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  • The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

    I came across this article while surfing the web...

    There have been four "shooting galleries" at Disneyland: The Frontierland Shooting Gallery, the Main Street Shooting Gallery, the Davy Crockett Arcade, and the Safari Shooting Gallery. The only survivor -- and the only one duplicated at the other Disney Parks -- is the first of these. (Note: Teddi Bara's Swingin' Arcade was a game arcade, not a shooting gallery.)

    The Main Street Shooting Gallery opened in July 1955. This site proved inadequate to the demand, plus the gunfire seemed a bit out of place in this sophisticated urban setting, and the guns were gradually replaced with less lethal attractions, and it evolved into the Penny Arcade until that succumbed to the great Plush Invasion of recent years.

    The Frontierland Shooting Gallery was the response to guests' demands for greater firepower, and opened in July 1957. It occupied the space formerly known as the Miniature Horse Corral -- it was the horses that were miniatures, the corral was full-sized. September 1984 saw the closure of this, the last of the "real bullet" galleries. It was replaced the following March with an all new Frontierland Shooting Gallery -- today known as the Frontierland Shootin' Exposition -- using the new infrared weapons, synthesized digital sound effects, and amusing animation, thus eliminating not only the hazardous lead shot and lead dust, but the nightly repainting.

    Nightly repainting? Of course, how else could the attraction be "neat 'n pretty" every morning for the horde of fresh guests? Bet you never thought about that before, did you?

    The Davy Crockett Arcade was also in Frontierland, across the street from the big shoot-em-up in the part of the stockade that previously housed the Davy Crockett Museum. It featured new-fangled electric six-guns, and was popular with younger kids who couldn't see to aim the big guns even with a box to stand on. For some reason, the name was changed to Davy Crockett Frontier Arcade in 1985, but by 1987 it had been pacified and renamed Davy Crockett's Pioneer Mercantile.

    The Safari Shooting Gallery in Adventureland was the largest of its kind, and shots were heard for a decade starting in June 1962. During that time, it was variously known as the Big Game Safari Shooting Gallery and the Big Game Shooting Gallery. Interesting changes, as they did not reflect any change in the targets or the means of bringing them down.


    I have to admit that even though I understand the reasoning behind switching over to the new infrared guns... I miss the old pellet guns they used to have. There was something satisfying in hearing that 'ping' of the b.b. as you hit the target. Also I miss the 6 shooter revolvers they used to have. Anyone else feel this way?
    Growing older is manditory
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  • #2
    Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

    I loved the old Frontierland Shooting Gallery, but I only remember the rifles. The ducks in the water were always the easiest to hit. The doves on the top row were the hardest.
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    • #3
      Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

      My sister always had to stop at the Frontierland shooting gallery, which I hated since it always seemed to take forever and wasted precious ride time and I had no interest in shooting whatsoever. She later went on to earn a marksmanship award in the army, so I guess all that practice at Disneyland paid off. I should take her on Astroblasters with me.

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      • #4
        Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

        It would be nice if there still was a shooting gallery that used BB's, especially since now there are lead free solid copper BB's. Of course the legal types would never allow such a thing. Actually I'm amazed the Frontierland Shootin' Exposition has survived the PC'ing of Disneyland. I mean seriously, what harm was it to sell replica wooden flintlock pistols and rifles at Pioneer Merchantile. Now they are once again selling a flintlock replica tied in with Pirates of the Caribbean but it is completely fluorescent green and orange.

        Is anyone here old enough to remember the travelling grocery store carnivals? The ones that would come into town on Thursday and open for the weekend. They would have a couple of cheesy rides and a midway. The midway would always have the game where you had a pnuematic fully automatic sub-machine gun and you had to shoot out the red star to win a prize. No matter how good a shot you were the carny always found a speck of red on your target.

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        • #5
          Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

          Originally posted by 10-8atDisneyland
          what harm was it to sell replica wooden flintlock pistols and rifles at Pioneer Merchantile.
          WDW is still selling those at their POTC store

          i wonder if DeliverEARS would bring that to me...
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          • #6
            Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

            as a kid I remember waiting and planning for months for our trip to DL so that I could by the wooden flinklock. It was cool!! At the time, they sold them over by the PotC.

            I remember a small shooting gallery in Adventureland. But it was more of an aracde game and not true shooting gallery. I was over by the walkway between Adventureland and Fronteerland. I want to say it was inside of a store or something. That'sthe only shooting gallery in AL that I remember. But I do remember the BB galley in FL.

            btw, the maintance people use a TV remote to test the stuff on the current shooting galley. Well, they did 10 years ago, at least....
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            • #7
              Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

              I tried out the Shootin' Exposition a little while ago when I was in the park with some time to kill, because I had never done it before. I found it a little frustrating that you couldn't really tell if you had actually hit your target, or what sort of "score" you were getting. One round was enough for me. For shoot-'em-up at Disneyland, I'll stick with Astro Blasters.

              Cinderella IV: The Bloodening

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              • #8
                Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                Originally posted by Garrett240
                I remember a small shooting gallery in Adventureland. But it was more of an aracde game and not true shooting gallery. I was over by the walkway between Adventureland and Fronteerland. I want to say it was inside of a store or something.
                The one inside the store you remember was the Davy Crockett arcade that Oogie quoted. it was inside the currnent pioneer merchantile along the southmost wall by the doorway. I remember one where you shot a bear that ran back and forth and up a tree.

                The adventurland arcade shot real bb's just like the frontierland one.
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                • #9
                  Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                  At the Frontierland Shootin' Exposition when you hit a target something "happens". On one of the open grave targets when you hit it a shovel appears as if digging the grave. When you hit one of the targets on the Boot Hill sign the sign changes to For Sale. When you hit the target at the saloon the saloon doors swing. Vitually every target does something but you need to look for it. There are lots of cool effects if you take the time to check them all out......like the Ghost Rider flying across the sky.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                    Thanks Oogie for th article

                    Originally posted by aerinpegadrak
                    I tried out the Shootin' Exposition a little while ago when I was in the park with some time to kill, because I had never done it before. I found it a little frustrating that you couldn't really tell if you had actually hit your target, or what sort of "score" you were getting. One round was enough for me. For shoot-'em-up at Disneyland, I'll stick with Astro Blasters.
                    Hmm... still, sometimes in MIB and Astroblasters I can't tell where I'm hitting. Cause there's probably 4 or more other people hitting the same target as me.

                    Originally posted by 10-8atDisneyland
                    At the Frontierland Shootin' Exposition when you hit a target something "happens". On one of the open grave targets when you hit it a shovel appears as if digging the grave. When you hit one of the targets on the Boot Hill sign the sign changes to For Sale. When you hit the target at the saloon the saloon doors swing. Vitually every target does something but you need to look for it. There are lots of cool effects if you take the time to check them all out......like the Ghost Rider flying across the sky.
                    This should happen with Midway Mania. I'm still not sure about the rumored 10-12 3D movie screen environments. Maybe in 3D the targets would react, but not physically as in Fronteriland SHootin' Exposition.

                    Maybe like hit the target to dunk this character in water, when that happens, you get a little wet... ??

                    "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

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                    • #11
                      Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                      I really miss the sound of the old shooting galleries. For some reason it reminded me of any old western I saw.
                      Jason

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                      • #12
                        Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                        Great article! I did not know about the Main Street Shooting Gallery...but I question this fact:

                        The only survivor -- and the only one duplicated at the other Disney Parks
                        ...as I swear WDW had a Safari Shooting Gallery for a while too...

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                        • #13
                          Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                          Thanks for sharing
                          :crazylegs

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                          • #14
                            Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                            Originally posted by OogieBoogie
                            I came across this article while surfing the web...
                            Interesting article; thanks for sharing. I question the dates, though. I don't quite remember the change out of the Frontierland arcade (early 80s, definitely), but the Adventureland dates are off. I don't know when it opened, but I know for sure it was in operation later than 1972. Like the Frontierland arcade, it closed sometime in the early 80s. The current store filling that space opened in 1984.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The history of the 4 Disneyland Shooting Galleries

                              Originally posted by Club22
                              Interesting article; thanks for sharing. I question the dates, though. I don't quite remember the change out of the Frontierland arcade (early 80s, definitely), but the Adventureland dates are off. I don't know when it opened, but I know for sure it was in operation later than 1972. Like the Frontierland arcade, it closed sometime in the early 80s. The current store filling that space opened in 1984.
                              Checking my chronology of Disneyland attractions, Safari Shooting Gallery opened in 1962 as part of the Adventureland expansion (Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse opened the same year, the Tiki Room followed a year later), and closed in 1982. I don't remember where I got those dates, but I think it was yesterland.com.

                              Cinderella IV: The Bloodening

                              "It's okay, Beaker, we're scientists. We get paid to fail."

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