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Entries in Then and Now (17)

Saturday
Jun122010

The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 1 ]

[ PART 2 Now available ]

A trip earlier this year to Yellowstone National Park inspired me to post about one of Disneyland's greatest retired pieces, Nature's Wonderland. Beware. You may just love Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a little less after enjoying the following.

Listen to this fantastic narration. But watch out! It may get a little sexist along the way:

"We have ‘stocked’ our preserve with over 200 amazingly realistic animated animals and birds - including almost every specie still roaming the North American continent."

 

 


Timeline 1955-PRESENT

1956 Rendering of Rainbow Caverns Mine, Rainbow Ridge Mule Pack, and Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches
Story

"Here, in a primitive setting that duplicates the remote wilderness country, you may watch beavers, busy as always, on home-building and tree-cutting chores; coyotes and mountain lions; clown-like bears, romping without a care in the world; Olympic Elk engaged in battle for survival, just as it is enacted daily in the natural wilderness."

 

 

 


Rendering by Marc Davis
Photo courtesy of Pete


Rendering by unknown artist

Layout

Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland overlaid on today's Big Thunder site.

 

Detail of 1962 souvenir mapFull-size map here.

Then and Now


Cascade Peak was removed in 1998 due to structural damage. The broken down Mine Train was removed in a recent Rivers of America rehab.

Photo (left) courtesy of Pete

The front of the rock tunnel is easily visible today as you walk on the trail that connects to Fantasyland just west of Big Thunder Mountain. The back opening of the same tunnel is visible along the east side of Rivers of America. If you pay attention you may see a jumping fish on the north side of this pond, thought sadly it's not often operational these days.

The "Assay Office" building (right) can be seen on the far left of the left photo.

The "Panhandle Hotel" and "Big Thunder Epitaph" buildings (right) can be seen behind the center tree in the left photo.

Live, wild cats hanging at the abandoned tracks! (Several, if not dozens, of wild cats live in Disneyland bushes.) They can occasionally be spotted during the day but more often they come out after hours). I took this photo from the Mark Twain in 2004 and thought to myself, 'if I were to be a mangy wild cat, I'd like to live on the site of an extinct Disneyland attraction too". Static mountain lion figures now sit between the old tracks facing Rivers of America.

The Must-see "Frontierland in Color"... though not all of this video is "in color"

Continue with [ PART 2 ]

Photos, scans, and graphics by Fritz. Additional photos submitted by friend and fan of the blog, Pete. Other photos provided by Daveland, Calisphere, and Tim's Disney News Archive. Videos originally posted on YouTube by our friend, Rustin.

 

Saturday
Dec192009

ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 1]

A while back I spent some time* at Disney's first water park, River Country.  Yep, it's still there where they left it yet it no longer functions as a park.  More like a watery ghost town.  There are few things in the world that compare to the feeling of walking through an abandoned attraction, let alone an entire abandoned park.

I do not suggest you go jumping over fences to climb around your favorite forgotten Disney destination.  (Maybe you just peak through the cracks in the fences the next time you are at The Hoop-Dee-Doo Review at Fort Wilderness--- located just south of River Country).

With a view of the Contemporary, Space Mountain, and Discover Island in both photos.

A floating yellow inner tube still floats in the swampy water.

 

[Part 2][Part 3], and [Part 4] now available.


For more River Country history go to http://waltdatedworld.bravepages.com/id220.htm

'Then' photos from printed materials, mgmcinnis, auntierain, and others.
'Now' photos by Fritz and Bing Maps 

*This did not include trespassing.  It was by invitation.  Please to do not tour River Country without permission.

 

Related posts:

ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 2]
ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 3]
ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 4]
River Country Fun [Part 1]

ABANDONED DISNEY: Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts
ABANDONED DISNEY: Country Bear- Max
Fake Disney Park in Japan


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