Sunday, June 30, 2024

Town Square Snoozles, June 1962

Today's SNOOZLES™ are a bit nicer than the usual dreck (as you can see) - perfectly nice photos of the Town Square area, circa 1962. Looking at the thumbnails, you might not even detect anything amiss - but they do suffer from a lack of focus, which is a bummer. I love the laid-back atmosphere and subdued colors; looks like there's a bit of the old "June Gloom" to help keep temperatures in check. 

Presumably it's a little later in the day, and the clouds have burned off. To the left, a CM walks toward us - did he work on the Horse Drawn Streetcars? There appears to be some sort of sign in front of City Hall (to the left of the steps), I don't recall seeing that before. I wonder what it said? 

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Mystery Fair, June 1966

I have two nice photos from what I assume is a County Fair, in Somewheresville, USA - June, 1966. It would be a lot more fun if I knew a little about the location, at least, but vintage slides often go unlabeled. As usual, I am useless when it comes to identifying the vintage rides, but I know that there are lots of Junior Gorillas who are good at it! I call "dibs" on the Ferris Wheel! I'm most interested in that impressive rocket ride, it looks like the two vehicles would scrape each other as they passed, but of course that wouldn't happen. 

The juxtaposition of the antique auto ride with the cool space capsule vehicles in the distance is pretty swell! And both rides look fun, though the autos might be for the younger folks. Project Gemini was still going in June of 1966 (Gemini IV was launched that month, with Ed White performing the first U.S. "space walk"), and astronauts were the heroes of the day.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Two Nice Randos

I have a  nice pair of RANDOS for you today, starting with this beauty, date-stamped "October, 1967". I love the colorful selection of Autopia vehicles! Notice that they are all the Mark VI-style bodies, which means that it is pretty likely that this photo was actually taken before the stamped date - though I could find no exact date for the introduction of the Mark VII "Stingray" cars. Perhaps one of you can! As a bonus, we get the Mark II Monorail, waiting to punch a hole through space and time. I just love this picture.

Next, from "sometime in the 1950s" comes this fun photo of a woman posing with one of the Native American performers near the Indian Dance Circle in Frontierland. I like his outfit - but I like hers too! You can see a few people on Tom Sawyer Island in the distance, I hope they don't get lost in the caves. the boy to the right has a shirt that claims he's been to California, but I don't believe him.


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Two From November, 1974

1974 was a very good year! Don't look it up, just take my word for it... nothing bad happened for the entire 12 month stretch. PLUS it was a good time to visit Disneyland too. Icing on the cake! 

The Swiss Family was still going strong in their treehouse; all the oxygen from those leaves was making them a bit woozy, but it's not like they were driving a backhoe anywhere. I loved climbing the stairs, looking at the Rube Goldberg waterworks, observing the charming little rooms where the Swiss Family lived and loved (ew) and played. Many Disneyland attractions were inspired by features at World's Fairs or other amusement parks, but I am unaware of any precedent for the SFT. 

This next one reminds me very much of a 1970s postcard. If I wasn't so lazy I'd try to dig my example up. But it's way over there (points to a box six feet away)! I'm sure you understand. The castle is lovely, and NOT PINK. There's a pretty good crowd, but not too bad for November; the trees are kind of bare during Anaheim's harsh winter (it was probably only 65 degrees that day).

Late addition: here is that postcard I was talking about:

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Town Square, March 1960

There are plenty of vintage photos of Town Square; it makes sense - it was the first thing a guest would see upon entering the park through the tunnels beneath the train tracks. It also makes sense that the enterprising photographer would want to climb some of the steps up to Main Street Station for a better look. I find that I enjoy these sorts of photos a lot.

There it is, or at least the western part of Town Square... with City Hall, and the Fire Station (looking very pink here), the Bekins-sponsored storage lockers, and a few vehicles for some kinetic movement. I like being able to see the "mini-berm" behind Bekins. Beyond that... the jungle! 

A Surrey is stopped in front of City Hall, but there don't seem to be any takers at that moment. It's nothing personal, Mr. Driver! A family is huddled in the shade, can it be that warm in March?

The park looks so neat and tidy, I need to figure out a way to step into this scene. Look at the angle of that hanging Bekins sign, there must have some gusts. I always enjoy seeing the horse-head sculpture on the Bekins façade. 

Now we're down at ground level, and the Firetruck has been parked at the curb in near the the Fire Station. Measly crowds might mean that the driver (and his pal in the Surrey) will have to be patient!


Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Random Knott's Berry Farm

Howsabout two nice views of Knott's Berry Farm? This first one is from July, 1961; Ghost Town is busy - not too surprising for a peak Summer day. A number of parents (armed with children) are waiting for their chance to have a photo taken with one of the Native Americans. Thanks to endless movies and TV shows, everyone wanted to pose while wearing a feathered headdress. I've always wondered if guests paid for the photos, or if it was just a part of the KBF experience? It's cute the way the little girl to the right seems to be trying to decide if she is brave enough to approach the woman in front of her.

This next picture is dated "August, 1976". Two intrepid ladies prepare to "enjoy" the Sky Jump. Per Wikipedia: The Sky Jump boarded one or two standing riders anticipating the thrill of the drop into baskets beneath a faux parachute canopy. From the top, twelve arms supported the vertical cable tracks of wire rope which lifted the baskets. The 225' Sky Tower had opened that very year. I've seen other photos of this attraction, and those "baskets" that one would stand in look way too open, and frankly, kind of dangerous! Presumably it was all very safe, though. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

Contemporary Resort Hotel, April 1973

When I was a kid, I saw plenty of advertisements for Walt Disney World; if they didn't feature the Magic Kingdom park, or people golfing or water skiing, they probably featured the then-amazing A-frame Contemporary Resort Hotel, designed by Welton Becket. I have three photos taken by a guest in 1973 who must have been duly impressed by this structure. 

Here's a view as seen from an automobile, somehow it seems wrong to be in a mere automobile. We should be in a "Jetsons"-style flying ship with a bubble dome!

The fact that guests could take the Monorail from the Hotel directly to the Magic Kingdom seemed so cool to me! I'm not sure if the Contemporary Hotel falls into the category of Brutalist architecture, but it sure seems like it does. Kind of blocky, all straight lines and rectangles, with plenty of concrete. I only just noticed the use of different colors of concrete, which is interesting.

The suites that would be on the ends of the hotel appear to have large balconies, perfect for enjoying a cocktail in the evening, or for throwing pennies at the passing Monorails (I would never do that, but you have to admit that it would be perfect for it). Red seems to have been a very popular car color in 1973!

Sunday, June 23, 2024


It's time - unfortunately - for some Blurzles. They're like Snoozles, only blurrier. And these are all the more disappointing because they could have otherwise been nice slide scans.

This first one is dated "11-28-73", and we're aboard looking at a Tour Guide and her flock of ducklings, aboard the Disneyland Railroad. I think that's the parking lot in the distance, completely blown out by overexposure. Thanks to "Jason's Disneyland Almanac", we know that November 29th was a Wednesday, the park was open from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, and the high temp was a warm 77º, with the low down to 43º (there are no attendance figures for that day).

Next we head back in time to August, 1960, looking up Main Street from Town Square. A Streetcar heads toward us while a Horseless Carriage chugs northward; overhead is a banner advertising the additions of "Nature's Wonderland", "America the Beautiful", and "Art of Animation". 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Seattle "Century 21 Expo", 1962

I've had some scans of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (aka the "Century 21 Exposition") in a folder on my computer for a long time, and by gum, it's time to use them! The Expo ran from April 21, 1962 through to October 21, 1962, in case you needed to know.

First up is this photo of people milling around near the tori gate entrance to the Japanese Village, part of the "Show Street" section of the Expo - ostensibly themed more for adults. In other words, "pants optional"! Well, that's my theory, anyway. 

In the lower part of this EXCITING photo is the familiar Saul Bass Bell System logo - the Bell Pavilion had a film called "Century 21 Calling...", which was so incredible that it eventually was shown on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I like those decorative poles (what else can I call them?) with the colorful acrylic (?) panels. It reminds me of stuff that an Eames-inspired toy that I had when I was a kid, you would combine colored plastic pieces to see how the resulting mixed hue. Notice the top of the helicopter just over the roofline, presumably what the photographer was trying to capture.

Next, we're inside part of the United States Pavilion, looking out at those unusual sculptural elements - the "Cathedral of Science". The U.S. Pavilion was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, who, not long afterwards, was chosen to design the World Trade Center in New York.

In this vintage photo at the base of one of the towers, you can perhaps see some similar design aesthetics.

I believe that this was part of the Hawaii Pavilion, which was on that nutty "Show Street" adult section - a vintage advertisement mentions "Tahitian Dancers; Hula Dancers; Sword & Fire Dancers". Plus "The Fine Harmony of the Hilo Hawaiians". 

This next picture appears to show a large backlit transparency from NCR - National Cash Register. Ka-ching! (I just really wanted to say "ka-ching"). A mystery woman in purple admires stacks and stacks of punch cards, the latest in technology. "If only I could find a man who loved punch cards as much as I do...", she dreams wistfully. The fellow to the right wishes she would notice him.

The last two scans feature The Water Ski Show, sponsored by Olympia Brewing Company. There's nothing like a water ski show that consists mostly of an expanse of dirt. Always keep them guessing, that's what I always say. An oval canal surrounded that wonderful dirt, and that's where the magic happened. Speed boats pulled daring water skiers behind them, and there were death-defying ramp jumps, shark jumps (well, I hope so anyway), and... other stuff? 

As we have learned, an easy way to add color and movement to any area is to use flags of the world. LOTS of them. And looking at that relatively narrow canal, I can't help wondering if there were any nasty waterskiing accidents during the run of the Expo? Seems likely.

Well, there you go, I'm glad I finally used these scans. I hope you found them edifying and entertaining! I'll have more from the Century 21 Expo in Seattle - when the mood strikes.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Mules of Mirth, June 12, 1973

Mules! Why did it have to be mules?? Today I am featuring a fellow named Ralph (you might remember him from an earlier post); In today's images, Ralph was game to take a ride on the Pack Mules over in (where else?) Frontierland. In this first picture, he's getting safely strapped on to his faithful mule (I shall call her "Buttercup"). "When I was a boy, I rode a mule to school, uphill both ways, in the snow!". 

Incidentally, I always love to refer to Jason's Disneyland Almanac when I have an exact date for slides, so LET'S GO. June 12, 1973 was a Tuesday; park hours were 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM; it was a Grad Nite! And temperatures were a pleasant high of 72º, with a low of 61º.

Hey Ralph, keep your eyes on the trail! Good thing he didn't own a cell phone, am I right? He's still telling us about his school days. "I would bring an apple for the teacher, and in those days you could get a house by trading one apple". "I especially liked rolling a hoop with a stick". "I wish I still had my broad-brimmed hat with the blue ribbon". I know, Ralph, I know. The pack has just gotten underway, so we haven't even begun to enter Nature's Wonderland.

I believe that the pack was now on a pretty part of the trail that was above Rainbow Ridge (which might have been below to our left), and Bear Country was going to dazzle everyone soon. It probably goes without saying, but I regret never riding the Pack Mules. It's a sobering thought to realize that this attraction closed forever just months after these pictures were taken, sometime in October of 1973.

I have a few more pictures with Ralph and Buttercup, coming soon!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Main Street, 1970s

Here are two nice views from Main Street USA, from sometime in the early 1970s. 

It was a busy day - presumably Summer - and even though the sun is already slightly in the west, a surprisingly large number of guests look like they've only just entered the park and are heading northward; just think, the Haunted Mansion was still new at this point, I'll bet a lot of people were going to head straight to New Orleans Square! The patriotic bunting makes me think that this was close to the 4th of July.

A young boy poses with Mickey Mouse - the kid looks like he has "Bonkus of the Konkus". Tragic!  Other guests are being surprisingly orderly as they wait to meet The Mouse. In the background, to the left, is a souvenir stand. We can mostly see plush dolls for sale on those top shelves - I think I see a Thomas O'Malley from the Aristocats, as well as a "Lady", Pooh, Mickey, and Pluto.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

More Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom - September, 1972

Today I am posting the last five scans from Lou Perry, featuring a very early Adventureland from the Magic Kingdom in Florida - scanned and shared with us by Sue B! 

Having never been to the Florida park, my knowledge is scant, so you guys can chime in with whatever you know. We've seen variations on some of these views before, which makes me think that Adventureland is rather small, or maybe it was back in 1972? Here we see "Traders of Timbuktu" again, I'd love to know what sort of stuff was sold in there - I'm picturing lots of imported, non-theme park items from Africa; carved and woven goods, leather items, and such. 

I'm assuming that Lou was in the park bright and early, the place is practically deserted, it's incredible. To our left is a mysterious structure, but the cannons make me assume that the Swiss Family Treehouse is in that direction. Otherwise I have no idea what most of these buildings held.

I thought that this structure with the red roof might be a restaurant, but there's no sign to help; could it be the entrance to a ride? Help!

While Disneyland's Adventureland has its arched entryway, I guess this planter with carved tikis (?) and that sign were all that was needed in Florida. I kind of like it, but admit that it feels a bit underwhelming also. Note that to the extreme right we can see what might be part of Fantasyland (or Liberty Square?) in the distance.

Maybe it's just my imagination, but the tikis look a bit Crump-ish to me (as in Rolly Crump), though of course they might have been purchased at Oceanic Arts in Whittier. 

 Many thanks to Sue B. for sharing these great scans! I'm hoping she has more from Lou's 1972 trip to Walt Disney World.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Previously Skipped

Here are two more "previously skipped" slides - rescued from eternal damnation, and now heading to internet paradise! It's an inspiring story, really.

First up is this undated picture of the Mark Twain as it returned from its trip through the frontier, avoiding rocks and snags and rabid skunks. It's kind of a nice photo, really, I don't know why I skipped it years ago. Probably because it seemed so much like many other scans I'd already shared. That doesn't stop me now! 

Another undated slide scan shows the old Nature's Wonderland Mine Train as it chugged past along the Rivers of America (I believe Cascade Peak is out of frame to our right) before heading deep into the wilderness for a fantastic tour!

Monday, June 17, 2024

A Pair From April, 1974

Boy, it's taking forever to use up scans of slides from April, 1974 - a slide lot that is generally full of underdeveloped (i.e. dark) images. There are four more after this, and then I'm FREE! 

That being said, this first one isn't too bad - it's a nice view of the Autopia, showing how that ride went over water, and through "woodlands" for a very pretty ride. Looking at the two yellow vehicles, I'm guessing that the second car kept bumping the car in front. I used to hate that when I was a kid! Sometimes you'd really get rear-ended pretty hard. But it was just a fact of life on that ride, as you can see to the extreme left, cars just had a way of bunching up. 

Here's one of the "too dark" photos, it looks like our Skyway gondola has just launched from the Tomorrowland Terminal, and is heading toward Fantasyland. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of you may have noticed that our friend Melissa has been silent for a while; I got an email from her, and she gave me permission to share it with all of the Junior Gorillas. Here it is: 

The days have all been running together so much lately  that I hadn't realized how long it's been since I visited the fine primates at Gorillas Don't Blob. The old cornea trouble has been flared up like a pair of pants from 1974 for the last month or so, and my vision is so blurry that all the images on the blog look like double exposures of the Bloblong Blobsled Ride at Blobb's Jell-O Farm and Amoeba Ranch, and the text looks like a font based on doctors' handwriting (I proofread this comment one letter at a time!) My regular doctor can't fit me in until January, but another doctor has squeezed me in next week, so fingers and eyeballs crossed. Feel free to share or summarize the whole magilla with the junior gorillas; I just didn’t want anyone to worry. Ook ook,  Melissa

It goes without saying that I miss Melissa and hope that her cornea troubles are taken care of SOON; and that she will be back with us in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Or even one!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Father's Day

It's Father's Day! And some of the Junior Gorillas have graciously shared some of their own precious photos of their dads, which will make for a fun tribute.

Let's start with this scan from JG, from a photo date-stamped "September 1965"; A tow-headed JG stands with his father at the edge of Disneyland's Submarine Lagoon, gazing into the mysterious depths of "Liquid Space". JG's dad has a ticket book in his shirt pocket! And to the right of his head we can see the Yacht Bar, while the Douglas Moonliner can be seen in the distance. What a great picture!

Next is this charming photo from Chuck Hansen; Chuck says: This was taken in our townhouse complex pool in Columbus, Ohio, in August of 1969.  My dad was finishing up training at nearby Lockbourne AFB (today’s Rickenbacker International Airport) in preparation for a 12-month tour as an AC-119K aircraft commander in Vietnam. I was 9 months old. Wonderful! I have vague memories of swimming with my dad, he'd sort of catch me as I "dove" into the water.

Here's a wonderful portrait of David W. and his father, who you might remember from two past blog posts (see them HERE and HERE). David thinks that this photo could be anywhere from 1962 to 1964, and that the car is a 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 (NICE!). And that the picture was taken "somewhere in California".

And finally, here's a picture of your's truly, at the age of two months, in the lap of my dad. We lived in Evanston, Illinois at the time, and my dad was teaching NROTC classes at Northwestern University. You can see his cool "Popeye scar" on his bicep, from when he battled a vampire! I didn't remember seeing this photo before, so it was a fun discovery.

Thanks to everyone who shared their pictures, and Happy Father's Day to dads everywhere!


Saturday, June 15, 2024

1964 New York World's Fair

It's time for yet another June birthday celebration; this time let's all wish JG a very Happy Birthday! Sue B. sent the following scan. We can't decide if the baby is a girl or a boy (I mean, I still wear a bonnet when I want to feel fancy), but the important thing is that cake! It's a tribute to pylons, if I ever saw one, and perfect for JG (since we could find no cakes with trashcans on them).

Now, on to our "Anything Goes Saturday" post! I'm using up some random scans from the 1964/65 New York World's Fair - always fun if you ask me. First, from 1965 we see this marching band on the a bridge that passed over the Long Island RR tracks, heading toward the entrance to the Fair. This photo gets an additional 75 points because of the Nun!

Next is this view from the Bourbon Street area, which had been the Louisiana Pavilion in 1964, but (apparently) that was not a success. The official guidebook described the area thusly: A variety of restaurants, plus sidewalk artists, Mardi Gras parades and an organ grinder with a monkey, lends atmosphere to this street. Shops feature Louisiana products such as pralines and hand-blown glass. Nightclubs offer music and dancing as well as other kinds of entertainment, and the restaurants include a French Quarter sidewalk cafe'

Next is this fun view of a father and daughter up on the undulating "Moon Deck" of the Eastman Kodak pavilion. Notice the Tower of the Four Winds in the background, part of the Pepsi Cola/UNICEF pavilion where guests could enjoy "It's a Small World".

Speaking of the Pepsi Cola pavilion...! There's Mickey Mouse, safely ensconced above the fray (no switchblades up there). He can still greet guests with a friendly wave. The aforementioned Tower of the Four Winds was a famous Rolly Crump kinetic sculpture with lots of pieces that spun and twirled with the breeze - I like how the sign to the right even has a little wind-powered element on the end!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the New York World's Fair.