Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Walt Disney World, early 1970's

I recently found a large batch of slides from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. They are undated, but there are a few clues (not visible in today's scans) indicating that these are pre-1974. There's nothing super exciting, but I always enjoy early views of the Florida park.

I love WDW's Main Street Station, it is big! Hopefully it hasn't been "juicing". One might expect the entrance to be crowded, but one would be mistaken. Perhaps everyone was in a hurry to get inside and start having fun.

Up near Cinderella's castle, a Horse-drawn Streetcar comes clip-clopping along. Are these identical to the ones at Disneyland? They sure look like it to me. My guess is that they have more fiberglass and less wood. Unlike Anaheim, Florida always has such great skies. Meanwhile, if you look to our left, you can see a tour guide (in blue) heading toward the castle. Quick, if we run after her, we might catch up!

Got her! I like the fact that the guide's outfit is different from the ones in California, although blue might not stand out in a crowd quite as nicely. The boy's striped shirts must have been purchased on a single shopping trip (Sears?).

I have lots more Magic Kingdom pix from this lot, coming up!


K. Martinez said...

I always thought it was interesting that the Hub Plaza in Disneyland has always had old fashioned benches, but when they designed the Hub Plaza for the Magic Kingdom they went with modern bench seating built into the planters. It kind of reflects the era it was built in.

Nancy said...

I am really looking forward to seeing the photos you have, Major! I never made it to Magic Kingdom in Florida until 1979, and I have only a few pictures as apparently I was not the picture-taking buff that I am now :(

These days, there are complete entrance booths on the left as well as the right (seeing only turnstiles from the look of it on the first picture here)

Too bad we cant see the entrance to Tomorrowland on behind the trolley but I am hopeful you have a picture of it in your bag of goodies :)

We can see the top of what is now Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (the blank dome structure just above and to the right of the conductor sort of next to the first gold bell thingy) I wish I could remember what that restaurant was called back then, and I have a feeling that someone here will remind me!

Pegleg Pete said...

Thanks for the pics. I always love shots of early WDW. I first went in the summer of 1973 and so photos from that era are particularly evocative for me. I'm looking forwards to the rest of the series.

Melissa said...

O Major my Major! Thank you SO SO MUCH for that wonderful full-frontal picture of the 1970’s WDW Tour Guide! I’ve been working on a replica doll version of the costume, and all I’ve had to work from are super-grainy screen grabs from the opening ceremonies, and pictures of a modern version which is supposed to be based on the original but you just never know with that sort of thing. This is the best view I’ve ever seen of the vest closure. I’d reach through and give you a big sloppy kiss, but I don’t want to get Chapstick all over the screen!

She’s probably too busy trying to prevent a wind-induced wardrobe malfunction with her kilt to fix her left sock, and I don’t know if they even made sock glue back then. She’s still as cute as a button, and the blueniforms went really well with the bloofed spires of Cinderella Castle. The Magic Kingdom looks just like I remember it on my first visit in 1983.

Mom often used to change one little detail on our identical wardrobes, like the blue and red sleeves and binding on our intrepid brothers here. But she favored the same French sailor look on any storebought playclothes we ended up with.

Anonymous said...

I am always interested in pics of WDW. I have never been there and I'm not sure I want to go, I'm afraid that it would be deja vu all over again. Seems like it would be weird, like meeting someone who looks like your wife or brother or someone close, but isn't.


Melissa said...

If the sky in Florida is prettier than the one in California, it's only because it gets washed much more often!

Nanook said...

Hey - what about those tee-shirts, with their contrasting sleeves-? Moms everywhere are smiling; but the kids are cringing. It's perfect.


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I didn't notice that detail, but it really does make a big difference in the feel of the area. Of course the benches can be a hassle, I've noticed cast members moving them around by the dozens for parades. Not a problem at WDW, although I like the way they look at Disneyland.

Nancy, you're like me, I regret that I did not take more pictures years ago. Of course I still don't take any today, so maybe I didn't really learn a lesson. There ARE one or two photos of Tomorrowland, but as is the case with Disneyland, it seems to be the least-photographed land.

Pegleg Pete, this group isn't the most exciting batch, but there are a few good ones mixed in…

Melissa, I'm glad that the photo was helpful. You should share photos of your doll!! I had no idea that pictures of the WDW guides were so hard to come by. Hopefully there are pictures of the current outfits so that I can compare and contrast. The crooked sock is super cute, ha ha. My siblings weren't so identical that my mom needed to dress us alike, but for the sake of convenience she often would buy the same shirt in two colors - my brother liked blue (he was a Crip), and I liked red.

JG, I do want to go to WDW, but I am bummed that I will never experience it the way it was when it was new and shiny.

Melissa again, it is true, SoCal air does not get enough washes, unfortunately.

Nanook, I don't know if the kids cared that much. At least I didn't when I was a kid! And I was lucky that I had plenty of Hang Ten shirts, since we lived in Huntington Beach at the time. They were the best.

Snow White Archive said...

Dig those striped shirts! I'm sure my mom must have bought my brother and me something similar from Sears around this same time period. :)

Melissa said...

This article shows the modern costume, and thisis the screencaps. If I ever finish the darn thing I'll definitely share the results!

My Mom was a twin, so dressing her kids alike was just instinct, I guess.

Major Pepperidge said...

Snow White Archive, yes, I am starting to miss those 70's stripes!

Melissa, wow you weren't kidding, those are some teensy screen grabs! Not much better than your typical Bigfoot stills. The new costumes aren't bad; fashions change over time, but they are not TOO different.

steve2wdw said...

Nancy....Cosmic Ray's was originally the Tomorrowland Terrace. The dome is over the stage, which just like DL's, used to rise up from below. Sonny Eclipse (the alien animatronic) resides on the "roof" of the stage, so if risen, Sonny heads up into that dome. The "new" Tomorrowland Terrace is on the southern side of the TL entrance, on the border of Main Street. It was originally called the Plaza Pavillion, then for a short time, the Tomorrowland Noodle Station. When the noodles disappeared, it became the TL Terrace.

As far as the Hub, all that built in bench seating was removed when the Hub was redesigned a few years ago. They were ripped out, along with the planters, the large trees, and the curbs. There actually are a few benches in the hub now, but far from what is really needed. They only radiate from the Partners statue, not around the circumference.

Unlike DL, the MK is seriously lacking benches in which to kick back and relax. I guess you can't spend money when you're sitting on your you-know-what. Town Square doesn't have any benches at all, although there are some nice rocking chairs in front of the Town Square Theatre. I've seen many tired visitors cat-napping there. There are also a few seats up on the second level of the train station, but they're highly coveted, especially during the MSEP and Wishes. I love to sit up there and watch the crowds leave the MK late at night, and it's a great spot to watch the "Kiss Goodnight".