Friday, July 17, 2009

Trip Report - Happy 54th Birthday Disneyland!

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”…


Katella Gate said...

I thought the same thing about the C&H sugar bag when I saw the drinking fountain. I would be nice to do a photo-recreation of the ad, but you'd never get a pound of sugar thru security and into the park...

TokyoMagic! said...

Ooooh, how about an EMPTY sugar bag, and then stuff it with a tee shirt or something else in order to recreate the photo? DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!

Great photos as always! It was nice meeting you too VDT. I'm glad I got the chance to hang out with you for the day.

Hey, I didn't think of this yeserday when we saw it, but your picture of the Rocketeer makes me think of one of the characters from "Pulp Fiction!" And I'll just leave it at that.......

Daveland said...

I'm right with you on the dream of the Gullywhumper being back in biz! Awesome trip report as always; and great tidbit about the ticket booth from TokyoMagic. How cool is that?!?

jedblau said...

Great trip report. I really appreciate your attention to detail and your Sherlock-like skills in finding snippets of the "old" park. Thank you!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Great post Tim. I always enjoy your trip reports. I gotta believe that the Disney folks are checking out your pics. Seems like when you post a picture of something that needs repair, it "GETS DONE BABY" !!! BTW - I love the 32 year old blue tiles, and the ticket/Kodak booth. Great stuff. Thanks.

OldDog said...

Too bad they cut out Walt's "thank you" at the end of the speech.

Faith And Family said...

This is Disney's 1991 movie The Rocketeer. Love it! :D

Alanna said...

Hey, great blog. I have a friend that works hat dland and she said she's heard rumors that the Gullywhumper is being refurbished for the Princess and the Frog promotional stuff. I sure hope so! :)