Thursday, October 1, 2015

Walt Disney World Board Game - 1972

Today is the 44th anniversary of the grand opening of Walt Disney World. In honor of the anniversary, I'm posting pics of the Walt Disney World board game from the 1970's.

It was December of 1972 and my mom and I were in the toy department of Sears. She told me to pick something out to give to my brother for his birthday, and this is what I chose. My brother and I both loved everything "Disney", so even though it was something that I would have also chosen for myself, my brother liked it just as much!

Hey, the Haunted Mansion is located in the wrong "land" on the game board! It also seems to resemble Disneyland's Haunted Mansion more than Walt Disney World's!

Whenever a playing piece landed on a "haunted" red spot on the board, the player would have to drop a little wooden disk through the roof of the Haunted Mansion. The disk would then roll down a ramp and out the front or back door and roll across the game board. Wherever it stopped, that is where the player was to move their playing piece.

If you landed on one of the four spots marked "Monorail Spin", you would discard a Monorail "ticket" and then you could slide the Monorail car along the track to advance your playing piece to the other end of the board.

Each of the "lands" and attractions that need to be visited during game play, are designated with an orange. Interesting. They should have just done a cross promotion with the Florida Citrus Commission and included the Orange Bird!

I love the graphics used on the game board!

For the "Tea Cup Ride", the instructions state, "A player arriving at the Tea Cup Ride entrance must board this ride. He spins the spinner and moves the Tea Cup Ride the same count. In order for a player to leave the ride, his spin must land him at the Entrance/Exit by exact count".

The turntable was to be rotated a quarter turn for each number spun, however, the instructions never say whether you had to consistently turn the Tea Cups to the right or to the left. I wonder if we ever thought of that as kids?

Could that be Anita Bryant in front of the "orange juice" refreshment stand? Hmmm, I don't see any whip cream on her face, so probably not!

If a player landed on a space that was already occupied by another player, he/she could move that other player to one of three refreshment stands on the board (including the Ice Cream Station) and that player would then have to continue their game play from that spot.

I forgot to mention that in order to ride the Monorail, a player would first have to use the spinner and the arrow would have to land on a Monorail space.

Here are some of the "tickets". Each player had their own color that corresponded with their playing piece's base. I wonder why every ticket has the Monorail on it?

The object of the game is to visit all the park attractions and use up all of your tickets. The first one to do so, wins. For anyone that wants to take the time to read all of the game instructions, here you go!

We even saved the Assembly Instructions insert!

The original price tag is still on the box, showing that it cost a whopping $3.59 back in 1972!

Happy 44th Anniversary to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom!

(To see another children's game from 1972, that was based on a Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction, click here: Whitman's Mad Tea Party Game.)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Knott's Berry Farm - Calico Print Shop

Once upon a time, visitors to Knott's Berry Farm could purchase a souvenir newspaper with custom headlines, or an old-time "wanted" poster with their name on it.

The photo below shows an example of one of the "wanted" posters that were printed and sold in Knott's very own Print Shop. (By the way, the name "Bad Barlow" is a nod to Max Barlow, who was the "Marshall" and Manager of Ghost Town for three decades!)

In this publicity photo of actors Mike and Judy Farrell, Mike is being presented with his own personalized wanted poster.

The Calico Print Shop was located on Main St. in Ghost Town, between the Drug Store and the Sheriff's office.

Unfortunately, the Print Shop closed years ago. Since it's closure, the space has had various tenants, including a Teddy Bear shop. This photo was taken in 2007.

Note the banner that reads, "Celebrating 100 Years of Teddy Bears." (Incidentally, the first Teddy Bear was created in 1902 and was named after then-president, Teddy Roosevelt.)

Later, the space changed to "Inspirations" and sold wind chimes, flags, painted rocks, and hand-dipped candles.

Today the shop is called Miss Doolittle's and sells make-it-yourself necklaces, bracelets, keychains, "princess wands", and a variety of other crafty-type items.

I wish I had thought to photograph the Print Shop myself, at some point before it's closure. Here are two photos showing the exterior and interior of the shop, courtesy of Major Pepperidge over at Gorillas Don't Blog.....thank you, Major! Both photos were taken in 1960. Note the two sample wanted posters hanging on either side of the doorway to the shop.

Compare this pic to the current interior shot and you will see the same overhead beam in the upper right hand corner of both photos. (Or maybe it's a new beam that replaced the older one at some point?)

And lastly, here is my very own souvenir poster from the Print Shop. My aunt and uncle had gone to Knott's in the early seventies, and brought back custom-printed wanted posters for my brother and me. Before giving them to us, my aunt tacked them onto wormwood planks to give the effect that they were posted on a rustic fence.

My poster hung in my bedroom from about the time I was 5 years old, until I was in my teens. Unfortunately, the posters started to "crumble" as they became brittle with age. I eventually mounted mine on a piece of poster board to keep it from completely disintegrating, which is basically what happened to my brother's. His was the "Stage Robber" poster like the one in the first photo. Many years ago, I removed the poster from the wood mount and tucked it away for safe keeping, but I recently found the wood in my mom's garage, so I tacked it back up for this photo. Actually, I think I will just keep it this way! I wish I could go to Knott's today and purchase a replacement poster as a gift for my brother! :-(

Here are some close-ups of the artwork:

We will end today with this small tribute to actor Dean Jones, who passed away earlier this week. Mr. Jones acted on the stage of the Bird Cage Theater at Knott's back in the 1950's. He is pictured below with Walter Knott, standing in front of the ticket windows of the Calico Railroad Station. Note the reflection of the train's water tower in the windows. I believe this photo would have been taken some time after he became established on the stage and screen, rather than at the time he would have been working at Knott's.

Of course, Dean Jones eventually went on to make over a dozen movies for Disney, including two of my favorites, "That Darn Cat!" and "The Million Dollar Duck."

Rest in peace, Mr. Jones!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Haunted Mansion 46th Anniversary & The Bride

Today is the 46th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion's official opening at Disneyland. In honor of this anniversary, I'm posting an older photo of the bride in the Mansion's attic scene. I took this photo in either 1978 or 1979, but I actually didn't see it until many years later because someone at Fotomat didn't include it in my original set of prints!

A few years back, I was looking at some of my old negatives and realized there was an image on one of them that I had never seen. I'm not sure why they didn't print this one, but I discovered the same thing had happened with another set of negatives. I had taken two interior shots of the original Alice in Wonderland attraction in 1982 and didn't receive those prints either. It's almost as if someone was punishing me for taking flash pictures inside of a Disneyland attraction! I'll be posting those Alice pics in the near future.

The photo is a little overexposed. Note the candle in the bride's right hand and the wilted flowers in her left hand.

For a comparison of how the bride has changed over the years, here's a photo I took of her in 1996 when she "floated" in the attic. Both of these versions of the bride had the red "beating heart" effect inside her chest.

And here is the current version of the bride (minus the projection of her face and arms). I debated whether or not to post this photo because I do NOT like this version. If Madame Leota, Little Leota, and the singing busts in the graveyard are all projected onto busts that have three dimensional faces, why is the new bride's face projected onto a flat surface? It really is a horrible effect and is pretty much the equivalent of having a flat screen television monitor with her face on it.

I was hoping with the recent addition of the Hatbox Ghost, that this version of the bride would be removed....or at least improved upon. If it had been up to me, I would have brought back one of the earlier versions of the bride (since the current one seems to be universally hated), and moved her to the other side of the attic where she used to stand and then put the Hatbox Ghost on this side of the attic where he originally stood (albeit very briefly) 46 years ago.

Just for fun, here is Tokyo Disneyland's bride. Tokyo's bride still has the plastic "shower curtain dress" that the Anaheim version used to have back in the early days. And if you look carefully, you will see the faint red glow of her heart inside her chest.

Happy 46th Anniversary to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion....the place that in the words of E.J. Peaker, "Makes me feel creepy all over!!!"

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Berry Patch Kids" Dolls at Knott's Berry Farm

In 1982, Coleco signed a deal with Xavier Roberts to begin mass producing his "Little People" line of dolls. The next year, they were introduced as "Cabbage Patch Kids" at the International Toy Fair in New York City and were such a huge hit that by Christmastime, they were causing rioting in stores across the country, by parents that were determined to get their hands on one for their children.

Flash forward two more years to 1985, when Knott's Berry Farm was revamping the Ghost Town area of the park for it's "Ghost Town Alive in '85" summer promotion. It was at this time, that the Knott's Berry Kids were "born."

These hand-sewn dolls were an obvious attempt to get in on the Cabbage Patch Kids phenomenon that was still going strong at the time. (Incidentally, Xavier Roberts' first Cabbage Patch dolls were also hand-sewn and originally had cloth faces and bodies.)

A convoluted backstory was created to explain how the Berry Kids were discovered by Walter Knott in his "magical berry patch." This was similar to the "discovery legend" that accompanied every Cabbage Patch Kids doll, explaining how Xavier Roberts found the kids in a "magical cabbage patch." This legend was printed out and included with each purchase of a Knott's Berry Kid.

I remember these dolls being pretty popular with guests that first summer and on into the Christmas season. I bought several sets of these as Christmas gifts for family members. This is a set that I bought for my mom.

Knott's Berry Kids were made exclusively for Knott's Berry Farm by "Carleen."

I wonder if that's "Carleen" in the photo below. It's interesting to note that the dolls in the basket appear to be wearing a purple or "boysenberry" color and that the dolls being sold were wearing more of a maroon color.

The woman seen above is sitting on a porch that was located across the street from the Barber Shop and the Silver Dollar Saloon on Main Street, but the dolls were actually sold at the Bonnet Shop on School Road (currently the Halloween Haunt Museum and formerly Mrs. Murphy's Boarding House, among many other things).

I hope everyone enjoyed this short little trip to Walter Knott's magical berry patch. I leave you now with this pic of the Berry Kids as they go off into the patch to look for the boysenberry-colored caterpillar, butterfly, and bird....and the elf carrying a miniature pail of boysenberries....oh, and "Rhubarb" the scarecrow! What the heck? I wonder who came up with that story?