Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Less Is More...Unless It's The 70's

These first two photos (circa 1956 & 1968) show the Mad Tea Party as I believe it should look; colorful and crazy.

And then we come to this photo from August 1969. The first time I saw the Mad Tea Party attraction with these frilly arches I assumed it had to be a shot from Walt Disney World, where 1970's overdone-psychedelic-design ran rampant.

But no...it was definitely Disneyland. Somewhere between August 1968 and August 1969, these crazy little arches were added between the lightposts.

Somehow, they just didn't seem to fit into Fantasyland's Festival Tournament theming. Instead, they looked like something I would expect to see on Main Street.

The last photo in my collection of these decorative arches is circa 1980; I assume they lasted up until the 1983 Fantasyland remodel.

Today, there are no lacy arches. The Mad Tea Party attraction is full of whimsy and cartoon-style lanterns. A perfect fit for Fantasyland, especially in its newer location away from the Carrousel and the Castle.

See more vintage & current Mad Tea Party attraction photos on my Mad Tea Party web page.


Major Pepperidge said...

For once, the newest version (with the lanterns) is probably my favorite!

Connie Moreno said...

I have to agree with the Major!

Terrance T said...

Did they ever clean the turntable during the 1970s? On one photo, the Tea Party needed a major cleaning, lol!

Anonymous said...

What Major and Connie said. The new location is beautiful and appropriate.


Daveland said...

Make that 4 - I also prefer today's version of this attraction.

Terrance - You are correct. From about 1959+, the turntable looked pretty skanky. By 1968, it looked like it had received a new coat of paint.

Chiana_Chat said...

Make that 5! This is one example of changing an attraction for the better, a "plussing" the folks at Disney can be proud of. :)

melissa sue said...

I just absolutely love the lanterns. With or without the frilly arches, you have to admit that Disneyland's Tea Party is VASTLY superior to WDW's! What is with that canopy??

Chiana_Chat said...

While it does rain every afternoon in Florida* and one can't take a spin in a teacup filled with rainwater, there is surely a better way. A mini-Tulgy-Wood around the Mad Hatter's party strung with lamps ala Disneyland's could nicely disguise a ceiling and go really nice with the fantasy theme. Or just move it to Blizzard Beach sans canopy and go slosh in the rainwater. ;)

*- ok maybe an exaggeration, it just did every afternoon I was there.

Jason Schultz said...

Dave - Yes, the arches lasted until the original Mad Tea Party closed in January 1982.