Monday, January 12, 2015

Adventureland Entrance Through The Years

Sometimes the acquisition of one bland new image can spawn the idea for a mega-post such as this, which attempts to document the Adventureland entrance at Disneyland through the years. Amazingly, my collection has a few shots from July 18, 1955, aka Day One for the average Joe Schmoe who couldn't get in the day before for the gala press event.

Cropping in a little tighter for a better look at the arch itself; love the vintage photographer in pink on the right. Also note the plethora of chicken wire fencing; it wouldn't last five minutes with today's crowds.

Zooming in closer we see that the Jungle Cruise tower was still under construction:

By September of 1955, things are much quieter in this black and white image:

It is amazing how bare the landscaping looks in this March 1956 shot; I often forget just how long it can take plants to mature.

By 1958, the entry is looking a little more lush:

A tiki statue was added to the entry area some time before 1958:

A guest poses for her honey in this November 1959 photo:

A closer look at the tiki statue and the masks/skulls/shields along the entry gate:

An even closer crop allows a partial read of this sign. Any ideas what it is for?

Bright pink bougainvillea adds a pop of color to this May 1960 photo:

The bougainvillea has taken over the top of the sign, and the tiki statue has been put behind a fence, circa October 1962.

The Enchanted Tiki Room has joined the landscape of Adventureland in this December 1968 image:

The "new" image from November 1971 that inspired this post. Check out all the foliage!

This shot from the 1980's shows that at some point over the years the tiki statue was removed.

An early morning shot from 2006 with the golden glow of sunrise:

Last one for today is a night shot from December 2012:

Overall, the biggest difference between then and now is that the entrance looks a bit more manufactured and less handcrafted. It's still a charming gateway into one of my favorite lands, but like the rest of the park, it seems very safe and calculated.

See more shots from the intervening years by cruising on over to my main website.

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hamjenkinsIII said...

Amazing most of the opening day infrastructure is still there.

I'm generally curious why that gaudy rocky wall by the restrooms went in.

Dave DeCaro said...

You are not alone in your curiosity. The wall itself is probably for privacy for the bathroom entrances. The gaudy part…seems to be the current design "sensibility" of Imagineers.

K. Martinez said...

That "gaudy" rock wall was actually a running waterfall at one time with water cascading down the rockwork. It and was put in to block views of the restrooms. When the water flowed from it, it was actually quite nice. Now it seems to just be there.

Fifthrider said...

Ditto. Way more interesting as a waterfall.

Patrick Devlin said...

I could never figure out what the structure on top of the posts to the right of the picture were for. It sort of looks like a raised shelter but I could never wrap my brain around its asymmetry: where's the other half of the crescent moon shape?

I should probably get a copy of the shot my Dad took of me just by the water on the inside right entry. It looks out of place and took me and Tom forever to figure out where the shot was taken. said...

A change that I find interesting in the entrance is that the crossed tusks looked real (though I mean, heck, the could have been real!) as they were smooth and white But now, they appear as if made of wood and are carved. If you look at the bottom of them today as you walk through you will even see tree rings.

I always wondered when this change was made, and why. Just a PC thing or what?