Thursday, May 30, 2013

Roughing it in Frontierland

The Pack Mules have been gone since 1973, but they are still remembered fondly by many. Although the mules may have had some temperamental moments and could be somewhat unpredictable, this is what I think made Frontierland (and the entire park) so much more charming "back in the day."

Flash forward to today, the park is an extremely controlled experience.

When you combine the amount of guests that go through the turnstiles and their expectations, then tack on the threat of a lawsuit if that expectation wasn't met or if any form of harm (perceived or real) occurred, it would be impossible for Disneyland to have the same kind of innocent and spontaneous feeling that it had during the 1950's.

At least we have the photos and the memories of an era when you could ride a real live animal through Disneyland while a train or a wagon or a stagecoach passed nearby.

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage Disneyland Pack Mule attraction photos on my Pack Mule web page.


K. Martinez said...

I remember those Pack Mules when Nature's Wonderland was in full swing. As a kid it really felt like I was exploring the wilderness on the back of a mule, even more convincing than the Mine Train. I loved this attraction.

The image of the Pack Mules with the Columbia in the background is super cool!

Major Pepperidge said...

Yeah, that second photo is amazing! Love it.

Anonymous said...

I visted my folks this past week in SoCal. Dad showed me the transfer he had done from his old 8mm film (ca 1957) to DVD. Among the scenes was a trip to Disneyland. And of that, some shots of Mom and me sitting on top..and riding... the stagecoach. KS

MRaymond said...

The mine train was my favorite ride when I was a kid. I never rode the pack mules because they scared me to death. I wish I had looking at these pictures.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. I'm not sure if I remember this ride, or the one at Knotts.

But, you're right about how hard it would be to have livestock based attractions today. There is a pony ride here at the Downtown Market every week and that vendor just goes crazy keeping up, seat belts, helmets, etc. and her little critters just go in a circle on the paved street, to say nothing of "over hill, over dale" like this.

I think it's for the best that this ride is gone, since the transformation into the pony ride of today would make us all crazy.


Mark said...

As much as I love BTMRR- and I do!- I miss the Old Frontierland, mules and all. There was a real earthy, rustic feel to the place that seemed a century removed from our world.