Thursday, November 09, 2023

Views From the Treehouse, March 1963

I've only been up in a few treehouses in my lifetime, and two of those are at Disneyland. Needless to say, they were the best, too! This first view is from the Swiss Family Treehouse, and gives us a somewhat unusual view looking down on some of the buildings in Adventureland, as well as a tiny bit of Frontierland, out to the Plaza, and into Fantasyland. There's Sleeping Beauty Castle, and even Cinderella's Castle (from Storybook Land). We even see a bit of the Skyway and the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. 

Looking at that little balcony that (I believe) is part of the Adventureland Bazaar, you can see some clay pots, some metal pans, and whatever the heck that complicated thingamajig is that is in the corner. As far as I can tell, these items were put there solely for the enrichment of the folks in the treehouse, since guests on the ground wouldn't be able to see them.

Our photographer pivoted to his (or her) left to take in a view of the distant River, as well as the Mark Twain, Cascade Peak, and Rainbow Ridge. In the branches to our left, I see what must be a red blossom - early on the Treehouse had many such blossoms, but apparently they faded and were removed - but at this point the attraction was only about 4 months old.



Nanook said...

What great, unusual views. It's like seeing a whole different side of the Park.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

That "complicated thingamajig" really is a mystery. Some possibilities: a sock stretcher; a taffy pulling machine; a clothesline; a TV antenna. It probably has no purpose at all except to tickle the imaginations of the Treehouse explorers... and us, more than half a century later. (60 years? Wow!)

Hmm, Cascade Peak is bone dry. Were they having trouble with it that early in its lifetime? I think that's the water gong to the left of the dry waterfall (it's slightly brownish in color). Not sure if I can see the mountain goats cavorting near the top of the Peak. Were they gone by this time?
I don't think I've noticed that decorative star suspended between the Mark Twain's smokestacks before.

I agree with Nanook, I was thinking the same thing, a whole different view of the Park.

Interesting photos, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

I believe the balcony with the pots, is above the Guatemalan Weavers shop. The next balcony to the right of that would be over the Big Game Shooting Gallery, and the one furthest to the right would be over the Bazaar.

Thanks for the nice aerial views of the park, Major!

Chuck said...

Interesting to see that the second floor of Adventureland in that spot is exceptionally narrow and backed immediately by Frontierland facades across the seating area from the Oaks Tavern. It looks just wide enough for a hallway that would allow access to that balcony and the second floor window dressings on the other side of the building.

I think that thingamajig is for drying freshly-dyed yarn, which tracks with the Guatemalan Weavers theme on the first floor.

Disneyodendron semperflorens grandis blooms once very early in its life cycle and never again. That’s part of why they are so rare.

Were any of the chimneys on the Aunt Jemima’s structure functional? I mean, they obviously weren’t venting wood or coal smoke, but were they used to exhaust any cooking gases?

JB, ”More fire bell.”

Really interesting images. Thanks, Major!

Bu said...

Seeing the "backside of Global" certainly stirs many memories....when you saw this building off the 5, you KNEW a few seconds later the Monorail might be zipping by next to the road: "head exploding". Great views from the Treehouse! The "topside" of ADV/FRONT is also super interesting: it's amazing that not only did 2 restaurants, shops, The Golden Horseshoe Theatre, Pendleton, offices, and trash dumpsters all fit in that kind of small section of architecture. Love seeing the pots on the balcony: clearly "someone" walked that treehouse, and wanted no stone unturned. Regarding the blossoms on the treehouse: I've only seen them in a few photos: one in the Evan's book. Interesting fact: mentioning the blossoms on the treehouse was STILL in the TG Spiel up to my time, and beyond my time. No one questioned it, as we always thought: well...maybe we are not looking close enough (?) I've mentioned before that in the orientation tour, the University Leader told the story about a giant windstorm blowing most of them all off, and they were never put back again due to the complexity of scaffolding, etc etc etc. I suppose the truth is somewhere in the middle. There is a backstage pathway between those front ADV buildings and the back FRONT buildings: the easy way to get closer to the river. The entry for the pathway in Adventureland is (was?) the entry for the men's room (a kind of small walkway: that was clearly labeled men's room) female employees got looks as they went through this small little path where men started the process of unzipping flys...of course, the female employees were horrified by this sight, and some chose to go around through Frontierland, which is a longer way, but doesn't have the "side show" of the short cut. This is also where I've mentioned before the smelliest trash compactor was located...with puddles of liquid trash sewage underneath: kind of "old spaghetti, Coke syrup, french fry grease and barf dust melange type smell: barf dust was kind of this perfume of orange, sanitizer, sawdust kind of odor: for the dust you sprinkled on Guest "spills". Buckets back stage still are labeled "Code V" which was the radio code for letting custodial know that the barf dust (common term: I'm sure there is also an SOP term) and a dust pan and broom were needed. "Jimmy: what's your 20? (1020 code for "location" "20" shortened from formal 1020"...."1087 (go to) Exit to Pirates for Code V" or "got a 5050 Code V, 1087 Egg House" Which means, I have a crazy person (5050) here so get to the Main Street gate, next to the defunct Egg House, (but we still call it the Egg House gate) because the crazy person is vomiting and we need to get them to First Aid via back stage." I still call people today and use those terms on job sites. Some things never leave you. I think they still call that gate "Egg House" (?) I'm sure now, for Code V experiences they also have to wear hazmat suits, and what not. Probably for scraping gum too. There was a gum scraping stick that they used: basically a broom stick with a razor blade on the scrape petrified gum off the street, sidewalks, etc. This was the days before gloves, etc. All done with the guests standing right there: flinging around razor blades....probably need to wear helmets now, and scrape in the few hours that the park is closed. Thanks Major for the memory rabbit hole!

Steve DeGaetano said...

The chimneys in the third pic seem to be sooty-black inside. Pretty certain they aren't functional. Is this some serious attention to detail?

JG said...

I’ve stood on this spot many times, always enjoyed the view and the tiny glimpse backstage.

Nice to get the backstage descriptions from the folks in the know.

Bu, my son referred to “Code V” as a “Protein Spill” in his days as a teacher.

I’ll come back later, lots to see here, thank Major!


K. Martinez said...

Love the rooftop views of Adventureland from the Swiss Family Treehouse. Also love the classic view of the Mark Twain and Cascade Peak from above.

I watched a video of the new "Adventureland Treehouse" at Disneyland. It actually looks pretty good from what they've shown. A major improvement over "Tarzan's Treehouse". I don't dislike everything they do.

Thanks for these fun "above Disneyland" views, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Treehouse views are the best!

JB, maybe that gizmo is for drying dyed yarn? Just a wild guess, I really have no idea. It does look like a taffy pulling machine! I have a number of photos of Cascade Peak’s waterfalls turned off, it does seem like they might have had issues with the pumps early on. I do believe that the mountain goats were gone by ’63. And the decorative star has been on the Mark Twain all along!

TokyoMagic!, ah, interesting, and if it IS the Guatemalan Weavers, my theory about the dyed yarn makes sense. I guess I AM a genius! ;-)

Chuck, in a way the narrowness of that part of Adventureland makes me think about the earliest days of Disneyland, before they ever dreamed of the crowds that clog the streets today. And here’s another vote for the dyed yarn drying thingamajig! You’d think I would know better, since I have cousins who are way into textiles, including weaving their own cloth. Though they tend to like wool that is already naturally colored (black, brown, gray, etc). Good question about the chimneys, unfortunately I don’t know the answer. Maybe they were used for the kitchens, as you suggested.

Bu, I honestly don’t ever remember even noticing the Global Van Lines headquarters, though my eyes would have only been searching for the Matterhorn. The GVL headquarters did have that giant metal globe in front, I hope that survived and is on display someplace. I want a giant metal globe! If you look at the attraction poster for the Swiss Family Treehouse, you’ll notice that the artwork shows the tree covered in blossoms. The flowers were definitely short-lived, unfortunately. I have always wondered why they eventually replaced the interesting reddish foliage with boring old green. I’ve read theories about fading, but red is usually a pretty hardy color. Funny that the spiel mentioned flowers that were no longer there. I’ve never heard about wind blowing them off, maybe that’s what really happened. Liquid trash sewage - “behind the magic”! Sounds like they used the same stuff for barf as they used at my grade school. I remember a girl in class suddenly throwing up all over her desk (and textbook), and the custodian sprinkled something that resembled sawdust on it. Meanwhile, we all thought we were going to barf after that. The gum scraping stick was designed by NASA, or so I’m told. Buzz Aldrin himself gave it the OK.

Steve DeGaetano, now I’m wondering if maybe Aunt Jemima’s had a decorative fireplace for chilly days? Or as Chuck suggested, maybe the chimneys vented exhaust from the kitchens.

JG, I think I’ve read that CMs used the term “protein spill” as well, which somehow doesn’t improve matters.

K. Martinez, any view from “up high” at Disneyland is a good one, but views from the Swiss Family Treehouse are not that common (surprisingly). I’ll check out that video, I’ve been seeing lots of construction videos over the past few months.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I return from a vacation and here comes Backstage Adventureland. And BU's comment about that odoriferous trash compactor. I can smell it now. There was a certain odor when walking backstage heading up the stairs to the break area and management office above AJs. Along with the dressing rooms for Betty and Wally. Oh the laughter that could erupt. Major...that first slide shows a seating area above the Bazaar and there appears to be a chair or bench there. This area was called JUBA or "Jungle Upstairs Break Area". Spent many an afternoon and evening quiet time while on break up there. You could watch the JC boats go by and show up when it was time for you to return to the assigned boat for the next spiel. Last time when I visited, I found the gate to the stairway locked so I suppose those days of finding a quiet space for the CMs there is gone. KS

LTL said...

thanks, all, there's a lot of behind the scenes info to absorb today, from the photos and comments.

Bu, I had heard of Disneyland Code V a long time ago and it always stuck with me and I've used it with my family... I now have "5050" in my toolbox, nice to learn that.

appreciate all the fine-grained analysis by all... I will just add that one can take in a tiny glimpse of the Matterhorn in the first photo -- but no bobsled

Chuck said...

Bu, interesting about "5050." "5150" is "the number of the section of the [California] Welfare and Institutions Code, which allows an adult who is experiencing a mental health crisis to be involuntarily detained for a 72- hour psychiatric hospitalization when evaluated to be a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled." Thus the name of Van Halen's 1986 album.

KS, I have a vague memory of hearing about JUBA but wasn't sure where it was. Thanks for that. It looks like two individuals were using the area when this photo was taken. One is standing at the extreme right and facing left, while the other is located to the right of the empty yellow chair, partially obscured by a column and seated with their legs crossed.

Anonymous said...

Chuck. Just had time to copy, blow-up the picture and sure does look like a couple of my predecessors are up there enjoying their time. There was an open room behind them back then as well tho it was rarely used. KS

JB said...

Ken M., thanks for that Treehouse link. It does look like they put some thought into it, and paid homage to the past versions of the Treehouse.

Anonymous said...

I am now smelling that dumpster juice, transferred from other memories of restaurant service.

Thanks Bu.

I remember looking at those upstairs rooms from the adventureland side and wondering what they were. Later, in high school, i guessed they were offices etc. KS, thanks for your memories. Must have been fun.


Bu said...

I stand corrected! oops! 5150 is the official code…5050 is a delicious frozen confection!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Without the cascade, Cascade Peak sort-of resembles a giant garden gnome.

Ken M., as soon as I'm done commenting, I'm going to check out the video you attached - thank you.

KS, thank you for pointing-out that upstairs seating area, which now makes that shot extra interesting (and especially since Chuck also noted the 2 men there).

LTL has good eyes. That MH was doing a great job of hiding behind the leaves.

Bu, wasn't 50/50 also a soft drink, sort of like Fresca??

Thanks, Major, for some interesting shots.