Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shakey, Shifted, & Scratched: Early Disneyland, pt. 2

While you’re burning off all those calories from yesterday’s holiday gluttony, here are some more vintage vs. contemporary views. First up is Frontierland. The Sheriff is just hanging out, waiting for trouble to make his day a little more exciting. In the 2008 view, the structures are the same, even if the paint and tenants have changed. Personally, I enjoy the variety of having different retailers in the shops versus the same Disney merchandise in every store. Note the trees that have been added to this area; great to have the extra shade!

Pepsi has found a home at the Golden Horseshoe, which is festively decorated with colorful bunting.

Today, Slue Foot Sue is but a memory, and the overall look of the Horseshoe is much slicker. The slightly primitive look of the Horeshoe and its signage is long gone.

The town of Rainbow Ridge stands out at the Nature’s Wonderland attraction. Scaled down to give a little forced perspective, they sure added a great touch of realism to the guest experience. What’s so amazing is the time and design details produced here for buildings that you couldn’t even go inside of.

Today, some of the original Rainbow Ridge building designs remain, but the attraction itself has been replaced by a rollercoaster. Even if the ride itself is mighty close to “off-the-shelf,” the theming and environment are 1st Class Disney Imagineering all the way.

The Stagecoach; what better way to explore Frontierland than this classic vehicle? Sitting up front with the driver would be a thrill! Sitting inside, semi-protected would be fun, too...until the durn thing would tip over of course!

Comparing that shot with a contemporary shot is the proverbial crap shoot, but I am GUESSING that somewhere along this corridor (which is now open up to Fantasyland) would have been where the previous shot was taken. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have a photo of the correct portion of the path, other than the detail shot of the signage. Another one for my checklist!

Much easier to duplicate this view:

Again, my “beef” would be that the more homespun nature of the buildings and environs has given way to more of a slick Hollywood-type styling that looks more calculated than random. The staging area for Fantasmic has cluttered up the Island as well. On the plus side, the maturity of the plantings and amount of greenery is fantastic.

Oh, if only the photographer had held this one steady...what a gem it would have been.

I do not have an overall shot such as the previous one; this area of the River has become so busy because of all the attractions and shops that have been added over the years that I find myself focusing (pun intended) on smaller sections instead.

For a Where’s Waldo moment, the Sheriff from photo #1 has found his way over to the Indian Village; his brand of justice is not welcome here!

For today’s batch, this is probably one of the most disappointing comparisons; Critter Country is the biggest waste of real estate in the park as far as I’m concerned.

See more Disneyland Frontierland photos at my main website.


Major Pepperidge said...

The photo with the Sheriff hanging out in Frontierland is especially great!

Connie Moreno said...

Nice! I like the way Frontierland looks now but I agree with you abut the shops. Not enough unique merchandise.

Thufer said...

I for some reason miss my favorite store in Frontierland. There was just nothing like the feel of Pendleton Woolen Mills Dry Goods Store. It lasted until 1990.

Chris Jepsen said...

I love trees, and the ones they planted in front of the shops in Frontierland are nice ones. But I don't think they belong there. The point was to make it look like a town in the Old West. (Think of the sets to your favorite old Western movies.) The trees don't really belong there. (Who plants a tree in the middle of a street?!?) Neither do the fancy paint jobs on all the buildings.

And yes, it's a shame about losing the Pendleton shop. And have you noticed you can't find an even halfway-authentic western hat anywhere in Frontierland? And the current generation of coonskin caps looks so fake, they look like cheap plush animals from even a short distance.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the biggest waste of space is today's Tomorrowland.

Daveland said...

There are attractions in Tomorrowland that I visit fairly frequently; Critter Country...I can count on one hand the amount of times I ventured over there in the last year.