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!


Nanook said...

I love those little 'Princesses in Waiting' - barely tall enough to reach those 'support poles' on the float, designed for the full-fledged types. The handles practically obscure their cute little faces. Heck - one of them could chip a tooth, if the float hits a bad patch of highway-! (If I were a "stage Mom" - I'd sue-!)

Thanks to the Dream Team.

JB said...

First photo: Let's count trashcans, shall we?............. One,.............OK, my job is done for the day. Whew! I'd better sit down and rest a bit after all that exertion.
I don't think we've seen a purple trashcan in Disneyland before, have we?

In the Princess Parade float (or "gloat". Was that a typo, Major? It sort of works either way.) I am trying to discern which of the spectators are the little girls' parents. Judging from the happy expressions, it could be just about any of them.

I like the Maleficent photo. Lots of action, lots of color. And her black costume really stands out from everything else. I think her 'horns' aren't quite the right size or shape though; not menacing enough.

Ms. Hackwrench seems to be striding forcefully toward us. I think she's going to give us a karate chop! The forced perspective of the ToonTown hillside sort of works here.

I'm experiencing wistfulness seeing these photos from the Dream Team. Sort of happy/sad. Thanks to them and to Major for bringing the photos to us.

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm pretty sure that princess float was also used in the "Hunchback Cavalcade." The float appears to be in a weird spot, for a parade. It looks like it's coming out of the gate leading to the backstage road that runs between Storybook Land and the Fantasyland Theater (formerly the original route for the DL Railroad, prior to it's relocation for IASW). I wonder if this could have been just a single float that was being brought out, in order to promote the Disney princesses. Because you know, they need all of the promoting that they can get. We really don't see enough of them anywhere in the park. They should have their own meet 'n greet, somewhere. Or maybe multiple meet 'n greets....and each one with it's own upcharge.

I do love seeing Maleficent's presence in the park. Except in "Fantasmic," because Fantasmic is wack. At least, that is what Whitney Huston said about "Fantasmic," when she was on Oprah's show.

Thank you for these vintage 90s pics, Dream Team and Major!

Chuck said...

Note the staircase up to the catwalk under the Fantasyland Theater tent. That gives you an indication of just how big that thing is.

The Princess Picture i my favorite today. You’ve got those adorable peewee princesses, Cindy in that gown she plays ball in (note the shoulder pads and helmet of hair; I hope those glass slippers have spikes), the boys sitting along the parade route feeling secure enough to go with the moment and wave at the folks on the float, the dude with the Stalinstache next to the dude with the “portable” camcorder - what’s not to like? I think there are more junior princesses on the other side of the float - you can see one with dark hair and pigtails to AuroraRose’s right and an unclaimed, elbow-length white glove waving at the crowd under ArouraRose’s armpit, right in front of what JG has so kindly named “Chuck’s Tree.”

The Pepto-pink iasw facade variation makes an appearance in the background on the left-hand side of the Maleficent photo. As has been said here many times, I don’t hate it - I just like the original color scheme better. At least it wasn’t torn out or - worse - stuffed full of incongruent characters from Disney films. There’s no way that could be pulled off in a tasteful manner.

TM!, I think the princess float is on the normal parade route. It looks like Bruce was standing on the eastern side of the small world concourse, with iasw to his right and the backstage gate that is northern terminus of the parade route over his right shoulder. You can see the entrance to the Fantasyland theater (the Pocahontas sign) and the iasw exit toy store across the street.

Thanks again, Dream Team! We miss you, Irene! I hope you and Bruce are having a wonderful time together.

Bu said...

Is no one noticing the pink elephant in the room of that...whatever that is...on the bottom left of the Toontown photo? I'm sorry...what is that? She seems to be walking very "I'M GOING TO THE INN BETWEEN!!! OUTTA MY WAY SUKKAS!". I remember blue and glass shiny princess float. The re-used that one a lot. Not my favorite one, but does the trick. Very '80's inspired I think...makes sense given the date of these photos. Hideopolis...well...that was a temporary blip that turned into a forever blip. That "tent jazz" originally (from what I remember) came from some relics of the 1984 Olympics, and they put that entire thing up in like a nano-second. Was Eisner's first "foray" into the land of Imagineering. I'm not sure how much imagining was involved, but at the time all the video screens, and cameras, and lighting...were quite the thing. It did bring in a tad of the "wrong element" sometimes, but when you market something to a bunch of hormone driven teenagers..stuff happens. My thought was always: "all that space and we put up a plastic tent?" It was an indication of more things to come...or perhaps not fruition. Princesses are big $$$. I think this was the time they started to promote/exploit them more. Lots of merchandise can be produced on all of that delicious heritage IP. I am not a fan on incongruent Disney characters used outside of their natural environments. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell are floating somewhere around the UK in it's a small world. It's really have to LOOK for it...and why didn't Peter Pan speak with a british dialect? and if he did...would it be in RP, or would it be a Cockney derivitive? I'm not sure "Peetah" would speak so "upper crusty". Seems a bit more rag tag than a rando from the BBC. Just my .02. Many thanks and thoughts over to the Dream Team this morning.

Melissa said...

So, were the pint-size princesses just a bunch of junior randos drawn from the crowd? Were they already wearing their costumes, or did management provide them? Minds with nothing better to do want to know! My favorite face in the crowd is the man craning his neck to see around the beardy guy with his kid on his shoulders. He looks about as pleased as I would be! Let the folks behind you know if you're planning on hoisting the progeny so they've got time to find a new viewing spot!

JG said...

Thanks Major and Dream Team, whom we miss mightily.

Check, there are now three trees that deserve their own Attraction Posters. Chuck’s Tree, Screaming Kid Tree, and the Dominguez Palm. Perhaps someday…

At least we kept the Dominguez Palm, the Dominguez Wrist and Dominguez Elbow are long gone however.

The tent amphitheater was and is a giant carbuncle, but it provided a shady place for a tired Dad to sit, Once Upon a Dream.


Bu said...

Please add the former elms along Main Street as the official "trees without scale" attraction poster-children.

Melissa said...

JG, that Dominguez joke deserves a hand.

Anonymous said...

@Bu, will do.

Reminds me of the subdivision name I would do if I ever did a subdivision, "Missing Oaks".

@Melissa, better a hand than a finger.

I can tell that I write too much about Disneyland when my iPad autofills "Dominguez" with a capital "D".


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yeah, that “little princess” photo is especially cute. I wonder how these girls were chosen to participate in the parade? Did someone approach the parents and ask them if they wanted their little girl to be on the princess float?

JB, whew, counting is hard work. Time for a bowl of Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries. I guarantee there were no purple trashcans until at least the 1980s, if not the 1990s. Then purple took over! I’ve never seen Maleficent at the park, it would be cool if she showed up now and then. I guess they bring her out for Halloween sometimes, and the lines to see her are LONG. It IS a little creepy the way Gadget is staring right at us!

TokyoMagic!, I just assumed that the princess float had come out from that area near IASW, where most parades start/stop. But I trust you to know that it is somewhere else! It seems hard to believe that they would bother to block off the streets for one float, but the princesses were big money, so… who knows. I can see that you are a fan of the princesses, and wish (like me) that there was more princess stuff everywhere. Did Whitney Houston really say that Fantasmic was wack on Oprah? Does that mean she didn’t like it? Or is it one of those things where it means the opposite (like “bad” means “good”)? I’m so confused.

Chuck, now I’m wondering what those catwalks were for. Just standard “backstage” stuff for a theater? Cinderella is so pretty, I guess I like helmet hair. When I’m at Disneyland I become a waving fool. I’ll wave at a passing train, or the Mark Twain, or the Omnibus. I’ll wave at a drinking fountain (sans sugar)! I personally don’t miss the pastel IASW look, though I know that many people liked it. Don’t they know that they are wrong? I was also thinking that the float was on a standard parade route, but I can’t ever question TokyoMagic! He knows his stuff.

Bu, yes we noticed Gadget Hackwrench, I even mentioned her in the text! She’s staring at us with unblinking eyes. She’s been infected with a Cordyceps fungus and wants to eat us. The blue “glass” float looks very much like the float that we saw in Lou and Sue’s photos on February 27th (only those had clear “glass”), I wonder if it was in fact the same float? I had no idea that the Fantasyland Theater was a relic from the Olympics. They got it cheap! Videopolis is fondly remembered by many young people from the ‘80s, I suppose that the local OC kids loved having a place to go and dance and listen to New Wave bands. Is that where No Doubt would perform? I do remember when there were complaints about the “bad teens” who were causing trouble in Disneyland. We turned them into Soylent Green. I wonder if they made Peter Pan and American because they wanted him to seem more like a Dead End Kid, or something like that? A lovable troublemaker. “Aaaa, yer mother wears Army boots!”.

Melissa, I was wondering the same thing about the princesses, and assume that they were chosen from the crowd for their cuteness and for being the right age. And maybe because they would fit in the costumes. I am relatively tall and I often have trouble seeing over even taller people at events, so I can relate to “neck craning guy”.

JG, while I still have a nice batch of Irene’s photos left, it’s going to be very weird to share the last images. I’d like to say that it will give a sense of “closure”, but I don’t think it will. I’m just going to feel sad about it. Those trees deserve posters, pins, plush figures, and even commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint. I’m very sad that I never got to see the Dominguez Elbow.


Melissa, OOF.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, it always kills me when Thousand Oaks replaces old, sick oak trees with Brazilian Pepper Trees, or some other “weed”. Just plant an oak! Yes it will take a while to grow, but… WORTH IT.

"Lou and Sue" said...

The first picture reminds me of a scene from Hoarders...all the people's junk getting piled up outside, under a tent in the backyard.

Those little princesses are adorable. And so are the twin blonde girls on the right. They dressed alike and are posing alike. Cuties!

Gadget is creepy.

Thanks, Major, for sharing more of The Dream Team's fun photos. (Irene, we miss you!)

Chuck said...

Major, the catwalks were probably primarily for lighting and speaker access, but for the Pocahontas show they also had dispensers that scattered multicolored “leaves” across the stage and front-row seats during the “Colors of the Wind” number. Still kicking myself for not keeping any that fluttered near our seats. Leaves - not lights or speakers. I kept those.

I guess they will have to rename Thousand Oaks to “Thousand Random Varieties of Quick-Growing, Cheaper-by-the-dozen Trees.” Try fitting that on a city seal! But on the plus side, Oxnard will appreciate some other town finally getting mocked.


I wasn’t aware that the fantasyland tent was bought surplus. But it doesn’t surprise me. VIDEOPOLIS was comprised mostly of dismantled 1984 Olympic Village parts …. Railings …. Bishop Hook lighting fixtures , all those aluminum streamline slat benches and a good deal of what constructed the Videopolis stage ….. this was also true for the Videopolis Train Station and the fixtures for YUMZ SNAX. I think the motion bank of video screens were new. But Eisner probably had those purchased at a FEDERATED ELECTRONICS After Christmas sale.


Videopolis theme song - 1985

Anonymous said...

Major, when the cathedral churches, and just regular churches too, were built in the Middle Ages, the builders would plant a few oak trees at the same time, so there would be lumber available in a few hundred years or so when the roof needed to be re-done.

Those guys would have never become public parks officials in Thousand Oaks. Too patient.

Years ago, we had a number of huge oaks on the river bank behind the farm. I looked at the googel street view a few days ago, and not only are those trees still there, but they are the same shape and general appearance, 60-plus years later. I can't imagine how old they must be, but a century or more can't be enough. They might have been there when the land was a Spanish cattle ranch in the 1700's.


Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, it looks like my room! Stuff piled everywhere, all the way up to the catwalks. Good eye on the twin girls in the crowd! I can’t think of twins without thinking of our Melissa now. Yes, Irene, we miss you.

Chuck, I’d hoped that they just have some poor cast member up on the catwalks with boxes full of those leaves, throwing them by the handful. I’ll bet I would have kept a few if I’d ever seen that show! How many millions of fake leaves did they go through over the years? Thousand Oaks should now be called “Crepe Myrtle”. Who mocks Oxnard? Not me!

Mike Cozart, I remember the 1984 Olympics structures that were in certain places… I used to live near the Rose Bowl, and they had a lot of brightly colored stuff. It looked like scaffolding with colorful cloth applied. Actually kind of neat looking, for what it was. I wish I’d had the foresight to take pictures of it. YUMZ SNAX, a Batman villain? “Fred Rated” for Federated Electronics, I loved those commercials!

JG, it has been fascinating to watch several programs about the restoration of Notre Dame in Paris (there’s a great NOVA episode that you can watch on YouTube), one of the challenges was to find thousands of suitable oak timbers. It sounds like France has plentiful oak forests. Still, I love the idea of those folks in the middle ages thinking ahead to a future re-roofing! I’m glad those old oak trees that you remember are still there. I always thought of oaks as living “forever”, but one huge tree in Encino fell over unexpectedly years ago, turns out it was the victim of insects and rot. Sad, because it was spectacular.

JG said...

Major, there was one big oak that was "in" the farm, not on the river bank. It was close to the well pump and I was warned as a little kid not to get too near it as it had dropped big limbs. Little me was terrified of that tree, it was like Treebeard.

One winter when I was in high school, the whole tree came down in a big wind. Much of the trunk volume was hollow. We were fortunate it fell away from the overhead electric that served the pump, might have had a fire too.

I don't recall any of the river oaks falling, and now I wonder if it was because the soil was so dry around them. No water at all except a few weeks in spring. The one by the pump was close to an irrigated area, and it got a lot of water.

Living in town is so much simpler, but that river bank was like having my own private Tom Sawyers Island.


Anonymous said...

I’ve read somewhere that the original Videopolis stage itself was sold as scrap by Steve Woznick after the first US Festival of 1982.

Dean Finder said...

JG - We have an oak tree like that in a park in my town. It drops limbs and is at risk of falling in a storm, but it's seen as historic and people don't want it cut down. So a fence was installed around it at the drip line. Then people found the cyclone fence to be unattractive, so now there's a fancy wrought iron fence around it.

Melissa said...

JG, dud I ever tell my Twelfth Night stiry here? One time I was in a Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night, and we opened the evening after a big storm. In the middle of the first scene, a great big limb fell off a tree right next to the audience; it must have been loosened during the storm. Without missing a beat, the actor playing the Duke turned to his servant and said, "Remind me not to pay the gardener this week ." He got a big laugh

JG said...

Dean, that’s a great story. I’m glad your town saved the tree! I helped my scout troop build some rail fences around the drip lines of some historic oaks here in our city in Wine Country. Thanks for reminding me!


JG said...

Melissa, that actor earned his crust and beer for certes that night!

Good thing no one was hurt!


TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck and Major, after looking at that third photo again, I have a better grasp on the perspective. I can see now that the float is in the normal pathway for the park's parades. Sorry....for some reason, I was all turned around when I first viewed it!

Major, I rechecked that Whitney quote, and it was Diane Sawyer who she said that line to. Only she didn't say it about Fantasmic, she said it about crack. She was trying to convince Diane that she would never do crack, because it's "wack"....meaning bad. She also said that crack is very cheap and that she makes way too much money to do crack. Interesting. And sad at the same time.

.....whatever that is...on the bottom left of the Toontown photo? I'm sorry...what is that? She seems to be walking very "I'M GOING TO THE INN BETWEEN!!! OUTTA MY WAY SUKKAS!".

Bu, maybe she was being summoned to her supervisor's office, to be reprimanded for wearing too much makeup!