Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Vacation 1975 - A Vintage Disneyland Trip Report

Happy Easter and Happy April Fool's Day, everyone!

It's been a while since I've done one of my Vintage Trip Reports! This childhood trip took place in 1975, during Easter Vacation (now called Spring Break). The family members that went on this trip were my mom, brother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

We will start with the park entertainment guide:

Hooray for Sunshine Balloon! I love that name for a band! They were performing nightly, at the Tomorrowland Terrace that week.

And The Mike Curb Congregation was performing daily, on the Tomorrowland Stage. They had recorded their own album of Disney songs in 1973. Wikipedia states that the album was never actually released and that only "test pressings exist," but the vinyl LP seems to be pretty easy to find online and at a fairly reasonable price, too.

The back of the flyer was advertising the "Viva Mexico Celebration" for Cinco de Mayo weekend that year. I did go back to the park that weekend in May with a couple friends from school and one of their moms. To see the entertainment guide from that visit, click here: Cinco de Mayo at Disneyland

This is the Disneyland Guide that was being given out during both visits. I've scanned the entire booklet:

America On Parade was coming! It is one of my all-time favorite Disneyland parades.

Were employees not yet referred to as Cast Members in 1975? Note under the Security and Public Telephones headings, it states "ask any "Disneylander" and under the Restroom heading it actually refers to them as "Disneyland employees."

I always loved these black and white diagrams for the rides and attractions.

Mission to Mars opened on March 21, so it had only been open a few days at this point. We did not experience it during this trip, but I did get to see it on my next visit, several weeks later.

I remember all of these shops except for the Hurricane Lamp Shop. That is the space that the original Disneyana Shop would end up occupying within the next year. And "Rings and Things" was in the space that the Disneyana Shop would be relocating to many years later (now a part of the Market House/Starbuck's space). Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was in the process of being moved back into the Opera House, after many complaints were received regarding it's removal in 1973.

I don't remember the Frontierland Camera Shop. Is that the same space where the Stage Door Cafe is today?

I miss THIS Tomorrowland so much!

I forgot just how many locations there were in Disneyland, where you could purchase "juices." There were the two Sunkist locations (Adventureland and Main Street). Adventureland also had the Tiki Juice Bar at the entrance to the Enchanted Tiki Room (I'm guessing it was not yet sponsored by Dole, since there is no mention of it in the guidebook). And then there was the Welch's Grape Juice Bar in Fantasyland.

At one time, "Mickey Mouse and Friends" could be found wandering around every land, except for Tomorrowland. Now the characters pretty much only stand in one spot and greet quests that are queued up in a line to meet them. And the Golden Horseshoe Revue used to have five shows daily? Wow! It's such a shame they got rid of that world's record-holding show.

I wonder what happened to the rifles, pistols and swords that were a part of the Frontierland Gun Collection?

I had received my very first camera for Christmas of 1974....just three months before this trip. It was a gift from my dad and I still have the camera today!

The pics below, are the very first photos that I ever took at Disneyland. As soon as we arrived at the Plaza and I got my first glimpse of the Matterhorn, I took my very first Disneyland picture!

I tried to take a modern day photo (with a digital camera) from the same angle back in 2011:

A common thing to see in New Orleans Square back in the day, was Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear dancing with guests to the live accompaniment of "The Royal Street Bachelors." It's a little difficult to make out, but the sign over the doorway behind Br'er Bear reads, "Lafitte's Silver Shop."

The obligatory Castle shot! Notice the family resemblance in this group portrait!

This is the actual Disneyland shopping bag, that is visible in the photo above. It wasn't purchased during this trip, however. I believe it was originally purchased at the park in the late 1960's. It's made out of a very sturdy plastic, so my mom was "reusing" it that day. If only I had a dozen or more of these, I would take them with me to the supermarket when I do my grocery shopping.

Captain Hook was hanging out in front of the Tinker Bell Toy Shop in Fantasyland. (By the way, I do wish I had been able to correct the color on all of these photos just a little bit better!)

"Hans" and "Otto" are climbing the Matterhorn in this next shot. On the far right is the Character Food Stand, where you could get a Nottingham Burger, a Canterbury Burger, or a Sherwood Frank. This food location was known to cast members as "Fan II" (short for Fantasyland II). There was a very similar looking "Fan I," which was located between the old Fantasyland Theater and the steps that led up to the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet.

The Character Food Stand was replaced by the White Rabbit's House (Mad Hatter Shop) in 1983 for the "New Fantasyland." Back in June of 2010, I tried to stand in the same location and recreate my pic from 1975. The tree on the left is now blocking the view of the Matterhorn from that exact same angle, so I moved just a bit to the right to get the Matterhorn in the pic.

It's A Small World had a really long line! That is one of the things I remember from this trip....long lines for everything. Even the line for Country Bear Jamboree wound around, back and forth out in front of the attraction!

Okay, I admit this is a strange thing to post. When I scanned these original negatives and this black image came up, I totally remembered what it was that I had tried to take a picture of. We were riding on the Disneyland Railroad through the Primeval World Diorama and I attempted to take a pic of the Brontosauruses (Brontosauri?) without a flash. I know someone out there is asking how I can possibly remember that from 43 years ago, but my memory is weird that way! What I can't remember for sure is, if I knew at the time that I needed a flash and I was just hoping the picture would turn out anyway, or if I didn't have a clue. Anyway, I'm including it here just for myself, because it is a part of my memories of this trip!

I wish I had taken more pictures during this trip. I'm really not sure why I didn't. I didn't even shoot a full roll of film. The rest of the pictures from this roll were taken during my family's Easter Day festivities.

Another memory that I have from this visit is that my great-grandmother had fried a whole chicken in the morning and brought it with her that day. Instead of putting it in a locker outside the entrance (like guests were supposed to do back in those days), she carried it all around the park with her. When it was time for lunch, we all sat on benches across from the exit to the Haunted Mansion and ate home-cooked fried chicken! I know she brought some kind of "sides" along with it, but now I can't remember what those were. Even though I was only ten years old at the time, I knew that we weren't supposed to have our own food in the park. I remember trying to tell my family that. I also remember being worried that someone would come up to us and say something. Fortunately, nothing happened! When we were done, I remember that we bought ice cream sandwiches and frozen bananas from the cart located at the entrance to Bear Country.

On our way out of the park, my mom bought me this pencil case in the Main Street Emporium.

After all these years, it is only missing one pencil and the eraser. Everything else is still there, including the pencil sharpener.

I'm going to go ahead and post some decals that I purchased during my next visit to the park, about 6 weeks later. These decals are almost the size of a postcard and were sold at souvenir locations all over the park. I never stuck them on anything! I remember when they were new, they had a very strong vinyl-like smell.

I hope everyone enjoyed this Spring 1975 trip to Disneyland!


K. Martinez said...

That family that posed in front of the castle bears a striking resemblance to you. You all have the same blank look.

The INA Guide you've posted here is my favorite style and format Disneyland ever did for the guide books and the 1970's were my favorite era of Disneyland. Love that you posted the entire INA Disneyland Guide booklet.

You've also posted about my favorite all-time snack at Disneyland. FROZEN BANANAS!! I still love them!

I have all those character decals too and yes, I remember the smell of them when they were brand new!

My favorite part of today's post is story of your great-grandmothers fried chicken and the family sitting on the bench eating it. I bet it was delicious and better than anything at Disneyland.

I really enjoyed this post. Thanks, TokyoMagic!

Major Pepperidge said...

Great post! I was just composing a post about April of 1976, but I refer to “America on Parade” and it’s debut in 1975. Love that entertainment guide - have never seen that one before. Lately I have been collecting more guides like this one from the 70’s, there seem to be scores of different ones. Mike Curb! Remember when he was Lieutenant Governor?

I love those INA guides… I think I have nearly every one. If I wasn’t so lazy I would scan them all. They are chock full of so much great info. I have recently heard that the term “Cast Member” is actually a relatively recent invention.

How could you miss the Hurricane Lamp Shop? What if there had been a hurricane? I guess you would have felt mighty shameful. And looking at the list of attractions for Tomorrowland makes me want to weep. So wonderful.

Cool that you still have your Instamatic X-15; I am almost positive that I had one of those too (the name is very memorable), though it is long gone. Also cool that you actually have the first photo that you ever took in Disneyland! I remember taking some night shots of the empty sub lagoon, and of course none of them turned out at all.

I have one of those same striped bags, it is cool, and now I always get a kick when I see photos of people carrying them in the park. Someday I’ll post a photo of mine, but you beat me to it! Love the pencil case and the decals.

Hey, I would be happy to take a shot at color correction on some scans, just to see what I can do. It’s possible that I won’t get good results at all. Maybe send me one as a test, if you are interested. If you aren’t, that’s OK too.

Thanks for the fun vintage trip report!

The Disney Dudebro said...

I'm surprised that your grandmother was able to carry around a fried chicken like that in the park, and that you all were able to eat it in the park like that. Something tells me you couldn't get away with that today.

The Captain Hook costume looks really uncanny, unsettling even. And to think that a costume like that managed to remain relevant through the 1990s until it was eventually changed. Those eyes man. Just, those eyes.

Interesting pictures of the maps and other promotional material. Very educational.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, it's sort of like an extreme case of Little Orphan Annie eyes that has spread to the face, huh? As for the frozen bananas, I would always want one, but it took me a while to learn that it was just too frustrating waiting for them to thaw and soften to the point where they could be enjoyed. As I got older, I just got an ice cream sandwich or a frozen orange juice bar. And my great-grandmother's fried chicken was the best! My grandmother and my mom both cooked their fried chicken the exact same way as my great-grandmother, but the chicken turned out different for all three of them....but they were all good!

Major, I didn't realize that was the same Mike Curb! That's like learning that one of the Kids of the Kingdom was a U.S. Senator or something similar. You should scan all of your INA Disneyland Guide books...and then post them all in just one single post. That would be a fun read! Wow, I don't think I ever noticed the X-15 on the front of my camera! I always referred to it as a 126 Instamatic because it used "126" film. I sure do appreciate the offer to try to correct the color on my photos. I will send you one or two as a test.....thanks!!!

Disney Dudebro, I'm thinking that maybe because my great-grandmother was 78 years old at the time, they weren't going to question what she had in her bag. Back in the nineties, I stopped at the park after work one day and tried to bring in some leftovers from a "work" lunch at Claim Jumper's Restaurant. The lady at the turnstiles made me open the takeout container and then told me I couldn't bring it in. I tried to tell her that I was hypoglycemic and that I needed the food. She said I could bring in a small "snack," but not a full meal. Then not too long after that, my boss took us all to DL for the day. A coworker brought in a backpack stuffed with sandwiches, a large-sized bag of chips, cans of Coke, and bags of candy. I told her they were not going to let her in with all of that, but they never even asked her to open her backpack. I think now that the security checkpoint is before you get to the lockers, they can't really require you to put food in the lockers before entering the park. The cast members at the turnstiles are no longer having to question what people are bringing in at that point. To test that theory, maybe I should fry up a chicken and try to take it into the park along with a pint of cole slaw and a dozen dinner rolls.

Anonymous said...

Hi TM, this is a brilliant post.

Thanks for the hard work scanning the guidebook and brochures, those are especially appreciated.

I like the technique of replicating the photo angles. I have tried to do this for some of my childhood pics, but in most cases, remodeling has made it difficult or impossible to stand in the same place twice.

Also liking the black picture. I totally get the reasoning.

Thank you very much.


TokyoMagic! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoMagic! said...

JG, Thank you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post. Yes, trying to recreate a vintage Disneyland pic today gets harder and harder, due to
Disney's continuous destruction of the park. :-(