Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Spooky Day

Happy Halloween! I didn't really have anything appropriate to share on this important day, but Sue B. sent me some adorable photos (taken by her dad, Lou Perry) from Halloween, 1963. They'd turned a little bit pink, and I'm sorry I didn't do a better job color-correcting them, but trust me, I tried

Say, what's Huckleberry Hound doing in the Perry household? Wait a cotton-picking minute, that's Sue herself wearing a Huckleberry Hound mask! She really fooled me. 

Trick-or-treating must be over, it looks like Sue is enjoying a piece of candy (?) while wearing a t-shirt from a trip to Miami. The disembodied head of Huckleberry regards a pumpkin candle with his usual amused expression. 

Let's take one more look at Sue in her fun mask! (Again, I'm sorry I did such a lame job of restoring these). 

I knew nothing about that paper mask, so I did a little research. It appears that kids could order one (and a Yogi Bear mask as well) from Kellogg's "Sugar Smacks", "All Stars", and "Coco Pops" cereals.

I've found dates ranging from 1962, 1963, and 1964, perhaps these were available for years?

I'd love to find complete masks of Huck and Yogi!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, and MANY THANKS to Sue B. for sharing those photos.

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Haunted Mansion, November 1974

Halloween is so close I can smell it! It's the aroma of cheap chocolate, plastic wrappers, fruit-flavored candies, and pumpkins. In other words, the best smell ever. Today's a good day to share two photos of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, which was a mere five years old in November of '74. Hard to believe!

This first photo feels appropriately gloomy, apparently taken just as the sun had set, though the sky was still pretty light (not for long, though). I can imagine smoky greenish shapes floating behind the wrought iron at night! Probably making scary "Whoooooooo" noises too. THE SCARIEST NOISE OF ALL. 

Gee, there sure isn't much of a line for this classic attraction. November really was the off season back in those days. Everybody was probably wishing there was a really cool Gummi Bears attraction instead. Just wait 17 years, folks, all your dreams will come true!

SO... why is there a U.S. Marine standing at the entrance to the Mansion? I honestly can't think of a single reason. He looks very young, not like a seasoned veteran. If you have any ideas, please chime in.


GDB friend Ken S. emailed the following photo to me. Hilarious! Thank you, Ken!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Haunted Mansion, October 1981

The Spookiest Day of the Year approaches, and Lou and Sue have come through (again) with some photos of the Haunted Mansion. To be clear, these are NOT Snoozles™! 

I'm assuming that Lou was mighty impressed by that wrought iron, which was bent into shape by "Abe Lincoln"; he'd walk over to New Orleans Square at night and bend the metal with his bare hands (all the while whistling "Aura Lee" - you know the melody from Elvis' "Love Me Tender"). This is a true fact and everybody should believe it.

We need more homes with columns. Nice, stately columns. No, Abe Lincoln didn't make these, he had his hands full (literally) with all that wrought iron. 

Yes, this is a different photo from the first one! How dare you question my sobriety!

The 999 ghosts knew a good thing when they saw it, and this mansion was just the place to haunt. I've heard there's room for one more.

 Thank you, Lou and Sue!

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Witch's House

In keeping with the Spooky Season, I have two vintage photos of a famous Los Angeles home known to many as the "Witch's House" (aka the Spadena House). Here's a picture of it from January of 1955! It looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale, or perhaps a silent German Expressionist movie. 

The Witch's House, also known as the Spadena House, is an enchanting house in the heart of Beverly Hills that appears to be plucked straight out of a fairytale. The house was built in 1921 for a silent film movie studio, Willat Studios in Culver City, to serve as its offices and dressing rooms. When the studio closed, the Spadena family moved the home to its current location in Beverly Hills, where it has been since 1934.

Here's another photo from 1955, a bit washed-out, but hey, it's almost 70 years old, so give it a break. 

I scrounged this relatively-contemporary photo from the Internet - in the bright sunshine, the house doesn't look so scary. But at night, you just might get eaten by a witch!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Two Interesting Views

I have to slides that are a bit odd - most slides are held in cardboard mounts, but these two are sandwiched between two very thin pieces of paper. They are 2" X 2", just like standard slides, but they are very flexible and floppy. I'm not sure I like it! But it is what it is. I've noticed a "softness" to both of these scans, and I am wondering if it is due to the fact  that I had to place both of these face-down directly on the scanner glass instead of in the plastic slide holder? Or they are just not sharp, hard to tell without a loupe (and I didn't have one handy at the time). 

ANYWAY, this first one is an unusual view taken inside the Book and Candle Shop on Main Street (as part of the Crystal Arcade). I see no books, but a whole lotta candles! My handy list of Main Street Lessees says that the Candle Shop was there from April 1, 1958 through to sometime in 1971, at which point it was separated from the Book Shop from 1972 to January 27, 1986. I suggested pairing the Candle Shop with a Dynamite Shop, but Walt said it was a bad idea. Sometimes I just didn't understand him.

My next floppy slide is this nice look at the Plantation House, overlooking the Rivers of America. While the slides have a warm, "antique" vibe to them, the rather large bushes along the shore make me think that perhaps this photo was from the later days of the restaurant's existence - it was torn down in 1962 in preparation for New Orleans Square construction.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

A Pair From August, 1969

Here's a nice duo of 1969 slide scans for you! Starting with this shot in the Plaza, with the Pavillion in the background. The Saxophone Quartet serenades guests as they digest their burgers and fries... the low notes from the bass sax really help with things like red meat. 

Not only could these guys wail on their instruments, they were also duly-appointed peace officers, with all of the privileges and authority necessary in case they had to chase and arrest a long-haired perp. "I'm getting too old for this stuff!", says the guy with the alto sax. Luckily he is retiring in two days, and plans to spend his days with his wife and daughter sailing around Hawaii. Nothing can possibly go wrong.

Next is this sunny photo of a pretty lady as she steps through the Northwest Coast Plank House over at the Indian Village. What an impressive structure, I wonder what happened to it when the Indian Village closed just three years later? 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Main Street at Dusk, November 1974

While many people might argue that nighttime is when Disneyland is at its most beautiful, others might say that dusk takes that prize. Don't argue, it's not nice! Instead, enjoy a calm discussion while eating a big soft pretzel. Afterwards, shake hands and feel like human beings.

I love this first view, looking south down Main Street toward the train station (mostly obscured by trees). The gas lanterns have been lit, and many of the store signs are also illuminated (though some aren't, mysteriously). It's pretty busy for a 1974 November, I wonder if this was close to Thanksgiving? 

It appears as if many people are heading toward the exit (fools!), but a few are walking in, including that cool guy in the white outfit (including a white hat), and the little guy with the yellow shirt and mouse ears. Some folks are wearing classic bell-bottoms, and sweaters are evident, hinting at cooler temperatures.

Here's another nice photo showing a particularly well-manicured tree in the Plaza. Behind it I think I can see some twinkle lights in one of the olive trees. To the left, folks gather around a popcorn cart (which is giving off a warm, friendly glow). All in all, this looks like it was a great day to go to the park!

*I forgot to mention this, but do you think people in the first photo are starting to save places along the sidewalk to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade?

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

1960s Tomorrowland

As far as I'm concerned, you can't have too many photos of Tomorrowland. If I had to choose between sustenance or pictures of Tomorrowland, I'd choose the latter. Food shmood! 

Today's slides are undated, but the fact that we are in a rectangular Skyway gondola helps to place this to 1965 or later, and the presence of the Moonliner means that the photo was taken before September of 1966. It looks like it was a busy day, judging from the crowds below. Wouldn't it be nice to still be able to get bird's eye views of the park?

Next is this pretty nice photo of the Monsanto House of the Future (made with exciting PLASTIC), resembling the UFOs that used to come and visit me on a regular basis. (Yes, those probes were cold). I've thrown this idea out before, but imagine a whole neighborhood of these homes, each painted in a unique hue. Maybe some would even have patterns, like the Partridge Family bus (or Ken Kesey's bus!). The sky's the limit, thanks to versatile plastics.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Fort Wilderness, July 1964

It still amazes me that Fort Wilderness (on Tom Sawyer Island) has been off-limits to guests for two full decades - it used (arguably) be the primary feature of a visit to the Island; guests felt safe within its log ramparts (no more worries about grizzly wolves or poisonous-spitting lions). After they stopped trembling, they'd relax - maybe even whistle a merry tune, while they explored the entire fort. Go say hello to Andy Jackson, inside the Regimental Hdqrs. He might even be sober. Obviously the soldiers who lived here had a copy of the book, "Antler Crafts".

It's a good idea to have a well inside the fort (don't forget about the grizzly wolves). Plus, soldiers loved to make wishes. "I wish't I had a ten dollar gold piece and might meet a gal with long eyelashes". Aw! This is one of those new wells that had built-in water bubblers, very practical. Speaking of practical, how about that trash can, carved from the trunk of a mighty pine?

Sunday, October 22, 2023


Albert Einstein predicted the existence of MegaSnoozles in his Theory of Relativity, and today I have concrete evidence that Albert was correct. This first November 1967 view is rather pretty, taken as the daylight was ending (only the top deck and pilot house receive direct sun). The Twain has light crowds, and the river itself is glassy and smooth. This is almost a postcard-worthy view, even though it's a little bit boring.

Next, we move forward one year, to November 1968 - or is it 2158?? Because it's Tomorrowland, see? This photo seems to have been taken from the Disneyland Railroad just as the train was pulling away from Tomorrowland Station (there's part of the roof to our right). Before us, the Peoplemover track, the Skyway terminal to our left (with gondolas coming and going), the Richfield Autopia (with our pal Screechy the Eagle), and even the G.E. logo peeking up to the extreme left. So... there's somehow a lot to look at, but nothing very specific. Which makes it a MegaSnoozle.


Saturday, October 21, 2023

Scenes From New York

I scanned a few random vintage slides from the New York City area, and thought I'd share two of them with you today. We'll start with this one, dated "August 1958". Hey, there's actor Ralph Fiennes! He's quenching his thirst (with his nephews Rex and Ramon) at an unusual drinking fountain that resembles a ship's capstan. "Jones Beach" was written on the cardboard mount, and I choose to believe that it is correct. No idea, though.

Two years later (from a slide dated August 1960) comes this nice view of the legendary Cyclone roller coaster. Designed by Vernon Keenan, it opened to the public on June 26, 1927. The roller coaster is... at the intersection of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street. The Cyclone reaches a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour and has a total track length of 2,640 feet, with a maximum height of 85 feet.  The Cyclone began to deteriorate after many decades, and there were tentative plans to tear it down, but luckily cooler heads prevailed, and it still operates today. 

Just for fun I am including this vintage photo, scrounged from THE INTERNET.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Restoration Corner

It's always a bit of a disappointment to find old slides that have faded to a miserable pinkish hue; and yet, there's always that challenge to restore them! It can be fun when it works. You can usually tell when there is enough color information remaining to make the effort worthwhile. Both of today's examples looked promising.

First up is this shot of the Tomorrowland Flight Circle. I wish our old friend CoxPilot was here to tell us who that person is at the center of the compass rose - he would surely know. It might be his friend Keith Palmer, but that's only a guess.

Well hey! That's more like it. It's not perfect, but I'm reasonably happy with the return of the yellows and blues, and even the whites. Just look at the crowd that has gathered to watch the show! Tiny gas-powered planes, cars, and boats were a bigger draw than I would have imagined.

Next is this lively portrait of the Gonzalez Trio, hamming it up in front of Casa de Fritos. If you look in the shadows above the sombrero to the left, you can see the Frito Kid's smiling visage. Hey, Klondike!

Ah, Carmelita Gonzalez, my retro crush! I'll bet this trio was entertaining as heck to watch, I'm sorry I never saw them (or maybe I did and forgot it, like I forget everything else). 

I hope you have enjoyed today's Restoration Corner!

Thursday, October 19, 2023


It's time for some RADIANT RANDOS! Starting with this amusing photo from June, 1971. A young girl waits for her Autopia vehicle (looks like it will be one of those green babies), while wearing a floppy souvenir hat. The girl to our left also has a flopster, maybe they are sisters? 

Obviously that sailor was visiting the park while on furlough from the Long Beach Naval Base. Thank you for your service! I love the girl's "hippie purse", very evocative of the era.

I'm always cheered up by a photo of the Main Street Surreys. Is it the fringe? Is it the bright yellow wheels? This pic is from August, 1962, and it's quite a thing to see the old-timey conveyance with the all-plastic House of the Future right behind it!

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Rivers of America & Cascade Peak, March 1963

Here are two nice photos of Cascade Peak! I've been trying to figure out where our photographer was standing when he/she took these, and all I can figure is that they were at the stern of the Mark Twain (or Columbia) at the loading dock, and the boat hadn't yet got underway, since the angle doesn't appear to change between the two shots. What do you think?

In this first one, a Keelboat comes toward us in kind of an unusual view; the trees on Tom Sawyer Island appear to just be leafing out, but still look pretty bare and wintry. Notice that Cascade Peak is cascade-less, presumably for maintenance reasons during the off-season. Both of today's photos really make Frontierland look like an impressive, large frontier. 

The photographer could not resist snapping another photo when a plucky yellow Mine Train passed, and who could blame them? No "back side of water" this time, but that's OK, they're in Nature's Wonderland, and that's more than enough for anybody.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Artsy Columbia

The Mysterious Benefactor continues to shower us with vintage Disneyland goodness. I am now into the 8th (or 14) folders of scans that the MB graciously shared with me (and you). As I've mentioned before, all of the hundreds of photos are from Frontierland, and that means there are LOTS of pictures of the Columbia.

The first four images are as artsy as heck - mostly silhouettes with cyan skies. Like this one, showing the masts and rigging, and a rabid mouse (you have to look closely to see the mouse).

More rigging - it's a rigapalooza.

I wonder if these unusual pictures were ever used in a Disney publication? "Vacationland"? "Disney News"? "Animatronic Aficionado"?

This is the nicest photo of one of these thingies that I have ever seen. It's like a shot from F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu". Only with fewer vampires.

Back in the days when the Columbia was circumnavigating the globe, having a cannon pointed at you was just good fun. They were usually filled with colorful confetti (jellybeans were found to be painful).

Can you spot the Disneyland guest who was experiencing an existential crisis? 

THANK YOU, Mysterious Benefactor!

Monday, October 16, 2023

Two From January 1964

From all appearances, January 1964 was a fine time to visit Disneyland. Beautiful blue skies, bright Winter sunshine, and no skeeters! Somebody wanted a picture of this gentleman, with his sporty fedora - he looks like he's just come from the golf course! At first I thought there were construction walls in the distance, but realized that I'm just seeing the backs of some poster displays. Gee, now I feel like a silly goose! Let's go see "America the Beautiful" and just watch the parts of the movie that would ordinarily be  behind us.

I've seen a lot of photos of Sleeping Beauty Castle, but this one sure is pretty. Christmas decor is evident, so perhaps the pictures are actually from December? Folks are standing on the bridge, apparently enchanted by the flocked trees in the water. Is this heaven?? The swans got the holidays off, they flew north for the winter.