Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween, 1955

Happy Halloween! 

I don't have anything Disneyland-ish to share for the occasion, but I figured that some vintage photos might do. These are from the year 1955.

I'll start with this one; those kids are cute as heck, and are thrilled with their cool bags full of candy. But their costumes, yeesh. It's like mom sewed old table cloths into some sort of smock/dress/tent garments. I appreciate the maker spirit, and I'm sure she loved her kids, but nobody on the block envied these boys that night.

The rest of these are from the same family, showing one of their annual Halloween costume spectacular! Even in the mid-50's, store-bought costumes seem to have been a rarity. That being said, I'm not sure why I bothered to scan this one, since there's not a costume in the whole photo. Just salt-of-the-earth folks having a good time.

These two are just odd. The rubber masks must have been a real extravagance. Pillows were an essential part of many costumes, because body dysmorphia is hilarious! 

Yeah, some of these were awfully dark. But I had to include them! Most of the outfits seem to be made up of odds and ends that were at mom and dad's house, with a simple plastic mask thrown in for mystery. But Woody Woodpecker (nobody's favorite cartoon character) is there in what is an early, elaborate drugstore costume.

Those bloody floating heads look like they should be from a scary Kurosawa movie. Considering that this was a churchy family, some of the tableaus were pretty freaky. And that figure of death to the left would give me a heart attack if it jumped out at me on a dark night.

And lastly, here's another nutty lineup of costumes. Farmer Clem, Poodle Girl, Rich Society Lady, and... Ghost Alien? The Ghost Alien is my favorite! I would dress like that every day if I could.

May your trick-or-treating bring you many large-sized candy bars!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Seattle World's Fair, September 1962

I have a batch of stereo slides from the 1962 "Century 21" Expo in Seattle, and today I'm sharing the first few scans. There were a lot of rainy days in Seattle, and those gray skies resulted in some dark images. Still, they're worth a look!

The Space Needle! Even the name is cool. I am still waiting for it to blast off, which it is able to do. Isn't it? The spinning observation deck acts as a stabilizing gyroscope. You know it is true. Flags from each of the 50 states could be found in the Plaza of the States.

A statue of a fierce warrior (did his eyes glow red at night?) stood outside a shop that sold goods from Thailand. The scale of this Fair was considerably smaller than we have seen at the '64 Fair, which adds to the intimate feel. Plastic babushka alert!

I think the photographer was trying to capture the spray of water over at the International Fountain, but the results weren't so great. In the distance, the Hofbrau Haus served up German sausages and beer. To our right (I believe) were more small shops full of trinkets.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mark Twain 1956

1956 seems like a looooong long time ago, and Disneyland photos from that era definitely have an old-fashioned flavor. Lick your monitor and see what I mean!

We've seen upmty-zillion pictures of the Mark Twain, but this one is festive, with the Twain gleaming under a blue sky. The bunting was used because of leverage from the powerful bunting unions.

There she goes (sorry Mark Twain, you are still a "she"), around that rocky shore where the Stagecoaches and Conestoga Wagons would trundle along.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mermaid Ahoy! - August 13, 1960

Tthe original Submarine Voyage managed to combine  "reality" - modern nuclear subs crossing beneath the North Pole - with legend and fantasy - the lost city of Atlantis, Sea Monsters, and of course, Merms.

Oh my gosh, there's a mermaid right below us! Quick, throw something at her to get her attention! I have some pennies.

I love this picture, with the Monorail swooping into the frame, the white oleander flowers in the foreground, the sub, the blue water, and of course....

... mermaids! Whooo-eee, the one on the rock is real beauty. Notice her pal swimming in the foreground.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Random Walt Disney World, early 70's

Today we continue with more slides from a lot of early 1970's views of the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately a lot of them have turned out to be rejects, much too blurry to even bother with. Oh well, there are still about a dozen that are still worth sharing.

I like this little tableau along the Rivers of America; was it on the shore of the Mainland, or on Tom Sawyer Island? The little keel boat looks almost like a toy.

Maybe the owner of that keel boat also built this cabin. He used those Duraflame logs, which was just a bad idea all around. Was the settler's corpse ever seen in Florida, or did we get to assume that he was roasting inside?

The boys and their stripey shirts are enjoying a snack and the opportunity to take a load off; I guess that is Frontierland Station just visible to our left. 

How about a lousy picture from the Tropical Serenade, aka The Enchanted Tiki Room? At no extra cost to you, of course.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

SATURDAY - New York City

I haven't spent nearly as much time in New York City as I'd like... what a place! I admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed there, since I'm used to the relatively wide-open spaces of SoCal. But I still love it. This "Anything Goes" Saturday features two vintage pix.

Here's a great 1950's photo featuring wonderful vintage cars in front ot the New York Public Library (on 42nd Street). Did you know that the NYPL is the third-largest library in the world?? The beautiful Beaux-Arts building was completed in 1911, and has millions of books - most of the volumes are either "Harry Potter" books or "Twilight" books, but what's wrong with that? The library also has a significant collection rare maps and manuscripts, and other brainy treasures.  

Here's another neat photo, scanned from a faded slide - but still pretty awesome. Check out those massive Times Square theater marquees! We can date this image to around 1949... Cole Porter's "Kiss Me Kate" debuted on Broadway at the end of 1948, and Carol Reed's "The 3rd Man" (one of my favorite movies!) opened in 1949. Man, those neon signs are massive. Imagine how much one of those would have cost. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Adventureland & Tiki Room, July 17 1968

I love today's photos from the entrance to Adventureland as it looked 45 years ago.

The good old tiki room, I'm so glad that this attraction is still there... it's kind of miraculous, really. And although it is a few minutes shorter, it looks as good as ever. The line in this photo is short, but judging by the shadows it was still pretty early in the morning. When United Airlines was the sponsor, you would find wonderful travel posters to tropical destinations (or at least to Hawaii) out front, in addition to the classic Tiki Room attraction poster. The Barker Bird had been removed by this point due to an unfortunate case of Parrot Tourette Syndrome. Check out the guy rockin' the yellow shirt, burgundy shorts and black socks! He is my hero.

Only a few steps further west and we're at the arched entrance to the land of exotic mysteries. Unlike most other lands, Adventureland does not lead into a straight wide avenue immediately; instead you see thatched store fronts and plants, all contributing the feeling that we are entering a winding village. Who has with that carved head thingy between the elephant tusks? It should be mine! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dramatic Matterhorn, August 1982

I hope that intense drama is not too much for you, because today's photos are very dramatic!

Whoo-EEE, lookit them clouds. I wish I could add some really intense, dramatic music to this picture. Something by Hans Zimmer, with the deep horns going, "BWAAAAAAAA!", like in "Inception". Those clouds could mean two things: rain is coming, OR alien spaceships are coming (like in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"). BWAAAAAAAA!

The sun has now set, and the Matterhorn is looming loomily, silhouetted against the sky. The sun has set, and the vampire who lives just above the basketball court inside the mountain is about to emerge from his slumber. And he is hungry! There are lots of nice juicy people to choose from.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Pirate Ship - 1959

This first picture featuring the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship is very nice... the blues all have a turquoise cast, which somehow gives everything an old-fashioned feeling. I love the silvery Skyway buckets, that's a color that looks so good on vintage cars. Maybe a Studebaker or a nice Buick convertible.

Back on terra firma, this colorful scene might qualify as "postcard worthy". A nice ice cream bar sounds pretty good right now, but you really should have a tuna burger first. You need fuel for your long day at the park!

I think it's strange that somebody would take a photo of the sign advertising "Paco the Parrot", without taking a photo of Paco himself. "The folks back home are going to get a kick out of this sign!". If you're like me, you would pay several hundred dollars to look at a parrot, but there's no need - it's a free exhibit. (Take a look at a recent post on Daveland's blog to see how the menu has changed in just a year).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kids Loving the Jungle Cruise - 1956

Everybody likes the Jungle Cruise, but for a kid in 1956, it must have been the coolest thing ever. Elephants, rhinoceroses, hippos, and of course - headhunters! Today's photos are less about the Jungle Cruise and more about kids on board.

Four moppets are silhouetted against the lush jungle - I think a rhino just circled past us - and these kids are hardly blinking. They don't want to miss a thing! I'm pretty sure that '56 was before the Skippers did their humorous spiels, which in a way might have made things more real for impressionable minds.

I love this one! Two buzz-cut boys watch as hungry crocs swim past the boat - and one of them is leaning waaaay over the railing for a better look. He might be one of those wisenheimers who tries to spot the underwater mechanisms, but my guess is that he was completely immersed in the experience.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Frontierland River at Dusk, July 1963

Today's pix are from a small group taken by a guest who apparently arrived at the park about an hour before sunset. So most of the photos were taken in a low-light situation, which led to some really dark pictures. At least that makes them different.

From the deck of the Mark Twain, we look back toward the southern end of Tom Sawyer Island;  Frontierland is still lit with the setting sun's afterglow. Aunt Jemima's restaurant is particularly rosy; a canoe is heading 'round the bend, and folks are waiting for a raft for one of the final trips back to the mainland (the island always closes as dusk).

A second photo was snapped just seconds later, and we can see one empty raft and one full raft. Green construction walls are all over the place, part of the earliest work on what would eventually become New Orleans Square.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Castle, February 1964

Europe is lousy with castles, but in America you usually only see castles at miniature golf courses. Disneyland has a good one... it's not the biggest or the most grand, but it has its own special charm. When seen from Main Street Station, it looks tiny, but close-up, it's juuuust right.

We've seen a bajillion photos of it, but this one is awfully nice. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Movie Theaters, Boston - 1959

An unknown photographer was mighty taken with the sight of a stretch of movie marquees in Boston. It does make a pretty picture, doesn't it? The lighted signs reflected on the wet pavement are twice as dazzling. Part of the fun is checking out the movies playing at the venues. The Mayflower is showing "The Naked Maja", loosely based on an affair between Spanish painter Francisco Goya and the Duchess of Alba. Ava Gardner, hubba hubba.

Just up the street, the Paramount was showing the Alan Ladd classic, "Shane". Which is odd, because that movie was released 6 years earlier. Ladd must have been red-hot, because the RKO Keith's theater was showing another one of this pictures, "The Man In The Net". Let's go there, it's air conditioned! 

Here's one more view - the photographer took at least 5 more pictures of this scene!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beautiful Tomorrowland, November 1972

Man oh man, I sure do love today's photos! They feature a bright, colorful Tomorrowland that I was so enamored with when I was a kid.

Peoplemover! Skyway! Autopia! Monorail! Check out the candy-like yellows, reds, blues and greens of the vehicles, looking especially vivid under a brilliant blue sky with plenty of fluffy clouds.

Howsabout another shot from the same vantage point. The Peoplemover has magically changed colors, like a mood ring. After our Autopia ride, let's go over to "Flight to the Moon", followed by "Adventure Thru Inner Space" and "Carousel of Progress", and then maybe a visit to the Circlevision theater to watch "America the Beautiful".

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New York World's Fair, July 1964

My collection of photos from the 1964-65 New York World's Fair has mostly been scanned and shared here on GDB - we're getting down to the bottom of the barrel! I really shouldn't store slides in a barrel.

I love this view of Sinclair Dinoland; Trixie Triceratops and Tommy T-Rex are having a discussion about asteroids. Tommy doesn't believe in them, but Trixie has been reading some pamphlets and she's concerned.

I am always happy to see the whimsical Tower of the Four Winds (North, South, East, and Purple), from Pepsi Cola's "It's a Small World". It would be kind of cool if they would recreate this at Disneyland - it doesn't have to be quite a huge (it was 120 feet tall). And maybe, using modern materials, they could make make it thinner and airier, the way Rolly Crump intended. Sure, that'll happen any day now! 

A dutiful boy pushes his kid brother around in wagon modified to look like a sports car (sponsored by Hertz Rent-a-Car). Hardly embarrassing at all! Based on what little I can see, it looks like they are turning from the Eisenhower Promenade onto the Avenue of Commerce. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Around Frontierland - August 13, 1960

The little Mine Train had just reopened in May with the beautiful "Nature's Wonderland" additions. The trains changed from dark green to a bright yellow - I love both colors, but there is something so cheerful about the yellow. Here's a great shot of the train as it passes one of the waterfalls that tumbled from the side of Cascade Peak.

Nearby, the Columbia is full up. Who knew so many people would be willing to circumnavigate the globe? I guess they like hard biscuits and plenty of weevils.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Knott's Ghost Town, October 1967

Here are some nice views of Knott's Berry Farm's wonderful Ghost Town, circa 1967. I love the peaceful, laid-back atmosphere. In a few years, the Log Ride would open, and many changes would occur at Knott's (charging admission, for instance), which would alter the park forever.

The California state flag flies proudly over Main Street. Handsome Brady and Whiskey Bill are fenced off, clearly a murder has taken place on their laps. Again.

Over on Stage Road we can see the Candle Kitchen to the right, and the Ghost Town Office to the left. If you need a wagon wheel, you've come to the right place.

And one last look, with the familiar Arastra to our right - I'm glad that the mule is getting some shade. Trees, trees everywhere, it looks so great. They're all gone now, as far as I know.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Two More From the Early 70's

I'm down to the last few stereo slides from the early 1970's - here is the penultimate post from that batch!

The afternoon sun gleams off of the Mark III Monorail as it races toward the Disneyland Hotel. To the right (beneath the beamway) you can just see the sign advertising the Hotel's miniature golf course. Pretty cool! I'm not loving the cars quite as much as I do in earlier parking lot photos.

There's the Ernest S. Marsh locomotive at the station; the "Disneyland" flag is flying overhead, though I prefer the earlier version with Mickey's portrait. Speaking of portraits, I think it's odd that they put a small hedge around Mickey's flower portrait - if you happened to be off to the side, it would block his smiling face. The posters are gone, I wonder when they were removed from the fence?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Two More Autopia Pix, December 1998

I'm down to the last few photos from this bunch of Autopia pix, circa 1998. 

Once again, I am impressed with the beauty of the landscaping in this image. The little girl in pink is experiencing her first drive through the country. Every 20th car got to hit an animatronic skunk, which always evoked much laughter. 

And here's an almost-identical picture, only the car has changed to a tomato red (or is it orange?).