Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Contemporary Hotel, November 1971

There are a whole lot of photos of the Contemporary Hotel at Walt Disney World. It's understandable - the Orlando park was brand-new, and the A-frame hotel quickly became a familiar icon to Disney fans. Mr. X (who took the photos) must have been suitably awed by the sheer size and scope of this park, and of the hotel. I decided to share four pictures of his today.

From the side, it doesn't look quite as amazing, but it's nice that each room has a big window that looks out over the bay on one side. A parking lot view might not be the most desirable thing, but maybe you could see the Magic Kingdom in the distance? 

Here's a view from Bay Lake - notice the crane, indicating that there was more work to be done. Can guests go on the water in a boat anymore? I know that swimming is no longer allowed for various reasons. Gators? Brain-eating amoebas?

I believe that the restaurant atop the Contemporary was called the "Top of the World" back then. Maybe 15 stories felt like the top of the world in flat Florida!

These side wings (not sure what they're called) were probably very nice, but dammit, I would want to stay in the main hotel. Otherwise what's the point? It looks like the rooms on the ends of the A-frame included large balconies, which is pretty sweet. I think I see a brain-eating amoeba!

There's just something so cool about a huge A-frame hotel! Especially when it has the beautiful Grand Canyon Concourse in the middle, with the Monorail delivering guests, and whisking them off to the park. Presumably the hotel had something akin to a "Presidential Suite" or some such extra-luxurious digs for the rich and influential. Like certain bloggers, perhaps?

Oh no, we're not done with the Contemporary Hotel just yet!

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Kids of the Kingdom, September 1969

Ah, those clean cut Kids of the Kingdom; they're all about positivity! I wonder what that's like? Must be great.

If there's one thing I know about the Kids of the Kingdom, it's that they love America; that is very groovy! They also love orange and red v-neck cardigans. The skirts on the ladies are just a little too daring for my tastes. Don't worry, I wrote a letter. I appreciate that they were an assortment of ethnicities, and an equal mix of males and females for true equality. 

The back of this particular snapshot says that "Linda de Prisic is 2nd from left". I'm sure Linda is reading this blog - write in, Linda!

Uh-oh, based on their body language, I think that the Kids are getting a little sassy! But in the most wholesome manner possible, of course. Perhaps they are singing "I Dig Rock and Roll Music"? I know the version by "The Mamas and The Papas", and by golly, it will set your toes a-tapping.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Matterhorn Bobsleds, April 1969

Remember when the Matterhorn boblseds were single vehicles that zipped along at near-light speeds around the mountain tracks? This was in the days before the colorful ice caverns and abominable snowman formed. 

Here is "fun Mom", in day-glo pink, along with her family. We don't see much of the Dad in the scores of slides that I have, but here he is, looking like a fun guy. He kind of reminds me of actor John Polito. Look at the kid in front, he had a great time!

And there they go, back to the unload area. I don't remember the tracks being painted turquoise, is that still the case? 

The Richfield eagle is headed straight toward us!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Clifton's Pacific Seas, Los Angeles

A few years ago I was very happy to find a neat 1949 slide taken in front of "Clifton's Pacific Seas" (hereafter referred to as "CPS" because I am lazy) - a famous landmark in Los Angeles for many years. Located on South Olive Street, the restaurant had opened in 1931, but in 1939, the owners gave it an exotic tropical theme, which included a fa├žade with rocks, neon, waterfalls, and tropical plants.

At one point there were eight Clifton's locations; among the interesting features is that they were open 24 hours a day, and (because of owner Clifford Clinton's Christian sensibilities) no person was ever turned away for lack of money. During the depression, thousands of people ate for free, or they were encouraged to "Pay What You Wish" - as little as 1 cent, in some cases.

I had to zoom in on the va-va-voom young lady in the fuscia dress! You have to love the sight of men in suits and fedoras, too. 

Here's a vintage postcard showing a more complete view of the front of the restaurant. What a place? I wonder if Walt Disney ever ate there. No wonder it became a draw for tourists from all over the world.

CPS closed in 1960, and the building was torn down. But don't be too sad... the parcel of land is now a parking lot! Happily, Clifton's 1935 "Brookdale" restaurant has been refurbished and is still at 648 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. It's quite a place! You should go if you ever have the chance. One of the displays is this beautiful little model of Clifford's Pacific Seas.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Beautiful Main Street, U.S.A.

Let's celebrate Main Street U.S.A. today! Why the heck not? As I have mentioned too many times before, Main Street is a land that I didn't appreciate that much in my foolish youth. It was only later that I came to realize what a beautiful creation it is. 

First up is this lovely photo (circa 1959) showing the Disneyland Band marching the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, the "Jams and Jellies" store, the Penny Arcade, and up toward the Candy Palace and Coke Corner, with (of course) the castle in the distance. Crowds are very light on this day in May, and nobody is walking in the street. Don't wanna get run down by a marching band! It's one of the worst ways to go.

Next we have this wonderful October 1961 image looking northward. Main Street looks so appealing! It is colorful without being crass. The trees are just the right size, too. I love the Surrey with its bright yellow wheels, and even the green trash cans spaced regularly along the curb. There was probably a bag of C&H sugar in that planter right in front of us!

Jessie the Cowgirl's mom enters from Stage Left, holding a camera. Take lots of pictures, lady! In the distance, men wear fedoras, ladies wear dresses, and there is a distinct lack of children.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Paper Bags from the Hallmark Communication Center

Hooray for more Disneyland paper ephemera! It is said that "One man's trash is another man's treasure", and I think that today's post shows that it is true. I have three paper bags from the old Hallmark Communication Center on Main Street (1960-1985) to share with you today.

First up is what I am guessing is the oldest of the three, partly because of the wonderful spot illustrations that include the Moonliner (so, pre-1966), and partly because of the color palette used. However, I would not be surprised if it is from around 1965 or thereabouts.

Next is this elegant version in stripes of gold and black. Very "Beverly Hills"! Thanks to a receipt still inside the bag, I can date this one to 1966. 

This third example seems to date from the very late 1960's or very early 1970's. It makes me think of the show "Laugh-In" (1968-1972) - you bet your sweet bippy! It also reminds me of the vinyl flower stickers that my mom put on the walls of the "kid's bathroom", instantly making the place very groovy.

Man, it's hard taking photos of stuff under a blacklight with just your phone! But so worth the effort, wouldn't you say? 

Stay tuned for more trash/treasures!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Frontierland, February 1967

It's that time again! No, not Howdy Doody Time - it's  time for more vintage Frontierland photos, from the MYSTERIOUS BENEFACTOR. All of these are dated "February 1967".

Some lucky photographer was allowed to sneak around the Friendly Indian Village and snap a few photos that mere mortals would never be able to take. Was the photographer dressed like an animatronic Native American? Or was he wearing a Hawaiian shirt, tan slacks, and brown loafers? 

In any case, he was able to take this unusual view standing behind the young Indian boy and his faithful pooch as they both look at the river. A canoe passes by, close to Tom Sawyer Island.. it sure looks like some of the passengers are noticing the photographer's Hawaiian shirt. 

I'm not sure I ever realized that the boy is holding a bow and arrow.

Same day (presumably), different angle... and there goes the Columbia. The Indian boy is not impressed. This is another neat view of the river that most people would never see.

How about a third view from inside the Indian Village? I'll do it, just for you, but don't tell anyone. Now we're back among the cluster of teepees, while peaceful Native Americans grind corn and... well, I'm not exactly sure what those two fellows are up to. Stretching skin over a small framework of some kind.

And finally (for today), yet another shot of the Columbia. There are LOTS of shots of the Columbia in this bunch! But the sails are unfurled, the sky is blue, and everything looks pretty darn swell.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mystery Parade, April 1976

A group of slides from April 1976 mostly consisted of photos of a parade - unfortunately. I'm not crazy about parade photos! But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Add a drop of red food coloring for pink lemonade, why don'tcha.  Anyway, most of these pictures are not that great, so I'm going to post eight in one post. 

Things start promisingly enough with the Dapper Dans. Not parade-related, but who cares. Straw hats, string ties, and goldenrod vests are the order of the day, while badass sideburns are optional. Maybe they are singing, "Back In My Honey's Lovin' Arms".

If a picture is worth taking, it is worth taking twice.

OK, now it appears that we are  really in parade mode, and we have an entirely different barbershop quartet. How many were there? These guys are wearing much fancier embroidered bronzy brocade vests, so they are clearly mom's favorites. 

I should add that I was going to entitle this post "America on Parade", due to the date - that parade debuted in 1975 (the year before the Bicentennial, of course), and there was a televised special on April 3rd of 1976 (the same month as the date-stamp on these slides). My primary memory of this parade is of the large puppet-like figures with oversized heads - and yet, there is not a single photo of those characters in any of my parade photos. What gives?

Meanwhile, Mickey and Minnie pass by (too bad we only see their backs!), decked out, perhaps, in Easter attire? Perhaps this is an Easter parade, and not America on Parade. 

Whoa, that is a crazy angle. Don't fall over, Snow! I call her "Snow" because we are friends. She has a basketful of lovely Spring flowers (from the Flower Market?), and a crown of flowers, supporting my Easter hypothesis.

You can't have Snow White without the Seven Dwarfs; they're right behind her. They look youthful and refreshed, as if they just came back from a relaxing Caribbean vacation. Too bad about the head blocking 1/4 of the image.

Pinocchio is nearly eclipsed by another head, but I think he is safe. For now.

And finally (for today), Alice has left Wonderland for a bit, and she brought Tweedledum and Tweedledee with her. Alice must have been on that same vacation as the Dwarfs, she is very tan!

There are more parade pictures to come - at least two more post's worth. Sorry!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Skyway Views, January 1978

Here are a few nice views taken from the Skyway in 1978!

We're on the Tomorrowland side of the Matterhorn, looking north toward "It's a Small World". But I find all of the stuff in front of it to be of more interest. The Peoplemover! The Fantasyland Autopia! Perhaps a smidgen of the Motor Boat Cruise! And to our left...

...say, there are constructions walls around the Matterhorn and its chalet/queue area. But why? Well, it's 1978, and that's the year that the much more open interior of the mountain was filled in; the glowing ice caverns were added, and a certain abominable snowman moved in. In addition, the bobsleds went from a single-car configuration to a two-car arrangement. 

"It's a Small World" had been in Disneyland for over a decade at this point, and it was a classic from the get-go. As we can see here, the original white and gold color scheme was already getting some changes, in the form of some blue accents. Nothing too drastic! 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Frontierland Views, June 1958

Every batch of slides will have a few better-than-average photos, some "decent but not exciting" photos, and a few that are hardly worth mentioning. Today I have two that fall into the latter category!

This isn't a terrible photo, by any means - it's just that we've seen a jillion pictures of the Burning Settler's Cabin by now, and this one doesn't stand out, really. I suppose one could admire the landscaping, which is still years a bit scraggly, having only been planted a few years earlier. And the cabin is blazing away cheerily. Otherwise... meh.

Next up is this photo of the landing for the Mark Twain and the Columbia; it's kind of a long shot, so we can't see too many details. I like the stacks of crates and casks, and there are a lot of bales of cotton. The small blue-green structure was known as the ice house. The Golden Horseshoe is way in the distance, as is the roof of the Red Wagon Inn.