Friday, July 17, 2009

Trip Report - July 17, 2009

What an amazing day at the park yesterday! It was warm, clear and slightly breezy, can’t ask for much better in July! The crowds were reasonable; however the park did start to get pretty crowded as evening approached. In addition to the fabulous day, I got the privilege to meet and spend time at the park with Daveland and TokyoMagic, thanks gents, great meeting you and nice to be at the park with other Disneyland Blogers!

Get to the park at 7:15am and you’ve got the parking lot and tram area basically to yourself.

At about 7:30am the lines were just starting to form.

As soon as we were let in (8:00am) all the guests were routed to the right side tunnel entrance. On the left side they had just finished a retirement ceremony for Marty Skylar (I saw the back of his head!) he got a window near City Hall. I guess my invitation for this even got lost in the mail.

Jumping ahead to later in the day, this was the only sign (or printed material of any kind) regarding the “Special Ceremony” at town square for Disneyland 54th anniversary.

Even though a ton of people had no idea what this was for (I told at least ½ a dozen folks why there was a ceremony) there were plenty of people packed into town square.

I didn’t even try to get up close, I’ve seen Mickey & Minnie before and who exactly is this Mayor (of Munchkin city?).

My camera takes ok video, it would help if I held it still, but you get the idea. Not many things give me goose bumps, but hearing Walt’s dedication speech replayed in Town Square at 4:45pm on July 17th is sort of magical. Check out the release of the Doves at the end of the video, NICE TOUCH DISNEY!!!!

While in town square I found this little fellow.

Guess where I found this little guy?

The Rocketeer, does anyone even know who he is?

New Orleans Square was its usual charming self.

The pirate fortune teller is all by himself in this little room between shops, I don’t think anyone was paying him any attention.

The cool painted mirrors in the former Perfume shop, Walt had these custom made based on originals he had seen overseas, they are in great shape still.

Cool drinking fountain in front of the perfume store.

Where’s a sack of C & H sugar when you need it?

Obligatory Matterhorn shot, the photo doesn't show it, but it was pretty crowded all day.

Retroland doing better than ever.

Fun poster hidden away in the shop outside of Small World.

Here a fun discovery (Thank you TokyoMagic!!!). This little photo booth is actually an original ticket booth. I need to do more research to find out where it originally stood and looked like.

Mary has work at the park for over 20 years and confirmed this is an original booth. Actually if you look at the wood work, you can tell it’s pretty darn old! Mary said Kodak sponsors the booth. I gave her a vintage “C” ticket, she was thrilled and I’m happy the ticket is back home. I could have given her an “E” ticket, but the “C” ticket has all the Fantasyland attractions.

Alright, I don’t hate it as much as I used to. It placement stinks, could you have picked a worse place to put it? But now that’s its all refurbished, shiny and working correctly, it is pretty fun to look at!

Three Fences is doing well, if not a little over grown. (Rant warning): Just because this spot is kind of out of the way and secluded does not mean you can SMOKE there. I saw folks smoking there all day, yuck!!!

Any to make matters worse; there were cigarette buts in the plants! (Come on smokers, don’t be rude & gross!) Brittany was doing and amazing job of cleaning up, with her blue glove on she was picking buts and popcorn and a beer bottle caps (huh?) out of the plants, making a little pile on the curb, then she swept it all up. Disney, give this woman a raise, she was awesome. I personally thanked her, I think it took her by surprise.

Over by the Space Mountain fass-pass area is the old long gone “Space Place”. The original menu has been replaced with “Space” panels, I think someone didn’t put this one in incorrectly, please contact the sign shop to have this corrected…

Why do I like 32 year old blue tiles so much?

More vintage tile!

Now I know why the speed ramp to the upstairs of the Starcade is closed, because the “X” wing is about to detach from its mounts and take flight!

Cool 70’s space mural. Too bad it’s almost impossible to see!

Between America Sings and Mission to Mars, a little bit of Wally Crump?

The PeopleMover track is still the coolest design ever. They have got to do something with this and I don’t mean removing it. “At least its still there” is the new chant for Vintage Disneyland fans.

The flag ceremony was an hour after the re-dedication ceremony. The flag holders looked military serious.

They didn’t seem so serious with the Dapper Dan in tow!.

Nice band!

Last picture for the post and its hard to see. It’s not easy to time this from a moving tram, in fact it was more of a guess. Yup that’s the gullywhomper. It appears to be upon of blocks and possibly the hull has had work done on it. Do you think its even possible that Disney would return her to service??? I know all the reasons not to (it tips over, lawyers, cast member cost, maint, etc.) But how cool would that be? Maybe if they brought it back for the 55th anniversary they could promote its link to the past (the park & the movies). I’m dreaming I know. But hey, according to what I was told all day “Dreams come true”…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trip Report - July 8, 2009

Time for a report. Wednesday (July 8th) was a marvelous day all around. Amazingly there was no traffic coming or going to the park, none. We got to the park at 8:30am, left at 8:30pm. The weather was made to order, topped out at 80 degrees; crowds were great early on and reasonable all day. Since this trip was with family, I didn’t have my usual opportunity to go camera wild, so today’s trip report consists of some odd shots I was able to get in between “Celebrations” with the family.

Let’s start at the tram loading area. This first photo is actually from July 3, 2008 showing the east side of the tram loading drive way.

As seen currently, they are completely repaving the driveway. It looks like it used to be just a few inches of asphalt, I’m guessing it was not strong enough and they are going to pour concrete, just as the turn around area is pure concrete.

The Mighty Matterhorn. This attraction is slowly edging out Thunder Mountain as my current favorite “thrill” ride at the park. Something about the historic significance, the fact that there is only one Disney “Matterhorn”. It just trips me out to no end that Walt Disney himself rode this very attraction many times; it’s kind of a wild ride for an old man!

The castle looking grand as always.

Look who I stumbled into on my way over to the wishing well… She was so nice and beyond realistic. I know Disney hires “actors”, but this lady was spot on, her looks and accent were perfect. She was so nice I can’t even explain it. She spent several minutes talking with me and the kids, when we asked her why the wishing well was silent, she walked us back towards the front of the castle to point out a commercial that was being filmed, and she said they turn off the recording when filming. She then told us the tale of the Frog Prince.

After telling us a modified version of the Frog Prince (he doesn’t get kissed in her version) she walked us over to the wishing well and showed us that the frog ended up in the well, trapped for eternity. Check out the lower left, there's the frog!!!!

The Crusader Sword is on sale for $125! That seems like one heck of deal, these swords feel like the real deal to me! I want one really bad….

I do love those little flags…

Usually when I visit the park on slow winter day, the Canoe’s are never running. Well, they sure run in the summer! They were all over the river. Someday I want to try it…

Looks like the two cast members were doing all the rowing here. We were stopped on the Mark Twain near the old Cascade Peak area to wait for the Columbia to finish loading. As soon as the canoe approached the stopped Mark Twain, the Cast Members took over the rowing.

Since we were stopped right here for a few minutes some folks were asking what “N.W.R.R.” stood for on the little train. I just so happened to have a 1971 “E” ticket with me (never leave home without one) so I did a short Disneyland history lesson for half a dozen guests, I even passed around the “E” ticket, its fun to watch someone under 30 check out an “E” ticket for the first time…

The head waters of the Bear Country River.

I like this shot of Splash Mountain, its back a little further than my usual shots, the sky isn’t so great, but I like the overall feel.

Again, not something you see on weekdays in the winter months. I am so used to seeing the Columbia here it was a bit shocking to see this.

The wood timbers on the roof sure look authentic!

Not quite the same as shooting with live .22 rounds, but still plenty of fun.

Is this the original flooring for the Tomorrowland Terrance? The round circle pads are new of course. When compared to this 1971 image (link) it does appear to be the same floor, however it looks like there was some sort of pattern overlay back then. Does anyone know or have better old photos of the floor in that area???

Loyal readers know I’ve been following the cracks in the monorail awning for over a year now (September 2008 w/old Monorial), (December 2008), (January 2009) (February 2009), (April 2009). A large section has been replaced with a new shinny metal awning. It looks OK, not as stylish as the old one, but its fits still.

What is this? I can pickup these light fixtures at Home Deposit for $12.99! Please tell me this is temporary?

That piece of wood from 1967 isn’t going to last long if left exposed like that. My guess is that they are not finished with this project.

Moving down the awning towards the Submarine ride, you can see cracks developing in the large section of awning, part of the never ending maintenance at Disneyland.

Follow up on Kevin Kidney’s super post on the Swift Market House “1955 Birthday Cake Room” (link) here are a few current photos of the room. Many of the original features still exist, the cast member in this area kept asking me if I needed assistance.

The magic shop will be closing very soon (from what I hear). I know its small and cramped, but it will be sorely missed. I hope they bring it back, but I know it just wont be the same.

Hey is this the same lady I saw over by the Wishing Well???

Lastly, who remembers getting a Mickey hat with your name on it? I sure do! Remember how the cast member would struggle with those industrial sewing machines, contorting the hat all over the place to perform the magic of handwriting your name with thread on the back of the hat. Well, now it’s all computerized. They embroidered results are stunning, but it takes forever to finish and all the charm is gone.