While watching this lush, dreamlike footage from 1956 Disneyland, one can't help but think of a time when rides were simple, lines were short and Walt Disney himself could be found strolling around the theme park.
The video was shot by Altman's grandfather just a year after Disneyland first opened its doors in California. In the clip's description, Altman explains the home movie had been filmed on his grandpa's "Bell & Howell Filmo using 16mm Kodachrome film stock."
The colors of teacups spinning and the lazy swoop of Dumbos flying take can easily take viewers back more than 50 years to a place that most would still find familiar.
And yes, that is Walt Disney in the video. (He's the one shaking hands with Altman's grandmother.)
For some Disneyland rides from yesteryear, click through the slideshow below:
Submarine Voyage invited riders to take a journey under the sea in a mock Navy submarine. And it was, in a word, awesome. Taking a cue from the actual mission of the USS Nautilus (the world's first nuclear submarine), much of the ride simulated a trip under the polar ice cap, or at least attempted to with a lot of plastic. There weren't many changes made to the ride over the years, save a yellow paint job and new names for each vessel in the 80's. And, a troupe of synchronized swimming mermaids did inhabit the ride from 1965-1967. Submarine Voyage was active from 1959 to 1998, and remained empty until 2007 when a new aquatic attraction opened: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
Dubbed "the bumper cars of the future" the Flying Saucers opened in 1961. The ride worked much like a giant air hockey table. Riders would sit in individual cars that hovered over a flat metal surface thanks to bursts of air from below. The Flying Saucers did not last long as they were difficult to maintain and couldn't accommodate many riders. The ride closed in 1966 and Space Mountain now occupies that space. But, new riders will soon be able to get a taste of the old saucers at Luigi's Flying Tires, part of the new Cars Land opening in 2012.
Before there was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, there was the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (which was itself an upgrade to the Rainbow Caverns Mine train, 1956-1959.) Inspired by Disney's True-Life Adventures series from the 50's, he train took riders on a trip through Bear Country, Beaver Valley, the Living Desert, and Rainbow Caverns. Not much is left from the old mine train ride, which closed in 1977. (Fast forward to 0:50).
Known in Fantasyland as Skyway to Tomorrowland, and vice versa, Disneyland's Skyway opened in 1956. The cable car ride served as a method of transportation between the lands of Tomorrow and Fantasy, offering riders a bird's eye view of the attractions below. After the Matterhorn opened in 1959, the Skyway passed right through the mountain. There are several explanations as to why the Skyway closed, ranging from lack of passengers to stress cracks in the Matterhorn's supports. Whatever the reason, the ride closed in 1994.
Part of the "new" Tomorrowland, Rocket Rods opened in 1998, occupying the tracks that held the PeopleMover until 1995. Rocket Rods also incorporated the old Circle-Vision 360 theater as part of its line, providing entertainment for those waiting. The ride was envisioned as a high-speed race around Tomorrowland, with the unique 5-seat cars zooming past and through other rides in the land. Unfortunately, due to inadequate finding, Disney could not make necessary modifications to the track. Chiefly, it could not bank turns in the track, requiring that vehicles suddenly decelerate to make turns. Rocket Rods, notorious for breaking down, finally closed down in 2000.