Tuesday, December 15, 2009

48 Years Ago: December 1961, Pt. 6

Time to wrap this series up, with a big Frontierland finish. Let’s begin with a shot of the Mark Twain and follow-up with a journey around the Rivers of America. The Columbia is docked for now:

At least the Old Mill seems to be working properly:

Zooming in, I ask is it too early for the framing going up in the background to be part of the Haunted Mansion?

And another zoom from the same photo of the passengers on the raft to Tom Sawyer’s Island:

One more of the Old Mill:

Rounding the bend we see an empty Indian Village; were they already on strike in 1961? Naw...it’s probably just early in the morning.

Here we see a glimpse of Fort Wilderness as we round the bend:

Jumping ahead, I am including this interior shot of the Fort; notice the Castle turret visible on the left...and even more importantly, is that a chocolate-covered-banana that woman is holding? I want one!

Next up: THE BURNING CABIN! C’mon Imagineers...bring back that creepy dead settler and the flames!

A few “animals” dot the landscape:

The animatronic Indian Village seems more lively than the real one shown above!

The last one for this series shows the thundering falls of Cascade Peak:

Hope you enjoyed this series; I know it’s been one of my faves! See more Disneyland Frontierland photos at my website.


Katella Gate said...

Dave, I checked satellite photos and that's roughly the location of the HM, but I don't think it's part of the framing of the house. Usually, before anything gets built, they put up poles like this (frequently connected by ropes at the top)to show EXACTLY how a proposed building is going to sit on the ground. The purpose is to triple check sight lines and massing (is the building too big/small? Can we see the back or utility areas by mistake?)

Sometimes this stuff gets missed, even when models are constructed. There were a lot of elements that needed to be right: show building placement, the berm, the trains, the tracks, the facade, the basement, and the Mark Twain View. It would be prudent for Disney to do this kind of test before anything was built.

HBG2 said...

Remember that they installed two massive elevators when they built the HM shell. Perhaps those poles are part of the process of preparing for excavating or for sinking the initial I-beams that formed the steel framing for the elevator(s)? You can see the I-beams in other construction photos.

Major Pepperidge said...

Well, whatever that photo shows, it has to be the earliest HM construction shot I've ever seen! Very neat.

The Viewliner Limited said...

Fantastic post Dave. Really appreciated the detail shots too. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Howdy. Your interior shot of the fort is actually a shot just taken past the entrance to Frontierland. To our right is the entrance walkway and to the left of this stockade is the walkway leading to the Plaza Gardens dance floor. Behind that door used to be a whole bunch of Guest Control equipment for the parades. Finally, I agree, C’Mon Imagineers you can do it… baby steps… let’s set it on fire again to start… we can bring in the “hard facts that created America” a little further down the line.

Daveland said...

Anonymous - I am ashamed I didn't notice that it was The Frontierland Gate and not Fort Wilderness, especially with the Castle spire so close in the background. Good eye!

Chiana_Chat said...

Yup Dave it's been one of my favs too and that's saying something! And I wanna chocolate frozen bannaner too!

Could be a sight line thing for HM as suggested above. It's for sure they got it perfect - as some shots on this blog have shown, it's uncanny how perfectly the HM quietly sits (looms) in (over, even) the scene. That cannot have been anything but masterful positioning, scale and design. So great it's taken completely for granted as a lot of really great work is...

Very nice Mill shots and that Fort sure looks like it's been there a lot longer than 5-6 years!

Daveland said...

Chiana - for some reason, it seems like the Imagineers from yesteryear did a much better job of creating buildings and accessories that actually looked "aged." Not so much today...you can especially see this on the Pirate's Lair at Tom Sawyer's Island.