In 1956 the Barstow Family won a trip to Disneyland and the goofy (awesome) dad decided to make a 30 minute documentary out of it (apparently he added the narration some time later, as he references the moon landing). It is the cheesiest, greatest home movie ever recorded. I love all the non-Disneyland stuff too. Seeing Pasadena, Hollywood, Universal Studios, and Beverly Hills as they looked in 1956 is awesome. Mad Men just makes me appreciate this even more. I can feel Don Draper behind every single logo I see.
I like that they stay at the Huntington Sheraton in San Marino/Pasadena, formerly owned (and renamed) by my great-great grandfather, Henry Huntington.
Cameo alert: at 20 minutes, 20 seconds in, an 11 year old kid pops into the bottom of the frame in a vest and top hat selling guide books (he’s small in the frame). That’s Steve Martin (at least, according the man himself).
And here are two bonus videos by Jeff Altman‘s grandfather (Jeff Altman has some other good old home movies on his Vimeo site), around the same time. The park looks gorgeous.
Thanks to the Internet Archive for saving awesome shit forever (the Barstow Family Vacation) and thanks to Jeff Altman for sharing his family’s videos. Awesome stuff.