'the way you remember it...'
September 28, 2014 8:07 PM   Subscribe

 
My parents were born the year Disneyland opened, and their first date and first kiss happened there about 20 years later. I owe a good portion of my life and livelihood to Disneyland as a result. Can't wait to share these archives with them both -- they'll be tickled to see all their favorite spots again.
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:31 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]




Endless pages of Kodachrome pictures? This is addicting
posted by hellojed at 8:40 PM on September 28, 2014


"Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, our giant projector here is creating no ordinary snowflake. With any luck, this snowflake will grow into our biggest money-maker yet by the year 2013."

From the link:
Interior view of Monsanto Company's attraction "Adventure Thru Inner Space" in Disneyland. Located in the newly expanded Tomorrowland, the futuristic building houses a ride through the inner space of a snowflake, in a vehicle called an "Atomobile." The rider feels the unusual illusion of shrinking to the size of an atom.
I miss that exciting vision of the future, circa 1967, because the modern version of that attraction would go on to explain why those atoms are totally patentable by Monsanto, thanks to the Magic of Science and Litigation.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 PM on September 28, 2014 [12 favorites]


I've commented on this elsewhere here, but the mid-century vision of the future, as captured by Disney, really is powerful and uplifting, thrilling, even if unfortunately stuck in melting potism and mid-century modernism. We've no comparable hopefulness and optimism today.

Sweet pictures. Thanks.
posted by notyou at 9:42 PM on September 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Those are some fantastically useless souvenir maps.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:59 PM on September 28, 2014


I grew up about 20min from Disneyland and found this blog last weekend and have obsessively read thousands of entries from it ever since. It really takes me back, and god do I miss the autopia-of-boats ride and the People Mover most of all.
posted by mathowie at 10:23 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's funny how the scale of things has changed as people need more to be impressed and awed. The Sleeping Beauty castle on the front page is tiny compared to today's ornate palace. The size and number of buildings on Main Street also seems very different now compared to these photos -- although maybe it really is like that still and it just feels closer and taller because of the crowds filling the street.

I've been to Disneyland three times: once as a 23-year-old with friends, once with my two-year-old son, and again last year with a 10- and 7-year-old. I love how the experience changes every time.
posted by tracicle at 10:51 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


god do I miss the autopia-of-boats ride and the People Mover most of all

The PeopleMover was my FAVORITE! I am among my true people.
posted by mochapickle at 12:24 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've never been to a Disney park, have no desire to ever go to one, but I'd far rather go to the ones pictured here if I had to.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:28 AM on September 29, 2014


PeopleMover people may appreciate this PeopleMover documentary. (48 mins)
posted by headless at 2:58 AM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


The PeopleMover was absolutely one of my favourite rides. It had everything! There was rarely a line, you got to sit down, it had awesome music, and you got to see all sorts of things.

One time, right after Star Tours opened, my brother and I rode the PeopleMover and started shouting at all the people in line for Star Tours.

"Star Tours sucks!"
"Get outta line!"
"It's boring!"

Because we were geniuses, this was sneaky sneaky reverse psychology, since they would totally take the advice of two children, the line would shrink, and then we would go on it.

It didn't work.

But at least I got to ride the PeopleMover again.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:46 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's funny how the scale of things has changed as people need more to be impressed and awed. The Sleeping Beauty castle on the front page is tiny compared to today's ornate palace.

The scale hasn't changed. Disney occasionally does redecorate or embellish the castles for various anniversaries.

Disneyland and Disneyland Hong Kong have Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney have the taller Cinderella's Castle, however.

Disneyland Paris has their own slightly taller version of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Here's a blog post showing photos of each.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:46 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would also like to add Doombuggies for any Haunted Mansion fans.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:48 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am endlessly fascinated that there was a time when people dressed-up to go, well, anywhere...including to an amusement park.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:08 AM on September 29, 2014


I'm struck by how much the late '60s pictures of Main Street remind me of Bioshock Infinite's Columbia. I'm not sure what the significance is of that. Did they both just nail the feel (or at least the idealized version) of early 20th century small town America? Was the Bioshock team influenced in part by Disney?

All I know is now I want to revisit those scenes of Columbia with that in mind. I hope doing so doesn't ever taint my memories of the happiest place on earth.
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 5:34 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is a plastic model kit available of this rocket. My and my son made it a few years ago. Really attractive design. Although ours was spray-painted silver.
posted by jabah at 6:09 AM on September 29, 2014


I am endlessly fascinated that there was a time when people dressed-up to go, well, anywhere

I've almost forgotten that time, but I can remember wearing a suit to get on a plane to Florida, visiting my grandparents.
posted by pjern at 6:27 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


PeopleMover people may appreciate this PeopleMover documentary. (48 mins)

As a PeopleMover person, I am moved.
posted by mochapickle at 6:45 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm struck by how much the late '60s pictures of Main Street remind me of Bioshock Infinite's Columbia. I'm not sure what the significance is of that. Did they both just nail the feel (or at least the idealized version) of early 20th century small town America? Was the Bioshock team influenced in part by Disney?

Main Street is styled to be like Walt Disney's childhood memories of his hometown in Missouri. (c. 1910)

Hard to say whether B:I was influenced by Disney or just coincidentally set in the same time.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:45 AM on September 29, 2014


It's fun to compare the old "Modern Day" of the Carousel of Progress to the current version, which has been left in some bizzaro early 90's version of modern where people wear toaster-sized VR headgear. I think I'd prefer a console TV.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 7:41 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


and the People Mover most of all

The People Mover still exists, and is called the "People Mover" again, at the Magic Kingdom. It's pretty clear that Disney wants to bring the People Mover back -- one of the worse moments of Eisner's Reign of Error was killing it for Rocket Rods. The infrastructure is still there, but it would need some serious construction to bring it up to current safety standards. I suspect that it won't come back until the next major Tomorrowland rebuild, which may be soon.

The problem with Tomorrowland (and with Future World at Epcot) is that it's hard to keep things tomorrow when things have changed so much since the parks were built. Tomorrowland, which is really "Science Fiction Land", has it a bit easier than the reality based Future World concept, but both end up looking dated very quickly because science keeps moving on. See also "Carousel of Progress" which has the last scene dated two years after the refurb. I call it "Carousel of Climate Control", very handy on hot days.

Disney always changes. Sometimes for the good, sometimes not. Disney has learned to be careful with *changing* attractions, like they did with Tropical Serenade and Journey into Imagination, it's far better to kill-and-replace and not step on people's memories like that.
posted by eriko at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2014


It's funny how the scale of things has changed as people need more to be impressed and awed. The Sleeping Beauty castle on the front page is tiny compared to today's ornate palace

It's the same size as ever. As with everything at Disneyland, there is a whole bunch of perspective games being played to make things appear larger or smaller -- the 3 story buildings along Main Street are really 2 stories tall, and so forth. But, you shoot with a camera lens that isn't a normal lens, and those perspective tricks break badly. Sleeping Beauty's Castle at DL is pretty much *all* perspective tricks, while Cinderella's Castle at MK isn't quite as much, being over 100 feet taller (189' vs. 77').

Wide angle shots pretty much destroy the perspective tricks -- This shot, with a 22mm lens, makes it look like a two story house with a tall chimney.

But, it is a much smaller castle, just as Disneyland itself is itself a smaller park than Magic Kingdom. There just wasn't that much space in Anaheim -- 85 vs. 108 acres, now 117 with New Fantastyland. Cinderella's Castle was also built much taller to be seen across the lagoon.
posted by eriko at 9:11 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Disneyland was built, it was in the middle of orange groves.

I have a memory of going for the first time soon after it opened and seeing the spire of the castle rising above seemingly endless groves.

I doubt there are groves anywhere near the sprawl that is Anaheim nowadays....
posted by CrowGoat at 9:47 AM on September 29, 2014


There is a plastic model kit available of this rocket.

And, actually, as far as SF rockets go, this one is pretty close to reality. You wouldn't have the landing gear, but if you see them as launch braces, use the proper materials and make it two stages (the lower using RP/LOX and the upper using LH2/LOX), you could easily get that into LEO with a fair of payload.

The unrealistic parts -- it should be a bit taller than 76' (though the UK's Black Arrow launcher was only 43' tall) and the taper at the base shouldn't be there, because tapers are harder to make than cylinders, and you'd want some more nozzle protruding, because they get *very* hot. But of all the fantasy rockets I'd seen, the TWA Moonliner is one of the very few that is at least a plausible shape and design to actually work as an orbital rocket. However, you're not getting to the moon on that without something dramatically better than LH2/LOX, though. The one rocket we know could take humans to the moon and back was over 350' tall, though. Rocketry is, at the core, all about ΔV, and if you don't have enough ΔV, you don't get there.

And, of course, it was supposed to be a much larger rocket -- look at the "cockpit" area. But, as it was, it's really not a bad design. It's not a great one, but it's not bad at all.
posted by eriko at 10:16 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just to add some more references here:

Widen Your World is a site trying to comprehensively log every WDW attraction or feature that's been closed or lost to the sands of time.

And let's not forget the really dedicated people trying to save closed attractions by recreating them as VR simulations.

You have Virtual Toad (Mr Toad's Wild Ride, somewhat dormant now) and Horizons: Ressurected (EPCOT's Carousel of Progress / Century III, aka GE's Horizons)
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:25 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a memory of going for the first time soon after it opened and seeing the spire of the castle rising above seemingly endless groves.

I remember a time when the Matterhorn was the tallest thing for many miles, you could see it from the freeway literally many miles away. These days driving past, you have to squint to make it out between all the big buildings around it.
posted by mathowie at 10:36 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


You wouldn't have the landing gear
You would if you were doing it right.
make it two stages (the lower using RP/LOX and the upper using LH2/LOX)
...
However, you're not getting to the moon on that without something dramatically better than LH2/LOX
Yes and yes. In the Disney imagination, "dramatically better" means nuclear... but nuclear-thermal doesn't work so well for high thrust operations like launch from Earth.
posted by roystgnr at 11:36 AM on September 29, 2014


It's pretty clear that Disney wants to bring the People Mover back -- one of the worse moments of Eisner's Reign of Error was killing it for Rocket Rods. The infrastructure is still there, but it would need some serious construction to bring it up to current safety standards. I suspect that it won't come back until the next major Tomorrowland rebuild, which may be soon.

Everything I've heard is that the tracks will finally be removed in the next Tomorrowland overhaul, and despite many proposals of varying degrees of credibility, I haven't heard any serious hints that they might be repurposed or reused again. In fact, the most recent scuttlebutt I heard was that the tracks really have finally rotted beyond repair at this point after years of minimal upkeep. Although if you've read otherwise, I'd love to see it!

It's tempting to think that Disney is this one big super-brain with a consistent philosophy across all parks, but Orlando and Anaheim actually have wildly different management cultures and there's no consistency at all in what one has chosen to preserve or the other has chosen to tear out.
posted by anazgnos at 2:20 PM on September 29, 2014


It's tempting to think that Disney is this one big super-brain with a consistent philosophy across all parks, but Orlando and Anaheim actually have wildly different management cultures and there's no consistency at all in what one has chosen to preserve or the other has chosen to tear out.

And furthermore, they exist in two entirely different climates. For instance, 20,000 Leagues had to be removed from the Florida park because it grew algae and clouded up with swampy gunk far too quickly, and just required too much upkeep for a classic ride with limited rider capacity.

Disneyland, on the other hand, gave it a Nemo overhaul but retained much of the ride and surrounding lagoon.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:07 PM on September 29, 2014


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