Wednesday, May 02, 2012

TPE: Leaving Fantasyland



My last TPE post for Fantasyland is a small assortment of miscellaneous gems from the past. I would love to visit Merlin's Magic Shop when it existed adjacent to the Peter Pan dark ride. This image showing the front of the shop is from the early years of Disneyland:



Zooming in, you can get a gander at the windows:





This December 1961 slide shows the festively adorned Matterhorn, even more impressive with a space-aged Christmas star atop its peak.



As a young child, I remember the doll-like Ken & Barbie-style Sleeping Beauty Diorama.



As an adult, I remember the joy I felt when I was able to experience the restored Diorama in the Castle, based on the original Eyvind Earle designs. The first image, from a Viewmaster set, is the only original photo I have from that era. This is why I cherish the souvenir booklet given out during the initial years of the Diorama's opening.



Do you have your protective envelope, or would you care to use my coupon?



Primitive as it may be, I also love the entryway of the Diorama:





What a treat it would be to see Shirley Temple Black march up Main Street for the opening of the Diorama:



...reading her regal speech to assembled guests under the watchful eye of Walt:





Another favorite area that I'd love to see during its first years would be the peaceful glen of the Snow White Wishing Well, which opened in April 1961. This photo is my earliest image of this beloved corner of the park, dated May 1961:



From the April 1961 "The Disneylander" Newsletter comes this fascinating article:

Wishing Well Dedication April 9th

Photographic enthusiasts in Disneyland will thrill to a new sight the first part of April when they see the magnificent Snow White Grotto in all its splendor on the right of Sleeping Beauty's Castle as they approach Fantasyland.

Many Disneylanders feel that of all the beautiful picture taking spots throughout the Park this newest addition to the Magic Kingdom will soon become one of the top stopping places for guests with still and motion picture cameras.

Nestled in the hill alongside the Castle the Grotto will include not only Snow White, but the Seven Dwarfs as well. The famous Walt Disney characters, carved from the finest Italian marble, will be placed around Echo Falls, a new Disneyland water fall spectacular. Guests will also see other characters from the motion picture of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," including rabbits, doves, a little doe, turtles and fish spouting water that perform like ballet dancers to the beautiful music made famous in the motion picture.

Adjacent to the Grotto and accessible to guests will be one of the world's most beautiful and inviting wishing wells, designed by WED Enterprises and made in the Disneyland mill and by our staff shop experts. Contributions thrown into the well will be turned over to Variety Clubs International, the famed organization made up of show business personalities, who will use the money for their chartiabe work among the needy.

The wishing well will be formally dedicated on Sunday, April 9th in a ceremony arranged by Tommy Walker. Stars from stage, screen, television and show business in general, as they visit the Park, are planning to make their contributions along with the public as they pass the Wishing Well and admire the beauty of the latest addition to the Disneyland scene.



I sure hope the number-crunchers leave this area alone. See you in Tomorrowland next!

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3 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

My Sleeping Beauty Castle souvenir booklet has its original envelope!

Snow White Sanctum said...

Thanks for posting the Wishing Well dedication.

It's difficult to see, but it looks like Dopey does not have his fishing pole.

K. Martinez said...

I'd love to see the return of the space-aged Christmas star during the holiday season.