In a previous post, an interesting fact about Walt's Partner statue tie....
The article below is from Finding Walt, along with images from the Walt Family Museum.
Walt and Lillian first started visiting Smoke Tree Ranch in the 1930s, staying in the ranch’s guest cottages. Walt was fond of polo and horseback riding, so Palm Springs was a natural destination, being rich in both pastimes. Walt enjoyed riding in Palm Springs with a troop known as the Rancheros, a group that made an annual journey on horseback. As Frank Bogert, former mayor of Palm Springs and fellow Rancheros rider recalled, “When you camp with a guy, you really get to know him. He [Walt] was the best.” Frank and Walt rode in the same camp for three years.
When Walt and Lillian first expressed an interest in buying a lot on which they could build a home, the Colonists, as Smoke Tree Ranch Residents are called, were highly skeptical. Smoke Tree Ranch was a bastion of simple-life values. Captains of industry could own a home and not draw any attention to themselves – a unique opportunity for them. According to Maziebelle Markham, one of the owners of the ranch, “Nobody wanted anybody to know who they were back home.” And Walt Disney was certainly known. However, even though Colonists feared Walt would expect special treatment because of his Hollywood status, their fears were unfounded. Fellow Colonist Marjorie Crommelin summed it up this way: “…he fit in very well with both our residents and our way of life.” Actually, Walt not only fit in, but he contributed greatly to the ranch. Walt served as a member of the Board of Directors and he and Lillian contributed to the lawn bowling competitions, providing the trophies for the winners of the tournaments. After giving up polo playing and golf for good, due to health concerns, Walt turned to lawn bowling and became quite the aficionado. To this day, lawn bowling is a popular activity on the ranch.
Faced with the need to raise funds for Disneyland, Walt decided to sell his first home at Smoke Tree Ranch. He also asked fellow Colonists if they would like to invest in the new enterprise, but most turned him down. However, one fellow Colonist and good friend of Walt’s did agree to invest in the Park – Donald S. Gilmore, CEO of The Upjohn Company, headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Upjohn Pharmacy located on Main Street, USA, was a meticulously designed pharmacy of the 1880s. Though a pharmacist was on duty, it wasn’t a functioning pharmacy, but acted more as an advertisement for Upjohn and added a much-needed source of income for Disneyland.
Once Disneyland proved to be a going concern, Walt and Lillian purchased their second home at the ranch to replace the one they had sold. Now Walt could make it to the desert in record time on his eight-seat Beechcraft Queen Air, with a flying time of 35 minutes from Los Angeles to Palm Springs. Here the family could gather and relax – even Walt, though relaxing may have meant looking through a pile of scripts while lounging and interacting with the grandkids. He referred to it as his “laughing place.”
In keeping with his love of trains, Walt wanted a railroad track to encircle his home, just as it did at his Holmby Hills home on Carolwood Drive in Los Angeles. The Board of the ranch, however, did not see fit to approve that, so he had the home surrounded by a concrete turn-around that the grandkids could use to “play railroad” on their bikes. In addition to being active in the design of his own home, Walt actually helped with the design of several cottages on the ranch by having his team at WED get involved in the planning. Also, Disney Hall, located near the pool and bowling green, was used for banquets, lectures, gatherings, and screenings of Walt’s movies. And in keeping with his attention to detail and eye for using resources wisely, Walt even used the pebbles from his ranch home when building the chimney of his “Granny Kincaid’s Cabin” – the first miniature that he built, based on a set from the film “So Dear to My Heart.”
Walt’s love of Smoke Tree Ranch was real and tangible. In many of his personal and television appearances, you can see him sporting the “STR” monogram tie.
The Tam O'Shanter Inn is one of Los Angeles' oldest restaurants. Established in 1922, it serves hearty pub fare with a touch of Scottish flair, and is known for its prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. It is located in Atwater Village at 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard at the corner of Boyce Avenue. Free valet parking.
We spent the day at the Walt Disney Studios and had made dinner reservations at the restaurant after our tour. It's only a 15-minute dive away.
The exterior is very cottage like and reminiscent of Snow White.
We still waited 20 minutes with reservations.
Walt Disney, Tam O'Shanter founder Lawrence Frank, and designer Harry Oliver at the Tam' O'Shanter Inn, 1960.
We had the prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. The meal was delicious. If you are a Disney fan, I would recommend this restaurant. You can request to sit at Walt's table and if you're lucky, it will be available.
Walt Disney's favorite table #31, is located next to the fireplace in the main dining room.
OUT OF THIS WORLD CUTE!
Had to have this R2D2 belt to go with my Space Mountain Disney bound dress.
This women's cinch belt is made from comfortable elastic. The full color print is dyed into the fabric to ensure that it will look great for years. This Cinch Belt is 3.0 inches wide and fully adjustable. The logos are applied using advanced printing technologies, so the belt will still look good after years of hard use. This product is Made in the USA and officially licensed by Star Wars.
I can wear this Darth Vader belt with anything.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room was the first attraction to feature Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology. The cast of crooners in the show features 225 animated singing birds, flowers and tikis. That includes eight macaws, 12 toucans, 12 tiki drummers and more than 50 orchids. The attraction opened June 23, 1963.
An extravagant feast for your eyes and ears, this theater-in-the-round show invites you to experience the beauty and magic of the Pacific Islands.
Take your seat in an air-conditioned ceremonial house in the heart of Polynesia. As the lights dim, 4 talking macaws spring to life. Before long, the chorus of crooning birds is joined by an enchanting cast of over 225 choreographed Audio-Animatronics performers.
Sing along and enjoy the magic of this jubilant Disney classic!
As you gather on the lush patio before the show, carved totem poles representing island gods spring to life and introduce themselves.
Don’t forget to treat yourself to a world-famous Pineapple Dole Whip® from the patio-side Tiki Juice Bar while you wait!
The Audio-Animatronics technology that powers the show was introduced to the world when Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room debuted in 1963 at Disneyland Park.
This groundbreaking technology allowed animators to synchronize movement, audio and visual effects, paving the way for other classic attractions like “it’s a small world”, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.
Walt Disney originally envisioned the Enchanted Tiki Room as a dinner show. However, he knew the attraction would be so popular that he changed the format to accommodate more Guests before it opened.
The current show has been enhanced with a state-of-the-art show-control system, remastered audio and energy-efficient lighting—while maintaining all the charm and wit of the original.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".