Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's at Disneyland, January 1968

This banner draped across the entrance of the castle is a first for my collection. Shot circa January 1968, this colorful image was an exception to the rule, as I rarely buy shots with the castle anymore.

And a sneak peak of what Times Square will look like tonight, thanks to my visit to NYC last April when I stumbled upon the filming of the movie "New Year's Eve":

Here's to wishing all of my readers a fun-filled celebration as we remember 2011 and look forward to 2012! Thanks for another year of fun, memories, and informative commentaries. Happy New Year!

See more vintage & current Christmas/Holiday photos on my Disney Christmas web page.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Then & Now: Peace & Quiet at The Castle

It's funny how things happen; recently, I discovered the joys of this quiet bench near the castle. For Dapper Days, I wanted to find a quiet place to sit my tired rump down...unfortunately, it happened to be at a time that the Parade was going down Main Street. Lo and behold, this magical bench appeared to me, completely devoid of anybody sitting on it. Ah...peace at last. I was able to rest my dogs and take a breather while my friends battled through the parade traffic. Next thing I know, this random vintage 1950's shot of the very same area (albeit a different bench) popped up and I had to have it for my collection.

And here I thought I discovered it first. So much for that! See more vintage & current Sleeping Beauty Castle photos on my Sleeping Beauty Castle web page.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: Valley Forge

234 years ago, George Washington and his troops weathered the cold by camping in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Only about 1/3 of the soldiers had shoes, and many of their feet were leaving bloody footprints. Though construction of more than a thousand huts provided shelter, they did little to help with malnourishment, inadequate clothing, and the spread of disease and sickness.

Can you imagine spending the winter in one of these?

Washington's Headquarters is definitely a bit nicer:

What a kitchen!

The site of the encampment became a Pennsylvania state park in 1893. Today, the park features historical and recreated buildings and structures, memorials, and a newly renovated visitor center. A chapel was built in 1903 as a memorial to Washington. An adjoining carillon of 58 bells represents all U.S. states and territories. It resides in a tower built by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Nearby is the National Memorial Arch, designed by Paul Philippe Cret, as a simplified version of the Triumphal Arch of Titus in Rome. Dedication ceremonies were conducted on June 19, 1917. It bears this inscription:

Naked and starving as they are
We cannot enough admire
The incomparable Patience and Fidelity
of the Soldiery
–George Washington

Even away from Disneyland, I still love the details:

See more Valley Forge photos on my Valley Forge web page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Greetings, Space Cadets!

One image for today, but definitely a good a little bonus. This undated shot is from approximately 1957, and features the Tomorrowland Spaceman posing with two lovely ladies. Mama on the left looks a bit unsure about the Disneyland Spaceman, whereas her hip younger counterpart on the right is fully aware of the great potential and hope that space exploration will provide for the future! In the background are the Flags of the Nation, in their recently moved spot at the edge of Central Plaza & Tomorrowland. The Monsanto House of the Future can also be glimpsed behind the flags as well.

As a special treat, I provide you three short retro videos directed by Robert Dastoli. The first one, "Keep Watching the Skies!" is based on the Tomorrowland episodes of the Disneyland TV series (specifically Man in Space), showcasing artistic projections and live action dramatizations of a flying saucer invasion. Its design comes entirely from the early space race and cold war period. The film has already played at a few sci-fi film festivals.

This next Dastoli short, "The Day the President Moved Thanksgiving," was very much inspired by The Hall of Presidents, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and the American Adventure.

Six years ago he also made a short film called "Southwestern Orange County vs. the Flying Saucers," which is about a flying saucer attack on an Orlando theme park. At the time Robert was living in Orlando and working in MuppetVision 3D at the then named Disney-MGM Studios. The film is a bit rough around the edges, but it is still worth a watch for any Disney theme park fan!

Hope you enjoyed today's post and Robert's videos. See more vintage & current Tomorrowland photos on my Disneyland Tomorrowland web page.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pleased as Punch, Pt. 2

This photo makes me think of the oft told tale about Walt overhearing a guest tell their child that they'd already been on the Jungle Cruise on a previous trip—no need to go on it again, thus giving birth to the concept of "plussing the show" at Disneyland.

Here, Walt mingles with the guests, and you can just hear him asking what they thought of The Jungle Cruise, and taking to heart any feedback that they gave him. Walt is not wearing a disguise, nor is he walking briskly through the park to avoid being seen. Instead, he is talking to his customers and finding out exactly what they like and don't like. Novel. And much cheaper than using a consulting firm.

Zooming in for the signage geeks, I figure even 3/4 of a vintage sign is better than none.

I love seeing photos of Walt smiling. You just know that he's pleased as punch with what he's created.

See more vintage & current Mark Twain photos on my Disneyland Mark Twain web page.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pleased as Punch

Like a proud father, Walt is beaming as he stands atop the Mark Twain, taking another journey around the Rivers of America while his guests stare at the wonders he has created on the banks.

Zooming in, it makes my heart glad to see him looking "pleased as punch" about the park that finally came to fruition, just as he envisioned it.

See more vintage & current Mark Twain photos on my Disneyland Mark Twain web page.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Extravaganza!

To celebrate Christmas, here is a selection of photos from my most recent trip to Disneyland. They sure do a wonderful job of transforming the park into a Winter Wonderland!

I love the early morning light as it warms up the Main Street Train Station:

Main Street U.S.A. is adorned with plenty of festive garland & wreaths:

The tree in Town Square is huge...and I mean huuuuuuuge.

It is literally crammed full of bare spots on this tree!

The gas lamps along Main Street all have wreaths to designate the holiday season:

The Partner's Statue is encircled with the flaming red color of the poinsettias:

Sleeping Beauty Castle defies the Southern California sunshine with a fake blanket of snow and icicles:

Over in Frontierland at the Big Thunder Ranch, guests can enjoy a more rustic Christmas:

Clang clang clang went the cash register. Really Disney...are a few extra bucks worth how tacky this looks? One of my favorite "quiet" spots of the park has been transformed into a schlocky merchandise mart. Get that s&*t out of there.

Between the Disneyland Hotel & Downtown Disney area, another large tree stands to spread a little festive joy to those not inside the park just yet:

Nighttime is still the best for holiday magic, beginning with the colorful trees in Downtown Disney:

The fake-looking snow on the castle is transformed at night into a magical vision:

Over at the Grand Californian, a quartet of Dickens Carolers gathers around the Christmas tree in the lobby:

For those of you that celebrate Christmas, I hope that today is the best ever for you!

See more vintage & current Disneyland Christmas photos on my Disneyland Christmas web page.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Screen Gem Saturdays: Debbie Reynolds Auction Part 2, Pt. 1

Debbie Reynolds shocked everyone with the amazing collection she put on the auction block earlier this year; her second one was somewhat less impressive, and the prices showed it. Although there were some cool pieces, overall, compared to the first auction, it did seem a bit like she was scraping the barrel; not quite sure why she didn't just sell everything at once. Over the next two weeks, I'll show a few of the items that were of particular interest to me. First up...


Arthur Treacher court-jester tunic designed by Gwen Wakeling from the Shirley Temple movie, "The Little Princess," 1939. SOLD FOR $650. Veteran British character actor Arthur Treacher plays a frustrated ex-vaudevillian forced into subservience to his cruel sister running the girls boarding school which Shirley Temple attends. This humorous split-color satin jester’s outfit by Gwen Wakeling is worn by Treacher to great effect in Shirley’s dream fantasy number in The Little Princess. United Costumers label inside reads, “ARTHUR TREACHER B931”. The special blue dye for costumes in 3-strip Technicolor films is one of the most fragile, and has here faded to aubergine; else, with minor handling and aging, Very Good overall.


Ruth Warrick two piece period dress designed by Edward Stevenson from Citizen Kane, 1941. SOLD FOR $2,500. Mocha wool two piece period dress of short-bodice jacket with chocolate velvet collar and gathered sleeves, and long vent-pleated skirt, designed by Edward Stevenson for Ruth Warrick, who wears this when Orson Welles debuts her to his staff in Citizen Kane. Jacket is production labeled “CP-3-8 R.Warrick” plus “1904” to designate time period in plotline for this costume. Skirt labeled “CP-3-7 Warrick”. Aside from a few tiny scattered stains and moth holes, generally Very Fine condition, virtually as screen-worn.

There were a number of items that were from Judy Garland movies, although none of them really had the appeal of the Garland items from auction 1.


Judy Garland “Lily Mars” ivory and black dress designed by Howard Shoup from Presenting Lily Mars, 1943. SOLD
$3,000. Ivory top and black iridescent skirt accented with colorful knit embroidery on sleeves and lace trim. Also includes lace headpiece. No label. Exhibits minor soiling on front and small material loss on left shoulder. Designed by Howard Shoup. Worn by Judy Garland as “Lily Mars” in the final scene of the play in Presenting Lily Mars.


None of the "Harvey Girl" items were actually worn by Judy, but rather her costars. Thus the low final bids.

John Hodiak “Ned Trent” cream and brown vest from The Harvey Girls, 1946. SOLD FOR $375. Cream and brown wool six button vest. MGM label handwritten “JOHN HODIAK 1348-9338”. Worn by John Hodiak as “Ned Trent” in several scenes in The Harvey Girls.

Marjorie Main “Sonora Cassidy” teal damask period dress designed by Helen Rose from The Harvey Girls. SOLD FOR $750 (estimated $400-600). Teal damask period dress with ivory chiffon overlay and lace collar and cuffs. Handwritten label “1348-9501 Marjorie Main”. Chiffon patched on one sleeve and removed completely from skirt. Exhibits soiling on bottom of skirt. Designed by Helen Rose. Worn by Marjorie Main as “Sonora Cassidy” at Judy Garland and John Hodiak’s wedding in The Harvey Girls.


Although hailed as a classic ahead of its time, "The Pirate" was one of the few MGM Garland musicals that floundered at the box office.

Gene Kelly “Serafin” brown wool pants designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate, 1948. SOLD FOR $1,200. Pair of brown open weave wool pants. Western costume label handwritten “GENE KELLY 1400-3637 W29 L30 / CHANGE 1A 2 EX”. Worn by Gene Kelly as “Serafin” during the Nina musical number in The Pirate.

Gladys Cooper “Aunt Inez” black and purple period dress designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $1,000. Purple satin period dress with black lace overlay, heavily beaded on bodice with large rosettes on skirt. Handwritten label “GLADYS COOPER #3”. Lace is missing in areas and part of trim is detached. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by Gladys Cooper as “Aunt Inez” as she and Garland arrive at the hotel in The Pirate.

Gladys Cooper dark red and black period dress and hat designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $1,700. Dark red velvet period dress with intricate black lace overlay accented with black trim and tassels. Handwritten label “GLADYS COOPER #5”. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by Gladys Cooper as “Aunt Inez” on Judy’s wedding day in The Pirate.

Judy Garland “Manuela” ivory satin wedding dress designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $22,500 (estimate was $4-6k). Ivory satin wedding dress with puff sleeves and accented with lace and faux pearls. Handwritten label “1400 Judy Garland”. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by Judy Garland as “Manuela” on her wedding day in The Pirate.

O. Z. Whitehead “Hurtada” blue jacket and pants designed by Tom Keogh from The Pirate. SOLD FOR $700. Blue wool open weave jacket with faux fur collar and pants accented with large ivory pompoms. MGM label handwritten “O. Z. WHITEHEAD 1400-4040 / EX.3 CHG 4 / 28 35”. Both pieces exhibit small holes. Designed by Tom Keogh. Worn by O. Z. Whitehead as “Hurtada” during Kelly’s magic act in The Pirate.


A classic all-star vehicle, this MGM musical had a boring plot, but top-notch musical numbers. One of the highlights was a musical number with Gene Kelly & Vera Ellen set to the music "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."

Vera-Ellen “herself” yellow and orange dance costume designed by Helen Rose from Words and Music, 1948. SOLD FOR $1,600. Yellow wool top with horizontal orange strips. No label. Salmon skirt with self covered buttons. Typed label “1427-5317 V. ELLEN”. Both pieces have MGM cleaning tags. Zipper is detached two inches on back of top. Both exhibit fading of fabric. Designed by Helen Rose. Worn by Vera-Ellen as “herself” in the dance number Slaughter on 10th Avenue with Gene Kelly in Words and Music.


Originally set to be a retiming of Judy Garland & Fred Astaire, "The Barkleys of Broadway" got off to a bad start. A worn out Judy Garland just couldn't summon the strength to consistently make it to the filming of this MGM musical. Instead, Ginger Rogers ended up replacing her. Only a handful of costume tests and on-set photos survive from Judy's time on the project.

Judy Garland suit designed by Irene made for The Barkleys of Broadway, 1949. SOLD FOR $2,750. Sienna wool two piece suit with orange accents and self covered buttons. Typed label “1433-5334 J? GARLAND” and MGM cleaning tag. Both pieces exhibit a few minor holes. Designed by Irene. Made for Judy Garland for The Barkleys of Broadway but Ginger Rogers’ played the role instead.

Stay tuned for more next week!

See more Classic Movie & TV and photos on my Classic Movie & TV web page.