Sunday, January 16, 2022

Random Snoozers

Today I have the opportunity to use up some real SNOOZERS. You'll see for yourself why each one was not ready for prime time.

Like this one, from April, 1959. Our photographer was aboard either the Mark Twain or the Columbia, and they used a zoom lens (impressive, really) to try to capture one of the Native American dancers over in the Indian Village's "Dance Circle". But their timing left something to be desired... the dancer's head is obscured by a pine tree, and we mostly see the audience - some with cameras at the ready so that they can capture the best moments for posterity.

Also from April, 1959 is this photo of Zippy the Zebra. Zebras are notoriously shy, and Zippy is no exception. He's probably embarrassed because, unlike other zebras, his design is black stripes on a white base, rather than white stripes on a black base. Poor Zippy.

From April, 1973 comes this photo - it would be a winner if it wasn't for that darn blur. I'm unsure as to where the photographer was when he/she took this picture. On the Peoplemover? It seems too far west to be the Skyway. I'll let you guys decide! Anyway, we're above the first level of the Peoplemover track looking toward the Plaza, with not much that is identifiable in the distance, except for the cupola of the Haunted Mansion.


Nanook said...

In 'blurry image' #3, the photographer musta been in a moving rocket jet - hence the blur. I believe I can see a couple of masts from the Columbia off in the distance.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Pic 1: I can’t wait to read the comments on this one, later today!

Pic 2: White meat, dark meat, white meat, dark meat, white meat, dark meat, tail.

Pic 3: It may be blurry, but I can clearly see the purple and yellow flower combination that screams “Tomorrowland!” to me. I love it!

Thanks, Major, for this great material for a fun day of comments! I’ll be back.

JB said...

[snorfff] Wha...? Oh, it's time for Sunday Snoozers. I musta dozed off already... and I haven't even looked at today's offerings yet. Wow, this crop of snoozers must be snoozier than usual to put Jr. Gorillas asleep without even looking at them! Must... stay... awake... [ZzzzZz]

OK, I'm back again. In the first pic, the photographer must have known that half of the frame was blocked by that tree, yet he snapped the picture anyway. I'm guessing that the boat was moving from left to right, and that the pine tree would be out of frame in another second. Looks like another tree is coming into view on the right. Perhaps he took multiple, rapid-fire shots and kept the 'good' one, leaving us with the reject. I think my brain is rambling... [zZZzz]

Zippy the Zebra's unfortunate condition reminds me of the old Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin and the other guy who had black & white markings on opposite sides of their faces. I applaud the premise of the episode but it wasn't one of my favorites.

In the last pic, I think we're aboard the Rocket Jets, flying high above the PeopleMover; hence the blur.
Edit, Nanook said the same thing almost word-for-word. Oh well.

Sue, "white meat, dark meat..." That made me laugh. Thank y... [ZZzzz]

Thanks, Major, for today's Snooz... [ZzZzZz]

TokyoMagic! said...

Is the PeopleMover track torn up? It might be just because of the blur, but I'm not seeing any of the Goodyear tires in the track, which propelled the cars forward. Also, there are no cars! Could the attraction have been going through a refurbishment?

I don't remember ever seeing a Jungle Cruise photo of a "pre-African Veldt" zebra, before. Cool, man!


That was my thought too!! The appearance of a zebra prior to the African Veldt addition??? That GNU to me!!

The PeopleMover guideway does seem to be “wheelless”. Around 1972 a new material replaced the push-plattens that were added in 1968 that replaced the original 1967 plywood plush pattens. I don’t think this would be for guideway removal .... but they were rubber tires and they needed replacing now-and then.

Not like a Rocket Rod that needed new tires every week!!!

Last image : definitely taken from a Rocket Jet!

Melissa said...

The Dancer-Eating Tree strikes again! A bunch of the audience members in that picture look like they could be related; a big family group, maybe.

I actually had to hunt for Zippy in the striped shadows of the leaves - zebra markings suddenly make sense!

That incarnation of the Tomorrowland entrance plaza and its grander-scale sister in the east, never fail to put a lump in my throat. I miss the old future.

Chuck said...

TM!, the zebra photo was actually taken along the banks of the Rivers of America. The fact that this is the only photo I've ever seen of that particular tableau (which was in place from March of 1959 to January of 2016) gives you an idea of just how effective that black-on-white camouflage is.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, and I suppose you are also going to tell me that the zebra was relocated from the Rivers of America, to Wookie World, and now wears full Stormtrooper gear? ;-)

Bu said...

Love the Gnu's, Gazelles and G'Zebras! I'm not sure they are so shy in the wild, but perhaps he is "special". I always loved hearing the stories about Hearst's G'Zebras at his G'Castle. They were still around when I visited in the 90's...but I think they got randy with Horses and became G'Zhorses. Every single person is totally immersed in that Indian small feat, it must have been compelling. The only odd man out is glasses and bald there in the back- maybe he is looking for a G'bathroom? Tomorrowland from the rockets! With the Peoplemover clearly in re-hab. Sue: I loved those yellow and purple pansies too at the entrance. Sometimes they were also marigolds and purple pansies. I try to recreate that combo in my garden every year. I'm trying to date that photo- perhaps the "Bell" logo will solve the mystery...which I think was Pacific Bell (?) or just "Bell System" at the time? Not sure..the whole phone thing back then was a weird mafia-esque thing that I never really understood...or didn't want to. We all certainly were well aware of the phone lines when the minute by minute charges for America On Line came to astronomic totals every month!

JG said...

Photo 1 - would rather see the pictures taken by squatting guy to right, but hey, I’m grateful for these anyway.

Photo 2 - all the good comments are already posted. The animatronic skeleton was repurposed later to become part of America Sings.

Photo 3 - definitely taken, if not from a jet, then at least from the G’Platform.

Bu, in 1967, AT&T was the Bell System conglomerate nation-wide. The breakup came much later in the early 80’s, resulting in the Baby Bells, of which among others, was Pacific Bell. The architecture firm I worked for at that time did a lot of work for AT&T and the change to PAC Bell was very disruptive. Many of our contacts were laid off and there was a big drop in business from them, which came back only slowly. I lost my architecture job and moved to another firm that wasn’t so dependent on a single client.


Omnispace said...

Thanks for the photos Major! The photographer of the first photo was actually a die-hard -- decided to jump on the Mark Twain to get the ultimate photo of his family watching the Indian dances. At least he made the effort.

"Zzzzzzebra" is what I say. Interesting fact - the stripes are not necessarily for camouflage but to optically confuse predators when in a herd so it's hard to single one out.

Great info Mike. I think I remember reading somewhere about the Peoplemover change-out. Something about the original wheels and plywood slipping in wet weather, and loss of control of a train on a grade. But the photo looks like they removed even the motors! We only visited maybe once a year but it seemed quite common for the Peoplemover to be closed down and the tracks empty of trains. :\

Chuck said...

TM!, I am shocked (and a little insulted) by your suggestion! When have you known me to post such ridiculously untrue misinformation on GDB?

Kathy! said...

I thought there was a giant sunflower in the first pic, but then I realized it was a feathered circle. Yeah, let’s track down the photos from the other photographers we see there! The zebra photo is another one that could fool someone into thinking it was a real animal — in a strange environment for a zebra. Thanks for the snoozariffic pics, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the Rocket Jets? That’s crazy talk! I think the photo was taken from “Mr. Toad”!

Lou and Sue, a zebra (I pronounce it like “Debra”) has something for everyone. Yes, the purple and yellow flowers are there for sure!

JB, I hope you weren’t driving your Lamborghini while looking at today’s post on your phone. Or even your 1965 Mustang. The use of a zoom lens in that first photo hints that this was no ordinary photographer, but I don’t think he (she?) took multiple, rapid-fire shots like we do so casually with our phones. Well, some people do that, I never have. I remember that Star Trek episode, Frank Gorshin in a rare serious role. As a kid I liked it, but it’s been a long time since I’ve watched it! I’m telling you, photo 3 was taken from Mr. Toad. How many times do I have to say it?

TokyoMagic!, hmmm, the Peoplemover track does seem to look a bit odd. This must be a rare photo from when they added the loop (that joke never gets old!). I never thought about the fact that zebras weren’t numerous on the Jungle Cruise before the African Veldt scene!

Mike Cozart, OUCH. I thought that the “platens” (or whatever they are called) were on each individual Peoplemover car? Maybe my concept of how that ride was propelled has been wrong all these years. Either way, the fact that they used plywood is fairly astonishing. I prefer to use platinum for that sort of thing, it lasts and lasts.

Melissa, I’ve seen some ridiculously huge family groups at the park, somehow they managed to get 20 people to line up their schedules. I guess Zippy proves that the zebra camouflage works! With all of Florida’s sunshine (and rain), I’m surprised that the entrance to the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland didn’t have its own flowery entryway.

Chuck, in a way it was a version of the famous (and cool) “dazzle” camouflage! That’s why we used zebras to fight in Europe.

TokyoMagic!, that’s silly, Zippy wears a bantha costume in Wookie World.

Bu, who knows the ways of the zebra? Nobody, because they typically spend most of their time at the bottom of the sea. There are still zebras at Hearst Castle, though they always seem to be elsewhere when I have gone. I read that a neighboring rancher shot one for some stupid reason. If that old man is looking for a G’bathroom, my heart goes out to him. “Where is the boy’s teepee?”. The last photo is from 1973, I told you right in the text, no need for sleuthing! As a kid I was fascinated by the idea of a network of wires that enabled people to talk to each other all over the country. Nowadays it seems prosaic.

JG, yes, I think that a lot when I see a photo of somebody ELSE taking photos - “I wish I could see THOSE”. I never thought about how breaking up the AT&T monolith would affect smaller business - I assume things are better for consumers today, though I would be hard-pressed to prove it.

Omnispace, I guess you’re right, if the purpose of photo #1 was to capture the people in the audience, then… bravo! I like to confuse predators by being extra dumb - they never understand what I’m doing. The idea that they used plywood for the Peoplemover AT ALL is stunning to me. Was the transparent aluminum store closed that day? If the wheels slipped on the plywood, they just needed to glue some macaroni to the plywood for extra friction. I have ideas!

Chuck, sometimes TokyoMagic! can be a little bit blunt, but he means no harm!

Major Pepperidge said...

Kathy!, yeah, they had some feathered decorations, I’m sure they have a real name, but I sure don’t know what it is. I remember in “The E-Ticket” magazine they had a photo of Walt in a car on Main Street on opening day, and you can see a photographer on a nearby roof. Then they had the view as taken by the person on the roof! It was pretty amazing.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Checking back now, and not disappointed, at all.

Kathy, I first thought that was a sunflower, too. It's sort of like what the Indian was wearing in the one photo from Major's Jan. 8 post.

Bu, I LOVE that you use purple and yellow flowers together! What I suggest you do is talk Mike into giving you his 'rocket tower tail cone' - and add that to your flower bed. I like the idea of more flowers flowing out of it. Heck, let's see if he'll lend you his rocket jet. People fill all kinds of things with flowers. Now that would scream "Tomorrowland!" Come to think of it, why hasn't Disney made cool planters of some of their attractions?? Wouldn't you love getting a Happy Birthday plant that's potted in a cute little rocket jet, or tea cup, or whatever?

JB said...

Tokyo and Chuck and Major et al, Actually, Zippy doesn't wear any costume at all in Wookiee World. He's just standing there, out in the open. But because he's able to blend in with his surroundings so well, it'll probably be 2037 before anybody notices him.

Bu, I G'uffawed at your G'alliteration. Oh wait, guffaw already has a "G" at the beginning... G'never mind.

JG, Hmmm. Now I'm trying to picture which Animatronic figure in America Sings just stands there and twitches its ears and swishes its tail around in circles.

Major, why of course! The last photo was indeed taken from Mr. Toad; it's so obvious! [JB says, while Major P. moves his finger away from the Perma-Ban button.]
Yes Major, that 'loop' joke never gets old. [See previous sentence.]
“Where is the boy’s teepee?” Wouldn't that be the peepee teepee? PLEASE DON'T BAN ME!
Yep, if they had used macaroni, Elmer's Glue, and a lot of glitter, that woulda kept the PeopleMover running smoothly and we'd still have it today!

Sue, I think the closest Disney would come to your idea would be to sell regular generic tea cups with a packet of seeds stuffed inside. ($14.95, plus tax)

Melissa said...

Say G’nite, G’racie!

JB, I bought some kind of seed kit at the Land pavilion at EPCOT; it can’t have grown into much because I have no memory of what it looked like or what happened to it other than that it contained seeds of some sort.

Bu said...

I can't take G'credit for my G'literation. This was a Jungle Cruise gag. I have no original ideas. In fact, in art school one of my teachers made a very specific point that NO ideas are original. They are just amalgamations of other ideas into new ideas/thoughts/concepts. I could wax poetic on that, but will stop. Sue: I'm not sure Mr. Cozart would like the one zillion dollar pieces/parts used as planters, but you never know. Disneyland certainly made cool things into planters: like the fountains in front of Tomorrowland, so why not. I only lament briefly when I see architectural Disneyland things for sale/auction. Even if I had the money, I don't think so. It's more about "where do I put that?!". Like the giant and very weighty parking lot sign I had in my garage for 14 years. Too big, too heavy, leave it for the next. It probably ended up in the dump like a lot of other Disneyland stuff from Disneyland. Skull Rock would look super cool in my backyard as a giant planter. All of the tropicals would need to be plastic though. Winters are rough.


Major: yes the the push-plates or “platens” are on the underside of each PeopleMover car .... and I was saying If the 3rd platen change was occurring in these pictures as the time would be about right - it wouldn’t explain the need to remove the wheels and motors ( which is obviously happening in these images )

Of course if you are going to have to change out 208 individual PeopleMover push-platens ..... it might be a good time to go ahead and device your WEDWAY motors too and cut down the need for a extra attraction downtime.

I have a PeopleMover maintainence log book that covers 1989 - 1995 , but can’t help with these photos.

Dean Finder said...

Melissa, those kits they sell at EPCOT are Mini Mickey Gardens. Here's someone's review of one.
Never bought one myself, but I saw them preparing grafts during the "Behind the Seeds" walking tour in The Land. I think that was the lab where they used to do genetic engineering with the USDA before that term became controversial.

Melissa said...

Thanks for the memory refresh, Dean!