Photo of "Partners" sculpture Yesterland

Even More Yester Memories

Thanks for all the great Yester Memories in 1995 and More Yester Memories in 1996. Here are some memories sent to me in 1997. And there’s another page for 1998.

Several memories have been edited to reduce length.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland
Write to Yesterland

Group Sales had invited us to the Premier Party for Captain Eo, and who am I to turn down a good freebie!!! We moved to the center of the theatre, only to find that we had to go past someone who was "saving seats". Right before the lights went out, in comes a group of people. I didn’t put it all together until Michael Jackson slipped in (with his trademark surgical mask). And no one seemed to notice!! Heads weren’t turning; no one was talking. I was amazed. And beside Michael, his mother, a blond teenage girl, and Quincy Jones. This was at the height of Michael’s popularity. I don’t think anyone believed it was him, as everyone got up and left the theatre as normal. After the show, we lagged behind so we could "gawk." About 10 people were standing around talking to Michael. One of the girls in our group was pregnant (and the most outgoing among us), and when Michael asked how she was doing, she asked him to rub her stomach, and he did! His closing line was "I hope he comes out dancing!" As we exited the theater, cameras were everywhere. We were included on film with Michael Jackson, and the Disney Channel played the clip for many months afterward. Though we have mixed emotions about Mr. Jackson now, it still was one of the most memorable moments at Disneyland that we have had!

— Dave Mason, September 28, 1997 (DaveMinSD @

I was working at the park when they decided to demolish the Monsanto House of the Future. They brought in a crane (on a Monday when they were closed) with a wrecking ball. Several park employees gathered to watch this somewhat sad moment. The ball swung and hit one of the walls of the house... all the glass shattered, but the ball bounced off the wall, without leaving a scratch. Everyone there let out a spontaneous cheer...apparently, we were all "rooting" for the house. They tried over and over to smash the house, but each time the ball bounced off the wall. They gave up on the idea and closed off the area. A few weeks later, the house was removed from the foundation and airlifted by helicopter out of the park. I don’t know where it was taken, but the rumors were at the time... "some Texas millionaire bought it."

— Bill G., September 20, 1997 (BillG7164 @

In your description of the Sunkist Citrus House at sunkist.html, you left out the juice machine that automatically process a basket of oranges at a time. The machine automatically cut them in half and squeezed the juice with six reamers on one side and six on the other. As a small child, I watched the reamers slowly rotate around, pick up an orange half, squeeze it, and dump the peel in a circular motion with a continuous stream of juice trickling out. This machine made a more lasting impression on me than a lot of other things in the park!

— Bob Morris, July 31, 1997 (morris @

When one is a little child, the attractions seem more realistic, and more believable. I was no exception, and I when I visited the Magic Kingdom, I remember going to "Mission to Mars." I was always deathly afraid of that attraction, for one reason. When everyone was seated, and the staff were preparing for "lift off," the "Air-Lock Closed" light would come on. I was scared that with all these people needing to breath air, in the time it would take us to go to Mars and back, I was convinced that we were sure to run out of air. So I would hold by breath as long as I could, so as to the air conserve it for others to breath. And I tell you, it was a good thing to, for when the "Air-lock Open" light would go on, I felt as though we had just made it; after all, I was a little lightheaded, and I’m sure everyone else felt that way, since, of course, they were all rushing to get off. About the time I became four, I no longer had that fear. Since I realized that there wasn’t enough time to go to Mars and back, (according to my brother, we apparently stayed the ground the whole time) they could just pump in more oxygen through the vents, (which they apparently did, for I was never lightheaded on that attraction ever again).

— Jon Dalquist, June 27, 1997 (dalquist @

You’re probably wondering if people will ever quit sending these to you, but I didn’t see anyone mention the Viewliner. It was a tacky little "futuristic" train that ran between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. My first visit to Disneyland was in 1956, and that train seemed pretty cool at the time. I didn’t miss it, though, when the Monorail went in (but living in the San Francisco Bay Areas, with Bay Area Rapid Transit, the monorail doesn’t have the old appeal any more!)

— David Finster, June 16, 1997 (dfinster @

The Villain Shop was in Fantasyland, and one would see it as soon as you walk through the castle. I think it’s now the Hunchback shop, over on the right hand side. In it, there were shirts, hats, mugs, figurines, etc., with many of the famous villains and some not so famous ones. I have the "Wicked Queen" T-shirts and a tote which I carry report cards in. My students know when not to mess with me by the shirt. My husband has a "Headless Horseman" T-shirt. I also have a Grumpy shirt and some stickers, as well as a poster with all the famous Villains on it. The store was one of the big reasons I went to Disneyland.

— Linda McCann, June 5, 1997 (MrsLMcCann @

When I was in 7th grade, our class went on Catholic School day to Disneyland. On "Mission To Mars," when the seats "compressed," several startled nuns in full habit jumped to their feet in shock! My friends and I still laugh about "the nun molesting seats" 20 years later.

— Tracy Blackburn, June 3, 1997 (tracyb @

The Upjohn Pharmacy was about halfway down Main Street on the left hand side. My favorite memory of it is the miniature bottles of Unicap vitamins they gave out for free. We went there every visit. My husband and I, both native Californians, who went to Disneyland several times a year while we lived there as children and young teenagers and at least once a year even when we moved to the East Coast, have both noted how the "Eisnerization" of Disneyland has taken away many of the charming gifts and mementos you could buy on Main Street and elsewhere. Nearly everything for sale there now, with the exception of some of the cheaper items in Adventureland and the more expensive items in other "gift shops" is strictly Disney trademark merchandise.

— Ann Moritz Chesnut, May 28, 1997 (AMChesnut @

I swear a lot of the animatronics from "America Sings" are now used in "Splash Mountain." I was just there and took pictures and now I am going through old pictures. The two rides have some identical animitronics, right down to the clothes and objects they are holding! Have you come across this? I find it very interesting how parts of rides can get re-used. (The frogs in your picture posted are in the new ride!)

— Joshua Lamb, May 25, 1997 (JoshuaLamb @

I remember well the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit from my first visit, probably in 1963. An extremely minor attraction that you didn’t list but that I would imagine is probably gone is an exhibit of minerals fluorescing under ultraviolet light. I enjoyed this as a child; it was somewhere in Frontierland, I believe near the Mine Train ride. I remember seeing the small circle garden where once the House of the Future had stood, and where in the 1970s nothing stood, and wondering why they tore down the house only to replace it with nothing. I used to enjoy approaching Disneyland on the freeway and seeing the big billboard advertising the Submarine ride, which stated that Disneyland was so many "nautical Smiles ahead."

— Steven Phipps, May 10, 1997 (phipps @

In 1961 or so, one of the buildings on Main Street was used to house an exhibit of the sets and props from Disney’s recent "Babes in Toyland" film (starring Annette Funicello, whose autograph I have!). My family was touring the exhibit and my little sister, then about 8, was fascinated by the foam rubber "trees." She kept prodding and feeling them and finally hauled off and punched one in the "trunk." Well, the tree roared and came to life — there was a Cast Member inside! and he (or she) chased my little sister out of the building and down Main Street. She was totally traumatized. Needless to say, I (age about 12) thought it was hysterically funny.

— Terri Murphy-Naughton, May 5, 1997 (azzure @

As I approach my 10th wedding anniversary, I have to comment on my proposal which happened on the Skyway. I took my girlfriend (now wife) to Disneyland on Valentine’s Day 1986. After dinner I suggested a ride on the skyway, starting in Tomorrowland. As soon as we passed through the Matterhorn, it got really quiet. I asked her to marry me she said yes and the rest is history. We have been back several times since but I have to look up at an empty sky now to pick out the place where I proposed to her.

— Paul Myers, April 4, 1997 (pmyers @

Still More Yester Memories (1998)
More Yester Memories (1996)

© 2007 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated September 26, 2006.

Photograph of the "Partners" sculpture : 1996 by Werner Weiss