Sunday, June 07, 2015

Walt Disney World - Main Street Station, November 1971

(Nanook and TokyoMagic! both caught an error in which I accidentally typed the year "1972" instead of "1971". I can't explain how I managed to do that baffling typo!)

It's back to Florida we go - The Magic Kingdom, circa November 1971! The park had only been open a matter of weeks. These photos are from yet another batch of negatives that my friend "Mr. X" was going to throw away - but happily, he gave them to me. Today's examples are not the most exciting, but I am saving the better photos for later!

I haven't seen many night shots of WDW's grand Main Street Station, so in that regard these are nice. FYI, the next 40 (or so) Magic Kingdom photos that I will be posting will be nighttime pictures. The lit clock says it is only around 6 o'clock, but it is dark; winter, you know. I noticed that the "population" and "elevation" info hasn't been added to the sign yet.

Here's a slightly more dramatic angle. You can just see part of the Mickey Mouse floral portrait, and the silhouette of one of the large steam trains as it pulls into the station.

Don't worry, they keep getting better and better after this!


Nanook said...


I'm guessing you mean November, 1971-? (I, too, get easily confused). It's still fun to see the [new] Main Street Station even in these limited views.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I think the Major just likes to test us!

It doesn't look like there are very many people up there waiting for the train in that first pic. But then again, I guess it was the off-season. I'm assuming that WDW is like DL now, and that there aren't really "off-seasons" anymore.

Debbie V. said...

I regret that I visited WDW this past April and did NOT ride the WD railroad. It's always a priority for me. Aw visit is Nov 2016 and it's at the top of my list.

K. Martinez said...

These photos are actually quite good considering they were taken at night in the 1970's. If the rest of the nighttime photos are as good as this, I'm definitely looking forward to the rest. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! - It must've been a strange off-season due to the fact that it was actually there very first season of operation in these pics. I have heard that the holidays for November and December in that first season were very packed including a single day attendance on Dec. 29 of nearly 70,000.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, as you can see, I corrected the mistake! It was a brain fart, or something.

TokyoMagic!, I only wish that was the case. It was just a dumb error. And these pictures, taken during the Thanksgiving holiday, rarely show crowds of any significance.

Debbie V., did you just run out of time, or did you somehow forget? I always ride Disneyland’s trains!

K. Martinez, yes, there are some really wonderful night shots; I might make you guys wait a bit for them, since I discovered some other already-scanned slides that I want to use up. Perhaps the park did get very crowded at some point, but Mr. X’s photos don’t show packed streets.

K. Martinez said...

Major, interesting that you say these photos were taken during the Thanksgiving holiday and rarely show crowds of any significance. From the link I've provided below it states the day after Thanksgiving as being entry restricted for several hours due to reaching capacity. Since most of the photos you mentioned were taken at night perhaps the crowds thinned out early in those days. I wonder if Mike Cozart knows the attendance patterns for WDW's first operating season.

Timeline from that was supposedly produced by the WDW News department:

By Thanksgiving, Walt Disney World Resort was the most-talked-about attraction in the Western world.

On Nov. 26 and again on Dec. 27 and 28, parking reached capacity and entry was restricted for several hours."


Patrick Devlin said...

Well one question that has buzzed about in the back of my head for years is answered: was the Park called "The Magic Kingdom" right from the get-go, as opposed to being called "Disney World". I've often wondered how the term "Magic Kingdom" morphed from a alternative title for Disneyland to being the official moniker for the equivalent Florida park.

K. Martinez said...

Patrick Devlin, the term "Magic Kingdom" was used from the beginning to identify the theme park component from the rest of the Walt Disney World complex since there was more to the property than just a theme park. I also think the Florida park's name "Magic Kingdom" might've been inspired by the original Disneyland in which it was often referred to as "Walt Disney's magic kingdom". Interestingly in those early days most people I knew referred to the Magic Kingdom as Disney World and didn't pay attention to the rest of the property.

Nanook said...

@ Patrick Devlin-

As Ken has already mentioned, Magic Kingdom seems to have been there from the get-go. And looking at the original map, which if you go to THIS LINK, you can see that, not only wasn't it in the form of a real map, was referred to as the Magic Kingdom, or Magic Kingdom Theme Park.

Nanook said...


As you can see from WDW's dedication: Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney... and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place ... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together. —Roy O. Disney, October 25, 1971

... Roy referred to all of WDW as a "Magic Kingdom"

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I looked at the daytime photos from this batch (about 24 day photos, and about 20 night photos), and the line for the Autopia looks kind of long; also, Fantasyland looks pretty busy in a shot from the Skyway. But I’ll bet it is busier than those pictures almost every day now! I should ask Mr. X if he remembers the crowd situation.

Patrick Devlin, I see that Ken already answered your question, but I always did feel a little bit like, “Hey, DISNEYLAND is the Magic Kingdom! What the heck!”.

K. Martinez, your explanation makes sense; It seems clear that the theme park was the big draw, while the golf courses and other stuff were just “stuff to do when you weren’t riding Dumbo or the Haunted Mansion”!

Nanook, I have also seen the term “The Vacation Kingdom”, but that encompasses the whole park, rather than just the Magic Kingdom part. If I was more industrious, I might try to see if I could find an actual quote from Walt referring to it as the Magic Kingdom (assuming anything like that exists).

K. Martinez said...

I always loved the original taglines for the two different U.S. properties. I'm not even sure they use them anymore.

- Disneyland "The Happiest Place On Earth"
- Walt Disney World "The Vacation Kingdom of the World"

As for Walt Disney referring to Disneyland as the Magic Kingdom, I've never seen anything, but I have heard on several canned spiels at the Park referring to Disneyland as "Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom".

Melissa said...

I don't know if it's the size or what, but the Magic Kingdom at night is much spookier than Disneyland at night.

Patrick Devlin said...

Magic Kingdom as a term for Disneyland was fairly common. From the 1965 guide book: "As I said on the Magic Kingdom's opening day, Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world. - Walt Disney

The guide book has another 6 or 7 references to Disneyland as the Magic Kingdom. Plus, of course, things like the Magic Kingdom Club and Kids of the Kingdom. What the real Disney-history task is to see if the Disney folks stopped using "Magic Kingdom" to refer to Disneyland at all after Disney World opened.

Hmm. I think I have a few spare weeks of vacation to spend on some serious research...

Debbie V. said...

Patrick Devlin - this is the point that I was hoping you would mention - things like the Magic Kingdom Club and other references to Disneyland being called the Magic Kingdom for a long time before Walt Disney World, including THAT WDW Magic Kingdom, existed. And at at what point did they stop calling Disneyland the Magic Kingdom? Were there two parks both called the Magic Kingdom at some point? What was behind the naming of the WDW Magic Kingdom ? Was it that Disneyland had two names already so let's move the name "Magic Kingdom" name to the WDW one?
I would be very interested to know :)

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, yes, I have always thought that “The Happiest Place on Earth” was the perfect motto! I wonder if any of the old “Disneyland / Wonderful World of Color” shows had Walt referring to the park as The Magic Kingdom?

Melissa, I suppose it *would* be spookier at night - which sounds kind of cool!

Patrick Devlin, thanks for the guidebook quote. The ’65 book is one of my favorites. And YES, there was the Magic Kingdom Club! I had forgotten. We need an expert on Disneyland Nomenclature (he knows who he is) to chime in.

Debbie V, I’m not losing any sleep over the fact that the Florida park is now known as the Magic Kingdom! But it is a weird thing. You’d think they could have come up with something else, with all of those brains working on it.

Debbie V. said...

Major - I'm not losing sleep either but when I first visited WDW in 2011 I found myself thinking "but Disneyland is the Magic Kingdom" and wondering as I mentioned previously.
I'm a good sleeper :)

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