Monday, February 28, 2022

River and Island Views, August 1966

Before I get to our regularly-scheduled blog post, I want to wish Lou Perry (of "Lou and Sue" fame) a very happy birthday! Lou is 93 years young. What a guy! Here's a photo of him at Walt Disney World, Sue B. sneaked a shot while he was doing his thing.  

Here are two slide scans, date-stamped "August 1966". At first glance they appear to be fairly ordinary, but some details are pretty interesting.

I'm guessing that this photo was taken from the Mark Twain, mostly due to the height. It could be from the Columbia, I suppose. We're looking down on Tom Sawyer Island, with the fishing dock closest to us - notice the long cane poles sticking out of that barrel. Beyond that is an unused raft moored at "Tom's Landing"... I guess visitors were rafting over to the Island via "Huck's Landing" on the western shore.

I wish our photographer had included more of what was going on to the left, because we can see just a sliver of Haunted Mansion construction, with piles of earth, some wooden framing, and (from what little we can see) the house itself, far from complete. There are some construction workers wearing their blue hardhats. The large show building is also visible from this angle. It's interesting to note that the construction wall was low enough for an adult to casually watch what was going on, no need to stand on your wife's shoulders.

This next one is from the very same lot, and yet it is clear that the Mansion is much farther along - in fact the actual house looks complete. I have no idea how many months later this must have been taken. Six months? Less? things moved pretty quickly back in those days.

It's also evident that additional trees were planted to partially obscure some of the Haunted Mansion, either to hide that show building, or to add a bit of mystery (or both). Meanwhile, it's fun to see the busy shore, the load of guests on the raft, and the Keelboat. And even the skiff that was used for various maintenance tasks along the river!

Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Pair From April, 1973

It's a Snoozer Sunday, and you know what that means. Well, you should, anyway. It's the day when I share photos that aren't so hot. Maybe they're too dark, or a little blurry, or just boring. It's always something.

This shot of Snow White's Grotto is clearly too dark, with Snow White and her pals nearly lost in the inky shadows. If they weren't carved from white marble, they'd be invisible to the eye. Some of those trees are impressive, I wonder if any are still there, or if they've been replaced (or removed) at some time? In spite of its flaws, I admit that this is a pretty area.

Next is this view of Tomorrowland, kind of a nuthin' view even though we do have the Skyway, the Matterhorn, and "It's a Small World".  But the center of the image is... sky and some distant trees. Was this taken from the Peoplemover? Or maybe from the Rocket Jets platform? 


GDB friend Mike Cozart sent me some photos from his personal collection, showing some of the signage that was by the Snow White Wishing Well. Pretty cool!

Here's a page from a Tokyo Disneyland guidebook (1983 version), you can see their version of the Snow White Grotto sign:

And here is the Wishing Well sign, with that kooky snail!

THANK YOU, Mike Cozart!


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Imagineers at the Fair (and More)

Some of you may recall some scans featuring some Disney animators and Imagineers from their visit to the New York World's Fair. If you don't, please check them out HERE, HERE, and HERE. I have a few remaining photos, and decided that I might as well share them today.

The Swiss Sky Ride was one of the more prominent and popular attractions at the Fair, but Switzerland had its own separate pavilion too. Visitors would see displays of clocks, watches, chocolates and cheese are housed in building reminiscent of Alpine chalets. A tourist information center and a restaurant are part of the pavilion. Electronic equipment in the time Center controls 10 modern Swiss clock towers which provide accurate time at the Fair entrances. Animator/Imagineer Ken Anderson's head is right by the doors (looking back toward us), while animator Les Clark (in the gray sport coat close to us) and Imagineer Harriet Burns (in the blue coat) head toward the entrance.

Frankly I'm surprised that there aren't more photos of the gang in front of the Unisphere, but there was only this one example. That's Van Arsdale France with some ladies - I hate to just assume that they are all wives, when they could very well be Imagineers themselves. It's frustrating to not be able to ID them. I love the very chic outfit on the woman with the red hat and gloves.

I can't figure out where our friends were standing in this photo - the glass building with the angled walls should be easy to ID, but I have failed you. In the distance I see a map that might have to do with the Pan American Highway Garden, and just behind the glass wall might be walls and posters from the Pepsi/Unicef "It's a Small World" pavilion. Maybe they're at the "Better Living Center"?

Over in Sinclair Dinoland, Les Clark chats with Ken Anderson, maybe they were reminiscing about  working on the "Rite of Spring" segment of "Fantasia". Just behind Les is Harriet Burns again (that blue coat is easy to spot!).

Ken Anderson was prone to making dramatic declarations whenever he happened to be near one of those juice machines, and who can blame him? "Orange juice is not just a source of vitamin C, but other important nutrients such as folate, magnesium, and potassium!", he shouted. The raincoats and plastic babushkas tell us that precipitation has finally moved in. Hopefully it passed through quickly.

This photo was in the mix, and I looked up the Stadium Inn, only to find that it was conveniently located practically right next to the Fair. It must have been the hotel for the Disney folks, they could be experiencing some great moments with Mr. Lincoln in a jiffy! It's now a Holiday Inn.

Here's a vintage postcard, for you vintage postcard nuts. Or just nuts in general.

And finally, here's one last image of the gang posing in Central Park. I believe that the building above Blaine Gibson's head is the famous (infamous?) Dakota, which would make that Central Park West and 72nd Street. Just to the right is The Langham, and the double towers are part of The San Remo. Who can name more buildings?

I hope you have enjoyed these photos of Disney artists and Imagineers at the Fair!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Tomorrowland, June 1970

Today I'm sharing two slides (with a bunch of close-up details) from TOMORROWLAND, 1970! In Sensurround. These are from an odd lot of slides in which about half have good color, while the other half turned very blue. And I personally have a tougher time doing color-restoration on images that have turned blue (as opposed to those that have turned pink/red). Still, they are great to look at!

Wowee, now that's a Tomorrowland. It's a bit of a shame that the photo is almost perfectly bisected by that palm tree, but it's not easy to get a great composition from a moving Peoplemover vehicle. There's a lot going on here!

Many folks are milling around near Rolly Crump's neat ticket & information booth; I wonder how many people in line at the booth have already used up their "E", "D", and "C" tickets, and they are replenishing the supply? There are some choice souvenir hats on view, like the one on that little girl in the lower left corner.

The stage is in its "down" position, I guess Sunshine Balloon had to rest sometime. I'm loving some of the groovy fashions, like that woman's striped dress to the left. It looks like it might have been getting later in the afternoon, but plenty of guests are more than ready for a hamburger and fries at the Tomorrowland Terrace.

Rocket Jets! Peoplemover! And that stage where The Kids of the Kingdom would often perform.

And we get a glimpse of folks enjoying the view from the upper level of the Carousel of Progress building, while the Skyway glides past us. "Flight to the Moon" is in the distance.

More weird color, sorry! Our photographer took one additional photo looking toward the impressive Rocket Jets and the Peoplemover that never stopped.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Matterhorn Climbers, March 1962

Please direct your attention to the icy slopes of the Matterhorn! Back in 1962, a photographer was mighty impressed by the sight of two daring mountaineers (but not Mouseketeers) as they made their way up to the peak of the Matterhorn. You can see one climber clearly here, though there is just a speck of red at the tippy-top indicating that Horst reached the summit just moments ago.

This one's my favorite, mostly because the photo captured a yellow and red bobsled. By now all of you know that a bobsled sighting is good luck, so make a wish. Matteo has reached one of the more difficult parts of the ascent - this is where most climbers are eaten by the abominable snowperson. Smart people fill their pockets with anchovies, which the snowperson hates.

Come on Matteo, time is money! Horst is making you look bad. I've always thought that the mountain climb looks potentially dangerous, and yet I am unaware of any injuries or incidents over the 60+ year history of the Matterhorn. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Two Final Jaycees Pix, 1956

I'm finally getting around to sharing the last two scans from a small lot of stereo slides from 1956, having something to do with a visit by a group of rowdy Jaycees. Worse than squirrelly teenagers!

We're on the wrong side of that chain-link fence, looking at the passenger train while it was stopped at  Main Street Station.  I wonder if any old-timers remembered riding on trains that looked much like that one? I also wonder if the lady walking from left to right worked at one of the ticket booths? You never know. You can tell that this is an early photo because of that wire fencing around the grass - a dead giveaway.

Thar she blows! Monstro sends up a plume of hot breath and atomized water, just daring any whaler to try to come for him. He eats whalers for brunch! I like the '50s fashions, especially the girls in their floofy dresses over near Monstro. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

"Walt Disney's Disneyland", Part One

I'm starting a new series of scans, with thanks to our friend JG, who did all of the actual scanning on his "Scanbot 3000" liquid-cooled nuclear scanner and popcorn popper. JG scanned an entire volume of "Walt Disney's Disneyland". This wonderful book was written by Marty Sklar, author of many press releases, and ghost-writer of more than a few quotes attributed to Walt Disney. The first edition was published in 1964; over the years (possibly annually?) it was updated as changes occurred at the park. This particular version is from 1973 (based on a clue seen in a future post).

There's the front cover! Clearly somebody thought that more people means more implied movement and energy, but yeesh, it's crowded. Do you own a copy of this book?

For tax purposes, here is the back cover.

And the endpapers, with a pretty swell shot of Main Street Station, the floral Mickey portrait, and the Disneyland railroad, chockablock with guests. 

We're just getting warmed up, so why not take in this pretty night shot of the Mark Twain with fireworks? 

"Hmmm, what is this durned book I'm holding, anyway? Is it a gripping spy novel? A biography of Ty Cobb? Or an account of hippies on a psychedelic bus as they cross America? Maybe it's a lusty romance novel with ripping bodices!". Nope, it's the story of Disneyland, ya goof! "The Man Who Made It Possible"? There's no mention of C.V. Wood at all.

Those flags are either going up, or they're coming down, but they are definitely going somewhere. I know they do a flag retreat at Disneyland, but do they also do a flag-raising?

Walt was gone by 1972, but his spirit still loomed large. Walt's dedication speech (he kept it short and sweet) is quoted - it was probably written by Marty originally, don't you think? If so, he did an excellent job.

This nice photo of Snow White greeting two very cute kids was used in a number of Disney publications over the years, including as the cover of "Vacationland" magazine. I always have to smile when I see a balloon seller in that ridiculous getup, I can't decide which is sillier, the giant baby-blue bowtie, or the "shorts" that go almost up to his chest and down to his knees. "Oh nerts, here comes that girl I like. I knew I should have held out for that Monorail position".

"Walt Disney's Disneyland" might be a picture book, but it's definitely a book. Some reading may be required - though I'd wager that many people skipped the text and mostly looked at the "pitchers". Is Disneyland still "California's #1 tourist attraction"?  Marty has written some gems that strain credibility, like the child asking, "Mommy, what kind of parking meters are these?", or "Will we see Santa Claus?". Classic Marty!

MORE WORDS. If I wanted to read, I would go to the liberry! Only nerds go to the liberry, am I right? The text is typical ballyhoo (that's not a bad thing), though I enjoy the tension of the true-and-not-made-up story of the lady confronting the Texan about Disneyland's fireworks (near the end of the page). "I'm calling you out on your BS, cowboy!", she said, brandishing a switchblade. They don't mention that the Texan and the lady fell in love and got married that very day. Kind of an important detail.

Well, that does it for "Part 1". For the next six Tuesdays, there will be a new installment in this series from Walt Disney's Disneyland. THANKS to JG for scanning and sharing this book!

Monday, February 21, 2022

Some Rescans

Every once in a while I'll try to rescan some old slides that looked pretty crummy originally. Sometimes the results can be quite startling! Other times... not so much.

So here's a scan, from a slide (circa 1957) that had turned very pink. I can't find the original blog post with this image, but I'd guess it must be from 2007 or 2008. My color restoration efforts removed a lot of the pink, but that still left me with a rather muddy photo.

Here's the rescan. Well... it's a little better. Not enough to make the little bowler hat fly off of your head; maybe I should have spent more time on it. Funny how I notice fixable flaws after I decide to post a photo. Still, it's hard to not like what's going on below. We've got the old hinge-eared Dumbos, and the "Fan 1" food stand, and even a glimpse into Frontierland and the Rainbow Desert.

The wall that separated Fantasyland from Frontierland was adorned with wonderful attraction posters...

...including a rarely-seen Red Wagon Inn poster (only partially visible here). I think I may have rested my eyebones on only two of these over multiple decades.

Here's a nice jpeg of one... it's very interesting that a restaurant got its own attraction poster. The only other one I can think of is the Casa de Fritos poster (also very rare).

Next is this scan originally posted in 2006. A mere 16 years ago!! It's a photo from 1957 showing the "Tiki's Traders" souvenir stand in Adventureland. Ay caramba, my scanner was bad back then!

Here's the recent rescan and as you can see, it generally looks a lot better. But I remember trying to scan this one using a different color profile than I normally used, and some odd things happened, especially the the shadow portions of things like some of the baskets in Tiki's Traders. I don't get it, but it is what it is. 

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Two From August, 1966

Here's a pair on uninspiring slide scans, both date-stamped "August 1966", although they are from different photographers. Life, she is funny.

There's the elegant Plaza Inn, formerly the Red Wagon Inn. Walt Disney spared no expense in updating this restaurant, adding crystal chandeliers, stained glass, and a new kitchen with an updated menu. How about tenderloin of beef, or lobster en brochette on a bed of rice? What I really want is barely-warm pizza or maybe some chewy chicken strips with ranch dressing that tastes a little bit like Mr. Clean, but such is life.

As is often the case on Snoozer Sunday, this next photo is actually quite nice, but its the eleven-zillionth picture of the Castle that we've seen (I double-checked the numbers). I wonder if the park had just opened? Nearly everybody is making a beeline toward the castle (never mind the two ladies heading toward Frontierland).