Monday, December 31, 2007

Coming Soon: New in '62!

A very nice brochure with a 4-tier presentation. Visualizations of the Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Treehouse and the Haunted Mansion/New Orleans Square (coming soon in 1963...uh huh) along with Walt's disembodied head (macabre foreshadowing?)...who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Coming Soon: a New Adventureland in '62!

This isn't really a coming soon flyer, but I've included it anyway. It's one of the innumerable ticket price flyers that Disneyland printed in myriad variations during the 50's and 60's. I wonder if anyone has (or is capable of having) a complete set. At any rate, there are many interesting things about this flyer, including a plug for the fabulous "Bird Room" restaurant. Sound familiar?

By the way, that previous posted Monorail flyer about connecting to the Disneyland Hotel actually predates this one, but I didn't want to go into reruns already.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

No Post Today...

Sick kid at fun for anyone. Check back tomorrow.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Now Open: Nature's Wonderland and More!

...and we're back.

Welcome to the 1960's. This handsome 2-sided flyer isn't all that rare, but it is tough to find in crisp shape. The design here is really something...I wonder if anyone knows who was responsible for this fine work. It's perhaps the most handsome of all the Now Open/Coming Soon flyers. I visited Disneyland in 1974 or 1975, and I have the faintest of faintest memories of riding Nature's Wonderland and thru Rainbow Caverns. I wish I could ride it right now.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Plans

The VDG blog will be spotty over the next few days. Holiday plans and trips will interupt your regularly scheduled service. I will get into the 60's Coming Soon/Now Open flyers when I get back on track, probably late next week. Have a great Xmas.

Guest Editor: My Daughter Riley (5 Years Old)

Today my guest editor is my daughter Riley. I asked her to go through my collection and pick out whatever she wanted to post today. Her choice was the first Disneyland guidebook and accompanying envelope. Here's what she has to say about it: "I love Disneyland because it is so much fun. I picked this because I liked it and it has the castle. I like the castle because it has pink and blue. I picked the envelope because I liked it because it's so colorful. My favorite rides are the Winnie the Pooh ride and the Peter Pan ride because I really like those rides and don't really like Toad. I love Mickey and Minnie and the Princesses."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Now Open: Grand Canyon Diorama & Monorai!

Sorry (again) about my scanner. A very pretty flyer, for which I particularly appreciate the similarity to the attractions' respective posters. For some reason, this one isn't folded in half, which was common back then so the flyer could fit within a guidebook.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Opening Tomorrow: Disneyland '59!

This is one of the rarest items in my collection. Handed out for one day only to whomever happened to enter the park on 6/14/59, it alerts Disneyland visitors that today is the Press Preview and Dedication Ceremonies for all of the new Tomorrowland attractions that opened that Summer of 1959. These were the ceremonies and parade broadcast on the Disneyland '59 special the next night. You know...the one where Nixon can't cut the ribbon. This special was thought lost for decades until it was recently discovered and released on DVD last year. I also have a couple of press items (badge and program) from this day that I will post eventually. I don't know how many of these survived that day, but I've never seen or heard of another one. There is, however, another equally rare paper piece that is a companion to this. It's a similar flyer that was handed out the day of the dedication of Nature's Wonderland. I feel certain that the owner of that piece is reading this blog today, and maybe he will be kind enough to post it soon (or give it to me for free....whatever).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Now Open: Grand Canyon Diorama!

I've really screwed up this whole series. This piece actually pre-dates yesterday's piece, which I originally said should have run on Monday. In truth, THIS ONE should have run on Monday, followed by yesterday's and then by the one that actually ran on Monday. What a mess. Thank goodness I'm almost into the 1960's.

This is a nice piece. Very rare, and as usual, too big for my scanner. I appreciate the Major's generous offer, but here at VDG, we foolishly (and with much hubris) pride ourselves in journeying forth with our primeval technology since we are already at our technological breaking point.

Don't touch that dial...something very special coming tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Now Open: Alice in Wonderland, etc.!

How annoying. My scanner is a half-inch too short to scan this entire piece.
This flyer actually comes chronologically before yesterdays. Again, my apologies.
I feel safe in saying that this is the most common Coming Soon/Now Open paper out there. I have no idea why.
By the way, why the hell can't I include paragraph spaces in my posts anymore? Any help out there? It's driving me friggin' nuts, and the aesthetic appeal of my otherwise pristine blog is suffering.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Coming Soon: Tomorrowland 1959!

This is one of the better known "Coming Soon" flyers. Although mine is yellow, I've also seen them in pink and green. Perhaps there are other variations, as well. I'm not sure why it was printed in so many colors; maybe someone out there can explain. This is one of those pieces that used to be really hard to get your hands on. But then Ebay changed all that, and its become one of the more common Disneyland paper items.

That's the good and bad of Ebay: desirable items aren't as rare anymore, but the elation of discovery after searching and searching for a particular piece is gone. At least for me. Maybe that's why I rarely buy anymore; my endorphins just don't jump when I win an Ebay auction they way they did when I used to room-hop at the NFFC and Mouse Club conventions and unexpectedly discover something I'd always wanted, or even better, something I didn't even know existed. A lot of you out there know what I mean.

Oops...I posted this piece out of order. I accidentally left out two 1958 flyers I have. I will post them tomorrow and Wednesday, and then things will be back on track.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Now Open: Rainbow Caverns!

Very cool flyer with terrific visual flair. I particularly love the mention of Mineral Hall, which doesn't get much press. And to answer a question from the comment board, it appears that Prof. Keller was still doing his thing in the Summer of 1956 even though the MMC had closed months before.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Now Open: The Mickey Mouse Club Circus!

This flyer was published after the MMC was already appearing at Disneyland. It includes an ad for MMC tickets (which are rare to find these days), as well as the conventional ticket books.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The "Coming Soon!/Now Open!" Series Begins!

For the next few days (weeks?), I will be posting my complete collection of "Now Open!" and "Coming Soon!" flyers and brochures in chronological order (except for the 1961 Monorail flyer that I've previously posted.) Even if a particular piece isn't especially rare, I'm still going to post it in the interest of preserving my obsessive-compulsive sanity. I hope it's an interesting archive.
From 1955, here is the flyer announcing the upcoming debut of the infamous Mickey Mouse Club Circus. It's so long that I had to scan it in two parts. I also have a press release for the MMC, and it says that the circus was scheduled to be placed in Holidayland originally, an interesting alternative to where it actually wound up.
If you haven't already, check out this super rare 8mm footage of the MMC:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

1956 Art Corner "Catalogue"

A 1956 mail order catalog from the fabulous Art Corner. No attraction posters or signed biographies in this one, but since it's the earliest Art Corner catalog I have, I posted it first. I hope everyone finds the contents of this "catalogue" both interesting and unique. I'm certain, however, that everyone will find the contents to be ridiculously affordable.

I wanted to remind everyone that if there's a particular piece that you'd like to see featured on this blog, let me know. I aim to please, so if I have it, I'll post it. And, if anyone out there feels like contributing, don't be shy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sleeping Beauty Castle Gift Tag

Nifty little gift tag one would get when buying a knickknack in the shops under and surrounding the castle in Fantasyland. Definitely from the park's early days.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1967 Tomorrowland Press Pass

This is a stick-on decal given to the press covering the 7/2/67 opening of the new Tomorrowland, which featured the debut of the beloved Peoplemover and Adventures Thru Inner Space. There's a nice press kit for this opening out there, but I've never acquired it. Though I do have a really cool informational handout and press schedule with awesome graphics that I will post at some point. It also features the rocket logo seen here, except the heavy-stock paper is cut in such a way that you can make the rocket look like it's blasting off. Too cool.

Monday, December 10, 2007

1955 Merlin's Magic Bag

This bag from Merlin's Magic is special to me. It was acquired by my father in 1955 upon his first visit to Disneyland when he was 13. What it once held long ago is lost to time, but he and my Aunt Elaine did come home with a couple of Emporium souvenirs that do remain in the family. He bought one of those jumbo extra-long gimmick pens, which stopped working eons ago. She made a wiser choice: an Evan Shaw Alice figurine, which is still in mint condition. Both my dad and my aunt are now master collectors of their own particular passions, but back then, my Aunt clearly had my dad covered.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mark Twain Ticket...w/ Purser's Check Attached!

This is the only one of these I've ever seen: a Mark Twain ticket with the stub still attached.

If you look closely, you will see that it's stamped July 17, 1955. I don't have any direct evidence that this ticket was obtained on opening day, but I do have some circumstantial evidence. First, there's the very low serial number, but since I don't know the system by which serial numbers were printed on tickets or if ticket serial numbers were ever reprinted, I don't put much value in this information. More meaningful to me is that I have a complete railroad ticket that was incontrovertibly handed out on opening day, and that ticket is stamped on verso in the exact same way and in the exact same style. Its stub is also similarly hole-punched with a star.

Can anyone out there provide any additional information?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

You Have Been "ALUMINATED!"

This nice and shiny card was handed out, like much of the cooler collectible Disneyland paper, as a free premium for visiting the Kaiser Aluminum Exhibit at Disneyland. They must have made lots of these, based on the serial number, but for some reason, they don't appear on the market very often. In fact, I didn't even know they existed until I had been collecting this stuff for at least 10 years. Check Ebay every now and then; a few have appeared in the past.

I have personally never doubted that aluminum really is the brightest star in the world of metals. In fact, I live my life around that basic tenet. Just for the record.

I love it when the Disneyland graphic is dropped into an ordinary font.

Friday, December 7, 2007

1957 Xmas Parade Route Map

I watched the annual Disneyland Christmas parade last night (same as last year's for those keeping score), and it made me think of this little item.

From 1957, this is the route for that year's Christmas parade with Grand Marshall Walt Disney. What's interesting is that the route begins next to the firehouse and ends deep in Frontierland, a big difference from how the parades have been run for decades now. Where did they hide the floats and costumes? Maybe between Main Street and the Jungle Cruise on one side, I guess, but Frontierland seems like a dead end.

There's also no specific date for this parade. Was it performed daily between December 20 and December 30? Was Walt the Grand Marshall for every performance? It would appear so.

Does anyone have any photos or more info on this 1957 parade? And is this art specific to this map? Can't remember seeing it elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Table-Top Menu from Coke's Refreshment Corner

I always thought it was odd and interesting that Disneyland served both Coke AND Pepsi in those early years.

This table-top menu shows the very limited (but affordable) fare available to accompany your ice-cold Coca-Cola back in the day. Love the cut-out portraits of the couple a-courtin'. On the back is a brief history of the soft drink with a quick Disneyland plug.

Parenthetically, I met a woman once who worked at Refreshment Corner back in the day. She always admired the attraction posters that were hung throughout the park and asked for some to take home one day. The Disneyland art department sent over...are you sitting down?....2 OF EVERY POSTER THEY HAD IN THEIR INVENTORY. Her plans for them was....still sitting down? plaster them to the walls surrounding her pool! Thankfully, that plan never came to be, and she sold them via Howard Lowery and privately after they sat for years and years in her garage.

No post tomorrow, as I'm off to Disneyland with my family. Check back on Friday night/Saturday morning.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Art Corner Interior Postcard

Thanks to the unbelievable (but not unsurprising) generosity of another blogger and old friend, I acquired, at a very steep discount, this rare and otherwise pricey postcard of the Art Corner interior.

I don't actually collect postcards; my obsessive-compulsive side would want a complete set, and that's a virtual impossibility. And there's always THE NICKEL TOUR to page through. But....this one is special. It's the only postcard I own other than some that my dad got when he went in 1955, but he cheaped out and only got those freebie Upjohn ones. However, I would love to get my hands on one of those jumbo Nature's Wonderland map cards. They are SWEET!

I get a headache and all jittery just thinking what one could have bought with $5 at the Art Corner back then. We could start with the now infamous McKim 1958 map with the Viewliner: $1.00, including shipping! And rolled! Oh, and let's not forget a hardcover 1st Edition of "The Story of Walt Disney" hand-signed by Walt himself: $3.95. Quick....get me some Tylenol and a double Cuervo.

I have a bunch of Art Corner catalogs in my collection that I will post as time goes on. The prices found therein will make your head spin.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monorail Connects to Disneyland Hotel

First of all, THANK YOU for all of your very kind and encouraging comments. They mean a lot. In fact, I feel like a heel for not commenting more frequently on those blogs that I check everyday (SFTP, Daveland, Gorillas, VDT, Viewliner, OTB and others.) In the future, I will endeavor to be a better blog-brother.

If you have a blog that you'd like me to include in my link section, just drop me a line or let me know in a comment. If it fits into my theme, I'm happy to do it.

And, if there are any special requests or you'd like to share something, just let me know.

Now, today's post...

This item was a "holy grail" piece for me until I found it in a big lot of Disney World crap about 18 months ago. It was printed and distributed, probably inside guidebooks or at the main gate, in the summer of 1961 when the Monorail was connected to the Disneyland Hotel. I LOVE these "New Attraction" flyers and have loads of them. For some reason, though, this was the hardest for me to find, although I've known about it since 1992 or so when Dean Mancina published an article about his collection in the long-defunct fanzine Persistence of Vision.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

July 17, 1955 - Dining at Disneyland on Opening Day

Hi, everybody! I hope you find this blog to be a worthwhile supplement to the other fine vintage Disneyland blogs out there. In it, I will feature some of the pieces of my vintage Disneyland paper collection that spans from 1955-1969. Pacific Ocean Park and other retro goodies will also be found from time to time, but not nearly as often as Disneyland. I look forward to your comments, questions and constructive criticism.

This is as good a place to start as any:

This is the Opening Day menu from the Red Wagon Inn on Main Street, USA. $3.50 for all that ?!? I'll take 2!