Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Photos From the Dream Team

It is somehow comforting to still be able to share photos from our friend Irene (along with her brother Bruce and his friend James). I admit that at this point I am kind of drawing them out so that they will last longer, but of course, nothing lasts forever.

In any case, I have four photo scans for you today - none of them dated, which is always a bit frustrating, but I believe that these are all from the mid-to-late 1990s. 

First up is this shot of a blue Mark VII Autopia vehicle, a CM appears to be leading the little car over to the guide rail, where the driver can race without any worry about collisions. You'd think that the cars would already be on the guide rail - unless they were adding more cars to the rotation? The Mark VII cars were replaced in 1999, so we know this photo was no later than that year.

Next is a fun picture showing dastardly Prince John from “Robin Hood” (1973), pacing the entry courtyard. He is striking a Shakespearian pose! A few guests look like they want to approach him... but maybe not? Inside the east tunnel we can just see a poster...

... this one! "Wonders of China" was originally from EPCOT, but played in the Circle-Vision Theater from 1984 through 1996. 

The last two photos were taken on an overcast day, and feature Cascade Peak. It was already in a state of decline, but still made for an impressive "natural wonder" on the Rivers of America. It's weird how the top cascade appears to be falling at a strange angle. But at least all of the falls were on - never a guarantee in those days. As you can see, this is the side of CP where the old Mine Train would have run right past these falls...

... while this side is where the Mine Train would have run behind the falls. Cascade Peak was demolished in the Fall of 1998, my guess is that these photos were taken shortly before that sad event.

MANY THANKS to the Dream Team!



To the left of the WONDERS OF CHINA attraction poster is the 1976 JUNGLE CRUISE poster .. and next to that is the 1977 DISNEYLAND RAILROAD poster. The attraction posters in the tunnels from the mid 70’s until the early 90’s were mounted on 1/16th thick anodized aluminum…. Then a mat was placed around to make up for the space of the smaller posters in the old 53”x36” frames. Later posters like 1993 Small World and Splash Mountain were mounted on foamcore.

JB said...

1) The exposure flares give this photo added excitement! The red car looks to be plasma powered! And there must have been a wreck up ahead, setting that tree on fire!

2) Is that the Lilly Belle train car with the fancy curtains in the windows? Looks like there is a flock of strollers off to the right, waiting for the right moment to attack. They're like piranhas; not a pretty sight.

3 I've never seen the Wonders of China poster before. I like how the emperor's(?) robe is made up of scenes that we (apparently) will see in the movie.

4) I think the strange angle of the upper falls is because it's facing us more directly, unlike the other falls which are facing slightly to the left. Or maybe there was a strong wind blowing that day. ;-)

5) The well-established trees and shrubs make Cascade Peak look as small as it really is. Not a mountain peak at all; just a knoll.

Major, thanks for rationing Irene's photos out like this. We can pretend she, and the rest of the Dream Team, are still with us here on GDB.

Bu said...

The Autopia photo defies a bit of logic: the guest theoretically would have not got got on the car from beyond the traditional load station: and "adding a car" with the guest actually in a car seems a bit suspect. Maybe our resident Autopia employee can weigh in. Something is up. Sorcery. The rest of Tomorrowland still oozes a bit of '55: which is lovely to see. Prince John and the rest of that Robin Hood pack: hmm...was it a re-release? Was it the video release? Perhaps the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection Release: which went from '94-'97? Nothing is by accident n Disneyland. Prince John wasn't out there to "say hi". Speaking of re-releases: that used to be the bread and butter of $$, and in the early '80's there was talk by suits to NEVER release such things as Snow White on video, or show it on television/Disney Channel, etc. Well: that changed. I get it. We all got kind of excited to see the re-releases as they captured new generations, and were nostalgic. And the collectable world had it's share of re-release booty and ephemera. I think the only movies I see now ARE re-releases of more modern fare that my local theatre shows: like the "ABBA The Movie" '77. My T shirt in the day said "ABBA FEVER: CATCH IT!". (and I wonder why I was tortured?) Wonders of China: this was quite the thing as cameras were not allowed in mainland china until then. I spent a lot of time touring Chinese delegations around the Park. This was in the Wells days: Disney wanted those billions of people to "join the jamboree". Well: guess that worked: you are welcome. Those were very interesting tours with Chinese people who had never seen the Western world: much less a place like Disneyland. Not only did they NOT see the Western World: they ONLY saw Disneyland: deserving a of separate post. Cascade peak DOES look smaller....and a bit "furry" with its moss or ferns or intentional/unintentional plantings. They need to give it a history nod in another place: they could have worked this design in somewhere. Are there any photos of the Peak being built? Would be interesting to see the infrastructure as the Matterhorn is fascinating: someone write a book about that please: Disneyland: the Art of Building Mountains. Seems like a no brainer: maybe I'll write it myself: you heard it here first! Thanks to the Irene and the Dream Team and Major for the lovely tribute.

JG said...

Maybe the blue car had engine trouble and was being restored to the track after repairs? After all, the one in the foreground looks ready to explode.

I think we have seen pics from Bruce of the Robin Hood walk around characters before. My kids loved this movie and played the tape ad nauseum. Did you know, Robin Hood and Maid Marian get married at the end? Total surprise ending.

I think we watched this China movie on one visit with our kids, I do remember the poster anyhow.

None of the Cascade Peak views show the fire gong. Sad that dry rot was the cause of its loss. I think there may be construction photos on D*vel*nd site. The last one is rare, most guests would be looking ahead to Bear Country, not back.

Thanks Major, and to Irene and the Dream Team. They have enriched us beyond measure.


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I can give you one more detail that confirms the Autopia photo as being from '98 or '99. They cut a hole through the roof of the Tomorrowland train station, and added that silver column for the "new" Tomorrowland of '98. They just had to go and mess with EVERYTHING during that botch job of a remodel.

I was also noticing the stuff that appears to be growing out of the nooks and crannies of Cascade Peak. Are those just weeds that have sprouted up over the years?

I was very surprised that you didn't mention the film which replaced Wonders of China.....Wonders of Oxnard.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I recognized the other posters because I have copies (well, I have the Bicentennial train poster, which is similar to the 1977 version) - but I did not recognize that bright red one! I imagine that one is scarce for poster collectors.

JB, the kid in the car set that tree on fire, and he’s being led away to Disney Jail. Hey, I think you are right about that being the Lilly Belle. I know for many people it is a “bucket list” item to ride on the LB, but for some reason it isn’t that important to me. As far as I can remember, the three falls in photo #3 are always right in a row, but it does look like it’s a bit off-kilter for some reason. My buddy Mr. X always hated that they let the trees grow so large around Cascade Peak - it really did destroy the illusion of it being a “mountain”.

Bu, good point, they surely would not have added a car to the attraction while a guest was in the vehicle. Maybe the car conked out? That happened frequently! I have personal experience. I would not be surprised if “Robin Hood” was in rerelease - it’s often shocking to see how much money those features could bring in, no wonder the studio continued to do so up until the video era. I still remember going to see “Pinocchio” with my grandma, just because she was spontaneous and said, “Let’s go see it!”. Little kids in line stared at me, wondering why I was there, ha ha. There was an ABBA movie? I’m sure it’s great. Is there lots of madcap running around? It must have been a bizarre thing for a person from China to see Disneyland with no context. “This is how all of America is!”. I wish! I do have a few photos of Cascade Peak under construction, maybe I’ll email one to you, if you are good.

JG, yes, I was thinking that if the car did have engine trouble, it might be safer to move the vehicle with the driver off to the side and THEN let the kid out, so that he would not be squished by a zealous driver. I don’t remember pix from Bruce showing Prince John, but then again, I forget a LOT. I think we can see the gong in the last photo, it looks like a brown dot to the left of the upper falls.

TokyoMagic!, ah, interesting, that’s a detail about the Tomorrowland Train Station that I was not aware of. The column appears to have signage, couldn’t that have gone somewhere else?? I have to admit that, although the tried, they did not do a great job with that one. I’ll bet those plants ARE weeds, the poor mountain was so neglected by that point that nobody cared. It’s as if they willed it to fall apart. Not many people remember Wonders of Oxnard, but it was quickly removed because China thought that it overshadowed their film. The images of the outlet mall were STUNNING.

Anonymous said...

I wish that I had more information to add about the Autopia car being added to the track, but I have no idea why this is being done. I could understand a troublesome vehicle being removed. I recall seeing the mechanics there during the day periodically, but most repairs were done after hours.

I see that Major already mentioned the fire gong showing up in the last picture (looking like a large brown M&M candy).

Thanks to the Dream Team & Major for the photos today.


Melissa said...

I would be so excited to see Prince John at the park!


All three of the 80’s Circle Vision posters feature multiple scenes from the film divided into single image … AMERICAN JOURNEY’S ( an American Bald Eagle ) MAGIC CARPET ‘ROUND THE WORLD ( a globe) and WONDERS OF CHINA ( 3rd Century poet Li Vie - the host of the film) . The WONDERS OF CHINA poster comes in PSA , DELTA and generic . The Chinese characters on the poster mistakenly reads “UNUSUAL ODDITIES OF CHINA “ and not “Wonders of China “ . It was corrected on the EPCOT CENTER signage … but never the poster. At one time the WONDERS IF CHINA poster could be had for a few hundred dollars …. As it was not very popular … but now it is rare to find … and the cost reflects that now .

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, thank you for sharing these "Irene and The Dream Team" photos.
Forever in our hearts and a part of GDB.