Friday, August 10, 2018

Places I've Never Been - Raging Waters Waterpark (1984)

This is the second in my series of "Places I've Never Been" posts.

Raging Waters waterpark opened on June 18, 1983 in San Dimas, California, and is still operating today on a seasonal basis. This is a current map of the park:

Even though I have never been to Raging Waters, some of my family members visited the park back in 1984. Here are some pics from that visit.

Looking at that small octagonal building to the left of the slides, and checking the current map of the park, these first two pics look like they are of "Drop Out."

I can't find these two water slides on the current map. I suppose it's very possible, that these slides could have been replaced by something bigger and better in the last 34 years. (**POST UPDATE** - I've been informed that these slides were called "Rampage," but they are no longer standing. Does anyone know where they were located or what replaced them?)

These next two pics show the "Speed Slides," which are still in use at the park.

I wonder if this little man-made beach still exists today?

This pic appears to have been taken from a road above the park. The large roundish building in the middle of the photo, looks like it's the main building located just inside the park entrance on the current map. There is a beach just to the left of the building and on the far right, some intertwining water slides can be seen. I'm sure this view has change drastically in the last three and a half decades!

We'll end today, with an advertisement and an article from a 1983 Los Angeles Times advertising supplement. Both of these predate Raging Waters' grand opening by one week.

I hope everyone enjoyed this little visit back in time, to Raging Waters' early years!

**POST UPDATE** - The following video is from the Nickelodeon show, "Wild & Crazy Kids." This particular episode was filmed at Raging Waters, circa 1990, and has some really good footage of all three slides/attractions pictured above ("Drop Out," "Rampage" and the "Screamer" Speed Slides). Special thanks to Eric, from the "...But It Wasn't Always That Way!" blog, for sharing the link to this video!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Disneyland's 25th Anniversary - 1980 (And My 10th Anniversary!)

This month marks the 10th Anniversary of my blog! Can I count it as ten years, even if I didn't post anything in 2014? Oh heck...I'm still counting it, since I did begin posting way back in July of 2008!

For this major milestone (for me, anyway!), we're going to take another look at Disneyland's 25th Anniversary celebration from 1980. This large paper sculpture of the Castle was used on the cover of the Spring 1980 issue of Disney News Magazine, and was also on display all year long in the window between Coke Corner and the Candy Palace on Main Street.

Unlike Disneyland's milestone anniversaries of recent years, the 25th anniversary festivities (as well as the 30th, the 35th and the 40th anniversaries), began in January and ran only until November, when the park's Christmas decorations would go up and the holiday entertainment would begin. (In comparison, the 50th and the 60th celebrations didn't start until May of their respective years and the "60th" celebration was actually dragged out, way past the 61st anniversary!)

Early in the year, Disney aired a television special to let the public know that the park was celebrating it's first quarter century. The special was titled, Kraft Salutes Disneyland's 25th Anniversary. Let's take a look at the listing for that television special, from the March 1st issue of TV Guide.

Danny Kaye was the host and was joined by Michael Jackson, the Osmonds (what, no E.J. Peaker?) and Adam Rich (from the TV show, Eight is Enough). There was also a long list of celebrities that made singing cameos including, Annette Funicello, Buddy Ebsen, Jo Anne Worley, Ruth Buzzi, Ronnie Schell, Jamie Farr, Greg Harrison, Linda Gray, Ted Lange, Fred Grandy, Anson Williams, Sorell Booke, Patrick Wayne, Kim Richards, Richard Paul, Bart Braverman, Peggy Cass, John Schneider, Quinn Cummings, Danielle Brisebois, and more!

The show was sponsored by Kraft and the TV Guide featured some Kraft recipes themed to Disneyland. (Most of these recipes were republished in the January 16, 1982 issue of TV Guide for the airing of Walt Disney World's 10th Anniversary special.)

Oops! Somebody used a depiction of Cinderella's Castle from Walt Disney World in the "Close Up" feature, below. And FYI, Mork and Mindy and the Australian soap opera, Prisoner: Cell Block H were both in their second seasons, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was in it's first season.

Going back earlier in the week to Sunday night, here's the listing for Disney's Wonderful World. The 1965 Disney classic, The Monkey's Uncle, starring Tommy Kirk and Annette Funicello (she's mad about his chimpanzee!) was being shown. Note the top hits of 1979 that were being "counted down" on Solid Gold!

And for anyone that might be interested in what was going on in the "non-Disney" world of television at this time, here are some more listings from that same issue of TV Guide:

Pink Lady and Jeff was a variety show starring comedian Jeff Altman and Japanese recording duo, "Pink Lady" (Mitsuyo "Mie" Nemoto and Keiko "Kei" Masuda). Only five shows aired of the six that were filmed. Rhino released all six episodes on DVD back in 2001, but it is now out of print and I am still looking for a copy that is reasonably priced!

Remember when The Wizard of Oz was shown on broadcast television every year in the Spring?

Polly Holliday, who played Flo ("Kiss my grits!") on the sitcom, Alice, had left the show to do her own spinoff series and Diane Ladd was being added as "Belle," the new waitress. Diane Ladd had actually played the part of Flo in the 1974 film that the series was based on, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

That's Incredible was debuting that week. (John Davidson alert!)

This week's episode of Eight is Enough included drama for Abby, who was played by the incomparable Betty Buckley. (Trust me, Tom! You can trust me!)

There was also drama in store for Karen (Michelle Lee), on Knots Landing.

Match Game is still one of my all-time favorite game shows! I remember my great-grandmother not liking Gene Rayburn for some reason, even though she did watch the show regularly. Watching repeats of it today on the Buzzr Channel, I do see that he acted a little "dirty old man-ish" at times.

Posters of your favorite celebrities could be ordered through the ad below. I wonder how many young people out there, have no clue as to who these celebrities are. "Who is S. Anton? And what is a B.J. and the Bear?"

Incidentally, that cover artwork for this issue was drawn by famed caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, and depicts Herve Villechaize and Ricardo Montalban from the TV show, Fantasy Island. Here is the cover-story article.

And if anyone is interested in watching the Kraft Salutes Disneyland's 25th Anniversary special, here it is in it's entirety.

By the way, I had been looking for the park's 25th Anniversary television commercial on YouTube for many years and found it only recently. Unfortunately, this particular version of the commercial does not include the full song, due to the announcer speaking through part of it. But hey, I'll take whatever I can get!

I'll end this post with the cover of Television Times (the Los Angeles Times' version of TV Guide) from that same week.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Father's Day In The Parks (Long Beach & South Bay Edition!)

It's time for another Father's Day In The Parks post! Today's photos were all taken by my dad at various Southern California attractions, specifically in Long Beach and the "South Bay" area.

These first three were taken at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The Queen Mary was a Cunard-White Star Lines ocean liner that began service in 1936. After being retired and sold to the City of Long Beach for $3.45 million, she departed South Hampton on October 31, 1967 and arrived in Long Beach on December 9, 1967. This first pic was taken in March of 1968, just a few months after her arrival.

The next photo was taken five years later, in 1973. By this time, the ship had been operating as a tourist attraction for a couple years (since May 1971) and as a hotel for a year (since November 1972). In the background, we can see the Long Beach Convention Center. This was before it received it's massive wrap-around whale mural from the artist, "Wyland."

This shot was taken ten years later, in 1983. After the ship arrived in Long Beach, the ship's three smokestacks were taken off in order to remove equipment from the ship's front engine room and all of the boiler rooms. At that time, the smokestacks were discovered to be badly deteriorated, so they were replaced with replicas.

Now we're just a little further west, in the City of Torrance. "Rideland" was an amusement park that sat at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Ocean Avenue. It closed in the late sixties/early seventies. A McDonald's and a Taco Bell replaced the amusement park and are still standing today, although an "El Burrito Junior" has now moved into the old Taco Bell building.

Being a lover of trees, I am happy to report that the tree across the street (Pacific Coast Highway) in the photo below, still exists! Today, it stands in front of the Pacific Ocean Center, a little shopping center that was built in 1966, just one year after these pictures were taken.

The little amusement park was just a few blocks from the Torrance Airport. The Goodyear Blimp had made it's home there back in the 1950's, and then again for a short time from 1967 to 1968, when it was then moved to it's current home alongside the 405 freeway in the City of Carson. It appears there was a fire burning in the distance, at the time my dad took this photo!

Moving just a little bit south to the coast, our final destination is Marineland of the Pacific, on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. Marineland had a two-level observation car that offered excellent views of the park below, the rolling hills of Palos Verdes, and the Pacific Ocean. These photos were all taken in the summer of 1966. Marineland of the Pacific had opened in 1954, and ended up closing in 1987.

I know I mentioned this in one of my previous Marineland posts, but I'm going to mention it again! Sea World's owners bought Marineland in order to acquire it's killer whales (Orky and Corky) for their killer whale breeding program in San Diego.

When they purchased the park in December of 1986, they made a public statement saying that Marineland would remain open and that they were going to renovate it. However, soon after the purchase went through, they said that they were not going to keep it open after all, but they would keep it open through the Easter/Spring break, so that people would have one last chance to visit.

They ended up closing the park just before President's Weekend in February, more than two months earlier than they had announced. The animals were then packed up in trucks in the middle of the night, and relocated to Sea World in San Diego. Orky and Corky had actually been transferred, prior to the park's closing. Corky was pregnant at the time she was moved and shortly after she arrived at Sea World, she miscarried. Orky died the following year. The new owners also reportedly poured concrete into the drains at Marineland, so that the park could not be reopened. Such a sad ending to the park's 32-year history!

So as not to end on a sour note, here is one more pic from Marineland. I'm wondering if the trainer had a fish in his mouth here. I don't think I can see one, but it would make sense. Otherwise, I think he would have his hand out and not be bent over with his face so close to where the dolphin/porpoise was going to jump. And isn't the old "holding a fish in the mouth trick" something that they used to do back in the day, at marine parks?

Happy Father's Day Weekend to all of the dads out there!

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Mulan Parade at Disneyland - 1998

The Mulan Parade debuted at Disneyland in the summer of 1998 and was the last of the park's "movie tie-in" parades. It ran only at night during those summer months and was basically a replacement for "Light Magic." Light Magic had been Disney's highly touted replacement for the classic Main Street Electrical Parade. It debuted in May of 1997, but it was an immediate failure and ran for less than four months. At the end of summer, park officials insisted that Light Magic would be making a return the following year, but fortunately that did not happen. Instead, we got The Mulan Parade!

The Mulan Parade ran for one full year, and even received it's own Disneyland postcard!

Parade times were 8:50 (followed by the fireworks) and 10:15. Note below, that the Hercules Victory Parade was still running during the daytime.

I took the following pictures of the parade during the summer of 1998....20 years ago!

And speaking of the Electrical Parade, I was told at the time, that the framework for this "Matchmaker" float was the same one that had been used for the Electrical Parade's Blue Fairy float. I'm not sure if that is true or not. After all, Disneyland's Electrical Parade went to Times Square in New York for the premiere of "Hercules" in 1997 and I believe it then went on to Walt Disney World after that. If anyone knows for sure, please chime in!

Mulan and her father, Fa Zhou:

Mushu was chauffeured around in his own rickshaw:

The Fa Family Ancestors:

Mulan's fellow soldiers, Yao, Ling and Chien-Po, disguised as concubines:

Evil Hun leader, Shan Yu:

The Great Wall of China represented by a giant dragon:

Chinese yo-yo performers:

Pot balancers:

Plate Spinners:

Stilt Walkers:

Mulan, her father Fa Zhou, and Chinese army commander Li Shang, rode on a float pulled by a team of horses:

The float was followed by a clean-up crew for the horses:

The parade's finale, The Chinese Emperor:

I also shot video of the parade and I'm including it below, in case anyone is interested.

Mulan had just been released that year, as Disney's 36th animated feature film. Scenes from the movie had also been recreated in miniature, and displayed in the windows of the Main Street Emporium.

I do like the various movie scenes that are currently in the Emporium windows (when they work properly), but I miss the days when the latest Disney films would be represented in multiple window displays.

In 2005, some of the scenes from past window displays made a return for Disneyland's 50th anniversary. This window contained scenes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tarzan (partially obscured).

Here is a close-up of the Mulan scene that was brought back that year.

And because I did the same thing with my Hunchback of Notre Dame post, I'm ending this post with a photo of a Tokyo Disneyland guest, dressed up as Mulan for that park's Halloween festivities!