Saturday, January 30, 2010

Walt Disney World 1973 - Totem Poles & Construction

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't post anything last week. Between major changes going on at work and multiple family events/stuff, I have been so incredibly busy lately. Anyhoo, I've had a small batch of Walt Disney World slides in my collection for a while now and I am going to begin posting some of them. In the past one and a half years that I've been blogging, I've never done a full post just on Walt Disney World, but it's not really for any particular reason. I also have a bunch of Disneyland Paris photos and so far I've only posted two of those! I should probably try to branch out a little beyond Anaheim and Tokyo! Since I am not an expert on WDW however, I will ask everyone for their help. Please feel free to join in and correct or add any info as needed. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

These first three slides are dated March 1973. They appear to be taken in the general area of where Splash Mountain exists today. I'm assuming that means that those totem poles no longer exist...at least I don't remember seeing them on the trips I've made to the Magic Kingdom in recent years. In the background, we can see a drained Rivers of America and the construction of Tom Sawyer Island taking place. I did some research and found out that T.S. Island did not open to the public until May of 1973. Major Pepperidge over at Gorillas Don't Blog posted a 1973 Keel Boat picture last month, that also showed some Tom Sawyer Island construction off in the distance.


There appears to be a green contraption in the river bed on the far right. Could this be a pump to keep the Florida rain waters out during construction? There is also a bulldozer on the far left side of the picture. The lady wearing the smart pantsuit and holding the groovy purse seems to be having fun....she reminds me of my grandmother!


This next pic shows The Hall of Presidents building on the far side of the river. Also, just to the right of the shorter totem pole, a portion of Harpers Mill and it's water wheel can be seen.



Here's a shot from just about a year later, July 1974. Now construction is taking place on the other side of the totem poles. Does anyone know what this particular construction could have been for? Sorry....this was the best I could do to correct the color on this slide.


Again, these were all taken in the area of the park that is now occupied by Splash Mt. Just for kicks, here are a couple shots of how the area appears today.


Friday, January 15, 2010

The Lunching Pad Revisited

Let's take a look at a long extinct Disneyland eatery, The Lunching Pad. This little snack bar used to be located underneath the PeopleMover station and Rocket Jet platform in Tomorrowland. It's original name was The Space Bar and that signage can be seen in these next two photos from Gorillas Don't Blog (used here with permission - THANK YOU, Major Pepperidge!) Incidentally, there was a larger "Space Bar" restaurant in the first version of Tomorrowland, but it was torn down in 1966 to make way for the Carousel Theater and the New Tomorrowland of 1967.



Looking through my collection of old Disneyland guides, it appears the name of this facility changed from The Space Bar to the The Lunching Pad sometime between the Spring and Summer of 1977. The change appears to have happened around the same time that Space Mountain opened. Here's a pic of the Lunching Pad as it appeared in September of 1995.


I like the font that was used for the signage.


After the release of "Toy Story" in 1995, The Lunching Pad received a "Little Green Men" makeover. These next photos were taken in October of 1996.
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Notice the white architectural element that sits between the two popcorn cases and also biscects the area behind the counter.....later, we'll see a shot of how that appears today.


A close-up of those purple Disneyland cups can be seen (here.)


What, no Space Mist? I guess it had already been removed from the menu. How about those 1996 prices!


Shortly after the 1998 redo of Tomorrowland (UGH!), this space was transformed into the headquarters for Radio Disney. While I don't have any pics of the building during this time, I do have this magnet that was given out free (yes, free!) at the park to promote Radio Disney.


In 2007 this space changed once again, and it is now a souvenir shop called TomorrowLanding, featuring "Gifts from Outer and Liquid Space."
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That architectural element pointed out earlier is now located in the middle of the shop. There are more of these that surround the building. I believe they are the actual supports that hold the structure up. Unfortunately, the rest of these were partially covered up with walls during changes that were made in 1998 for the Rocket Rods. I would love to see this structure returned to it's original 1967 glory with the Rocket Jets twirling up above once more, and some version of the PeopleMover brought back. The new shop could even stay! ;-)


Just for fun, here's a shot of Walt Disney World's current Lunching Pad.


Tokyo Disneyland has a snack bar under their Rocket Jet platform too, but theirs is called the Space Place Foodport. The gantry lifts that take guests up to the Rocket Jet (Star Jet) flight deck can be seen in the background. Hey Disney, bring back Anaheim's gantry lifts!


I hope everyone enjoyed this little trip back in time to Disneyland's Lunching Pad!

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Lost" Lincoln / I See Dead People....



Well, I saw the new Lincoln show for the first time last week. Fellow bloggers have posted plenty of photos of the pre-show, so I'll include just a few of my own shots here. I think this part of the attraction was very well done. I really liked the pre-show film and all of the displays.

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This bust of Lincoln was created by Blaine Gibson back in 1965. Blaine Gibson sculpted most (all?) of the pirates for Pirates of the Caribbean, the Abominable Snowman for the Matterhorn, and the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse "Partners" statue in the Plaza....just to name a few pieces of his work.
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This painting is displayed on a small screen before the pre-show film starts.
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Here's a scene from the pre-show film that features Walt and Blaine Gibson. Walt is holding a copy of an actual Lincoln "life mask."



As for the actual theater show....it was wonderful hearing Paul Frees' original narration, as well as the return of Royal Dano as the voice of Lincoln. I was also glad to see that the gimmicky "surround sound" headphones had been abandoned. I thought the Lincoln figure itself was pretty incredible. All of the Audio-Animatronic figures in all of the Disney parks should be that advanced! Since photography is not allowed inside the theater, we only have this vintage pic for today.


Unfortunately, I do have to say that I found two things about the new show very disappointing. First of all, Lincoln's speech had been shortened back in the eighties and I was very surprised to see that it had not been restored this time around. This shortening of his speech occurred at the same time that the "Two Brothers" segment had been added to the show.

This leads me to my second complaint.....that addition has ALWAYS bothered me. It doesn't fit with the rest of the show. That song and those photos were borrowed from the American Adventure at EPCOT. There are even Audio-Animatronics of that family that appear in the EPCOT show. Okay, so EPCOT was fairly new back then and they wanted to bring parts of it to Anaheim....Wonders of China was shown in the Circle Vision Theater.....Magic Journeys was even shown at night on the Space Stage in Tomorrowland, but why did they feel the need to shoehorn this segment into the Lincoln attraction in the first place? And even more important, why has it been left in twenty five years later when every other part of the show appears to be a return to the original version? The song is just horrible. Am I the only one that thinks this sticks out like a sore thumb? The real corker for me is the photo of the dead body at the end of the "Two Brothers" segment. I realize that this was the cold harsh reality of the Civil War, but I don't go to Disneyland to see the corpses of people that have been killed in war. If this part of the show had been left out, then perhaps Lincoln's speech could have been restored to it's original length. I would have much rather spent more time watching and listening to the Lincoln Animatronic.

As for the missing portion of Lincoln's speech, I am guessing that most people don't even notice it (just like one of the Enchanted Tiki Room songs that was cut from that attraction years ago), but I will include the missing lines here to see if they jog anyone's memory:
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"Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in the schools, in the seminaries and in the colleges. Let it be written in primers, in spelling books and almanacs. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls and enforced in courts of justice. And in short, let it become the political religion of the nation. And let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly at it's alters. And let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of divine providence trusting that in future national emergencies, He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security."
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The scan below shows the front and back cover of a brochure that was available in the Opera House in the nineties.
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Here is the inside of that brochure. The text on the left side shows the shortened version of Lincoln's speech. The missing portion was originally included between parts "3" and "4."
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Maybe on this attraction's next redo, Lincoln's speech can be returned to it's full and original glory. Oh, and the new song at the very end of the show is called "Golden Dream" and it is also from EPCOT's American Adventure, but since the show is over at that point, it doesn't seem to stand out quite as much as:

♪ ♫ "Two brothers on their way (repeat two more times)...one wore blue and one wore gray (repeat)....the fife and drum began to play as they marched along their way.....one was gentle one was kind (repeat)....one came home one stayed behind....a cannon ball don't pay no mind (repeat)....if your gentle or if your kind....it don't think of the folks behind.....all on a beautiful morning (repeat)." ♫ ♪

UGH! SO PAINFUL
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Happiest Merchandise On Earth!

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Forget "The Year of a Million Dreams." Forget "What Will You Celebrate?" Those campaigns are in the past. This is 2010 and it is now time to make way for "The Happiest Memories On Earth!" I just got back from the park and here are a few shots of some brand new merchandise featuring the new slogan.

First up is this "rubberized" magnet.

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Next we have some glasses and mugs.


This plush Mickey holds a miniature pennant in his hand. Whatever happen to pennants? Disneyland used to sell a lot of them. I guess they went the way of the pin back buttons. I miss those!


Below is some sort of zipper bag or purse....I took these pics kind of quickly, so I didn't look too closely at it!


The obligatory caps and shirts......


in blue.......


....and red!

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And here is the "piece de resistance." I'm dedicating this item to Vintage Disneyland Tickets. Sorry, I haven't opened it.....yet! It says that it's a memo pad, so I'm guessing these are similar to an item that was sold last year at Tokyo Disneyland for their 25th Annivesary. Those can be seen (here) on Vintage Disneyland Tickets' incredible blog.
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I am wondering how accurate the tickets will be. It does look like the "Globe" logo has been left off of the paper. It also appears that the "Welcome to Disneyland" page and the park admission ticket might have been excluded. If I end up opening it, I will definitely scan and post the contents!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The 1966 Rose Parade - Part 7

What happened to Part 1 through 6 did you ask? Well, I posted a six part series last year covering the 1966 Rose Parade. Walt Disney was the grand marshal and the parade's theme was "It's A Small World." I had withheld some of the parade photos for one reason or another, but I am going to go ahead and post those today....one year later. Better late than never! Before we get to the floats, here is the official program for the parade.

The first entry for today is entitled, "Big Sky Country" and is from the State of Montana.


This float is for American Field Service and is from the City of San Gabriel, California.


Here is Kern County's entry, "California's Golden Empire."


The next float has a very long title...."St. Paul Winter Carnival - Land of Blue Sky Waters Salutes Sao Paulo."


This entry from the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West is entitled, "It's The Small Things That Count" and features Smokey The Bear.


And what about the bands? Well, here's the UCLA band......


...and here's a close up of Michigan State's band. UCLA and Michigan were playing in the Rose Bowl that year.


Last up from this series is a shot of the Long Beach Mounted Police.


If you would like to view the rest of the 1966 Rose Parade, including photos of Walt Disney as Grand Marshal, Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, and the Walt Disney Studios/Burbank float, click here: (Link)
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Happy 2010 to everyone!