Monday, August 15, 2011

Walt Surveys His Creation, 1955



From the publicity caption:

DISNEY'S WONDERLAND

Movie impresario Walt Disney has a new huge project under way. He is building a 17-million-dollar-wonderland—which he calls Disneyland—in Anaheim, Calif., near Los Angeles. It will cover 160 acres with all sorts of places and rides out of Disney's films and TV programs, and his fertile imagination. Its attractions will range from Frontierland to Tomorrowland, with Fantasyland along the way. Scheduled opening date is set for July 17.

Here Walt Disney stands framed by the covered waiting room of the Disneyland railroad station as he looks down Main Street. The street will be typical of the years from 1890 to 1910.


This early construction photo of Town Square has a number of way cool details to see. I love seeing Walt all by himself, sizing up what's going on and how the reality matches up to his vision.

On the right-hand side of this detail shot, you can see the much moved Bandstand, before being place in its first location.



Main Street is recognizable, although most of the ornamentation has yet to be put in place. Can you imagine the feverish pace these guys must have been working at?



Finally for today, this is my have closeup: could Zorro REALLY have made his mark on this pillar of the Main Street Train Station? Wonder if it's still there under all the layers of paint.



Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Disneyland Town Square photos at my regular website.

5 comments:

Thufer said...

I always just stop and ponder at pictures such as this. What must have been going on in that that mind.
I also love that 'cowboy' hat that seemed to be part of his construction period apparel.
Very wonderful picture Dave, thanks.

Connie Moreno said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG, this is BEYOND fantabulous!!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Super cool pic! It's strange to see the bandstand in that spot, but wasn't there a lumber shop back there somewhere behind the Opera House? I believe the Fantasyland pirate ship was constructed in that general area as well and then moved to it's final location.

Davelandweb said...

Chris - I believe the Opera House itself functioned as the lumberyard during the construction phase of DL as well as the first year or so. And yes - there are some photos of the wooden frame of the COTS pirate ship nearby on my site.

JG said...

Construction photos are great.

Agree with Thufer, re: the vision required to think something like into being.

I am still boggled at the detail and focus on quality and user experience, which just does not exist in today's world.

The nearest I can come to think of is Apple, both hardware and software. But there are no examples in architecture or construction.

(full disclosure, I am a PC guy, but i have an i-phone)

JG