Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monday Morning Vintage Disneyland

It has been a while since I posted some vintage Disneyland pictures. I've always liked these style of pictures that were used for publicity and various souvenir books and guide maps. The lighting is always good and everything is staged perfectly.

The Haunted Mansion officially opened on August 12, 1969. The attraction received heavy marketing by Disney but then on August 9th, just as the Mansion started public soft opening, Sharon Tate was murdered in her Hollywood mansion. The same strange coincidence happened in 1992 when Fantasmic had its public opening/press preview on April 29th. There was a huge marketing push for Fantasmic with the phrase "Be Here When the Night Ignites!" used in commercials and press materials. April 29th was also the same day that the 1992 Los Angeles Riots started. Disney quickly pulled all promotional materials that used the phrase.

 The Main Street Electrical Parade started June 17, 1972 at Disneyland. Now get ready for a roller coaster ride.

1. Disneyland's MSEP ran June 1972 to November 1996
2. Magic Kingdom's ran June 1977 to May 1999
3. Magic Kingdom's MSEP was sent to Disneyland Paris where it ran 1992 to 2003
4. Tokyo Disneyland's ran March 1985 to June 1995
5. In 1997, Disneyland's MSEP Pinocchio Pleasure Island section and Snow White diamond mine floats were sent to Disneyland Paris to be used in their MSEP. 
6. Disneyland's MSEP was refurbished (minus the Pleasure Island and diamond mine floats) and sent to Magic Kingdom where it ran May 1999 to April 2001
7. Allegedly, Magic Kingdom's ORIGINAL MSEP was sent to Hong Kong Disneyland at some point between 2005 and 2008. There has been rumors for years that the parade would debut in HKDL but so far the parade floats are in backstage storage.
8. Disneyland's MSEP (which ran at Magic Kingdom for 2 years) was sent BACK to Disneyland to be used at Disney's California Adventure. It ran July 2001 to April 2010 (also, in 2009 the previously removed Pleasure Island and diamond mine floats were returned when the parade was significantly enhanced)
9. Disneyland's MSEP (which went to MK, then to DCA) was sent BACK AGAIN to Magic Kingdom in June 2010. It is still running today.
This picture was taken at some in the late 60s or early 70s. I was not alive at this time so I can't tell you if the lighting was actually ever this bright for this portion of the ride or if it was lit for this picture. What I can tell you is that this scene of the attraction is significantly darker now. For example, the hat pirate that has one foot on land and one on the boat now sits in almost complete darkness. Anyway, this is one of the best interior Pirates of the Caribbean pictures I have ever seen. I love the way the water is reflecting everything.

This picture shows the Tomorrowland I remember as a child. I spent a lot of time here in the late 80s and early 90s. When new Tomorrowland opened in 1997 I was so bummed they took out all of the palm trees. Out of all the things to be bummed out about the new Tomorrowland, I chose palm trees and the removal of Captain EO. I was a strange child.

This is a obviously staged photo from inside the Enchanted Tiki Room. Why is it obvious? The host is using the stick to "wake up" Jose but behind here the bird mobile is already down which doesn't happen till around the middle of the show. Anyway. The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland has probably changed the least out of any attraction in the park's history. To this day it shows the same show is still seen by guests, minus one song that was removed to lower the show length. Also, at Disneyland's version of the show allows people to bring the Dole pineapple whips they purchased from the tiki juice bar located in the queue of the attraction. No food or drinks are aloud in Magic Kingdom's version of the show.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Epcot Guide Map from December 1997

Epcot in 1997 was going through a transition from classic EPCOT Center to just plain old Epcot. Thankfully, most of the classic attractions were hanging around at this point.

This was the Christmas season so the cover shows the various holiday offerings such as Candlelight Processional and Lights of Winter. Notice the Walt Disney World 25th anniversary logo in the bottom right. When this map was printed the 25th celebration was just about to wrap up its 15 month long promotion (known for the infamous cake castle at the Magic Kingdom).

This page shows the typical park information. Notice the advertisements for the two parades. The Hercules Victory Parade lasted for less than a year before being replaced by a parade to promote the new Mulan movie in 1998. The "Remember the Magic" parade is also mentioned even though I could have sworn at this point it was renamed "Disney's Magical Moments Parade" (Magical Moments lasted from 1997 to 2001). Also notice the old Moulin Rouge portion of Illuminations at the bottom of the page.

The only thing I want to point out on this page is the Lights of Winter. Much rage was brought to Epcot fans when this Christmas feature was retired in 2009. Disney's official explanation was "Note:The Lights of Winter at Epcot has been enjoyed for years. But tech to operate the lights is obsolete, prompting us to retire the lights." Which is hilarious because a similar show on a much larger scale is still offered over at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

(click to enlarge)

World Showcase hasn't changed much since 1997 but Future World has gone through many changes. Spaceship Earth:
At this point Spaceship Earth was on its second major revision. Jeremy Irons replaced Walter Cronkite narrator.

Universe of Energy:
The original UoE had closed in 1996 and was replaced by the version that is still running today, Ellen's Energy Adventure.

Wonders of Life:
I've talked a lot about WoL in previous posts. Basically it used to be filled with fun attractions, including one of the most popular rides in the park (Body Wars). Now, it is closed for most of the year, When it is opened there are no attractions and it is used for either wine tasting or gardening seminars...

I know, you're sick that every time I post about Horizons I say its the best attraction in Disney history. It was replaced by Mission Space in 1999. 

Test Track:
World of Motion closed January 1996. Test Track was originally scheduled to open in September 1997 but was delayed several times. Even though the map says "Opening in '98" the attraction still did not officially open until March 1999.

Journey Into Imagination: 
The original JII was still open at this point. Its replacement, "Journey Into Your Imagination," lasted 2 years before it was replaced by the current version.

The Land:
The Land hasn't gone though many changes since 1997, the major one being the arrival of Soarin'. Food Rocks closed to make way for Soarin' but "Circle of Life" and "Living with the Land" are still around.

The Living Seas:
The original Seacabs attraction was open until 2001 but a replacement (The Seas with Nemo and Friends) wouldn't come until 2005.

I've seen a lot of Kodak map advertisements during my adventures in collection Disney maps but this one is probably my favorite. Not only does it have Spaceship Earth in the background but it also shows Dreamfinder and Figment!