Disneyland Without People

1976 & 1979

It's hard to believe with Disneyland being so crowded these days, but years ago the Park was closed two days a week during the off season. This was great for the maintenance crews, but it was also great for me. I worked for Disney and it was a wonderful opportunity to get some pictures of the place without tourists everywhere blocking the view.

This page contains several examples of photos I took back in the 70s. I started working for Disney in 1976 and spent one late afternoon after working down at Disneyland exploring the place with my camera in hand. I walked throughout the Park, including along the tracks of the railroad that circles the property and the now removed ride through "Nature's Wonderland." I returned to that same setting in 1979 as work was nearing completion on the attraction that replaced it, "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad." Each day I pretty much had the place to myself.

I hope you enjoy a rare look at a peaceful and tranquil Disneyland without people. If you enjoy the photos and would like to see more of them, I offer the complete set on CD.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle looks very different without the crowds milling around.

Chicken of the Sea restaurant

Looking very much like Captain Hook's ship from "Peter Pan," this was the Chicken of the Sea restaurant. It was a great spot to get a tuna fish sandwich while in Fantasyland. Sadly, the "ship" was destroyed when Fantasyland was rebuilt in 1983.

Frontierland station

This photo was taken standing on the train track at the Frontierland station. That's the tunnel leading to Bear Country off in the distance.

Camaro on Main Street

Here's something you don't see every day - a car parked on Main Street, USA. That's my 1976 Camaro waiting for me in front of the Sunkist Citrus House.

It was always a strange feeling to get from one end of Disneyland to the other by hopping in the car and driving down streets normally packed with guests.

It's interesting to see how many people have tried to pass this photo off as their own, or to insist it's a piece of Photoshop trickery. Nope, it's really my car.

Nature's Wonderland

"Nature's Wonderland" was a great spot to walk through. Here you can see some of the brightly colored mud pots, with some of the balancing rocks in the background. There were still some remnants of the old trails used for the pack mules and stagecoaches that entertained early visitors. They made a great spot to sit on a quiet day and watch migrating birds stopping on the silent "Rivers of America."