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Entries in Disneyland (50)


Not Having Fun at Disneyland 

Sit back and let your eyes feast on these beautiful vintage pics of people NOT having fun at Disneyland. Ok, they WERE having fun at Disneyland except for the moments they were being photographed. Probably. 

Oh how I loved Boy Scout Days at Disneyland. I was a Boy Scout (and a Cub Scout) and lived for this one day a year. For some dumb reason I thought it was fun to wear my uniform in public at Disneyland. As if I were more important than on other non-uniformed days in the park. This is not me in the photo.

Lady, take better care of that guide map!

I'm sure the Color Gallery in Tomorrowland was loads and loads of fun. Secretly the lady and guy wearing a purse were loving it.

Nice white tuxedo and Test Track hat, kid.



I'm lovin' the double steering wheels. (Midget Autopia)

Walt is definitely not having fun.

For all those Guest Relation people who say "Walt hated Disneyland because he didn't get it right until he made Magic Kingdom"... you are still wrong. Despite his expression in this photo. Also, he never saw the Magic Kingdom.

For all you that say early Disneyland was no fun... you now have your proof. No, actually it was very very fun.


The funny thing about all these photos is that they came from Disneyland souvenir books. Books that Disney sold in the park. I used to photograph the parks for Disney and they were always so particular about the people in the shots. First of all, we had to introduce ourselves, ask the people to sign a waver, then ask them to pose a certain way. (Unless we hired professional models to act like they were guests). Additionally there were a million guidelines about diversity. There had to be non-white people somewhere in each shot. Age diversity was big, as was (believe it or not) weight diversity--not only skinny people in every pic. And of course smiles. That was huge with management. Occasionally it was asked of me, “can you Photoshop an even bigger smile on that person?”

I do prefer the very candid shots of the old days. Much more natural. Although it's always nice to at least look like you are not miserable.


Photos from the collections of the staff. ©The Walt Disney Company.


Related posts:

EYE CANDY: National Geographic Aug '63
EYE CANDY: National Geographic Aug '63 [Part 2]
1962 Disneyland Souvenir Map - High Res
Early Tomorrowland... so beautiful.
Vintage Disneyland Home Movies- Meeting Walt Disney Himself
Disneyland 1955 Model Close-ups




Vintage-izing Your Park Pics

It seems that every time I take photos of the parks I have high expectations that the photos will look stunning the moment I see them on a large screen.  Inevitably I find myself disappointed at just how booooring the pics turn out. "Golly... these look outright crummy!", I shout. 

I’m no professional photographer and I always expect to need a bit of post-production magic to make the shots look half-decent. But lately I’ve realized something else. The kinds of park photos I can’t stop staring at all come from olden-ages when unassuming tourists used actual film and entirely non-digital cameras. No really, they did. Add to that a few decades of fading hues and we get beautiful and interesting imagery.  Since I don't have one of those cameras and I don't know if stores actually sell film anymore, I'm left with digital pictures and Photoshop.

So here are a few pics I shot (all within the last year) adjusted to look not only much older but much more interesting (assuming you and I share similar taste). To the photography purist, I disclaim: no specific film or process was meant to be replicated here. These are simply supposed to look older and better than the originals. And if they look like they belong on Daveland or Gorillas Don't Blog, then mission accomplished.

So it's really isn't that difficult to do. Old photos generally have less saturated colors.  Often the blacks are not solid black but more brown, reddish, or blue in color. 



Just one of many ways to pull off the effect. Note that there are a bunch of other "vintage" photo styles you can replicate, this being just one. (Video by Mitch).





Revisiting Early Space Mountain

Last week I spent a few hours at Disneyland.  I spend time looking for remnants of extinct attractions like Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland and some time looking for forgotten pieces of modified attractions that still stand today-- like Space Mountain.

I was thrilled to find so many great pieces of surviving 1970s architecture in the area.  The experience was a far cry from walking through Tomorrowland way-back-when, but it offered its fare share of appeal.

The Speedramp has been gone for well over a decade. It closed in August, 1997 and reportedly caught fire two days later...  Is that true? More disappointing is the absence of the Space Stage and seating area and Space Place Restaurant. As you see in the first photo this area had a certain energy about it that doesn't exist today.  The Space Place Restaurant offered decent food and great places to relax and eat while enjoying occasional live music.

Photo by indydisneyfan

Before the stage area was enclosed for the introduction of Captain E.O. (1986) we could enjoy amazing vistas both high and low.  This open area allowed you to feel like Tomorrowland was a rather large land, comparable in feeling to Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland and in some ways similar to the Future World pavilions of EPCOT Center.  The bold architecture with its unique angles, shapes, lines-of-sight, and colors was a sight to behold. The emotional sensations offered by its superior aesthetic qualities, use of space, and background music was a treat to say the least. Then again we had no Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.

Now we have something very different.  Tomorrowland continues on with its 12+ year identity crisis.  Much of what was painted gold and copper in color is now white, blue, or silver though much of the gold remains.  The 1998 version of Tomorrowland with its odd combination of Da Vinci-Vernes-Lucas influences has evolved (or devolved) to include very non-futuristic Pixar characters.  But possibly worse is the decaying PeopleMover track and that satellite thing where the Rocket Jets once ran.  A rocket spinner ride can still be enjoyed (to a much lesser extant than before) if you want less views of Tomorrowland and more views of the Hub- and at a much shorter height than before.  Let's not even talk about how the Astro Orbiter has cluttered up what was once one of the greatest entrances to any land.  At least fans of the Rocket Jets have something similar they can still enjoy.  PeopleMover lovers, such as myself, have only a constant reminder every time we look up from any outside area of this confused land.

There's always that inevitable comment someone always blurts out at the beginning of every Tomorrowland discussion that "it's too hard to keep up with the future so the Tomorrowlands we have are the only way."  Please.  Broken rides and taking fish?  Why not something along these lines??

But this was supposed to be a positive post! Ok, ok.  Among the few remaining excellent attractions from past Tomorrowlands is Space Mountain.  And on last week's visit I delighted in not only the well-executed Space Mountain ride refurbishments of recent years, but the remaining 70s and 80s architecture of its surrounding areas. Oh but beware of a few sad shots.  A couple might fit better in our Abandoned Disney posts.

Compare to the old Space Place here.

And if you dare: Summer of 1996's Toy Story Funhouse and Hamm’s All-Doll Revue in this location.  This baffled me to no end.  Luckily when they said "temporary" this time, they meant it.

If only there was a way to ride on that there track again.  If only that there tunnel led to something like this again.

Jurassic Park game at Disneyland, eh? Hmm.  (Look closely in the above photo) 


Related posts:

Some old soothing Space Mountain entry music
1967 "New TomorrowlandBroadcast
THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
The Future Was Fantastic in '57
Magic Highway U.S.A... It doesn't get much better than this.