Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Last WDW photos from November, 1974

Today I'm sharing the last four images from a group of Magic Kingdom slides from the latter part of 1974.

Let's start with this moody look at Florida's "Friendly Indian Village". It's pretty similar to the Anaheim version, though the boy on the overturned canoe is accompanied by two dogs. No expense was spared! Based on other photos, I know that the tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad passed just behind the teepees, giving guests on the trains a very closeup view of the village.

Next is this portrait of Sleepy - he looks more like "Drunky". I believe that he is in front of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea lagoon. Notice the flower in Sleepy's hat... did somebody sneak that on to his chapeau, or was Sleepy actually a hippie?! 

I used to have a red, white and blue plaid jacket when I was a kid... it was almost as headache-inducing as the one in this photo.

Here's a lovely photo looking across the moat toward Tomorrowland's entrance. It's hard to get a sense of scale, but those two people in the lower right corner help to show just how large that moat is (was?).  You can see the water spraying down the distinctive towers (reminding me of rocket exhaust), and you can even see that waterfall spilling over the blue trapezoidal area. That's right, I said "trapezoidal". As usual, water adds a wonderful sense of movement to any scene, not to mention pleasant sounds. Imagineers - when in doubt, put in a waterfall! This might be my favorite picture from the whole batch.

I'm posting these in the order in which they were taken (based on the number stamps), so we're ending on kind of a lame note. But it's still kind of fun to see Prince John from "Robin Hood", waiting to do something dastardly - when not posing for pictures.

That's the end of this batch, but there are more Walt Disney World pictures to come!


Nanook said...


Some lovely images of WDW. The Indian Village is particularly noteworthy.

And I believe it is a known fact most of the Seven Dwarfs became hippies; and Sleepy (or 'Drunky', as you call him,) was one of that generation's finest.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Such a great set of WDW pics today, Major! You are right about the proximity of the train tracks to the Indian village. Some of those tee pees and figures even face towards the train tracks so when you ride on the train, it isn't like you are looking at the "backside" of the village. Tokyo DL's Indian village is laid out in the same manner as WDW's.

That second photo may actually be a pic of "Surly" of "The Seven Duffs."

Such a beautiful pic of the Tomorrowland entrance. I wish it still looked like this! And yes, I'm also curious about the moat. I haven't been there since they filled in parts of it to increase the standing room for the fireworks. I wonder if this section still exists? Or was it only the grassy areas along the moat that they swapped out for concrete? Hopefully someone will be able to tell us.

I LOVE the Robin Hood walk-around characters. I wish they could still be seen in the parks here in the U.S. When I was in the Xmas parade in the eighties, there was an entire Robin Hood unit!

K. Martinez said...

Some of those 1970's Disney characters were cool to see roaming the parks back in the day. Vintage images of WDW always seem to show Scat Cat and the other colorful cats from The Aristocats at various locations around the Magic Kingdom. I remember seeing Robin Hood and Little John at Disneyland several times back in the 1970's as well as Prince John in the Main Street Electrical Parade. I've only seen Bernard and Bianca from the Rescuers once. That was an era.

I'm glad to hear you have more WDW. I can never get too much WDW 70's magic. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I forgot about The Rescuers....I also LOVE those walk-around characters! The Tokyo parks still have Bianca and Bernard AND the Robin Hood Characters walking around! I have also seen lots of vintage pics of The Aristocats characters walking around WDW, but I only remember seeing them at DL in America On Parade. I wonder if they ever walked around DL? As for Prince John in the Main St. Electrical Parade, you might be remembering King Lion from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"....he played and also rode inside of the giant calliope in the circus unit of the parade. He is/was often mistaken for Prince John.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics today, Major. This is the WDW I remember best and miss so much. That Tomorrowland photo, in particular, is a real gem. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you for that trapezoidal shot of the old entrance to Tomorrowland. That is a beautiful picture - of an area I can never have too many pictures of!!! This is the Tomorrowland entrance I remember from my first trips there in the 70’s - and one I greatly miss since the (in my opinion awful) re-do of the mid-90’s. Growing up in the 70s my impression of “futuristic” was whites - The Jetsons - Logan’s Run. NOT black and gold Jules Verne wannabees. So nice to see this again - even if only in photos! Thanks again!

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, You're right! After leaving my comment, I did wonder if it was the King Lion from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks". Sometimes I get those two confused. Anyway, I loved the circus parade unit. If I remember correctly it had some great sound effects.

Anonymous - I think it was Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers they were going for in the Magic Kingdom's 1994 Tomorrowland, not Jules Verne. It's Disneyland Paris that has the Jules Verne inspired Discoveryland.

Chuck said...

That third photo is pure magic. Thanks, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, my guess is that Sleepy’s hat conceals a head full of long, flowing, greasy hair. Put him in the Marines, that’ll whip him into shape!

TokyoMagic!, I know that there is something different about the train at TDL, like it doesn’t go all the way around the park of something. But I wasn’t sure there was a Disneyland-style Frontierland; although now that I write that, I think I’ve seen photos of their steam boat on a snowy day. It makes me sad that they have filled in part of the moat as a necessity (large crowds), but it is what it is.

K. Martinez, now that it seems as if the walk-around characters are more popular than ever, you’d think that it would be fun for them to bring out a few of the older, more obscure costumes now and then. Like Bernard and Bianca! I’d love to see them. I know that it was a big deal fairly recently when Roger Rabbit made an appearance for some special occasion.

TokyoMagic!, I have a snapshot or two on this blog showing the colorful jazz-playing cats over near IASW, so Aristocats characters did appear for some time. Probably not for long, I assume.

Pegleg Pete, I wish I had seen WDW as it appears in these photos; there is a real charm to the place.

Anonymous, you are welcome, and I am glad that you enjoyed these.

K. Martinez, I guess I never knew that there was some sort of Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers thing attempted at WDW’s Tomorrowland. Now I’m going to have to look for photos to see the changes.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, you are correct, Tokyo's railroad only goes around the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland and the Western River in Westernland (their Frontierland). There is only one station where everyone loads and unloads. Here are some pics of the scenes along that park's river including their Indian village. Tokyo also has a burning cabin along their river, and sort of an equivalent of our old Cascade Peak.

Tokyo DL - Western River

And while searching for pics of Tokyo's Indian village, I realized that I have a similar shot to the one you posted of WDW's village. This one is from 2011 and is taken from a little closer vantage point, but it's a similar angle. It appears that the second dog in your shot might actually be a second boy that is kneeling. The dog is missing altogether in my shot. It's amazing though how little had changed in 37 years.

WDW - Indian Village

K. Martinez said...

Major/TokyoMagic! - I seem to remember reading something back when TDL first opened that said the Western River Railroad only has one station because Japan regulations at the time required that any rail line with two or more stops would be classified as a transportation system and would be subject to the same rules and regulations as conventional rail lines. So with one station it was classified as an attraction and not subject to rail regulations.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, that is correct!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic, it sounds like the TDL RR might be kind of a short ride… do you remember if that’s the case? Thanks for the link to your nice photos. I swear in one shot of the Western River, it looks like one of the Indians is holding something with the McDonald’s logo on it! And you are right, there are TWO boys, not one boy and two dogs. D’oh!

K. Martinez, yes, that’s the same thing I read, probably in either Michael Broggie’s book or Steve DeGaetano’s.

TokyoMagic!, those Japanese need to loosen up. It’s a train ride in an amusement park! Bend the rules a little!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, it didn't seem that short. It winds all the way around the Jungle Cruise and all the way around the Western River....almost in a figure eight but without the tracks crossing. They also have a Primeval World diorama, but not a Grand Canyon diorama.

Every time I look at that pic, my eye goes right to the guy holding the symbol that looks like the golden arches. Perhaps he is there to promote the new McMaize sandwich? By the way, someone at work just came back from Vancouver, Canada and said they have a McLobster sandwich up there.

Dean Finder said...

Thankfully, most of the moat was not paved over - they just added a second ring to the hub over the grassy areas (so long Swan Boat docks). The end towards Main Street was widened considerably.

I've only been there at less crowded times, and it's claustrophobia-inducing during the parades and fireworks, so I'm not too upset about it. I can't imagine how awful it must be during the summer.

TokyoMagic! said...

Dean Finer, thanks for clearing that up....and thanks for the link to the Gif images. UGH!!! That is a whole lot more concrete and a whole lot less grass in the Plaza. I hate the idea of the fireworks having to be "Hub-centric." With the old Fantasy In The Sky Fireworks show, there were always some people that wanted to be in front of the castle, but not like with the firework shows they have had for the last 10+ years. Since they now have the projections and pyrotechnics on the castle and in the hub, it seems like EVERYONE in the park wants to be in that one spot. Not only that, but they have to close half of Fantasyland way before the show and for a while after until the fire dept. can inspect the buildings because of the pyrotechnics that are launched off of the roof of the castle. I wish they would just go back to the "aerial only" fireworks show where it could all be viewed from anywhere in the park.

Chuck said...

But...but...more is better...right? ;-)

Nanook said...

@ Chuck, TokyoMagic! et al-

I certainly concur with the crowds gathering in the Hub. But for someone who used to travel to many a park in these United States, and witnessed many a fireworks show - virtually all of them less than satisfying, anything which improves the experience is a 'plus' in my book.

Disney ego notwithstanding, their fireworks shows have always been more bluster and bragging than a really great experience. They may have been better than most (not a hard feat to accomplish, quite frankly,) but always a big disappointment to this fireworks aficionado. That is until I witnessed the holiday fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom @ WDW, in November, 2012. FINALLY, 'someone' realized the limitations of past shows: too small - always confined to the Castle; more concerned with synchronized music than what was taking place in the sky; too short in duration. They looked at those deficits, turned them into big plusses, and never looked back.

My friend and I enjoyed the show so much (a BIG deal for us), we came back to the Park the following evening to watch the display all over again. And, yes, there were a lot of people in the Hub, but being the week following Thanksgiving weekend, the crowds were more than tolerable, so it was easy to scope-out a great viewing spot.

Good show, Disney.

Matthew said...

I know this comment is coming in very late and I haven't had time to read all the other comments before mine, but I truly love that first picture of the Friendly Indian Village. When I started at Disneyland our Indian Village was static except for a woman who stirred a pot and an Indian Chief who raised his hand in a sign of "Peace." (Sailing Ship Columbia - Circa 1987 - NON S.O.P. Spiel - Indian Chief with two large bucks hanging in background behind him and the brave - Captain: "Hey Chief how tall was that buck you killed (wait for Chief to raise his arm)? Oh, that tall shipmates.")

What I loved about this Indian encampment at WDW is that almost every character had some minor animation. It also seemed more natural for there to be so many different activities happening in and around the camp. Finally, I loved that you could only see part of it from the river and had to take the train to see what was happening on the other side of the tracks. Does anyone have video of this Friendly Indian Village? Would love to see it or more pictures of the individual tableau's happening.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle