Monday, March 02, 2015

More Walt Disney World, December 12, 1975

Hey, let's get those "daily blog views" numbers up by visiting Walt Disney World! It works every time. 

Many people think that Cinderella Castle is taller than the castle at Disneyland, but that is only due to a  trick the Imagineers call "forced perspective". By placing tiny trees next to it, and only allowing small children to stand at the base, the castle looks much bigger. It is, in fact, a mere 11 feet tall.

"Major Pepperidge, just how many photos of that crummy 11-foot castle do we have to look at?". Only one more today, Grasshopper. You have to admit that this one is very pretty, and you get the added bonus of seeing the special Bicentennial logo. That's right, it was the 200th anniversary of logos.

Florida's Adventureland sure looks wildly different compared to the Anaheim version that I am so familiar with. It's kind of nice to see so much room, since Disneyland's is pretty narrow and can get congested in a hurry. 

Directly in front of us is the Sunshine Pavilion, done up in a Balinese style. Inside, you will find a version of "The Enchanted Tiki Room" show (which I think was originally known as the "Tropical Serenade").

The next two photos are from the Tiki Room's outdoor pre-show, featuring a pair of toucans named Clyde and Claude. You can just see them perched on the upraised arms of that spooky tiki.

Here's a wider shot of the same scene; I know that Florida's Tiki Room has undergone many changes over the years, at one point being replaced with the obnoxious "Under New Management" iteration; but the original show (albeit abbreviated) has returned, happily.

There are more Walt Disney World photos to come!


K. Martinez said...

When I first visited Walt Disney World, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland really didn't feel much bigger than their Disneyland counterparts, but Adventureland definitely felt larger and more expansive.

With the Jungle Cruise and its Cambodian temple interior, the Swiss Family Treehouse being located on an island, the whole Sunshine Pavilion complex and Caribbean Plaza, Adventureland was by far my favorite "land" in the Magic Kingdom. Too bad the Adventureland Veranda isn't still open.

Thanks again, Major. These WDW photos always bring back memories of those early visits.

And yes, it was originally known as "Tropical Serenade". Oddly on the attraction sign and tickets it was titled "Tropical Serenade (Enchanted Tiki Birds)".

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was similar in that it was titled "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Submarine Voyage)" on the tickets and sign of that attraction.

Nanook said...


We sure loves them photos of WDW-! Those images of the Cinderella Castle capture perfectly why the gracefulness of the structure make it a standout.

And I've always loved the wider expanses of the 'midway' in Adventureland, although these days that "extra space" is most-likely populated with many, many guests.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, I don't ever remember seeing a photo of that floral Bicentennial logo before. I'm guessing that Disneyland did not have a similar floral display?

That "extra space" in Adventureland is actually filled in now with an attraction..... Aladdin's Flying Carpets, which is basically "Dumbo's Flying Elephants" with backseats. As if the park really needed another "spinner" attraction! Traffic bogs down in that area now, just like it does at the entrance to Disneyland's Tomorrowland. And to make matters even worse, there are statues of camels around the perimeter of the ride that spit down onto the guests passing by. I just wonder how many people get "spit on" directly in their eyes or on their expensive cameras? It seems very un-Disney to me. But then again, you go into WDW's Stitch attraction and Stitch burps up his chili dog in your face. What's next? Is Jack Sparrow going to pass gas on us as we float by him in Pirates of the Caribbean?

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. I LOVE the vintage WDW photos, Major. But then, I guess I'm not alone!

Chuck said...

Ahh, the wide-open spaces of early WDW. We'll never see the likes of thee again (except at places like GDB during Sweeps Week).

The open spaces of the old Adventureland plaza were a great design feature that helped keep the place from becoming too crowded, and this photo does a great job of illustrating that. One of the most unpleasant "What the - ??!!" moments I've ever experienced in a Disney park was my first, unexpected encounter with Aladdin's Carpets. Another happened just across the plaza when we discovered Tropical serenade was under new management, but the less said about that the better.

Thanks for sharing!

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics, Major. Aladdin's carpets really have ruined Adventureland at WDW. I now prefer the more intimate Disneyland version – although it certainly can get crazy packed these days. I'm looking forward to more early WDW photos.

K. Martinez said...

I agree with others that Dumbo's Flying Carpets have ruined "downtown" Adventureland. Never cared for the toonification of the naturalistic areas of the castle parks. Even in the beginning the animated Disney characters were purposely kept out of EPCOT Center. There was however an original character "Figment" created for the Imagination pavilion which made sense.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I am very surprised to hear that, since the lands appear (in photos) to be so much more roomy. Especially Frontierland! Also, as much as I love Adventureland (at Disneyland), it has never been my favorite land. The one in Florida must have been something special. The longer names on the tickets must have been to clarify what exactly a "Tropical Serenade" was, for those not familiar already.

Nanook, I guess WDW is like Disneyland now, with more and more people all the time. Bummer.

TokyoMagic!, I think that the floral logo might have been on a Viewmaster packet, though I could be wrong. The "Aladdin's Flying Carpets" ride sounds like just another example of how today's designers just don't "get it" anymore. I've never heard of those spitting camels. Amazing! Is it really a blast of water? Maybe if it was a fine mist it wouldn't be so bad. The Stitch burp sounds gross, but I am all for a farting Jack Sparrow! ;-)

TokyoMagic! again, oh don't worry, I'll be posting all of my WDW photos; it should keep the blog going a little bit longer…

Chuck, I have so many photos of the early Magic Kingdom in which the crowds are incredibly light. On the other hand, I have some others from early 1972 that show a packed Main Street - but those are neat because it's fun to see the people in their bad 70's clothes. The fact that the designers don't seem to understand that open spaces have value on crowded days just shows how clueless they can be. I suppose it is possible that they were ordered to do it by "the suits" and had no choice.

Pegleg Pete, stay tuned for more WDW photos! I have a bunch scanned, but after those, I'm going to share some beauties that were given to me by "Mr. X", taken in November 1971.

K. Martinez, "toonification" is exactly the word. Which sounds like it shouldn't be a negative thing at a Disney park, and yet… there are degrees. And they have gone too far in many cases.

Nancy said...

Never got to visit in the earliest days....I love these photos!! Please share as many as you can find. It helps keep my obsession going, you know! The castle at Magic Kingdom is just beautiful :)

Chuck said...

Major, I tend to think it's probably more executives trying to "plus" the parks and giving direction to designers rather than designers reacting to a wild notion of their own. Park history is replete with outstanding attractions and environments delivered by the Imagineers only to have them slowly mutate into something less integrated and grand into something easier to operate or that maximizes retail space.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I had read somewhere that the spitting camels were the same ones from the Aladdin's Royal Caravan parade that used to be at DL in the nineties and later moved to WDW. I'm not sure if that's true, but they do look the same. The spitting isn't just a "mist" is a much more significant amount. We'll call it "large drops." And the camels turn their heads and spit in different directions, so it isn't that predictable as to where it's going to land. I am curious to know if they get complaints about them.