Thursday, December 7, 2023

Fantasy On Parade & Christmas at Disneyland - 1981

Today, I have ten photos from Disneyland's 1981 Christmas parade, "Fantasy On Parade."  These are all from the same year that I was in the parade.  I have to thank Sue B. of "Lou and Sue" fame, for giving me the heads up about these photos being listed on ebay.  She knew that I was a "Christmas Tree" in the parade, so she was initially letting me know about the listing for the photo of the "trees."  But I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the ebay seller also had nine more shots from the parade!

These first four photos are of the parade's Cinderella unit.  I have posted similar pics of this unit in the past, but I think the quality on all of these is very nice.  Plus, I feel like I could never have enough photos from the actual parade that I was a part of.

The "Knights On Horseback" led the parade.

 They were followed by the "Fanfare Musicians."

The "Court Dancers" followed Cinderella's pumpkin coach (not pictured in this post).

And last up in the Cinderella unit was, the "Castle" float.

"Geppetto's Workbench" was just one of the many floats from the Pinocchio unit.

Here are the main characters from The Jungle Book unit.  Notice Mowgli, who's pretty much hidden by Baloo's shadow.

This "Fireman Clown" from the Dumbo unit, was played by Richard Ferrin.  He also designed the parade's cast T-shirt that year, and for many summer seasons, was the calliope-playing "King Lion" in the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Prince John's coach from the Robin Hood unit, was led by four "Royal Elephants."

The Toy Soldiers from the film, Babes in Toyland, have been a staple of Disneyland's Christmas parades for many decades now.

And last up, we have the photo which Sue originally contacted me about, asking if this was the same year that I was in the parade.  Unfortunately, I was always a green Christmas tree, so I know that I am not inside one of these gold trees.  However, I am VERY glad to have the photo, either way.....and all of the other photos, as well!  Thanks again, Sue!

To see more photos from this parade, as well as some cast member paraphernalia, you can click below for some of my past "Fantasy On Parade" posts:

I Was A Teenage Christmas Tree

Fantasy On Parade 1981 - Part 1 (The Disney Classics Units) 

Fantasy On Parade 1981 - Part 2 (The Christmas Finale Units)

I want to wish all of my readers out there, a very happy holiday season! 

*****BONUS ITEMS!*****

I've decided to include three Disneyland cast member publications, from December of 1981.  I picked these up at various backstage locations, and have held onto them all these years.

This first one is the Disneyland Line, which is still in publication today (now called the Disneyland Resort Line), and will be celebrating it's 55th year, in 2024.  The image on the cover of this issue, is a reproduction of the very first Walt Disney Studios Christmas card.

Does the park still hold blood drives?  I'll give blood, but please send me to the bloodmobile at Tokyo Disneyland!  Although at that point in time, Tokyo Disneyland would have still been just a construction site, since that park did not open for another 16 months.

I wonder if the Disneyland Custodial Department still produces a "Yearbook"?


Wow....only $180 for half of the rent on a condo, just one mile from the park!

Next, we have somewhat of a rarity.  It's the very first issue of CastleView magazine.  Charles Boyer, the famed Disney artist, painted the image on the magazine's cover.

Dick Nunis wrote an introduction for this premier issue of the magazine.  What I don't know is, how long this magazine lasted.  I have never seen another issue of it anywhere out there.  It was stated in this first issue, that it would be published eight times annually by "Cast Communications, the Disneyland University, Disneyland."

This three-page article about getting the park ready for Christmastime, begins with a photo of the "Fanfare Musicians" from the Cinderella unit of Fantasy On Parade.

This is back in the day, when a real tree was acquired for the park.  I used to drive by the park's backstage area everyday on my way to work, and I would watch the progress being made on the tree during those weeks of prepping and decorating.

I'm guessing that all of the preparation that went into the tree (painting it?), before they even started decorating it, might be the reason why they switched to an artificial tree?  Of course it could have been because they wanted to stop killing real trees.  Nah, it was probably just to save some money by using the same tree every year.  The article also mentions the two white trees, which used to be placed in the Castle's moat every year.

There is much more to this magazine, including articles on the construction progress of EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland.  Other articles include a history of Fantasyland, and the replacement of some original 25+ year-old structures at Disneyland, such as the stockade at the entrance to Frontierland, and the miniature buildings within Storybook Land.  The original elm trees along Main Street were also being replaced at this time, because they had "grown out of scale for Main Street," according to the article.  I will try to get the rest of the magazine scanned and posted in the future.

And here is something that I believe just might be as much of a rarity as that issue of CastleView magazine, if not more so.  This is a December 1981 issue of the Rainbow Ridge Clarion, which was published monthly, by and for cast members who worked on the "west side" of the park.  Again, I'm not sure how long this publication was around, but the very first issue was published in September of 1981.  As stated in that first issue, it's name was taken from the fictional newspaper office, formerly located in the little mining town of Rainbow Ridge, overlooking the loading area for the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train.

The first page begins with cast members' "wish lists" for Santa, and they continue on to page three.

The article on the next two pages, covers the history of the Christmas season at Disneyland, including such things as the park's original "Christmas Bowl" and the annual Candlelight Procession.  The Matterhorn's "Christmas star" also gets a mention.

Next, we have the listing of cast member birthdays (west side only), for the month of December.

"The Center," which is mentioned below as the place to buy tickets for various cast member activities, was located backstage, between Main Street and Space Mountain.  The mobile home-type of structure is still standing, but I don't know if it has been given a different name and/or usage for today.

A rehab schedule was included for "west side" shops, restaurants, and attractions:

And cast members shared some of their personal recipes: