Thursday, May 09, 2024

Randos From the Early 1970s

Here's a random pair of scans from a batch of slides that are from the early 1970s. Starting with this fun view of Snow White and Dopey posing on one of the “Monsanto House of the Future” walkways - known as "Alpine Gardens" after the house was removed. This is an unusual angle, the large building behind Snow White is where "America The Beautiful" was shown.

Many people attempted to take photos inside Pirates of the Caribbean. Those who used a flash were escorted backstage and never heard from again. This photographer did not use a flash (I think), and the results are not perfect, but not bad either. That skeleton has so many doubloons, surely he can spare a few for me?


walterworld said...

Loved those walkways that were left after the HOF was demolished. As the 90's progressed, it was sad to see the place turn into a princess photo shoot area.

Thank you Major P

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with Walterworld. When they converted the area into a Little Mermaid "jumping waters" fountain, it was a very sad day. And I liked "The Little Mermaid." I just think they should have left this area alone. And yes, Disneyland should be a museum. So there.

I think we can see another Dwarf in that first photo. He's hiding in the bushes, way in the background. It's one of the bearded Dwarfs, but then...I guess they all have beards, except for Dopey.

JB said...

The water looks awfully dark and murky. Are you sure this wasn't taken at the La Brea Tar Pits? Although, I don't think the Disney characters can physically leave Disney property. Whenever they try, they encounter an invisible barrier that prevents them from going any further. I think Ms. White is taking a selfie of her and her pal, Dopey. You're right, Major, this IS an unusual angle and location; not often photographed.

This PotC photo looks sooo much better without the flash, even though it's a bit blurry. The natural stage lighting maintains the intended mood of the scene. Major, I don't think this skeleton is gonna give you anything... except the tip of a sword in your rib cage. Yo ho.

Nice Randos, Major. Thanks.

Stefano said...

Snow White has the same superbly positioned feet that Ginny displayed in so many photos. I wish more women would stand that way.

Many thanks for the pirate pic Major; I never before noticed that he is holding a necklace in his right hand. If this is the early 70s that must be one of the real human bag of bones from the ride's first years. A whole book was written about Elmer McCurdy of the Pike Laff- in- the- Dark mummy incident; there could be 8 interesting stories behind the POTC skeletons.

JG said...

Snow and Dopey hanging out in one of the lost corners of the Park. There are some torch lilies in the background. These little leftover spaces are few and far between now as every square inch must be monetized. Looks like this area was a character zone before “meet-and-greet” was coined.

Of course the Greedy Pirate was a favorite tableau, but I think I preferred the Captains Cabin, more books. In any case I have always wanted to get up and walk around in these set piece caverns, which is exactly what the imagineers meant for me to feel. Geniuses all.

Thanks Major, very unusual views today. Much appreciated.


Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, it was definitely nice that they turned the area into beautiful gardens, much better than the “nothing” that they usually leave behind!

TokyoMagic!, they absolutely CAN’T leave things alone! Look at what is planned for It’s a Small World (assuming it’s true). Marvel characters? Characters that are all about fighting and battles? Great idea! Oh yeah, I see the other Dwarf back there.

JB, now I think they should dig for mastodon skeletons at Disneyland. You never know. How can I get one of those invisible barriers? I can think of many uses. Don’t underestimate the generosity of a skeleton, just because they look scary doesn’t mean that they aren’t nice.

Stefano, ha, I wonder if Snow White had dance (or modeling) training? They learned to stand *just so*. It seems like it would have been much harder to get real skeletons for “Pirates”, instead of a nice plastic copy. But maybe things were different in the 60s!

JG, I agree with you, those little quiet spaces where you might be able to relax and not be overstimulated for a few minutes - they are vanishing every day. “We could build a gift shop there!”. Give that VP a raise, I guess. Oh man, it was always my dream to get out of my boat and explore all of the scenes in “Pirates”!

Stu29573 said...

Test 123...

Anonymous said...

My comments won't post!!!

Anonymous said...

Little short ones will, but my long one won't... Weird...

Anonymous said...

Stu, you need to remove the bad words, first.

Anonymous said...

Just read it again. Ain't got none!

Anonymous said...

Stu….then maybe try adding some.


When I first saw image #1 I knew exactly what the walkway was … but the angle was so unusual the circle vision building looked like a mountain in the distance.

This Alpine Gardens area was planed to become a relocated CARNATION PLAZA GARDENS … as the 1974 LIBERTY SQUARE entrance would have been located where the existing Carnation Plaza Gardens was . Disneyland’s first LIBERTY SQUARE ( not to be confused with Liberty Street) was another WED causality of the 70’s energy crisis. I show a model of the Tomorrowland Alpine Carnation Gardens building in one of my early TOMORROWLOUNGE BLOG posts “where is TomorrowLounge?” The model shown is the 1967-1971 version and it was slight redesigned when it went into the blueprint / construction document phase in 1972 and looked more “Florida Tomorrowland “ by then. Both versions featured rings of waterfalls - the center one concealing the bandstand- the waterfall would curtain open to reveal the musicians in the center.


People today are shocked and grab their pearls when they hear that Pirates of the Caribbean once used real skeletons… this was a common thing for amusement parks , Hollywood and even holloween department store window displays at one time. Set decorators and party rentals use to use / sell / rent medical school supply REAL HUMAN skeletons. I remember a high school teacher showing me in an educational supply catalog and the plastic artificial scientific skeletons were more money than the real human skeletons.
The Disney Pirates skeletons were the same human skeletons purchased from medical education suppliers . They were human females from Indian - sold by companies in India to the educational suppliers . The Indian families of the deceased women were paid a substantial amount of money ( so it’s said) for the skeleton. Females were used because the skeleton’s were smaller and take up less space. The funny thing is that artificial skeletons replaced real ones not because of any ethical reason but because the plastic ones were lighter , and were resilient against chipping and cracking from age etc.

I’ve heard stories that when Disney replaced the real skeletons with prop ones the real humsn ones were given burials . I wonder if this is true or a made up publicity story. Because Indians ( Hindu) require creamation and water “burial” ( ideally the GANGES) and not ground burial.

I’m sure there are hundreds of old human medical skeletons stored away and forgotten in museums , universities and old medical colleges… and some in people’s garages who THINK that Halloween party Skelton their dad bought at a closing sale of the party rental store is “fake” ……


The plastic skeletons ultimately replaced real human skeletons because of economy and durability- in regards to medical school skeletons ( not the Disney pirate skeletons)

Anonymous said...

That area always makes me sad for not having House Of The Future anymore; at least still of whiff of the futuristic waterfalls in this photo.

Fun to learn about your Tomorrowland-centric blog Mike, will peruse.

Hench told me they got the skulls cheap from UCLA getting rid of some of theirs.



Clarification : the industry of supplying human medical skeletons being replaced with artificial ones because of durability and weight had nothing to do with why Disney replaced theirs at the time ( for ethics) today people wouldn’t even think about using real skeletons - even if you could legally obtain them .

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, ROGER!

Anonymous, I am sorry this comment did not post.

Anonymous, I blame that eclipse, nothing has been right since.

Anonymous, MORE BAD WORDS!

Anonymous, see my previous comment.

Anonymous, there are too many anonomi!

Mike Cozart, interesting that they planned to relocate the Carnation Plaza Gardens - it seems like a lot of work for no reason, BUT… if they really had put in a Liberty Street, that would be a good reason! I’ll have to go to your old Tomorrowlounge blog and check out the model. I think at that time most stuff had a “Florida look”, I’m not sure if that is due to George McGinnis (sp?) or not.

Mike Cozart, I’m not sure I grabbed my pearls, but it seems strange that they went to the trouble of getting real skeletons for the purpose that they would be used. Good quality plastic or resin skeletons would have done the trick, and would probably ultimately be hardier. I may have mentioned this before, but I actually own a real human skull, which my mom bought for me at an antiques store in Wisconsin. I have no idea what the heck to do with it. And I see now that you did say that the plastic skeletons were lighter, tougher, etc, which is what I would have assumed. I’m afraid I don’t give much credence to anything the publicity department says, but I do hope that those remains were treated with some kind of respect, and not just tossed in a dumpster.

Mike Cozart, in college they had a plastic skeleton in Bio class, and that thing looked perfect. People assumed it was the real thing!

MS, I know what you mean, even having the waterfalls and ponds from the House of the Future is better than nothing. Yes, the central pillar of the HoF is still there, hidden, but it’s not the same as the water features!

Mike Cozart, when they can make affordable plastic (resin?) copies of skeletons to supply the demand, and they look as good as they do, it just seems like the best way to go in my opinion. If they looked crummy that would be a different story.

JB said...

Today's comments are "all skeletons, all the time"! Thanks for the bare-bones info, Mike. I found it fascinating. Only on GDB!

"Lou and Sue" said...

"I think we can see another Dwarf in that first photo. He's hiding in the bushes, way in the background."
TM, that's "Creepy," I think.

"A whole book was written about Elmer McCurdy of the Pike Laff- in- the- Dark mummy incident; there could be 8 interesting stories behind the POTC skeletons."
Stefano, I just googled Elmer I want to find that book and read more.

"Thanks Major, very unusual views today."
JG, that's exactly what I was thinking a few days ago when I scanned and emailed Major one of my dad's pictures of the exact same POTC scene. Oh, well. Since Major is currently working on September-October posts, it'll be a while before you see this scene, again.

I agree with JB - the bones background IS fascinating info. Thanks, Mike!

"I actually own a real human skull, which my mom bought for me at an antiques store in Wisconsin. I have no idea what the heck to do with it."
I'm hoping you get some good suggestions from our Jr. Gorillas.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I recently saw a comedy sketch where one of the characters was named Jerry Spruce, and I wondered if it was supposed to be a play on "Al Pine."

I've both taken and seen some pretty good non-flash photos in both US versions of PotC. The show lighting is more than adequate, especially with today's digital technology. What I learned working in a museum is that 99% of people don't know how to turn the flash off on their cameras/phones.

JG said...

My high school biology classroom had a real human skull in the collection, along with the various eels & such in jars of preservative and stuffed rats, raccoons etc. no one thought a thing about it. I have no idea where it came from or if it is still there.

People get wound up over the dumbest things. It’s pretty clear that no one from Disney was excavating newly-dug graves in a thunderstorm to dredge up body parts for the theme park, or bribing crematorium attendants, and also clear that there were legal legitimate sources for these artifacts.

Major, I own a real human skull too, but I am using it right now.

Sue, can’t wait to see Lou’s pics of POTC.


TokyoMagic! said...

"I think we can see another Dwarf in that first photo. He's hiding in the bushes, way in the background."

TM, that's "Creepy," I think.

Sue, I should have also worked the word "lurking" into that sentence!

"I actually own a real human skull, which my mom bought for me at an antiques store in Wisconsin. I have no idea what the heck to do with it."

Major, assuming that the skull has a removable top (which many of the classroom/study ones do), you could always use it at parties to hold guacamole or bean dip!

Melissa said...

We had a real human skeleton in my Grade 6 science classroom. It didn't feel weird at the time. His name was Fred and we dressed him up as a wizard for Halloween.