Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Fantasyland

We'll continue on the commemoration carousel today (probably saving the America Sings grand finale for Monday). Twenty-five years ago today, the New Fantasyland opened to Guests. I certainly wasn't there for this one! I'll just share a few random things related to the renovation. I re-created the above logo by scanning the cover of a May 1983 special edition Disneyland Line and retouching in Photoshop. If I had more knowledge, I would have re-created it in Illustrator, but I don't have the knowledge or Illustrator, and this fit my purposes.

One of the events that happened when the land was getting close to opening in Spring 1983 was the raising of the drawbridge. Some press materials say it was only lowered twice: on Opening Day and for the dedication of the New Fantasyland. Daveland has a nice photo from July 18 (which was an opening day in its own right) showing the drawbridge lowering:

It was also lowered multiple times for the New Fantasyland dedication, including for several Cast Member private parties in the new land. It's more appropriate to say that it has only been used on two occasions: at the openings of Disneyland and New Fantasyland. But as Bruce and David relate in The Nickel Tour, nobody was sure if they could even get the drawbridge up!:
When it came time to lower the bridge, Disneyland was uncertain whether or not the drawbridge could even be moved. The winch system might be frozen in place, and not usable after all those years. So, just in case the gears were frozen, Disneyland made sure a huge crane was standing by, heavy duty hoist at the ready. Everyone's concerns were unfounded, though, when (with the addition of almost a ton of counterweights) the little bridge that could said "I think I can, I think I can," and was raised and lowered--on its own--without a problem.
And here's some nice visual proof of this crane's presence in this process. It looks like a beautiful day at Disneyland!

And, because I like you guys, here's the front of Sleeping Beauty Castle with drawbridge raised. A close-up of the photo reveals a "Fantasyland Closed" sign. Really?

A few months back--realizing that the 25th anniversary of the New Fantasyland was coming up, I started work on a model of the area. But I wanted to make something more interesting than just what was eventually built. I decided to go with "New Fantasyland Under Construction." Take a look:

Well, OK. I can't make models. And I'm a little late to the fake tilt-shift lens effect party. But I thought this one turned out particularly well--and I had a convenient anniversary for which to share it! When I e-mailed a friend to tell her I had been hard at work on this, she replied, "You did not make that model!" While she knew this isn't something I could do, the photo fooled her--and inasmuch as she knows about rapid Disneyland fans, she said she wouldn't be surprised if somebody had made a hyper-detailed model of part of the Park under construction!

The New Fantasyland has obviously proved more successful than the 1998 New Tomorrowland. Aside from the loss of the Pirate Ship, is there anybody out there who doesn't like the New Fantasyland?


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great Post. Hey I didn't know you worked with models? LOL! That's a great pic! Love the draw bridge info, thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

I tried the tilt shift thing on that photo that you donated to Jed's blog. It looks pretty good... but not as good as yours!

walterworld said...

Nice work on the model! Amazing how you got all those details right including the miniature Skyway...

Anonymous said...

Hi, does anybody know how much my original, framed 1983 commemorative "FANTASYLAND" poster is worth?! I'd like to sell it....Tx!