Monday, March 31, 2008

As Seen On Tom Sawyer's Island

More signage from the same collection I have shown in the past. I believe the photographer of the signs was an employee at the Kodak shop on Main Street. He was obviously struck by signage and took many pictures in April 1966 of the signs throughout the park and even in the parking lot. I will continue to show them sporadically until I am through the entire box. Today's are more signs from Tom Sawyer's Island including directions to another secret cave. And also ambush rock which now has a watch your head notice painted on the rock.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tom Sawyer Island Fort Wilderness Signs

Veering back to the signs up on Tom Sawyer Island, here are four signs that are now long gone. The imagineers and designers could make anything themed. Now that Fort Wilderness is now a modern interpretation of a frontier outpost, I doubt these signs will make a return.

For those who needed to dial for help when the Indians attacked.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Visit to 2719 Hyperion Avenue Walt Disney Studio

Well it's Saturday again and time for another visit to the Walt Disney Studios located at 2719 Hyperion Avenue in Hollywood. It looks like we arrived at lunch time. Let's join our friends in the Ink and Paint Department outside on the lawn. The first image shows a group of the ladies enjoying the warm California Sun. In the building behind them, a couple of animators are enjoying the view as well.

The second image shows Betty Ann Gunther (at least that is what is marked on the back) in front of one of the entrances. It looks like a busy day at the studio with lots of coming and going.

The next image is a group shot of the ladies of Ink and Paint. Identified on the back, they are Ann Esplund, Ivy Carole, Van Horne, Margaret ?, Mille Minnette. They are quite stylish with their bobbed and curled hair and gorgeous outfits. No wonder the animators were always trying to visit the Ink and Paint Department.

The next two are images of the buildings at the studio. The first shows the large windows of the building for the Ink and Paint Department.

The last image appears to be one of the sound stages.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Souvenir Friday- Pendleton Woolen Mills Frontierland Exhibit Letterhead and Clothing Tag

Continuing on a Frontierland excursion, the souvenir for today is a nice fully illustrated letterhead from the Pendleton Woolen Mills store that once was the mainstay in Frontierland. The engraving on the letterhead shows a vignette of the store with a list at the bottom of the various types of clothing and blankets made by the company. I have also included an unused clothing tag. The clothing tag was attached to the shirts, jackets and other items sold through the store. According to information I have read, the store would sell the item and ask for the purchasers hometown so the hometown Pendleton outlet could be paid a portion of the sale price. Both pieces were found at the bottom of a drawer when the Pendleton store was closing in 1990. Many of you may own these pieces as they were included with an issue of the E-Ticket magazine in 1990 as a bonus.

As a special for the readers of the blog, I have extra pieces of the letterhead. The cost for a sheet will be $5.00 (including postage.) E-mail me at Matterhorn1959 at and let me know if you are interested.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tom Sawyer's Island Signs Part Two

Continuing the exploration of Tom Sawyer's Island and the various signs on the island. The first shows the rarely used (and no longer marked) Huck landing. I believe this was used only on busy days to allow greater guest capacity. In the foreground is another cleverly camouflaged trash can.

Here is another sign also removed, but only more recently. Once hanging outside of the large wooden gates made out of tree trunks, it alerted guests that an unfriendly Indian attack could occur at any time and the gates may close.

Here is the actual exit from the secret tunnel.

Like any intriguing area for kids, there are other secrets as well. This sign points out one (I guess it is not that secret.) The imagineers definitely knew how to engage not only kids but also adults. How many of us want to explore secret areas? It is the lure of the abandoned building, calling to us to explore and not knowing what one would find.

The most intriguing area for me as a kid and playing on the island was behind this fence. I have always wanted to go back through this gate and look at what was hidden in the trees. Now it is used for storage for Fantasmic.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tom Sawyer's Island Signs

One of the attractions with the most signage is the Tom Sawyer Island play area. Since there is no linear story as in most rides with a set beginning for all visitors and a specific ending, the island had to have lots of direction markers in order to tell a story for someone who may start at one end of the island, opposite another person on the other side of the island. The rough story was known by most visitors in the 1950s and 1960s, that of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, Injun Joe, Jim and the adventures of the two young protagonists. Recently with the change of the island to a pirate themed, there was lots of online discussion regarding the general public knowledge of the Mark Twain stories. However, let's take a look at the past and the various signs on Tom Sawyer Island. The first shows the directions for many of the "natural" features of the island.

The second shows directions to three of the fun elements on the island. Sadly the elements were removed years ago as unsafe. In the background can be seen the Northwest Pacific Coast Indian part of Indian Village.

In order to keep the illusion the island is wild, even the trash cans are themed to be as natural as possible.

I will continue with some obscure Tom Sawyer Island signs tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A visit to the Keelboat Gullywhumper

A ride that unfortunately is now part of Yesterland is the Mike Fink Keelboats. Due to a series of incidents and the high cost of labor to keep the boats running, the attraction was closed. One of the boats was auctioned off and now sits in a private collection. The other keelboat is slowly rotting, half sunk by pirates on the back side of Tom Sawyer's Island. But today we can relive the attraction via photographs. The first image is of the entrance with the welcoming sign. Be sure to pull out that B ticket.

The second image is of the thrilling adventure of riding the Gullywhumper. Careful of the Indians rowing the canoes!

The ride is now finished and we have to disembark from the boat and walk out the exit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sleeping Beauty Castle Model KABC Channel 7 Promotion

In order to promote the Disneyland Television show and also Disneyland the theme park, the model for Sleeping Beauty Castle and the first Herb Ryman drawing were taken on the road, so to speak. I believe this is an image from the Los Angeles County Fair in 1954 prior to the first Disneyland Television show broadcast. KABC channel 7 is the local ABC affiliate in Los Angeles. I wonder how many people saw the model during its stay at the fair? Or if I am totally off base and the model was only shown at a smaller event such as those that used to happen at the Pan Pacific auditorium? Anyone have a history of the Los Angeles Fair or even a 1954 guide to see if KABC 7 is listed as a participant?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Knott's Berry Farm Calico Log Ride Models

Today we head over for a visit with Bud Hurlbut and Walter Knott on the occasion of the groundbreaking for the new Calico Log Ride in 1969. The first shot shows the attraction model of the mountain and log flume ride. The ride was the first log flume ride in the world and still draws many visitors. It is a nicely themed ride set in a sawmill.

This is the accompanying press releases.

The second image is of Bud Hurlbut, Walter Knott, Don Koll looking at the attraction model at the ground breaking for the ride on July 29, 1968. The ride opened in the summer of 1969 with great fanfare. The first family to ride the attraction was the John Wayne family and Tony Baxter from WDI was there that day also. (There is a publicity shot showing Tony in line while the Wayne family is riding the drop.)

Here is the accompanying press release.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another Visit to the Ink and Paint Department, Walt Disney Studio

It is saturday and time to take another stroll to the Ink and Paint department at the Hyperion Avenue Walt Disney Studios. The first image is of an inker and painter by the name of Eve Gerstad. I could not find any information on her...but the talented ladies of the department never did receive much publicity. I like the details in this photo, the light, the coat rack with the fur coat, the film vault and the cabinet with all the animation cels stacked on it.

The second image shows one of the inkers working on a cel. Unfortunately I cannot tell what the artwork is.

The third image shows the paint laboratory where the colors and paint was mixed. From what I have read, the paints were mixed slightly different each day depending upon the humidity and the animation cel stock. Unfortunately this image is not named, I wish it was.

The last image is of a fish ready to be inked onto the cel. The animation is the old style five hole animation sheet.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Souvenir Friday- Ward Kimball Grizzly Flats 1946 Steam Up Broadside

One of the influences on Walt Disney to build Disneyland was his love of trains. The love was rekindled and stoked by Ward Kimball who had his own narrow gauge steam railroad in his back yard. In several of the Disney biographies there are specific stories of Walt attending steam ups at the Kimball house. This may have been one of the times Walt was at the steam up as the date is August 25, 1946. This may have also been one of the first steam ups for the train. The broadside is printed as a circa 1880s railroad advertising sheet with the appropriate over the top hyperbole. The drawing of the train is by Ward Kimball with a sly nod to the fact his house was in the middle of orange groves. The item was signed in the 1990s by Ward and his wife Betty. If you would like to see Ward's train, go to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California as his train is now there in a specific car barn.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New York Worlds Fair 1964

Being on the West Coast of things, I do not usually find much from the New York Worlds Fairs. I do find some 1939-1940 fair pictures, but not much from the 1964 version. The following images are all from one family album and shows various trips to the Worlds Fair. I do not know the relationship between the various people. The first image is from the German Beer Garden with the Sinclair Dino Land and US Royal Tires ride in the background. Nice cold Lowenbrau served by a German fraulein...a nice day!

The next two images are of the dinosaurs from the Sinclair Oil attraction. This is one of the attractions I would have loved to see since I have a dinosaur obsession since I was very young.

The next shot is a cold day with the Unisphere in the background.

And this image is from the lagoon in front of the GE Carousel of Progress building.

The final image is from the World of Nations exhibit with the distinctive architecture of the German Beer Garden in the background. The lady looks like she has her own security detail.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A 1956 Trip to Two Southern California Theme Parks

The photographs were pulled from a photo album with the date of 1956. The photos show scenes from two Southern California amusement parks. The first are from Disneyland showing the TWA Rocket to the Moon, Frontierland, Mike Fink Keelboats, the Indian Village from the Rivers of America and jungle plants from the Jungle River Cruise.

The next two images are from Knott's Berry Farm. The first shows the Old MacDonald's Farm area with a unique playground merry go round. The second is of the Knott's version of the Indian Village.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Disneyland in Three Dimensions June 1956

Continuing on with the collection of Stereo Realist 3-D views are these two from Main Street. Both are dated June 1956. The first shows the surrey with a full load heading past Coke Corner and Plaza Pavilion with the gates to Frontierland in the background.

The next image is of Sleeping Beauty Castle in its glory. It appears that they just replanted the Pavilion.

The final image is for those who love the 3-D images and want to create your own. I have put the two stereo realist slides together for you.