Monday, April 04, 2011

Disneyland That Never Was, Pt. 1

Over a year ago, D23 published a calendar called “Undiscovered Disney” which featured images and text about Disney projects that never fully came to fruition (or else changed significantly along the way in the creative process). This week, I will be presenting the ones that pertain to Disneyland. Up first is:

Rock Candy Mountain, 1957: Long before the Matterhorn appeared as the first peak in Disneyland’s soaring mountain range, Imagineers considered creating a Rock Candy Mountain in Fantasyland back in early 1957. Located by the canal boats of Storybook Land and incorporating the Casey Jr. train tracks, this mountain would have looked a little out of place (in my humble opinion) and detracted from the more natural looking miniatures that currently inhabit the space. Imagineer Harriet Burns (seen below) told the tale of meticulously gluing dozens and dozens of hard candies and candy canes to a model of Rock Candy Mountain at Walt Disney Imgaineering (then WED Enterprises). When Walt was less than enthusiastic about the idea, the model was wheeled out to the parking lot and became a giant candy-covered bird feeder!

The Pirate Museum, 1961: In 1961, Walt turned his attention to the upcoming New Orleans Square project. From the very beginning, he wanted a pirates-themed attraction and the space for a Pirate Museum, which would use rudimentary Audio-Animatronics® characters to depict the romance and adventure of the buccaneer life, to be built underneath New Orleans Square. Construction was suspended as Imagineers turned their attentions to the new attractions planned for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. After the success of the Fair, Walt had so many new ideas for the attraction, he realized they would never fit in the small space as built. Pirates of the Caribbean became a full-fleded boat ride that would require an enormous show building outside Disneyland’s berm. Today you can see the original space for the Pirate Museum in the empty caverns you pass through at the bottom of the attraction’s first flume.

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland photos at my main website.


Major Pepperidge said...

I thought that the gentleman in the Big Rock Candy Mountain photo in the upper left might be Claude Coates, but maybe not...

Cool stuff!


Major Pepperidge: looks like Claude Coats to me-along with Harriet Burns and Fred Joeger.

JG said...

Dave, awesome series of posts. I have been away too long.

Thank you again!