Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aunt J Serves the Java, January 1964

I was pretty excited to add this shot to my collection, as I only have one other shot of Aunt Jemima. This January 1964 photo shows Aunt J serving up the java to guests at her New Orleans Street restaurant in Disneyland. Of course, I have to zoom in.

She looks like the same Aunt J that's in this cast photo from September 1962:

Today, this restaurant is known at The Riverbell Terrace:

But I digress...going back to the January 1964 batch we have this shot of the Mark Twain.

If we look closer at this second shot...

we can see the same couple on the Mark Twain, waving to their friend on the dock. What a perfect way to work off a buckwheat pancake induced food coma!

See more vintage Disneyland Aunt Jemima Restaurant photos on my main website.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Monorail Madness!

Although a tad dark, I am digging this overhead September 1964 shot of the Monorail & cone, with the soon-to-be-closed Yacht Bar in the background.

I am guessing that this November 1970 view is approximately where the tram lets guests off today near Downtown Disney:

Today, the Monorail is still a thrilling way to view the park and travel around the perimeter. Looking like the terrain on Mars, this area is actually above the show building for the Submarine Voyage.

Even though there's no bubble to travel in anymore, riding in the cone can be almost as exciting. Here's a view that's no longer possible, now that the Golden Gate Bridge at DCA has been removed:

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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday on the Skyway: Journey Thru The Matterhorn

It may be hard to fathom to a Disneyland guest of today, but at one time, you could actually fly through the Matterhorn. Today's post attempts to simulate what a guest would have seen from their Skyway bucket as they floated from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland.

The next two shots, showing the walkways and racing Matterhorn bobsleds, could not be duplicated today.

I can almost taste that Tuna Boat now as my Skyway bucket floats towards the Fantasyland station!

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vogue: Strike A Pose!

Back in the day, actresses had to do more than just act. They had to learn how to walk, pose, smile, sing, dance...it was all part of the studio grooming system. Just look at Jane Wyman in this publicity shot for "Lucy Gallant." The perfectly turned toe...the head turned down at just the right angle. She paid attention and she went far.

Even child star Shirley Temple had to make friends with the still camera. Fashionably decked out in this 1940's ensemble, Shirley was ready to put the moves on Cary Grant in "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer."

Despite the fact that her character was a drunk, Vera Miles still flashed a little glamour for the photographer who shot this publicity image for "Back Street."

When it came to paying attention to the groomers, all were amateurs compared to Lana Turner. Nobody did as well as she did. This gal never left the house unless she looked like a million bucks. Here she is in "Imitation of Life." When was the last time any of you ladies looked this good after an airplane flight?

Tippi Hedren started out as a model before she became the next Hitchcock Icy Blonde. Her training paid off when it came time to do the marketing shots for "Marnie."

If you put together some of today's top actresses, you'd probably have a difficult time achieving the same results.

See more vintage & current Classic Movie & TV star photos on my Classic Movie & TV star web page.

Friday, January 27, 2012

From Beverly Hills to The Jungle Cruise Ancient Shrine

From the Disneyland Line Newsletter of July 14, 1977 comes this interview with Harper Goff, with a great story of how a tree was acquired for The Jungle Cruise attraction.

We learned and made decisions as we went along. Walt wanted to use the squid from the movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" in some sort of boat ride but it was in bad condition and the wires that pulled the tentacles would have been hard to hide. But we had both seen "The African Queen" and we began to think of hippos and other animals which could be operated without wires and still have animated elements. We brought in Bob Matte, who later created the shark for "Jaws," to engineer the original animals. The first ones that we tried were alligators and hippos which worked on simple animation—no kicking or swimming.

I also worked with Bill and Jack Evans on buying expeditions for the landscaping. We would call cities to see if they were tearing out trees for improvements and go and buy them—we got many that way.

The Evans and Reeves Nursery was in West L.A. and as we made trips back and forth we would pass a house in Beverly Hills which had a wonderful tree in the front yard that we would have loved to have had. In fact, each time we passe it we talked about getting it and it got to be kind of a joke. Finally I though what have we got to lose, and had Jack Evans stop while I went in to ask the people if they could consider selling it. I told the owner we would replace it with a flower bed or anything they wanted and surprisingly enough the owner told me yes--it was blocking the sunlight and view coming through his front windows and we could just come and take it away. The trouble was, it took me a week to convince Jack that the owner had actually told me that I could have it...it was the tree that went around the original Burmese Temple, and we got it for nothing.

We found quite a few resources right on the property. When we began cleaning the site for Disneyland, we saved all the orange and walnut trees and I got the idea of turning the walnut trees upside down to make the original jungle roots, which we did...as for wildlife, Walt had asked me to line up a source of wild birds—crown herons, waterfowl—but when we filled the river with water all kinds of wild birds found it by themselves. We cancelled all our orders for the exotic ones...

We finished laying out the Jungle Cruise river with all its twists and turns and made a mock-up of the Cruise Boat and mounted it on a jeep so that we could fit around the course of the river and under the waterfall. I was anxious about it and looked forward to making the first run with "no one looking" in case there were problems. But before I could start, Walt came roaring up, he had heard I was going to make a test run and wanted to come along. Luckily it went very well.

See more vintage & current Jungle Cruise photos on my Jungle Cruise web page.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Traveling Thursdays: The West Baden Springs Hotel, Pt. 1

At the turn of the century, The West Baden Springs Hotel in southern Indiana, was known as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Guests arrived from Chicago & Louisville by train at the very depot shown in vintage shot #1.

The hotel and its grounds were also dubbed the Carlsbad of America, since guests could partake of the waters and cure themselves of all sorts of diseases, just like the mineral springs in Carlsbad, Germany. Carlsbad (or Karlsbad) is a German placename meaning "Charles's Spa," named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316–1378).

Seen in the background here, the centerpiece of the hotel was its domed atrium. Up until the construction of the Houston Astrodome (1965-1999), the West Baden Springs Hotel had the largest freespan dome in the world.

Even the lobby was a marvel to behold, with its beautiful tiled floor and second story writing area. Just perfect for penning a few postcards to send home to the family!

This all encompassing resort had its own hospital, opera house, and even an indoor swimming pool, seen here in this hand tinted vintage postcard.

Physical exercise could also be achieved on the hotel's outdoor bicycle track, which had a baseball diamond smack dab in the center of it. Many a baseball team held their spring training here at the hotel. During the evening, the bicycle track was converted to a walking area where guests could walk off their multi-course dinners.

Here is a photo of the water wagon that patrolled the property, dispensing the delicious sulfur water from the springs that promised to cure a multitude of illnesses.

The gardens were beautiful; in this shot, you can see Sulfur Spring House No. 7 (known as The Sprudel Spring) at left, with the bowling alley to the right.

The interior of the Sprudel Spring, where you could get your sulfur water on tap, either hot or cold!

Downstairs, you could use a ladle to get your water directly from the spring. Oh the smell...if you've ever been near a sulfur spring, it is the same stench as rotten eggs. And to think people paid good money to drink this crap!

The owner of the hotel wasn't Catholic, but he was a good businessman, so in order to increase the guest count, he had a Catholic Cathedral built on the hill next to the hotel.

One of the many walking paths on the property.

Sadly, this successful hotel went to ruin after the great Stock Market Crash of 1929. Part two follows next week.

See more vintage & current West Baden Springs Hotel photos on my WBSH web page.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NWRR Mine Train: You Are There

Sometimes, the addition of one image to my collection is like getting the final missing piece to a puzzle. It allows me to see 'the big picture' an assemble a post that tells a story instead of a single moment. Today, I am assembling a batch of photos that when posted together, will allow the view to experience what a guest would have seen in the queue of the Nature's Wonderland attraction during the 1960's. First up is the anticipation as the NWRR Mine Train pulls into the Rainbow Ridge station.

As you check out the details of this August 1965 beauty...

be sure to notice the guests riding the Pack Mules up yonder in the Rainbow Ridge hills.

Two up close and personal shots of the train and cast members, awaiting the next batch of guests, with the first one being in Genuine FauxD©.

Look at this group and their festive hats - how fun!

And away we go...

it sure is getting dark as we approach the tunnel...

Oh the wonders that must on the other side! See more vintage Nature's Wonderland attraction photos on my Nature's Wonderland web page.