Wednesday, January 31, 2024

More Knott's Berry Farm, July 1964

It's time for more scans from some 126-sized slides. They're not the greatest! I sometimes wonder why this square format was hatched, since the standard 35mm slide had been around for decades and worked just fine. 

When taking any photo, be sure to bisect it with a lamp post, flagpole, or any other vertical element. I learned this directly from Ansel Adams, and it works like a charm. This one really is odd, were they trying to capture the Blacksmith shop? "Old Betsy" in the background? I guess "all of the above".

Two adorable burros look at us with big dark eyes, hoping for some scritches. Burros love scritches! But the most fascinating thing about this particular photo is the evidence of a ghost (we are in Ghost Town after all), that mysterious green shape of light for which there is no other explanation. Could the burro see the ghost? Definitely.

All of the finest ghost towns had these handy electric (?) carts, perfect for moving the bodies of gunned-down desperados, or drunks. Behind it is the Calico Print shop, I'm not sure what went on in there. Could you buy a customized souvenir "wanted" poster, or something like that?

And finally, here's a photo of what I presume is a genuine antique stagecoach. A little worse for wear, but nothing a little elbow grease won't fix. They thought enough of it to give it some protection from the weather, which is something. I wish I could read that sign to the left!

 I have more of these "just OK" Knott's slides, but never fear, I also have some really nice Knott's slides all scanned and ready to go!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

More Swiss Family Treehouse, WDW - September 1972

Well, it took long enough, but I am finally sharing more of Lou Perry's photos (shared with us by Sue B.) from a 1972 trip to the Magic Kingdom. Let's just say that there were technical issues (to put it mildly). The last post was way back in September of last year, hard to believe. And in this installment we are still at the magnificent Swiss Family Treehouse, which clearly blew Lou's mind. And why wouldn't it? Looking at this first image, it's amazing to think that the giant tree is entirely artificial, and yet it looks as if it has been growing there for decades.

I quite like the concept of crossing a bridge to the Treehouse's island. That is some feat of engineering, but the Swiss are famous for that sort of thing. I'm surprised they didn't make it a drawbridge operated by bamboo cogs to keep pirates away. I also don't want to get too technical, but you can clearly see the ship-thingies that were used in the construction.

This sign (made by Fritz, I recognize his handiwork) gives a brief description of this area. Let's face it, they were sick of telling the story over and over. Father said, "Fritz, why don't you make a sign, while I continue working on my puppet theater?". "Yes, papa!". Fritz was a good  boy, after all. Notice that in this iteration the ship that was wrecked was the "Swallow", while we have seen signs from Disneyland that used the names "Recovery" and (apparently later) the "Titus". It's interesting to me, anyway!

 THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Disneyland Hotel, November 1974

Today I have two photos from the Disneyland Hotel. This first example is kind of a mystery to me! We're clearly looking across the Marina - a small artificial ocean where guests could paddleboat to their heart's content. I'm assuming that the Marina Tower (added in 1970) is behind us, but what is that building to the right? And why do we also see those little tents, the pavilion toward the back left, and weirdest of all, those five oversized toy drums? This was November, and perhaps the drums had something to do with a holiday display, but I genuinely have no idea.

Next is this view from in front of the Sierra Tower, with a spraying fountain that everyone should always jump into. The staff pretends to not like it, but I know that they actually do! 

I like the oval signs that used to be seen around the property, this one is a directory so that you can find all of the gift shops and restaurants.

Sunday, January 28, 2024


Snoozles™. You know the drill! Let's begin with this first scan of a slide damaged by a light leak. Darn light! It's always causing problems. Kids (and adults) were swarming to meet the Practical Pig. Look at the expression on the kid walking toward us, it's like he has just seen the Beatles. "He shook my hand! I'll never wash it again!". Not that he washed his hands anyway, to be honest. It's kind of amusing to look at the adults - one mom is waving her child in for a landing, another is looking through the top viewfinder of her camera, and another gazes off into the distance, remembering a song from when she was a little girl. "Beautiful dreamer....". 

It's pretty obvious why this next photo is here - somebody was too jittery and the picture is blurred. It's too bad, since it would have been pretty nice. The door to the Pirate Ship is closed, so I guess there were no tuna sandwiches to be had that day. Closed due to that dratted Peter Pan, I'll bet! 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina - July 1969

I have four slide scans from 1969 featuring the Tweetsie Railroad, located on US 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Wikipedia tells us Grover Robbins, an entrepreneur from Blowing Rock, North Carolina... bought the locomotive (No. 12, more about that in a minute) in August, 1955. Robbins' plan was to bring the locomotive and rolling stock back to its original home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, initially as an excursion railroad. After restoration at the Southern Railway shops in Hickory, NC, the No. 12 locomotive would soon become the centerpiece of the new "Tweetsie Railroad" tourist attraction.

Look at those beautiful green hills! One mile of track was constructed near Blowing Rock, North Carolina and on July 4, 1957, the locomotive made its first public trip over the line. In 1958, the track was extended to a 3-mile loop around the mountain, and the trains at Tweetsie Railroad have traveled that circuit ever since.

The name "Tweetsie" was given to the original ET&WNC by area residents as a verbal acronym of its initials, but also referred to the "tweet" of the locomotive whistles that echoed through the mountains. The nickname stuck with the railroad and its trains and became more identifiable than the railroad's official ET&WNC name.

And finally, a photo of the magnificent locomotive No. 12! I'm so glad that this was saved, and not sent to the scrapyard. Coal-fired steam locomotive No. 12 is the only surviving narrow-gauge engine of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC). Built in 1917 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, No. 12 is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge 4-6-0 coal-fired locomotive that ran from 1918 to 1940 carrying passengers and freight over the ET&WNC's 66-mile (106.2 km) line through the Appalachian Mountains from Johnson City, Tennessee to Boone, North Carolina.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the Tweetsie Railroad in North Carolina!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Two Nice Randos

I have two nice and unusual photos for you for this Friday. I hope you like them!

This first example is from July, 1970; it's a nice image of the waterfalls that used to flow beneath the Monsanto House of the Future. That house was removed in December of 1967, so it'd only been gone for about a year and a half at this point. I'm not sure if there were ever any plans to replace the HoF with another attraction, but in the meantime, they left the beautiful manicured gardens and ponds as the Alpine Gardens. It became Triton's Garden in 1996, and then Pixie Hollow in 2008.

Next is this atypical photo from the 1950s, taken from the top level of an Omnibus. A young girl in a coat of many colors glances back at us ("Look at the camera, Mary! Look at the camera!") with Main Street in front of us. A firetruck is at the bottom of the frame, I thought it was the Chemical Wagon and not the Motorized Firetruck. Then again, I don't see any horses pulling it, so... hmmm. A Horse Drawn Streetcar heads toward us, and the castle is in the misty distance (hey, I knew a girl named Misty Distance!).


GDB Friend Chris  Merritt will be giving a presentation about the 1964 New York World's Fair at the Disneyland Hotel Anaheim Hotel (thank you Sue for catching my dopey mistake!) on Friday, February 2nd. Tickets are $25 - you might see me there if you go! (Just look for the dorkiest person, and BINGO). Here's a link with all of the info you will need:

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Tomorrowland Scene, April 1974

Let's take a look around Tomorrowland, shall we? I have enough "dehydrated lunch" pills for everyone! Just add warm water for a delicious liverwurst sandwich.

Do you think this first one was taken from the Skyway? Yes, we're not that high up, but perhaps it just launched from the Tomorrowland terminal. Whatever the case may be, we get a decent look at the Autopia, with the Monorail station (and Mark III Monorail), a few Peoplemover trains, and It's a Small World in the distance.

Looking at this photo, the Skyway gondolas and the Peoplemover trains are in roughly the right position to have taken that first photo.  The Carousel of Progress building is looming in the darkness, but the attraction had closed on September 9th of the previous year. Boo! 

Here's a  closeup of that mystery box for JG.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Sleeping Beauty Castle, July 1960

Well, well, well. If it isn't Sleeping Beauty Castle. Long time, no see! Well, OK, I lied, but it's OK, I like SBC, especially in old photos, like these, taken at the height of Summer, 1960. When there are photos with a good crowd, I often wonder how many of those guests were visiting for the first time... I'm sure that, even then, many were SoCal locals (more or less). But most didn't want to spend $4.50 for those expensive ticket books, and I don't blame them. While it doesn't look like it was super early in the morning, everyone is headed toward the archway into Fantasyland. 

This one had a weird double exposure glitch at the bottom, which I cropped off because it wasn't an interesting glitch. Just unsightly. Funny, this picture must have been taken mere moments after (or before) the first one, but now we've got people heading toward us. "Well, it's 11:00 AM, I guess we'd better head for home". The girl in the foreground is holding a 1960 souvenir guidebook.

You know, this one.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Disneyland Ephemera

I have a selection of vintage Disneyland ephemera for you. My favorite!

First up is this somewhat scarce table menu from the Maxwell House restaurant on Town Square. Dad is looking pretty pleased with himself. "I gambled away my son's college fund, but at least he can have Superb Cheese Cake".  Maxwell House ended its sponsorship in October, 1957, so this one is pretty old. I wonder if there were other Maxwell House eateries around the country?

I've actually shared this next item before - a press pass for Sunday, June 23, 1963. I've never seen another one like it (though I'm sure they are out there), but the reason I am showing it again is that I wondered "What was going on at Disneyland on June 23, 1963?". It turns out that it was the debut of the Enchanted Tiki Room! Strange that the pass doesn't hint at any tiki goodness, but instead is more of a "pre 4th of July" design. A friend of the blog remarked that the artwork had a Rolly Crump-ish look.

The next item is just one of a zillion random brochures that Disneyland produced over the years. It's from the Summer of 1973, and has artwork (used on several brochures) hyping the Main Street Electical Parade, which had debuted to great acclaim the previous Summer. 

I don't know how to have fun at Disneyland, but luckily this brochure gives me all the info I need! How many people actually left the park in the middle of the day for a swim at the hotel? Maybe I would have if I'd ever stayed there, but I honestly can't imagine doing so. Looking at the musical acts mentioned, The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose had a couple of songs that I still like a lot to this very day. "Dawn featuring Tony Orlando", when I grew up we always called them "Tony Orlando and Dawn". 

I have so much Disneyland ephemera, I need to get scanning!

Monday, January 22, 2024

Nice Randos

Oh boy, randos! Some of my favorite images are randos. Like the box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. 

Rando #1: OK, OK, it's not the prettiest picture you've ever seen, but there's piles of dirt, and that should be good enough for anybody. Without a more precise date, it's hard to make a guess as to what's going on. Was the old "swimming pool" Pirate Ship lagoon about to be converted into the beautiful tropical lagoon with the addition of Skull Rock? I don't think so, it just feels a bit too early to me. I'm wondering about that (temporary?) wooden wall toward the bottom of the frame, though. And what's with the scaffolding near the ship? I wonder if they were painting the Chicken of the Sea bas-relief, transforming it from browns to the more familiar polychrome look?

Rando #2: Another from sometime in the 50s; our photographer was standing in Town Square; perhaps the beautiful C.K. Holliday caught his eye. No wonder! The kid to the left is carrying something - maybe it's a souvenir guidebook (I think it's in a shopping bag, so we'll never know). It's nice to see a Horseless Carriage and a Surrey.

Zooming in a bit, we get a better look at some of the guests, as well as the C.K. Holliday, and the souvenir booth. It's not very distinct, but I definitely can see piles of hats, and what might be postcards, as well as some classic felt pennants. 

I hope you have enjoyed today's randos!

Sunday, January 21, 2024


Sometimes I wonder aloud, "Why must there be Snoozles™?". Yes, the other people on the bus look at me funny, but I don't care. Then I watched an episode of "Davy and Goliath" and realized that even Snoozles™ have their place in this world. 

Today's first example (from September, 1965) would be a nice photo if it had been done right. The Ernest S. Marsh is filling the tender up with chocolate milk (I don't want to brag, but I am very knowledgeable about trains), which is pretty cool. But the sun backlit the scene, and everything is too dark. And it's blurry. 

Next we head to September, 1970 for a look at one of the Motor Boats. The boat is in Fantasyland, but you can clearly see right into Tomorrowland, thanks to one-a them folds in time/space that you read about all the time. I generally like photos of the MoBos, but this one gets a C-minus with a "See me after class" note (in red ink!). 

NOTE: Tomorrow and Tuesday I will be at a certain amusement park! Obviously those will both be busy days, so I'm going to be taking a break from the comments, but there will (of course) be new posts for you both days, and I look forward to chatting with you all on Wednesday!


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Miscellaneous Amusements

I love vintage photos of amusement parks. And while I can't always ID the park in the picture, there is often much to enjoy.

This first scan is dated "October, 1968", and shows a little amusement park on top of a high-rise building somewhere in Japan (the photo was presumably taken from an even taller building). They sure crammed a lot of stuff in that tiny space - there's a Monorail, a flying elephant ride, a teacup ride, a simple train (that goes around the teacups and even a castle!), and some sort of car ride. There might be a few more attractions as well, it's hard to tell from up here. Something must be in that structure that the monorail circles, or beneath that arched roof in the upper right - and I can't quite identify what's going on in the lower right. If anybody out there knows anything about this place, please chime in!

Next is this undated (but probably from the 1950s) photo from an amusement park or State fair, or something. "The Law and the Outlaw" appears to be some sort of show with live actors, the large photos portray Jesse and Frank James, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, and a few others I can't make out. Looking up "The Law and the Outlaw", I only find references to a 1913 Tom Mix short film. Note that to the left there is a "Great Train Robbery" sign, I don't know if that is a separate attraction or if it is all one big show. Once again, if you have any knowledge to pass along, please do!


Friday, January 19, 2024

Entering Disneyland, July 1958

I have a pair of pretty views of the entrance to Disneyland, taken at the peak of Summer, 1958. 

Ya gotta buy your tickets before you go in. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's just the way things are. It looks like there's a pleasant breeze so that this July day doesn't get too stifling. Main Street Station has its patriotic bunting from earlier in the month. I'm assuming that the guy in the suit is a guest, but... come on man, relax! Near him is a family with three excited boys, just about to go through the turnstiles.

A sailor is buying tickets while his pal waits for him. It looks like each of them has a pretty girl to accompany them.

Next is this beauty, full of color! Could the sky be any bluer? The E.P. Ripley is chugging into the station, where it will pass the Kalamazoo hand car. And oh boy, the posters. Oooh-la-la, as they say in Paree! 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Tram and Parking Lot, April 1974

I hope that none of you saw the title of today's post and got too excited. Tram and Parking Lot? "I love the tram, yippee!" (jumps in the air, clicking heels together). "And the parking lot is radical, as the kids say!". It hurts me to crush your hopes and dreams with today's "meh" photos, but life is like that sometimes. 

We stood waaaay out in the furthest reaches of the parking lot (notice that he is near a sign that has the letter "U" on it), waiting for a tram to come. Sure, we could have walked, but that's for chumps. Finally, Tobias Tramdriversson (his real name, I didn't make it up) arrived, and we made sure to sit close to him to feed off of his positive energy. And his blood. Oh, didn't I mention that I my family are "day-walkers"? Right behind Tobias' head is the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Next is this unfortunately-dark photo of the lot as seen from the Monorail. Why did the photo turn out like this? It looks like a "day for night" shot from "Bonanza" (only with more cars). Look at all those dang electrical towers, are they still there to this day? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Mine Train, July 1960

Here are two scans from the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, circa July, 1960. As most of you know, this attraction started out as the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, but it closed on October 11, 1959 so that it could be expanded and improved to an amazing degree. When these photos were taken, the MTTNW had only been open for about a month.

This first scan is fun, with the patriotic bunting on some of the Rainbow Ridge structures - surely leftover from the debut, which was on July 2, 1960. "Put up the bunting once", that's what my grandpappy always said. I never knew what he was talking about until now! Everything looks so fresh and new. Notice the pack mules up on the ridge, and passing above the tunnel to the left. 

Next, one of the trains returns from its exciting journey through beautiful Nature's Wonderland, with its deserts and forests and rock formations, and plenty of animatronic critters. How I envy all of those passengers!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Knott's Berry Farm, 1960s

I have four slide scans - undated, but probably from the late 1960s or early 1970s. They are from Kodak 126 slide film, and the quality isn't that great. But hey! It's still Knott's Berry Farm.

This first one is the best, a family taking in the wonders of the Calico Mine Ride - you get a sense of how big it is in this photo, with its rocky outcropping, waterfall, and of course the brave and cheerful little trains (sadly none are in this image) that constantly passed by. I appreciate the addition of spiky desert plants.

Next is the famous Bottle House, which looks fine on the outside, but you have to go inside to really get the full effect of sunlight streaming in through bottles - clear, green, amber, brown, and the occasional blue example. It's surprisingly pretty.

The Timber Mountain Log Ride still impresses after more than 50 years, another triumph from Bud Hurlbut (and Arrow Development). What would Knott's be like if Bud hadn't been around? I don't even want to think about it. I've loved this ride since I first rode it at around the age of seven, and still do.

One of the logs splashes down, while one of the full size (but narrow-gauge) trains passes nearby. I have a friend who never warmed to KBF, and he is a great guy, but I just don't understand how anybody could go to Knott's and not enjoy it, especially back when it was being run by the Knott family.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Twain and Columbia, October 1981

I'm using up the final three photos in a folder full of scans provided by Sue B. The pictures are from her dad, Lou Perry, and they are from October, 1981.

Frontierland sure looks pretty, with that deep-blue sky and bright sunshine. Everything is so green! But the frontier as seen from the Rivers of America is quite different from the frontier seen further west. I'll bet October was the perfect time to visit the park back in 1981. Low crowds, good weather, no Wookies - what more could you ask for? 

Still, October was the "off season", and that meant that some rides were set aside for maintenance. Water is tough on materials, I can't tell you how many photos I've seen with the Columbia at the dock in Fowler's Harbor. Of course it might just be moored there so that guests can board and check out the "below decks" displays.

Don't worry, Columbia, you'll be sailing soon!

MANY thanks to Lou and Sue!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Jungle Cruise SNOOZLES™

Today is GDB friend Chris Merritt's birthday! 

The Jungle Cruise is often relegated to Snoozle Sundays, because so many bad photos have been taken on that attraction. Well, not really bad, just misunderstood. Today's examples are definitely misunderstood. 

Elephants are very particular about their hygiene, and taken frequent baths, or a shower when they can get one. Like the fellow below, who just had a nice schvitz, and now he's enjoying the cool cascade of the Limpopo River. Or wherever. I just wanted to say "Limpopo", and can you blame me?

This photographer must have been bitten by a tsetse fly, and now he has blurred vision due to the dreaded sleeping sickness. Darn you, tsetse fly!

Well what do you know, he didn't have trypanosomiasis, he was just experiencing a case of the yips. Thank goodness! He got over those yips in time to take this pretty decent photo of the African Veldt scene.