Eldergays: Tell me about Disneyland in the 1950's and 60's
Surely somebody here was alive then.
I will, but you need an "E" ticket.
I want to know as well. Especially that crystal caverns ride.
You mean THIS ride, R2?
It was where Big Thunder is now, and was a nice, quiet little ride with cute critters, and bubbling "paint pots" in the desert, narrated by the same person who I believe does the "welcome aboard" spiel on Big Thunder.
Next to or near the train ride were the "pack mules" you could also ride.
There were only four rides at the time. The lines were much shorter, and Walt Disney himself greeted every patron as they walked through the gates.
Someone posted the link to Yesterland a year or two back, and while I enjoyed reliving all the fun that was the 60s and 70s Disneyland, it suddenly occurred to me that in all my visits there then, I never saw a black person.
No wonder they all flocked to Magic Mountain when it opened.
First time I went to D'Land was 1960, I think. I remember those bouncy inflated tubes that hovered on air; those didn't last long. There wasn't any New Orleans Square/Critter Country/Toontown yet. The monorail was a big deal. There was the House of the Future (a future which never quite arrived!) and many more sponsored exhibits.
If you look at Disneyland crowd pictures from c.1960 you'll notice most people are dressed in their Sunday best, not casual dress like now.
Nothing on earth beat those Rocket Jets that rose in the sky when you pulled back the yoke.
It was equivalent to a light sabre for those who grew up in the 60s.
Also, there we saw the fisrt video phones (a la The Jetsons) and now brought to you by Skype)
I was young and my parents were still alive, like I prefer to remember them. Blissful times.
I remember the video phones! In the AT&T Pavilion! Also my very first exposure to TouchTone phones! They had an exhibit where you could try dialing something (not with a pencil!) to see how much faster it was with push buttons vs. a dial.
It was pure fucking magic, OP. Pure. Fucking. Magic.
The Haunted Mansion, as conceived by Walt himself, was not a ride-through dark ride at all. Walt expected guests to enter the Mansion, wander around, and get scared shitless (I think).
Shortly after the Mansion facade was finished in the early 60's, my folks took me to New Orleans Square, where we checked it out. The attraction wasn't open but one of the Imagineers invited me in to look around...I was probably about 6. My 10 year old brother was judged to be too big, so only I got to go in.
There wasn't much that was finished in the facade at that time as it turned out. As it was, I wandered around alone in a couple dark rooms activating air jets in the floor and some 'spooky' animated stuff. Creepy but totally underwhelming. Looking back, I think they were just testing to see if small kids were going to be able to activate the sensors that ran everything.
The Mansion sat there unused for some years until finally it opened as a dark ride...they had completely scrapped the idea of a walk-through attraction.
Paul Lynde blew me on the teacups.
You could get blow jobs in the tunnels on Tom Sawyer Island.
Ahh, I remember it well... It was an era when gaylings had high school literacy and didn't embarrass themselves by acting snarky and showing their asses so the world could point and laugh at them behind their backs because they didn't know the difference between a plural (1950s) and a possessive (1950's). The form OP is grappling for here of course is plural (a collection of years), not possessive (as in the years owning something)... so, once again we get a great chuckle at the inability of a gayling to score points with anything that has to do with intellect.
Sort of ironic and telling it came on something as childish as Disneyland.
SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK... SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...SHREEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEK...
There was a truly terrible ride that they have long let go, thank God. They were the mule rides where everyone pretended they were some gold prospector only the poor mules were always exhausted and in pain.
It was terrifying because the mules would walk right on the edge of the path--their little hooves would be half on the trial and half hanging over the edge. I remember that being the most horrifying ride of all at Disneyland.
Lucky you, R15. He puked when I was with him.
R17 you are really annoying, do you know that?
My partner started working there in 1965, and he was a character. Back then there was one Mickey in the entire park, and only a handful of characters out and about at any time.
It was a good place to work. The Park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays most of the year, so you worked a normal 5 day week, and it paid fairly well, you were treated right, and there was a real sense of community.
I always loved the GE Caursel of Progress.
Someone give R17 a pill, please.
We went to Disneyland in 1958. My favorite thing was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and I think I went on that about 3 times. We also did the Jungle Boat ride, the spinning teacups, and had lunch somewhere (New Orleans Square?) We totally skipped Tomorrowland, apparently nobody cared about that. I got one of those stupid hats with the big feather and my name embroidered on it.
[quote] The Park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays most of the year, so you worked a normal 5 day week
Yes, and in those days they were actually CLOSED on Thanksgiving and Christmas days every year.
[quote]I got one of those stupid hats with the big feather and my name embroidered on it.
Does anyone know what happened to the little gay guy who sewed those names into the hats? He was there forever, sewing those hats inside out, upside down, and backwards, just as fast as it could possibly be done, and he was always so cheerful doing it.
Last time we were there he had been replaced with a machine that did it automatically.
R23 New Orleans Square didn't come around until the late '60s, so it must've been Frontierland or Adventureland.
I hate that Disneyland had to change somewhat from the way it was in the 50's/60's/70's, but I have a lot of documentaries about it from that period. I just wish I had my old Disneyland map--I bet John Stamos has one.
[quote] New Orleans Square didn't come around until the late '60s, so it must've been Frontierland or Adventureland.
Before New Orleans Square was built there was a chicken restaurant in that area.
[quote] We totally skipped Tomorrowland, apparently nobody cared about that.
Oh, for us, Tomorrowland was the only place that counted.
There weren't a lot of fatties riding around on motorized scooters back then and there was a dress code for "guests". And a bottle of water wouldn't cost you $2.75. I think the water used to be heated in the rest rooms then so you didn't freeze your hands off.
[quote] there was a dress code for "guests"
Well, to SOME degree. I mean, it kept the hippies out, for awhile anyway.
America the Beautiful in Circarama opened at Disneyland in June 1960.
But it wasn’t the first Circarama movie. That honor went to A Tour of the West, presented by American Motors—builder of Hudson, Nash, and Rambler automobiles—and its appliance division, Kelvinator.
The 1987 book Disneyland: Inside Story by Randy Bright quoted an American Motors Corporation press release, dated June 27, 1955:
“This combination of photographic skills and entertainment talents promises an unusual spectacle for visitors to Disneyland. We’re happy to have a part to play in making Circarama possible. As it represents added pleasure and value for the public, sponsorship of the Circarama is another forward step in our program to make American Motors mean more for Americans.”
— George Romney, President, American Motors Corporation
Believe it or not, they used to have trouble filling The Park in the evenings, so they started a big band program. You got in at a heavily discounted price, and they would have people like Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing over at the Plaza Bandstand. It was mostly senior citizens from the surrounding area, and they would listen to the bands and dance well into the night. Those were magical evenings.
A dress code for an amusement park? What a pile of shit.
[quote] A dress code for an amusement park? What a pile of shit.
The "dress code" was more along the lines of "no cut-offs, torn clothing, must be wearing shirt and shoes, etc."
It really was to keep the hippies out. Remember, in those days, there were ticket books. You could just buy a general admission ticket for 50 or 75 cents,but you'd have to buy tickets to go on the rides. They wanted to keep undesirable squatters out.
[bold] Hippies Invade Disneyland [/bold]
Date: August 6, 1970
On this day in 1970 a group of "hippies" obtained entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim California. They ran rampant over the park, attempting to claim "Tom Sawyer's Island" for themselves. Disneyland, not knowing how to handle this breach of customary etiquette, called in the Orange County Police who arrived in full riot gear. The park was closed and all visitors were asked to depart, leaving Disneyland empty except for the remaining hippies. This was the first time the park was closed early. [bold] Earlier Disneyland was infamous for its policy of refusing entry to young men wearing beards, a common practice in California and especially in some cities of Orange County. [/bold] No rain-check was given to the departing visitors.
A bizarre occurence takes place at Disneyland when 750 "Hippies" and "Radical Yippies" infiltrate the park, and take over the Wilderness Fort. They raise the Vietcong flag and pass reefers out to passersbys.
Later, they march in a Main Street parade, and sing their own lyrics to "Zipadee Doo Dah" ("Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Mihn is going to win..."). More conservative park guests try to drown them out by singing "America the Beautiful." Before the confrontation can heat up, a platoon of Anaheim Police officers in full riot gear pour into the park from backstage areas! A riot is adverted and Disneyland vice president of Operations Dick Nunis orders the park closed at 7:10 PM. [bold] For many years afterward Disneyland will selectively enforced a "dress code" at the park, occasionally refusing admission to "long-haired hippies". [/bold] (This unusual incident is the only time an outside security force has ever made a full-blown public appearance at the park.)
From R6 : Someone posted the link to Yesterland a year or two back, and while I enjoyed reliving all the fun that was the 60s and 70s Disneyland, it suddenly occurred to me that in all my visits there then, I never saw a black person.
No wonder they all flocked to Magic Mountain when it opened.>>
I go to Disneyland now and very rarely see black folk. It's rare to see a nuclear black family (nuclear, i.e. dad, mom, kids) enjoying at day at DL. You'll see groups of women w/ kids, or maybe a black man w/ a white girlfriend. On Magic Mornings, when the parks let in Disney resort hotel guests for that early extra hour entry, take a look at who paid for Disney resort stays: majority of them are white Caucasians, like 99%. Maybe a smattering of Asians, but no black folk. Then, hours when the gates are open to the public later it's Las Familias Grande! And those scooters w/ fat middle-age people nearly mowing you down. My observation from a sociological view.
As far as Magic Mountain, I went there once and refuse to go back. It's full of boisterous rude teenagers including some of the ride operators. What you don't see there are strollers or the scooters. They're at DL.
Here's the park "marquee" announcing Count Basie Tonight
[quote][R23] New Orleans Square didn't come around until the late '60s, so it must've been Frontierland or Adventureland.
Wiki gives construction date of the Mansion facade as 1962 and the opening of New Orleans Square as 1966. The Mansion was opened as a dark ride in 1969. My recollection is that our visit was in 1964, and that the Mansion exterior was was fully accessible to the public through a long ramp, which was later removed. Perhaps others can recall if portions of New Orleans Square were open to the public ('soft' opening style) ahead of the grand opening.
When we went in 68 or 69, my long-haired hippie brother took pains to dress straight for the occasion, and immediately bought a hat (mouse ears as I recall) to tuck his hair up into, because he had heard so many horror stories about people getting kicked out.
The ticket books really sucked, because you only had a very few E and D tickets, and no matter how careful you were, by the end of the day you were reduced to burning off the A and B tickets with bullshit like the riding the fire truck down Main Street or doing the motor boat cruise where everyone else was 5 years old.
The Mansion facade was there for ages. It was actually an attraction conceived and planned by Walt years before his death. The exterior was actually completed in 1963, and sat there for years before the attraction finally opened in 1969. It was even previewed in 1965 on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color TV program.
[quote] The ticket books really sucked, because you only had a very few E and D tickets, and no matter how careful you were, by the end of the day you were reduced to burning off the A and B tickets with bullshit like the riding the fire truck down Main Street or doing the motor boat cruise where everyone else was 5 years old.
Or you could buy more tickets at any of the conveniently located ticket booths throughout the park. The best time to go was in the off-season. They sold ticket books with tickets that that were good for any ride or attraction, so you bought an extra book or two and saved those for future visits when the lettered ticket books were in use.
I remember that you also used to be able to buy the unlettered ticket books through employers, unions, or other organizations.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow's just a dream away
Man has a dream and that's the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It's a dream come true for you and me
So there's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away
I see plenty of black families at Disney World, R38. Might have something to do with the relative wealth of East Coast blacks vs West.
Back then they used to sell the ice cream right out of Walt's casket! You had to pay extra to see frozen Walt though.
The Swiss Family Robinson tree house (now renamed to something I can't remember - god I loved that treehouse, and imagining myself as a castaway having to "make do". The Lion King treehouse or whatever it is now just isn't the same without the slight edge of danger.
Also I liked those growing Tiki huts down below. A lot of the parents would be drunk on Hawaiian cocktails by that point.
I think youngsters would be shocked to go back and see how blatantly commercial Disney was back then. It was the MONSANTO House of Tomorrow, the TWA Moonliner, the SANTA FE and Disneyland Railroad, the PEPSI-COLA Golden Horseshoe, the GENERAL ELECTRIC Carousel of Progress, and on and on and on.
In fact, rumor has it that the private Club 33 inside Disneyland is named in honor of the 33 corporate sponsors.
R51 Disney World is heavily corporate sponsored, EPCOT is essentially a shrine to corporations.
A lot of stuff in the corporate pavilions had been at the New York World's Fair
It's a Small World began at the UNICEF Pavilion (sponsored by Pepsi) at the 1964 World's Fair.
[quote] The Swiss Family Robinson tree house (now renamed to something I can't remember
Was re-done as Tarzan's Treehouse
And R51, don't forget IT'S A SMALL WORLD which was for decades sponsored by Bank of America. who also had a branch office on Main Street
And weren't the Dinosaurs (later brought to Disneyland as part of the Grand Canyon Diorama on the train ride) originally presented by Ford at the 1964 World's fair?
I remember when they switched from having Tinkerbell fly down from the Matterhorn at night to Mary Poppins.
Some memories from the 60's:
Disneyland Hotel was really just a mediocre motel with ugly, green shag carpeting and smokey drapes.
As a child, I was obsessed with miniatures and I would drool enviously at the model of Progress City at exit of the Carousel of Progress with its miniature freeways and model of a working carnival. Ditto for Storybook land and the miniature houses.
We lived in So.Cal. and would religiously go to DL at least 3 times a year. At about 5 miles from DL, my dad would announce that he would give a nickel to whomever sighted the Matterhorn first. Many,many good memories of our trips. I haven't been there in years.
R60 We lived in the Bay Area and only went to Disneyland twice when I was growing up. It was a long drive and of course in those days (early '60s) there was no AC in the car. Can't imagine how we survived!
Anyway, my sister and I used to play the "spot the Matterhorn first" game, too!
I loved the guy who used to be in the Golden Horseshoe review who spit teeth all over the audience after he got "hit" in the jaw. Hilarious
I saw my first microwave oven (RadarRange) in the House of the Future.
I think you should start a thread about the best places to make out with your boyfriend at Disneyland.
I can remember going to Disneyland with my college roommate in 1988. We were traveling with a large group for a convention and we had to share a room with two other guys. But we slept in the same bed and felt each other up under the sheets each night. I enjoyed riding the Matterhorn with him because it had straddle seating and I got to grind my ass into his crotch the whole way.
Thank for the Disney at Night clip. I love how the crowd is enthralled with the corny quartet singing "Back in Old Virginny", what sounds like a slave song for white folks! They are sure eating up that hat act. Not one fat person in the entire crowd.
The black and Hispanic families can be found at Knott's Berry Farm, 10 miles northwest and a world away. The price of one SEASON at Knott's is 1/2 the price of one DAY at Disneyland; consequently, Knott's has been in steep decline for about 20 years but they are finally starting to repair the neglect.
Trivia about the Disneyland Matterhorn: yes, there is (half a) basketball court near the top; the splash pool at the bottom served as brakes; the top speed is only 18 miles per hour; several people have died on the ride, all due to rider stupidity; before the 1978 remodel, the steel infrastructure was painfully obvious and a real eyesore.
I'm black and my family only went to Knott's Berry Farm occasionally, the main attraction was always Disneyland and I hated Knott's Berry Farm.
"Spot the Matterhorn" brings back a lot of memories for me, my sister and I always did that when we went there.
[quote] The black and Hispanic families can be found at Knott's Berry Farm, 10 miles northwest and a world away. The price of one SEASON at Knott's is 1/2 the price of one DAY at Disneyland; consequently, Knott's has been in steep decline for about 20 years but they are finally starting to repair the neglect.
Knott's used to be a fun place when the family was still running it, before they turned it over to the asswipes at Cedar Fair.
To our family, Disneyland was all about rides -- Knott's was all about jam and the Fried Chicken dinners.
[quote]Knott's used to be a fun place when the family was still running it, before they turned it over to the asswipes at Cedar Fair.
Wrong. Walter Knott left the park to his employees. It was the employees that screwed everything up.
Not Disneyland but Disney World - they were still using ticket books at Disney World in 1972 at least with the lettered tickets. My sister worked organizing one of the unions at Disney World for a few years and she always got us free passes/tickets that the unions had. Those were great years for visiting.
Theere were 2 African American women in that clip of Disney at night at 6:13.
I think the quite ordinary motels are a reminder that people - especially middle class people - didn't pretend to be able to afford too much luxury back then. Not that many people had credit cards in the 1950s and you took vacations you could pay for. It's like the difference between a regular old ranch or two story house vs. the family of today in a 4500 sq ft McMansion for a family of 4.
The barbershop quartet - boy were we easily amused.
The discrimination against "hippies" is annoying but I do like to be reminded that people didn't always find dressing like slobs acceptable.
[quote] Wrong. Walter Knott left the park to his employees. It was the employees that screwed everything up.
Um, no honey. The Knott family sold the park to Cedar Fair:
[quote] In the 1990s, following the deaths of Walter Knott and his wife, Cordelia, their children sold the family business; the theme park was sold to Cedar Fair, while the food business was sold to ConAgra Foods, which subsequently sold to J. M. Smucker. Cedar Fair has continued to expand the theme park, adding Knott's Soak City in 1999 and adding other rides to the original park.
[quote] In 1997, the Knott family sold the amusement park operations to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Initially, the Knotts were given an opportunity to sell the park to The Walt Disney Company. The park would have been amalgamated into the Disneyland Resort and converted into Disney's America, which had previously failed to be built near Washington, D.C. The Knott's refused to sell the park to Disney out of fear most of what Walter Knott had built would be eliminated. Ironically, Cedar Fair tore down more of what Walter Knott had originally built than what Disney was planning.
The Knott family was responsible for some huge missteps following the death of their father. Poor decisions, donating too much time and capital to the indoor park at the Mall of America. They should have sold to Disney, but sold to Cedar Fair for $250 million in 1997.
The new manager of Knott's first job was as a janitor at the park in the late 70's who worked his way up. He's making good decisions, rebuilding the log ride and installing family rides. The demographics for the park have changed radically and he can't change that. The park is a short bus ride from the poorest, most violent parts of SoCal. Our last visit was ruined by line jumpers and tweens running wild, eating noodles at Panda Express with their hands, running around in bare feet, etc. No kidding. That's the reason Disney is so expensive.
R72 & R73, you are wrong.
Walter Knott died in 1981. Cedar Fair bought the park in 1997, 16 years later. He left it to the employees. The family had some stock, but not a controlling interest. Terry Van Gorder was CEO, and not a member of the Knott family. The only parts of Knotts owned outright by the Knott family between 1981 and 1997 were Virginias' Gift Shop, the steak house, and the chicken dinner restaurant. Though one of the boys owned part of Bob's Men's shop, I don't really include it in Knotts property.
Sorry, but Walter and Cordelia Knott were family friends. One of the Knott boys is still friends with my father.
"R23, New Orleans Square didn't come around until the late '60s, so it must've been Frontierland or Adventureland."
Oops, you are right - it was somewhere with horse carriages passing by, so it must have been Frontierland. All I remember is consuming vast quantities of orangeade because I was so overheated with excitement.
Bitter and 19, party of one?
 More please, I am a Knott's fan from way back? I never heard Walter Knott left it to the employees? Why did they make terrible decisions like removing the Soap Box Racers and the Beary Tales dark ride? Why did they never expand the park across the street where the water park is now? The Independence Hall looks so out of place now with water slides all around it. Raffi (new GM) is making great strides, but there is so much to catch up on, Cedar Fair destroyed much of the character of the park.
[quote][R51] Disney World is heavily corporate sponsored, EPCOT is essentially a shrine to corporations.
Yeah, Future World especially (GM Test Track, Raytheon's Sum of All Thrills, Coca-Cola Club Cool, etc.).
I went to Disney WORLD back in the early 70s when it was new and it was wonderful. We stayed at the very nice Polynesian Village. Everything was new and shiny.
I went back in about 2001 and was horrified by the crowds of overweight people who looked and dressed strangely alike, kahki shorts, light mauve T shirts and those weird little bags slung across their chests. It was the most bizarre sight the sheer quantity of people looking exactly the same.
The atmosphere was horrible.
Orlando was also a very nasty place.
We left after less than 24 hrs having planned to stay for several days.
Everyone in California knows to stay away from Knott's and Magic Mountain. These parks are overrun with gangbangers. There used to be quite a few knife fights at these parks although you don't hear so much about it these days.
Also, the low quality of these two parks does not appeal to most normal people. Knott's has the cute wild west atmosphere but the rides are for gang-bang thrill seekers.
Magic Mountain though, takes the cake for low-ball entertainment.
Knott's is improving, R 81, they are trying desperately, investing major capital into the attractions we used to love - the log ride, the mine ride, the ghost town - and installing family rides this summer. I hope people haven't turned their back on Knott's completely. They need to market the place to families that don't shop at Walmart.
[quote] They need to market the place to families that don't shop at Walmart.
And raise the admission prices to keep out the riffraff.
I love Magic Mountain but hate the type of people it attracts these days.
R78, actually Cedar fair gets too much of the blame. A lot of the damage was done during the 16 years before Cedar Fair purchased the park. The huge sell-off of all of the antique memorabilia and historic artifacts took place in the 1980s. The Harvard MBA types (Terry Van Gorder, et al) that were brought in to run the park saw them as assets that were not generating income, and sold everything off. They also wanted to demolish Independence Hall and expand the parking to the other side of Beach Blv. The Knott family threw a hissy fit. The building remained, but it was closed for a long time. Terry Van Gorder hated Knott's Berry Tales, which is why it went.
Basically TVG had no vision and was greedy. Unlike Disney who ignored conventional wisdom and did not cater to the all important teenage-young adult market regardless of their spending power, TVG aggressively went after that market. Obviously, teenagers, particularly boys, are more interested in roller coasters and other thrill rides rather than Ghost Towns and Old-Time Melodramas. That changed the tone of the park completely.
Also, the draconian nature of CA laws had a lot to do with the changes in the park. The Haunted Shack was closed because there was no way to make it wheel chair accessible. The state of CA would not allow it to remain open. The carriage stable was closed because there was no way to make climbing on old carriages, buckboard, etc. child safe.
The park has had a rather schizophrenic quality for several decades. It wants to cater to teenagers and early 20s, but it has the Snoopy license that appeals to young children, and it has a lot of elderly visitors. The park really doesn't have a strong personality and point of view.
Regarding the elderly, an example of how badly run the park was under Cedar Fair was their senior brunch. First, they had it in a space that was a good five minute walk (for a young person) from the Chicken dinner Restaurant The elderly took forever to get there with their canes and walkers. Then, to make matters worse, the brunch was only for seniors. So, if you need an aid/helper to get you around, the aid could not eat with you. It was just ridiculous.
[quote]There were 2 African American women in that clip of Disney at night at 6:13.
Somebody slipped up at the ticket gate.
R75 Weren't the Knotts notorious reactionary John Birchers?
Tsk. All these wannabe amusement park people settling for the third-rate attractions when we here in Missouri can enjoy Silver Dollar City year round like real Americans.
[quote]Weren't the Knotts notorious reactionary John Birchers?
Yes, Walter Knott was a big John Bircher, and one of the earliest backers of Ronald Reagan when he ran for Governor.
The rumor was that, while Disneyland had Walt's frozen body stashed under Mr. Lincoln, the bank vaults in the Ghost Town bank buildings were filled to the brim with high power weapons and ammunition, and Knott's was where the militia would rally when 1) the Mexican Hoard swept up from Tijuana or 2) the Communist bastards attacked from the sea. Knott's security was supposed to be full of ex-military, mostly Green Berets.
To be fair to both Disney and Knott, normal people probably don't look in the mirror and say, "Hey, I should build a giant amusement park today."
Three people were taken to the hospital after a wheel detached from a stagecoach ride at Knott’s Berry Farm Sunday afternoon.
The stagecoach fell to its side and sent 14 passengers tumbling.
Three passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and are expected to fully recover.
Knott’s has closed the stagecoach ride until further notice. The theme park issued the following statement:
“At approximately 1:25 pm on December 30 the left rear wheel detached from one of Knott’s Berry Farm’s stagecoaches with 14 passengers on board, causing the coach to tip to its side.
“Three guests were transported to a local hospital for minor injuries. The ride will be closed until further notice. Guest safety is Knott’s number one priority.”
BUENA PARK, Calif. — Twenty riders expecting a short thrill were left dangling at 300 feet for nearly four hours when the Windseeker ride at Southern California's Knott's Berry Farm amusement park stalled.
Knott's said in a statement that the ride, which lifts fun-seekers high over the park with their legs dangling and spins them in a circle, came to a stop when its security system activated at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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"They didn't tell me that in the brochure," said Jimmy Garrison, a tourist from Baltimore who was stuck on the ride as he left the park hours later with a souvenir T-shirt that read "I SURVIVED WINDSEEKER."
TV cameras showed riders sitting calmly as they dangled and the sun set, some casually swinging their legs.
"They were on the PA system and they were telling us 'be patient with us,' and that sort of thing," Garrison told KTTV-TV. "I was looking over at the steel cables, they're about that thick," he said, holding his thumb and forefinger several inches apart, "there's a whole bunch of them so I know you can't fall."
Garrison's wife Donna said her husband kept her from having a totally traumatic experience.
"I have a fear of heights so that first half-hour was a little bit daunting," she said. "But he's a great coach. He talked me through it."
Maintenance workers brought all the riders safely to the ground between 7:30 and 8, long after the park had closed and night had fallen.
Knott's says the ride, which also left riders hanging on Sept. 7, will remain closed while the cause is investigated.
Donna Garrison said she and her husband were returning to the park on Friday. Asked if she'd try out the Windseeker again, she replied "Oh, no, no no."
Mommie! Mommie! Wake up!!
The Windseeker was a bad idea. Cedar Fair was going to install Star Fliers, operating functionally around the world, but changed their mind at the last minute to the similar Windseeker prototype which has been plagued by mechanical problems, installing not one but four total nationwide. Demonstrating their business acumen, they installed two more the following year. All six have been grounded until they figure out how to fix the problems.
They have had nothing but problems with the newer rides. The Pony Express family had a minor accident when the emergency brakes failed because they had been painted over. Xcelerator had an accident when the launch cable snapped, slicing the front of the train in half and severely cutting a young kid's leg (it was partly Knott's fault, the cable was six months overdue for replacement). The Perlious Plunge attraction was reduced to rubble a few months ago ten years after a morbidly obese woman fell to her death right in front of her family because she wasn't properly secured - to fat to fit in the restraint but the teenage operator dispatched the boat rather than tell her to get off.
[quote] Three people were taken to the hospital after a wheel detached from a stagecoach ride at Knott’s Berry Farm Sunday afternoon.
Well this will replace the infamous rallying call for fake law suits from Get on the bus to Get on the stagecoach.
Carnation used to make more than canned milk -- with Knudsen, they were So Cal's main dairy. They had an ice cream shop on Main Street which was always our first stop.
Then we went to the fun penny arcade.
Finally, off to Tomorrowland!
I checked out a copy of [italic]The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event in the Original Magic Kingdom[/italic] at my library.
It's a pretty good book that details the dates different rides and attractions were in operation. It also gives a little background info as well.
Yes, Walter Knott was a John Bircher. As was Carl Karcher of the "Carl's Jr. fast food chain.
Walter Knott, Carl Karcher, John Wayne, our living room was a place to be avoided.
Walter Knott had a puppeteer that he sponsored from Hungary. Knott had a book printed titled "A Puppet no More". The covers are hysterical.
Front:Polio-Orphan-Nazis-Dachau-Communist Torture and Prison- Hungarian Revolution- Escape- All part of the many nightmare and dreams of Tony Kemeny Master Puppeteer
Back:Escaped Orphan- in the streets of wartime Budapest
Inmate of Dachau-Kittens in famous death camp
Disney fans might be interested in learning about C.V. Wood, the man who is probably most responsible for designing Disneyland. He had a falling out with Walt, and his name has been banned ever since. They have completely removed him from photos, histories, news articles--the man doesn't exist as far as Disney is concerned.
He was a bit of a con man, so they're probably justified, but he did have a long career, and did many other parks. Since the basic design of Disneyland is genius, he deserves at least a mention:
[quote]Wood, leading his firm known as Marco Engineering, Inc., helped create Magic Mountain (now Heritage Square at Golden, Colorado) in 1957, Pleasure Island (in Wakefield, Massachusetts) in 1959, Freedomland U.S.A. (on the current site of Co-op City in the Bronx), in 1960, and initial work on Six Flags Over Texas . . . . In 1991, Wood, who had become President of the Recreation Enterprises Division of Warner Bros., played an instrumental role in the design and development of Warner Bros. Movie World theme park in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, capping a noted theme park creating career. Wood was also the chief designer for Lake Havasu City;. That city's CV Wood Aquatic Center is named for him.
[quote]C.V. Wood, the man who is probably most responsible for designing Disneyland. He had a falling out with Walt, and his name has been banned ever since. They have completely removed him from photos, histories, news articles--the man doesn't exist as far as Disney is concerned.
A Book of Laughing and Forgetting...
Very good, R101! However, where is the Caftans-n-Earrings Emporium?
If I could live anywhere, I would live in The Haunted Mansion, like all year long," director Guillermo del Toro said last year at Comic-Con while discussing his upcoming film featuring Disneyland's iconic haunted house. And he's not alone.
Hollywood is full of filmmakers and talent who are addicted to Disneyland, which opened in 1955 and now averages 40,000 visitors a day. Zachary Levi, Gwen Stefani, John Stamos and Miley Cyrus count themselves as Anaheim regulars, and it's the date place of choice for Ryan Gosling (he's taken Kat Dennings, Blake Lively and Eva Mendes). "It's not about going on the rides as fast as possible," says music producer Matt Beckley. "It's an appreciation for the art that goes into it."
No matter how fanatical, though, few want to brave tourist hordes. With the June opening of the $200 million Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, where waiting times in lines are two hours plus, both theme parks are at peak capacity.
Luckily, there are tricks and tips to making visits as painless as possible. Hiring a VIP Premium Tour guide (from $195 to $295 an hour for a minimum of six hours, 714-300-7710) will result in a customized experience. The guides (called "plaids" for their signature costume) will get you into the park easily, make reservations at top culinary spots such as Napa Rose in the Grand Californian hotel and nearby Catal (which has hosted parties for Drew Barrymore and Justin Bieber) and reserve prime viewing spots for shows and parades. While plaids can't get guests to the front of every line, they can for rides in the Fastpass program, including Indiana Jones, Star Tours and all the major mountains. If your kids are "let's go again" types or autograph seekers, the guide will get them in front to meet and greet castmembers portraying everyone from Mickey to Merida, the redheaded heroine of Disney Pixar's Brave. For celebrities, park officials practically insist on VIP guides (James Threadgill is Once Upon a Time star Ginnifer Goodwin's favorite). "They don't want bedlam breaking out if Miley Cyrus is standing in line," says one insider.
There are places that VIP guides can't take you, including the private Club 33 with a 10-year-long waiting list. (It recently welcomed a select number of new members.) How carefully are the keys to the castle guarded? Goodwin -- who's such a fanatic, she visited the park five times during a recent six-week hiatus -- admits she recently became a member. But even she hasn't yet gotten access to the fabled Dream Suite, the only on-site guest room in the park: "I would do just about anything legal to stay there."
Pilot House on the Mark Twain River Boat
Not part of any VIP tour, the pilot house is an unofficial spot to which the captain can extend an invite. Guests need to inquire to request access -- or can just butter him or her up.
This private 2,600- square-foot space is invitation-only to VIPs and kids from charities like Make A Wish. Once in a while, official fan club D23 members get sneak peeks. Access cannot be purchased. The suite has two master bedrooms, a French Provincial living room, an electric train and a full-size carousel. Says del Toro of the amenities provided by Disney Imagineer designers: "The quarters come to life at several points during the night and objects and audiovisual effects light up the room unexpectedly -- it's the essence of Disney magic."
Aside from the beloved mansion itself, a favorite destination of Whoopi Goldberg, "there have been occasional special private dinners that are announced and sell out immediately -- they're not dinners that can be set up by request for a fee," says Chris Strodder, author of The Disneyland Encyclopedia. "There's also a cool pet cemetery feature hidden behind it, and if you ask an employee, they'll usually let you see it, though you can't walk through it." Adds Beckley: "A little thing that fanatics do is try to get the Haunted elevator to themselves and lay down in it when it goes down. They call it the stretching room -- it seems to be stretching. You look up while the portraits get smaller."
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Get like Stefani, a Disney fan who dressed as Cinderella for Kate Hudson's Halloween party last year, or do the more age-appropriate thing and turn a child into a Disney princess for $200, which includes makeup, nail polish, tiara and costume. Make reservations up to six months in advance -- walk-ins have about a 1 percent chance of getting in.
At the top of this bobsled ride, which recently had side-by-side seating replace the lap-sitting that titillated teens for generations, is a basketball hoop. "We played basketball in the Matterhorn," says The Young and the Restless executive producer Maria Bell, who is such a fan, her husband, Bill proposed to her at the Castle. Another insider insists: "No one can go up there. It's for maintenance people."
A private walk-through with a Disneyland designer pointing out behind-the-scenes facts and anecdotes is rare, extended only to high-level business contacts, or given away for charity. Says Bell: "We won an Imagineers tour at LACMA that was donated by Willow Bay -- we had the most amazing time."
Lily Belle Railroad Car
The luxury observation parlor car on the Disneyland railroad, named after Walt Disney's wife, has carried royalty and heads of state, including Japan's Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako, and is not always available on the track. A VIP tour guide can gain you entrance if it's present.
Walt Disney's Apartment
Overlooking the town square and built for Disney to oversee construction, this humble apartment above the fire station also housed Disney and his family, with his wife, Lillian, using the patio to entertain. Disney sometimes descended using the fire pole as a form of egress. Says Beckley, "They still leave a light on in the window in honor of Walt." Not open to the public, the apartment can be seen via a behind-the-scenes Backstage Magic tour; call 800-543-0865 to book.
Can You Find the Hidden Mickeys?
A slew of websites are devoted to identifying the "hidden Mickeys" designed into nooks and crannies throughout the park. Basic representations of Mickey can be a circle with smaller circles for ears; look for Mickeys in gears, the Space Mountain speakers, one of the Conquistador breastplates when exiting the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, and virtually every ride. "You start to see them everywhere. If you look at the Matterhorn from a certain angle, the caves converge to become a Mickey Mouse shape," says Beckley. "There are multiple layers -- you can come back and discover things you didn't notice at the beginning." There are seven on our map -- can you find them all?
There used to be a guy on here that worked at one of the parks. He told us all about why they went from ticket books to general admission and why that was a disaster for them until they used food to recoup the losses.
I tried to find a link to that thread, but maybe someone remembers it?
I wonder if there are black people at Disneyland Tokyo or Disneyland Paris...
Disneyland, in California in the late '50's and early '60's. I was there.......both at Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm.... Disneyland... If I got there early, my daughter and I would park near the entrance. $12.50 and we could spend the whole day enjoying everything.....was GREAT!
Knotts Berry Farm. I don't remember an entry fee there but I do remember the stagecoach and the mine rides and panning for gold.....also watch the candy makers...... Great place to take my daughter to.
TODAY........There's nothing like it was then.
With a whole park-full of people being held hostage, the food prices are exorbitant now, but I called my sister and she says she remembers the food being pretty reasonable in the late 60s and early 70s.
Many of the eateries then were sponsored by food companies, so they were more interested in advertising their products than profiting from them.
Groovy clean cut Rock 'n' Roll on the Tomorrowland Space Stage! Sponsored by Coca Cola!