Once again we travel back in time and visit a Disney park as it was, this time in 1968. Disneyland had only been open for 13 short years, but had already undergone some significant changes from opening day.
Let’s do away with the further ado and get right to the 1968 Pictorial Souvenir and Guide:
This cover image was likely a publicity shot or a still from one of Walt Disney’s television appearances. Not long after Disneyland opened Walt stopped signing autographs in the park because he would get bogged down and be unable to move efficiently. So he would give out a business card and ask the autograph hound to write the studio to receive his signature.
So it is very unlikely that Walt would be sitting in a fire truck on Main Street signing autographs unless it was set up for promotion.
Each guide-book usually had a map near the front of the publication:
Can you find all three monorails?
The guide-book then covers each land in turn. Here are some highlights from 1968:
Adventureland once employed José the Barker Bird outside the Enchanted Tiki Room. His job was to entice guests into the attraction but he was fired after a while. Two theories as to why exist. One: Being audioanimatronic he required too much repair due to being out in the elements. Two: He was so good at capturing the attention of passers-by that great crowds would just stop and stare thus blocking the pathways to other attractions. Let’s hope no other Cast Members got fired for doing their job too well!
Wonderful aerial view of the Rivers of America
Love the retro Donald Duck hat!
I have a picture of me at Walt Disney World with the Winnie the Pooh character pictured above. Do you remember when Pooh had a hunny pot on his head in the parks?
Ahh, the ‘Bucket Ride’
The Disneyland Skyway attraction ran from 1956 to 1994. I remember riding the Walt Disney World version in the early 1970’s but wish I could have experienced the Disneyland version!
Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage opened in 1959 as part of Tomorrowland’s expansion and closed in 1998. It reopened in 2007 as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The grey subs were basically just painted yellow and changed from a more military look to a research theme.
I was able to ride the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction at Walt Disney World in the early 1970’s but never got to ride Disneyland’s subs until 2013. The Finding Nemo storyline is fun!
Original People Mover. Nuff said.
Disneyland After Dark
The guide-book concludes with a look at the park after the sun goes down. Many forms of entertainment were available, but please look to the top left corner of the picture above. Yes, that’s The Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland Jazz band made up of Disney animation employees! Ward Kimball lead the band in the 1950’s and on into the early 1970’s. I have many of their original albums. You can read a little more about them in my previous post entitled Top Five Forgotten Disney Things.
The band received an homage in the ending of the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog, with the jazz-playing alligator Louis now belonging to a group called “The Firefly Five Plus Lou”.
The last page of the guide-book is basically an advertisement for the Disneyland Hotel, which was the only on-site lodging available in 1968.
These old guide-books are gems of nostalgia! I have many examples from both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in my collection.
I hope you enjoyed taking this pictorial trip down memory lane with me!