Wednesday, September 24, 2008

September 21 Disneyland Trip Report

As promised, photos and observations from my Sunday, September 21 visit:

This facade, next to the entrance to the Main Street Lockers on E. Center Street, is rather interesting. Stuff from the Park shared a photo of it during Park construction sitting outside the current New Century Jewelry. Go ahead and take a look at my large image here. Note that the side closest to the locker entrance has smooth bricks, and the other side has rough, textured bricks. I had this pointed out to me several months back, but didn't have a good photograph of it. It certainly seems that this little facade may have been moved around Main Street and used as a template for brick design. In any event, it's clearly the architectural piece in Matterhorn's post!

I didn't know about the Wish Lounge. Its location is what used to be Lost Children. Lost Children shifts were usually covered by ladies who also worked at the Baby Center, but occasionally other Guest Relations Cast Members could be pulled in to cover. My first shift there wasn't too long after I started at the Park. I don't have a lot of experience with kids, so I was expecting a nightmare scenario of hungry, screaming kids and frantic parents, but the day was pretty calm. By my second shift, I had come to appreciate the refuge Lost Children provided. I was pulled there for a few hours on a busy December day, but my stint there was all-too-short and I soon had to return to the disgruntled Guests awaiting me at City Hall.

Kevin Yee and I got FASTPASSes to the Indiana Jones Adventure. It broke down as we neared the film room. We got more FASTPASSes. It remained broken down.

Think what this would look like with some water animation in the background! The abandoned Nature's Wonderland Mine Train is pretty sad. I posted some photos of it from back in June, but a trip on the Mark Twain provided a new perspective on how tattered the engine is.

The first ore car looks particularly sad.

Defying gravity, the rocks piled up in the car don't fall through the hole in the far side.

Have you ever stopped to examine the underside of the sidewalk roof outside the Westward Ho Trading Co.? Now you don't need to.

I thought it was interesting that the Wishing Star store in Fantasyland made use of the old Geppetto's Toys & Gifts sign. The first image is the current sign; the second is what it looked like in 1999.

There sure is a lot of junk on top of the Matterhorn! And what's with the camera pointed at the Submarine Lagoon? Or maybe it's pointed at Cash Control Backstage?

Old Fence #1: Wheelhouse fence in the New Orleans Street area of Frontierland.

As I sat there with Kevin, I thought the fence looked rather old. I was able to visually confirm the age via a photo over at Daveland:

I took a few close-ups of the fence:

We also took time to look at the old Space Place area (now Space Mountain FASTPASS). The boards overhead used to display the restaurant's menu; the blue wall covers up the serving windows. Some day I'll find and scan in my photos of the restaurant area at the end of its days--it was very dusty!

This, um, thing protrudes from the wall behind the FASTPASS machines. It obviously serves no purpose now, but I'm hoping somebody can shed some light on what its former purpose was. (Westcot?)

I don't want to alarm anyone, but... there's nobody in the Moonliner cabin! Is Disneyland really going to shoot off an uncontrolled rocket?

Old Fence #2: Carousel Theater emergency exit.

I remembered that this stairway had not changed when the building was renovated for the 1998 New Tomorrowland. I don't know why that's the case--probably money, and the fact that at that time they didn't change anything over by the Submarine Voyage or Tomorrowland Autopia. This is what the stairs looked like in 1998:

The Imagineers did, however, change the stairs on the southern side of the building, as seen in this 1997 photo:

I wasn't sure if the railing panels dated from the Carousel of Progress or America Sings days, but this photo from Daveland makes me believe they are 1967 New Tomorrowland originals:

On W. Center Street, I noticed these windows advertising "Fine Chinese Food Restaurant." Now, Chinatown had been proposed for E. Center Street in the 1960s. Does anybody know if these are directly related to that? I'm kind of doubting it, myself, and think its sort of a coincidence. That is, the windows might have been put up in 1955 for the same reason that they would later consider a Chinatown attraction on Main Street. But I'd be interested if anybody has concrete knowledge on the subject!

Finally, a photo from Disney's California Adventure. (Yes, DCA!) Despite the fact that I worked right there at the main entrance, I never took time to study the entrance murals. I had a chance to do so a little bit on Sunday evening, and saw the LAX Theme Building integrated in the design:

Architect William Pereira contributed to its design, part of an overall renovation of the airport in the late 1950s. Pereira also designed the original Disneyland Hotel. He wanted to design Disneyland, and became so enamored of the "Hub" concept that he integrated it into his designs for the University of California, Irvine, and Newport Center. Pereira also designed what became the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel, which houses a regional branch of the National Archives, so you can see how Pereira has affected my life!

So, that's all I've got. I have a thesis defense in about two months, so my postings between now and the beginning of the year will probably remain on an infrequent basis. In scattered free time I hope to continue doing my Disneyland research, and may post small bits of strange, arcane, totally irrelevant information for your consumption.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome trip report!!!! Unbelievable about the drinking fountain wall, I just assumed that part was newer.

The abandoned Nature's Wonderland Mine Train is a disgrace, why not
clean it up and make it look like it's still in use, some sound
effects, a little smoke from the stack, all ready to roll - sorta like the Swiss Family's dinner table set and ready.

The Matterhorn looks silly with all that junk on the top, how about
spend a few grand and conceal it?

I am loving all the fences, I would have thought the New Orleans Street area of Frontierland has been redone a few times, I guess not!

I always suspected the "Skyway" stairs and railing were old, neat stuff.

Super post, your approach to Disneyland thru the lens is fascinating.

Good luck on the Thesis!

Anonymous said...


William Pereira's LAX theme building was part of a master plan to host a World's Fair in LA in 1967.
As much as our types have a fondness for the New York World's Fair in 1964-65, that fair was financially a failure. After that LA shyed away from the idea.In the early 60's Canada secured the location for the exposition to be helf there in 1967 (Disney did a CIRCLE VISION film for them ya know!! ---in fact the encircled mounties in the opening segment of the original EPCOT 'O'CANADA is from that 1967 World's Fair!!! Also, Osaka Japan announced plans for a World's Fair as well (1968) kinda of laying to rest the idea of a 1960's LA World's Fair.

Image what the LA fair would have been like! It's interesting to see the other buildings and peoplemover system that was proposed as part of Pereria's utimate plan for LAX.

-Mike Cozart

Westcot2000 said...

The side window at The Space Place sold salads, sandwiches(???), soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, and soft drinks circa 1992. The full menu boards for this section were inside and I believe a small informational sign (such as "Salads & Sandwiches" was outside.

Bearride - Raymond said...

Hey there, Great Blog as usual.
On the windows in the old Space Place if you got to the archives on my blog (videblog), May 4, 2008, there is a pic of the window in all it's glory.
Hope this helps,

Anonymous said...

Didn't the MatterCam pointed at the Sub Lagoon provide time-lapse photos of the sub construction process that Disney revealed when Nemo was about to open?

Jason Schultz said...

Mike: Wow, I didn't know about the LA World's Fair plans! I think maybe these planners overestimated the interest in World's Fairs; the 1964-65 NY one wasn't even a "true" WF because it had occurred so soon after the Seattle one.

Westcot: Thanks.

Bearride: Thanks for the link.

Anonymous: I wasn't following construction of FNSV, but it's entirely possible.

Eric Scales said...

I walk by that brick wall just about every other day and have noticed both how lumpy and odd the bricks on the right look, and that it's a very thin facade with both the metal mesh and the wooden supports visible behind. But I had never noticed the division dividing it right down the middle, nor did I ever think it might have been more than a dozen years old.

Major Pepperidge said...

Great trip report Jason! You have an eye for details that most people don't, and it is fascinating. I hope you can do it again one of these days!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Eric and I examined the "brick" pannel wall closer on Thursday nite....from a distance the right side does appear to be worn brick. However, the quality of the brick is awefull! The sizes are random and lumpy as well as un-even. Almost "melted" looking. Also the brick run is differnt: note the right side features a "soldier profile" (a run of bricks with their ends facing out). I wonder if this was once a test or schooling panel for Disney's "quick-brick" for aging and graining guys at the staff shop??? I have a B&W picture taken backstage near the staff shop in the late 60's with dozens of large panels with various rock, stone and brick work labled as staff shop finishing samples for Walt Disney World..I wonder if this is a similar panel that was later re-used???? Good eye Jason!!

-Mike Cozart

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