Saturday, October 23, 2010

A "Nightmare" In Tokyo Disneyland!

I have mentioned before that Tokyo Disneyland allows adults to wear costumes to the park for just two weeks out of the year (the first week of the park's Halloween season which is in mid-September and then also during the last week of October). Today's pics were taken in October of 2008 and show costumes with a "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme.

Just as we were entering the Haunted Mansion to see Tokyo's Holiday Nightmare overlay , we spotted "Oogie Boogie" in the crowd. I snapped this next picture pretty quickly, fearing that I might not get another chance for a photo.

As it turned out, we spotted him/her again at the exit and asked if we could take a picture. Most of the park guests are MORE than happy to stop and pose for photos. Incidentally, I just read the rules for wearing a costume to Disneyland/Anaheim for the Mickey's Halloween Party events and it stated that guests that come dressed as Disney characters can NOT pose for pictures. What's up with that?

Since this next photo was taken just one day before Halloween, a stage was already being erected for the park's annual Christmas shows. These next two guests were posing in front of that stage.

The "Jack Skellington" on the right even had the toy duck with the bullet holes attached to her shoulder.

Well, I am leaving tomorrow for Tokyo! I should be coming back with more photos of some cool costumes. I will post them when I return!

To see more pictures of Tokyo Disneyland guests wearing Halloween costumes, click here.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween at Disneyland - 1996 (or "Farewell to Tomorrowland")

Well, it's Halloween Time again at the Disneyland Resort! Last year I did a Vintage Disneyland Trip Report from 1995, the very first year that the park decorated for Halloween. Today, I have a few pics from the following year, but not really enough pics to warrant a full blown vintage trip report. So, how about a mini trip report to Disneyland in the Fall of 1996?

Once again, the Maleficent balloon that was originally used to promote Fantasmic in 1992 was resurrected in the fabulous Disneyland Parking Lot. The banner for "Mickey's Halloween Treat" is actually covering the original Fantasmic promo. Artist, blogger, and former DL employee Kevin Kidney coordinated the construction of this mega-Maleficent!

I wonder what happened to this inflatable? Is she being used somewhere to sell cars? (I know... Disney wouldn't allow that!)

This particular year, the floral portrait of Mickey had been reworked and given a "face mask". And look, the Kalamazoo Handcar is parked out in front of the train!

The flowers at the entrance to Tomorrowland were also changed to more of a Fall-ish color palette. (In today's Tomorrowland, the flowers have been replaced with brown concrete rocks.) Yay, the Rocket Jets are exactly where they should be in this picture! Notice the construction wall off in the distance. Work had already begun on converting the wonderful 1967 Carousel Theater building into.....well, nothing.

If we pan just a little to the left, we see that there was a special Hunchback of Notre Dame display set up just for Halloween. The Disney animated film had been released earlier that year. (For the previous Halloween, a Goofy topiary stood in one of the Tomorrowland planters.)

Note the crane on top of the Matterhorn in the photo below. In the nineties, the Matterhorn was undergoing a major renovation that took place every Winter over the course of several years. it still shutting down every Winter for major refurbishment?

Hey, there's Phoebus signing an autograph for a fan!

He must have been heading for a break, since it looks like he's signing "on the run."

Coming Soon: A Very Brown Tomorrowland. This sign was located underneath the PeopleMover track at the entrance to Tomorrowland. It turned out to be a very cruel joke, however. The sign should have read "Tomorrowland - Lack of Imagination and Beyond! - The Future Ends Spring 1998" I know, not too clever but hey I'm a little bitter.....YOU DESTROYED MY FAVORITE LAND, DISNEY!!! Okay, I feel better and I'm over it....for right now, anyway.

That's it for the 1996 Halloween pics. The park's Halloween decor was not yet at the level that it is today. It would still be a couple more years before the Haunted Mansion would get it's first holiday overlay and another thirteen years until Space Mountain's "Ghost Galaxy."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Elvira - In Wax, In The Flesh, and Lookalikes

This post is in honor of Elvira's return to television. Yes, the Mistress of the Dark is back on the boob tube and hosting her all new "Movie Macabre." For the Los Angeles area, her show is on Saturday nights at midnight on KDOC (home of the Mighty Ducks!) For other cities, please check your local television listings.

Elvira first hosted "Movie Macabre" back in 1981 on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles. In 1982, she made television history by being the first person to be taped and broadcast in 3-D. I still have my 3-D glasses from 7-Eleven!

In 1985, Elvira got her very own wax figure at Movieland Wax Museum which was located just up the street from Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. I took this photo in 1991. Unfortunately, Movieland Wax Museum closed it's doors for good in October of 2005.

Here's a publicity photo taken at Movieland with the real Elvira posing alongside her wax likeness. I'm guessing this was taken when her figure was unveiled to the public. Movieland often had the actual celebrities appearing at the dedication of their figures.

Now let's jump over to the Hollywood Wax Museum on Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, California. I took this photo in 1993...the one and only time I was ever in that museum. I know it is still open and operating today, but I wonder how their business is doing now that Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum has opened just down the street?

And since we are in Hollywood, let's venture a few miles southwest and take a look at the annual West Hollywood Halloween Carnival which attracts about a half million people every year on Halloween Night. This is actually the Los Angeles area's second largest event, second only to the Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day Parade. Here's a photo taken in 2001 of "Elvira" and "Evel Kenievel." I thought that this woman really did look like Cassandra Peterson.

These next three photos were taken at the 2002 Carnival event. This Elvira costume actually could have been a mini parade float. The dummy in the background was part of the vignette, along with a table that had a fake guillotine blade hanging overhead that actually swung back and forth (inspired by a scene in the movie, "Elvira's Haunted Hills"). I remember it was so crowded, that I could not get back far enough to get the entire set-up in any of my photos.

The legs were actually fake. "Elvira's" real legs were underneath the table. The whole thing was on wheels and could be moved around when the crowd would allow it. There are some REALLY clever people out there, I tell ya!

Last up is a shot I took of the real Elvira performing at Knott's Berry/Scary Farm in 1988. I posted this photo previously in a "Knott's Halloween Haunt" post from last year. I do wish Elvira still appeared at Knott's for their Halloween Haunt nights. For now, I guess I will just have to be satisfied with seeing her on TV as she hosts her all new "Movie Macabre."

Unpleasant dreams, everyone!!!

***Post Update: To watch a short promo for Elvira's all new "Movie Macabre", click below:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to L.A., From Disneyland! - 1980

Here's another item from 30 years ago. It's a ninety-six page special supplement to the Los Angeles Times. Even though Los Angeles celebrated it's 200th birthday in 1981, this insert was included in an August 1980 edition of the newspaper.

So far, the newspaper articles and ads that I have posted have all been from my personal collection that I started as a child. However, this supplement was recently found in a box in my mom's garage, where it has been sitting for the past 30 years....that's why it is a little warped and distorted. If I had a scanner that was big enough, I could have pressed it flat, but since it would not fit on my scanner, I had to use my camera to take pictures of both the cover and this Disneyland advertisement.

There are also some advertisements/birthday greetings from other companies including many that no longer exist today, such as Bullock's, The Broadway, Ohrbach's, May Co., Robinson's (before the "Robinson's-May" merge), Alpha Beta, Barker Bros., American Savings, Crocker Bank and Western Airlines. Oh, and just days after mentioning Pat Boone and Hoffy hot dogs in my last post, look what I happened to find in this insert!

Pat Boone says, "Hooray for Hoffy! Hooray for L.A.!", but there's no mention of Hoffy being the official "meat product" of Knott's Berry Farm. Those commercials have to exist somewhere!

The insert also contains an interesting article (along with artwork) about what L.A. might look like in 100 years. The Los Angeles Central Library building is visible in the lower right corner of the second pic below. The other buildings kind of look like something out of "Logan's Run."

In addition to L.A.'s possible future, there are many photos from L.A.'s past, including pics of the Hollywood Bowl, the Chinese Theater, Angel's Flight, the Music Center, Tail O' The Pup, the Greek Theater, the La Brea Tar Pits, Watts Towers, the Bradbury Building, etc.

If anyone is interested in owning this Los Angeles Times supplement from 1980, here is a link to a site that has a copy of it for sale. I do not know this dealer or anything about their reputability, and I am not endorsing them. I'm just passing along information that I came across while I was doing research on Los Angeles' Bicentennial.

Well, since 2011 is just around the corner....Happy 230th Birthday, Los Angeles!

Friday, October 1, 2010