Go ahead and read – I’ll wait.
Okey, Dokey – all done and ready for the 4th installment now? Good! Any questions so far?
We have just left Northern California and are headed toward DISNEYLAND!!! To put everything into perspective, Disneyland (the original in Anaheim, California) opened its gates in July 1955 (Source: Wikipedia). A few months before we arrived in the fall of 1966, New Orleans Square had opened at Disneyland. Little did I realize as a child of not quite five, that Main Street U.S.A. was inspired from Walt Disney’s childhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri. And even less did I realize that after I was all grown up, I would marry a man who grew up not too far from Marceline and would drive me through the town when we visited his folks just down the road in Mendon, Missouri. (As Walt would say, “It’s a small world, after all”!!!)
I’m jumping way ahead of myself. We arrived late in the evening and checked into our motel just beyond the parking lot. We would traverse that lot the next morning to begin our day. Just as we entered the gates, this is what happened:
I got a big hug from Pluto!
And then we saw:
And this (below):
Pirate Restaurant, teacup ride of the Mad Tea Party, and the Skyway ride over the park.
In Fantasyland, we rode in the teacups, Dumbo, and rode in the boats through Storybrook Land (see below). We went on the Small World and Peter Pan ride and much more!
We saw attractions in Frontierland, Adventureland (see below) and Tomorrowland. BUT – the rocketship to the moon was not there or open. I remember a big hole with a lot of dirt. So to keep from being too disappointed, I told my parents that the rocket must have already taken off and maybe it would be back the next day. We did go on the Submarine adventure – I was so excited thinking that we were really going deep into a big ocean.
The next day we returned to Disneyland for part of the day. Below you will see a picture of Mom and I sitting outside a shop.
All too soon our “Disney Adventure” was ending. It was time to move on to other attractions in the area. At Knotts Berry Farm, we saw the train.
Met an “old west” type man.
I also saw a shoot out that left me crying and very frightened for my dad. As we were getting ready to board the train, two men started “shooting” at each other. One was “killed” and the other loaded the “dead” man up into a wheelbarrow and hauled him off. I was so scared that my dad was going to get shot and killed while we were waiting on the train. I cried for a long time but finally my parents made me realize that it was all pretend and my dad was going to be ok. It was just like being in a movie! Everything was pretend! Even the “snow” (below) . . .
It was really flakes of soap. My mother hated that! For many, many years, she would talk about how hard it was getting all those particles of soap out of my hair. It wasn’t as easy as just washing it out. And my hair was naturally curly to boot!
We saw a “burlesque” show – remember this is a family park so it wasn’t too risque! Lots of old buildings and fun activities to participate in.
Another day it was off to Marine Land! We saw Flipper (if you do not know who or what that is, go google “Flipper TV show”)! We saw big whales, trained dolphins, fish, and penguins.
We also went to Universal City (it was nothing like it is today!). I got to see the set of “The Munsters” (go ahead, google it, it’s ok!)
And I even got to “meet” Herman Munster (above)! (disclaimer: this was not the actor who portrayed Herman Munster, it was someone who wore a mask and just did the PR pictures with tourists and guests! But I didn’t care!)
Stay tuned for more of the Journey!
Sources: personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966. Also: yesterland.com
Photos: Photographer on all photos – Gene Amore; all photos – print, slide, digital in the possession of Wendy Littrell to be used as needed. No reprints without permission.
Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog.