Monday, July 31, 2006

Storybook Land Ticket Booth and Signs 1966

Yesterday the Daveland Blog posted an image of Monstro the Whale and the Storybook Land ticket booth themed as a lighthouse. One of the questions was if this was truly a ticket booth. Delving into my collection of sign photographs taken in April of 1966, I came up with these four images showing the booth was in fact a ticket booth (albeit a very tiny one.) However, it appears that by 1966 the booth had been changed to just a scenic element with a reminder to remove a D copupon from your ticket book to ride the Storybook Land Canal boats. The lighthouse has moved around a little bit and is now part of the scenic element at the entrance to the line for the attraction.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

City Hall, July 17, 1955 In the Morning

A Picture perfect shot of the Disneyland City Hall being prepared on opening day. It appears that on the porch next to the Fire House an important meeting is taking place as quite a crowd of people are sitting there. I would have hated to be the poor construction guy having to sweep Main Street with a push broom!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rainbow Ridge From the Mark Twain 1956

Another view from the photographers trip on the Mark Twain in the summer of 1956. This is the little mining town of Rainbow Ridge in its first incarnation. The ride entrance and staging area for the Pack Mules in the foreground is something rarely seen in images. This area was completely changed in 1960 for Nature's Wonderland Railroad. In the left hand side you can see half of Mineral Hall and in the background the newly opened Skyway.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Souvenir Friday- Adventureland Tiki Items

Today I present two different Tiki items sold in Adventureland in the early 1960s. The first is a ceramic figure similar to those seen on the Tangaroa god in the Enchanted Tiki Room pre show. Some of these I have seen have added paint details or even some sort of grass necklace. They are very rare, and the best part is that right above the idols tush is marked Copyright Walt Disney Productions. The second is the set of Moai style salt and pepper shakers marked Disneyland on the back in a neat tropical kind of lettering. Though not as rare as the figure above, the shaker set is very nice. Both are wonderful souvenirs of the time when the birdies first started to sing and tikis took over Adventureland.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Opening Day in the Morning July 17, 1955

I like photographs taken when construction vehicles are still in Disneyland. This one appears to have been taken from a twin of the television camera tower directly opposite. I believe the tower was built at the entrance to Tomorrowland for some overhead shots of the parade and of Tomorrowland. I originally thought this was taken from Sleeping Beauty's Castle, but the location is not just right. As can be seen, the morning of opening day was very hectic with lots of activity including a forklift positioning something. I know a forklift was used as a camera stand on opening day as it can be seen in some of the footage.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Before Skull Rock

This is the way the Chicken of the Sea Pirate ship should look, freshly painted and gleaming in the morning sun. My memories of the Pirate ship are of a rather old looking ship that was worn and starting to fall apart. Although the slide is undated, from the lack of landscaping and the fact everyone is in winter coats, I would say this slide dates from January 1956, prior to construction of Storybook Land. In the background can be seen the deserted hills of the Canal Boats of the World. I like the posed group and the little boy and his mom in black. Mom is even wearing black gloves. And of course the Pirate ship without very many obstructions to block the details.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Frontierland Mountain Lion 1956

In 1956 the photographer took a trip around the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Steam boat. During this trip, he snapped shots of some unusual views of items newly constructed for Tom Sawyer's Island and around the river. This is one of the most unusual showing an early animal figure, a Mountain Lion, on top of rocks set so those on the train and the steamship can see it. He also managed to get in the background the Disneyland Horse farm run by Owen Pope and his wife. I am not sure how long this scenic element lasted, but I have not seen it in any other images.

Monday, July 24, 2006

E.P. Ripley Train Backstage On Opening Day

This is a great image of the EP Ripley Disneyland Santa Fe Railroad Engine Number 2 steaming up backstage on opening day. The train set is the passenger train set which is now part of a personal train collection in San Luis Obispo, except passenger car number 106 which was converted to the Lilly Belle now running around Disneyland as a VIP car. The first train to run on opening day was engine number 1, the CK Holliday pulling the freight train set. That is the train seen in the video of the opening day ceremonies. I like the construction trucks sitting backstage on the access road. I believe this was taken on the Tomorrowland side of the park, next to Harbor Boulevard but cannot be entirely sure.

Danielle from the blog Tofubeast has uploaded a 8 mm film made by her dad at Disneyland in 1967. Here is the link to check it out Tofubeast Disneyland 1967. It is a very cool film with the end of the film being especially nice showing Tomorrowland of 1967.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Motor Boat Cruise 1963 For Mr. Toast

Dan of Mr. Toast fame has been working hard at the San Diego Comic Con. So for him, I found this image of the Motor Boat Cruise showing the line of boats getting ready to cruise the scenic white water of the ride. The ride operator costumes are really cute sailor outfits, I wonder if the front had Disneyland patches on the front? Slide is dated 1963 and the photographer actually took about four images of the start of the ride.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Monstro the Whale at Storybook Land

Back from California and found this slide in my collection of goodies stored at my parent's house. I love the look of Monstro at this time, the two boys posing and then the cool guys checking out the cute girl operating the Canal boat. I do not find very many photos of Monstro, especially showing this much. The rock work for Skull Lagoon is very visible dating the slide to the early 1960s.

While at the show I purchased another grouping of slides that includes pre-opening shots of Main Street and the opening day parade. I promise to put them up. It was great to see some of you at the show, Amazon Belle is one great guy. And I hope those I told about the site are now joining in the fun.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Souvenir Friday- Original Art for Art Corner Sign

This is the original art for a sign that was sold at the Art Corner. There is a whole series of these signs with cute sayings and Disney characters. Most have a label on the back with space for an address and the wonderful old Art Corner logo.

This may be my last post for a while as I am heading to California to sell at the NFFC Disney show. If you happen to be at the show, do not hesitate to stop by my table and say hello. I will be the one with boxes of vintage Disneyland paper. Upon my return look for more unusual photographs of Disneyland and of course fun souvenirs on Fridays.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sign Over Trail to Indian Village Frontierland

Yesterday I posted a photograph of the Tom Sawyers Island raft Huck Finn and in the background could be seen a tantalizing banner hung over the trail to Indian Village. Here is the banner advertising Mike Fink's Keel Boats, Canoes and the Indian Village. If you check out Gorillas Don't Blog post of today you will also see part of the same banner.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Huck Finn Raft Leaving Dock for Tom Sawyers Island

Last week I put up a photograph of the Becky Thatcher raft. Today it is one of the other rafts, the Huck Finn. I like the activity in this photo with all the people on the raft, the Keel Boats, and the people walking by in the background. There are some details such as in the lower left hand side is a tunnel to Indian Village, a little bit over from that there appears to be a sign strung across the walkway and the best touch is the dirt path leading from the loading area to the main path. And to be honest with you, I like the landscaping much more than the concrete wasteland that is there now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Red Wagon Inn Restauarant

Another very uncrowded day at Disneyland. This time the scene is the front entrance to the Red Wagon Inn, which after some slight remodeling became the Plaza Inn in 1965. I am always on the look out for restaurant items and images of the eating places and this one is rather nice. The sign can be seen on the wall and the showcase out front features the menu. It appears by this time the attraction poster for the restaurant was not in use.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lonely Frontierland Stockade

Here is a nice early morning photograph of the entrance to Frontierland. The park looks very empty with very few people walking. If I were to try to take this picture today, there would be lots of people everywhere, even at opening. Also if it was this empty, all the online Disney critics would be wondering what is wrong with the park, it is not meeting the financial expectations, they need to build another e-ticket ride to get customers to come in, where are all the annual passholders and etc.

I am happy that the stockade is pretty much unchanged from when this photo was taken. At least they have not tried to change the look of this area.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My Pirates of the Carribean Rant

Like most of you, I went and saw Pirates of the Carribean Dead Man's Chest last night. I enjoyed the movie but felt let down by Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. I felt he was way too weak and too much of a coward to lead a band of pirates. In the first film, he was a scoundrel, but at least showed a backbone. In this film, things happen to Captain Jack and he just reacts rather than him forging and creating action causing things to happen. For most of the film he is running away from everything and everyone, not searching and fighting for his hearts desire. Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner stole the show with characters who showed backbones and fought back and performed action to change their own course. My other rant is there was not as many in jokes. The first film had kind of a smug smile to it as how can we incorporate scenes such as the Bridal Auction Scene into the film and yet still have the story move on. I will withhold comment on the new audio animatronics in the ride until I have seen them.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Rainbow Hall of Enchantment Mineral Hall Frontierland

One of the least photographed structures and area within Disneyland was the Black Light Corporation of America Rainbow Hall of Enchantment Mineral Hall located in Frontierland next to Natures Wonderland Railroad. This photo is probably the best one that I have seen. I did a quick search and found that the Black Light Corporation of America was just a distributor for Ultra-Violet Products in the California area. To me the idea that a local company could afford to sponsor a whole shop is kind of stunning. Today I am sure that it costs millions of dollars to have your name at Disneyland on a shop or an attraction. I have done a little photoshop work and lightened the image to show at least the inside of the shop. There was definitely a lot of signage in the building. And I love the girl and boy looking in the camera in the lower right hand corner- Are we in the Photo?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Souvenir Friday- My Hat Fetish

Just more proof that I have a Disneyland hat fetish. I think I collect the hats because not that many other people collect them and I can find them fairly easily and cheapily and I really like the variety. Plus they fit in with the T-shirts and vintage clothing from Disneyland I also collect. These two examples may not look that exciting, but are definitely unusual. The straw sun bonnet is unusual in all that defines it as a Disneyland hat is the nice hand embroidered script Disneyland. The other hat looks common, but it is a very early version of this hat with just the Disneyland logo. Most of the later versions have the characters around the hat. Here are some views of each hat:

Now if I could only find the Art Corner Beret that is for sale in one of the Art Corner catalogues....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Strollers and Disneyland News Shop Main Street

I like photos that show the various shops throughout the park. This particular shot shows the original location for the stroller and wheelchair rental shop with a stroller hanging up as advertising, the Disneyland News and print shop and then Jimmy Stars Movie shop. Over the years the strollers moved to the front entrance, the print shop and the movie shop closed and this set of storefronts became the exit to the Mr. Lincoln show and a hat shop. I have done a close up of the store windows so you can see into them.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Becky Thatcher Raft Heading to Tom Sawyer Island

One of the most under rated rides are the rafts used to ferry guests between New Orleans Square and Tom Sawyers Island. Most people just see them as a way to get across the river. I feel they add a certain story element and beginning for the guests. The story is that you are truly Huckleberry Finn and Jim riding down the mighty Mississippi on a makeshift and you end up at one of the many islands that are in the river. And this island is big enough that it has caves and possibly buried treasure. Your friend Tom Sawyer and his friend Becky Thatcher may even be on the island hiding out in the Tree Fort.

This image has a great busy feel to it with the Indian Canoe guide out front prepping the canoes, the raft in the middle filled with a 1950s family and the stately Mark Twain in the back. Even though the park is probably 5 years old at the time, the growth of trees and plants is nice to give the feel of wilderness.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tomorrowland Flags for a Happy Fourth of July

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s this was the view that guests saw when looking into Tomorrowland. It was very colorful and filled with activity. I wonder if the Disneyland band performed a flag raising and lowering ceremony at this flag or just the Main Street square flag pole? This Tomorrowland is my favorite period with a sense of optimism for the future and that industry was going to take us to the future. Have a Happy and safe Fourth of July.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Birds Eye View of Disneyland 1958

This is a very nice birds eye view of Disneyland taken from the Frontierland side. I have posted the image at a high resolution so you can ooh and ahh over the various attractions shown. In Fowler's Harbor is the hull of the Sailing Ship Columbia. In front of that is the Indian Village, which I have shown in close up as a second image, with a red circle where I believe the photo that was on Gorillas Don't Blog post of yesterday was taken. Other images to look for include the tracks for the Viewliner out in Tomorrowland, and the various houses used for backstage office locations. In the foreground is the picnic grounds of Holidayland. Enjoy spending hours looking at the details.