Thursday, June 30, 2022

Omnibus, 1950s

Here's a nice pair of photos featuring the wonderful Omnibus! These slides had faded somewhat (Photoshop took care of that), but the focus is nice and sharp, so the photographer had a camera with a good lens.

Here it comes! A bus with an upstairs? Maybe it has a basement too, who can tell in this crazy mixed-up world? This Omnibus sure looks authentic to my untrained eye, as if it was somehow transported directly from some 1928 city street. I love the clear blue sky, apparently this was a sunny Winter day (everybody is wearing a coat except for Officer O'Malley (standing by the lamp post to our right). 

Next we're at the Plaza, where all vehicles can head around the circle to go back down Main Street. 

I like the group of ladies, each in their own fashionable SoCal Winter styles. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Parking Lot, 1965

Here are two more vintage photo prints from 1965 - this time the famous Disneyland parking lot is featured. Acres of Asphalt! A Cornucopia of Cars! A Plethora of something that starts with "P"! Both photos were taken from the Monorail, no small feat since they traveled at near light speed. Notice the red shift! Look at all them durned cars. There were still some tail-finned beauties, and my beloved station wagons, and even the occasional VW Bug. Under the distant Monorail track is a tram, and we can even see a glimpse of the Douglas Moonliner to the right.

This one is interesting to me for several reasons, though I am a bit discombobulated. What direction was our photographer facing? Does the dirt lot in the distance have anything to do with the construction in progress in the southwest corner of the park? Buses, campers, and even a sailboat would be directed to these mega-sized parking spots. I love that blue car hauling the cute little trailer. You'd be snug as a bug in that thing. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A Pair from 1969

I have two nice ones for you today, from 1969. We'll start with this shot of Main Street Station, and Mr. Timex Clock tells us that it's 12:44, so... right smack-dab in the middle of the day. The "population" sign says that 45 million people had visited Disneyland at that point. I won't say anything about the posters because you are probably tired of me blathering on about them. But they're great! 

Later in the day, we see one of the parking lot trams heading out to various parts of the vast lot, depending on where your car awaited. A nice convenience for guests who'd just spent all day on their feet. Hello, Monorail Blue! Funny, if I just had to guess by looking, I'd say that it was a Mark II Monorail, but by 1969 the Mark III trains should have been in service. SHRUG!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Big Thunda, May 5, 1980

It's big, it's thundery, it's the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! You can count the number of times it has appeared on this blog on the digits of one Venusian hand (I tried it). Today's photos are from when the ride was only nine months old (it debuted on May 2nd, 1979), so it had that "new mine smell" that we all love so much. 

The Disney folks excelled at making ramshackle wooden buildings, and this one seen from the queue is appropriately weathered and rusty. That upstairs room is MY apartment, but I didn't think it through. Don't have an apartment as part of a roller coaster. A word to the wise. Meanwhile, the "hoodoos" of Bryce Canyon glow in the late afternoon sunlight. Nothing could truly replace the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, but I really do like Big Thunder.

You have to be pretty quick on the draw to capture a runaway mine train with your camera. Our photographer did an especially good job, considering that he was using a pinhole camera (built using an oatmeal carton). A snow-capped peak in Switzerland contrasts with the orange sandstone of the desert. I can almost hear the whistle as the train passes by!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Almost Rejects

I've shared some "ALMOST REJECTS" before, and I have lots more for you! Yes, I want this to sound like it's great news.

This first one isn't really that bad, though I had to lighten it way up, and as you can see, there is some weird stuff going on in the sky area. But it's still an OK look at the old fishing pier on Tom Sawyer Island. There are no anglers testing their nerve and skill against Nature - yet.

You can see why this one is an "almost reject"... shot from the Mark Twain's rail, the photographer tried to capture the Disneyland Railroad as it passed the group of Indian warriors who want NO funny business on their territory. "Just keep passing through!".

Moving over to Adventureland, we have this "meh" photo looking along the Rivers of The World. Those indistinct lumps in the river are the three crocodiles that guard the ruined temple and its treasure. It leaves a lot to be desired!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Pershing Square, Los Angeles, March 1965

I'm a fan of vintage views of Los Angeles, and today I have three that were taken in Pershing Square. What is that? Pershing Square is a small public park in Downtown Los Angeles, California, one square block in size, bounded by 5th Street to the north, 6th Street to the south, Hill Street to the east, and Olive Street to the west. Originally dedicated in 1866 by Mayor Cristóbal Aguilar as La Plaza Abaja, the square has had numerous names over the years until it was finally dedicated in honor of General John J. Pershing in 1918. So now you know.

This first photo shows a monument to California's twenty Spanish–American War dead was erected in 1900; it is said to be modeled after a Spanish–American War veteran, 7th California Infantry volunteer Charlie Hammond of San Francisco, and it is believed to be the oldest work of public art in Los Angeles.

Notice the man with the picket sign to the left, some sort of protest was going on at this time - possibly an anti-Vietnam War protest. On March 3 of '65,  the United States Navy and South Vietnamese air force began a 3½-year aerial bombardment campaign against North Vietnam.

If you are familiar with downtown L.A., you might recognize some of these old buildings, such as the Temple Baptist Church, the Equitable Life building, and that cool tower to the left is the 449 foot AT&T Microwave Tower, which ceased operation in 1993 - but the structure still stands, looking impressive. the buildings to the left of the Equitable Life building are all long-gone, replaced by a modern structure. If you look closely, you can see more protesters in front of the Baptist Church.

This is an odd photo; the photographer might have been aiming at Googie's Coffee Shop on the corner of 5th and Olive.

Here's a closer view; the original Googie's (on Sunset Boulevard) was a famous hangout for hip people like James Dean and Dennis Hopper. The buildings playful, daring style, by architect John Lautner, inspired the term "Googie architecture".


Friday, June 24, 2022

Inside the Coke Corner, 1973

I have two rare and unusual photos, courtesy of my friend Mr. X, who took these himself back in 1973. I've only seen a few interiors of the Coke Corner, so I get a real kick out of these special views. 

I'm not sure it was "peak lunchtime" but the restaurant looks pretty busy. The cashier is remarkably  unfrazzled, she's seen it all before. I love little details like the bottles of Coke to our left, each one with a red tag with the name of a country where Coca Cola is sold and enjoyed.

There's a familiar face! Rod Miller, ragtime player extraordinaire, serenades guests with the fastest fingers in town. By 1973 he was already a battle-worn veteran of four years (starting in 1969), but his career with Disneyland would continue 2005, incredibly. Over 35 years!  


Thursday, June 23, 2022

More Vintage Brochures

I am definitely a hard-core fan of Disneyland paper ephemera... the older, the better! Many people have better collections than I do, but I'm still happy with what I've got. I've shared some of these gate handouts before - I refer to them as the IMPORTANT! brochures. I have 19 different versions, from 1957 to 1960, and I know I am missing a couple (curse it!).

Let's start with this green example from late November 1958, one of the harder-to-find brochures, theoretically because it is a winter item when the park's attendance was considerably lower than at other times of the year. It has the familiar "Dumbo in a kilt and tam o'shanter" artwork on the front, and information about holiday festivities on the back. Interesting that they had "special Christmas shows" featuring specific countries, held at the old "Christmas Bowl" bandstand.

This blue brochure is also quite scarce, and yet it is from the Summer season of 1959. With the debut of attractions such as the Matterhorn, the Monorail, and the Submarine Voyage, I don't understand why this wouldn't be one of the more common brochures. But I don't see many of them!

I didn't bother to scan the inside of the other brochures, but figured I should at least do so for one of them. Here you go! If you were an adult, you could get a "Jumbo 15" ticket book for $4.50. Adjusting for inflation, that's about $43.00 today... a bargain to us, but I'll bet that $4.50 seemed expensive in '59.

The next two brochures are from 1960, and they have the same cover, as you can see. This first example is (I believe) from May or June, with "Fantasy In the Sky" fireworks, and "Date Nite" as features.

This one has the date of "August 1960", with a big ad for DIXIELAND at DISNEYLAND! 1960 was the first year that they had this event, featuring acts such as Teddy Buckner, Bob Crosby and the Bob Cats, the Strawhatters, Pete Kelly's Original 7, The Elliott Brothers and the Dixie Dandies, and Joe Carensbourg and the Dixie Flyers. Some fun! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Frontierland, May 1979

I have a swell selection of photos for you today, thanks to the Mysterious Benefactor! All of these were labeled "5-79", and who am I to argue?

First up is this nice shot of the sign outside of the River Belle Terrace (sponsored by Oscar Mayer), with the menu on display so that you could decide if this was where you wanted to rest your feet and refuel. Pancakes and waffles are always welcome! But what if I want a baloney sandwich (Oscar Mayer bologna, of course) on white bread, with mayo and yellow mustard, just like my mom made for countless school lunches? I might have been out of luck.

Here's a pretty shot of the outdoor dining area for Casa de Fritos - somehow those thatched umbrellas make me think of Tahiti rather than Mexico, but then again, I am always thinking of Tahiti. I love the sky full of fluffy clouds, generally a good sign that this is from Springtime in SoCal.

Yes, it's almost the same photo, but I'm not complaining. Let's see, I think I'd like two enchiladas, maybe a chicken taco, rice and beans, and a Pepsi. Yum. The bed of colorful flowers in the foreground is one of those extra-special touches that you wouldn't see at most amusement parks.

This last one is very contrasty, but it's still a beautiful shot of the Mark Twain on a bright sunny day, with the Pontoon Bridge and happy guests right in front of us. Notice the folks to the left (in the distance) waving to the passengers on the Twain!

 Many thanks to the Mysterious Benefactor!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Main Street, May 5th, 1980

Main Street USA has undergone quite a few changes over the years, but in 1980, when Disneyland was 25 years old, those changes were less obvious than they are today. I love Walt's original Main Street!

There's Main Street Station, it's 5:38 PM, with the sun setting but still bathing everything in warm light. The population sign reads 175,000,000, which ain't too shabby. Mickey's flower portrait is looking especially lush too. 

I wonder, are the Horse Drawn Streetcars that we see today the same exact ones that were at the park in 1955? Presumably they have been spruced up and overhauled (rotting wood replaced and so on). But they still look great! I also wonder if those brass "finials" on top were purely decorative, or do they actually serve a purpose? Could you pop corn during your journey? Maybe the finials are a throwback to something on older trolleys, and they were added because people expected to see them.

The castle forecourt is bustling, but pleasantly so, with people adding color and energy to the scene. Hey, there's the dent! Subtle, but visible. And to top it all off, there's a balloon vendor too. Looks like a beautiful day to be at the park.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Almost Rejects

It's inevitable - in any batch of vintage slides, there are going to be some examples that disappoint, to one degree or another. Sometimes they are beyond saving, and the scans go right into the trash. But other times, we still might glean something of value from these flawed images. All of these are from "sometime in the 1950s".

Here's a shot taken as a guest waited in the queue for the Skyway. They noticed that the elevated perspective provided a pretty interesting view of this corner of Fantasyland! I can only assume that this was right after the park opened, since the seating near the "Fan 1" snack bar has no diners. Even the Dumbo ride (what we can see of it through that tree) looks pretty deserted at this point. 

This next one was snapped spontaneously from the Disneyland Railroad as it rolled through Frontierland. Looking toward the River, we see both Keelboats moored by the shore (out of service during the "slow months"?). To the right are what appear to be fishing nets propped up to dry, an interesting detail. The far shore of Frontierland is softened by the morning haze.

And finally, here's a real oddball shot looking out of one of the old yellow passenger cars of the DLRR, back toward Main Street Station (which has Christmas ornaments on the roof). Is that a drinking fountain near us? If so, it can only be there for the comfort of the guys working the trains, thirsty work I am sure. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022


It's Father's Day, everybody! And I originally had no plans to post anything special, until Sue B. sent me this cute scan of her Dad (Lou Perry) getting a good look at baby Sue. He was probably telling her about his photography hobby! "Someday, if you are really good, you might be able to share my photos on blogs, which haven't been invented yet".

And in the spirit of sharing, here is a photo of a very young Major Pepperidge (yes, I was born with that rank), held by my dad. No white ovals for me, nobody would recognize me based on this photo! We are in our Evanston, Illinois home, which I don't remember at all, but I can truthfully say that I am a Chicago native. Hey, it's something.

And finally, this last photo is from Sue B's collection (but it was NOT taken by her Dad)! It's a great image of a father with a crazy contraption strapped to his back, along with his bambino. Is it just a bulky chair for the kid? Did it "transform" into a stroller? I have no idea!

Let's salute all the wonderful fathers out there!

Looking on Google, I am wondering if the baby contraption is a "Kantwet" tour bed? What an awful name! 

Saturday, June 18, 2022


In the early part of the 20th century, and for decades, westerns were the most popular genre in the world of movies and radio (and of course television, eventually). People couldn't get enough of those morality tales, with good guys, bad guys, gunfights, wagon trains, gamblers, and saloon gals (to name just a few of the tropes), all set against the vast backdrop of the American frontier.  Any self-respecting kid played "cowboys and Indians", and if that kid happened to be lucky, his parents bought him or her a fancy getup. Like the boy in this first photo!

There he is, in front of those wild leopard-print drapes, with his mostly-black outfit. Does that make him a bad man?? Or maybe he's the antihero. You don't want to mess with him, but ultimately he fights for what's right. After endless practice, he can hit an empty bottle on a fence post in the blink of an eye. Hopefully there's no girls around, because they always want to be kissing, and that's no bueno.

This next kid looks considerably less-confident than the first buckaroo. Hey, we were all greenhorns, once! His mom has prepared a swell party, I'm sure each kid will get a bottle of redeye to wash down the cake.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Parkin' Lot, June 1970

Back in 1955, as July 17th approached, Walt Disney worried about where people were going to park their cars. "Walt, baby!" (he loved it when I called him "baby"), "Why not put them in that big paved area out front? All we have to do is paint some lines on it". Walt was so grateful that he said a swear word, handed me a cigarette, and then he jumped up into the air and clicked his heels together like a leprechaun (one of the sure ways you could tell he was happy). TRUE STORY.

Well, there it is, in all its glory. Acres and acres of asphalt, covered in every flavor of automobile imaginable. It's so beautiful! Good thing we aren't playing "Slug Bug", because I would be punching a LOT of arms right now. There are at least a dozen Volkswagens visible in this one shot.

Zooming in, we see the Disneyland Hotel looms in the haze, at this point it only had two towers, the Sierra  Tower, and the then-brand-new Marina Tower. It you look to the right, you can see a tram dropping guests off near the ticket booths, and what appears to be quite a lot of folks waiting in line.

A second shot is remarkably clear considering that it was taken from a speeding Monorail. 1970 would have been a great time to go to Disneyland!

Lovable Main Street Station brings a sense of comfort and continuity, hardly changing in... well, a mere 15 years at this point, but you know what I mean. I like the perspective of seeing all the guests heading toward the entrance, with another tram. And more Volkswagens! The Monorail pylons have some sweet attraction posters, including "Adventure Thru Inner Space", "America the Beautiful", "Carousel of Progress", and "It's a Small World". Fun fact: A Carousel of Progress poster sold for over $28,000 at auction earlier this year.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Scenes from Fantasyland, April 1959

I have a few swell photos from Fantasyland, 1959! Starting with this view, which shows a little bridge over the western part of the moat (or "WESTMOAT" as my hipster friends call it). It sure is pretty, don't you agree? Next time, I'm bringing a fishing pole, that looks like good smallmouth territory. Hopefully I won't be nabbed by security when I yell, "I've got a lunker!".  Out towards the Plaza we can see a Horse Drawn Streetcar, and possibly a Surrey (sorry the image isn't sharper). And there are some of my favorite mushroom lamps, just like the local miniature golf course.

Next is this nice view from inside the castle courtyard (or "CASTCOURT"), a good place to gather with torches, though it I hate getting doused with hot oil from the parapets. Near the center of the photo is the entrance to the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-thru, which had debuted in April of '57. I have vague memories of the later "Barbie" version, but Chris Merritt and Tony Baxter revamped the whole thing in 2008, and they did a beautiful job!

To the right is Tinker Bell Toy Shop (formerly "Fantasy of Disneyland"), imagine the treasures within. I love that lady walking past with the crazy hat and white gloves.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Tomorrowland Entrance, August 1970

Here's another pair of Instamatic images, courtesy of Mr. X. He took these photos himself in the summer of 1970. We'll begin with one of my all-time favorites, this gorgeous shot of the entrance to Tomorrowland, with two Peoplemover trains overhead (and more in the distance), NICE. I miss everything about that ride, even the groovy music. The flagpole is still there, not sure when that was deemed "expendable". And to our left, "America the Beautiful", with the delightful Saul Bass-designed Bell Systems logo on that silvery pylon.

A more traditional view is next, the Mighty Matterhorn, with Skyway gondolas a-comin' and a-goin'. The line for the Matterhorn snakes almost completely around the mountain, but I would happily wait in it!


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Matterhorn & People, August 1965

I always liked being at Disneyland as the sun began to sink toward the horizon. The shadows got long, the light was extra warm (a nice contrast to those cool shadows) and I knew that it wouldn't be too long before the lights would come on.

This photo of the Matterhorn is pretty dramatic; sometimes the structure looks larger than usual, and that's the case here. Massive! No wonder that it has caused Anaheim to sink deeper into the Earth's mantle. Those fools have meddled in things that they were not meant to meddle in! I see no bobsleds, but you can't have everything I guess. Are those two servicemen from the Navy?

This one is amusing because it's pretty clear that the photographer was quite taken by Miss Yellow Pants (maybe Miss Pink Pants is her friend?). "I gotta get a picture of HER!". A little creepy, but no harm done.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Horse Drawn Streetcar, May 1984

Let's all with a very happy birthday to GDB friend JB! Good old Juan Diego Francisco de Paulo Bautista himself. Sue B. wanted to be sure to honor JB with this festive photo of a giant hunk of cream cheese ($1,000 worth) surrounded by sliced ham. No editorializing was implied! The tomato roses are a nice touch.

The rest of today's photos are also from Lou and Sue (from May, 1984), and they feature the wonderful Horse Drawn Streetcars. Thank goodness these are still around, I hope they never go away.

Here's an excellent portrait of both vehicle and horse - a Belgian Draft Horse, looking calm and powerful. People hear his accent and assume he's from France, but he just chuckles to himself.

Clippety-clop! I've always wondered how hard it was to pull a fully-loaded streetcar; you know it took some real strength to overcome the inertia of that heavy vehicle. They can't use diminutive horses for this job.

You know Lou, he could never take just one photo! Film costs? Processing fees? Don't make him laugh! Now the streetcar is heading north, back toward the Castle. Amazing that the park is so empty in May. You might not know it, but May is just before June, and that's when the summer school break begins!

The Carefree Corner is... well, on the corner. If you went in to ask them for assistance, their reply was predictable. "Where is the nearest telephone booth?". "We don't care!". Notice the sign for Donald Duck's 50th Birthday on the lamp post.

Think of how many people who went to Disneyland rarely (or never) saw a horse up close? Guests just like to see these wonderful animals.

Many thanks to Lou and Sue, as always!