Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Enos, Debbie

Enos, Debbie
Added: February 20, 2009

Imagineer; in Financial Systems in the early 1990s and later at the Disneyland Design Studio (the Imagineering office on site at Disneyland, Backstage on the west side of the Park).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Travis, Jill

(Apologies for the absence of the daily terms over the weekend. I was (time) traveling.)

Travis, Jill
Added: March 2, 2009

Recipient of a November 1995 Disneyland Resort Excellence Award (alas, I do not know the details) and in Information Services as of February 2001.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How to Turn a Disneyland Attraction Into a Cocktail Spear

Like many of you, I'm sure, I have a certain reverence for parts of Disneyland that were around in Walt's time, and especially things from the 1950s when the Park was still so new and trying to figure out what what work and what wouldn't. The Monorail is a classic example of the innovation and risk-taking the WED designers pursued at Walt's direction.

Last July I hosted a party for Bob Gurr, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first gin martini (which has become something of a daily tradition for him). (Go back to this post to see Bob mixing my first Gurrtini, on May 26, 2010.)

When Bob was telling me the recipe for his Gurrtini, he mentioned that the cocktail spears he uses at home were stolen from the opening of Tokyo Disneyland. A while later, he said they could also be crafted from a Mark I Monorail panel. I found this a bit humorous, and then put it out of mind.

A few days before this gathering, Bob sent me four photos, equally horrifying and fascinating, showing how a 1950s Disneyland attraction vehicle could be fashioned into a cocktail spear. The first is a panel from Mark I Monorail Blue, which debuted July 3, 1959, with cutting shears prominently displayed:

I showed these photos to Mike Cozart on the day I got them, without first explaining the situation. His first reaction was, "Wait, why are there cutting shears on the Monorail panel?"

The second image showed the cutting in action:

The third image captures, against a very distinctive backdrop, the three cocktails spears this endeavor produced:

And the fourth showed the functional spears, as they were delivered to me on July 9, 2011:

It should be noted that these 2024-T4 aluminum cocktail spears pose no threat to public health, as I have yet to be killed by a Gurrtini prepared with them. Mike and Bob--the only two others to have had Monorail Gurrtinis--are, as of this writing, also still in good health. I also want to mention that at the party, Bob was telling people that I had suggested cutting up a piece of 1950s Disneyland to make these, and that was certainly not the case. But a Disney Legend is free to cut up his own designs and mementos of the Park.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Delgado, Rick

Delgado, Rick
Added: April 4, 2009

From the June 1993 telephone directory, Rick worked in General Services at Imagineering. At Disneyland in the olden days, General Services handled things like the Warehouse, Costuming, Communications, Security, and other administrative functions. I don't know what Imagineering General Services did, or if that term is in use at modern Imagineering.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Allen, L. B.

Allen, L. B.
Added: October 28, 2008

Several Disneyland Lines from the early 1970s identify L. B. Allen (alias Leonard Allen) as a carpenter in the Mill department. Leonard probably worked with a lot of oldtimers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Olympic Elk (Nature's Wonderland)

Olympic Elk (Nature's Wonderland)
Added: October 26, 2007

The parenthetical Nature's Wonderland acts to disambiguate this term from the film "The Olympic Elk." Ideally, at some future point in time, the thesaurus would have all the show scenes from every attraction. Because of the wall maps I have the Olympic Elk scene from Nature's Wonderland in the thesaurus itself, but I currently don't have any specific information on the scene. There may be a sentence or two in the notes for Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (or just Nature's Wonderland), but nothing (yet) in the notes for this term. (There is yet a lot of work to do in the thesaurus, as you can tell.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Rounders, The (film)

Rounders, The (film)
Added: October 16, 2008

Thanks to the Summer 1976 Vacationland, I know that this 1914 Charlie Chaplin film played in the Main Street Cinema. It'd be great to know every film that ever played there, but I doubt such a list exists. As it is I know 21 films, gathered from lists published through the years (such as in Vacationland) and that appear on the marquee in vintage photographs.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Project Area Committee members

Project Area Committee members
Added: April 15, 2010

This is another "role" term to link people to organizations. According to the July 27, 1987 Los Angeles Times, the Project Area Committee was established to advise the City of Anaheim on the Katella Redevelopment Project, which, among other things, would have included a peoplemover-type transit system. While the thesaurus focus is Disneyland, I also include relevant outside information, such as Anaheim's actions in the Disneyland area. The project was withdrawn before the end of 1987 in the face of opposition from Anaheim HOME.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Parade of the Toys (1962)

Parade of the Toys (1962)
Added: April 10, 2010

It's pretty simple these days when the same holiday parade runs year after year. There are changes in the parade, and the cast can have substantial changes year-to-year, but at least the name remains the same. In Disneyland's earliest years, there were holiday festivals of various names and events and a parade that occurred on a single day.

Parade of the Toys (1962) is an example of a term that I might eventually have point elsewhere. The Disneyland Holiday Festival began on December 15, 1962. The parade highlighted the festivities at an hour-and-a-half in length. The parade was described in the papers as a Parade of Nations followed by a Parade of Toys. Because most information is bundled together, it makes more sense to have a single term (perhaps Parade of All Nations and Parade of the Toys (1962)) than to separate them out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Mktg Special Projects

Mktg Special Projects
Added: March 25, 2009

The thesaurus currently contains 8,033 nonpreferred/lead-in terms. These point to another term in the thesaurus. This is either because the term contains a spelling error, the term is an insubstantial variation of a name, or because I have decided that it makes sense to combine two concepts into one term. In this case, Mktg Special Projects points to the preferred term Marketing Special Projects.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Show Ride Electronics Imagineers

Show Ride Electronics Imagineers
Added: May 16, 2009

This is an example of a "role" term I created, to be able to link people to the jobs they've held at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney Imagineering. These terms are in turn linked to the various departments and divisions (in what is obviously an incomplete organizational structure, given my incomplete knowledge of internal organization through the decades). Interestingly, I only have reference to a single Show Ride Electronics Imagineer: William L. Wolf. He's listed in this department in the June 1993 telephone directory, but in February 2001 is in Electronic Engineering--a department for which I know many more Imagineers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Nelson, Greg

Nelson, Greg
Added: February 22, 2009

This is an example of a person in the thesaurus about whom I have absolutely no information, other than that they were mentioned in a Disneyland Line, specifically the August 29, 1973 Line. The mention is that he was slated to perform as Thackaberry in the Disneyland Drama Workshop production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." I figure it is enough to record mentions of Disneyland Recreation Club-related activities without noting the details. If somebody later inquires about an individual, I can go back to the source to find out the context. And this strategy has already paid dividends. A co-worker's mother worked at the Park for a few years in the mid-1970s; because she participated in the Bowling League and the Canoe Races, I had her recorded in the thesaurus.

Tomorrow: a non-person term, non-date term!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Barrios, Tony

Barrios, Tony
Added: March 15, 2009


Tony worked in Facilities at least in the 1980s and 1990s (it can be hard for me to say definitively the years an individual worked at the Park, unless I have a source providing a narrative of his or her work history). Telephone directories identify Tony as working in Engineering and then Facilities Enhancement, and also the recipient of a March 1996 Disneyland Resort Excellence Award. I'd like to know what he received it for!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Gillette, David A.

Today's term is Gillette, David A., added May 27, 2010. Another reference from the May 28, 1956 Disneyland Telephone Directory, working in Main Street Operations at the time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Johnston, Madelyn

Today's term is Johnston, Madelyn, added March 24, 2009. I told you there were a lot of people in the thesaurus. The sole reference I have to Madelyn is from The Walt Disney Company California Telephone Directory of June 1993, when she worked for Merchandise West Coast Attractions in the (soon-to-be Old) Admin Building.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Sutton, Ernest

Today's term is Sutton, Ernest, added May 31, 2010. All I know about Ernest is that he worked in Construction & Maintenance, as identified in the Disneyland Telephone Directory of May 28, 1956.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Frazer, Bruce

Today's term is Frazer, Bruce, added June 1, 2009. This is another Imagineer referenced in The Walt Disney Company Telephone Directory of February 2001, at the time working in Research & Development Glendale. This is the only mention I have of Bruce. I haven't decided yet whether I should use this daily term feature to augment the information in the thesaurus. For example, I did a quick-and-dirty online search for ("Bruce Frazer" AND Disney) and found reference to him being a Director at Set Box Integration at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thesaurus Term of the Day: Thomasson, Tedd

To try to give you a reason to keep coming back here, and to keep attention (not the least, my own) focused on the Disneyland Resort Thesaurus, I've decided to start a new feature here at Disneyland Nomenclature. The thesaurus currently has 60,744 terms, of which 38,786 are non-date terms. (If you are interested in such information, might I suggest to you Jason's Disneyland Almanac?) Each month I'll output a current list of these non-date terms, pull out thirty terms at random, and prepare posts. The posts won't necessarily contain the entirety of the information in the thesaurus. And I have to caution at the outset that many thousands of terms are for people, a significant subset of which I only know about from mentions in telephone directories. I don't anticipate that every entry will be significant or interesting to anybody (including me), but in the aggregate the series of posts will allow me to show the range of material contained within the thesaurus. I also hope that, for the people terms especially, down the road somebody will search on their own or a relative's name and have additional information to provide or inaccuracies to correct.

Today's term is Thomasson, Tedd. I added this term on July 25, 2009. As listed in The Walt Disney Company Telephone Directory of February 2001, Todd worked at Walt Disney Imagineering in Facilities Development in Celebration Place in Florida. Several years ago I made the decision to include all Imagineers in the Disneyland-focused thesaurus. This is partly because I know Imagineers often move around on different parks/resorts, and partly because Imagineering is a very collaborative environment, so I couldn't readily guarantee that an Imagineer had no impact on Disneyland. You can tell that I have leaned toward the inclusive side.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Preface to Jason's Disneyland Almanac

So you know what you'd be getting, the below text is the entirety of the book's preface, describing its scope and its creation. You may also be interested in my first extensive post on the book, which includes several images of the its interior. Click here to find out where you can procure your own copy of this unique reference work.

Preface

Put simply, this book is a daily history of the Disneyland Resort, providing Park hours, weather, and significant events for both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure since July 17, 1955. We have defined significant events as openings and closings of attractions, restaurants, and stores; debuts, endings, and dedications; entertainment events, television airings, and important visitors; and occurrences such as accidents and Resort expansion news. We have not included Cast Member events (such as holiday parties, blood drives, Canoe Races, and Cast previews of new attractions). Neither have we included the finer details of entertainment events, such as the specific dates each year that the Main Street Electrical Parade or A Christmas Fantasy Parade
performed.

My first act of historical scholarship was the creation of a Disneyland Timeline in late 1995 that in the late 1990s resided on the World Wide Web; this project is a natural outgrowth of that. The original timeline predated Dave Smith’s Disney A-Z and only featured what I would now consider to be a smattering of openings, closings and debuts at the month level, with information drawn largely from Bruce Gordon and David Mumford’s Disneyland: The Nickel Tour and some Internet sources. I subsequently refined the timeline over the next five years with the many details in Disney A-Z, The “E” Ticket magazine, other new publications and my own personal knowledge from frequent trips to Disneyland.

The various terms have been output as they come from the Disneyland Thesaurus (described below). Occasionally, for purposes of distinguishing two otherwise identically named entities, terms are appended with an identifier in parentheses. For example, in the Almanac there are entries for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (1955-1982) and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (1983- ). Sometimes we are unsure of an opening or closing date, and the parentheses will thus contain one or two question marks.

We do not always have an exact date that an attraction opened or a store closed. We have been as specific as our knowledge permits, but occasionally have had to indicate that something happened at the more general month or year level. This reflects the inherent uncertainty in trying to precisely reconstruct the past.

Jason’s Disneyland Almanac has been created from the ground up, rather than drawn from an existing comprehensive history of the Resort. Because of this process, there are certainly omissions. Some of the omissions occur because we do not have good information on an opening or closing date and some may be for an event which occurred so briefly that we have yet to find it mentioned in one of our many sources. We have included the dates when Grad Nites and Candlelight Processions & Ceremonies were held, when known, but for some years we do not have this information. For further details on how the data for the Park hours, the weather, and Walt-era attendance were assembled, see the following sections.

About the Hours

We are aware that no independent effort to reconstruct Park hours through the years can ever achieve 100% accuracy. Park hours could be extended or shortened in response to crowd levels and not be documented in a source that will ever be made public. As far as possible we have compared as many documents containing Park hours for a specific day. Although we do have documentation for some days Disneyland closed early or entirely because of rain, the Park hours here assembled should be considered a best compilation of the scheduled hours, rather than the operational hours.

Park hours have come from newspaper advertisements, newspaper articles, periodicals (such as the Disney News and Vacationland), guidemaps, Main Gate handouts, Park Operating Calendars, Cast Member fact cards, Entertainment Show Schedules, Cast Member Reference Guides, Disneyland Attendance Summary 1955-1966, and online sources (such as LaughingPlace.com and MousePlanet.com). Especially in years past, Disneyland would publish its hours many months into the future. We have always shown preference to sources issued closest to the date in question and those produced by Disney rather than appearing in external sources (as the external sources are at least one step removed from Disney).

We are missing Park hours for 773 of the 20,257 days covered by this Almanac. The first such day is February 12, 1984 and the last is June 30, 1999; the missing days are mainly concentrated in the late 1980s and early 1990s. While they are presently unknown to us, they are certainly not unknowable. They may be found in the entertainment section of newspapers, handouts from the Main Gate, Cast Member Reference Guides and Entertainment Show Schedules. If you have documentation for any of the missing hours (marked in this Almanac as “Unknown”), you can contact me at Progressland@gmail.com. [Online addendum: See www.dropinagain.com/missinghours.txt for the current list.]

About the Weather

In a perfect world, the weather data we draw on would be an unbroken climate record from 1955 to the present at a station in Disneyland (perhaps in the Central Plaza). The next best thing is to find a nearby climate station whose weather is similar to Disneyland. The Fire Station at 120 West Walnut St., Santa Ana (NWS ID: STAC1) is close to Disneyland (5.5 miles away), about thirty feet lower in elevation (not much), is only about a mile closer to the ocean, and has records dating to the early 20th century.

However, no climate station of any reporting length has perfect records, so I had to search for backup stations for when the Fire Station didn’t report data (about 500 days over the course of 55 years). In ranked order in terms of similarity to Disneyland’s weather, I chose:

• Tustin Irvine Ranch: records until 7/31/2003, when it was replaced by the station named Irvine Ranch. It tended to run a few degrees warmer than the Santa Ana Fire Station during the day and usually more than a few degrees cooler at night. Casual analysis showed it may have received more precipitation, as well. At 235 feet in elevation, it’s not too much higher than Disneyland.

• Anaheim: This might seem like a more natural first choice for evaluating Disneyland’s weather, but the station only began operation on August 1, 1989. While the station name is Anaheim, it is actually in Atwood, north of CA-91 and east of CA-57; its further inland location means it will generally run warmer than the Santa Ana Fire Station (and Disneyland).

• Irvine Ranch: This station succeeded the Tustin Irvine Ranch station as of 8/1/2003, but is much higher in elevation (540 feet). My assumption is that the old Irvine Ranch station was done in by suburbanization.

Even with all that data, there were still 29 dates for which I had no data. I used Long Beach Daugherty Field (LGB) as my last resort. It’s quite a bit closer to the ocean and not as close to Disneyland as I would like, but it has a lengthy reporting record that filled in when necessary. Unlike the other stations above, I only included LGB information for those days with otherwise missing data.

A note is also in order about the reporting times for this data. The information was often collected at 6 PM. As the low temperature would normally (but not always) occur in the early morning hours and the high temperature in the afternoon, these figures will usually match up with the calendar day. However, precipitation can occur at any time and there is no way now to tell, in a 6 PM-6 PM reporting cycle, how much rain fell on which particular calendar day.

This is certainly not a climate record usable for scientific research purposes, but provides color to the daily history. For example, you can see that the high on Opening Day was 82°F, not quite as hot as is generally remembered. Or you can see that the heat wave at the end of 1955’s summer really was rough: for eight days, from August 31 to September 7, the high temperature was 97 degrees or higher, with a peak of 108 degrees on September 1. The highest recorded temperature between July 17, 1955 and December 31, 2010 was 111°F, measured on September 27, 2010, and the lowest was 27°F, on February 5, 2003. 724.88 inches of rain fell on Disneyland in this period, with the heaviest rain occurring on January 26, 1956 (4.22 inches) and 18,071 of the 20,257 days experiencing no rain at all.

About the Attendance

I had always talked about what came to be titled Jason’s Disneyland Almanac as a book you would want to have in your time traveling DeLorean. With the weather, Park hours, famous visitors, and information on events, you could almost know exactly what to expect for that day. But it always felt impoverished without also seeing the day’s attendance. I had resigned myself to the knowledge that Disney carefully guards such information and would thus never be able to include it in the Almanac—and then discovered that the Anaheim Heritage Center at the MUZEO had possession of Roy O. Disney’s Disneyland Attendance Summary, dated July 18, 1955-December 31, 1966. More than just the daily attendance, this thick binder includes hourly attendance for almost all of these days, and notes of which days the Park closed early or entirely due to weather. There are two pages/weeks missing from the binder (those beginning February 28, 1965 and May 29, 1966), but otherwise includes all attendance data from Walt Disney’s lifetime.

Most of the 1955 data includes hourly attendance. Beginning January 11, 1956, each date has three unlabeled columns, which provide the cumulative attendance, the cumulative exit count, and the hourly in-Park count. Occasionally these numbers show the logically impossible, as on October 17, 1956, when the total attendance was 4,588, but the cumulative exit count was 5,656. Each of the pages includes a weekly total, so whenever a day has such an anomaly, we have ensured that our daily attendance figures add up to that weekly total. Although the binder includes attendance counts for special events, such as Dixieland at Disneyland and New Year’s Eve Parties, such information was not part of the regular daily attendance figures and so are not included in this Almanac.

The figures reveal some astonishing things about Disneyland’s early years. Weekday attendance in the off-season hovered in the low thousands, plainly indicating the wisdom of the Park’s closing on Mondays and Tuesdays for maintenance reasons. The lowest attended day during this period saw just 389 visitors, on a rainy January 20, 1962 when Disneyland opened for a total of three hours. In the rainy week beginning February 5, 1962, Disneyland opened for one full and two partial days and had a mere 7,424 Guests. The rain even had a tremendous impact during the traditionally busy week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. In December 1965, when Disneyland was already well-established, the dry December 28 saw 42,633 visitors, the rainy December 29 a mere 4,367, and the less rainy December 30 48,526.

Conversely, in the summer of 1959 Disneyland smashed its previous attendance records. On July 4, 1959 the Park hosted 59,845 Guests. The previous high attendance day came just a few weeks earlier, on June 20, when 45,673 people visited the Park—showing a 30% increase of the highest attended day in an incredibly short period of time. The highest attended day during this period was July 4, 1964, when 60,917 visitors came to Disneyland.

About the Index

Items were added to the index using natural-language search terms when possible. A single search term is used even when multiple locations shared a similar name, such as the Fantasyland Theatre. All openings and closings of major locations—attractions, shops, and restaurants—should be included in the index. However, the index is not meant to be comprehensive in every respect. Smaller parades, entertainment, and events, especially if they occurred only once and in the distant past, are more likely to be omitted. Events that occurred year after year, such as Grad Nite or Candlelight Procession & Ceremony, were listed only upon first introduction, to avoid cluttering the index.

About the Thesaurus and Compendium

In late 1999, Kevin and I worked up the idea for the ultimate Disneyland reference work, something we refer to as The Disneyland Compendium. At the time, we did not have access to the information resources to make the project viable. Published resources like Disneyland: The Nickel Tour and The “E” Ticket magazine were tremendously informative, but we knew an extraordinary amount of detail was to be found in the decades of Cast Member publications, periodicals like Vacationland and The Disney Magazine, in the stories of Cast Members, and in many items besides we simply did not have easy access to, and so the project went on indefinite hold.

Jumping forward, my friend Kim T. Ha and I took an index language construction class in fall 2006. Unable to agree on a topic (a common problem), we fell back to an old Disneyland “land tree” I had tried to make. That finished thesaurus had a couple thousand terms in it, but was mainly just hierarchically arranged terms, with some cross-references. Aside from the source where we found the term, this thesaurus had little additional information on the terms and concepts.

On August 19, 2007, I came across the great vintage Disneyland blogs I had only previously seen in passing, and knew that things were now aligned for me to pursue my Disneyland interest with renewed vigor: I had the basis of knowledge (from all my previous years reading everything I could), I had the skill set to create the thesaurus (from my library science schooling), and I had a phenomenal sea of historical information (now easily accessible) to draw from. That first day I think I saved a few thousand vintage photos to my computer.

I toiled alone at first. I showed a barebones printed output to people for the first several months (the earliest Thesaurus showing on record is October 25, 2007, at the Café Orleans). As I worked on the Thesaurus, I realized my initial idea, to just have a hierarchy and cross-references, wasn’t working. I’d forget how I came to relate two terms together, or how I had chosen one among several possible variants to use as the preferred term. So I started sourcing everything. And then I began including full text, all while carefully tracking what I had available to me, what I knew to exist somewhere, and what I had already gone through. Once I made that decision, the usefulness of the Thesaurus to me expanded by leaps and bounds.

Wanting to be part of the conversation, driven in large part by the other blogs that updated every day, I began my own blog, Disneyland Nomenclature, on March 18, 2008. I shared some personal stories and talked about the Thesaurus. In early 2009, while on a 76-day vacation, I decided to make a daily history of the Resort a part of my effort. On an eleven-day weekend from the Washington, D.C. snowstorms of February 2010, I threw the weather into the mix.

In sum, the Disneyland Thesaurus is the informal research program and backend database that organizes the information; the Disneyland Compendium is an umbrella term for products derived from Thesaurus data. Jason’s Disneyland Almanac is the first such product.

Acknowledgments

This book would not have been possible without the assistance of the vintage Disneyland blogging group. Rev Vandervort, in particular, proved particularly enthusiastic about providing many previously missing hours from the 1990s. Timothy Youel, Patrick Jenkins, Mike Cozart, Kevin Doherty and Ken Stack also answered the call for help with hours. But the book isn’t just about the hours. As it is a detailed representation of the first 55 years of Disneyland’s history, the details I’ve picked up from reading blogs run by David Eppen, Dave DeCaro, Jed Blaugrund, Kevin Kidney, Chris Sandy, Paul F. Anderson and Todd J. Pierce have contributed immeasurably to this book and to the Thesaurus. The Park hours preserved by the MousePlanet.com Disneyland Park Updates (largely authored by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix) and provided to me by Doobie and Rebekah Moseley of LaughingPlace.com were invaluable. Jane Newell at the Anaheim Heritage Center helped me to quickly locate and use the amazing Disneyland Attendance Summary binder held there.

When I was first working on my Disneyland Timeline in the 1990s, Dave Smith at the Walt Disney Archives replied to seemingly endless queries about opening and closing dates of obscure shops and restaurants. My aunt and uncle, longtime Disneyland Cast Members Mary and Roy Masseth, in 1997 provided me with years’ worth of Disneyland Lines. Many of these had information useful in the construction of this Almanac. Another former Cast Member, Earl Archer, graciously allowed me access to his extensive collection of Cast Member materials.

Thanks, especially, to Kim T. Ha for taking that index language construction class with me and helping to create the earliest Thesaurus, and to my parents Melody and Hal and siblings Charles and Marcie for their support and rides to Disneyland given to me in those dark days before I got my driver license.

Jason Schultz
Anaheim, CA
September 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Where to Get Jason's Disneyland Almanac

Many people who visit this blog ask, "When and where can I buy a book like this one?" (say in your best Monsanto narrator voice). I am here to tell you, friends, when and where this can be done.

If you are interested in one of the hardcovers (limited edition of 150):
  • Contact me directly using the e-mail address in my profile. I can ship it to you or we can make plans to meet up at the Disneyland Resort.
If you are interested in one of the softcovers, these are your options:
  • $24.95 through our CreateSpace storefront
  • $24.95 through Amazon.com
  • $24.95 at Compass Books in Downtown Disney
  • $20, including tax, in person, if you know me in real life or want to meet up at Disneyland
  • Potentially free, if you can help us with some of the 773 missing Park hours
February 19, 2012 I'll be doing a signing at Walt's Barn in Griffith Park from 11 AM-3 PM. Softcovers will definitely be available; hardcovers may still be available.

Related posts of interest:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ID That Clock (Answers)

OK, by now you've all had enough time to figure out all the clocks, right? (If you're stumbling upon this and don't want SPOILERS, go to the original post now.) All of the bolded answers are clocks which nobody at the party could correctly identify.

We'll start with the mostly modern (and all On Stage) answers first:

1 - Innoventions Dream Home (Office)
2 - McDonnell Douglas Rocket to the Moon (bonus if you could identify ROSEANN PIRUS)
3 - City Hall Quiet Room (room south of the main lobby)
4 - Main Street Clock
5 - Peter Pan's Flight Interior

6 - Mickey's Toontown City Hall
7 - Fortuosity Shop Exterior
8 - Bibbiddi Bobbidi Boutique Exterior
9 - Disney Clothiers Interior
10 - Haunted Mansion Holiday Exterior
11 - Crystal Arts Interior

12 - Haunted Mansion Holiday FASTPASS Return
13 - Mural outside The Disney Gallery, Main Street, U.S.A.
14 - Fortuosity Shop (Jewelry Store) Interior
15 - Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters FASTPASS Return

16 - The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
17 - Emporium Interior
18 - Port Royal Interior
19 - Fire Station
20 - Innoventions Exterior

21 - "it's a small world" Facade
22 - 20th Century Music Company Window
23 - Enchanted Tiki Room Lanai
24 - French Market Restaurant
25 - Main Street Station

26 - City Hall Interior
27 - White Rabbit at "King" & "Queen" Restrooms
28 - Emporium Ratatouille Window
29 - Fortuosity Shop (Jewelry Store) Interior
30 - Main Street Magic Shop Interior
31 - Innoventions Dream Home (Kitchen)
32 - Sleeping Beauty Castle
33 - Port Royal Interior

34 - City Hall Interior
35 - Splash Mountain Entrance
36 - Mickey's House Interior
37 - Fortuosity Shop Interior
38 - Peter Pan's Flight Exterior

39 - Main Street Station Interior
40 - Fortuosity Shop Interior
41 - Mickey's House Interior
42 - Space Mountain Entrance
43 - Emporium Window
44 - Central Plaza White Rabbit

And now, the Expert Edition answers (as given in the August 1961 Disneylander)...

E-1 - Tomorrowland entrance
E-2: Swift's Market House
E-3: Santa Fe & Disneyland R.R. Station
E-4: In front of Timex Shop
E-5: Tower of Tinkerbell Toy Shop
E-6: Mark Twain Dock
E-7: Rainbow Ridge Mining Town
E-8: Inside the Emporium, Main Street
E-9: Bell System Exhibit
E-10: Pirate Ship
E-11: Dick Nunis' wrist
E-12: Joe Fowler's desk
E-13: Bank of America
E-14: Harbor Blvd. Time Clock House
E-15: Watchman's clock used in Security
E-16: Tinkerbell Toy Shop

So...how'd you do?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ID That Clock

Over the weekend I hosted a book launch party for Jason's Disneyland Almanac (I hope to have photos of that up soon). One of the entertainments that evening was a clock identification game, with the winner entitled to a free copy of the book (or, since the results weren't going to be tallied that night, a refund on a book already purchased). The brave contestants could rely only on their wits; you have the entire universe at your fingertips (which is why you can't win a free book--sorry!).

I had assembled 44 clock photos, 42 of which are current On Stage photos, before discovering just such a game in the June and July 1961 Disneylanders. Afraid that more than one person might know all the current photos (an unnecessary worry, I learned), I included these 16 photos as an "expert edition" of the game. Go ahead and have fun in the comments. I'll post the correct answers in a day or two. Should you wish to concentrate on the difficult ones, nobody correctly identified the following: 1, 3, 13, 18, 22, 28, 30, 40, 43, E-7, E-10, E-11, E-12, E-13, E-15, E-16.

The clock is ticking!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Now You Know

Jason's Disneyland Alamanc was created mainly with mail merge (and a formatting macro I created). But I had never used mail merge, or was aware of its capabilities, before I was trying to figure out how it might be possible to create a daily history of Disneyland on the evening of March 15, 2010 (a red-letter day in the history of Disneyland historiography). That night I played around around in Microsoft Word and, for the first time, output a rudimentary daily history of the Park.

But that's not what this post is about. Rather, my desire for such a history of Disneyland helped to move Richard Nixon's Presidential materials across the country. As a result of Congress amending the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (PRMPA), the National Archives was moving the Nixon Presidential Historical Materials from the Archives II facility in College Park, MD to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA--and I was in charge of the details. In August 2009, I had worked with a colleague on a way we might print the move labels for over 26,000 boxes, but I wasn't completely satisfied with how they looked from a Microsoft Access report. I knew that these labels would be permanently affixed to the boxes, and I wanted them to look right. We had some time, so I put it out of my mind.

March 16, 2010 (about two weeks before we were to begin putting the boxes on pallets, to then load on to the trucks), I came into work and told myself I needed to finally come to a decision about how to produce the move labels. I hadn't been at work long before I thought to myself, "mail merge!" It didn't take too much time to create a template and get my managers to sign off. These move labels were then produced and applied to the over 26,000 boxes (enough to fill 21 53' trailers) that traveled to California, supplying a Move ID for each box and its California shelf destination.

For many years to come most of the archival boxes at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum will bear labels produced from the same process that birthed Jason's Disneyland Almanac.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disneyland Statistics: Interesting Subject

"Hi, folks! It's a little quiet around here today. You see, during the winter, Disneyland is closed each Monday and Tuesday..."
- undated Main Gate announcement

It's been a little quiet around this blog, too, but I'm finally ready to announce why: in November Zauberreich Press will publish Jason's Disneyland Almanac, the first daily history of Disneyland. The contents of the publication won't surprise anybody with even a cursory familiarity with my blog: Park hours, weather, Walt-era attendance, openings, closings, debuts, endings, events, milestones and other noteworthy occurrences. I collaborated with Kevin Yee, with whom I previously co-authored the Disneyland trivia books Magic Quizdom: Disneylandia Minutiae Semper Abusrda and 101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland: An Unauthorized Look at the Little Touches and Inside Jokes.

I've talked about many elements of the book in blog posts of days gone by. I've blogged about Park hours on more than one occasion. I blogged about my attempts to gather weather information shortly after I added that to the thesaurus. I've additionally blogged about the difficulties inherent in thesaurusing entertainment events. With that in mind, I wanted to give you readers some insight into the cover design and the preparation of the manuscript.

For many of you, the design will be instantly recognizable. However, I have at least two friends who have not seen the movies, so some explanation is in order. I always thought of this book as a companion to keep in your time traveling DeLorean. With the Park hours, the weather, and events, you could choose the perfect day to visit the Park. The cover design is, of course, very reminiscent of Grays Sports Almanac from Back to the Future Part II:

I imitated the design as much as possible while trying to stay true to what Jason's Disneyland Almanac actually contains. I regret that we still lack Park hours for 773 of the 20,257 days covered by the Almanac, but am very hopeful that these will be found before future versions are published.

For the place of the sports figures, we considered Disneyland icons, but that wouldn't quite match up with the contents of the Almanac. While each figure on the Grays cover represents a different sport found within, we would need to have some objects that represented Park hours, openings, and events. Instead we went with the style of Park Operating Calendars used from the 1960s at least through the 1980s. Here is an example of an authentic January-March 1982 Park Operating Calendar:

The four calendars on the cover are for Disneyland's opening, Kevin's birthday, my birthday, and the most recent time period covered by the Almanac. I spent a lot of time re-creating the look of the calendars in full for the cover, but they are mostly obscured in the final composite. Below are my original creations for the four Park Operating Calendars:

July-September 1955

January 1970-March 1970

January-March 1982

October 2010-December 2010

I considered creating these for every three-month period of the Park's history, but then came to my senses.

I also wanted to share some samples from the book, so you know just what to expect. After a few pages of explanation of how the material for the book was assembled and how you should evaluate the information, there are 317 pages of daily Disneyland history. Below are three two-page spreads, chronologically scattered. The first covers the time around the opening of Disneyland '59:

The beginning of celebrations for Disneyland's 25th Anniversary:

And the opening of Disney's California Adventure in 2001:

Now, if you've been paying attention, you might notice that the Almanac includes attendance data for 1955-1966. Amazingly, the Anaheim Heritage Center at the MUZEO has in its collection Roy O. Disney's Disneyland Attendance Summary, July 18, 1955-December 31, 1966 binder. Not just daily attendance, it's a record of hourly attendance for most of this period. When matched up with the weather and other events, the attendance data provides a remarkable view of Disneyland in Walt's life (although two weeks, beginning February 28, 1965, and May 29, 1966, are missing from the binder).

The least-attended day in this period was a rainy January 20, 1962, when a mere 389 Guests showed up to experience a Disneyland that only opened for three hours that day (can you imagine?). There were, in fact, thirteen sub-1,000 visitor days in Walt's life, and quite a few days when the Park simply didn't open because of the rain. The high attendance during this time was July 4, 1964, when 60,917 visitors came to Disneyland.

I've had a lot of fun putting this book together, but I know it's only a start. We do not always have an exact date that an attraction opened or that a store closed. We have been as specific as our knowledge permits, but occasionally have had to indicate that something happened at the more general month or year level. This reflects the inherent uncertainty in trying to precisely reconstruct the past.

We are producing a limited edition of 150 hardbound copies (with dust jackets) and an unlimited run of softcover copies (sans dust jacket). Check back for further information on pricing and availability. And if there's a future Jason's Disneyland Almanac almanac keeper out there, the order for the hardcover edition of the book was submitted on September 29, 2011 at 2:46:57 PM, PDT.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Origin of the Mickey Mouse Pancakes?

Although I recognize the significance to many Guests of the Mickey Mouse Pancakes served at the River Belle Terrace, I do not believe I have ever had them. The above photo is from July 1978 and shows the making of a pancake; the Guests appear to be very interested in the preparation. While doing some thesaurus work today, I believe I have stumbled across the origin of the pancakes in the very first Backstage Disneyland publication from Winter 1962:

Let's See the Lessees

Elaine Williams
Reporting

Bud Coulson of Aunt Jemima's reports that Rick Hubbard, Vice-President in charge of batter, has invented a Mickey Mouse Pancake, which is a three-in-one combination and which is enjoyed by guests and employees, alike. Rick attends Long Beach State and, in the true spirit, of Disneyland, and Aunt Jemima's, has given the secret recipe to Bud's head chef, Leon Cole, and his assistants. They would appreciate your asking for the Mickey Mouse Pancake, only if the kitchen is not too busy. We feel Bud is slightly biased when he says it's a work of art, but we're sure it's delicious.
While I am quite a long way from having everything in the thesaurus, my current earliest recorded mention of the Mickey Mouse pancakes is in the summer of 1975. I have neither Rick Hubbard nor Leon Cole in the thesaurus, but Rodney ("Bud") Coulson was the Park's original lessee liaison. In the early days he also functioned as a town crier in Town Square, providing the latest news to Disneyland employees and lessees before Park opening. Later, from 1962 to 1966 he and his wife, Elizabeth, operated Aunt Jemima's Kitchen.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Déjà Vu

It's not often that Disneyland destroys something for the second time, but that's what's currently happening at the Disneyland Hotel's (former) Never Land Pool. As I was watching the pool's destruction yesterday (in a scene that brought to mind construction workers hacking away at Swiss Family Treehouse branches), I was reminded of my recent Follow That Tree post.

Here is the former Pirate Ship as it was being pried and chopped apart:

There were other workers around the edge of the pool. But what caught my eye and what made me do this post are the boxed trees in the distance:

I wish I knew something about the trees to, you know, make this post interesting, but perhaps in another twenty years these trees will still be around on the property and these photos will provide a little information to such future arboreal archivists.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Circle of Genuine Maseca Corn Flour

In the late 1990s, Disneyland seemed to be closing long-term establishments left and right. Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, Carnation Plaza Gardens, Captain EO, Rocket Jets, Circle-Vision, Submarine Voyage, Swiss Family Treehouse, Tomorrowland Autopia... I was there for the last day of many of those. I had an evening meal at the Ice Cream Parlor with others from the alt.disney.disneyland newsgroup. I was there Captain EO's final night. I saw the final public showing of "America the Beautiful." I went on the Submarine Voyage and Tomorrowland Autopia multiple times on their final days of operation. I believe this is a photo of the Tomorrowland Autopia Cast Members shutting down the line on September 6, 1999:

All of the above mentions were really Disneyland classics. While I helped to open Disney's California Adventure, it wasn't, let's say, my favorite. There were some attractions I never got on or still haven't been on. Two of these are the Mission Tortilla Factory and The Boudin Bakery. On Memorial Day, as you know, I took the Welcome to Disneyland tour. While walking along the Performance Corridor nearby my friend told me that it was the Tortilla Factory's final day. Given my recent obsession with Disneyland signs, I felt I needed to visit this attraction to document all signs and artwork.

Anyway, I learned this bit of information fairly early in the tour and we also walked around Disneyland. At the end of the tour I was given several FASTPASSes, one of which was for the recently reopened Splash Mountain. By the time I got off that attraction I had totally forgotten about the Tortilla Factory and was ready to walk back home. I was home for about forty-five minutes when I realized what I had forgotten. I weighed driving back to the Park, but I was pretty tired from the walking. I considered walking back, but that was even less appealing.

Then another friend, who had been promising to get an annual pass since April 2009 and who finally came through by getting one with her husband the day before, sent me a text asking where I was. There were several things going through my mind at this point and a plan began to form. I ended up committing to walk back to the Park so the three of us could go through the Tortilla Factory and then head to Trader Sam's (my first visit!); they would drive me home. The lure of Sam's was too much, so I raced back to the Park (my fastest time ever, door-to-door).

I got to the Tortilla Factory and found out they were next in line for California Screamin'. Perfect. I could document the exterior and be ready to head inside when they were finished. When I arrived there was a small line outside. As I don't frequent the area, I didn't know if this was normal or not, but thought it possible that a few people may have found out about the attraction's closing and came to experience it one last time:

The Cast Member at the entrance periodically checked to see if inside they were ready for the next group:

I snapped a photo of these Guests waiting in line (more for the exterior than for the Guests themselves):

Of course, I took photos of exterior signage, including the "TOUR ENTRANCE" with the open door visible in the background:

And the proclamation of genuine Maseca Corn Flour:

And then I grew a tad disturbed... As Guests now came up to the exterior Cast Member, they were informed that the attraction was closed:

It turned out that the Mission Tortilla Factory had a hard closing time of 4:30 p.m. and I missed my date with destiny. Those Guests in line four photos above were the last ones in the attraction. My friends showed up about two minutes after it closed. No tortillas for me; I left only with the story of how I had walked to Disneyland a second time in one day to miss the attraction's closing by a couple of minutes.

I came back the next day (with Vintage Disneyland Tickets) just to confirm that the attraction had closed. We were greeted with a rather generic Tortilla Factory sign indicating it was closed (but not that it was actually closed forever):

And this is how the exit doors looked:

Mildly tempting, but if I'm ever arrested for trespass at Disneyland it will not be at Disney California Adventure! (For the record, I have never trespassed at Disneyland and have no intentions of doing so.) A few days later the interiors of the doors and windows were covered in black, the final curtain on the tortilla story.