Friday, September 29, 2006

Hey Everybody! Let's Hop Aboard THE FRIENDSHIP TRAIN!

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Disneyland's Summer entertainment was downright FUNKY!

Groups like The Kids of the Kingdom, The Sound Castle, The Establishment, Sunshine Balloon and The Friendship Train walked the line of good Christian values and racial separation.

How dare they!?!?!?!?!

Rising from the underworld like a Faustian nightmare, these musical groups would emerge into Tomorrowland and drag the wholesome youth of Disneyland
into sex, drugs and rock n roll...

Well, okay...just sex and drugs. Anyhow...

Ladies and gentlemen, straight from the depths of hell, I give you...


Everybody in the house....Put your hands together people, strip off that clothing of the establishment and let's make it happen!

Tonite, The Friendship Train is gonna show you the true meaning of an E-Ticket Attraction!!! Well, at least that's the plan.....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Be Somebody! Be A Fireman!

Here's a couple of nice pics of the 1956 Disneyland Fire Department's now retired, Fire Wagon. Also dating from this period was the Chemical Wagon.

Both are long gone from the streets of Disneyland. At one time however (especially in the turn of the century Mid-Western small town), being a fireman was an extremely romantic notion for a young tyke.

Cool trash can! It ain't screwin' around!

I believe it was this primal romance that drove Walt to include a Fire Department on his Main Street recreation at Disneyland.

Pretty quaint and great eye candy at the same time. It's a fairly accurate element for a turn of the century town replica.

I'd say it's more relevant for kids today to see this than kids of the 1950's. We're as distant from 1956 today as the kids in this pic were from 1901.

Last time I was at the park, the Fire Wagon was still sheltered in it's Fire Dept stall.
Still there or is that a pin trading station now? Inquiring minds wanna know....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Randotti's Visit WDW Construction Site and The Country Bears!

Here's an interesting case study of how the original theme park souvenir products were created...

Many people remember the perennial skulls, snakes, tombstones and tiki plaques at Disneyland and Walt Disney World's various souvenir shops. Since the early 1960s, one company supplied these novelty items to the parks: Randotti Products of Stanton California. Chalkware and plaster items were their specialty and this small family owned company landed an extremely lucrative contract with the Walt Disney Company.

A Jungle Cruise bathing elephant maquette with tiki plaques on the wall.

They were especially lucky in that the subject matter of their Disney products could be themed price point items in several of the park's attractions. Their various skulls were sold on Main Street in the Magic Shop, The Advetureland Bazaar and The Tiki's Tropical Traders Tent, as well as The Haunted Mansion and Pirates related shops in New Orleans Square.

These shots are part of a collection of the Randotti's research tour of WDW and it's rarely seen Preview Center. Patrick Jenkins has some terrific shots that may be from the same collection here.

In late 1969 thru 1971, the Randotti's traveled to WDW to preview the new attractions and themed areas they would be providing souvenir products for. It seems they toured the property construction site and then headed to the Preview Center.

Passing the Polynesian Resort under construction

A model of the WDW Adventureland Sunshine Pavillion and Enchanted Tiki Room.

Here's the Randotti's molesting a bunch of original Country Bear maquettes...

It appears that these actual WED Model Shop maquettes were considered for replication at one point.

Here's the "WDW Temporary Merchandise Division" which was a trailer parked on dirt. I'll bet some fine times were had in that trailer!

It looks like they were especially interested in the new Country Bear Jamboree and the unrealized, Great Western River Expedition planned for WDW's Frontierland.

This series of pics are of the Marc Davis concept art that was posted around the Preview Center building.

Between this artwork and the maquettes, the Randotti's would produce figurals for mass production in chalk and plaster.

Here's some Great Western Expedition concept art.

More to come.....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Aryans Love Disneyland!

Yes, it's true! Especially the gals!

This just supports my theory that Disneyland sold sex! What does this bubbly vessel of blondness say to you? She's happy, she's ingesting, she's wearing a funny hat with fully erect plumage.

Run! Don't Walk! Hop in your jalopy and race on down to Anaheim!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

a gift from Disneyland on Sunday.....

Make your own 1957 Poopcorn Box!

Cut and fold at the creases, kiddies!

Make sure an adult is present!

Don't poke out a kidney!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hey Paw! Circle The Waguns!!! Thar's Injuns In Frontierland!!!

Yes, that's right kiddies! Once upon a time, Frontierland was chock full of Indians!

And just like Manifest Destiny of the Old West, we chased them outta Anaheim too!

Honestly, I can't think of a better way to get kids involved with American history than theme parks. Disney knew he could teach kids better while they had fun. Frontierland did this in spades with the 1950s-1970s Indian Village.

Guests were treated to a full environmental experience in a romantic and dare I say, politically correct display of various American Indian cultures. When I say this, Disney used tribal consultants to create displays and practice rituals that were passed down through individual tribal customs.

The Indian Village was to represent not just a television writer's fanciful amalgamation of Indian life, but a fair cross section of many tribes across the West and their differences.

One of the best examples of these hands-on learning experiences was the Indian Dance Circle.

Several tribes were represented and they would 'trade off' for six month period runs at the park. Very much like EPCOT's World Showcase exchange program, tribal performers were invited for a periodic contract with housing for the duration of their run at the park. Within six months, another tribe would be represented with slightly different performances of their
tribal customs.

Kids were invited to participate during these performances and get hands on with people who were represented for the most part as "the enemy" on TV. I don't think you have to guess the positive impact of a 1950s kid meeting an actual Indian and seeing how great Indian culture was. Especially when you consider how small the chances were for kids of the era to travel through the West and Southwest and visit the various tribal visiting centers.

As usual, Disney took a sample of something from the world, cleaned it up, packaged it and tried to keep it a fairly authentic presentation within his theme park...

It's a part of the park that I think was underestimated for the good it did while giving kids an experience they just won't have access to as easily.

The Village itself consisted of several areas. Some of which were meant more for travelers on the Rivers of America than for pedestrians in the Village itself. The river village was mainly for the Columbia and Mark Twain passengers to experience from their ships.

Another good view of this was from the Indian War Canoes which embarked just yards away from the sectioned off river village.

I've been lucky enough to acquire some original design paintings done for the original 1955 Indian Village. These tribal symbols are seen throughout the area on shields, tepees and ground areas.

If you look closely cowboys and cowgirls, you will see some of these in the field!

These were created for the Disneyland Scenic Department to apply to the sets. Sam McKim told me he designed most of them using books on tribal symbols from the studio library.

Let's all write our Congressmen to pressure Disneyland to bring back them Indians!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A New Attraction Concept For Tomorrowland.....

Just build one of these....

and we can go back to this!...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I scream, You scream, We all scream for ICE CREAM!

Aw! The Carnation Ice Cream Parlor is no more on Main Street. In it's day, it was the perfect blend of theme and corporate sponsorship.

Here's a great overhead shot of Carnation's corner in 1955...

And here's some menus from the shop. One from 1955 and one from 1957...

I think I'll have a 2000 A.D. Special!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Beam Me Up, Mr. Morrow!

Who at this point doesn't love the sheer greatness of the 1967 Flight To The Moon attraction?

As a much needed follow-up to the 1955 TWA's Rocket To The Moon, the 1967 New Tomorrowland brought McDonnell Douglas' Flight To The Moon. This was even more topical in 1967 as opposed to 1955 in that it arrived during the last phases of NASA's Gemini program and heading into Apollo.

An actual moon landing was just around the corner!

Saturn rockets were the launch vehicles of the period and WED designer George McGinnis based his art direction on the industrial design of those space vehicles and NASA's actual Mission Control Center.

For kids of the time, this had quite an impact!

Taking further advantage of a full environmental theme, WED advanced the experience with the addition of the now famous, Disney queue pre-show.

The Mission Control queue area was meant to help prep guests thematically for their simulator flight as well as 'uplift' the boredom of waiting the for next trip.

These days, the space that once had kids thinking about the future has them thinking about how to get fatter...

The future's so bleak, I gotta poke out my eyes!

Wow. What does a Walt Disney's Disneyland fanatic see when they look at this image? To me, it's a crime scene. Forensic study reveals a lack of taste, judgement, direction, funds, ideas, philosophy and most of all hope...

I honestly try to steer away from the negative with these posts and just center on the old, good stuff. Tomorrowland makes this very hard. It's the one aspect of the parks that I believe blatantly pisses on Walt's memory.

This must be addressed by the new creative management as a priority.

To the Pixar guys: Mayday! Fire retros!!! Tomorrowland is in a decaying orbit!

For far too many years in Tomorrowland, failure's not only been an option, it's been a mandate!
Disneyland 1956: Arriving In Style!

I had a request for more heliport pics after my post a few weeks ago. It included the backstage heliport entrance behind the Tomorrowland Skyway Station in 1956. Here it is again...

I didn't think I had anything else until I found two shots at the end of a 1956 trip to the park.

Say, "Howdy" to Enud and Gurdt....

Out from Seattle, WA, these fine looking folks arrived by rental car and departed their Disneyland dream vacation via helicopter.

After dumping the 1956 Plymouth Savoy rental at their picturesque North Garden Room and a skinny dip in the pool at the swank Coral Swim Club...

...Enud and Gurdt hopped aboard one of the powerful Disneyland Hotel Trams to cross West Street to The Happiest Place On Earth!

The simplicity of its tasteful color scheme made even the loud and diesel-stinking tram look like candy in 1956!

Well, i'll post pics from their Disneyland adventure later...

There were only two shots of the copter but I thought I'd toss 'em up for you to see...

The air service was provided by Los Angeles Airways and took passengers to and from LAX to Disneyland in about fifteen minutes flight time. Too bad that's gone!

As it's 1956, this is still the first Disneyland Heliport near the 5 Freeway off of Harbor Boulevard. Guests would travel to and from the Disneyland Hotel by tram.

In 1960, the heliport was moved to its new location north of Disneyland Hotel.

Well, say so-long to these fine folks and thank 'em for taking us along for the ride!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

a gift from Disneyland on Sunday....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Swingin' With The Disneyland Strawhatters!

I believe Patrick may have done a post about these fellas a few months ago. Going thru some slides, I found this nice shot of them on stage in 1956. This stage stands today btw, at the end of the patio of The French Market in New Orleans Square.

The funny thing is, it's not the same guys that are featured on the rare Stawhatters EP from 1956.

So, are these guys dopplegangers or is it possible that just like any costumed Mickey Mouse character, The Strawhatters were whomever donned a straw hat? Please, say it isn't so! My world is rocked...

Speaking of rocked worlds, my spiritual hero and emperor of vacuum cleaners, Duane "DOG" Chapman has been unceremoniously captured and held in custody for extradition to some country called, "Mexico". Huh, you ask? Captain America has been arrested for some strange political favor and handed over to sum ferigners? Not in my America damn you!

I love DOG and his whole family...all two hundred and fifty seven of them!

However, the more I read about this the more I come to understand the marketing genius that is DOG the Bounty Hunter. He's Paris Hilton with a mullet and parachute pants! Paris slyly orchestrates her 'public foul ups' into mega bucks. So does DOG!

Arrested for an outstanding warrant about to expire by the Mexican government, DOG and his 'bras' did a political no-no when they crept into Mexico three years ago and captured that asshole Max Factor heir person. Apparently, in Mexico, bounty hunting is illegal. But, but....we're talkin' about DOG here! DOG knows not of borders. Sheeat, DOG would hop aboard a Russian Soyez rocket if there was a wanted perp aboard the International Space Station.

Anyhow, DOG's show on A&E (my fav), goes to great lengths to dramatize elements of DOG's life...exciting and mundane alike. Looking at pics of the sad, captured, mullet-ruffled DOG in prison today, I think back to the cool pics of him in jail three years ago, before his fame took off. It's the same pose! The only difference is he hadn't the time for the moody lighting and dramatic angles. Gotta hand it to the DAWG!

All he's doin' is uppin' his street cred....word.

All I know is, DOG is good. DOG is great. Please, please come home soon, DOG.

Peace, my sweet bra....
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