The Astro Jets was an off-the-shelf rotojet ride manufactured by Casper claws in West Germany that opened on March 24, 1956 in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Due to a conflict with United Airlines, the official Airline of Disneyland, the attraction's name was changed to the Tomorrowland Jets. American Airlines had begun calling its new Boeing 707 jet airliners Astro Jets. The Tomorrowland Jets closed September 5, 1966. As part of the new Tomorrowland the name was changed to Rocket Jets and built on top of the People Mover loading station to save space.
What? Move Dumbo the Flying Elephant?
In 1983 Disneyland decided to move the opening day classic attraction Dumbo the Fying Elephant when they created new Fantasyland. Dumbo was placed in an area where Skull Rock had previously stood. This move demonstrated that Disney was open to the idea that the park could constantly change and evolve to suit guest needs.
without this mindset the area would have remained a stagnant area in the park. The move allowed for better crowd flow, for new attractions to be added and for existing ones to be updated. Ensuring that Fantasyland remained a popular destination for visitors of generations.
Walt Wednesday #64
"Whenever Walt gets in a jam, he calls me in and I tell him just how to run the studio." - Donald Duck
The backdrop that is Disney's California Adventure's Buena Vista Street, which takes place in 1923 when a young Walt Disney made his way out to California, as you come through this Marketplace of shops, stores and restaurants it all looks real. Even though it really is full of merchandise and opportunities for ways to experience the park and spend money, it's fake. They're an assortment of little cutouts in one larger building. We might not be able to use their associated doors and never make it to their second floors, we can cruise through the entire building of real stores. We're exploring the fake buildings of Disney's California Adventure. The fakest land of them all - Hollywoodland - where everything's a lie and disguised to make you think that it's something that it's not.
On the corner of the Hollywood Studios we have our first fake building. The exterior facade is an Art Deco styled Studio building with all of its ornate details but we can never actually go inside this building. The facade looks like a real building covering what actually is the inner courtyard of Award Wieners and Mickey's Philharmagic queue.
Another fake building of Hollywoodland advertises flowers, sweets and even pet supplies but it's a fake building. We never get to go inside.
Next door we have another Art Deco building, a fake department store on the corner. Beautiful marble inlay wraps around the entrance and the brass framed window doors but we can't go inside. On the edge of Hollywoodland we are completely surrounded by fake buildings and Disney puts a lot of love and care into them.
Literally these are the windows that look out onto the street on the other side of the backlot. You can see the steel work, the aluminum sheets of everything on the other side. As we move around DCA it's going to get trickier to figure out what exactly the building's purpose is other than to create perfect backdrops for us to explore and not get distracted by cast members doing their jobs.
Liberty Street Project - Disneyland
Imagine how different Disneyland would be if there was another Village on the other side of Main Street USA. A Village taking us back further inside Disneyland and back further into our nation's great history. Walt announced Liberty Street as the first ever expansion for Disneyland in 1956 one year after the park had opened.
Liberty Street would lead you down to a cul-de-sac, set during the Revolutionary War and would feature a mixture of period perfect buildings representing several U.S cities. 13 buildings to be exact, paying tribute to the original 13 colonies, featuring Merchants and Trades that reflected this time period. Within the stores, merchants would practice the crafts they sold where a Disneyland guest could buy something from a blacksmith that they saw work in his Forge.
At the end of Liberty Street you would enter Liberty Square which would feature two of the land's attractions the first being Independence Hall's the Hall of Presidents. This would be a wax museum because animatronics wouldn't exist until 1963.
The second attraction the Hall of the Declaration of Independence would have featured three scenes inspired by famous paintings and a replica of the Declaration of Independence. The idea would be that both attractions would help tell the story of the United States.
The area however was never built because Walt had a lot on his hands in the late 50s at Disneyland including the Matterhorn bobsleds, the Disneyland monorail and submarine Voyage. Walt however did go as far as to have maps printed showing both Liberty Street and Edison Square. Though this was originally planned as an addition to Main Street USA at Disneyland in California the concept was revived during the design of the Magic Kingdom in the late 1960s.
Imagine walking off Town Square in Disneyland, past the Mad Hatter and interim into Liberty Street where you walk along a tight corridor of 13 different buildings that leads to a small fake Harbor on the left. To the right a very tiny Liberty Square where there's a Liberty Tree and two attractions about the founding of our great nation.
Logistically it wouldn't have worked because this is where the parade goes. The parade starts at It's a Small World then works its way through Fantasyland and up Main Street to quietly hide backstage. For its second performance, the gates of magic swing wide open and the parade works its way back to It's a Small World.
And realistically, how would you explain this??
Not enough landscape or trees could cover Space Mountain. And if I had to choose, I want Space Mountain over the historic project! Let's just keep things as they are, please!
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".