Thursday, November 13, 2014

WDW Snapshots, December 1971

I have a small batch of color snapshots taken only two months after Walt Disney World opened. They're not spectacular, but I still think that they are kind of fun. 

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to surmise that this guy is somewhere near the Polynesian resort, with that thatch-roofed party boat and the fearsome carved tiki head (I'll bet that was provided by Oceanic Arts in Whittier, CA!) that appears to be part of the prow.

In the background things still look pretty Polynesian, so I'm guessing that this is not too far from wherever the first photo was shot. Seeing that Monorail track reminds me of my misconception that visitors to WDW would be able to travel anywhere via Monorail. I later learned that, for the most part, guests would be more likely to take a bus. Which is a big letdown. 

Anyway, I can't ignore Goofy, who is getting pretty fresh with that nice lady! Goofy just likes everybody. To our right is Pluto, and I love his body language as he regards that tiny child.

"Iris, you have to take a picture! Here, use my camera". This was in the days before everyone took 15 selfies a day.


Nanook said...


Okay - I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the first picture is not at WDW. Oaky, kids - knock me down.

And as for picture #2 - Hubba, hubba-!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I tend to agree with Nanook about the first picture. The background -especially the house-looking buildings - doesn't look right.

Love the hat on the kid in the second photo. Finally photographic confirmation that my sister and I weren't the only two people in the world that had them:

And Goofy does have a history of spine-crushing hugs:

They may be snapshots, but still a fun set this morning. Thanks!

Melissa said...

Feh, you’re lucky to catch the WDW Monorail even running these days. The "regular" schedule is reduced from what it used to be, and sometimes it stops running early with little to no warning. Not quite as much incentive to stay at one of the Monorail Resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian) as there used to be.

Now that I'm done ranting, a Monorail Hop is one of the best ways to spend a non-park day at WDW. Start with brunch at the Polynesian's Kona Café (Tonga Toast and the Kona Press Pot, which is the best coffee on property), watch a hula lesson in the lobby, and jump back on the train to the Grand Floridian. Hang around pretending you're in the movie "Somewhere in Time," wander the grounds, look at the swanky shops and get a manicure at the salon, and collapse on all the Victorian fainting couches. Then off to the Contemporary for organic beer and wine flights at the Wave's bar/lounge and stay for a late lunch, take in all the Mary Blair goodness, and visit the big bank of souvenir pressed-coin machines by the elevator bank. Try to find the room where Nixon made his “I am not a crook” speech.

Ride around for a while and kill some time relaxing and looking at the scenery. Maybe back to the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian for a tropical drink and a nosh. Then ride back around to the Transportation and Ticket Center to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks with the music piped in. Of course, if the train stops early that night, you've got to find a bus back to your resort, but it's still a great day. Even better in fall or winter when the resorts are decked out to the nines with gingerbread houses and stuff. By the time I make it back down there, all the construction at the Poly will be done and we'll see what's new.

(I appear to have claimed a stretch of Memory Lane in the Adopt-a-Highway Program. Thans for bearing with me if you’ve read this far.)

But the part I love best about these pictures is the look of delight on the faces of the Grandmas and Grandpas as they pal around with Goofy and Pluto. The parks are a great place to remind you that you’re never too old to feel joy.

K. Martinez said...

In the early days the monorail was definitely the way to get around Walt Disney World's Vacation Kingdom, but as the property's offerings expanded, the monorail system did not, thus Disney relied on the increased use of buses.

I remember back in 1983 going from the Magic Kingdom to EPCOT Center by getting on the monorail at the MK station, transferring at the TTC onto the EPCOT line to the EPCOT Center station. It was pretty easy and enjoyable. Those were the days when a visit to the Florida property was relaxing and noncompetitive.

As for mode of WDW transportation, the ferry boats from TTC to MK were my favorite. As always, vintage WDW is a pleasure to see. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, now I need to sue somebody! Starting with the 'gummint. And yes, that lady's dress leaves nothing to the imagination.

Chuck, well rats. Having never been to FL, I obviously have no idea. But when you think about it, isn't all of the world a Disney World? I was pretty sure that you and your sis weren't the only kids to wear those hats - think of the thousands and thousands that must have been sold.

Melissa, I have friend that go to WDW and spend days without ever entering one of the amusement parks, which just seems weird to me! But I guess that's sort of the point. I am so used to going to Disneyland and trying to cram as much as possible into my 10 hours (or whatever), but having 5 days (or more) would definitely change one's attitude. I would want to find the room that John and Yoko were in when they signed the papers that officially broke up The Beatles. Your comment on the faces of the folks in the last 2 photos reminds me of when I went to an event at the Disneyland Hotel. At some point, Mickey Mouse made a surprise appearance, and you should have seen the genuine, thrilled, happy smiles on so many of the Hotel employees! It was sort of sweet.

K. Martinez, it's such a shame, though I know that construction of more Monorail tracks must be so expensive. Still, traveling by bus seems like such a letdown. Boats would be a good way to go as well - even a tram would be better than a bus. Time to sue another person!

David Foose said...

I think the top photo is from Walt Disney World as the figurehead on the boat is certainly in the style of the ornamentation of the Polynesian Resort. It could be taken from the resort dock looking west towards where the Wedding Chapel and Grand Floridian would one day stand. Can't be sure though.

The other two pictures are taken in the Transportation and Ticket center which is across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom From here you can buy your park tickets and catch a ferryboat or monorail to the Magic Kingdom or take the monorail to Epcot.

I lived in Orlando from 2011 until 2013 and went to WDW more than 50 times. In all that time, I rode the monorail lines extensively and only ever encountered one delay where a line wasn't running. So from my experience, I would have to say the the 3 WDW monorail lines are quite reliable and quite useful. I know that there was a period when the Magic Kingdom monorails were closing early due to some kind of construction going on, but I believe that is over now. Anyway, always enjoy the page, Major and I visit every day. You never disappoint!

Nanook said...

@ David F.

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm guessing you're most-likely correct. It's just the "out buildings" in the background that confuse.

@ Major-

My, my, my... we are in a litigious mood this day, aren't we-??!!

ColanderCombo said...

The first photo was definitely not taken at WDW. In the early 70's, the only concrete seawalls on the lagoon were around the Poly marina and the TTC dock, and this isn't either location. There were also very few buildings; just the Poly longhouses, TTC service buildings and the Monorail station on the MK side. The buildings in the back aren't any of these: in fact, they look suspiciously like single family homes. Also, the boat doesn't match any Disney design.

Nanook said...

Oh... ColanderCombo - you are sooooo right-! That boat is either the Tiki Islander or The Queen, both, of the Tiki Tours Boat "Fleet", out of Naples, FL, evidently. The sign identifying which one it might be is obscured by the dock pylon.

Nanook said...

I should have also added...

"1-½ hr. sightseeing cruise on Naples Bay begins at 2 P.M. Enjoy a picturesque view of the luxurious waterfront homes of Port Royal... (No offense, but are those homes pictured considered "luxurious"-? Just askin'). "...Crusing on calm island waters we will view Gordon Pass and the enchanting Northern area of the Everglades, a natural wildlife preserve. Your cruise will be narrated by the captain. Remember to bring your camera-!" Our friend evidently took that sage advice.

Kenneth Lane said...

Yeah, that first pic is definitely NOT WDW at all. There were/are no houses around the lagoon.

The second and third pictures look like they're probably taken outside the Ticket and Transportation Center as you can see the Great Building at the Poly some distance away in the background. (so these folks are nowhere near the monorail stop for the hotel)

Keep 'em comin' though, Major! Nice to see WDW represented on the blog.

Anonymous said...

K. Martinez, you said it correctly. When WDW was "relaxing and non-competitive". That is certainly not the case nowadays.