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…
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!