Posts Tagged ‘disneyland’

Disneyland Souvenir Slides

January 25, 2013

I ran across an old Disneyland souvenir slide collection in my dad’s garage in California.  Not quite sure what year these slides were produced for sale at the Park.  The monorail system says “Alweg” on it, which was removed in 1976, so these are pre-1976.  The Submarine Voyage and the Matterhorn were added in 1959, and the Skyway cars are still the old, round version.

I am guessing based on the condition of the slides and the clean-cut people depicted in them, these are from the early 1960’s.  Anyway, they are a little faded out, but they are super cool and definitely fit right into the groove here at Lost Transmission.

I will offer these in small doses so as to no overwhelm anyone with coollness.

Disneyland Fantasyland Sleeping Beauty Castle

The classic Sleeping Beauty’s Castle before it was chopped down to size.

Disneyland Tomorrowland Bobsled Run

The Matterhorn Bobsleds!  Permanecer sentados por favor.




Retro Symbiosis

January 10, 2012

My symbiotic connection to the 1950’s continues to amaze even me.  I don’t honestly know how this bit of trivia escaped my notice until now, but here goes:

I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Ozzie and Harriet TV show since I was a teenager.  The early shows are undoubtedly the better shows for a variety of reasons, which include the appearance of Don DeFore as the Nelsons’ friendly neighbor, Thorny.  He has truly always been my favorite character on the show.

Don DeFore is a little-known name among most people today, but he appeared in many movies and TV shows and served as the President of the National Academy of Television Arts from 1954-1955.  He was instrumental in bringing the Emmy awards to be broadcast on television.  He has a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame, and Judy Garland was maid of honor at his wedding.

In addition to his career in Hollywood, Don DeFore holds the distinction of being the only sole proprietor to ever run a business inside Disneyland.  From 1957 to 1962, Don and his brother ran Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue in Disneyland in a space formerly occupied by a mexican restaurant called Casa De Fritos.  After 1962, the building became Aunt Jemima’s pancake restaurant, which eventually became what it is today – The Riverbelle Terrace.

Where do I fall into this story?  Well, in 1988, and 18-year-old kid (an unlikely fan of Mr. Don DeFore) got a job at Disneyland bussing tables.  Guess where my most regular assignment was.  The Riverbelle Terrace.

I sent an email to Ron DeFore, the son of Don DeFore to inquire about any existing reproductions of Silver Banjo memorabilia.  Apparently there are none…only the original sign, menu,  etc, which are in his basement.  He suggested if I was a millionaire collector, I might offer him an exorbitant sum.  Alas, I am not and cannot.

It’s cool to think that in some dimension of fate, my life is linked to the 1950’s era I love so much.  The Lost Transmission-Ozzie and Harriet connection is just the latest in my own “six degrees of separation” story to mid-century American culture.

Going to Adventureland

August 9, 2011

I’ve always been fascinated by the old Disneyland attraction posters that hang in the tunnels under Main Street Station as you enter Disneyland. Nothing was more exciting as a kid than seeing these great pieces of art beckoning me to ride the Columbia, set sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean, brave the Jungle Cruise, bobsled the Matterhorn, etc.  The images still give me butterflies in the stomach.  Even reproductions of these posters are quite expensive, so I’ve set my mind on a previously-unattempted feat for me.  I’m entering an “Adventureland” of sorts.  I’m going to try to paint my own poster – acrylic on canvas.

Perhaps I’m crazy, but it’s worth a shot.  Just for a teaser and to get me in the zone, I free-handed a copy of the old Jungle Cruise (Jungle River) poster tonight using pencil and Crayon on a piece of off-white construction paper. Check it out and compare with the original below.  Not bad for an accounting major, huh?

Some of the details are missing in mine (the bird on the hippo’s tooth and splashes in the water at the bow of the boat), my scale is off (my boat canopy isn’t positioned quite right), and the small wording at the top is off-kilter, but I did this pretty fast.  Besides, this was just my trial run.  The colors aren’t quite perfect either, but hey, I raided my kids’ crayon stash. I was somewhat limited to colors like “Burnt Sienna”,  “Maize”, “Gray” and “Green”.  I’ll do my best to get the lines and colors dead-on for the final product.

Overall, I am very happy with how this turned out, so this will probably be the first poster I attempt. However, I’m not as confident with paint and brush. I’ll post the results when I’m done.

Wish me luck…


Retro Disneyland Find

January 5, 2011

I was in a local antique store a couple weeks ago and ran across a bunch of old postcards from the 50’s.  Well, being me, I couldn’t pass these up without browsing through all of them…when lo and behold, I struck pay dirt.

My original Disneyland postcard booklet is in excellent condition.  The pictures on the inside flaps are clean and vivid.  This booklet sold for 15 cents at Disneyland.  The date is definitely pre-1971, when the Indian Village met its demise (reportedly after a labor dispute with the real native Americans Disneyland had contracted to work this area).  I haven’t been able to nail down a certain date, but I found another similar 15-cent postcard set online on which someone had written “1960”.  I know the Mine Train was upgraded to include Rainbow Caverns and the geysers in 1960 (both depicted here), so the booklet was obviously produced in 1960 or later.

I think my favorites are several images from the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland attraction, which I remember well from my boyhood days – especially the waterfall at Rainbow Caverns, the spouting geysers and the bears in the water beneath the bridge.  It was a great attraction and is a favorite of Disneyland old-timers.

This train ride eventually closed in 1977 and was converted to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I can vividly remember the commercial for Big Thunder Mountain from its debut in 1979.  Here it is:

Enjoy these images of this great antique store find.  And check out that awesome hand-drawn painted desert scene with the obligatory 3-armed saguaro cactus.  So cool!

Where’s the Disney Stuff?

August 13, 2010

I ran across this recently, and I love this picture of Walt Disney reading to his two daughters.

Interesting thing to note:  I don’t see a single Disney-related trinket in his daughters’ room.  Where’s the stuffed Mickey Mouse?  Where are the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs figurines?

He is reading Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, however…

Fessin’ Up: I’m Missin’ Fess

March 19, 2010

My boys and I were at the annual Cowboy Gathering at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA this past weekend.  We enjoyed a demonstration in gun-slinging by Jim Dunham, a gun tricks consultant for 20th Century Fox and movies like Tombstone.

I struck up a conversation with Mr. Dunham after the show,  and during our talk he casually mentioned that he had been friends with Fess Parker for many years.  It was just a passing reference.  Although much younger than Mr. Dunham, I shared the same apparent fondness for Mr. Parker.  My 10-year-old son was standing by my side.  He perked up too and said, “Hey, I know who Fess Parker is!  He’s Davy Crockett!”, much to the surprise of Mr. Dunham.

Such is the legacy of Mr. Fess Parker.  His name just came up in casual conversation, and three full generations – a man in his 60’s, and man entering his 40’s, and a boy of 10 were all well-acquainted with the same icon of American popular culture.

I have to say as a child growing up in the 1970’s in Southern California, I enjoyed a healthy dose of Fess Parker.  Countless trips to Disneyland’s Frontierland (complete with the Davy Crockett Arcade) helped mold my sense of adventure and love for the American frontier.  I loved to run around the old Tom Sawyer’s Island Frontier Fort at Disneyland and pretend to be Davy.  Of course watching reruns of the Mickey Mouse Club on TV were enough to hook me on the legendary presence of Fess and the great Ballad of Davy Crockett.    He may not have been much of an actor in hindsight, but he was Davy Crockett to me and always will be.  The first time I saw John Wayne portray the hero in The Alamo I nearly laughed;  and Billy Bob Thornton was a travesty playing Davy in the later version of the Alamo story.  Are you kidding?

In a strange twist of fate, I work for a man named Dave who is about as obsessed with Davy Crockett as I am.  He even named his son Davy and constantly quotes the old Crockett adage, “Be sure your right, then go ahead.”   I’m sure he and I will talk about today’s passing of Mr. Parker in days to come.

One of my favorite LP’s when I was a kid was this one I bought at the Disneyland gift shop when they still sold vinyl LP’s.  I still have it, and it adorned my boys’ room wall for a time, too.  The album is really a collection of movie tracks taken from various scenes from the old black and white Disney Davy Crockett adventures with Davy fighting Red Stick, getting Old Betsy, and defending the walls of the Alamo.

A few years ago, I also found a 45 version of the Disney Davy Crockett story and bought it for my kids.  Of course we have the complete film series on DVD – and Davy as Daniel Boone, too!  My kids have memorized every bit of these, and we have a whole drawer full of coonskin caps.

Of course Fess played numerous other roles, including a notable role as the dad in Old Yeller.

Ironically, just a few months ago, I posted a story here at Lost Transmission about a killer find in an antique store consisting of a Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett comic book with guess whose picture on the cover?  Of course…Fess Parker.  My two older boys read the whole thing the first night.

When my 10-year-old son heard the news about the passing of Mr. Parker today, he actually shed a tear.  It’s sad when heroes die – especially a hero who touches so many generations.

What else can I say about a man who had such a profound influence on my sons, on me, and on my dad’s generation but, “Thanks, Fess.”

I think this song – words penned by the real Davy Crockett himself – is appropriate for his parting.  Farewell, Davy.