Monday, March 04, 2013

Disneyland Trip Report: Pasta, The Haunted Mansion, and More!

After a delicious dish of spaghetti and meatballs at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta in DCA, it was time to hit The Haunted Mansion.

I definitely prefer to ride this attraction at night; it makes the whole experience that much better.

The eerie green glow from the hearse is a taste of what's to come.

As they say in the Mansion, "Any volunteers?"

The backside of the hearse:

Two animated versions of the changing portraits in the hallway:

This is one of my favorite light fixtures in the park; partially because I really like the wallpaper behind it, too.

The initial corridor has a number of wonders, including this parrot-like suit of armor:

The seemingly endless hallway:

A Rolly Crump inspired chair:

The raven who was originally supposed to be the narrator of the attraction is prominently featured in the “open” casket scene in the Conservatory:

One of these days I'll make an animation of the hand that swipes over the 13-hour clock:

Dear Madame Leota, with eyes wide-open:

and eyes shut:

Wouldn't this be a great room to host a private party?

Do not attempt this at home!

The dueling portraits:

The caretaker of the cemetery, who appears to be a bit out of his league:

The beloved Grim Grinning Ghosts:

It's taken a number of trips through, but I finally got a shot of this interesting scene in the cemetery:

I would probably pick these gents up; I'm sure they'd have a few interesting tales to tell.

Finally, Little Leota, the soft-spoken gal at the exit:

One of the reasons I found myself at the park this time was because I was giving a presentation for the Cast Member HistEARion Club, using my images from Disneyland in the 1960’s. They helped set the tone for a panel of ladies who work/have worked at Disneyland since that time.

Held in the TDA (Team Disney Anaheim) Building, it was a treasured experience that I will not soon forget. It was fantastic to hear these six ladies share stories of the Park and what the culture was like in America during the 1960's.

Some stories made me nostalgic for a simpler more trusting time; imagine a friendly cast member holding your baby while you and your spouse were on the Matterhorn. True story, and that was standard operating procedure. On the opposite side of the spectrum, imagine height and weight requirements (for both men and women) and having to get on a scale to show that you'd lost your pregnancy weight. Or how about women being forbidden from being Leads on an attraction? That's the way it was. If a male lead on an attraction was out sick, it was preferable to get a male with no experience to fill in rather than a female operator who knew the attraction backwards and forwards. And in an era of "gallantry," only male cast members would take tickets in the evening. The past is two-sided, just like the present; there is good and bad. So often it is too easy to look at it through rose-colored glasses. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these lovely ladies share their memories and heartfelt feelings towards their coworkers (likening their experience to a sorority because of the close friendships they made) and the opportunity to bring a little magic to the world.

After the presentation, I crashed (figuratively speaking) at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, directly across from the entrance.

It's hard to believe I'd never stayed here before; it's really a gem of a hotel.

Featuring a mixture of hipster and mid-century vibes, I liked the design and appreciated the service, cleanliness, and convenient location.

The Castaway Cove/pool area:

And my room, which was clean, spacious, and very quiet, especially considering how close the Interstate is.

My room had a walkout balcony, complete with a view of the Park/Matterhorn in the distance.

Stay tuned—there's more trip report to come!

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


K. Martinez said...

I had a really delicious salad at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta. It was a full meal. That area is definitealy a nice setting to dine in.

The animated portraits are cool as are the shadows in the Rolly Crump chair image. Your interior images are outstanding as always.

K. Martinez said...

"definitely" I mean.

HBG2 said...

Nice Mansion pix, Dave. The Endless Hallway shot is especially good.50

Major Pepperidge said...

The animated portrait turned out great, and like HBG2, I love the Endless Hallway. One of my favorite gags, so evocative.

Wow, I wish I could have seen your live presentation of your slides. I'll bet the audience was amazed.

PsySocDisney said...

Awesome Haunted Mansion photos! It's refreshing to see one of the rare instances when "Disneyland" isn't followed by "resort" or a copyright symbol as the sign in the hearse. Just Disneyland :)
That event sounds so so interesting! How cool you got to show off your collection!

Connie Moreno said...

Yet another incredible post! You never disappoint. What an incredible experience for you - lucky dog!!! (Said with affection, of course!)

Anonymous said...

Nice to see shots of the Howard Johnson hotel. Very trendy (again).

Thanks so much for the HM interiors, extra special.


Unknown said...

Superb post! Love those Haunted Mansion pics, and that panel sounded enthralling. You're livin' the dream my man!