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  1. #1

    • MiceAge Columnist
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    September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Last week, after the end of the D23 Expo, I went to Disneyland with prints of vintage Disneyland photos from the 1950s and my camera. My goal was to match the old “then” photos with current “now” photos to see how things have changed. Here’s the first batch.


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Thank you for this article Werner, I love looking at the contrast between shots. WOW Disneyland looked so empty 50+ years ago.

  3. #3

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS!!! I really enjoy seeing how things have changed and grown and just progressed over the years. I cant wait to see more!

    PS: Was Sleeping Beautys Castle changed from the Gray and Blue color scheme for the 50th or was it before that? Any idea why it was decided to do that?

  4. #4

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Quote Originally Posted by a-net-fan View Post
    PS: Was Sleeping Beautys Castle changed from the Gray and Blue color scheme for the 50th or was it before that? Any idea why it was decided to do that?
    I assume that the reason was to make Sleeping Beauty Castle more colorful and inviting than when it was shades of gray. I believe the colors were first changed in 1983.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  5. #5

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    This is great; thanks for doing this!! Can't wait for more!! What a difference a few full grown trees can make!!

  6. #6

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Were the trees in Town Square replaced at one point? In the band concert photos they are clearly larger and fuller in the 1950's image. They almost look like like a different type of tree altogether, and don't really correlate to the panned out picture of Town Square from the same time period.

    Otherwise I'd say the park looks better over the years. Thanks for posting this! I love seeing before and after images...

  7. #7

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Quote Originally Posted by SpcMtn77 View Post
    Were the trees in Town Square replaced at one point? ...
    Yea, are these the trees that Walt planted that were controversally removed a few years ago and Tony Baxter had one of them transplanted to his own home?

  8. #8

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Quote Originally Posted by SpcMtn77 View Post
    Were the trees in Town Square replaced at one point?
    I'm sure many of the trees in planters and along walkways have been replaced over the years for a number of reasons.

    But there undoubtedly also still many trees that have been growing for over a half century. (Wait until you see the "Then and Now" photo essay about Frontierland.)

    The trees in the Town Square photos appear to be different trees.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  9. #9

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Great article Werner.

  10. #10

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    I don't if this your best column yet, but I think it may be my favorite! Like the others, I can't wait to see some more.
    I also want to express my disappointment at not meeting you on your most recent visit. I've been following Yesterland for quite a few years (pre Mice Age). My kid sister (now 51) and I used to compare stuff on your site all of the time.
    I still hope to get a chance to chat.
    Thanks for everything!
    First Visit at the age of 12, July 17, 1968.
    First Ride, The Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad.
    BRING BACK THE PEOPLE MOVER!

  11. #11

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Werner, your comparative is wonderful. Other than the trees, it looks like the big change isn't the park, but rather the visitors. Looking in the background of the older photos, I see much better dressed folks than today's visitors. I think I'll get a buzz cut and wear slacks with a button down shirt next time I go.

  12. #12

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Notice the simple period appropriate American flags and bunting on the street lamps in the vintage pic of the band performance. Such a nice and more time period, theme appropriate lamp post decoration compared to the wild stuff they throw on them nowadays.

  13. #13

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    WOW - Insanely wonderful! I could stare at "Then & Now" photos of Disneyland all day long... Thanks for taking the time to do these! Can't wait for Frontierland "Then & Now".
    To view old Disneyland and Theme park tickets, visit my blog at:

    http://vintagedisneylandtickets.blogspot.com/

  14. #14

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Am I the only one that likes the lesser sized trees in some of the older pictures? I mean at what point do the trees detract from things like the castle. the very first picture you cant even see the castle anymore from the far end of main street... I only noticed it really because i tried to watch the fireworks last week and there are a lot of spots that either block the castle or block tinkerbells flight. great update though.

  15. #15

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    Re: September 24, 2009: Then and Now: Main Street and the Castle

    Thank you for taking the time to snap & post these photos and make the comparisons Werner. This is fantastic and I can't wait to see the rest of your comparisons.

    I think this is my favourite Yesterland post yet.
    Duct tape is like The Force. It has a dark side & a light side and it binds the Universe together.

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