Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Magic Kingdom, August 1972

I scanned some more old slides from the Magic Kingdom - and even discarded several scans as being too horrible for one reason or another. But today's images made the cut! This makes a nice followup for Ken Martinez's post from Monday.

Of course this one had to be included - who doesn't love a view of the beautiful turquoise lagoon from the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" attraction? I just want to jump in and splash around. I like the planters with the built-in seating (much like the New Tomorrowland in Anaheim), and all of the flowers and tropical plants. I think we can see some of the 20K's show building just past the rocks, but I don't know what the stuff is in the upper left. Monorail tracks and...?

Here's another unusual view - a somewhat strange angle looking at Cinderella Castle. Part of that hillside looks like it sheared away after a heavy rain. Is that retaining wall a temporary structure? Note the Mad Tea Party without the covering that would be added later. 

Any idea what all the people at the bottom of the photo are looking at?

There's good old Pluto, Mickey's faithful pup. His plush fur makes him very huggable! That kid totally stole my look - I still wear a bucket hat everywhere, as well as my mom's sunglasses. I am a bit jealous of that Pepsi shirt, though.


Nanook said...


That is the Monorail beamway - and something... All those folks in the second image are looking at the excitement that was the Grand Prix Raceway. Me loves these images of early WDW.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

One of things I like about Walt Disney World is the flat Florida horizon with its forest of trees seemingly stretching out to forever.

There's the Tomorrowland Terrace with its red Coca Cola sign and interior bandstand beneath the geodesic skylight.

I think that's the unfinished "castle" wall of the building that houses Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. A structure was eventually built there to house some cafe or shop attachment.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Do you know what would look even better than the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction? A Pooh-themed playground made of cork that is only 1/20th the size of that lagoon.

I love that view of WDW's Mad Tea Party before it got it's cover built over it. The Anaheim version of the attraction is the only one that doesn't have a roof over it! And speaking of things with roofs over them, the Tomorrowland Terrace's "pop up" stage was located underneath that glass dome to the left of the Mad Tea Party.

How do any of the costumed walk-around characters survive out in the Florida heat and humidity? I guess the princesses now have the air conditioned "meet 'n greet" space formerly occupied by Snow White's Scary Adventures. Maybe they should take out all of the Fantasyland dark rides and convert the spaces into character "meet 'n greets." A Frozen one would be nice.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ooops, I did it again.......

Ken, I must confess that I wrote my comment about the Tomorowland Terrace Stage a couple hours earlier, but "fell asleep" in front of my computer screen before clicking on "Publish" and also before refreshing the comments screen and seeing that you had since commented on it yourself!

steve2wdw said...

Once again, awesome pictures....the second photo, with the topless Mad Tea Party, also features construction of bathrooms and what may have originally been the Art Festival, now a food and beverage location. I would assume that the unthemed wall was left that way, knowing that an addition to that space would be forthcoming.

Scott Lane said...

Yep, what they all said. ^^

Tomorrowland Speedway (which is rumored to possibly be replaced by a Tron Lightcycle coaster) and temporary construction wall. In that top photo, not sure exactly what that upper building housed but somewhere at the end of that beam is the barn where the monorails are housed, fed and groomed after a long hot day.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great photos today, Major. That view of the 20,000 Leagues lagoon is particularly stunning! And yes, as already mentioned, it would appear that the walls are shielding the construction of the Fantasyland Art Festival and nearby restrooms.

Chuck said...

Oh, wowza! That first one is a beaut! I think the only things still left today from that photo are the Monorail beamway and the 12th and 27th trees (counting from the right) in the middle background.

I think that something beyond the Monorail beamway is glare from the large storage and parking lot at the end of North Facilities Way and what was then a large, backstage bare area now occupied by a large, backstage pond.

I found a 1972 B&W aerial photo of the MK area that may help understand the spatial relationships and the layout of the area at the time. My apologies for the low resolution, but it's all I could find.

Enjoying this set immensely, Major. Thanks!

DrGoat said...

I'll echo everyone's sentiments. Great pics. Even though I remember the park like this, it's still strange to see it so undeveloped and charming, in a manner of speaking.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, the Monorail beamway (I called it “tracks”, oy) for sure. Grand Prix Raceway, aha! Thanks for the info.

K. Martinez, the photos also prove that the Earth is flat - something I’ve suspected all along. As for that wall, I’m a little unsure of what you mean; is that just a large retaining wall, and a cafe now hides it?

TokyoMagicToo (?!), I think I have heard that much of the fairly-recent Fantasyland expansion (that included the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride) was eventually built on that land - is that correct? I like that the Anaheim Teacups are not covered; it doesn’t really seem to need it. I’m always surprised at how popular those “meet ’n greets” are - there are special events in which people will wait three hours to have their photo taken with a rare character (Maleficent, for instance). They do realize it’s a person in a costume, don’t they??

TokyoMagic!, confession is good for the soul. Please say 30 “Bob Igers” and 30 “I love Disneys”.

steve2wdw, I have never heard of the “Art Festival”, what was that?

Scott Lane, from what I understand, the Tomorrowland Speedway has already been chopped down considerably (so much for having all the land they need); maybe it’s time to replace it. The Tron Lightcycle does look pretty cool.

Pegleg Pete, was the Art Festival kind of like the one that used to be in Disneyland’s “East Center Street”? With paintings and prints for sale?

Chuck, yeah, a lot has changed in the last 40+ years; looking at the aerial photos, I am still unsure as to what’s what - mostly a case of my ignorance of WDW. But that’s OK, life will somehow go on!

DrGoat, I’m not sure if you’d said that you had visited WDW - are there any photos to prove it (hint hint)?

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagicToo & The Major-

Perhaps the struggle of "manning" a character costume, with all the attendant issues will become a thing of the past. Just LOOKIE HERE. Oh, for when things come completely off-the-rails-! (I just wanna be there watching).

DrGoat said...

OK, I commented at 7:45am. I had just gotten to the office. I'm afraid you'll have to cut this old man a little slack on this one. No, I've never been to WDW. For some reason I thought it was Disneyland. I wondered why, in my pre-dementia state, K.Martinez mentioned the unfinished castle wall that housed Mr. Toad. I should have invested a little more thought to it. My apologies.

Dean Finder said...

There's now a restaurant (Cheshire Cafe) in the construction area in pic #2. It's lower in height and does a pretty good job of disguising that huge wall of Mr. Toad (now Winnie the Pooh)
I hadn't realized the Speedway once extended so far north. Those people would now be looking at Dumbo.
You are correct that WDW's "New Fantasyland" now occupies the 20k area. The 7 Dwarves coaster roughly stands on the lagoon, and a Little Marmaid dark ride is about where the 20k show building was.

No idea what's along the monorail beam in the first pic, but I think the other commenters are correct that it's likely parking or temporary structures for construction.