Sunday, September 30, 2007

Coming next

Main Street USA signage. Stay tuned!

A Parting Shot


As I mentioned earlier this month, there's nothing like The Golden Horseshoe. The story goes that Walt always loved the action of the wild west and, as Disneyland was in process, asked the renowned set designer, Harper Goff ('Calamity Jane' and others) to design his saloon. Well, Harper apparently knew a good thing when he saw it and pulled the plans, verbatim, from his work on 'Calamity Jane' and presented them to Walt. And, in that motion, The Golden Horseshoe was conceived. Additional credits go to: Sam McKim, for the concept art; Renie Conley, for the original costumes; Buddy Baker, for the original score and numbers; Charles LeVere and Tom Adair, for music; and Wally Boag and Don Novis, for the script. Rest in peace, Golden Horseshoe, and thanks for all you did. This photograph was taken by author in July, 2007.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A few last looks


Now that we've made our way through most of Frontierland let's take a look at another shot of the Stage Door Cafe. Notice the shutters and window elements on this top floor and the items on top of the shipping trunk. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Frontier Landing


The Mark Twain and Sailing Ship Columbia share many things in common; namely, a landing and, to be specific, Frontier Landing. Unlike its WDW counterpart attraction, DL offers two unique Americana ships for park guests. Spanning quite a difference in age and usage, the Mark Twain celebrates river life in 19th century America while the Sailing Ship Columbia is a full-scale replica of the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe. Unfortunately, due to my position here, you can only see the marquee for the Mark Twain; the Sailing Ship Columbia has a similar sign located on the right hand side of the landing. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Frontierland River Excursions


The Mark Twain is Disney legend, pure and simple. Part of 1955's opening dance card, the Mark Twain riverboat received its final run through just days before the park's opening in conjunction with Walt and Lillian's 30th wedding anniversary. The ride is leisurely, historic, and just the right amount of kitsch to make it real. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad



We all know Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the "fastest ride in the wilderness" and, unfortunately, one of the extremely few fatal rides in history at Disneyland but few realize the hallowed ground the ride attraction sits upon. Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland was a Disneyland hallmark for many years; when the time came to retire the attraction in 1977 many wondered what would become of the fictional town of Rainbow Ridge. Fortunately, in the vein of America Sings reused in places by Splash Mountain, Rainbow Ridge remains and is seen towards the end of the ride and in the queue. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Happiest Horses on Earth


Inside Big Thunder Ranch one finds a small petting zoo and not much else except a wonderful shed/stable/house which contains a world of information concerning the horses featured as the power behind the surreys at Disneyland. This area serves as the stables for the draft horses and a wonderful compilation of facts, photos, and memorabilia are provided for those who have a special place in their hearts for Disneyland's equine friends. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hallowed Ground


Sitting on the sacred ground once occupied by Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, Big Thunder Ranch re-opened in 2004. While this space seems vastly underutilized by Disney standards it does have some nice elements that Walt would've been keen on. For those of you who are familiar with Walt Disney World's Ft. Wilderness Tri-Circle-D Ranch and farm: you've already got the idea. Except this doesn't really work. On the bright side, if you look really carefully, you might see who the sponsor is for this mini-land. If only that wonderful music from Nature's Wonderland lived on somewhere in today's park. This photo was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Join the Calvary!


In what may seem to many as an innocuous billboard, others will find a beautiful transition from Big Thunder Mountain to Big Thunder Ranch. Whether it's here or not just to set the stage for the wonderful equine elements inside the ranch is anyone's guess, it most certainly creates a beautiful transition into the ranch. While the dog is man's best friend it seems to me the horse is the most prized companion. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pioneer Mercantile


As mentioned earlier in the month, Pioneer Mercantile spans the entire shopping area of Frontierland in Disneyland's Magic Kingdom. Long a staple for good western wear and themed items, Pioneer Mercantile, in one name or another, has been a fixture since the park's opening. This building is enormous and is connected to the Adventureland shops on its south side. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More Frontierland


There are quite a few Frontierland photos to get through so let's get going. This image is a sister to the 'Goodnight Big Thunder' post photograph earlier in the week. I have a penchant for taking similar shots at different times of the day and this is no exception. This shot, taken on the west side of Big Thunder Mountain shows us some of the extraneous theming available from this side of the attraction; the lamppost and picket fence are in keeping with the overall Frontierland theme and does a nice job of working some set design magic at this juncture of Big Thunder Mountain and Big Thunder Ranch. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante - How the West Was Won



Apparently, it was won with burritos. Or, perhaps, in the interest of harmony, peace, love, and understanding the assimilation of Mexican culture into Disneyland's Frontierland yielded the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant. This view of the Ortega sponsored eatery is revealed when entering Frontierland via the north side Fantasyland entrance above the Plaza Gardens Stage. While the front entrance shows a very nice purple and yellow mosaic sign, the back favors more subdued signage reminiscent of sand painting. While I've not eaten here I have gathered one of the unintended benefits of dining here is the ambiance from nearby Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Goodnight, Big Thunder Mountain


There's not much more to say than, Goodnight! The moon was silhouetted nicely in the eastern sky at dusk this day. I was amazed by the amount of 'empty' space at this location in the park, nestled in between the nexus of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Rivers of America, and Big Thunder Ranch. This photograph was taken by the author in July, 2007.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Frontierland Shooting Exposition


A favorite destination for young cowboys to be, the Frontierland Shooting Exposition is the latest incarnation of the original Frontierland Shooting Gallery. Located on the north side of Frontierland as you enter from the hub, 'Shooting Exposition' now features laser/infrared guns but through 1984 you could operate a BB gun in this fine establishment. There have been quite a few arcades in Disneyland throughout the years; a partial list includes: the Main Street Shooting Gallery, the Davy Crockett Frontier Arcade, and the Safari Shooting Gallery. While the satisfaction might remain for some, I for one think the loss of the 'plink' from the BBs is insurmountable. This photo was taken by the author in July, 2007.