Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve At Disneyland - 1980 & 1981

I remember reading an article in Disney News Magazine when I was a kid, about a New Year's Eve party at Disneyland. It made me really want to go to the park for New Year's, but I never got that chance until I was actually old enough to drive myself there. The newspaper advertisement below happens to be from 1980 and even though I had my driver's license and had already driven myself to the park for the first time just one month earlier, I did not go to the New Year's Party that year. I would still have to wait one more year.

So one more year passed and finally I was able to go to DL for New Year's Eve. It was 1981 and back then, the park would close at 7:00 p.m. and then reopen at 8:30 for a separately ticketed New Year's Eve event. Again, this is the year that I was working at the park, so I had to perform in a 2:00 parade during the day (there was only one parade performance on the 31st), then I went home and got ready to go out for the evening, then I went back to the park that night for the party, then went home and slept, and then went back to the park the next day for a 2:00 and 9:00 parade performance. I can't imagine doing that now.....29 years later. I will be going out to a party tonight, but fortunately I am off both today and tomorrow!

Here's the entertainment guide from that night:

Gee, Skiles and Henderson sure did appear at the park a lot back then. I wonder if The Manhattan Transfer sang their "Twilight Zone" song? I don't remember seeing any entertainment that night.....except of course, for the "Midnight Spectacular"!

Tickets for this event were "advanced sale" and could be purchased either at Disneyland or at Ticketron locations. Remember Ticketron? This ticket was purchased at a Ticketron that happened to be located in the basement of a Sears Department Store!

My only clear memory from that night is of riding the original version of Snow White's Adventure's and seeing that the Wicked Witch's apple was laying on the ground right next to the path of the ride vehicles. Someone must have attempted to grab it and it had fallen. It was right there on the ground within reach! I wanted to go back and try to get it, but my friends thought I was crazy and I caved to the peer pressure. Or is that "reverse peer pressure"? Maybe they did me a favor. I could have lost a finger, or ended up in the Disneyland jail.....or both! I wonder where that apple is today?

I ended up going to the park for New Year's Eve two more times after this, but I will never do it again. To read about the reasons why, click here for my post from last year.

A VERY Happy New Year to everyone out there! Be safe!


Daveland said...

Happy New Year Chris - too bad I wasn't with you to get the apple! I am sure it ended up on ebay.

Connie Moreno said...

I absolutely LOVE spending New Year's Eve at Disneyland! Yes, it's crowded but I go with the mindset that I'm not there to ride the attractions; I'm there to soak up some pixie dust and Disney magic by enjoying the atmosphere. It's electric! Unfortunaately, this year I volunteered to babysit so I won't be going :-(

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Happy New Year - Great post - I love the ticket!

Do I remember Ticketron? I worked at Ticketron - at Sears - in the Basement! (link) If you bought that ticket in December 1981 at the Canoga park Sears I probably sold it to you!

Dan Alexander said...

You should have tried to get the apple. Then you could post a picture of it here along with a story about your time in the Disneyland Jail. Ha ha!

Happy New Year!

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

Dave, I actually saw a fluorescent painted apple in a glass case at an antique mall in Orange County. The dealer was claiming that it was from the Snow White attraction. I don't remember how much they were asking for it, but I do remember it was a lot. They did have some DL employee materials for sale, so I guess it could've been authentic. But I can just imagine after selling such an item, the dealer going to Michael's or Stats and buying a fake apple, painting it with flourescent paint and placing back into the glass case.....Voila! "Witch's Apple From Original Snow White Attraction at Disneyland!" Ha!

Connie, Having an annual pass, I never go with the intention of riding many attractions. I can handle DL when it's crowded, but the last two times for New Year's was CRAZY crowded. For some reason, that 1981 New Year's Eve wasn't that bad. Maybe because it was a separately ticketed event.

VDT, Thanks for that link! You have some great Ticketron stuff there....and I had forgotten what the "stub" on this ticket looked like. It wasn't purchased in Canoga Park, but that would've been a hoot if it had!

Dan, I would have LOVED to been able to post a pic of the apple along with the bragging rights. Oh well! I don't think I would have been caught, but I certainly could have been injured doing it. My friends did like Disneyland, but they weren't quite as "into it" as I was.

My security word for entering these comments was "peers" HOW WEIRD!!!

Major Pepperidge said...

I think I remember an apple being offered on ebay that was supposedly from the Snow White ride! Papier maché? Not sure though. I have to admit that would be a very cool souvenir; my guess is that the park went through a lot of apples over the years.

Have a very Happy New Year, Chris!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I think I read (in "E" Ticket Magazine?) that they kept a stash of apples ready to replace them as needed, so yes, there probably are a lot of them out there!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Happy New Year to you and your family. All the best, Richard.

Unknown said...

Great post and memories! Love that venue in 1980. Shalamar and the SOS band!! Great stuff!!

Snow White Archive said...

I didn't know about your apple adventure. If I would have been there that night, I would have overruled your friend's peer pressure and encouraged you to go for the apple! :)