Monday, December 02, 2013

Disneyland aerial, 1969

Examining an aerial shot can provide tons of fun. Being able to zoom in close to certain areas and seeing how they've changed over the years is right up my alley. This March 15, 1969 view of Disneyland and Anaheim is ideal for this kind of activity! Where shall we start?

Let's go for dessert first by zooming right into the park area. No DCA, no Space Mountain, no Big Thunder Mountain, and no Splash Mountain. Good Lord—what DID they have back then? Well, there's Cascade Peak, Nature's Wonderland, The Indian Village, and the beloved Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant in Fantasyland.

Zooming in to the New Orleans Square area, the Haunted Mansion is just months away from first opening. Amazing how big the show building is; you just don't see that when you're inside the berm.

Here you can see the Disneyland Hotel Tower and original buildings surrounding it; no Paradise Pier and no Grand Californian. At the base of the photo, Katella Avenue is visible with a 2-year old Anaheim Convention Center at right, and the property that is now the Anabella Hotel is at left.

Last zoom for today shows Harbor Boulevard, with the Howard Johnson Anaheim property top right. This place is just screaming to be developed!

See any "lost" buildings from your past in this shot?

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K. Martinez said...

Yes, I do see a few "lost" buildings from my past memories.

There's the Global Van Lines building with its curved fa├žade behind the "it's a small world" show building just off I-5. I remember always seeing that before exiting onto Harbor Boulevard on my way to Disneyland.

I knew that when I saw the Global Van Lines building and the top of the Matterhorn, that we had arrived at our destination.

Then there's Melodyland and Grand Hotel visible in the last zoom (lower right). I remember those when walking along Harbor Boulevard back in the day.

Not a "lost" building, but the Annabella is where I usually stay when visiting Disneyland.

MRaymond said...

With all the empty space around the park I'm surprised Walt didn't attempt to pick it up. I'm sure that they wish they had, now.

Anonymous said...

Melodyland, Grand Hotel, Chao's all represent.

I do love aerial photos of Disneyland, I can study them for hours trying to date them like this.

@MRaymond, I have read rumors that this regret was part of the motive to develop Disney World. For whatever reason (probably lack of capital) Disneyland site acquisition was pretty limited and therefore, their ability to influence surrounding development was limited as well.

The Florida project, undertaken in secrecy, provided adequate space to develop hospitality properties more in line with Disney design vision and control the guest experience.

The recent developments in Anaheim are big steps in the right direction (for Disney profit at least), but the opportunity to really influence the community's appearance and amenities is long past.


Anonymous said...

In my mind's eye, I can picture most of this at 'street' level. I might have been in the Admin building that day interviewing for my first Disney job or getting my 2-day training at Disney U then run by Van France. So many "lost" buildings. My folks and I made a number of trips to see big-name entertainment in Melodyland's theater-in-the-round. BTW, picture #4 shows the Katella entrance to the Parking Lot.

beachgal said...

I noted Melodyland in the bottom photo (round parasol looking place) a place we used to see a lot of groups play around 66 - 69ish - they liked to book it because it was out of range of the LA Police. Greatful Dead, Airplane along with others come to mind we saw there. Now I see others called out that notable round building too. I guess the Hollywood Wax Museum is too far to the south and West of these shots to find. Always cracks me up when folks mention missing the 70's built attractions. I was too busy being an 'adult' after 68 to go to Disneyland until the 80's! Can remember going then only to sample the new rides and having a whole flood of childhood nostalgia come rushing back at me on that 80's visit seeing the old 50's and early 60's stuff. I know as a kid we got numb to Disneyland because my folks and grands took us there too often. I had to take a good long break from it to regain it's magic. With tickets now as expensive as they are, cannot imagine today's kids growing up 'boarded' with Disneyland by their 11th birthday or so!

Davelandweb said...

Thanks all for the memories and detailed info!

Matt S said...

When I stayed at the Grand hotel in the early 1980's I recall a Disney themed mini golf on the land which is at the corner of Disney Way and Harbor BLVD. I can't see it in this 60's phto though, but it was showing in an old 1995 google aerial photo, but it is gone now. Anyone recall this, or got any photos. Can't find any info about it, apart from a forum mentioning it.