A bit of Disneyland close to home

For the years 1964 to 1970, I called the city of Mountain View, California home.

We lived in a new housing tract just off US Highway 101 near Sterlin Road. But it was what was located on the other side of the freeway that often caught my eye. In particular, if a ride in my parents car involved using the on-ramp to the northbound lanes there. Because it would provide a glimpse into the world of theme park attractions. Specifically Disney theme park attractions

This image has made the rounds on Facebook among various groups.

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Sharp Disney fans will identify the hanging attraction vehicle as one of the flying pirate ships from the Peter Pan attraction. A further look at the guide rail system the vehicle is attached to shows the system used at Florida’s Magic Kingdom. But it is the location pictured in the image that tells today’s tale.

That berm with the white guard rail? Yes, indeed. That’s the northbound US-101 on-ramp from Sterlin Road. And this is the yard in back of Arrow Development‘s location at 1555 Plymouth Street in Mountain View. Arrow had a fruitful relationship with Disney providing many attractions and for a while, even owned it’s own theme park, Frontier Village, in nearby San Jose.

We saw all kinds of attraction prototypes tested here. Who wouldn’t be fascinated seeing roller coasters tested on a short track as you accelerated onto the freeway?

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1855 Plymouth Street in Mountain View, CA.

 

Arrow is long gone and the property redeveloped into offices. But for those days gone by, it was exciting to think what awaited us on that next theme park visit may have gotten it’s start that close to home.

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