Sunday, September 30, 2007

Filming at Universal

Here are some images of the start of the filming of a western film at Universal Studios. These shots were taken from the glamour tram. I like the behind the scenes feel as well as the interaction with the stars. I also really like the big black Cadillac and the camera crane and boom. These are some more slides from the last time I posted Universal Studios in December of 2006.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Souvenir Friday Continued- Messmore Damon Catalog

For Chris, here are the rest of the pages in the catalog. Quite a nice document illustrating what the company was manufacturing at the time. I believe some pieces have been recycled at various parks. In the Colorado area, there are some figures in the Haunted House walkthrough at Santa's Village. I believe that Knoebbels in Pennsylvania also has some of the figures in their Haunted Mansion.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Souvenir Friday- Messmore Damon Amusement Displays Catalog

One of the major suppliers of dark ride elements to amusement and theme parks is the company of Messmore Damon. In 1967 they published a catalog showing many of the figures and items available for purchase. I have scanned a couple pages from the catalog along with a list of locations where their figures were in use. Although none are Disney, they were and are some of the most fun effects and figures still in use by amusement parks. Let me know if you want to see more scans from the catalog.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Black and White Trip October 1955

Another small grouping of photos recently added to the collection is the five images shown below. All nicely dated October 1955 showing what tourists thought to take pictures of during the first months of Disneyland. The first is a nice image of Mom and Son riding on Dumbo. It appears Mom has decided to take a small tree home from Adventureland disquised as a hat.

A nice shot of the EP Ripley pulling the Main Street passenger train. I like the fencing in the foreground. A photograph that could not be taken today.

A nice image of Sleeping Beauty Castle with one of the white swans out front.

An image of the hippos on the Jungle River Cruise. One can never get too many hippo images!

Last is my favorite photo showing the temple guarded by the monkeys screaming in the trees and off on the left is the elephant carving. The monkeys in the trees did not last long as the animation was very spastic and broke down.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Disneyland Characters

A set of photos featuring some of the character costumes. The costumes appear to be second generation, not the early off model characters. The costumes are closer to the animation model, but not by very much. The other thing is that wearing these costumes must have not been fun. I am sure they were heavy and bulky to wear and your head was always in a confined space such as the hat.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Mish Mash of Photographs

Today's post is a mish mash, just some photographs I have picked up recently. The first is of the Sailing Ship Columbia taken from the waters edge at the old Frontierland Indian Village. The focus is pretty bad, but I do like the look of the ship with the full sails and Tom Sawyers Island in the background.

The next image is of the rare Cigar Store Indian which once stood out front of the Frontierland Trading Post. I believe the trading post is now a candy and fudge shop, but it may have been turned into a pin center. According to Major Pepperidge, a dealer had this Indian at the last Glendale Toy and Advertising show.

The final image is my favorite. A nice view from the late 1960s of the majestic Matterhorn mountain. And it appears that a plane towing a sign was spotted overhead (see the black swipe in the upper left part of the photo.) The back of the photo has a great inscription: This is the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Its the same name as our street.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Fantasyland Views

These images are from the same group that I posted last Thursday. In the first, little brother and his sister are on the Dumbo ride. Notice the ear structure and that it is jointed.

The second image is of the family with Dad posing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. In the background is nothing as the photograph was taken pre-Matterhorn. Another thing I like about this image is the lack of fencing, everything was wide open much like a park or a college campus.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mummy, oh my Mummy

Universal Studios in the 1960s used their film library much more in the park then they currently do. Each of the Universal monsters from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950s's were face characters one could meet and get your photo taken with, such monsters as Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula and more. Such is the case with the young dad and son seen in this image. In the background you can see the red and white striping of the Glamour Train Trams. I also like the lady in the yellow shirt with the white cat eye sunglasses.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Boxcar of Pennies

As part of a discussion on Major Pepperidge's Gorilla's Don't Blog I mentioned a lucky winner of a boxcar of pennies. Here is the lucky winner Raymond Sleeper of Hawaii who was the 10 millionth passenger on the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad. Seen with Raymond is Walt Disney wearing a nice engineers cap with a large Santa Fe cross (and no mention of Disneyland) and Engineer Bill from the Cartoon Express on local Los Angeles channel 9. The blurb states Raymond received a "boxcar" of 10,000 pennies ($100.) I wonder if they were wheat pennies. Article and photo are dated August 3, 1960.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Souvenir Friday- True Life Adventure Cards

A very unusual souvenir item is this deck of cards manufactured by the Russel Card Games Company. The deck is titled Walt Disney's True-Life Adventure Cards for Play or Trade. The deck consists of 36 cards featuring images from all of the True-Life films including White Wilderness, Beaver Valley, Perri and more. Three of the cards focus on Disneyland. One card is of the Rocket to the Moon, one is of Sleeping Beauty Castle and third is of the Mark Twain Steamboat. On the reverse of each card is a description of the front

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Midget Autopia In Action

Two nice slides of the Midget Autopia in action. The more images I see of the ride, the more fun the ride looks. I do like that there were some scenic elements including a nice hill that overlooked the track below. The two steering wheels must have stopped many arguements betweens brothers and sisters as both could be driving at the same time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pirates at Disneyland

In honarrgh of the International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I present to you one of the scariest and blood thirstiest crews to have ever set sail or foot in Disneyland. The first image of the swashbucklers shows them in front of their Pirate Ship as it was docked at Fantasyland. See the cold blooded gleam in their eyes and the blood thirsty look on their faces.

The next photo shows what can happen when Pirates board your boat. The pirates command you to take it through the thrilling Fantasyland rapids! Beware I fear there be squalls ahead- Keep a sharp eye out for trouble! Avast you there, keep both hands on the wheel!

And to answer Kurt's question from yesterday, most of the photographs come out of swap meets and flea markets. Usually from estates where there were no relatives who wanted the images or from unclaimed storage.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Snow White's Wishing Well

I am back from a quick trip to California. I purchased some more images and some more slides to show in the upcoming weeks. Today's post is back to the sign fanatics collection showing two views of Snow White's Wishing Well. The well's proceeds from everyone tossing money and wishing were given to the Variety Club to assist children all over the world. Even today the money raised by the wishing well is given to charity. The detail on the sign is fantastic with stylized squireels at the top and on the well the ends of the beams are carved owls. The well has always been one of my favorite locations in Disneyland. The next time you go, stop by Snow White's well and make a wish, it may come true.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Souvenir Friday- Gremlins Have Taken Over

No, not the 1984 movie Gremlins, but rather the World War 2 Gremlins, Fifinella and Widgets created as part of the never produced Walt Disney animated film The Gremlins. The original story written by Flight Officer Roald Dahl dealt with the mythical creatures who wreaked havoc on airplanes in England. This was the first book by Roald Dahl. This piece was produced in the early 1940s and was part of a series of glow in the dark pictures featuring Disney characters. I do collect World War 2 Disney items as it relates to the military insignia designs as well as Gremlin items, but do not search for them as hard as I do for Disneyland items. For more World War 2 Disney items check out Dave Lesjak's Toons At War blog.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Me Tarzan, Me Like Disneyland

Many famous people have visited Disneyland since it opened. With the proximity to Hollywood, many of them have been stars of movies and television. These two shots are of Gordon Scott who was Tarzan of the late 1950s and Vera Miles his wife at the time. Vera had a thriving film career of her own and Gordon and her met on the set of a Tarzan film. I like that the photographers placed them in Adventureland the natural setting for Tarzan. The image of them in the Jungle Cruise is great for the detail of the elephant wall in the temple scene. And of course who does not like a merchandise shot with funky earrings in the back (on a Disneyland card), straw hats of different shapes, rubber spears and leis. In Vera's hand she is holding a Disneyland Admittance ticket. Now days such stars would be surrounded by security and not posing for photographs but hiding from the stalkerazzi.