Sunday, February 25, 2024


Today's Snoozles are well-lit, and reasonably crisp and clear; they're just a little lacking in excitement. Looking at them, you might think that they are from 1955 or '56, but they are from 1960. Maybe it was Winter, and that's why the Mickey floral portrait is devoid of blossoms. But if so, why is Main Street Station festooned with red, white, and blue bunting? Festooned, I say! Pop quiz: how many objects from Kalamazoo can you see in this photo? 

It's not quite 10 o'clock in the morning, perhaps the park hasn't even opened yet (though there are a few people up on the platform). Population 21 million? The lines are going to be looooonnnng! 


Nanook said...

Unlike Friday's image where the concrete wall appeared to have just been spiffied-up with a pressure washer, today's image looks a bit long in the tooth, what with all those rust and water stains on-display.

And there's the top of the America the Beautiful [in CirCARama] attraction poster.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Poor Mickey, he's a ghost of his former self. The stained retaining wall and foreground pavement make the entrance to Disneyland look like the Los Angeles River. Is there any other (winter) occasion that would account for the festooned bunting? If not, then, like you said, why is Mickey looking so pale in summer?
If I cross my eyes I can see two objects from Kalamazoo.

I could tell from looking at these two images that they would probably make a good (cross your eyes) stereoscopic pair. So I pasted them into my photo editing program, cropped one of them so they showed the same part of the scene, and wallah! It worked! A really nice 3D image.

Pretty good Snoozles, Major. (JB says, as he stifles a yawn.)

JG said...

The little wall is looking pretty rough. Needs a good wash, a coat of paint, or maybe red brick veneer.

When did the posters disappear? Or have they not yet appeared?

I could imagine this early spring to account for the blossom-free plantings, maybe the bunting is for Washington’s Birthday?

Why was the handcar from Kalamazoo? Was that the birthplace of handcars? Were they invented there, or fabricated there? Or did they move there from someplace further East in hopes of a better life for them and their offspring? How did it come to rest in Disneyland as an honored part of the railway collection? Perhaps Steve DeGaetano knows?

Thanks Major!


JG said...

I know I’ve commented this before, but studying photo 1 brings it back again.

There are several plumes of rusty water staining the wall.

A couple them are aligned with the metal fence posts set in the wall. These are undoubtedly cracks in the concrete where the posts are set in. The post hole might have been cast with the wall using a void form (soda pop cans are popular), or drilled in later, and the cracking arose when the hole was too big to allow “enough” concrete on each side of the hole. How much is “enough”? It varies but usually 2 inches minimum should be provided, also sometimes a small piece of reinforcing steel (a “hairpin”) is hooked around the post and wired into the wall reinforcement to strengthen against lateral movement of the fence post.

I’m not sure what is causing the other plumes, but I will guess that the reinforcement curtain in the wall is too close to the concrete surface at random locations and shrinkage cracking has opened pathways for water to enter and corrode the steel. Again, usually the result of insufficient concrete cover over the bars to resist cracking from lateral movement under load or curing stresses.

Thank you for listening to my TED talk on retaining wall design.


Bu said...

Mickey is just at the beginning of the planting season. I remember the landscaping guys would re-plant the gold/blue yellow/purple et. al. Tomorrowland planters (RIP) and they would look this same way after planting. In a week: they would be lush. I am jealous of California and it's botanic abundance. I walked the property today as we head into the official start of Spring and said "ugh" as there is still snow on the ground, and underneath is a hot bed of fallen sticks/etc. that will need to be cleaned up. Those rust stains clearly COULD have been cleaned...or perhaps...they didn't have the chems yet to clean it (?) They certainly DO clean up nice when they do. A 22 Million "in-park" would be probably untenable. I forget the highest day of attendance in DL history: but now I think they aggregate numbers from both parks (?) Who knows: whatever makes it look good to the stockholders. This actually may be the start of the Summer season: with the festooning and all....didn't the park open at 9am at some point....which explains the peoples at the train station and earlier in the season the crowds would be spartan. This was the BEST time to visit the park, as it would operate at full capacity but the crowds weren't heavy yet, and all the attractions would be open. Sooooo....simple math: more attractions open: more capacity: more places to put people....less waiting in line. Summer was awesome that way as you SLOWLY built up the stamina to July 4th (cray cray) and then rode the wave through August (cray cray + extra extra hot). The Christmas season was much different: there was no build so your body was just thrust into extreme crowds overnight, and it was clunky. Everyone got in their groove by the time the season was over a few weeks later...then everyone basically went down to 20 hours a week...only to slowly build up the start of summer again. This is why when they hired Holiday seasonals they would melt down more easily than in Summer when there is an actual learning curve you could go through. Of course, by end of Summer: when it winds down: you are so very much looking forward to an empty October....with the guest tolerance level a bit more acceptable. Now I pine for a busy summer day at my popcorn wagon. Thanks Major for the Snozzle...snoozle. (tm)

Nanook said...

@ JG-
Maybe someone else knows the date when the AP's along the fence were 86'd, but thanks to Lou, we know their appearance was just past Mid-June, 1956.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, did people use pressure washers back in those days? Maybe some poor soul had to scrub that wall with a stiff brush and oxalic acid. Good eye on that poster!

JB, yeah, that stained wall looks pretty bad, I’m surprised that Walt would allow it to get to that state. Or that his underlings would. I can’t imagine that they would use patriotic bunting any time other than the 4th of July, but maybe Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day would work too. Whoa, did these really work as a 3D pair? I’m amazed. I’m not going to attempt it because I don’t like the way it makes my eyes feel.

JG, they should coat that wall with Elmer’s Glue, and then apply a thick coat of glitter. So pretty! Check out my website for more home hints. Nanook pointed out the portion of that America the Beautiful poster, they are just out of frame in these pix. As for the Kalamazoo Handcar, I can only assume that it was manufactured in that great city. Help, Steve DeGaetano!

JG, ha ha, your TED talk has set the Internet on fire! People love rust stains and rust stain-related talk. THE TRUTH ABOUT RUST STAINS! Now I know everything about the subject, and can charge $300 an hour as a consultant. Thank you!

Bu, I guess I always assumed that the landscapers would have tons of already-blooming pansies (or whatever those flowers are) backstage so that they could replace faded blossoms with fresh ones. In a jiffy! But I guess only I am brilliant enough to have such an idea. It’s quite a burden to be an expert on rust stains AND landscaping, but I must bear it with dignity. Before the park opened (I was there at rope drop in January), I watched some landscapers doing some last-minute tree trimming, literally just before the big “Ladies and gentlemen” announcement. And then they skedaddled, no sign that they had ever been there. Perhaps I imagined the whole thing. I think I have heard about high-attendance days at around 60,000 people, which sounds miserable. That might have been for a special event, such as Sandy Duncan’s birthday. I have to say that my two recent visits made me appreciate the cast members, as a rule I found them to be helpful and nice - not easy with the sheer number of people they have to deal with every day. I’m sure I would be grumpy as hell. I would be one of the holiday seasonals who would LOSE IT. Thanks, Bu!

Nanook, I did once know when the posters were removed from the front fence (moved to the Monorail pylons), it might have been 1967-ish. But that’s just a guess at this moment. It might have been a few years later.

Melissa said...

Before there was Toon Town, there was FesToon Town.

Steve DeGaetano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve DeGaetano said...


The handcar was built by the Kalamazoo Manufacturing Company of Kalamazoo, MI, which was founded in 1883. This particular handcar is a Model 6, which sold for $285.00 in 1955. The Model 6 is the narrow-gauge version of the Model 1.

There are multiple stories about how the handcar got to Disneyland. Was it a gift from Jerry Best? Did Kalamazoo give it to Walt? Even Dave Smith in the Archives was unable to locate any documentation about the handcar when I asked him about years ago. Either way, it showed up sometime between opening day and March 1956.

And one last thing about Kalamazoo I bet you didn't know: I've got a gal there.


For 10k you can still purchase the Kalamazoo handcar today … you can also select narrow or standard gauges . It’s shipped crated and needs to be assembled .. specialty paint jobs are also available.

The attraction posters on the front fence began to be removed in the very early 70’s … however one on both side ends were kept into the late 80’s … these were used to showcase new attractions … I hade pictures with Jungle Cruise , Space Mountain … Pinocchio’s Daring Journey and Snow White’s Scary Adventures displayed in them. In 1992 two of the attraction poster display cases used at DL Paris were installed on the exterior “stone” block tunnel
Masonry… firsts showcasing the Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square …using an exhibit poster sold at the gallery enhanced by the sign shop . Later in 1993 these poster cases displayed the new “Mattel” small world attraction poster … the very last silkscreened Disneyland attraction poster ever produced .

Silkscreened attraction posters continued to be produced till 1995 in other parks when Marty Sklar shut the WDI screening department down as a cost cutting measure. Sadly Marty had the WED screening crested equipment sold to a printing company in New Jersey before many of the screening technicians were notified they were being let go.

JB said...

JG, I was glued to my seat reading your retaining wall talk. Will there be a follow-up; perhaps on drainage grates? CAN'T WAIT!! ;-)

Bu, sounds like your popcorn wagon is your "Rosebud".

Major, maybe the bunting was for Washington's (or Lincoln's) Birthday, like JG said? And yeah the 3D turned out well. Although I had to shrink the images down considerably to get them side-by-side (and to make it easier on the eyes).

Anonymous said...

Steve, thank you very much for the handcar info! One of my personal Disney highlights was “touching” the hand car with my very own hand during the Wookiee World shutdown of DLRR in 2017.

JB, stay tuned for my lecture on drainage, in general it is very well handled in the Park.


Anonymous said...

Major, after that post, my inbox is on fire with consulting offers for retaining wall design. Will you be available for joint consultation on glitter application? $300/hr is an absolute floor for this type of work. LMK via DM.