Friday, October 24, 2014

Souvenir Friday- Fun Halloween Items

Although not each of the items is specific to Halloween, they are representations of creatures found for Halloween such as ghosts, cats and devils. First up are two different sets of Casper the Friendly Ghost card games. The Harvey comic character was every kid's favorite ghost and even a live action feature film. The graphics are very bold.

Next item is a great Bakelite cat toy. In the 1930's Bakelite was an early plastic that was used for many products, crib toys being a major use. The cat is in a great cubist design.

The final two items are nice ceramic statues. The first is another Harvey Cartoon character Hot Stuff. He is a home cast statue and missing his trademark pitchfork. Next to him is a small ghost ceramic most likely from the 1940s. He has a nice wispy pose. All of these characters live in my Halloween room.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mickey's Birthdayland Walt Disney World 1990

In 1990 I visited Florida and Walt Disney World for the first time. Growing up in California, the attractions in Florida were not a huge draw. By 1990, there were enough attractions to draw me to Florida including the new Disney-MGM studios and EPCOT Center. In the Magic Kingdom a small land was created in 1988 to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 60th birthday, a land called Mickey's Birthdayland. This land closed in 1990 and changing to Mickey's Fun Fair and then to Mickey's Toontown. The land was a fun place to visit. The first two images are from Mickey's house. The desk is fantastic for a collector of Disneyana with the rare Walt Disney World globe, nice Pluto comics and ceramics on display.

The bedroom is not as filled with items, but is still entertaining. My favorite is the Mousechusetts pennant.

The next two images show Duckburg which is the city where Mickey's Birthdayland was located. First up is D. Duck's Candy store. I have always been more of a duck fan than a mouse fan.

The last image is the statue of Cornelius Coot the founder of Duckburg, with the Duck County Courthouse in the background.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Splash Mountain Pre-Opening 1988

Dipping into my own archive of photographs, I take a trip back to late 1988. One of the new attractions on the horizon was Splash Mountain in Bear Country (soon to be renamed Critter Country.) The original opening date for the attraction was to be January 1989. As part of the construction, there was a large fence placed with great advertising for the attraction. The first image shows the imagineering artwork for the splash part of the attraction.

The second image shows two renderings of the interior and exterior of the ride along with advertising for the attraction. Note the opening date.

A new statue was placed in the front of the attraction featuring the three main characters. The film that inspired the attraction, Song of the South, had its final re-release in 1986. The attraction is still popular with long lines.

The final image is one that is just nice. The sailing ship Columbia with some of the sails unfurled. It appears it was a crowded day at the park.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Parade 1955

Getting into the Halloween spirit are these four snapshots of a parade at an elementary school in 1955. It appears the whole school is either in the parade or watching the parade. The first three images are of the parade. First up is a shot of a group of older kids walking and younger kids watching. The pirate is a nice costume.

Next up is another view with younger kids parading. The capes and hats for the costumes in the foreground do not appear to be very comfortable.

The third image shows even more kids in costume walking in the parade. I am digging the two kids in the foreground dressed as motorcycle gang members with painted leather jackets and caps.

The last image is of one of the young girls in her costume as a Southern Belle surrounded by moms. This reminds me of the classic 1950s images showing the importance and involvement of family in school life.

I will be posting some more Halloween images and on Souvenir Friday I am featuring Halloween collectibles.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Star Tours 1987

Going into my own archives of photographs from a trip in 1987. The focus is on Star Tours, the motion simulator ride featuring the Star Wars universe and was drawing large crowds. Being of the right age, Star Wars was a great influence on me and a film series I watched and loved. Star Tours was a great fun ride with a story and set up that placed the guest into the universe. First up is the marquee sign from the long line.

Next up is a shot of C3PO working on a Star Cruiser. Unfortunately it was crowded and I managed to get a guest in the image...

Last image is of the fun droid working on the repair line. Originally one of the geese from America Sings that has been plucked and skinned.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Souvenir Friday- The Halloween Kid and the World of Rhode Montijo

Three years ago I purchased a fun kid's book at the San Diego Comic Con. The book is The Halloween Kid and the author and artist is Rhode Montijo. The book is a great story and take on Halloween with fantastic art. Rhode was selling the book and of course I had him sign the book for me.

This year at Comic Con, Rhode was selling fantastic water color sketches of various pumpkin head jack o'lanterns including this one of a magician performing card tricks. I now have this framed and hanging in my Halloween room.

If these items have intrigued you, head over to Rhode Montijo for more artwork from this fantastic artist.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Busch Gardens Van Nuys California 1968

In Van Nuys during the 1960s and 1970s was a fun theme park located next to a large brewery. The main draw for kids was a boat ride, monorail and lots of gorgeous tropical birds. The main draw for adults was free beer. Busch Gardens was owned and operated by the Anheuser-Busch company adjacent to the large Los Angeles brewery. In the late 1960s the main draw was a lovely Jungle Cruise style boat ride with the jungle filled with hundreds of tropical birds. In addition there was a neat monorail that toured the brewery. Although a strong tourist draw, images of the park are not that common. First up is a view of the winding river and scenic waterfalls of the cruise.

The second image shows the lovely tropical birds and flamingos which were one of the main draws.

Final image shows a close up of the birds. I can relate to the kid being both fascinated and scared about the birds.

In the mid 1970s more rides and attractions were added. Busch Gardens closed as a theme park in 1977, re-opening as a bird sanctuary and was closed in 1979 a victim of expansion of the brewery. The birds were sent to the LA Zoo and Busch Gardens in Florida and Virginia. Today one can see some of the monorail tracks at the brewery but nothing else of this once verdant and tropical garden theme park.