Flying for most people is not enjoyable. It is cramped with little room to move around and most of the time you are just counting the seconds until you can get off the place. That was not always the case. During the Golden and Silver ages of air travel, people would treat air travel as an event. Something worthy of getting dressed up for and it was an experience meant to be savored. After all, you are flying thousands of feet off the ground above the clouds in one of humanity’s greatest achievement.
While this time has passed. Memories of it live on through the spoken word of people who witnessed it and the advertising that sold everyone on the dream.
In the 1970’s Continental Airlines was attempting to get people to fly and was making a push for their Club and Pub flights. This is a flight where…now get ready for this…they had a club AND a pub space on the plane. A place, that is not the bathroom, where you could stretch your legs, grab a drink and most importantly play video games!
That is right, they had cocktail versions of PONG for your enjoyment while you socialized in comfort with your fellow passengers.
I doubt we will ever return to this storied age of air travel again, but I am happy that these artifacts exist to remind us that we do have the right to complain. Because when it comes down to it, sometimes things move backwards and the past could have nicer things than the present.
I remember this commercial from when I was younger. This person who posted this online, said it is from 1982. I am not sure how long it ran (maybe they had variations on it), but I remember see it much later. I was always a big fan of theme parks and “Dutch Wonderland” was closer to New Jersey than any Disney park, so I annoyed my Mother to try to take me there. Oddly enough, annoying her never worked.
If you are not from New Jersey or Pennsylvania, Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park catering to small children that occupies almost 50 acres near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Built in 1963, the park was sold in 2001 to the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. They are still open for business, but their website is nowhere near as cool as this retro commercial. Where are the bear mascots? What about the “high” dive act that is performed on a diving board shorter than the one at the public pool I went to growing up? Time to go retro, Dutch Wonderland!
That is how you attract guests.
With Winter coming, it might be time to think of warmer lands? Where will you go? The Caribbean? The South Pacific? All beautiful places, but all pale in comparison to sunny Ontario. So enjoy our time in the southern sun, but save up those vacation days, because before you know it you can go to where the real sunny action is, Canada.
I’m not sure how this bit of info slipped underneath my radar but after almost 46 years the legendary Hatbox Ghost has returned to Disneyland! First seen during the park employee or ‘Cast Member’ preview night on August 7th and 8th of 1969, the Hatbox Ghost or as he was known in his corporeal life Randal Pace (From the Haunted Mansion comic book) didn’t quite work properly so the Disney Imagineers put him in mothballs. His iconic design though by Collin Campbell which could be seen in the Story and Song album captivated fans of the Haunted Mansion so much that Disney has constantly been asked when the character would reappear.
Images courtesy of the DisneyParks Blog.
So the Hatbox Ghost has returned now and set up residence in the attic of the Haunted Mansion, right beside the spectral bride of Young Master Gracey. As originally planned back in 1969 when the heart of the bride beats, the Hatbox Ghost’s head would vanish to reappear in the hatbox he held…sure it may have taken him over 40 years to truly take his rightful place in the attic but as you can see from these videos the wait was worth it!
From Disney Park’s YouTube page, here is an interview with Jeff Shaver-Moskowitz, a producer and Imagineer for Walt Disney as well as Daniel Joseph, special effects designer for Walt Disney Imagineering. You’ll also get a little background info on legendary Imagineer Yale Gracey (Hm, I wonder who Master Gracey was named after?).
Thanks to ThemParkHD for those of us that can’t make it out to Disneyland to see the Hatbox ghost for ourselves here is a video showing the happy haunt doing his stuff.
Here is a neat little video from the Disney History Institute presenting a film clip of an original 1969 sighting of the Hatbox Ghost!
A huge thanks to the DisneyParks Blog for not only the images of the recently returned Hatbox Ghost you see in the post but for the…heads up…on his reappearance in the first place!
I love the colorful graphics and all around mixed up craziness of this ad for San Diego’s Sea World. This was the type of ad that fueled my theme park, zoo and aquarium dreams throughout my youth. Raising my expectations to ridiculous level only to have me disappointed when dolphins and orcas were not leaping over each other and giving me hugs while “Up with People” serenaded me.
I would not say that the seventies are the “Golden Age” of air travel, but certainly a bronze or silver age compared to now. In this ad from late in the decade, TWA introduces the convenience of Round Trip Check-In. This timesaver allows you to get BOTH of your boarding passes when you take the first leg of your trip, so getting through the airport on the way home is a breeze.
You just show up 5 minutes before the flight, walk onto the plane, light up a cigarette and enjoy the journey home.
In the history of commercial aviation, a lot of airlines have come and gone, but none are perhaps more remembered than Pan Am. I never flew on a Pan Am jet, but I had a well-traveled Aunt who preferred to fly Pan Am. So we would get bags and other assorted airline ephemera from her when she returned from any trip. This made Pan Am the defacto airline for me and explains why I have such positive associations with an airline I never flew on.
Growing up near New York City and multiple airports, local television stations ran a lot of airline commercials including ones for the Pan Am Shuttle. Which targeted business travelers. It had a great jingle, that went something like, “Pan Am Shuttle…the Corporate Jet…” Sadly this commercial doesn’t feature that big of advertising magic, but it give you and idea of what the Pan Am Shuttle was all about.