Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Magic Kingdom Selection

It's time for some random Magic Kingdom slide scans, all date-stamped "January 1973", so these are from the early days of that park.

We'll start with this photo of a band of mariachis performing somewhere in Frontierland. Does the Magic Kingdom have much live music anymore? I hope so. I'd love to stroll through and hear the sounds of mariachi music wafting through the air. Notice to the right, in the distance, there is a sign. What does it say?

Here's what I came up with, though it's not super clear:


Next, how about a big scary python just hanging out in a tree? He's probably hoping to snatch a small child out of one of the passing Jungle Cruise boats. Not to eat, just to hug. 

The old "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" attraction is still one of my favorite subjects to see in old slides. Such a crime that it was removed. Just look at those amazing Nautilus-style subs! Not to mention the "volcanic" rock work (the lagoon is in the caldera of a volcano), and the palm trees that appear to be whipped by strong winds. Monsoon season!

Lastly, and possibly leastly (?) here's a view of the grand Main Street Station, with the Mickey flower portrait. The crowds look light! I wonder how long that planter with the two trees survived? I assume that it is long-gone.

Just for yucks, I thought I'd try a simulated "tilt-shift" effect, so that the train station might look like a little model. I'd say that it was only partially successful, but... better than nothing!

I have LOTS MORE Walt Disney World slides to share with you!

Friday, September 29, 2023

Nighttime On Main Street (and beyond), November, 1974

I have a trio of uncommon night views from good old Main Street USA - and BEYOND.

The Crystal Arcade? I dated a girl named Crystal Arcade once. She became a dancer. Of sorts. Did you know that a pink crystal will bring you love, and a green crystal will bring you money? It's true! Einstein's Theory proved it. I once slept with a crystal on my forehead, and got an "A" on the big test the next day.

Main Street Station sure looks beautiful as the sky fades to the deep blue of the evening. It's only a little bit after five o'clock, but of course it's November, night falls so early. I wish I could climb those steps and do the Disneyland Railroad "Grand Circle Tour" three times in a row!

And finally, here's the "beyond" I mentioned - a photo taken from the Sierra Tower at the Disneyland Hotel, looking out toward the parking lot. Admittedly there's not a whole lot to see; there's the Monorail track heading off toward the red neon of what was former Wilbur Clark's Crest Hotel, but I believe by 1974 had been renamed the Grand Hotel because Wallace Beery and Greta Garbo lived there. Not much of Disneyland itself is discernible, other than the peaked roof of the train station (outlined in popcorn lights).

Thursday, September 28, 2023

A Knott's Berry Farm Selection

Everybody loves vintage Knott's Berry Farm photos! Like this first one, showing the Little Chapel by the Lake, circa July 1963. It sure looks pretty with the pink bougainvillea spilling over the edge of the roof. Inside the chapel you would have been able to witness an inspirational show in which a painting of Jesus would magically open his eyes. From what I've read online, many people remember this as an extremely moving and memorable experience. See the paper souvenir from that show HERE.

Also from July 1963 comes this photo of the Gold Mine. The richest vein of gold ore ever discovered! You can see the streaks of gold ore in the nearby rocks, and don't you worry, we will get to those eventually. But for now we're having way too much fun panning for gold. 

That trough is full of the stuff! You could use a sluice to separate the gold from the grit and gravel, but that's for lame-os. I prefer the old fashioned, back-breaking labor of swirling some dirt around in the pan (in that icy glacial stream) until nothing is left but a few brilliant yellow flakes. Put mine into a little glass bottle, I'm taking my "to go".

Next, it's January 1963, and an elf of some sort is attempting to steal that old-fashioned car. Crime never pays, elf! I was actually heading over here to visit Dr. Molar, but he's closed. I wanted him to pull all of my real teeth so I could wear my Sears dentures instead.

And finally, from January 1967 comes this scene with a cute and patient burro standing outside that little shack. His owner has probably fallen asleep, hopefully not for too long. At least there's some clean laundry hanging out to dry, most folks around here don't wash their clothes more than once or twice a year. The lady to our right is about to enter that tunnel that leads to the gold mine seen in photo #2!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Toontown Grand Opening 1993

It's time for another selection of photos from our much-missed friend Irene, her brother Bruce and his friend James. The DREAM TEAM. All of today's pictures are from around the debut of Toontown. 

This first one shows a sign at the entrance (in the tunnel beneath the train tracks), welcoming guests for a "soft opening" look around the newest land. I'm not sure if there was anything for guests to do - were any rides ready to enjoy? Could you grab a snack anywhere? And most importantly, what about the bathrooms? 

The next three are from the actual opening ceremonies, which apparently took place on January 24th, 1993, and not January 26th as the sign in the previous photo indicated. I'm sure many die-hard Disneyland fans were there, but I have to admit that the decor looks rather chintzy... a few balloons, some (plastic?) checked flags, and... that's about it? Way to pull out all the stops! Was Eisner there? Presumably this ceremony is on YouTube, but I'm very sleepy and don't want to look.

Whoa, party streamers! That's more like it! This is the most fun celebration ever and I hope I don't faint.

And finally, I really like this last view, taken from inside Toontown, looking back toward the rest of the old Disneyland that nobody likes anymore (because it's old). It's funny, I recognize the man with the hat (in the foreground to the left) just from my days of haunting Disneyland message boards. I'm not sure I should say his name (you never know), but that just shows how tight some of those online communities used to be.

MANY THANKS to the Dream Team!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Magic Kingdom, September 1972

Today I am sharing the first scans from a beautiful batch of slides, photos taken by Lou Perry and scanned by his daughter, Sue B. These are early, and as is the case with all Lou Perry pix, they are extra nice!

Lou was obviously quite taken with the Swiss Family Treehouse, which (I understand) is on an island, and is accessible by bridge (please correct me if I'm mistaken). It sure looks great. Too bad this was an overcast day, but I guess we can imagine that a monsoon is on the way, and the Swiss Family will have to hunker down in their cave until the fierce winds die down. The lit torches probably kept tigers and pythons away, which is why I keep lit torches in front of my place.

Lou was taking lots of pictures of the Treehouse, because he was thinking of building one for his family back home. Unfortunately, "Disneyodendron semperflorens grandis" did not grow well in that part of the U.S.  I love the little cascade that runs down the hillside, handy for fresh water and to help mask the sounds of screeching monkeys.

Did I mention that you accessed the Treehouse via a bridge? It appears that this bridge is made from the wreckage of the ship that left them stranded. I have read the original story, and remember that the ship was called "The Electric Boogaloo". Unusual, but you can't argue with classic literature. 

THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Monday, September 25, 2023

A Pair From March 1962

Today's photos aren't the most exciting things in the world, but they were taken on a glorious sunny day with clear blue skies. Amazingly, these are dated "March 1962", which is when all of the photos featuring "Ginny" are dated, and yet she is in a gloomy, gray park. 

I appreciate that our photographer was already on the lookout for something a bit unusual, like the Ken-L-Ration pet motel ("Ken-L-Land"). The sign looks to be inspired by a Googie bowling alleys, or perhaps an exuberant grocery store. 

Those folks are already resting on a handy bench, maybe they're waiting for dad while he parks the car? "I'll drop you off here". The little boy in blue can hardly contain his excitement! 

The blue Monorail is almost the same color as the blue lagoon. COINCIDENCE? There's the Richfield Eagle, and because this is the one above the Fantasyland Autopia, we know his name is "Richie". as opposed to Screechy over in Tomorrowland. 

There's a bobsled to the left! That means GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sunday Snoozles™

It is time... time for some crummy slide scans! Hey, I scanned 'em, so you have to look at 'em. That was in the small print of the contract that each of you filled out before viewing GDB.

Both of these are from January, 1964; we'll start with this ho-hum view of the Mark Twain, late in the afternoon - which means it was probably 4 o'clock. The Twain is packed, which makes me wonder if holiday crowds were filling the park when this photo was taken? It looks like you could hardly squeeze another soul on board without using a crowbar and some lard (that's how I would do it, anyway). If I look really closely I imagine I can see the bell on the side of Cascade Peak, but it might just be a rogue squirrel.

Well, there is definitely Christmas decor on City Hall, garlands and such. Looking at the roof of City Hall, there is a fenced in area that makes me wonder if employees could step out there? Probably not, since they would be in plain sight of the guests; maybe the fence was there as a safety measure for maintenance guys. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

1939 New York World's Fair

You've seen plenty of photos of the 1964/65 New York World's Fair on GDB, but today's scans are from rare color slides from the 1939 Fair. That Fair was supposed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth, but it is remembered for its other theme - "The World of Tomorrow". Coming at the end of the Great Depression and just before war broke out in Europe, it was a unique time in history.

Eastman Kodak introduced Kodachrome film to the public in 1935. I have no doubt that the film and processing were both very expensive, but it caught on little by little. And the 1939 Fair was a place that some amateur shutterbugs decided to try this new technology; again, color photos from the Fair are not common, but they are out there. It's quite a thing to look at color images from over 80 years ago.

First up is this photo of two mannequins dressed in turn-of-the-century outfits, at the wheel of what I believe is an early Ford automobile, though it is admittedly only a guess - there's not a lot of detailed information about the displays at the '39 Fair. I'm wondering if this could have been an early electric vehicle? Yes, those did exist, even in the very early days of horseless carriages. If anybody has any information about this photo that they'd like to pass on, I'd love to hear it!

Here's what the Ford pavilion looked like from the outside. See all those little glass panes? SEE THEM?? Well, now you have to clean them all. GOT YOU.

Outside the Ford pavilion was this art deco tribute to the glorious V8 engine - perhaps specifically a tribute to the popular Ford Flathead V8, introduced in 1932. Notice the Trylon and Perisphere (the Fair theme buildings) in the background! 

And finally, here's a nice photo of the Italia pavilion as seen at night. I quoted a description before, and I may as well use it again: The Italian Pavilion displayed a combination of classical Roman and modern Italian architecture in its design. A statue of the goddess Roma stood atop a 200 foot high pedestal with a waterfall cascading down the steps into a pool at the base of the monument which was dedicated to Marconi.

I hope you have enjoyed these rare color views from the 1939 New York World's Fair!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Parking Lot Pix, April 1974

You can determine if a person is a TRUE Disneyland nerd by showing them a photo or the parking lot. Is there no reaction? Then they are phonies and should be shipped to the gulag in Siberia. If they smile and exclaim, "Jumpin' jehoshaphat!", then you know you are among friends. I already know that all of YOU are friends!

First up - the Disneyland sign! It's how we know we didn't actually drive to Knott's Berry Farm. You have to admit that this is quite a sign, and it used to get the heart beating a little faster. It might be a little too soon to start listening for train whistles or Monorail air horns, but everyone in the car - be quiet! 

Doc Severinsen was performing that night, as was Louis Bellson, and The Miracles (with no Smokey Robinson).

Just a few moments later and we've reached the gate into the parking lot. Is this the Katella Gate? No, autocorrect, I don't mean "Patella Gate". You had to pay an outrageous 50 cents to park your car, which is no way to start your day. But at least they will probably hand you a few fun flyers with info on your best value in ticket books. Or why not get a guided tour?

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Indian Village, 1950s

I have a pair of nice photos from the old Indian Village, along the west shore of Frontierland. As many of you know, guests walked through a tunnel, emerging into a small land that celebrated a number of Native American tribes throughout the Nation. 

This first view is pretty much what a guest would have seen when first emerging from the tunnel, with the birch bark "wig-was-i-ga-mig" to the left, and the more familiar teepees in the distance. Eventually a cedar plank ceremonial house from the Pacific Northwest Indians would be added, and artisans could be seen carving totem poles, creating sand paintings, and weaving textiles.

Best remembered are the Indian dancers who performed at the Dance Circle until the Indian Village was replaced by Bear Country in 1972. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

More From the Mysterious Benefactor

Here's a nice random selection of scans from the Mysterious Benefactor, from the large group of Frontierland scans that he generously shared with me. 

Let's begin with this excellent shot of the Stage Door Cafe, right next to the Golden Horseshoe building. The Stage Door Cafe replaced the Oaks Tavern in 1978, which was just a year before this picture was taken. Those Pepsi cups are hard to ignore! 

And speaking of the Golden Horseshoe, patient guests wait for the doors to open so that they can enjoy the next show, full of music, dancing girls, and corny jokes. Wally Boag would still be one of the main stars, but in 1982 he would move to Orlando to perform in the Diamond Horseshoe Revue. 

There's the Pendleton store, full of woolen goods, but sadly, no red long johns like I always wanted to try. The itchier, the better! I'm here for the itching, but I'm staying for the chafing. 

And finally, here's a nice look at the Columbia sailing ship, the first sailing ship that didn't need sails. Instead, it moved thanks to the power of imagination! Oh man, I feel a bit ill even writing that, I think I need to lay down.

THANK YOU, Mysterious Benefactor!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Two Randos

Today's photos are certainly "randos", but this first one is also technically a Leftuggie™ - it's the final slide taken by Ginny's husband, circa March of 1962. You remember Ginny! She of the perfect posture. Maybe she's hiding behind of of the saguaros in the Painted Desert (which looks considerably more drab on this overcast day). A boiling-hot geyser can be seen in the distance, is it Old Unfaithful? What I wouldn't give for one more ride on the old Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.

Next is this lonely photo from July, 1972, showing the Main Street Cinema. It's nice to see Charlie Chaplin was playing there, featured in the 1914 Mack Sennett film "The Rounders". Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was in that one too. I feel like the Cinema lost a bit of authenticity when it switched to just Disney cartoons.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Monday Sept 18 More From Keith

Hooray, I have two more great scans (and one detail) from Keith Schad for you, so you know these will be good.

The Plaza was lively, with no less than four Main Street vehicles on display; in the distance, the Chemical Fire Wagon; then a Horse Drawn Streetcar, a Surrey, and a Horseless Carriage. A typical 1958 boy (certified by the Bureau of Weights and Measures) is in the lower left. I'll bet he has a slingshot in his back pocket and is just starting to think that girls might not be so yucky.

I love this great shot of the Disneyland Band, with Vesey Walker himself leading the way, as they march toward Main Street Station. The guests are all so well-behaved, sticking to the sidewalk (or at least staying near the curb). There's those lamp post signs for the "Full Rigged 3 Masted Sailing Ship COLUMBIA".

What the...? That guy is on a ladder with a camera. He's presumably an official Disneyland photographer, I wonder if we ever saw any of the photos from this session? On the two lamp posts in the distance we can see other signs, one for the Grand Canyon Diorama, and another for the new Alice in Wonderland ride.

Thanks so much to Keith Schad!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Snoozles™

It's SNOOZLE TIME! You know what that means. Both of today's Snoozles come from April, 1974. 

You can barely see most of Fantasyland in this way-too-dark photo. What the f-stop happened?? Why did this picture turn out so terrible? Who can I blame? How can I turn this into some sweet, sweet cash? Through the murk we can see that there is quite a wait for the Mad Tea Party, this must have been from that time when they put hundred-dollar bills in each teacup (I forget why they did it, but it's all true and not made up at all).  

This one, from the same batch,  turned out OK; it's just kind of "meh" as photos go. The old Jungle Cruise problem, where all of the photos look very much like others that we've seen. Just left of center we can see the mommy lion and the daddy lion protecting that sleeping zebra; all of the other animals just love to watch such warm parental behavior.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Long Beach, California

On today's "Anything Goes Saturday" I have two scans with a "Long Beach" theme. Just because!

We'll start out with this shot of the RMS Queen Mary as she nears the end of her 1,001st (and last) voyage; she reached Long Beach Harbor on December 9th, 1967.  As you can see, many locals turned out to witness the event. Be sure to see Nanook's family photos (taken from aboard a boat!) HERE; just think, he was not too far away when this picture was taken! As most of you know, the Queen Mary has been a tourist draw in Long Beach for decades now. Time and the elements have taken their toll, and the boat is in need of many expensive repairs. Let's hope that it gets the TLC that it deserves!

Next is this artistic October 1960 photo from The Pike, an amusement zone that started way back in 1902. I remember it well! The Pike had its ups and downs, and was re-dubbed the "Nu-pike" in the 1950s in an attempt to clean up its reputation and hopefully make it more palatable for families that might think of heading to Disneyland or Knott's instead. This long exposure makes the Ferris Wheel a blur of light. To the right we can just see one of the diving bells. To the left is a Tilt-a-Whirl, and behind that might be the "Laff In the Dark" attraction. I'm unsure about what the structure to the extreme left could be.

I was reminded of this vintage postcard!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Long Beach, California.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Nice Leftuggies™

I have a nice pair of Leftuggies™ for you today, served up with mashed potatoes and a crisp salad.

First up is this undated (but probably from 1956) photo showing the Mark Twain passing by; I just kind of love this picture! Where do you think our photographer was standing (and don't say "Disneyland"!)? I'm guessing that he/she was somewhere west of the Plantation House, but there doesn't seem to be a lot to go on. Is the little boy to our right wearing a coat and tie? Folks are dressed nicely, and for cool weather. The Twain's pilot is glaring at us!

If you look to the left of the Mark Twain's headlamp, I believe we can see part of the old viewing platform that was there before Tom's Treehouse was added. Wasn't there at least one small cascade of water that originated from Tom's Treehouse? I don't think I've ever really noticed that small bridge halfway up the hillside. 

Next is this undated and horribly pink photo (from the 1960s I think) showing the entrance to the park. Why yes, I'd still like to go in, even if Disneyland will only be open for a few more hours! Somebody has abandoned that poor baby in the stroller, but I'm sure they had a good reason for doing so.

I did a bit of color-correction, and played around with various shades of blue (it's a judgement call when using Photoshop for such things) and guessing how dark it needed to be, and I finally settled on this example. It sure looks inviting! Where would you go first if you didn't get to the park until just after sunset?

I hope you have enjoyed today's Leftuggies™.