Tuesday, May 07, 2013
The Saucers Are Coming!
Before the August 1961 arrival of the Tomorrowland Flying Saucers, a technical drawing was needed. To build excitement about this new attraction, the Disney publicity machine created this sign to stir up the emotions of guests"
Thank goodness they were able to translate the Astrogram for us mere earthlings! Once it was available for guests to enjoy, it appeared to be a lot of fun...when it was working.
Apparently a nightmare because of their technical difficulties, more often than not guests found themselves stuck in a corner or unable to get the durn things to work the way they should.
Have to zoom-in to get a better view of the decal on the saucer:
From the Disneylander Employee Newsletter, September 1961:
FLYING SAUCERS AT DISNEYLAND
It took a little longer than anticipated by the Disneyland Flying Saucers finally went to work the middle of last month and started to tak in some "E" coupons
After a period of testing with many Disneylanders having the opportunity of playing like an Astronaut, the latest Magic Kingdom attraction opened with the proper ceremonies. On hand to celebrate the occasion were the Disneyland Band playing "Come Josephine in My Flying Saucer" and other appropriate tunes, the Space Man and the Space Girl and, of course, Pluto in the person of Tony Barksdale. (Honest)
Without taking anything away from the other celebrities who were on hand, it must be admitted that Pluto was the hit of the show. Jack Lindquist, Eddie Meck, Marty Sklar and Bud Nagle gave him constant insturctions as to which way he looked best for the flock of photographers who were on hand and he took it in stride, never missing a flash bulb.
Donna Fox, the Space Girl who landed in Tomorrowland after a short flight from Coke Corner recently, never looked more raidant or charming with her long blonde hair cascading majestically over the seltzer bottles she wears on her back. The Space Man costume was ably filled by handsome Gordon McClymont and both he and Donna ran a good second to Pluto to see who could use up the most Kodak negative.
Also on hand for the first official Flying Saucer flight were children of some of the nation's finest jet pilots who are stationed at El Toro Marine Base and Los Alamitos Naval Air Station. Two of the pilots also came along for the ride. They were Lt. Comdr. Larry Hauser and Lt. Col. Jay Willcox. The wives of the flyers also came but declined Pluto's invitiation to take one of the first rides. Either they couldn't understand what he was saying or they were wearing full skirts.
Disneyland guestrs practically ringed the entire Saucer area while the edication was going on. They thoroughly enjoyed the thrilled expressions on the children's faces as well as the puzzled looks on the faces of the two jet flyers who were both overheard to say to themselves, "Now how do you suppose they make this thing work?"
As an added attracition for the guests as well as the participants was the few minutes that the Band rode the Saucers and played one of their famous tunes at the same time. Jim Whitsett, who was directing because of Vesey Walker's absence, had no trouble leading the Band as they turned and skimmed in their Flying Saucers. After all, he's had years of experience on the Fantasyland Tea Cups.
It was a great dedication, according to all the spectators, and the Flying Saucers were successfully on their way.
The Saucers didn't survive the New Tomorrowland makeover and were replaced by the Tomorrowland Stage:
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