Sunday, October 31, 2021

Grade School Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I realize that I have not done much to celebrate the spookiest time of the year, and probably even have some vintage slides - somewhere. But I was too lazy to try to find them. However, I do happen to own a fun 8 X 10 class photo of a bunch of kids dressed in costume. Sadly, I have no date or location.

Well, there they are, in all their squirming glory. If I had to hazard a guess for a date, I'd say "sometime in the 1950s", but for all I know it could be older than that. I'm a little surprised that there isn't at least one paper skeleton, black cat or Jack-o-lantern in sight. Every kid's costume is unique, and there are definitely some store-bought elements, I think a lot of hard work from a lot of mothers went into each outfit.

Thanks to somebody carefully listing the names of all the students on the back, I can tell you "who's who"! In the front row, Joanne Manno (#13), Patty Hollings (#14), Cassandra Noreia (#15), and Margaret Swales (#16). 

The girl in the cowboy outfit is Regina Maddalone (#20), the majorette is Linda Liessler (#21), the boy in the pirate hat is Michael Woods (#23), and the weisenheimer with the apple is Frank Amato (#24). 


EXTRA! EXTRA! GDB friend Sue B sent me more photos from one of Lou Perry's office parties - this time a Halloween party, naturally. They are the perfect thing to fill out today's post.

Hmmm, I guess this nice lady is supposed to be a bunch of grapes?! That's a new one on me! Still, the leafy hat looks surprisingly fashionable. It will be the next big thing in Milan.

There's a gal after my heart, dressed as a girl mouse, and wearing her official Mickey Mouse ear-hat! Not sure if she's supposed to be Minnie Mouse, but I am too distracted by the thought of having some hot dogs. With mustard and relish, and maybe some finely-chopped onions.

Whatever is going on with these three, I don't need to know. As long as everyone is happy, am I right? The girl with the Groucho glasses has no idea that she's being pranked. OR DOES SHE? The guy to the right actually dresses like that every day. "Today is Halloween? Neato!".

I'm guessing that this smiling lady is dressed as a scarecrow. She made the costume herself! If you're extra nice to her, she may just give you a few feet of Alcoa film, no questions asked.


Saturday, October 30, 2021

New York World's Fair

I am in the mood to go to the New York World's Fair. Who's with me? There are many reasons to want a time machine, but being able to experience that Fair is way up there for me.

First up, here's a young girl enjoying the carousel (built in 1898) in the Belgian Village. The horses seem to be all-white, just like at Disneyland. Ya gotta love a carousel.

Here's a pretty nice shot of the AMF Monorail as it zoomed 40 feet over guest's heads. On the World's Fair monorail, built by American Machine & Foundry Company, trains ride below the track, suspended from overhead power units with rubber tires. The route is a loop 4,000 feet long, with three trains traveling in one direction while four others travel in the opposite direction on a parallel track.

Next is the Tower of Light. The building, rising in a forest of aluminum-faced prisms, is sponsored by 150 investor-owned electric utility companies. Visitors see the 15-minute show from swivel seats on a giant turntable. It looks like this was taken late in the day, it's too bad they didn't wait until a bit later when "the world's most powerful searchlight beam" (12 billion candlepower!) shot into the sky.

We've seen the wonderful Eastman Kodak pavilion many times before, but I always get a kick out of those  giant (30' X 36') photo prints that were changed out every four weeks. 

Oh boy, Space Park! The dramatic vehicles that are carrying the United States into the space age are displayed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense in the area surrounding the Hall of Science. On display are a Project Mercury spacecraft which has orbited the earth, a Gemini two-man spacecraft, a model of the Apollo which will carry three astronauts into lunar orbit, a lunar excursion vehicle in which men will land on the moon, the lower portion of the Saturn V moon rocket, and a full-scale X-15 rocket-powered research airplane. 

And finally, a detail of the 120 foot-tall Tower of the Four Winds, at UNICEF/Pepsi pavilion, where you could ride the very first iteration of "it's a small world". Rolly Crump apparently "hated" the way it turned out (due to the fact that many of the supporting elements were made much thicker to withstand winds), but it looks great to me.

General Electric's "Progressland" can be seen (that white dome) in the distance.

I hope you have enjoyed to visit to the New York World's Fair!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Rare Night Scenes, 1958

I've noticed something weird about the night. It gets really dark! When did this happen? Why wasn't I alerted? Anyway, one of the problems with darkness is that it makes picture-taking a challenge. But one man was up to that challenge - Lou Perry! When his daughter Sue B. sent these to me, I was pretty excited to see them. Night photos from 1958, for gosh sakes. 

First up is this picture of Great Moments With Mr. Toad. It looks a little spooky at night, but then again, the ride itself is a little spooky. Just weird, man! A toad, driving a car? While doing his best to heal a nation torn asunder by civil war? Well I never. I wonder if there really were very few people about (there's two sitting at the counter of "Fan 2" in the distance) or if they were just rendered invisible by the long exposure? The highlight (for me) is seeing the wonderful mural, with Toad and his cohorts posing jubilantly, and vignettes of his car as it broke through fences and bales of hay, eventually winding up in HELL

Next is this photo of the "Peter Pan Goes Bananas" attraction, practically next-door to Toady. I've always loved the simple-but-genius idea of having the little pirate ship vehicles suspended from an overhead monorail, enhancing the illusion of flight over Rio de Janeiro and around Corcovado mountain. I also love the song, "You Can Fly, Cha Cha Cha!".   

This last one turned out to be largely black, with almost abstract points and globes of light, with only Main Street Station being identifiable. As if it was all floating in the vastness of space! Looks like Lou was standing at the Plaza, more or less. I still love this photo like it was my own child.

 THANK YOU to Lou and Sue!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Frontierland at Dusk, April 1959

Disneyland by day is wonderful, but (as everyone knows), the park becomes a whole different experience once the sun goes down. Today I have two photos from Frontierland, taken when the sun had dipped below the horizon, but there was still some afterglow in the sky. 

The burning settler's cabin is 300% more impressive in this photo, with the bright flames lighting up the immediate surroundings - including the sad sight of the settler's dead body sprawled in front. The Matterhorn is mostly obscured behind the trees of Tom Sawyer Island, which is a shame, since it was still under construction in April of 1959. 

I love this beautiful shot of the Friendly Indian Village, with two fires providing the only sources of illumination. I wonder if more light (perhaps a few torches) was added as it got darker? You'd think that a lot of details would get lost. The boy and his dog are regarding our passing steamboat with curiosity, as usual.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

1989 Souvenir Guidebook! Part 5

Today I am presenting the final installment of JG's scans from his 1989 souvenir guidebook! It's been lots of fun to "flip through the pages", just like I have done so many times with other guidebooks.

Disneyland after dark? Yes, please! Anyone who has been to the park after the sun has set is aware of the special beauty that occurs when all of the lights are turned on.

Many people have fond memories of rocking out at Videopolis, where they could see their favorite pop, rock, and new-wave bands. It's too bad they don't have a venue like that anymore. Seeing the Mark Twain lit up was always one of my favorite sights, in the years before "Fantasmic!" (which debuted in 1992).

It occurs to me that (as far as I can recall), I have only been on King Arthur's Carrousel at night! I recommend it. 

Nightly fireworks were always a highlight - it appears that they are being phased out for various reasons, but I will always remember the wonder of those pyrotechnic displays.

Disneyland is great and everything, but have you ever thought about going to Florida, to Walt Disney World? It's the bee's knees. 

EPCOT Center was a mere seven years old, a whole new kind of Disney park experience. I still remember avidly reading everything I could about EPCOT, hoping that I would get to go there someday. It still hasn't happened. This page features The Timekeeper and his purple dragon, Figment - they've come and gone over the years, at this point I'm unclear as to whether you would see them during your visit. There's also a scene from the "World of Motion", an elaborate attraction that closed in 1996. 

Disney MGM Studios always seemed like an oddball park to me (based on what little I knew, admittedly). There was "The Great Movie Ride" (closed in 2017), a studio tour ("Here's where we tape 'Golden Girls'"!), some live shows (stunt shows and the like), and "The Magic of Disney Animation". It definitely felt like a "half-day park".

What in the world is that scene with the skeletons in Egyptian garb? Is Elmer McCurdy there? 

I've talked to people who say that it isn't even worth going to Walt Disney World if you don't have at least a week to explore. Sure, you could stay "off property", but that would make you a schnook! You're not a schnook, are you? Spend that hard-earned cash and stay at the Grand Floridian Beach Resort! I like beaches with alligators and brain-eating amoebas. Enjoy a round of golf, ride horses, cruise on a sailboat... it's all there!

There's the now-extinct Pleasure Island (closed in 2008), "Typhoon Lagoon" (a water park), the Contemporary Hotel and Resort, and... well, I don't know what those toylike red-roofed structures are. Kind of ugly, but that's just me.

You can't have a souvenir guidebook without a plug for the Disneyland Hotel! This was before the hotel's big 1999 changes. I've said it before, but I always wanted to stay here when I was a kid.

Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney park outside of the USA, having opened in 1983 to rave reviews. The Oriental Land Company spared no expense to make this park lavish and beautiful, out-doing the American parks. Tokyo DisneySea (not mentioned here) opened in 2001.

Well, that about does it, except for the back cover! I hope you enjoyed this blast to the past. MANY thanks again to JG for taking the time to scan this guidebook and for sharing it with us!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Two Randos!

Today I have two randos, aka "leftuggies" for you. And who doesn't like a nice leftuggie once in a while? Revenge is a dish best served cold, and some would say, "Pizza as well".

We'll begin with this December, 1977 view from the Monorail platform, as "Old Blue" comes scootin' in from outer space or wherever the heck it goes. It looks so tiny! Have any of you noticed that things look smaller when they're far away? I might be the first, in which case you can call it "The Pepperidge Effect" (with the sound of kettledrums as you say it). We need to decide whether we want to wait a little longer in order to sit in the nosecone, or just board like a schlub and take our chances. 

Two completely empty PeopleMover trains leave me wondering why more guests aren't riding that attraction. Notice that two servicemen are admiring one of Disneyland's nuclear (pronounced "new-kew-lar") subs as it skates by (get it?).

Next, from November 1970, is this photo of a trio hanging out in New Orleans Square. "You know what? It feels good to be on Royal Street!", the lady says to her friend. She's about to issue some decrees, and wishes she had a little tiara. Just behind them is the Creole Cafe, where they probably just enjoyed food that one might encounter in The Crescent City. Those street lamps became a sort of symbol for all of NOS itself, as you might see on matchbooks and other paraphernalia. This photo allows us to appreciate the beautiful cast iron ornamentation. Whoever lives in that upstairs apartment sure likes potted plants.

Monday, October 25, 2021

A Haunted Mansion Assortment

I don't have a much Halloween-related stuff handy for you this year. Luckily, the Dream Team (Irene, Bruce, and James) too some photos inside the Haunted Mansion. Yes, they used a flash, and that meant that hitchhiking ghosts followed them home, but at least we got some rad pictures.

First up is one of those cool mummified arm candleholders (torch holder?). The idea recalls Jean Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast", the wonderful 1946 fantasy film. I'm unclear about what part of the ride you'd see this particular torch is seen, but the crypt opening (?) seems to have tree roots poking through from above.

Here's a scene from Beauty and the Beast.

Somebody was a fan of "Little Leota", the mournful (and tiny!) woman who encourages you to "Hurry baaaack!" as you are exiting the ride. As a kid this was one of my favorite things, and the wind rustling her clothing added a subtle detail that sold it.

At some point, I wondered if she was really supposed to be 18 inches tall, or if we were supposed to think that she was far away. But the fact that the bricks behind her are 1/1 scale pretty much answers that.

Of course the flash washed out the projected face of Leota Toombs (also the face of Madam Leota), revealing the featureless doll that was used. But the photos are still interesting!

And here's a shot of the exit sign as guests emerged from the crypt. I don't see many photos of this feature, and the little ghosties remind me of some of the concept art that I've seen from the Mansion.

MANY THANKS to the Dream Team!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Random Scans

I have a trio of photos for you on this October Sunday. Please pick your favorite and write a 3,000 word essay about how it changed your life.

From January, 1969 we get this pretty nice photo of Cinderella Castle in Storybook Land. If you want to keep the riff-raff away, build your castle on a rocky peak. Everyone knows that. That bridge was an architectural miracle at the time, with its Romanesque arches. It was in all the papers. Of course, my favorite thing to do with photos like this one is to try to see the miniature pumpkin coach as it headed up (or is it down?) the circuitous path.

There is nothing wrong with this December, 1977 photo of the Matterhorn and the Sub Lagoon, other than the fact that we've seen scores of images just like it. I believe I see a faint outline of Fudgie the Whale below that red Skyway gondola - that adds 17 points to the photo's final score. Mark it in your journals.

Somebody tried to capture a night shot of the Crystal Arcade on Main Street, and it was only semi-successful. You sure can see that sign, at least. The rest... not so much. It's scandalous that one of the popcorn bulbs has burned out on the smallest arch; having an actual photo of it enabled me to sell this photo to the National Enquirer for $50,000.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Vintage People

Hey hey! It's time for some Vintage People!

Here's a group of six li'l squirts sitting around a birthday cake (there's five candles burning, but who is the birthday boy or girl?), waiting for their slice of deliciousness. Everyone has a plastic tumbler, presumably full of whole milk (none of that 2% swill!) for strong teeth and bones. The kitchen colors are interesting - yellow ochre and gray-green. Sort of pleasant in a "hard-boiled egg" sort of way. 

Is that a sprouting potato in the jar on the windowsill?

Next, from 1956, in Somewheresville U.S.A. is this cute brother and sister. Perhaps this was a portrait  intended for grandma and grandpa. Big sis likes her brother, even though he can be a real baby sometimes. Apparently he is just back from a few months at sea.  Sis's dolly has a mane of glorious, lifelike curls. Not molded plastic like some lesser dolls. 

I sure love this one, from January, 1972. That young lady is about as groovy as possible. Her afro is perfect, and what is there to say about that fringe on her outfit, other than that it is magnificent? It's sort of half disco, half country. "Don't you have anything with longer fringe?", she asked at the store. "No, I'm sorry ma'am, it's 1972 and there is a worldwide fringe crisis". She was disappointed, but understood. 

I hope you have enjoyed today's Vintage People.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Adventure Thru Inner Space, August 1970

Both of today's photos are a bit dark, but I am always happy to be able to share any rare images that feature Adventure Thru Inner Space! Both of these photos were given to me (to keep!) by my friend, Mr. X, which is pretty darn nice.

So, here we are, in the winding queue (located where the queue for "Star Tours" is today). I always loved that lit graphic of the snowflake on that wall, indicating that our ultimate goal was to enter the inner space of a snowflake, and water molecules. You'll just have to imagine hearing some technical chatter and ominous music, which helped to build a bit of tension. And of course you have the endless line of blue Atomobiles entering the Mighty Microscope, where guests will be shrinkified!

You can see that the PeopleMover passed through this part of the ride, giving guests a sneak peek. Such a brilliant idea!

Come to think of it, you don't have to imagine what the attraction was like - years ago, an enterprising person (who's name I have unfortunately forgotten) did an amazing job of recreating ATIS using 3-D computer graphics. It's pretty incredible! I actually purchased a DVD from the creator, back before everything was readily available on YouTube. What great memories it evokes.

EXTRA! EXTRA! The Mysterious Benefactor sent me a flickr link to a contemporary photo that matches  the second photo from yesterday's post, maybe you'll want to check it out! Thanks, MB.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Tomorrowland at Dusk, 1980s

I am generally of the opinion that the older a Disneyland photo is, the better. But there are certainly many exceptions to that rule - mere age is not a guarantee of quality or significance. Like today's examples, for instance! They are from the 1980s (undated, but that is my best guess), but because the photos were taken at dusk, we are given the opportunity to see some really lovely views of Tomorrowland.

Feast your eyes on this one, my homies! We've got the Rocket Jets flying high, with their atomic-powered headlights searching for meteors or UFOs or errant space junk. The Matterhorn somehow looks even more realistic in this light, framed by a couple of palm trees (just like in Switzerland!). Lower down are signs for the PeopleMover, and even a glimpse of one of the Mary Blair murals. 

Whee-doggies! Here's another beauty. I've said it before, but it's always a little shocking to see Space Mountain when I've looked at so many photos from before that existed. You are all as aware of the other features as I am (probably more so), so I'll just shut up and let you enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

1989 Souvenir Guidebook! Part 4

It's time for PART 4 of a series of posts featuring scans from a 1989 souvenir guidebook, thanks to our friend JG!

We're continuing our look at Tomorrowland, with the old Star Trader store, Space Mountain (pre-"New Tomorrowland"), and the Mary Blair mural. I'd like to know who rides Space Mountain snuggled up to their sweetheart like those two weirdos? 

Ah, the classic Rocket Jets, soaring high above everything (as rockets will do). I'd love to know who looked at this attraction and declared, "This needs to go".

Captain EO! This is a show that I never experienced. While I acknowledge that Michael Jackson was incredibly talented, I wasn't interested in this "4D" show. I finally watched the film on YouTube, and it's pretty rough - hard to believe that at the time, it was the most expensive film (per minute) ever made, because it looks cheesy as heck. And the story... hoo boy.

Star Tours had been around for a mere two years by 1989, but it was a smash from the very beginning. It was probably the first motion simulator attraction that most people experienced - little did we know that it would be a sign of things to come! Universal Studios Hollywood has so many motion simulator rides that one grows numb to the limited effects.

And now on to Fantasyland! The "old Fantasyland" was long gone. I'm happy that we still have all of the dark rides that are so essential (in my opinion) to the Fantasyland experience, even though many of them have been updated and changed, with mixed results.

Say, what are those funny things up in the air? They look like Igloo coolers for people. Storybook Land and Mr. Toad (and Merlin's Magic Shop) are still going strong.

Most of the things on this page are still with us, too; the Abominable Snowman has been updated, and the Subs have been taken over by Nemo and friends.

That's a nice view of Dumbo's Flying Elephants (taken from the Skyway?). There's one of those giant lollipops that I always kind of wanted, but know that it would have become a burden after about half an hour. "It's a Small World" had more blue on the facade than it used to, but this was before the multicolored pastel look.

More Fantasyland goodness!


And finally (for today), a very pretty look at the "New Fantasyland" - it's big and impressive, and the level of detail is amazing. If it wasn't for the Matterhorn, I might have thought, "That's not Disneyland!".

There will be one more installment coming, one week from today! MANY thanks to JG for sharing his scans!