Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Evolution of Disneyland’s Frontierland

From the top of Disneyland’s Mark Twain Riverboat, one can get a great overview of Frontierland. Today’s post shows a few vintage views of the evolution of this area. While this image is undated, thanks to the lack of the Matterhorn on the horizon, we know it’s at least pre-1959. Zooming in, we can see the ticket booth for the The Rainbow Caverns Mine Train; this shot is most likely between 1956 and 1958.

Panning to the right for details you can see the tarps covering the Zocalo Market area:

At the far right, the Moonliner in Tomorrowland looks strangely out of place with the Frontierland Shooting Gallery in the foreground.

Another undated 1950’s shot that would appear, based on the tree growth, to be from the same time period:

The original round Skyway bucket design can be seen floating in the background:

This March 1958 shot was probably taken from the Treehouse on Tom Sawyer Island:

Still no Matterhorn at this point in Disneyland history:

By June 1959, the Matterhorn was almost complete:

A great overview detail of Rainbow Ridge:

And if you zoom in juuuuuuuust a bit closer you can see the scaffolding on the still unfinished Matterhorn:

Our June 1961 photographer didn’t care about the panorama, but instead chose to focus on the dock area itself:

The little pavilion where the Gonzales Trio performed is now visible:

That beautiful sign for El Zocalo...if only the photographer had a better zoom lens!

Moving ahead to September 1963:

Colorful thatched “umbrellas” now adorn the Casa de Fritos restaurant:

June 1965:

A Tour Guide can be seen at left, and it would also appear that the photographer captured the Gonzales Trio mid-performance:

The last one for today hails from September 1969:

The Pavilion is no longer in site:

But a little refreshment stand is visible:

This 1978 publicity shot let’s us know it was for Hot Burritos for only 35¢:

See more vintage and contemporary Frontierland photos at my main website.


zach said...

Thanks, Dave, for the Disney history perspective. Your blog and treasure trove of photos is much appreciated! Belated anniversary congratulations on 15 years, as well!


Daveland said...

Thanks Zach!

Fifthrider said...

That's a lot of pics. I didn't recognize that first one, are some of these new? Very distinctive without Matterhorn, that's for sure.

Daveland said...

Bryan - A lot of these are ones I revisited and reprocessed to bring out more detail.

JG said...

Dave, this is epic.

Thanks very much, I will spend a lot of time with these photos.


The Retro Dad said...

There's just something SO endearing about that version of Eeyore and Widows peak Mickey. They look so different now.

Nanook said...

This post is 'epic', indeed. What a great timeline of changes.

Thanks for sharing these images with us.