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.


Nanook said...

The kid holding the spear is a bit upset, as he was planning to aim it at Skull Rock - but it turns out he's a few years too early...

Placed on the roof of the Casey Jr. 'Ticket Booth', we see another example of an Altec 31A sectoral horn (designed for speech and background music), with a 730B driver attached to the top of the 27A Throat Attachment - used for - 'producing clear, crisp reproduction of middle and high frequencies'. Pretty snazzy stuff.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Pirate Ship: The girl on the right; at first I thought her dress had red Mickey heads printed all over it. But on closer inspection, I think they're butterflies.
In the (second) close-up, they definitely look like butterflies.

Fantasyland: I think that's Ma & Pa Kettle in the green Skyway bucket.
Is that the roof of the Rainbow Caverns showroom on the right?
Timothy is giving us the cold shoulder. He doesn't want to acknowledge our presence.
It's interesting that the CMs costumes included those t-shirts, rather than some long-sleeved shirt that would be more appropriate for train engineers. The t-shirts, along with the striped overalls and the over-sized hats, do make them look friendlier and more approachable though. Sort of like cartoon characters.

Thanks for the cheerful photos, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, ha! It does look like "Ice Cream Chris" could be signing an autograph for a guest!

The boy with the spear is about to be tripped by a lady on that bench. While he's down, she'll swipe his spear before he even knows what happened to him.

In the Skyway/Dumbo pic, we can see the "Pendleton" name on the shop in Frontierland.

Chuck said...

Note that there is a sign on the lamppost in front of the galleon emphasizing that it’s a free exhibit. There is no accompanying warning explaining that the intoxicating smell of sizzling tuna burgers and hot tuna pies may entice you to shell out a few bucks for an unexpected snack.

Brilliant thought that just hit me - tuna chips! Why didn’t anyone think of this before? It’s the perfect junk food! Interested in investing in this amazing opportunity? Contact me at 1-800-EAT-TUNA and we’ll work out a licensing deal.

[Please don’t actually call that number - I have no idea where it goes and would feel terrible if it cost you money.]

Those Casey, Jr. engineers look like they just stepped out of a Nintendo video game. Now I wish a Casey, Jr. locomotive was a playable vehicle in Mario Kart.

JB, I alerted on the Rainbow Caverns show building as well. I like the fact that you called it a “showroom” - brings up a delightful mental picture…

“Yes, folks, you, too can take home your very own Rainbow Caverns, just like the floor model! All for the low, low price of just $499,999.99! Yes, because we like the way you look, we’ll give you the same discount price we gave Walt! That’s right, only $499,999.99, payable in easy, monthly installments of just $25! And with our low, low interest rates, the title will be yours, clear and free, in only 2 millennia- just a blink of the eye, geologically speaking! You don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity - get yours today!”

TM!, I thought you were pulling our collective leg about being able to see the “Pendleton” on the shop in Frontierland from here, but when I zoomed way in, you’re right. The fact that 1.) I knew roughly where to look to verify and 2.) I got kind of excited to see it made me reflect on A.) how specialized a knowledge base I have developed about the property at 1313 Harbor Boulevard and B.) I may have a problem. I’m not an addict, though. I can quit any time I want.

Well, see you guys tomorrow!

Bu said...

The ice cream vendor photo gives me exceptionally bad anxiety...Some "hot buttons": wagon placed randomly with no barrier behind. That is an invitation for theft and various other shenanigans. We always had to be backed up next to something with trash can barriers and whatnot. Even with these precautions people would jump into bushes and do ANYTHING to get to that wagon if you were boxed in by parades or just crowds in general....or (literally) the throwing money at you from 20 paces...dollar bills wadded up into small baseballs pitched at your head, it becomes quite alarming, and if you were mortal, it tends to get emotional response. Often times on relief shifts you had to pull employees off the proverbial ceiling. The employees that were crying generally didn't make it past a few weeks during summer. Overall though, my best memories of employment were being a vendor in ODV. It's interesting...or not so interesting...that there is no fence keeping you from taking a dive into the Chicken of Sea: Sea. How trusting we were back then. I would be told: "if you fall in, it's your own darn fault!"...just like falling off a very high shelf in my garage and breaking my arm "if you weren't playing up there, you wouldn't have fallen!" "stop crying or i'll give you something to cry for!" ahhhh....things have changed....The Casey Jr. costumes are very interesting...I don't remember seeing those very Super Mario Bros. hats before. At first I thought they were security guards with strangely oversize white hat tops with black patent leather brim. Speaking of Brim...wasn't that a instant coffee? Fill it to the rim...with Brim! Why would they call coffee Brim? I think the ODV photo has sent me into a bad place...need my emotional support teddy bear now....the ice cream cart has also seen better days. I think this was before Walt starting spinning in his grave about matters such as these....

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I would never pull your leg! ;-)

Bu, yes Brim was a coffee, but it was decaffeinated. I don't know if they made an instant version. The people in the commercial would ask for only a half cup of coffee, because "I like coffee, but it's the caffeine I can do without....." Then when someone explained to them that it was decaffeinated, they would say, "Fill it to the rim, with Brim!" Then there was Yuban's slogan, "Richness worth a second cup." ("Jim never has a second cup of MY coffee!")

Melissa said...

"Fantasyland: I think that's Ma & Pa Kettle in the green Skyway bucket."

They've come to see their son, Peter Pan.

TokyoMagic! said...

They've come to see their son, Peter Pan

Melissa, ha, ha! That's even funnier than your "banana split pants" line from a few days ago! Thanks for the good laugh!

Chuck said...



Melissa, I had to read that twice and really think before I got it. One of those jokes that takes a minute to come to a proper boil. Which makes it practically perfect in every way.

DrGoat said...

Great photos. I had to think about Melissa's joke twice too. Then the almost obvious hit me. It is practically perfect and I'm going to use it. Thank you Melissa.
Major, how did you know that girl's name was Dottie? Is must be written all over her face.
No spears for us me back then. Dad would only carry stuff that fit in a bag. Then out to the car around noon to unload and back in the park.
Thanks Major, lots of neat people action. Wish I was one of them right now. I might be, but I think we were in the Golden Horseshoe waiting out my parents during the show.

JG said...

I vaguely remember a toy spear like the one in the picture, maybe mine came from Disneyland? I can confidently report no lion attacks on the farm while I had it, or before or since, for that matter, so it definitely had a deterrent effect.

Yup, Rainbow Caverns show building. Chuck do we get S&H trading stamps with that purchase? Power lines also in play, and the Columbia’s masts.

Brim, my goodness, Tokyo. Folks used to drink Brim. I remember the jar on the breakfast table within reach of Dad’s hand.

I saw that speaker and knew Nanook would name it, down to the serial number on the back.

Melissa, that comment wins the Golden Gorilla!

Thanks Major, perfect Friday fare.


JG said...

Major, I’m going to assign a date of “no later than 1957” on the strength of the single plain green trash can visible near the “Fan” snack bar in photo 4. I’ve never seen a photo of a classic decorated can that was definitely dated earlier than 1958, including those yesterday. Exception is the hip-roof type by the Magic Shop. So, I think can decoration began around that time.


Nanook said...

@ TM!-
For more coffee goodness: SIP HERE

And as an added bonus, that's Holland Taylor as the Brim 'expert' in the first spot. (And shouldn't the slogan have been Fill it to the brim with Brim-? This is why I failed on Madison Avenue).

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, any kid who would throw a spear a Skull Rock clearly has emotional issues. The Altec 31A sounds pretty fancy, but I wonder how “clear” and “crisp” it actually sounded. I remember barely being able to understand some amplified sounds at Disneyland, and this was years later.

JB, yes, I think butterflies is more likely. It was a little early for things like Mickey-head print dresses! I thought that Pa had his arm around Ma (how romantic), but it turns out he’s just holding on to the support bar. So that Ma can’t see him shaking in terror. Pa never liked heights.

TokyoMagic!, why is bench lady so mean? Maybe her younger brother was killed by a spear. It used to happen all the time in the 50s. Dumbo looked great in Pendleton woolen goods.

Chuck, to this day I don’t know why my family never set foot in (or on) the Pirate Ship, it’s a bummer. Dad, it’s FREE! All we have to do is go look! As for tuna chips, I have had tuna jerky, is that the same thing? By the way, that number connected me to NORAD, amazingly. They need to make a Disneyland-themed side-scroller game, with Mickey jumping a lá Mario. He could go through all kinds of classic Disney scenes. The Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion… let’s make this happen! I would like my own personal Rainbow Caverns. It could be part of the master bathroom.

Bu, I would assume that in 1957-ish, guests were not as unruly as they were by the time you were having to deal with them. I guess the lesson is to never get in the way of a guest who wants their ice cream. I like the idea of people throwing money at me, call me weird. Once I was at a crowded shave-ice cart (not at Disneyland, obviously), and one guy took my money while the other was making the treats. Then the guy asked me what I wanted, and the money guy said, “He hasn’t paid yet”. Which I JUST had. I told them so, and they looked at me like I was trying to cheat them. Was I angry? You bet! I have to agree, anyone who manages to fall into that water must be really not paying attention. I assume it happened though. Brim, I remember the commercials, but don’t know if it was like Sanka, or what.

TokyoMagic!, what about Folger’s? It’s mountain grown! The richest kind. Don’t mess with Mrs. Olsen.

Melissa, I don’t get it.

TokyoMagic!, oh now I get it.

Chuck, yes, as you can see, I am slow on the uptake. Today and always.

DrGoat, she just looks like a Dotty, and isn’t that a swell name? It needs to come back. No, you don’t need to name your daughter “Dorothy”, either. Just skip right to “Dotty”. I have to admit that carrying that spear around all day sounds like a pain, your Dad was wise in his ways. I once bought a copy of “Disneyland: The First Quarter Century” and carried it around for hours, I loved the book, but that thing became a real nuisance.

JG, I feel like we had either a spear, or maybe a bow and arrow adorned with feathers. Not sure if they were from Disneyland though. We probably fired the arrows once and immediately lost them in the neighbor’s backyard. I think my Dad liked Yuban, though we did have a jar of instant coffee of some kind “for emergencies”. Somehow I have never had a coffee emergency in my entire life. Lucky I guess.

JG, I bow to your expertise! I am not educated in the ways of dating the park by trash can styles. “Dendrochronology” is determining a date via tree rings, what would you call the trash can equivalent?

Nanook, I don’t know who Holland Taylor is, but I assume she robbed banks or jumped the snake river canyon. Nice to see her in that commercial, though.

Stu29573 said...

Anyone who points out that the pirate ship was actually a building should have their Gorilla Card pulled. Therefore I won't. So there.

Chuck said...

I am going to propose a word for the science of determining dates by trash cans: skubalochronology, from the Ancient Greek skubalon (σκύβαλα), meaning “refuse” or “garbage,” khronos (χρόνος), meaning "time", and -logia (-λογία), "the study of.” The particular (some might say peculiar) study of Disneyland trash cans would be Disneyoskubalochronology.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, I endorse your proposal for skubalochronology as idiomatically correct.

It will eventually morph via usage into Screwballochronology because it is so weird to focus on these details. I can't help it.

Lets make t-shirts.


JB said...

Tokyo!, good grief! How did you spot that Pendleton sign?

Chuck, "tuna burgers and hot tuna pies may entice you to shell out a few bucks for an unexpected snack." Or to throw up; depending on one's like and dislikes. I love tuna burgers. Tuna mixed with mayo, onions, cheese, and salt & pepper. Slathered on a bun and baked, open-faced, in the oven till bubbly and melty. I guess it's part of the package that, if you go aboard a pirate ship, things are gonna smell fishy.
Chuck seems to be all about hawking various goods today... and maybe hopped up on decaf.

Bu & Tokyo!, your recounting of Brim has brought back the memories of all those commercials as if it were yesterday.
"Jim never has a second cup of MY coffee!" Ha! That line was funny even back then. So Suzie-homemaker-ish.

Melissa, unlike Chuck, who eventually got your joke, I kept puzzling over it. I knew there had to be a pun or joke in there somewhere. It wasn't till I read Tokyo!'s response that it finally came to me. "Ohhhhhh!"

Chuck, thanks for that barf clip. Always classy.

Nanook, I think the funniest parts of those Brim commercials is at the end where they laugh at their own clever usage of words.

Major, that's an interesting idea; Disney themed video games. There must have been some, right? But I don't recall any. Maybe I wasn't looking for any at the time.

I was gonna go with "Candrochronology". A slight change to Chuck's name could be "Skubalocanology". Now we need a word for someone who counts Disneyland trashcans.

Melissa said...

Skubalochronology! I like it!


“Choc full of nuts is that heavenly coffee - a better coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy…..”

“Times Like theses were made for Taster’s Choice…”

“The Best Part of Waking Up is Folgers in your cup”

“International Coffee Creams — for the moments we remember “

“We have secretly replaced the fine coffee normally served at Tavern on the Green with Folger’s Coffee Crystals….. let’s see if they notice the difference ?”

My dad would always say back then : “I’d be damn pissed if I paid nine dollars for a cup of coffee and found out it was Folgers INSTANT COFFEE!! Lol - I can totally hear him saying that now .
( does anyone remember the SNL parody of that commercial where they replaced the coffee with beach sand?? Lol!!)

Nanook said...

It's easily-possible to over-drive, under-drive, etc., a well-designed sound system to render it mostly useless - even at Disneyland. "The best equipment when placed in the wrong hands", etc.... I should also apologize, as I'm betting that Altec 730B driver is in actuality a model 730A, as the 'B' model didn't hit the market until around 1961 - which apparently post-dates these images. That speaker 'array' was capable of reproducing sounds from 150-8,000 Hz. [or cycles/second, back in those days-!]; so it would be just perfect for reproducing the spoken voice - while being able to 'survive the elements'... And I dare say, with a rating of 30-watts RMS, had that PA been cranked to the max, intelligible speech should've easily be discerned as far away as the extent of the north property line-!

@ TM!-
I'm fairly-certain I've mentioned on these pages, how Mrs. Olsen (actress Virginia Christine) was involved with the AFS at our high school, and brought coffee to many of their events-! 'Life imitating art' (if Madison Avenue commercials can be considered "art"-!)

Holland Taylor is an actress - perhaps most-famous for portraying Evelyn Harper (Charlie and Alan's Mother on Two and a Half Men). She was also seen in The Practice and many other TV shows.

And don't forget one of the 'granddaddy' coffee slogans: As John Arbuckle once said: You get what you pay for. [Evidently including ending sentences in a preposition]. The 'ol internet is completely useless in linking the slogan to a coffee brand. I think it was Hills Bros.; on the other hand, Arbuckle packaged coffee under the Ariosa brand, that was later sold to Maxwell House ('Good to the last drop'), so I'm totally lost. But that slogan as applied to coffee is very real.

Melissa said...

Mike, I remember that sketch! And another one, although I don’t remember whether it was on SNL or another show, where they replaced the blood being transfused at a hospital with Folger’s instant coffee.

Bu said...

Holland Taylor on 2 1/2 men talking to grandchild: "Grandma...come with us to Disneyland!" Grandma Holland Taylor: "I'm sorry, Grandmama does not do Anaheim..." You can officially now connect Brim to the site...

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, hey, how come I didn’t get a Gorilla Card?!

Chuck, anybody who went to the trouble of looking for a Latin translation automatically gets an A-OK from me. Let’s alert the media! Wait, and I the media? Well you know what I mean. I have to admit that skubalochronology sounds like the study of the history of scuba diving. ;-)

JG, I am counting on you to notify the Oxford Dictionary and Merriam Webster. We need to make this official!

JB, TokyoMagic! has been eating those irradiated carrots again. I’ve only made tuna burgers a few times, and I made a patty to brown in a frying pan… your “open face” method sounds easier. Mine always fell apart. Should I comment on your replies to other people? I never know! Maybe I should just say “Groovy!”. That covers everything.

Melissa, but can you make a song about it?

Mike Cozart, I always thought the old Choc Full o’ Nuts commercials were so odd. Who is that lady? Why does that coffee have such an odd name? I’m not sure if it is a SoCal thing or if it was available everywhere. I’d like to believe that the Folgers Instant was free, but part of me also likes to think that they actually charged customers a premium price for cut-rate coffee.

Nanook, now you’re getting technical! It’s all over my head. But I will say that I am astonished that they have not improved the PA systems on the Jungle Cruise boats, I swear there are times when I have truly struggled to understand what the skipper is saying. I gathered that Holland Taylor is an actress, I just don’t remember seeing her before. I never saw “Two and a half Men” or “The Practice”. It was the PTL Club for me, or NOTHING. Well, maybe Wally George.

Melissa, SNL has been running for, what, 45 years? And I think I stopped watching it about 40 years ago. :-/

Bu, I never knew that I needed a Brim connection!

Nanook said...

I don't know if it's the microphone, the speakers or a combination of both, but the PA system aboard each boat does sound awful. Maybe the "powers that be" feel it adds a certain sort of 'charm' to the journey.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, "Airplane!" had so many great bits like that. Coincidentally, about 3 days ago, I watched "Zero Hour!" for the very first time. I didn't realize just how much of it had been "borrowed" for "Airplane!"

Nanook, wow! Holland Taylor was so young in that commercial! And that's too funny that the Mrs. Olsen actress actually used to bring coffee along with her.

Major, I never watched "Two and a Half Men" either, but Holland Taylor was also the boss on "Bosom Buddies." In the early nineties, she was in a great Norman Lear sitcom called "The Powers That Be." She played the First Lady and John Forsythe played the president. Unfortunately, it was a short lived series.