Thursday, May 22, 2008

Disneyland in Life - August 15, 1955

Staying with yesterday’s “Magazine” themed post, today let’s set the way back machine to August 15, 1955. This is a four page article on Disneyland from Life Magazine. I didn’t scan the cover; it has no Disneyland references and has a not so flattering photo of General MacArthur.

Interesting how only four pages were dedicated to this Disneyland article. MacArthur gets 25 pages and an article on a 1950’s house wife “The 80-hour work week” gets 10 pages! I guess Disneyland was still not a “sure thing” just a few weeks after its opening, therefore if only gets four pages. And it’s very “light” on the text.

First up, the Tea Cups with no paint on the deck! That’s the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” to be more precise.

Next some shots of from the river boat as they “Circle Jungle Island”? The Castle shot slides over to the other page so I tried to include the whole castle in this scan. Notice the castle windows, you can see straight thru them! I don’t think I have ever noticed that in any of the old photos. Obviously this went away when they created the “walk thru” which by the way, I hear rumors it may be coming back!!!

Children’s Saloon? I suppose that’s because they don’t sell alcohol? Those Coke fountains sure look neat! Notice a few things on the Casey Jr. Ride; Nice landscaping for the Canal Boats! Is that a TV camera on a raised platform thing? If so, was this for the opening day broadcast? I thought Casey Jr. didn’t open for about a week after Disneyland opened so what’s up with the camera?

Lots O’ Indians in this picture, real ones! Interesting “Buckboard” ride, I don’t think I’ve seen that on any tickets! Not much to hold the guests in, better hold on tight.

This Life magazine is FULL of great 1955 car ads. I am a vintage car nut, I used to buy and sell them like trading cards, I am much better now. But I sure love looking at these old ads. Since I am mostly a GM fan, the first three are beauties by GM. Then a Mercury, Nash and a Studebaker. I guess Chrysler was not up to spending the advertising dollars to be in Life Magazine.

My first car was a 1956 Buick Super 4-door Riviera hardtop, very much like this 1955 Buick Century.

Even the ink pens were “car crazy” in 1955. Styled in Multimillion-dollar new car colors.

I thru this large two page “Dan River” ad in just because I like it. I’m told the 1950’s really weren’t this fun; it’s just the way everyone wanted it to be. Maybe that wasn’t a bad thing; at least they “wanted” it to be idealistic. Today, I am not so sure….


Jason Schultz said...

I'm surprised you can't see any cats in the Castle windows! Casey Jr. did run on opening day, but wasn't quite safe and so didn't officially open until July 31.

Major Pepperidge said...

More awesome stuff, Tim. I have a copy of this "Life" magazine (wow, do I love looking at old copies of LIFE!!). The quality of the illustrations in the ads is unbelievable.

One of my favorite details that I noticed is in the caption about the castle: "Inside, Disney plans a model torture chamber."

The Viewliner Limited said...

What an awesome post Tim. Great ads. Car nut... me too! In the ad picture of the 55 Chevy... when was the last time you saw the Highway Patrol casually waving at a passerby LOL. Being a big fan of the military, what is the possibility of seen the not so flattering photo of General MacArthur on the cover. Thanks.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

That's right, I had forgot that fact about Casey Jr. I wonder what wasn't safe?

"model torture chamber" I really wonder what that was going to be about?

Viewliner, That's neat 4-door hardtop Chevy (not the popular no-post model). Check back Sunday for the cover AND the MacArthur article. It not so much unflattering, its that he looks very uncomfortable in a wool suit!

Katella Gate said...

Newspapers are notorious about getting facts wrong (I used to be a consultant for National Geographic Documentaries. The old saw about making sausage and making law rings true for journalism!) The reference to the model torture chamber is most likely a flub, or somebody with a strange sense of humor.

BTW, what was going on with Casey Jr. that prevented its opening with the park?

Jason Schultz said...

I can't recall where I read this, but the Casey Jr. had safety/mechanical problems--I believe related to the steepness of the hills.

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