Wednesday, November 09, 2022

It's a Small World, April 1975

I always think it's kind of funny (or maybe sweet?) when I acquire a batch of slides, only to discover that 1/3 of the images were taken of "it's a small world" (all lower case, just for Bu). Certain people just love that attraction! An older gentleman took these photos, and this is "part one".

First up, he got a portrait of his wife standing in the plaza in front of IASW. It's 1975, and that man with the facial hair and red shirt might be a real hippie

Sometimes I think I've had enough photos of the façade of "it's a small world" to last a lifetime, but then I look at this one and by gum, I still love it.

Quoting the wonderful record album narrated by Winston Hibler, "We're greeted at first by a chorus of Scandinavian children, while young ice skaters whirl and glide. And up ahead, a squad of toy soldiers strikes up the band". 

We can see windmills in the distance, but... "Now near London Bridge, the English children sing to us". Maybe some Pink Floyd, or even the Sex Pistols?!

"Little Dutch boys and girls, sitting on tulips, click their wooden shoes gaily to the rhythm of the song".

"...And over there by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we hear the future opera stars of Italy". Magnifico! 

Well, that'll do it for today, but there is a "part two" coming!

This is my last day out of town, I'll be back with you tomorrow. Thanks so much for your patience!


JB said...

#1- The photographer's wife looks like a Disneyland shopping bag... in a good way. I think her pants match her top.
The Pink Lady behind her looks like a piece of Christmas candy. Again... in a good way.
This photo is just dripping with hippies.
I only see two trashcans here.

#2- Really nice photo of the Clock in action. The little figures are especially clear and colorful. I'm adding this one to my Disney folder.

#3- I'm keeping this one, too. We don't have many clear photos of the interior of IASW.

#4- This one is a bit murky and indistinct. Not much of a focal point to draw our attention. What is that thing above the guard house? A bird? A dragon?

#5- I like that the geese display a little motion blur. I can't quite recall how the geese moved; did they bob up and down? Or just wobble back and forth.

#6- I like how the Disney folks included the striped mooring posts (or whatever they're called) for the gondolas. And somebody really needs to straighten up that tower thingy... bad show. ;-)

Thanks for the somewhat rare photos of the inside of 'Small World', Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

And there is that poorly placed sign for "it's a small world," blocking most of the clock (first photo). I always wondered who approved that? Or did Bank of America insist that the sign stretch across half of the facade? You'd think that Walt would not have wanted the clock to be blocked like that. Come to think of it, that sign is a real clock blocker.

In the same pic, there is a bird on the ground, behind "striped jacket lady." It looks like it is enjoying a piece of popcorn....the bird, not "striped jacket lady." And the lady looks like she's carrying one of those heavy plastic bags, like the kind my great grandmother used to bring her fried chicken into the park.

JB, the Dutch geese didn't bob up and down, or wobble back and forth. They just exploded.

Melissa said...

Love the two mismatched plaid dudes off to the left. I hope the lady on crutches eventually got a wheelchair; I've tried to enjoy a theme park day on crutches, and it's no Sunday picnic.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see Disneyland's wonderful iasw (all in lower case) façade, wonder who in the world approved that horrible WDW version! Blech! Double blech! Then they said, "Ok, ok, here's a clock face, now sit down and shut up!" Triple BLECH!!!

TokyoMagic, I caught that naughty bit....Wait, that's not what I meant...
And of course they exploded! They're animatronic, aren't they???

Melissa, theme parks on crutches has been against the Geneva Convention since 1949.

JG said...

Definitely a hippie, Major. After all, isn’t this the Hippiest Place on Earth? No, wait, that was San Francisco.

Be careful, someone might think you don’t like hippies.

Photo 2 is Practically Perfect in Every Way. I can gaze at that facade for hours and still discover new things.

Splendid interiors too.


Bu said...

"it's a small world" very small lowercase...i appreciate that. Still say: had to be so argued over. It is very much both a grammatical choice AND and aesthetic. Or perhaps it was one of those Mary Blair later in the afternoon things...who knows. I appreciate this ride from a stylistic/design/story perspective. It is on par with Pirates. Very showy. My favorite part of the ride was going into the tunnel with the 2-D "Bank of America presents...." The music slowly rose to the very specific orchestration before you became immersed in the "dolls". Every thing after that I was kind of asleep...or thinking about my grocery list or what not. Which brings me to my next question as to why people (including myself) refer to the Small World (sorry: small world) dolls as dolls. Aren't they supposed to be actual kids? Not a "doll come to life" like Annabelle? I do have a personal Annabelle connection...but that is probably for another blog. All I can say is: "don't touch the doll...or get too close to someone who has touched that doll." ...Back to the guests of it's a small world: pant suit lady was one of those who rode the ride...possibly with nuns in the same boat...that would come out and say "that ride was so delightful!" and then spend the rest of the day poking through shops. Hippie boy and Grace Slick are headed to Tom Sawyer Island for the takeover attempt. I don't mind the long hair, but you need to be able to "pull it off". Not actually pull it off...then that would be a wig...pull off the ensemble...well that is something else too...I think that is "Nastyland" not Disneyland. (another blog) I am missing the "pavilion" that was over on the left side of the queue. I always thought it was very fanciful. This one is very Mary Blair-tastic...or Rolly's a blend...but the one after this was very nice too. It helped balance out the BANK OF AMERICA sign..and the blue tones...but then the facade went a little blue too...which I don't remember, but I understand, and it wasn't too awful. I don't even mind the Holiday lights...they are kind of pretty. I can understand why this facade was (and is) so photographed as it is very very impressive. The scale is so ambitious for the time! So much better than a mid century box with "PEPSI PRESENTS: it's a small world. Thanks fo the morning photos and diversions! Thanks to Joan Crawford for the cash to build it. Or, in this case, the former "Bank of Italy". The connections do make some small world sense with immigrants (Giannini) coming to the melting pot of America to form what was the largest Bank in the US. The B of A on Main St. was the only bank in the US that was open every day the park was open: even Sundays and Holidays. It was nice that they offered currency exchange as well. It's interesting in my time, that anywhere in Disneyland that accepted money also accepted foreign currency. You would call Cash Control for the exchange rate, and then complete the transaction. Personal checks too. Employees had one of the first cash machines backstage for employee use only- outside the "Center": which was Cast Activities, a nice little seating area, Cast Communications and I think Public Affairs. A hub of activity and mostly populated by Parking Lot employees- they had free coffee there. There is a YouTube video out there of this building and all of the P-Lot employees drinking their Bunn Coffee Maker free coffee...must do some work now...

Nanook said...

Sometime between the Flower Market and "it's a small world", our 'pants suit gal' acquired that 'extra' bag. She must be quite the experienced park guest.

@ Bu-
Thanks for the stories.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I associate all lowercase with a certain design aesthetic from the 1960's-70's. In one 1970s building where I had college classes, all the faculty who had been there since the time it was built even had their door signs in all lowercase.

And I'm with Stu on the WDW facade. Maybe we need a WWTT (What Were They Thinking) to go with TRE. I understand the need for an indoor queue and load area in the Florida weather, but that one was half-arsed form the very beginning. It's not like they didn't have space to work with when they were coming up with the original layout of the park, even if they don't have that luxury now. More fuel for my "They should move iasw to EPCOT" soapbox rant.

Anonymous said...

And the timing of this post is memorable in that another Disney Legend was involved in the project...Alice Davis...who passed just a few days ago.

BU...I remember the Center building being called the DRC. Disneyland Recreation Club. Among the offices inside was some of the Disney University staff, and the Credit Union. It was a great gathering place and one where employees could also book events that were trips to Mammoth or tickets to concert events. There were a couple work desks to the left side of the main of which I occupied during the Wednesday-Friday days my ROP students were out in the Park. Mondays and Tuesdays classes were held in the University in the Admin Building as the Park was closed. Usually after the classes concluded on Fridays, I would revert back to a Disney employee and work my evening shift in costume at wherever attraction I had been scheduled to work. It was quite a unique experience working along side management during the day and under management on the weekends as a C status operator. KS

JB said...

Tokyo!, Wow! It's amazing that the photographer caught the geese at the earliest stage of exploding!

Stu, soooo.... do you like the WDW iasw façade, or not? You never did say. ;-)

Melissa said...

"What is that thing above the guard house? A bird? A dragon?"

A dragon would make sense; St. George the dragonslayer is the patron saint of England.