Monday, November 14, 2005

Happy Anniversary to Two Landmarks!

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Display a picture you're taken of a famous man-made landmark. Significant buildings, big statues, great walls (particularly in China) -- it people put it together, it counts.

In my usual overboard way, I'm going to do this twice, with two landmarks.  #1 is kind of a picture-taking cliché, but I've got some unusual shots of it.  #2 might be a bit of a surprise coming from me.

#1:  Hey, it's Sleeping Beauty's Castle! But it looks different, somehow!

Sleeping Beauty's Castle, September 2005.

Although the Matterhorn, Space Mountain and even the Haunted Mansion are instantly recognizable for Disney fans around the world, Disneyland's most famous landmark is Sleeping Beauty's Castle.  This is the castle that Tinker Bell lit with fireworks for many years on tv; real fireworks still go off behind it most nights.   All the shots here are from September, 2005, but I could easily have added photos from the 1980s and 1990s.

Sleeping Beauty Castle stands at the end of Main Street USA, just past the park with its bronze statue of Walt and Mickey.  Through the archway is Fantasyland.  The drawbridge has only been opened twice in the castle's 50-year history: at the park's grand opening in July 1955, and at the rededication of Fantasyland in 1983 after major upgrades to the rides there.  On that occasion, according to one source, the drawbridge didn't quite go up all the way.

another angle

For the 50th Anniversary, the castle has gotten a major makeover.  Banners have been hung, the fresh paint includes gold leaf trim, and seven crowns have been added, each representing one of the Disney Princesses.  The coat of arms under the 50th Anniversary Ears logo is the Disney family crest.

Night shot, sans fireworks.

Here's another angle - looking up!  The castle is only 77 feet tall, but uses tricks of perspective to appear taller. 

Disneyland after dark - but no fireworks at this moment.

The castle is photographed almost as often at night as in the daytime.  No fireworks at that moment though.  Sorry!

One last shot - from behind!

Here's a much less celebrated view of the castle, as seen from Fantasyland.  The other castle on the right is the entrance to Snow White's Scary Adventure.  When the park first opened, this and other Fantasyland "dark rides" had only flat, painted facades.  These days, they look like real castles and manor houses, with lots of fun details for those who pay attention to such things.

2.  The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, March 1986

John may have taken this one.

When John and I wandered the country in early 1986, one of our stops was in St. Louis for a Star Trek convention and to see the sights.  This first photo, which may have been taken by John rather than me, is a little misleading.  Although it's in a park, the Arch is not in the middle of nowhere by any means.  We have photos of it behind downtown buildings (including our hotel, I think).  On the other side of the Arch is the mighty Mississippi itself, with riverboats docked there, including, as of 1986, a riverboat McDonald's.  Nevertheless, it's a very cool thing. 

John and the Arch.

This one was definitely taken by me.  John gets vertigo looking up at tall structures like this, but I had fun looking at it from different angles, and taking a few pictures.  I even took a tram ride inside the thing!  I was a little claustrophobic, but it wasn't unbearable.  The property includes a museum about westward espansion from St. Louis, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and states added through 1900.  I was a little surprised that Arizona wasn't there, but I shouldn't have been.  It's the 48th state!

my favorite Arch shot.

This is my favorite shot.  It looks very futuristic from that angle, like something from a World's Fair.  This makes sense, because the Arch was completed in 1965, right after the second New York World's Fair.  The Gateway Arch celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.


Good news:  the roofers showed up today to do more work on the roof.  They haven't forgotten to finish the job after all!



ryanagi said...

This is a total "duh" on my part...but until VERY recently, I had no idea that the castles at Disney World and Disney Land were for 2 different princesses and that they look very different.  Oh...and that arch always makes me think of my parents. Apparently they honeymooned in St. Louis and visiting the arch was the first touristy thing they did together as newlyweds.

ondinemonet said...

I have always wanted to see The Gateway Arch upclose! Thank you so much for posting a photo of it. :) Put a big smile on my face :)

Always, Carly :)

robinngabster said...

I love your pics and the Arch is so cool!

delela1 said...

Oh!  :::slaps forehead::: Cinderella's could I overlook these symbols of happiness and joy?  Lucky you getting to go for the 50th anniversary.  I made it to the 30th in 1980.  Overboard?  Nah.  Perfect for your own journal.

pixiedustnme said...

great pics!  I've only seen Sleeping Beauty's castle once, but Cinderella's castle and I go way back >snicker<  guess I'll have to see if I can dig up a few of those now!

jamie24601 said...

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who went with the Disney castle theme - although mine is a picture of Cinderella's Castle at WDW all dressed up for the Happiest Celebration on Earth.  :o)

The Gateway Arch is my favorite national landmark...I first saw it when I was a senior in high school and it made me want to move to St Louis.


alphamoon65 said...

Nice pics.

salemslot9 said...

My Aunt Kay and Uncle Bobby
live in Orlando, Florida
cousins, too
Uncle Bobby helped build Disneyworld
construction and mechanics
he is retired now
we used to visit them alot
during Thanksgiving
last time I went to Disney
I was 15