Monday, April 22, 2024

A Trio From June 1962

Having just scanned a bunch of slides dated "June, 1962" (yesterday's Snoozles were from the same batch), I'm happy to report that there are some very nice pictures. Not all are great though (as is to be expected), and today's examples are a bit "meh". Not bad exactly, but... you'll see.

Like this first very "blah" look at the far shore of Frontierland as seen from Tom Sawyer Island. Much of the color is so muted that it is basically an unattractive greenish-gray. Along the shore to the right is a fence - I'm not exactly sure why it is there, though the riverside bandstand had been removed, and major construction was underway in much of Frontierland, so it was related to that in some way.

Next is this view of Castle Rock (on Tom Sawyer Island), with only a few people evident, instead of the endless conga line from to the top and back down. I'm looking at the variations in colors, none of them accidental. "We'll put a little ochre over here, and some rusty red over here, and maybe a little puce over here". "Puce?? Larry, I think you need a vacation". Cascade Peak looks impressive in the background.

Ah, now we're getting somewhere - I never tire of seeing the Rainbow Desert, with those crazy rock formations and kooky cacti. Watch out for tumbling boulders! And bobcats, that place was full of bobcats. 

I promise that there are better pictures from this lot, coming up!


JB said...

Well, it's clear to me why that fence is there... AEDs were spotted in the area (there's at least one floating around in the first pic). The fence is to deter the foul fowl from gaining access to the mainland and causing mayhem!
Yeah, it's like a big thick blanket of "meh" plopped itself down on the Park to suck the joy and 'magic' from peoples' hearts.
I can see the petrified tree stump over toward the right. When was it added to the Park? Since opening day? The Matterhorn still looks impressive, even through the 50 miles of atmosphere.

Castle Rock looks huge... until you see the humans over there on the right. Then it looks pretty small. Stupid humans. I don't see any sheep atop Cascade Peak; I guess they already left for better digs by this time.

I don't see no stinkin' bobcats, Major. I think you just made that up to make me study the photo an extra 30 seconds or so... Well, it worked! I was gonna look for kooky cacti too, but having been burned with the bobcat ruse, I said "nope"; fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice uh, can't get fooled again... or sumthin'.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

When I saw that construction wall and the railing missing along the river, I thought that photo might have been taken during the same time of that famous aerial photo that shows most of Adventureland bulldozed, along with the southern and western parts of Frontierland decimated. But I just found that photo, and there isn't any water in the river. The aerial photo is from 1962, but maybe it was taken after the summer season, when they shut down all of the river craft and the island.

Here's that 1962 aerial photo:

K. Martinez said...

A Swiss peak rising in the distance from the American Frontier? Only at Disneyland!

The Cascade Peak/Castle Rock pic was the inspiration for the look of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Nice pics! Thanks, Major

Major Pepperidge said...

JB, it makes me think that there are countries where AEDs have been left behind to maim and kill. Is a fence enough to keep them away?? No the petrified tree stump wasn’t there on opening day, but I don’t remember what year it was added. Yes, I could look it up, but there’s a really good Heckle and Jeckle cartoon on. Yeah, castle rock probably isn’t more than about 20 to 25 feet tall, but rocks have no scale! Or something. I didn’t say that there were bobcats in that picture, I said that there were bobcats in the Rainbow Desert. You owe me a million dollars.

TokyoMagic!, yes, local high school students stole all the water in the river. Those scamps! They used sponges. It’s kind of impressive when you think about it. I love that aerial photo (from the OC Archives), so much to look at! Especially the tar pit in the lower right.

K. Martinez, maybe the Swiss peak developed a western accent after a few years of proximity to Frontierland! Is that true that Cascade Peak/Castle Rock was the inspiration for Galaxy’s Edge? I can’t tell if you are kidding.

Nanook said...

@ JB-
The petrified tree stump arrived in September, 1957.

Thanks, Major.

JG said...

It’s well known that I will enjoy any pictures of the old Park, so I’m happy with these.

Photo 2 does show off the forced perspective of Cascade Peak and Castle Rock to great advantage. TSI was a miraculous combination of fun stuff and I loved it.

Tokyo, thank you for that photo link.

Major, thanks for this post, much appreciated.


Dean Finder said...

Maybe those visitors climbing the peaks were hundreds of feet tall.


Lots of forced perspective was used on “Natures Wonderland” some of it very effectively like the slightly larger buildings on front street at Rainbow Ridge , the descending pine trees …. cascade peak. Then there were some that didn’t work like the miniature Indian Pueblo buildings placed atop the Painted Desert rock mesas …. Theses never looked right and appearedd we as miniature Indian Pueblos and not full-size ones in the distance. They were removed fairly early in their history … while one stuck around a little longer but was eventually painted and weathered the same color as the rock it sat on to disguise it. Eventually it too was removed. Sometimes ideas like this look on on sketches and even models …. But just don’t “come off” in reality … like Walt Disney Worlds opening year Giant Tropical Frog Forrest on the Jungle Cruise!

Melissa said...

Some great composition here! I love the dappled reflections of the trees in the water in the first shot, and the way the light and shadows highlight the vertical lines of the rock formations in the other two.

Anonymous said...

Mike...I recall the miniature Pueblo village on the rock mesa you are referring to. Yes, it looked totally out of it should have been in Fantasyland. But, unless you were looking for it, it blended in with all the other rock formations. Especially if you weren't one of us CMs running the train and seeing the attraction many times a day. Still, it was an attraction I never tired of, no matter how many times I saw it. That archival picture of most of the west side of the Park under construction is quite a find. It runs into the Jungle Cruise. And a stark refresh to my memory bank of those times. Look at all those orange groves! KS

K. Martinez said...

Major, I was kidding about Galaxy's Edge.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, tell me you had to look that up!

JG, In a way Tom Sawyer Island seems like the kind of thing they might build today when they want a cheap and low-tech attraction. Like many of the “play places” that they add to parks. AND YET… it is head and shoulders above any of those others, an entire place dedicated to exploration, climbing, crossing rickety bridges, and so on. It truly is (was?) wonderful.

Dean Finder, good point!

Mike Cozart, of course today I find the examples of forced perspective that didn’t work to be charming. Those pueblos always make me smile when I see them in pictures. And then I rub my tummy. Maybe I’ve revealed too much? Cascade Peak looked great, but they let the trees next to it grow until they were as tall (or taller) than the peak itself. I really don’t understand why they didn’t cut those trees down and replace them with something that would stay small. I guess the people in charge didn’t notice - or care?

Melissa, you are a true aesthete! And I have aesthete’s foot. I need a medicated powder.

KS, I can’t remember if I even noticed the pueblos when I was a kid - it’s all so long ago now. But I did love the whole experience! Looking at pictures of the attraction now, it’s kind of a miracle that they devoted that much space for one ride. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!

K. Martinez, you got me!