A Photo Essay at
Yesterland
Disneyland Then and Now:
Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland
 
Here’s the final installment in my current “Disneyland Then and Now” photo essay series. The other recent installments were about Main Street and the Castle and Frontierland.
Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, November 13, 2009    



Disneyland Then & Now, vintage photo
Adventureland entrance (photo from 1950s)
 

Disneyland Then & Now, 2009 photo
Adventureland entrance (2009 photo)

The entrance to Disneyland’s Adventureland still bears a strong resemblance to how it looked in the 1950s, but there have, of course, been changes. Here are some of them:

  • The crossed bull elephant tusks (which were probably never real) no longer look like ivory.
  • There’s large mask where the tusks cross
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the Dole Whip booth and are now on the left side of the entrance.
  • Thatch replaced the roof tiles on the building in the background.



Disneyland Then & Now, vintage photo
Natives in the Jungle Cruise (photo from 1950s)
 

Disneyland Then & Now, 2007 photo
Natives in the Jungle Cruise (2007 photo)

The two photos above both show native jungle dwellers in the Jungle Cruise, but it wasn’t possible to identify the exact location of the original scene.

  • The original natives, with their face paint and colorful, feathered headdresses look like something out a movie from the 1940s or 1950s.
  • The current natives, with their warrior masks, look more authentic—although they’re probably also just from the imagination of an Imagineer.

Disneyland Then & Now, vintage photo
it’s a small world façade (photo from 1970s)
 

Disneyland Then & Now, 2009 photo
it’s a small world façade (2009 photo)

“it’s a small world,” which premiered at the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair, came to Disneyland in 1966. Today, the large, playful façade still looks much as it did in 1966. But there are some obvious changes:

  • The blue “it’s a small world“ presented by Bank of America sign gone.
  • The current “it’s a small world” sign is off to the side.
  • The trees behind the façade are now mostly gone
  • The current gold and white color scheme is close to original, unlike pastel color scheme of the 1990s.

Disneyland Then & Now, vintage photo
Submarine Voyage and Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959 photo)
 

Disneyland Then & Now, 2009 photo
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Matterhorn Bobsleds (2009 photo)

The Submarine Voyage and Matterhorn Bobsleds were both part of the birth of the “E” Ticket in 1959. The original Submarine Voyage closed in September 1998. The attraction finally reopened in June 2007 as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, with characters from Disney/Pixar’s 2003 feature, Finding Nemo.

  • The first, most obvious difference is that the gray, military submarines are now a cheerful yellow.
  • The Matterhorn of 1959 had tiny evergreens, which made the mountain look larger.
  • Large trees other plants at the base of the Matterhorn today have their own beauty, but change the scale of the mountain.

Disneyland Then & Now, vintage photo
Mark I Monorail Red (1959 photo)
 

Disneyland Then & Now, 2009 photo
Mark VII Monorail Red (2009 photo)

Monorail Red travels above the Submarine Lagoon on a slender “highway in the sky.” The same description applies to both photos, but the second photo was taken 50 years after the first.

  • The original Mark I Monorails had three cars per train; the current Mark VII Monorails have five cars.
  • The Submarine Lagoon now has a backdrop of large trees.
  • The show building was enlarged and the entry waterfall was relocated for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • The unused PeopleMover track passes through the 2009 photo but is largely hidden by the Monorail train.

Now, please take a look at other “Then & Now” photo essays at Yesterland:


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© 2009 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated November 13, 2009.

Vintage photos of Disneyland: Charles R. Lympany and Frank T. Taylor, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Similar photos from 2009: Werner Weiss.
Photo of Jungle Cruise attack from 2007: Allen Huffman.