Friday, January 17, 2020

Welcome to Disneyland, 1961!



It’s June 1961 in this first image and guests are scurrying through the Disneyland Railroad underpass to get to the GOOD STUFF! But let’s slow down and take a look at what’s in this photo; it’s purty durn good on its own. The Grand Canyon Passenger Car is up top on the tracks; it would eventually be converted into the Lilly Belle VIP Passenger car which still makes the Grand Circle Tour around the Park.



Over at the Disneyland News Stand there are all kinds of cool things: a Main Street employee in her turn-of-the-century dress, Annette Funicello on at least two different publication covers, and perhaps a TV tray on the right? What do YOU see?



I also bought this June 1961 Frontierland image, hoping I’d be able to get some interesting detail out of the shadows of the Shooting Gallery. Alas, not so.



See more Disneyland entrance photos at my main website.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Movie Colony in Palm Springs



This boutique hotel is a gem tucked away on the main drag of Palm Springs. If you’re not looking for it, it’s easy to miss as you zoom by on Indian Canyon Drive. Designed by Albert Frey in the 1930’s, it blends in with the rest of the landscape around it. If you don’t know who Frey is, he’s the Swiss architect who established “desert modernism.” Ever been to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Station? Yup...that’s his, too.



The Visitors Center on the way into Palm Springs was once a gas station designed by Frey. But I digress...back to the Movie Colony.



I stayed here on a recent visit to the Desert; first time I’d done so since 2008. I liked it then...and I still like it twelve years later! It’s stylish in a very simple way…



intimate, clean, excellent service, and quiet. No kiddies allowed.



Good-sized pool and a jacuzzi/hot tub with views of the mountains. Great for a star-filled evening.



It is wise to make reservations early though; it is a small boutique hotel and fills up fast.

See more Movie Colony Hotel photos at my main website.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Shirley at the Piano



Melissa (aka “The Colonel”) recently gifted me this 1940 shot of Shirley at home, playing her Steinway piano. The Baby Grand was sold at the 2015 “Love, Shirley Temple” Theriault’s auction. Here’s the catalog description:

SHIRLEY TEMPLE'S BABY GRAND STEINWAY PIANO WITH PERSONAL INSCRIPTION FROM STEINWAY

5' x 10 1/2'. Having luxury walnut Chippendale case, the Steinway L model baby grand piano has original lyre and pedals, traywork, soundboard and ribs, bridges, pinblock, tuning pins, and key tops. The piano has Steinway serial number of 299183 and was produced in 1939, according to Steinway records. Included are the original bench and various photographs of Shirley Temple at the piano.


NOTE: this picture accompanied the auction, but it is obvious that it is much earlier than 1939; based on how she looks I would guess 1935.



The piano was a gift to her from the Steinway company in 1939, and features an inscription plate reading "I hope dear Shirley that you will like this piano as much as the Steinways like you! And that's a lot! Theodore G. Steinway 1939".



Presale Estimate: 30,000+
Realized Price: $45,000




Here are a few 1944 shots I found of Shirley at home at the piano:





Answering fan mail; note the ink well for her refillable pen at the lower left of the shot.



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Monday, January 13, 2020

Midget Monday



Hard to believe, but at one time Disneyland had three Autopia attractions: the main one, the Junior Autopia, and the Midget Autopia. This summer 1959 image yields a few fun detailed views. You can just see this little girl smugly pulling rank on her younger brother and loving it!



Looks like a broken headlight!



A vehicle under a tarp, waiting to be put into circulation:



A previously posted trio of color shots from February 1960. I am pretty sure these girls were the inspiration for the “Redrum” twins from “The Shining.”





There they go, cruising off into the depths of evil and depravity.



The Midget Autopia went away in 1966, and was donated to Walt's home town of Marceline.

See more vintage Disneyland Midget Autopia photos at my main website.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Fort Friday



Friday is Fort Day, or at least at Daveland! Enjoy a rare inside view of Disneyland’s Fort Wilderness, which once was a place of exploration. Image one is from June 20, 1956, about one month after the Fort first opened. Look at that family; I’d say they were satisfied with their visit and rated the Fort 2 thumbs up for fun!



An early 1956 inside view of the Fort:



This one was shot from the Columbia as it navigated the waters of the Rivers of America:



Zooming in to the party about to enter the Fort:



An undated 1950s exterior shot; note the Mark Twain smoke-stack on the right side of the shot:



A little groundskeeping work being done in this 1957 image; it takes a lot of work to look this rustic!



A 1957 interior shot:



1957:



...and of course a detailed view of the dock and entrance area:



From March 1957; looks like some additional trees are awaiting to be planted.



April 1958:



Also 1958:



The Fort closed in 2003 and has not been reopened to the public since. A variation of the Fort (which looks like something from Home Depot) still exists, but is just a shadow of its former glory.



See more Disneyland Fort Wilderness photos at my main website.

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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Historic Sugartown



My mom will often bait me with things we can do to get me to come visit her out in Pennsylvania; historic Sugartown was one of those things that she had been dangling in front of me for years. I finally told her we needed to go see it. Unfortunately, it is only open a few days per week and the rainy day we visited was not one of those.

What’s Sugartown? I’m so glad you asked! It’s a 19th-century village where early residents established a school, general store, businesses, and meeting places for the surrounding farming community. The village was originally named Shugart’s Town, after tavern keeper Eli Shugart, serving as a stop for weary travelers hauling wagonloads of goods to the markets of Philadelphia and other parts of the county. Seems like Shugart got the shaft as the tavern is no longer in biz and the name of the town obviously changed.



Even though the shops were closed, I still managed to make my way around to take a few shots.





One through the windows:



The weather and the buildings made me feel like I was inside an Andrew Wyeth painting.









Of course, Mom promised that next time I visit she’d check the schedule ahead of time so that we could tour the historic buildings. Should I believe her? Or is this just another dangled carrot? I’ll give her a second chance; it looks pretty cool!

See more historic Sugartown photos at my main website.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

My Favorite Adventureland Gadget



Some of my very favorite memories of Disneyland as a kid involved the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Today’s first image is from February 1965. Why did it appeal to me? That water wheel...that great big beautiful Rube Goldberg mechanical wonder! If you don't know who/what Rube Goldberg is, look it up! Briefly, let’s flash forward to 2012 to see a very similar view of the Adventureland border below:



Why was I fixated on Rube Goldberg type machines? Blame it on this game by Ideal: Mousetrap! I didn’t care what the rules were or how you were supposed to play it. I just lived for the final moment when you could watch the ball go through the entire maze and see how each section of the game helped catapult it forward. It still gets me excited to think about watching that cage come down on the plastic mouse!



Here are two from July 1963:





Look at the sense of wonder on those guests’ faces!



All that intricate machinery! It’s like Mousetrap...ON STEROIDS! May 1965:



August 1966:



March 1968:



December 1968:



Three from February 1971:







And then...the day my favorite treehouse got dumbed down. Tarzan took over in 2000.



RIP, you beautiful Rube Goldberg wheel! You inspired my brain with your awesome gadgetry!

See more vintage Disneyland Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse attraction photos at my main website.

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