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What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

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  • What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

    As we all know, when Walt was thinking up ideas for Disneyland, he visited Chrildrens Fairy Land in Oakland CA, for some ideas. Here's some pictures from Fairyland from the early 1950's. See if you can see where Walt got some of his ideas from.

    Some facts about Fairyland:

    Children's Fairyland is a 10 acre park at Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland, CA
    • It was designed by William Russell Everett.
    • It was financed by the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club as well as some other community organizations.
    • Day-to-day operations were turned over to the City of Oakland in 1994.
    • Oakland Children's Fairyland, Inc., a non-profit corporation, now operates the parks.
    The Golden Key.





    The barn of the little red hen



    The 3 little pigs



    The Jolly Trolley



    Rub a dub dub



    Robinson Crusoe



    The Happy Dragon



    The Walrus and the Carpenter



    The Sugar Plum Tree



    The Cuckoo Clock



    Chapel of Peace



    Woman Who Lived In A Shoe



    Willie, The Blue Whale



    Mary Had A Little Lamb



    Goosey Goosey Gander



    The Merry Miller



    The Merry Miller II



    Noah's Ark



    Hickory Dickory Dock



    Peter Rabbit



    Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater Refreshment Stand



    Wonder go Round




    Rub A Dub Dub (Black and White)



    Information from here was found at http://www.alamedainfo.com/Childrens...nd_Oakland.htm
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  • #2
    Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

    Great pics. You otta swing by and get some current photos to see how it has changed.
    -AmandasDad

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    • #3
      Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

      I want that Wonder-go-Round!!!

      I find the chapel to be very out of place...
      -Tim

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      • #4
        Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

        Originally posted by AmandasDad View Post
        Great pics. You otta swing by and get some current photos to see how it has changed.

        I'm trying to grab either my nephew or neice to go. They only let adults in if they have a child with them.
        Growing older is manditory
        Growing up is however, optional

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        • #5
          Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

          I grew up in the Bay Area..I remember "The Lady who lived in a shoe" !!
          Mark

          Contribute to my Johari or start your own!!
          http://kevan.org/johari?view=MarkS01


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          • #6
            Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

            In the first park picture, I can see where he got the idea for going through Monstro in the storybook ride.

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            • #7
              Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

              Am I the only one who got the heebie jeebies looking at those pics?

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              • #8
                Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                Here's my opinion on this from a post of last week on another thread on this same Walt/Fairyland visit:

                Originally posted by Opus1guy View Post
                In the years just after Disneyland opened, dozens of "kiddielands" claimed to be "the" inspiration for Disneyland, after Walt had famously visited and/or consulted with them. Some parks that Walt didn't even visit, still claimed they were the inspiration!

                My understanding is that Walt was always very gracious and flattering to the nice folks that gave him tours of their parks. This may have led some of them to think theirs was the park he liked best.

                But it's also my understanding that most of the things Walt was noting on these trips...was how not to build his Park.

                So in that sense...they were equally valuable visits for him. Just for perhaps a very different reason.

                Most of the "ideas" in that park were forgone conclusions based on the books and the movies that already long existed. At best, it probably gave him some ideas for the miniature golf course they put in at the Disneyland Hotel!

                Also...Walt had visited dozens of kiddielands, parks and World's Fairs that had these same classic story book attractions, in much greater detail, scale, and quality than Fairyland! And they too circulated news stories about how they were "where Walt got his ideas."

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                • #9
                  Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                  I do remember reading that he did take an employee from Fairyland for some sort of job I am much too lazy to look it up right now lol. Thanks for the pics Fairyland was a large part of my youth I was a place visited often and I loved it. Enough to take my children back several times many a year later, the last one when she was like 10 and she's 20 now. I also cant wait to take her 2 year old and newbie ( 3 weeks) there. It was a relaxing place where we could take the kids with not major planning and just have fun. The puppet shows were unbeatable. sitting in the little outdoor theater on the little benches with my favorite a pink popcorn bar.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                    Shouldn't the "wonder go round" be called the Caucus Race? Does nobody actually read anymore? Did it start in the 50's? Damn TV...

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                    • #11
                      Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                      http://www.fairyland.org/info_jamboree.html but dosent this look like fun!

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                      • #12
                        Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                        My sisters were that age in the '50s and our parents dressed them like that all the time - no lie!

                        Charming photos. Thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                          Originally posted by FrumiousBoojum View Post
                          I want that Wonder-go-Round!!!

                          I find the chapel to be very out of place...
                          The chapel only looks out of place because of the way we live today. Back in the 50's there was much more empahsis on religion and church attendance. So in that respect, yes, by many of today's standards the chapel does look out of place, but for the 50's it was perfecty normal.

                          Just MHO, YMMV

                          CU@DL

                          Andy
                          -
                          What is, is... What is not, is not.

                          Boom!

                          I don't ask for much... Just a few little things!

                          Extra effort yields extraordinary results!

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                          • #14
                            Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                            Originally posted by CUatDL View Post
                            The chapel only looks out of place because of the way we live today. Back in the 50's there was much more empahsis on religion and church attendance. So in that respect, yes, by many of today's standards the chapel does look out of place, but for the 50's it was perfecty normal.
                            No, I think it's out of place even by 50s standards. What does a chapel have to with nursery rhymes and fairy tales? Very little to absolutely nothing.

                            DL didn't have a chapel, after all. And a Chapel would have fit perfectly in Main Street, USA. I believe there were chapels on the early designs, but it soon disappeared.

                            Just because the 50s had a lot of emphasis on religion and church attendence doesn't mean that they should just accept a chapel being there without reason... although, the place does look like things were randomly placed throughout the whole park, judging by the photos.
                            -Tim

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                            • #15
                              Re: What Walt saw. Pictures from Fairy Land, 1950's.

                              I just had to post on this thread!

                              First, I love all these old photos , and I wanted to mention there's a park where I live in Fresno simply called Rotary Storyland with a very similar set up and theme, here are some photos:
                              http://theimaginaryworld.com/fres.html

                              It's a little neglected, yes, and they're trying to get it rennovated and spiffy again. Here are some more photos from similar parks, it's a great site to get lost in!
                              http://theimaginaryworld.com/PARKS3.html


                              Trip Reports: One, Two, Three, Four

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