Theo's First Visit To Disneyland 11/6/2009
We met at Downtown Disney at 10:00. I was a cool Fall day in California.... Just right!
11:20 and we are ready
Michele and Sherri aim Theo down the street
Flags remain at half-mast from the Fort Hood tragedy
To The Firehouse
Did you know? - The first image that comes to mind is of the little antique fire truck that putts up and down Main Street, U.S.A., with its little firehouse near the entrance to the park. In reality, the Disneyland Fire Department (DFD) probably has one of the most trained, efficient and rigorous
fire responses in the United States.
The current Chief is Bill Collins, a retired battalion chief with over 25 years of service with the L.A. City Fire Department. His staff includes two other chiefs, 12 full-time paid members and 38 part-time paid members, many of whom are members of neighboring fire departments. Others are retired firefighters with many years' experience, including a 30-year veteran of the Garden Grove, CA Fire Department.
There has always been a fire service at Disneyland. When the park officially opened on July 17th, 1955, Disney acquired a 1954 Willys Jeep with a front-mounted pump for fire protection and staffed it with ex-military personnel. Today, they are equipped with a 1981 Chevrolet/Pierce/Crown pumper with a 250 gallon tank and a Waterous 300 gpm pump, 600 feet of 2-1/2 inch line and 150 feet of 1-1/2 inch attack line. This truck, and another utility pickup truck equipped with fire extinguishers, is stationed at the fire department headquarters located near the entrance to Disneyland. There is also a trailer-mounted Hale 1000 gpm pump with three shots of 5-inch hard-suction, 2,000 feet of 4-inch supply hose and two cross-lays of 2-1/2 inch and 1-1/2 inch line that is stored in the back-lot area of the park, for use in drafting should the need arise.
Filming Of The Disney Christmas Special Was Underway
Let's Go To Toon Town
Did you know? - Opened July 17, 1955, the castle is the oldest of all Disney castles. It reaches a height of 94 feet (28.5 meters). The
castle initially featured an empty upper level that was never intended to house
an attraction, but Walt Disney was not satisfied with what he viewed as wasted
space, and challenged his Imagineers to find some use for the space. Beginning
April 29, 1957, visitors were able to walk through the castle and view several
dioramas depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty. The original dioramas were
designed in the style of Eyvind Earle, production designer for Disney's 1959
film Sleeping Beauty, and were then redone in 1977 to resemble the window
displays on Main Street, U.S.A.. The walkthrough was closed for unspecified
reasons in October 2001; popular belief claims the September 11th attacks and
the potential danger that ensued played a major factor in the closing.
On July 17, 2008, Disney announced that the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough would reopen in the style of the original Earle dioramas, enhanced with new technology not available in 1957. The walkthrough reopened on November 27, 2008 at 5:00 PM, drawing long lines going as far back as the Hub. Unlike previous incarnations, visitors who are unable to climb stairs or navigate the passageways of the Castle can still experience the walkthrough "virtually" in a special room on the Castle's ground floor. This room is lavishly themed, and presents the closed-captioned CGI walkthrough recreation on a high-definition TV.
Theo! What are you doing!
Did you know? - The attraction was originally built with ten ride vehicles which were intended to represent not the "one and only" Dumbo but the alcohol-induced "pink elephants" scene from the film. In fact, the working title of the attraction was "10 Pink Elephants On Parade" and the elephants were actually painted pink on installation. Walt Disney objected, not wishing Disneyland's patrons to ride vehicles themed to a hallucination and thereby ordered them painted gray. When Disneyland's Fantasyland was remodeled in 1983, the attraction retained its original configuration of ten ride vehicles. In 1990, the attraction was updated with the sixteen vehicles originally intended for installation at Disneyland Paris. Like other remaining 1955 attractions, one of Disneyland's Dumbos was painted gold in honor of that park's fiftieth anniversary in 2005.
A circa 1915 band organ occasionally provides background music. This powerful instrument is capable of being heard more than a mile away; it is quite naturally operated at only a fraction of its potential.
Tiki Room Is Now A Favorite
Did you know? - The attraction opened on June 23, 1963 and
was the first to feature Audio-Animatronics, a WED Enterprises patented
invention. The attraction was sponsored by United Airlines for its first 12
years; in 1976, sponsorship passed over to Hawaii's Dole Food Company, which
remains the sponsor to the present day. Dole also provides the unique Dole Whip
soft-serve frozen dessert sold at a snack bar near the entrance.
The attraction was at first separated from Disneyland insofar as Walt Disney personally owned it through his own company, WED Enterprises, instead of the rest of Disneyland which was and still is owned by the Walt Disney Company (then Walt Disney Productions). The show was originally going to be a restaurant featuring Audio-Animatronic birds serenading guests as they ate and drank. The "magic fountain" at the room's center was originally planned as a coffee station (there is still a storage compartment within the base of the fountain) and the restaurant would have shared its kitchen with the now-defunct Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland and the Plaza Pavilion restaurant at the corner of Main Street, U.S.A. since all three are actually part of the same building. Since ownership of the attraction was separate from the rest of the park, a nominal admission charge of $0.75 was levied.
"OK guys... where now??
Let's go see the boats
Food, Boats, And Ducks - Life Is Good
Did you know? - When Walt Disney decided that the Rivers of America needed more river traffic and wanted another large ship to join the Mark Twain, he asked Joe Fowler, who was Disneyland's construction supervisor and a former naval admiral, to pick a historic sailing ship for inspiration. After examining every maritime museum in the country, Fowler recommended the first American sailing ship to go around the world: the Columbia Rediviva. However, there is only one known picture in existence of the original windjammer. WED researchers used it, along with research materials from the Library of Congress, to design the Columbia.
Architect Ray Wallace was commissioned in 1957 to work with Fowler in creating the construction plans. The ship was constructed at Todd Shipyards in San Pedro, California, where the Mark Twain 's hull was built a few years earlier. After Fowler told Disney that it was customary to put a silver dollar under each mast before it was set, Disney personally put a silver dollar under each of the Columbia's three masts.
For the ship’s christening on June 4, 1958, Fowler was dressed as a sailing captain of the 1700s, while the Mousketeers appeared as his crew. Since then, the Sailing Ship Columbia has had many extensive refurbishments, but the only major change has been the addition of the crew quarters exhibit in 1964.
GramSue and Theo study the ducks!
Did you know? - A Mississippi steamboat was included in the plans for the first Disney amusement park that was to be built across the street from his Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Although this park was abandoned in favor of the much larger Disneyland, the plan for having a riverboat attraction was retained.
Because the Mark Twain was the first functional paddle wheeler built in the United States in fifty years, the WED designers conducted extensive research to build it like riverboats were built in the heyday of steam powered ships. The decks were assembled at the Disney Studios at Burbank, while the 105-foot hull was constructed at Todd Shipyards in San Pedro, California (where the Sailing Ship Columbia's hull was built years later). Fortunately, when the hull and decks were put together for the first time at Disneyland, they fit perfectly. The only major change has been the addition of the crew quarters exhibit in 1964.
Winnie The Pooh
Theo liked it... For us, not so hot!
Let's Catch The Train!
Waiting for the train
Did you know? - Laid to the most common narrow gauge in North America, 3 ft (914 mm), track runs in a continuous loop around the park (which has expanded past the tracks in some places). The line features several grade crossings, including one located near It's a Small World, automatic block signals, and a roundhouse for locomotive storage, located backstage adjacent to It's a Small World and shared with the monorail.
Under the original track plan, two trains (one freight and one passenger) could operate on the railroad simultaneously in the same clockwise direction. A rail siding was incorporated at Main Street Station and at Frontierland Station, where one train had to wait to allow the other to pass. To allow the use of more than two trains, the operation was changed so that the trains no longer passed each other. The passing track at Main Street Station was disconnected and now is only used to display a narrow gauge Kalamazoo handcar, while the passing track at Frontierland Station was removed completely. Walt Disney dictated that two trains were to operate at all times, and it is not uncommon for three or four trains to run simultaneously on busy days.
Heading for Home After A Big Day
A Stroll Through Downtown Disney
A great adventure. Sue, Sherri, and Paul stop at Catal to say hello and have a glass of wine!