Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Discovery Bay Teaser

For obvious reasons, Disneyland likes to promote its new and coming attractions. (When you have ideas like Walt's, wouldn't you want to proclaim them widely?) This tradition dates to the Park's origins, with the weekly ABC television show introducing viewers to the idea of Disneyland, and then to its additions over the years. But the Resort has had a number of on-site preview centers over the years, too, including at The Disney Gallery and the more recent Blue Sky Cellar for the Disney's California Adventure remodel. From 1973 to 1989, Disneyland Presents a Preview of Coming Attractions stood at the corner of the 600 block of Main Street, U.S.A., facing Town Square and seen here as it appeared in 1982:

This preview center's interior featured a mix of historic Park photographs...

Conceptual artwork...

And models...

On display above in the preview center are two new lands considered for Disneyland expansion in the 1970s and 1980s: Discovery Bay and Dumbo's Circus. Discovery Bay may be the most well-known and beloved unbuilt land, the brainchild of Tony Baxter and Tom Scherman. Dumbo's Circus would have been built up in the area now occupied by the Fantasyland Theatre (as indicated by the yellow map marker in the above photo).

On August 13 and 14, 1976, Tony, Tom, and fellow Imagineer Rolly Crump, presented ideas for these two new lands to Disneyland Cast Members. As described in the August 26 Disneyland Line:
An exciting proposal for the future of Disneyland was presented in the Center on August 13 and 14. Tentative plans were highlighted for a Park expansion program that could possibly take place over the next six years.

WED Designers Tony Baxter, Tom Scherman, and Roland Crump gave Disneyland employees a preview of the proposed design of two major theme areas now identified under the working titles "Discovery Bay," and "Dumbo's Circus."

Situated in the northern portion of Frontierland, "Discovery Bay" is designed to reflect the cultural and eccentric era of San Francisco in the mid-1800's. Featuring Captain Nemo's Salon and an "Island at the Top of the World" attraction, the area would symbolize the opening of mans' knowledge to the Industrial Age.

Moving from "Discovery Bay" to "Dumbo's Circus" would be accomplished by a sky-balloon attraction that would serve as an appropriate transition between the two areas. Among the proposed attractions in "Dumbo's Circus" are "Mickey's Mad House," a ride-through using vintage Studio cartoon footage from the 1930's and 40's; an Audio-Animatronic circus show with Disney Characters taking over traditional "Big Top" roles; and a Pinocchio-themed attraction.
Thankfully, the Line also included a couple of photographs from the Cast previews:

Tony Baxter describing the projects

Tom Scherman is at the far end of the model

Which leads me to the point of this post: Following one of Tony's presentations to Cast Members about this possible expansion, a novel preview came to the Fan I Food Stand, seen below in a June 1960 photo courtesy of Daveland.

This food facility was razed for Big Thunder Trail in 1979. But before this, for only a few months, lingering Guests could hear an eighteen-minute-long teaser medley of music from Maurice Jarre's score to the 1974 film "Island at the Top of the World" (with which Discovery Bay had strong ties and which premiered 35 years ago this month). The film's score has never been released commercially; a record album features Thurl Ravenscroft narration and audio from the film. The "Island at the Top of the World" Laserdisc has an isolated score on a secondary audio track (but only in mono). Maybe the association with Discovery Bay and the imagery of the Hyperion airship, but I quite enjoy the film's music and it's a treat to hear this short-lived promotional piece.

Thanks to my friend Huck Caton, I'm pleased to present this audio for download (for a limited time):

Fan I Food Stand, Island at the Top of the World Medley.mp3
(approximately 25MB)

Area music at Disneyland used to originate from endless loop cartridge tapes, which degraded over time from physical wear. When carts were replaced, they were discarded--or, apparently, if you were interested and asked for them, you could easily acquire the worn carts from the Sound Department. The above audio is sourced from such a used cart and is a definite rarity.

The only analog from Disneyland's history that I know about is the infamous Tomorrowland 2055 "Bathroom Loop," produced by Bruce Gordon as a new recording of themes from Tomorrowland's "greatest hits." The land never came to fruition, but the loop plays (played?) on the Space Mountain Concourse and in the bathrooms down below.

I know it's a longshot, but does anybody remember this music playing in Fantasyland long ago? Or perhaps attended one of these Cast previews in the 1970s?

Monday, November 23, 2009

1966 Summertime Entertainment

Just like the summer of 1965 at Disneyland, that of 1966 also featured abundant live musical entertainment throughout the night. The summer season of 1966 was notable in other ways: the dedication of "It's a Small World" (the nomenclature then in use) on May 30 set off the summer season. The first new "land" since Disneyland's opening debuted with the dedication of New Orleans Square on July 24, 1966. The Primeval World Diorama also debuted in the summer. Following Labor Day weekend, most of the original Tomorrowland, including the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Exhibit, Rocket to the Moon, The Art Corner, and the Flying Saucers, closed down to make way for a bigger and better future the next summer.

There were changes behind the scenes, too. Disneyland pioneers Tommy Walker and Ed Ettinger left the Park's employ during the summer to seek employment elsewhere. Tommy spearheaded Disneyland's entertainment events and Ed had been director of Marketing. Donald Novis, an original star of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, and Johnny St. Cyr, a legendary Dixieland player who performed with Disneyland's Young Men from New Orleans, both passed away during the summer. The summer of 1966 was also the final summer of Walt Disney's lifetime.

The summer's musical entertainment was previewed by the Big Band Holiday of the Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29. Unlike the 1965, the summer of 1966 featured few big bands, concentrating more on folk, country, and rock bands. This was the only big band event of the summer. The promotion featured Xavier Cugat making his first appearance at Disneyland (together with Charo); the fifth appearance of Harry James, featuring drummer Louie Bellson and vocalist Ernie Andrews; Anita O'Day; and the first Disneyland appearance of Nelson Riddle. Some of Disneyland's own talent also performed at the event: The Elliott Brothers Orchestra, Tina and the Mustangs, the Young Men from New Orleans, and the Royal Tahitian Dancers.

Just like in 1965, each Monday Disneyland featured a folk Hootenanny, and each Tuesday a Humdinger geared toward the youth audience. Country Music Jubilee was held each Wednesday, and Thursday was reserved for Guest Band Nite, which spotlighted the band that generally performed Tuesday through Saturday of that week. In addition to the guest talent, Disneyland had its regular talent scattered throughout the Park each day. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Firehouse Five + 2 joined the roster (performing at the French Market when New Orleans Square opened), with the Glenn Kennedy Orchestra appearing on Sunday nights. New Orleans Square brought new entertainment to Disneyland, including the Royal Street Bachelors and tap dancers Gene and Eddie leading the Delta Ramblers Dixieland Band.

June 18, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM

June 19, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

June 20, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Womenfolk; David Troy; Dapper Dans; Bud and Len; Clara Ward Singers

June 21, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Vic Dana, The Blossoms, H. B. Barnum; Tina Mason; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers
The Association

June 22, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Roy Acuff; The Dillards; Kathy Taylor; Dorsey Burnett Band
The Association

June 23, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Association

June 24, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Association

June 25, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Association

June 26, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

June 27, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Greenwood County Singers; Kathy Taylor; Tim Morgan; Ward Singers

June 28, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Jackie DeShannon; Olympics; Bantams; Humdinger Dancers
Jim Doval and the Gauchos

June 29, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
County Music Jubilee: Roy Clark; Ramblers; Billy Armstrong
Jim Doval and the Gauchos

June 30, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: Jim Doval and the Gauchos

July 1, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Jim Doval and the Gauchos

July 2, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Jim Doval and the Gauchos

July 3, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 1 AM
Jim Doval and the Gauchos

July 4, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Dillards; Steve Gillette; Darleen Carr; Candy Company; Dapper Dans; Bud and Len; Clara Ward Singers

July 5, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Joey Paige; Ketty Lester; New Classic Singers; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers
The Spats

July 6, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: George Hamilton IV; Sue Thompson
The Spats

July 7, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Spats

July 8, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Spats

July 9, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Spats

July 10, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 11, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Pair Extraordinaire; The Aquamen; David Troy; Jim and Jean; Dapper Dans; Bud and Len; Clara Ward Singers

July 12, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Leslie Gore; The Rivingtons; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers; Dobie Gray
The Sunrays

July 13, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Minnie Pearl
The Sunrays

July 14, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Sunrays

July 15, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Sunrays

July 16, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Sunrays

July 17, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 18, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Joe and Eddie; Irish Rovers; Mickey Elley; The Regulars; Clara Ward Singers

July 19, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: April and Nino; Jackie Lee; Gloria Jones; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers
The Regents

July 20, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Hank Thompson; Wanda Jackson
The Regents

July 21, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Regents

July 22, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Regents

July 23, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Regents

July 24, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

July 25, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Hoyt Axton; Goose Creek Symphonic Band & Stage Door Company; The Regulars

July 26, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Brenda Holloway; Ray Peterson; The Steiner Bros.; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers; Dobie Gray
The Sounds of Soul

July 27, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Canadian Sweethearts; Glen Campbell
The Sounds of Soul

July 28, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Sounds of Soul

July 29, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Sounds of Soul

July 30, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Sounds of Soul

July 31, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 1, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The New Society; Walt Conley; The Uncalled Four

August 2, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Mel Carter; The Standells; Carolyn Daye

August 3, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Freddie Hart and His Band; Mary Taylor; Jerry Naylor

August 4, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Magnificent VII

August 5, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Magnificent VII

August 6, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Magnificent VII

August 7, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 8, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Irish Rovers; David Troy; Darleen Carr; Dixson Bowles and the Dan Blocker Singers

August 9, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: The Hondells; Tina Mason

August 10, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Tex Williams; Le Garde Twins; Cathie Taylor

August 11, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: Knickerbockers

August 12, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM

August 13, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM

August 14, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 15, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Dillards; The New Folk Trio; Tim Morgon; Steve Gillette; Disneyland Regulars

August 16, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Joey Paige; Gloria Jones; The Rivingtons
The Regents

August 17, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Jimmy Wakely; Joe & Rose Lee Maphis
The Regents

August 18, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Regents

August 19, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Regents

August 20, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Regents

August 21, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 22, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Back Porch Majority; Aquamen; Fred Thompson; Disneyland Regulars

August 23, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Bobby Sherman; The Two People; The Bantams
The Premiers

August 24, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: The Geezinslaw Brothers; Bob Morris; Faye Hardin
The Premiers

August 25, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Premiers

August 26, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Premiers

August 27, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Premiers

August 28, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 12 AM

August 29, 1966 (Monday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: The Greenwood Singers; Casey Anderson; Goose Creek Symphonic Band and Storm Door Company; Disneyland Regulars

August 30, 1966 (Tuesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Martha and the Vandellas; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers
The Spats

August 31, 1966 (Wednesday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Rex Allen Show; Jimmy Wallis
The Spats

September 1, 1966 (Thursday)
9 AM - 12 AM
Guest Band Nite: The Spats

September 2, 1966 (Friday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Spats

September 3, 1966 (Saturday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Spats

September 4, 1966 (Sunday)
9 AM - 1 AM
The Spats; Nellie Lutcher

September 5, 1966 (Monday)
10 AM - 12 AM
Hootenanny: Disneyland Regulars

September 6, 1966 (Tuesday)
10 AM - 12 AM
Humdinger: Jackie & Gayle; Curtis Brothers; The Mustangs; Humdinger Dancers

September 7, 1966 (Wednesday)
10 AM - 12 AM
Country Music Jubilee: Merle Haggard; The Dillards; Bonnie Owens; Jimmy Wallis

Disneyland's nighttime entertainment continued daily through the weekend. The last Date Nite of the season on Saturday, September 17 featured what must have been a truly odd event at Disneyland: the headlining of Mrs. Miller. The popular 58-year-old performer was noted for her inability to carry a tune. (One newspaper report indicated she would be performing "in the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea exhibit," which had already permanently closed. It's far more likely she performed on the stage out front, but the suggestion of an out-of-tune concert in the closed exhibit provokes a rather odd mental picture.) Also performing on "Mrs. Miller Night" were The Youngfolk; H. B. Barnum; 6-year-old Gary Ferguson (they were, apparently, running on novelty); The Regents; Firehouse Five + 2; Nellie Lutcher; and Tina Mason and the Mustangs.

Just as in 1965, the annual Dixieland at Disneyland event capped the summer's musical program. The October 1, 1966 special ticket event featured Louis Armstrong (as usual), Bob Crosby and the Bobcats, Turk Murphy's San Francisco Band, Firehouse Five + 2, Young Men from New Orleans, Southern California Hot Jazz Society Marching Band, Nellie Lutcher Trio, and the Royal Street Bachelors. Walt flew in Doc Souchon's Milneburg's All Stars direct from New Orleans on his private plane for the event. Doc Souchon was well-regarded for both his musical ability and his work on preserving jazz traditions in mid-twentieth century New Orleans. After a brief group torchlight ramble down Main Street, the groups split up to perform in locations throughout the Park. Reviews lamented that guests could see all the talent in previous years, as they would each perform short sets on rafts in the Rivers of America, before a rousing finale on the Mark Twain. There was too much to see and overcrowding to see some artists (such as Louis Armstrong and Firehouse Five + 2).

Of course, this wasn't the last year Disneyland featured such an extensive musical line-up. After all, you can't attract people to Disneyland just with the debut of Carousel of Progress, Adventure Thru Inner Space, a new Circle-Vision, the PeopleMover, the Rocket Jets, and Flight to the Moon, right? Surely none of my blog readers would be content to just experience those attractions for the first time...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On Disneyland Employees

Today, I have a reading comprehension exercise for you. The above excerpt is from the January 15, 1976 Disneyland Line. The text is rendered below:
Disneyland is one show that Ride Operator TOM PLETTS has been a Permanent Part-time cast member of for over 15 years. Currently in Fantasyland, Tom has been performing on stage since his preschool years and has continued his semi-professional career here in the Park with our Drama Workshop.

"Chicken Ranching for Fun and Profit," was a comic melodrama that Tom performed in one summer for our guests through the Entertainment Division. He has been an active member of our Drama Workshop since its inception in 1970.

Attending the Film Industry Workshop in Studio City takes up most of Tom's spare time. His main interests are in the motion picture business, however, he does enjoy photography, art and jazz.

"Walt Disney made the most lasting impression on me since I've been working in the Park," said Tom. "He was a childhood idol anyway and seeing him and talking with him were great experiences."
I'm sure it jumped out for you as it did for me. No, not the somewhat awkward grammatical construction ("of for"). No, not even that, according to this, "Chicken Ranching for Fun and Profit" was performed for Guests. No, what jumped out at me was there in the first line, where the Line refers to Tom Pletts as a cast member. This is the earliest such reference I have found.

Any regular reader of this blog is well aware that those employed by the Disneyland Resort are Cast Members. For all you can read about Cast Members, you might expect that this is how it has always been. Disneyland has always been a Show and therefore its employees have always been called Cast Members. (Even Van France's book Window on Main Street doesn't mention this 1970s shift. As Disneyland's founding trainer and a man intimately involved with the Disney University for many years, Van would have come up with this language.) But it took twenty-one years for the term to enter the Disney lexicon and several more years, at least, for it to displace the existing "Disneylander" and "Disneyland employees" references. This conscious shift to a show language occurred in the mid-1970s, as the Disney University professionalized its offerings and communication style, including improving the Disneyland Line.

Disneylander is the original term referring to 'those who work at Disneyland' (and the title of the monthly publication for such workers in the 1950s). It was used not just for internal communications, but also in the pre-opening newspaper insert, Vacationland, and the guidebooks handed out to Park Guests. Its vagueness meant it could and did apply to those employed by Disneyland, by WED (working on the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad or the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System before Retlaw), or by the lessees. Today, when the number of lessee personnel is so small, this may seem like an unimportant matter, but in the 1950s the number of lessee personnel may have outnumbered the Disneyland, Inc. employees. Most of the shops, many restaurants, and some of the exhibits (i.e., most of Tomorrowland) had such outside personnel. The divide between those employed by Disneyland and those employed by others just wasn't there, and needed unity was doubtless aided by calling everybody Disneylanders.

The term Disneyland employee also has a long history. It wasn't as preferred as Disneylander early on, but Disneylander publications in the 1950s did use it, and it appears in the 1965 Park guidebook. When the Disneyland Line began publication in 1969, the term appeared in practically every issue. By the time of the Line, a much greater proportion of those working at Disneyland were directly employed by Disney, and thus the distinction between such individuals, Retlaw, and lessee personnel became a little more important. Disneyland had long ago assumed control of most food and merchandise operations, and there were far fewer exhibits in the Park employing outside personnel. Aside from the weekly references to Disneyland employees in the Line, The D.E.C. (Disneyland Employee Cafeteria) Backstage under New Orleans Square and the Disneyland Employees Federal Credit Union (today's Partners Federal Credit Union) incorporated this nomenclature.

The term Cast Member took several years to establish itself and resulted from the Disney University's communications professionalization. Under the editorship of former Attractions Hosts Joel Halberstadt and Ron Kollen, the Line itself became more standardized in appearance and more formulaic in approach. (The use of formulaic isn't meant to denigate the Line's content, as there were some great articles in the 1970s. It is merely to represent that previously the Line's content from week to week was unpredictable.) It makes sense that the text would also reflect greater Disney sophistication. The word Show itself in the Disneyland Line dates back to at least November 27, 1974, when the publication began an introduction to a Cycling Shop article thusly:
One of the qualities of the Park that consistently impresses our guests is the fresh, new look about most everything. Although every craft in the Maintenance Dept. is concerned with the "Show" aspect of Disneyland, this week we'd like to take a good look at the area that might be more intimately involved than most...
Backstage had been in the Disney lexicon at least as early as 1962, when the employee publication of the same name began publication. But, as I mentioned above, Cast Member (or, more accurately, cast member) didn't appear until January 1976. It's debatable whether the author intended that use of cast member in the sense that we now know (since Tom Pletts also performed in "regular" shows). The term did not appear again (this time familiarly capitalized) in the Line until April 22, 1976, in an article about the Inn Between. The first hint is on the front page:

the Inn Between serves the year-round needs of the Disneyland Cast with the major emphasis on appetites. This Backstage Buffeteria serves a complete assortment of meals prepared by an expert staff.
The first familiar, capitalized reference is on the second page. Fittingly enough, the paragraph uses both Disneyland employees and Cast Members, seemingly interchangeably:

One of the unique aspects of the Inn Between is serving Disneyland employees, many of whom spend their day serving guests. Lead Karen Johnson commented that because Cast Members who use the Inn Between are there for such a limited time, "there is extra pressure to move them through quickly and still treat them with the kindness that they extend to guests."
There you have it. What appears to be the first official use of Cast Member comes not in a stirring tribute to the men and women of the Park, but in a buried comment about how it's important for the Cast to be served quickly at its cafeteria. It did, however, take several years before Disneyland employees became taboo. It still showed up in Disneyland Lines of 1977 and is in the Fall/Winter 1978-1979 guidebook. As I continue to closely examine each and every Line, I expect I'll be able to document this transition more fully--one of the most important language transitions in Disneyland's history. (Other important linguistic curiosities in Disneyland's history include the shift to Disneyland Park, the replacement of attractions for rides, and the origin of the theme park appellation.)

I'll leave you with this essay from the May 1957 Disneylander (periodical), entitled, "What is a Disneylander?":
A Disneylander is both male & female, comes in assorted sizes, shapes and colors. Never seems to have a last name, answers to Jo, Louie, Hutch, Chuck, Judy, Joan, Alice, Mary, Walt and Hey you!

He's a river boat captain; top-hatted gambler of the lawless West; rocket pilot with plexiglass helmet; angel of mercy in white; or an indian on the war path. He's an executive in an old Buick or a teen-age ice cream vendor with a 1957 Chevy; likes his steaks rare and Pepsi-Cola strong. His diet is unique and consists of large quantities of malts, coffee, hot dogs, banana splits, coffee, tuna sandwiches, coffee, Yankee bean soup, hamburgers, more coffee, french fries and fritos.

Now, it's a scientific fact that mice cannot live on this diet which seems to provide a real snappy comeback to the old "are you a man or a mouse" question.

He's a walking source of information; knows where to eat; most direct route to the comfort stations; drinking fountains and lost parent department, but never knows the best road to Knott's Berry Farm.

Disneylanders represent every profession; teacher, mother, artist, cowboy, Indian, carpenter, secretary, clerk, cook, painter, mechanic and photographer.

With a sticker on the windshield, I.D. card in hand, he's top-drawer with the local small fry who regard him with that special "gee, he works at Disneyland every day" look.

Naturally every red-blooded Disneylander is loaded with ride passes and is considered by the in-laws as a very soft touch. (We know this is just an ugly rumor)

By golly, this Disneyland character is pretty great, in fact, the most!

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom.
What a swell job!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween: The Holiday That Brought Disneyland to Anaheim

Halloween at Disneyland? That’s only really been celebrated since 2006, right? Sure, Mickey’s Halloween Treat debuted in 1995, and Haunted Mansion Holiday emerged as a combined Halloween/Christmas themed attraction in 2001, but Disney's HalloweenTime celebration begun in 2006 sets the Disney standard for Halloween. Disneyland, however, has a much longer record of celebrating Halloween that extends beyond the gates. (It would almost have to be outside the gates, as Disneyland has been closed on October 31 nine times in its history—including 1955.) In Disneyland’s early years, Anaheim hosted a Halloween extravaganza with a pedigree dating back to 1924, with Disney often lending its support. There is even evidence that Disney’s involvement in the 1953 celebration helped Walt Disney choose Anaheim as the site of Disneyland!

My introduction to the annual Anaheim Halloween Festival came from the October 1957 Disneylander (the monthly publication for Disneylanders published by the Disneyland Recreation Club). The issue described in detail the contributions of Disneyland employees to the 34th Annual Anaheim Halloween Festival (more on that below). Through another Disneylander and a surfeit of archival newspaper articles, I’ve pieced together Disney’s involvement in and support through the years of what is now known as the Anaheim Fall Festival. Below I point out Disneyland’s Halloween activities from 1953 to the present, through when Disneyland first (tentatively) got into the Halloween spirit to the present all-consuming celebration.

Disney first became involved in the Anaheim Halloween Festival in 1953. The tradition extended back to 1924, when a crowd estimated at 20,000 watched grand marshals Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth in the parade (perhaps the most exciting baseball parade in Anaheim until 2002). The tradition included a breakfast in the park, a children’s parade, and a nighttime parade, with tens, then hundreds, of thousands of people coming to Anaheim to witness the largest Halloween celebration around.

A 1953 Los Angeles Times article could not boast with more superlatives: “biggest Halloween party in the nation” … “first in the country to stage a community-wide Halloween celebration to keep youngsters out of mischief” … “biggest night procession in the country.” And yet the most significant part of the 30th annual festival could hardly have been recognized at the time, for how many knew that Disney was shopping around for locations for its Park?

Disney participated by designing floats for the Fairyland division and providing such characters as Snow White, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio. They also provided one of the float judges, but sources conflict over whether this was Joe Reddy (publicity director at the Studios) or Nat Winecoff (on Walt’s personal payroll). The bigger story, however, is what went on behind the scenes. Earne Moeller of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce was angling to increase the prestige of the festival beyond its already lofty reputation. Also recognizing that Anaheim’s future did not lay in agriculture, Moeller also hoped to attract the attention of Los Angeles industry.

At the time Disney received Moeller’s invitation to participate in the 1953 festival, Walt’s men already had Anaheim on their radar as a potential site for the Park. They used the invitation to (they thought) stealthily gain the confidence of Anaheim officials and learn the finer details of city ordinances and building requirements. It is altogether possible, however, that Moeller had advance knowledge of Disney’s search, and extended the Halloween Festival invitation in an effort to bring the planned park to Anaheim. Todd James Pierce will have more details on these wheelings and dealings in his forthcoming book on 1950s Disneyland and its non-Disney offspring. The book’s working title is The Artificial Matterhorn and is one I very much look forward to.

Again in 1954, as construction on The Site continued apace, Disneyland had a strong presence at the annual Anaheim Halloween Festival (theme: “Legends and Fantasies”). One of the five divisions was a “Disneyland” one, and Donald Duck served as the grand marshal for the parade (the first of several times that a Disney character would perform in that capacity).

October 31, 1955. Monday. What are the odds that Disneyland would be closed that first Halloween? Well, one-in-seven. Beginning Monday, September 12, 1955, Disneyland was closed on Mondays in the off-season. (The next year, this was expanded to Mondays and Tuesdays, in an operating schedule that lasted with few variations until February 6, 1985.) Halloween 1955 fell on the eighth day Disneyland was ever closed. Disney’s participation in this year’s Halloween festival was more subdued than in the two previous years (there was no Disneyland division this time), but the Disneyland Circus Wagon did bring home honors as the best Horse Drawn Float (conveniently around for the Park’s forthcoming Mickey Mouse Club Circus). This year Knott’s Berry Farm “Birdcage Theatre” float won the Grand Prize.

I haven’t found too much on the 1956 festival, but Wally Boag did serve as master of ceremonies for the traditional festival breakfast. Wally also served as master of ceremonies for entertainment in the 1961 celebration.

The 34th Annual Anaheim Halloween Festival in 1957 was run by Disneylanders. Myrt Westering (in charge of Swift’s Red Wagon Company at Disneyland, which operated the Market House and Red Wagon Inn) served as festival chairman and was assisted by Tommy Walker (Disneyland’s entertainment impresario). (Walker’s participation leads me to believe this festival would have been the one to see!) Preceding the parade, the Mouseketeers performed at La Palma Stadium—said to be the first time they had performed outside of Disneyland. One of the parade’s five divisions was a Disneyland affair: the “Fairy Tales” division, captained by Bud Coulson (the Park’s lessee liaison in its early years) with assistance from Ron Dominguez (the Disneyland Site native and later Park VP who has a well-deserved reputation for community involvement). The Disneyland Merchants Association (sort of a Chamber of Commerce for Disneyland lessees) entered its own float in Bud’s division, and naturally a Disneylander served as the parade’s queen: Judy Underwood of the Frontier Trading Post. But in a twist rich with irony for the future Halloween drama between the two theme parks, Walter Knott served as grand marshal for this year’s parade.

1958’s festival wasn’t quite the Disneyland show as the previous year’s, but it still featured participation of Disneylanders. Again, the parade featured a division with a theme keyed to Disneyland. This year it was the “Fantasy” division, captained by Rose Wilson from Main Files, with assistance from Larry “Hutch” Hutcheson of Guest Relations. Dee Fisher, Wurlitzer organist, coordinated the Disneyland Halloween costume contest a week before the parade to determine who would ride on the Merchants Association’s float; he also performed in the parade itself. Also participating in the parade were Disneyland icons the Disneyland Band and the Omnibus. Red Wagon folks Tommy Scheid and Charlie Fowler helped with the festival’s annual breakfast.

The 41st Annual Anaheim Halloween Festival in 1964 was again centered on Disneyland, with a “Festival of Fantasy” theme. The parade had divisions one would expect for such a parade—Tomorrow Land, Adventure Land, Frontier Land, Fantasy Land, and the El Bekal Shriners. (Like “Main Street, U.S.A.” “El Bekal Shriners” doesn’t have land in its name, either.) This parade was noteworthy in having the participation of the six finalists for the first Disneyland Ambassador tradition: Venita Wold; Glenellen Cooper; Marcia Miner (who served as the 1967 Ambassador); Ethel Walker; Julie Reihm (who was selected for the position); and Kathy Albright.

Disneyland continued to participate in the parade through the years. In 1965, the Park donated costumes for the Kiddie Parade; that year, the Dapper Dans participated in the parade. In 1970 Disney used the parade to advertise “The Aristocats.” Disney characters continued to serve as grand marshal: Goofy in 1973, Cinderella in 1987, and Mickey in 1978, the same year that Disneyland, Carl Karcher, Herb Leo and others helped to save the parade after the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce had pulled its support.

From time to time, in light of the tremendous success Knott’s Berry Farm had with its Halloween Haunt (begun in 1973), Disney would be asked if Disneyland would ever itself celebrate Halloween in the Park. In 1983, Park spokesman Bob Roth indicated that Disneyland had effectively conceded Halloween for the time being. The time was used as a lead-in for “Mickey’s Month,” an on-and-off celebration begun to celebrate the Mouse after his 50th birthday in 1978. In early 1988, Jack Lindquist (then in Marketing, Disneyland President as of 1990) suggested Disneyland was contemplating some sort of family Halloween event, but come October, Roth was again saying Disneyland didn’t need Halloween: “It’s one of those things we keep putting off till next year (or) we get comfortable with the format.”

With the number of times a Disneyland Halloween celebration was put off, then, it’s curious that the first Halloween event held for Guests was such a debacle. In concert with KIIS-FM and Rick Dees (who was broadcasting live from the Haunted Mansion on Halloween morning), Disneyland in 1994 offered free admission to anybody who showed up at its gates before 8:30 a.m. Free admission? And all you have to do is show up in costume? And the popularity of this event caught anybody by surprise? Gridlock, of course, developed around the Park and backed up the Santa Ana Freeway, keeping many from gaining the free admittance they sought. Community schools weren’t too thrilled with this promotion, either, and the stunt wasn’t repeated. 1994 also marked the first year of the continuing Cast Member exclusive event Little Monsters on Main Street.

The next year Disneyland threw its first themed event for Halloween: Mickey’s Halloween Treat!, held the evenings of October 26, 27, 30 and 31. Envisioned as an event complementary to Knott’s events (rather than in competition), it featured trick-or-treating at fifty locations around the Park, a Kids Costume Cavalcade, and seasonal food items. Starting in 2001, Disney’s ambitions toward owning Halloween accelerated. The Haunted Mansion Holiday premiered that fall, mixing the Park’s only year-round Halloween-like attraction with the very popular world of Tim Burton’s "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The overlay was an immediate smash, repeated every year thereafter. Disney’s HalloweenTime debuted on September 29, 2006 as a promotion that transformed both theme parks with special shows and lavish decorations.

The Anaheim Halloween Festival has fallen on hard times more than once. I already mentioned Disney’s role in saving it in 1978. After declining in popularity, the Festival went on hiatus from 1992 through 1994, returning in 1995 as the Anaheim Fall Festival (the name under which it is still held today). And despite the success of the Disneyland Resort’s HalloweenTime promotion, Disneyland still actively supports this community celebration—even if few now remember, they go way back.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Waiting for This in Google's LIFE Photo Archive

From the July 1957 Disneylander:
Opening Day memory: BUD COULSON...will never forget the wonderful experience he had on opening day as he guided Life magazine photographers, Allen Grant and Loomis Dean to vantage points. They took over 1,000 pictures that day, including many rolls from the top of the TV camera tower in the Plaza. It's still a mystery as to how Allen and Loomis negotiated that tower with cameras in both hands as well as around their necks.
I have yet to see these appear in the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What a Week

The October 1, 1975 Disneyland Line noted:
Leisure plans and carefree days are on the agenda for these Disneyland employees who retired this week. They will be taking with them countless memories and experiences as well as our warmest wishes. Each and everyone of them will be missed.
Following this is a list of 34 names. In these days the Line would normally only mention one or two people that may be retiring, if any. Later, the Line had a regular "Golden Ears" column that included a photo and paragraph describing retirement plans for long-tenured Cast Members. As I recognized many of the names on the list, it seemed an almost historic group of retirees. As of July 17, 1975, there were 109 Club 55 members. Five Club 55 members, or 4.6% of the total, retired this one week! Most of the other names I've come across several times thus far in my thesaurusing activities. Here is my annotated list of retirees, all drawn from the information I've already assembled:
  • Howard Block: Employed at the Park for 20 years and served as a Foreman on most Park attractions.
  • Helen De Masi: Decorating Department.
  • Harry Dickey: Animation Department, Actuator Shop.
  • Herman Falk: Paint Shop; received a 15-Year service award in November 1975.
  • Eugene Galentine: Club 55 member of the Disneyland Fire Department.
  • Kenneth Getty
  • Robert Hanna: Retlaw Foreman on the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad; contributed to Backstage Disneyland ("Mainly on Main Street" column) and received a 15-Year service award in November 1974.
  • Herman Heidel: In Disneyland's Plumbing Department since 1957; received a 15-Year service award in November 1975. In 1971 Herman was a representative on Disneyland's Maintenance Safety Committee (each Maintenance department had one) and in March 1974 had a winning Creative Idea to disperse a foam build-up on the Bear Country waterfall.
  • Dorothea Heidemann: Merchandising; received a 10-Year service award in November 1973.
  • Homer Holland: Club 55 member from Main Street Operations. Homer served on several committees (Employee Cafeteria Food Committee, Operations Safety Committee, Main Street Stage Safety Committee) and in September 1973 had a winning Creative Idea to mount rear-view mirrors on the Main Street horseless carriage and fire trucks.
  • Steve Horvath
  • Carolyn Hughes
  • Edwin Johnson: Maintenance; received a 10-Year service award in November 1974. Served as the Maintenance coordinator for Disneyland's 1971 United Fund drive.
  • Katherine Kilpatrick: New Orleans & Plaza Inn Kitchens.
  • Lulu Miller: Club 55 member of Costuming. Lulu was known to everybody at the Park for her motherly ways. Stuff from the Park has a photo of Lulu taken in the late 1950s.
  • George Kohlenberger: Sound Department; received a 10-Year service award in November 1975. With others (including my uncle), George helped maintain the first Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show at Disneyland.
  • Walter Lindstedt: Maintenance; in 1972 participated in a 16-week blueprint reading class with other Maintenance Cast Members at the University of Disneyland.
  • Urban Mendoza: New Orleans & Plaza Inn Kitchens.
  • Adrian Munoz
  • Ralph Myers: Finance Division; received a 10-Year service award in November 1973. Ralph was one of the original signers of the Charters of Organization for the DRC [Disneyland Recreation Club] Federal Credit Union (today's Partners Federal Credit Union).
  • Charles Nichols: Came to Disneyland in 1959 at the request of Eddie Meck as the head of Disneyland's Photo Department; received a 15-Year service award in November 1974.
  • Ethel Penfield: Worked at the Baby Station since 1957 (possibly from its very first day). In 1975 Ethel recalled, "One man came in with his family and told us that through the years I had helped change and feed all six of his kids!"
  • John Power: Superintendent of the Electrical Department; received a 15-Year service award in November 1973.
  • Fred Roamer
  • Fran Salazar: With Landscaping since the late 1960s.
  • Elias Salloum
  • John Schimmelman
  • Joe Soto: Landscaping; received a 15-Year service award in November 1974.
  • Golvin Street: Main Gate Ticket Taker.
  • Charlotte Teague
  • Helen Westin
  • John Westlake: Maintenance; received a 15-Year service award in November 1974.
  • George Williams: Club 55 member and Mill Foreman.
  • Hugh (Woody) Woodsworth: Club 55 member in Payroll.
That's quite a roster to walk out the door in one week!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Disney's California Adventure Hours

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, a present a similar table for Disney's California Adventure operating hours. The big difference is that, unlike for Disneyland, I do have operating hours for each day in its history. Notice the experimentation that went on early in its history in 2001 as management tried to determine the best hours for the Park. It's very rare these days for Disney's California Adventure to open before 10!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Disneyland Park Hours

As followers of this blog know, one of my goals with the thesaurus is to have a day-by-day history of the Resort, including operating hours, openings, closures, notable visits, events, etc. I have operating hours for about half of the days since Disneyland opened and thought I'd share some statistics regarding those 10,000+ plus days I've documented thus far. The table below provides the operating hours, the number of days which the Park had those hours, and the first and last days I've documented as having those hours. Since I'm still missing a significant number of days, these statistics should not be considered representative of hours for Disneyland's entire history.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

50,000 Terms

I marked a milestone last Tuesday, July 14, as I entered the 50,000th term into the Disneyland Resort Thesaurus at 11:06 PM EDT. At roughly 50,000 terms a year, I expect I'll reach 100,000 terms in the summer of 2011 and 1,000,000 terms in 2047. Of course, the number of terms isn't the sole criterion on which to judge the thesaurus--the number of relationships also count, as does the amount of information recorded for each. There are more than 131,000 relationships contained in the thesaurus and in the past week I have edited 2,224 terms (or 4.4% of the total thesaurus). So, when I'm not posting here, I am still busy working behind the scenes on gathering sources and working through them. I've been meaning to undertake a broad look at the state of the thesaurus and its possibilities, but I feel, here, now, I can at least share a little about the sources with which I'm working.

Probably the greatest source in numbers is the Disneyland Line. I estimate there are somewhere over 2,000 of these (52 issues a year [fewer in recent years with a biweekly publication schedule] x 40 years). As of this writing, I have very thoroughly and methodically pulled apart 314 of those, or around 15%. (I have immediate access, either in hard copy or scans, to almost 1,500.) From the earlier monthly Disneylander of the 1950s and early 1960s, I have thesaurused 9 issues out of an unknown total which probably numbers between 50 and 60. For Backstage Disneyland, the quirky publication started by Wally Boag that was published on an erratic basis between 1962 and the 1980s, I have gone through but two issues out of an unknown total that I estimate at somewhere less than 80.

From materials produced for the public, I have input information from 8 of 159 Disney News/Disney Magazine issues. Of Disneyland Holiday/Vacationland, I have thesaurused 13 of about 84 issues. From The "E" Ticket, a mere 5 of the 46 issues. A mere 8 guidebooks from Disneyland's 54-year history. I've only started recording information from 3 of the roughly 26 souvenir wallmaps. I've only gone through a measly ONE copy of The Disneyland News (but it did yield information for 278 terms). I have made it through several books (including Disneyland: The Nickel Tour and Disney A-Z, two of the first sources I worked with), but have yet to start working with other treasure troves such as Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever and Van France's Window on Main Street.

I have used a few hundred newspaper articles out of about 7,500 saved so far. Other sources will include miscellaneous Cast Member publications (such as land/departmental newsletters and phone directories), interviews, press releases, blog posts, and anything else that contributes substantive information about the history of the Disneyland Resort. (Note that I didn't specify it has to be accurate information; it's just as important to document the origins of misconceptions!) I'm meticulously documenting where all the information comes from and what sources have been used or should be used, so if I drop dead tomorrow somebody would know exactly what I had done.

If anybody has bibliographic information for the Disneylander or Backstage Disneyland, I'd appreciate it, as I would a staff to help me out!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Snow White's Adventures Demolition

More? Of course there are more! Here's one of Snow White's Adventures, from right around the very day I was born:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Peter Pan Flight Demolition

As a companion to the post showing the exterior of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (1955-1982) shortly after its closure, here is an equivalent photo for Peter Pan Flight:

To the far right of the picture, you can see some of the medieval shields amidst the other debris. The ride vehicle track is still present, as is a very small portion of the Claude Coats/Ken Anderson mural, but otherwise the entire attraction was gone within a few weeks of closing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thesaurusing Area Music Loops

I'm still doing the whole thesaurus bit. On Monday I added the 3,000th Imagineer. I'm closing in on 50,000 terms total. (You can always check the sidebar for a reasonably up-to-date view of thesaurus statistics.) There are some aspects of Disneyland that I have procrastinated on thoroughly investigating, because they require the creation of so many new terms and linkages. If you recall my post Thesaurusing Live Entertainment, you'll know that I strongly desire new terms to be well-linked. Tonight I spent a little time adding terms in a similar vein: area music loops.

The area music loops themselves aren't too knotty a problem; conceptually, they're narrower terms of media -> media by types -> audio material -> audio material by contexts -> Resort audio material -> background music. But, I wanted each individual song to be linked to the area music term (e.g., Space Mountain Concourse area music). I settled on first creating an umbrella term for each song (e.g., Tomorrowland 2055 Fanfare (song), Miracles from Molecules (song), Monorail Song (song), etc.).

When known, I have linked the song creators to these broader terms. I then created a new term for each of these songs, linked to the music loop. I did this because these songs are just manifestations of the broader song concept. For example, there could be sheet music released for a song; it could have been recorded for a film soundtrack and rerecorded for the Park; or a song could have several Park versions. It seemed useful to me to make these distinctions, to record information about these separate instances. It also leaves open the possibility of future indexing of these individual audio tracks.

To demonstrate what I mean, below is the term record for Space Mountain Concourse area music, the mixture of music from the EPCOT Center entrance loop and new recordings of Tomorrowland's greatest hits, produced by Bruce Gordon for the never-was Tomorrowland 2055:
DLRERA: 1990s 1990s
DLRERA: 2000s 2000s
ETY: AME Area Music
LOC: DL-TL Tomorrowland
OPSTA: CUR Current

DFJHS: 0:00 - "Tomorrowland 2055 Fanfare" (0:48)
0:49 - "Tomorrowland 2055 Theme & Fanfare" (1:38)
2:27 - "Energy" (3:23)
5:50 - "Timekeeper" (2:07)
7:57 - "Golden Dream" (3:45)
11:42 - "Miracles from Molecules" (1:43)
13:25 - "It's Fun to Be Free" (3:29)
16:54 - "Monorail Song" (2:58)
19:52 - "Let's Listen to the Land" (4:30)
24:22 - "Tomorrowland 2055 Theme #1" (0:19)
24:41 - "Tomorrowland 2055 Theme #2" (1:44)
26:25 - "One Little Spark" (3:24)
29:49 - "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (2:24)
32:13 - "Nemo's Theme" (0:40)
32:53 - "Go Go Goodyear" (1:46)
34:39 - "Magic Journeys" (5:35)
40:14 - "Pop Goes the Weasel" (0:08)
40:22 - "We Are Here to Change the World" (3:13)
43:35 - "Universe of Energy" (3:54)
47:29 - "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" (2:25)

BT: background music
BTP: Space Mountain Concourse
BTP: Space Mountain Guest rest rooms [editor's note: yes, it plays here, too!]
CTBF: Gordon, Bruce
NTP {01}: Tomorrowland 2055 Fanfare (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {02}: Tomorrowland 2055 Theme & Fanfare (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {03}: Energy (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {04}: Timekeeper (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {05}: Golden Dream (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {06}: Miracles from Molecules (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {07}: It's Fun to Be Free (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {08}: Monorail Song (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {09}: Let's Listen to the Land (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {10}: Tomorrowland 2055 Theme #1 (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {11}: Tomorrowland 2055 Theme #2 (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {12}: One Little Spark (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {13}: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {14}: Nemo's Theme (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {15}: Go Go Goodyear (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {16}: Magic Journeys (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {17}: Pop Goes the Weasel (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {18}: We Are Here to Change the World (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {19}: Universe of Energy (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
NTP {20}: There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
The information at the top (DLRERA/Disneyland Resort Era, ETY/Entity, LOC/Location, OPSTA/Operational Status) are various classifications that I apply to most of the terms in the thesaurus. I have various definitional note fields, preceded by DF. DFJHS is one I use when I have come up with the information myself or if I just want to make notes about a term. BT/BTP are ways of linking to broader terms, NTP narrower terms. CTBF stands for "contribution from." The numbers in the curly brackets are node labels, so the songs are ordered as they play in the loop. Now let's take a look at one of the Space Mountain Concourse songs, Miracles from Molecues (Space Mountain Concourse) (song):
DLRERA: 1990s 1990s
DLRERA: 2000s 2000s

BT: media by names
BTI: Miracles from Molecules (song)
BTP: Space Mountain Concourse area music
And this is what the main term for the song (Miracles from Molecules (song)) currently looks like:
SRC: Disneyland: The Nickel Tour (2000)
The Disneyland Encyclopedia (2008)
Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends (2008)

BT: media by names
BTI: songs
NTI: Miracles from Molecules (Space Mountain Concourse) (song)
CTBF: Sherman Brothers
RT: Adventure Thru Inner Space
SRC is used to show where this exact term came from. In this case, I have not yet come across any variant names for the songs. The Sherman Brothers are shown as contributing to the writing of the song (obviously, they wrote it, but I do not currently have a finer grained relationship to use). Right now, Adventure Thru Inner Space is shown as a related term for the song. In the future, when I've created terms for each instance of Miracles from Molecules in the attraction's soundtrack, I may delete this more explicit reference. (The song would be related through the song instance which would be related to Adventure Thru Inner Space.)

At any rate, you can see why I have put this off for so long! So far, I have only added the Space Mountain Concourse area music and Main Street area music (1992- ), but more will follow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Old Fantasyland Demolition

It's been a long time since I last posted a destruction shot of the old Fantasyland from the 1982-1983 timeframe. Here's Mr. Toad going to pieces:

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Wonder What They Found

September 11, 1974 Disneyland Line:
At the present time, the Disney University is doing research on the history of the Park. In trying to re-create Disneyland as it has developed through the years, they are tracing the changes that have taken place both on and off stage. If you have any old maps, photos, guide books, or any other historical data, the University would greatly appreciate your help. All material used will be Xeroxed and returned. For further information or inquiries, please call Jon Worsdell at the Disney University at Ext. 641 or 642...Thanks!
What motivated them to research the Park's history at this point in time? A specific training program? Did anybody submit anything that we today would find amazing? What did the University eventually do with the material?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mineral King Wilderness

President Obama today signed into law the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act. Among other things, the Act includes the Mineral King valley as part of the John Krebs Wilderness. McClatchy has a good article about the wilderness area and John Krebs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nixon and Disneyland, Part 7

The Disneyland Line furnishes details on another Disneyland Cast Member who went to work for Nixon. From the January 9, 1974 issue:
Joanne Miller, Personnel Representative in Employee Relations, will assume the duties of Receptionist/Guide and Secretary at the Western White House beginning January 7. Joanne will be the secretary for the Buildings and Facilities Manager and will be responsible for coordinating conferences at the Western White House.

We wish Joanne success in this new endeavor.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Disneyland Resort Era

In the past couple of weeks, I've been hard at work on a new category I've added to the thesaurus: DLRERA, short for Disneyland Resort Era. I'm currently thesaurusing four Disneyland telephone directories, covering a couple of decades. In addition to the Cast Members named in these, I had many from Disneylanders, Disneyland Lines, and other sources. I currently have over 6,600 Cast Member names recorded, and finally realized it would be useful to add some temporal perspective.

So, I created a new category (DLRERA, with decades as subcategories) and also created new terms for 1950s Cast Members, 1960s Cast Members, 1970s Cast Members, 1980s Cast Members, 1990s Cast Members, and 2000s Cast Members. While the Cast Member terms denote something specific, the DLRERA category is a little more ambiguous. I have a working definition that a a decade should be applied to a term if it had some presence in or influence on the Disneyland Resort during that time. A Cast Member who worked at the Park in the 1970s would have the 1970s category applied, obviously. I worked at Disneyland in the 2000s, but I've also applied 1990s to myself because I was active in the Usenet community, had a popular Disneyland web site, co-founded the Bruce Gordon Fan Club, etc., etc. The categories are sort of a way of pulling all the terms for a particular decade together.

I have not gone through to apply this categorization to every term in the thesaurus just yet (and frankly, I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of categorizing all of the date terms themselves). The process of back-categorizing thousands and thousands of Cast Members was onerous enough, as I had to read the notes I'd typed about them to determine when they worked. These are the numbers I have so far, with overlap between categories possible and occurring:
1950s Cast Members: 628
1960s Cast Members: 1,203
1970s Cast Members: 2,111
1980s Cast Members: 1,096
1990s Cast Members: 1,240
2000s Cast Members: 2,779
The numbers reflect the sources I've used thus far and so shouldn't be used for statistical purposes. The number of 1970s Cast Members, in particular, reflects the large number of Disneyland Lines from early in that decade.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Disneyland Resort as an Organization

As I've mentioned before (and you can see here in my post listing 1,000 Cast Members and lessees), the thesaurus goes beyond just documenting the public parts of Disneyland, but attempts to encompass the entire operation, including Guest, Cast, and Imagineering perspectives. So, I'm attempting to track the organizational structure of the Park/Resort through the years. This can be a bit daunting at times because Disney (especially modern Disney) loves to rearrange and move functions around, and I'm operating with incomplete information. Rarely do I have a complete organizational snapshot at any point in time.

This October 1959 Disneyland, Inc. division responsibilities chart provides very valuable information, but is just the tip of the iceberg:

It only provides the division directors, not any lower managers, and does not provide information on the finer distinctions (such as all of the various shops to be found under "Maintenance"). But mostly I don't even have this level of information, and just have to document each of the departments and divisions as I find them, and periodically assess what I know. For instance, here Janitorial is part of Construction & Maintenance (which became simply the Maintenance division sometime in the 1960s). In 1973, it was part of Operations, and in 1975 part of General Services. Today it's known as Custodial (a change which I believe occurred in the mid-1970s) and is part of Guest Services.

The best sources for this information are Disneyland Lines, particularly those which include feature articles on various departments or have lists of service anniversaries or committees which draw from around the Park, and Park telephone directories. My plan is to do the best I can with the information from these sources, and hopefully in the future run it past some people who have great familiarity with the organizational Resort over the decades.

As I was looking through the June 1993 directory, I was struck by just how many people were working off-site. The original Disneyland Administration Building consisted of two houses from the property joined together in the East Service Area, behind Main Street, U.S.A.--one of the houses belonging to Ron Dominguez's family. Seen here is the building as modeled in the model of 1955 Disneyland currently on display in the Opera House:

A larger Administration Building was constructed nearby in 1966, also housing the Primeval World Diorama. (According to a 1984 Cast Member training book, The Spirit of Disneyland, Walt Disney rejected an expensive admin building, stating "There isn't going to be any administration building. The public isn't coming here to see an administration building." It's not clear from when this quotation dates, but the large administration building was built under Walt's leadership.)

By the 1980s the Park had outgrown that Administration Building. In early 1985, Disneyland purchased the site of the Global Van Lines building. Global Van Lines had used this building, north of the Park and along the Santa Ana Freeway, as its western regional headquarters before moving it to Orange:

As Disneyland began contemplating expansion in the 1980s, it also recognized the importance of a new administration building. In 1987, in what Disneyland spokesman Bob Roth described as a "temporary move," Entertainment, Marketing, Finance, and Disneyland International moved into leases offices in the Plaza Alicante at 300 Plaza Alicante, Garden Grove, just down Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland. An April 1988 account of the move in the Orange County Register said the new building should be finished by the end of a three-year lease. While the Cast Members decorated their new digs to make it feel like home, one CM commented that they sometimes didn't get to the Park for several days. When Jack Lindquist was named President of Disneyland in October 1990, he said in regards to the Cast Members scattered in area offices, "I don't even know where they all are."

Disneyland didn't select an architect for the new administration building--Frank O. Gehry--until December 1992. Below is a graphic illustrating where Disneyland had Cast Members working circa June 1993, using an October 1995 photo as the base:

The immediate Operations staff remained on site, of course, as did the Facilities, Engineering and Construction personnel. The Administration Building still housed Administration, Public Relations, Costuming, Legal, Cast Activities, Broadcast Services, and Security/Fire. Publicity and Vista-United were on the second floor of the Opera House. Some parts of Entertainment were in the America Sings building (such as Show Operations and Stage Management). The Walt Disney Travel Company was over at the Disneyland Hotel, as it had been since its formation in 1972.

Disneyland had a small presence at the Pacific Inland Bank, 888 S. West Street, Anaheim (now 888 S. Disneyland Drive); on the second floor were offices for the Purchasing Office, Walt Disney Specialty Products, and Contract Administration. Disneyland also rented out a couple of floors at Stadium Towers, 2400 Katella Avenue, Anaheim, housing operations related to Human Relations functions. On the 12th floor were Labor Relations and Wage & Salary Administration, while the 8th floor contained Cast Communications, the Disney University, Personnel Records, Guest Claims, Workers' Compensation, and related departments.

But the greatest number of Cast Members ended up at the Plaza Alicante, 300 Plaza Alicante, Garden Grove, somewhat more than a mile down Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland. All or most of the Finance, Marketing, and Entertainment divisions ended up here, and Disneyland had space rented on all but the 9th floor (that I can tell). These are some of the departments found on the various floors:
  • 1st: Business Process Reengineering; Queen Mary Finance
  • 2nd: Finance Division: Accounting Department; Finance Administration; General Ledger; Planning & Analysis
  • 3rd: Finance Division: Accounts Receivable; Inventory Accounting
  • 4th: Finance Division: Capital Development-West Coast Finance; Facility Finance; Industrial Engineering
  • 4th: Entertainment Division: Entertainment Art; Choreography; Music Department; Show Development/Directors
  • 5th: Disneyland International; Euro Disney; TDL Finance; Walt Disney Attractions Documentation
  • 6th: Marketing Division: Advertising; Creative Services; Promotions; Marketing Special Projects; Vista Advertising
  • 6th: Entertainment Division: College Music Program; Music Library; Entertainment Special Events; Talent Booking; Guest Talent Development
  • 7th: Marketing Division: Marketing Administration; Alumni Club; Ambassador Program; Magic Kingdom Club; Magic Years Club; Corporate Alliance; Synergy; Disney News Magazine
  • 8th: College Relations
  • 10th: Attraction Sales; Convention Sales; Corporate Sales; Private Parties; Grad Nites
Following the naming scheme established with the corporate headquarters (Team Disney Burbank) and Walt Disney World (Team Disney Orlando), the new administration building was known as Team Disney Anaheim when it opened in February 1996. People sometimes complain that management who work at TDA don't get out into the Parks, and so make decisions divorced from the Guests and any personal connection to how things are in the field. Surely there are some Cast Members like that, just as there must have been some who went to the old Administration Building and didn't go into the Park. But having the main administrative functions consolidated in one location, on property, is a huge improvement over the scattered way things were in the late 1980s into the mid-1990s. I'd be interested to find out how this Cast dispersal interacted with concurrent efforts to expand and form the Disneyland Resort. If anybody reading this blog worked off-site, I'd be very interested to hear your perspective on how efficiently Disneyland functioned during this time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Photos from George Short, Part 15

You didn't think that I ran out of photos from George Short, just because I haven't posted any in eight months, right? (As a reminder, George Short is a Club 55 member who spent his career in the Sound Department.) Here's an early 1959 shot of Main Street, U.S.A. from Main Street Station. You may be able to see some steel girders for the Matterhorn in the corner. It's a good thing the Matterhorn was on the horizon, too--without the new attractions, I'm not sure the place would have made it. Where is everybody?!

And a comparison shot from 1999, with a bit wider zoom and much fuller trees:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For the Waterlogged

I haven't posted anything visual since November 18(!), but tonight I came across some perfectly appropriate images. I understand Southern California has been a bit wet lately (thanks, Facebook friends!). I've always enjoyed Disneyland in the rain--especially marathons on Splash Mountain, when you're already wet and there's nobody else in line. However, I have never been at Disneyland when Main Street was navigable by boat. The winter of 1977-1978 was particularly rainy. Los Angeles saw 33.44 inches of rain, then the third rainiest season on record, and still the fourth rainiest since 2004-2005's 37.96 inches. Disneyland was apparently ill-equipped to deal with the rain, as we see on the cover of the March 16, 1978 Disneyland Line:

And a few more images from page 2:

The photos are undated, but based on newspaper research, it's likely they're from Saturday, March 4's storm. That weekend saw a major storm pass through the region, causing more problems in areas in Los Angeles County, with the week following having lighter rain fall.