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!


Nanook said...

Boy - Disney didn't miss a beat when plugging ALL its other properties-! (Synergy at its best)

All those armor-clad skeletons remind me of Jason and the Argonauts and The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad-!

Thank you JG for sharing this fun publication with us.

JB said...

Boy, talk about variety! There's everything under the sun in these pages. Thanks JG and Major for this fun, interesting, and beautiful guidebook.

Maybe the skeletons are a scene from another version of PotC: Pirates of the Nile. Yeah, I'm sure that's it.

Somehow they even manage to make the generic starry sky on the back cover look distinctly Disney. Must be the Blues, purples, and pinks.

I would research the skeleton scene but, you know the saying: All work and no play makes-

- Jack a dull Boy.
- Jack a dull Boy.
- Jack a dull Boy. (REDRUM!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, ha, ha! Yes, it's the Elmer McCurdy ride! I want to see that! That scene with the skeletons is actually a part of the "Indiana Jones" scenes, in The Great Movie Ride.

That's Dreamfinder and Figment. They both disappeared from the Imagination Pavilion, but because of complaints, they brought back Figment, only.

I wonder what that tall metal thingy was, next to the Rocket Jet elevator? Perhaps it was a temporary lighting apparatus set up for Grad Nite or some other special event.

And speaking of Grad Nite, you just know that photo of the couple riding the Carousel was a Grad Nite publicity shot. You can tell because of their age and because of how dressed up there are. At first I thought they were jointly holding onto that Mickey Mouse balloon, but it appears to be "weighted" or tied down to the floor of the Carousel.

The pics of DL do make me sad, as usual, for the way the park used to be, but the Tokyo Disneyland pics make me want to go back there, really bad!

Thank you, Major and JG!

- Tokyo Mildew!

Chuck said...

That first picture is stunning, even though it’s staged. For the Rocket Jets to be spinning wildly while every person in the crowd is only slightly soft, the crowd has to be holding as still as possible, which isn’t something Disneyland crowds do in the wild. These must be tame guests, or possibly audio-animatronics. I think that red spotlight on the foreground people is probably just for the photo, too. I am also digging the star filter that adds to the spots in the middle of the shot. At least, I think that’s a star filter. Cameras don’t get astigmatism, do they?

On the first “Vacation Kingdom” page you can see a great aerial photo of River Country in the lower left corner. I am still bummed that that shut down and was allowed to decay, just like Discovery Island. The red-roofed buildings on the next page are the Caribbean Beach Resort, which opened in 1988. It was one of what was then the value range of nicely themed resorts (along with Port Orleans and Dixie Landings) that was operating in the early ‘90s at just $89 a night. My wife and I spent our honeymoon there. Well, actually we only slept there. And showered and dressed. Possibly other activities as well. It was a nice resort, but, hello - theme parks!

Thanks again, JG!

Bu said...

“The Great Movie Ride”…such an imaginative name! That was a Michael Eisner production. I think that Disney MGM thing was when the “they ruin everything” movement began. Looked like a bunch of stucco to me. It was billed as a “working movie studio” but Universal it was not. It had the bones to be super cool…maybe it is now? I was only interested in seeing the Golden Girls house…which was only a replica…the real one is on Saltair in Brentwood in LA…I did finally get a drive by later in life. We called Videopolis “Hideopolis”…it brought a “new kind” of visitor to the park. Too many shenanigans to list. I suppose it was the “Date Nite” of its day…without poodle skirts and white gloves. I have very few memories…other than it was put together rapidly, and for not that much cash. Cash flow was needed back then. “Synergy” was talked a lot about back then…multi promoting of multi things. We often got calls for information on what guests referred to as “That ECPOT place” or “The one with that big ball”. Yes…Ek-pot…gotta love the guests. We said ECSNOT so I suppose we were no better! I see they re-touched the price of popcorn. It was .50…maybe it went to 1.00 in the time of Videopolis. My vendor days were over by that point. I’m sure it is rather involved now with multiple choices souvenir vessels and prices to go with all of that. I never got to TDL, many of my coworkers went to do training. I trained my fair share of TDL executives in the art of popcorn making…which was fascinating to them. The Oriental Land Company put up Disney employees in extremely lavish accommodations with western size everything…which was quite a big deal back then when people in Tokyo were living in teeny tiny apartments. I’m not sure if the OLCo is as tight on the reins with cash as their western buddies…it seems they just want things right…from my very very slim perspective. It’s sad to see the end of this souvenir guide…I’m sure there are many more guides to share.

Stu29573 said...

Ah, WDW. I can give you the 411 on these, by golly (and I have the money to buy golly!)
You could indeed see Dreamfinder and Figment strolling around the park. Figment was, of course, a puppet making Dreamfinder's hand fake. The Original Journey Into Imagination was closed because the ride system didn't work quite right and caused many vehicle jams and down time. When the next ride opened Dreamfinder and Figgy were nowhere to be found. People freaked (it really was a stinko ride at that point) and they closed it again and, instead of fixing the concept, just stuck Figment EVERYWHERE. Dreamfinder, apparently, wisely did not wish to participate.
MGM had (and has) great architecture, but was definitely a 1/2 day park.
The skeletons were from the "horror" section of The Great Movie Ride (and were not lit as brightly) which was also tied in with Indiana Jones.
The Animation Studio was actually really cool, and I saw them making a film there, although I can't remember what it was. Of course it was all pre-computer, so there was a lot to see. Now, I suppose it would be guys staring at screens.
Those water/fire pics are Catastrophe Canyon. There was a line in the spiel that said "Those water pumps could shoot a basketball over the Empire State Building!" At which point someone would always yell. "From Here???" Good times.
I too have stayed at the Caribbean Beach and it was quite nice (and huge). I prefer Port Orleans French Quarter.
At this moment, Epcot is being gutted and "reimagined." I have low expectations.

S-pooky T-arrantula U-mbrellas 29573

JG said...

Major, thanks for running this series and providing the commentary. I’m glad the Junior Gorillas are enjoying this guidebook.

I really appreciate the comments to this series since I have never been to WDW or Tokyo and most of the pictures were fairly meaningless, especially the uncaptioned ones. It seemed odd to me that they would publish all these great shots and not describe them, but…

Thanks everyone.


Grant said...

That was a super enjoyable glimpse into the past. Thanks for the great fun JG and Major!

Next Tomb Rising: 10/31/2021, 12:31 AM

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I guess I don’t mind the plugs as much, since this guidebook has MANY pages… it’s not like they gave fewer pages to Disneyland itself. Plus I’m sure that, as a kid, I would have been drooling to go to those other parks!

JB, I’ll bet there actually were pirates on the Nile. If there’s a way for people to commit crimes, they’ll do it. Pharaoh had to take action! The star field is a bit cheesy, but that’s Disney for you I guess.

TokyoMagic!, strange, my understanding is that the Great Movie Ride reproduced scenes from classic movies, but I sure don’t remember a scene in any of the Indiana Jones movies that looks like that one. Oh yeah, “Dreamfinder”. Shows how much I know about EPCOT! I also wondered about that metal thingy, but it just looks like an interesting light fixture. At least the couple on the Carrousel wasn’t portrayed by a Disneyland Ambassador and some guy who normally balanced the books.

Chuck, I am shocked by the first photo, look at how tilted the Rocket Jets were! Dangerous. I’m surprised nobody has written an article about it. I think they got those guests to stay still by spiking the food and drinks with curare. HARD FACTS! Walt warned us. I’m sure you’re right about the star filter, the classiest filter ever. I’m also sad that River Country was shut down, but if there really are brain-eating amoebas, and human-eating alligators, then I would probably avoid swimming anyway. You’d think that they would have known that these problems would be issues as they were planning and building WDW? Think of how many early ads show people (or Mickey or Goofy) water skiing. Like you and your wife, I generally use a hotel room to sleep and shower, so I never need a Presidential Suite. Thought I wouldn’t say “no” if one was offered to me.

Bu, I admit that much of the Disney/MGM Studios park looked very lame to me. I kept hearing about The Great Movie Ride, and even with the impressive witch animatronic, I was not tempted. Do they even use the studios for anything these days? “Hideopolis”, ha ha. Did it bring New Wave jerks to the park? With their “Flock of Seagulls” hairdos? EK-POT, I love it. That’s what I want to call it from now on. I was all excited to see the retouched popcorn price, but I can’t tell. I wonder if I would have wanted to go to TDL to train? Hey, it would be a chance to see Japan, that’s not a bad thing.

Stu29573, wait a second, Figment was a PUPPET? I want my money back! I hoped that Disney had found DNA of real dragons and made one, like in Jurassic Park. Now I feel kind of dumb. If I had four days to spend at WDW, I’m not sure any of that time would have been spent at MGM Studio. I know that they actually did make animated movies at the Florida studio, to me it would have sucked to be on display to guests, like monkeys in a cage. I would like to see a machine shoot a basketball over the Empire State Building, let’s just say I am skeptical.

JG, thank YOU! And for those reading the comments, JG has sent me another book scan that you won’t see for months, but it is a doozy!

Grant, I’m so glad you enjoyed this!

Andrew said...

According to the Rocket Jets picture, "Disneyland After Dark" doesn't include the Peoplemover. :-(

I'd be so confused if this was my first exposure to EPCOT. "You'll ride on sunshine.." no context! (It's because the Universe of Energy ride vehicles were powered by solar panels.) The humorous dragon in the World of Motion picture was reused as a prop in the DCA "backlot" when that park first opened. Thanks for sharing, JG. I enjoyed this book.

DrGoat said...

Thanks JG, beautiful scans of a great guide book.
Thanks Major. A sight to behold.

Nanook said...

'Curare'. I keep hearing Robert Mitchum using that word in a sentence. I suppose it was from Farewell My Lovely, but I'm thinking it was more likely from Out of the Past or His Kind of Woman!.

"HARD FACTS! Walt warned us". Yes, I would say so. What a card you are, Major-!

Melissa said...

Elmer McCurdy is everywhere as long as we keep him in our hearts.

There’s a plush Figment clipped to the lamp about a foot from where I’m typing. There *were* issues with the Journey into Imagination Onnimover cars coupling and uncoupling, and the turntable that allowed several preshows to happen at the same time, but what really killed the original attraction was the sponsor contract. It mandated a major update after a certain number of years, but no funds from the sponsor to make it happen. So, when Kodak wouldn’t open their wallet, it was cut down into an affordable travesty. They went back in and tinkered a little after audience complaints, but it’s still not even a shadow of its former self.

Every time I get to thinking about Disney in the ‘90’s, it always leads me back to the question of what might have happened if Jim Henson had lived.

Major Pepperidge said...

Andrew, argh, you’re right! I didn’t notice! One more thing to be miffed about, ha ha.

DrGoat, it’s something to think that as recently as 1989 there was still so much to love that is now gone!

Nanook, I haven’t seen “Farewell My Lovely”, but if it has Robert Mitchum, it must be pretty good. I recently saw “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” which was super enjoyable. Not sure how I even know about curare, except by osmosis. Walt DID warn us too, especially about how “Disneyland will never be completed”. Oy!

Melissa, while poor Elmer was subjected to years of indignities, his name lives on when it would have otherwise been forgotten long ago. So… that’s something I guess! Wow, I didn’t know that Omnimover cars EVER had an issue with “coupling” (sounds saucy) and uncoupling. What happens when one “uncouples”? I’ve only heard audio from “Journey Into Imagination”, so I don’t really have an idea of what it looked like. I’ve watched lots of videos of “Horizons” though! Poor Kodak, they had their own worries, I’m sure, and likely didn’t have a whole lot of money once the digital photography revolution kicked in. And yes, who knows what projects we might have seen from Jim Henson had he not died. Such a shame.

JB said...

Melissa, Elmer McCurdy is in our hearts now?... eeewww!
And yes, what if Jim Henson were still with us. Or what if Walt lived another 10 years or so. Oh well.

All work and no play makes
- Jack a dull Boy.
- Jack a dull Boy.
- Jack a dull Boy. (REDRUM!)

Major Pepperidge said...

JB, What if Jim Henson and Walt Disney thumb-wrestled??

JB said...

Major, well obviously Henson would win. Manipulating Kermit and all those other Muppets for decades would have given him thumbs of steel!

Melissa said...

Yeah, Henson had enormous hands. Walt would have had to go through a rigorous thumb-training regimen to stand a chance.

I notice this third installment is also less alliteration-heavy than the first. They must have blown their whole supply on the first few pages. Many, many thanks to Jolly Gravedigger and the Maimer for taking us on this trip to 1989.


Just a couple of links this post reminded me of, that I thought the Junior Gorillas might enjoy.

Jen and John from the EPBOT blog made some really nice Dreamfinder and Figment costumes a while back:

Epic Rap Battles of History - Stan Lee vs. Jim Henson (with a surprise guest):


The Disneyland pictorial guides of the 1970’s always featured a back pages on the Disneyland Hotel and Walt Disney World .... so it was natural to add EPCOT and Disney MGM..... but it was very very excited in that 1989 pictorial to see Tokyo Disneyland!!! So little of that park was every featured in American publications. Some of the last Disneyland souvenir pictorials - in the traditional horizontal format - eventually included Euro Disneyland as well.

Do any of you remember when Disneyland sold some Walt Disney World merchandise in the 1980’s? There was a section of the Premire Shop in Tomorrowland that featured souvenirs from WDW and for a very short time Tokyo Disneyland!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, Out of the Past is one of my favorite Robert Mitchum movies - he has a lot of great lines, in that one. So does Kirk Douglas, and I love the witty sparring between the two.

Thanks, JG & Major, for sharing this guide book with everyone.