Vintage Disneyland Postcards: Frontierland

Today we continue our vintage tour through Disneyland by way of postcards, and we enter the dusty old west of Frontierland.

Frontierland has seen a fair amount of change over the years. When Disneyland opened Frontierland was actually the largest land, as it included the Rivers of America and a vast, winding railroad and pathways for conestoga wagons and stagecoaches.

The entrance to Frontierland, which looks like an old fort, made of logs, a large sign reading "Frontierland" hangs over the gateway.

The entrance to Frontierland, which looks like an old fort, made of logs, a large sign reading "Frontierland" hangs over the gateway.

Just past the gates of Frontierland, the Davy Crockett Arcade, and the Pendleton Woolen Mills store.

A faux Marshall's office, with a Marshall standing outside wearing red pants, blue shirt, black vest and black hat.

The Mark Twain, a southern paddle wheeler of white.

The Mark Twain, a southern paddle wheeler of white.

The Mark Twain, a southern paddle wheeler of white. The Bertha May a keel boat passes by.

The Mark Twain, a southern paddle wheeler of white.

Donald Duck stands on the banks of the Rivers of America with his nephews, Huey, Duey, and Louie. The Mark Twain sits in the water in the background.

The Sailing Ship Columbia. A tall three mast ship that was the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.

The Sailing Ship Columbia. A tall three mast ship that was the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.

Inside the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, red velvet curtains with gold fringe trim. Can-Can girls in costume, each one wears a different colors, one in green, another in blue, pink, and the last in red.

Inside the Golden Horseshoe on stage, red velvet curtains with gold fringe. A can-can girl in red stands next to a cowboy, another can-can girl in green stands to him. Next to a singer in a black slinky dress, and finally on the far right another can-can girl in a yellow outfit.

The stage of the Golden Horseshoe with can-can dancers.

Guests ride aboard an old west stagecoach.

A Native American waves to guests aboard a stagecoach.

I find it really interesting that I have two images of the Stagecoach, but none of the Conestoga Wagons, as both lasted only from 1955 to 1959.

Guests ride burros through the faux old west town of Rainbow Ridge.

Small western buildings stand in the distance, in the foreground guests ride donkeys.

The Mine Train rolls through the forests of the wild west.

The rainbow pots along the Mine Train.

The Mine Train rides past Cascade Peek, where a waterfall just brushes against the tracks.

The Mine Train passes by boulders that teeter.

The Pack Mules took their last guests out in 1973, and the Mine Train lasted until 1977, when the area was cleared to make way for the “wildest ride in the wilderness” Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which opened in 1979. However if those buildings in the background of the Pack Mules look familiar, it is because they are the very same ones that are there today.

The Bertha Mae sails along the Rivers of America.

The Mike Fink Keel Boats that sailed along the Rivers of America were the original two used in Davy Crockett and the River Pirates, and were free floating, meaning they were not on a track. The Keel Boats had a good run, lasting from park open until 1997, after the Gullywhumper capsized, marking the end of the attraction.

Little rafts take guests to and from Tom Sawyer's Island.

Little rafts take guests to and from Tom Sawyer's Island.

Little rafts take guests to and from Tom Sawyer's Island.

Rafts shuttle guests between the Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer's Island.

Guests walk across the barrel bridge as the Mark Twain sails past.

Guests paddle a canoe through the Rivers of America with Fort Wilderness in the background.

Fort Wilderness looms in the background of this canoe shot, and from 1956 to 2003 Guests could enter the Fort. But the years and supposedly termites took their toll on the fort’s hand hewn logs, and it was completely torn down and rebuilt in 2003. Today the Fort is no longer available to Guests and is storage for the nighttime show, Fantasmic.

When the canoes first started taking Guests around the Rivers of America in 1956 they were known as the Indian War Canoes with “Indian” Guides. But in 1971 they were renamed the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes with Cast Members wearing fringed attire and coon skin caps. It is the only “human powered” attraction at the Disneyland Resort, meaning “you no row, we no go” as the guides like to say. Additionally, the canoes are free floating.

A Native American chief sits atop a horse and waves to passers by along the shores of the Rivers of America.

A trio of tipis and Native Americans rest along the banks of the Rivers of America.

Guests paddle in a canoe past a waterfall.

Native Americans dance in the ceremonial circle.

An Indian Dance Circle, with dancers and guests watching, along the banks of the Rivers of America.

An Indian dancer with a large feather headdress dancing in the circle, a tipi sits off to the right.

Native Americans dance in the circle, with tipis to the left, and the Rivers of America on the right.

The Indian Village with Ceremonial Dance Circle was there when Disneyland opened in 1955 and lasted until 1971 when it was closed to make way for Bear Country, later to become Critter Country when Splash Mountain opened in 1988.

And now I will leave you with some nighttime shots of the Mark Twain. Next time we’ll go south on into New Orleans…

The Mark Twain at the dock at night, it is lit with hundreds of little white lights.

The Mark Twain at the dock at night, it is lit with hundreds of little white lights.

Other Vintage Disneyland Postcard Posts(to be updated with links throughout the series)Main Street USAAdventurelandNew Orleans SquareTomorrowlandFantasyland

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