Friday, February 16, 2024

On the Freeway, and Buying Tickets - October 1965

I have an unusual view to start with today - a photo taken by somebody with a speedy shutter finger as they drive along Interstate 5 toward Disneyland. The traffic is light! Since I was unsure as to whether our driver was heading North or South (the United Airlines building to the right might be a clue for somebody out there), I wasn't sure what time of day it was. The warm tone says "afternoon", but film can fool you. In any case, there is that fun billboard telling us that Disneyland is 8 MILES STRAIGHT AHEAD. The park is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Well, our group has arrived and folks are waiting in line to buy their tickets. $5 for an adult "Deluxe 15" ticket book! What a value! But I have to be honest, these people look like "Big 10 Ticket Book" types to me. Just saying. Now we can see that the sun was in the West, meaning that it is afternoon. Meaning that they were driving South in the first photo. I'm a regular Sherlock Homey!



Nanook said...

That first image belongs in that 'special place in our minds' we all would feel, anticipation building with each passing mile, heading for "The Happiest Place On Earth"-!

And not to beat a dead horse, ah-hem... but to re-affirm some 'data' from yesterday's post [admittedly, as seen here, from a fairly early date] please note the operating hours caveat: OPEN Wednesdays thru Sundays.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Those power lines make it look like Mickey is doing a high wire act on that billboard... with a unicycle yet! Although, it looks like his unicycle has slipped off the wire!!! Maybe he's just bouncing the cycle up and down, as a dare-devil trick.

At the ticket booth, the two gents in the center are dressed alike, but they're not twins. I guess that black slacks and short-sleeve white shirt were the 'jeans and a t-shirt' "uniform" back then, at least for men of a certain age. They decided to forgo neckties, being the wild-and-crazy-guys that they are.

It's unusual to see a photo of that billboard from the freeway. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I LOVE that first image! Based on the warehouses to the right, I believe that we are heading south on the 5 fwy. Also, I believe that tall building off in the distance and in the haze (to the left of the freeway), is the Nabisco plant, which opened in 1965. It might not have been open yet, and that might be why we can't see the giant letters on the building, spelling out "NABISCO."

I'm also guessing that green freeway sign on the right shoulder, says something to the effect of, "Knott's Berry Farm Next Exit," since Knott Ave. would have been the next exit at this point. (There wasn't a Beach Blvd. exit off of the freeway, until several decades later.) And that also corresponds with the message on the "Eight Miles Ahead" message on the DL billboard, since the Knott Ave. off ramp is approximately 7 miles from the Harbor Blvd./Disneyland offramp.

Thanks for these fun pics, Major!

Chuck said...

Even before reading TM!'s comment I thought that green highway sign said something like "KNOTT AVE - BUENA PARK - NEXT RIGHT." A look at the November 1965 Orange County phone directory shows that United Outdoor Advertising was located at 14400 E. Firestone Blvd in La Mirada, which would have put it right next to the 5, about 8.3 miles from the old Harbor Blvd gate to the Parking Lot.

I can relate to the guy at the ticket window, carrying both a movie camera and a still film camera. I remember doing something similar (albeit with a video camera) at WDW in 2004. And now we have pocket-sized contraptions that capture both motion and still media, plus allow us to make phone calls, send messages, keep up with the news, and look at vintage pictures of Disneyland taken by both movie cameras and still film cameras.

Now I am filled with a sense of anticipation and excitement for the rest of the day. I'm sure it won't be as epic as a day at Disneyland, but we are expecting temps to drop to 18° F tonight after hours of sleet followed by up to 3 inches of snow. Glad I set up the tent in the backyard last night.

Bu said...

Let's beat that horse: yes indeed: the Park was closed generally Monday and Tuesday: with some variances in the early early days....the question is: when did, and what spurned the notion of "open every day" in the early/mid 80's....orrrrr.....perhaps the park ended it's Summer season...and the thought MAY have been (I speculate) "maybe we CAN be open 7 days and still make money" and "is it really bad show to see guys painting/planting flowers?" and "what jobs can we push to graveyard: like digging up sidewalks and what not to make this work?" I know who knows, and maybe I will reach out to him to get the real story. This decision was absolutely not made in a vacuum so there was probably an executive committee meeting (many of them) where it was discussed ad nauseam. Emphasis on nauseam. Next question: which may have dictated the Disneyland decision: WAS: WDW Magic Kingdom open 7 days? If so: this would have been(I speculate) a Dick Nunis thing to say "World (what we called it) is open 7 days! Why can't Disneyland be open 7 days?! DO IT NOW!" That was his style. (I speculate) If it WAS an Eisner/Wells decision, it would have been spreadsheeted to death with ROI's and every penny being scrubbed one against another to ensure a profit, AND the longevity and growth over a 5/10/20 year time. Speaking of that: for a Deluxe 15 ticket book in 1965, the price would be 49.16 today. Still kind of pricy, however add $100 to that for today's experience on a top range day. That WAS an Eisner thing stating that the price of admission should rival the cost of a Broadway show. And even with Broadway tickets normally reaching $150 +++ they STILL don't really make a dime: some do...and it does employ a vast amount of people: so all good. Some things should be done for culture and love and not purely for a profit. My .02 only. The road leading to Disneyland: yes: right: going south, right before the now "Beach Blvd" approaching the unbuilt 91 and the Nabisco factory. You knew when they were making Oreos: you could smell it by this point on this stretch. That was my commute every day. Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook summed up that first pic perfectly. From there, be on the lookout for the Matterhorn. I remember heading down I-5 and how the sighting of the Matterhorn from the freeway always filled me with excitement and anticipation.

Thanks, Major

Stefano said...

Thanks Major, the freeway Disneyland billboards were almost as good as the attraction posters.
The first photo brought back the rising excitements for a kid traveling on the 405 before connecting to the Garden Grove: Castle Golf in Redondo Beach, which was pretty spectacular looking; a grown-up golf course with one of those 20 feet -high genies modified into a man holding a golf club; Western Exterminators (!), with large statues of the the top-hatted man and his mouse victim. Somewhere in this mix was a Disneyland billboard, advertising the newest ride.

This childhood memory is hazy, but returning to Southern California from some desert region, I was thrilled to see a billboard for Pirates of the Caribbean, about 4 or 5 years after it opened.

On park operating hours: as an avid brochure collector, I recall that through the early '70s, the Knott's foldout said the park was open every day of the year, except Christmas Day.

JG said...

Yes, What. Ken. Said. That first glimpse of the Matterhorn! And especially on a day when you weren’t going into the Park till the next morning. So. Near. Yet. So. Far.

Major, I see others more familiar with the ground have anlready identified location and direction, but I knew immediately the direction of travel was “forward” because of my powerful observation skills.

The collection of ticket buyers resemble any number of Dad’s friends and neighbors, especially the gent to the right looking over the Pink Lady’s shoulder. He looks exactly like a guy who had a farm about 3 miles west of ours. I hope they had a great day in Disneyland and went home to show pictures and plan future trips with their children and grandchildren.

Bu, thanks for that exposition, very interesting. “Cost of a Broadway Show…”! Egad, I’m too embarrassed to share what our last B-way tickets cost, but a day in Disneyland doesn’t approach it… …yet. the exhibit in the Broadway Museum noted that the industry brings over a Billion Dollars to New York City in ticket sales, with knock-on multipliers in food and hospitality sales. So the shows may not make much for the promoters, but are a vital industry for others.

Thanks Major, much appreciated.


dennis said...

I guess the guy on the left with all the cameras is the person who took the first picture. A real shutter-bug!
Dennis, Levittown NY

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, don’t be silly, they aren’t heading to Tijuana, they’re heading to Disneyland! But I understand the mixup. And yes, in my text I note the “Open Wednesday thru Sundays” part.

JB, Mickey should never ride a unicycle on high-tension power lines. I learned the hard way. You might be right about the “NASA” look being almost like a t-shirt and jeans. Come on guys, wear shorts with those long black socks, at least!

TokyoMagic!, ah, good eye, I agree on the Nabisco building! Always an important landmark on the drive down to Anaheim. Cool that it opened in 1965. Even squinting and standing on my head I can’t quite read that freeway sign, but I would be happy if it was for exiting to Knott’s!

Chuck, huh, you’d think I’d actually look at my own photos; “United Outdoor Advertising”, that would have helped me! You get all credit. And I will have to turn in my deerstalker cap and calabash pipe. No more “Sherlock Homey”. I noticed the guy with the movie camera AND the regular camera… I’ll bet his family had to wait patiently while he got the perfect shots of the Monorail or the Horse Drawn Streetcar. 18 degrees at night, holy moly!!

Bu, it seems amazing now, but there was a time when Disneyland was practically begging locals to come to the park. They had all kinds of special events as incentives, and special pricing deals. Hard to imagine. “I know who knows”… you know Michael Eisner?? Good question about WDW, I feel like it must have always been open 7 days a week, since people often traveled far to get there, and stayed multiple days. Even now it seems like I hear of regular visitors staying for five days or more. $$$$$! I have the Dick Nunis book (thanks to my friend who gave me his copy), but I need to read it - maybe he talks about WDW, though my friend was disappointed that there wasn’t more talk about the parks in general. It’s amazing to think that the parking structures alone probably bring in over a million dollars a day now. As prices at the park continued to rise and rise, I remember folks on message boards defending the decision by comparing a visit to Disneyland with a ticket to the Super Bowl. Um, I think those are two very different events, but what do I know? Wow, I don’t ever remember being able to smell cookies being made at the Nabisco factory, but I sure wish I had!

K. Martinez, I never see the Matterhorn anymore, it’s overwhelmed by tall hotels and such. I think I could see some of the rock formations from Galaxy’s Edge before anything else. It’s OK, but I feel a little sad for kids who don’t get that same thrill that we did.

Stefano, there were so many wonderful places for families to go and have fun back in those days; Japanese Deer Park, the Alligator Farm, Movieland Wax Museum, “Planes of Fame, Cars of Stars”, Jungleland, Santa’s Village, Knott’s, and on and on. It was pretty great! I wonder if I’ve seen a photo of the “Pirates” billboard? Not sure. I have a few Knott’s brochures, but they are in a box along with about 300 other random paper items, so they aren’t easy to look at; so thanks for looking at your own brochures!

JG, living somewhat locally, I almost never stayed in a hotel to go to Disneyland. It wasn’t until the 2000s when my niece and nephew were visiting that we finally got a hotel somewhere to the east of the park. It wasn’t a nice place, but we didn’t care that much, since we had two full days at the park! I feel like those people in line look like they came from Central Casting. “Looking for: typical suburbanite in mid-60s Southern California”. The few Broadway shows I’ve seen have been thanks to that TKTS place - and we saw some “meh” shows, though we did enjoy a “42nd Street” revival. I didn’t know there was a Broadway Museum, I’d love to visit it someday!

dennis, you might be right!

Anonymous said...

Once again, the "crowdsource of GDB" comes up with the answers. So much of the Santa Ana Freeway looked like this back then. And it's likely there's smog in that haze. The Disney billboard is in itself 'quaint'. What a jarring contrast to today's view. KS


Walt Disney World was always open 7 days a week from the start … minus some storm/weather closings. One thing however is that while it was open 7 days a week it closed very early … often right at dusk. In fact the magic kingdom had very little lighting beyond the castle and Main Street USA. Rolly Crump talks about this executive decision. Holidays and weekends were exceptions … but it as felt the majority of WDW visitors would be older and not care to stay too late. In 1972 WDW started “Main Street extended” hours and it offered all the Main Street vehicles and WDW RR round trips only. In 1974 an exterior lighting program was completed to start keeping The Magic Kingdom open later. During most of the first half of the 70’s WDW fireworks were only scene by resort guests and sometimes Main St. extension night guests. WDW had very little for resort guests to do after the park closed at night as well Other than lounge shows and electrical water pageant . The luau cove was extended but mostly by 9 pm it was bed time.

Eventually WDW guests were heading into downtown Orlando for nite tune activity… enough so Disney came up with many trials and tests to keep guests on property …. WDW VILLAGE … extended magic kingdom hours - called E TICKET Nites … selected major attractions would remain open for 1-2 hours after official park closing . Ultimately this lead to the development of PLEASURE ISLAND ….Eisners plan to keep late nite guests on property till midnight at lest …. And how do you do that ?? The Pleasure Island “new years Eve midnight countdown “ done EVERY NIGHT!

JG said...

Major, here is the museum link, website etc on Googel maps


TokyoMagic! said...

Stefano, that's interesting about the Knott's brochure information regarding operating hours. I wonder if they decided to close on Wednesdays and Thursdays much later than Disney's decision to close on Mondays and Tuesdays. Or maybe that info on their brochures was referring to their outdoor shopping and dining area (now called the Knot's Marketplace), and not the park itself. I was hired in March of '82, and at that time, the park was closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the off season, but the shopping and dining area was open 7 days a week, with the exception of Christmas Day.