Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kool Aid at Club 33, Pt. 1

First, many thanks to Andy Castro for generously allowing me to use his photos in today's post.

Up until the last few years, Club 33 has sailed through Disneyland history as a hidden part of the New Orleans Square landscape. It was that elusive place that some were aware of but weren't quite sure exactly where or what it was. Many have been fortunate enough to visit, thanks to the generosity of a friend of a friend, but only a select few who patiently suffered through the years-long wait list were actually members. They enjoyed the camaraderie of other long-time members and the ability to experience Walt's park in a private setting that he had helped conceive and design. Rich with history, there were a number of personal artifacts that he and Lillian had hand-picked for the decor. Its dark and richly adorned interior just positively oozed Walt Disney.

The once understated entry door (shown above), which was probably not even noticed by 80% of the people who walked by it, has given way to a more lavish (but not necessarily better designed) and ostentatious entrance. If you're not a member and can't afford the dues, that fact is now shoved in your face.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the lovely Court of Angels has also been taken away from the regular paying Joe Schmoe guest. What you once saw was this:

and this:

Now, you get two sets of colored acrylic doors:

Faux candles adorn the new addition above. Really?

Once unable to see inside the Club, brand-spanking new windows allow the guests who only pay $125 or so (and that's just to get into the Park) to see exactly what they're missing.

The worst offense was what was done to the portion of the Club above Cafe Orleans. Here is how it was originally designed:

And the hideous off-center window that replaced its tasteful predecessor:

For Club members though, the view is lovely. Disney is sending a very clear message to the public.

If you think only the regular paying guests are getting the shaft, come back tomorrow for an inside look at the "new" Club 33 and hear what many of the members are grumbling about.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

A Picture Is Worth...

Only one photo today, but with plenty of details to see, you get so much more from this 1961 Castmember spectacular in front of Disneyland's Main Street Train Station. The first detailed view shows jester/juggler/unicycler Christopher Fair:

Here's a color shot of Christopher from my collection from June 1963:

And a shot of his backside in front of the castle:

At the center of this detailed view is Roy Williams from the Mickey Mouse Club:

He was performing various duties in the park, including doing drawings/caricatures on Main Street:

The shoe shine dancing duo of Kenny & Teddy can be seen at center here:

And in New Orleans Square in this 1966 image:

Bill and Lloyd Elliott of the musical Elliott Brothers can be seen here:

They played in the Plaza Gardens that have now been replaced by Fantasy Faire:

The Gonzalez Trio made it to Main Street for the group photo:

Here they are back in Frontierland:

And last, a shot of the trio of stars from the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, Wally Boag, Betty Taylor, and Donald Novis:

They can be seen inside the 'shoe in the same order in this vintage color transparency:

I'd say I got my mileage out of that photo!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The (not so great) Mystery of 1961

This one image has it all; a beautiful closeup of the Red Monorail:

And a great shot of the Skyway buckets as they sail through the Matterhorn:

According to the seller, this shot is from 1961, and also came with this view from the Skyway of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship:

I don't see any part of Skull Rock, which was completed in December 1960. This would make me guess it is either from 1959 or 1960. These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. I need some serious therapy.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Crystal Pier Bodybuilding Photo Shoot

Last Sunday I had a photo shoot at Crystal Pier. It was a bit overcast and cloudy, which wouldn't seem like an ideal situation to take photos, but in truth, it worked out just fine.

Since it was early, Pacific Beach was pretty quiet with most of the people I saw either surfing or getting coffee and breakfast at Kono's, the local hot spot.

My subject was bodybuilder David Anthony Tassin, who just the night before had earned the NPC National Physique Athlete Runner-up in the Los Angeles Championships Physique Tall Class. Here he is prepping for his photos. He looked pretty ripped even before the pushups.

The back of a champion.

I don't think I've ever had a waist that small.

I had to laugh a little when he said he was going to do some sit-ups to make his abs stand out. Wow.

Doing his show routine:

His idea of shooting under the pier worked out well; really love this shot.

Elsewhere in PB, you can see what Crystal Pier looked like back in the day with this hand painted mural:

Pulling back, here's the entire mural:

Just down the street, you can also find John Lennon advertising Five Guys restaurant. Wouldn't Four Guys have been more appropriate?

Tonight, David competes in Las Vegas to hopefully get his pro-card at the USA Championships. I can't imagine him not succeeding.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Ernie!

55 years ago today, the Ernset S. Marsh (aka #4) took its inaugural run around Disneyland, with none other than Walt Disney himself acting as Chief Engineer. Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925, it was named after the Santa Fe Railroad President. Previously it had served the Puritan River Sand Company in New Jersey. Disneyland was definitely a move up!

Walt always looks happiest when he is with his trains; once again, the hat askew is so awesome to see!

I can only surmise that the Marsh is not run as frequently as some of the other Disneyland locomotives, as my collection of images is fairly sparse. Here are two shots from December 1960:

Zooming in to see the bromance:

And the view from down below:

I hope they didn't get reprimanded for taking a long break!

I am embarrassed to admit that the most recent shots I have of ol' Ernie at the Main Street Train Station are from 2009!

From 2008 at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Depot:

Back one more year for this 2007 Fantasyland/ToonTown Depot view:

Finishing Ernie's Anniversary Grand Circle Tour, I have two from the Tomorrowland Depot, starting off with a 1969 view:

and one from 2008:

I know the next time I go to Disneyland, I'll be hunting down ol' Ernie for some new photos! Happy Anniversary, #4!

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