Friday, March 31, 2023

Beautiful Tomorrowland, January 1st, 1971

Hello, New Year's Day, 1971! On the rare instances where I have an exact date, I like to refer to "Jason's Disneyland Almanac" for a few fun facts. January 1st was a Friday; the park was open from 10:00 to 7:00, and the high temperature was 63º Fahrenheit, with a low of 46º. Bring a coat! There were no attendance numbers listed for this day, but it was obviously busy. I really like this photo of a bustling Tomorrowland, and am trying to figure out where our photographer was standing. Maybe at the Tomorrowland Terrace?

Next, another pretty photo looking at the entrance to Tomorrowland, taken from a Peoplemover train. The Matterhorn has its Christmas star, which would only be used for one or two more years (I found different dates for on different websites, but one said that 1973 was the last year for the star). We also have "America The Beautiful", and those nutty fountains.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Random Photos

I've chosen a random selection of scans from the many photo prints given to me by our friend Irene, who passed away last year. These photos were mostly taken by her brother Bruce and his friend James (together they comprise the Dream Team).

First up is this view of the Fantasyland Theater, still under construction. This was the site of "Videopolis", but the Fantasyland Theater replaced it in 1995. It's where guests could see live shows such as "The Spirit of Pocahontas", "Animazment! The Musical", "Snow White: An Enchanting Musical", and more. The tent itself was a bit controversial, being visible from other parts of the park.

Signage! I always love to see signage.

Next is a picture of a parade float, from an unidentified parade. On board is Cinderella, in her beautiful ball gown. We can see the blue sleeve of Briar Rose/Aurora (aka "Sleeping Beauty"), and I have no doubt that other princesses were there as well. At the front of the float, three adorable little girls happily wave to the crowd while wearing their own costumes. 

Another day, another parade. Or maybe it's the same parade on another day, I sure don't know. It's pretty cool to see the evil sorceress Maleficent in the park, she's usually too busy turning princes into toads and what-not. She stands atop a tower, gesticulating wildly as if she was selling a used car. "Just look at this cream puff! Sure, she's got a few miles on her, but she'll still get you where you need to go!". 

And finally, a shot of Mickey's Toontown, likely taken not long after this new land opened to the public. You can see "Goofy's Gas", and the stop for the "Jolly Trolley", and Donald Duck's house, silhouetted to our left. Walking toward us is Gadget Hackwrench, from Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers. Wikipedia says that she's  the team's pilot, mechanic, circus performer, contortionist, fabric acrobatics, lyra acrobatics and inventor who wears purple coveralls with blue goggles on her head.

Many thanks to the Dream Team!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

More Instamatics

I was very happy to get an email from Mr. X, informing me that he'd found a few more Kodak Instamatic negatives - photos that he took himself back in the mid-1960s up until perhaps the very early 1970s. You've seen hundreds of his pictures in the past, just type "Instamatic" in the search bar. 

We'll start with this shot looking past the stern of the Columbia sailing ship toward the Mark Twain. The Columbia is obviously berthed in Fowler's Harbor (as is often the case), maybe this was during one of the slow seasons that the park used to experience. Guests could still board the sailing ship though, to get a view over the rail, or go "below decks" to see "how sailors of the 1790s live and work on the high seas". When they stop being polite and start being real. 

Next, the Disneyland Band, led by Mickey Mouse, marches toward Main Street Station. In the background we can see a sign for the GAF Photo Salon, which helps us to date the picture to sometime after December 20th, 1970, when GAF replaced the Kodak Camera Center. Closer to us is the Hallmark Greeting Cards shop, and on the corner to our right, the Market House, which may have not been sponsored by Swift by that point.

And finally, here's a shot taken from a speeding Monorail, with the ticket booths in the lower foreground, along with the west tunnel beneath the train tracks, and of course Main Street Station itself. Beyond the snow-capped Matterhorn, we can just see actual mountain with a light dusting of real snow!

Many thanks to Mr. X.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Knott's in Beautiful Black and White

As much as I love a vibrant color photo from the past, there is a lot to be said for a nice black and white photo too - thanks to a lifetime of old family photos, historical images from books, and old movies.

Today's photos were scanned from negatives, so I don't have a date, but I'd say that 1955-ish is probably a safe guess. First up is this nice shot of locomotive #41, the "Red Cliff", as it sits near the depot and next to the water tower. Look at the size of that headlamp! In fact the whole locomotive his impressive; and thanks to the black and white, we aren't subjected to the loco's colors (red, yellow, and chocolate brown) that some find to be so unpleasant (hi, Chuck!). I'm sure Walter Knott in his younger days could have never imagined owning such an amazing machine. 

I believe that this next photo was taken looking toward Main Street, since that appears to be the U.S. Post Office sing above the man with the fedora. I love the clothes and hats, and the jumble of old wagon wheels and other parts. This photo surely predated attractions such as the Calico Mine Train, so Ghost Town was THE attraction for visitors (that and Cordelia's Chicken restaurant).

For those of you who'd hoped that today's post was about Don Knotts - I'VE GOT YOU COVERED!

Monday, March 27, 2023

Big Thunder Views, 1979

Here's another selection of scans, graciously contributed to us by the Mysterious Benefactor. All of these images were taken from the Mark Twain (or maybe the Columbia), gliding past Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. These photos are from 1979, which is the year that the venerable roller coaster debuted, though it was not open just yet.

Three fellows take in the beauty of the Rivers of America, I hope they spent a little bit of time admiring Big Thunder's theming and load area. 

I swear, this isn't the same photo as the previous one. I wouldn't do that to you.

I can't help it if the river craft are slow, Walt ignored my suggestion of "Smoke-Belchin' Noisy Speedboats". We could have told the public that Davy Crockett used speedboats just like them, and they'd have believed it too.

Why, we must have moved another five feet at least. In the 1890's, people would have been hanging on for dear life.

Notice the sign to the right, informing the public that a new rootin' tootin' roller coaster was coming. 

I made an animated gif to prove that there was actual movement between each photo.

Many thanks to the Mysterious Benefactor!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Two Snoozers

It's time for more Sunday Snoozers; they're not the worst scans, but they are far from the best.

Ordinarily I'd be pretty stoked to have this view (from a slide date-stamped "November, 1974") of the Fred Gurley (locomotive #3) as it rested at Main Street Station, taking on a new load of cattle - I mean, guests - but the backlighting resulted in a very dark image, and that made me cry. Notice the Santa Fe sign - this photo was likely taken a few weeks (or months) earlier, since Santa Fe ended their sponsorship of the Disneyland Railroad on September 30th, 1974. Maybe somebody just forgot to remove that sign, but I doubt it. No free publicity for deadbeats! 

From April, 1975 we have this photo of the Ernest S. Marsh (locomotive #4) as it passed the façade of "It's a Small World". I'm noticing that even in 1975 the tender has Santa Fe's name on it, so that's something. I wonder if they hoped that Santa Fe would change its mind? "Come back, all is forgiven!". Yeah, probably not.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Special Guest Scans

I recently received an email from a man named Jeff Zbornik, who'd come across GDB while researching some of his own family photos. Jeff also sent along a series of scans that he said I could share with all of you, which is pretty cool! Today is part one, there will be a second blog post with other photos coming up sometime soon.

First up is this fantastic image (probably from 1968) from Jungleland USA, in beautiful Thousand Oaks, California. I visited Jungleland as a very small child, and have shared some picture scans here. But Jeff's photo is POSTCARD WORTHY. Just a great shot of a group of kids riding an elephant. Not something one does every day. Among the kids is Jeff, his brother Russ, and his cousin Megan.

Next is a classic photo from Knott's Berry Farm (possibly from 1976), with Jeff's brother Dave aboard "Old Betsy", the picturesque little "Borax Mine Special" that has been at Knott's for many decades. As far as I am aware, it is still there!

And lastly, here's Russ, Megan, and Jeff eating cotton candy at Sea World (San Diego) in 1966, with the distinctive Chicken of the Sea Theater behind them. Did it have musical extravaganzas all about tuna? Did the concession stand inside sell tuna snacks?

Here's a vintage postcard for a better look at the Chicken of the Sea Theater.

MANY THANKS to Jeff Zbornik for sharing his personal family photos. Stay tuned for more!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Delicious Leftuggies™

Today I'm sharing some Leftuggies™ (or are they Randos?), but they are good ones.

From a slide dated "April 1961" comes this fun image of two kids posing on the little bandstand that used to be in Frontierland - if you were lucky, you would find the Gonzalez Trio performing there. Big brother is looking cool in his leather jacket, and little sis is probably an actual princess. I like the pretty red flowers (geraniums?) that surround the bandstand. It's nice to see the old Casa de Fritos in the background, as well as the Frontierland Shooting Gallery.

From June 1974 comes this nice shot of a yellow Mine Train as it passes through part of "Nature's Wonderland" - the Rainbow Desert to be exact. In the lower left we can just see a tiny bit of a watering hole, I believe it was surrounded by some antelopes with switchblades. We can see some yuccas, ocotillos, and various cacti. Notice a Pack Mule train in the background to the left.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Tomorrowland Beauties, September 1971

It's time for more wonderful photos from a 1971 set of images taken by Lou Perry, and shared with us by Sue B. These all feature the classic "New Tomorrowland" when it was thriving and vibrant! What could be better?

So: here we are, aboard a Peoplemover vehicle, slowly heading in the direction of the Plaza, with one of Mary Blair's much-loved tile murals to our left, and Adventure Thru Inner Space just past that. Is that one of the Columbia's topsails in the distance?

Attendance looks good, plenty of people, but not too crowded. I think it's so cool the way the Peoplemover track provided a shady corridor (with benches) for guests to sit and relax. Simple but effective. To our right, "America the Beautiful".

Here's the outside of The Character Shop, I like the way the sign's design matches up with the silver entry portals. Just imagine what treasures were for sale inside the store!

THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Three Nice Ones From March 5 1980

We all know that March, 1980 was just a few years ago and definitely not 43 years ago. I would have noticed if 43 years had passed. Anyway, I have some scans from 1980, and even though they are practically new, they are still worth a look.

(By the way, Jason's Disneyland Almanac tells us that March 5th was a Wednesday, the park was open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with a high temperature of 66 degrees, and a low of 50 degrees).

Here's a pretty view of a pathway leading toward the gleaming Matterhorn (they actually clean it every night with Gleem toothpaste). The shadows are gathering already, and soon it will be dusk, and then (if my calculations are correct), nighttime. My favorite post-dusk time! Just look at those 1980 fashions, including three people wearing yellow pants (you have to look closely to see one leg). 

Oh yeeeeaaaahhh! The entrance to Tomorrowland with a delightful Peoplemover train in its original color ("Baja Blast", I believe). And we still have Rolly Crump's swirly purple and yellow flower beds, and even the central flagpole (sans flag). Let's go ride "Adventure Thru Inner Space" and then see "America the Beautiful"! Then we can go to Space Mountain. Man, do I love this picture.

And finally, howsabout an artistic shot of a Peoplemover train, looking like some kind of space bug (the nice kind, not the "eat your face" kind) as it travels high above us. Do you have any theories as to where this photo might have been taken?

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Beautiful Night Scenes, September 1971

Back in January I shared some of Lou and Sue's rare night photos, and today I'm going to share three more!

I love this shot of the Mod Hatter souvenir hat stand in Tomorrowland, with the comforting lights showing off a dazzling selection. "Hand me your floppiest hat, my good man!". "Are you sure, sir?". (Laughs theatrically) "Sure? Why I've never been more sure of anything in my life!". In the upper left, the bluish fluorescent lights from the Skyway terminal can be seen. 

The elongated diamond shape for the Autopia sign is pretty striking, especially when lit up at night. And its glow allows us to see the crowd of guests - is it just me, or do they mostly appear to be young folks? 

And oh man, do I love this photo looking up at the Carousel of Progress building. Just look at all the people up there, relaxing and taking in the sights from the second story! Plus it's nice knowing that we could go inside and see the original Carousel of Progress show, and finish up with the impressive "Progress City" model.

THANK YOU for these beautiful scans, Lou and Sue!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Fantasyland Pix, October 1967

I have a pair of pretty good Fantasyland pix for you, circa October, 1967. We'll start with this unusual angle (I don't think I have another photo like it) looking toward the corner of Sleeping Beauty Castle where the Alice in Wonderland attraction is housed. Maybe it was down for maintenance, because there is not a soul to be seen, and no snooty caterpillar vehicles are winding their way along the tracks. Plus there's a man in white painter's coveralls next to the giant mushroom, he seems to be doing something very important.  It's pretty hard to miss that fire hydrant in the lower right - which I guess is the point.

And here's a pretty view of It's a Small World; for all of Mary Blair's facility with color, she wanted the façade to be white, and we can see why; it just gleams. Attendance was low on this day, you could practically walk on to this ride! 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Snoozer Sunday

You pretty much know what you're gonna get on a Sunday, or you should by now if you've been paying attention! I'll go through my scans and pick out a few that rate a 3 out of 10, or maybe a 4 if things are good. You have been warned.

Let's start with this not-good photo of the nuclear submarine (from November, 1974), "George Washington". I'll bet George wishes he had one of these when he crossed the Potomac (which he did to retrieve that silver dollar that he threw years before). I dunno, there's not much to say about this one, it's dark and murky and frankly I'm ashamed that I've shared it with you today.

Next, from "sometime in the 1960s" comes this Skyway view of part of the Matterhorn; it's a little bit interesting due to the angle, I like the waterfall, and the winding tracks, and the way you can see how the conifers get smaller as the altitude increases. BUT... it's a little out of focus, so that issue lowers it by 3 points.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

A Double Birthday Celebration

Today is Saturday (I know all of the days of the week!), and in general today would be an "Anything Goes Saturday". But this particular Saturday happens to be the big birthday day for TWO Junior Gorillas - Mike Cozart and Zach . We can't let that go by without comment!

Sue found this fun photo of a vintage birthday cake (with Smurftastic plates and napkins) for Mikey. Sorry we couldn't find a photo with a cake with the name Zach on it! I hope both of you have wonderful clown-free days.

Sue B. (and her dad, photographer Lou Perry) to the rescue, with a new batch of scans from October, 1981. It's a BIG batch too, and there are some exceptionally nice shots in the mix. Including today's beautiful pictures of Main Street. CHECK 'EM OUT.

It looks like Lou was standing more or less in front of the Carnation Ice Cream and Tattoo Parlor, looking across the street toward Main Street Cinema, which was still showing silent classics and not Mickey Mouse films exclusively (though "Steamboat Willie" was frequently on the bill). To the left of that is "Rings & Things" ("I'd like three rings, and half a dozen things"). and then the Market House... we can see "Sun Giant" listed as one of the Lessees (they were there along with Del Monte). Imagine visiting Main Street on a beautiful October day and finding it this quiet!

Hmmm, well maybe this blocked off corner was in front of the Ice Cream Parlor. Because the angle seems about right as we look directly at the Market House. Notice that the Flower Market is now on East Center Street. 

I don't know why it surprises me to see that the Hallmark store was still going strong in 1981; But they were there for 25 years, finally ending their lease in 1985. 

And because Sue knows that Mike (and probably Zach as well) loves Disneyland attraction posters, she included this incredible beauty, from October 31, 1963. Whoo-eee! 

Happy Birthday to Mike and Zach, and thanks so much to Sue B. and Lou Perry!

I still have family in town, but I should be free by tomorrow!

Friday, March 17, 2023

Two Beauties From the 1950s

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY! I hope you are wearing something green. As usual, our friend Sue has provided us with a fun photo from her personal collection (but not taken by her dad), featuring some people wearing what I can only assume is authentic Irish costumes. The man on the right probably just won the gold in the Olympics, what an accomplishment. The lady is holding paper hats, I can see part of the word "Erin", so they must be a tribute to "Happy Days" actress Erin Moran. THANKS SUE!

Like the title says, I have two beauties for you today, classic '50s views of a bustling, vibrant Disneyland.

Let's start with this great look at Fantasyland as seen from the deck of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. The Pirate Ship looked great from the ground, but wow, what a view you'd get if you took the time to go aboard. There's that cute little ticket & information booth, the Mad Tea Party, the Carrousel, and even a tiny glimpse of the eucalyptus trees in the distance that worked as a wind break for the orchards near the park.

It's always fun to zoom in on people down below. They look like ants! Ants wearing 50s fashions. 

I wonder if the two girls to the right just got tickets at the little booth? They are either headed toward that couple who may be their parents, or they are going to enjoy a few moments in the air conditioned Mickey Mouse Club Theater.

It was a busy day, but gosh, it looks like it would have been a wonderful time to be there; a certain amount of guests add a sense of energy and movement to the place.

Next is this awesome view of the original Tomorrowland, as seen from a Skyway gondola. The old Astro Jets are to our left, and the Flight Circle is just beyond that. The building past that is where the Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow would be, maybe Grant McCormick's mom was a hostess in there this very day. I believe that the circular building with the slightly conical roof is where the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" exhibit was located.

Zooming in, we can see a Wen-Mac wind sock flying above the Flight Circle. But I only have eyes for the forbidden views of the backstage area, including the Dominguez house (the original Administration Building), and the large warehouse-like industrial sheds that housed the Main Street shops. I'm not sure what that smaller light blue building is that's between them, please chime in if you know.

NOTE: I have family coming into town today, and they'll be here for a few days. There's a chance I might not be able to check in until Sunday. You know how needy people can be! But I will definitely read the comments each evening.