Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tom Visits Disneyland

Daveland reader Tom E. contacted me and shared a number of fantastic vintage photos from his trips to Disneyland as a little tyke. Here’s Tom’s story:

I was born in Glendale, grew up in La Canada, and then Placentia in Orange County. My wife and I had 4 kids and had season passes for 16 years—I still love Disneyland. The wife and I go and sit on Main Street and just watch as the thousands of happy people stroll by on their way to different spots in the park. We sit there for hours and hours watching humanity pass by—everyone is so excited to be there. It’s pretty hard to have a bad day at the Magic Kingdom! We live in Valencia, so we still go as often as we can.

The first four photos are from a 1959 visit to Disneyland. As Tom says, “I still remember these early trips to Disneyland; I fell in love with the place instantly.”

I’m the smaller driver in this 1959 Midget Autopia photo. I was 4 and my brother Jerry in the car with me was 6. I remember thinking I was actually driving the car and that Jerry had the dummy wheel.

Here’s a shot of me with my LA Dodgers hat on taken with a KODAK Instamatic (Polaroid ripoff attempt) on Main Street in the Kodak Shop, 1959. The photo is still perfect 51 years later.

Flash forward two years and Tom was back at Disneyland in 1961 with his family enjoying the Nature’s Wonderland attraction:

I am the little dufus standing on the wall about to fall in the water in this photo from 1961 near the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant. Just seconds after the photo was taken, I DID fall in the water. I was yanked out quickly and taken backstage to a first aid station. They were all so nice to me, but my parents later confessed that the cast members were pissed at them. I guess I was one of the reasons they raised the walls and fences around the river!

The next three photos are from a 1965 visit to Disneyland.

Party lines and a pickle; could the day get any better?

The color pic is my family at the Magic Kingdom on June 28th 1999 for our oldest son Zane's 10th Birthday. He is now a 21 year old Marine Sniper with the Ist Battalion, 9th Marines Weapons Co.

Follow my updates on Twitter. View more vintage Disneyland photos on my regular website.


Major Pepperidge said...

What a great bunch of family photos! They must evoke some vivid memories for sure. I've said it before, but I wish I had some pictures from my own childhood visits.

Why would the cast members be mad about a little kid falling in the water? Kids do stuff like that, and that little rock barrier was made to be sat or stood upon. It was their own darn fault!

JG said...

Thank you Dave for posting these. And special thanks to your contributor for sharing them.

A slice of my own past as well.

Major, if we can't find our own pictures of Disneyland past, we can still borrow these of other people. You can see that they don't mind.

Best regards.


outsidetheberm said...

Great shots! Thank you Tom E. - and Dave, of course - these are wonderful.