Archive for March, 2013

Photoland: “it’s a small snapshot”

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Our last picture in this series is of an attraction that needs no introduction. In fact, it’s so iconic, that we don’t even need to tell you it’s name (“it’s a small world”):

Photoland: it's a small snapshot

At the time we took this picture, the attraction was closed (which is why there are grumpy and/or crying children stomping through the foreground), but the older picture shows it in happier days, filled with laughing children and with a train passing through. Sharp-eyed readers may even be able to catch a glimpse of one of the old topiary hedgehogs in the flowerbed (which are no longer produced, since they are too difficult to cultivate and were often “borrowed” by mischievous guests).

We hope you’ve enjoyed this photo tour through Disneyland history. Thanks for visiting the past with us!

Next up: Nothing

Photoland: Now You’ve Seen Most Everything

Friday, March 15th, 2013

This photo…

Photoland: Now You've Seen Most Everything

…is one of only a very few that we have of Fantasyland. It’s very difficult to match up photos of the original Fantasyland with today’s Fantasyland, since the current version was a completely new design and construction, made necessary when the original Fantasyland was packed up and moved to Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom.

Next up: One last little thing

Photoland: Out of Toon

Friday, March 15th, 2013

This photo makes us a little bitter:

Photoland: Out of Toon

The old picture was taken during a dark, dark time in Disneyland history when management was unwilling to spend more money on park upkeep than was absolutely necessary and the bulk of the park’s electricity came from a dynamo powered by Walt Disney spinning in his grave. Paint is chipped, the Mickey clock is showing the wrong time, and look at how drab and faded everything looks when compared to the bright, beautiful, whimsical Toontown of today!

Thank goodness those days are long gone and we can have pride in our park again!

Next up: Kind of a dumb one

Photoland: Golden Horsephotos

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

We have two from the Golden Horseshoe Saloon this time. First, an exterior:

Photoland: Golden Horsephotos exterior

Sadly, most of those advertisements and props for the original show are no longer there. But even though the original Golden Horseshoe Review has moved into the history books, the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show…

Photoland: Golden Horsephotos interior

…has taken its place as a beloved Frontierland mainstay. What’s particularly nice about this photo is that you can see one of the current performers at the left in the current photo, and in the central picture see what he looked like in his younger days!

Next up: Toon in tomorrow!

Photoland: Columbia Down Under

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The below-decks area of the Columbia opened a few years after the ship itself first took sail on the Rivers of America. Here, guests could see how real sailors lived in days of old. For example, there’s this pot of fish stew…

Photoland: Columbia Down Under fish stew

…that’s been cooking for several decades, and the captain’s quarters…

Photoland: Columbia Down Under captain's cabin

…which teach us that we should never try to take a heavily backlit picture of a photo printed on cheap paper with a home photo printer while standing in a dark room using a consumer-grade digital camera. But we bet a real sailor would have known that already!

Next up: All that glitters

Photoland: Columbia Pictures

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

There’s not much to say about the Columbia:

Photoland: Columbia Pictures

It hasn’t changed a lick over the years — at least not on the outside. Things are a little more interesting below decks, though, and we’ll have something to say about that tomorrow.

Next up: Something to say something about

Photoland: Chief Waves-a-Lot

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

This animatronic Indian chief…

Photoland: Chief Waves-a-Lot

…has been waving to park guests for almost half a century. He waves to passing boats, turns to wave at passing trains, then turns to wave at passing boats again. Observant guests will notice that he can only can turn in a clockwise direction, which explains why he is programmed to only switch from his “train” to his “boat” position when nobody is looking.

Next up: The gem of the ocean

Photoland: On Deck — Big Thunder

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

This photo, taken from the deck of the Columbia, shows the peak (or, as people who have trouble spelling say, “peek”) of Big Thunder Mountain.

Photoland: On Deck -- Big Thunder

You can’t see it because the old photo is in the way, but at the time this was taken, a huge crane was disassembling Big Thunder Mountain’s titular mountain so that it could be taken backstage for refurbishment.

Next up:Howdy!

Photoland: Petrified!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Walt Disney famously gave his wife a huge hunk of petrified tree as an anniversary gift, and it became a permanent part of the park when she “accidentally” left it in Frontierland near the Rivers of America.

Photoland: Petrified!

The tree itself has changed little over the years (as a petrified tree, it no longer blooms, grows, or bears fruit), but Frontierland has certainly changed around it. In the background, you can just make out Rainbow Ridge, the town that served as an entrance to the beloved Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland Attraction (which later served as inspiration for Fantasyland’s Alice in Wonderland attraction).

Next up: The sound of thunder

Photoland: Island Getaway

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Here are two photos of Tom Sawyer Island, overlaying photos of Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island (formerly Pirates’ Lair on Tom Sawyer Island).


Photoland: Island Getaway

They definitely make you nostalgic for the days when the island wasn’t all “piratey,” don’t they?

Next up: Rockin’ wood