Wednesday, December 06, 2023

A Pair From December 1979

Folks visiting Disneyland at the end of 1979 didn't know it, but  that was a great time to be at the park! An adult “Deluxe 15” ticket book was $8.50 (a $15.60 value!). And there you could still visit some attractions that are much-missed today, such as the Motor Boat Cruise, the Keel Boats, Adventure Thru Inner Space, Mission to Mars, the Peoplemover, the Skyway, America Sings, the Submarine Voyage, and more. 

This first scan shows the entry plaza (is there a more official name for it?); it's after noon, and only a few guests are arriving at this late point in the day. Others relax in the shade (looking at their ticket books, perhaps?). The Grand Hotel can be seen peeking up in the distance, as well as the sign for Chao's, a restaurant legendary for its effect on the digestive system.

Next, we're in Town Square - this is an unusual angle, I guess the two ladies to the left were the subject? I'm not really sure. It's almost a random glance. Check out that lady's colorful sari! The guy in the white shorts looks super "1979" (maybe he was a fan of John McEnroe), I wonder what he's carrying? 



Judging from the size of that package … and that it’s 1979 , it certainly must be a EXINWEST construction playset from The Davey Crockett Arcade ….. probably the SALOON … HOTEL …. Or FRONTIER OUTPOST .

These pictures must have been taken just months before the entire Disneyland entry was redone to be ready for Disneyland’s big Silver 25th …. It was delayed greatly because of the massive rains California had in 1979 into the early 80’s … the rains also delayed the opening of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

JB said...

I first learned about Chao's restaurant here on GDB, and after hearing all the stories about its "effect on the digestive system" it makes me wanna try it! How bad could it be? Maybe I'd like it! (or not). Just to be safe, I'd go there at the end of the night, after leaving the Park. That way I'd have all night to recuperate before heading back to the Park the next morning.
The texture and color of the slurry makes it look like it rained recently... but it didn't, just a trick of the eyeballs.

I think the McEnroe wannabe is carrying a Mickey Happy Meal. There is (are?) lots of colorful clothing here in addition to the colorful sari. It (they) compliment(s) the colors of the Main Street shops.

Looks like it was a warm Anaheim day on this December in '79. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I tried to lighten that second image, to see if I could tell what movie was being represented in the Emporium windows. No such luck though. But I bet it was "The Black Hole"!

Chuck said...

Look at all of that shade! Yes, they monkey with the scale, but I miss the shade. Maybe if they were all foreground trees like the one in the second photo at left it wouldn’t be so noticeable.

You can see the influence of the 1979 oil crisis in the size of the strollers on Main Street, showing the shift to economy models, many of them imported. The impact on the US domestic market was severe, with long-lasting implications. Today, not a single line of strollers is manufactured in Detroit.

I think 1979 was the last year they allowed unaccompanied horses into the Park.

JB, they do hose the streets down every morning a couple of hours before the turnstiles open, so that could affect the appearance of the slurry, although I think these were taken late enough in the morning that you are probably right about it being a trick of the eyebulbs.

TM!, that’s actually a pretty ingenious marketing gimmick for the film. “It is inescapable - swallowing radio waves, light, planets, stars, everything in its path...” Just don’t get too close to the window.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, ha, ha! And there's nothing in that window behind those ladies, because that's the one where you are supposed to be looking directly into the "Black Hole."

JG said...

Well, blogger has eaten my comment again. I left a comment from home, and now that i am at work, it's gone.

Thanks Major for the photos.


Anonymous said...

The pictures had to have been taken during a seasonal 'slow' time of operation on the calendar. Certainly not December as there would be decorations in place. And from the shadows, looks to me to be slightly after mid-day. A great time to visit. Compared to today, all those folks are looking down at their ticket books...yet their pose looks so contemporary as now it would be their phones. KS

Melissa said...

Back in film days, I ended up getting back a lot of pictures where I wasn't sure what I had been attempting to photograph in the first place.

It was nice that there was just enough of the von Trapps' bedroom curtains left to make that lady a pair of floral trousers.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Entry Plaza = Inner Lobby?

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, that package is definitely not the usual flat-ish bag that might contain a souvenir map or sweatshirt. So maybe it IS an EXINWEST set! Good point about the big 25th anniversary coming up, I guess they only celebrated it for the year of 1980 and no sooner (or later).

JB, I don’t know, I love good Chinese food (or what passes for it here in America), but I’ve had some pretty bad stuff that makes one sorry they are alive. Maybe if you ate Chao’s over and over you would build up an immunity? Hmmm, a Mickey Happy Meal, he must have brought it in with him and disguised it so that it would not be confiscated.

TokyoMagic!, oh interesting, I wonder if I would have any better luck lightening up the high-res originals? I’ll try when I get home tonight!

Chuck, that’s the thing about trees, I love them, but at Disneyland they do eventually get to a size where they block every view. And that’s when they must die! Or hopefully just moved to someplace else on the property. I’m sure you’re right about no strollers being made in Detroit (or even the USA). We all complain about it until we want a bargain. Well, Chuck never complains because he has a sunny disposition. But I like to whine. I’ve seen some figures from “The Black Hole” Emporium windows come up for auction, but I never coveted them because that movie turned out to be such a disappointment. Those dumb robots! But at least it had Ernest Borgnine.

TokyoMagic!, All the windows were themed to that movie, so that they could just have blackness. Think of the savings.

JG, I hope it’s OK for me to post your lost comment, which did wind up in my email. Here it is: Wow, a picture of Main Street with no trash cans! that’s a rarity on its own. I’m trying to read the movie bill, all I get is William and Mary, and a movie about college would be dull, so that can’t be right. t’s still the Tobacconist shop. I wonder when they will convert it to a cannabis vape shop? Selling Mickey bongs in the hookah lounge. Hey the caterpillar smoked a hookah, it’s not so far-fetched. Photo 1 is good, I doubt I ever spent more 90 seconds at a time in this forecourt, so now we can study the details at leisure. I see the retaining wall under the floral portrait is still plain concrete, now painted go-away green. Did the fancy brick veneer come on the anniversary? It’s a nice pre-function space, everything you need to prepare for, or decompress from, a busy day at the Park. Those seated kids are also real 1979 specimens. JB, let me assure you from experience, you have missed nothing by missing Chao’s food. Some CMs commenting have praised the strength of their cocktails however. I gather their business didn’t rely on diners. Thanks Major!

KS, as we all know, just because a slide is date stamped “December, 1979”, it only means that’s when it was developed. These might have been taken months earlier!

Melissa, (nice to have you back!), I never knew if I’d taken a good photo or not, and was often surprised when I would get my prints back from the 1-hour place. “When did I take a picture of my shoe??”.

Steve DeGaetano, maybe, but I’m not good at math! ;-)

JB said...

Chuck, accompanied or not, the horse seems to know where he's going. Probably gonna ride the Bobsleds.

Melissa, I remember getting some of those what-the-heck-was-this-supposed-to-be photos as well.

Major, it's a Mickey Happy Meal, he wouldn't have to disguise it. The "gatekeepers" would take one look at Mickeys smiling face and motion him on through.
Disneyland trees live in a "Logan's Run" universe. When they get to age 30, (or 10 or 15), they must die! Of course, there's always the possibility that they'll be 'renewed' on the Carousel of Progress.

JG, your review of Chao's just makes me more curious to try it! I'm sure my curiosity will be the death of me someday.

"The Black Hole": I don't think the Raspberry Awards existed when that movie came out, but I'm sure it would have won... or at least been a contender. Good soundtrack by John Barry though.

JG said...

Major, thank you for posting that comment, much appreciated.

I wonder why you got it as an email and it didn't show on the site?

I posted it using my iPad at home, as my custom has come to be. It showed clearly on the iPad, and when I looked a couple hours later at work, it wasn't visible on the PC.

JB, I can say with confidence that the chow mein from Chao's was the worst I have ever had anywhere. I don't recall the rest of the order, but we were all hungry after a long day traveling, and we ate it anyway. I see it now as having contributed to Rosalind Chao's acting career.


Melissa said...

I remember seeing The Black Hole at the drive-in as a wee little monster. I remember being really scared of Maximilian the evil robot and the faceless humanoids in the funeral scene.


The more I thought about it I kept thinking like Ken these photos are probably much earlier in the 1979 year … as the old entry booths and gates are still present in December of 1979. But I did sone research and guess what … ? Disneyland didn’t start the new entry till January 1980!!! And even then was delayed by the heavy rains that winter …. But the first of the new ticket booths were operating by Washington’s Birthday weekend … these completed booths and new tut styles were used to train castmembers … and the whole new entry was completed -despite the heavy rains- for Easter weekend 1980 …. In time for the summer kickoff of the Disneyland 25th.


Tut = turnstiles

Dean Finder said...

Melissa, I was just discussion how odd it was that back in film days, more people didn't take a few lessons on photography so they could have more confidence they'd have correct composition and settings. These days, you can trust the computer to handle the settings and you can "spray and pray" with the shutter until you get something you like.


As Columbo would say … “one more thing….” The firsts of the 1980 new Disneyland entry complex actually began design in 1976.

"Lou and Sue" said...

"I first learned about Chao's restaurant here on GDB, and after hearing all the stories about its 'effect on the digestive system' it makes me wanna try it! How bad could it be?" ........ "[A]ccompanied or not, the horse seems to know where he's going. Probably gonna ride the Bobsleds."

JB, haha! But that horse probably just came from Chao's and is now heading to the nearest Restroom by the Flower Market. I think 'we' just discovered where the slang term 'trots' came from. Another amazing discovery on GDB. ;oP

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Sue, haha! A Disney horse coming back from Chao's with a case of the trots... Thanks for the out-loud chuckle.

Nanook said...

This is a test.