Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Autopia Costumes and More!

GDB friend and scholar Mike Cozart has shared some neat material relating to Disneyland employee costumes - specifically costumes for the Autopia. I believe that these are from the 1980s. 

Here's two young men, looking ready to live in outer space, or at least ready to help guests in and out of their Autopia vehicles. I have to admit that the blue with the lemon-yellow accents looks pretty cool. Much better than the purple and teal that I might have expected from the '80s! The guy on the left seems to be wearing the warm-weather version, while the fellow to the right has a turtleneck shirt beneath his jumpsuit, and a sweet-looking jacket over that.

The ladies had their own versions, though a little more form-fitting. This time the gal on the left has the jacket, while the one on the right has the yellow turtleneck. Love that '80s hair!

While the next two photos are certainly on the Autopia, the costumes are not from the Autopia. Mike says that these ladies are wearing Circe-Vision costumes from when that attraction was sponsored by Pacific Southwest Airlines. I wonder if these were taken early in the morning, before guests were admitted? It's neat to see all those Mark VII vehicles in all four colors (collect 'em all!).

Well hello! As a matter of fact, I am free later, thanks for asking! But I'm not a sailor, I don't know what gave you that impression. I guess everyone smoked back then, both sultry ladies are wielding cigarettes.

Mike also included two pieces of artwork from an anonymous costume designer. Here's the first one, for the men's outfits:

And here's one for the ladies, which was pretty similar, although clearly tailored for women. It included that cap for when the solar flares were especially active.

And lastly, just because it related to cast member costumes in general, here's a scan of a photo (not sure what publication this was originally from) with men and women from all around The Magic Kingdom in their land-and-ride specific costumes. Such a variety!

As always, MANY THANKS to Mike Cozart for sharing more gems from his personal collection!


TokyoMagic! said...

I didn't know that Alan Alda ever worked at WDW. He's sitting in the front row of the Horse-drawn Street Car (last pic).

Thanks for sharing these with us, Mike! And thank you Major, too!


Major : the “live” photos were taken in 1984 and show both the WINTER and SUMMER options for Autopia costumes and both MALE and FEMALE. The others were the same models having fun.... and I’ve got other wardrobe fun photos some very very un-Disney. The Autopia Lounge fun girls are wearing the PSA Circle Vision costumes that used PSA ‘s famous “champagne sunset” colors in the park costumes . These costumes debuted with AMERICAN JOURNEYS. These photographs were taken to evaluate the development of all new Tomorrowland costumes that would begin to be introduced starting in 1987.
The female concept art is 1974 and was done by Tom Peirce.I have a few concept versions that were used to develop this costume we are well familiar with today. While Disneyland got this costume too , it’s creation was done for WDW’s Grand Prix Raceway redo - new graphics , new car colors and an extended track layout modernized the attraction for its sponsor GOODYEAR - despite the attraction being only 3 years old. The image of all the cast on the Horsecar was included because it shows the 1971 version of The Grand Prix Raceway costume with the double narrow stripes.

The MALE costume art is from the very early 90’s and was done by Karin Pike. It’s interesting that Tom Pierce’s 1973 costume design was still being used into the 1990’s however modernized in it’s cut and fit.

Nanook said...

“Fun Fotos” for the gals-! Those cigarettes definitely change the definition of the “Disney Look”-!

Thanks, Mike, for sharing these images.

Stefano said...

Thank you Mike and Major, the work day started with a laugh-- those sultry grownup poses atop kiddie cars!

The last photo is charming; it's like the cast of it's a small world have reached young adulthood and are as cheerful as ever.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

The photos of the ladies smoking had to be taken pre-opening. Even back in the day when guests could smoke in the park I'm sure cast members were banned from smoking during working hours unless on break, backstage and in a designated smoking area.

Great pics today. Thanks to Mike and Major!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Great photos! Thanks, Mike and Major!

Mike (and other past CM’s), just curious...what costume did the CM’s dislike the most to wear? And what costume was considered the “coolest”?

Nanook said...

@ Sue-
I’m thinking the ‘coolest’ costumes would be the topless ones-!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, maybe those are the “very very un-Disney” ones that Mike’s referring to?!?

DrGoat said...

Neat photos Mike. Always a treat to see photos like this.
By golly, that is Alan Alda, in his French Quarter, Barry Lyndon outfit.
Sue's question begs answers. I've always wondered what costume I would love to wear and which I would hate to wear if I were a CM.
That last photo really is quite special, grainy and all.
Thanks Mike and Major.
PS..It was Royal Copenhagen when I was a teen. Canoe in a pinch.

JG said...

Mike, I have learned so much about Disney costumes from you, a subject I never thought much about before.

Thank you for this, and all your other great info.

Thanks Major, great shots today. GDB becoming a glamour blog.


"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, what costume would you prefer to wear?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, that really does look like Alan Alda!!

Mike Cozart, the more un-Disney, the better! “Champagne Sunset”, whoever thought that one up must have also thought up names for car colors. I do think these Autopia costumes look pretty slick - not something to wear in the real world, probably, but they do look good on the “racetrack”. Thanks for sharing these, Mike!

Nanook, I dated a girl who smoked, long ago, and as great as she was, I could not deal with all of the stuff that goes with cigarettes. She probably met somebody who was much less of a pain in the butt than I was, ha ha.

Stefano, I wonder how much the ladies were directed by the photographer? “Come on, pout for the camera. That’s it!” You know, like fashion photographers do in the movies. Nice observation on the last photo!

Alonzo, yes, I’m sure you are right. My friend Mr. X was kind of shocked to see those. Back in the day it probably wasn’t such a “crime” to smoke out in the open (we’ve seen the occasional stagecoach driver with a cig hanging from his mouth), but I’m sure it was still discouraged.

Lou and Sue, those are some good questions! You’re just like Baba Wawa!

Nanook, NOW you’re talking.

Lou and Sue, I’m going to demand scans of those.

DrGoat, I couldn’t quite ID Alan Alda’s costume, but I’m sure it is from Liberty Square. I am pretty sure I would not enjoy any of those character costumes, but perhaps there were even less popular examples. Or particularly bad examples of THOSE. That last one looks like it was scanned from a guidebook or annual report, I wish we could get a clearer version. Maybe it’s from a postcard?

JG, come to GDB for the pictures, stay for the learnin’! Lucky for me that I have such an educated bunch of readers.

Lou and Sue, he wants one of those topless ones we were speculating about! It's hot in Arizona.

zach said...

This kind of stuff is always interesting. Thanks Mike and Major for sharing.

With all the Disney collectors attracted to this blog I will recommend the series Prop Culture on Disney+. I stumbled on it yesterday.

Mike, would you give my phone number to Elly Mae on the front of the streetcar? I hope she doesn't smoke.


Anonymous said... THAT was a great airline to fly! Today PSA is just known for "Public Service Announcement". It's surprising how cigarettes were then thought to 'enhance' the look....and widely accepted. Stark contrast with today. And I'm with you Major, the first time I kissed a girl who smoked was the last time! KS

DrGoat said...

I definitely would go with an any costume in Adventureland. Or Frontierland. I don't think I could wear one of those rubber heads for very long, or I would be Pinocchio.

Major Pepperidge said...

zach, I have only watched the first “Prop Culture” episode (about the Mary Poppins snow globe), I need to check out some of the others! Elly Mae is probably in her mid 70s today, but maybe she’s still cute!

PSA, I just watched “Midnight Run” on Netflix, it’s so weird to see Robert De Niro smoking on the plane. I remember at one point they had “smoking sections”, but the smoke just drifted through the whole compartment, of course. And yes, kissing somebody who smokes is problematic!

DrGoat, good idea, the Frontierland folks probably wear more comfortable clothing. No single piece jumpsuits there (as cool as I think those Tomorrowland outfits look)!


Yes - these pictures we were taken hours before park opening ... what you don’t see are two wardrobe carts filled with Tomorrowland costumes - one for females and one for males and three wardrobe assistants going around from attraction to attraction getting photos of the garb in front of their respective attraction. Yes there are some I’m surprised were taken and id be a bit uncomfortable posting them on the internet without maybe getting clearance or something from the “models” ...... maybe I’ll save them for my costume book.

To my understanding the MONORAIL and HAUNTED MANSION costumes have always been some of the most desired costumes to wear ( and work!) I’m not sure about most disliked .... but in my research I discovered stories about several costumes that give the impression castmembers didn’t care for them . When the new team of costume designers came on board in 1968 the first thing they were asked to do was re-design the waitress and hostess costumes for Creole Cafe ( Cafe Orleans ) , French Market , and Plaza Pavilion as the girls wearing those were hemming the costume’s dresses on their own with pins and clips to raise the length of the skirt. Also the “new 1971” Main Street merchandising costumes used at both parks were offered in blue , burgundy , green , and yellow . Cast members had their choice of color each shift ..... For whatever train rarely did employees select the green or yellow offerings so those were withdrawn. Other stories of males dreading the “2 sizes only” Tomorrowland 1967 stretch pants were common - “so tight guests could tell if you had a dime in your pocket or what religion you were”

Getting costumes done for liberty Square was a big challenge - there was absolutely no period correct clothing fabrics available at the time and no time or budget to have them manufactured for the parks 1971 opening - however colonial furniture reproductions and interiors were very popular at this time - so the first Liberty Square costumes were made from upholstery and drapery fabric reproductions sold thru catalogs by Colonial Williamsburg!! After opening these fabrics were replaced with cooler and lighter specially designed material.

That cast picture is from a 1971 Walt Disney World new employee guide and the picture is very tiny. Costumes shown left to right include HALL OF PRESIDENTS ( with rare used hat) Fantasyland yellow , Adventureland Veranda, Tropical Serenade/ Sunshine Terrace , Adventureland merchandise, outdoor vending ,WDW Monorail , Mile Long Bar waitress , Fantasyland green, Jungle Cruise, King Stephen Banquet Hall, Liberty Tree Tavern , Gran Prix Raceway ,Circle-Vision/Flight to the Moon, Tour Guide , Balloon vendor ( only face and balloons visible).

Nanook said...

Thanks for adding all the 'who goes with what/where' details for that last image. The description of acquiring authentic fabrics for the original Liberty Square costumes reminds me of the Carol Burnett Show sketch where they spoofed Gone With the Wind, by placing Carol in clothing "recycled" from the heavy window draperies of Tara. I have to think making those original costume pieces from reproduction furniture-grade fabrics must have been both extremely heavy and HOT-! (No problem in the Florida heat and humidity-!) Here, have a glass of ice water to cool down...

Dean Finder said...

I'm getting a strong "Grease!" vibe off of those smoking CMs.

Bu said...

I’m late to this party…possible the least popular costume- from my eyes anyway..was the In-Between/DEC (employee cafeteria) costume. It unfortunately was not flattering in any way in striped colors of browns and “harvest” colors. Re: the last scene of “Grease” girls: a person I worked with at DL went on to work at PSA as a Stewardess- yes, they were called that…she told me that they encouraged (and mandated) heavy glamourous makeup, big earrings and jewelry, big hair, etc. I’m not surprised at the toned down DL version- but the ciggies and glamour shot make sense. All that’s missing is a summer short shorts version with gogo boots!

Nanook said...

@ Bu-

Bu said...

Nanook....YAAASSSSS!!! PSA-TASTIC! I want this era back!