Saturday, December 02, 2023

Some Magic Kingdom, July 1974

It's Magic Kingdom time! A somewhat random assortment, though all dated "July, 1974". Nearly 50 years ago! 

We'll start with this view of the Diamond Horseshoe building, with a crowd gathering for the next show. Was Wally Boag performing in Florida at that point? I admit that I am biased, but the fa├žade of the Diamond Horseshoe is kind of "blah". I'm sorry, people who love it!

I'm sure that folks in 1974 never dreamed that the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction (and its beautiful tropical lagoon) would be removed in less than 25 years! I loved Disneyland's "Submarine Voyage", and it always seemed to me that the Florida iteration was even more wonderful. The "Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride" apparently now stands on this acreage.

My ignorance of the Florida parks kicks in! I can only assume that the charming bridge seen here is spanning part of the castle moat. Is it the same bridge that we saw before, with Alice talking to children?

And I could have sworn that I have shared this photo before, but if so I can't find it on any past blog post. I know you'll tell me if you've already seen it! We have a nice shot of one of the beautiful WDW locomotives crossing a bridge - presumably the waterway is one of the many canals on Disney World property? I think somebody once mentioned that this bridge could swivel sideways to allow larger boats to pass - maybe that was from the other time I posted this picture!

 I hope you have enjoyed today's visit to the Magic Kingdom.

Friday, December 01, 2023

Beautiful Peoplemover, April 1974

Oh boy, the PeopleMover! A ride that many of us miss so much. It's stunning to think that it has been gone for 27 years - grown adults with children never had a chance to ride it.

Check out this first beautiful photo, a dynamic composition with Peoplemover trains in three flavors (lemon, blue raspberry, and cherry) move steadily on the track - cherry and lemon are heading toward the Plaza, but will soon turn left and into the Adventure Thru Inner Space building. Blue raspberry is heading back toward the load station with the rotating platform. The photo is just a tiny bit too dark, but still has some good color and energy.

Holy Toledo! Just look at those crowds! This was pre-Space Mountain. Any ideas what ride attracted such a mob?

Next is this neat and unusual view heading back toward the station. I've always wondered about the angled texture on the roof of the Peoplemover - was it purely decorative? Did it add strength to the fiberglass? Inquiring minds want to know!


Thursday, November 30, 2023

Two Beauties From May, 1966

I have a pair of slides from May, 1966 - they were a bit faded (hence the slightly "off" colors) but they are still pretty nice.

Holy Bunions! (Yes, Burt Ward - aka "Robin" - actually said that on the 1966 "Batman" TV show). Take a look at the crowds waiting to buy their tickets! I'm not sure when those painted lanes leading to the booths were added, but I don't have a lot of pictures with them. Check out Green Polka Dot Lady, she actually decided to wear that outfit on purpose! While you can't see it in this jpeg, the price for an adult deluxe ticket book was $5.50. That's about $52 (ish) in today's Pepperidge-bucks, so a visit with a large family could be pricey.

Next is this photo from outside "Sunkist, I Presume", where guests could get all kinds of delicious citrus-based juices and popsicles. I believe that the Adventureland Bazaar is to the right of Sunkist, I Presume. Buy a rubber snake first, then go get your juice. That's how the greats do it. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Glass Slides, 1960-ish

We've seen a few slides from today's batch before, these are in glass mounts, unusual by 1960-ish (my guesstimate). 

In spite of the obvious flaws, I do love this first photo, showing Main Street all decked out for Christmas. Wreaths and garlands aplenty, and appropriate as we slide into December! To the right, a chipmunk waves to us, he seems friendly enough, though he does look a little disreputable with that hat cocked to one side. 

Well. Just look at all those red articles of clothing! Perhaps my guesstimate was off? These might be from 1957, the Year of the Tomato. Well, not really, but it sounded good. Don't give me a hard time! This is a swell view of the little mining town of Rainbow Ridge, where you'll catch the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train (if this truly is '57). I sure would love to see that early mine train ride! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Disney Gallery Holiday Catalog, 1999 - PART 1

A while ago, our friend Sue B. was going through boxes of her dad's stuff (he's Lou Perry, as you know), and she found this 1999 Christmas catalog for the Disney Gallery - sort of a fancier version of the Disney Store, with generally higher-end merchandise for more-affluent fans. There were more "collectibles" and decorative items than what you might find in a Disney Store catalog. From what I can glean, there were two actual brick and mortar Disney Galleries (besides the one in New Orleans Square, of course), one in Santa Ana (debuting in 1994) and another in Orlando (1996). With its Christmas theme, Sue thought it would be fun for the Junior Gorillas to relive this little piece of history! So I will be sharing the entire catalog in four parts. 

The cover shows a Dickensian coach, only it's full of classic characters - and it's pulled by Mickey's horse, Tanglefoot! How many people knew his name?

I assume that fancy ornaments are still a big collectible, so why not cater to Disney nuts? Don't hang your new goodies on a dumb actual tree, hang them on a special "Mickey tree"!

Looking at the descriptions, I recognize the name Christopher Radio, he was a familiar name in ornaments. I'm sure my mom (who loves almost anything made of glass) owned a few Radko pieces.

More ornaments! This time they feature various castles, from the parks and from animated classics such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and The Little Mermaid.

Dolls from Marie Osmond, somehow those make sense. And there are lots of doll collectors out there (including Sue I believe?). As a Disney collector myself, I would be frustrated by the fact that my mom would sometimes give me old Mickey dolls as gifts. "Mom, I don't want any dolls!". "But I thought you liked Disney!". I only cried a little.

Heirloom Ornaments, made from genuine heirloom tomatoes. "Kids, I spent all your inheritance on heirloom  ornaments. No need to thank me!". The likenesses of the Dwarts and Snow White are spot-on, something that these fancy Disney items excelled at (generally). It's nice to see the Roger Rabbit and Jessica ornaments too, 

There's something for everyone in the family at the Disney Gallery! 

Porcelain trinket boxes from Limoges were popular with some collectors (and probably still are), I'm sure that Disney collectors were more than happy to part with their dollars. Get 'em all! And they aren't just for girls, Dad might want to keep his cufflinks in a Pluto trinket box.

Whoa, that Mary Poppins carpet bag was a cool $1,000. As Shakespeare once said, "Zoiks!".

And lastly (for today), we have a few more ornaments... the "broom" example baffled me for a moment. I actually own that Mickey Mouse book by Pierre Lambert (though I did not buy it from the Disney Gallery), all of his Lambert's Disney volumes are impressively large and full of beautifully-printed artwork, from concept sketches to background paintings to full cel setups.

Well, that does it for PART ONE! Many thanks to Sue B. for taking the time to scan this catalog, I hope you all enjoyed this blast from the past. You'll see PART TWO in a week.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Matterhorn From Skyway, November 1974

I believe that both of today's scans could have been taken from the top floor of the Carousel of Progress building - or should I say, the "America Sings" building, as that attraction had debuted on June 29th, 1974. What I don't personally remember is if guests could walk out onto the outer walkway when America Sings was there, or if the view was only available from guests riding the Peoplemover. I know YOU guys will know.

Regardless, it's a very nice view of the Matterhorn, taken in the afternoon, with plenty of Tomorrowland goodness. The Autopia, the Monorail, the Skyway, and the Peoplemover, all for your viewing pleasure. A climber can be seen at the summit, they usually climb in pairs so I guess the other guy fell off. Hard facts! 

Let's zoom in and take a look at how busy the park was! It must have been a bit chilly (being November), and possibly on a weekend, or during the holiday break. 

Here's a second, slightly less-interesting shot, though it is always trippy to see the Skyway below us. What witchcraft is this?

Sunday, November 26, 2023


It feels like a Snoozly Sunday to me. This first slide is not bad, I am ordinarily a fan of photos of the old Astro Jets, but this one is too close, and there's too much motion blur. Admit it, it's true! I guess one could argue that the motion blur really gives a sense of... er... motion. But it's still not great.

Next is this "too dark" photo (from March 1963) of the Zambezi Miss as it sat at the dock awaiting a new load of passengers for the Jungle Cruise. "I'd better take a photo in case anybody asks me which boat I was on!", Marge thought to herself as she raised her camera.


Saturday, November 25, 2023

Knott's Berry Farm Views

I have some undated Knott's Berry Farm slide scans for you today, starting with this view of some underpants. Sure, there is a burro, and a dilapidated old shack, and that structure which I suppose some might describe as a "mine head". Ouch, I bumped mine head (nutty German accent)! I see on some sites they call these a mine head frame. Anyway, back to the underpants! There they are, along with other articles of clothing that nobody cares about.

I always enjoy a look at the streets of Ghost Town when it was bustling with guests. Was this a primo summer day? We'll never know, but it looks darn pleasant anyhow. Some Indian fellows are at the ready to pose with you for a priceless family heirloom.

Another nice street view, and this time we can see the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which debuted on July 11, 1969, so at least we can date these photos after that. We love you, Knott's Berry Farm!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Two Views From April, 1974

Here are two very pretty photographs taken from the Plaza, I think you'll like these! As the title of the post says, both are from April, 1974. Let's start with this POSTCARD WORTHY view looking toward the entrance to Tomorrowland, with two Peoplemover trains trundling past (I love the reflections). At first I thought that the water was part of the Castle moat, but in fact it was part of...

... the old Alpine Gardens area, formerly the home of the Monsanto House of the Future. The concrete walkways below were there back in 1958 when the House of the Future was originally built. I love that somebody had the bright idea of saving the pools and plants rather than tearing everything out and filling it with Moon dirt. 

I hope you are enjoying the long holiday weekend!


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! It's always a good idea to think about the good things in our lives (sometimes we have to make an effort to do so). I am thankful for all of YOU, the best Junior Gorillas a fellow could ask for! 

I have some fun vintage Thanksgiving photos for you, starting with this first cute snapshot, shared with us by our friend Sue B. (though this is not a "Lou and Sue" image). An impressively-large turkey hasn't been carved yet, but it will be. Any minute now! A cute little girl with curls might already be digging in to some mashed potatoes, which frankly is one of my favorite treats. Looking at the home decor, I am wondering about the date of this photo. I'd guess "sometime in the early 1970s" if I had to, what do you think? Thank you for sharing, Sue!

The next three scans are from me; starting with this photo from 1958. The platters are full and the plates are clean, so dinner has not been served just yet. You can tell it's a holiday because they put ice in their glasses of water! Pretty crazy. The stack of white bread reminds me of my grandma and grandpa in Minnesota, they always had white bread and a tub of margarine to accompany dinner. I assume that the walls are not actually tufted, but instead it has trompe l'oeil wallpaper to make it appear that way. 

Next, it's 1954, and the whole family is raising a toast to the occasion. There's another stack of bread! Each person has a glass filled with some mystery substance and decorated with a lit candle, I wonder what that could be? It's too early for dessert. The glass nearest to us has a red chunk, perhaps it is fruit cocktail. The flocked pinecones hanging from the light fixture make me think that this could be a Christmas image, but the two holidays often blur into each other. 

And finally, from Thanksgiving 1965 comes this photo. Mom appears to be serving up the chow. All three kids are wearing white, with what looks like brown... suspenders? Overalls? Kind of weird. The table is set up in the kitchen, for some reason. It's interesting to observe how different this scene looks from the others that were less than 10 years earlier.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! I'm still out of town, but will talk to you all soon!