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!