Saturday, January 31, 2009

1956 In Glorious Color: The Disneyland Railroad

Hey folks...the C.K. Holliday is just pulling into the Frontierland Depot. Hop aboard if you want to take the Grand Circle Tour today. Shot #2 shows The Painted Desert car from RETLAW 1. I know this type of car made it difficult to see the sights for all guests, but it’s still my preference, as it adds to the realism of your trip around the park.

And if you REALLY want realism, how about getting shoved into a cattle car? Do your best to view the scenery through those slats.

See more Disneyland Railroad photos at my website.

Friday, January 30, 2009

1956 In Glorious Color: Dumbo

Dumbo Flying Elephants is a Fantasyland favorite for the young ones; many a photo has been snapped of parents riding around in circles with their children on the “back” of one of Disney’s beloved animated elephants. Here is a full journey of the attraction, circa 1956. First you see the ka-raaaaazy long line and are witness to the anticipation of waiting for a Dumbo of your very own. And lest you be unsure about whether you should ride Dumbo or not, please read the sign; this attraction is EXHILARATING!

In shot #2, our time has finally come, and this set of parents begins to load the children into their very own Flying Dumbo!

Now it’s time for dad to shoot photos, before Dumbo takes off and all becomes a blur. You’ll note in this shot that as stated in many of the other Disney blogs that Dumbo’s ears were originally designed to move.

Compare with the architecture of the current Dumbo; the ears are now molded right into the body:

Keep smiling—we’re not done yet; Dad wants a long shot!

See more Disneyland Dumbo Flying Elephants photos at my website.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We miss you, PeopleMover!

The results are in, and The PeopleMover is the most missed attraction at Disneyland in Anaheim. My guess was that Adventure Thru Inner Space of The Skyway would have taken the honors, but the people have spoken! will be PeopleMover Day at Daveland, beginning with the original poster for this attraction. Unfortunately, The PeopleMover has not become the transportation of today just yet. It started out as the WEDway at the New York World's Fair of 1964/65, and morphed into what we now know as a form of transportation in Tomorrowland from 1967–1995. Goodyear was the sponsor for the entire 28 year run, which is purty darn good! Here are a selection of some of my favorite images that I own of the Peoplemover:

So what happened to the PeopleMover? In 1998, they were replaced by the mechanically troubled Rocket Rods, which (when actually running) were “high-speed” vehicles that zipped through Tomorrowland on the PeopleMover track. When working properly, the Rocket Rods were a 3 minute attraction, as opposed to the 16 minutes it took the PeopleMover to complete the same course. Rocket Rods broke down frequently, as the PeopleMover track was not designed for a high-speed attraction, and finally closed in September 2000. Rumors have continued to be posted about the PeopleMover coming back in some form or another; so far, nothing concrete (no pun intended ) has materialized.

See more Disneyland PeopleMover photos at my regular website.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Clock of the World

It’s a feature of early Disneyland that I know very little of, but the Clock of the World has always been something that has fascinated me. One of the first things you would see as you entered Tomorrowland, it was a way cool “gadget” that made it possible to tell you what time it was in any part of the world. Unfortunately, it bit the dust during the “New Tomorrowland” project of 1966-67.

The plaque in front of the Clock of the World said “World Time by Timex, July 17, 1955.”

The multi-colored blue tiles at the base are way cool as well:

See more Disneyland Autopia photos at my website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Walt’s Special Autopia Car

Unbeknownst to me until recently, Walt had is very own souped-up Autopia car, complete with leather seats. Apparently, by 1958, Walt had moved onto other things (like the Viewliner and Monorail) so his former favorite toy went on display in Tomorrowland. In detail shot #1, we can see the car up-close and personal, as well as some directional signage for Tomorrowland.

Detail shot #2 shows the Spaceman working the front area of the Satellite - View of America exhibit (formerly Space Station X-1):

See more Disneyland Autopia photos at my website.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Walt & His Grandkids at Nature’s Wonderland

On May 28, 1960, Walt Disney and his grandchildren christened the new scenery of the Nature’s Wonderland attraction, which now had 204 “lifelike” animals. Shot #1 shows Walt with grandchildren Tammy, Joanna, and Chris Miller at the branch cutting ceremony. Shot #2 shows Walt looking like he is having a difficult time getting the mule to move; granddaughter Tammy is probably thinking about her next box of popcorn.

#3 was taken aboard the Mine Train attraction. Walt...please sit down, before a cast member has to yell at you!

See more Disneyland Nature’s Wonderland photos at my website.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Irving Bernstein Collection, Pt. 4

Today is the big finish, filled with lotsa’ closeups. Shot #1 is (most likely) somewhere in Frontierland. Calling all Disneyland Geeks: anybody able to figure out the location of this one? #2 is most likely in Town Square in front of the Opera House, as that seemed to be a common location for the Disneyland Band to park and play during the early years.

#3 is DEFINITELY in front of the Opera House, as this Keystone Kop gives guests a little serenade.

For the last shot, I share one that has already been posted on my Jungle Cruise Blog. This guy looks like he could be Danny Thomas’ twin.

See more Disneyland photos at my website.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Irving Bernstein Collection, Pt. 3

From Tomorrowland we shift over to Fantasyland in this Saturday two-fer. Shot #1 of the back of the castle also shows the backside of the Merlin’s Magic Shop Sign. If this were a current photo, I’d sat that one gentleman was talking on his cell phone; however, the truth is that he is most likely dragging his pocket comb through his butch-waxed locks. Anybody care for a balloon?

Shot #2 shows a shapely cast member checking out the Matterhorn Toboggans.

See more Disneyland Fantasyland photos at my website.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Irving Bernstein Collection, Pt. 2

Wowee-kazowee! Check out the spiked heels on our Spacegirl in Tomorrowland! Looks like she’s trying to entice Spaceman to remove his helmet. What a Jezebel. Welcome to Day 2 of The Irving Bernstein Collection. Shot #2 is also in Tomorrowland; I believe we are looking at the queue for the Submarine Voyage. It appears that there is an invasion of Cub Scouts at the park on this day!

Most people would pass by on the next two photos; but being a true Disneyland geek, I immediately knew (even from the closeup) that these two shots were of the Yachtsmen Quartet. I have included a color photo from 1965 for your visual verification.

See more Disneyland Tomorrowland photos at my website.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Irving Bernstein Collection, Pt. 1

Recently I acquired a number of pictures that were listed as being part of the Irving Bernstein collection. Bernstein was a professor at UCLA; whether or not he actually shot the photographs himself is unknown to me. These photos are undated, but I am guessing that they are from the 1960’s; Bernstein was a professor in the political science department at UCLA from 1960—1987. I love these black and white closeup shots which give a very different feel from the typical medium/long shots that one sees of the park. First up from the Frontierland portion of this series is the wooden indian. I have also done my best to duplicate the angle with a contemporary shot.

Next up are three shots of what I believe to be the Gonzalez Trio, who often serenaded guests in Frontierland outside the Casa de Fritos:

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post: I brought up the “Mary Poppins” audio-animatronic/Disneyland connection and forgot to include the photo from the Carousel of Progress that has the birds that were actually used in “Mary Poppins.” Thanks to TokyoMagic for jarring my memory!

See more Disneyland Frontierland photos at my website.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Black & White series, 1950’s: Pt. 5, & Mary Poppins & Audio Animatronics

Nothing but a lot of rabble-rousin’ going on in Frontierland today! Our little varmints are hoopin’ it up around the Rivers of America. First up we have two shots of them watching the Mark Twain circle around Tom Sawyer Island.

The last shot of this series shows the boys in their Frontierland finery (fringed jacket and civil war hats) checking out all those other lucky kids who have made it over to the island on a raft for some fine fishing.

Next week on January 27th, Mary Poppins will be released on DVD in a 45th Anniversary Edition. With most of the bonuses from the 40th still included, this one also includes a number of extras documenting the behind-the-scenes of the stage production. A very nice set, and the picture/audio is superb...or should I say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Although Mary Poppins is mainly remembered for its amazing cast (Julie Andrews’ film debut) and unforgettable musical numbers (by the Sherman Brothers), it also marked the historic occasion of featuring Disney’s latest technology, audio animatronics. The little birds in the nursery scene were mechanical and some of the first to be seen by the public using Walt’s latest “toy.”

Not long after Poppins began filming came the New York World’s Fair, which made an even more sophisticated use of the technology with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and The Carousel of Progress:

Leave it to Mary Poppins to get the whole thing started! Side-note: Julie Andrews herself provided the whistle for the birds in the film. See more Disneyland Rivers of America photos at my website.