Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The Conestoga Wagon was an early attraction at Disneyland that also became an early victim of "progress." High overhead, unpredictability of the animals, and a low guest capacity forced the closure of the Conestoga Wagon by 1960. Today though, we'll journey back into time and celebrate this mode of transportation that was vital to the westward expansion of our country. A December 1955 newspaper ad for Frontierland stated:
“You will ride the Conestoga Wagon in Frontierland—one of the most picturesque and vital vehicles in history. It was the Conestoga, not the Covered Wagon, that developed the West. The great wagons were first built in the Conestoga Valley of Pennsylvania, with water tight bottoms that permitted safe crossing of rivers."
Based upon the photos in my collection, it would appear that there were two different wagons; one painted blue that said, "Westward Ho!" on its side...
And a brown painted wagon that said, "Oregon or Bust":
To get a feeling of how cramped these vehicles were, here's a shot that shows the guests sandwiched inside like sardines. Without the oil.
Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage Conestoga Wagon photos on my Stagecoach & Wagon web page.