Monday, May 20, 2024

Disneyland, 1992

GDB pal Sue B. shared some slide scans from photos taken by her cousin Stu back in 1992! 

We'll begin with this view looking out toward the Rivers of America, which has been mostly-drained of its water. A large structure is being built on the south end of Tom Sawyer Island, replacing the Old Mill that had been there for so long. Of course this is part of  the stage that will be used for "Fantasmic!", which debuted in May of '92.

Where was Stu standing when he took these first two images? On the steps up to "Pirates of the Caribbean"? Or maybe from the "Disney Gallery"? (OK, just looking online, the Disney Gallery did not open until two years later). Could Stu have been at Club 33? The various "billboards" on the construction wall are fun to see.

It occurred to me that the two photos might merge pretty well... and they did!

Next is a view taken from the Disneyland Skyway, a familiar sight from above the Submarine Lagoon. The Peoplemover is still there, painted white (why?), and the Mark VII Autopia vehicles can be seen. At least those are still colorful.

It's a little bit of a bummer to think that the Skyway would close forever just two years after Stu took these pictures, I will never stop missing it!

Many thanks to Sue for sharing her cousin Stu's photos!


Nanook said...

Fantasmic... It was exciting seeing it the first time - and maybe the second - and then 'the wind was taken out of the sails' for me, at least. But what do I know-?

Nice Monorail/PeopleMover image.

Thanks to Sue & Stu.


That “white” PeopleMover has the purple stripe.

JB said...

A lot of TRE going on in this pic, but it's still interesting. Somebody should tell the Imagineers that the Dragon is very flammable. Folks looking through that peephole in the fence don't know that some mischievous CM (hello, Bu) smeared carbon black on the edges of the hole. So when they look through, they get a black ring around their face.

Major, I was also wondering where Stu was standing. I thought maybe he was on the roof of Aunt Jemima's (or whatever it was called in '92). But I guess that would be farther to our right?

Wow, the merge is durn-near purfeck! Just a little jag at the top of the fence (near the peephole).

It looks like the Autopia wasn't running this day. All those vehicles clumped together, and I don't see anyone in them. If their gonna paint the PeopleMover trains white (they shouldn't!), then they should paint the track sort of a medium gray, or something, to contrast with the trains. But leave the pylons white.

Looks like Stanley Kubrick is in the yellow gondola. Or maybe it's Peter Jackson. He's got Thing One and Thing Two in there with him peeking over the edge.

Nice seeing more Stu pics. Thank you, Sue and Major.

Chuck said...

Major, it looks as though your online source has led you astray (which I find shocking, because the Internet is never wrong) - the Disney Gallery opened above Pirates of the Caribbean in 1987. I remember being in absolute disbelief at being able to go up there on my first adult visit in 1993. I was also excited that I could Velcro my own shoes without my mom’s help.

Not sure which would negatively affect the guest experience more - an empty river or a construction wall along the entire riverfront. Seems like it would block the view from the canoes.

Ironic that the PeopleMover was no longer colorful but it’s a small world was about to be. Does anybody remember why they did that? The reason is escaping me. Was it some sort of bleed-over from the art direction on the Euro Disneyland version?

I will always miss the Skyway. Always.

JB, I think that’s actually John Rhys-Davies.

Thanks again, Sue, for sharing Stu’s pictures!


Stu is definitely standing on the balcony of The Disney Gallery. When those “coming soon” Fantasmic signs went up they first read “IMAGINATION!!” As that was Fantasmic’s original name when it was first announced.

The 1987 PeopleMover train colors were DL Tech white #16 and featured a red, blue , purple stripe. There was also a white striped PeopleMover but the body was a light grey … ( I don’t know the color spec offhand ) it’s odd they would do two PeopleMover body colors just to accommodate the 4th White stripe. I remember being somewhat shocked when I first saw the new PeopleMover color schemes … but then I was excited. The colors were done to compliment the new Tomorrowland colors of Star Tours , the Magic eye theater as well as the rest of a pending New Tomorrowland . The rest of the Tomorrowland update never came as its budget was given to TOONTOWN and ……… : Fantasmic. Had the New Tomorrowland hand been completed there would have been a whole new PeopleMover car design …with a fixed top integrated into the body. Also the new PM cars would have had solid body colors ( at least that’s how they appeared in design elevations)

The new color scheme of ITS A SMALL WORLD came about when a major rehab of the attraction was being planed to prep the area up for TOONTOWN addition . The attraction’s original 1966 sound system was updated and it was discovered that the duplicate copy masters of the audio were so worn … they sounded terrible on the new sound system … the original 1960’s recording masters could not be located to make new attraction digital playback audio so it was decided to use the newly made EDL Small World track music for the Disneyland CA show. The rehab was extended to create the new audio “tapes” and the new color scheme was done to go with all the new audio . Incidentally a few years before Disneyland’s 50th the original Small World audio masters were discovered ……so it was decided to restore the attraction’s soundtrack as well as the original
Exterior’s color scheme in time for Disneyland’s 50th.

Melissa said...

You know it's going to be a good day when you start it with a bunch of Sue/Stu pictures! Nice mergification on the first two images.

"The Peoplemover is still there, painted white (why?)"

They ran out of hot pink paint and glitter.

JG said...

These are fine pictures but they make me sad somehow.

All that flopping around and what did we get out of it? Eventually no PM in any color, TSI wrecked and a Spumoni IASW.

Peter Jackson is riding the Skyway with two hobbits. Enjoy your day, Merry and Pippin. Sam and Frodo are climbing the Matterhorn, waiting for the Richfield Eagles.

Thank you , Sue, Lou and Stu, and Major too.


Bu said...

So it seems there is TRE. TRE + and TRE +++. Here we see examples of all, however I was excited to see the thumbnail of the construction wall: until I saw what was being constructed. I know people love that show, but let's leave it as a "seasonal" you really have to dig up Tom Sawyer Island? Just layer on a floating stage for Summer. After 32 years, I think it's time for a new revue anyway...and let's review the view...and bring back the old school Rivers of America at night: which was so very magical. I list Fantasmic at +++ due to the destruction of Tom Sawyer Island. Moving on to the PeopleMover cars: I just give the paint job just a TRE. Tomorrow is about color. Not about Space. Space can also be colorful. But at least the PeopleMover is THERE. Hence: a low grade TRE. Rocket Rods TRE +++: possibly give it a few more ++. Skyway: I get just a +. I think they could do something good akin to WDW and build a Skyway linking all the myriad of "lands" coming to the NEW Anaheim: blocks and blocks apart. I remember smelling the Rivers of America after a drain: it didn't smell savory: but at least it wasn't trash compactor smell...that is a candle in the making. And yes....I would be the hooligan putting black stuff on the holes in the fence. It's kind of odd there is only one hole in the fence...and why not just do a half fence? Let the people see what's going certainly aren't that worried about "show"....Experience the Wonder! I have lot's of wonder-why's, but also don't get to vote. Bring on Wonderama! The newly imagined STAGE production on the Fantasmic Stage! Yes! RIP Bob McAllister: who was also the host of "Herbie Day at Disneyland"...Kids are people too! Thanks Lou, Sue, Stu, and Majoo...(had to rhyme..)

K. Martinez said...

But, but, but... The 90's were supposed to be the "Disney Decade". At least according to Michael Eisner. Actually, it was the worst decade for the Disney Parks.

The Skyway is my most missed attraction. There was something truly magical about the Skyway going through the center of the Matterhorn. Only at Disneyland! I already knew by the late 1980's that the Disney Parks were going in a direction that I did not like. Something fundamentally changed that told me it wasn't Walt's park anymore.

Of course, Disney added some great attractions post 1984, but Walt's original magic kingdom as a whole was losing much of its magic for me.

Thank you, Lou, Sue & Major too!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I only watched “Fantasmic!” once, and it was OK, but I never wanted to devote that much time to that show again.

Mike Cozart, yes, white with a purple stripe.

JB, flammable dragons, sounds like the name of a band. I like the idea of smearing black stuff on the peep holes, that’ll show those nosy guests! I would have gone with electrifying the edges, but perhaps that is going too far. Considering that Stu wasn’t using a tripod, I’m surprised at how well the merged pics turned out. And I agree, it does look like the Autopia is down for the day, for some reason. Road work? I loved the original Peoplemover colors so much that the white version just doesn’t look right to me. Of course I’d rather have it with white paint than not at all.

Chuck, Crazy Al’s Disneyland Facts & Cryptocurrency has never steered me wrong before, so I am very surprised. The empty river would have fascinated me, but I realized that most people would be disappointed at not seeing the park at its best. I think I read that the colors on IASW had something to do with Euro Disneyland, but I can’t remember specifically.

Mike Cozart, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the gray Peoplemover vehicle, it seems like an odd choice. Just choose a stripe color other than the red, blue, and purple already used! If I’m not mistaken, there are more colors! I’m not sure when the Rocket Rods idea was hatched, but I wonder if it would have doomed the Peoplemover no matter what? Even now I’ll see comments on message boards saying that the Peoplemover looked boring. Go to Magic Mountain, you hooligans! We don’t need you! Interesting about the lost and then found Small World recordings, I listened to the old album so many times that I feel as if I would notice a change.

Melissa, I personally like metal flake paint on cars, so a glittery Peoplemover doesn’t sound so bad!

JG, in hindsight, losing the Peoplemover was the biggest mistake ever. Imagine how popular it would be today! A leisurely trip around Tomorrowland, with great views of everything. Sigh. Peter Jackson? “The Hunt for Gollum” better be good!

Bu, when I go to the park and find out that Fantasmic! is down, it makes me happy. Then I can ride the Mark Twain at night! One of my favorite things of all time. A seasonal presentation of Fantasmic! is a good idea. Just during the Summer months, perhaps. I still remember hearing what sounded like hundreds of spring peepers making a racket on Tom Sawyer Island when the sun set, I assume that was just a recording, but it was a nice touch. Like I said to JB, I’d rather have a white Peoplemover than no Peoplemover at all. “A candle in the making”, I don’t get it. I agree about the one tiny hole in the fence, let people look if they want to. If they don’t want to, they can keep on walking. Did Bob McAllister just die?

K. Martinez, I can’t remember what the ‘Disney Decade” was supposed to be. Did they have plans for special stuff? I guess I’ll have to look it up. Sadly, that’s when the economy and Disney’s fortunes started taking a real hit. Like you, I miss the Skyway so much. I still enjoy going to the parks, but it is a very different experience, for sure.


BTW : the “peephole” in the construction walls were not there for guests entertainment or to look thru . They were required to make sure if a worker was going in or out of the door that they could see the doorway way was clear of guests or other workers or construction equipment. Today the doorways require a code to open and often have a digital sensor if the doorway is blocked and will not allow the door to open. The peephole was for safety not entertainment.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s the most requested attraction to return to Disneyland / most missed was THE CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS. During the last few decades it’s been THE PEOPLEMOVER … ( for a very very short time it was SKYWAY but PEOPLEMOVER quickly eclipsed that!!) the majority of guests that used to list FLYING SAUCERS and ADVENTURE THRU INNER SPACE were mostly guests who never experienced those attractions or were born long after the attractions were history so there wasn’t any real context with those answers. But to my understanding Disneyland marketing no longer asked those kinds of questions regarding obsolete attraction interests … Disneyland marketing doesn’t give a rats ass what guests and fans think about the past - they also no longer asks guests interests or awareness of other Disney park attractions ( ESPECIALLY TOKYO DISNEYLAND!!!)

Melissa said...

You mean we DON'T get to see up Mickey's wizard robe if we look through the peephole? Dangnabbit, I gave that guy ten cents for nothing!

Bu said...

To clarify: "A new fragrance from Yankee Candle! Disneyland Dumpster!" "revel in the wafting and nostalgic smells of old spaghetti, Coke syrup, ketchup and barf dust!" "Enchanting...for a limited time only!" Bob McAllister died quite a while ago. Wonderama was his "salad days". K. Martinez: The thing that fundamentally told all of us at that time that it was not Walt's Park anymore is when he (quite literally and voluntarily) moved out of the Fire Station. Lock, stock and barrel. Progress sometimes doesn't feel great. Luckily, Dave Smith kept every stich of everything at the office at the Studio...and you can still visit it...and it is wonderful despite the rest lot being basically a Corporate HQ and rental facility. The vibe is still there.

Melissa said...

I went too fast and read that as "Corporate HQ and mental facility." And I was all, "So, a standard Corporate HQ, then?" Thank you, thank you, I'll show myself out.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I love that merge - thank you!

"...bring back the old school Rivers of America at night: which was so very magical."
YES! Bu, I LOVE the ROA at night!! Some of my best memories.

"To clarify: "A new fragrance from Yankee Candle! Disneyland Dumpster!"
I'd probably buy that one. As I'm typing now, I'm sitting less than two feet from a Yankee Candle that's Peep scented. I love it so much that I didn't put it away after Easter.

"I personally like metal flake paint on cars, so a glittery Peoplemover doesn’t sound so bad!"
Major, now I'm picturing some PeopleMovers with flames painted on the sides, too. :o)

Mike, I'm old enough to remember all those rides/attractions you mentioned. I can't decide which I miss the most. I think I especially miss ATIS, but the PM and Skyway were wonderful for viewing Disneyland at its best. Those should have never been removed.

Thank you, everyone, for lots of laughs, as always. I'm glad you liked these.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, well, your peephole explanation makes sense, but I liked the idea that they let guests take a look if they wanted to! Maybe it was a little bit of both? They needed those sliding doors like on Star Trek (and of course they would have to make the same noise). Boy, I would have a hard time picking my “most missed” attraction, but Nature’s Wonderland, the Peoplemover, Adventure Thru Inner Space, and the Skyway are all way way up there. I could almost imagine an updated ATIS, with new effects, not that I am expecting it to ever happen. And yes, you are the second person with insider knowledge who has told me that Disneyland marketing (and even many in Imagineering) does not care for the park’s past, in fact they are hostile at the idea of even thinking about it.

Melissa, we’ve seen Mickey without pants. I THINK? Maybe not. Donald Duck, for sure. Maybe Mickey never appeared without shorts of trousers.

Bu, your description of the Disneyland Dumpster makes me think of visits to NYC (which I love), walking down the street, overcome by the sour aroma of rotting garbage. In fact we made daily trips to a well-known bakery in Soho, and could not believe the smell right near that famous place. It really does seem like the Disney family’s move out of the Fire Station was a demarcation line. THAT’S the “Walt’s apartment” that I wish I could have seen. You are lucky that YOU saw it!

Melissa, that joke is worthy of Wally Boag.

Lou and Sue, I didn’t even notice the imperfection in the fence (the one that JB noticed), and now it is making me crazy. I wonder if I would have gotten a better result if I’d tried it a few more times? You should know by now that I love the quiet, dark river at night, though Frontierland is so busy now that it isn’t quite as quiet and dark as it used to be. I guess a Peep is sort of vanilla scented? Peoplemovers with flames sounds pretty rad.