Monday, April 30, 2012

TPE: The OTHER Autopias!

Today at Disneyland, there is one Autopia. However, back in the day, it almost seemed like there were Autopias EVERYWHERE! There was the Tomorrowland Autopia, The Fantasyland Autopia/Junior Autopia (1956—1999), and finally...the politically incorrect Midget Autopia (April 23, 1957 to 1966)! I would definitely want to see first-hand each and every one of these alternative Autopias.

Here you can see both Fantasyland and Midget Autopia tracks, as well as The Viewliner:

A few shots from the Fantasyland/Junior Autopias:

Note that the Omnibus once traveled into Tomorrowland/Fantasyland:

And the Midget Autopia:

My favorite part of this attraction is seeing the gleeful abandon on the faces of these little tots. It is so refreshing. Kids need more of that today.

See more vintage & current Autopia photos on my Autopia web page.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

TPE: Fantasyland Skyway Station

Seeing Walt's Apartment in Town Square is the ultimate Holy Grail at Disneyland for me. Trailing a bit down on the list is the Fantasyland Skyway Station. It's not because of its design or because of any connection to Walt. It's mainly because it sits on a hill, hidden behind trees, virtually abandoned for almost 20 years. I would love to go back in time and explore this structure.

In this 1956 color view, you can see a gigantic faux book.

This image shows you that the faux book is a promotional piece advertising the Skyway and its journey across the park to Tomorrowland.

The original round Skyway buckets sailed from the Alpine themed Fantasyland station towards the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant, over Snow Hill (eventually the site of the Matterhorn), and onto its final destination of the Tomorrowland Skyway Station.

This shot was taken from the pathway up to the Skyway Station:

Note the signage on the left of this vintage shot:

Amazingly enough, the same sign is still there today, sans the Skyway designation:

Behind the snack/souvenir carts, you can see the steps that lead up to the station:

This is what the interior looked like about 4 years ago:


After (I wonder where the flower pots are now?):

Many (including myself) have suggested that this would be a great place for a Princess Meet-And-Great; it's got the history of the park behind it and it's already appropriately themed. However, there would be accessibility issues and those could keep this building from being used for anything other than the occasional company function.

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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Screen Gem Saturdays: Jim Morrison at The Hollywood Bowl

Jim Morrison's singing voice seems as if it came from another world. I remember being struck by its unique quality the first time I heard the Doors' music. This first photo shows Morrison with girlfriend Pamela Courson, July 1968, doing levitation near the Hollywood Bowl.

Like other "idols" who died too young, we'll never know what would have become of Morrison had he lived a longer life. There are those who don't believe that he died in Paris, but is instead still alive in Oregon. You have to see this to believe it. I've seen it...and still don't believe it. All I can say is “huh.”

See more Jim Morrison photos on my Classic Movies & TV web page.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trip Report, Pt. 4

Welcome to Disneyland! The Fred Gurley was a welcome site on this early morning visit.

In this photo-packed Trip Report Finale, we begin in Town Square facing The Main Street Train Station. I love mornings on Main Street before the street becomes congested with the crowds.

There's a touch of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" on the top of the Jolly Holiday Cafe.

Cast members were ready to dish up a tasty breakfast at the Plaza Inn:

No gild, no birds.

I thought about going to Tomorrowland... but only briefly.

A great view of the pathway to the Matterhorn. When was the last time you saw this area devoid of guests?

I'm enamored by the dungeon's glow in the queue of Snow White's Scary Adventures:

Nothing like black light to bring a magic glow to rudimentary statues and scenery:

There is usually a small window of time in the morning to board Casey Junior and get a treasured seat on the caboose.

From the queue, you get a little glimpse of Aladdin's Cave and Magic Lamp:

Facing the other way, I attempted to match a view from a 1955 slide in my collection:

This gilded statue of Peter Pan in Peter Pan Park is probably one of my very favorite details in Storybook Land; one that has taken many attempts to capture on film without a blur.

More amazing details; signage in!

With the amount of handcrafted detail in these buildings, it is hard to believe that they are miniature:

A few views of the refurbished Matterhorn, which is shaping up very nicely:

Over in Adventureland, I had not noticed the inscription on this box before:

My feet were pretty much blown out from the day before, so I decided to take a few spins on the Monorail...

Getting off the Monorail, I made a beeline for the Train Station; on the way, I made a bathroom stop and saw a sign I'd never noticed before. Hard to believe that there are still undiscovered details in the park.

From Tomorrowland to Main Street, I was able to see the dioramas. What a treat!

In Town Square, I met up with Eric & Ginger, two newbie bloggers but long-time Disneyland aficionados. When they visit Disneyland, they like to pick a date in the past, dress appropriately, and only visit the attractions that were present at that time. What a creative way to see Disneyland! They had agreed to meet at the Hills Brothers Coffee House, and I knew exactly what they meant.

After a pose by the Rivers of America, we decided to take a spin on the Columbia. Eric & Ginger were surprised to see the Gullywhumper docked in this area of the Island.

Still, they were very excited to see the Burning Cabin...

but alas, there were no flames.

Attempting to get over the loss, they focused on the other details along the way.

This sad look occurred when Eric noticed that Cascade Peak was no more.

or was it because of this funky looking nest & bird?

More posing at Fowler's Inn:

where I noticed more previously unknown details:

Brunch at Club 33 was the perfect way to cap off a wonderful weekend.

Photographs are much easier to take here during the day; I went a little nuts with the picture taking.

Eric & Ginger brought their attraction tickets to Club 33; talk about staying true to character!

The highlight of the meal was a visit from Pluto and Mickey!

Thanks for stopping by to read my trip report. Hope you got to see enough photos!

See more vintage & current Disneyland photos on my Disneyland photo website.