Thursday, August 05, 2021

A Pair From July, 1969

Here's a couple of photos from July, 1969. Who knows, maybe Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were walking around on the Moon the day these pictures were taken! 

One of the things we learned from the Apollo 11 Moon landing was that there are hardly any Horse Drawn Streetcars there. Maybe there had been, once, but it's difficult to be sure - they might have been mostly on the "dark side". But Disneyland has several Streetcars pulled by horses, and it costs only about half the price to go there with a family of four (Ka-POW! What a burn!). I can almost hear the clippety-clop of the horse's rhythmic gait, and smell the hot asphalt and maybe hints of popcorn too.

I told Walt he should put a "Cursing Well" in his park instead of a Wishing Well. That way people could cast curses on their enemies! But Walt didn't go for it. Sometimes I just didn't understand what he was thinking. However, I have to admit that the Wishing Well looks pretty nice surrounded by the plants and even the moat with at least one swan. 



One time the sound department came to the Disney Gallery to set up a new CD player that allowed different tracks to play in each of the 3 main exhibit rooms and the hallway and sales room if needed. Originally a single cd could be used as a single source BGM. Later a single cd split to a A track and B track was used. For the change for each room the sound department used ( for whatever reason ) a cd featuring the Snow White Grotto , well echo , bell chimes and birds and frogs SFX to test the gallery sound system. The new exhibit hadn’t been installed yet so one CD split A and B was still to go to all rooms until the new exhibit went in ( Tomorrowland) The audio tech person accidentally left in both CDs so half the gallery played its regular Background music and the other rooms played SNOW WHITE GROTTO & SFX over and over and over and over until someone from audio could get up there and show someone how the new speaker and rooms worked. For a video kiosk that was in the gallery for a short time the WDI used a laser vision disc for the Tokyo Disneyland VISIONARIUM next show countdown screen to test it on.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think Walt felt that a "Cursing Well" wasn't needed, because the Tinkerbell Toy Shop was such a short distance from the well. Guests could simply go into the shop, buy the doll of their choice, and then for an extra .25 cents, the clerks would give them a box of straight pins to use on the doll.

Chuck said...

If you zoom in closely, you can see the wire fencing material that separated the vicious, flesh-eating swans from the docile, herbivorous bipeds. My understanding is that it was both electrified and coated with dart poison and cursed for good measure.

TM!, don’t forget - the Tinkerbell Toy Shoppe had an amazing selection of Zuni fetish dolls.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, and Disney only staffed the shop with female cast members who bore a striking resemblance to Karen Black.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Would love to step into that first photo!

Mike, do you know if Cast Members complained of any repetitive music or announcements that drove them crazy? Or were they able to ‘blank it out’?

Thanks, Major! I like your Ka-POW burn!

Chuck said...

TM!, I had forgotten that staffing detail. I remember they had a horrible problem with staff turnover. They also had issues with their break room stove.

JG said...

Main Street is so clean. This stands out even more today, since downtown here is so filthy grubby.

An unusual perspective on the wishing well, probably my favorite spot in the Park.

I wonder if the Dwarves ever made “beer can swan”?

Major, you are right about the pricing. We found the proposed pricing for the WDW “Star Wars Hotel” yesterday. Two people, two nights (minimum stay), $6,000.00. Yes, six thousands. Meals are included, but for that price you should get beskar armor and a speeder bike. Cheaper to fly into orbit with Richard Branson.

Thanks for these great pics.


JG said...

And three trash cans on Main Street.


zach said...

In the first pic I'm going to add a Y to the end of ORNER for a 48 point Triple Word score!

Grant said...

I love photos from 1969. Why? Because I never saw the Park in person in the late 60s. It was that dark era when I couldn't go because I had long hair. Oh the depression... ;)

K. Martinez said...

Sue, I used to work in the Haunted Castle dark ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk back in the late 1970's. I was there all day long and I would hear this witch cackling about every 60 seconds over and over for the entire day. Also a couple of ghouls moaning and a screaming ghost, all constanly repetitive.

Anyway, to make a long story short, at night when I'd go to bed and try and sleep, I'd hear that witch cackling over and over again while I lay there in the dark. It was definitely like an auditory hallucination. The Boardwalk music playing over the speakers in long cycles never bothered me, but that cackling witch and moaning ghouls got me every time when I'd go to sleep. Because it was entering my brain constantly, it would follow me home and I'd still "hear" it over and over again even when away from the Boardwalk.

K. Martinez said...

Nice pics today! Especially the Horse-Drawn Street Car. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

I spot a giant "Mom" purse in the second image.

Thanks, Major.

DrGoat said...

The long hair thing was ridiculous. After about 1969 or 70, they slacked off on that rule if I remember right. I did miss 67 and 68. Hair way too long. With sideburns yet.
Wishing well was a sentimental spot for me and my sister. Our Mother and Father loved that place, so when they both passed in 2000, we went to the park later that year and threw in a couple of 1945 Walking Liberty 50 cent pieces our Mom left us a bunch of. We both still have the rest, stashed in our treasure chests.
I'll step into that photo in a heart beat, Sue.
I assume Dad is out of the woods for now, let us know.
JG, I agree. People have no respect, even if there's a trashcan 5 feet away. And this last year seems to have made it worse.
Thanks Major...not for the litterbugs, but for these great pics.

Bu said...

No more swans?...they ruin everything. I know they are mean, and cost money, but they are perfect in a castle moat. Maybe they left on their own accord because they didn't like bright colors...could be... I heard that they replaced the Dwarf/Cute Animals Carerra Marble statues with fiberglass ones...don't understand that either...there was a good story about those statues- that they were given to Walt in 1939 and then he finally found a place to put them when Snow White's grotto opened.. Doesn't Carerra last forever? Aren't there statues in Italy that are 400 years old? Does anyone know if the cash from the well still goes to the Variety Club? A cursing well certainly would be a very lucrative proposition as well. On Main St. I see a young Christopher Knight on the far right is asking a sweeper for directions to Tom Sawyer Island- better get in there before Injun Joes cave is sealed up. The picture of Main Street could have been taken in 1980. The only difference I can see is the Kodak Sign going to GAF/Polaroid. I do have a picture of myself in the "old-tyme" costumes that they did a giant Polaroid of. Even back then they made you wear this underwear kind of thing under the costumes (which I remember being very very heavy- the costume not the underwear) so you didn't transfer your DNA onto them. And who sponsors Carefree Corner? is the INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA in glorious big capital letters! They also sponsored the guidebook until Polaroid took that over. I love awings, muted colors, asphalt, and curbs. Looks like the name tag of the day- on the pony farm guy- was a dark diamond shape...perhaps some costumes dictated a black name tag? Right now, I'm going to virtually go down to the Market House for a pickle from the barrel. I loved those pickles while listening to the party line before playing a game of checkers. Keep it simple Mousketeeers...we don't all need soooo much elaborate stimuli! OK...done with my rant. Thanks Major for a couple of good ones!

Stu29573 said...

When you said a "cursing well" I thought you meant they would just change the background sounds to something a bit more...salty. Actually, I like your idea better.
I remember that in the old Moonliner attraction, when you went to the dark side of the moon you found an abandoned civilization. Apparently Ward Kimble insisted on putting it in (he was a pretty avid sci-fi and UFO enthusiast) although there was a bit of pushback from the science advisers. Ward (with Walt's backing) won.

Melissa said...

You would think Disney could come up with some animatronic swans for the moat! No bad temper, no bird poop. Total failure on WDI's part.

I can still remember some of the songs that played on the sound system of the department store I worked in 20-odd years ago, note for note. There was this one jazz arrangement of "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" that's particularly stuck in there. IIRC, the empty store is where I went to get my COVID vaccine, and the moment I walked in I could hear the music in my head.

Look at those nice, well-behaved guests in the streetcar. Not a single hand or foot outside the vehicle. And it I ever have a house with a yard, a cursing well is the first thing going in. I'll charge a dime a curse and make a fortune. At first I thought the woman to the far right of the well was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Mr. Spock, until I zoomed in and saw it was just her kid's head.

JC Shannon said...

"Tranquility Base, the Eagle has landed." "Hey Neil, over by that crater, is that a streetcar?" "I do believe it is Buzz, looks like Walt beat us here." "Can I borrow ten cents?" Actual conversation from the LEM. I swear. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

Melissa, they actually did try using mechanical swans in the moat.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
I wonder if the 'music service' was provided by Seeburg-? (Yes, the same Seeburg of juke box fame). They provided custom records [and players] from 1959 thru 1986]. From the many, many songs I've heard, I would say their arrangements were always 'a cut above' those provided thru Muzak - which often bordered on lunacy - unless one was in the mood for satire. I have a number of 'cuts' from their library [Seeburg] as a part of my iTunes library, which are are quite frankly, very enjoyable. Maybe ...Beautiful Mornin' was theirs-?

Coming as no shock to you, there's a site which not only has the history of the Seeburg 1000, but also a number of their musical selections packaged on CD's for your dining and dancing pleasure. HERE's a link to sample cuts from their "In the Broadway Mood" CD. (Unfortunately, "Mornin' " is not included). Go 'cut a rug'-!

Anonymous said...

Major, It might be that a Cursing Well is not really necessary, just make the customary donation to the Wishing Well and wish a dire result instead of a beneficial one.

I've never really done that, always made good wishes, but it seems that the Genie's Law of Wish Polarity and Maui's Law of Conservation of Mana would hold true for the casting of wishes of either type.

Lets try it sometime, wish for a change in the color sense of the people selecting paint schemes for the Castle and Main Street.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Goat..

That long hair restriction was indeed relaxed...and then came August 6, 1970. Gee, that's 51 years ago tomorrow. Yippie Day. Thanks for the reminder. Now I need to sit on the porch with my lemonade and reminisce...much like I do daily here! KS

Melissa said...

Nanook, thanks for that Seeburg link! I don't think it's what we had in the store, but the sound is familiar enough that I'm sure I've heard it somewhere "in the wild."

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, what's "beer can swan"??
And, I see 4. Maybe 5?
$6,000!!!!!  I bet Major is dying to comment on that...

Zach, I was going to suggest you use: kittycorner
but then I realized it's supposed to be hyphenated.
You'd beat me at Scrabble.

Grant & DrGoat, what constituted "long hair"?  Hair touching the shoulder??

Chuck, your mechanical swans aren't there.  Maybe it's my computer?

DrGoat, that's a sweet story about your folks.

Ken M.:  I bet you still hear those sounds in your sleep, now!

Melissa (and all):  Have you seen (and heard) this music video?
Speaking of repetitive, listen to the first minute: CLICK HERE!

Bu, did you give Major your "old-tyme" picture to post here?
I heard the Market House party line on I tried to link the party line here, but couldn't. I love that web site (thanks to Andrew--who I believe was the one who mentioned it here, a few weeks back).

Thanks, all - FUN post! Missed you, today, Major!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Is it just my phone, or are my last comments all spaced out wacky on anyone else’s phone?? Hmmm

Melissa said...

I couldn’t see the mechanical swans either. Then again, I also don’t see hobgoblins so maybe I just need to drink more.

Yeah, Sue, there is some weird spacing going on on my phone, too.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, let’s meet at Trader Sam’s!

Chuck said...

Melissa & Sue, I had a similar experience moving to a different computer. Sorry about that - not sure why it failed.

Mechanical swans in the moat, Take 2.

Melissa said...

NOW I see the mechanical swans! *hic* And the peanut butter elephants!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Hahahahaha! Chuck, come join us! Trader Sam’s is open to midnight . . . we’ll save seats!

Melissa said...

And from the Department of Weird Stuff I Found on the Internet, I'm nearly 100% sure this is the recording I remember:

This youtube video says "recorded in 2010" but further research shows that it was actually recorded in 1995, which fits in with the time period in which it was a part of my everyday life. (Maybe it was reissued in 2010? Who the heck knows.)

If this isn't the actual recording we had on our sound system, then the one we had was a knockoff of this arrangement. Even all the scat syllables and the jazz flute solo with the flutter tongue are the same.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
That arrangement is a bit too "cool" for background music, me thinks, but it definitely shines.


Stu29573 said...

I figured that's what you mesnt, lol!

"Lou and Sue" said...

I’m having flashbacks of ‘Windy’!

JG said...

Sue, you are right, I see at least four trash cans. Easier to zoom on my iPad.

Beer can chicken =

Dr. Goat, that is a great story. I’m not the only one sentimental about Snow White Grotto.