Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Secret Entrance! November 1970

Whenever I go to Disneyland, I enter the park through the front gates just like any other shnook. But the folks in this first photo are getting in via a mysterious side entrance! What gives? Is this where people with hand-stamps could re-enter? Did you need a special pass (perhaps something from the Magic Kingdom Club)? Why hasn't the Los Angeles Time's torn this scandal wide open? You can see a sliver of plaid skirt to the left, so the tour guides were involved in this ignominy.

Hey! what's that on the postcard rack?


Among the fold-out postcards, and the souvenir guidebooks (still with Walt on the cover, four years after his passing), you can just make out the preview guidebook for Walt Disney World!


Here's a better look at the cover; today, we're all accustomed to Disney parks being located all over the globe. But in 1970, Disneyland was IT. The news that a gigantic new Disney World was being built in Florida (with Walt's brother Roy overseeing the project) must have been pretty incredible to fans. It wouldn't open for almost another full year at this point.

5 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

That shot was taken looking out from inside the Guided Tour Gardens area. The West entrance tunnel would be located just to the right. I want one of those WDW preview guidebooks! So does Jaime Sommers who's standing there in her groovy outfit (this was before her parachuting accident!)

Chuck said...

Concur with TM! - this was shot from just in front of the Police Station.

My introduction to the existence of WDW was at age 6 via a two-page spread a the back of the 1975 Disneyland souvenier guide. I'd just spent a magnificent day at the Happiest Place on Earth after a liesurely, week-long sightseeing trip downfrom north of San Francisco and was absolutely floored to discover there was a place bigger than Disneyland where you could spend an entire week imersed in the experience! I spent hours studying the pictures on those pages, imagining what might lay in store in an entire Vacation Kingdom. A move to the Midwest and incesantly bugging my prents for four years finally got me a ticket to Florida in 1979.

I love the photo of the original architectural model for WDW. Viible re several resorts that never materialized like the sian (where the Grand Floridian is today), the Persian (near the boat maintenance facility north of the Contemporary), and some unfamiliar cube of a place just south of the Contemporary. You can also see the original design for Space Mountain and what appears to be additional guest lodges and an extra Monorail station behind Luau Cove between the Asian and the Polynesian Resorts. An interesting vision of what might have been...

A Snow White Sanctum said...

As Chuck mentioned, check out that Asian Resort illustration where the Grand Floridian stands today. It was going to be a hotel with cultural influences from Thailand. I'm impressed by the GF every time I pop off the monorail to take a visit there, but the Asian Resort would have be mighty cool!

Nancy said...

i want a preview booklet, too!!

JG said...

If you stand today where the photographer was in the first picture, and turn to your right, facing south and the railway berm...

...you will be right in front of one of the old, old white fluted drinking fountains, like the one in the treasured "C&H Sugar ad". It has still survived inside the Tour Guide Garden, although all the others outside in Main Street have been modernized into accessible fixtures.

A little piece of the past remains.

JG