It seems that most theme parks (if you still want to call Six Flags and Knott's theme parks) barely get the concrete dry before opening. For Indiana Jones Adventure the ride was soft-opened months ahead of the official opening (March 3, 1995).
The above images were probably the original decoder cards for the attraction, handed out to riders at the annual Disney Family Christmas Party in 1994.
In fact, some of the first riders were stock analysts that Disney brought in to pump up excitement on Wall Street.
Did you know that Countdown to Extinction and IJA have the same track layout? Different floorplans, but the track follows an almost identical route!
Outside the Berm had a great post recently with Pre-Fantasmic shots of the drained Rivers of America. Here are some pictures circa February 1992. Fantasmic contruction was in full-swing.
In the picture above (enlarged) the pieces of metal tubing are gas lines for the fire effect. Sometimes the black lifts didn't raise. Either one of the side projectors or lifts could go out but the show would be cancelled if the center lift didn't work.
On the left side, near Fowler's Harbor, a black bag tube blocks the river. This bladder functioned as a dam to allow the backside of the river to be filled
After the river was filled the water screen lifts wouldn't always go down all the way so they were marked off with floating barrels or boxes. Keel boats, rafts, and canoes could then safely avoid getting beached. Anybody have pictures of those markers?
This article from the Disneyland Line employee newsletter was a bit optimistic. Splash Mountain ended up starting employee testing in May 1989 after the original logs were chopped to bits and replaced. The replacement logs seated 7 and were slightly shorter.
The grand opening was 7/17/1989--about six months late.
Note the Drop 5 runout rails; originally the runout was designed to be adjustable to adjust the splash seasonally. That feature never came to be.
I wonder what the final Audio-Animatronic count was?
The Tomorrowland Terrace as it exists now opened in 1967 with the rest of New Tomorrowland: A World on the Move. The architectural styling clearly shows the personal influence of Disney Legend Roland 'Rolly' Crump. The style of the futuristic planter sculpture motif was evident throughout the facility on both of the 'Coke' banners and other planters. Sadly, many of these elements have been removed over the years. The bandstand roof planter was removed in 1990 and replaced with a double-sided '35 Years of Magic' logo sign and later a space themed sculpture. In the last few years a sculpture similar to the original was put brought back.
'Systems' as described in the article also made use of a verbal short-hand that could allowed quick communication of orders to other team members. The elegant efficiency of 'Systems' gave way to technology around 1992, when electronic cash registers gave way to computer registers. I'm not a luddite, but it's a mistaken assumption that upgrading technology will necessarily improve processes. I would like to know what Coke Terrace sales are for a peak hour today versus 1991.
Other features of Tomorrowland Terrace included a garbage chute that allowed quick elimination of waste into a garbage compactor in the Tomorrowland tunnel.
The bandstand sits on a hydraulic lift similar to the ones used for the nearby Rocket Jets. For safety purposes the lift requires two buttons to operate: one in a nearby planter and one on the bandstand itself.
The menu items at the Tomorrowland Terrace have changed throughout the years but for many years the staples were Spaceburgers (hamburgers), Moonburgers (cheeseburgers), and Magic Kingdom Burgers (Canadian bacon cheeseburger).
The pillbox hats were intended to evoke an image of a bottle cap. When Coke Terrace opened bost soda was still sold in glass bottles! The bottlecaps were replaced with hairnets in 1987 when the costumes were redesigned.
One of the last remaining Club 55 members, Marion Schawacha worked in the Central Foods Kitchen at the time of her retirement in 1990.
This flier was distributed by union shop stewards when Disneyland started to roll out Performance Excellence, which was a new management philosophy that was rolled out around January of 1994. I apoligize in advance for the poor quality of the scan. I felt it was still worth sharing!
Entertainment Show Schedules were made available to cast members sometime in the 1980's until they were replaced around 1995. During the summer this would be full front and back, but this specimen is from the off-season mid-week.
Some Disneylander terms can be found on this document that are decoded below:
ADO = Authorized Day Off: An ADO could be granted in advance by submitting a request to have a day off. Sometimes an ADO was granted on the actual day of the shift if you were lucky!
Mix-in = Semi-private party: The advertised park closing was 6:00, but no one was kicked out of the park. The up-side for the organization is that their members get a full day of fun instead of only four hours. A mix-in usually started at 4 PM but sometimes, like on January 28, 1994 it was a full day. The upside for the park is that day guests that stayed bought food but the operating costs for the park were pretty much fixed.
P. Excellence = Performance Excellence: A shift in management philosphy that was rolled out in 1994. P.E. had positive and negative outcomes. Come back tomorrow for more on Performance Excellence!
MM = Magic Morning: Early park hours in one or two lands before regular park opening. This was made available to tourists who booked vacations through the Walt Disney Travel Company as an incentive. My guess is that these Magic Mornings were in Mickey's Toontown/Tomorrowland. Magic Mornings began in the late 80's and were usually in Tomorrowland because of the large capacity of Space Mountain, Star Tours, and Autopia.
The live flag retreat ceremony was already the victim of budget cuts it seems.
The Tomorrowland Terrace was still the Tomorrowland Terrace. Discovery, Voyager, and Enterprise were still shaking up the crowds (probably not as much as Gravel, Cement, & Rock).
The Brass Brothers and Five Alarm Jazz Band were 'breakdown groups' comprised of members of the Disneyland Band.
Guest groups were part of 'Magic Music Days', where youth groups get to perform in front of thousands of adoring fans!
The Main Street Pianist was still sometimes using the Piano Bike! Do they still drag it out now? Do any of you vintage bloggers have photos?
Tomorrow: What is the real meaning of Performance Excellence? How about Performance Impotence? No, I'm not making this up. Really. I wish I were and so will you.
The current Celebrate Disneyland (and WDW) promotion for 2009 brought to mind a failed Disneyland promotion from 1994 that resulted in Disneyland making public apologies to the Park's cast members, the city of Anaheim, and the Anaheim School District.
Oh, did I mention there was a near riot at the front gate?
It started out as a promotion with KIIS-FM and disc jockey, Rick Dees, that offered free admission to Disneyland if you showed up at Disneyland prior to 8:30 A.M. wearing a costume.
The cover says 'Circus Fantasy' but this issue of the Disneyland Line contains some real nuggets regarding the strategy of the marketing department circa 1986.
On the cover Timothy Mouse is holding a whip. Over the years sometimes he has used a whip and sometimes a magic feather.
1986 really was a year packed with excitement: Giftgiver Extraordinaire, Circus Fantasy, Totally Minnie, State Fair, Captain Eo, and Star Tours soft-opening.
There were five different full parades in 1986! Circus on Parade, Totally Minnie, State Fair, Main Street Electrical, Very Merry Christmas. Three brand new parades debuted in one year!
The questions regarding shifting attendance and long-term events has been replaced with a reliance on annual passholders. The loss of these special events is a shame. The short-term events referred to on page 2 were Festival Japan and similar weekend events.
The opening of Captain Eo was delayed from Spring to Fall.
Since Progressland didn't pick up his birthday present last week it's getting posted here:
I don't know if Chris Stoddard covers dance records (the Guiness kind, not the vinyl kind) in The Disneyland Encyclopedia or just omelet records, but on March 31, 1989 the 'Largest Twist Party' record was set with the help of Chubby Checker. 2,248 people gathered at Disneyland at the crack of dawn to make the magic happen.
The event was co-sponsored by SoCal oldies radio station K-Earth and Disneyland to promote Blast to the Past at Disneyland.
In case anyone wondered, the record has been smashed repeatedly since then at various stadiums.
Yes, that is Br'er Fox hiding behind Chubby. And Br'er Rabbit is on the right behind Mr. T. But where is Br'er Bear? Splash Mountain was built by the time of this event but did not open to the public until July 17, 1989. No doubt their presence at this event was connected to Splash Mountain.