Sunday, November 20, 2022

Miscellaneous Frontierland

It's another Snoozer Sunday, and another opportunity to use up some less-than-ideal images. These are all from the 1950s (I'd guess 1957 if I had to).

One of the basic lessons you might learn from a photography class is to not take photo of people or things when they are backlit by the bright sun. Unfortunately, our picture-taker cut class that day. The results are this image of the Old Mill on Tom Sawyer Island. It's as if it was painted with Vantablack, somehow the mill reflects almost no light. Maybe Saruman lives there!

This next one is not the worst photo in the world, but it lacks clarity. Still, some fun details can be seen in this shot of Frontierland as seen from a low river viewpoint. Maybe the photographer was on a Keelboat? Besides the Golden Horseshoe building, we can see an ice cream vendor's cart to the left, and above that, the shake roof of the well that was only there for a brief time. To the right of the yellow Golden Horseshoe banner we can see the sign for the Gun Shop. Notice the Christmas garlands, too!

I actually kind of like this photo though as usual I do wish it was a little bit crisper, and I wish those two noggins weren't partly blocking our view. But Tom Sawyer Island looks amazingly lush, one would hardly know that this was taken in an amusement park. And the Burning Settler's Cabin is really blazing! 



Nanook said...

"Settler's cabin a-fire-!!" I should say so. 'Run for your life' - although it appears a bit late for that settler. I do believe we can see a red Skyway bucket off in the distance.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

I had never heard of Vantablack before. It's evil! EVIL!!!... well, maybe not. But it is costly, according to the Wikipage you linked to. Stanley Kubrick would have liked to use some of it on the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was always fretting about fingerprints on it, and such. And could never get it looking as black as he wanted.
There are 3 or 4 people over there on the right, dusted with Vantablack.

Did they actually sell guns and ammo in the Gun Shop?... Why?? Maybe it was just a museum.
Those water birds look like they've gotten into the Vantablack, they're awfully dark. Are they coots? I'm still not sure if coots explode or not, like the Animatronic Exploding Ducks. And I can't think of any safe way to find out.

I'm trying to decide if the Dead Settler was necessary to convey the meaning of the scene, or if he could have been left out. He definitely adds emotional impact; and I'm glad he's there. Otherwise, we wouldn't have those "Arrow Shirt" jokes.

Nanook, I zoomed in on that distant object 400%. It's definitely red, but wouldn't a Skyway bucket be a little larger than that? Maybe not. Perhaps it's a Mickey balloon?

Major, thanks for the Snooooz......

Melissa said...

The Old Mill does look a bit sinister in that lighting. I suspect it might have had something to do with setting that cabin on fire.

Vantablack always makes me think of the episode of Father Ted where the priests were ordering extra-black priests’ socks from a specialty catalog, because the ones in the shops weren’t black enough. And also of the day when I got to the office and realized I was wearing a purple dress, navy tights, one black shoe, and one brown shoe. I got brighter lightbulbs for the bedroom on the way home.

TokyoMagic! said...

I don't think I ever knew about the gun shop at Disneyland. I wonder how long that lasted? Did it have a wax figure of Charlton Heston inside?


Wow! I’ve never noticed a Gun Shop in that location : to my understanding at one shirt point in its history tobacco was sold there. I think other than being used as a custodial storage closet in recent years it was of course the Frontierland Camera Shop for most of its life. I know we’ve discussed that here before and TokyoMagic and I talked about the Disneyland Souvenir Photo Albums we purchased there…. A clear vinyl folder of 12 color photos . They were of major attractions : most that would be difficult to personally take snapshots in. ( NO FLASH PICTURES!!!………please…) I remember they were somewhat expensive at the time … but the album booklet art was so enticing!! I bought a HAUNTED MANSION album … and later a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. There was a JUNGLE CRUISE set, IT’s A SMALL WORLD , SLEEPING BEAUTY CASTLE ROOF TURRET DENTS , and MAIN STREET ELECTRICAL PARADE. I think that was it. The shop also sold 8mm films of attractions … slides and film and cameras. I think the space was built as the managers office to the Golden Horseshoe …. But I have a feeling it wasn’t used as that for very long….. as evidence of our Gun Shop.


I know this is a follow up to a earlier post this week but regarding the name “Tilly” the ticket taker figure of The Main Street Cinema : I almost think that her name was Cast Member created …. All though this is personal speculation. I remember in the early to mid 1980’s being told all sorts of Disneyland trivia by a well known Disneyanna castmember ; Stacia Martin. And one if them being the name Tilly of the box office lady … and wondering how they knew that since there was nothing with her name visible. Years later in the mid 1990’s while creating a Disneyland cast trivia hunt game for a Disneyland training , we had to go through the park and verify all the tasks in the game … the longer it took to complete the questions the more points it was worth … so if your team had to watch AMERICAN JOURNEYS to say get the name of the covered bridge of the name of the riverboat in the film that would be worth more than say getting the name of the Main Street Ticket taker . And incidentally that one had to be deleated because there was no way for players to go and find that out …. As she still had no name tag. It’s possible it was just not on her at the time , but “Tilly’s” name tag seems to start appearing about 1995 …. When all new Disneyland Hardcover souvenir book was released - the one that came in two versions ; the popular priced edition and the limited slip cover version with lithographs. I think the photo of Tilly was staged for that book and she was given a cast name tag. And she seems to have had one since.

Technically she shouldn’t be wearing a cast member name tag since she is suppose to be a period Cinema employee. Decorating Over the years has sometimes including a box of fake popcorn ( she shouldn’t be eating in front of customers !) that popcorn is not period correct either as popcorn wasn’t served at movie theaters until the height of the depression : I think 1933 … in a way to draw people to come to the movies. So a Cinema of 1890-1910 wouldn’t be serving popcorn. Of course it shouldn’t be showing Mickey Mouse cartoons either ! …. But “anything’s possible at Disneyland!”

TokyoMagic! said...

But “anything’s possible at Disneyland!”

Mike, does that include "A skeleton ghost" and "Going up the waterfall"? ;-)

JG said...

I never knew about the Well in Frontierland. Must have been gone before my time.

Photo 1 has a nice sprinkling of red clothing, like pimentos in the meat loaf.

Major, I’m going out on a limb here and guess for a post 1957 date, on the flimsy basis of thinking I see a wood-grained trash can in the extreme left side of photo 1, in front of the dapper gent with the coat, tie, and hat. First, it’s hard to tell if that’s a themed can or maybe a Mark Twain prop barrel, and second, I’ve no official basis for my belief that themed cans weren’t made till after 1957, other than my unscientific observations of photos on an obscure blog. But, it’s all I got, and I’m sticking to it.

Mike, thanks for the background on Tilly, although I am nearly certain I heard that name for her 20 years before the 1995 date, but I have no evidence to prove that either.

I would hate to see the gas bill for heating that cabin, maybe the settler passed out after seeing it.

Major, thank you for the photos and the puzzles!


Chuck said...

More than 25 years ago, Mrs. Chuck had this bizarre dream about a “Disneyland of the Damned,” where all of the attractions were ominous and foreboding versions of the real ones. This picture of the Old Mill would have fit perfectly in her vision of the Unhappiest Place on Earth.

Interesting to see that “window” above the Gun Shop open (see this image for comparison). It opens in an unexpected direction and shows the space behind to be nothing but inky Vantablackness. I wonder what was in there? Maybe a portal to Disneyland of the Damned?

Mike, I remember the riverboat was the Natchez, but for the life of me I don’t remember the name of the covered bridge. I guess I would have had to sit (well, stand) through American Journeys again to answer the question. What a horrible, horrible thought. Please don’t throw me in that thar Briar Patch! ;-)

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
"I guess I would have had to sit (well, stand) through American Journeys". You're allowed to 'lean'... although ...the lean rails will not safely support your weight or the weight of your children..." (No further comments on that point).

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it sure would be cool to still have a burning cabin along the river. The current version is so boring that you barely notice it. I see that dot, but can’t tell what it is exactly!

JB, I think it’s weird that the inventor of Vantablack is so possessive of it, he will only let it be used for “worthy” projects. Imagine the “black velvet” paintings you could do! The apotheosis of art. Crying Elvis. A white tiger. A baby on a chamber pot. Interesting, I’ll bet Kubrick would have managed to get his hands on Vantablack for the Monolith if he could have! I believe that the gun shop was just a museum, you had to buy ammo in the Emporium. No idea about the ducks, but I don’t trust them. I was not offended by the Dead Settler, but I do think they could have had the scene without him. Definitely get rid of the “killed by Indians” scenario - which they eventually did. I think that ultimately they didn’t want to pay for all that natural gas.

Melissa, is Father Ted that BBC mystery show? I think I saw one episode. They should make priest’s clothes out of black velvet. In fact they should make ALL clothes out of black velvet. Your outfit sounds kind of cool!

TokyoMagic!, yes, there was an early AA figure of Chuck Heston, he had a piece of Soylent Green in one hand and a rifle in the other. I think I’ve heard the audio on YouTube. “You’re lucky I’m eating, or I’d shoot you!”.

Mike Cozart, The Gun Shop was there for a while, longer than I originally thought. But its location made it not-that-noticeable. There are photos of gun displays from the Mysterious Benefactor, but I believe that the exterior sign for the gun shop was long gone by that point. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of those Disneyland Souvenir Photo Albums, but I’d like to. You’d think that some of them would show up on eBay now and then. Those darn 8mm films almost always turned magenta, I have some that a friend gave me, but I’m not going to bother digitizing them ($$$) due to the way they look. The “Castle Dent” set must be extremely rare and valuable!

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I’m sure you’re right about Tilly getting her name from Cast Members. Funny that they added all sorts of details that were anachronisms - and that nobody seemed to care? I vaguely remember something about a Disneyland trivia “scavenger hunt” game, though I never participated. People assume I would do great at a game like that, but I’m sure I would humilate myself. “How tall is the Matterhorn?”. Um, I don’t know. “How did the castle dent happen?”. I don’t know that either. I like the IDEA of the trivia game though. It would be good for all of the locals who go to the park three times a week, for sure. And I swear on a stack of “Calvin and Hobbes” books that they now call the Main Street Cinema lady “Esmeralda”. I think it was even painted on the glass. If only I could find a photo. Instead of popcorn, they should have given Tilly a boiled ham. You could chew on that through several Charlie Chaplin movies.

TokyoMagic!, it’s so funny, I was talking to a friend who thinks that Walt is very “pervy” in that TV special, taking photos of Julie Reihm. I’ve watched it since then and don’t agree, I guess you see what you want to see?

JG, yeah, that well was gone long before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye. You can see red clothing in photo #1?? I can barely tell that there are people there! I forget Chuck’s word for dating the park via trashcans, but I will bow to your expertise when it comes to those wood-grained cans. I’m not seeing the one that you think you see. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d look to see when the petrified tree trunk was added to Frontierland, that might help. I can’t recall when I first heard Tilly’s name, or where. My mom just got her gas bill for a single month, and she always exclaims “Gas used to be cheap!”.

Chuck, that is a pretty bizarre dream, she must have had Welsh rarebit just before going to bed (Winsor McCay reference? Anybody…?). “Disneyland of the Damned”, sounds kind of fun! That window above the Gun Shop is kind of odd, as if was added as an afterthought. “We need some ventilation up here!”. Must have been used for some sort of offices, maybe for the Golden Horseshoe performers? I never saw “American Journeys”, so I would get an “F” with a frowny face.

Nanook, I wonder why they didn’t make those “lean rails” more sturdy?? Just in case. “Boys, we can save $200 if we make them out of paper-thin aluminum!”.


JG : oh I’m positive that the Cinema lady was being called “Tilly” by cast members long before the 1990’s. Like I said I first heard her name in the early to mid 80’s and cast members had already long been using that name. But I’m speculating that it wasn’t official. In fact I’m wondering if the name came about from one of the Disneyland Backstage or Disneyland Line joke April fools issues. There’s one that replaced the regular segment of fellow employee biographies with tonge-in-cheek bios of fake figures and around Disneyland and “Tilly” is one of them.

One thing I forgot to mention is that “Tilly” looked very much like a REAL beloved Disneyland cast member many of you may remember from the Disney Gallery , One of A Kind Antiques , and Pieces of Eight and the Gourmet Shop : Beverly Butram. She started at Disneyland in the winter of 1965 ( I think online sources say 1966) she was one of the first cast members in One of A Kind Antiques and worked at Disneyland until she retired. Whenever I see “Tilly” she makes me think of Beverly Butram.

I ran across one of the unused Disneyland scavenger hunt sheets not long ago - the game was called GALA DAY AT DISNEYLAND because we used sheets of advertising clip art created for the filmed opening of Matterhorn , monorail etc … Clip Art was a common graphic device used before computers …. Lol.

Anyway one thing I noticed was how many things are completely gone now that contestants would have needed to ride or watch or view in order to play the game…. Making the game sheets almost unplayable. Also the hunt items had to be things contestants could figure out without any previous Disney park trivia knowledge . The contestants were NOT park history experts. Another thing contestants couldn’t asked other castmembers for info ( they were on the honor system ) today players would have acess to Cel phones tempting them to cheat. Some questions were riddles and players had to figure out where they Needed to go. When contestants were finished the teams met at carnation gardens to turn in the play sheets for grading … event services prodvided coffee and lunch cookies and sometimes cupcakes. Then the winners would be announced and prizes handed out. After some people went home and others went to play the rest of the evening in Disneyland.

Major : I have seen the souvenir photo packs for mansion , pirates, jungle cruise and Electrical parade show up on EBAY but I’ve never searched for them. Van Eaton auctions have sold the actual art used to create the package cover for Haunted Mansion , Electrical Parade and Jungle Cruise .

Someone said there were Walt Disney World versions as well but I’ve never seen any yet. Tokyo Disneyland sold similar photo packs using Fuji film . The artwork covers are great on many of them but are done by “lands” …. Westernland 1983 and Tomorrowland 1983 seem to be the hardest to find. They also produced many different photo packs for different parades and even Tokyo Disneyland at Night packs .

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I’ll take your word for it as far as “Tilly” goes, I certainly have no facts about when she got her name! I’d love to find that Disneyland Line (or Backstage Disneyland) issue that you mentioned! I assume that Tilly was a somewhat generic mannequin who just happened to bear a resemblance to Beverly Butram, though maybe they made some changes so that it looked more like Beverly?). Still, a fun detail. Nice that Beverly is still remembered all these years later. Hey, I remember clip art! It is pretty astonishing to think about what has vanished in just the last 20 years; I used to look at the attractions lists on the back cover of ticket books to see what was no longer with us. I guess if you make a game like that scavenger hunt today, you’d almost have to design it with cell phones in mind. It’s just a reality of life. Again, a game like that would mostly be for locals who went to the park all the time, I’d be too focused on doing rides to take the time to do a “hunt”. I’ve probably just not looked for whatever eBay category you’d find those souvenir photo packs, I’d love to see what they were like! I would not be surprised if there were WDW versions; and Tokyo Disneyland versions would be cool!


The Gala Day at Disneyland was a Disney employee team building event for the management training program so it was held specifically for the event and wasn’t a “normal Disneyland” visit …

My Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland photo packs are down at my mom’s so I don’t have them at hand. The Disneyland ones featured a card stock cover with a cut out opening so the first of the 12 photos were visible Thru the opening …. . I have a feeling guests often bought them but since they were regular color photo prints , they probably removed them from the album and combined them with their personal photos . OR …. Because they seemed kinda expensive maybe they were not great sellers ??? They must have been popular at Tokyo Disneyland because they were selling the photo packs from 1983 and into the early 2000’s . I’ve seen variations for each of the lands , parades , stage shows , and a “attractions” collection … a “Disney characters” collection ( the walk around characters) and a visit to Tokyo Disneyland with day and nighttime versions .

Just recently Tokyo Disneyland began releasing a series of attraction books …. They are filled with tons of images from the specific attraction . Released so far are HAUNTED MANSION , JUNGLE CRUISE , POOH’S HONEY HUNT , and ITS A SMALL WORLD . I assume more will be done.

Anonymous said...

The outer space black holes are painted in Vantablack. That explains everything.


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I also have friends who think that Walt is "pervy" in that TV Special. He does seem to be taking a few too many photos of her. And when he says the part about "Anything is possible at Disneyland," he places his hand on the small of her back, and she makes a little "Ooh!" sound. But I guess it's all pretty innocent. Then again, what about those riding crops???

I remember all of those DL photo booklets that Mike mentioned. I wish I had bought all of them. I do remember them being a little pricey, at the time. I only purchased the one for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Here is what the graphics looked like on the cover of that one: