Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Court of Angels: A Celebration

When New Orleans Square at Disneyland first opened in 1966, The Court of Angels area was featured in the initial batch of publicity stills, such as the one shown here. Its design included a large curved staircase that made it a fool-proof scenic backdrop for guests' cherished photos.

Shortly after it was unveiled, this August 13, 1966 visitor had her photo taken there.

A July 1967 view; it must have been hot, as the guests are sitting in the shade provided by the staircase:

Here's how it looked in a genuine FauxD© shot taken on July 17, 1968:

Fast-forwarding to present day, Queenie poses as she descends the staircase to perform a few songs for visitors:

Princess Tiana can also be found in the Court of Angels:

When the rumors (and yes folks, they are still just unconfirmed rumors) began to surface that the public might lose access to this area because of the upcoming Club 33 expansion, I had mixed feelings. Initially, I was so upset to think that this peaceful and somewhat hidden area might actually be changed or removed.

The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that it had already been changed by the merchandising arm of Disney, who constantly clutter it with various revenue-generating opportunities. Christmas gift sales and Pirate transformations for the kiddies had already begun to rob it of its tranquil nature.

Trying to be level-headed about the situation, if this area gets closed off to the public and is absorbed by Club 33, I can't say that I would lose much sleep over it.

Already my visits there have become fewer and fewer, since it has become increasingly difficult to catch a time when it wasn't desecrated by a tacky merchandising opportunity.

Supposedly it will be closing at the end of September, which prompted me to make one (last?) trek inside for a few photos. Here are the ones I shot last week:

If you are gone for good, I will miss you Court of Angels. You were a wondrous place to hide from the multitudes of guests while allowing the brief illusion that Disneyland was all mine. I hope that one day I will see you again.

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage & current Disneyland Court of Angels photos on my Court of Angels web page.


K. Martinez said...

With so many changes to Walt's original magic kingdom, nothing they do or change at Disneyland these days phases me anymore. All one can do is enjoy those warm and fuzzy memories and move forward.

JG said...

Wow, that's sad.

Hate to lose this, but you're right. The last few visits dodging card racks and cr*p just weren't the same.


Anonymous said...

Sad to think that another charming (and quiet) element that made the Park such a great place to visit may fade away. KS

Janey said...

This is one of my favorite posts! Fantastic pictures!


Unknown said...

Thanks. I check your site everyday. You do a great job.

PsySocDisney said...

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can't ever really remember taking the time to become attached to the Court of Angels on previous visits. I was younger and less concerned with the history than I am now. But I am so thankful and appreciative for those of you who have captured the essence and atmosphere so beautifully in photos, so that it will always remain this peaceful and beautiful in my mind. These are no less stunning, thank you :)