Friday, December 09, 2022

Beauties from 1956

I have two great scans for you today, from Disneyland's second year of operation, starting with this very nice shot taken from the then-new Skyway, as our gondola headed  toward Fantasyland. In moments we will pass that tower (the future site of the Matterhorn) but for now it's known as Holiday Hill. Holidays are fun, and so is that hill! Why, I'm chuckling to myself just looking at it. I wasn't sure if guests were always allowed to hike along those trails, but we can see some railings to the right of the tower, presumably to prevent people from tumbling down the slope. 

A few landmarks can be seen in the distance, including the Pirate Ship, the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet, Cinderella Castle, the roof of the "Fan 2" restaurant, and even the lighthouse that was near Monstro.

Meanwhile, over in the Plaza, a family has stopped to get popcorn, or at least to pose next to the old-timey popcorn cart. The vendor feels used. "I'm not just a monkey performing for you! I'm a human being!". But aren't we all dancing monkeys? Think about it. 


Nanook said...

I'd like to grab a couple of hot dogs and some Welch's Grape juice, and have an impromptu picnic right there on Holiday Hill (or Snow Hill, if you prefer), rules be damned-! Those yellow/blue umbrellas [with white fringe-!] cover the tables adjacent to Fan 2. And there's the red/black stripes on the Storybook Land lighthouse.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

1) I like that the Skyway gondolas are not smack dab in the center of frame. Being off center adds interest... like me... and the rest of the Jr. Gorillas (and the Big Ape himself, Major P.) :-D
Is that rather dull-looking black and ocher tent top, the Fan 2 roof that you mentioned? If so, then is that red and white tent top we see through the trees on the left, Fan 1? Or maybe the Carousel?
Again I'm struck by the bareness of Disneyland in these early photos.

2) Hmm, there's another popcorn wagon just across the street. Maybe this is during the peak summer months when things can get pretty busy.
Quick poll: Is Grandma (in the light blue outfit) the dad's mom, or the mother's mom? (play 'Final Jeopardy music here)...... I say she's his mom, because her jawline looks rather angular, like his.

"But aren't we all dancing monkeys? Think about it." I did. For about 5 seconds. It gave me a headache. Then my clockwork mechanism ran out of oomph. And my little cymbals stopped banging together. Thanks for the nice photos, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think the dirt trail in the first pic, is actually the route for the short-lived "Fantasyland Pack Mules."

In the second pic, those kids are both holding onto something. Are they licorice churros? Burnt corn dogs? Chocolate Zingers on a stick? We may never know.

Chuck said...

Seeing the central support pylon reminds me…last night, Mrs. Chuck & I watched “Disneyland Around the Seasons,” the first episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color aired after his death. While it’s intended to showcase all of the new things that debuted in Disneyland in 1966, I was struck - almost shocked, in fact - by how much recycled footage was used in the episode.

Every shot of the Skyway featured round buckets, there were quite a few shots of Main Street, the Plaza, and Frontierland with very stunted trees, a black-and-white shot (in a color episode) of Tinkerbell lighting one of the lamps on Main Street, and an elevated shot of the Main Street Station that I think was from the 1956 featurette Disneyland, U.S.A. with the central support pylon on Snow Hill clearly visible in the distance. There were also several shots that were flipped left to right to make shot-to-shot movement continuity work better, but it was a bit jarring to see a guy flying a llɘꓭ jet pack around Tomorrowland or a giant banner proclaiming “!ƨγɒbiloH γqqɒH” across the front of the Bizarro World castle.

JB, I think that “tent” top we see poking up through the trees to the left is the carousel. The peak was actually solid red, with blue and white stripes below and a gold crown filial on top (see HERE; the color is a little off, but at least the Major won’t get charged for it). I think the “red-and-white” effect is an illusion caused by light and shadow.

TM!, I’m just hoping they didn’t find something in the street before Trinidad did.

JG said...

Wow, photo 1 shows that all that was necessary was to prepare a seed bed on that bare soil, sprinkle out some ACME Matterhorn seeds and irrigate regularly and nature would produce the Worlds First tubular track roller coaster. The machine gun sprinklers are already in place.

I hope Bu has some good Outdoor Vending stories to go with that popcorn cart. Have the little characters turning the cranks made their appearance yet or are they a later innovation?

Those folks look like my cousins. I think it’s Mom’s Mom, not sure why.

Two plain green trash cans in the Plaza since it’s before late 1957.

Chuck, where did you find that show? I hear Disney is trying to cut costs on Disney Plus content, which seems easy to me, they own “decades” of great content just crying to be shown, while they waste billions cranking out junk like “Willow”.


Stu29573 said...

Chuck I have that episode on one of me "Treasures" DVD sets, although I can't remember which one. The backwards backpack is pretty obvious (would that make it a frontpack?) I might need to drag it out and watch it again! I happened to buy those Treasury collections when they first came out, and I'm glad I did!

I like the Holiday Hill shot! I think people could walk around up there, but since I certainly wasn't there I have no first hand knowledge.

Chuck said...

JG, we watched it on Disney+, although like Stu, I have a copy on DVD. We were browsing Christmas selections on the service and that pooped up.

I am somewhat disturbed that Mrs. Chuck and I have started falling into the habit of watching movies and TV shows on streaming services that we own copies of on DVD or Blu-Ray. The discs are all on shelves right next to the TV, but using them would entail getting off the couch...

Chuck said...

"We were browsing Christmas selections on the service and that popped up."

Although with some of their offerings, the original verb may be more accurate...

Stu29573 said...

I hear ya, Chuck. We do the same thing. I have a huge library that we never touch. We also tend to watch about five shows out of the several hundred that we have on streaming. Then I start thinking "How much are we paying for those five shows????"

Chuck said...

Yeah, Stu, the way the streaming environment has fragmented, I think it would be more expensive to get the shows we want than it would have been to have cable. I appreciate the on-demand capability, but we just don't watch enough TV to get like seven streaming services to see everything we want. And it kills me that we can't get to the new Star Trek shows because I don't want one more streaming service. And now that Amazon has started running commercials on some of its programming and Netflix is considering a similar move, I'm really starting to wonder what we've gained here.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I will call it “Pepperidge’s Hill”, though that might be unorthodox. But you said the rules be damned! I mention Fan 2 and the Storybook Land lighthouse in my text.

JB, I always love those pre-Matterhorn views of the Skyway and the old tower. I’d love to have been able to climb up the hill for a great view of everything below. Funny that I generally see photos looking toward Fantasyland rather than Tomorrowland. The red and white tent is the Carnation Plaza Gardens. The “black” (blue/green?) and ochre tent is the “Fan 2” eatery. It’s hard to tell who is related to whom, but I’d guess that Grandma is the dad’s mom, but… who knows. I can also imagine a resemblance to the mom!

TokyoMagic!, maybe they could have had a llama ride for the Fantasyland hills. If they spit at you, it’s extra. I think the little girl is eating an ice cream bar, but I don’t see anyting in the boy’s hands.

Chuck, YES, I have noticed that in many of those old Disneyland specials, the reuse of older footage. After buying some of those “tin box” DVDs, I got mighty tired of the “ride on the Matterhorn Bobsleds”, since it was used in something like three shows. It’s a little disappointing, why spend money filming new segments when you can just reuse an older one? I also dislike the big dance numbers (Mary Poppins and the dancing birthday cake), did anybody find those fun and entertaining back in 1966? Funny about the flipped shots, I wonder why they bothered? Also, ten points to Hufflepuff for the backwards text! Maybe you are in Slitherin? You might be right about the tent being the Carousel, though it “feels” like the Carnation Plaza Gardens to me. I am totally OK with being wrong though!

JG, now that you mention it, the Matterhorn Bobsleds was totally tubular. And grody! I have no doubt that Bu has plenty of stories, whether we hear them is another matter. I wonder if it was considered a good thing to have lots of popcorn piled up in the glass window of the cart? “If they see it, they’ll want to buy some!”. Maybe. I watched the first two episodes of “Willow”, and did not hate it, but I did not like it very much either. Warwick Davis deserved better.

Stu29573, yes, at the time those Disneyland-themed tin box sets were really incredible. I’m glad I have them, though of course now it would be nice if they released them as Blu-Rays. From all I’ve heard, guests were allowed to walk on Holiday Hill, though probably many people looked at the grade and decided they’d done enough hiking that day.

Chuck, yes, if you search for “Disneyland” on Disney+, about five things come up. It’s disappointing. I was excited for the Imagineering show, but couldn’t even make it through one episode thanks to its jokey tone. Can we cool it with the “record scratch” sound effect already?

Chuck, I didn’t want to say anything.

Stu29573, I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of my many Pixar and Disney DVDs, even though I can easily watch all of those movies on Disney+. For one thing, the DVDs have extras that I like. Also, what if I decide I’m done with Disney+? It’s a conundrum.

Chuck, I pay for Amazon Plus, Disney+, and Netflix, and I feel like I barely watch TV. In fact I watch YouTube more than any of those others. Part of me wants Hulu because of some of the shows it carries, but at this point it would be a waste of money.

Nanook said...

I must learn to read with greater care. There's simply no excuse for it-! (I have just finished a 30-minute session of 'standing in the corner' as proper punishment for such an infraction). On the other hand, I did call-out the umbrella-topped dining tables for Fan 2...

@ JG-
"Have the little characters turning the cranks made their appearance yet or are they a later innovation?" Look carefully - you can see the 'Toasty Roasty' man cranking the glass tumbler full of popcorn. (First used in the original C. Cretors & Co. carts that sold fresh roasted peanuts, back at the turn of the 20th century). Disneyland, etc., merely adapted that gadget for popcorn. The Toasty Roasty man "invention" belongs to Cretors.

Anonymous said...

A Perfect look at “Make-out Mountain”, my fathers favorite part of the park. Mom always said it had a nice view from up there. Bench seat and everything apparently.

Yes Major, those various Disneyland DVDs are in my opinion the cream of Disney TV. Most of those shows are NOT available on D+, much to my disappointment (and rue that already got my annual renewal). The real pluses are on those disc’s.


Melissa said...

Our popcorn is hot, and our vendors are fresh. Heyo!

Chuck, do you poop out at parties?

Pepperidge's hill is adjacent to Pepper's Ridge, the ancestral home of Pepper's Ghost.

JB said...

Tokyo!, I can't tell what those things-on-a-stick are. They look too skinny and straight to be frozen bananas. And we know that churros weren't a thing yet; licorice or otherwise. They look kind of squarish.

Chuck, thanks for the link to that obscure website. I think you're right about the Carousel, even though today's image still looks red 'n white to me. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
"I’m just hoping they didn’t find something in the street before Trinidad did."... Ugh! and Eww!

JG, Genius! Now we know how that Swiss mountain thing popped up! Thanks for the info!
One of the reasons I made Grandma his mom is because she's standing close to him; "Sonny Boy". And giving her the cold shoulder. But I have no idea.
There might be 1 or 2 (or three) more trashcans in this photo: The one closest to us on the left, the one behind the popcorn vendor's back, one or two above the heads of the guests sitting on the bench in front of the vendor (questionable), and one under the yellow umbrella to the left of 'Dad'. (Again, questionable.) There are a couple of others even more questionable.

Major, hmmm. The Carnation Plaza Gardens, you say? Chuck says it's the Carousel. So which is right, Carnation or Carousel? The fate of the world depends on it!
Ice cream bar?! Nonsense! It's too skinny. OK, OK, I'm probably wrong.

Melissa, "the ancestral home of Pepper's Ghost." Ah! Now we know where all the 999 Haunted Mansion ghosts came from!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, no need to stand in a corner, I accept all major credit cards, and PayPal! No crypto, though, I learned my lesson. Also, I heart the Roasty Toasty Man.

MS, they should have released swarms of rats on Holiday Hill to keep frisky young couples from… well, being so frisky. Rats will deter that sort of thing. I would love it if they would remaster those DVD programs for HD or 4K or whatever, but I’m not holding my breath.

Melissa, you are channeling the spirit of Ed McMahon! And you must have seen my “Finding Your Roots” episode on PBS, since you know about my direct link to Pepper’s Ghost. I would have mentioned it, but didn’t want to be boastful.

JB, ugh, licorice on a stick. “How can we make licorice even worse?”. “I know, let’s put it on a stick!”. BRILLIANT. I thought extraordinary CLAMS required extraordinary evidence. Reading is hard. I agree, I thought that the older woman’s close proximity to the man made him more likely to be her son. “That woman” (the wife) isn’t good enough for him! Why, she can’t even make Cherries Jubilee. Can you imagine? Are those trashcans questionable, or is our reality questionable? Maybe Chuck is right about the stripes being the Carousel, the only way to solve this is through arm wrestling.

Melissa said...

That would have been your boast... your ghost boast.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I especially LOVE the first scan!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

“…the only way to solve this is through arm wrestling.” Or maybe by looking at an overhead photo. I realize this one is from 1960, after the Matterhorn was already ready to harvest (“147 feet high by the Fourth of July”), but the tower seen in today’s photo was located just about where the center of the mountain is in the linked overhead image so you can infer the sightlines from this image.

I think Carnation Gardens would be too far to the left to appear in the shot from this angle. Plus, you can see in today’s photo what I think are the hills behind Rainbow Ridge to the left of the peaked tent; those hills would have appeared to the right of the Carnation Gardens pavilion from this angle. I agree the tent does look red-and-white in this photo, JB, but I really think that’s bright sunlight reflecting off the red peak.

Melissa, yes, I do. I’m tired, rundown, and listless. I’m also unpopular. If there were only some way to spoon myself to health…

JB said...

Thanks, Chuck. For the sake of world peace I'll concede to your assertion. Plus, it seems you are probably right; so there's that. ;-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I’m experiencing hot and cold running chills!

Lou and Sue, yay!

Chuck, this has been a real rollercoaster; I was up, and then I was down. And then I was up again! And guess what happened after that? Yep, back down. You make a strong case, just like Perry Mason. Except that Perry Mason didn’t wear a pith helmet, and for some reason you do. Sure, it looks good, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the rest of us are wearing raspberry berets. The kind you find in a second hand store.

JB, thanks to you I have realized that: Badness is bad. Peace is good. Whipped cream is delicious. And licorice is horrible.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I'll gladly take all your black jelly beans. They're my favorite.