Tuesday, November 30, 2021


I have a fun one for you today, with a big THANK YOU to GDB friend Michael Sandstrom, who has amassed quite a collection of Disneyland images from all over, including the ones featuring today's subject: THE DENT. That's right, the mysterious and somehow beloved dent on Sleeping Beauty Castle's rightmost front turret, caused when Tinker Bell crashed into it head on (not the cast member who zips down the cable from the top of the Matterhorn - the real Tinker Bell. Don't worry, she was OK)! It has been the subject of much discussion here on GDB, and now we can all feast our eyes on lots of images - some so clear that there is no missing it.

Because Michael found these photos on the internet, there might be one that is yours. If you would prefer not to see it posted here, please let me know and I will remove it.

This could be the cover of a souvenir guidebook, except for that dent, which will cost four million dollars to remove using NASA photo technology. I volunteer to do it for three million as a service to Disneyland fans everywhere.

I personally had no knowledge of that dent until only a few months ago, much to my astonishment. That's the kind of minutiae that I typically looked for as a Disneyland fanatic.

The castle seems to have a lot of gold on it, so perhaps this one was taken sometime around the park's 50th anniversary.

The paint is getting pretty colorful on this example! And the dent really stands out too.

Here is one of Michael's own photos, circa 1992. The dent is very evident!

And here is a much more recent photo, there's Michael sitting on the wall. 

While I totally believe the Tinker Bell account of how the dent was made, some people believe that there was some other reason that it is there. I'd love to know what some of those theories are. Perhaps a rhinoceros attack?

The Carnation Plaza Gardens is still there to our left. Two fellows in identical outfits (watermelon-pink shirts and cargo shorts) are over there too. I'm going to steal their look.

Some of the topiaries from It's a Small World came to life one night and waddled over to this area. Sometimes they make low growling noises when approached, and guests seen near them have occasionally vanished. I'm just sayin'. 

Here's a dramatic view, I always love photos in which the foreground is bathed in brilliant sunshine while the sky ids dark and stormy. Very striking!

And here's one last super-saturated view. If you happen to have synesthesia, you can probably taste these bold colors. The sky is blue raspberry, just like an Otter Pop.

Many thanks to Michael Sandstrom for sharing these photos of THE DENT!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Sue and Pinocchio! May, 1964

It's time for more photos from 1964, when little Sue B. (I guess she was little "Sue P" back then!) visited Disneyland with her Aunt and some of her aunt's friends. See more from this batch, along with more info, HERE, HERE, and also HERE.

May is just before June, and you'd expect it to be pretty temperate in Anaheim, but it must have been chilly, based on all of the coats and jackets. Still, look at that beautiful sky. Meanwhile, our little Sue has happened upon Pinocchio! The star of my favorite Disney animated feature. The girl to the right is doing a, "Well, there he is!" gesture. I think she has just served Pinoke with a subpoena. "See you in court, Little Wooden Head".

Aw! Sue looks delighted, and maybe a bit bashful, but Pinocchio is doing his best to put her at ease. He probably said something like, "Listen, I felt the same way the first time I met the Blue Fairy. Did you know that she smells like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies?". There's nothing more comforting than warm chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm, cookies. What were we talking about, again?

Pinocchio reenacts the moment that he was transformed from inanimate carved wood into a miraculous walking, talking puppet. "The Blue Fairy waved her wand and said a rhyming couplet, and the next thing I knew, ZAP!". Sue is skeptical (she wasn't born yesterday), but she is too polite to say anything. 

Notice the yellow "runabout" in the background. I think those might have been electric-powered, but they might have run on baking soda and vinegar.

 THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Mark Twain, May 1981

Hey hey, it's the Mark Twain! I wonder how Sam Clemens would have felt if he knew that a steamboat at an amusement park would eventually be named after him? I'm sure he'd have something snappy to say, but I'd like to imagine that he'd be flattered. Anyway, there's the familiar boat (or is it a SHIP?), looking lovely, reflected in the water. To our right is a flock of sleeping canoes.

I assume that our photographer was standing on the upper level of the Hungry Bear Restaurant; watching the passing river traffic was always one of my favorite things to do while eating at that establishment.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Magic Kingdom, December 1982

Hooray, it's time for more scans from Lou and Sue! This time you'll see photos from the Magic Kingdom, circa 1982. I'll bet that was a great time to visit that park!

First up - unlike Disneyland's smaller castle, the towering Cinderella Castle actually contains a restaurant. It's a little odd that King Stephan (Sleeping Beauty's father) has an eatery in Cinderella Castle; clearly I am not alone, because I read that the folks in charge got so tired of addressing this quandary that they eventually changed the name to "Cinderella's Royal Table". I would have called it "Cinderella's Squat and Gobble", but nobody asked me. Did they have chicken strips? It's all I want.

Speaking of Cindy, here is a nice shot of "Cinderella's Golden Carrousel". Look at the lack of crowds! The Carrousel was renamed "Prince Charming Regal Carrousel"... there's an involved, hand-wavey story of why it was renamed (something to do with Prince Charming needing to train for tournaments). Was anyone upset that the princes didn't get much attention at the park? Who knows.

Look at that yellow Skyway gondola to the left, it's swinging and swaying, I hope they throw those guests in Disney Jail.

Lou snapped this artistic view from inside one of the shops so that the Clock Shop across the way would be framed by the darkened doorway. Does anybody know where Lou was standing?

Whoa, Lou had better run for cover, or he's going to get rained on. He's pointed his lens at the Dumbo attraction - again, very few guests are around, which sounds like heaven. This is the old, original 10-elephant version of the ride. That orange iron fence is rather plain and unmusical, but I kind of like it because it is humble.

In 1993, the ride was updated, for a total of 16 elephants. It's not easy to find an additional 6 flying elephants, so kudos to Disney. This ride is so popular that in 2012 a second Dumbo ride was built right next to the first one. They spin in opposite directions, in case you are keeping track of such things.

Some modest Christmas decorations adorn Main Street USA... just enough so that you know that it's that time of year. The Emporium sure looks grand and ornate. In spite of the weather, it must have been plenty warm, it's short sleeves for nearly everyone.

I usually can't help wondering what kind of fantastic merchandise was being sold at that time. Sorry, it was too early for Beanie Babies, the greatest merch of all.

There's the Carrousel again, and the Castle looming (always looming) over everything. I believe that the thing to our right is the Fantasyland Theater (the shield on the awning as "FT" on it), I could be wrong though. Chime in, experts!

MANY THANKS as always  to Lou and Sue!

Friday, November 26, 2021

Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, October 1962

We've seen the lady in today's photos a number of times before, and she did not tend to smile for the camera in most cases. But she seems pretty tickled to be meeting the White Rabbit and Alice in the Castle Forecourt. A nice smile changes everything! That and the ostrich-plumed hat, of course. The White Rabbit looks like he is getting ready to propose. "Oh my darling, your eyes are like limpid pools...". That line always gets 'em. Alice has changed her traditional hairstyle to something a bit more contemporary, and it looks great. She still likes the pinafores, though.

Say, who's that weirdo in the distance?

Well I'll be danged, it's the Mad Hatter! He's friendly, just as long as you don't make any sudden moves, or mention unbirthdays. For some reason I always enjoy being able to see the CM inside, and there he is, peering at us through the mesh "porthole". OK camera experts, what kind of camera does that lady have? A Kodak something.

Well, I'm still outta town; I might be back tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow depending on... stuff. Thanks homies!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! The past 20 months or so have been crazy, and I'm sure many of us have been through some trying times; but it's always useful to sit down and remember all of the good things we have in our lives. Friends, family, enough food to eat, a warm bed to sleep in and a roof over our heads, and of course, Disneyland photo blogs to entertain (?) us. Can you believe that there are people out there who have never seen GDB? I know!

I have a single vintage slide scan from Thanksgiving, circa 1962, with a nice family posing for a portrait midway through their feast. There's plenty of turkey left if you want seconds! It's yet another tiled kitchen, I guess that was a thing for a while. Gramps (to the left) looks like he realizes that you are the werewolf that he saw by moonlight a few days ago. "I need some holy water. Or was it garlic? Criminey!"

I couldn't just share a single photo with you today, but Sue B. (and her father, Lou Perry) came through and found a series of photos from one of Lou's office parties, from 1977. I've never had an office party where the company provided several large turkeys (though there have been some jive turkeys), roast beef, and a whole selection of sides. 

The two men charged with carving the turkeys spent years in Japan, learning how to wield their weapons. After today, they will continue to wander the Earth, helping to right wrongs and help the needy (like Kwai Chant Caine in "Kung Fu"). 

The lady in red is very happy that today's spread includes whatever is in that chafing dish. It looks like tamale pie to me (yum), but I guess that's not very Thanksgiving-ish. 

Herding cattle on the plains can be a solitary life, and these ladies (feeling a little awkward being indoors with city folk) are still happy to be getting some quality grub. You get tired of prairie dog stew and beans every day.

We've all heard the stories of how the Native Americans helped the Pilgrims to survive for that first Thanksgiving. They might have had some second thoughts not long afterwards!

The roast beef was a popular option; my grandma and grandpa liked to have turkey on Thanksgiving, and roast beef, or sometimes roast goose, for Christmas. I remember being intrigued by the idea of eating goose, but thinking that it was too greasy.

What are you doing, Gladys?? Corn and baked beans? I guess sometimes we just want to eat the same thing over and over, we are creatures of habit. A single purple balloon has been Scotch-taped to the ceiling, a festive touch that makes all the difference.

"Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna go through it together. We may not go far, but sure as a star, wherever we are, it's together!" I'm not crying, you're crying.

I hope everybody has a warm and wonderful day! Many thanks to Lou and Sue for helping to make today's post more fun.

I am still out of town! Just for a couple more days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Balloon Parade, Eugene OR

Hey hey! Here's something extra fun for your Thanksgiving Eve (that's a thing, right?). GDB pal JB generously shared some photos from a Thanksgiving parade in Eugene, Oregon, sometime in the mid-1960s, he estimates. The photos were taken by his dad! And not only did JB provide the photos, but he wrote the text to accompany them, which was super nice and helpful. Here's JB:

This balloon parade rolled through my hometown- Eugene, Oregon sometime in the mid 1960s. I was probably 11 or 12 at the time and remember watching it. My dad was the photographer. Judging by the appearance of the trees lining the street, this parade took place sometime in the fall, maybe around Thanksgiving.

I had always assumed, even at the time, that these were early, 'retired' Macy's balloons; maybe from the 1930s. But after a couple of hours searching online I couldn't find any images of Macy's balloons that matched these. So I broadened my search to include other parades from other cities. I eventually found a couple of images that matched!

Turns out, these balloons were in the 1956 Seattle Santa Claus parade. (Probably other years as well.) They (and many other things) are chronicled in the book "Seattle Now & Then"- by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard. HERE is the author's web page where I found this info.

The author writes:

"The Santa parades typically featured the region’s best high school marching bands and the parade’s stars, giant balloons representing classic cartoon characters and monsters – the shapes most likely to thrill the kids, many of whom were also dressed in costumes.  (We imagine, only, that the balloons were recycled from one of the east coast department store parades, like Macy’s in New York City.)... The 1956 parade features a dozen bands and forty balloons or “Novelty Units.”"

Apparently, these balloons were never intended to 'fly', being strapped onto rolling platforms instead. I'm guessing the platforms seen in these photos are the original ones from the '50s.

So, here is the parade as it appeared in Eugene, Oregon in the mid '60s:

At first I thought this was Paul Bunyan with his axe slung over his shoulder. But then I noticed that his 'axe' is actually a pitchfork (or rake). Which makes him a farmer. But which one? Most of the other slides in this group show different kinds of animal balloons. So I thought- Old MacDonald! (he had a farm, y'know. E-I-E-I-O). But some of the balloons didn't seem to match the song; there's a woman and a cat behind him. I don't think the song mentions either of those.

Then I noticed the words on the rolling platform he's anchored to. They're hard to read, but it says "Farmer In The Dell". Aha! Now, some of the other balloons make more sense.

The second verse of Farmer In The Dell goes:

The farmer takes a wife
The farmer takes a wife
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer takes a wife

And here she is! Looking all wifey and motherly with her kind eyes and flowery apron. She has just been to the chicken coop to gather a basketful of eggs... which look dangerously close to spilling out.

Behind her are the nurse and the child mentioned in the third and fourth verses. My dad didn't get any close-ups of them, so this will have to do. Actually, according to the song, the child should come before the nurse. Whoever organized the parade got the order wrong. HEADS WILL ROLL!

In the next verse of the song, we are introduced to the farmer's cow. With its long pointy horns and furrowed brow, this cow looks more like a bull to me. Maybe this balloon played a different role in a previous parade. Ferdinand, perhaps?

Next comes the farmer's faithful dog. At first I thought this was an orange cat. But there's another cat coming up behind him (you'll see it next). Makes no sense to have two cats in the parade. Then I noticed the long floppy ears on the orange critter... Oh! It's a dog! It does look very cat-like though. I bet it was a cat at some time and is now standing in as the dog.

And here is the aforementioned cat. A Siamese, no less! And behind the cat comes the mouse and the cheese (no close-ups of these) to complete the Farmer In The Dell song. The mouse looks decidedly rat-like, to me. I think this is another case of one balloon standing in for another.

We leave the Farmer and his entourage behind and move on to other balloons; like this stagecoach. It's being pulled by at least four sturdy horses, and a troop of sturdy Boy Scouts. Speaking of scouts- the inflated guy with the rifle is taking aim at what appears to be an 'injun' (sorry, those were the times) coming up behind the coach. At least I think it's one of our First Americans. It looks like he's wearing a feather headdress and riding a painted pony. This stagecoach is a pretty elaborate creation!

Next, switching themes entirely, we have this beautiful young lady, reclining on sumptuous cushions. I have to assume that she is Sleeping Beauty. She looks princess-y to me. Plus, she's wearing a crown or tiara. Oh, and she's got her eyes closed. Seems odd for Sleeping Beauty to be propped up on her belly with her hand on her chin. She's gonna be this way for a hundred years or so, after all. I suppose if the balloon makers had depicted her lying on her back, spectators wouldn't be able to see her sleeping face very well, and have a hard time telling who she was. I think that might be Prince Charming coming up behind her. Run prince, run! She's getting away!

Here we have an octopus smoking a pipe because, why not? He's got a crew of mighty sailing men tangled in his tentacles. I'm sure their skipper is brave and sure. The octopus is wearing a sailor's hat, I think. Sort of a nautical theme going on here. I bet those boys got their uniforms from the local Army/Navy Surplus store. They're about 8 sizes too big. They look like they're wearing straight jackets.

Here is the very same, pipe smoking, octopus as he made his way through downtown Seattle in 1956. This is one of the online photos I found that led me to discover the origin of these balloons. Photo courtesy of Paul Dorpat, from his web site.

Here's a nice close-up of a friendly-looking dragon. At least he looks friendly to me; he's smiling. Then again, crocodiles smile just before they eat you... that's why they're smiling. Perhaps this is The Reluctant Dragon. He didn't want to scare (or eat) anyone. He liked to read poetry.

And here, in this 1956 photo (by Paul Dorpat), we can see more of the dragon as he is carried, pulled, and pushed through downtown Seattle. This was another online photo I found that helped me track down where these balloons came from.

Finally, here is a short (40 seconds) YouTube video showing the last two balloons, and others, in the 1956 Seattle Santa Claus Parade:

I hope you enjoyed watching this balloon parade go by.

- JB (Jim Barr)

THANK YOU SO MUCH, JB! I absolutely love these balloon floats from that parade. What a great record of some classic Americana, they are the perfect appetizer for the big Thanksgiving holiday. I am very appreciative of your hard work and generosity, and I'm sure everyone else is too! 

NOTE: Starting today I will be out of town for the next few days. As usual I won't have regular access to a computer, but will try to check in when I can, so leave those comments if you are so inclined

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Kids 'N Characters, August 1965

Ordinarily I'm a fan of vintage photos showing kids (or adults) meeting their favorite characters at Disneyland. The guests look so delighted! They seem to forget that they are communing with a guy or girl in a sometimes-bulky costume. 

However, today's photos leave something to be desired... we don't really get a good look at the characters, or even the guests they are meeting. I'm not sure what exactly was going on here, to be honest. For instance, there's Pluto, Flower, and Goofy, surrounded by a small group of admirers, but we mostly see the face and bad posture of the kid to the right. Stand up straight! Get a haircut! Well OK, you don't need a haircut, but I've got my eye on you!

More fans show up, thought the crowd is still small by today's standards. Mom (and her babushka) is happy to keep her distance. Notice the little blond boy with the blue shirt, he's holding a box with what appears to be a red "K" on it. I wonder what it is? Dad seems to be reaching for it so that the kid can have both hands free.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Jungle Cruise, April 1959

I have a fairly large lot of slides from April, 1959. And that's great! But... at least 1/3 of the photos were taken while aboard the Jungle Cruise. Less great. As I've said before, I love the Jungle Cruise, but slides from that attraction are hard to get very excited about, since it was a boat on a rail - passengers saw the same things every time, with angles varying from "partly obstructed" to "pretty good". 

All that being said, I do really like this first shot (possibly "POSTCARD WORTHY"?), with the original clean and tidy jungle launches (and  those wonderful striped awnings), the loading dock, and those nice reflections in the water. 

Say, look over there! It's the ruins of a well preserved sacred temple, slowly being swallowed by the jungle. You never know, there might be a some Burmese rubies laying around, let's go take a look-see!

Whoops! Three reptilian guardians appear from beneath the murky water. They've protected this temple from looters for centuries. The spider (she's hard to see, but she's there, yellow and black and definitely venomous) sits in her web. Sure, she might bite you, but to make matters worse, you might walk through her web. Yuck! I guess any loose rubies will just have to stay put.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

King Arthur's Carrousel, May 1981

Sunday! It should be FUNday, but not when you're looking at GDB. It's the place where you'll probably find slide scans that only a mother could love. 

From 1981, we have two shots of King Arthur's Carrousel. The horsies are all white, and I believe that the steed to the right is named "Jingles". It's not a great name, but it makes sense, since the horse is festooned with rows of gilded bells. This was supposedly Walt's favorite horse, though I always take stories like that with a large spoonful of salt. Better horse name: "Stormy". Or maybe "Buttermilk" (Dale Evans' horse, you know). I'm always partial to "Stinky", too. 

Doing a bit of research, I learn that Jingles underwent a "luxurious makeover" in 2008, which involved adding tributes to Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews. I'm all for honoring Mary and Julie, but yikes, the decoration is tacky as heck, IMO.

Why take one photo of the Carrousel when you can take two? Or even three? Use a whole roll of film, you nut!