Wednesday, October 13, 2021

1989 Souvenir Guidebook! Part 3

You've already seen the first two installments on GDB, featuring scans of a 1989 souvenir guidebook (courtesy of JG)... here's PART 3! 

We're in Critter Country, which started out as "Bear County" in 1972 - it was renamed in 1989 when "Splash Mountain" debuted. On this page you've got Big Al in his "Vacation Hoedown" costume, as well as the Hungry Bear restaurant, the Mile Long Bar, and other familiar sights.

More "Country Bear Jamboree: Vacation Hoedown" goodness, with some bruins carrying backpacks and bedrolls, while Baby Oscar is dressed as a Cub Scout (get it?!). 

Splash Mountain was in the news not long ago because the ride will be undergoing some major theming changes, switching from the problematic "Song of the South" theme to a "Princess and the Frog" theme. I'll miss the old ride, I confess, and as much as I wanted to love "The Princess and the Frog", it just didn't click with me (though Tiana is a charming character). I'm not sure how they will factor a mountain and a flume drop into dead-flat Louisiana swamps, but... artistic license is OK.

More scenes from Splash Mountain. For the most part I wouldn't think that the "Zip-A-Dee-Lady" scene would really require much in the way of alteration, except for the song. We'll see!

On to New Orleans Square! One of the most beautiful "lands", considering its relatively small footprint. Perhaps that first shot is taken from a balcony outside of Club 33? I wouldn't know! The photo of Br'er Bear and a nice lady in the now off-limits Court of Angels is bittersweet.

There's the trio known as the Royal Street Bachelors - Jack McVea, Herb Gordy, and Harold Grant. They started performing in New Orleans Square back in 1966, and continued through to 1992.

"Pirates of the Caribbean" was a milestone in theme park design, with almost no expense spared. The genius of this ride still amazes folks more than 50 years later. Of course it is not immune to changes, I'm sure that folks reading this guidebook would never imagine that the famous Auctioneer figure would eventually be replaced.

"The Haunted Mansion" was another incredible achievement from the Imagineers. But you already know that!

Here are the first two pages of the "Tomorrowland" section - you'll see more in the next installment! Just look; the Peoplemover is still doing its thing (in the repainted white cars with colored stripes), the Rocket Jets are still rocketing, and the Skyway is still... er... skywaying. 

This is another case of imagining what it would be like to tell people in 1989 that those major attractions would close, and that the Submarines would be shuttered for nine years until it finally reopened with a different theme. They'd say you were koo-koo bananas! 

That's it for Part 3! Come back in a week for Part 4. Thanks again to JG for these scans!


Nanook said...

Once again, these images make one yearn for a time when Disneyland still looked like this - with the experience to go along with it.

Thanks, JG.

JB said...

I'm still amazed by the clarity of these images. Thanks JG and Major.

The Royal Street Bachelors played in Disneyland for 26 years?! Quite an accomplishment.

Not sure I care much for this version of the Monorail. Looks a little too 'duck like', going entirely from this one photo.

It's tempting to slip into the "they ruin everything" frame of mind. But hey, let's just enjoy these photos and daydream of what used to be.

- Jack-o-lantern Boogers

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I believe that aerial shot of New Orleans Square, was taken from the Disney Gallery's balcony....the same balcony with the initials of Walt and Roy worked into the ironwork.

The Auctioneer in POTC hasn't been replaced, unless you are talking about swapping him out for an upgraded audio-animatronic (just as Lincoln was). He's still there, but now he is auctioning off chickens, because that's what every pirate wants....a live chicken.

- Tokyo Morose!

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. I forgot to thank Major and JG!

Also, if they do change Splash Mountain to a "Tiana" theme, I just hope that they keep each and every one of the former "America Sings" animatronics in the ride! Hey, if none of them ever appeared in the "Song of the South" film, but they could be in a ride that was themed to film, then they can be in a ride themed to "The Princess and the Frog," too!

- Tokyo Morose!

Chuck said...

I think that’s an early lineup of Billy Hill & the Hillbillies. I’m pretty sure that’s Kirk Wall standing second from left and the fiddle player and the bassist look familiar.

The photo of the trio of SotS characters riding Splash Mountain makes me wonder how many times they rode through to get that shot…and how uncomfortable it might be to ride in costume, where you can’t see as well and have to be “in character” as you come out into sunlight for the final drop.

I agree with TM! About the location of that balcony shot. And that Court of Angels photo is bittersweet for a variety of reasons.

The recessed fountain and queue for POTC was just a couple of years old at this point. The photo angle mages the building look taller than it is.

I spent way too much time trying to figure out what that “burned out string of Christmas lights” was doing in the upper part of the graveyard scene of the HM (Is that the edge of a scrim? A tear? Why would they put that in a guidebook?) before I realized it was a crease in the page.

There’s no flagpole at he entrance to Tomorrowland. The northern half of “The Spirit of Creative Energies Among Children” is still visible and the submarine voyage hasn’t been afflicted with that unsightly growth into the lagoon.

The shot of Triton emerging from the falls shows up in many a guidebook and I think is a near-exact recreation of an earlier photo of a haze grey sub in the same position. A cool composition is a cool composition, and when Disneyland already consciously controls a myriad of variables for the best possible visual enjoyment of guests, photo clones are pretty easy to pull off.

Thanks again, JG & Major!


That interior shot of The Disney Gallery was done for a press photo. Taken in the sales room of the gallery, that female “guest” viewing a lithograph of Harper Goff’s Jungle Cruise Native Village concept was a New Orleans Square merchandise supervisor named Sandy .... I cannot remember her last name. The gentleman “guest” at the sales counter is Van Romans ... he was in charge of WDI art exhibits ..... a position created for EPCOT CENTER’s art exhibits in World Showcase. He helped make the Disney Gallery at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland possible. Both galleries Mission was to showcase artwork created for Disney’s theme parks only. Over time the Disney Gallery went from being operated as an attraction to a merchandise location and eventually all kinds of things went on display and sold. Van Romans also got WDI to sell ..... for a short time REAL WED/WDI art. There was obscure Imagineering concept sold like early Mary Blair Small World concepts , Marc Davis un used pirate and Jungle Cruise vignettes , Dorothea Redmond New Orleans Square exterior color study color pieces .... these were in the 3 to 4 thousand dollars range ... which seemed crazy expensive then ... today a Marc Davis pirate concept would sell in the 40k range! Some of the WDI original artwork that was sold for a short time were well known Images too like Clem Hall’s SPACE MOUNTAIN COMPLEX AT NITE - this image was used in all the press opening publications and along the attraction’s construction wall. A large painting it was priced at 17k , although I’m not sure if it ever sold or not. Eventually it was decided to NOT sell original WDI concept art and stick to lithographs.

When this guidebook came out The Disney Gallery featured two exhibits ... an updated version of the 1987 premiere exhibit THE ART OF DISNEYLAND and also THE DISNEYLAND THAT NEVER WAS.

Today when you see Imagineering art exhibits you are not seeing the original art but digital reproductions as color fading and damage was becoming an issue.

Melissa said...

Pretty pictures, lovely layout, and a creative copywriter with a lively love of alliteration. Colorful cast; rollicking revue; country, comedy, and corn; steepest, highest, scariest, wildest; Creole cuisine, bloodcurdling (or bloodthirsty) buccaneers; ghastly ghouls; guests gasp; ghostly guard; belong behind bars; teasing terrier; skeleton staff; sail in a submarine - and that's not even counting the alliterative/assonant names! I doff my derby to this winsome wordsmith.

Stefano said...

Major, Splash Mountain never clicked with me; aside from the layout looking too similar to the superior Knott's Log Ride, SM has the flaws of most post-Walt attractions: rushed, abrupt, jumbled continuity and discordant theming--what did logging have to do with "Song of the South"?

I last saw "Song of the South" in 1986 when it screened at LACMA as part of a summer-long salute to Disney animation; every evening was a sellout and Marc and Alice Davis attended many of the shows. The worst you could say of the film is that is naive in aspects, but certainly not racist in outlook. The film did not explain very well that it was taking place in the post-civil war era, and there are other quibbles, but no other Hollywood movie of the time had a black man as its hero, beloved by children because he respected them and their imaginations. The villains of the piece, who could be considered racist, are the starchy white mother trying to separate her son Johnny from Uncle Remus (she was roundly hissed by the audience), and the nasty white boys constantly picking fights and trouble.

The euphoric close of the film--Uncle Remus joining black and white children and the cartoon critters-- could be seen as a child's view of integration; again, somewhat naive, but just exhilarating.

JG said...

Thanks everyone for your comments, and Major P for hosting.

I enjoyed putting the together, I’m glad you are enjoying it.

I miss this Disneyland, that’s for sure.

Also, What Stefano Said.


K. Martinez said...

I remember the first time I saw "Country Bear Vacation Hoedown". I was stunned over how bad it was. "Country Bear Jamboree" was a classic. The new version was bad.

This is about when Tomorrowland was losing it for me. Cold and sterile without the warm colors of the PeopleMover vehicles and Monorails.

Meanwhile, this morning in the real "Tomorrowland", Captain Kirk (Williams Shatner at age 90) returned from the Blue Origins Human Flight as the oldest living person to be in outer space. Now that's amazing!

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
Its obvious you've never made homemade chicken soup-!

Major Pepperidge said...

Hey everybody... it's been a busy morning, and will be a busy day until this afternoon. I love all the comments, and will respond to them when I get home later today! Thanks!

JG said...

My favorite thing about sharing these scans is to hear everyone's comments about the photos. I have leafed through this a hundred times at least, and there is always something someone sees or knows about the topic that I never saw or could have imagined.

The names of the CM's in the photo, for example, thank you Mike C. and Bu (last post, I think), the odd shape of the monorail nose, the string of lights in the graveyard (LOL Chuck).

Apologies too for cutting off the tops of many photos (the HM Caretaker, for instance). The book is an odd size, it is about a 1/4 inch bigger than the scanner plate in both directions, and I had to make a choice about which side was set square to the edge. I used the same side throughout, so it is always the top that is cut off. Many of the photos have the bleed edge on the vertical, so less is lost on the sides.

I have another guide book scan in the works, and it will have similar shortcomings due to my scanner plant.

On the Splash Mountain story, this week we were talking about Disney's excuse for trashing the Treehouse because kids are not familiar with the movie. Well, by that logic, it is well past time to re-theme Splash Mountain, since no one has been "permitted" to see that movie for decades. So everything about it, including the irritating music is unfamiliar to everyone except old folks like us.

It's clear the company is conflicted about the film, since the Disney Family Museum in SF uses the music and artwork (including Mary Blair's work) extensively as examples of the groundbreaking film and animation techniques, while ignoring all the other positive aspects of the story itself.

I hope the Tiana overlay is not cheaped out, it's time to put the 50 year-old robots from America Sings out to pasture and do a real attraction from scratch. Odds on that happening, anyone?


Melissa said...

I’ve seen Song of the South several times, and honestly I think it’s pretty meh. It’s got a catchy song, and the integration of live action and animation in some scenes is pretty amazing for its time, but as a piece of cinema? I don’t think anyone would care about it today if it wasn’t for the controversy or the log ride.

Anonymous said...

Thanks JG. Maybe some of the colors had changed since my time, but it's still the Park that I remember. And I still think the last generation Tomorrowland looks better than today's...and much of the new was just a poorly done remodel, rather than a complete removal and rebuild. And the RSBs...I miss those guys. Can hear their music playing. KS

K. Martinez said...

Melissa, You're right! Song of the South is an unremarkable film. There are many superior films from that era of Disney. As you commented, if it wasn't for the controversy and log ride it would be forgotten. When Splash Mountain was first announced, I was really surprised because the film was controversial to begin with. Why Disney created an attraction after a film they don't even support was quite baffling.

Bu said...

I ALWAYS thought the integration of Song of the South in a log ride was probably the most odd choice of all of the hundreds of thousands of choices for a possible ride for that location. Zip a dee doo dah is Iconic...but just use the song...the whole theme? I don't know. I thought the movie tanked at the box office, but what do I know. "Critter Country"...also, just so not necessary. Can't all critters live in Bear Country? Or do they just allow Bears? I thought it was money not well spent. Then when they ripped out the bears it made more sense. But Pooh is a why not Bear Country? and yes....we all know that Pooh belongs in Fantasyland...That being said...the "moonlight" couple in the Blue Bayou are also employees...I forget that guys name, but I think he was more "office" than "on-stage". The Gallery was a very nice transformation from Jim Cora's office and Tokyo Disneyland/Walt Disney International that was up there prior. For those that don't know, those apartments were pretty much done (the bones anyway), and then turned into offices before the well-done Gallery. You are right, the view is not from the Club- the Club is across the way. I thought if they would really be money oriented, they would extend the Club into the Disney Suite, which honestly is garish and 'themey"...but the Club came out just as garish, so I guess it would still make sense. Given the current paint pallet overall it makes a lot of sense. Most of these photos were actually of the era of the book...with a few exceptions. That photo of the Pig in the Autopia car was a post card from I think the 70's. The pig is not actually in the car...he is standing next to the car. You can see his little white feet. They wore white keds (for real.) For some reason, that always cracked me up. The Bob Gurr Monorail is far superior, and timeless to any other iteration, and there was no reason to paint PeopleMover cars. I suppose Star Tours made them re-think other elements to look more "storm troopery". I have more...but it's all sounding like a "they ruin everything" moment, so I will stop.

JG said...

I just watched a "Fresh Baked" construction update, which was very informative.

The development on the river is called "Pelican Landing" and will house premium seating for the Fantasmic show, in a configuration no one yet understands.

The old photo shop on Main Street where the PhotoPass purchases were picked up, is being converted to a Christmas (and other)Ornament shop to be called "Plaza Point".

The PhotoPass thing is being moved to a souvenir stand outside the tunnels.

So that accounts for the name confusions, there is a Landing and a Point, just differently arranged than we thought.


Anonymous said...

Stefano- Well said commentary on Song of the South. I liked your description of the films ending scene- something that shows some positivity & hope- that's
a decent thing. Everybody has their opinion & think that the movie earned its place in Disney history & to cancel or rewrite that history is wrong.

Thanks to JG & Major for the ongoing guidebook pictures. JG- I have encountered similar issues with the limitations of my scanner (sometimes using Photoshop to stitch together multiple scans).


TokyoMagic! said...

"@ TM!-
Its obvious you've never made homemade chicken soup-!"

Nanook, it's funny that you said that. I just made chicken soup, two days ago! But I didn't use a live chicken! After winning an auction, I wonder where those pirates go to pluck (and cook) their chickens?

Bu, I have that postcard of the pig that appears to be "stuffed" into the Autopia car. I posted it some years ago, along with other Tomorrowland postcards from a souvenir "postcard book":

Tomorrowland Postcard Book

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you aren’t kidding! I don’t think I realized in 1989 that things were still so “golden”.

JB, Mike Cozart recently said that later guidebooks were less clear, I do have to wonder if these were still printed in the USA in ’89? I’m not wild about that version of the Monorail either, and am glad they eventually changed to something sleeker.

TokyoMagic!, ah OK, thanks for the info on that photo! And I honestly thought that the Auctioneer was gone, replaced by “Red”. Obviously I was mistaken. Thanks for that too!

TokyoMagic!, I am so curious as to how they will change Splash Mountain into a “Princess and the Frog” theme. I’m sure it will still basically be a fun ride, though I will miss the cartoon characters from SotS - I guess they thought that they were beyond criticism, but obviously that was optimistic.

Chuck, wow, I would’ve never guessed that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (or whatever they were called at the time) were around as early as 1989. Do you think it’s possible that the characters boarded their log after the big drop? I definitely am way too tied to the past, because I do understand how the Pirates queue was necessary, but I just miss the way we could just walk straight in (when we didn’t have to wait in a 45 minutes line out in the hot sun). Maybe that crease on the Haunted Mansion page is actually a poltergeist that appeared on film. I’d love to know why (and when) they removed the flagpole at the entry to Tomorrowland… it seems like an odd thing to do. Glad you liked these!

Mike Cozart, I have seen other press photos used in guidebooks, and also used in other print materials. For an obsessed kid like me, I started to recognize certain people who appeared in more than one photo. Was Sandy’s last name… DUNCAN?!?! Van Romans, what a name. Almost as good as Van Arsdale France. I miss the old Disney Gallery, and have not spent time at the location in the old bank building because I always think I will stop by on my way out. And by then I’m so tired and ready to go home that I skip it. Wow, imagine owning those incredible originals by Marc Davis or Mary Blair! Yes, $3000 to $4000 was a lot of money, but we now know that it would have been totally worth it. I always suspected that they displayed digital repros, in a way I’m glad that they presumably kept the originals where they would be away from light and other harmful things.

Melissa, I think Disney has always loved their alliteration! I love that you actually kept track of so many examples!

Stefano, gosh I always thought that Splash Mountain was a very long and leisurely ride! You make a good point regarding “what does a log flume have to do with SotS?”, but I loved the scenes that they created so much that I just didn’t think about it. I only saw SotS when I downloaded a version that had been ripped from a Japanese DVD (or maybe a Laser Disk?). It was “fine”, though definitely icky in places. I know that it was supposed to be post-Civil War, but as you said, they didn’t make it abundantly clear, and I don’t know if that would have ultimately made a whole lot of difference. The best parts were the animated segments, in my opinion. I think that Uncle Remus was a positive character, but wish they could have gotten a bit further away from the servile nature of the black characters.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, you did all the hard work! Thanks to YOU!

K. Martinez, oh no! I didn’t know that the Country Bear Vacation Jamboree was so bad. Do they still do it in Florida? I’ve pointed out that I was never that big of fan of the original CBJ… I liked that it was a Marc Davis thing, but maybe I was just at the wrong age to appreciate it. I only went once and felt like that was enough. I’m glad Shatner is back on Earth, safe and sound! Even if he didn’t wave at us from the Rose Parade route, ha ha.

JG, I agree, the comments are at least half the fun! One thing I have to say about this guide book, is that they were willing to allow LOTS of pages. Older books generally dedicated two pages (or so) to each land, with a few addition ones for shopping or music and dancing. This feels like a real BOOK. No worries about the scanner issues, the photos still look great. That’s COOL about the other guidebook that you are scanning! I’ll bet there are a lot of movies that kids are probably not familiar with (dare I mention Mr. Toad?), but I don’t want Disney to remove those classics. I’ve still never been to the Walt Disney Family Museum, but hope to go. SOMEDAY. I’d like to believe that they will do Tiana proud and make a beautiful and “not cheap” ride, but I’m not willing to lay money on it.

Melissa, yeah, “meh” is about my reaction too. I was glad to finally see what all the hubbub was about. Maybe if I thought it was a “great” movie I’d be more upset about the fact that it is nearly impossible to see, but generally it’s not a great loss.

KS, I do think that a lot of things changed in Tomorrowland after 1989, generally to disastrous response from guests. Luckily they have restored much of the original colors, though we’ve also lost a lot of the best rides. And yes, WHY did they even make a ride related to a movie that was so reviled by so many?

Bu, yeah, why not a Mary Poppins ride, or a “Villain Mountain” ride, or as you said, hundreds of thousands of other options?? I like Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, but I like “When You Wish Upon a Star” better. I’d love to know the thinking behind the decision to devote so much work, real estate, and money to a SotS attraction. And yes, I liked “Bear Country”, other critters could be welcome there. That being said, I don’t hate the name “Critter Country”. Funny that the “moonlight” couple in the Blue Bayou is really a pair of CMs. Maybe they fell in love and got married! I’m sure you’ve heard that they’ve added (or are going to ad) Club 33s at other parks, which is a shameless money grab. But that’s what they’re all about these days. It just shows you how much cache the name has these days though. I agree about the Bob Gurr Monorail, hard to beat perfection.

JG, ha ha, “in a configuration no one yet understands”, that about sums it up. I know people love all-year-round Christmas shops, but I personally have no use for something like that. “It’s July, I need a nutcracker!”. Nope.

JB said...

K. Martinez, I agree with your assessment of the newer Tomorrowland being mostly colorless and sterile. The white PeopleMover trains look like generic, charmless, everyday modes of transportation. Not the "great big beautiful tomorrow" we were promised. I think the white trains are supposed to look like they fit into the Star Wars universe. (As Bu noted, later.)
And yes, William Shatner's space flight (however short) WAS amazing. As was his emotional description of the experience afterward.

- Jack-o-lantern Boogers

"Lou and Sue" said...

I enjoyed today's Guidebook - pictures, comments and all...
Thank you, JG and Major!

- Lou & Sue & a live chicken, too

Melissa said...

They tend not to do overlays like the punter Bear Vacation or Haunted Mansion Holidays in Florida. The reason that’s usually quoted is that WDW attracts more visitors that come once a year or less, and they don’t want to get there on s once-in-a-lifetime trip and not see the show they’ve been expecting to see. But maybe they’re just cheap. They did do the Jingle Cruise in recent years.

I confess to a fondness for Christmas shops in tourist places, because I like to get an ornament as a souvenir.

Major Pepperidge said...

JB, I definitely miss the more colorful Peoplemover trains. I’ll take them “white with colored stripes” rather than “no Peoplemover at all”, but I do have to wonder if the Star Wars theory is the reason why they were repainted. Or did they think that those 1967 colors were just too dated?

Lou and Sue, :-)

Melissa, I have expressed my frustration at the fact that I often (or usually) visited Disneyland in November, which means that I haven’t seen the regular Haunted Mansion in many years. I don’t mind the Nightmare Before Christmas version, but I want to see the version that I love! The Jingle Cruise, ugh. Just seeing photos of it was enough to make me dislike that one. I have the feeling that we have seen the last of it, but you never know. I know lots of people like those Christmas shops! It’s just not something that I am interested in personally.

Melissa said...

Speaking of the Disney vault, I noticed the other day that The Happiest Millionaire is streaming on Disney+! Still no Three Lives of Thomasina, though.

Chuck said...

Finally! I have still never seen that film, a personal failing that I can now correct. Thanks, Melissa!