Monday, March 26, 2012

TPE: Riding The Pack Mules

I love having choices, and Disneyland gave you that in spades. Guests weren't limited to the train ride if they wanted to view the scenery of the Nature's Wonderland attraction; instead, they could ride a Stagecoach, a Wagon, or even a Pack Mule. Today's post focuses on those not-so-loveable little rascals, the Pack Mules.

Guests took a 10 minute tour of the Disneyland Frontier; originally there were 2 packs, consisting of 1 lead horse and 9 mules. The ride was so popular that Disney increased the herd from 50 to 75, paying $50 each for 25 more of the temperamental animals in May 1957. Feed cost for the entire group was only $15/day—what a value!

Blonde Bombshell Jayne Mansfield even took a spin on the Pack Mules, circa September 1957:

The Mule Pack (1955-1956) was renamed The Rainbow Ridge Mule Pack (1956-1959), and then Pack Mules Through Nature’s Wonderland (1960-1973).

Walt and his granddaughter Tammy took a ride on the Pack Mules as photographers captured the moment.

Tammy seems a bit unsure about this particular attraction.

What a great overhead view of Rainbow Ridge, from September 1963:

It should come as no surprise that my very favorite images of this attraction are the ones that come from my family album, documenting a surprise trip in honor of my oldest brother's 8th birthday.

Can you believe mom still has that sweater?

As popular as they were, the mules were a bit temperamental, and became a thing of the past. Can you imagine the lawsuits they would spawn today?

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage Disneyland Pack Mule attraction photos on my Pack Mule web page.


Major Pepperidge said...

I don't think I ever rode the pack mules... I wish I had, and wish that there were photos of the event!

olddisneylandfan said...

I have fond memories of the Pack Mules. Unlike today's attractions, it was easygoing, sweet, almost sedate. You had plenty of time to observe, smell and experience your surroundings. When I was a little guy, I thought I was really riding out into the wilderness. I last rode Mules in high school and still thoroughly enjoyed myself. Losing the Mules, like losing Nature's Wonderland, diminished a bit of Disneyland's soul.

Chiana_Chat said...

Rainbow Ridge at its peak - looks great in a bunch of those pics. Never noticed the sod-roofed log cabin before. Proof it was well enjoyed: lots of smiles! That last makes me feel like hitting the trail. :D

And your mom still has that sweater?!

JG said...

I remember a mule ride, but it might have been Knotts, or maybe both. It was still fun.

Thank you for the family pics, so special.

My Mom had a very similar sweater too. I remember that so clearly.

Thank you, Dave


TokyoMagic! said...

Awwww....I love the family pics! Thanks for sharing those.

I rode the Burros at Knott's on several occasions, but never the Pack Mules at DL, darn it! :-(