Monday, January 06, 2020

Ready, Aim, Fire!

This February 1965 image brings up so many questions for me! If you look closely at the detailed view on the left, what the heck is that? Well, apparently Walt wanted his Frontierland to be authentic and ready for battle! It appears that there was a spring contraption inside the gates to Frontierland, ready to launch a giant boulder against the enemy. Perhaps parents with a triple-wide stroller, or maybe someone who left their gum on the pavement. Whatever the reason for it, I do not believe this boulder is still there.

This 2011 shot shows no boulder or springy contraption, just some "ammo," flags, ladders, and lanterns. What I really want to know...did that contraption actually work? Boy, that would have been more fun to watch it in action than seeing the drawbridge get lowered.

Zooming into the right side of the shot, it appears that there is some construction going on in Central Plaza. Not sure for what; it’s too early for “New” Tomorrowland.

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Matthew said...

Great photos! As I recall that "contraption" and specifically the rock on top was actually the counterweight to the heavy log door that was held open for Guests to pass through.

I recall one time standing and looking at this as if were a catapult... but the longer I inspected it the more I realized that if the chains were to be loosened (the chain on the right is visible on the right side of the boulder), then the hole thing would slam shut and the boulder would be dropped right in front of the door. You can barely make out the palisades (spiked logs) for the door under the boulder.

Regarding if it is still there today? That's a great question.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Daveland said...

You boggle my brain every time; never would have thought about it being a counterweight. Now we need to find out definitively if it's still there!

Matthew said...

Ha! You amaze me too! Indeed, we do need to inspect that area next time we visit.

Always your pal,

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Matthew here, this was a counterweighted gateway.

Not sure if the rock was real, or if the gate would close, but I definitely recall seeing this as a kid. I remember asking my Dad, and he explained how it worked (or would have worked if it weren't fake).

Another illustration of one of the "hard truths that built America".

Thanks for the cool photo, Dave.