Family Disneyland Pictures

Recently I was granted permission from my dad to begin scanning our family’s large slide collection.  The first carousel I took back to Portland with me was one marked “Disneyland ’79 & ’81”. How could I resist? Also, we are going to Disneyland in a month! So I’m getting pretty excited!

While I don’t think I’ll be sharing too many family photos, I simply had to share these ones from Disneyland! Especially since they contain images of lost attractions.  So sit back and enjoy a trip back in time to Disneyland in the late 1970s and early 80s along with a little history lesson here and there on changes…

Loads of pictures after the cut!

Here we have Fort Wilderness, located on Tom Sawyer’s Island.  Originally, Fort Wilderness (built out of real hand-hewn logs!) was home to a rifle roost where you could pretend to shoot as well as museum-style set ups of what a military outpost would have looked like, including a dummy of Andrew Jackson.  However, over the years, Fort Wilderness became more and more dilapidated.  The wood needed constant maintenance, a girl lost part of her finger in an accident, and in 2003 the large gates shut for good.  In 2007, Tom Sawyer’s Island was taken over by pirates, and many changes were underway, which included tearing down the original Fort Wilderness that stood since 1956.  A new Fort Wilderness was erected, however it was no longer open to the public.  Instead, Fort Wilderness is now home to a cast member break area as well as serves as storage for the nighttime show Fantasmic.

Original entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean.

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, today known as Tarzan’s Treehouse.  I think Disneyland realized that the popularity of the 1960 film wouldn’t last forever, and in 1999 they “upgraded” to Tarzan.  A film I really didn’t care for at all.

Originally the boats for the Jungle Cruise were clean, featuring bright red and white canopies.  They remained this way until 1993 when they were weathered to coincide with the new Indiana Jones at the Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction that was being built next door.

Up until 1983 (when much of the greater Los Angeles area was gearing up for the 1984 summer Olympics) Fantasyland featured painted plywood facades to their attractions.  Walt had always dreamed of making Fantasyland akin to a small fairytale-medieval-esque town surrounding Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but with Disneyland already over budget, he had to cut things back.  Then, in the early 80s Disneyland’s Imagineers brought Walt’s dream to life.  New facades were created, new attractions such as Pinocchio’s Daring Journey were added, a few attractions got moved, including Dumbo and the Mad Tea Party, and some were gone forever, such as Skull Rock and the Chicken of the Sea Restaurant pirate ship.

It’s a Small World has seen quite a few different paint schemes over the years.  I’m quite fond of this blue, white and gold!

I hope you enjoyed!

UPDATE! I was contacted by the amazing Dave of Daveland (a fellow Disneyland fan and collector of some stellar vintage Disneyland photographs) to share these, and any more I wished to share, on his blog! I e-mailed him over 20 additional photos and he’s started a mini-guest series for me and my photos!

Daveland Goes Atomic Pt. 1
Daveland Goes Atomic Pt. 2
Daveland Goes Atomic Pt. 3

10 thoughts on “Family Disneyland Pictures

  1. Fascinating photos. It may interest you to know that Disneyland Paris still retains a Skull Rock, as of 2011 anyway, and also still had the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris is I think in keeping with Walt’s original idea. i think there is also something resembling Fort Wilderness there, although no rifle range!

  2. These are great, thanks for sharing! I’m going to Disneyland for the first time in November (after visiting the Florida and Paris ones multiple times over the years) and I’m so excited to see the differences 🙂

    • Oh, I’ve really been interested in going to the Paris park! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it, and have been really intrigued by the fact that their “haunted mansion” or Phantom Manor as it’s called in Paris, is located in Frontierland! I hope you enjoy your trip in November! Everything will be decked out for the holidays!

  3. This is fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing.
    I’ve only ever been to Hong Kong Disneyland and it’s interesting to see similarities, even with the time difference!

  4. I enjoyed those and miss some ot these.. Had forgotten how many changes there have been. I grew up five miles away so went to Disneyland many, many times. But I moved away 20 years ago so I don’t get there near enough now. Have a wonderful Disneyland visit!

  5. What a trip down my memory lane ! I worked at the Tiki hut in Adventure Land waaay back in the early 60’s ! Yes, dear, I’m Vintage all by myself.
    One brother ran the Pirates of the Caribbean restaurant for many years, he was then promoted to open the Disney World Pirates there. My other brother sold balloons on Main Street while in high school.

    I want it known on this public format that: I have never divulged the antics of myself and fellow employees during the after hours in Adventure Land or in any of the other Lands !!
    these secrets stay with me or until I’m bribed with mucho $$$

  6. I really enjoyed the photos!
    I love Disney, and to be able to see it the way it was when I was far too young to ever remember seeing it is a real treat.

  7. What a fascinating look back at how Disneyland looked just a few years before I was born. It’s interesting to learn that the dropped the Swiss Family Robinson connection in the 90s. I adored that movie as a child (so did my little brother – we probably watched it twenty times together when we really young), but I suppose it hasn’t remained as popular over the years as some of the other Disney classics, so I can see why they “upgraded”, so to speak, to Tarzan.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. Spectacular! Can you believe how NOT crowded it was then? No line for Haunted Mansion? Craziness! Have you ever watched the old Disneyland TV show from the ’50s & ’60s? It’s kind of amazing how corny & kitchy it was back in the day.

    Did you ever get the email I sent about visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco? It’s jam-packed with amazing nostalgia like this, chronicling Walt’s life, from 1901 to 1966.

    • Yes, I have! The joys of the internet! And I adore the kitsch!

      Yes, I did. Did I not reply? 😦 I’ve been really wanting to get back to San Fran, but haven’t had a real reason yet to get there.

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