Friday, April 17, 2015

More Walt Disney World, December 1975

Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to Walt Disney World we go.

In my last WDW post, we saw the stern end of the Richard Irvine steamboat. Now we get to see it from the fronty bit (as sailors call it). Isn't it pretty? If you look carefully, you can see just a bit of the other WDW steamboat, the Admiral Joe Fowler, which was scrapped in 1980. Even as I type that sentence, the idea that it was scrapped shocks me.


Now we're in the middle of Fantasyland, and are amidst timber framed fa├žades and tournament tents. There's Cinderella's Golden Carousel (beneath the white tent), and "It's a Small World" to our left, with the Skyway overhead. Is there anything else notable about this photo that I should know about?


I like flowers just fine, but never feel the need to take pictures of them! This patch of color is a little more informal and wild-looking than what I usually think of when it comes to Disney flowers.


Stay tuned for more Magic Kingdom images from 1975!

24 comments:

Nancy said...

Morning, David. Always love to see Walt Disney World! :-)

In the second photo, to the right of Its A Small World (on our left here) in the cute brown building is the Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant. The fun thing here is that there are windows (first and second floor seating) where you can watch the ITSW loading area and wave to the world travelers as the boats proceed into the ride :-)

Love the views today!!

K. Martinez said...

I love the Richard F. Irvine image and that you can see some of the Admiral Joe Fowler in the same shot. I always thought it was strange that they didn't go with some sort of sailing ship like the Columbia since the landing is located in Liberty Square.

Lovin' the 1970's WDW posts. Thanks, Major.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great early WDW pics today, Major. Thanks as always!

Chuck said...

I agree with Ken that it's odd that they didn't build a Columbia II (really, Columbia III), or perhaps extend Frontierland up the shoreline a bit or move the load area down.

I've also found it a bit odd that, after the brilliant idea and execution of the "restaurant-in-a-ride" concept with the Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean, the closest thing they attempted at WDW's Magic Kingdom was the Village Haus windows into iasw's load area. While visually more interesting than a blank wall or watching Ed from Waukegan eat his pasta salad with his mouth open, it still lacks the ambiance of the Blue Bayou or the later Land Grill at EPCOT Center. It's one of many little missing touches that always made the MK fill slightly antiseptic to me after the intimacy of Disneyland. Not that I dislike the MK - far from it - but it's part of why I've always loved DL a little bit more...even in the '70's.

Melissa said...

It’s the weirdest thing – for decades, I had a very clear memory of riding a boat named Admiral Joe Fowler in 1982. It wasn’t until earlier this century that I read it had been scuppered in 1980. I just have read the name on some outdated brochure or something, and it attached itself to my memory of riding the Richard F. Irvine.

And I never noticed the lance-shaped columns outside it’s a small world. I looked at a recent picture and they’re still there (albeit a different color), so I have no excuse!

Melissa said...

As it was, they had to condense the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to make it fit the smaller footprint available in the MK’s Adventureland, so there probably wouldn’t have been room for a restaurant even if they’d wanted one.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck and Melissa -

What I find the most frustrating of all is that Disney decided to give the Magic Kingdom a lesser Pirates of the Caribbean instead of the greatest attraction never built: the Western River Expedition.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, thanks, now that you mention it I can see the little sign for the Village Haus! I never knew about the windows into IASW, either.

K. Martinez, I agree, the Columbia seems perfect for Liberty Square. But they went with two steam boats instead, for some reason.

Chuck, I have heard the stories about how “Pirates” added to WDW due to public demand, but I really don’t get why they didn’t have the room for a full-sized version of the ride, or even and extended version. They’ve got all that darn land, why didn’t they take advantage of it? Or was it strictly a money thing?

Melissa, you might have also read Joe Fowler’s name in so many Disney park histories that you just assumed that it was his namesake you saw at WDW. Maybe! Thanks for pointing out the lance-shaped columns, which I have never noticed.

Melissa again, see my comment to Chuck! How could they not have room??

K. Martinez, I’m sure you have seen FoxxFur’s wonderful article about the Western River Expedition. It would have been incredible if they had built it, and would probably be considered one of the greatest attractions of all time.

Melissa said...

Oh, I know! I still hold out hope that WRE will be built somewhere in the parks someday. Without the parts that became BTMRR and Splash Mountain, it doesn't seem like it'd be out of the question due to size and scope. If they adapted it to focus a bit more on wildlife, it could go in Animal Kingdom. Or maybe it would fit into the expansion lot next to The American Adventure in EPCOT, which could use more rides.

K. Martinez said...

Major - Oh yeah, I'm a big fan of FoxxFur's writings and have read the multi-part WRE article. I also like Mike Lee's Widen Your World site which has an article on WRE.

Omnispace said...

According to those wonderful articles that FoxxFur wrote about Western River Expedition, the attraction was to have a Blue Bayou type restaurant in it.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, if you are curious...here's a pic showing the windows in WDW's It's a Small World. They are in the loading room. http://www.disneydining.com/small-world/#prettyPhoto[gallery]/2/

The fact that WDW got the short end of the stick with their Pirates of the Caribbean gets to me every time I visit the Magic Kingdom. It just does not make sense. Like you mentioned, Major, I have read that they received many complaints from guests who were expecting to see POTC during their visit. Was it simply that they were rushing to get it built quickly or were they really trying to save themselves some money? I don't buy that not enough space excuse because it could have gone over where Splash Mt. ended up being built. And if it truly was because of the guest complaints that they even built POTC in the first place, then those guests screwed themselves....and us, out of the Western River Expedition. Darn them!

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. @ Melissa....I like your ideas for places where the Western River Expedition could be built. I think the ONLY way that it would be built now though, is if they made a movie version of it first and that movie turned out to be very successful. I don't think we are going to be seeing any original attractions built anymore, that aren't based on an existing movie or franchise. And how sad is that? Just think how It's A Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion were all built without any movie tie-ins, no built-in audience, and no related movie merchandise to sell.

Chuck said...

What's even more ironic is that two of those rides actually inspired movies themselves, one of which became a successful franchise that then inspired revisions to the original ride that had inspired the movies. There's some sort of causality paradox buried in there if you look hard enough...

Like you guys, I've read (although I can't recall where) that WDW's POTC was de-biggened due to cost. It was an afterthought to begin with, so money had to be found somewhere in the budget. Keep in mind that any attraction at the MK has to be built up from actual ground level due to the water table, and I think this also adds to cost.

There may have also been an actual space issue. While WDW was 27,000 acres in the early '70's, the footprint of the MK had already been established, which defined where POTC could logically be built. If you take a look at this map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_World#/media/File:Walt_Disney_World_open_street_map.png), you can see that that starts limiting options. The canal that connects Rivers of America with the Seven Seas Lagoon runs down the west side of the park and can't be moved. I'm not sure if the Parade Building was built as part of the original infrastructure, but if it was, that also limits the available footprint.

Not 100% sure, but I think these are probable factors that all led to WDW getting what my wife and I like to call "Highlights from 'Pirates of the Caribbean.'"

Chuck said...

One note on the map I linked above...although it appears to me to be otherwise accurate, one error just jumped out at me. Splash Mountain is labeled "Diamond Horseshoe."

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I love that description, "Highlights from Pirates of the Caribbean"!!! It's so true! Plus it sounds like a magazine that my pedodontist used to have in his waiting room.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I would love it if the WRE could be built, but unlike you, I don’t hold out much hope. And part of what made the original concept so cool was that it was so many things all in one, integrated so beautifully.

K. Martinez, I’ll have to check out Widen Your World.

Omnispace, yes, I remember that. I’m imagining a western-themed night scene, with Monument Valley buttes, and brilliant stars overhead, and maybe some little campfires in the “distance”.

TokyoMagic!, it’s not quite as neat as the Blue Bayou, but still a nice touch. I understand the public on the East coast wanting to have “Pirates”… it’s just like when Carsland was done, and I would hear folks wondering if they were going to build one in Florida. Don’t they want something unique and cool? I am guessing that a lot of the real reason Pirates was built in Florida is because all they had to do was duplicate already-sculpted AA figures, copy scenes, etc. That had to be a LOT cheaper than the WRE.

Chuck, I know that they have to worry about the water table. That map sure makes it look like there’s a lot of empty land in the southwestern corner. Could they have somehow routed people over (or under) “Caribbean Way” for just a short bit? Look at how they got the boats outside the berm at Disneyland, going down a waterfall. I just can’t believe that an equally brilliant solution wasn’t possible for Florida. As you said at the start of your comment, I believe it was all due to cost, ultimately.

Chuck again, mislabeling Splash Mountain as the Diamond Horseshoe is a pretty big mistake!!

TokyoMagic!, I can’t imagine a magazine that would have a name like “Highlights From Pirates of the Caribbean”!!

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with you 100%, Major! Why wouldn't they want something unique and original for "their" park. That's what I want to see when I visit another Disney park. I don't want to see the exact same thing that we have here. If everything is the same, then there is no reason to go see a new attraction when it is built somewhere else. An example is the Little Mermaid ride. I still haven't seen the one in WDW and I don't feel any need. Why couldn't they have gotten something unique like a Beauty and the Beast ride? Again, I think it boils down to money. It's cheaper to crank out a carbon copy (or even an abbreviated version as was the case for POTC) of an existing ride rather than come up with something new.

Chuck said...

Still holding out for that Treasure Planet tie-in attraction...

Melissa said...

And a Black Hole ride in Tomorrowland, with a Maximilian character meet-and greet!

TokyoMagic! said...

Oooh Melissa, with B.O.B. and V.I.N.CENT too???

Chuck said...

That Maximilian is a real cut-up...

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, yeah, a “Beauty and the Beast” ride would be awesome. Go into the Beast’s scary castle, see all of the lovable characters (Cogsworth, etc), the Beast is threatened, happy ending. Easy!

Chuck, I love “Treasure Island” so much that I was a bit disappointed by “Treasure Planet”. It was OK, but the original story is SO good!

Melissa, oh man, that movie is hard to watch. Have you seen it recently? Oof.

TokyoMagic!, those robots, they look so cheap. In fact, closeups of the controls panels on the “Palomino” are so incredibly cheesy. Ed Wood laughed at them!

Chuck, it is hard to make fun of somebody with a bitchin’ name like “Maximilian”.

Dean Finder said...

There is a restaurant very similar to the Blue Bayou in Epcot. The San Angel inn has a similar "outdoor evening" show building and the Grand Fiesta Tour boats pass alongside the waterfront tables.