Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Disneyland - "C" Ticket Attractions - The Westside Diner (the "Pit")

Today we stray from the 1980s back a bit and into the 1970s.

Consider, if you will, the lowly "C-Ticket" and its attractions---forced to live in the shadow of "E-Ticket" attractions like Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Only the older timers will remember that a "C" would have gained you a round at the Big Game Shooting Gallery in Adventureland. This was quite the shooting gallery, too, with none of this electronic eye stuff of today. I'm talking live BB ammo here! It was plenty loud, too!

Can you believe the Autopia only rated a "C"? Of course, this was the Tomorrowland Autopia. Fantasyland's was way better.

C-Tickets paved your way through Fantasyland, however, allowing you to ride attractions from Peter Pan to the Fantasyland Theatre. I loved the Theatre. It was a welcome, cool spot to mellow out on a hot, crowded day. You could take in some fabulous old Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony classics! It has since gone the way of the Dodo (and the Skyway, for that matter).

And over in Frontierland, there was no way to board a Keel Boat without a C-Ticket. Rather sad, is it not, that the Gullywhumper served honorably for many, many years---only to end up a rotting prop along the Rivers of America?

Vintage Disneyland Tickets could tell you all you want to know about ticket books (check out Vintage's blog over on the sidebar).

I'll finish today with a mention of the Cast Member dining location beneath the Pirates over in New Orleans Square: The Westside Diner. A friend of mine dined there recently, enjoying a turkey meatloaf entree, with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Mmm. This dining location has for years been known as "The Pit" by cast members. It is in the bowels of New Orleans. And, oddly enough, it was famous for getting one's bowels moving.

But that's another story entirely.

Currently, the Westside Diner is most easily accessed by walking through the Indy queue, through some double doors in the back stage area and down a long ramp. As I understand it, it is actually much brighter and inviting than it was in the 1980s---when one-eyed, hunch-backed cast members in scraggly hair nets manned its steamy kitchen. Today, they have both of their eyes (but they work for Sodexo, not Disney) and there are flat panel TVs adorning the walls.

During the course of a long shift, a visit to "The Pit" was a unique experience, if nothing else. It was a change from the Inn Between (and a necessity for most "West Siders" who didn't have time to bolt to Main Street and back for their lunch break). It was kinda cool to know that you were eating underground, like a rodent or something.

I bid you adieu for today, having scrapped together this post with two of my remaining three brain cells. As I review it now, I see that it reads a bit like a railway time schedule, only without all the drama and emotion.

What do you "Jungle" readers expect? Jacques Maritain?

C'est la vie.

--Mike

7 comments:

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Neat post! The "C" tickets rock! You would think Autopia would be a higher letter, but I guess gas was 29¢ a gallon back then!

The Big Game Shooting Gallery was awesome; I can still hear the sounds of the guns!

In 1982 when they went the park did away with lettered tickets and issued "passports" they always said "all rides and attractions, except shooting galleries" Doh!

Super Careo said...

My mom went to the park with her parents when they still used ticket books and I think that she might still have hers! I'll have to ask. She likes to tell me stories about it when we get into one of our Disney moods.

How neat to hear about all this underground places for cast members to eat! I wish I could eat in "the pit" ... do you think that if I asked someone where it was they would let me visit it?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes the shooting gallery. I spent a summer there looking wistfully over at the JC. 16 shots of lead balls, loading guns over and over. Back then it wasn't unusual for CMs (i.e. me) and guests to be hit by ricochets...some even as they were just passing by. We had cotton provided for ear protection...later followed by ear plugs. We were on our own for eye protection back in those days (early 70s). Always wore my own sun or prescription glasses. Still it was a great gallery. Can't find them around today. I could go on about "The Pit", but that's another story.

Yellows said...

The Pit! Ahh, the Pit! Good for lunch anytime in AF/NOBC, but if I was on break, I maybe had a few minutes to consume a plastic-wrapped fruit pie slice by the time I got there. Loved those fruit pies.

Mister Allred said...

OMG...that is a cool piece of history to see. I've only been to Disneyland a handful of times, four if you count my 2002 high school graduation trip, and I love seeing old school memorabilia.

Bearride - Raymond said...

Great post and great blog!!!!!!!
Thanks for sharing as always!!!!

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