Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dolly as the Red-Headed Wench

World of Wonder on Hollywood Boulevard is at it again; this time, their exhibit will feature art celebrating Dolly Parton. Big hair, teeth, and...naturally, I thought to combine Disney & Dolly and ended up with the Red-Headed Wench from Pirates of the Caribbean. Keep your fingers crossed, folks...hopefully this will be a bulls-eye! The painting will be 24"x36" and today is day one of its creation with my sketch directly onto the canvas. To see more of my art, visit my regular website.

Submarine Voyage Christening, June 14, 1959

June 14, 1959 was a huge day in Disneyland history; 3 of the park’s most beloved attractions debuted: The Monorail, The Submarine Voyage, and The Matterhorn. The festivities were covered on live TV in a special called "Kodak Presents Disneyland ’59.” One of the highlights of this coverage was the christening of the Submarine Voyage, with Walt presiding over the ceremony. At the time, Walt’s fleet of submarine’s was the 8th largest in the world! I love the look on Walt’s face in this closeup; he is obviously having the time of his life!

For those of you not swept off your feet by black-and-white images, here’s a glorious one. Muchas gra├žias for this one, KK!

Today, with the subs being painted yellow and the squawking animatronic gulls, this attraction definitely has a different feel to it, and it’s still packing in the guests one year after it reopened!

See more vintage Submarine Voyage photos at my regular website.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Disneyland After Dark: The Big Finish

Back in Central Plaza for more “Disneyland After Dark,” we see the famous Osmond Brothers (Alan, Jay, Merrill, and Wayne), making their national TV debut with this program. Apparently, they were “discovered” at Disneyland by the Dapper Dans. Lawrence Welk turned them down when they auditioned for him, so Mr. Osmond took the boys to Disneyland to try to cheer them up from Welk’s rejection. While at the park, a Disney talent scout saw their impromptu performance with the Dapper Dans and hired them to perform at Disneyland, which led to the “After Dark” gig. Andy Williams saw the Osmonds on “After Dark,” hired them for his TV show, and the rest is history. Over at The Tahitian Terrace, things are heating up with the dancers here giving guests a tour of Polynesia through dance and more.

Here’s my vote to bring back the Tahitian Terrace! Hey Cox Pilot—Bearride commented that this photo was taken at the Space Bar, not in front of the 20K Exhibit. This photo is obviously the same location as the Annette/Bobby Rydell photos from yesterday; any way to clear this up?

See more vintage & current Tomorrrowland photos at my regular website.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Disneyland After Dark: Annette & Bobby

Today’s “Disneyland After Dark” segment showcases Annette Funicello, beloved Mouseketeer and teenage Disney Darling of the Movies. Annette sings “Dance Annette” here. Shot #2 shows Annette being joined by teen heart-throb Bobby Rydell, who also starred in "Bye Bye Birdie" with Ann-Margret.

Last one for today is a solo shot of Rydell, with The Skyway and Tomorrowland in the background. Rydell’s song in the show was "Around the World."

See more vintage & current Tomorrrowland photos at my regular website.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Disneyland After Dark: Satchmo

“Disneyland After Dark” was an episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” that aired on April 15, 1962. It is a showcase of talent performing in the park, obviously, after dark. Today I am posting three photos of the legendary Louis Armstrong, aka Satchmo, aboard the Mark Twain. The first photo shows him with singer Monette Moore. The other two show him jamming with the Young Men from New Orleans. This sequence was shot on September 30, 1961.

See more vintage & current Mark Twain photos at my regular website.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Plusing the Show: Davy Crockett Cutout

Today’s post is part recycle out of necessity to show the evolution of a cutout photo opportunity from days gone by. This Davy Crockett painting used to stand near Central Plaza, and was a great opportunity for guests to have their photo taken while imagining that they are the legendary hero himself. All three shots are from 1955. This first shot shows the initial painting; very plain with no bling. Shot #2 shows that someone in the Disney organization felt that the location needed to be added, as you’ll note by looking in the lower righthand corner:

The final version here (in living color no less) gets rid of any confusion as to who this cutout is supposed to be by adding “Davy Crocket and B’ar” up top...looks like there might even be some sparkles on the letters! Talk about bling! Too bad the person who added the “Davy Crocket” spelled his name wrong!

Today, there really is no trace of Davy at Disneyland. The DC Frontier Museum is now The Pioneer Mercantile.

And the once beloved Mike Fink Keelboat is now rotting on The Rivers of America. Beware Jack Sparrow—this could be your fate in 50 years!

See more vintage & current Frontierland photos at my regular website.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

September 1958: Pt. 3

Time to wrap this baby up! First up is Dumbo, shot from the Skyway (this photographer, aka Billy Barty, seemed to be challenged by the rails at the park!). Shot #2 shows the Teacups in their original location. This is an attraction that definitely benefitted from change; I enjoy the overhead lights and thatched control booth much better than the original version.

A million miles away over in Frontierland, we have 2 views of the Mark Twain.

For equal time, we don’t want to be unfair, so here are 2 of the Columbia as well:

And here’s a bonus for all you Knott-Heads:

And back to Present-Day Land and the Didja’ Know Dept.: once again, Chris J. pointed out some new info to me. This semi-defunct fountain at the Disneyland Hotel was “imported” from the 1964 World’s Fair. I am diggin’ the Art Deco/WPA look to it, and hope that one day it gets a little restoration.

See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.

Friday, July 25, 2008

September 1958: Pt. 2

I still have a few more 9/58 photos up my sleeve, and today will be posting three. #1 shows the entrance/exit area to the park (thrilling, I know!), and #2 takes us into Tomorrowland with a view of the Autopia. Our photographer appears to be about 2 feet tall, unable to stand much higher than the rail that obviously needs a little TLC and some paint.

Last one for today shows the Spaceman and Spacegirl with the Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow in the background. That boy on the right wearing plaid looks like something out of "Leave it to Beaver." He could be Eddie Haskell’s distant cousin, but don’t quote me on that. And please don’t miss the little tyke in the stroller in the lower righthand corner; he’s the one giving dad the snake-eye.

In the New Find Department, Chris Jepsen pointed out one to me at the Disneyland Hotel last weekend; the miniature Jungle Cruise attraction called "Safari Adventure." How’d you like one of these in your backyard?!?

Get your tokens, folks, it looks like fun!

See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

September 1958: The Jester

Today I am showing 2 shots (one previously posted) of Disneyland’s Jester, a character from days gone by. This first shot shows the Jester, circa September 1958, standing near the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant. 2nd shot shows the back of Jester Christopher Fair in front of The Castle, staring up at Annette Funicello.

And for more present day shots, here are a few from the new House of the Future, which is being more aptly referred to as the Innoventions Dream Home. There are a few nods to the original Monsanto House of the Future; one on the outside of the Innoventions Carousel, and one inside the attraction in the game area.

Tomorrowland collector geeks will drool over this huge model of the Moonliner, located in the TV room:

Overall, this exhibit was so-so in my opinion. I was immediately disappointed when I learned that it was being built inside of Innoventions instead of as a real home. As you walk through this exhibit, you never feel like you are in a real home; it has the feeling of a TV set, and is somewhat artificial.

Although it was wacky, plastic, and ahead of its time, the original attraction was truly a real home. You entered through a real door from the outside and walked through a house that had ceilings. Still, I have to admit that the Innoventions reincarnation was packed; guests were excited to mill about the rooms and touch the plethora of wall panels that controlled lighting, music, and more. Which brings me to another one of my gripes; this place was so overly tech that you got the sense of being totally screwed if you lost electricity. It might have been a good idea to incorporate some elements of sustainability rather than create something that is so chock-full-of electronic gizmos. I also could have done without the story of the Elias family (played by cast members) preparing for a trip to China; again, just a little contrived and artificial.

This room is one of the more popular rooms, with its mirror that can show you in a number of outfits...must be seen to be believed.

This room reminds me of the Dream Suite:

A nice big beautiful kitchen:

Obviously, this is a Dream Home, as it has been labeled by Disney (although it was originally announced as the new House of the Future in publicity), and something that the average schmoe like me could not afford. It was enjoyable for a one-time visit, and definitely an improvement over what has been in Innoventions recently. See more Innoventions Dream Home photos at my regular website.