Thursday, February 02, 2023

Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, July 1967

Looking at today's first photo, I can't help thinking about what an important feature the beautiful blue submarine lagoon is in Tomorrowland. This artificial ocean would almost certainly be a hot concrete pedestrian area (along with some ODV carts), but instead it sparkles and ripples and looks so inviting. On a 100-degree August day, how many guests secretly wish they could take a little swim? 

This angle (a Kodak "Picture Spot" angle, I believe) is one of my favorites, with the Subs, and the Skyway, the Peoplemover and Monorail, and even the Carousel of Progress with those giant GE logos so that you knew who was paying for that attraction... it's all great.

And of course, mermaids could be seen in the lagoon in '67, one practicing a song on her lyre - maybe "Happy Together" by her personal friends, The Turtles (see what I did there?). Two other merms are out for a swim, I wonder how close they were allowed to get to the subs? I'm sure they were encouraged to keep their distance. Still, it would have been fun to have a mermaid wave to you from under the water.

Part of the Matterhorn was in Tomorrowland (borders are tricky things), but this particular view is from the Fantasyland side. The overhang in the upper left might be part of the Motor Boat Cruise queue area - but chime in if you think it's something else! We're used to the Matterhorn after more than 60 years, but it really is an impressive thing to see at any amusement park.

While no bobsleds can be seen up on the icy slopes, we can see several on the track below as guests prepare to board. 


Nanook said...

I do believe I spy a pair of microwave dishes atop the Carousel show building. (I'm referring to the 'RF' kind - and not the 'food-heating' kind...)

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

What is the orange and white thing next to the lyre-playing mermaid? And what is that clam shell doing in the water? "Patrick" or "Henry"? Just pick a name and go with it! Funny how some people have two first names, like Patrick Henry, or two last names, like Nelson Muntz.
It's always neat to see a picture with all the things in it that you mentioned, Major.

In the Matterhorn pic, there's something on the left, amongst the tree branches. Looks sort of like piping... is it Bobsled track?
The family on the right edge: Mom is looking back over her shoulder, "Oh my stars! There's a giant mouse back there! Junior is crying and running away from the giant mouse. Dad is oblivious.

Nanook, Ha! I thought they were Mouse ears; a hidden Mickey!

Nice photos today, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, there are people who will absolutely insist that the mermaids used to hold harps, but they are liars.

Nanook and JB, I've never noticed those dishes on the roof of the Carousel Theater. I wonder how long they were there? Now that JB has pointed it out, it does look like Mickey's ears. I love the thought of a giant radioactive Mickey stomping his way through the park, and smashing everything in sight. "Attack of the 50 Foot Mickey."

Major, that overhang is actually a protective panel just below the Monorail beam. It's the part of the Monorail that ran above the entrance to the former Fantasyland Autopia:,-117.917433,3a,90y,183.57h,106.52t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-CHnpFFehpqG8uBXsqTWZQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Chuck said...

The PeopleMover does not appear to be in operation. It opened 2 July, 1967, and with the delay that sometimes happened between exposing and developing a roll of film, I wonder if this might have been taken in late June, when it was all put together but not open to the public.

Loving the attraction posters in the Submarine queue - Nature’s Wonderland on the left and the Frontierland watercraft on the right. With people right up next to them you can get a good idea of just how big those things are. Imagine how many disposable dustpans you could make out of just one of those!

Nanook, when you get right down to it, aren’t all microwaves the RF kind? Some of them transmit RF energy from point to point, while others confine RF energy to a shielded box to heat food and beverages. ;-)

JB, I think that “clam shell” is the tip of a swimming mermaid’s tail. I think the dark, head-sized “rock” behind the “clam shell” is her head.

Come to think of it, there was more than one submarine at Disneyland named after a person with two first names. Maybe that was so they could use as many first names as possible to try and relate to as many guests as they could. While they worked in Patrick, Henry, Ethan, and Allen, you’ll note they did skip Jack.

You are correct - that is bobsled track.

Stu29573 said...

Mermaids? Next you'll be telling me there's a googly-eyed sea monster in that ocean! You better lay off the Welches!
The fact that the Matterhorn sits in two lands has caused a rift in the temporal flow due to dimensional overshift. The microwaves were an attempt to regulate that (everyone knows microwaves speed up time- look at how fast you can heat up a Hot Pocket!) but sometimes they did the job too well and guests would exit the bobsleds two full days before they entered them. This was a problem until someone pointed out that none of this was possible, so everyone just forgot about it. It's true because I typed it in real words.

K. Martinez said...

The first pic is Tomorrowland perfection. Disney futurism at its peak. Love how Monorail Gold has "Disneyland Alweg Monorail System" printed on it. That was my favorite name for the Disneyland Monorail.

Extra great pics today! Thanks, Major.

JG said...

I love both of these, just want to walk right in.

One R2-D2 trash can in photo 1, hard to believe none are visible in photo 2!

Thanks Major.


Stefano said...

Sub mermaids were always supplied with two lyres, in case one was out of tuna.

This was the last summer for these sirens, probably too many mishaps similar to Doris Day losing her mermaid tail in "The Glass Bottom Boat"; pretty risque for Doris.

I loved standing in the Submarine line and watching those Fantasyland-side bobsleds zip over that bit of track seen here. Everyone on the sled gave a slight cha cha cha snap of the head.

Thanks Major, peak Disneyland here.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-
'My favorite name for the Disneyland Monorail' is Bubba-!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’d still like to believe that if I put a Stouffer’s lasagna in front of one of those microwave dishes, it would be pipin’ hot in about 12 minutes.

JB, I’m not sure about the orange and white thing… the mermaids had a number of props, I’ve seen them with a comb and a mirror. And a giant harmonica? Maybe that last one is wrong. If you think “Patrick Henry” is ridiculous, just look at “Neil Patrick Harris”. Come on, NPH! Yes, that piping is the Matterhorn track! More people should say “My stars!” when exclaiming. It’s the best.

TokyoMagic!, I hate to call people liars, but you make a good point! I was going to say that I’m surprised that the park never made a giant Mickey, but then I remembered the big inflatable sorcerer Mickey that was in one of the parades. Strange how they gave him “angry eyes” and big sharp teeth. Ah, you’re right, the Monorail panels, I should have known, thanks.

Chuck, yes, the Peoplemover definitely seems to be just sitting there. I like how they put the trains on the tracks, they added color, and were sort of an advertisement for “things to come”. I think I have a few other photos (maybe from Mr. X) also showing the Peoplemover before it was operational. I admit that I like the look of it before they added the bars that were supposed to make it “idiot proof” (they did not work). Of course I love the posters in the queue as well. I wish I’d been able to buy more posters so that I could corner the disposable dustpan market! You might be right about the “clamshell” being the tail of another mermaid, although four mermaids seems to have been unusual. As far as I can tell.

Stu29573, lay off the Welch’s?? But it’s so delicious! I don’t mind seeing googly-eyed sea monsters, hey, you see all kinds of things on the freeways around here. I’ve never had a Hot Pocket, maybe they are good but they look kind of gross to me. I feel like I was about two days older after my last ride on the Matterhorn, and I may have lost a few teeth along the way.

K. Martinez, yes, look at how clean and sleek and beautiful everything is in that first photo! I like the current version of the Monorai, but wish they’d stop putting those ugly wraps on the trains.

JG, I wonder, was the design of R2-D2 inspired at all by those trash cans??

Stefano, I’m afraid that puns like that one are strictly forbidden here on GDB. This is a serious place! I’ve never seen “The Glass Bottom Boat”, but there’s a famous test photo of Doris in her mermaid costume, she was 40 at the time and looked incredible. Even now it’s sometimes fun to just find a bench and watch the bobsleds go by, and to listen to the screams of delight!

Nanook, I wonder, was there ever a Disney character named "Bubba"?

Anonymous said...

Major, I don't know about the inspiration of R2-D2 design coming from a trash can, but I did get a good chuckle in the pre-show queue for Smugglers' Run where there is a prop R2 unit without a head, being used for a trash can in the ground floor shop area. Unfortunately, it couldn't be reached from the line to dispose of real trash, it was just full of prop trash, supposedly from the engine repair activities.

Re the overhead panels on the monorail track, I read somewhere that these panels were provided at locations where pedestrians would pass under the track to catch some kind of debris that was regularly shed by the drive wheels or some other part of the mechanism.

Re "idiot-proof", every time something is idiot-proofed, they develop better idiots. Its a never-ending arms race.


JB said...

Tokyo!, regarding "liars": I'll hold the door for you as you slink out. Thanks for the smile.

Chuck, hmmm, you're probably right about the clam shell being a tailfin, but I think the "head-sized rock" is a killer snapping turtle. ALL the Disneyland bodies of water have dangerous critters just waiting for a tasty unsuspecting meal.
Thanks for the Bobsled track verifactoidization.
And I'll continue holding the door open for you, as well, for skip jack.

Stu, your logic and reasoning is, as usual, impeccable.

Stefano, yer next, out the door. (Oh, fortuna) ;-p

Major, yeah... Neil Patrick Harris has so many first names; he's just showboating. I bet there's a seven-step program for people with three first names.
And I'm telling you, the fourth mermaid is actually a killer snapping turtle!

JG, better idiots and more litigious-prone lawyers advertising on TV.

DBenson said...

On the "Disneyland '59" TV broadcast they showed the mermaids doing a Busby Berkeley routine, but that was a pre-filmed insert. So was the segment of the ride itself, which included shots of real fish as well as the live mermaids waving. Also a shot from in the water looking at a passing sub: You see guest faces looking out the portholes, including one shaggy dog.

Anonymous said...

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Mermaid Day, too!
I can’t tell if we can see a mermaid shadow—to know if we have six more weeks of winter ??

Thanks, Major.


K. Martinez said...


Is that short for "Hubba Bubba" the monorail done in bubble gum pink?

Melissa said...

Funny how some people have two first names, like Patrick Henry, or two last names, like Nelson Muntz.

Reminds me of "The Young Man with a Horn," a song June Allyson used to sing with the Harry James Orchestra.

"All of the girls are stakin' their claims
On the pinup man in the picture frames,
On the man with the two front names:
Harry James!"

"There's a giant mouse back there! Junior is crying and running away from the giant mouse."

They shouldn't have made Junior carry the picnic basket with all the cheese sandwiches.

"The fact that the Matterhorn sits in two lands has caused a rift in the temporal flow due to dimensional overshift."

Between that and the Tomorrowland train station, I'm amazingsurprised the whole park isn't one giant T.A.R.D.I.S. by now.

...just look at “Neil Patrick Harris”. Come on, NPH!

When I first got Type 1 diabetes as a kid, one of the time-released insulins I had to take was called NPH. Whenever I see Harris's name abbreviated that way, a stray brain cell in the back of my head wonders why a bottle of medicine has been cast in a Broadway play or is hosting the Candlelight processional.

R2D2 makes a great garbage can, but when I was a kid it's what my sister and I called the Shop-Vac.

Pictures of the Disneyland mermaids always remind me of a show I was in where the director kept telling us chorus girls to watch Esther Williams movies to get an idea of the flowing, synchronized movement she wanted. But all of us, including her, kept getting Esther Williams mixed up with Ethel Merman, and we all had to settle for the portmanteau "Esther Mermaid." And IIRC, Esther Williams died the day before our show opened.

Great pictures today, Major, and full of that California sunshine that makes these winter days a little easier to get through. I love the guest's clothing in the last two. Look at all those colorful plaids gathered around the Matterhorn!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, hmmm, I didn’t notice the R2 trash can, but then again, there are a LOT of details in the queue, so I’m not surprised. Plus I was distracted by the family next to us, they were playing some sort of game on their phones and were, um, “boisterous”. I think I’ve read the same thing about those overhead panels, and of course it makes sense, you don’t want oil, or metal shavings, or plutonium raining down on your guests. You are so right about “idiot-proofing” things!

JB, don’t encourage TM! Those rare ocean snapping turtles are the worst, and they are also why I gave up a lucrative career as a diver. I think Neil Patrick Harris should have just gone for it and added “the third” at the end of his name.

DBenson, I’ve seen that special, and it is pretty funny how they intercut live fish (leftover footage from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”?). “Nobody’s going to be convinced by those fiberglass fish that we really have! I’d forgotten about the Shaggy Dog in the porthole, that’s actually kind of cute.

Sue, what is the sea equivalent of a groundhog? A sea otter? A nudibranch? A hermit crab?

K. Martinez, oh man, grape Hubba Bubba. And did they have “wild cherry” too? Or was that Bubblicious?

Melissa, I was worried that “The Young Man With a Horn” was about a human unicorn, so I am relieved that it is about Harry James. I wonder how long people were making jokes about Harry James’ “two front names”? I wish there was a medication named “Major Pepperidge”. How do we make this happen? My grandpa belonged to the Los Angeles Country Club, and there was a brouhaha about how Esther Williams wanted to come in wearing pants rather than a dress or skirt. I forget how it turned out, but I’ll be Esther got her way.