Thursday, March 07, 2024


I love randos! They're not quite Leftuggies, but only the most brilliant physicists can determine the difference anyway. So don't worry about it. Both of these are undated, but likely from sometime in the mid-1960s.

This first one is shows a view inside Fantasyland, looking at the west end of the Castle, with the Dumbo attraction to our left. I'm intrigued by that doorway near the top of the castle wall - perhaps it allowed maintenance access to the roof. What would have been out of frame to our right? My guess: restrooms. People just have that, "I'm heading to the bathroom" body language! 

Next is this nice view of a Casey Jr. Circus Train, as seen from a Skyway gondola, right outside the Chalet station. A friendly fellow throws us a wave, which is mighty neighborly of him. If you look closely you can see Cinderella's pumpkin coach on the roadway up to her castle. 



Very unusual Fantasyland view …. Interesting that the doorway at the top of the stairs features a very “UN medieval” utility door … with a square window.

Nanook said...

Restrooms... Check. I'm willing to bet that 'mystery doorway' heads off to the projection booth for the Fantasyland Theatre.

That guy waving was just predicting a policy in the 1970's - and maybe beyond - of [at least] Six Flags Over Georgia, instructing all of their staff to wave at passengers in the train circling the park. I still remember on a 1977 trip watching a female staff member waving with one hand while buckling-in a guest with her other hand. Definitely multi-tasking.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

The big, plump, red, mouse-ear balloon really elevates this picture to a higher level. Not a lot going on in this photo, but it has excellent color and lighting. And we rarely see this side of the Castle. Well obviously, that door leads to the churro mines.

Yep, there's the Pumpkin Coach. Or maybe a grounds keeper ate his lunch up there and accidently left his orange behind. Excellent lighting in this shot as well.

Very nice Randos, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

I also vote for the mystery door being the entry into the projection room of the FL Theater. And I believe you are correct, Major, that the bathrooms are to the right. We can see one doorway for either "Princes" or "Princesses." The other would be out of frame. And I believe we can see an arch design in the Castle wall, on the far right, which would have been above the drinking fountains that were located between the bathrooms.

I don't think that guy in the second pic is waving. He has something in his hand. I think it's his cell phone and he is filming the entire ride, as people do. He would've used a selfie stick, but those are verboten in the Happiest Place On Earth.

Bu said...

That door led to a break room if I remember correctly before this piece of Fantasyland was destroyed. Possibly the projection room was through here, but in the depths of my memory I am seeing the access inside of the theatre. I remember seeing that projection room during either a Disneyland drama club thing, or a Disneyland Film Club thing: the theatre was used for both of those things and more. I DO remember walking up that stairwell however: Fantasyland did not have a proliferate amount of break rooms: one behind Storybook, and this one. Disneyland itself had a lot of break rooms: this was mentioned during orientation as your "guides" would point out the many break rooms around the park. One green bean bright eyed and bushy tailed newbie employee said "wow: there are a LOT of break rooms!" "We must be about the get really tired!"....little did he know that that would be EXACTLY true. The guide (University Area Tour Guide) said that during the Reagan Governor period in CA, it was mandated that men and women got SEPARATE break rooms: hence many many break rooms: I've never investigated this: but it made sense as there were many break rooms right next to each other: and here in Fantasyland perhaps Storybook was for the girls and above the restrooms were for the boys. All these people in pic #1 DO seem to be headed to the head. The body language is saying so. People walking with intent. I am wondering who the person was to tell Walt et al how many restrooms were needed per capita, and where they might be located. The mind boggles. Nowadays: there are zoning/permitting laws that dictate these things. It's a little off-putting that Disney Parks restrooms do not have mirrors above their sinks: this is to cut down the time people spend washing their hands or primping (?) Airports don't seem to have an issue with that, so I am unclear. Always looks like "something is missing" to me. It is: the mirror. Interesting view of Casey Jr. with Man with Hand in Air. How did he know to pose at exactly the right time? Boggles the mind. The little pumpkin is such a nice tiny detail that you really have to look to find it. Storyboookland, er Story Book Land, er StoryBook Land: is wonderful. It would be a tremendous shame if it was TRE'd. Thanks Major for the Rando's: presented by Snoozles (tm).

Stefano said...

Lombard Street in San Francisco has nothing on the road to Cinderella's Castle, which is steeper and sharper and allows for two-way traffic.

The proximity of the restrooms to Welch's Grape Juice reminds me of the opening day story that a plumbers' strike meant choosing bathrooms over drinking fountains, with the charge that the lack of fountains was to stimulate soft drink sales. Walt replied that "People can have their Pepsi but they can't p-- in the streets".

K. Martinez said...

Love the first pic. It's places like this that I loved at Disneyland. Tucked away from the main thoroughfare. Thanks, Major.

JG said...

I think Tokyo has it worked out. My memory is the same, restrooms in the remote corner. I have no idea about the door high in the wall however. Behind the trees to the right is Rainbow Caverns Show Building cleverly disguised as a blank wall with attraction posters. This area eventually filled in with souvenir booths and caricature artists before the renovation.

Bu is correct, the California Plumbing Code has requirements for calculating fixture counts for both Princes and Princesses depending on the occupant load of the facility. I’ve done this routine many times. Standards are different for men and women, there are offsets for urinals which don’t apply to the women’s rooms, and more toilets are required in the ladies. These proportion rules have been drastically revised in recent code changes to provide greater fixture counts for the ladies. Anyone who has been to a stadium built more than 20 years ago will notice that the old code proportions were inadequate because men write the plumbing codes. Requirements for spacing of facilities are more vague and subject to the interpretation of the designer, and now, also to accessibility (ADA) codes as well.

I imagine that spacing and location of restrooms at the Park were subject to some negotiation with City officials since the “zoning” of occupant loads between lands could be somewhat subjective. This is the case with other big facilities as well.

Stefano, that is a funny quote with a faint hint of Apocrypha about it, like all the best Walt quotes. If he didn’t say it, then he should have.

I never thought about the omission of mirrors in the Park but it makes sense. Mirrors are omitted now in schools because of vandalism, along with lots of other civilized amenities.

I love the photo of Casey/SBL, guy wearing his Frank Sinatra straw hat and feeling no pain. I bet he has a flask of bourbon in his pocket. I wish I could spend a whole day alternating between riding Casey and the Canal Boats, bourbon or not.

Thanks Major!


Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I have to admit that I wondered why they didn’t make that door in the shape of a gothic arch, or something else more appropriate.

Nanook, it seems odd to me that they made the access to the projection booth (for the Fantasyland Theatre) on the outside of the building like that. Maybe it was an afterthought? I see lots of cast members at Disneyland waving at me when I’m on the DLRR, or even on the Mark Twain, I assume that they are encouraged to do so? It’s not just Six Flags Over Georgia!

JB, that red mouse-ear balloon is “wild cherry” flavor, I just know it. I’ve never seen a wild cherry, but assume that they are dangerous. The Pumpkin Coach really does look like a tangerine left on the pathway, maybe that’s how they got the idea in the first place.

TokyoMagic!, how many places in the world can guests “go” in a castle? Far too few, in my opinion! “I feel like the King of England!”, I would loudly proclaim as… well never mind. I thought maybe the guy in the second pic was holding a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Bu, interesting if they really had a break room upstairs; I guess there is a lot of otherwise-unused “upstairs” at Disneyland? Better than having a break room in a basement, I suppose. I’ve seen photos with a small building behind Storybook Land, can that possibly be the break room you mentioned?? I mean, it looks cramped to put it mildly. I would be happy to have a job with lots of break rooms. The more, the better. And I don’t want to take a break with a girl around! Especially since I need to take off my pants to truly relax. You understand. People walking with intent to the bathrooms - I’ll never forget exiting a restroom at Disneyland, and an older man was walking in… his fly was already undone and his pants were coming down (thankfully his underwear was still in place), and he was still outside. Slow down, gramps, take your time, consider your surroundings, etc. As you know, I need mirrors so that I can make sure that my feathered hair is perfect. Of course now I have cornrows, so it’s not as big a deal.

Stefano, the royal family living in that castle would be very safe from rioting peasants. Just roll a few burning barrels of pitch at them (or whatever). I’m taking notes for when I build my hilltop castle! Walt had a good point about Pepsi, they should say that quote instead of his opening day speech.

K. Martinez, it’s funny, I know that the first photo is not amazing, but the mere fact that it is DIFFERENT is enough for fans like us!

JG, I will take your word for it re: the Rainbow Caverns show building. Was it really that close to the castle? It seems crazy. It only makes sense that there would be mathematical formulas for figuring out how many restrooms would be necessary for a place like Disneyland. It’s nice that a bathroom is never too far away. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go, and who wants to walk a quarter of a mile? I’ve read that a woman has designed many baseball stadiums, and she is a hero to females because she designs the women’s restrooms to be larger. We’ve all seen long lines at any busy location, in fact I’ve seen women give up and just go into the men’s room. Personally, I don’t care, though I know some men get apoplectic. While I have seen MANY “Walt quotes” that I don’t believe he ever said, I’ve always believed the infamous “Pepsi” quote!

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
I believe the Princess restroom is the one we can see - closer to all the Fantasyland action. (Also, the identifiers are singular for some odd reason).

@ Bu-
I would hope there was an internal stairway to the projection room - for a myriad of reasons, including daylight ingress necessitating a second door, etc. Thanks for disproving my thought.

JG said...

Re the outdoor stair to the projection booth. It’s very possible that this stair is an emergency exit only and the main access was via an internal stair.

Even in my limited career, projection booths were hazardous occupancies and had special requirements even after the highly flammable film stock was disused.


Nanook said...

@ JG-
Yes, back in the nitrate days, a projection booth had special fire requirements - including: a fire-rated enclosure and exit doors; two modes of egress; maximum dimensions on the port glass; fire-rated metal 'shutters' held-open with a chain (containing a fusible link) that was terminated in a ring. The ring for each shutter chain attached to pins located along a weighted pipe usually running the length of the front wall of the projection booth. The weighted pipe, itself, was held "up" by another fusible link, and could also be manually released by actuators adjacent to both "modes of egress", dropping all the shutters with a very loud bang.

In THIS IMAGE from the original projection booth of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, you can see the pipe, many fire shutters with their attendant chains, and the drop weight at the far left edge of the image. This was all very 'simple-basic' "engineering" relying only on heat and gravity. In the late 1970's, working with the on-campus fire marshal, [the then Melnitz Theatre, now the James Bridges Theatre] in Melnitz Hall at UCLA was allowed to screen nitrate prints by adding one, very long fire-rated, electrically-operated 'moving wall', containing both projection and view ports, that is lowered into place whenever nitrate film is either present in the booth or being projected. (Each port contains an electrically-held shutter for each opening in "the wall").

(It's a story for another day as to modifications to the projectors, the trigger(s) to the fire shutters, the specialized procedures put into place, certification of projectionists, and film prep necessary to circumvent the arcane measures once used from a by-gone era, and thus allowing to remain in-place three, [approx] eight-foot long windows [continuously] running along the projectable area of the front wall of the booth).

ALSO... a Projection Booth requires both a sink and a commode, so if nature calls.... (Nowadays, that 'little luxury' has been augmented with a microwave oven-!)

I doubt very much if the only "special requirements" that may have persisted following the days of nitrate film goes beyond the toilet - if even that. AND... by simply calling the space something other than a "projection booth" all those 'olde-timey' requirements go right out the window - to the glee of Mr. Theatre Owner - arguably the cheapest person on the planet-!

JG said...

@Nanook, yes even if the nitrate film fire requirement for the projection booth were relaxed somewhat by the 1955 construction, there remained just plain “egress” requirements for commercial occupancies that would require two exit stairs from second floor rooms, that is, usually any space or rooms with more than “X” occupants might need two exits just because it was on an upper floor. Similar for basement rooms etc, and special requirements for other sensitive uses like kindergarten, which must be only on the ground floor.

Love the detail of the sink and restroom. I’ve worked several school performing arts buildings where the state codes require wheelchair lifts to the control booths (no projectors) for disabled access. Usually these costly amenities end up chained and padlocked (strictly illegal to do), and used only for the code mandated bi-annual operational tests.

The more I think about it, this stair is very likely an exit stair only.