Monday, February 05, 2024

Previously Skipped

Long ago I went through boxes of already-scanned slides, looking for examples that I'd skipped for one reason or another. And I found some that I now deem worthy of sharing!

I really don't know why I would have skipped this one, except that I might have been too picky (not a problem, these days!), and thought it was "boring". But it's a nice sunny view of Fantasyland, with fairly long lines for both the Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Motor Boats (hidden behind those trees). The blue Mark II Monorail is gliding along the beamway. The roof of Fantasyland Station is peeking up to the left. Near the horizon, we can see what is either "the 5" freeway, or perhaps an offramp.

Next is this pretty nice look at the Alice in Wonderland ride as seen from the Skyway. Yes, there are obvious issues with the photo, and it was so grainy that I decided to apply a de-graining filter in Photoshop, but now it isn't bad. Note the two Alices in the lower right corner.



Nanook said...

You undoubtedly initially passed on the 1st image as there wasn't any agreement between the floral STORY BOOK LAND and the lighthouse STORYBOOK LAND signage. The non-conformity gives me a headache just thinking about it.

I always get a kick out of that lonely Electro-Voice 'compound diffraction projector horn' (loudspeaker), just sitting on the roof of Alice, seemingly aimed at the corner parapet of the roof. I presume it was there to provide general atmospheric music to the area, but it does seem a rather ineffectual choice for a location.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

You must have been really picky on the day you skipped this one, Major. It's got a little bit of everything! Granted, there is no obvious focal point, but still...
There's a 'Nasa guy' (CM?) just to the right of the one-and-only trashcan. It looks like he's carrying a pair of white shoes. Why? And the trashcan looks like it has a Salvation Army logo on the side. I think it just says "Waste Paper", as usual.

OMG! How may Alices are there?! I guess we shouldn't be surprised; strange things do happen in Wonderland. I mean, if she can shrink and grow, then duplication is just par for the course.
This is a nice clear photo of the Alice ride; I'm keeping it, even though it's infested with caterpillars. They should have never done away with DDT.

I love poor little rescue photos, with their big soft eyes and happy grins. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

These are both post-worthy if not post-card-worthy. I like the view of the area east of Story Book Land, it’s often hard to see as it falls between the big set piece views.

Those Fantasyland trash cans did have a waste paper heraldic motif, JB. The arms of Sir Munch-a-dog of Land Fill.

Photo 2 has a very clear view of the hand-cranked rail switch used to route the caterpillars on to the siding.

Did we ever determine how the caterpillars are powered? There doesn’t seem to be any third rail or traction wheels? Do the individual caterpillars have battery power like golf carts? Where do they charge?

Thanks Major for the Two-Alice Views.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was actually wondering what that thing was on the roof of the castle, it seemed like a weird place to put a speaker so I thought maybe it was for ventilation. Now I know!

JB, I agree, both of these look pretty good to me nowadays. Ah, those NASA guys, I guess they are extinct, at Disneyland anyway. That trashcan design is one of my favorites! I think I have a photo in which we can see four Alices, which is quite a thing. You’re right, duplication seems totally likely in Wonderland.

JG, if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d love to do a survey of how many photos from my collection are taken from the Skyway. 30%? It’s a lot, at any rate. Both of today’s qualify. I’m always fascinated by the seemingly-crude track makeup for “Alice”, it looks much like dark rides going back decades before. I always assumed that the caterpillars use a third rail for power, but don’t really know. I guess that would be potentially dangerous? I have an “E-Ticket” magazine issue all about that ride (one of their last issues), it probably tells all about that.

Anonymous said...

That background in the first pic is the overpass for Harbor Blvd. And it looks like you can see cars passing under it on the freeway. That being the Santa Ana Freeway back then. The names of the Freeways are so ingrained in my memory that when I listen to traffic reports when visiting SoCal, I have to translate the numbers to the names to get my mental GPS re-calibrated. For example, that's the Harbor north to the Riverside east connecting to the Orange north to get to Fullerton State. Don't need no numbers please. KS

Nanook said...

@ JG-
Your question about the power source for the caterpillars sounds familiar, and I suspect was previously discussed on these pages - I just don't remember when that was. In spite of the 'demure' profile of the guide rail, it contains a "third rail" providing 48-volts to 1-hp motors. To quote Bob Gurr - "... with 38:1 gearing... "The Alice ride always seemed slower than the other dark rides (four feet per second), because of the heavier cars and because we used the lowest gear ratio we could put in. That was what it took to get up the incline to the ride's second floor. The minimum performance in any ride is a cold start on an incline if the ride shuts down and has to restart".

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, yes, an overpass makes sense - that one car on the freeway is now immortalized forever on GDB! I feel like I still hear references to the Santa Ana Freeway - maybe that just applies to a small stretch of the 5?

Nanook, I am very impressed that you were able to personally interview Bob Gurr for that information! ;-) I just saw Bob on Friday for that 1964 World’s Fair event, he’s still sharp as a tack and full of beans!

Stu29573 said...

Mind officially blown!
Wonderland really is a curious place, I suppose.
These are keepers in my book (and I DO have a book)

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, thanks for the answer on the caterpillar power. I know I have posed the question before, but did not recall the answer, or if there was one. Perhaps that response was posted in a thread that I didn't revisit. Sometimes that happens.

The low voltage third rail makes sense, not wanting to electrocute the CM's or guests, as does the low gearing. The incline is certainly not noticeable (to me at least) and I am always surprised at coming outside on the second floor, even though I have probably gone through nearly a hundred times.

Studying that picture more closely on a bigger screen, I notice there is a "well" in the roof behind the final scene of Alice. It looks like there is a side-wall mounted exhaust fan, or maybe a light fixture in the well (look just below the blue skyway bucket #37). Was this area a service yard for the FAN food service? Maybe a trash can area?

Thanks again, Major.


Nanook said...

@ JG-
Good eye on that 'dead area'. Presume prior to the 1984 make-over of Alice, that 'L-shaped' portion of the building was storage [and service] area for the caterpillars; so that indistinguishable wall-mounted "thing" could be a fan or a light, of some sort. And that outdoor "well" could've been a service yard for Fan 2. (Just need to get 'back up in the sky' and peer down [prior to the remodel] to answer that question...) That 'squarish-looking pink box' appended to the 'circus tent roof' might be a compressor/condenser unit for something in Fan 2, also.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Pic #1: Yellow sharks!

Pic #2: I LOVE 'Alices in Wonderland' ride!

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, I wish I could find that photo where you can see FOUR Alices!

JG, I agree with you about not noticing the incline, I literally just rode that attraction two weeks ago and had the same experience. “When did we go up??”. It’s a pretty neat trick. The ride also broke down on me another time, but my vehicle hadn’t event gotten to the tunnel, so they walked me off and I didn’t get to see anything cool. Like you, also noticed that area near FAN2, and wondered what it was. I assume that it is now part of that last scene of the revamped ride.

Nanook, I wonder if I can find a “straight-down” aerial view that might help with figuring out what that area held? I’ll have to do it later when I have more time, and of course there are no guarantees, but I’d love to take a look.

Lou and Sue, as you noticed, the sharks are gone now!

Nanook said...

@ JG #2-
Looking thru Daveland images of that area from the 1958-1959 area it's clear that "well area' was open. And prior to the construction of Alice, there was a fenced-in area - presumably for Fan 2 - as that's all that was there. LOOK HERE.

When perusing thru The "E" Ticket earlier, I found one of their Wings Over Disneyland images encompassing all of Fantasyland, taken in November, 1964, revealing what appeared to be a 'stepped covering' of that 'well area'. I found a close-up image from September, 1965 HERE, giving you a better idea of how that area changed over time.