Friday, February 09, 2024

Monorail at the Hotel, August 1962

The Simpsons can laugh all they want, I love me a Monorail! Especially the Disneyland version, naturally. Today's photos were taken in 1962, about a year after the track had been routed from the park to the Disneyland Hotel (I was unable to find an exact date for when the expanded route debuted). In this first photo, a couple poses at the top of some Hotel steps (presumably near the Hotel station) as a sleek Mark II passes by in the background. I wonder how long they waited for it to come by? It's possible that Grandpa served in a war (which one?), while Grandma looks like she's from the Old Country. She looks kind of stern here but I'll bet she was warm and loving and made delicious food for her family. 

Notice the colorful back of the Disneyland Hotel sign to the right. 

This next one is a little dark (in case you hadn't noticed), but it's still a swell view of the yellow Monorail as it pulls into the station. No need to tip the uniformed attendant! He's happy to help. I enjoy small details like the sign for Western Airlines in the distance, and the car with the impressive tail fins in the lower left.


TokyoMagic! said...

Grandma and Grandpa both look rather strong. And there's that short-lived "Skyway Over the Parking Lot" attraction in the background.

The lady in the front of the yellow Monorail is surprised by the fact that during the ride, she didn't spill one single drop out of her coffee mug.

Nanook said...

My sources say the Monorail re-opened on June 1st, 1961. And as for those "impressive tail fins", they're attached to a 1960 Chrysler New Yorker and [I believe] a Town and Country station wagon].

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Are you sure this photo is from 1962 Major? Grandma & Grandpa look like they just stepped out of 1942. Well, Grandma does anyway. She's got a lot of meat on her bones. I bet she has spent the last 40 years pounding cheap cuts of beef with a meat tenderizer. You do NOT want to mess with her!
But maybe you're right, and she was a sweetie who baked chocolate chip cookies for her grandkids. It's a nice photo of the Monorail, and kudos to the photographer for taking the picture at just the right moment.

You could put your eye out with those tail fins! The other cars in the photo have pretty impressive tail fins as well. I've noticed that the Monorails are actually quite small when you see them up close with people sitting inside, and standing outside near the train. We can see the operator up there in the bubble.

TM!, are you referring to the power lines in the background?

Monorail! Monorail!! MONORAIL!!! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, I was referring to the parking lot's "Skyway cables and towers." ;-)

Andrew said...

Lovely pictures! The Simpsons may say otherwise, but we all know that there is only one true monorail song! Happy Friday everyone!

JG said...

I love this first photo, solid salt-of-the-earth folks, look like they went to our church.

Palm trees and power lines in the distance. Not sure why all the cars look so dull? There is a red & white sedan (Ford Victoria?) and a red VW though so some dots of color.

And the Monorail! Hooray for riding to the hotel! And back again.

Photo 2 has the full experience. Perforated steel beams (saves weight without impairing strength!). Absolutely unnecessary here but they look cool and futuristic, evoking aeronautical themes, which is the whole point.

Western Airlines sign, check. And the Monorail Bar must be behind us, dash in for a quick double Scotch to offset the pain of paying $1.25 for Park admission. Power lines again! The helpful MonoCap stepping up to take our bags. Exit this way, no gift shop.

Major, I almost feel like I’ve been to Park before 0900AM, thank you!


Anonymous said...

You know, Grandma and Grandpa likely lived a life that started with horses and now here they are with the Monorail in the background. If that doesn't make you stop and think for a moment. And Grandpa could have been in BOTH wars too. Talk about time travel! "Why visit Tomorroland? I'm in it here!" KS

Nanook said...

@ JG-
It's hard to tell from this angle just which model 1957 Ford that is - but it appears to be in Coral Sand and Colonial White. It's sandwiched between a 1958 Oldsmobile, possibly in Desert Glow and Victorian White, and a 1949 Oldsmobile, possibly not in an original factory color.


What is odd about the famed DL HOTEL MONORAIL BAR - “right at the Monorail Station!!” Is that you would think it was all sleek and contemporary inside decorated with swooping views of the Monorail in action or DL Monorail concept art … but it was not. The interior graphics inside were all old timey …. With framed artwork of streetcars and Horsecars & cable cars . The central bar was made to look like a streetcar with stain glass clerestory above the bartenders and guests sitting on stools around the “streetcar’s” two sides . The front of the “street car “ looked like an early Powell & Mason street San Francisco cable car with a center round light and hand painted scroll lettering reading “ THE MONORAIL BAR” the booth seats featured 1900 style rr lanterns and the lounge seating had electric “gas lights” advertising of the day says “watch the monorails glide by” ….. however with the exception of the glass and aluminum entry doors and side transoms ….. there doesn’t appear to be any other windows so you could really only get monorail views at the very end streetcar bar seats or while exiting the space .

Some people have said the hotel monorail platform had monorail
Attraction posters displayed … and it’s possible but I’ve seen no evidence as they do not appear in documentation photos from 1968 and 1973. However after the 1978 monorail station remodel wood vertical paneling and new lighting fixtures were added and three attraction poster frames displaying (2) 1977 Jim
Michaelson DL RR posters and (1) 1978 pre opening announcement Big Thunder Mt. RR attraction poster - later replaced with the final 1979 Big Thunder attraction poster.

When the Disneyland Hotel renamed the coffee shop to THE MONORAIL CAFE .. monorail photos were added to the seating area and a monorail mural was added along the main interior wall. Dinners will rembember the fluted chrome trim along the ceiling overhang edge and the edges of the booth seating. A monorail attraction poster and DL Hotel attraction poster were displayed for a short time at the cafe’s interior entrance from the banquet room hallway but were removed when extra seating was added.

LTL said...

According to Oakland Tribune of May 31, 1961, the Disneyland Hotel monorail expansion will open to the public June 12th

newspaper scan here

great photos!

Nanook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nanook said...

@ LTL-
Jason's Almanac also confirms that June 12th date.

On the other hand, Don Ballard ['unofficial expert' on the history of the original Disneyland Hotel], lists the date as June 11th. (The Press Preview was on May 25th, BTW). I was hoping I could find an article from the OC Register or internal Disneyland docs. from June 1 (or 11; or 12; or...) for absolute verification - but so far, no luck.

On the other hand - again - there is a home movie dated June 10th 1961, clearly showing the Monorail leaving the DL Hotel station with passengers. So... does that mean it opened on the 1st - or simply this June 10th date indicates a 'soft opening' prior to June 12th-? Or, maybe it's misdated...

Thanks for your sleuthing - which just proves it's hard to pin these things down with absolute certitude, in many cases.

LTL said...

@ Nanook, yes, hard to get a definitive answer sometimes without a reference to official Disney docs. I was hoping to find a photo of Ribbon Cutting ceremony, but perhaps they just did the press preview and no grand opening. Interesting about that home movie.