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.


Nanook said...

Huh... and I was certain Mickey was conducting the Mitch Miller Singers. Thanks for the correction.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Not sure, but I'm petty sure Mickey sings in falsetto, not tenor. I guess he has a versatile voice.

Funny how Davy seems to be interested in almost everything (his gun, his hat, his possum blood)... except Mickey, who's standing right there.

Thanks for the snoo..... sorry, I dozed off there for a second. Thanks for the snoozers, Major. (Even though they aren't.)

Andrew said...

Unlike Mickey, the buildings are in focus, giving us a rare view at the interior of the Disneyland Showcase. Thanks, Major.

Stu29573 said...

By far the most interesting feature in today's group is Davy. Although his shirt is a bit problematic, the guy is actually wearing boots (although I'm not sure the original Davy did...still, you have to admire the effort). They are, in fact, scuffed, which means they have been worn a lot. This kid is the real deal!
The glass of American marsupial blood looks like a real glass, although I suspect that newfangled "plastic" might be involved.
Oh...and there's a mouse.


Andrew is right. Interior images of Disneyland Showcase are rare. In the vertical display case you can see a 1/2 inch to the foot model of the upper butte of Big Thunder Mountain .... it was put on display on that side AFTER Big Thunder had opened.... and was one part of a much larger “coming soon” Big Thunder display. The backside of the street facing display cases feature the famous Discovery Bay / Dumbo Circus model . To the right of the model along the wall was reproduced concept art and close up
Model views of Discovery Bay and Dumbo Circus ... that model was removed to feature a display on Tokyo Disneyland that also remained for several years AFTER the Tokyo Park opened. The Discovery Bay artwork was replaced with images of the newly opened EPCOT CENTER. There was a Video monitor across from the Tokyo Disneyland display that showed the same Epcot video shown at the Walt Disney Story. ( (this monitor then became a video for the upcoming Disney Channel) This image I speculate is 1981/1982. Sometime in 1982 the display cases featured a exhibit of New Fantasyland with reproduced panels showcase concept artwork and the Big Thunder butte model was removed. Eventually the New Fantasyland displays were replaced with a Captain EO display with production pictures and a model /diorama scene that was exactly like a Main Street Emporium window. These display cases then featured some Splash Mountain concept art and some maquettes. Then the whole interior was gutted and the display cases were removed and the quarter scale inch model of Splash Mountain went in as a updated display. The opposite side became a Disney Home Video display. After Splash Mountain opened Disneyland Showcase exhibit became the Disney Showcase shop - the shop was designed to feature merchandise from the most recent Disney films .... but I recall this shop to be the first to get overrun with plush toys .... something that spread like a virus in the 1990’s.

Bu said...

I always thought wearing heels at Disneyland could be a bit problematic, but it seems like Jr. is doing just fine. I'm not sure where that juice would be coming from...did Sunkist sell fruit punch? Don't remember. The American Egg House, had its moment in history. I liked eating at this location regardless of it's name. The menu didn't really change much regardless on who was sponsoring it. With all the leaves strewn about that red sidewalk I think Mickey might be screaming to a sweeper "I'M NOT MAD AT YOU I AM MAD AT THE DIRT!" Thanks for including the Preview Center. This is where I would hang at the end of the day when all my tickets were gone. I could spend hours in there. I thought it was a great marketing ploy as well- to get people to think about their next trip. Repeat business probably is better business than plush (in my opinion anyway) I don't understand the plush phenomenon. My dog however does, and can make a Mickey into roadkill in less than five minutes. As a bald man for the past 30 years of my life I do not understand the comb-over...but whatever makes you feel good. With all the talk of those Elm trees that haven't been axed yet...and how they were axed because you couldn't see the buildings...I can see the building just fine. I'm clearly still bitter after 40 years. I think Walt even said when questioned about his love for large trees and how the scale didn't make sense, he (allegedly) replied "trees have no scale."

JG said...

“Trees have no scale..” sounds like something an architect would say, and he’s right.

The Space Bar (?) in Tomorrowland used to have a cherry punch in a brittle clear plastic cup, I bet Davy nursed that drink all the back to the future.

Either that, or possum is the breakfast of champions.

Thanks Major, I’ll check back after yard work when I’m ready for a snooze.


Kathy! said...

Mickey, doing his best Grandpa Simpson impression: “There are too many leaves in your walkway.” I was concerned about Davy Crockett Jr. walking around with a glass but the consensus is it’s plastic. Did people accidentally (or on-purposely) take home cups you had to return? I accidentally took home a fork I got from the Plaza Pavilion when I bought a mini cake and brought it home to finish. I washed it and slipped it onto a dirty dish tray next time I went back. No life of crime for me. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, sadly, by the 1980s, the Mitch Miller Singers were but a beautiful memory. Just for the heck of it, I looked up Mitch on Wikipedia, he sure had an interesting life!

JG, not many people know that Mickey had a range of five octaves. Davy is unimpressed by a giant mouse, having kilt a bar and squeezed a possum for its blood (he also kept the possum’s pelt for underwear).

Andrew, I sure wish we could see what’s inside the Disneyland Showcase more clearly! Thanks for pointing that detail out.

Stu29573, Davy knew that stripes would dazzle and confuse mountain lions, bars, wolves, and poodles, giving him plenty of time to get the draw on them with Old Betsy. I think in the TV show, Davy wore some sort of soft boot or moccasin, but I haven’t seen those since I was a zygote. I expect that the “glass” is in fact plastic, just think how many thousands of those people threw away every day.

Mike Cozart, my brain could make the 1/2-inch scale Big Thunder model into just about anything. A castle? A Cinderella doll? Do you just remember the layout of that display from your own experience, or do you have some sort of reference? I’d also love to know if the model of Discovery Bay still exists (or Splash Mountain or the New Fantasyland). It would be nice if they still had displays of models, except that I realize that these days the use of physical models might be obsolete. They might create something like Galaxy’s Edge entirely in the computer, allowing it to be viewed from every angle. Shops full of plush toys is a sorry alternative.

Bu, I’m sure that the boy’s boot heels are more forgiving that the high heels that women have to endure. The Sunkist House did sell orange juice, as well as frozen lemon and orange juice bars. I’m sure they had more stuff too, but that’s all I know about for sure. The leaves on the ground make me think that it must have been a bit windy on that day, otherwise the sweepers would have been right on them. The thing about plush toys is that almost everyone knows a child… I used to give “stuffed animals” to my niece and nephew, until my sister begged me to stop because they had so many. I love big trees in theory, but at Disneyland, I also want to be able to see the signs, see the details, and see the castle at the end of the street. I’ve read that “Trees have no scale” quote from Walt, but he should have known better, there were instances of trying to have small trees for scale in the park (on the Matterhorn, for instance).

JG, maybe Walt meant that trees don’t have SCALES. I mean, they’re not fish, are they? Come on! Was the cherry punch the famous “Space Mist” or whatever that was called? Don’t do yard work, there’s interneting to do.

Kathy!, I always loved it when Grandpa Simpson wrote a letter to a magazine: “I am not a crank!”. Maybe I need to start using that line. I’d bet dollars to donuts that jillions of those plastic cups went into the trash - that was before most people thought about landfills piling up with stuff like that. Was the fork that you washed made of plastic?! You definitely went “above and beyond”!!

Nanook said...

@ Stu29573-
Davy's preferred footwear was actually Crocs™.

Chuck said...

Which is really weird, because by his own admission he was half alligator.

JC Shannon said...

Have you noticed the Mickster is always smiling and happy? Glad handing the comb over guy, and delighting all the guests with his charm and lack of fingers. A true icon of American cool. Thanks Major.



Physical miniature scale models are used at Imagineering still. I’d be outta business if they were not. Most big design companies still use them - they are one of the most valuable tools in the design phase - far more useful that trying to get contractors , investors architects all gathered around a laptop or worse ..... a Cel phone! Digital is fine for TV or a house rehab show , but a physical model people can observe Or study on their own as needed Is invaluable.

The Discovery Bay/Dumbo Circus model survives .... it had a re-appearance at Disneyland in the Disney Galley’s exhibit THE DISNEYLAND THAT NEVER WAS. It also was sent to Florida for a D23 convention and Discovery Bay presentation. Today it sits in a seating area outside Tony Baxter’s office upstairs in the WDI 1401 building In Glendale.

The DL Splash Mountain Model also survives and was recently on Display inside the Main Street opera house Lobby as party of The Disneyland Story.

The New Fantasyland 1983 models were never on permanent exhibit at Disneyland except for a press preview event at the start of construction. I’m not sure if any of those models survive .... they were not done in color and left in a combination of yellow carved foam , blueprint elevations mounted to strathmore and some plastic and metal pieces. There are hundreds of models in storage at WDI which it great , but sadly most will remain crated up and unseen by imagineers or guests.

Sections of Disneyland’s GALAXY EDGE are still on display inside STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY in Tomorrowland. The entire Galaxy’s Edge model was displayed at D23 to guests and featured a cycle of morning to day , to sunset , to night lighting.

For Shanghai Disneyland a 1/100th ( close to 1/87 - HO scale) physical model of the entire park was created in Glendale and a duplicate was built for display and use in China by imagineers for preview and construction aid.


That’s an odd thing for Walt to say about trees having no scale. In architectural illustration and model making we use trees , vehicles, people ( called “Entourage” and sometimes called “Street Furniture”) to help imply or establish scale. This would have been a commonly used effect in movie making and theme park design.

And Major is correct .... descending “scaled” trees have been used on The Matterhorn , Cascade Peak , and around StorybookLand to exaggerate or imply greater height or size.


Wasn’t Walt also quoted to have said “ I NEVER MET A MAN I DIDN’T LIKE.........EXCEPT WILL ROGERS”

JB said...

Major, JB here (not JG) ;-) I got an audible chuckle out of the possum underwear line. Weirdly disturbing images come to mind. It's been a while since you called me JG (hi, JG). Reminds me of those signs you see at workplaces: "[X] days with no accidents!"

Kathy!, I liked your fork story. Does the heart good to hear about decent human behavior these days (instead of the bad).

"Lou and Sue" said...

Today’s hits are Davy Crockett AND the comments!
Mickey Mouse? Not today.

Thanks, Major and all!

Melissa said...

Davy, Davy Crockett,
He ain’t no Mouseketeer!

”Not sure, but I'm petty sure Mickey sings in falsetto, not tenor.”

Reminds me of a Marx Brothers gag from Horse Featters:

Chico: You sing high, eh?
Thelma: Yes, I have a falsetto voice.
Chico: That’s funny; my last pupil had a falsetta teeth.

Bu, my Dad combed over to the bitter end.

I learned more about scale models today than I ever thought possible. And I’ll forget every bit of it by tomorrow. The only thing I remember from the scale model unit in my high school art class was painting chunks of sponge green to make shrubberies.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, doesn’t EVERYBODY prefer Crocs?

Chuck, half alligator, half bear, and half wolverine.

Jonathan, I’m just going to say is that Mickey’s eyes look a bit glazed, and his pupils are dilated. That is all.

Mike Cozart, I am very glad to know that Imagineering still uses physical models. I liken it to digital special effects versus practical effects - there is still something wonderful about the use of models and miniatures in movies. At least I think so. I’m sure you are right about a digital presentation winding up on somebody’s laptop or phone, but I could also imagine an advanced version being shown on a large video screen, maybe even in 3D. But I’d rather have the models! Thanks for the information on those models - I’m surprised that the New Fantasyland examples never went past the carved foam. I can’t help thinking of the warehouse at the end of “Indiana Jones” when imagining the WDI storage rooms. I would assume that 3D printing will become more and more useful for the construction of physical models, I used to do work for a prop house and they used that technology more and more. Thanks Mike!

Mike Cozart, as I said in my comment, there are definitely cases where trees do have scale. But I know what Walt meant! Remember how the trees around Cascade Peak got so large that it started to look like “Cascade Hill”?

Mike Cozart, did he really say that??

JB, one of my issues is that the “B” is right next to the “G” on the keyboard. It’s making things tougher for my fingers, which apparently have minds of their own! There’s literally two or three millimeters separating those keys.

Lou and Sue, Mickey’s great and all, but I’m usually not that excited to see photos of him. Nothing personal, Mickey.

Melissa, now you don’t have to work your fingers to the bone painting pieces of sponge, you can just go to Michaels and buy cute little sponge trees and bushes all ready to go. You should check out people who build miniature scenes on YouTube, Luke Towan is one guy I especially enjoy. He’s really great at it!

JB said...

Melissa, your song lyrics brought a smile to my lips.

About shrubberies: “One that looks nice... And not too expensive... With a path running down the middle." "Ni! Ni!"

Major, no worries. Maybe when I (soon?) start submitting slide scans for your approval my username will become more unique and memorable. Reminds me (IIRC) of when K. Martinez accidently typed "Chick" instead of "Chuck", then of course, Chuck returned the favor by giving us "J. Nartubez". Classic!

JG said...

I’m back, after an afternoon shoveling rock.

I agree with Mike. Architectural models are still used and very valuable. While 3D software means any kind of view or movie is a easy to crank out, modern production software will make a 3D view at a single click. But nothing beats a physical model for engaging people, especially non-architects. There’s something irresistible in the tiny little worlds.

I’ve overseen production of many models, all by Consultant model makers, especially for controversial projects, where they help sell the design. 3D is more used in design, and models in sales, in my world, but my work is not imagineering. I haven’t built a model myself since college, but they were required homework in several classes, I did many there.

I’ve mentioned before I think that unconscious memories of Story Book Land might have inspired me to be an architect, I’ve always loved those little worlds and wanted to walk through them. Still do.

JB! How you doing, man! Good to see you here. We should start wearing matching shirts. Someday I’ll tell you the story about why I go only by my initials. It’s less funny than you would think.

Major, the red punch was Space Mist! Awesome, thanks!

Not Possum Mist, not at all. I kind of like possums, they are mostly harmless and would not make good underwear. I hope I am never hungry enough to have to eat one. While I have heard of people who relish them, I have never met one.

These photos and a glass of wine will put me right to sleep, thank you.

Jay Gee.


MAJOR: lol!!!

No - no. Walt never said that about Will Rogers - I was kidding! It’s ACTUALLY a famous Will Rogers quote: “ IVE NEVER MET A MAN I DIDN’T LIKE”

Melissa said...

The night the possum came in the cat flap was the night the cat flap got nailed shut for good.

Chuck said...

Melissa, that sounds almost like a James Thurber story.