Monday, February 12, 2024

1960 Guidebook Special Insert

I have a very nice vintage Disneyland paper item, this time from 1960. It would have been included as an insert to the 1960 souvenir guidebooks - as far as I know, they only did such a fancy insert once before, the previous year. And this one seems to be quite a bit harder to find, for some reason.

As you can see, the item announces "The Story of Nature's Wonderland" on a folded-over panel. It essentially traces the concept of this attraction back to Disney's Academy Award-winning series of "True Life Adventure" films, such as Beaver Valley, Bear Country, The Itchy Skunk, and The Living Desert.

Folding the panel back reveals a beautiful full-color overview of Nature's Wonderland. Wow, what an attraction! As always, I'd love to know who painted this fantastic piece, perhaps it was Paul Hartley. If anybody knows for sure, please chime in!

Flipping the piece over, another new attraction is promoted - America the Beautiful, brought to you by The Bell Telephone System. In CIRCARAMA! Everything is better with "-arama" added to the end (it's almost as good as "a-go-go"). What an exciting time to visit Disneyland.



I adding one of these to my collection in the very early 90’s … before eBay. Disneyland collectors fought to find them … but after eBay they became quite common .. but I can’t forget the exciting thrill when I finally found one for sale so long ago.

Nanook said...

Oh man... it's Nature's Wonderland, all brand spanking new for 1960-! I'm unclear why the artist felt the need of creating [what appears to be] a very large cascading 'water feature' thru the center of Beaver Valley, as to my knowledge in reality that area is full of real trees and trails.

As I can't remember what the original Circarama version of America the Beautiful was like, I wonder how much it differed from the Circlevision-lensed footage, upgraded to 35mm, and with nine, separate conjoined images-?

What a great insert-! Thanks, Major.

JB said...

"The Itchy Skunk"... I must've missed that one. ;-)
I notice in the text that they used the word "specie". I've been taught that it is always plural; "species". Specie is only used when describing money. Sorry, I guess I'm feeling a little nit-picky tonight.

I also like the artwork, especially the little vignette showing the beaver building a sand castle. :-p

Hmm, we don't get to see the actual Circarama theater here very much, do we. I guess that's on purpose, so it'll be a big awesome surprise when we actually see it.
In the last paragraph it describes using a stop watch to see how long it takes to complete the call... I remember those days when communications were still rather primitive, slow, and costly. Even now, I'm sometimes in awe to communicate with anybody (like Jr. Gorillas), anywhere in the world, instantly. I guess there have been technological changes over the years. Now If we could just "beam" ourselves anywhere we want... is that asking too much?

This is indeed a nice insert, Major. Thanks.

Bu said...

I love these things. As a kid I could stare at these forever: of course wearing acid free 100% cotton gloves. I am NOT that way any more: I don't need things mint: I totally understand those that do: but I like to enjoy things without the encumbrance of "ruining everything"...not sure when that changed, but it's one less thing for my brain to process! I'm sad to say that I never experienced Natures Wonderland. I guess it didn't interest me, or I didn't have a ticket...or a hundred other reasons. I would very much enjoy it now: where I prefer: "please put me in a box and wheel me around showing me pretty things". That sounded weird but you get the gist. Someone made a choice to make this brochure the color pink: you would think they would brown and orange and rustic it up a bit to match the attraction. Pink is a confident choice, and when I'm not wearing black: I'd wear it. America the Beautiful: I'd like to see photos of that pre-show area: it certainly changed through the years, and I always enjoyed seeing the PeopleMover cars moving behind a glass screen stealthy out of view. It's amazing that in a short time communication has come light years, which makes me pause to thing what things will be like in 60 years: flying cars we know, but the rest: who knows. I remember my parents calling Europe and we would have to wait for hours to get a line and the cost was out of control. I just got an email blast from Verizon saying as soon as I made a call overseas my plan kicks in, and for $10 a day I get as many calls as I want. This is not an ad, just an illustration of how we have progressed. I actually am unclear why the additional cost: or why there is a cost at all. Shouldn't basic communication be free? I won't go down that rabbit hole...thanks Major for the trip to 1960!

JG said...

Wow, these are great! All new to me, although there are some early sketch renderings of a Frontierland panorama that includes this area, this is much more detailed. No wonder it’s highly sought after. And remember when Disney films won academy awards?

I don’t remember the CIRCARAMA until the CircleVision iteration either. The pre-show must have been interesting. I’d love a few hours in 1955 Tomorrowland to see the things I must have seen and can’t remember.

I’ll make a brief prediction on free communications and say it is at least potentially likely to come about. Remember when mutual funds had $10,000.00 minimum investments and stock trades cost $70.00? Now those minimums are zero and “free” because of technology and quantity. The same might happen for communications. Not that long ago, high end hotels charged $25/day for wireless internet, now it’s included, like toilet tissue and water. I can imagine “ad-supported” telecom, “listen to this brief advert for another 3 minutes of email or goo-gel-maps” much like Twitter of Pandora.

Major, congratulations on scoring such a desirable collectible, and thank you for sharing it with us!


K. Martinez said...

I do have "The Story of Nature's Wonderland" insert as well as the previous "Disneyland Summer 1959" insert. Both are great, but I especially love the Nature's Wonderland layout art. I also have all the pictorial souvenir booklets and special booklets from pre-opening to 1980's (Walt Disney Productions era), so I have placed them in the proper booklets to match up. I wish they had done more of these inserts through the years. I guess instead they just put the artwork for coming attractions on the last pages of the pictorial booklets in the 1960's and 1970's.

If only they still made attractions this way where instead of trying to tell a locked-in story, the Imagineers were creating a set of unfolding experiences within a themed environment.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike, I got mine at an NFFC show many years ago; even with eBay I don’t see these too often - but the 1959 insert really is easy to find these days. I think there’s one on eBay (with its guidebook) for $15 at the moment.

Nanook, I believe that there was a small stream located where the artist depicted that large cascade, maybe he didn’t know what the final thing would look like - or it was “artistic license”. I doubt I saw the older version of CirCARama, but I sure wish I had!

JB, “The Itchy Skunk” aired on the same night as the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, so many people missed it. Good eye on the word “specie”, you’re right, I’ve only seen it used in reference to money. I guess that by the time guests walked into the actual Circarama theater, the last thing they were thinking about was taking photos. That being said, I *have* seen a few rare photos online taken inside the theater (not sure if the photos are from Disneyland or WDW). It really is amazing to be able to talk to somebody on the other side of the world, and it’s like they are next door!

Bu, while I am more flexible than I used to be, I still particularly like finding vintage items in the mintiest possible condition. But rare early items are hard to come by, and sometimes I have to just live with creases, writing, discoloration, etc. Always with the thought of upgrading someday! I wonder if Nature’s Wonderland would have enjoyed a second life? You know how things become unpopular, and then eventually grow popular again - I’d like to believe that people would love their trip through all of those wonderful scenes on a little train. Pink somehow seems like a very “Disneyland” color, it was used on a number of early brochures. I have one good photo of the pre-show area for America the Beautiful, I’ll have to look for it, since I posted it many years ago. I remember when my dad was in Vietnam, and he would call us, I swear it was via undersea cable. There was a terrible echo and a long delay that made it difficult to communicate, but it was better than nothing. And I’ve talked to a friend in Austria on the phone, so clear and perfect. Truly amazing.

JG, I think Disney films still win Academy Awards, but not for beautiful things like the True Life Adventures; it’s hard to imagine how new and different those were back in the day. And after a certain number of films, they ran their course. I’m sure many Disneyland fans would pay big money to be able to experience a “virtual 1955 Disneyland”! Interesting thought about communication eventually being free - it seems like a complex issue, but I like the idea!

K. Martinez, this Nature’s Wonderland insert has always been one of my favorite vintage Disneyland paper items. The artwork is beautiful, of course, but I also put myself back in 1960 and think of the days when Walt and his Imagineers were firing on all cylinders. I have all of the “Walt era” guidebooks, but after that I was less concerned with getting the others, even though it would be fun to have a complete set. I agree, I wish they’d continued with those special inserts! Unfortunately it’s easier to make an “on the rails” story, unlike the Haunted Mansion, half the fun is speculating about what it all means (although they keep “explaining” things!).

Nanook said...

@ JB-
Prior to the opening of the 1967 New Tomorrowland, the CirCARama theatre was located in what would become the 'Preshow area' for the Circle-Vision 360° presentation. (The actual Circle-Vision Theatre occupied what was originally the space used for The Art of Animation).

AND... the CirCARama Theatre shared space with Rambler Automobiles and Kelvinator Appliances. LOOK HERE for one view of the area.


Prior to the 1960 AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL … the cirCARama theater showed a continuous looping film called “ A TOUR OF THE WEST” ….. 1967 CIRCLE-VISION was a larger theater and format than the much smaller 1960 America the Beautiful film and almost nothing was re-used for the 1967 presentation. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL 1967 in Circle Vision 360 was mostly an all new production on the newer equipment. The 1976 Bicentennial Edition added new scenes shot in Philadelphia and some revised footage in Williamsburg Virginia. Also the updated Cape Canaveral footage was filmed for Walt Disney World’s presentation that was sponsored by MONSANTO to make up the time from the removal of the Bell Telephone assembly scenes exclusive to Disneyland’s AT&T only sponsorship. Eventually the phone factory scene was replaced with footage of the LONG LINES communication ship laying communication cables in the ocean … by the end of the bicentennial both DL & WDW were showing identical versions of AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL until 1983 when a updated MAGIC CARPET ROUND THE WORLD 360 was produced for Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World - originally shown from 1974 to 1975 at WDW.

Both MAGIC CARPET ROUND THE WORLD and AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL were replaced in 1984 and 85 with AMERICAN JOURNEYS 360. Signage announcing the new film at Disneyland refer to it as AMERICAN SPIRIT …. Which was what “journeys” first started production as.

Today the only operating Disney circle vision theaters are at EPCOT CENTER … INPRESSIONS OF CHINA ( replacing WONDERS OF CHINA) and the original CANADA - A LIFETIME JOURNEY being replaced with OH CANADA! - THATS GOING IN YOUR FILE!


Also the 1967 CANADA circle vision film for the 1967 Canadian Expo was shown in 1972-1975 for SALUTE TO CANADA days at Walt Disney World … it was shown with new titles as CANADA THE BEAUTIFUL . And yes there was an attraction poster for this presentation.

Nanook said...

Thanks for all the Circlevision info-!

Chuck said...

Mike, weren’t some sequences for Canada - A Lifetime Journey recycled from the 1967 film? I seem to remember reading somewhere that at least the mounted Mounties sequence was reused.


Chuck : yes . And segments of the 1967 Canada circle vision film were used in both 1974 and 1983 versions of MAGIC CARPET ‘ROUND THE WORLD ….. and both “Canada” and “Magic Carpet” were used in the Rocket Rods Circle Vision preshow at Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have come in late. I'm lucky to have "lived the dream' of operating the attraction. I posted this find on a special FB site that we fellow "Miners" maintain. Quite a find. Now it's back to work for me. KS