Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sailing Through Sundays on The JC: August 1958

Today’s post is a fairly comprehensive albeit not so artistic look at the Jungle Cruise, circa August 1958. Naturally, I have posted these images in the order they were taken. Enjoy!

This photographer definitely had an affinity for the back side of water! See more Disneyland Jungle Cruise photos at my website.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Scholarly Saturdays: Encyclopaedia Britannica & Fantasyland, Pt. 1

The Fantasyland section of this series is the most amazing; not necessarily because of the photos, but because Walt was able to slide this through and to make it part of an educational film strip series. This isn't even a behind-the-scenes-how-we-created it series, but a full-on promotion for Disneyland and Walt's movies. Yup, Walt was a genius and a showman...and a pretty smooth-talker. Plenty of Bobby & Susie in this land!

Two shots of the castle; our favorite little tykes appear in shot #2.

This is the kind of shopping little Susie has been waiting for!

OK...I guess I did learn one thing today as I never knew this fact about the shields above the Carrousel:

Here is one of the shields today:

I'm not touchin' this caption.

Raise your hands if you're ready for a frozen Welch's grape juice bar!

See more Encyclopaedia Britannica photos at my regular website.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Freaky Fridays @ The Haunted Mansion: NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!

If you’ve ever wondered why you are admonished not to use “Flash Photography” while in your Doombuggy, this photo shows the perfect reason why you should listen (except for those of us taking photos to document the ride for posterity, of course). This tree near the cemetery does not look quite so scary when seen in the harsh light of a camera flash. Almost looks like a home craft project you’d make with tin foil. Just goes to show how much of an important part lighting plays in the total effect of this attraction (and many others).

Presenting the iconic caretaker from the graveyard scene:

Here’s the first photo of the Cemetery Caretaker that Disney released to the public on August 21, 1969. Compare with this contemporary shot:

Here are a few I took without my flash; MUCH more atmospheric:

I missed the first year of the Haunted Mansion NBC overlay, but made it for the 2nd season. I took this photo in January 2003 of the Caretaker, who was hanging out at the Disney Gallery while his home was being invaded by Jack Skellington & Co.

See more Disneyland Haunted Mansion photos at my website.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

San Diego to Dallas to Philly, Pt. 2: The Cassatt Mansion

Imagine having a HUUUGE mansion as your playground when you were a kid. That’s exactly what I had...kind of. The local YMCA was located in the former Cassatt Mansion. The expansive property had a 34 room mansion built of Flemish bond brick in 1907 as its centerpiece. I remember running up and down the hallways, checking out the plethora of dusty rooms, and having daycamp inside this French Renaissance Style home (although at the time, French Renaissance meant very little to me!).

Via the wonderful worldwide web, I was able to glean a little history on my former playground.

The Cassatt Mansion was built by J. Gardner Cassatt, brother of famous impressionist painter Mary Cassatt (whose painting leads off this entry). The Cassatt family were part-owners of the Pennsylvania railroad. Their cousin, Mary Cassatt, was the famous French Impressionist style painter. Although she didn’t live in the mansion, Mary Cassatt did come to visit her brother in 1908 and most likely saw the house then. The architects were Cope and Stewardson of Philadelphia. In 1951, the Cassatt family decided that with the reduced use and the high cost of maintenance, it was time to sell the estate. At that time the estate occupied the same 124 acres originally purchased in 1906, but it was no longer a self-sufficient farm. A local broker subdivided the property in 1951. The Norbertine Order bought 54 acres, including the mansion; and the 70-some acres to the east of Foxall Lane were developed and new roads named Country and Abbey opened. Somehow the Norbertine Fathers learned that the Cassatt family was sell­ing their estate. So the Wisconsin-based order bought the house and adjoining 54 acres, which is still what the YMCA has today.

The YMCA bought the property in 1964 as the site for a complete, multi-purpose community activity place, and also raised the money to upgrade the mansion and build their facilities. Father Neitzel, Head of the Norbertine Priory, whose order then owned the former Cassatt property, was most helpful in working toward a sales agreement which the YMCA could match. On December 31, 1964, the sale was completed for $210,000. Most of the amount was represented by pledges. A capital campaign accumulated enough funds to pay off the note to the Norbertines.

The "Y" renovated the mansion house, at an additional cost of $80,000. The carriage house was renovated in 1967, three years later. Tennis courts were added, followed by improvements necessary for swimming.

Behind the main desk in the spacious paneled entrance hall, there is a plaque dedicated to the memory of J. Gardner Cassatt by his daughters, Ellen Mary Cassatt Hare and Eugenia Cassatt Madeira. In 1964 the family donated money to the Capital Funds drive to restore the mansion, and in turn the YMCA has done a wonderful thing by preserving that estate and his legacy.

See more Philadelphia photos at my website

Tell-No-Tales Thursdays: More Grotto

Hope you enjoy these "flash-free" photos!

This poor feller is plum tuckered out; just needs a little rest. ETERNAL rest.

And one from my evil flash-photographing days before I reformed. As if a sword in the back wasn’t bad enough, now this poor feller has crabs.

Back to flash-free:

A few more recent shots taken in the mysterious grotto; love that blue lighting on the rocks and waterfalls. Most guests probably miss the skull & crossbone projection after the two drops.

See more Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean photos at my website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Early 1950’s Black & White, pt. 6: Nature’s Wonderland

A trio of shots today from the Nature’s Wonderland Attraction. First up is a unique view of the town of Rainbow Ridge. Anybody care for a haircut from "Doc" Sutter? Good to know that the Barber Shop is still in business today at Big Thunder Mountain:

Engine #3 is pulling into the loading area for shot #2:

In this shot of the Pack Mules, you can kinda’ make out a Conestoga Wagon on the left side in the background. Those little kids are having the time of their lives.

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MORE B&W 1950’s Fun

I may not know the year, but thanks to the patriotic bunting in Town Square, I know it must be summer! Here is my favorite Main Street transportation, The Omnibus, ready to take another load of guests down to the Castle.

Over in Tomorrowland in front of the Art Corner, The Spaceman doesn’t seem too thrilled to be posing with this trio of kiddies; maybe it’s the end of his shift.

Here we are soaring over Fantasyland in a Skyway bucket; hey guests & cast members below, watch out for spitwads from above!

And just like yesterday, today’s last stop shows one of the teepees in the Indian Village:

See more Disneyland photos at my regular website.