Monday, July 26, 2010

Disneyland June 1961 in Living Color, Pt. 2

Enjoy this view from June 1961 of a colorful yet fairly empty Town Square and Main Street U.S.A. You won’t see anything like this during the summer of 2010, that’s for sure!

Nothing says old fashioned Americana like a big bouquet of plastic flowers from the Flower Market!

Finally, a view that looks like it could be from today: a mob appears to be congregating by the Main Street Cinema (too soon for Yippies; must be a protest about the Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties!).

Looking at the inhabitants of this vehicle, I'd say the ratio of kids to parents is way out of whack! Look at the driver just scratching his head with worry! And how about that cute little tyke in the red sweater and plaid shorts! I think he wants to be a Disneyland Tour Guide when he grows up!

The landscaping has always been an attraction in itself at Disneyland:

Meanwhile in the news of upcoming Blu-ray/DVD releases, “James and the Giant Peach” is about to be released on Blu-ray for the first time.

This movie seems to be lesser known in the Disney line-up, but is definitely worth watching. Done with a combo of live-action and stop-motion animation, it is a very sweet story based on Roald Dahl’s novel. The sets for the live-action segments are literally out of this world; stylized to the hilt, they make the gap of going from live-action to stop-motion much smaller. One of my friends worked as an extra in this movie for the New York City finale. Although the sequence in the Art-Deco inspired NYC doesn’t last too terribly long, it took approximately 2 weeks to film on a sound stage in an old aircraft hanger on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. My friend has memories of eating very well (lobster!) for two weeks while all of the necessary shots were made. He also remembers production being shut down while Paul Terry (James) threw a fit one day and said he didn’t want to work anymore. His brief resume would confirm that acting was not his chosen profession. On the other hand, Joanna Lumley (Aunt Spiker) was super nice to all. Lumley is best known for her role of Patsy on “Absolutely Fabulous.”

The Blu-ray is being released on August; pre-order it today on

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Thufer said...

What a nise chrisp and clear set of photos (from 1961). Good set today, I really like the shot City Hall. Almost looks like a post card.
Question about the 3rd photo down, the one with everyon waiting in the center. Was or did the morning 'rope drop' take place there? Did they even do a rope drop in 61 ?

Daveland said...

I can't believe I never noticed that! Wow, it does appear like everyone is waiting for a rope drop. Not sure if that term was used then or not. Good eye, Thufer!

Major Pepperidge said...

I'm curious about the photo with the Omnibus, and how everybody seems to be facing that vehicle. Was there a celebrity inside it? Maybe even Walt Disney himself? Guess we'll never know!

Connie Moreno said...

Very interesting photos. I guess we're all on the same wavelength because I was wondering the same things about the crowds. (Oooh, is that paranormal? LOL!)

CoxPilot said...

I can't remember if they used the actual term "rope drop" back then, but that's exactly what's going on.

In those days the park actually opened at 9:30 am. That's when they would drop the rope that was across main street (a yellow and black nylon rope). However; the tickets started selling at 8:30 am, and they would let folks into the town square area at that time. (I may have those times wrong, but I think it's right.) We all knew when the rope dropped because it was announced over the P.A. system all over the park. "Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of all ages . . . Welcome to the Happiest Place in the World!"

About 2 minutes after that, a stampede of kids would be descending on the Autopia. They would run full speed past our flight circle like a giant centipede at full gallop.

It was a daily thing, and I haven't given it a thought for a long time. I'm a bit surprised that this has been forgotten.

PS: The bus was parked there so that it could move up to the depot after all the crowds cleared.