Monday, March 19, 2012
TPE: Magnolia Park
The last place on my tour of Vintage Disneyland in Adventureland is Magnolia Park. I am skipping the Tahitian Terrace because I recently did a post on that fine restaurant which you can read here.
Modern-day Park Guests think of the fountain area near The Haunted Mansion as being Magnolia Park (which would be correct), but back in Disneyland's early days, Magnolia Park was the piece of real estate between The Jungle Cruise and The Chicken Plantation Restaurant. The first two photos show aerial views of the bandstand and The Chicken Plantation to give you an idea of where it was located.
At the centerpiece was the infamous bandstand, which started its life in Town Square. Shortly before the park was opened, it was realized that this large structure would block the view of the Castle and disrupt the cinematic “long shot” desired looking down Main Street. Its next residence was near the castle, where it resided until Walt decided that the Disneyland Band needed a more permanent stage. John Hench sketched up a few ideas for the Carnation Plaza Gardens and the bandstand was moved (again), approximately July 1956 to Magnolia Park.
In this photo of the footbridge to the Chicken Plantation, you can see the back of the Bandstand's Dome:
And why would I want to visit a bandstand in Magnolia Park? Here are the reasons. First reason is The Christmas Bowl:
No trip to Magnolia Park would be complete with seeing the Ken-L-Ration Dog Show, hosted by Sergeant Preston:
Or a live band concert led by Vesey Walker. Where are the guests?
Here's an early shot of the park under construction:
When the Jungle Cruise expanded in 1962, the addition of the Elephant Bathing Pool meant that the Bandstand had reached the end of the line at Disneyland. According to the Nickel Tour, the Bandstand was donated to the City of Anaheim, who kept it for a few years. Next (and final?) owner was Rogers Gardens. According to my contact at Rogers Gardens, The City of Anaheim called the owner of Roger’s Gardens around 1975 and said that they were going to throw the gazebo away and if Rogers wanted it, they had to come get it by the next day. A very large truck was rented and the Bandstand was relocated. It is now a favorite resting spot in the gardens, and Rogers is making a new sign that advertises the fact that it truly is the original Disneyland Band Gazebo. Rogers themselves started out in Costa mesa, moving to its present location of Corona Del Mar in January 1970.
And that, my blog-reading friends, concludes our Time-Machine-Travel to Adventureland. See you in Frontierland!
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