This 16mm film is a wonderful trip thru 1969 Disneyland

Originally published at: This 16mm film is a wonderful trip thru 1969 Disneyland | Boing Boing


It’s wild that they’ve clung on to those exhaust-spewing gasoline-powered motors at Autopia for so long when electric vehicles would be so much cleaner, safer and more efficient. Sponsor money from Chevron and Honda will have that effect, I guess.

Ironic that the ride is set in future-themed “Tomorrowland” given that the State of California recently announced that all sales of new gasoline-powered cars will be phased out in the state by 2035.


I don’t know how they used to manage “sailing” the Columbia around the river with all its sails unfurled. It would spend at least half the time fighting the wind.


So much real estate for a single ride. All those shuttered show buildings in Tomorrowland. Its like 25% of the land inside the berm and ripe to be turned into something that draws everyone in the world back to Disneyland.


They used to be really good at layering and intertwining the rides in that area, where part of the footprint had Submarine caverns underneath, with Autopia, Peoplemover, Monorail and the Skyway all above it, along with the Phantom boats passing under part of the roadway. The Submarine cavern still sits under a pretty substantial portion of Autopia. But three of those rides no longer exist.


It’s depressing yet oddly fitting that so much of Tomorrowland used to be built around the idea of public transit as a vision for a utopian future… but then they scrapped most of the public transit and kept the exhaust-spewing cars.


Weird how this YouTube channel packages an old TV special that looks like it’s been ripped from a VHS tape of a Disney channel re-broadcast as if it’s their own footage.

On top of that, as much as they hype the 1969 angle, it looks like the original special recycles highly from previous episodes of the wonderful world of color. I know that pirates footage is from 1967 and some of the footage with Walt narrating is from before he died in 1966. I know the small world footage was from a 1966 episode called Disneyland around the seasons.

You can watch it without the intro here:


I was actually expecting, from that intro, to see something like this. another YouTuber found old previously unseen super 8 footage and had it scanned and he edited it with added narration and sound effects. He’s done a few videos like this. Mostly during the pandemic when we weren’t allowed to go in person to the parks: Time Travel to Disneyland in the 1960s Randomland - YouTube

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Sometimes I feel I’m the only person in the world that loved the Nautilus from 20 thousand leagues. That ride took my breath away when I was little. Then it disappeared for decades and came back as part of a different Nemo.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, let’s just say I’m not a fan of Small World.

And on a different note, in many parts of that video, you can see the United States building its mythology.


You may be misremembering slightly.

At Disneyland the original 1959 version of the submarine ride was a grey military-styled version, with no theming tied to the 20,000 Leagues movie.

Walt Disney World did have a Nautilus version of the subs, which got ripped out and replaced with a Winnie the Pooh ride.

Disneyland also had a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea walkthrough attraction between 1955 and 1966, separate from the ride. It had some special effects and props from the movie. Maybe that’s what you’re remembering?

More trivia: the pipe organ that Captain Nemo played in the movie now resides in the ballroom scene in the Haunted Mansion. They liked to re-use stuff back then.


I was about to say some of the same stuff. Ha. If you haven’t been on the new Nemo subs, I’d say give them a try. Other than the fact that disneyland is way too crowded and ya gotta be prepared to wait in line like 45 minutes for that ride, it’s still a lot like the old version conceptually. They added underwater projections of Nemo and his friends but even that has a cute story. If you like old school Disneyland rides, and aren’t claustrophobic, the subs are still fun.


Then again, some people might not be ready to spend that much time shoulder-to-shoulder in an enclosed tube with recirculating air just yet…


I see the lines were just as long back then. :man_shrugging:


…when John Glenn did what, now? The Brady Bunch debuted, but for some reason the Hee-Haw donkey looked around.



John Glenn took the first steps on the moon

No, he never stepped foot on the moon

The Beatles recorded Abbey Road

(over footage from the rooftop concert for Let It Be)

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That’s an interesting twist on the moon landing hoax conspiracy theories. “NASA has been lying to us all about Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing. The TRUTH is that John Glenn already landed there during his 1962 flight!”


I always wanted to go to Disneyland when I was a kid. Too late now, I’m all growed up.

I caught that as well. Dislike when videos make such silly, easy-to-check mistakes.

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