SEARCH SITE

 

FEATURED

OUR SPONSORS
TWITTER
LINKS

MORE FEATURED

 

 

TAGS
Abandoned Disney (8) Adventure Thru Inner Space (2) Adventureland (12) America Sings (1) Animal Kingdom (2) Animation (19) Animatronics (20) Area Music (7) Backyard Imagineering (6) Behind-the-Scenes (39) Big Thunder Mountain (3) California Adventure (6) Captain E.O. (1) Carousel of Progress (12) Castle (7) Characters (6) Club 33 (1) Concept (13) Construction (15) Country Bear Jamboree (2) Death (2) Disney Channel (1) Disneyland (50) Disney-MGM Studios (1) Donald Duck (3) Entertainment (5) Epcot (28) Fantasyland (16) Fess Parker (1) Film (25) Frito Kid (4) Frontierland (14) Germany (1) Hall of Presidents (4) Haunted Mansion (10) Hidden Mickeys (2) Holidays (1) Hollywood Studios (1) Horizons (3) House of the Future (1) Illustration (3) Imagineering (1) John Lasseter (4) Journey Into Imagination (2) Jungle Cruise (15) Lake Buena Vista (1) Liberty Square (3) Lillian Disney (2) Ludwig Von Drake (1) Magic Kingdom (23) Main Street U.S.A (12) Maintenance (1) Management (5) Maps (13) Marc Davis (8) Marty Sklar (3) Matterhorn (6) Monorail (4) Mr. Lincoln (3) Muppets (2) Music (3) Mystery (9) Nature's Wonderland (7) New Orleans Square (6) Orange Bird (2) Paul Frees (1) PeopleMover (10) Peter Pan (2) Photos (1) Pirates of the Caribbean (9) Pixar (5) Pleasure Island (1) Podcast (1) Progress City (1) Props (2) Railroad (2) Resorts (2) River Country (4) Rivers of America (2) Roy Disney (1) Scale Models (21) Skyway (3) Song of the South (2) Sound Effects (2) Souvenirs (3) Space (3) Space Mountain (6) Splash Mountain (1) sSpace Mountain (1) Tangled (2) The Living Seas (1) Then and Now (17) Tiki Birds (2) Tilt Shift (2) Tomorrowland (39) Tomorrowland 67 (8) Treehouse (1) Vintage Disneyland (3) Walt Disney (15) Walt Disney Family (7) Walt Disney Family Museum (1) Walt Disney World (6) Ward Kimball (1) Wonders of Life (1) World of Motion (2) World's Fair (2) Yeti (1)
MORE MORE FEATURED


Orange Bird Photo Hunt

EVEN MORE FEATURED

ADMINISTRATORS

Entries in Frontierland (14)

Tuesday
Feb082011

Frontierland Shootin' Arcade Like You've Never Seen It

Come on. You know the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade is the best 25¢  you'll ever spend at a Disney park. (Or is it a buck now?)

 

Once upon a time, a few of us were locked behind a big black curtain for days and days as we applied a fresh new coat of paint on this set work. I'd do it again. It was a joy to climb around the desert landscape and play with all the moving parts that don't always move like they should anymore. We even got unlimited use of the electronic rifles... thanks to Mr. Hoot!

One thing that is especially clever about the set is that thar walkway between the foreground with toombstones and the middle ground with the buildings. There's another walkway between the middle ground and the background. And it's all so seamless to the shooters standing by. Take that, Kilimanjaro Safaris. You weren't the first to hide trenches.

The backside of fake arboriculture:

Get a load of that cool covered wagon mechanism hiding behind the rock:

Here we see some "before" shots and sadly I have no "after" shots of these rocks. And boy I'd like some close-up video of that mine car flying in and out of that "Lucky #13" mine.

I really do hope they never take this thing out of either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom. It's a fun little B-ticket attraction. Aaaand.... it's INTERACTIVE.... all you Disney management who insists on ineractiv-izing things. This is already interrrrractivvve, so no need to touch it. Maybe add a Frito Kid machine off to the side. :)

Controls:

"Big Thunder Arcade"?? Can someone provide the history of the "Big Thunder Arcade"?

And I love these handwritten instructions on the light switch. They say, "Exhaust fan switch in attic leave on during operation". And then someone was nice enough to further clarify in red marker on the wall next to it, "Leave on operation".

 

Related posts:

Carousel of Progress Like You ve Never Seen It
The Haunted Mansion Like You've Never Seen It
Pirates of the Caribbean Like You've Never Seen It
Frito Kid and Deeee-licious Fritos!

 

Thursday
Nov112010

Disneyland 1955 Model Close-ups

The Model

When this scale model was presented for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, I remember looking at it for the longest time. The detail was great but more interesting to me was the fact that this was the first time I’d been able to study the layout of the 1955 park in that way– all at once.  Until then we had some simple maps, some photos, and video footage but the model gives a different perspective.

The model was initially installed in the Opera House on Main Street on a flat surface.  Today you see it on an angle closer to the front doors.

The Ideal Disneyland?

Is 1955 Disneyland the way I’d like to see the park today?? Nope. I would like to go back and visit during that first year for sure, but it wasn’t ideal..... The idel time would be sometime around 1967.

Nonetheless, this model takes us to a great time in Disney park history. Better than DCA in its first year?? There's something to think about.  

The Close-up Photos

I ran across these on Flickr and as it turns out they were taken by Andy Castro of Dateline Disneyland. Excellent work.


Related posts:

2 Fantastic Disneyland Scale Models
Disneyland in 1955
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
1967 "New Tomorrowland" Broadcast
Disneyland Skyway in Your Backyard

 

Saturday
Jul172010

Disneyland in 1955

A look at the early days of Disneyland. The park opened to invited guests on July 17, 1955. The following day it opened to the general public.

Front and back covers of "Picture Souvenir Book of Disneyland in Natural Color" reprinted in 2005 for Disneland's 50th Anniversary.

 

Scan from the inside front cover of "Picture Souvenir Book of Disneyland in Natural Color"
A list of attractions was presented in this early map from an early Picture Souvenir Book. This specific book was not available on Opening Day, of course, because photos with guest in them were not available. This an interesting map-- oddly drawn and missing a number of attractions from 1955. You'll notice the lack of labels for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White, Peter Pan, Mad Tea Party, and almost everything in Tomorrowland. I love that the Railroad is traveling the wrong direction. Holidayland is on the complete opposite side of the park. It's cool to see the waters of Rivers of America connected to the waters of " 'Explorer Boat Ride' through the Rivers of Mexico, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia" (The Jungle Cruise).

 

Main Street, USA

No other part of Disneyland resembles the way things looked in 1955 more than the exterior portions of Main Street. Almost every sign has been changes but the architecture of the buildings remains almost identical. The interiors however have changed much.

 

 

Fantasyland

Within the Castle Courtyard King Arthur Carrousel was positioned much closer to Sleeping Beauty Castle than it is today. The Mad Tea Party was directly north of the carrousel (both moved to new locations along with Dumbo in 1983). Sleeping Beauty Castle was spectacular yet the public had little connection with the animated film because Sleeping Beauty would not debut until January of 1959. Artwork was presented on Disneyland, the T.V. show in 1954 and the Sleeping Beauty walk through attraction inside the castle opened in 1957 with several dioramas telling the story of Sleeping Beauty. A similar walk through attraction exists today.


Casey Jr. Circus Train, one of the most charming little attractions even today, offered a view of the very underdeveloped Canal Boats of the World (later renamed Storybook Land Canal Boats). The boats were sadly not operational on Opening Day. The landscaping and miniature scenes we know today were not present but plenty of dirt was.

A creepy looking Court Jester selling balloons?

You'll notice what looks like another Court Jester running with kids on Opening Day through the castle in this famous photo. When did they finally get rid of those guys?? I guess they fit the land in which they reside, but still...

 

Tomorrowland

The most changed of any land. The Autopia is the only remaining attraction today. In 1955 guests enjoyed the following, now extinct, attractions. Circarama U.S.A., "A Tour of the West, the Dutch Boy Paint Color Gallery, Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, Kaiser's Hall of Aluminum Fame, Rocket to the Moon, Space Station X-1, Thimble Drome Flight Circle (displaying flying model planes), Tomorrowland Boats, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit, and The World Beneath Us presented by Richfield Oil.

No guide rail on the Autopia track?? Boy did I dream of that as small child. Among the first to ride the Autopia on Opening Day were Frank Sinatra and son and Sammy Davis Jr.



 

Adventureland

Hop aboard the "Explorer Boat Ride through the Rivers of Mexico, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia" (Jungle Cruise) where the skipper was not wise-cracking, the plants were small, and the Marc Davis gags we know and love today did not exist. However Schweitzer Falls waterfall was called Schweitzer Falls even way back then.

Frontierland

Other than the exteriors of Main Street and Sleeping Beauty Castle, the southern stretch of Frontierland facades have changed less than almost anything in the park.

 

Opening Day Model

It's worth taking a look at this top-notch model that was installed in the lobby of Disneyland's Opera House in Town Square for the 50th Anniversary. It was originally installed flat then later relocated within the same lobby to a northwest wall and was mounted on an angle. This location, as you might remember, once housed the talking animatronic owl who spoke about Walt Disney's True Life Adventures. Oh how I loved watching him narrate those clips in his little graduation cap in an old-fashioned classroom setting.

 

Hooray for Disneyland.


Images scanned by Mitch. All other photos taken by Mitch.

 

Related posts:

New Fantasyland 1983
Disneyland 1955 Model Close-ups
THEN AND NOWWalt at Disneyland