Friday, December 11, 2009

Disneyland Trip Report....From Christmas 1979!

Let's travel back in time once again, for a vintage tour of Disneyland. We'll just set the Way Back Machine for December 27, 1979 and VOILA, we're there!

While we're at the main gate, don't forget to pick up a copy of today's entertainment schedule!



Big Thunder is only 3 months old right now, so let's go over there first before the line gets too long. I'm armed with my Kodak Instamatic camera and a roll of 110 slide film and I'm ready to take pictures. Well, maybe not too ready. The first pic of the day is an "oops" taken accidentally while waiting for our train to pull into the station.


Now I'm ready!


Here's a shot of the dynamite-chomping goat, taken from the front seat of the train.


Now we'll take the brand new Big Thunder Trail over to Fantasyland where we find Skull Rock and Spawn of Skull Rock. Okay, here's the deal....in past vintage trip reports, you've seen the reflection of my friend Alvin and you've heard about my friend Tonya. Well, today's visit includes two more friends, we'll call them Marie and Kenny just to protect the innocent. Since I have not yet asked their permission to post photos of them, this is what we have for now. I could have left these photos out, but I thought they were worth posting.


A ride on vintage Dumbo.....Wheeee!


Let's now board the Skyway and take it over to Tomorrowland. Fantasyland sure does look empty, but it's not going to stay that way. It is two days after Christmas and it will soon be PACKED! Notice how Space Mountain (far right side of pic) is visible from the top of the stairs leading to the Skyway chalet. Also visible are the Rocket Jets and beyond that is the Grand Hotel of Anaheim. These stairs still exist, but are now blocked off, so don't attempt to recreate this photo today kids....you might get kicked out of the park!
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There's the Abominable Snowman. He used to be visible from the Skyway. See him? He's there! He's just too far away to get a good shot with this camera. By the way, this was my period of experimenting with 110 slide film. Yep, these are slides with itty bitty sized negatives....or I guess they would actually be positives.


Now we're in Tomorrowland. We may as well head on over to Space Mountain since the line for it won't be getting shorter anytime soon. See how the park is already getting busier? Hey, I wish they would bring back the Speedramp that used to take you to the second level. Tokyo Disneyland still has theirs.


Let's go on Autopia next, but we'll each drive our own car, thank you very much. I see a Rolly Crump ticket booth and the Rolly Crump Stage over at Tomorrowland Terrace. Hmmm, and the PeopleMover appears to be open. Gee, I LOVE the 1967 Tomorrowland!


How about taking a cruise on the Monorail? Only two of us can fit up in the bubble dome on top with the monorail driver. I don't have to have MY arm twisted....I'll do it! There's the Disneyland sign, although between the distortion from the glass bubble and the crappy camera, it's not a great photo, sorry!


Uh-oh, we better get back and find a place along the parade route for The Very Merry Christmas Parade. Well, it looks like it's too late to get a good spot, so now we are going to have to stand behind several rows of people. I'll have to aim high for the taller floats because I won't have a clear view of any of the performers on the the ground. It's a shame too, because a guy that I sat next to in Geometry class was in this parade. He actually convinced me to try out for the Christmas parade since you only had to be 16 years of age to be hired for parades.....however, I would still have to wait a couple more years until I turned 16.
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The Dumbo and Santa Claus floats above were both used again two years later in Fantasy On Parade '81. That year, I would be cast as one of the Christmas Trees in the parade (there was a team of eight) which are visible here in this close-up of today's entertainment guide.


Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this visit to the park from 30 years ago. I will leave you today with two views showing the Christmas decorations on Main St....and a VERY crowded park!


6 comments:

Davelandweb said...

I think you've just stumbled onto a great idea for a new Disney Halloween mask! Excellent post!

Matterhorn1959 said...

I agree with Dave- the costumes and masks are great.

Dan Alexander said...

The Big Thunder Mountain goat is one of my favorite things at Disneyland!

Poor Dumbo had to travel down Main Street in a burning building. Even if it was in the movie, that is not nice to see in Disneyland!

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks Dave and Patrick...I never even thought of that. Now if I was only creative enough to make something like that.....

Dan, WDW had the exact same Dumbo float for a while. This pic doesn't show it, but the base of the building had barn doors that swung open and a clown driving a miniature fire truck would come out and drive around the building before going back inside. The parades were long back then and filled with tons of floats and parade performers. They are too abbreviated now. :-(

outsidetheberm said...

Fun post! Let us know what your friends think of your handiwork!

Dad.. said...

HA!! Awesome post! I'm still laughing about the Spawn of Skull Rock pix! At very first glance, I thought those were real masks!! LOL!