Monday, May 31, 2010

Backstage Disneyland - Summer 1966

As promised, here is the entire issue of Backstage Disneyland - Summer 1966.

Backstage Disneyland Summer 1966 - 58mb

Here's a few select pages, but to be honest, every page of this issue is a fun read. Disneyland had reached some sort of zenith by this point and you can really feel it as you read these pages.

A few of these trivia questions are easy, some are impossible! Download the entire issue for the answers...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bonus Sunday

Welcome to an abbreviated version of Bonus Sunday. From the Summer of 1966 its "Backstage Disneyland". This is a large issue at 34 pages so come back on the Holiday tomorrow for the full issue. For now, please enjoy a few select pages.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Magic Mountain - Trip Report May 2010 - SAVE THE MONORAIL

When Magic Mountain opened in 1971 it featured a variety of transpiration rides, two Skyways, the Funicular Railroad and the Metro Monorail. The Skyway has been gone for over 15 years and the Metro Monorail has not run for at least 6 year, probably more.

1976 Guide Map

There are no plans to refurbish or restore this classic 39 year old attraction. I’ve heard all the reasons, and yes, now that it’s been sitting for along time it is in disrepair and probably would cost a lot of money to restore. It was announced in early 2008 that the Monorail would not be returning, yet its 100% intact still. Some “insiders” insisted to me that it would all be dismantled by now, I guess they were wrong.

Let’s start with the closest station to the entrance. This is the Whitewater Lake Station and is just across the path from the Log Jammer and the Mooseburger Lodge. The tree growth has covered much of the building and the front has been fenced in, they seem to be storing or using lights in there.

The board-up job looks, well, not so good.

The more I see this style of architecture the more I like it.

The exit stairs could use some TLC. Nothing has been done since my 2008 visit, zero.

Next up is my favorite of the three stations, the Contempo Pavilion Station. Located just up the path from the board-walk games area, this station is not that far from the first station when you’re on the monorail, but it sure beats walking around the long way. The station has two path ways to access it, this one if from the side of the station.

This is such a pretty part of the park. It's quiet because its sort of in between active areas.

Once again zero maintenance since my 2008 visit.

These queue lines are begging for riders.

The front entrance, don’t guests wonder what this is for?

The last station is the Four Winds Station, it’s about ¾ of the way up to the top of Samurai Summit. The station also has two path ways to access it, this one if from upper part of the summit.

This station was great because it really saved time and sore feet. This was a true Monorail transportation system, it worked, I know because I used it all the time!

The Four Winds Station loading area is actually in a tunnel, I always thought the stealthyness of this station was so cool.

Lamppost circa 1971.

The main entrance to the Four Wind Station is also begging for some guests.

The next few photos show the monorail beam as it traverses the park. You really would think more guests would ask “what’s that for?”

Near the Whitewater Lake Station I found this spur on the beam, this must be where the monorails are stored, let’s follow that spur shall we?

This may or may not have anything to do with the next two photos.

So there they are, complete 1971 Metro Monorails. The guy in the van didn’t even look at me!

Yes from a distance they look like they are ready to roll. The paint jobs have held up amazingly considering they probably haven’t even been washed in at least 5 years.

Theme Park Review held its “West Coast Bash” in March of this year and as part of there “bash” they got a tour of the “old and busted Metro Monorail boneyard!” I was hesitant to provide this link (link). Scroll about half way down and you'll see it has some amazing photos, way better than mine, you can even see the running gear (looks fixable to me).

However, the publishers comments are a bit much to deal with “Yes, hi, this is the Metro. Now everyone sit down. Sitting? Good. Now listen up.... IT AIN'T GOING TO EVER F**KING RUN AGAIN!!! DEAL WITH IT!!! GET OVER IT!!! NOW STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!!! EAT MORE OVALTINE!!!!! Oh, I'm glad I've got that out of my system now....” I would almost bet Rob was directing those comments to me! Gee - thanks Rob.

So yes, I understand it’s not coming back, odd that it seems people get a thrill out of other people’s disappointment. Oh well, so far everything is still in place, maybe, just maybe, the folks at Magic Mountain will restore this gem or at least make use of the stations and the beams right-of-way.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Magic Mountain - Trip Report May 2010 - Part Three

I hope you’re ready for more Magic Mountain, if not, come back on Bonus Sunday for a excellent vintage Disneyland Backstage magazine.

Before we head back down the hill from the Sky Tower, let’s take a look at the marquee that stands right next to the freeway on and off ramps. The little building used to sell limited souvenirs and also provided maps and information.

So much has changed yet so much has remained the same. The parking lot has been completely reconfigured and the names have changed. Not only are those awesome funky parking lot lights still there, it looks like they added more at some point!

Just behind the base of the Sky Tower is this neat little small garden area that’s just open, no fence, very peaceful – this is where I kissed the ground after riding the tower of terror.

The hike down the hill is much more pleasant than the hike up.

Don’t bother placing a sack of sugar here! This actually still worked and provided ice cold water.

Total self indulgence photo – I found my Magic Mountain…

What’s this and why is it locked? Oh, that’s tomorrow post – SAVE THE MONORIAL!

This once magnificent building is the lower station for the Dragon tram ride which has been closed since 1981! If you look closely you can see decades of neglect – ugh.

Let’s move on to something more fun, I think the Jet Stream is just up those stairs. Boy do I love early 70’s architecture.

Added to the one year old park in 1972, the Jet Stream is a great “modern” flume ride.

This line is outrageous!

The loading platform is “PeopleMover” style, gotta love that tent!

Unfortunately the right side is no longer used, I’m still looking for the reason they closed it? Here’s a short video of some folks having a blast, nice to see this vintage attraction in great shape and being enjoyed.

Speaking of vintage attractions, the Gold Rusher is a 1971 original and one of the best Arrow Dynamics “runaway mine” coaster ever built.

These lines are out of control, who can I talk to about this?

Since the crowd was light I got the front seat!

And since I was the only person on the ride they noticed my camera and politely asked me to stow it away. Here’s an un-posted video from my last trip to Magic Mountain in May 2008, not the front row, rats!

Here’s a fun fact; The Scrambler has been at Magic Mountain since 1973, but, according to Wikipedia “The scrambler had a lot of damage from an uprooted tree and was scrapped (in 2003); however, Six Flags Magic Mountain received another scrambler from Six Flags Over Texas.

Looks just like the old one, spin and barf!

Advance control center, pull street-car brake in case of emergency.

The Sand Blaster bumper cars are also a 1971 original. The exterior had been remodeled (somewhat) but the rest of the attraction remains very much original.

That electrical sparking smell sure brings back fond memories.

This early 70’s post card reveals that most of the current bumper cars are the originals. How much abuse have those babies seen?

The Last remaining troll in the park (not counting the ones in the Sky Tower Museum) still graces the exit of the Sand Blasters.

The Crazy Barrels are long gone (1971 to 1989), but oddly, the queue area and platform are still behind “temporary” walls. From Wiki: “This Intamin Drunken Barrels was formerly located at a county fair. The Barrels were removed, but the platforms are still there behind the basketball game near the Metro station.”

The “Games Area” has changed very little since 1971, which is fine with me. I like the red, white and blue.

These guys seemed awful lonely.

The “Grinder Gearworks” is another spin and barf ride, this one spins and lifts, oh boy!

The “Grinder Gearworks” was originally built in 1974, it’s a Hrubetz “round up ride” and was called the "Electric Rainbow".

This was once the “Grecian Fountain”. As with many amusement park fountains, this one is now a planter. And it has the "Superman the Ride" support smack dab in the middle.

The Fountain in its heyday. There’s the Galaxy spinning on the left, a Eagles Flight Sky bucket and the Metro Monorail.

Do people toss coins into the planter now?

All this walking is making me hungry, time for my favorite place to eat at Magic Mountain.

Once called the Oasis Cafeteria, this great cool place offers a variety of foods. The wooden support theme was at one time repeated on the outside as well.

Here’s a section of a wall map from around 1979 showing the Oasis Cafeteria and those wooden things on the outside.

The few different dishes I saw were all large portions so the prices were pretty reasonable.

This plate must be at least a pound and let me tell you, it was pretty darn good – I ate it all!

This used to be the entrance to that twin armed monster Intamin Double Ferris Wheel the Galaxy. Since it had two sides, the queue and load area was split into two sections. Those same two sections now house Buccaneer and Swashbuckler.

Taking a peak at the back of this structure reveals yet another piece of 1971.

As you leave the exit queue you can clearly see how they added the new front fa├žade (1980) over the over one (1971).

Here’s a wall map from 1971 showing the Galaxy and its load/queue building.

Percy’s Railway is part of the new Thomas the Train section. However, this attraction is far from new, in fact it’s from 1971!

Check out the upper left photo, originally called the Clown Circus, this Bradley & Kaye classic junior coaster was most recently called Goliath Jr. It’s actually a great little coaster. I think its been moved within the park at least three times.

The Mooseburger Lodge. Das Alpemhaus was a much better name for this restaurant.

The Log Jammer, yet another 1971 original. Featuring two lifts and three drops this Arrow Dynamics flume ride still gives Splash Mountain competition.

In the busy summer months this area has a whole different look (and smell).

They’ve added these soaker cannon’s just after the final drop. For just 25¢ you can really piss someone off.

This is how the same area looked 35 years ago.

Well, its time to leave the park – here is the main plaza looking towards the main gate from inside the park. It’s no Disneyland, but the park was very clean and pleasant. I will admit to having a grand time and kind of falling for the old park again.

Do not pay these prices! Go online like I did, it costs a lot less! Oh, and I upgraded my already cheap online ticket to a Season Pass for $20!!! The total was less than the cost of a one day ticket to Magic Mountain here at the ticket booth.

Two signs I was very happy to see.

No worries here.

These trams are great! No prerecord spiel, in fact, I heard the driver say “no adult lap sitting” while giggling.

Back out in the parking lot there used to be a gas station. Not much left, but it does make a nice shady area.

Overall it was a great visit, I really got to know the park again, and with my season pass I will definitely be back a few more times this year. I gotta get more of those Doughnuts!

Come back tomorrow for a special epilog; SAVE THE MONORAIL!