In over eighty individual chapters, each filled with facts, quotes, and anecdotes, Disney historian Jim Korkis chronicles the very best of a Disneyland that no longer exists, taking us back in time to "Walt's park" and revealing how it has changed between then and now.
Live mermaids swimming in the Submarine Lagoon. ... Pack mules nipping at the shoes of children. ... Flying saucers hovering inches in the air over a circular floor. For many people this was the Disneyland of their youth, but over the years dozens of shows, attractions, and experiences have disappeared forever from the Happiest Place on Earth.
In this latest volume of his best-selling Secret Stories series, Korkis shares behind-the-scenes information—much of it never before in print—about what used to delight guests at Disneyland.
From Main Street's Intimate Apparel Shop and Frontierland's Mineral Hall, to Fantasyland's Pirate Ship restaurant and Adventureland's Barker Bird, Korkis excavates, unearths, and discovers a Disneyland past that will be sweetly nostalgic to some, and a unique glimpse into a forgotten past for others.
Who knows what we'll find!
Main Street, U.S.A.
Bank of America
Wurlitzer Music Hall
The Intimate Apparel Shop
Story Book Shop
Sunkist Citrus House
The Walt Disney Story
Red Wagon Inn
Blast to the Past
Pooh for President
Main Street Electrical Parade
Swiss Family Treehouse
Big Game Safari Shooting Gallery
Davy Crockett Frontier Museum / Arcade
Mike Fink Keel Boats
Pendleton Woolen Mills Dry Goods Store
Golden Horseshoe Revue
Don Defore’s Silver Banjo Restaurant
Aunt Jemima’s Pancake House
Casa de Fritos
Yellowstone Coaches & Conestoga Wagons
New Orleans Square
The Disney Gallery
The Court of Angels
Pirates Arcade Museum
Country Bear Jamboree
Rufus the Bear
Indian War Canoes / Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
Mickey Mouse Club Theater / Fantasyland Theatre
Welch’s Grape Juice Stand
Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant
Skull Rock Cove
Motor Boat Cruise
Disney Afternoon Avenue
The Clock of the World
20,000 Leagues Exhibit
Kaiser Hall of Aluminum Fame
Monsanto House of the Future
Adventure Thru Inner Space
Submarine Voyage Live Mermaids
Mermaid 1959: Susan Musfelt Hoose
Mermaid 1966: Edie
Submarine Voyage Other Mermaids
Rocket to the Moon
Flight to the Moon
Mission to Mars
Tomorrowland Space Girl
Space Girl 1964: Terry Jo Steinberger
Space Girl 1965: Carol Farris
The Art Corner
Art of Animation Exhibit
Carousel of Progress
Circle Vision 360
The Disneyland Helicopter
Disneyland Kids of the Kingdom
In a 1956 interview with writer Pete Martin of The Saturday Evening Post, Walt Disney stated:
"Disneyland means a lot to me in that it’s something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing; keep “plussing” and adding to. It will be a live, breathing thing that will need changes."
Disneyland has constantly changed from the moment it first opened with Walt himself almost immediately adding things and removing others.
Over six decades, even some iconic attractions have changed in significant ways. The Matterhorn no longer has a Skyway passing through its upper level but it now includes a menacing Abominable Snowman stalking its glacial caverns. The Pirates of the Caribbean now showcases additions from the popular movie franchise.
Some attractions have disappeared completely but sometimes elements of them can still be located in the attractions that replaced them. Items from the long gone Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland can be still discovered scattered beside the tracks of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The ship’s bell, seashell planter and chest from the Swiss Family Treehouse are now part of the décor of Tarzan’s Treehouse as is the familar sound of the “Swisskapolka.”
Some things are removed because of maintenance or safety issues. Some things are removed because of lack of capacity as attendance has grown. Some things are removed because guests just stopped wanting to visit because of changing tastes. Some things are removed to save money.
I am old enough that I actually experienced much of extinct Disneyland personally although in some cases I was too young to fully appreciate or clearly remember some of those experiences. I vaguely recall being uneasy riding on the back of a pack mule, puzzled at trying to figure out the time on the Clock of the World and very frightened when a Haunted Mansion suit of armor lunged out toward my doombuggy.
On the other hand, I can still clearly recall Wally Boag performing as Pecos Bill, or rocking underneath a support tower on a Skyway bucket, and struggling to adjust my weight so that I could shift my flying saucer to bump into my brothers as if I had just experienced those things yesterday.
Disney has shown itself to be notoriously poor in proper documentation especially of the early years of Disneyland. Opening and closing dates, proper nomenclature and more are the best I could verify from multiple sources including my own interviews with Imagineers.
This is not a definitive listing of all things missing at Disneyland and even as this book is being published other favorites are disappearing. Hopefully, what is here will bring back fond memories for some people while at the same time sparking the curiosity of those people who never experienced them at all.
Jim Korkis is an internationally acknowledged authority on Walt Disney whose hundreds of articles and presentations about all things Disney have been enjoyed by people worldwide for decades.