Monday, January 31, 2022

Fantasyland Scenes, April 1973

Here are two classic scans from Fantasyland, circa 1973.

First up is this shot that features Dumbo's Flying Elephants and the Skyway (and the Chalet, which kind of vanishes in the shadows). This is obviously the simpler early version of "Dumbo" with only 10 elephants - the ride was later upgraded in 1983, and then replaced with a bigger version  that has 16 elephants. I like the general 1970s vibe here. And look at those trees towering above the Chalet! They look impressive, though one might argue that they were getting a bit too big.

And, surprise surprise, it's the ol' tuna boat, now known as "Captain Hook's Galley" (after Chicken of the Sea ended its sponsorship in 1969). In spite of the pain of losing the mermaid figurehead, who always inspired joy and happiness, the Pirate Ship still looked impressive. Naturally eroded stone (amazing how that worked!) turned out to serve as comfy benches for those with aching feet.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Frontierland Critters, October 1967

It's time for more critters from Frontierland. I'm surprised that guests didn't give each one its own sassy nickname - I guess they didn't go in for that sort of thing in 1967, but I'll bet they would do it now. In fact, each animal would have an elaborate back story, and maybe even special merchandise.

There's Morty Moose, he walked all the way from Minnesota to live in Disneyland, and that wasn't easy. But he had a song in his heart and a pocketful of dreams (even if he didn't have any pockets). Now he's living the good life.

A family of mule deer blend in to the scenery pretty well... the adults are a bit more shy, one is entirely in the shadows, while mama peeks out from behind a shrub.

Those two fawns are too naive (dumb?) to know better, they're strutting around like they own the place. It won't be long before they take up smoking, spitting, and disrespecting their elders. HARD FACTS!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Two From Burbank

Many people have heard of the city of Burbank thanks to Johnny Carson (who loved to lampoon the town) and "Laugh-In" ("Beautiful downtown Burbank"). It's also home to the Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Studio. I'm fond of the city, having worked there, and spent hours haunting the various antiques (junk?) shops, book stores, animation galleries, and so forth. Today I have two photos (from October, 1974) taken there.

First up is this great photo of a lady posing next to Bob of "Bob's Big Boy" fame. While the oldest Big Boy restaurant (from 1949) is still in Burbank (a fabulous mid-century structure), this appears to have been the restaurant formerly located at 624 San Fernando Road. I always loved our infrequent visits to these restaurants, the Big Boy hamburger seemed impossibly huge and delicious at the time, and if you were smart enough to order a milkshake, it arrived in a heavy glass, with some extra shake in a frosty metal tumbler that had been used to mix it up. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!

Not too far away from Bob's was the NBC Studio on West Alameda Drive, where Johnny Carson moved (from New York) in 1972. Perhaps these nice ladies had traveled to Burbank to see a taping of Johnny's show. I used to drive past this studio all the time, but only set foot on the property for a school field trip. I should have gone to see Johnny at least once! In 2007, NBC moved most of its operations to the Universal Studios lot in Universal City.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Two Random Beauties

It's Friday - a good day to share two very nice scans for the start of your weekend. 

From "sometime in the 1950s" comes this photo of a woman and her little daughter, posing in the Indian Village with the "wigwasigamig" (or birch bark house) in the background. The mother's polka dots help to confuse and startle werewolves, allowing her to safely escape.

It's hard to ignore that crate with shovels leaning against it, along with the ladder next to the boy. Not to mention the group of 5-gallon Sparkletts bottles! More of those "hard facts" we keep hearing about?

Another "sometime in the 1950s" photo features the wonderful Junior Autopia, which debuted in July of 1956, and used vehicles that were identical to the ones in the "Senior Autopia", except that there were blocks on the pedals so that the short legs of kids could reach them. This whole area looks so surprisingly empty and undeveloped! 

Traffic was light this particular day, too. That lucky girl got a tomato-red beauty to drive. Curiously, I saw a piece of trivia on one website that stated that the "Junior Autopia was the only Autopia track to have a center guardrail to prevent accidents on the raceway". Um, really?

I hope you have enjoyed today's scans!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Monorail! May 1981

Here are two photos featuring the fabulous Mark III Monorail. Red, that is. BUBBLE DOME! The Mark IIIs had been in service since about 1968, but they still looked incredible. 

In 1985, the Mark III trains were phased out - they were apparently very worn out - and Mark V models (Mark IVs were at WDW) were built on the old chassis - these are the "Lear jet" models that were around until the Mark VII models began being introduced in 1997. I don't think anyone has surpassed Bob Gurr's wonderful designs. The guy was good!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Frontierland & More Columbia, 1979

I'm continuing the series of photos from the Mysterious Benefactor's collection, mostly featuring the Columbia. BUT FIRST, here's a dark (but pretty) photo looking back toward the Frontierland Shooting Gallery, with the Casa de Fritos to our left. 

Here's a nice shot with the stately figurehead facing sunward, with a tangle of ropes and pulleys and toasters. If only you could hear me, I'm bellowing a salty sea shanty at the top of my lungs.

It looks like they must have hired Von Dutch to put some fancy pinstriping on the Columbia. Unfortunately there are no photos of the cool flames that were painted toward the stern of the boat.

I certainly didn't expect there to be water near a sailing ship. This is why I got a "D" in all of my classes. As you can see, our photographer (whoever he/she was) snapped many MANY photos in quick succession. Which led to a lot of repetition.

Would you believe that there are a half-dozen photos of the wooden planks that make up the dock? Well, there are, and as much as I love details, I think one of these should satisfy even the most hard core among us.

 There's lots more from the Mysterious Benefactor!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Golden Horseshoe Revue, October 1967

Here are three fun and unusual photos taken from the balcony of the Golden Horseshoe Revue back in 1967. For that "you are there" experience!

Oh boy, cancan girls! Sure, this saucy dance is scandalous, but everybody needs a little scandal in their lives sometimes. The cancan... is a high-energy, physically demanding dance that became a popular music-hall dance in the 1840s, continuing in popularity in French cabaret to this day.Originally danced by couples, it is now traditionally associated with a chorus line of female dancers. The main features of the dance are the vigorous manipulation of skirts and petticoats, along with high kicks, splits, and cartwheels.

That's a pretty small stage for four high-kicking gals - maybe 12 feet wide? But they made it work for decades. Now the dancers have feather boas; I hardly ever seen feather boas "out in the wild" anymore. Well, maybe in certain parts of L.A.

The famous Moulin Rouge did not allow its cancan dancers to wear revealing undergarments - but other places did. That famous establishment developed what most of us think of (when we think of the cancan at all!); a combination of the individual style of the Parisian dance-halls and the chorus-line style of British and American music halls. You know, what you might see in an MGM musical.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Pearly Band, The Magic Kingdom, January 1973

Here are three fun views from the Magic Kingdom in Florida from January, 1973, at some mysterious venue that I can't identify (no surprise there). Perhaps you can? On stage is a modified, modernized version of the famous Pearly Band. Is that fellow playing an electric bass guitar? What would Mary Poppins have to say about that? (Come on, we all know that Mary Poppins would ROCK).

Over to the right, Pinocchio, J. Worthington Foulfellow (aka "Honest John") and his pal Gideon dance with three young ladies. Girls are much more outgoing when it comes to that sort of thing. My highly-trained eye can tell that they are doing the Frug, the Batusi, and the Swim. 

A young boy near the stage has Adam Rich's hairdo.

Now two mice from Cinderella, Jacques and Gus Gus are showing off their moves as well as their early version of rapping (consisting of ear-piercing shrieks with no discernible rhythm). To the left, Eeyore, Pooh, and Tigger talk about Elvis' concert in Hawaii, they watched it on TV like many others.

And finally, we get one more look at the controlled mayhem - soon a mosh pit would form, with bodies colliding and arms flailing. Good times!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Porthole Views, October 1967

It's one of those days; one of those snoozer days, that is. Here are two scans that are not really worth your time, but maybe, on a slow Sunday, they might provide some value.

So - a passenger aboard the classic Submarine Voyage decided (like many before) to snap a few pictures while looking out one of the portholes. After all, we're actually under water! This doesn't happen every day. Most people who take pictures like these leaned forward to get an unimpeded view, but this person didn't. For some reason. 

In this first one, a family of giant clams - papa clam, mama clam, and baby clam, all rest, or maybe they're being especially active, it's hard to tell with a clam. There's also various corals and seaweeds, as well as a ghostly sunfish (or Mola Mola, as I likes to say) lurking in the near distance. Did you know that a female sunfish can produce as many as 300 million eggs at a time? That's a lotta eggs!

Next is my favorite tableau, featuring a battle to the death between an octopus and a shark. The shark is wondering how he got into this mess, since he was just sniffing around for a nice mackerel or sardine, perhaps. But they don't call octopi "devil fish" for nothin'. I once saw a YouTube video showing an octopus attacking a dogfish (a small species of shark), so I guess that this scene isn't as ridiculous as I used to believe.


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Visiting Caesar's Palace, 1968

It's another "Anything Goes Saturday", and this time we are returning to Las Vegas. I've had these scans for a while, and part of me was convinced that I'd already shared them, but after doing a search, I guess you've never seen them.

Caesar's Palace is one of the more famous icons of Las Vegas, and here we see some women and girls posing beneath the colossal marquee, just like one would have seen in ancient Rome. Intense pink must have been the color of the moment for females right about then. Look at the names on the sign; Buddy Rich! The Four Preps! Harry Belafonte (Day-oh)! And some other names I'm not so familiar with. Gaylord and Holiday (a comedy team, presumably)? Lee Meza? Kim Weston? 

The same group of gals now poses near a fountain, while a statue of naked men frolicking doesn't get any attention. There appears to be at least two adult women in this group - sisters or sisters-in-law? Maybe that man is one of the husbands, and he just snapped a picture with that lady's Instamatic. I hope this family went to enjoy a fabulous performance by The Four Preps!


Friday, January 21, 2022

Peter Pan and Skull Rock, June 1962

Here are a few fun photos from June, 1962. They are from stereo views, but I decided that the "wiggle-vision" views caused more headaches than was worthwhile.

First up is this cute view of two young kids (perhaps 5 years old?) sitting in their pirate ship vehicle, about to fly over moonlit London and on to Neverland. The girl looks pretty chill, but the boy is all business. He knows how important this mission is. I love that they are both wearing their souvenir "Indian headdresses" - I don't recall seeing those on kids in any of my other photos. 

"Come on everybody, here we gooooooo!". The girl gives us a smile as the pirate ship begins to fly. I wonder if this was their first-ever trip on this attraction? After all these years, it still ranks among everyone's top Fantasyland rides.

We've seen plenty of nice photos of Skull Rock, and I love many of them, but the addition of the boy with his feathered headdress almost makes this one POSTCARD WORTHY. The trash can (which I dig, daddy-o) might not be postcard material, though. At this point Skull Rock and the lagoon were two years old, but the plants are still pretty small. It looks like the highest waterfall (to the right of the skull) wasn't working on this day.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Frontierland, April 1959

I have a pair of nice views of Frontierland from 1959 to share with you today. '59 was a pivotal year in the park's history, though Frontierland was not where the big changes were happening, so it all looks very peaceful.

I believe that the pony-tailed girl is standing at the "mainland" landing for the raft to Tom Sawyer Island... it looks like the raft across the water is just in the process or scooting up to the dock to unload a full compliment of guests. The wait shouldn't be too long though. I love seeing the bit of shore to the left, still undeveloped at "wild".

It sure seems as if a large portion of those guests are of the kid variety! Parents are probably hoping that the children and teens will run around and burn off some of that excess energy. In the meantime, adults can take a leisurely stroll, or even climb Castle Rock if they are in the mood.

The old grist mill was always a wonderfully picturesque feature on the south end of TSI, and the turning waterwheel added some kinetic movement and the pleasant sound of splashing water. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Disneyland Hotel Marina, 1970

It's LOU AND SUE time again, hooray! We're continuing to check out the Disneyland Hotel's new marina in a series of photo prints from 1970 (see the first batch HERE).

If you have a marina, you must have some boats. It stands to reason! And the Disneyland Hotel marina had a variety of watercraft, including these sporty little numbers with outboard motors. They should have stocked the water with smallmouth bass so we might catch a lunker or two. To be honest I am unclear as to whether guests could rent these boats and pilot them around, or if they were there purely for decoration.

You know the sailboats were just for decoration! I am pretty sure that there were paddle boats available eventually, but I see no hint of them in these photos. 

I assume that this marine area was once where guests could swim in several different pools, were all the swimming pools gone by this point? Seems kind of a shame if so. 

Here's a nice view from a hotel room looking down on the marina. That orange object to the right (on shore) is a kind of emergency life raft, I think. Notice the garden apartments toward the top center of the image, and in the hazy (smoggy) distance, the Anaheim Convention Center. Look at all that wide-open land, even in 1970!

I sure do envy all the lucky people who got to stay at the Disneyland Hotel for a multi-day stay at the park. Instead of having to rush to do everything in one day, you can go back to your room, relax, maybe enjoy a nice meal, take a nap, and then head back later in the day, refreshed and rarin' to go.

I absolutely love that Lou took this great photo of the hotel room interior! Unusual for sure. It looks like he and Dolly did just what I suggested in the previous photo - they've returned to their room to take a breather. Wow, look at that smog outside, it's pretty bad! On the bed we see one familiar shopping bag from the park, and if you look closely, you can see a copy of the "Preview Edition" guidebook for Walt Disney World. 

Here's what the cover looks like.

THANKS to Lou and Sue!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A Selection From April, 1973

After scanning a batch of slides from 1973, I found (as is often the case) that there were very nice views, some bad ones, and then the examples that fall somewhere in between. Your monocle won't fall out (well, maybe Chuck's will), but you might push your fedora back on your head and say, "My, my!".

Like this one. Most of us like a view of the old, classic Disneyland sign - a sign that quickened the heartbeats of so many fans over the years. In this case we're seeing it from a speeding Monorail, which explains the motion blur (hey, it could be worse). Across the street is the Saga motel - it must have been Norse-themed. Beds had animal hides as blankets, and the staff wore helmets with horns. I hope you like fish for breakfast - not salmon and eggs, that would be expensive. How about fish sticks and eggs?

The old garden apartments at the Disneyland Hotel had a special kind of ambiance - they were a modest two stories, and were surrounded by beautiful gardens (by the looks of it, the plants were mostly the kind that did well with less water). This one would be a winner if it wasn't so darn dark.

And finally, another view as seen from a Monorail traveling at near-light speed, zipping past the chalet from the Matterhorn queue. At least two bobsleds are visible, which is good luck. In the distance, the Carousel of Progress, the Skyway, and even the Grand Hotel.

 I hope you have enjoyed today's oddball collection!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Lion King Parade

Here's a fun lot of photos (scanned from prints) of the parade from the "Lion King Celebration", which debuted back in 1994. I guess there was a movie called "The Lion King"? Who ever heard of a king who's a lion! They don't even have opposable thumbs. Or DO they? These photos come to us courtesy of the DREAM TEAM - that's Irene, Bruce, and James.

Sure, I could dance up on that thing in my underwear too, but I have my pride. Get it? Lions? Pride? I'll be here all week. I appreciate the stylized creatures on the float. That young lady appears to be having a good time. She and I both live for the art of the dance.

Quick, Henry, the Flit! Bug spray is the only thing to use when you have an infestation of crocodiles. What, you didn't know that crocs are insects? I guess you didn't go to the University of Phoenix like I did.

This float appears to have many drummers on it - I can imagine a big sound of multiple percussion instruments really getting the heart pumping. Maybe there was one fellow on the end of the float playing a tiny triangle. We can only hope.

Giraffes. Why did it have to be giraffes? 

Oh boy, it's the star of the show himself, Kimba. I mean Simba. One online description proceeds thusly: The last float - Pride Rock - is led by a group of zebra and cheetah dancers, two tribal elephant dancers and two tribal bird dancers. Simba stands atop Pride Rock while Nala roars and drums out the beat with her paw at the foot of the float. Above them, Mufasa's face is represented in a spinning sun design.

Here's another shot of the same float from a different day. Simba was basically the Santa Claus of this parade. You know what I mean!

And finally, from yet another day comes this nice photo taken from a distance, giving a sense of the crowds that would gather for this parade. Love the late-afternoon light, with the guests all in shadow. 

Thanks as always to the Dream Team!