Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Disneyland - Jungle Is "101" is back! 1980 Advertisers Who Ain't Here No More

Hey, kids!

I'm baaaack.

Did you miss me?

Terribly sorry about that whole month-and-a-half-long hiatus thing, but the holidays were pretty darn busy for this old skipper!

I worked at the Park for most of the time (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!). In fact, I was working guest control in front of the Castle when the clock struck twelve and dense fog completely blocked everyone's view of the fireworks! They sure sounded great, though!

Today, from the Summer 1980 volume of Vacationland, we take a look back at "Things That Aren't Here Anymore" by reviewing advertisements and snippets from the magazine. Each of the ads to the right were lifted from the pages of this issue. From the looks of things, maybe it wasn't such a wise move to advertise in Vacationland---at least not for these firms:

1. We start with: Wonder Bread. Wonder filed for bankruptcy and, at least under its old form, it would no longer be sponsoring ads such as the one on the right from 28 years ago. So much for the "Twinkie Defense" (not that it ever was one). There is hope however, as Wonder Bread's parent company may rise from the ashes of bankruptcy under a reorganization plan. Still, it sure was sad to see the old company go under in the first place. From the looks of things today---there'll be plenty more firms following them!

2. Next: Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Restaurants. From a "Tasty get together" to bankruptcy, poor Stuart Anderson's. Sadly, this somewhat shlocky steakhouse went under in 2009 and is the most recent victim of the curse of advertising in the Summer '80 edition of Vacationland. I love how quaint the 1980s ads appear. Note the complete lack of any reference to a website by any of the advertisers. Heck, the Apple Macintosh hadn't even come out yet, much less the worldwide web!

3. MOVIELAND WAX MUSEUM: Our next victim was an old friendly neighbor of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. The Movieland Wax Museum was a tourist staple in the Southern California of the 1970s and 1980s. It took its final bow in October of 2005, with most of its famous wax figures being auctioned off to individual collectors.

4. MARINELAND: Hanna Barbera's Marineland "went under" for the last time in 1986---when it was purchased by the owners of Sea World. It was one of our first advertisers to go down after running an ad in Summer 1980. Known previously as Marineland of the Pacific, this So Cal attraction hung in there for a while, but was eliminated in Sea World's quest for domination of the California aquatic theme park market. "Corky" the killer whale was actually removed from old Marineland and shipped south to San Diego where he was re-christened "Shamu." I fondly recall a field trip to Marineland of the Pacific with my school back in the 1970s. It was a pretty park, with a fabulous view of the Pacific. I understand many of its old buildings remain on the site, waiting for redevelopment someday when the economy returns.

Well, that's all for today.
In life we have to say farewell to people and places many times along the way.
The "sweet sorrow" of such parting lingers with us.
We eventually get over some of our losses.
Others remain with us (see, e.g., Skyway, America Sings, Country Bear Jamboree, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, Fort Wilderness, CircleVision 360, Rocket Jets and The Mile Long Bar).

Here's to a safe, happy and prosperous 2009 for all four of you loyal readers! (Hi, Mom!)