Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Frontierland, 1996

I'm happy to share more of Mr. X's personal photos from 1996 - a nice assortment of Frontierland scenes for your enjoyment.

Ah, Cascade Peak, we hardly knew ye. I say that phrase to a lot of inanimate objects throughout the day, and yes, I get some looks, but I gotta be me. Of course by 1996, the Mine Train had been closed for many years, but Cascade Peak was a lovely feature along the shores of the river. Those big trees threaten to swallow it, but they don't have scale, so it's all good.

I like this photo of two rafts passing each other, one heading to Tom Sawyer Island, the other coming back to civilization. At first I thought that this might have been taken from the top of a Keelboat, but upon further reflection, I now think that it was just taken from the pathway that was slightly elevated above the loading docks for the rafts and canoes.

And here we are, waiting at the landing where guests could board the Mark Twain (and the Columbia). I believe this was a former Kodak "Picture Spot", and we can see why. Who could resist taking a picture of the elegant steamboat as it returned from its trip through the wilderness?

Many thanks to Mr. X!

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Disneyland Ambassador Ceremonies

Let's wish our friend BU a very Happy Birthday today! The photos in today's post were scanned and shared by Sue B., and it was her idea to use them for this occasion.

In October of 1981, Disneyland had a ceremony in which the 1982 Disneyland Ambassador was selected, and Lou Perry was there with his trusty camera!

The scene has been set: a stage (of sorts) has been set up on the steps of Main Street Station, along with bouquets of balloons in red and white (they look like gigantic fish roe). The tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife!

I admit that I'm not really sure what's going on here; a man on a ladder is filming a group of women. They may or may not be past Ambassadors, or nominees for the upcoming position. Does anybody recognize any of the faces?

Again, not really sure who's who; it's possible that the woman on top of that stepped thingamabob could be Willie VanderZwaag, the outgoing 1981 Ambassador. I can only find one photo of Willie, and it's not great, so... like I said, just a guess.

Thanks to this website, I know that the woman on the steps with the floral bouquet is the new 1982 Ambassador, Joanne Crawford. 

Joanne is standing with four other lovely ladies, perhaps the official selection had not yet been announced. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not crazy about contests like these, I always feel so bad for the others who came so close, but did not win.

I wonder if the runner-ups are given any official Disneyland duties? Will they fill in at an event if the Ambassador is sick? Do they get a lifetime supply of Rice-A-Roni? Do they get to stay at the Omni Hotel in downtown L.A.?

Oh wait, maybe THAT'S Willie VanderZwaag?

I think this was the "airing of grievances", if I'm not mistaken. Or is that Festivus?

Mouseplanet had an article about an event at Disneyland that reunited over 30 former Ambassadors back in 2008, and Joanne Crawford showed up with her friend Br'er Bear!

Thanks as always to Lou and Sue!

A LATE ADDITION! Sue B. also nicely provided this fun and special birthday image for Bu, but things happened (long story) and I am finally adding it at 4:00 in the morning. Because I have insomnia, see? It's a great photo because it's weird!

Monday, October 03, 2022

In Memorium

 I was saddened to learn that our friend Irene passed away on September 29th (thanks to Sue B. for letting me know). While this was not unexpected, losing someone so dear to us is never easy. My heart goes out Irene's family, and I wish them peace and comfort during this difficult time.

I met Irene in person only once, when she kindly contacted me about some Disneyland photos that had been taken by her beloved brother Bruce (some were by his friend James as well). Bruce was being moved into a care facility, and Irene was trying to deal with his belongings, and she decided that I might be a worthy recipient for the photos. So we came up with a meeting place in the Valley, and there she was, in a bright red Mickey sweatshirt! This was in January of 2016.

Imagine my surprise when Irene showed me four LARGE, very full binders of photo prints, as well as other items in boxes. I'd expected maybe a small shoebox. What an amazing gift! I am honored that she chose me as the custodian of these photos, and I know that she was thrilled that the Junior Gorillas were going to see them. She said that she didn't think that most of them would be worth sharing, but so far I've posted over 200 of them. Here is a selection of some of my favorites.

First up is this picture of Fess Parker signing autographs at Disneyland's 40th Anniversary celebration. It's so  cool to see this legend at the park, since he'd been there for Press Preview on July 17, 1955.

Many of the pictures in the binders are from the 1990s, which is actually kind of cool, since I have very few other examples from this era. And, being up to 30-ish years old, they qualify as "history". This shot shows a banner above Main Street for a show in the Fantasyland Theater, "The Spirit of Pocahontas", which debuted in 1995.

Over at the Big Thunder Ranch you'd find the Big Thunder BBQ, which originally opened in 1986 (closing in 1996, and then reopening in 2004 thru 2016). Based on all the other photos in these binders, I'd assume that this nice image is from closer to 1996. It looks like a very pleasant place to relax.

There were a number of images from the Disneyland Hotel, but one of my favorites is this shot of a temporary ice skating rink, with a mini-Zamboni (Zambonette?) dressing the surface for skaters. Sunshine, yucca plants, and ice skating!

Here's an interesting photo taken from the old parking lot, looking toward the giant show building that holds the Indiana Jones Adventure? It's not exactly "go-away green", but hey, it's trying. It appears that there is some sort of stone texture being applied in strips (why?). This is probably from around 1995.

Keeping with the Indy theme, here's a look at the entrance to the queue, obviously from before the attraction had debuted. But it looks almost ready. The top of that temple through the jungle is very intriguing. I wonder if there are any fearsome idols in there? I'd love to look 'em right in the eye and give 'em what fer.

There is a series of neat panorama photo prints which generally were of a better quality than the other prints. I guess those disposable cameras had better lenses? Anyway, it's neat to get a good look at the "Tropical Imports" souvenir stand, right next to the Jungle Cruise. "Give me all of your finest rubber snakes, my good man". 

Here's another undated photo (they are all undated)  from the old parking lot looking toward Main Street Station. Memories....! Besides seeing the old Mark V Monorail passing, you can see the ticket booths, and if you look really closely, the Disneyland RR, full of passengers.

On November 18th, 1993, the "Partners" statue was unveiled at Disneyland, and Walt's nephew Roy E. Disney was there for the dedication ceremonies. It's pretty cool to have this great photo of Roy with Mickey and the statue of his uncle.

There was a whole series of photos from around the Plaza, featuring some scenes inspired by Walt's 1937 masterpiece, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". I've never been able to determine what exactly was going on in these photos, but assume that the scenes were there to coincide with the VHS and LaserDisc release of the movie on October 28, 1994.

There was another series of photos showing various Tomorrowland ride vehicles on display; An Astro Orbiter rocket, an old Autopia car, a Peoplemover car, a Skyway gondola, and... this Rocket Rods vehicle. The Rocket Rods are infamous for replacing the beloved Peoplemover, not to mention for breaking down often, causing great wear and tear on a track that wasn't designed for a ride of that style, and for being very short-lived (from May of 1998 through September 25, 2001).

And finally, the Dream Team had a wonderful series of photos from what I believe was around 1977 (perhaps a year or two later); see PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, and PART 4. And as fun as the actual parade was, my favorite of the bunch is this picture taken after the merriment, when the crowds swarmed onto Main Street.

Back in May, when Knott's Berry Farm's "Ghost Town Alive" event was underway, Irene briefly showed up in a YouTube video! You'll see her as "Miss Amethyst" at 14:41. Irene LOVED Knott's (and especially the "Ghost Town Alive" event), and it's sweet to see her so happy.

I should mention that there are at least 50 photos from Irene that have not yet been shared on GDB, so look for those in the months to come.

Farewell to our dear Irene, rest in peace.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Two Random

I have two pretty OK photos for you on this Sunday... so it is NOT a "Snoozer Sunday", for a change!

First up is this unusual view (from March, 1962) presumably taken from a speeding monorail as the guest looked out toward the blurry border between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. You can see the Sub Lagoon, and even the waterfall entrance/exit to the dark ride portion of the Submarine Voyage. Right in the foreground is the striped roof over the Fantasyland Autopia queue. Not super exciting, but as I said, it's unusual, and that makes it OK in my book.

Next is this pretty photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle, from March, 1981. It's so lovely, with all of that lush greenery and the colorful flowers. Not quite "POSTCARD WORTHY" perhaps, but pretty darn close to it!

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Scenes from the USA

I've recently gone through some of my random slides and scanned a bunch for use on "Anything Goes Saturdays". There's some fun stuff!

Let's start with this lovely view of the impressively grand Denver City and County building, from September, 1959. The photographer must have been standing in the "lantern" atop the gold-leafed State Capitol dome. Say, those mountains sure are rocky, I wonder what they're called? 

Zooming in on the rocket (purely decorative, sort of a rocket "throw pillow") that was perched in the City Center Park area, we can see a little western town! What in the world? Well, if you look at some old GDB posts HERE and HERE, you'll see photos from the centennial of Denver's gold rush. Where they found gold and stuff. I was happy to find this unusual detail in this photo!

Here's a more recent view, nabbed from the Web. Compare and contrast!

Next is this fun photo of the Big Chief Motel. Undated and unlabeled! I love that sign for the motel, and how about those wonderful automobiles? 

I have found that it's useful to search for postcards of motels, and I quickly found several for the Big Chief Motel in Bean Station, Tennessee! Here's an early "linen"-style postcard. When you woke up this morning, did you ever imagine that you'd see a photo of Bean Station? Talk about a good day! 

Here's a second, later "chrome" postcard, you can see that the "Mountain Crafts" part of the sign has been moved to the roof. For passing airplanes?

Friday, September 30, 2022

Beautiful Fantasyland, 1950s

I almost always love photos of Disneyland from the 1950s, and today's examples are nicer than usual. I hope you agree.

The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship was definitely one of those landmarks that just made people want to get a closer look. A pirate ship! Well I'll be! The level of detail on this galleon is impressive, any pirate who can afford to maintain his ship like that must be quite the marauder. "No need to fire your cannons, Scurvy Bill, just take my spices from the Indies and be on your way".

In spite of the slightly overcast sky, business is booming at the ice cream vendor's cart. You can see how proud the cast member is, he's the most popular kid in town. "But do they love me for ME?". Doubts can creep in. Luckily the little girl to the left just wants his autograph, which makes him feel better. To Dottie, don't take any wooden nickels. Love, Ice Cream Chris. He always underlines his signature with a flourish.

That one boy is carrying a magnificent and authentic spear, adorned with colorful feathers. Is the spear from Adventureland? Those feathers look like they are from various Birds of Paradise. But it might be from Frontierland too. The kid with the yellow sweater is frankly a bit jealous. "If I had that spear and a lion got loose, I'd save everyone". And he would, too.

Next, a view of Fantasyland as seen from the deck of the Pirate Ship. Skyway gondolas glide back and forth as if by magic, while Dumbo and his clones fly in circles. Timothy Mouse is holding a whip, but he only uses it to swat away tsetse flies (more common in Anaheim than you might imagine). 

Favorite detail: the costumes on the two cast members near the monkey cage. With those striped overalls and similarly-striped caps, they are ready to do some poppin' and some lockin'. Just like your old pal Major Pepperidge.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

DLRR & Main Street, 1950s

I sure seem to have a lot of photos from Disneyland, circa "some time in the 1950s". That's not a bad thing! Most of them are nothing super-extraordinary, but I love them anyway.

This first one appears to have been taken from just outside the park, with that chain link fence - the finest chain link available - looking very "hop-able". Why pay admission when you can just climb the fence? The wife can make a cup with her two hands and hoonch you over. How will she get over? She'll figure something out. Now I'm trying to imagine where you would have wound up if you did hop the fence and climb up that bit of the berm. What was on the other side? A tropical jungle? A land of tomorrow? Love this view of the end-car of the Disneyland Railroad. 

Gosh, what a beautiful shot of Main Street USA on what appears to be a lightly-attended winter's day. So wonderful, with Main Street Station looking surprisingly far away. The Tobacco Shop Indian is just visible, way down there near the transition to Town Square. Some familiar signs can be seen, for the Swift Market House, Gibson Greeting Cards, and the Wonderland Music Store. I wonder what treasures would be found in the Art Gallery? Original animation cels for $1.00? As always, the variety of architectural styles and details are very pleasing to the eye.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Stuff From the Box

OH YEAH, it's time for more Stuff From the Box! All the cool kids love it.

First up is this tiny (about 1 inch tall) brass pin from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. "A Century of Progress", now that's a motto. I love the hint of Art Deco design.

Next is a badge that any boy would be proud to wear (sorry girls, this was the 1930s after all - it was dolls and toy stoves for you). This brass badge signified that the bearer had been officially certified by the Department of Aviation as a FLIGHT COMMANDER. The highest civilian honor! I love that the plane resembles The Spirit of St. Louis. 

I love these little advertising pins, referred to as "celluloid flips" by some. This one is an ad for "Junket", and features "Little Miss Junket". Junket is a company that makes prepackaged powdered dessert mixes and ingredients for making various curdled, milk-based foods, such as rennet custard, ice cream and rennet tablets. It was founded in 1874 by Christian Hansen in Hansen's Laboratorium in Denmark to make rennet extract for the cheesemaking industry. Later in 1878, he opened up operations in the United States. Hungry yet? I didn't think so. Notice that the flip has a tiny 1906 date at the bottom of the back panel.

When World War II loomed, even the Lone Ranger did his part fighting the Axis, as evidenced by this 1942 badge. "Lone Ranger Victory Corps" - I have read that this was given out as a General Mills premium, but also found sources that said that this item was sold in stores. Which is correct? Maybe both!

The next two pieces are part of my "employee badge" collecting phase. It's another tiny pin, just over .5" in diameter. I am guessing that it is from the 1930s. It's nice to be a part of the family!

And finally, an employee badge from United States Rubber Co. (Shelbyville Mills), with a photo of a pretty girl who looks like she is no older than 14 or 15. I guess that they needed everybody to work in the factories during WWII.

 It will not surprise you to learn that there is lots more Stuff From the Box!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cute In the Plaza, March 1962

Today I'm continuing with a batch of slides from 1962, in which a large percentage of the images feature a charming young woman - presumably the photographer's wife. Man, he was crazy about her, daddy-o! 

As you can see, she has already made a stop at a souvenir stand, where she has purchased a guide book and a "straw" boater. Those overcast skies can produce a lot of glare! We can see a few of the classic horse hitches that have since been removed (I believe). So if you bring your own horse to Disneyland, you'll have to hobble him. As usual, the Matterhorn makes for an impressive background.

Sorry about the weird color on this one, I just couldn't get it to look right. Our gal is standing right in the middle of the Plaza, with the entrance to Frontierland behind her. I'll give you one guess as to where she will be heading next. There appears to be a construction wall to the left, I'm not sure what that was for. Any ideas? To our right, one of those drinking fountains, though it is missing its C&H sugar bag.

Monday, September 26, 2022

A Pair From May 5th, 1980

1980 was a pretty good year at Disneyland. The 25th Anniversary, as many of you recall. I can picture the silver and blue signs all over the park! Of course, being 42 years younger than we are now would make everything LOTS better.

This late afternoon shot of Frontierland shows the Mark Twain, snuggled up in Fowler's Harbor, ready for sleepy time. But the Columbia isn't ready for night-night, it's still zipping around the river, honking its horn and looking for a party and some brewskis. You'd think it would have grown out of that phase, but no such luck. Tom Sawyer Island closed at dusk, maybe that's why three rafts were moored to our left. 

I'm not sure if this next photo was taken from the Disneyland Railroad, but... it's possible? I'm looking at the considerable number of people to the left, at first I thought they might be waiting for an upcoming parade. But maybe they are actually waiting in line for It's a Small World? If so... wow! Still, what a beautiful day to be there.