On Saturday, May 3, Disneyland's own Golden Horseshoe Revue will present a command performance for the White House Correspondents Association in Washington, D.C. This is an annual event hosted by the world-wide press, radio, and TV media assigned to the White House; it honors the President, the Cabinet, Supreme Court, and the Senate. Sing it to 'em, gang!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Every now and then, these publicity fellows come up with a Funny.Simple, but effective! I had always known about the 1962 television special "Disneyland After Dark," but in doing this research I've found that it was also used as the name for a specific event and as an umbrella term for nighttime entertainment throughout the summer (in several years, I think).
Like Eddie Meck, for instance.
Eddie is charged with the responsibility of telling the world of the glories and grandeurs of Disneyland. Recently, I got a letter from Eddie, informing me that I had been named as an honorary member of the Big Band Boosters Club.
As a member, the letter said, I would receive--absolutely free--my very own 14-piece band.
Today, I received another letter from Eddie. I opened the piece of mail, and a small envelope fell out. These words were printed on the envelope: "Here is your 14-piece band!"
The envelope contained a rubber band, chopped into 14 pieces.
* * *
Actually, Eddie was attempting to promote "Disneyland After Dark," a series of five nights, June 13-17, in which five of the nation's leading bands will appear.
These are Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Wayne King, Count Basie and the Elliott Brothers. All bands will be there each of the five nights. The bands will be playing throughout the park during these evening stomp sessions.
Also, June 13 will mark the return of "Fantasy in the Sky," a fireworks display that begins with the flight of that Tinker Bell chick above Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
As I said, the band gimmick was designed to promote this "Disneyland After Dark" thing. Apparently, it worked.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The first thing I kept track of was how many Guests actually wanted Lost & Found, versus how many really wanted services offered by the Guest Relations Lobby. (It seems the stylized location signs above the doors didn't attract the attention of Guests, who would just go to whichever location looked the least busy.) A grand total of 18 Guests came into Lost & Found with questions actually for us... and 22 came in who actually wanted the Guest Relations Lobby.
This is an hour-by-hour breakdown of all the Guests:
8 AM: 5
9 AM: 7
10 AM: 10
11 AM: 0 (yes, 0)
12 PM: 5
1 PM: 5
2 PM: 3
3 PM: 4
(I realize these two totals differ by one person, and I have no explanation for that). The thing I most remember about my days in DCA Lost & Found is spending a bunch of time reading the writings of then-executive vice president of Walt Disney World Lee Cockerell on the intranet.
I do not have any photos of the actual demolition of the stand, but I do have a thrilling image of the area as dirt!
Ariel's Grotto opened in this location circa December 1997.
Friday, April 25, 2008
The following organizational chart, of the Foods Division from Summer-Fall 1972, is one small piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, a few corners are missing. I assume the crossed out faces are people who left the division, Park, or company by some point. I haven't a clue about the pink marker; perhaps these were extraordinary Cast Members? Or ones to watch out for? Or they were found scheming to take over the division? Give me your best guess in the comments! And can you spot the Disney Legend?
Hey, a photo of the parking structure! And the Pinocchio lot! I hope it's OK to post...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
It then seems to go into hibernation for a time; the next mention I've found (thanks to VintageDisneylandTickets) is the January 1993 guidebook. There are many mentions of just Disneyland, and the logo certainly has no "Park" attached to it, but some text has begun to refer to it as Disneyland Park. The references to it since then have increased in intensity. It now has a very specific legal usage (Disneyland is an adjective modifying Park) and always has the registration symbol. If the 1990s is indeed when this usage took off, I might have a source who can shed further light on this. I will, of course, pass along whatever I find.
Does anybody out there have feelings one way or the other on the use of Disneyland Park? Do you talk about "the Park" with your friends? Is there anything like this in Walt Disney World, or do people refer to the parks by some variant of their proper names?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Meck headed up the Disneyland Publicity Department beginning a couple months before the Park opened and continuing in that capacity until his retirement in December 1972. (You can read more about him on the Disney Legends page.) He had a grand bash upon his retirement that included the Disneyland Band, a bunch of Disney characters, and over three hundred others. At that ceremony, he was presented with a model of his Main Street window, just as honorees today receive a replica.
But his (and this is the trivia part) was the first window added since the Park's opening! I'd always wondered about the chronology of the windows, and this is an important piece of that. I also learned that Meck's son worked at Disneyland, too. As of several years ago, he was an hourly in Resort Transportation and Parking, after retirement from his career.
Monday, April 21, 2008
At the time I marveled that these were now ten years old--and I remember parking in the lot when it was brand new. Just as I took this photo, however, a Security Cast Member in a patrol unit approached me (well, he stopped a ways away and shouted through a rolled-down window) and told me photography was not permitted there. Since that statement didn't make any sense, my first reaction was to question why that was. As I evaluated the possible responses, I thought "security" or "because I said so" would be what I'd get, so I complied and continued walking. I brought this up to appropriate people, who agreed there is no blanket prohibition of photography there. I wonder what secrets are hidden in this Pinocchio sign that are waiting to be discovered?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
At any rate, I'm happy to throw in "a buck for hamburgers and cokes" to be home free!
Friday, April 18, 2008
But we had a problem: we hadn't the faintest idea where we parked. Well, we had a vague idea... maybe somewhere near the center, on the western side. We wandered around for at least fifteen minutes. I don't know that we had any particular strategy--just moseying 'round and 'round. When it felt like our search was futile, we finally spotted it in the next row over! Our journey its direction coincided with the arrival of Security. If you can believe this, they wanted to know what we teenagers were doing wandering around the parking lot with a giant rock! Well! I'm not sure the Security Officer entirely "bought" that I just wanted a piece of the parking lot. I think our saving grace was actually locating our car. He might have been satisfied with us driving off, whereas if we continued wandering, I might have had to forsake my souvenir.
But the post wouldn't be complete without a few shots of the destruction that made my traumatic experience possible. I'm unsure of the exact date of this photo, but it was taken around the time of my story:
I got my license on January 20, 1998. Two days later, they closed the parking lot!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
In the meantime, you can lunch on this excerpt from a confidential "Summary of Planning for the Khrushchev Tour." The report itself is undated, but is attached to a memorandum from September 25, 1959. The following comes from the final pages (6 and 7) of the report:
Other accounts of his visit cite the involvment of the Los Angeles Police Department, but there's no hint of them in this report.
Items Eliminated by Mutual Agreement
Texas (ranches and oil industry)
Oklahoma City (agricultural fair)
Auto trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco
Among the items that were eliminated from the Los Angeles program were a visit to the community of Anaheim and to Disneyland. The visit to Anaheim, which is an extremely rapid growing community, was first suggested to Ambassador Menshikov on August 21. The basis of this suggestion was on invitation from the City Manager of Anaheim [Keith Murdoch] dated August 7, 1959. In that invitation the City Manager suggested that Mr. Khrushchev would be very much interested in the awe-inspiring sights of Disneyland, which is located close to the community of Anaheim.
This item was retained on the tentative program until approximately the first week in September. It was eliminated following a survey of Disneyland made by security agents of both the Department of State and the Soviet Government. After returning from their survey of Los Angeles, Soveit security agents Zakharov and Bardin commented in a conversation with Protocol officers of the Department of State that Soviet security requirements precluded a visit to Disneyland by Mr. Khrushchev.
Two reasons led to the recommendation that Disneyland be eliminated. First, since the visit was to take place on a Saturday, extraordinary security problems would be involved. However, it was the judgment of the security officers that the security problems were not insurmountable. Nevertheless, this question, in conjunction with the time factor, strengthened their recommendation. It was estimated that it would take approximately an hour and a half to two hours to travel from the luncheon at 20th Century-Fox to Disneyland and return to the hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Because of the shortness of time, the inclusion of this item would have left little time to visit Disneyland, let alone inspect a housing development in the community of Anaheim. For these reasons, Disneyland was quietly dropped from the tentative program by mutual agreement on both sides. The Department has no record that Ambassador Menshikov registered any complaints regarding the elimination of this item.
On the day that his visit might have occurred, Khrushchev apparently blew up in anger when he found out he couldn't go. Either he was grossly ill-informed over his travel schedule, or it was all an act. But it may also have been that he didn't really want to be in LA. Internal State Department conversations indicate that, of San Francisco or LA, Khrushchev strongly preferred San Francisco. He didn't have any desire to visit Hollywood, which he found unrepresentative of America!
I'd really love to find the records of the State Department office that coordinated the security--and especially find a written report on security at Disneyland. The recent post at Miscellainey reminds me that there could be other interesting State Department records related to Walt Disney. I'll share my discoveries, whatever they may be, here in the future!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Immediately after closing the attraction, Disneyland boxed up the Cast Members for sale on eBay. In their haste, they left behind this jacket:
The cars took it upon themselves to offer the attraction a farewell salute...
...before they were driven over Backstage, to be boxed up and sold on eBay.
By September 24, without regular maintenance, nature began to reclaim the Autopia area:
Before Disney struck a deal with Caterpillar for Bountiful Valley Farm, they obviously investigated a tractor ride around Tomorrowland:
And one more panorama, from October 11: