Pirates within the Disney Archives

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Disneyland attraction Pirates of the Caribbean. And with that, the Walt Disney Archives decided that their exhibit at D23 would be dedicated to pirates of all sorts! From early shorts to the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And since this was an amazing exhibit, thar be plenty o’ pictures ahead! Ye been warned!

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Orange Empire Railway Museum

Recently Patrick and I went to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris (about an hour and a half east of Los Angeles) with a couple of friends for a day filled with not just train history, but a glimpse into the history of Los Angeles transit, as well as added bits of Disney history!

Now before I show all of the interesting things the Orange Empire Railway Museum had to offer, I’ll share with you what I wore.

At first glance, it may appear that I am just wearing another western inspired outfit with turquoise jewelry, but I specifically chose to wear turquoise to pay homage to Fred Harvey, a man closely tied with the restaurant industry, railways, and turquoise jewelry.

Fred Harvey was a restaurateur who transitioned into the railroad business. He became fascinated with the southwest and built trading posts at rail stops, filling them with Native American goods, such as blankets, baskets, and jewelry. Harvey went so far as a to make pre-cut (and hallmarked) pieces of jewelry, to then be embellished (traditionally by stamping, like my bracelet) by Native Americans and then sold at his trading posts. The Orange Empire Railway Museum even has a building dedicated to Harvey and his influence on train travel.

Now keep reading to find out all the neat stuff the museum had to offer!

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All Aboard!

While many were busy celebrating Mother’s Day last weekend, we were busy celebrating Patrick’s birthday, which happened to fall on Mother’s Day this year, just as it did when he was born. Now, that isn’t to say we didn’t think of our mothers that day! So don’t sit there thinking we totally ignored them! Anyway! But as it was Patrick’s birthday, I allowed him to decide what we did with the day, and we spent it at Disneyland exploring the unique train offerings that are currently going on due to Star Wars land construction, as he loves the Disneyland Railroad. Gear up for a pretty picture and history heavy post!

Typically Disneyland offers the opportunity for Guests to board real steam engine trains and embark on a Grand Circle Tour of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom, stopping at Main Street USA, New Orleans Square (originally was the stop for Frontierland), Toontown (originally the stop for Fantasyland), and Tomorrowland, as well as a visit to the Grand Canyon and a trip back in time and see some dinosaurs. However, Disneyland is undergoing some massive changes, including its first expansion to the park in over twenty years, with the addition of what everyone is simply calling “Star Wars Land” (whether or not that is going to be its real title is still up for debate, but I digress). The construction is having an impact on the railroad and thus excursions on the Disneyland Railroad have been temporarily halted. But Disneyland has made up for the lack of transportation by offering a unique opportunity. Guests can now get up close and personal with the trains (I was in awe of the hand-painted details!), even sit inside the cab of the train, where the engineers sit, and talk with them!

The train parked at the New Orleans Square train station is C.K. Holliday, and the first train at Disneyland. It was built at the Studio in 1954, and was there for opening day in 1955. It’s named after the Santa Fe railroad founder, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday.

You can also cross the tracks at the New Orleans Square Station and approach the telegraph office. Before construction of New Orleans Square, the area was still part of Frontierland, and the station featured a yellow and brown color scheme and was used as the ticket booth for Guests wishing to ride the train. (check out some pictures from Daveland here) The station moved across the tracks in 1962 to make more room for New Orleans Square, where it sits today and serves as ambiance and a break room for Cast Members. This gave me a chance to get close to one of my favorite details, the telegraph that sits in the window, which is continually “sending” Walt’s opening day speech in Morse code.

Also available on the opposite side of the tracks is a cutaway engine and both boards and an engineer to explain how a steam train works. Plus Guests can actually blow the train whistle!

At the Main Street USA Station Guests can view boards that discuss Walt’s love affair with trains and feature many photos. He loved trains so much so that he built his own personal miniature, 1/8th scale train (though large enough to sit on and ride) in backyard of his Holmby Hills home.

Outfit
Frontierland tee: Mickey’s of Glendale booth at D23
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Cowboy boots: Buffalo Exchange

A Visit to the Studio

Another one of the perks of being a Cast Member for the Disneyland Resort is access to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Of course it is limited access, I can’t just go stepping onto a sound stage during filming, but it is access nonetheless! Recently, the ultimate Disney fan club, D23, announced the recent lobby display for the Disney Archives, which celebrates the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney Studios. The display boasted a wide variety of items from the archives, from models to furniture to props, and I was extremely excited. But before I geek out too much about the archives, how about a peek at my outfit.

Read on for a glimpse into the Walt Disney Studio…

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Where it All Began

Over the weekend Patrick and I went to the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Now, normally I’m not one to go to a place just to ride a carousel, but the place has a very special meaning. Built in 1926, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round is often described as the place where Walt Disney first thought up the idea for Disneyland.

In an interview (later shown as part of the The First Fifty Magical Years, viewable here), Walt described spending Saturdays with his two daughters where he would “sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts” watching his two girls ride the merry-go-round and it is here that Walt thought to himself “there should be something built, some kind of amusement enterprise where the parents and the children could have fun together.” So, in a way, our visit was a pilgrimage of sorts to the place where Walt first dreamed up Disneyland.

The merry-go-round also houses one of the original benches that was at the merry-go-round during the time period Walt took his daughters. Although only visible when riding the carousel. Two other benches are on display, one at Disneyland, just inside the Opera House, and another at the Walt Disney Family Museum, which you can sit on.

When we arrived, I was personally shocked at the state of the carousel. Horses were lacking in color, and worn from the years, and even a portion of the carousel’s ceiling was missing. However the the carousel appears to be in mid-restoration, with some of the scenes around the top looking freshly painted, while others have completely faded, although I can find no articles mentioning restoration. There was one sled that had been fully restored, although with funds from the Walt Disney Family Foundation.

After Patrick and I took a short hike to the old LA Zoo, a place I have been dying to visit for sometime, which will be getting its own post, so look for that soon!

Outfit
Blouse: Jet Rag, Los Angeles, California
Pink Jeans: Old Glory Antique Mall, Vancouver, Washington
Mocassins: Minnetonka
Purse: Found by my dad
Scarf: ???
Bangles: Here and there
Robin Hood Pin: Disneyland

Nothing But Blue Skies

Well, I hope you liked Patrick’s first post in his new series! It will be a rather inconstant series (ie: not on a regular weekly or monthly schedule) but a series none the less! Additionally, with the move to southern California, I’m excited to share similar types of posts with you, ones of architecture and filming locations, unique landmarks and a slew of museums that the area has to offer. All fall into my passion for history and am eager to share with you all!

On Sunday, Patrick and I joined fellow vintage and Disney loving friends for a meet-up at Disneyland. You may recall the holiday themed meet-up we went to in November. The theme selected for this January meet-up was “Blue Skies” and those attending were encouraged to wear something blue. I was elated, as blue is my favorite color to wear for January! The initial outfit that I planned when the meet-up was announced consisted of a black wool dress with ice blue accents, including a blue wide brimmed wool felt fedora, but when the weather report announced the day was going to be an incredible 85, I had to rethink my ensemble, and ultimately went for a rather summery “State Fair” look…oh well! It still had blue in it!

To kick off the day we met up in California Adventure and I finally met Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! And look! He was even dressed in blue like us! How fitting!

For those who are not super familiar with Walt Disney and his history, Oswald was one of Walt’s earliest creations, but in 1928 economic hardship and bad relations between Walt and a producer meant that Walt had to let Oswald go. However, on his way home Walt came up with the idea of Mickey Mouse. Since then Oswald was held by NBC Universal, until Disney’s current CEO, Bob Iger, expressed a desire to bring Oswald home, and in 2006 Disney negotiated for Oswald to return to Disney, by trading ESPN (as Disney owns ESPN) sports anchor Al Michaels for Oswald. Yes, Disney traded a real live person for a cartoon, and Michaels now reports for NBC Sports. But Oswald has had quite the homecoming and is now the icon of Disney’s California Adventure and loved by many who visit the park.

As a group, we went on various attractions together, and of course got many questions, most asked “Is it Dapper Day?” Some with a hint of horror in their voice, fearing they had missed it. As the sun went down we boarded the Mark Twain for a leisurely cruise along the Rivers of America.

I didn’t snap too many group photos, as we used someone’s PhotoPass+, and I’m still waiting on those photos, but I couldn’t wait to share, as we had so much fun! Maybe I’ll share them on my Facebook page…So if you don’t already like Atomic Redhead on Facebook, go do it now!

Outfit
Boater: Garage Sale!
Suit: House of Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Nude Fishnets: Oroblu, Nordstorm
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Purse: Found by my dad!
Disneyland Brooch: TheEmaE74
Disneyland Charm Bracelet: Can’t remember!

Patrick’s Outfit
Short: Living Threads, Portland, Oregon
Jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
Shoes: Nordstorm

Walt Disney Family Museum

On our way home from Palm Springs we took a little detour to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, a place I wanted to visit during my last time to San Fran, but didn’t make it to.  The decision to go was somewhat spur of the moment, made in the late evening the night before we were to check out of our hotel, as we brainstormed ideas on what to do on our way north, and it was the best decision I believe!

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