Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Vintage Disneyland Ads & "Loose Ends" From Previous Posts - Part 1

While looking through my old newspaper advertisements last month, searching for ads for Thumper's Easter Egg Hunt at Disneyland, I came across some other ads that I had forgotten all about.  Many of them related to other subjects, which I have already posted about in the past.  I've decided to scan those ads and include them all here, but I have also added them to those earlier posts.  I will include the links to those posts, just in case anyone wants to go back and revisit them, or perhaps read them for the very first time.

First up, is this colorful Toontown advertisement from a 1993 edition of The Los Angeles Times.  It has now been added to my "Disneyland's Toontown - 30th Anniversary" post, from last year.  Notice all of the costumed Disney characters, standing around in this publicity shot.  I count nine!

In September of 1981, Disneyland was hosting a "Country Weekend."  The previous September, they were calling it, "Cowboy Weekend."  I remember Jerry Reed.  He was in all three of the "Smokey and the Bandit" movies, although I never saw even one of them.  He also sang and co-wrote the theme song for the first of those films, "Eastbound and Down," which was a number two song on the Billboard Country Chart.  I had to look up Don King, since I was pretty sure that Don King "the boxing promoter" wasn't appearing at Disneyland.  It turns out there is another Don King, and he received the 1981 Academy of Country Music award for "Top New Male Vocalist."

Just five months later, in February of 1982, Disneyland was hosting another "Country Weekend."  I never knew that Mel Tillis and Reba McEntire ever performed at Disneyland!  It wasn't the Christmas season, but I wonder if Elmo 'N Patsy sang their signature song, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"?

This advertisement for the original "Tron" film is from the July 4, 1982 issue of The Los Angeles Times.  It has now been added to Part 2 of my "ElecTRONica Is Here!" posts, from 2010.  I have a full-sized color poster very similar to this ad, which I purchased in Tomorrowland's Character Shop at Disneyland, back in 1982.

Next we have an advertisement from the December 16, 1984 issue of The Los Angeles Times, for the 1984 re-release of "Walt Disney's Pinocchio."  This has now been added to my "Walt Disney's Pinocchio - Mega Post!" post.  Note the special logo at the bottom of the ad, for Disneyland's 30th anniversary.  The following month, the park's year-long 30th anniversary festivities would be kicking off.

I found this ad after writing my recent Japanese Village & Deer Park post.  Enchanted Village replaced Japanese Village in 1976, but it was only open for about a year and a half, before shutting down forever.

This advertisement has now been added to my "Raging Waters Waterpark" post, from 2018.  The ad was from a seasonal supplement to The Los Angeles Times, and dated June 8, 1984:

An article about the park and it's new attractions for the summer, appeared in the same newspaper supplement:

One year later (June 14, 1985), this advertisement was included in the summer entertainment supplement of The Los Angeles Times:

And there was another article, about the park's new attractions for 1985:

Getting back to the Disney-related ads, this one was from September of 1983, and claimed that Disneyland's summer season was "still going strong."  However, if you look at the hours listed at the very bottom of the ad, the park was going to start closing at 6 p.m. on weekdays, beginning September 12th.  The following weekend, Disneyland was hosting, "Viva Mexico" days.  The "Flights of Fantasy" parade (which had debuted that summer), was still being presented on weekends, but it would soon be ending it's performances in time for the holiday season, and would never return.  I've added this article to both my "Viva Mexico/Cinco de Mayo" post, and my "Flights of Fantasy" post.

This Los Angeles Times ad from July 1, 1984, ran just four days prior to the debut of "American Journeys" in Tomorrowland's Circle-Vision Theater.  However, the name of the attraction had now been changed to "World Premiere Circle-Vision 360."  And shortly after the grand reopening of the attraction, the EPCOT Center film, "The Wonders of China," was included in the theater's line up.  This advertisement has now been added to my "American Journeys & Wonders of China" post, from 2016.

I hope everyone enjoyed these "loose ends."  I may be posting more vintage ads, in the not too distant future.



JB said...

Hey, I only count 8 costumed Characters in that first shot. Well, there IS that little Mickey thingy in the bottom right corner, but I think that's just a kids' backpack or something. So, where's the 9th? (I gotta know!) ;-)

K. Martinez said...

JB, I count 9 costumed characters:

1 Mickey
2 Minnie
3 Donald
4 Goofy
5 Pluto
6 Chip
7 Roger Rabbit
8 Launchpad McQuack
9 Gadget


K. Martinez said...

I love the Mickey's Toontown ad. You can see the Jolly Trolley as it originally was with two-attached trolleys. That's how I remember it.

While it's nice they added Micky & Minnie's Runaway Railway, I think the reimagining of Toontown is lacking and falls short. The original Toontown was much better in my opinion.

Love the Tron poster. I saw that opening day at the movie theater and loved it. Unfortunately, it under performed at the box office, but has since become a cult classic so Disney produced a sequel. I still enjoy Tron and consider it a true Disney classic.

After 1984, Disneyland would never be the same. Oh well. Nothing great lasts forever.

Thanks for another fun post, TokyoMagic!

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, yeah...I wasn't counting that plush Mickey in the bottom right corner. I was going to give you a list of the characters, but I see that Ken has already done that. I'm guessing that you might have been missing Gadget, who is partially blocked by that lamppost, or "Launchpad", who is next to Gadget, but kind of blends into the background.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, thanks for typing out that list of characters in the first ad! Now I'm trying to remember when it was that they separated the trolley cars and started running them solo. I'm also wondering why they did that?

I was a little surprised to see that they ripped out the Roger Rabbit fountain, in front of his "ride." But I guess at this point, nothing they do should surprise me. The new Mickey and Minnie "ride" looks like fun, and I have always liked the Roger Rabbit "ride," but the overall land has ALWAYS been kind of "meh" to me.

I saw the original "TRON" in the theater, but I never saw the sequel. Didn't they announce at one point, that they would be making a sequel to the sequel?

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, Yes, I had read Disney was going to do another TRON sequel, but nothing came of it. At least not yet.

JB said...

Tokyo! and Ken, Yeah, it was Gadget I was missing. I don't even know who/what Gadget is! (She's the one in the lavender jumpsuit and orange hair, right?) I thought she was guest!

I also saw Tron, and the sequel, in the theater (with the candlestick. ;-)). Pretty sure I saw the sequel in 3D.

K. Martinez said...

JB, you are correct. Gadget is in the lavender jumpsuit. Gadget was a mouse inventor on "Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers" an animated show that was part of the Disney Afternoon line up. The original coaster name in Toontown was Gadget's Go-Coaster.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, thanks for confirming that. I looked it up, but saw nothing about a "sequel to the sequel" and started to think that maybe I just thought that I had read that somewhere.

TokyoMagic! said...

I don't even know who/what Gadget is! (She's the one in the lavender jumpsuit and orange hair, right?) I thought she was guest!

JB, I see that Ken answered your question (thanks, Ken!) I was going to respond and tell you that the one in the lavender jumpsuit with orange hair wasn't a guest, but was a certain Imagineer who just LOVES LOVES LOVES color! But now I don't have to tell you that. ;-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nice work! I am way too lazy to update old posts, I would likely just make a new one. Instant content for one day! I used to have a copy of that Mickey’s Toontown ad, but it has vanished mysteriously. NO idea where it went.

Jerry Reed, that guy was an amazing guitar player, my dad used to love him. I remember my dad trying to copy Jerry’s “picking” on his ukulele (he didn’t do a very good job). That being said, I am not crazy about country music, I would have been there on Punk Rock Weekend.

Mel Tillis, remember how his stuttering was a big joke on TV? Pretty weird, I wonder if he amped it up for the laughs? I thought Reba would have been pretty young in 1987, but it looks like she was around 28.

I have a cheapie TRON poster that was a newspaper insert (I know I have an E.T. poster like that as well). I should watch that movie again- it is very flawed, but still interesting.

1984 must have been when I went to see PInocchio with my Grandma, maybe in Tarzana. I’ve mentioned it before, but I vividly remember a little kid staring at me (a grown adult) standing in line with my grandma. The little brat!

Japanese Village, yay. I wish I’d gone there more often.

Raging Waters, my one experience at a waterpark was awful, it was so crowded, I just wanted to leave. I’ve never gone back to one since.

Wow, Disneyland closing at 6:00 PM, that would be a bummer! I guess crowds were so light that it wasn’t worth keeping the place open any later.

Thank you for all of the updates!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, thanks! I could have just posted these here in this new post, and left it at that. But I figured that I probably won't ever be writing another "Raging Waters" post, or "Japanese Village Post," so I thought I might as well include these related ads on some of my older posts.

Wow, so your dad was trying to copy Jerry Reed's technique! And let us not forget that Mr. Reed might be most famous, for guest-starring in two episodes of the classic TV sitcom, Alice!

Awww, Mel Tillis and his stutter. I don't really remember people making fun of it. Were stand-up comedians doing that, or did they do parodies of him on SNL? Or maybe he's old enough that they were doing it on Laugh-In? And let us not forget that Mr. Tillis might be most famous, for guest-starring on a week's worth of "Match Game" episodes.

I've only been to a water park once, as well. I have a story to make you never want to go back to a water park, ever. A former coworker was describing her boyfriend's "athlete's foot" condition as being so bad, that his skin was cracking open and "oozing." So what did they do? They went to Knott's Soak City, where he ran around the locker room, bathrooms, and basically the entire water park, "oozing" all over the place. And now you have a really good reason not to go back to one of those places. You're welcome.

You should have told that little kid who was staring at you, "Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer! So that little kid that was staring at you in 1984, must be around 50 years old now. I hope he went to see Frozen in a theater, and had dozens of little kids laughing and pointing at him!

I remember being at Disneyland quite a few times in the off-season, when they closed at 6 p.m. You are right, it was a total bummer. But I also remember being there quite a few times on days when there was a "mix-in" private party in the evening. Bu and Chuck were talking about those on your blog, a week ago or so. The first time it happened, we realized at 6:00, that we weren't being corralled towards the exit, even though many guests were leaving anyway. We asked a cast member why the park didn't appear to be closing, and they explained what a "mix-in" was to us. It was a very nice surprise. And after that, whenever we would go on a day when the park was closing that early, we would always ask a cast member if there happened to be a "mix-in" scheduled for that night. We got lucky quite a few times. (Lucky with the "mix-ins", not the cast members!)

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, oh my god, that story about the oozing athlete's foot is about as disgusting as one can get! I hate that this guy had NO consideration for anybody else. What a putz!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I heartily agree!

Anonymous said...

Hey TokyoMagic, I have a random Tokyo Disneyland question for you. This is a guidebook from TDL’s 1983 opening. In the Tomorrowland section, can’t figure out what attraction has this keyboard piano and TV that the girl is playing. Very curious to know what it is. I know the opening attractions included Space Mountain, Meet the World, the Eternal Sea, Starcade, Circle-Vision, Star Jets, Grand Prix Raceway and the Skyway. My best bet is Starcade but IDK.

TokyoMagic! said...

Anonymous, I have that booklet, too. And I have wondered the same thing about that photo. Whatever the display or exhibit was, it was gone by the time that I got to TDL for the first time. But I think your guess of it being the Starcade is a good one!

Andrew said...

My physics teacher loved Smokey and the Bandit and would come up with problems based on characters in the movie. I don’t think any of the kids in my class really knew what he was talking about, but male teachers have to make obscure movie references that very few people understand, it’s like a rule. I did watch the movie for myself and found it entertaining. And Jerry Reed was a great musician as well as a great semi-truck driver!

I love the “It can only happen at Disneyland” slogan, especially in the old TV ads with the dramatic voiceover. “It can only happen… at Walmart” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Thanks for a fun post, TokyoMagic!

Anonymous said...

Just found it!!! After you exited the Meet the World show, there was an Electrohome (House of the Future), a home with futuristic scenes that AA’s in them. Here is video https://youtu.be/zVPEepQe_fA?si=-evMDq2Fn3tWW5m4

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, just a guess here, but I'm assuming your physics teacher was too young to have seen "Smokey and the Bandit" in it's original theatrical release. Now having said that, I do realize that there is always VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc, DVD, Blu-ray, cable, and streaming. Oh yeah, and revival theaters. Another guess here....you watched it on an old VHS tape, using an old VCR, right? ;-)

I also love the "It can only happen at Disneyland" slogan! I was a little surprised to see it on this advertisement. I thought they had stopped using it by 1984, but apparently not. I remember it as far back as the opening of Space Mt. at DL, but they were probably using it even before that.

"It can only happen at Walmart." Ha, ha! I love it!

TokyoMagic! said...

Anonymous, that is SO COOL! I had no idea that something like that existed at the exit to TDL's Meet The World. It looks a little bit like RCA's "Home of Future Living," which was at the exit to Walt Disney World's Space Mountain. "Electro Home" Ha, ha! For some reason, that doesn't sound very "modern", even for the 1980s. It sounds more "1939" as in "Electro" the robot from the 1939 World's Fair.

Thank you SO much for sharing that link!

Anonymous said...

You can call me DisneyMike, I can’t post properly through my google account. I got pretty lucky in my findings yesterday. I also found the clearest video of Meet the World I’ve ever seen. It looks professionally made.

TokyoMagic! said...

DisneyMike, that is some great footage of Meet The World. I think it is the clearest footage that I have ever seen, as well. Thank you for sharing that!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Wow, TM! So much good stuff and fun information, but all I can think of is oozing feet. Ha! Thanks, anyway.

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, may your feet never ever ooze! And may the force be with you! Or is that May the 4th be with you? May the 15th be with you?

K. Martinez said...

DisneyMike, that was some great footage of the "Meet the World" postshow I never even knew about. Thanks for sharing that.

Also, thanks for sharing that amazing footage of "Meet the World". If only we had it at EPCOT Center like it was promised.