Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter 1972 - "A Vintage Disneyland Trip Report" or "Disneyland Through The Eyes Of A Child"

Today, we're going to be taking a little trip back in time.......back to Easter Vacation of 1972 to be exact (it wasn't called Spring Break back then.) In my previous "Vintage Trip Reports", I've been able to recall quite a bit of information from past trips to the park because I was in my teens or twenties, but since this is the furthest back I've ever gone with one of these, I won't be able to recall too many of the specifics from the trip. However, I do remember this visit to the park.....and here are some of the souvenirs I've saved from that special day, 39 years ago!

First up is the entertainment guide.

The Sound Castle was performing that week. I wonder if they sang Sugar Sugar? I'm assuming Kurt Russell wasn't performing with them. This would have been two years after they appeared on the "Disneyland Showtime" episode of the "Wonderful World of Color."

Here's a little extra information from 1972......Easter Sunday was on April 2nd that year. I'm not sure when during that week that we went to the park, but Country Bear Jamboree opened on March 4, 1972, so it had been open for only about a month. The Main St. Electrical Parade had not started's Disneyland premiere was just two months away (June 17, 1972).

This is the Guide Book from the visit. It's in mint condition....unlike the entertainment guide above.

Now we will take a look at the park through the eyes (and the lens) of a 10- year-old child. These photos were all taken by my older brother who had recently received his very first camera.

The obligatory Castle shot.......

Incidentally, the borders of these photos show that this roll of film was not developed until June of that year!

A bit of the Small World clock.....and a whole lot of sky!

Facing into the sun.......

The PeopleMover was only five years old here....bring it back, I say!

Enjoy this photo of the Monorail track (sans Monorail) over a Sub-less Submarine lagoon, because this is the clearest picture of the bunch.....but hey, my brother was 10 years old, so let's cut him some slack! I got my first camera when I was 10 and Disneyland was also one of my first photographic subjects. I will post those photos in the future.

Taken from the Swiss Family Treehouse.....

I believe this one was taken from the Hungry Bear Restaurant.

So, Country Bear Jamboree was brand-spanking new. I do remember seeing it for the very first time on that trip. I also remember that we did eat at the Hungry Bear Restaurant and that we went into Teddi Barra's Swingin' Arcade. The arcade used to have some unique games themed to Country Bear Jamboree and it's cast of characters. Among those machines in the arcade, there was one that dispensed postcards featuring Marc Davis' concept art for the show. The arcade at the exit to Pirates of the Caribbean had a similar machine with Marc Davis concept art for POTC, but it dispensed bundles of postcards and there were two sets total. The CBJ postcards were dispensed separately. Later, when I was in my teens, I was able to collect the whole set of postcards. I will post all of them in the future if anyone is interested. These are the two cards that my brother and I received from the machine that very day back in 1972.

Today, the old arcade space is occupied by the Pooh's Corner souvenir shop, but if you look up at the exterior of the building, you can still see a reminder of what used to be there.

And over at the Hungry Bear Restaurant, there is another reminder today of the gang that used to inhabit this corner of the park. If you ask me, I say EVICT POOH and bring back Country Bear Jamboree!

Last up for today, we have one final souvenir from that 1972 trip. It's a Disneyland Dial Guide. They sold these up until the 80's and I have several other versions of them, but this one is my favorite because it is the oldest one that I have AND because it includes my all-time favorite Disneyland attraction, the Carousel of Progress. (I also remember seeing that during this visit. We always went in the Carousel of Progress and Adventure Thru Inner Space since they were both super cool attractions and did not require a ticket for admission!)

The numbered dial that sticks out of the bottom of the map is cut off in these scans and once again, I have to blame my scanner for being too small! The directions are printed on the map, but basically you find an attraction on the back that you want to visit and turn the dial until that attraction's number is visible below the arrow at the bottom of the map. It will then show you where on the map that attraction is located as well as giving you a brief description of the attraction in the small window on the back. The Dial Guide measures approximately 9" x 11" and could be mailed.

Well, that's it for today. I hope everyone enjoyed this 1972 trip to Disneyland. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fowl Stuff At Disneyland - The Swiss Family Treehouse

It's time for Part Two of my "Fowl Stuff At Disneyland" series (to see Part One on the Enchanted Tiki Room's Barker Bird, click here)

Today we're going all the way back to the Spring of 1997, when for a brief time, The Swiss Family Treehouse had live birds perched at it's base. Here, are a couple shots I took 14 years ago.

Here's a short video that I shot around the same time. At the very beginning, you can hear a friend of mine say something like "The audio-animatronics are wonderful!" You will also hear a very annoying child making very loud animal noises....those are not coming from the birds! Around the thirty second mark however, the red macaw does attempt to say something.

I'm not sure how long the birds were around. I only remember seeing them during a few visits. Unfortunately, less than two years later, the Swiss Family Treehouse was converted into Tarzan's Treehouse and ugly static figures from "Tarzan" were added. Personally, I think the new attraction overlay would have been more effective without the statues......after all, we didn't need to see the Robinson Family members when we walked through their home.

I am going to title this last photo, "FOUL Stuff at Disneyland!" Sorry, bad pun obviously intended!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knott's - Covered Wagon Show Remnant

Hey kids, let's visit Knott's Berry Farm again! I posted this photo (courtesy of Major Pepperidge of Gorillas Don't Blog) back in January in a Knott's "Then and Now" post. If you look on the far left of the pic, you will see a sign that reads, "Covered Wagon Show. FREE. Lasts 3 min."

That sign used to be attached to the Gold Trails hotel, which housed the Covered Wagon Show on it's ground floor. This was a diorama show (actually a "cyclorama" because of it's curved painted backdrop) that told the story of Walter Knott's grandmother and mother as they journeyed west across the desert in a covered wagon.

Here's the Gold Trails hotel as it appears today. Unfortunately, when the hotel was rebuilt in the nineties, the Covered Wagon Show was replaced with a gift shop.

This photo and description of the diorama is taken from a souvenir Chicken Dinner Restaurant menu and used here with permission from Connie Moreno who originally posted it on her "Life is a Journey" blog. To see the full souvenir menu, as well as some great Disneyland trip reports, click here: Life Is A Journey.

Here's the show's original concept art painted by Knott's artist, Paul von Klieben.

And here's a vintage ViewMaster shot showing the diorama after "nightfall."

If you look closely at the previous three photos, you will see a man on a horse next to the covered wagon. He was the "scout" that had gone out ahead of the wagon train in search of water (Ma, I'm thirsty!) Well, the diorama is long gone, but this figure still exists at Knott's today! He can be found inside The Pony Express Outpost/Museum, which is located in Ghost Town between the Wilderness Dance Hall (Jeffries Barn) and Boot Hill.

Incidentally, the museum building used to be the Rivera School House and is a California Registered Historical landmark.

Here are some shots of the scout and his horse on display inside the museum. The museum's curator informed me that this figure was carved by another well known Knott's artist, Claude Bell, but I'm not completely sure of that fact. I know Andy Anderson carved Sad Eye Joe and many of the other Ghost Town "peek-in" figures. Hopefully someone out there will let me know for sure.

Here's another vintage shot of the diorama for comparison.

And here are some more "today" shots of the rebuilt Gold Trails Hotel. The center doors used to always be closed and locked.....I believe that the diorama backed up against them. The doors to the right of that were the show's exit doors and the door on the far right was/is used for employee access to the building's second floor.

The show's entrance and lobby were located for many years through the doors on the far right of this next pic. In the earliest years, guests actually entered through a covered wagon that was parked alongside the hotel.

This is the view today looking out from inside the gift shop.

For five and a half years, I worked literally within yards of this structure and never went in to see the show....not even once! I can't believe it, really. I don't know what I was thinking at the time, because even as a teenager I had an appreciation for these kind of attractions. Fortunately, I had seen it several times as a child, but I do regret never seeing it during the time I was actually working there. I guess I used to think that this stuff would just always be the Haunted Shack. :-(

Some of you may remember that blogger "Outsidetheberm" wrote an absolutely incredible post about the Covered Wagon Show a while back and included a word for word transcript of the show's soundtrack. Unfortunately that post is no longer available on his blog, but I'm hoping he will repost it someday (hint, hint!). He is the one that actually tipped me off about the existence of this figure (thank you, OTB!) after I asked him if any of the props from the show still existed. It just took me a little while to find a time when the museum was open so I could check it out!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mickey Mouse Leaves Disneyland for Camp Snoopy!

I'm not feeling too creative today, so I have decided not to do an "April 1st" Disneyland Trip Report post as I have the past two years. Instead, I'm posting this "Knott A Berry Vine" from April 1, 1988 which was a parody of the Knott's Berry Farm employee publication, "The Berry Vine." Enjoy!