Vintage Disneyland Postcards: New Orleans Square

In 1966 Disneyland debuted its first new land since the park opened in 1955 with New Orleans Square. Inspired by New Orleans of the 1800s, it features gorgeous wrought iron, convincing forced perspective, and originally was going to feature a larger in-park apartment for Walt Disney.

New Orleans Square, with fanciful wrought iron.

New Orleans Square, with fanciful wrought iron.

An alleyway through New Orleans Square, warm stone walls and curly wrought iron work in balconies above.

From 1966 until 1996 there was the One-of-a-Kind Shop, which offered unique antiques for Guests to purchase.

Inside the One-of-a-Kind Shop, with a variety of antiques, like chandeliers, statues, china, paintings, and more.

The shop space today is known as Port Royale, and sells Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion souvenirs.

At the time of opening Guests just roamed the crooked alleys of New Orleans Square with no attractions to ride, and had to wait until 1967 to set sail on Pirates of the Caribbean.

Exterior of Pirates of the Caribbean, with wrought iron archway balconies and shuttered windows.

Exterior of Pirates of the Caribbean, with wrought iron archway balconies and shuttered windows.

You may notice there isn’t a bridge in front of Pirates. That didn’t arrive until 1987, which also then allowed access to the new Disney Gallery, which opened the same year in the space above Pirates that was originally going to be Walt Disney’s new apartment, but with Walt’s passing in 1966, the plans for his apartment were abandoned. The Disney Gallery (one of my favorite places in Disneyland) closed in 2007 and became the Disneyland Dream Suite. Recently it closed and the area is now home to 21 Royal.

The next big change for Pirates of the Caribbean came in 1997. Originally three pirates chased women for what many assumed were less than gentlemanly reasons. A fourth, older pirate with a beard, was chased by a larger woman. Two of the pairings were changes so that the women now chased the pirates, but the pirates were laden with food and the women given items such as brooms, implying the pirates were stealing food. The larger woman chasing the pirate was only changed to feature her holding a rolling pin and the pirate with a tray of food. One pairing remained with a pirate chasing a maiden, although she carries a tray of beer, so it implies he is after the beer. In between all of the chasing a large pirate sat near a barrel, a pink petticoat in his hand, and a woman popped in and out of the barrel behind him. He was very clear in his unsavory intentions, lamenting about a woman who disappeared, and how he would like “to hoist me colors on the likes of that shy little wench” and that he “be willin’ to share” if she is found! Yikes! Don’t believe me? Listen here! He was known as the “Pooped Pirate” and in 1997 became the “Gluttonous Pirate” when the petticoat was swapped for a chicken leg, and the woman replaced by a cat, and he talked about food.

In 2006, after the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, elements from the films were integrated, such as Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, Davy Jones, and several audio changes, including another change to the former “Pooped Pirate” where he now holds a key and a map, and speaks of thinking Jack Sparrow will never find the treasure, little does he know Jack Sparrow in the barrel behind him.

This year, Pirates saw yet another change, with the alteration of the auction scene. Since 1966 the pirates had, literally, roped the town’s women, including a vivacious redhead, into being auctioned off, and pirates leered and yelled “We wants the redhead!” But today the pirates now force the townsfolk to auction off their goods such as clocks, paintings, and chickens. The redhead is now a pirate, and the men now shout “We wants the rum!”

Interior of Pirates - two house boats sit in a bayou, Spanish Moss hangs from low willows, the moon shines in the distance.

Interior of Pirates - two pirate skeletons hold bottles at a bar covered in cobwebs, a painting a female pirate hangs above the bar.

Interior of Pirates - a pirate ship sits in the water, its sails have seen a cannon or two.

Inside Pirates - Pirates dunk the town's mayor ask they ask him where the treasure is.

Inside Pirates - Pirates dunk the town's mayor ask they ask him where the treasure is.

Inside Pirates - Pirates auction off the town's women.

Inside Pirates - pirates leer at the women being auctioned off.

Inside Pirates - a pirate leans on a bridge railing with a bottle of rum.

Inside Pirates - a pirate chases a woman through the stone buildings.

Inside Pirates - a pirate sleeps in the mud with pigs, a bottle in his hand.

Inside Pirates - the town burns as a pirate tries to escape with loot, while two drunk pirates lean on a lamppost.

Inside Pirates - Several pirates in jail try to entice a dog who holds the keys to the cell.

After disembarking from Pirates of the Caribbean, guests could visit the Pirates Arcade, where there was a machine to purchase a variety of postcards featuring concept art from the attraction.

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - a skeleton lays on the sand, stabbed in the back, a crab looks on. Text reads "Mind this ye swabs, should ye choose to compete: 'Tis a very sharp point 'tween success and defeat."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - a skeleton lays in a ditch, in tattered pirate attire and a pistol in his hand. Text reads "Hark to this wisdom, ye'll be overjoyed: 'Tis better t'be idle than ill-employed.

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - a skeleton has been stabbed through the chest and pinned to a wall. Text reads "This be a fact no hand will contest: The wonders o'nature begin in th'nest"

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - Blackbeard raises his sword at the edge of a ship. Text reads "Ay, th'dreadful duds what pirates wore. Were ten times frightful than their roar."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - a disgruntled pirate sits on a crate of chickens. Text reads "A pirate's loot warn't always gold. A pullet had value served hot or cold."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - pirates sit on barrels, leering at something, while a rooster stands on a pile of barrels. Text reads "Sword-fight, horn-pipe, dog-fight or blow... The loftier th'crow's nest th'better the show."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - A large plump woman chases an older pirate with a beard. Text reads "Avast there, poor Albert, a seaman first class...Stout 'arted in battle, but shy 'round a lass."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - A pirate loaded with a treasure chest and tall stack of hats on his head tries to board a boat. Text reads "To the eye o'the greedy his portion be small. T'chart such a corse, the swab's sure to fall."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - Two pirates in a boat full of bottles, one drinking, the other with bottle in one hand and a torch in another. Text reads "Behold these bilge-rats with a feelin' o'sadness: Rum-spongin' be naught be self-willed madness.

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - Three pirates behind bars try to entice a dog with keys with a bone. Text reads "A pirate in irons be full o'guile. And the blackest 'art wears the broadest smile."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - a pirate sits atop a teetering stack of barrels reading "explosives" aiming to shoot, a jug marked "xxx" in his other hand. Text reads "Fo'c'sle swabs in lofty positions Are oft beset with strange afflictions."

Concept art for Pirates of the Caribbean - A pirate lays atop a cannon aiming to shoot. Text reads "A smile and a wing be a thing to dread...Could very well mean a hold in yer head."

In 1963, three years before New Orleans Square even opened, the exterior of the Haunted Mansion was completed. It sat empty until 1969 when it finally opened to Guests. Sadly I have very few Haunted Mansion postcards.

The exterior of the Haunted Mansion, done in southern plantation style, green wrought iron arches on the first and second floor with tall columns in the center.

Two picture postcard. On top the exterior of the Haunted Mansion, below interior of ghosts, including an old man with a long beard and cane, and a mummy sitting upright in his sarcophagus.

Inside the Haunted Mansion - tombstones sit upright, two ghosts talk near a horse-drawn hearse.

Inside the Haunted Mansion - ghosts ride a see-saw.

Next time we will blast off into the future with Tomorrowland.

Other Vintage Disneyland Postcard Posts
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