Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Water Wonderland part 2

In today's posting, I am including two pictures not seen in (what I am guessing) over 30 years. These pictures were locked away in archive folders possibly never to be seen again. I will be posting many more rare photos coming up and I hope you enjoy them.

On Thursday, June 7, 1979, the Disneyland Hotel began a four day celebration to herald the opening of Water Wonderland, located in and around the marina area. The first evening's event was called "Celebrity Cruise to Water Wonderland," a red carpet cocktail party for 7,000 specially invited guests, dressed in nautical attire. Guests were provided a walking tour of the new Aqua Gardens (called "Journey to Aquatic Wonders") and a debut of the Still Green laser sculpture show. Guests were entertained by a floating musical revue ("Pacific Terrific") from a barge in the middle of the marina. Included were a Polynesian ceremonial torch lighting, a fiesta of Mexican music, exhibits of Japanese culture, and fireworks. Following was a premiere of the all new Dancing Waters and Lights Fantastic Show. Invited guests then attended the "Captain's Dinner," hosted by the Wrathers and featuring Japanese, Mexican, and Californian cuisine. The dinner ended with "Showtime Around the World," a musical production presented by Cast Members from Disneyland.

Water Wonderland 1979 Brochure

Each evening at dusk the trumpeting of a conch shell and the beating of a Taiko drum could be heard. Pacific islanders, each wearing a colorful loin-cloth, performed a ceremonial lighting of the propane torches surrounding the marina.

As a part of Water Wonderland, a giant laser sculpture was premiered. Commissioned by Jack Wrather, the laser art was entitled Still Green (a.k.a. Rather Green) by Rockne Krebs, a pioneer in laser art.  The blue-green laser sculpture was presented nightly and could be viewed from many guest rooms. One argon laser was placed atop the Sierra Tower while another was located on the seventh floor of the Marina Tower, shooting two beams 500 feet across the marina. A third was positioned on the roof of Restaurant Row and shot its beam at a small mirror atop the Convention Center, 700 feet away. Nine small mirrors were placed in various locations around the property. As the laser beam hit a mirror, it was redirected to yet another mirror. One beam traveled a half mile to the fifth floor of the Inn-at-the-Park. Eventually, 14 lines of light formed the design of the laser sculpture, covering over 14-million cubic feet of space. Described as a 3-D collage, it was comprised of giant triangles and other unusual geometric shapes. It was so large that no one could view the entire work from one location. Guests walking through the Hotel's property would see an ever-changing configuration of this piece of art. Adding to the sculpture's effects upon the viewer were its reflections in the calm water of the marina and off the charcoal-tinted windows of the three towers. The condition of the atmosphere would also change the sculpture from night to night. Smog, rain, dust, all affected the color and visibility of Still Green.

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walterworld said...

I sure miss those times!

I can remember watching from our Marina Tower balcony as the torches were lit and the laser sculpture came on.

The Dancing Waters were always wonderful to watch from the room as well.

Thanks for sharing all of these great memories Don!

Magical Hotel said...

Thanks for your comments. I am glad these bring back some happy memories for you. That's my main intent with this bring back the thoughts of happy times.

TokyoMagic! said...

I forgot all about the lasers! At that time, I didn't realize that it was supposed to be a laser "sculpture." I just thought it was very cool.

I'm with Walterworld, I miss those times too!

Scott said...

I forgot about the lasers too. I love reading this blog, it brings back such wonderful memories of my childhood, and family vacations. Honestly staying at the Disneyland Hotel is as much a part of my memories as when we were at Disneyland. Funny, but not many hotels a person stays in have that kind of power. The Disneyland Hotel really was magical. I have such wonderful, fond memories of the marina area, Seaports of the Pacific, etc. I wish you could travel back in time to revisit that simpler, yet more elegant and slower paced time, in a resort that was as magical as the theme park that it was named after. Thank you for these pictures and stories, it is really a nice trip down memory lane.

Magical Hotel said...

Thank you Scott for your many kind comments. It is for people like you (and several others) that I will continually update and add to this blog. It brings back many happy memories for me as well.