Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Disneyland Sign and More, May 1966

Here's a fun pair from May o' 1966. Most of you remember that the satellite "Explorer 32" was launched this month. Or maybe you were there when Walt Disney dedicated "it's a small world". I think he dedicated  it to "all the hot babes", but my source was not reliable. Both of today's pix barely get you inside the park. But they are still fun!

After a long drive to Orange County, dad finally turned right (after heading south on Harbor Boulevard), and OH BOY, there's the magnificent Disneyland sign! It stood there from 1958 until 1989, when it was torn down by drunken chimpanzees. I have never made a formal ranking, but that sign has to be pretty high up on my "Top Ten Signs" list. (Classic Holiday Inn signs are on that list too). 

We've parked our car, and taken the convenient tram from the parking lot right to the ticket booths. After considering our options, we've decided to buy the 15-attraction ticket books (the best value!), and we're going to take a guided tour because father is into women with riding crops. Long story. The turnstiles are right there, we are mere seconds away from the start of an amazing visit!


JB said...

For me, the highlight of the first photo is the graceful, futuristic Monorail beamway. The tall, 'majestic' power towers catch my eye as well. Oh, and then there's that rather showy "Disneyland" sign. Funny name, Disneyland. Is it some sort of shopping mall? And look! There's six flags (+1) over Disneyland! Now there's a catchy name!
Is that large roundish orangey thing down the street a cement truck?

Ah, here we are at good ol' NEYL Park. Another strange name. It'll never catch on.
What is that rather drab attraction poster above the little girl in the frighteningly short red dress?
I see that Ginny is still posing for photos. Hmm, she's let herself go, a bit. Oh wait, this is a different lady. Now I feel rather silly.

Even though I made fun of them, these are nice 'establishing' photos of Disneyland. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

"...he dedicated it to "all the hot babes". Yeah, it was something like that...

That woman standing outside the Main Gate is definitely ready for the "start of an amazing visit" - as she's got her babushka all battened-down ready for any and all winds-!

So, inquiring minds want to know - just what is the 'attraction poster' wedged between the Columbia and Swiss Family Treehouse, on the left side & between the Autopia and Submarine Voyage on the right side-?

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I love the way the line of the monorail track draws your eye toward the Disneyland sign in the background.

Definitely some great people watching and the second picture (although I’m happy to see that Swiss Family Treehouse poster, because it’s one I’ve never seen a lot of.) I could be wrong, but I almost think I see matching shorts peeping out from under the little girl’s very short red dress. I had a similar red dress with buttons down the back at around that age, but mine was a bit longer and I don’t think it had a white collar. On the other side of the gate at the far right, there’s another little girl in a red dress with a white collar. Must’ve been Little Orphan Annie day at Disneyland.

TokyoMagic! said...

JB and Nanook, I also noticed those plain-looking posters right way. Could they have just been temporarily promoting some type of event at the park? Like maybe, "Little Orphan Annie Day"? Or possibly "Bring Your Own Fried Chicken Into The Park Day"?

TokyoMagic! said...

By the way, doesn't Babushka Lady's dress look like it could have been made out of a vintage Disneyland paper bag?

Anonymous said...

"The anticipation of the event is often as delectable as the event itself." ---- Some Philosopher Dude...Probably.

You can't beat the way the anticipation built and built until you were swept away in the magic of the place! It's almost as if they knew what they were doing or something! Now? Well, I hear it's...different. Not bad- just different.

Funny you should mention Holiday Inn signs. When I was a kid in the little town of Denison, Tx, on most Sundays after church, we would go to eat at the only buffet in town- The Holiday Inn. They had a treasure box for the kids that had all kinds of prizes that were usually misplaced before bedtime. Great memories!

Oh, speaking of Holiday Inn, that was the first movie that featured the song "White Christmas." Later someone said, "Hey that tune's pretty snappy- let's give it it's own movie!" Or something like that.

Melissa said...

I loved thoie big, gaudy, green Holiday Inn signs with the arrow and the star. They were exciting and welcoming at the same time.


The “drab” attraction poster - displayed twice - is the Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction poster #1 . It’s nicknamed the “5 dollar bill version “ and is fairly rare …it’s the sponsor-less printing of the poster and it was done when both the Disneyland and the New York versions of the Lincoln show were performing simultaneously on both coasts. 1964.

“Now In Disneyland …. The dramatic show from the New York World’s Fair”
“Continuous performances”
Opera House Town Square”
“Main Street , USA.”

In 1965/66 a revised version of the poster done in sepia background , red title and blue description was done featuring Lincoln Savings and Loan Association as the attraction’s sponsor went into use.

Sadly when the Disney Gallery sold off Disneyland’s old stash of attraction posters beginning in 1987 , both the 1964 and 1965 Lincoln posters were poor sellers . In 1996 the Disney Gallery still had unsold quantities of both the Lincoln posters , Adventure Thru Inner Space , It’s A Small World , Space Station X-1, Rocket Jets and Dumbo oh … and Disneyland Hotel and they were removed from inventory and sent to the Mickey’s Attic sales room at the official Disneyanna convention in Florida …. Marked down from $300.00 each to $50.00 each . On the last day of the convention a handful of SPACE STATION X-1s, Small World and Disneyland Hotel remained … and were marked down to $5.00 dollars EACH!!!!!!! THAT’S 5 dollars each !!!! A collector from Van Nuys bought them ALL!! Who wouldn’t for 5 bucks each!!?!??
-1, small world and


I forgot to add : Disney collectors were a tough bunch to please in the 80’s and 90’s : unwilling to spend $300.00 on a Space Station X-1 or PeopleMover attraction poster!!

Now my question: what is that square sign bolted to the dead-center post of the Floral Mickey fence? It appears to be a map of some kind ??? It doesn’t match any of the “Kodak picture spots “ signs of the period … maybe it warns guest that roast chickens are not permitted inside Disneyland.?

JG said...

Major, you have nailed it with the commentary today. Exactly the feeling of edge-of-the-seat anticipation.

I’ve entered the Park via the new parking garage trams and by walking from each side, and there just isn’t the same buzz I felt 50 years ago. Of course, being 50 years older doesn’t help, but still…

I’m glad our photographer took that snap of the entry gate, that’s an often overlooked detail. Thanks for the poster identification, Mike. I thought that one might have been an empty frame.

And that is definitely a top 10 sign, and the Holiday Inns were right up there, along with Bobs Big Boy. There was a restaurant in Fresno with an elaborate revolving sign too, but I can’t remember the name. I’m usually all for quiet good taste, but some things cry out from the heart saying “too much is not enough”, and 1960’s neon is one of those things.

Thanks Major, some strong good memories today.


Nanook said...

I kept thinking it was a Great Moments... poster of some sort. Thanks for the verification.

Anonymous said...

OK, so after my hot tea and the drive to work, my memory kicked in.

The Fresno drive-in was Arctic Circle Burgers.

The sign I remember was similar to this, but even more gaudy, with a revolving component.

Apparently the chain is still operating, but I don't recall ever stopping at one:

Cheers all.


Major Pepperidge said...

JB, I guess you don’t have a monorail in your home town? What a bummer! They really are the way of the future. Or the now. I’ve never figured out why they called it “Disneyland”, and figured it had to do with some sort of local ordinance. The drab poster is for Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln… not a terribly common poster, but so drab that I never tried to acquire one back in my poster-collecting days.

Nanook, it’s hard to find the footage of that part of Walt’s dedication speech! Being May, I wouldn’t expect too much breeze at the park, but that lady does not want to take a chance. Those streetcars go pretty fast, I hear. See my poster comment to JB!

Melissa, the beautiful colors on the Swiss Family Treehouse poster make it one of my favorites, and you’re right, it seems as if it doesn’t show up in photos nearly as much as you might expect. Somehow little 2 or 3 year olds with short dresses are not a surprise, since moms still might have to do some “mom stuff”. That white collar has set a record for its width.

TokyoMagic!, yes, it was “Bring Your Picnic Lunch Day”, the one day a year you would not get turned away at the gates with your pic-a-nic basket. And hey, that dress does look like it was made out of a Disneyland paper bag!

Stu29573, that “philosopher dude” is none other than Pauly Shore. One of the greats. I’d love to know if the Imagineers really did know how exciting it would be to see the Monorail as one entered the park, or if it was just a happy accident. “Where else were we going to put the thing?”. I miss the days of treasure boxes for kids, they had one at my dentist’s office. I would spend the whole visit looking forward to seeing what was in there! I am not sure if I’ve seen the “Holiday Inn” version of “White Christmas”, though you can watch the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye movie on Netflix.

Melissa, those signs were great! And apparently only a single example survives, preserved in a sign museum somewhere.

Mike Cozart, I can’t recall if the versions of the Lincoln poster that I saw had sponsors or not, but at Howard Lowery’s there were always other posters I was more interested in. I do regret not ever getting a Dumbo poster, especially one that I saw in an auction with a black background, the only one I’ve ever seen that was not purple. I think it went for about $1,000. Your description of the later version makes me think that I must have seen some of those early versions. Gosh, my timing was not great when I decided to collect attraction posters… while I did manage to get two for $100 each (It’s a Small World and the Disneyland Hotel), and a few for $300 each (Peter Pan and the Skyway), I can’t imagine getting any for 50.00 or FIVE DOLLARS! Gulp.

Mike Cozart, wow, Space Station X-1 has always been one of my favorites. It is striking to look at, and is a mostly-forgotten attraction, which makes it that much more appealing. I’m almost certain that the sign you are referring to is indeed a Kodak Picture Spot sign, it has shown up in other photos in the past.

JG, I merely report the truth! While I like the convenience of the “Mickey and Friends” parking lot (and the fact that my car will be in the shade all day), you are right, it just isn’t the same as the old days. You can just see the faint outline of the Opera House on the “drab poster”, though you have to really look closely to figure it out. I’m sure there were all kinds of amazing signs back in the day, but I was limiting my “top ten” to signs that I’ve actually seen.

Nanook, they definitely “zagged” with that poster, since you’d expect them to show Honest Abe. “Let’s just show the building instead”. “OK!”.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, whoa, that is quite a sign! I love it. "Arctic Circle Burgers", now that's a name. "Our burgers are ice cold". I'll bet they were delicious, actually.

Anonymous said...

Nothing better than the original entry into the Parking Lot. Talk about anticipation! The tram ride was the first attraction of the day. The surrounds now look more like Las Vegas. But then again, Las Vegas of 1966 doesn't look like the Las Vegas of today either.

Off to the left of the second picture is the Pass Entrance where I would sign in family and friends during my working day. The Main Gate would call the attraction I was working on that they were waiting which would require me to walk to the gate, show my pass and manually sign the paperwork while in costume. I'd usually have a pocket full of Magic Key tickets to give them to enjoy the attractions for free. KS


Major : that’s interesting you mentioned the Dumbo attraction poster with the black background. I’ve never seen one … but a few days ago a friend of mine was asking if I had ever seen a 1969 HAUNTED MANSION attraction poster with a black background!?…. And yes : the very first production run of the Haunted Mansion attraction poster was done with a black background and a red “haunted mansion” … it’s a bit garish “Halloweeny” looking compared to the regular Mansion finished with the dark green background with the russet red logo. WDI and the Studios Archives both have samples in their collections. In the mid 80’s when I started collecting attraction posters I came across the black background mansion poster a few times … but got the green background one I was familiar with …. And had no idea the black background was pretty rare.

There are indeed many attraction posters out there with sone substantial variations or versions …. But now many of the regular ones are often rare as time goes on.

Another version I missed on was the 1976 AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL … When I started collecting the posters I wanted all the 1967 New Tomorrowland posters and I had a chance to purchase the 1976 America the Beautiful…. But it was the smaller size and I wanted the poster to match the larger 1967 Tomorrowland posters … at the time I didn’t realize or know that it was actually a different poster featuring the revised 70’s “America The Beautiful” circle vision font … and the “current” BELL SYSTEMS logo. WDW also used this version of the poster until the 1983 MAGIC CARPET ‘ROUND THE WORLD circle - vision poster for black & decker replaced the “America the beautiful” . The WDW Magic Carpet poster is rare as that attraction was replaced with AMERICAN JOURNEYS in 1984 …. Also sponsored by Black & Decker .

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, it might surprise people these days, but the tram really was a fun way to start your “pre-trip” to Disneyland! How great would it be to have a family member who worked at Disneyland, and who could get everyone in for free?! THE DREAM!

Mike Cozart, I saved a good-quality jpeg of the Dumbo poster with the black background, so if I remember later tonight (when I get home) I will try to send you a copy. Wow, I’ve never heard of the Haunted Mansion poster with a black background! Sounds pretty cool, I want one just because it is different. See, I wish they had images of one of those in the book about attraction posters. I’m way less interested in the post-1970s posters, but that’s just me I guess. Like I said, YOU should have written that book! I have the green background HM poster, and am very glad to have it, but MAN I wish I could at least see one of the black background examples. Is the 1976 version of “America the Beautiful” the one with the Statue of Liberty? I passed on buying one of those several times, and now I hardly ever seen them. I guess I blew it. But as I said before, there were usually other posters that I wanted more. I love all of your facts and history about the posters! There’s no such thing as “too much”.


MAJOR: the 1967 and 1976 AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL attraction poster — besides different sizes , features the same background artwork …. But all the graphic fonts and sponsor logos have been modernized and updated. Also the 1976 version is marked by the park it appears in : Disneyland (Bell Telephone) or Walt Disney World ( Monsanto).

Also referencing back to the GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN attraction poster : there’s many many Disneyland Lincoln posters however only four are actually “attraction posters” …. All the others are really signs … even though they are posters : they were produced as opera house broadsides and sidewalk blade posters. The Disneyland Lincoln attractions posters are

#1 )1964 -1965 (the the drab poster / dollar poster)
#2) 1965-1973 ( the sepia poster )
#3) 1976 ( the Neil Boyle art - no border )
#4) 2005 ( Neil Boyle art with border - now only displayed in both west & east guest overflow alleys )

Melissa said...

At the early Magic Kingdom, you even got two rides before entering the park: the parking tram and the boat or monorail from the TTC to the park entrance. Mom and sis preferred the monorail; my sister loved anything futuristic and Mom was afraid of seasickness (even though it wasn’t likely to happen on Bay Lake). I loved the old-timey feeling of the steamboat, but Dad had the final vote and went for the shortest line.