Thursday, September 30, 2021

Fantasyland, September 1983

It's time for more gems from Lou and Sue - photos from the camera of Lou Perry, scanned and shared with us thanks to his daughter, Sue B. All of today's pictures are from Fantasyland, circa September, 1983!

A pretty blond hostess knows her Storybook Land spiel so well that she only needs 1/8 of her brain to recite it. In the meantime she is examining her nails as the canal boat passes through Monstro's gaping mouth. "I should have listened to Madge and soaked my nails in Palmolive dishwashing liquid!", she thinks to herself. Notice the authentic old European fire extinguisher, mostly used to shush talkative guests.

Look took a look back the other direction, where two boats were unloading, and a third waited its turn. I suppose this backup could have been a regular problem on busy days? 

The remaining four photos feature the Mad Tea Party attraction, and it's easy to see why, with so much color and swirling movement. I am only just noticing that the Monstro (in the background to our right) appears to be the old original whale, and not the smoother, bluer version. Does anybody know when he was changed?

The "New Fantasyland" added some splendid details, like the ride operator's booth, that looked very much like the art style from "Alice in Wonderland". And I really love the strings of "paper lanterns", those would look good strung above a backyard patio/swimming pool.

Gramps is on his Amigo scooter, he seems to be looking toward that teacup with the two boys (one waving). Lots of people are awaiting their turn to ride. Looking in the distance, I see some "medieval faire" type structures, reminiscent of the style from the "Old Fantasyland", though I'm not entirely sure what they are.

Grandma and granddaughter look on - I wonder if the little girl did not care for spinning rides? A lot of people avoid this attraction like the plague for fear of motion sickness. 

 THANK YOU, Lou and Sue! There are more photos to come from them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

1989 Souvenir Guidebook! Part 1

Today is PART ONE of a series of five posts featuring scans of every page of a 1989 Pictorial Souvenir Guidebook. "1989? Wasn't that just a few years ago?". Why, no, Timmy! It was over 30 years ago. (Math is my thing, as you know). And a surprising amount of stuff has changed in that time. Oh, did I mention that this guidebook was scanned by GDB friend JG? I can't imagine how much time it took to scan 52 pages (including the front and back covers)... probably at least two hours. So THANKS, JG! 

Let's start with the cover - a star field (plenty of luminous spheroids of plasma to wish on), with a photo of THE CASTLE, with some of our favorite characters.

"Disneyland will never be completed". Oh Walt, why did you have to say that? You should have said, "Disneyland is complete, and if anybody touches a thing, especially Nature's Wonderland, I'm gonna be mad". Rolly Crump shows up in the illustration, holding a doll that I believe is the likeness of Imagineer Joyce Carlson, while the Mary Blair doll is at his elbow. A nice tribute to three legends. 

Why was Disneyland built? Here's the story, told and retold until it might as well be carved in stone. Thank goodness he took his daughters to Griffith Park for "Daddy's Day", he might have taken them for chili cheeseburgers. And then: no Disneyland. (Maybe he would have wanted to create the perfect chili cheeseburger for families).

I don't know about you, but I've heard the audio of Walt's opening-day dedication speech so many times that I can't read the words without hearing his slightly-tinny voice in my head.

These were the days when the pre-"Nemo" Submarine Voyage was running, though the vessels had been painted a cheerful yellow. Fish are famous for ignoring school buses, allowing a better viewing experience for guests. 

Let's get into the individual lands, starting with Main Street, U.S.A. I've never eaten a pickle at Disneyland, and realize that my life is but a hollow mockery. Notice that guests could still see "silent-era cinema stars" at the Cinema, instead of endless loops of classic Mickey cartoons.

Here comes a Horse-drawn Streetcar! And a Horseless Carriage.

Everyone loves fuzzy Pluto (and he loves everyone). The rest of the scenes pictured are "classic Main Street".

The Market House was years from being turned into a Starbucks.  And (in the lower right) it appears that the Penny Arcade was still full of Mutoscope machines and other old-timey ways to spend your nickels.

That does it for Main Street, and for this first installment, but never fear! We'll move on to Adventureland next time. Thanks again to JG for sharing these scans!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Fantasyland and Pirate Ship, October 1962

I have two nice 1962 Fantasyland scans for you today, featuring an unsmiling (but probably very nice) lady who we've seen in earlier posts. 

I always love "classic Disneyland", even if the scenes are familiar, and what could be more familiar that the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship? It never fails to impress, with its completely believable level of detail. Sails: very unfurled! One even shades my favorite mermaid from the heat of the sun. 

Next our friend stands next to an ice cream vendor, and she's warming up her hands so that she can grab his shoulders and say, "BOO!". People love that. Notice the little sticks that prevented the ice cream cart from rolling away, careening out of control, and finally exploding! 

If that lady is smart, she will grab the cash box before the cart rolls away. That's what I (a criminal mastermind) would do.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Knott's Berry Farm, February 18, 1961

It's time for a few random photos from Knott's Berry Farm, in glamorous Buena Park, California. 

You can never go wrong with photos of one of the two Knott's Berry Farm steam locomotives - in this case it's old number 40 - the "Gold Nugget", formerly of the Denver and Rio Grande RR. It first went into service way back in 1882! While at Knott's it was later renumbered and renamed as #340, the "Green River", for reasons unclear to me.

It's not every day you get to see a caretaker hauling two dead bodies off in a wheelbarrow, but it's all in a day's work at Knott's. Look at how eroded the wood is on the side of that barrow, as if it has been worn by rough hands touching it for decades. To the right is Dr. Mal De Mer's Medicine Show.

Organ grinders and their monkey minions were popular at Disneyland and Knott's in the early years; here's a capuchin monkey relieving a young girl of her money, and also planting evidence that will get her thrown in Knott's jail.

Over on a rocky outcropping (now the location of the "Pony Express" roller coaster), a Native American family poses just like figures in the painting "Night Watch", which could be found over in the Music Hall. They are long-gone now, of course.

I have more Knott's photos, but I need to scan them!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Mr. Mouse on Main Street, 1980s

SUNDAY SNOOZERS! You know the drill. If you duct-tape a pillow to each side of your head, you will be OK should you suddenly fall asleep while viewing these photos.

Mickey Mouse entertains guests with his rich, operatic tenor, performing the Mèphistophélès serenade from Gounod's "Faust". You know it, you love it. Meanwhile, Davy Crockett leans on his rifle (Old Betsy), keeping his noggin warm with his coonskin cap, but quenching his thirst with a glass of cold possum blood. 

Bravissimo! Mickey is always glad to meet his fans, and lovers of the opera.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Parkland USA

I happened to have some scans of vintage slides from beautiful places around the U.S.A., so why not share them today?

First up is this pretty photo from the 1950s featuring the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. What's that charming little building? Why, it's the Chapel of the Transfiguration, which sits on a rise just within the southern entrance of Grand Teton National Park. A large window behind its altar frames the magnificent beauty of the Teton Mountain Range. It was built in 1925 and is still a functioning Episcopal church.

This next one is undated, but perhaps early '50s (or earlier?). It is labeled "Morning singalong", and shows the uniformed staff of the Bryce Canyon Lodge serenading new arrivals; I tried to find some history about this apparent tradition, but had no luck. I wonder what they are singing? "Yes, We Have No Bananas"?

Here's a second photo from the same lot. I wish the sky was bluer, but you can't have everything. Bryce Canyon Lodge can still be visited today, but I could never survive because their website clearly states that there are no televisions in the rooms. What about my stories?? For some history, Wikipedia says Bryce Canyon Lodge is a lodging facility in Bryce Canyon National Park... built between 1924 and 1925 using local materials. Designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, the lodge is an excellent example of National Park Service rustic design, and the only remaining completely original structure that Underwood designed for Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Speaking of Bryce Canyon National Park, there it is! More from Wikipedia: The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce Canyon National Park is much smaller, and sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to these National Parks!

EXTRA! EXTRA! Here's another photo of a Hoodoo:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Disneyland Turnstiles, 1956

I have a small group of slides from 1956, with the word "Jaycees" written on them. Who (or what) are the Jaycees? Wikipedia sez: The United States Junior Chamber, also known as the Jaycees, JCs or JCI USA, is a leadership training and civic organization for people between the ages of 18 and 40. It is a branch of Junior Chamber International (JCI). Areas of emphasis are business development, management skills, individual training, community service, and international connections.

Most of the people in these photos are considerably older than 40, but that's OK! This first slide shows the entry gates/turnstiles, through which guests passed, turning their world from drab and dull to colorful and glorious! Sort of like that scene in "The Wizard of Oz". 

One interesting detail is the presence of the large frames that would eventually hold those wonderful silkscreened attraction posters (about 26 to 28 of them, I estimate) that we all know and love. But for now there is nothing but a plywood backing.

We first saw such a thing in one of Lou and Sue's amazing photos from June of 1956. In that photo, the glass on some of the frames has some sort of graphic applied, though I can't quite determine what it is.

Next we see some of the Jaycees group aboard a Surrey (the less-seen brown Surrey). Look at how empty Town Square is! It appears to have been freshly-scrubbed. The gentleman at the reins might be laughing behind his hand, or coughing, or beat-boxing, or possibly speaking into a hand-held microphone ("Who wants to hear my Eddie Cantor impression?"). Something tells me that the man with the cool cowboy hat said something very funny, judging by the smiles on the other guest's faces. I love this picture!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

From the Moondeck, 1964

If you happened to visit the Eastman Kodak pavilion during your trip to the 1964 New York World's Fair, you would probably make your way up to the undulating, slightly-surreal "Moondeck" for some wonderful views of the rest of the Fair. There were even raised platforms on the Moondeck so that you could take better pictures.  

This is what happened for one photographer, who took no less than six precious film frames while breathing moon air. Was it worth it? You be the judge.

We'll start out with kind of a whimper, there's not much to see when facing south except for the mundane "First National City Bank" and a tiny bit of the Belgian Village. Beyond the Monorail track was the Amusement Zone.

Next they faced west along the Avenue of Africa, with that nutty Unisphere towering in the distance. Can a sphere "tower"? I guess so! to the right of the Unisphere is an egg-shaped dome from the Sudan pavilion; to the right of the globe we can just see the "bones" of the Ford "Magic Skyway" pavilion, the blue cone from the Sierra Leone pavilion, and the curved wood of the American-Israel pavilion.

Pivoting a little bit left, there's one of the "moonberries" inflatable insect-filled egg pods that loomed above Brass Rail eateries. And we see the familiar New York pavilion with its two observation towers, while the General Motors "Futurama" building can be seen beyond that. The grassy area nearest to us is the Garden of Meditation.

Continuing to turn to the left, we see more of the Belgian Village, the largest pavilion at the Fair. That curved "tent" slightly to the right is the roof of the Vatican pavilion.

I had to try to do a photomerge of the previous two photos. The results are... interesting?

Our photographer walked along the Moondeck and got this north-facing shot with another moonberry (my word, which must become canon), with the Johnson's Wax arched roof beyond. The Austrian pavilion's wooden A-frames are near the center, with Shea Stadium way in the distance, and the Solar Fountain spraying impressively to the left. Nearest to us is the Pan American Highway Gardens, where guests could drive little cars. 

Once again we are facing due west, with the "Sermons From Science" building to the left, and the Japan pavilion to the extreme right.

I hope you have enjoyed your time on the breezy Moondeck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

More Stuff From the Box

It's time for more Stuff From the Box! I'm going to have to switch to a different box pretty soon - I've already photographed another 50 or 60 items. But for now, we're near the end of box #2. 

Let's start with this fun "Kool-Aid Treasure Hunt" premium ring, from 1940. The mysterious symbols were "...used by pirates to point the way to hidden treasure", while the bronze insert was supposed to be a replica of an old pirate coin. Until doing research for this post, I had no idea that this ring was over 70 years old!

Here are the sides of the ring, for those of you who needed to see them (K. Martinez!). 

Here's an amusing, large pinback button encouraging us to VOTE FOR IKE. His opponent for the 1952 Presidential race, Adlai Stevenson, had been photographed with his legs crossed, exposing a large hole in the sole of one shoe. It became a meme, 1950s-style. Stevenson responded with as much good humor and grace as he could, but it was just too rich for the Eisenhower campaign to ignore.

In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states (respectively). Jay Ward was the creator of "Rocky and His Friends" (1959-1961) and "The Bullwinkle Show" (1961-1964); I'll let Wikipedia tell the story, since it does such a good job: In 1962, as a publicity stunt, Ward leased a small island on a lake between Minnesota and Canada, which he named after "Moosylvania" (shown in the later Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons). In a campaign to make the island into the 52nd state, he and Bill Scott (Ward's head writer) drove a van across the country to about 50–60 cities collecting petition signatures. Arriving in Washington, D.C., they pulled up to the White House gate to see President Kennedy, and were brusquely turned away. They then learned that the evening that they had arrived was during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is why we only have 51 states today.

Here's a rare decal from that same failed campaign for Moosylvania Statehood.

Next is this 1936 ring from Ovaltine, telling all of your in-the-know friends that you were a member of Radio Orphan Annie's SECRET SOCIETY! It seems unlikely that this ring would have real silver in the metal, but these do tend to tarnish.

Speaking of Orphan Annie, here is a porcelain bisque figurine of her faithful dog, Sandy. ARF! This is from a set  of bisque figures made in Germany; I think I have the Annie figure somewhere, but I don't have Daddy Warbucks, or Joe Corntassel, or Punjab. Sadly.

And finally, here's a 1937 Tom Mix "Straight Shooter" badge, released as a premium prize by Ralston cereals. It looks like Tom's horse Tony is doing a polite bow, which shows how smart and civilized he is. There's a silver-toned version of this medal too, and I believe that Ralston released at least two different designs for other years.

I hope you have enjoyed this STUFF FROM THE BOX!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

All Aboard the Columbia, 1978

It's time for yet more Frontierland slide scans from the Mysterious Benefactor! As is the case in many of these, they are from 1978, and we are right in the thick of the flurry of photos featuring the Mark Twain and (today) the Columbia. 

All of these pictures show guests walking up the gangplank to board the genuine square-rigged Sailing Ship that had plied the Rivers of America for 20 years at that point. Nice muttonchops on that young father in the green shirt!

A cheerful cast member says, "Watch yer step, me hearties! Yo ho ho! Avast, ye swabs!" (etcetera). The weird thing is that he graduated from Yale. The clock on the green building says it's 5:15, that looks about right if it's summertime.

I wonder if any guest managed to fall off of the gangplank? And could wheelchairs go up that rather steep incline? 

Hey kid! Stop staring, it's rude! I'd give him a piece of my mind, but he might know karate.

I'm sure a lot of you guys out there are like me - you are just waiting for the first good opportunity to take off your shirt at Disneyland. I hate feeling all confined and uncomfortable. I need to be FREE! I don't envy that father carrying his diaper-clad child - presumably he had to leave the stroller ashore, which means that wheelchairs couldn't access the Columbia. But if the Mark Twain was operating, they could board that vessel, at least.

Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor!