering birch bark means that a birch tree has been cut down, so it probably would be difficult to gather enough large sheets of the stuff to make a good-sized dwelling. It would be neat to try though! I hope they gave you a block of dry ice to help keep your ice cream bars from melting. I’ll have to rely on somebody else to chime in about the overflow queue and those “barn doors”. Also… “Disneyland International”?? I envy the folks who got to hear some of those great singers and bands in Frontierland back in the day; I don’t know if they would want to play an amusement park these days. I have a nice flyer advertising Pearl Bailey at Disneyland! I love magnolia trees, they always make me think of my grandma, who also loved them. She had several on the “boulevard” outside her house (the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street), and one day the city came along and ripped them out. I have no idea why, they didn’t appear to be affecting the street or sidewalk. And then they… planted new magnolias! Why tear out those beautiful 60 year-old trees?

JG, I was actually going to ask Bu if there was an elevator for the Disney Gallery, but forgot. But you answered it anyway!

KS, aha, Easter break would explain it. I wonder if your friend in the canoe could verify that it is him? That would be amazing. Hey, if you did the “Pied Piper” routine, at least you were entertaining! Sometimes a CM will be stone-faced and silent. They do a good job, they’re just not any fun.