Friday, March 09, 2012

TPE: Let's Go To The Circus!

I'm at the it's time to make some big decisions in my time-fluid trip to Vintage Disneyland. My choice might surprise you; I would take the Omnibus or perhaps hoof it over to the Mickey Mouse Club Circus. Yes...I would want to be one of the few who experienced Walt's vision of the Big Top.

The pathway that now takes guests to the Matterhorn and winds around to small world was once a path to The Mickey Mouse Club Circus.

Look at those detailed and refurbished vintage circus wagons; nothing but the best for Walt!

John Herriott and showgirl, setting-up exercises by the painted pachyderms:

Sprung from the board, this lovely lady is caught mid-air!

This show had almost everything...except an audience.

In this exterior 1956 shot, you can see the tent and wagons.

Zooming in, the signage lets you know that the Mouseketeers have left the show and only Professor Keller remains.

You can also see that the Omnibus once had a longer route, taking guests past Central Plaza.

Not much later in history, the wagons were virtually gone and the tent would be shortly repurposed for Holidayland.

What I would REALLY want to see is Walt Disney at the Circus; to see how proud he was BEFORE it became apparent that his happy vision of a circus was not what guests were flocking to Disneyland for.

These lucky children caught Walt in the after period. Still in the area overseeing Professor Keller, Walt Disney posed with these young children as their father, Franklyn Taylor, snapped this amazing photo.

As Chris recalls:

In 1956 my father was transferred by his employer, Goodyear, from Akron to Los Angeles. We drove across the country on Route 66 in a Buick sedan with four kids, then spent the summer in a Long Beach motel right along the beach waiting for our new Anaheim house to be built. The weekend before we moved into the house, we splurged and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, which we had heard all about on the Disneyland TV show the previous year while still in Akron. While at the Disneyland Hotel, we, of course, visited Disneyland for the first time. Again, we had heard all about this wonderful place for the last year while watching the Disneyland TV Show. While at Disneyland, we saw Walt walking the grounds and asked to have this picture taken with him. He kindly obliged. Note the cigarette in his right hand, the habit that eventually cut his life short.

MANY thanks to Chris for sharing this cherished family memento and anecdote. Anyone out there care to make a suggestion to where I travel next on this Vintage Disneyland Trip?

See more vintage Disneyland Mickey Mouse Club Circus photos on my Mickey Mouse Club Circus web page.


Thufer said...

Walt wearing his 'Smoke Tree' tie!

I have to be honest, this may be the one 'bust' Walt had. I am sure his mind was with the young and the amazement of eating peanuts and seeing lions.....however,going to the Park I think fed a different need. It was worth the try I am sure, but in hindsight I can see why it quickly passed.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome detailed posted, I loved it, thanks! Great set of photos, extra nice pic of Walt!

Major Pepperidge said...

Yes, another great bunch of photos!

jedblau said...

That shot of Walt is flat-out amazing. So jealous of those kids and that dad!

JG said...

Wonderful, thank you Dave.


Anonymous said...

I love the agrarian background of Anaheim in 1956. Oh the change!

Darryl said...

Nice...what a clever way to "visit" through the park! And If I may a suggestion, since you are at the hub, hang a left to to see my beloved Tahitian Terrace again!

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

Ginger and I looked up and down for Walt on our trip to the 50's. These kids are so darn lucky; what I wouldn't give to dive in and photobomb that shot! Most will tell you to travel clockwise from Main Street, but a good vintage tour of Disneyland might also take you to the wildly popular Frontierland first, and eventually ending in Fantasyland. But you do what your heart desires!

- Eric

SundayNight said...

Wow. You outdid yourself on this post. That picture with the Autopia and the vintage car and trailers is super spiffy!

outsidetheberm said...

What an awesome shot of Walt! Lucky children!

Chiana_Chat said...

Thanks for the pic Chris. :)

*echoes Darryl

[ Walt ] "Hark! The jungle drums are calling." [ / Walt ]

TokyoMagic! said...

Incredible Walt photo....I'm also jealous of those kids!

That horse-drawn calliope in the first pic was used again in 1980 for Disneyland's 25th Birthday Parade. I wonder where it is today?

Connie Moreno said...

Incredible!!! How cool to be able to ride the Omnibus even further than it goes today. And that shot of Walt. I hate those kids, LOL! This is one of those rare times when I wish I was OLDER.

Todd J. Pierce said...

fantastic photo of Walt!