Yesterland Alpine Gardens

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1975

Alpine Gardens

Welcome to Alpine Gardens, a quiet corner of Yesterland. Bring some food from one of the nearby counters and sit at a table under a bright yellow umbrella.

According to your park guide booklet, the name of the souvenir stand here is Souvenir Stand, offering “a large selection of Disneyland mementos.”

Buy some postcards and stamps. Sit at a table and write to family and friends back home. It’s the next best thing for quick photo-and-text communications until smartphones are invented in the future.

Alpine Gardens was a feature of Disneyland for almost 30 years—from 1967 to 1996.

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Photo by Charles R. Lympany, courtesy of Chris Taylor

House of the Future

The area had previously been the site of the Monsanto House of the Future, promoting residential life surrounded by synthetic materials and innovative technology.

By 1967, the vision of tomorrow from ten years earlier already seemed more like a throwback to yesterday. Its sponsor, Monsanto, opened Adventure Thru Inner Space. Although both Monsanto attractions would operate that summer, only one had a future.

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Snippet from souvenir map by artist Sam McKim © 1964 Walt Disney Productions

House of the Future on 1964 Disneyland souvenir map

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Snippet from souvenir map by artist Sam McKim © 1968 Walt Disney Productions

Alpine Gardens on 1968 Disneyland souvenir map

Later in 1967, the showcase house disappeared—but not the ponds, waterfalls, paths, patios, trees, and flowerbeds that surrounded it. Even the concrete foundation of the cantilevered plastic house stayed behind. The grounds were dubbed Alpine Gardens for their proximity to the Matterhorn.

A round, canvas-topped structure from the final period of the House of the Future became an outdoor souvenir and snack counter; its name appeared on maps and souvenir guides as “Souvenirs” or “Souvenir Stand.” What a generic name for a shop! In the 1980s, the stand’s name changed to Alpine Gardens, matching its location.

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2010

Underwater light show in a pond at the former Alpine Gardens

A new generation of Disneyland guests knew Alpine Gardens only as a quiet corner of Tomorrowland where very little happened. Sometimes Disney characters would visit; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were a good fit, given the nearby wishing well. Santa Claus might be there during the Holidays.

In the early 1970s, plans called for a 750-seat theater-in-the-round restaurant at Alpine Gardens. No sponsor signed on, so it was never built.

Occasionally, Alpine Gardens would be used for an event, such as an appearance by Muhammad Ali to “personally sign Genuine Collector Series figurines” on July 2, 1991.

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Pixie Hollow in 2013

In 1996, Alpine Gardens became Triton’s Garden. The canvas-topped souvenir stand lasted until the following year, when a turntable clamshell throne for Ariel’s meet-and-greet replaced it.

With the Little Mermaid theme, the gardens officially moved from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. (There would be another Fantasyland annexation into the Hub area when Fantasy Faire replaced Carnation Plaza Gardens in 2013.)

In 2008, Triton’s Garden became Pixie Hollow, where the offical Disneyland website invites guests to “meet Tinker Bell and her fairy friends at this secret forest hideaway located in Fantasyland.”

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2015

Former Alpine Gardens in 2015

The gardens really had become a forest, as the trees continued to grow. Walt Disney was right (as usual) when he said of Disneyland, “Not only can I add things, but even the trees will keep growing. The thing will get more beautiful every year.”

If you look through the bushes as you enter Pixie Hollow, you can still see a remnant of the House of the Future

Alpine Gardens at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2015

Foundation of the Monsanto House of the Future

Yes, the concrete foundation that once supported the futuristic residence is still there.

If The Walt Disney Company ever wants to bring back the House of the Future, there’s still a perfect place to put it.

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Updated July 13, 2916