Friday, June 16, 2017

Father's Day In The Parks (And My 400th Post!)


Well, it's been six years since I've done one of these Father's Day posts. Where does six years go? I don't even know where the last year went! And by the way....this is my 400th post! Okay, here we go. Today's photos were all taken by my dad at various tourist attractions throughout Southern California.

First up, we have Universal Studios. The first pic was taken in 1988 during the the tram tour of the studio backlot. This was the "Burning House." According to "thestudiotour.com," it was originally located adjacent to the Universal Amphitheater. It was moved to the location below in 1982, but was eventually demolished to make way for the Jurassic Park ride and a new fire station. (And that website didn't miss pointing out the irony there!)


The next pic was taken in the early 1970's. This was Universal's "Wild West Stunt Show." Note the man that is horizontal in mid-air to the right of the light blue building. Also note the two men lying on the floor of the arena in front of the Silver Slipper Saloon. According to "thestudiotour.com," the stunt show was only in this location from 1970-1972 and at the end of that period, this arena was expanded and turned into the Universal Amphitheater (which originally was an outdoor venue). At that time, the stunt show was moved to another location in the upper lot, where it would stay until closing permanently in 2002.


This shot from 1990 shows the western stunt show in it's upper lot location, just after it had received a renovation and a name change to "The Riot Act Stunt Show." The renovation included a new collapsing facade on one of the buildings. During the show, a stuntman would sit on a crate in the middle of the arena, while an explosion would cause the front of the building behind him to fall forward. One of the windows would line up perfectly so the building would fall down "around him"....which is what had happened just seconds before my dad took this picture.


Our next stop is at Knott's Berry Farm. This first photo was taken in 1974 at Knott's Lagoon, which was located across the street from the main theme park. The locomotive was one of the many miniature trains manufactured by Bud Hurlbut. This one is reportedly in a private collection today, but Bud's miniature train from the original Santa's Village (in Sky Forest, CA) can be found today at the Santa Ana Zoo in Santa Ana, California. And another one can be found at Castle Park (formerly owned by Bud Hurlbut) in Riverside, CA.


In this shot from 1966, Chief White Eagle places a feather headdress on a guest in Ghost Town. The Old Knife Shop which used to be located just south of the Miner's Bank, can be seen in the background.


This Polaroid is from the mid-1970's and was taken on the front porch of the Gold Trails Hotel in Ghost Town. In the early 1940's, Walter Knott acquired pieces of an old hotel in Prescott, Arizona (including the two doors in the background) and used them on what would be one of the very first Ghost Town buildings at the Farm. The hotel housed the Covered Wagon Show which told the story of his mother's and his grandmother's journey out west in a covered wagon. Unfortunately, the show was removed and the hotel was torn down. A recreation of the hotel stands in the same spot today with the show being replaced by a souvenir shop.

I'm pretty sure that the two musicians were regular Ghost Town "characters," but I don't know their names. If anyone has more information on them, please feel free to chime in below in the comment section!


Last up we have three shots from Disneyland. All of the photos feature characters that we don't see walking around the park anymore. The first one is of Br'er Bear, who could often be seen in New Orleans Square, along with his pal, Br'er Fox. The photo was taken in 1982.


Baloo and Mowgli from The Jungle Book could often be seen hanging out (usually with King Louie) in or around Adventureland. This shot is also from 1982.


And this final pic of Snow White, Dopey and Sneezy(?) in front of Tomorrowland, is from April of 1971. Snow White can still be seen greeting guests in the park today, but it is rare to see any of the Seven Dwarfs unless it is in a parade or show.


I hope everyone enjoyed this little trip through some of Southern California's theme parks. And an early "Happy Father's Day" to all of the dads out there!

(***BONUS!!! I happen to have three vintage Disneyland postcards, featuring the same characters seen above, so I am including them below.)




9 comments:

Snow White Archive said...

Some nice pics Tokyo. I like the shot of the stuntman in mid air.
The miniature train is an awesome shot too. Really shows the scale of just how small it is. It's easy to see where your love of theme parks got its start. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Quite an accomplishment. Always happy to see your posts. Some memories here for me. KS

TokyoMagic! said...

Thank you, SWA! Yeah, if it hadn't been for my Mom and Dad taking us so regularly to the various theme parks here in So Cal, I might not have ever "caught the bug!"

Awwww, thanks KS!!!

Chuck said...

Great photos, and a fitting tribute not only to your dad but to dads everywhere.

While my mom shot her fair share of 110 snaps, it was my dad who had taken a photography course in college and lugged around the 35mm SLR and the movie camera (both Canons he had picked up at the Da Nang PX in Vietnam) on vacation and got some of the best family photos.

It seems to be that way in many families. I've carried on the tradition myself. In fact, we lost my oldest at age 2 11/12 at WDW as we were entering the line for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh because I wasn't holding his hand because mine were filled with a 35mm, a 1940s Kodak Reflex II, and a video camera.

Which reminds me...I need to clean my primary lens before heading off to Scout camp.

Thanks again for another fun post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, my mom says that when my brother and I were very little, my dad used to carry two to three cameras on our trips to Disneyland, Knott's, etc. I have the proof because I have slides of us at DL and then there are also Polaroids and home movies of us that I know are from the same trip because we are wearing the same clothes! He did stop doing that at some point!

Major Pepperidge said...

Well shoot, I am late to the party (as usual)… many congratulations on your 400th post! I always look forward to new articles, and appreciate the research and information that you always provide. Of course I love Universal Studios (from days of old), and Knott’s Berry Farm of course - that picture of the lagoon train is great.

It feels good to be the annoying person who gets to say, “Here’s to 400 more!”!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, thank you so much! Ha, ha, I actually hope that I do have another 400 posts in me! Still, it wouldn't come anywhere close to your several thousands of posts....but I can dream, can't I? ;-)

K. Martinez said...

How did I miss this one? What a great post. Love all these photos your dad took. This is the theme park era I fell in love with.

I like the photo with Snow White and Dopey at the Tomorrowland entrance. Also, I'm a big fan of collecting the postcards in which the costumed characters appeared in Disneyland. The Baloo, King Louie and Colonel Hathi is a great one. Thanks for sharing these!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, Thanks! I like that Jungle Book character postcard and thought it was kind of unusual. I wonder if the Colonel Hathi costumed character was ever used to walk around the park and greet guests? I only remember seeing him as part of The Jungle Book unit in the park's "Fantasy On Parade." I'll be posting more pics of those Jungle Book characters in November!