Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Overhead View of Disneyland January 13, 1955

Disneyland is just 6 months away from opening and the park is still looking very skeletal. No paving and just the framework for the buildings. Here is a close up on just Disneyland, note I have circled the Dominguez house.

Caption on photo reads: 1/13/55-DISNEYLAND and the surrounding territory with snow-capped Mt. Baldy in the background. To the left of the bottom half of DISNEYLAND is the thirty acre plot on which the $5,000,000 DISNEYLAND Motor Hotel will be built.

A Main Street view of the Wurlitzer shop. This is where the Disney Showcase is now, which is a retail store but in the 1970s was the place to look at models and artwork for coming attractions. I am willing to bet that many readers of this blog started their fascination with Disneyland and the Imagineers by visiting this shop. This was also the home to Dee Fisher who released a record album titled Echos of Disneyland. The album was organ interpretations of classic Disney songs and sounds very funeral like.


Anonymous said...

I am blown away by the amazing number of beautiful photos of Main Street shops that you have! I love Disneyland, but I would never think of taking similar photos today. Somebody was a true fan back at the beginning!

As for the aerial view, it's interesting how they've started the Fantasyland buildings that housed the dark rides, but there's absolutely no sign of the castle yet.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that within 20 years of this photo and all those orange groves would be completely paved over, mostly with housing tracts (and of course, hotels closer to Disneyland).

Anonymous said...

Your photo of Disneyland with the blue circle showing the Dominguez home might be incorrect! The Story of the Dominguez tree contradicts the placement of the family home and lists it as being where the Entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean is now. But this is on the opposite side of the park to where you have it shown!

Here is the of the The Dominguez Tree.
When Walt Disney decided on Anaheim for his theme park, he needed to purchase land. Among the properties purchased was the Dominguez family farm.

The Dominguez family had received a Date Palm as a wedding gift and planted it on the farm back in 1896. When Disney approached the Dominguez family to purchase their farm, they agreed. However, there was one condition, the family tree need to remain untouched! Disney agreed to these terms and began building his park around it.

The Dominguez home was where the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean now rests, with the tree a short distance to the south. The tree is still there today and you can find it between the Indiana Jones ride and its fast pass queue.

During the early years of the park there was very little tree life as they had not yet matured. The Dominguez Tree stood tall clear for all to see. Today though, it is a bit more obscured and harder to find.

Where is it?
Just walk as though you’re going to get a fast pass for Indy, stop before entering and you’ll see a large group of bamboo trees. Just look for the fattest palm tree just behind those and you’ve found the Dominguez tree. (pictures included in the post) Take a look straight up and you’ll understand just how careful they have been in preserving it. The structure for the fast-pass station rests right up against this tree.

On a side note, the grandson of those that received the tree as a wedding gift, in the first place, eventually went to work for Disneyland after they “moved out” to make way for the park. Ron Dominguez was first a Davey Crocket walk around character, a ride operator, and eventually Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Attractions.

The Dominguez Tree, a piece of Disneyland history that has stood longer than the park itself!

Matterhorn1959 said...

Anonymous- thanks for the comment. If you review all the pre-opening construction photographs I posted, you will see that the image is for the Dominguez house after it was moved and joined with another house to create the first administration building. The palm was not moved. To see the history of the Dominguez house and how it moved, just search the blog for Dominguez.