Thursday, December 14, 2017

Frontierland Instamatics, August 1969

Boy, do I love this first photo; It was taken from the back of one of the Pack Mules as it clip-clopped through Nature's Wonderland; I don't believe I have any other similar angles showing a Mine Train as it passed over the trestle that crossed the river through Bear Country. Wonderful!

When I sent the previous scan to Mr. X (who took the photo), he asked if I could add a nicer sky using Photoshop, because he wanted to have a print made. I decided to give it a whirl! In addition to the sky, I lightened the rest of the photo and upped the color saturation. In general I don't like to alter photos beyond ordinary cleanup and restoration, but in this case it seemed like a fun exercise.

Not far away, the Columbia waited at the dock in Frontierland as passengers boarded. Even in 1969, Frontierland still looks pretty "frontiery", surprisingly. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Frontierland in Black and White

I have two very nice black and white photos for you today, scanned from a few strips of negatives. They are undated, but are probably pre-1959, I think. 

We'll start with this neat shot taken from Tom's Treehouse (on Tom Sawyer Island, naturally), looking north along the Rivers of America. There's the Mark Twain chugging away, heading straight toward some elk on the riverbank. To our left is the landing for the Indian War Canoes, the Indian Village, and... not much else.

For you fans of telephone poles... you're welcome! 

Why not zoom in for a better look? This photo is very nice, in spite of the lack of color. 

Next is another view from a different vantage point on Tom Sawyer Island (probably from Fort Wilderness), looking toward the Indian Village. A raft full of passengers heads back to the mainland, and a canoe returns to the dock, having survived their perilous journey. 

Those teepees are pretty impressive, probably at least 15 feet tall. How many buffalo hides were needed for a single structure? We're so used to seeing them in endless movies and TV shows that it's easy to not notice how cool they are. Notice the birch bark-sheathed "Wigwasagamig" in the distance to our left.

How about another zoom, at no additional cost? As you know, I like to do some vintage people-watching. Can you see the little girl who seems to be looking right at us?! It's like "Where's Waldo", only less annoying.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Walt Disney World Holiday Brochure, 1973

With Christmas just around the corner, today seemed like a good day to share Ken Martinez's scan of a 1973 Walt Disney World holiday brochure. Here's Ken:

Walt Disney World Holiday Brochure/pamphlet 1973

Today we have a vintage Walt Disney World Holiday Fantasy brochure from 1973.  I always like the original fonts and mouse-eared globe for the spelling of “Walt Disney World”.  I don’t understand why they changed it when its’ such a great iconic image.  I would assume this pamphlet was handed out at the gate or available as a brochure in one of the hotel lobbies.

Looks like this year Rock Hudson will be narrating the Christmas Story for the Candlelight Processional.   According to the Rock Hudson Project, he narrated the very first one and narrated again in 1973, 1974, 1977 and 1980.  I must stay those ticket book prices for Walt Disney World admission, transportation and tickets are incredible.   

I always loved these maps found in the early WDW guide booklets.   By this time, the new additions at the Magic Kingdom were Tom Sawyer Island, Pirates of the Caribbean with its Caribbean Plaza, If You Had Wings and the Plaza Swan Boats.  Space Mountain, WEDway PeopleMover, Carousel of Progress and the Star Jets would not appear until around 1975.

The attractions listed in the “Morning” section were all the ‘E’ ticket attractions at the time except “it’s a small world” which I guess didn’t draw the crowd to recommend catching it before midday.  The only main outdoor evening entertainment at Walt Disney World was the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks show and the “Electrical Water Pageant”, predecessor to the Main Street Electrical Parade which would not show up in the Magic Kingdom until 1977.

And here we have entertainment, leisure and shopping excitement.  So much awaits you at Walt Disney World.  Can’t say I’ve heard of any of those entertainers at the “Top of the World” though.  I’d imagine if you did stay a week at Walt Disney World you might actually be able to do and see everything.   Not anymore.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post about early Walt Disney World holiday entertainment.  More Walt Disney World to come.

THANKS as always to Ken Martinez for sharing more goodies from his collection!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Main Street, December 1967

The word of the day is "festoon".

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so it's the perfect time to share some snapshots of Disneyland's Main Street during the Christmas season fifty years ago.

At first glance this doesn't look very festive, until one notices that the photo is framed by trees covered in ornaments, and that Main Street Station is bedecked in some modest (by today's standards) garlands. The driver of the Horse Drawn Streetcar is wondering where all the guests are. Guess they're more interested in that new pirate ride than some old horse. Progress? Bah!  

Disneyland is not just for kids, as these two fellows discovered. Mr. Blue Cardigan looks like he ran all the way from Main Street Station, and suddenly became aware of how uncool that was. First of all, who walks down the middle of the street? Not in America, pal! His buddy documented the whole sordid incident with his Kodak Brownie. 

Main Street looks wonderful, I love those garlands, bells, and wreaths. Notice the bells that festoon the light posts too. I also kind of like it when you see the guests dressed in cool-weather clothing for the few months that it gets down into the 60's and even (egads) the 50's. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Rainbow Desert, 1957

Californians don't have to drive too far to visit a real desert - the venerable Mojave, just hours from Los Angeles. But you know what? It ain't no Rainbow Desert. (With that double negative, perhaps I'm saying that it IS a Rainbow Desert. What do I mean? Nobody ever knows).

I think I've seen some barrel catcus, and maybe some jumping cholla, but I've sure never seen a saguaro during my drives through the Mojave. As you know, saguaros have been voted "Most Popular Cactus" in "US" magazine for four decades in a row. Sorry, prickly pear! 

In the 1800's and early 1900's, most saguaros were killed for their oil, which was used in a variety of products (giving men's hair that glistening sheen, and keeping watches running accurately, for instance). When will we ever learn? Fortunately, they've made a comeback, but in the 1950's they were as scarce as ivory-billed woodpeckers. Which makes this tableau that much more impressive.

And here's a familiar view of strange rock formations sculpted by angry bees over many millennia. Note the little coyote, trapped in a hole by the bees so that he will raise their larva. You can see the pueblos perched precariously atop the buttes and mesas. How did they get to McDonald's? The McRib is back!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Marineland of the Pacific

"Marineland of the Pacific" was a combination of aquariums and live marine mammal performances, located on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. Here are a few photos from Marineland!

First up is this image showing the entrance, with a sculpture depicting a leaping pilot whale and two common dolphins, with a shape to the right resembling a whale's spout (also forming the letter "M"). Very nice!

This next one is kind of a neat view - undated, but certainly from the 1950's. That mess of a construction zone in the foreground is presumably part of Marineland, though what part, I couldn't say. Because it is top secret. In spite of the clutter, Palos Verdes sure looks lovely. All that blue! 

I wish feeding my cat was this exciting. Of course it helps that the trainer is leaning dramatically over the water. One slip and the pilot whale will swallow him whole. Or at least that's what I would hope. What do you feed a pilot whale? Those little cocktail franks, Pop Tarts, leftover meatloaf, old bagels... pretty much anything, really.

If you look at the hillside in the previous photo, you can match up some of the features in this one.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Marineland of the Pacific!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Two Beauties, 1950's

While going through a small batch of slides, I discovered four or five "orphans"... single slides that were not part of larger lots. Some of them are very nice, though, and definitely worth sharing.

I love the color in both of these, but this first image (undated) is so nice. There's something about the angle and the apparent movement of the people that gives it an immediacy that is not always present in old photos. I feel like I am there!

It's 10:18 in the morning, and a beautiful day to be at Disneyland - blue skies, brilliant sunshine. And even from this vantage point (outside the entry gates) the park looks freshly-scrubbed and lovely.

Here is a closeup of those mystery doors, lightened as much as possible - they are definitely little rooms! No phones are visible though.

Next is this pretty photograph (also undated) of Sleeping Beauty Castle on another perfect day. It looks like our photographer was standing on the bridge that leads into Frontierland; I'm not sure what to call that body of water in the foreground - it's not really part of the moat, although it IS a part of the  "dark water" system that included the moat, the Rivers of America and the Adventureland's "Rivers of the World". 

Anyhoo, this one is nearly "postcard worthy", with the beautiful landscaping and interesting composition.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Slides, 9-1-1 Continued

It's time for another installment of "Slides, 9-1-1!" (starring Kevin Tighe and Randy Mantooth). 

In this episode, Major Pepperidge races against the clock to restore some badly faded slides. Talk about exciting. I hope Dixie McCall shows up, rowr! Both of today's examples were taken after the sun had set, and the park was almost dark. This made for some special challenges in restoring them, but I am reasonably (though not completely) happy with the results. You might think that this first scan shows that amusement park that was built on Mars ("Bradburyland") in the 1950's, but you would be mistaken. 

So, there is the Submarine lagoon below us, and the Matterhorn with the Skyway, and even a Mark II Monorail at the station. I love this unusual view, with the twinkling lights reflecting off of the water; you can almost sense the coolness of the air and the less-frantic sounds.

I guess this was taken from a moving Monorail?! Where else could a guest be that was that high up without being on the Skyway or the Matterhorn?

This next one was absolutely taken from a moving Monorail, and that means we have to deal with some blurring. But it's a small price to pay!

Frankly, I'm surprised it turned out as clear as it did, in this low-light situation, and with the slower film speeds of the early 60's. That fellow under the "N" is gazing at the Monorail, you can bet that he and his wife rode that attraction. There's not much to say about this, except that I like the cool evening colors with warm highlights. And there's lots of posters, including two examples from the "Art of Animation" exhibit.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

It's a Small World, July 1972

Today is the first day of the rest of your month. It is also the first day that I am sharing photos that are from one family's trips to Disneyland over various years, from around 1967 through to the early 1970's. There's a lot of them! And as I've said before (too many times), my appreciation for the Disneyland of the 70's has increased a lot. 

Today we're over at the "It's a Small World" attraction, which I still love. Yes, even that song! For some reason it doesn't seem to drive me crazy the way it does for so many others. Maybe my IQ is too low? Even waiting in line is OK. The fa├žade has so much going on, and the sight of the boats floating on that tourmaline-blue canal is wonderful.

Hi kids! Wave, damn you; wave like you never waved before. 

Good grief, who put that train there? Somebody has some explaining to do. Looks like the Ernest S. Marsh chugging through. I love that the train passes right in front of everything, right in the midst of the action.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Moonliner, Tomorrowland - 1950's

Space Mountain is a pretty eye-catching sight in today's Tomorrowland, but I'm not sure it tops the old Moonliner for sheer "wow" factor. 

In this first photo, you can see how tiny the people look at the base of the rocket - and this version was only 1/3 of the size that the proposed "real" rocket would be, if we ever sent one into space and to the Moon. Now that would be impressive! Especially since the pre-1967 Tomorrowland was, for the most part, a low-level, one story affair. 

We can also see the Space Bar, the Skyway, the Flight Circle, and those unusual elliptical awnings to the right, providing shade for weary Moon travelers.

Some people don't notice the cockpit up near the nose, where brave and experienced pilots would control the rocket during its 500,000 mile trip (that's 250,000 miles each way)! It is also where he would experience the delights of a genuine Pillsbury Space Food Stick. Chocolate, or peanut butter? You can't go wrong.

I loved those things!

Monday, December 04, 2017

Mine Train & Cascade Peak, June 1963

Someday, when virtual reality is a regular thing, I hope that somebody creates a super-accurate ride-thru of the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland. Wouldn't that be amazing? 

Today's first image shows one of the li'l yellow Mine Trains returning from that amazing Wonderland. Boy, did they get their money's worth! Bears, battling elk, beavers building a dam, colored mud pots, anthropomorphized cacti, geysers, mysterious rock formations, and last but not least, rainbow caverns. I am so jealous of every one of those people!

Next is the lovely Cascade Peak, with multiple waterfalls cascading away, just like the ads said. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Town Square and the C.K. Holliday, October 1970

I'm still slogging through that batch of dark and dreary slides from 1970 - although at least the first of today's examples is not too bad!

See what I mean? I think I even see some of Henry Fonda's favorite, cerulean blue (these being GAF color film). Town Square looks great, as usual - and was a beautiful day to be in the park. As much as I love the more mature trees, they are definitely starting to block the view of the castle, even from the elevated vantage point of Main Street Station. 

If you shine a flashlight at your monitor, you might be able to tell that this is a photo of the C.K. Holliday. Man, those shadows just went inky black! But I can never get enough photos of the Disneyland locomotives, especially the two that were built at the studio. Notice the parking lot tram in the distance!

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Miscellaneous Expos

Here are some scans from various Expositions - otherwise known as World's Fairs (I'm not really sure why "exposition" is used sometimes, and not others).

I like this great photo from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, also known as the "Century 21 Exposition". It's a crisp and well-composed look at the amusement zone, called the "Gay Way". These small souvenir and food stands are more akin to a state fair, though that's not a bad thing. Cotton candy! Sno cones! Caramel apples! The three basic food groups, if I remember my schoolin'. That giant puff of cotton candy atop that one stand looks like it was fashioned from pink fiberglass insulation (and perhaps it was). I like the way it looks slightly dirty, as if it has been dropped into a puddle a few times. Mmmm, gritty.

Meanwhile, the cute little Sky Ride (sponsored by Union 76) makes the perfect accompaniment. 

Next we are visiting the "Expo 86", or The World Exposition on Transportation and Communication, held in Vancouver, British Columbia. The lovely lunar-module thingy (a 17-story geodesic dome) is the Expo Centre, which initially opened in 1985 as a preview center (centre?) for the Expo. FYI, this was the last World's Fair (or Expo) to be held in North America. The last Expo in the U.S. was in New Orleans in 1984 - the Louisiana World Exposition.

While this cool structure was slated to be torn down, the public rallied, and it still stands today as "Science World", with a 500-seat Omnimax Theater (theatre?), a "Futures Theater with push-button voting" (?), and a display of futuristic vehicles. 

The Sky Ride carried almost 10 million people over the course of the Expo!

And finally, here's a single photo from Osaka's "Expo 1970". Did I mention it was in Osaka? The theme was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind", and not "Cartoons and Candy" as I suggested. Their loss. I did a previous post with photos from Expo 1970 (see it HERE); like that post, I know so little about the structures and buildings at the Osaka Expo that I can offer no information. If any of you can chime in, please do so!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Monstro the Whale, May 1958

Monstro the Whale is still gobbling up Disneyland guests by the boatload after more than 60 years, and he shows no signs of stopping. That's just how angry he is!  I like this nice angle as he devours one of the canal boats ("Lady Guinevere") - meanwhile he almost completely eclipses the Pirate Ship with his bulk. 

To the right, between the tunnel and the tip of Cinderella's Castle, is a mountain peak. At first I thought it was Cascade Peak, until I realized that it wasn't built until two years after this photo was taken, AND there is no way it would be seen in that position. We're just seeing the back of the Alps or Dolomites or whatever those mountains are that provide a stunning backdrop for Geppetto's Village.

I always thought it was too bad that The Magic Kingdom in Florida never got a Storybook Land of their own. Imagine if they had made their Monstro twice as large - or bigger! By the late 1960's it might have been considered too tame or old-fashioned for the soon-to-be 1970's crowds.

It's funny to see a lone stroller parked near the trash can, as opposed to the fleets of strollers seen nowadays.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chipmunk Rampage! July 1972

Many of you will probably remember an eye-shattering pair of pants from a previous post, and you might even remember the kid attached to those pants, not to mention his father. Well those pants are back, and so is the kid and his dad! This time they are over by the entrance to Tomorrowland, beneath the Peoplemover track, and in the reflected warmth of the silvery panels that flank T-land's walkway. Not to mention those odd "flying cuttlefish" fountain thingamajigs. 

As you can see, Chip and Dale are signing autographs, and handing out copies of their memoir, "Nuts! Our Lives in Show Business" (with a forward from Kurt Vonnegut). The boy's pants are WAY outmatched by the young lady's red dress. I think I had a bedspread made from that same red and blue fabric.

If there's one thing Chip knows, it's how to connect with his fans. In those days it was perfectly OK to hand kids a pack of smokes or even a genuine Cohiba. Jerry Lewis did it all the time on his telethon. Notice the kid's mouse ears with the rare chin strap - I guess that kid was a test pilot or somethin'.

Also notice that kid to the extreme right, who is cooler at the age of three than I will ever be. "Chip! Baby! Let's  you and me meet at the Sands next week. Dino will be there, and Frank might show up too. We can ditch Joey Bishop if he shows his face, am I right?".

Dale is a shameless ham, but he doesn't care. He lives for the business of show! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Random Walt Disney World, 1971

I chose a random selection of scans from the recent set of November 1971 negatives gifted to me by good old "Mr. X" (that generous fellow). 

First up is this shot of Main Street Station. Man that structure looks huge! I think Disneyland's version might reach to the bottom of the cupola. I've heard that they did this because everyone in Florida is full-size, instead of 5/8 scale like the people in California. But that might just be a rumor. 

Mr. X was such a die-hard Disneyland fan, it must have been quite a sight to see Florida's train station for the first time.

Here's a nice shot of one of the two-decker "Osceola class" sidewheeler steamboats - in this case it's the "Southern Seas" (the other one being the "Ports-O-Call"). What a nice way to get from a parking lot to the Magic Kingdom! Of course there was the Monorail option (in the background) too. 

I could tell you more about these steamboats, but what I am going to do is recommend that you read FoxxFur's excellent post on the always-awesome "Passport to Dreams Old & New" blog. Check it out HERE! You'll be glad you did, it's amazing in its detail and wealth of information.

And just to round things out, here's yet another nighttime view of the Grand Course, looking down on two Monorails (and some of those koo-koo krazy acrylic trees). The blue Monorail has its doors open - for some reason I did not expect them to swing inward like that. 

Stay tuned for more vintage Walt Disney World photos!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Orlando Sentinel

Today I present part two of Ken Martinez's scans of a very scarce and historic edition of The Orlando Sentinel, from 1967. Until Ken sent me the images, I don't think I was aware that this neat collection of early stories about the Magic Kingdom even existed! Once again, I've tried to post the images in a very large size (click on the thumbnails, in case you didn't know) so that you can read the complete articles for yourselves. Here's Ken:

Orlando Sentinel - Disney World Souvenir Edition Part 2

Today is part two of the Orlando Sentinel Disney World Souvenir Edition.  This special edition of the Orlando Sentinel was released on February 3, 1967.  Featured today are a full page and various clippings from this edition.

I love these two drawings for EPCOT.  The Mark III Monorails are shown here and a different style PeopeMover which appears to be completely enclosed. The second image is reminiscent of World Showcase at Epcot. Also there’s an article on the “School of Tomorrow” and law enforcement with the coming increase in population of Central Florida.

Here’s the conceptual rendering for EPCOT which by now has been seen by many Disney fans.  In addition, there’s an article on the coming building boom in Central Florida.

Here’s an architect’s cross section of the Dynamic Urban Center of EPCOT.   I wonder how many other architectural drawings and renderings exist but have never been revealed to the public.  I’ve love to see them.

Here’s an early artist’s idea layout.  The monorail transportation system shown here seems to cover all the major activity centers on the property.  Much was to change from this early rendering.  I wonder how much of what was originally planned never came into being.  For sure the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” and “Jet Airport of the Future” didn’t happen. And the monorail system didn’t quite expand and grow to cover all points of interest.

Well, that’s it for the Orlando Sentinel Disney World Souvenir Edition from 1967.  I hope you enjoyed this bit of pre-history before Walt Disney World was built.

MANY THANKS to Ken for scanning this rare document and sharing it with us!