Disneyland After Dark!

If you’re a fan of pop culture, especially pop culture of the past, then you’ll probably agree we live in an amazing time. As a kid, you might hear a rumor that certain cartoons or tv specials existed, but maybe never get the chance to see them. Or maybe you just wanted to hear the theme song to your favorite show as a kid – probably wouldn’t happen unless you plunked down $15 for one of those cd’s full of tv theme songs. Yikes.

The internet is an absolute miracle for those of us who are fans of Disney history. At this point in my life, I probably watch more YouTube videos then actual network television. Many nights, after my family has gone to bed, I use that time to view Disney Historical videos I’ve never seen before. 

It was on a night like this I discovered the subject of this post: a video called Disneyland After Dark.

This video is actually the 26th episode of the 8th season of a show called Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.  Want to know something crazy? Wonderful World of Color aired weekly from 1954 until 1990, and then again from 1992 to the present day. That makes it the second longest-running television program in history! (thanks Wikipedia!)

As the title implies, this is a series of vignettes centered around events happening around Disneyland at night. Along the way we get to see:

  • A wonderfully designed NBC peacock logo from the 60’s
  • Some truly awesome 1960’s fashion and automobiles
  • The original monorail design
  • A legitimately funny performance by the Dapper Dans, Disneyland’s original barbershop quartet
  • Old school Alice in Wonderland characters
  • Quite a few teen idols that I confess I had to look up online

The highlight of this video is the extended sequence in the middle in which Louis Armstrong gives a fantastic live performance aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. His singing and expert trumpet playing are on full display here. It’s in a close quarters environment that really plays to his strengths as a performer. For me, this section made the whole thing a must-watch.

This video reminds me of what Walt Disney was truly great at – creating entertainment that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Sometimes after a hard day of work and current events, this is exactly the kind of viewing experience that is needed.

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