Monday, December 7, 2009

Gloria Gaynor at Disneyland!

Today we have an entertainment guide for Disneyland from a long time ago. How long ago, did you ask? Well, unfortunately it's undated, but there are some clues as to the possible year hidden within the guide itself. Clue number one (and it's kind of a confusing one): The inside reads, "Enjoy Disneyland's 20th Annual Fantasy On Parade." Since that specific parade did not debut at the park until 1965, that would mean this guide is from 1985 (This was an ebay find and the seller had actually listed it as being from 1985). I am guessing here, but I would say that is wrong!

First of all, this guide is not done in the style that was used for guides in 1985. Second, the photo of Mickey on the cover shows a MUCH older version of that costume.....not to mention those dancing broom costumes! Again I am only guessing, but what I think was meant by "20th Annual Fantasy On Parade" was not that Fantasy On Parade itself was in it's 20th year, but that the park's Christmas Parade and Christmas Season in general was in it's 20th year. That would make this guide from 1975. That is a date that I would tend to believe more because of these next clues: The Hues Corporation was performing at the park.....they had their biggest hit in 1974 with "Rock The Boat," which was a number one song on the Billboard Chart that year. Also performing at the park....Gloria Gaynor. While she had not yet recorded "I Will Survive," her remake of The Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye" had also hit number one on the U.S. Dance Chart in 1974.

And finally, the graphics inside the guide show characters from the animated film, "Robin Hood." This film was released theatrically in 1973 and by 1985, those characters were not being used very much within the park, if at all. So, doesn't 1975 make more sense than 1985? I would love to hear some opinions out there!

(Editor's update: I just discovered two more details that absolutely rule out the ebay seller's listing of 1985 for this item. Captain Hook's Pirate Ship and Skull Rock are shown on the parade map and they had been removed by 1985. Also, some of the performers are appearing on the "Tomorrowland Stage." This was also gone by 1985, having been replaced by the Space Stage in 1977.)


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW, great detective work - I love this stuff!... I think you are 100% correct with 1975. Gloria also played for Grad Nite '75 (link) and the art work has got to be mid '70's.

A little date printed SOMEWHERE on these flyers sure would help, but isn't it fun to figure it out yourself? THANKS!

Dan Alexander said...

OMG---the Robin Hood characters!! I was obsessed with Robin Hood.

Davelandweb said...

Even Sherlock Holmes would be jealous! Nice job! Gloria Gaynor and Disneyland? Who knew?

Terrance T said...

Very neat and nostalgic post. I do find the way they had the parade route designed on there odd dut to the fact that the parade stepped off on the west gate of Town Square rather than the east side where the Opera House is. To be honest, I expected this guide to be in the late 70s due to Gloria Gaynor's name (I Will Survive).

TokyoMagic! said...

VDT, Thanks for the link to your Grad Nite post! Your flyer helps me since it's for May of 1975...just 5 months after the date that I'm guessing for this Xmas one. It's interesting that Gloria Gaynor AND the Hues Corporation were both performing again at the park!

Dan, they used to use the Robin Hood characters a whole lot more. I remember them walking around the park and they used to have an entire Robin Hood "unit" in the Christmas parade.....even up until 1981 (I'll have to post pics of that.)

Dave, THANKS!!!

Terrance, I found it odd that the West gate in Town Square was being used too. I think I have seen at least one other parade map showing that. As far as this being from the late seventies, well....."I Will Survive" was such a huge hit for her, that I don't know if she would have been performing at DL after that song was released....and if she were appearing at the park, I don't know if they would have stuck her on the Tomorrowland Terrace pop-up stage which is where she was scheduled to appear in this flyer. Again, I was basing the date on the fact that the inside says "Enjoy DL's 20th Annual Fantasy On Parade."

Thank you EVERYONE, for your comments!

Russ said...

I have a set of slides I took of Gloria Gaynor at Disneyland in 1975. One of my fellow schoolmates worked there & got me in to see her. I don't believe it was the Grad Night. My slides, which took a while to get developed as a cash-strapped student, have the store stamp imprint of "OCT75", but I believe it probably was one of the night shows in January 1975.

TokyoMagic! said...

WOW, Russ! I would LOVE to see those! You should post them! Or have you done that already? I just tried to check out your blog, but I was informed that it's by invitation only. :-(

Wish I could have seen her perform at DL! I have a friend that saw her on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage in 1975, and he thinks he took pictures, but he can't find any of them....he's still looking though. He did find some great pics of the Xmas parade at DL from 1973.