Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer of '59 at Disneyland

The Summer of '59 was a highpoint in Disneyland history. Some of the most iconic attractions all opened on the same day. Amazingly enough, each one of those attractions is still in existence: The Monorail, The Matterhorn, and The Subs. Rumors have begun that the Subs might hit the chopping block. In their original form, I would be sad. To lose Nemo would generate no tears here. Back to the images...

The Gurley is pulling into the Main Street Station. I have no idea how the photographer got this vantage point. He is either extremely tall, or climbed up onto something he probably shouldn't have.

These little tots look like they came straight out of the Addams Family. Have you ever seen a more grim bunch at the Happiest Place on Earth?!?

Once again, this angle seems suspect, as if it were taken from a higher than possible vantage point.

I had to zoom into the clock face; note the plug for Timex.

Over in Tomorrowland, this shot layers in the newly christened Red Monorail, the Subs, and a few Autopia vehicles waiting to be revved up.

Even on the Autopia, this little girl looks absolutely melancholy.

Flying back to Fantasyland from Tomorrowland, after 1959, it was possible to sail through the Matterhorn.

The Twain looks extremely patriotic with its summertime bunting.

Drat! I can't zoom into the dead body at the Burning Cabin!

Just around the bend is the Indian Settlement.

Over at the Jungle Cruise, there are a few random (but somewhat typical) shots.

This one did surprise me, though. I don't ever recall seeing the lion upside down on the BBQ. Almost as gruesome as the lions feasting on the dead zebra. I'm all for a little dark humor, but I can't say I miss seeing this particular scene!

See more vintage and current Disneyland photos on my Disneyland web page.


Thufer said...

Top Picture: Just a tease of the 100 acres of Joy.
Bottom Picture: Why is that silly lion hanging upside down from that pole? Silly lion.

HBG2 said...

The lion isn't being bbq'd (those are leaves, not flames). I remember the lion and the spiel. Something like: "...they're probably celebrating the death/capture of that lion," implying that it had been terrorizing the tribe for some time but is now vanquished.

K. Martinez said...

I think it’s more than the Subs that will be going. I get the impression that the only thing that will be left of Disneyland ’59 is the Matterhorn and a re-routed Monorail.

The coloring on this set of images is absolutely beautiful! With the exception of the family photo these images look like professional photography done for the park.

Anonymous said...

@HBG2, I agree, I dimly remember this scene of the suspended lion, the spiel was much like you remark.

The bright area under the lion in the photo is not a fire, but sunlight on the dry leaves beyond the shadowed area.

If they were to BBQ the lion, they would dress it out first, skin, bleed, hair, entrails, etc. Cooking an animal whole like that would just produce a disgusting and inedible mess and the natives know better. They might hang it like that for a short time while celebrating or if they didn't intend to eat it.


Connie Moreno said...

I couldn't stop laughing at your comment on those kids, LOL!! Maybe the photographer laid down on the ground and then zoomed in a bit for the shot. The kids were mortified, thus their expressions.

Heidi Ann said...

I love all of these old images!
And yes, those darned kids should be happier.
I mean, it's Disneyland, it;s the 50's - how bad could it be?