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!


Nanook said...

Talk about Dent-o-Rama. Or, maybe Dent-a-Palooza-! Either way, it's a cornucopia of dents. The view with the 'blackened sky' is truly spectacular.

Thanks to Michael Sandstrom for this embarrassment of riches.

"Lou and Sue" said...

This is a great post!

In one of Michael’s photos, you can see
MULTIPLE dents in that one turret — that’s a prize-winning photo! Major, what prize does Michael win??

Michael, it’s a pleasure to meet you and I am glad you’ve shared your photos with us!

JB said...

What a fun and wonderful topic for today's post! The first question that comes to my mind is: Do Disney fans elsewhere know of, and discuss The Dent like we do here?

Major, I'll use my photo technology and fix it for a paltry 1.75 million. Such a bargain! How could they refuse?

In the 1st pic we also get a view of The Stain; first cousin of The Dent, and second cousin of Fudgie. Are those two things talked about elsewhere?

In the 4th photo, there's an awful lot of lens/perspective distortion. I wonder if that was a deliberate, artsy/fartsy decision?

In Michael's 1992 photo (as Sue mentions), it's evident that The Dent consists of more than just a single dimple. There are multiple dentlets. (Dentlets are too minor to receive a capital "D")

My theory on the origin of The Dent is... Dragons! Filthy flying dragons!

Everything about the image with the swan topiaries is beautiful! The deep blue sky, the greenery, even the colorful Castle; which doesn't look all that colorful here because of the sky and landscaping.

Haha! In the last image there are birds sitting on Tinks zipline!

Thanks Michael for curating these Dent photos and to Major for posting them along with your witty narration.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, you have to get up pretty early in the morning, to beat Nanook, Sue, and JB. I was going to make the "Dent-O-Rama" comment, AND point out the multiple dents in Michael's 1992 pic. Oh well, "great minds" and all of that!

I want to know exactly what that one guy is doing in the first photo. He has one hand on the railing of the bridge and one leg almost over the side. Did he just drop his churro, and he's jumping into the moat to retrieve it? Or maybe he's about to do a ballet number in front of the Castle and he's just "stretching" first.

Thank you Michael, for sharing your photos with us!

- Tokyo Mittens!

JB said...

T. Mittens, I like the dropped churro theory. Of course, the moat swans will skeletonize him within seconds after he dives in. Hard facts.

Oops. I forgot to include a nickname:

- Juniper Boughs (wreath making material... can't think of a Rudolph reference.)

Andrew said...

It looks like the picture of Michael was taken after the outcove benches and chain railings on the drawbridge were removed but before the railings were added to the side walls. Michael probably wouldn't have been able to sit where he is soon after this photo was taken!

Awesome post! For some reason people don't seem to get near as excited about the giant dents in my own roof...

Chuck said...

Did anyone else have long, restless dreams about running into now-grown-up junior high friends while picking their kid up from church camp and making sure you remembered to pack up both your AK-47 and your M-4 and ensure they were secure in their locked cases while simultaneously (and fruitlessly) looking through your laundry bag for a clean pair of running shorts only to have the dream turn into a long, drawn-out dissertation on arcane, Soviet-era copyright law and the advisability and potential market for pirated copies of some obscure, East Bloc, 8-track tape system that used 12-inch-wide cartridges? Just want to make sure I’m not alone; I don’t want to have to line the walls and ceiling of my bedroom with a triple-layer of Reynolds Wrap if I don’t have to.

Interesting that today’s post is Dent-ally themed, considering I’m taking my youngest in for a root canal this morning.

The lens distortion on the first photo makes Tink’s zip line look like an arch. At the extreme left of that same picture you can also see a poor, unfortunate owl that ran a-fowl of the White Witch. Wait, am I allowed to reference her here since Disney didn’t distribute the last film? Well, since it was distributed by 20th Century Fox, I guess it’s all in the family now. No, wait - that was Norman Lear and CBS…

The dramatic, cloudy sky photo just proves that even Sauron can’t dim the happiness at Disneyland (although he probably gets a share of the profits).

When did those squirrelgoyles get added to the castle? I’m so used to looking at vintage photos that I tend to look right past them.

JB, you didn’t even make it to December with a daily Rudolph reference. Still, I salute your effort. He who dares, wins. Or at least gets farther than some others. I didn’t even try.

Thanks a bunch, Michael Sandstrom!

TokyoMagic! said...

As for that dark and stormy pic.....I wonder if anyone was tempted to run through the Plaza, while pointing at the sky and yelling, "It's a twista! It's a twista!"

Stu29573 said...

Weird Chuck! I had the exact same dream. Except there were wombats. LOTS of wombats.

I think the dent needs a name.

And I shall call him "Dennis."

So, there are a lot of great pics of Dennis today! Considering the fact that at one time I thought all you people were nuts, I can see him quite clearly now. Kind of like I hear the voices in my head.

Voices of wombats....LOTS of wombats...

Chuck said...

Stu, I always thought his name was Harvey, but I like Dennis. It will avoid confusion with my six-foot-three-and-a-half-inch tall pooka buddy.

Wombats. Why did it have to be wombats?

"Lou and Sue" said...

Michael, since you did such an excellent job of showing us The Dent (Dennis), your next assignment is Fudgie the Whale. ;o)

This post will become a classic that we will be referencing for years.

JG said...

Major and Michael, many many thanks for this magisterial essay on The Dent.

As you say, Major, this bit of trivia escaped my notice for over 60 years, and suddenly now I can’t stop seeing it. This collection is perfect for explaining to others who haven’t been initiated.

For my part, I choose to believe these imperfections are caused by Monstro the Whale, who seized the turret in his impressive cetacean dentition as he was trundled past on his way to being permanently cemented in place.

Some brilliant views here, but that dark sky is a one-of-kind. Also, wombats.


Melissa said...

Yes it's very evident
That there really is a dent

MRaymond said...

We all know that Tinkerbell has a "thing" for green. The story goes that she had a few too many Mint Juleps in Adventureland, then suffered a navigation error while flying back to her attraction in Fantasyland.
Walt didn't want to admit that Tinkerbell had a problem so he looked Tink in her attraction and tried to draw attention away from the dent. It didn't work, we all see it.

Anonymous said...

Stu, just because you can now see The Dent, does not mean that we are not all nuts.

Just saying...


Kathy! said...

A dentariffic post today. I think it was caused by Dumbo. Now I wonder if I can spot the dent in any photos I’ve taken. I didn’t really take photos of the top of the castle, though I may have done so for the 50th anniversary or around Christmas. Thanks Michael and Major for this collection.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you forgot “DENT-OLA”! Not only is the photo with the blackened sky spectacular, so is my typo for that picture.

Lou and Sue, I knew you’d like this one! Michael wins five full days at the public park of his choice.

JB, as I said in my post, I wasn’t aware of the dent until months ago, so either I wasn’t paying attention, or the dent isn’t as well-known as many other Disneyland details. Listen, you can’t underbid me! I have six ex-wives and 14 kids to support! Fudgie is definitely unique to GDB, but the stain? Who knows. Since the conical roof of the spire is… well, a cone, you’d think that they could have just turned it so that the dents faced the back, and nobody would have ever noticed them. But they didn’t! Funny about the birds on Tink’s cable, I didn’t notice that.

TokyoMagic!, just don’t go to bed at all, that’s my recommendation. Sleep is overrated. I think that guy is attempting to end it all, not realizing that the moat’s water is probably 3 feet deep.

JB, there is nothing better than a soggy churro, dripping with the green water of a castle moat. It’s an acquired taste, much like truffles. And just as fancy.

Andrew, I honestly wonder if a group of lawyers walked around looking for potential “problem areas” where guests could get into trouble if they were really dumb? “We’d better get rid of (whatever thing they were pointing at)”. Maybe now you will appreciate your roof dents more?

Chuck, I don’t have that dream, but I do have a dream where I am playing baseball for the Yankees and Babe Ruth grows to 100 feet tall and he chases me around the bases trying to eat me, while Cher and Liberace laugh in the audience. You probably have that one too. I hope your son’s root canal went OK, I have never had that procedure, thankfully. The White Witch? What’s that from? “Ernest Versus the White Witch”? I don’t hate the squirrelgoyles (my new favorite word), but they seem unnecessary.

TokyoMagic!, if only we had cool things like tornadoes at Disneyland, maybe one would come along and suck up Galaxy’s Edge.

Stu29573, dreaming of wombats is a sure sign of a superior intellect, so you are doing just fine. And I was going to say that the dent’s name was “Harvey”, but I see that Chuck has already gone there (I don’t claim that I was the first to say it).

Chuck, what’s a pooka?!

Lou and Sue…GDB: Where readers are assigned homework!

JG, your Monstro theory holds water (see what I did there?), if anyone is responsible for a dent, it would be a big whale with anger issues. And perhaps body dysmorphia. We love you just the way you are, Monstro! (Watch as his heart grows three sizes).

Melissa, I’m sure that’s a reference to something. But I’m too dumb to get it.

MRaymond, when you said that Tink was “flying back to her attraction”, for some reason I pictured her flying UP the cable to the top of the Matterhorn. And now I want to see that! I’m not so sure Tinker Bell had a problem, she was just mule-headed, as we saw in “Peter Pan”.

Kathy!, I think it is safe to say that this will probably be the only blog post on the entire Internet that will cover THE DENT in such glorious detail. Yes, look at your own photos, I’ll bet you’ll see you-know-what.

Chuck said...

Major, the White Witch was the villain in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe..

A pooka is featured as a main supporting character in an Academy Award-winning 1950 film.

And I have that dream all the time, except instead of Babe Ruth, it’s Babe the Big Blue Ox, which makes no sense at all since he played for Detroit.

Melissa said...

I was misquoting The Pirates of Penzance.

Stefano said...

I am gleefully indentured to all GDBers for joining this obsession. The dent reminds me of some of the speakers which are visible in photos, but not usually seen at the park: in the chair behind Madame Leota, or by the west-side Matterhorn waterfall blowing that icy wind sound effect. If you can find the cover illustration of Randy Bright's 1987 book DISNEYLAND: INSIDE STORY, that is the most spectacular dent pic of all.

Chuck said...

Stefano, you're right. There it is, big as Dallas. How did I never see that before this year?

JB said...

Andrew, maybe if you capitalize the dents (The Dents) on your roof they'll get noticed more!

Chuck, my brain hurts after reading your comment. I bet your brain hurts even more since that's where the flow of consciousness sprung from.
If "squirrelgoyles" wasn't a word before, it is now!
I'm sure I'll come up with another Rudolph reference or two before Christmas.
I think you'd better go out and buy an extra roll of Reynolds Wrap... maybe a whole case.

Stu, I'd better tell Chuck to get an extra case of Reynolds Wrap to give to you. I think yer gonna need it! I do rather like the sound of Dennis The Dent, though.

JG, It was dragons, I tell ya, DRAGONS! (Maybe I need a roll of Reynolds Wrap, too.)

Major, I don't remember Tink having the head of a mule. Maybe we saw different versions of Peter Pan? ;-)

Chuck (again), you definitely need that extra case of Reynolds Wrap.

"Lou and Sue" said...

A couple quick questions for Michael: When, and how, did you discover GDB?? We're glad you did, by the way.

"Since the conical roof of the spire is… well, a cone, you’d think that they could have just turned it so that the dents faced the back, and nobody would have ever noticed them. But they didn’t!"

Major, you're assuming the other side isn't worse!!

Though I'm sticking to the fact that Tink rammed into the turret and did this damage, I can picture that turret having fallen off the delivery truck, and bouncing down the road, en route. Holy moly, it's a mess!

Fun, fun post, today!

Chuck said...

Sue, I can picture that, too. I know Walt was cash strapped near the end of Disneyland construction, and even after selling his vacation home and mortgaging his life insurance, he still probably couldn't have afforded dental insurance on the castle.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that The Dent should be named Arthur.


Stu29573 said...

Chuck wins the "best pun in a comment or post" award for "dentist."

JG, I can't believe I missed that! Maybe it's because I lost my towel?
I still like Dennis, though. The Wonbats suggested it...

Stu29573 said...

"Wonbats"= slightly more evolved Wombats.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I like Dent-ola, too. As in, "You don't know a ding from Dent-ola!" Or, if you prefer, "You don't know a dimple from Dent-ola!"

Anonymous said...

That was fun. Happy to oblige. Matching set, I guess to my “little lost turret” series about the west side of the castle.
Yes, intentionally took that photo wall-sitting knowing that time on the bridge was passing fast.
My cloud account is full from years of loving Disneyland‘s glory days. THANK YOU GDB.

Chuck said...

Stu, you may have lost your towel, and I know that can be scary, but the key thing to remember is right there on the front cover.

And I won a major award! Wow! I’m assuming that award also comes with five free days at a public park of my choosing (park closed dusk - 6 a.m.) as well as any participation trophy I care to purchase. I have to thank my co-stars here at GDB, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. This award is for you, too! And insert some random, half-thought-through political rant that has nothing to do with the award and will alienate roughly half of the American people here.

Chuck said...

I just showed the root canal survivor the stormy castle picture. His immediate response was “The beacons are lit. Disneyland calls for aid. Universal will answer.” That’s my boy!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I guess I should remember the White Witch… I have vague memories of my grandmother reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me when I was very young, and loving it. But I have never gone back and reread it - I’ve also never read any of the other Narnia stories. Because I can’t read. Also… I’ve never seen “Harvey”!! Funny how I consider myself a fan of vintage films, and yet there are so many classics that I have never seen. You live closer to where Babe the Blue Ox lives, so it makes sense that he would haunt your dreams.

Melissa, I saw a version of “The Pirates of Penzance” on TV (maybe PBS?) when I was a kid, but as usual, it’s a foggy blur.

Stefano, spoken like a true Disneyland obsessive! I used to feel like I was somehow getting away with something whenever I saw a speaker or any other item that wasn’t supposed to be noticed by guests. “Hey, I’m pretty smart!”. I have Randy Bright’s book, but… it’s at my mom’s house. Still, looking at a jpeg of the cover on Google… there’s the dent!

Chuck, I must have blipped over that dent 10,000 times, so you are not alone.

JB, I prefer ALL CAPS to let people know when something is important. You probably saw the “Director’s Cut” of Peter Pan, I’ve heard that they redid Tink.

Lou and Sue, you make a good point, maybe ALL of the spires have dents, and “old denty” is the only one that has them facing forward. I know I’ve seen photos of the Castle under construction, with the conical roofs on the ground, maybe an earth mover backed into one. And with money being tight, they had no choice but to use it, even with the dent. Just a guess!

Chuck, great minds think alike, or so they say! Walt never liked that dumb vacation home anyway… it didn’t have a miniature train. What’s even the point??

JG, perfect!

Stu29573, I know, how can any self-respecting “Hitchhiker’s Guide” fan have missed that connection?

Stu29573, “Wonbats” would be a good name for a band.

TokyoMagic!, “Dent-ola” also sounds like something The Fonz would say.

Micheal, I used to save every photo of Disneyland I could find, even new ones from all of the various fan sites. But at some point I realized that it was getting out of hand! Thanks again for sharing these pix.

Chuck, would you rather have Linus’ security blanket, or Arthur Dent’s towel? Please explain your answer and use footnotes and be sure to cite your sources. Congratulations on your award, which you must keep. It can’t be traded for goods or services. We will be sure to engrave your name (misspelling it, of course) ASAP.

Chuck, you have raised your boy right.

JB said...

Oh,oh. Arthur Dent and towels... Can Vogon poetry be far behind?

Melissa said...

I won’t start reciting Vogon poetry until I’ve had a couple of Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters and a few Jynnan Tonnyx.

JB said...

[JB quickly hides the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters and Jynnan Tonnyx.]

Anonymous said...

I love GDB, you are all my kind of crazy.

We should get a private dining room at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,

Major, Michael, Vogon Prostetnic Jeltz and everyone, thanks for all the fish.


MRaymond said...

Holy Crap the Dent cannot be unseen. I just check a video I took in 1992 and the Dent is as clear as day. I still think Tinkerbell suffered a navigation error. Maybe high winds or trying to evade Davy Crocket w/ a shotgun.