Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve At Disneyland 1999-2000

Well, it's almost 2010. Can you believe it? Weren't we just worrying about the whole Y2K thing and what would happen when the clock struck midnight ten years ago? Ten years ago! WOW! It's all gone by so fast! And I was just reading the cover story in the current issue of TIME magazine about "The Decade From Hell." It's a very interesting article....oh, but I digress. Let's take a look at the Disneyland guide for December 31st, 1999....ten years ago today!

This is back in the day when the park guide, park map, and entertainment schedule were all combined into one flyer. I never saw Animazement or Woody's Roundup, which I now regret. I'm glad to see that they had several New Year's Eve "Countdown Locations." The last New Year's Eve that I spent at Disneyland was in 1996 and it was so unbelievably crowded that I haven't attempted it since. It seemed like the entire park was packed into the Plaza for the midnight countdown and fireworks. Afterward, it was complete gridlock in the Plaza and surrounding areas and it was taking forever for the crowd to dissipate. People got very impatient and eventually just started climbing over railings and trampling flowers to get out of the area. It was a little scary!

It's interesting that the Haunted Mansion listing doesn't mention it's special holiday overlay, but the listing for It's A Small World does.

And speaking of It's A Small World, notice how Fastpass was available for it during the holiday season (see below.) Anyone out there have a Fastpass for IASW's holiday overlay? Those must be rare since they haven't issued them for years now! Tokyo Disneyland still sets up temporary Fastpass machines for their holiday version of It's A Small World.
Eeeeeew, there's the BROWN Tomorrowland that I dislike so much! How could they have turned my absolute favorite land into my very least favorite? And remember when Cosmic Waves was actually listed as an attraction? Ha!
Notice at the bottom of the map that the California Adventure Preview Center is mentioned. I'll just hold my tongue about that park!

I want to wish everyone a very safe and happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tokyo Doombuggy & Scary Teddy Too!

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea usually have some very nice merchandise for sale. I always end up buying more souvenirs when I visit those two parks, than I do when I visit any of the Disney Parks here in the U.S. This is one of my favorite items from Tokyo. It was sold at Tokyo Disneyland during their 2007 Halloween/Christmas season. It's a wind-up toy of Scary Teddy from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," riding in a Haunted Mansion Doombuggy.

Last year, I posted a complete photo tour of the holiday version of Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, which included some additional souvenir items. To view that series, click here: (Link).
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Magic Kingdom Wrapping Paper

Many years ago, while shopping at a "Lucky's" Grocery Store here in Southern California (hello, Stephanie Edwards!), I stumbled across the ultimate Disney wrapping paper. It features photographs of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World at Christmastime.
Above, we can see one of the "silly" reindeer costumes that were used for many years in the parks. Tokyo Disneyland actually still uses these costumes! I prefer the "silly" version over the ones now used at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Call me a traditionalist!
The shot of the Christmas tree and Dickens carolers was taken in Disneyland's Town Square.

The picture of the Castle and Horse Drawn Streetcar is of course, from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

This photo of Minnie was taken at Disneyland. She is standing on the North Pole Post Office float from the Very Merry Christmas Parade.

And last but not least...the photo on the left shows the title float for the Very Merry Christmas Parade. The words just above the parade title read, "Walt Disney World." The photo on the right shows musicians playing in front of one of the Tomorrowland entrance planters at Disneyland. It's a little difficult to make out in the scan, but Alpine Gardens and the Matterhorn are behind them.
I was a kid when I got this wrapping paper....and I did actually use a small amount of it, but then I tucked the rest of the roll away and have kept it all these years!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowflakes In The Emporium - 1995

Happy first day of Winter, everyone! Today we have a shot taken inside Disneyland's Emporium back in 1995. In October, I posted "then" and "now" photos of these same figures in my vintage Halloween Trip Report From 1995.

For Winter of 1995, the figures were redressed with snowflakes swirling about them, and a gold music box "key" was added to the rotating base.
Once again, these figures still exist and can be found over in DCA in the Greetings From California shop.




Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas in Tokyo Toontown

It's Christmastime at Tokyo Disneyland! Last year we took a look at some of their Christmas decorations, but we never made it into Toontown. Today, we will venture into "The Land That Toons Built."

First up, we have a shot of the entrance.

Next, we have the Jolly Trolley with a big bow on the roof. Tokyo's Jolly Trolley attraction actually closed permanently in April of this year. :-(

This car is parked in a no parking zone. We know it's a no parking zone because of the three dimensional sign showing a red circle and a slash....with a miniature car literally hanging off the slash!

The previous three photos each have Halloween companion pics. For a seasonal comparison, click (here).
All of the street lamps...and even this traffic signal, get decorated for Christmas.

Small seasonal touches are also added to the Roger Rabbit fountain in the downtown section of Toontown.

Wacky Christmas garland is hung over the streets.

Out in the residential district, Minnie's house gets decorated.....

....and Goofy has a Christmas tree made out of umbrellas on his front lawn.

Donald has a pretty large stocking hanging off the bow of his ship. His wish list for Santa includes a fishing pole, ice skates, model airplane, portable radio, diver's watch, movie camera, golf clubs, television, and a sports car. Oh, is that all?

Chip and Dale even get dressed up for the occasion!

To see holiday decor from other areas of Tokyo Disneyland, click here: Christmas In Tokyo Disneyland. And here: Christmas On Main Street.

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 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 might get kicked out of the park!

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.

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!

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.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Walt Disney!

"I hope we don't lose sight of one thing - it was all started by a mouse." - Walt Disney

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney

"All it takes is faith and trust....and a little bit of pixie dust."

These images are from postcards that were purchased last April at Tokyo Disneyland. Even though all three are marked "Tokyo Disneyland" on the back, the last postcard displays a photo from Walt Disney World (both parks have a Cinderella Castle.) I believe the second postcard might show WDW as well.

Happy Birthday, Walt!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Walt Disney Sat Here!

Today we will be visiting the Main St. Opera House at Disneyland. All of the photos from today's post were taken over the recent Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.

Notice how The Walt Disney Story/Steve Martin film marquee is now missing from the facade of the Opera House.

Posters on either side of the doorway announce that Lincoln is coming!

Inside there is more Lincoln artwork. The sign says "Opening Later This Year - In Celebration Of His 200th Birthday," but a cast member informed us that Lincoln would be ready HOPEFULLY by the end of the year.....and if not, then hopefully by February (in time for his 201st birthday.)

The film, "Disneyland, The First 50 Magical Years" still plays inside, but on a smaller screen.

I asked the cast member if he thought this film would ever be released on DVD and he said they get plenty of requests for it and that they do pass that information on to management. I'd buy a copy!

The large glass case in the main room that had previously been covered up, now has a new display. There is a sign above it that reads, "Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow."

Let's work our way backwards here, shall we. First let's look at "Tomorrow." A new Star Tours? That's it??? Why do I find it hard to get excited about this? Maybe it's because we've been hearing about it for years now and it should have happened already! And what about the rest of Tomorrowland.....Honey I Shrunk The Audience, Innoventions, an abandoned PeopleMover track? Need I say more?

Next we have "Today." Hey, didn't the Pooh ride open like back in 2003? Isn't it now almost 2010? And they want to BRAG about this attraction? Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through....EXCELLENT!!! And I do enjoy the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (maybe not as much as the original subs), but I don't like the way they crammed more seats into the subs. If you're 6 ft. or taller, you better just hope that they don't stick you in one of the new seats that hangs over the bottom of the stairway.....NOT FUN!

Last up, we have "Yesterday." It's very sad looking at these photos and realizing just how many wonderful attractions have been destroyed over the years. The ones that I miss most are The Carousel of Progress, Adventure Thru Inner Space, Country Bear Jamboree, and Nature's Wonderland Mine Train. Which attractions pictured do you miss the most? Oh well, I guess we will have a new Star Tours sometime in the future....and we'll always have the newly painted swings and ferris wheel to ride across the Esplanade.

Well, I'm going to end this post with something positive! Here are a couple items that are currently on display in the foyer of the Opera House.

This first one is a bench from Griffith Park and it is THE bench that Walt Disney sat on and dreamed about a place where "parents and children could have fun together" while his daughters were riding the merry-go-round.

And here is an actual horse from that merry-go-round. It is currently on loan to Disneyland from Griffith Park.

There wasn't a plaque for this peanut cart, so I don't know if it is just there for atmosphere, or if it is the actual cart that Walt bought peanuts from back in the day. It's even filled with bags of peanuts!

Well, 2010 is almost here and that means the park will soon be celebrating it's 55th birthday. Here's to hoping that there's more in store for Disneyland in the near future than just an updated Star Tours attraction. And here's to a brand new Abraham that hopefully won't require "surround sound" headphones or 3-D glasses to enjoy!